Podcasts for Writers | Updated for 2019

Looking for podcasts for writers? You’re in the right place! Here are 50 of the most popular (and helpful) podcasts for writers. Updated for 2019.

podcasts for writers

With 50 podcasts to go through I thought a table of contents would be handy. Click on the links below to jump to the category you’re most interested in.

Podcasts for Writers

What are the best podcasts for writers? Well…it depends what you’re looking for. There are tons of amazing and helpful writing-related podcasts with different styles and approaches. After much research and vetting I’ve curated this list of podcasts for writers in the hopes you can find a few new podcasts to add into your rotation.

I’ve given these 50 podcasts loose categories based on their most general topics and format. The podcast are organized both by category in alphabetical order. Some are my personal favourites and some are from writer recommendations. If a show hasn’t been updated in 2019 it isn’t on this list. Have I missed a fantastic, life-changing podcast? (I know I have.) Please let me know in the comments.

Canadian Podcasts

Canadian Podcasts | Podcasts for Writers

True, these podcasts fit into the other categories. My fear is these literary gems will get lost in the shuffle. Perhaps you are looking for some great podcasts for writers AND something a little North. See? It’s such a good reason to have this category.

Can’t Lit

A monthly podcast on all things Canadian and Literature. Hosted by Dina Del Bucchia and Daniel Zomparelli. Last Monday of the month.

Podcast Playlist

Podcast Playlist curates the best content and stories from the podcast world. Each week, your audio DJs Matt Galloway and Lindsay Michael sample some of the most intriguing of what the internet has to offer.

The Next Chapter

CBC Radio’s Shelagh Rogers travels the country, conversing with authors and readers of all kinds. A new episode every Monday.

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Writing Craft Podcasts

Craft Podcasts | Podcasts for Writers

The writing craft. How do you improve on your writing without going back to school? By listening to podcasts! These craft-focused podcasts will help you in your writing from everything to overcoming writer’s block to strategies for meeting deadlines to making writing your career. Many of these craft podcasts don’t stick to fiction or non-fiction, preferring to blend them together. I think it works. Here are a ton of awesome podcasts for writers on the writing craft you’re WELCOME.

Ann Kroeker, Writing Coach

Writing Coach Ann Kroeker wants you to reach your writing goals and believes you’ll make significant progress (and have fun!) by being more curious, creative, and productive. She provides practical tips and motivation for writers at all stages, keeping episodes short and focused so writers only need a few minutes to collect ideas, inspiration, resources and recommendations to apply to their work. Tune in for solutions addressing anything from self-editing and goal-setting solutions to administrative and scheduling challenges. Subscribe for ongoing input for your writing life that’s efficient and encouraging.

Building a StoryBrand with Donald Miller | Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen

If you’re frustrated because you struggle to get the word out about your product or service, the Building a StoryBrand podcast will help. Fans of the podcast are ecstatic about the fun and entertaining way Donald Miller brings you practical advice about clarifying your message so customers will listen. Don and the StoryBrand team are the world’s leading experts in harnessing the 2,000 year-old proven power of story formulas to get people talking about your brand. Get your message out, grow your company, stand out in the marketplace, and have a blast doing it! Past guests: Seth Godin, Patrick Lencioni, Daymond John, Rachel Hollis, Ken Blanchard, Mel Robbins, Dave Ramsey, Scott Hamilton, Auntie Anne, Charles Duhigg, Daniel Pink, Blake Mycoskie (TOMS), Chris Anderson (TED), and so many others.

Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

WINNER OF BEST EDUCATION PODCAST IN THE 2017 PODCAST AWARDS. Grammar Girl provides short, friendly tips to improve your writing. Whether English is your first language or your second language, these grammar, punctuation, style, and business tips will make you a better and more successful writer. Grammar Girl is a Quick and Dirty Tips podcast.

Helping Writers Become Authors

Helping Writers Become Authors provides writers help in summoning inspiration, crafting solid characters, outlining and structuring novels, and polishing prose. Learn how to write a book and edit it into a story agents will buy and readers will love. (Music intro by Kevin MacLeod.)

High-Income Business Writing: Freelance Writing

Ed Gandia, co-author of the bestselling book, The Wealthy Freelancer, reveals how to propel your writing business to the six-figure level (or the part-time equivalent).

In this nuts-and-bolts, no-nonsense podcast, you’ll discover how to get better clients, earn more in less time, and bring more freedom and joy into your writing business. Ed will walk you through the practical, “doable” systems and strategies he has developed in his own writing business—the same systems he has taught his private coaching clients.

He’ll also show you what’s working for other business writers by bringing you real case studies from the field. And he’ll share all this information in an honest and transparent way, with no hype or fluff. Topics covered include: getting better and higher-paying clients; banishing the feast-or-famine cycle; doing more of the work that excites you; how to raise your fees and rates; boosting your productivity; making your business recession-proof; discovering and leveraging your strengths; finding your niche; pricing content writing projects; pricing copywriting projects; writing white papers; case studies; writing web copy; writing articles; and much more.

Hot Copy: A Copywriting Podcast for Copywriters

In each episode of Hot Copy, Belinda Weaver and Kate Toon share the secrets of successful copywriters including copywriting tips, shortcuts, writing resources, interviews with other successful copywriters (yes, their secrets too!). And a few laughs, snorts, and giggles along the way. All focused on helping you become a better copywriter. This podcast is perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about copywriting, the writing bits and the running a business bits.

Novel Marketing

This is the show for novelists who hate marketing, but still want to become bestselling authors. Our goal is to make book promotion fun and easy for writers who would really rather be writing.

Odyssey Writing Workshop

Odyssey is an intensive six-week workshop for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror held each summer on the campus of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. Top authors, editors, and agents serve as guest lecturers. These podcasts are excerpts from guest lectures.

Scriptnotes Podcast

Screenwriters John August and Craig Mazin discuss screenwriting and related topics in the film and television industry, everything from getting stuff written to the vagaries of copyright and work-for-hire law.

The Creative Writer’s Toolbelt

The Creative Writers Toolbelt gives practical accessible advice to Creative writers. Each episode explores an aspect of creative writing technique, with examples, allowing you to apply what you learn immediately to your writing. We also throw in the occasional interview with writers and other artists, exploring their wisdom on subjects like story, style, character and the writing process.

WriteCast: A Casual Conversation for Serious Writers

Kacy and Claire from the Walden University Writing Center chat about all things academic writing. Special guests include students, faculty, and Writing Center editors.

Write Now with Sarah Werner

A weekly podcast for aspiring writers looking to find a healthy work/life/writing balance. Get the encouragement, honest advice, and inspiration you need to pursue your passion and write every day. Recurring themes include books, coffee, rainy days, truth, beauty, lasers, dinosaurs, and all of your other favorite things.

Writing Excuses

Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Daniel Wells discuss writing techniques in a fast-paced, 15-minute format.

Writing for Children: How to Write a Children’s Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published

Do you want to learn how to write for children? The Institute of Children’s Literature has taught hundreds of thousands of aspiring writers, and the director of ICL is the host of Writing for Children. Bestselling children’s author Katie Davis focuses on the craft of writing for children: how to write a children’s book, how to write for children’s magazines, how to get paid, and get published. There are listener questions, with answers from the experts at the Institute, plus hard-to-find resources and links included in every week’s show notes.

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General Writing Podcasts

General Writing, Interviews, Etc. | Podcasts for Writers

These are general writing podcasts or ones that don’t stick to a strict theme. Many of these shows are a mix of interviews and solocasts. Whatever this category should be called I hope you find these podcasts for writers helpful, useful, and inspiring.

A Way With Words

A Way with Words is a fun and funny radio show and podcast about language. Co-hosts Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett talk with callers from around the world about linguistics, slang, new words, jokes, riddles, word games, grammar, old sayings, word origins, regional dialects, family expressions, books, literature, folklore, and speaking and writing well. Email your language questions for the show to words@waywordradio.org. Or call with your questions toll-free *any* time in the U.S. and Canada at (877) 929-9673. From anywhere in the world: +1 (619) 800-4443.

Between The Covers : Conversations with Writers in Fiction, Nonfiction & Poetry

Author interviews with today’s best writers — established & up-and-coming — in fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Hosted by David Naimon, KBOO 90.7 FM, Portland, Oregon. –The Guardian’s 10 Best Book Podcasts –Book Riot’s 15 Outstanding Podcasts for Book Lovers –the most intense and awesome podcast I’ve ever been a part of–Gary Shteyngart.

Create If Writing

Create If Writing is a weekly podcast for writers and bloggers dealing with authentic platform building online. You will hear from experts on list-building, connecting through Twitter, and how to utilize Facebook. But tools for building an audience would feel empty without a little inspiration, so these training episodes are balanced with inspirational interviews with writers who share their creative process, ups and downs, and how they have dealt with success or failure. Kirsten Oliphant is a self-published author with an MFA in Fiction who has been blogging for 11 years and is in the top 20 of Houston’s Social Media Power Influencers. She has spoken at Blog Elevated, Houston Social Media Breakfast, Adventure Con, Houston Business Advancement Conference, and Social Media Day Houston. She created the Free Email Course and loves to get nerdy about all things email list.

Dead Robots’ Society

The Dead Robots’ Society, a gathering of aspiring writers podcasting to other aspiring writers, hoping to help each other along the way to the promised land of publication.

First Draft: A Dialogue on Writing

In writing, a first draft is where creativity flows, a story takes root and the voice of a writer emerges. First Draft highlights the voices of writers as they discuss their work, their craft and the literary arts. This weekly show hosted by Mitzi Rapkin will primarily feature fiction and non-fiction authors along with occasional poets, screenplay writers, playwrights and songwriters. First Draft is a celebration of writing and the individuals who are dedicated to bringing their carefully chosen words to print as well as the impact writers have on the world we live in.

Fully Booked by Kirkus Reviews

Get the ultimate insider’s scoop on the best new books. The editors at Kirkus Reviews interview your favorite authors, tell you whether or not the books on the bestseller list are worth the read, give you behind-the-scenes insights, and introduce you to great books you may otherwise never find.

I Should Be Writing

Writing interviews and how-tos from a SF writer who’s still learning.

Longform Podcast

A weekly conversation with a non-fiction writer about how they got their start and how they tell stories. Co-produced by Longform and The Atavist.

Read to Lead

If you believe as I do, that intentional and consistent reading is key to success in business and in life, then this is your podcast. My goal each week is to bring you key thoughts and insights from my conversations with those I consider to be among today’s brightest minds: our generation’s non-fiction authors. We discuss their latest book, as well as their unique perspectives on Leadership, Business, Personal Development, Marketing, Career, and Entrepreneurship. If you love reading, or desire to do more of it, then consider this podcast your audio Cliff’s Notes. The Read to Lead Podcast is a three-time Best Business Podcast nominee.

Reading and Writing Podcast

Interviews with authors about their books, their writing habits, their favorite novels, and how they got started writing.

So You Want to Be A Writer

Valerie Khoo and Allison Tait, both successful journalists and authors, bring you the latest in news, opportunities, trends – and gossip – in the world of writing blogging and publishing. Whether you love the creative inspiration of Elizabeth Gilbert, the life-hacking non-fiction of Tim Ferriss or the phenomena that is JK Rowling, you’ll find it here.

Story Grid Podcast

Helping you become a better writer. Join Shawn Coyne, author of Story Grid and a top editor for 25+ years, and Tim Grahl, struggling writer, as they discuss the ins and outs of what makes a story great.

The Beautiful Writers Podcast

Writer Linda Sivertsen (aka Book Mama) brings together the world’s most beloved bestselling authors and creatives for monthly chats on writing, publishing, deal-making, spirituality, activism, and the art of romancing creativity.

These up-close conversations—with the likes of Dean Koontz, Tom Hanks, Gabby Bernstein, Brené Brown, Van Jones, Elizabeth Gilbert, Seth Godin, Glennon Doyle Melton, Robert McKee, Anne Lamott, Rob Bell, Dani Shapiro, Terry McMillan, Marianne Williamson, Steven Pressfield, Arianna Huffington, Martha Beck, Mary Karr, Gretchen Rubin, and so many others (including super agent, Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, head of worldwide literary at William Morris Endeavor)—are a fan favorite, downloaded nearly 500,000 times and frequently profiled on “Best Podcast” lists and at the top of the Literature category on iTunes.

If you’ve ever wished you could sit down with your favorite writers to ask them how they do it, year after year, book after book (or album after album), consider this your new, not-so-guilty pleasure. Join Linda and her celebrity co-hosts (and original co-founder, Danielle LaPorte—also a recent guest and guest host) for deep, funny, powerful monthly interviews with authors and songwriters who have pulled it off—from breakout success to staying power.

Find heart-centered encouragement, street-smart advice, and insider success (and failure!) stories for every writer and creative type. Details of biggest mistakes, best shortcuts, behind-the-scenes agent, press, and publishing stories help you gain the courage to get your book, blog, ballad, or biz birthed into the world. Take your dreams from idea to done with us. The Beautiful Writers Podcast. Where inspiration is constant, and swearing, optional (although highly appreciated).

The Drunken Odyssey with John King: A Podcast About the Writing Life

Join author John King for eclectic interviews with writers from a variety of genres, including fiction writing, poetry, memoirs, and journalism. From literature to genre writing to the movies, all writing is up for discussion. In particular, The Drunken Odyssey features discussion of all aspects of the writing process—not just the published manuscript, pristinely presented to the entire literate world, but also the scrawled notes and tortured drafts that lead writers there. In long-form interviews, writers discuss their process and the way that writing has influenced their lives. Besides this interview, each episode also features a short memoir essay from a writer about a beloved book, plus John King responds to listener’s questions and observations about the writing (and the drinking) life.

The Portfolio Life with Jeff Goins

Jeff Goins shares thoughts & ideas that will help you to pursue work that matters, make a difference with your art & discover your true voice!

The Writer Files

Kelton Reid studies the habits, habitats, and brains of a wide spectrum of renowned writers to learn their secrets of productivity and creativity. Tune in each week to learn how great writers keep the ink flowing, the cursor moving, and avoid writer’s block.

The Writers Panel

The Writers Panel series is an informal chat moderated by Ben Blacker (co-creator of the Thrilling Adventure Hour; writer for Supah Ninjas, Supernatural, among others) with professional writers about the process and business of writing. Covering TV, film, comic books, music, novels, and any other kind of writing about which you’d care to hear. Proceeds from the live panels benefit 826LA, the national non-profit tutoring program.

Wordslinger Podcast

Kevin Tumlinson, Bestselling and Award-Winning Thriller Author, talks to authors and entrepreneurs to get their behind-the-scenes story. Each week, you can tune in to a full hour of wisdom and insight from some of the most intriguing people on the planet. It’s all about the story here.

Write Club The Podcast

A weekly show for aspiring writers, published authors and readers everywhere. Join Stephanie Rouse, Theresa Stoker, Heather Worsley , Linda Jack Werlein, Pat Woolfe & Nicola Cairncross each week where they’ll share guest readings and interviews, along with what they’re reading, what they’re writing, what it’s really like to be a writer. You can join in the weekly “Name the Novel” quiz and find out “What’s On The Bedside Table?”. If you like what you hear, come and join our community! Firstly, “Like” our FB Page using the link on this page, then join our lively private community in our Facebook Group (the link to that is on the FB Page).

Writer’s Voice with Francesca Rheannon

Writer’s Voice features author interviews and readings, as well as news, commentary and tips related to writing and publishing. We also talk with editors, agents, publicists and others about issues of interest to writers. Francesca Rheannon is producer and host of Writer’s Voice. She is a writer, an independent radio producer and a broadcast journalist.

Writing Class Radio

Writing Class Radio is for people who love stories and who get inspired by hearing other people tell their stories and who wants to learn a little bit about how to write their own stories. You’ll hear students write their way to the truth. And you’ll hear students trying to deal as we follow them outside of class and into their real lives. Plus you’ll hear all the juicy stuff that happens in writing class—resistance, crying, breakthroughs, connection. There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other than by writing and telling our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?

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Self Publishing Podcasts

Self-Publishing | Podcasts for Writers

Three years ago I wouldn’t have considered self-publishing a category of podcasts to include. Oh how times have changed. This mega trend has permeated the book publishing industry and is forcing change. It’s exciting times! Enjoy these top-rated podcasts and learn from the pros how to create a career from self-publishing.

Author Audience: Helping You Reach More People With Your Message

Shelley Hitz is on a mission to help you reach more people with your message because she believes every person has God-given gifts and abilities to impact the world. Each episode of Author Audience will be packed with ACTIONABLE training, spiritual inspiration, and encouragement for you to write, publish, and market your books. However, this podcast is not just about how to write and self-publish a book. It is so much more. Episodes also include topics on book marketing, social media marketing, how to sell more books, product creation, coaching, speaking, etc. Shelley’s passion is to help you connect with your audience in the best way possible. If you are a Christian author, Christian entrepreneur, or someone who simply wants to reach more people with your message, you’re in the right place! The question is, are you ready to let your light SHINE?

Book Marketing Show Podcast with Dave Chesson

Are you ready to increase your book sales, and hit the bestseller list consistently? Welcome to the Book Marketing Show, where in this weekly podcast Dave Chesson will not only show you some of the best book sales tactics but also bring on top-notch guests to show how each tactic taught here was a game changer for their books and how it can be for yours as well.

Having created one of the largest websites on book marketing, Kindlepreneur.com, he’s also been a book-marketing consultant for top NYT Bestselling authors in both Fiction and Non-fiction as well as helping big name publishing companies increase their sales. He’s been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and a multitude of book related websites across the net. So, tune in as you learn for free about the art to book marketing and how others are using these tactics to improve their sales and how you can too!

Kobo Writing Life Podcast

The Kobo Writing Life Podcast features exciting interviews with bestselling authors, tips on the craft and business of writing, and advice for successfully self-publishing. Millions of readers are waiting to discover your book.

Mark Dawson’s Self Publishing Formula

Mark Dawson is a bestselling self-published author on multiple platforms including Amazon and Kobo. He is the author of the John Milton thriller series and its spin-off Beatrix Rose. In addition, he’s written several “Soho Noi” novels.

Mark’s breakthrough came when he developed a marketing strategy for promoting and selling his books. His swift success enabled him to quit his 9 to 5 job and he has generated gross revenues of more than a million dollars in less than five years. Mark has become a leading voice in the self publishing industry and he advocates and teaches a strategy based around offering books for free, mailing list development and social media advertising.

In 2015, he published the acclaimed online course “Facebook Ads for Authors.” That course now includes modules on Twitter and YouTube advertising and is constantly evolving. He has also developed a course for writers at the start of their careers—Self Publishing 101. James Blatch co-hosts the podcast and he represents the first time, wannabe author. James is a former BBC News journalist who is currently writing his first novel. Between them James and Mark explore the world of self publishing with a focus on actionable tips for new and experienced indie authors.

Sell More Books Show

Authors, are you struggling to get the word out about your books? Discover the latest book marketing and publishing news, tools and strategies. This is the Sell More Books Show with Jim Kukral and Bryan Cohen. Every week you’ll get helpful tips and ideas to make your book sales soar.

Smarty Pants Book Marketing Podcast

The podcast that helps authors make sense of all the social media marketing options out there and gives practical tips on how to sell more books and build loyal fans with social media. Based on award-winning marketer Chris Syme’s 20+ years in marketing and bestselling indie author Becca Syme’s self-publishing journey, the show features successful self-published authors and book marketing experts weekly.

The Creative Penn Podcast

Information, inspiration and interviews on writing, self-publishing, book marketing and making a living with your writing.

The Story Studio Podcast – Writing, Storytelling, and Marketing Advice for Writers & Business

Stories turn songs into symphonies, events into memories, and lives into legends. In our crowded world, “knowing your story” cuts through the noise so you can make your mark — whether you want to sell more books, increase profits, or just make a difference. At Sterling & Stone, Story is our business. The Story Studio Podcast is where we explore ways we can all tell our stories better.

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Stories | Podcasts for Writers

Most of these podcasts are people telling stories or authors reading stories. These peripheral podcasts for writers contain some great storytelling tips and tricks we can all learn from.

Happier with Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is HAPPIER, and she wants you to be happier too. The #1 bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before gets more personal than ever as she brings her practical, manageable advice about happiness and good habits to this lively, thought-provoking podcast. Gretchen’s cohost and guinea pig is her younger sister, Elizabeth Craft, a TV writer and producer living in Los Angeles, who (lovingly) refers to Gretchen as her happiness bully. Part of the Panoply Network.

StoryCorps

Stories of the human heart. A candid, unscripted conversation between two people about what’s really important in life: love, loss, family, friendship. When the world seems out of hand, tune in to StoryCorps and be reminded of the things that matter most.

The Literary Salon

Damian Barr’s Literary Salon tempts the world’s best writers to read exclusively from their latest greatest works and share their own personal stories. Star guests have included Bret Easton Ellis, Jojo Moyes, John Waters, Helen Fielding, Diana Athill and Louis de Bernières – all in front of a live audience at leading glamorous locations. Suave salonnière Damian Barr is your host. Don’t worry it’s not a book club—there’s no homework. Salon Selective! Produced by Russell Finch.

The Moth

Since its launch in 1997, The Moth has presented thousands of true stories, told live and without notes, to standing-room-only crowds worldwide. Moth storytellers stand alone, under a spotlight, with only a microphone and a roomful of strangers. The storyteller and the audience embark on a high-wire act of shared experience which is both terrifying and exhilarating. Since 2008, The Moth podcast has featured many of our favorite stories told live on Moth stages around the country.

There we go! I hope you can find some new and inspiring podcasts from this list of 50+ podcasts for writers. And if you have a favourite I haven’t listed please let me know in the comments. I’m ALWAYS looking for new podcasts for writers and I’d love to keep adding to this list.

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Looking for podcasts for writers? You're in the right place! Here are 50 of the most popular (and helpful) podcasts for writers. Updated for 2019.

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Looking for more on podcasting?

What are the best podcasts for writers? Well…it depends what you're looking for. There are SO many podcasts for writers so I decided to jump headfirst into the overwhelm and sort out the best, most popular podcasts for writers so you don't have to. And also so you can find some new podcasts to listen to. Because I know you're looking.

How to Plan a Podcast in 9 Steps

First things first, this is not a technical how-to create and produce a podcast guide. This is the step you take before that. Yes. I’m saying think about your podcast ahead of time and develop a strategy. AKA this is a training on how to plan a podcast.

How to plan a podcast in 9 steps

How to plan a podcast, from personal experience

I’ve lived these nine steps while creating and launching podcasts so I’m not pulling these out of thin air. Planning a podcast is exhilarating, exciting, and exhausting. At so many points on this journey I said “this is the hardest part, once we’re past this we’re good.” I’m glad I knew the steps or I may have lost heart through the process. I share them with you today so you will also be empowered the next time you wonder if you should start a podcast. You’ll know what the steps are and how to plan a podcast. You’ll also know how much work you have ahead of you so you’re mentally prepared for the roller coaster you’re about to get on. Podcasting is an amazing, amazing media and, when done right, a game changer.

First I’ll overview the steps, then break them down a bit.

How to plan a podcast in nine steps

  • Brainstorm a concept and decide what your show is about
  • Determine your “why”
  • Set goals for your podcast
  • Figure out who you’re serving
  • Plot your content strategy
  • Develop your show and assets
  • Write, record, and produce your first three episodes
  • Develop your marketing strategy
  • Pre-launch baby!

And once your podcast is planned, in the process of being developed, and you’re running pre-launch…now you can finish setting everything up and launch your podcast.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Back to step one.

How to plan a podcast step one: Brainstorm a concept and decide what your show is about

If you’re thinking about doing a podcast there’s a good chance you’ve thought about this to some extent. So, write it down. What’s the big idea? What’s your show about? I encourage you to get to a core topic, one you stick to throughout your show. A strong topic will make things easier down the road, plus it will be easy for listeners to understand what your show’s about without too much thought. You want your show to stick in listener’s minds and be something they can become fanatic about—sharing on social media, recommending to friends, and becoming raving fans. So come up with a good one, alright?

Step two: Determine your “why”

Attracting listeners who become raving fans starts with your reason for podcasting. Think about it for a sec, why should anyone listen to your podcast? Why should people choose yours over all the other podcasts out there? Why? It’s so easy to jump past the planning and straight into podcast production but I encourage you to slow down and do the hard work first. Plan a podcast, plan a great podcast.

Step three: Set goals for your podcast

(Can you believe she’s talking about goal setting AGAIN!?)

Believe it!

But it’s step three, so by this point you already know what you want to do and why—so shouldn’t setting goals be easy? Podcasts are powerful for building an audience and increasing your platform and can even help you reach your business goals. So, what is your goal for this podcast? And if it’s to make money…you’re going to need a plan to do that. Putting up a podcast doesn’t equal cash money. Not that in itself at any rate. So wipe the dollar signs out of your eyes and set some realistic goals. Making money can be one of your goals, but you’re going to need a revenue plan. Think it through, set S.M.A.R.T. goals, and then move on to step four.

How to plan a podcast step four: Figure out who you’re serving

You should kind of sort of know this already. Who do you hope listens to your podcast? Who do you want to become raving fans? I know, you want everyone to love it…but please break it down a little. Who do you want listening and what transformation do you want them to experience as a result of listening to your podcast? How will you help listeners reach their goals? Because, like everything, they need to understand what’s in it for them before they’ll decide to stick around. If you map this desired transformation out, it will also guide you RIGHT into step five. So give it a shot, kay?

How to plan a podcast step five: Plot your content strategy

Now this is fun stuff. If you figured out the transformation you want listeners to experience and brainstormed a step-by-step guide for them to get there…you can break those steps down into individual episodes! Right!? Yes!!! OK maybe I’m nerding out but you want a strategy because this will keep you laser focused on providing the RIGHT content to the RIGHT people for the RIGHT reasons. Strategy is just RIGHT OK!?

Here you figure out your core content, your sub topics (sidenote, this is similar/the same as creating a content strategy for your blog), your show format, and individual show objectives (goals within goals—you know the big goal of the entire podcast but what do you want listeners to do in each one? Leave a review, go to your website, download an email opt-in, share on social media, follow you on Instagram, etc. And please pick one per episode). If you’re stuck for ideas you can do keyword research (see what’s popular and develop episode ideas from there). Try and come up with at least 10 solid episode topics before moving on.

How to plan a podcast step six: Develop your show and assets

By this point you should be getting pretty excited about your show. And step six is where all your dreaming turns into your core content and branding. And yes, this will be hard work and may involve blood, sweat, and tears (if you’re anything like me). You don’t have to script your episodes word-for-word (unless you work best like that/want to)—outlines and notes are fine—but you do need to work out your show sequence and figure out who you want on your show if you’re taking guests/doing interviews.

At this point you should also be working on things like finalizing your show name, designing your logo, figuring out website design, deciding on your branding, grabbing all your social media handles, and purchasing your URL. I know many people will do this first and other guides may even advise doing this second/third. Why I’m saying wait till step six is because by this point you KNOW you’re sticking with it. You have a firm grasp on where you’re going and how you’re getting there. And if you’re hiring someone to help with any of your asset development, showing him/her your target audience, listener transformation, and content strategy will help him/her come up a great concept reflecting you to a T.

How to plan a podcast step seven: Write, record, and produce your first three episodes

OK, I won’t sugar coat it. This is going to be a lot of work. But you are READY for this! Draft your episodes, record them, and get them ready. You’re not publishing anything yet, but you’re working out the bugs. You need to figure out what you’re saying, practice saying it, and get all the technological pieces in order.

Going through this will also highlight how much help you need recording, editing, producing, etc. (If you need technical help check out Pat Flynn’s How to Start a Podcast tutorial. If you need an audio editor or show producer, get in touch.) This process should show you how close you are to launching your podcast. You may need more time than you thought at the outset, but that’s OK. You’re in it for the long haul, so it’s worth doing right.

How to plan a podcast step eight: Develop your marketing strategy

You have your content plan, your branding, website, and social channels are taking shape, and you have a general idea of when you can launch. Now it’s time to think about marketing. You’re going to need a pre-launch, a launch, and an ongoing strategy. Three strategies. I know it’s a lot of work (ugh, Robyn, why is EVERYTHING so much work!?) but you will be so super glad you made the plan ahead of time when you’re in the thick of it.

I have a few general tips on how to rock your marketing, which are a good place to start if you’re new to marketing strategy. If you want an intense, 90-day pre-launch strategy that will blow your mind, check out this podcast episode from Amy Porterfield. Whatever you decide, I recommend getting the plan on paper and calendaring as much as possible. This is where you figure out the details of your pre-launch, launch, and ongoing marketing, when your podcast episodes will publish and how often, what you’re posting on social media and how often, and how you’re going to promote your podcast to the world.

How to plan a podcast step nine: Pre-launch baby!

When you have your launch date settled and all your marketing ducks in a row, you can graduate to pre-launch. This is going to be intense, but this step is critical to a successful launch so you don’t want to skip it. In step eight you created the plan and in step nine you WORK the plan. That’s right, you’re creating content, you’re connecting with your target audience, and you’re ramping up to your launch. In pre-launch you’re putting yourself and your podcast out into the world in a way that people notice. You do this by creating amazing and shareable content, promoting your amazing and shareable content to your existing audience, with your social networks, with online communities, with relevant influencers, and wherever else your target audience hangs out.

Whew.

I know we’ve been through a lot getting to this point. But it’s not over yet. Once your pre-launch gets in gear you are racing towards your launch day—now that’s exciting stuff. Good thing you know what you’re doing, where you’re going, and who you’re talking to. I can’t WAIT to hear how it goes. Have a great launch!

First things first, this is not a technical how-to create and produce a podcast guide. This is the step you take before that. Yes. I'm saying think about your podcast ahead of time and develop a strategy. AKA this is a training on how to plan a podcast.

Five Podcasts I Love and Recommend for Freelancers

Why are podcasts so great? Well I think it has something to do with the medium. Listening to a person speak connects you in a way the written word doesn’t.

Podcasts

Five Podcasts I Love

I love podcasts. LOVE podcasts. You know, I’ve loved them since the moment I heard about them. Whenever that was. And I’ve dreamed about having my own podcast for years now. I even built a business plan around a knitting-themed podcast but it never launched (still have all my notes though…).

Why are podcasts so great? Well I think it has something to do with the medium. Because I think radio is pretty great too. Listening to a person speak connects you in a way the written word doesn’t, and that’s saying something since writing is my passion. But podcasting? I love podcasts. In fact, I like them all: conversations, interviews, monologues, stories, poetry, scripted, silly, and everything in between.

Here’s when I listen to podcasts:

  • If I’m doing a brainless task I listen while I’m working
  • When driving
  • At the gym
  • Walking
  • When I’m weeding/watering the garden
  • Whenever I’m by myself
  • Sometimes I will listen with my husband while we’re on road trips, but he’s not as open to any and every podcast as I am so our playlist is a bit smaller

I often am asked what podcasts I recommend so I thought today I’d share my top five of the moment. I’m always listening to more than five but these are five I recommend over and over.

The Fizzle Show Podcasts

The Fizzle Show Podcasts

With this podcast, I have an on-again, wow-I’m-sick-of-them relationship but I have listened since the beginning and am still subscribing, so they must be doing something right! Each week the team at Fizzle uploads a new episode aimed at small business owners who want to earn a living doing something they care about. They focus on modern business essentials, self employment, marketing, productivity, work-life balance, and more. Everything in their podcast points back to their small business training courses, which I have subscribed to for the past two years and have found amazing. I trust this team to give me the tools I need to run my business.

Copyblogger FM Podcasts

Copyblogger FM Podcasts

I love everything Copyblogger does and when they started podcasting I subscribed to every show. Well, there were a lot of shows and after a while I dropped most of them (or they got dropped…I’m not 100 per cent certain what’s going on TBH) and circled in on my favourite: Copyblogger FM. This is a short-form broadcast with solo shows and interviews focusing on content marketing, copy writing, email marketing, conversion, optimization, and more. They offer a few courses and products but I haven’t taken part (yet). But I do love their advice and would recommend their podcast and blog to anyone interested in improving their online communication.

Myths and Legends Podcasts

Myths and Legends

This is a new show in my podcast rotation. My husband and I discovered it while on a road trip earlier this year and while I thought it was something we’d listen to when together, I’ve gone ahead and listened to most of the archive plus all the new shows on my own. So I guess I like it. This is a solo podcast telling stories from myths, legends, and folklore from around the world. Some of the stories I’ve heard before, but I don’t think they ever get old. And yes, there are wizards, knights, and dragons—oh my!

Most of the podcasts in my rotation I’ve chosen because I think they can help me move the needle forward on my professional life. This one? Yeah, it’s pure entertainment. Of course there are valuable tips on how to creatively tell stories and create engagement, so I can still say I’m learning something! There seems to be an entire sub-culture around this podcast but I haven’t checked any of it out. So I guess I’m not there yet.

Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast

Online Marketing Made Easy

I think I have also listened to this podcast since the beginning. This (usually) solo podcast is a smart, in-depth look at online business. It focuses on all sorts of topics like marketing strategy, email list growth, Facebook ads, and more. I trust what I hear in this show to be a few steps ahead of me and teach me what’s going on in the ever-changing world of digital marketing just before I need to know it. I can’t say enough good things—this one has always been on my playlist and I continue finding great value from it. This podcast also points back to various courses you can purchase. I haven’t tried any out but they sound pretty good.

Under the Influence Podcast

Under the Influence

Before Under the Influence there was the show’s precursor, The Age of Persuasion. This show also airs on public radio in Canada and the US and I’ve loved everything about it for as long as I’ve known about it. This solo show is as scripted as it gets and while it takes a little getting used to, I wouldn’t want it any other way. Under the Influence is a behind-the-scenes look at the advertising industry and filled with fascinating case studies from the past and present, showing how marketing and human nature intersect. I think it’s so amazing the moment I learned the host was coming to speak at a local event I dropped everything to go. I booked off work, hustled my way into a ticket, walked 18 blocks in the rain, and showed up 30 minutes early to get the best seat. Yeah. Big fan.


And those are my top five podcast recommendations for you! I hope you can find something new and interesting to listen to—something that inspires you to take action on whatever you’re holding back on right now. Oh, and I’m always taking new podcast recommendations too so if there’s one I need to check out please let me know!

Why are podcasts so great? Well I think it has something to do with the medium. Listening to a person speak connects you in a way the written word doesn't.

Other Podcasting Posts

Five Words To Sum Up College Radio: Dead Air Um Dead Air

My husband and I decided to check out a public/community/college radio station podcast a few nights back because it promised a review of some B-movie called The Human Centipede. How could you resist, right?

College Radio

By the way, this post about college radio was inspired by Homestar Runner’s Strong Bad

Strong Bad Email #120—Radio for future reference

Anyway, back to the college radio story

Seeking out a review on The Human Centipede may seem like an obscure movie review podcast to run across. And yes, it was. But the show, We Came from the Basement, is hosted by someone I know from the radio station I used to have my very own show on. So it’s not completely random.

I hadn’t listened to this show before and it was so everything college radio promises to be. Including “Whoops I played the wrong track there,” to “Oh I read page four in the script instead of page two.” Oh live radio. And also oh unedited podcasts.

By the way, I still work in radio, as you may or may not know, but wayyyyy behind the scenes.

I’m thankful for all my awkward public radio and college radio experience, what a great way to learn from the ground up. It also makes me thankful to be producing syndicated programming now…oh the horrors of live radio!

Anyway, ever since the podcast I’ve been reliving my radio show days. It’s funny how one small thing can bring it all tumbling back. Even though you thought all the memories were long gone.

And as for The Human Centipede, well let’s just say in true teaser fashion we had to listen (OK I’ll admit it, we fast-forwarded much of the scripted drivel) till the VERY end only to learn it was, as we expected, a horrible movie, which we now MUST watch.

Thank you college-public hybrid radio. No really, thank you.

I'm thankful for my awkward public slash college radio experience. I'm also thankful to be producing syndicated programming. Oh the horrors of live radio!