How To - Podcast Guides

How to Start a Podcast on YouTube: Ultimate 6 Step Guide

Want to expand your show's reach, increase its visibility and unlock its monetization potential? Our step-by-step guide explains everything you need to know to start a podcast on YouTube.

Contents

Graphic of YouTube logo depicting how to start a podcast on YouTube

Are you starting a podcast and looking to YouTube? Do you have a podcast and want to expand your reach?

Either way, you're in the right place. Our ultimate guide on how to start a podcast on YouTube dives deep.

We'll explain in detail how to upload your podcast episodes to YouTube. We'll also explore the benefits of using it as an extension of your podcasting efforts. From increased visibility to monetization potential, YouTube can enhance your podcasting experience.

It's an exciting journey that requires careful planning and execution. Utilizing YouTube for podcasts offers incredible opportunities for creators, so it’s worth the effort.

Ready to expand your podcasting horizons and unlock YouTube's immense potential? Let’s dive straight in.

What Is a Podcast on YouTube?

Before we get to the steps, let’s look at the difference between a YouTube channel and a podcast YouTube channel. Because while they might sound like the same thing, they’re not.

A YouTube channel is a dedicated space on the platform where creators can share various types of video content (vlogs, tutorials, presentations etc.). It’s a place for them to build an audience, engage with viewers, and showcase their content.

A podcast YouTube channel focuses on sharing podcast episodes in a video format. Here, the primary content is podcast episodes (hence the name). This could take the form of:

  • Audio content accompanied by static images

  • Waveform animations

  • Remote or in-studio video recordings of your entire episodes

  • Video footage related to the podcast

While a podcast YouTube channel exists to share the show's episodes on the video platform, it is not the primary hosting site of the podcast. (More on this in Step 4 below.)

Why YouTube?

Uploading to YouTube allows podcast creators to tap into the platform's massive audience. With over 2 billion active monthly users, Google-owned YouTube is often touted as the second largest search engine.

But they're video-watchers. And you have a podcast.

Well, sharing your podcast on YouTube makes sense because it is steadily becoming the podcast platform of choice. In Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights' Podcast Download - Spring 2022 Report, more people chose YouTube as the place to access podcasts they listen to.

Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights' Podcast Download report data, showing YouTube is now the preferred platform to access podcasts.
 

By adding a visual component to your episodes, you're likely to capture more of the platform's audience, as well as take advantage of its monetization potential.

Additional benefits of the platform include the ability to leverage the real-time feedback from your audience within the comments section—allowing you to engage with your listeners in a way other podcast distribution methods don't—and the powerful recommendation algorithm that puts your show in front of audiences with similar interests.

How to Start a Video Podcast on YouTube In 6 Steps

The steps below will guide you through the process of starting a video podcast on YouTube. Depending on where you are in your podcast journey you may have completed some of them already. Others may need your full attention.

By the end of it, you’ll have everything you need to unleash the full potential of your podcast on YouTube!

1. Plan, Script, Prepare

Moving beyond the very initial steps of starting a podcast, brainstorming topics, and purchasing the necessary equipment and podcast software, you'll want to plan out your podcast.

Before you hit record, take the time to plan and write a podcast script. This will help you determine the structure and content of your episode and ensure a smooth recording process. Now is also the time to think about any extra visuals or B-roll footage you might want to capture.

If you have an interview podcast, be a good host and research your guest.

2. Record Your Episodes

Consider your recording methods for both audio and video. We’ve outlined the three most common methods below.

Option 1: Audio-Only (Low Barrier to Entry)

Recording an audio-only podcast is a popular choice for many podcasters. If this is you, simply create some appealing background images to go with your recording. It’s a quick and easy option, especially if time is short. Here's what you have to do:

Keep it simple. Only add the essentials that you want viewers/listeners to know. This might include the podcast’s name, a website URL, and the names of the hosts and guests. Adding your logo is also a good idea.

YouTube suggests the following dimensions for your image: 2560x1440 pixels (16:9 aspect ratio).

This option might be quick and easy, but it won’t garner as much engagement as a YouTube podcast with video. If you’re adding YouTube as part of a larger podcast marketing plan, you’ll need to level up your camera skills.

Option 2: Use Your Computer's Webcam (Medium Barrier to Entry)

Adding a visual component to your podcast doesn't necessarily require external cameras. Your computer's webcam will do fine. Especially considering that most computers come equipped with built-in webcams.

You’ll need to use recording software or video conferencing tools that allow you to capture video and audio simultaneously. Pay attention to framing, camera angles, and visual aesthetics. Although you can edit and enhance the video before uploading it.

Option 3: Go All Out With External Cameras (High(er) Barrier to Entry)

This method is a favorite with podcasters who offer interview and conversational-style content. It provides more flexibility for camera placement and angles and offers the ability to use multiple cameras.

Choose cameras that suit your budget and desired video quality. Nowadays, even shooting on an iPhone can produce excellent results. You could consider using tripods or camera mounts to ensure steady footage. But they’re not an absolute necessity.

In this scenario, you do need to be mindful of your “set.” Since the room you’re recording in will end up on camera, it’s a good idea to make sure it looks the part. Dress up the area that’s in frame so it looks professional.

3. Edit and Upload

Once you’ve recorded your podcast, the next step is to edit and prepare it for upload. Editing isn’t a must, but it does allow you to refine the content and enhance the listening experience.

You can use editing software like GarageBand, Audacity, Adobe Audition, or Reaper to make short(ish) work of the process. You could also hire a podcast editing service to do it for you.

Whether or not you decide to edit the recording, there are still some steps to follow to prepare it for user consumption. These include:

  • Transcribing your video

  • Designing an engaging slide deck to keep your audience engaged (audio-only podcasts)

  • Creating “micro-content” for YouTube publishing (more on this in step 5)

4. Set Up Your Hosting and Feed

If you have an existing podcast, you would have already set up your hosting and feed. But if you're new to the game, keep reading.

You'll want your audience to be able to find your show via any of the podcast directories, so you'll need to complete this step before you upload videos to YouTube.

When you use YouTube as your primary hosting site, you don’t have a podcast. You have a YouTube channel.

Screenshot of PodBean homepage
 

Begin by choosing a reliable podcast hosting platform that will store your podcast episodes and distribute them to different podcast directories. Additionally, these platforms provide the necessary tools for creating your podcast feed.

  • Libsyn

  • Podbean

  • Buzzsprout

  • Anchor

  • Blubrry

  • Transistor

After you’ve uploaded some episodes it’s time to submit your podcast RSS feed to the various podcast directories. iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher, are the most common ones.

5. Choose a Video Format

Video podcasts come in different formats. Deciding on the right one is important for engaging your ideal audience and maximizing the visual appeal of your content.

Depending on your audience's preferences, your resources, and the nature of your podcast, there are various formats to choose from.

Share the Entire Episode

One approach is to upload your entire podcast episodes as videos on YouTube. It’s straightforward and easy to automate using apps like Repurpose.io and Podbean. However, there are some cons to this approach.

Making your entire episode available on YouTube means there’s no need for people to find you on Spotify. This could result in a drop in subscribers to your RSS feeds and hurt your sponsorship numbers.

If your episodes lean to being quite long people may not watch the whole video. A rise in video abandonment rates won’t bode well.

You also need to give careful thought to what you name your videos. Remember, YouTube is a search engine. Your SEO skills will need to be on point to come up with a title that’s both click-worthy and searchable.

Finally, for videos over 15 minutes long, you’ll need to verify your Google account with YouTube. Once verified, your upload file size is limited to 128 gigabytes or 12 hours, which should be plenty. If not, you can always try compressing the file using video-editing software.

Go Live

Live streaming your podcast on YouTube provides an interactive and real-time experience for your audience. It allows you to engage with your viewers through live chat, Q&A sessions, and even guest interviews.

Live streaming creates a sense of excitement and immediacy, as viewers can participate in the discussion as it happens. This format works well for podcasts that thrive on audience interaction and want to cultivate a live community.

Screenshot of YouTube Live homepage
 

Craft Compelling Snippets from Your Podcast Episodes

Another option is to repurpose your podcast episodes into shorter, bite-sized videos known as micro-content. You can extract key highlights, interesting discussions, or valuable insights from your episodes and create separate videos around them.

These micro-content videos are more digestible and shareable on social media platforms. They can also serve as teasers or previews of your full podcast episodes, enticing viewers to listen to the complete versions. This format allows you to reach a broader audience and leverage the power of social media platforms.

A big plus of going this route is that you are more likely to attract viewers back to your podcast website or RSS feed. On the downside, producing micro-content requires more editing and uploading time. It also requires a good amount of YouTube SEO knowledge to title all your videos well.

Uploading your videos as micro-content might be more complicated, to begin with. But it also offers more opportunities for creativity and audience engagement.

6. Create a YouTube Channel for Your Podcast

It’s time to create a dedicated space for your podcast on YouTube. It’s easy enough, but we’ve outlined the step-by-step process to make it even easier.

If you already have a Google account, sign in to YouTube using your Google credentials. If you don't have an account, now’s the time to create one.

Man at laptop adding podcast details to YouTube
 

Step 1: Create Your Channel

Once you're signed in, click on your profile picture or avatar in the top-right corner of the screen. From the dropdown menu, select "YouTube Studio.” Navigate to the left-hand sidebar and click on "Settings." Then, click on "Create a Channel."

Step 2: Name and Customize Your Channel

Enter a name for your YouTube podcast channel and customize the appearance by uploading your logo and other channel art. Set up the channel description, add links to your podcast website or social media profiles, and choose relevant categories and tags to help viewers discover your content.

Step 3: Upload Your Episodes

Begin uploading your podcast episodes in your chosen video format. Ensure your episodes are titled and tagged, and include a well-written description optimized for searchability.

When uploading your episodes, some of the best practices include:

  • Writing captivating titles in 70 characters or less

  • Creating eye-catching thumbnails for each video

  • Tagging your videos with relevant and popular keywords

  • Enabling subtitles

  • Ordering your videos as you want viewers to watch them (for a narrative podcast, publish oldest videos at the top of the playlist)

  • Writing optimized descriptions that include timestamps of important moments, and links to your episodes, website and feeds

Also consider creating a brief channel trailer introducing your podcast. It can serve as a welcome video for new viewers and provide a preview of what they can expect from your podcast.

Step 4: Create an Enhanced Feed With Feedburner

The Google service allows you to track your podcast feed's statistics, add a summary to episodes, include iTunes podcasting elements, and assign keywords and categories to your content.

Step 5: Embed Your YouTube RSS Feed URL on Your Website (Optional)

Embedding your YouTube RSS feed URL on your website with a subscribe link is optional, but recommended. It can help drive traffic and encourage subscriptions to your YouTube channel.

6a. Create a Podcast in YouTube Studio

Within YouTube Studio, you'll see the option to "Create a New Podcast."

If you go down this route, you'll effectively be creating a new playlist for your channel, with your full-length podcast episodes featured as individual videos in that playlist.

This option does come with useful perks that can help attract new audiences and subscribers:

  • The dedicated podcast tab on your YouTube channel helps listeners locate your episodes easily

  • A spotlight on the YouTube podcasts page; https://youtube.com/podcasts (currently only available in the US)

  • Your episodes can be included on YouTube Music, allowing you to reach listeners on an additional platform

  • Podcast badges on Watch and Playlist pages

  • Being listed as a recommendation to new listeners with similar interests

  • Easy watch page discoverability, helping listeners find your episodes

This is a great option for brands with an existing YouTube channel that want to distinguish their podcast episodes from the rest of their video content, yet still want all their videos to be housed within the same channel.

It's also an excellent choice when you want to share both full-length video podcasts to the platform, alongside the shorter feature clips and snippets. You'll be able to mark full-length episodes as podcast videos, and upload the snippets to a separate playlist or as YouTube Shorts, allowing you to take full advantage of the functionalities and benefits offered to the different video types by the platform.

If you've previously uploaded your podcast videos to a YouTube channel and since want to designate them as podcast episodes, you are able to in just a few clicks via YouTube Studio.

Promotion and Monetization: Get the Word Out on Your YouTube Podcast

After creating your YouTube podcast channel, it's time to promote your content and explore monetization options. Here are some steps to get your YouTube podcast out into the world. We’ll start with promotion tactics and then move on to monetization.

Orange loud hailer on orange background
 

Tips for Promoting Your YouTube Podcast

We touched on the power of creating “micro-content” earlier in the post. Short snippets and teasers are a great way to create engagement and draw in listeners. But it’s by no means the only way to get the word out and market your podcast.

Some other ideas for promoting your YouTube podcast include:

  • Optimize your video titles, descriptions, and tags for SEO and YouTube's search algorithm

  • Engage with your audience by asking for feedback and suggestions and responding to comments.

  • Leverage the power of social media by sharing teasers, clips, or highlights from your podcast episodes.

  • Collaborate with fellow podcasters, YouTubers, or influencers in your niche to cross-promote each other's content.

  • Consider running paid advertising campaigns on YouTube or other platforms to increase the visibility of your podcast.

  • Use YouTube's analytics tools to understand what content resonates most with your viewers, identify areas for improvement, and refine your promotional strategies. (Don’t underestimate the value of trends and statistics.)

Tips for Monetizing Your YouTube Channel

As is the case with monetizing an audio podcast, there are some standard tactics for earning money from your content on YouTube. These include:

Once your channel meets the eligibility criteria, you can monetize it through the YouTube Partner Program. This allows you to access more income-generating avenues. The most obvious one is to display ads, but there are other options too.

  • Offering channel memberships

  • Adding a merch shelf to showcase branded podcast merchandise

  • Creating YouTube Shorts to earn money from the YouTube Shorts Fund

YouTube is aiming to attract podcasters to the platform through the various ways creators can monetize their videos. As YouTube Director of Podcasting Kai Chuk explained, "We’re really hoping podcasters will take advantage of this infrastructure and hopefully make YouTube a meaningful part of their revenue strategy."

Ready to Unlock the Potential of YouTube Podcasting?

Creating a dedicated YouTube podcast channel provides a centralized platform for your episodes. It allows you to build an audience, increase your reach, and leverage the platform's popularity, features and functionalities. In short, it's an excellent way to enhance your podcast's impact.

Remember, building a successful YouTube podcast takes time and consistent effort. Analyze your promotional tactics, adapt to viewer feedback, and refine your content continuously.

With effective promotion and monetization strategies, your YouTube podcast can grow and thrive. Before you know it, you'll be well on your way to attracting a loyal and engaged audience.

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    Steven Bonnard

    Author

    Steven Bonnard

    Hi, I'm Steven. I'm a globe-trotter who loves running long distances and listening to podcasts, especially from the politics and fantasy categories.