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How to Start a Podcast on YouTube in 6 Steps [2021 Guide]

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How to Start a Podcast on YouTube in 6 Steps [2021 Guide]

It may seem like everyone has a podcast these days, but it’s for good reason: podcasting is a cost-effective way to deliver content to an audience and develop brand awareness for yourself or your business.

And since YouTube is one of the biggest places for audio content on the web, it makes sense to include that platform in your plans. So, how do you start a podcast on YouTube?

We’re so glad you asked. In this post, we’ll cover the basics of starting a podcast from scratch, with YouTube being one of your end goals:

  1. Choose your podcasting equipment
  2. Record your podcast
  3. Edit and prepare your podcast 
  4. Set up your media hosting and podcast feed
  5. Decide on a video format
  6. Create a YouTube podcast channel

By the end of the following six steps, you should have a solid understanding of the process and be ready to start your own podcast on YouTube!


An Important Caveat 

First of all, it’s essential to understand what exactly “having a podcast on YouTube” means. YouTube is a search engine, not a podcast hosting platform. If you only upload your podcast to YouTube, it wouldn’t really be a podcast anymore; it would simply be a YouTube channel.

Why does that matter? Well, it comes down to your goals. 

If you want to build your brand with a YouTube channel, you can. But if your goal is to break into the podcasting space and get your episodes listed on all the main podcast platforms out there (like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts), you need to start a podcast and then take the additional step of uploading the episodes to YouTube as part of your audience-building strategy.

And with that cleared up, let’s get into the steps you’ll need to follow to start a podcast.


1. Choose Your Equipment and Recording Software 

First, decide what kind of equipment and software to use for your podcast.

Most Popular Podcasting Microphones

When searching for the right mic for your needs, be sure to consider whether you’ll need a USB connector or a more advanced XLR connector with a mixer. 

You’ll also want to think about your recording atmosphere; if you’re in a studio setting with controlled background noise, your best bet is a microphone with a condenser (which brings out voice richness but is sensitive to ambient noise). If you’re recording outdoors or in unpredictable environments, you might go with a dynamic mic.

Here are a few of the most popular podcasting microphones on the market today:

For more information, read our guide about choosing a podcast microphone.

Most Popular Video Cameras for Podcasts

Especially if your goal is to upload your podcast to YouTube, you’ll want to be prepared at the outset with a quality camera to capture a video of your recording session. 

Most video podcasters opt for an external webcam for ease and crisper, clearer images than their computer’s built-in webcams. 

If you’re in the market for a webcam, check out some of the more popular brands below:

You may prefer a handheld camera instead. In that case, unless you have someone to hold the camera, odds are good that you’ll be setting it on a tripod while recording. For this reason, most long-form podcasters avoid DSLR or mirrorless cameras (since they auto-off after 30 minutes).

Below are the top podcasting video camcorders in use:

For more information, read our guide about podcast cameras.

Recording software 

Finally, you’ll need to choose the software for recording and editing your podcasts. 

Many beginning podcasters simply use GarageBand (if they’re Mac users) or Audacity, but we must admit that we’re biased towards all of Riverside.fm’s features for recording remote interviews with high quality and a low barrier to entry. If you’re serious about podcasting — and if you’ll be conducting a lot of video calls online — you’ll want to invest in quality software that will get you professional-level results.

Whatever recording software you choose, be sure to look for something reliable and easy to use. And be sure to consider what podcast format you’re creating; if it’s an interview podcast, you’ll need to record conference calls in top quality (ideally with separate audio/video tracks for each guest), then edit in post-production with another software, if necessary.

If it’s a solo podcast, you can probably get away with recording and editing in one program.


2. Record Your Podcast 

Next, you’ll need to determine your recording method, both for audio output on your media hosting platform and when you upload your content to YouTube.

Since YouTube has a visual component, it’s essential to think about what method you’ll use to present your podcast. 

It’s also important to note here that there’s technically a difference between a “video podcast” and a static image with audio laid over the top. Many podcasters simply upload their recorded audio with accompanying image(s), but that is not considered a true video podcast. We’ll get into the three ways to record a podcast intended for YouTube below.

Record Audio-Only

As a podcaster, you’re likely drawn to audio media. When adding YouTube to the mix, it’s simplest to continue recording audio-only and then create background images to accompany your recording.

In this scenario, you’d simply convert your audio files to .mp4s (since YouTube doesn’t accept .mp3s) and create a simple background using graphic design software like Canva or Inkscape

When designing your background image, you don’t need to get fancy. Include things like:

  • Your podcast’s name
  • Your website URL
  • The podcast logo
  • The host and guest names for the episode. 

Suggested dimensions for YouTube images are 2560x1440 pixels or an aspect ratio of 16:9.

One thing to keep in mind: YouTube podcasts without video don’t get as much listener engagement as video podcasts. So if you’re planning to use YouTube podcasting as the main component of your audience-building strategy, it’s best to level up your video game with one of the methods below.

Record a Video Podcast Using Your Computer’s Webcam

Your next option is to record your podcast just using your computer’s built-in webcam and either its built-in microphone or an external mic. If you run an interview podcast, this low-cost setup may be the best solution for you. 

If you do choose to record remote interviews, remember to invest in quality recording software. Many video meeting software options are limited by your internet speed or the quality of your connection, which is why Riverside.fm records up to eight participants locally on their own devices, eliminating worry about poor connection speeds. 

Record a Video Podcast Using External Cameras

Finally, you may decide to record your podcast with an external camera or two. Many people who conduct in-person interviews or conversations choose this setup. 

There’s no need to purchase expensive equipment; you can use your iPhone and a tripod if you need to. 

Just remember that since you’ll be recording parts of your room as the background, you should be mindful of your “set.” At the very least, set up your camera where it will be recording and get a good idea of the portion of the room that will be in the frame. Then, arrange the background the way you would like.


3. Edit and Prepare Your Podcast for Publishing

Once you have your podcast episode recorded, it’s time for the post-production stage. While many YouTube podcasters don’t edit their podcast recordings at all, they still need to prepare the product for an end result. You’ll want to:

  • Transcribe your video
  • Design engaging graphics or slides to keep your audience engaged, if the podcast is audio-only
  • Break up your videos into smaller “micro-content” for YouTube publishing (more on this in step 5)

If you do choose to edit your podcast recording, you’ll need to use editing software like GarageBand, Audacity, Adobe Audition, or Reaper.


4. Set Up Your Media Hosting and Podcast Feed

If you have a podcast that’s already up and running, you most likely already have your media hosting and podcast feed set up. But if you don’t already have a podcast, this step is for you. 

Remember that you shouldn’t use YouTube as your primary hosting provider — since then it would just be a YouTube channel, not a podcast. A YouTube channel has its uses, but if you went this route, you wouldn’t be able to maximize your podcast’s reach by pushing it out to other podcast platforms. 

Therefore, it’s important to set up your media hosting and feed before you start uploading videos to YouTube.

To get started, decide on a hosting site as a home base for your podcast feed. Listed below are a few of the more popular sites:

These websites are repositories for your podcast audio files and the places where you create your podcast feed. Similar to using a web host for a blog, a podcast or media hosting platform is essential for starting a podcast. 

Once you have a hosting site and you’ve uploaded your first few podcast episodes, you’ll need to submit your RSS feed to iTunes and other podcast directories like Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and any of the other places people find their podcasts.

Then, it’s time to upload your podcast to YouTube.


5. Decide on a Video Format for YouTube 

YouTube podcasters have a few different options for uploading content to YouTube. What you choose (or whether you choose a combination) depends on how much time and energy you have to put into extra editing and organizing — not to mention your marketing goals. 

Let’s take a closer look at three of the options below.

Upload Whole Episodes

The simplest method is to upload each full episode straight to your YouTube channel. With this option, there’s no extra planning or editing necessary. It’s also easy to automate using apps like Repurpose.io and Podbean.

But it does come with some downsides:

  • If they can watch your whole episode on YouTube, your audience won’t need to find you on iTunes or Spotify. This means fewer subscribers to your podcast’s RSS feed, which can hurt your sponsorship numbers.
  • Naming videos is trickier. Since YouTube is a search engine, your search engine optimization (SEO) is key to appearing in your intended audience’s search results. With a long-form podcast episode, it’s hard to encapsulate the entire contents of the episode in one title that’s SEO-friendly.
  • People may not want to sit through a long video. Many podcasts are over an hour, but your audience may not be inclined to watch the entire thing in one sitting. This will create video abandonment rates that might hurt your SEO even further.

Keep in mind that if you choose to upload videos over 15 minutes, you’ll need to verify your Google account with YouTube. Thankfully, though, the verification process is quite simple.

Once you’re a verified account, your upload file size is limited to 128 gigabytes or 12 hours, whichever is less. If your video file size is larger than the limit, you can try compressing it in a video-editing software.

Stream Live

Once you get the hang of podcasting as a process, you might want to try your hand at streaming some episodes live on YouTube. It allows for a more interactive experience for your audience.

In fact, Riverside.fm’s platform allows your audience to call into your live show. You can take questions, do mini-interviews, and interact with your viewers in real-time.

Transform Your Podcast Episodes into Micro-Content

Perhaps the most advisable course is to break apart your recorded podcasts and use them on YouTube as micro-content. You can upload clips of your episodes as more easily-digestible videos that are also easier to title for SEO purposes.

These pieces of micro-content are much easier to share on social media, not to mention that more videos equal more downloads — which means more sponsor revenue. And since you’re not posting entire episodes to YouTube, your short videos are more likely to attract viewers back to your website or RSS feed.

There are a few downsides to this method, however. Producing micro-content requires more editing and uploading time, and you’ll need to have YouTube SEO knowledge to title all your videos well. 

Choosing to upload your videos as micro-content can be more complicated at first, but it gives you more opportunities for creativity and audience engagement in the end.


6. Create a YouTube Podcast Channel

Finally, let’s get into some of the specifics of creating a home for your YouTube content.

  • If you haven’t already, create a YouTube account. If you have a Google account or Gmail, you can use the same username and password.
  • Under your account settings, select “Create a channel” (or navigate to this page). Fill in the information requested (including your country, date of birth, gender, and preferred privacy settings) and click the “All done!” button to complete the setup.
  • Upload videos to your channel. On your channel’s homepage (“youtube.com/yourchannelname”), click the Upload button to begin adding videos. You can add multiple videos at a time or even start a live stream from this page.
  • Create an enhanced feed with Feedburner. Feedburner is a service from Google that allows you to track your podcast feed’s statistics, add a podcast summary to episodes, add iTunes podcasting elements, and assign keywords and categories to your content. 
  • Embed your YouTube RSS feed URL on your website with a subscribe link. While this step is optional, it makes sense to direct your website or blog audience to your YouTube presence. Feedburner should provide a subscribe link for you, or you can use the standard format for YouTube feeds.
To keep your content organized, you can create separate YouTube channels for your content. For example, you might upload entire episodes into one channel and highlights or clips in another, or you could divide your content into channels by topic categories. The easier it is for visitors to navigate your content, the more engagement you’re likely to see.

How to Start a Podcast on YouTube: Riverside.fm Makes the Process Easier 

Beginning a podcast journey can be difficult at first, but it can also be extremely exciting and rewarding once you start building a loyal following. 

As with any venture, it’s important to invest in the right equipment and prepare well for the best chance of success. This means making a plan, researching which methods will work best for your goals, and choosing the right software for your needs. 

At Riverside.fm, we’re proud of the recording software we’ve built that’s easy and straightforward to use — but still packs a powerful punch. If you’re ready to jump into the world of podcasting, start your free trial today!

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