How to start a podcast with no audience

Podcasts are an increasingly powerful and influential medium. And a major part of what makes them so compelling is that they have given a voice to experts, enthusiasts, and everyday people alike. They offer deep dives into niche interests, provide a platform for important conversations, and bring entertainment and education to millions of listeners worldwide – and anyone can start one.

But if you’ve got an exciting idea for a podcast, it’s not necessarily easy to take the step to put it out there into the world. And that’s especially true if you don’t have a readymade audience to share it with. It’s easy to feel like you’ll be talking to an empty room, or that people might question why you’re the person to be talking about this particular topic.

But we’re here to tell you that starting a podcast with no audience is not just possible – it’s actually what some of the most successful podcasters have done! In fact, starting without a pre-existing audience can be empowering – it allows you to build a loyal community of listeners who are genuinely invested in what you have to say. It gives you a chance to get comfortable with the format, find your voice, and refine your content before the spotlight shines too brightly.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to launch your podcast with no audience, from finding your niche and deciding on a format to investing in the equipment you’ll need and promoting your podcast effectively.

Finding your niche

The first step in starting a podcast with no audience is defining your niche and choosing a format that plays to your strengths.

Finding a focused niche is key because it allows you to connect with a specific audience passionate about the same things you are. This focused approach increases your chances of standing out and building a loyal fan base.

When deciding on a topic for your podcast, you’ll want to think about what your passions are and where you have knowledge you can share. Are you a devoted gardener or an avid historian? Do you have inspiring ideas about self-improvement or an enthusiasm for local politics?

When thinking about a topic, try to hone in on something you’re truly excited about rather than focusing on what people might want to hear. If the massive growth of podcasting teaches us anything, it’s that even the most niche topic has an audience out there – and often a far bigger one than you’d think!

Once your topic is settled, you’ll need to decide on a format. While there are a wide range of options to consider, the main ones to think about are:

  • Solo. The solo format is perfect for showcasing your expertise or letting your storytelling skills shine. If you’re a captivating speaker with a deep well of knowledge on your chosen topic, this format allows you complete creative control over the content and direction of your podcast. It’s also ideal if you enjoy a more intimate and conversational approach to engaging your audience.
  • Interview. The interview format allows you to tap into the knowledge of your guests. This approach offers a dynamic listening experience with fresh perspectives on your chosen niche. But this may be a more challenging approach if you’re just starting out – it may not be as easy to attract guests.
  • Co-hosted. This format allows you to create a lively and engaging dynamic with another host who complements your strengths. This format can be particularly effective if you and your co-host have different areas of expertise within your niche, offering listeners a well-rounded perspective on the topic. It also fosters a sense of camaraderie and banter that can make your podcast even more entertaining.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different formats until you find one that feels natural and highlights the best aspects of your content. Remember, while having an initial orientation and direction is important, these choices don’t have to be set in stone. As your podcast grows and your interests evolve, you can adapt and refine your format to keep your show fresh and exciting for your listeners.

Building a brand identity

Now that you have a clear focus for your content and the right format to deliver it, it’s time to create a distinctive identity that will resonate with your listeners. Think of this as your show’s personality – what makes it unique and memorable? A strong identity will help you stand out and start to attract an audience. Here are some key elements to consider:

  • Name. Choose a name that’s easy to remember, relevant to your topic, and sparks curiosity. Avoid names that are too generic or difficult to spell, as these can hinder discoverability.
  • Cover art. Your podcast cover art is the first thing potential listeners see. Design a visually appealing image that accurately reflects your show’s vibe and grabs attention in podcast directories.
  • Intro/outro music. A catchy intro and outro song or jingle sets the tone for your episodes and helps listeners instantly recognise your show.
  • Episode structure. Develop a consistent flow for your episodes. Whether it’s a clear set of segments, recurring themes, or a specific interview structure, predictability helps listeners feel comfortable and keeps them coming back for more.

A strong podcast identity is built through authenticity and consistency. By carefully crafting the elements that define your show’s look, sound, and feel, you’ll create a clear and compelling brand. This consistency will help you stand out from the start, attract new listeners, and cultivate a loyal and engaged fanbase.

Recording your first episode

With your podcast concept in place, it’s time to hit the record button for the first time! And that means we need to delve into the production side of things. There are two main routes you can take: a DIY approach for hands-on control, or teaming up with a podcast studio for professional expertise.

The DIY approach

If you’re budget-conscious, enjoy learning new skills, and want full creative control over every aspect of your podcast, the DIY route offers flexibility and a sense of accomplishment. It’s a chance to experiment and explore your ideas without pressure – though it can present some technical challenges.

If you decide to take this approach, you’ll need to:

  • Assemble your gear. Invest in a decent quality microphone, prioritise headphones for editing, and consider a pop filter for better sound quality.
  • Find a recording space. Identify a quiet location and take steps to minimise background noise for optimal recording conditions.
  • Choose the right software. You’ll need recording and editing software to capture your audio and turn it into a finished product. Start with free options like Audacity or GarageBand and consider upgrading later.

The DIY approach is ideal for those who want to understand the ins and outs of podcasting, are on a tight budget, and prioritise absolute creative control. It’s more affordable and allows for experimentation. However, it requires dedication to mastering the technical aspects, and achieving consistently high-quality sound can be challenging.

Working with a podcast studio

If you’re aiming for a polished sound from the start, lack the time or desire to master technical details, and have room in your budget, consider working with a podcast studio. They’ll be able to offer you top-quality equipment, a comfortable space for recording, and help with editing and post-production.

To choose the right studio, you’ll need to:

  • Search for local studios. You’ll want a studio that close enough to make regular recording sessions manageable, as well as one that offers all the services and support you’ll need, such as help with social media content to promote your podcast (more on this below).
  • Evaluate their work. Carefully examine their portfolios on their website or social media to see if their previous work matches the quality and aesthetic you’re aiming for.
  • Compare services and pricing. Working with a podcast studio is an investment, and you need to make sure it works for you. Get a quote and make sure you can fit it into your budget.
  • Understand their process. Enquire about each studio’s turnaround times, communication style, and revision processes to ensure a smooth collaboration.

Opt for a studio if you prioritise a polished finished product, have a limited timeframe to launch, and are willing to invest in professional expertise. Studios handle the technical side, freeing you to focus on content. The drawbacks here are mostly related to cost – you may struggle to justify the expense if you’re starting out with no audience.

On the other hand, it may be the case that you want to start with a DIY approach and move onto working with a studio once you’ve got a few episodes under your belt and your first few committed listeners waiting to hear from you.

If you’d like to learn more about what a podcast studio can offer, read our blog on the benefits of using a podcast studio to record your podcast.

Releasing and promoting your podcast

The hard work of planning and creating your podcast is done – now it’s time to share it with the world! This exciting stage involves selecting platforms to host and distribute your show, crafting compelling descriptions to attract listeners, and actively promoting your podcast to build your audience.

Uploading and distribution

Begin by researching and selecting a podcast hosting platform that suits your needs and budget. These platforms store your audio files and generate an RSS feed which you’ll submit to major podcast directories like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts. This makes your show discoverable by millions of potential listeners searching for new content. Remember, follow the instructions of your chosen hosting platform for a smooth uploading process.

Optimising your podcast

Think of metadata as the keywords that help search engines and podcast directories connect your show to interested listeners. You’ll need to make sure you fill out all metadata fields, including your podcast title, episode titles, descriptions, artwork, and categories.

But don’t just put in the first thing you think of – the more effort you put into your metadata, the better. Compelling descriptions and relevant keywords are crucial for making your show easy to find. You might also consider including detailed show notes and transcripts on your website or within the podcast platform. These extra resources provide valuable content for listeners and can boost search engine optimisation (SEO).

Spreading the word

Starting a podcast without no audience requires a proactive approach to promotion. You’ll need to embrace every opportunity to directly connect with potential listeners and build your community organically.

The first step is deciding how you’re going to make use of social media. You can create a dedicated account entirely for your podcast, allowing for focused branding and tailored content. Alternatively, if you already have an active social media presence, you can focus initially on promoting your podcast to your current followers. Finally, consider a hybrid approach, initially focusing on your existing platforms and potentially creating a dedicated account later on.

Whatever your decision, it’s important that you don’t just broadcast – you need to actively engage potential listeners. Seek out online conversations where your podcast would offer relevance and value. Reply to comments, answer questions, and build genuine connections. Pitch yourself as a guest on other podcasts, blogs, or online events that cater to your ideal audience. Consider submitting your podcast to relevant online communities, forums, or newsletters. Even small, targeted platforms can bring in dedicated early listeners.


Keep an eye on your analytics

Once your podcast is live, it’s crucial to track how it’s performing. Most podcast hosting platforms provide analytics dashboards with valuable insights. Start by monitoring the number of downloads and listens per episode, paying attention to trends over time to assess your overall growth.

Additionally, many platforms provide basic data on your audience demographics such as location, age, or even device types. This information can help you refine your content and tailor your promotional strategies to better resonate with your listeners.

Use your analytics to understand which episodes perform the best. Pay attention to factors like topic, episode length, or guest appearances to find patterns of success. You can also check if there are specific points within episodes where listeners tend to drop off. This can help identify areas of improvement in pacing or content. Remember, don’t be discouraged by initial numbers. Focus on steady growth and use analytics to understand what truly resonates with your audience.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to remind yourself that building a loyal listenership takes time and consistent effort. Be patient, keep creating valuable content, and actively reach out to connect with potential listeners for long-term success!

Grow your podcast audience with Liverpool Podcast Studios

Starting a podcast with no audience might seem daunting, but with passion, dedication, and a focus on creating valuable content, you can build a dedicated community of listeners. It’s a journey filled with potential, and the rewards of connecting with like-minded individuals and sharing your voice with the world are truly fulfilling.

Quality is key to growing your podcast and attracting a loyal audience. Whether you decide to work with a podcast studio from the outset or wait until your podcast expands, their expertise can accelerate your growth. A podcast studio can offer technical refinement, creative input, and access to resources that can significantly elevate your production value. This helps you stand out in a crowded marketplace and positions your podcast for long-term success.

Here at Liverpool Podcast Studios, we’ve helped podcasts of all sizes to build their audience by delivering top-quality episodes that delight their listeners. If you’re looking to start a podcast with no audience and want support from a friendly team of podcast experts, get in touch today to find out how we can help.



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