Acast founder Johan Billgren on podcasting success // Part I: 5 steps to getting started

Acast founder Johan Billgren on podcasting success // Part I: 5 steps to getting started

Johan Billgren founded Acast in 2014, and has been a vital part of the company’s growth and achievements ever since. If there’s one person who knows about podcasting success, it’s Johan — so we asked him for his advice for creators who are just getting started.

Written by By Johan BillgrenCo-founder2021.05.05

I think the single most important thing a creator can do before starting a podcast is to define their ‘why’. What’s the purpose of your podcast?

Whether you want to educate and inform about a specific topic, tell your story, chat with a friend, or hear from others through an interview format, for example, there are endless possibilities in podcasting. Those possibilities include the opportunity to earn money, but it takes a lot of time and passion to reach that point — so making sure you find your ‘why’ before you embark on your podcasting journey is vital.

Once you have that, I think there are five crucial next steps to getting your podcast up and running.

1. Planning

Preparation and planning are ingredients for success. It’s important that you spend time structuring your content to make it as enjoyable for the listener as possible. Think about creating attractive, standout cover art, or perhaps sourcing music to accompany your show. Consider the length and format of episodes. Will you have an introduction? What will encourage listeners to keep listening? The more planning and preparation you can do, the better — just don’t forget to enjoy yourself.

2. Recording and editing

Think about where you’ll record. You need somewhere the sound doesn’t bounce around the room — most people starting out don’t have access to a professional studio, but why not test out your closet? Try to find the most soundproof, compact space to record in. Large areas with few furnishings are going to create a lot of unwanted echo, so think about smaller spaces with more “stuff” around, to help create a form of cushioning for your sound.

Today, there are several great recording and editing programs that you can use for free. If you have a Mac, you can use Garageband, and if you have a PC, Audacity works well. Invest in a microphone with as crisp a sound as possible. You can pick up quality, affordable microphones relatively easily these days.

3. Choose a hosting platform

Now, of course, I’m going to tell you the answer is Acast, but the next step is to research where to host your show. All podcasts need to be hosted somewhere, so they can be distributed to podcast players for people to find and listen to. If you want your show to reach far and wide, you should work with a podcast platform that enables that.

At Acast, we believe all podcasts should be available wherever anyone can listen, which means that all podcasts hosted by Acast are available in all the world’s podcast players — including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and many more.

Take a look at Acast’s hosting options, it’s completely free to get started.

4. Launching successfully

Now it’s time for your big launch. Take the opportunity to release two or three episodes during your first week, so you can give the listener more of an opportunity to absorb the breadth and depth of what your podcast has to offer. Continuity is also important to keep in mind, and a big part of podcasting is making listening to your show a habit for listeners — always publish episodes on the same day, and at the same time, each week.

5. Marketing your podcast

Social media is an effective tool for sharing your podcast with a bigger audience of potential listeners — which you can do, for example, by creating a dedicated Instagram account or a Facebook page for your show. Throughout the pandemic, the importance of building a community around a podcast has become increasingly important. Interact with your listeners, let them be a part of the content, ask them to subscribe to the podcast and give ratings on different platforms. Ask potential guests to spread the word about the podcast on their own channels, and feel free to prepare some pre-written material for them to share.