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How to Start a Podcast with No Audience: Dos & Dont’s (2024)

Learn how to start a podcast with no audience and avoid common pitfalls with our dos and don'ts guide. Launch your podcast successfully in 2024.
Abel Grunfeld
Head of Marketing
Published:
June 25, 2023
Last Updated:
January 8, 2024
10
min
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

No audience? No problem. You don’t need to have an existing following to launch a successful podcast. All you need is a good idea, dedication, and the right tools. You may not have an audience yet, but if you follow our tips, you will soon enough. 

In this article, we walk you through everything you need to launch a podcast from scratch, key strategies for building a loyal audience, and how to use Riverside to get started. 

TL;DR

  • You definitely don’t need a pre-existing audience to start a podcast. 
  • Make sure to plan, identify your target audience, and develop a strong podcast brand and identity. 
  • Building a podcast audience requires dedication to promotion and social media marketing.
  • Recording high-quality audio and video is non-negotiable when you’re starting a podcast. Riverside makes recording and editing high-quality podcasts easy, even if you’re an absolute beginner. 

Should you start a podcast with no audience?

We understand why you might be reluctant to start a podcast from scratch. But the beauty of podcasting is that anyone and everyone can get involved. From the outside looking in, it can seem like an intimidating or exclusive space. But the truth is that with tools like Riverside, even beginners can start producing high-quality podcasts with little to no experience. 

So the answer is, why not? Even if you don’t have an audience yet, the key is consistent output, effective marketing, promotion and outreach, and high-quality content. With these three things, you’ll build up a loyal listener base in no-time. 

How to start a podcast with no audience

Don’t let the fact you don’t have an existing audience phase you. Here’s our guide to starting a podcast from scratch:

Spend time planning & conceptualizing 

Since you’re building from the ground up, you need to spend a good amount of time planning and conceptualizing. Rather than jumping straight in, it’s worth properly planning out your podcast, what it’ll look like, what you’ll talk about, and who you’ll feature. At this point, you should pin down your tone of voice and who you will be speaking to. 

Identify your target audience 

This leads to really thinking about your target audience. 

If you want to start building and growing an audience from scratch, it’s best to focus your attention on a specific profile or demographic. Pinpointing your ideal listener will help you to direct your content creation to appeal to certain interests. Additionally, this will help to target your outreach and promotion by tapping into an existing community. 

The first thing to do is get a rough idea of the field you’d like to focus your podcast on; the more specific, the better.  After you’ve done this, head to Twitter or other socials and start looking for existing communities. You should also look at other podcasts already existing within your chosen niche. This will give you a good idea of the kinds of people you’re targeting. 

We’d also recommend creating a target audience persona, where you define information such as your ideal listener's demographics, habits, and pain points. It’s even better to create this based on your existing data. Perhaps you’ve interviewed some people who you think might be interested in your podcast, or even just by examining your competitors. 

Decide on a niche 

Similarly, deciding on a niche will make it easier to market your show and generate organic momentum. Entering a niche podcast topic rather than a saturated and popular genre will make it easier to leverage existing online communities. 

Landing on a niche should be fairly easy, but it’s not as simple as choosing something you love. While you should go for something you’re genuinely passionate about, consider your target audience and where there are gaps in your field.  Find a niche that provides your audience value while standing out from what already exists. You could take a new angle on a popular topic or focus on a topic that doesn’t get enough coverage. If you’re starting a podcast to complement your business or brand, then your niche will be related to your services. 

Just ensure there’s enough interest in your niche.

Invest in branding 

Producing high-quality content is one thing, but you must ensure your podcast is easily identifiable and stands out. Branding covers everything from your podcast’s tone of voice to marketing and visual identity. It gives your audience a sense of who you are, what your topic podcast covers, and what they should feel about your show.

You’ll use branding for your cover art, logo, podcast description, websites, and social media assets. It’s important for launching a podcast with no existing audience because good branding will ensure your show stands out while also attracting compatible listeners. 

If you’re unsure where to begin, try doing some brand exercises to refine what kind of impression you want to give to your listeners. Think about the main message you’d like to get across. We’d then recommend investing in your branding. Enlisting the support of a professional designer will make sure your cover art and social assets pop and pique the interest of potential listeners. 

Invite high-profile guests 

If you don’t have social clout, the best thing to do is piggyback on someone else’s. Invite popular or well-known guests onto your show and leverage their community. You don’t need to have celebrity guests, but well-known and respected people within your thematic niche.

Record (and edit) high-quality content 

Producing high-quality content is non-negotiable when you’re starting out without an audience. You don’t want to put off new listeners with lackluster audio or patchy video. 

Recording a high-quality podcast isn’t as hard as it sounds. Use a tool like Riverside to ensure your audio and video does you justice. You should also record, wherever possible, using an external mic, camera, and headphones. Try to create a quiet recording environment so you’re not contending with too much background noise. 

Don’t overlook the importance of post-production either. You need to spend time stitching together your recordings to achieve a seamless and professional podcast. Use Riverside’s text-based editor for a smooth and easy-to-use workflow with all the tools you could need. 

Read more on the podcast production process: 

Consistent output & publish widely

You need to commit to recording and publishing your podcast on a regular basis. If you want to build out a loyal and dedicated podcast audience, then publishing episodes randomly and intermittently won’t work. A consistent podcast publication schedule requires forward planning and a substantial investment of time to record and edit everything in time. 

Since you’re trying to maximize your exposure, you need to ensure you publish your podcast everywhere and anywhere. You want to reach potential audience members wherever they might be listening, so don’t be precious about which platforms you’re distributing to. 

Design an effective marketing strategy 

Alongside your branding and sharing,  you should develop a podcast marketing strategy that effectively promotes your content and builds your community. Make sure you think about how you will generate interest in your content across all social platforms. This means incorporating the creation of social media assets in your production process and dedicating time to posting on your socials regularly. Ensuring your podcast is active on social media is imperative for building out a wide-reaching community. Using Riverside’s Magic Clips tool, you can easily create shareable short-form social media videos as part of your podcast creation workflow. 

Dos and Don’ts for Creating a Podcast from Scratch

There’s no set formula for creating successful podcasts, but there definitely are a few core ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts: 

Do invest in high-quality tools 

As we mentioned, high-quality recording is absolutely fundamental. Bad audio quality is a real deterrent, especially when you’re trying to attract new audiences. Though podcasting doesn’t have to be super expensive, it’s worth investing in good-quality tools that won’t let you down at the first hurdle. 

Read more: Best Podcast Equipment for Any Budget (2024)

Do stay true to yourself 

Audiences love authenticity. Rather than trying to emulate someone else or copy another podcast’s format, developing a unique show that celebrates your genuine voice is far more likely to be successful. 

Do have fun

Starting a podcast from scratch can be stressful, overwhelming, or demotivating. Remember to have fun with it and not take things too seriously. If you love what you’re doing and produce content you believe in, chances are like-minded listeners will too. 

Don’t get too obsessed with audience numbers 

When starting a podcast without a following, it’s easy to get obsessed with the numbers. Though keeping an eye on your podcast analytics is certainly helpful to an extent, it won’t do you any good in the very early days. Even the best podcasts take a while to gain some traction, so try not to overthink too much. 

Don’t assume anything 

An easy trap to fall into is assuming you’ve got your podcast format, content, and style right the first time around. Don’t be afraid to take some constructive criticism or adapt your content to suit your growing audience. 

Don’t underestimate the importance of editing 

Finally, it’s easy to underestimate the importance of editing and post-production. When in fact, this stage can make or break your podcast. 

You want to edit compelling episodes that flow naturally and build an engaging narrative. Avoid choppy or clumsy edits that confuse your listeners. And ensure to leverage all the tools your editor gives you, such as adding media, sound effects, or captions. All of these features will help to take your podcast from good to fantastic. 

Creating a podcast easily with Riverside

Starting a podcast with no audience seems like a big, almost impossible task. But Riverside is here to make that journey easy and enjoyable. 

Riverside is a browser-based recording studio and editor. You can record high-quality video and audio podcasts with up to 8 remote participants. All of Riverside’s features make the production and editing process as seamless as possible - so you can focus on the important stuff. 

Riverside’s key features: 

  • Easy to use. Riverside’s workflows and interface are intuitive, and beginner friendly. 
  • High-quality resolution. With up to 4K video, and 49kHz audio quality, you can expect crystal clear, professional content. 
  • Local recording. Riverside records each participant locally. This means that it records everyone on their own device rather than over the internet. This results in high-quality recordings no matter how strong your wifi is. 
  • Multitrack recording. Riverside captures each person’s audio and video on separate tracks to give you maximum control during editing. 
  • Ultra-accurate AI-powered transcriptions. You’ll get a highly-accurate transcript of your recording instantly. You can use this to edit your video or to produce captions. 
  • Text-based editor means you can edit your video just like editing a text doc. Simply cut or edit words from your transcript, and Riverside will reflect those changes in your video. 
  • Magic Clips tool which uses AI to easily create social media short-form videos, to promote your podcast effortlessly online. 
  • Create captions for your podcast by exporting your transcript as an .SRT file, or repurpose your recordings into blogs with TXT. transcripts. 
  • Optimize your videos for different social media platforms with different pre-set templates and dimensions. 
  • Mobile app for iOS and Android so you can record on the go, wherever you are. 
  • 24-hour chat support so if you run into trouble, you can instantly access Riverside’s customer support team. 
  • Subscriptions for every budget. With four pricing tiers, Riverside has something for every type of setup. 

FAQs on How to Start a Podcast with No Audience

How do I start a podcast with no guests?

You don’t need guests lined up to launch a podcast. You could even start small by recording a solo show with just you and your laptop. But if you’re interested in the interview format, follow our guide to finding people worth interviewing to start building a stellar guest list. 

How do I start a podcast with nothing?

Technically, all you need to podcast is your computer. Open up your browser and head to Riverside to start recording instantly. If you have the budget, we’d recommend getting an external mic and headphones to maximize the quality of your recording. 

Read more: How to Start a Podcast For Free: 10 Easy Steps (2024)

Can a podcast have no guests?

Absolutely. Guests aren’t a prerequisite for a successful podcast. Solo talk shows are a very popular format. And for obvious reasons, they are really low-maintenance and easy to produce. 

At what point is a podcast successful?

This depends on what your goals are. If you’re looking to monetize and make money out of your podcast, then an obvious metric of success is the income it’s generating. If you’re focused on building community, then looking at your audience numbers is a good way to measure your success. 

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