Ultimate Podcast Launch Checklist For The Day You Go Live [2019]

There’s a ton of pressure and excitement when you are actually ready to hit the button to finally launch your podcast.

I get it.

You may be nervous.

Wondering if your podcast will be a success or a complete waste of time.

The good news:

This podcast launch checklist will help you be sure you don’t forget anything important in all of the excitement or maybe mayhem.

  1. A few episodes pre-recorded and ready
  2. Podcast schedule and commitment
  3. Podcast audio file hosting
  4. Podcast title
  5. Podcast description
  6. Podcast intro & outro
  7. Podcast cover art
  8. A distribution plan to get attention

At least 3 episodes recorded

Once you have made the decision to actually launch your podcast and you are approaching launch day, you need to be sure you have several episodes recorded and ready.

You don’t want to start a podcast with just one episode.

There are a few reasons for this.

First, it makes your podcast look more complete to have several episodes ready to be streamed.

Second, a lot of podcast listeners like to binge-listen.

That means, they’ll listen to several episodes at a time.

If they come to your podcast, you want them to be able to listen as much as they want without the risk that they’ll move onto another podcast because they didn’t get enough of what they were looking for.

Tip: Make sure these first few podcast episodes are super value packed. You want to make a really good impression on potential listeners.

Podcast release schedule and commitment

Once  you launch your podcast, there’s no turning back.

You’ve just made a commitment to your listeners that you are going to provide content for them.

Podcast listeners expect the hosts of their favorite podcasts to regularly upload for them.

Whether you choose to release new episodes monthly, weekly, bi-weekly, or daily, it doesn’t really matter.

What matters is that you are consistent.

Trust me, your subscribers will be much more likely to listen to your podcast episodes if you are consistent.

And life does get in the way sometimes.

Emergencies happen.

That’s why I recommend that you have episodes recorded, edited, and ready to go live ahead of time.

For an example, your first month or two before and after the podcast launch, you should record a month’s worth of episodes extra.

That way, you are well ahead of schedule and even if an emergency comes up, you won’t risk having to skip a podcast episode or be late.

However, if your podcast includes a lot of time-sensitive information, this approach may not work exactly.

What you can do though is to create several evergreen content episodes ahead of time.

Here’s what I mean.

If your podcast is about stock market trends, for an example, maybe you could record an episode on the great stock market crash of the 30s.

Or you might record one on the origin of the stock market.

Then, should you have an emergency come up, you still have interesting content for your subscribers ready to go.

Podcast audio file hosting

Hopefully, if you are getting ready to launch a podcast, you haven’t forgotten about this crucial component, but you have to have a hosting provider.

There are lots of podcasting hosting services that you can choose from.

And while they mostly work very similarly, a few have some unique aspects.

There are a few things you need from your podcast hosting though.

First, you are going to need a podcast feed that you can submit to iTunes or your chosen podcast directories.

With some podcast hosting services, the service provider will create this URL for you.

Others, however, require you to set up your own website with the podcast structure to use as the feed URL.

Either way, you don’t want to ever store your actual podcast audio files on your website.

It will slow down your site and podcast and likely lead to excessive bandwidth usage and your site being shut down.

There are quite a few podcast hosting service providers. If you don’t have one selected already, check out the recommended tools page to see some of the ones that we like.

Podcast Title

Before you can set up your podcast’s RSS feed or submit your podcast to iTunes to get going, you are going to have to know your podcast’s name.

Let’s discuss a few ways that you can select a name in case you are struggling with it.

First of all, make sure that the name you are thinking about using is not already being used by someone else.

Searching your idea name in iTunes, Stitcher, or Google should tell you if the name is already being used.

If you are able to choose a name just by coming up with one, good job!

If not, here are a few common methods for choosing a podcast name.

Creative podcast title

Some podcasts choose titles that don’t really seem to have anything to do with the content of the podcast.

Instead, the name is something creative that gets your attention.

The Moth podcast, for example, is a podcast with true story experiences of real people.

You can see that the name has really nothing to do with the content.

Descriptive podcast name

This is probably the podcast naming method that you see the most.

With this method, the podcast host uses a name that describes what the podcast is about.

The Smart Passive Income Podcast, for example, is all about ways to make passive income.

This podcast naming convention may not seem as exciting as the others, but no really cares about the name of your podcast.

They care about the content you provide.

Using your name in your podcast title

The final podcast naming convention that you see somewhat frequently is using your own name in your podcast title.

The Tim Ferris Show is a great example.

The podcast is hosted by Tim Ferris.

Again, these are just a few ways that you can come up with a podcast title.

Feel free to break out, experiment, and do something different.

Podcast description

Your podcast description is probably one of the most important parts of your podcast.

How?

When someone is scrolling through iTunes trying to find a podcast on the topic they are interested in, they get quite a few results.

And as we already discussed earlier, the podcast title may not at all be related to the content.

So, what does the person do?

They tap the icon to go into the podcast and read the description.

If the description intrigues them, they’ll likely start listening to a few episodes.

The other reason that the description is important is simple.

It’s what the podcast site uses to rank your podcast for searches.

Ok

Now we know why the podcast description is so important, let’s talk about how to create a good one.

You see

Your podcast description has three jobs it needs to do.

It needs to be explanatory, search-friendly, and concise.

Explanatory

The podcast description needs to tell readers exactly what they can expect to gain from the podcast.

Remember, one of the rules in marketing is that you want to speak to your customers (listeners in this case) pain points.

Here’s what I mean.

A college student who is finishing up a college degree in biology and about to begin looking for a job has different needs than someone who is in school and needs help learning biology.

Therefore, if your podcast is targeting one of these groups, the description would be totally different than if you were targeting the other.

A biology career tips podcast may talk about things like different biology careers, how to land your first job, what hiring managers are looking for in a resume, etc.

The description should speak to that audience.

Something like:

You don’t have to be anxious about getting your first job as a biologist after graduating from college. There are tons of jobs.

See how that is tailored to its audience?

Make sure that the description for your podcast speaks to your audience in a similar way.

At the same time, it should explain exactly what the podcast will discuss.

Search-friendly

However, there are many “search engines” that you probably don’t even realize that you use.

When you think about search engines, you probably think about sites like Google, Yahoo, or the other well-known ones.

In this case, the podcast search feature is a search engine.

So, to rank well in these searches, you have to understand and “please” the algorithms.

Of course, there are things that contribute to your ranking that you cannot do a whole lot about — reviews, listen times, etc.

For your description though, be sure to include good keywords that relate to the topic.

Don’t stuff keywords!

That will get you in trouble.

Instead, sprinkle the appropriate keywords around your description where they are appropriate.

Pat Flynn’s podcast description is a great example:

Pat Flynn from The Smart Passive Income Blog reveals all of his online business and blogging strategies, income sources and killer marketing tips and tricks so you can be ahead of the curve with your online business or blog. Discover how you can do what you love, whether it’s traveling the world, or just living comfortably at home. Although Pay confesses he is not a millionaire, he’s been supporting his family 100% with passive income generated online, easily earning a six-figure salary while working only a few hours a week.

He has several keywords that relate to the topic and help his podcast rank well.

Be succinct

You don’t want your podcast description to ramble or be wordy.

It needs to be succinct.

The preview will only show the first few lines.

So, be sure that anything important is in the first part of the description.

Here’s an exercise that you can do to condense your podcast’s description.

Start by writing a one-page summary explaining what your podcast is about and what value listeners will get from it.

Then, read that page, take a break for a few minutes, and come back.

This time, write one paragraph that explains the podcast.

Read this and if it is longer than three sentences, do the step again until you have it down to three sentences.

These three sentences can be your podcast’s description.

Podcast Intro & outro

When you first start your podcast, keep this advice in mind.

Start simply, but simply start.

Trust me.

It’s so easy to get burdened down with all of the technicalities and trying to make things perfect and end up never starting.

Don’t do that.

That being said, the intro and outro on your podcast don’t have to be fancy or even a professional recording.

They can just be you reading the intro every time.

Script out your introduction so that you can read the same thing every time.

If you are able to edit it in post-production, you could just re-use the same recording every time.

The same is true for the outro.

Now, as your podcast grows and you get more funding, you may want to hire a professional voice artist to record an intro.

You may even want to add music.

Whatever you do, remember, your podcast’s intro and outro are not going to make or break your podcast.

It’s your content and audio quality that will.

Podcast cover art

Another very very important part of your podcasts is the cover art.

In fact, this may even be the most important part of your podcast for attracting new listeners.

Here’s why

When someone goes to iTunes or their favorite podcast library and does a search, they see the results.

While they do see the podcasts’ title, the first and most obvious thing that they see is the podcast cover art.

This is your chance to get their attention to look at your podcast more closely.

So, you want your podcast cover art to look professional, stand out from the rest, and convey the message of your podcast.

If you want some tips on designing a great podcast artwork cover, check out this article.

Podcast distribution plan

The final item that you need to prepare for launching your podcast is a plan to inform your existing audience and potential subscribers.

There are a few things that could help with this.

Podcast website

First of all, you should consider a website.

This can be one of your best methods for building your own audience.

You can host your podcast feed here to continue bringing traffic.

Furthermore, you can use the site to make announcements.

For beginners, I recommend using WordPress.

It is free and Open Source.

The learning curve is not terribly steep either.

You only have to purchase hosting.

For various reasons, I like Bluehosting.

But you can pick others.

Next, you’ll need to pick a theme for podcasts.

This will make it easier to embed your podcasts feed and display the actual episodes.

Podcast launch promotion

The final thing that you’ll need to work on to be ready to launch your podcast and continually thereafter is promotion.

Be assured, people want to consume the content you are creating in your podcast.

But they have to know the podcast exists.

Put your podcast on as many podcast libraries as possible.

Then, if you are so inclined, set up social media accounts for the podcast.

Twitter can be a great medium to make podcast episode release announcements to your followers.

Another promotion I highly recommend is an email list and/or newsletter.

This can be one of the strongest methods of converting podcast listeners into customers.

That is an very complex topic and we won’t be able to cover it all here.

Basically, if you create free guides, show notes, etc to provide value to your listeners, you can get them to sign up to your email list.

Later, if you decide to actually sell products or services, you can sell to this list.

Conclusion

Launching a podcast can definitely seem like a daunting task.

There’s new technology and processes.

That’s why using the podcast launch checklist will help you stay focused on the priorities.

So, please do use this checklist and get your podcast started.

Happy podcasting.