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PodSchool Podcast | How long does it take to launch a podcast?

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How quickly can you get a podcast off the ground?

When you’re launching a podcast there are a bunch of things you need to have ready before you can press publish.

So, if you’ve got dreams of starting your own show, how much time do you need to get started?

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The one thing you don’t have control over when launching a podcast

The only variable in the process you can’t control is how long it takes podcast directories like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify to recognise your show.

When you’re launching a podcast this is the very last step in the process before you’re officially a podcaster and I’ve had shows take anywhere from 24 hours to two weeks to appear.

I usually give myself a buffer of two weeks between uploading a trailer/submitting my show and going “live” with my first episode.

That way you’ve got time to make sure your show is accepted by the directories so when you drop your first real episode people will be able to find it.

What directories should you submit your podcast to?

Read

What else do you need to have ready to launch a podcast?

If you’ve factored in your two-week buffer that means you need all your assets, including your trailer ready to go two weeks before the date of your first episode.

So what does that include?

Podcast name and description

This seems pretty self-explanatory but coming up with a name for your show isn’t a simple process.

Often the first name you come up with isn’t the best and it helps to spend time sharing your idea with other people and marinating on it yourself to work out whether it’s the right one for you.

You also want to check whether you can get access to things like the domain name and social handles.  And of course, make sure there aren’t other podcasts out there with the same name you’d be competing with.

Coming up against this roadblock can add time to the process you didn’t anticipate.  And often if you’re really attached to a name, it can take a while to come up with another one you love.

Once you’ve locked down the title of your podcast you also want to think about your description or the elevator pitch for your show.

This is what will be displayed in the podcast directories and is often the thing that convinces people to listen to an episode or better yet, subscribe.

How to come up with a great podcast name

Read

Podcast artwork

This needs to be uploaded into your podcast host to set up your show and ideally, you’ve put time and effort into designing a logo you’re excited about.

Of course, as your show grows your artwork can evolve but ideally if you’re trying to get people interested in your podcast you want to have artwork that looks as professional as possible.

If you’re designing the tile yourself be mindful it’s easy to get lost in a timewarp of changing colours and fonts even if you think you’ve got a really clear idea of what you want.

If you’re working with a designer the process can also be drawn out because of the time involved in making changes.

How to design a great podcast logo

Read

Trailer

Your trailer is the first piece of audio you’re going to upload to your feed and the reason you start with a trailer instead of episode 1 is because of the time it takes for your show to appear in directories.

Putting your trailer together can be as simple or as involved as you like but you want to make sure you’ve got plenty of time to do it.

If you’ve been recording podcast episodes ahead of your launch (which I highly recommend) you can use little bits of the episodes you’ve recorded as a tease of what’s to come.

If not you and your co-host can do an intro episode setting up the premise but whatever you do you want it to be interesting because it’s potentially the first taste people will get of your show.

Why you need a trailer for your podcast

Read

So how long does it all take?

It’s very hard to give an exact amount of time because each of these elements can take days, weeks or months to get sorted.

You might have had the idea for your podcast name since the dawn of time, you might already have the domain name and social handles.

You might love the first design a designer comes back with or it might take you way longer to lock down your logo than you thought.

You might record your trailer in an afternoon, or if you’re including audio elements and getting someone to edit them for you it might take a lot longer to put together.

The main thing is to set yourself realistic timelines and work to a launch date knowing that you need everything ready two weeks before.

That buffer of time where your show is making its way to the podcast directories is the bit a lot of people forget but it’s essential if you want your show to be found by as many people as possible (which you do).

Got a burning question you’d like answered on the podcast? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

Got some time on your hands? Read the full episode transcript

Welcome to the show. This week I got an interesting email from somebody who had a bit of a launch conundrum, and I realised that there is still a bit of confusion around the process of launching a podcast that I just wanted to clear up. So how long does it take to actually launch a podcast? The only variable in your launch process you have no control over is the time that it takes your show to appear in podcast directories. In my experience, I haven’t waited any longer than two weeks for a show to pop up but it changes every time. Your show could be live in 3 to 5 days, it could be live in 24 hours, you never know so as a general rule I leave a buffer of two weeks between uploading my trailer/submitting to the directories and going live with my first episode. If you’ve got that two week window you make sure when you do go live there’s a show in directories that people can find. You don't want to be shouting at people saying, “Hey, my podcast live!” if they can’t listen to it.
So, in terms of how long it takes to launch a podcast, you just need to set a date that you want episode one to be live, factor in that two-week window (or longer if you’d prefer) and then all your assets need to be created by then.
So, for example, your artwork will need to be ready and if you are creating that yourself even if you don't use a designer, it can take a lot longer than you anticipate. You can lose half your life-changing fonts and adjusting colours and getting something you like. And if you are working with the designer, even if you've got a really detailed brief, it's sometimes hard to know exactly how much time it's going to take you to get to the final version. So it’s probably not a good idea to set a date to launch until you have your logo sorted because there might be things that trip you up. Of course, you can change your artwork at a later date but ideally, you’ll go live with a kick-arse design you love.
The other things you need to have sorted are your name and description so that means working out whether you can get the domain name and social handles. Often if you can’t this can send you back to the drawing board, adding additional time to the process. It's also a pretty good idea before you even start to start to build out some of those platforms so when listeners come to you on day one they’re not coming to a blank profile.
The other thing I’d suggest is trying to get ahead of yourself when it comes to recording your content. If you can do that you’ll save yourself so much stress after you go live.
If you’re looking for an exact amount of time it’s almost impossible to predict. It could take six months to get everything together. You might have been whittling away at bits and pieces, and be able to pull everything together in three weeks. You might have an idea percolating, and you just need to get your logo sorted.
Then the final piece of the puzzle is your podcast trailer. This is the piece of audio you need to upload to create an RSS feed. This can be smashed out quickly or if there are lots of different grabs and elements it might take longer to get it sounding exactly the way you want.
If you've recorded yourself ahead of time, you can include little snippets from upcoming episodes to encourage people to listen by showing them what they're going to actually get and that can take time to put together.
So when you're thinking about launching, the important thing to factor in is that buffer of time between when you upload your show trailer and when it appears in the podcast directories. That little bit of time is the most crucial because you have to be where people are going to listen to your show.
If you need a little more help starting a podcast I'm going to be opening my online podcasting course, PodSchool, at the end of the September, and I would love to have you on board. In the course, I take you through everything you’d need to know to get things out and into people's ears in a really high-quality way. The course is focused on best practice, and I also have a bunch of video tutorials where I step you through things like editing, uploading, submitting to the directories. All the nuts and bolts of podcasting. You can check it out at PodSchool.com.au and sign up to the waitlist so you'll be the first to hear when the show opens. All right, that's enough babbling from me. I’ll see you next week, and until then, happy podcasting.

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