How to Become a Podcaster (Duties, Salary and Steps)

It can be a highly lucrative career choice.

Reviewed by Chris Leitch

How to become a podcaster

If you’re into storytelling and sharing your passions or news with the world, podcasting could be a great job for you. This relatively new career path has been booming in recent years, and today, there is a podcast on every kind of subject.

If you’re looking to get in on the action and make some money at the same time, this guide will take you through everything you need to know to become a successful podcaster. We will discuss the role and what it involves, what kind of earnings to expect, and how to start a podcast, set it up, record it and market it to your audience.

What is a podcaster?

Podcasters create and host podcasts — digital audio broadcasts that can be streamed online or downloaded. Podcasts come in all shapes and sizes and, since they became widely distributed in the mid-2000s, cover all sorts of subjects. Since then, podcasting has become a popular and viable form of media, and some podcasters have millions of subscribers.

What does a podcaster do?

Podcasters are responsible for the end-to-end process of making their podcast happen. Here are the main duties podcasters have to fulfill:

  • Planning and creating content, ensuring they have engaging material to share
  • Handling technical production, including recording and editing the finished podcast
  • Engaging with their audience by responding to questions and comments
  • Uploading podcasts to hosting platforms and ensuring episodes are available to download
  • Promoting their work, such as via social media, and collaborating with other podcasters
  • Driving earnings through strategies like sponsorships or advertising

What is their workplace like?

Podcasters have to spend a large amount of their time in a recording studio, producing their work. This might be a home office, where they might plan and script their podcasts as well, or a professional recording studio.

Podcasters can largely pick and choose their own hours to work. They might need to undertake field work to get reports or information for their podcasts. In this respect, their role might be similar to journalists, with travel time and unsocial hours gathering information or collating interviews being a large part of the job.

In general, the role offers a varied and creative working environment, and can be done as a side hustle too.

How much do podcasters earn?

It’s challenging to calculate exact earnings for podcasters, as there are so many variables to consider.

Your podcast will only really have a chance of making you serious money once it’s well established and has regular viewers. Beginner podcasters might only make as little as $50 per month, up to around $10,000 annually. Intermediate podcasters might earn between $10,000 to $50,000 per year. Some experienced podcasters might earn as much as $30 million annually.

Podcasters don’t earn money from their programming per se but will instead make their income through affiliate marketing (clicking links you have posted on your marketing channels), sponsorships or product placements, membership contributions, donations, merchandising, or selling services such as coaching, consulting, mentoring, and public appearances.

What are the entry requirements?

Podcasting is a fairly straightforward career to get into; if you have an engaging and marketable idea, the world’s your oyster!


Podcasters don’t need to have higher education or formal qualifications, though proficiency in languages and technology-related subjects can be useful. If your podcast is on a more academic subject, you might need formal qualifications to add credibility to your discussions.

Skills and qualities

Podcasters need to draw upon a wide array of skills to maximize their chances of success. These include presentation skills, resilience, production and editing ability, networking, and people skills. Podcasters must also have natural charisma and a way to convey information to an audience in an engaging way.


Podcasters need to have access to a private space to record their podcast, a computer, recording and podcast editing software, and a microphone. These needn’t cost the earth, but professional or higher-end equipment will help give your podcast a more polished or refined edge to it.

Do you have what it takes?

Podcasting is a creative and rewarding job that enables you to put your passion to work. You must, therefore, have a lot of knowledge and drive to provide ongoing information on your subject to your audience. Success or money isn’t guaranteed, and you will need to work hard on building listeners, a reputation, content, and a brand to even become moderately well-known in this competitive space. Therefore, you need to be resilient and determined.

If you’re wondering whether podcasting, or indeed any other career, is the one for you, CareerHunter’s six-stage assessment might help you find out. These tests gauge your values, interests, career goals, and skills to help identify the best careers for you.

How to become a podcaster

If, after reading about podcasting and what the role entails, you are still interested in this career, then read on for 11 critical steps to stepping into the podcasting industry.

Step 1: Identify a podcast theme

The first step to kick-starting your podcasting career is to decide on a theme for your podcast. This is an essential step to get right as the success of everything else you do hinges on settling on a theme that you’re interested in, has an original slant, and is something your potential audience will find engaging.

When deciding on a theme, consider the above points and also whether the theme will be able to provide ongoing, regular material. You might also wish to consider taking a broader theme and narrowing it down into something more niche that has a unique selling point.

Step 2: Decide on a format

Podcasts come in all shapes and sizes. When thinking about your podcast format, you will want to consider the episode length, ranging from short-form podcasts of a few minutes each to longer episodes (the average length of a podcast is between 20 to 40 minutes).

You also want to consider episode frequency, which times and days of the week you will publish the podcast, its style and tone, and whether you go it alone or have co-hosts. Also, think about if you will be interviewing guest stars, or interspersing your show with music.

Whatever format you choose, sticking to it helps to build trust and cadence with your audience.

Step 3: Create your podcast brand

Spending some time to decide on your brand early on in your podcasting journey is very important.

Having a brand nailed down from the outset enables you to market your podcast and design advertising or graphics in a set format before the first episode has even aired. This means that the audience knows your brand from the beginning and helps you gain traction and a credible reputation when marketing your podcast.

Consider investing decent time and maybe a professional designer or PR consultant to help craft your brand and podcast artwork in order to get it right the first time and to maximize its impact.

Step 4: Choose your podcasting equipment

The main pieces of equipment you will need to have to set up a podcast are a laptop or computer and a microphone.

You could get away with using the in-built microphone in your computer, but most podcasters would recommend investing in a specialist podcast microphone for better audio quality. The prices of these can vary, from as little as $30 to thousands of dollars.

Similarly, a run-of-the-mill laptop will be good enough to set up podcasts, but advanced equipment might make the job easier or allow for faster and more advanced editing.

Step 5: Get recording software

Depending on your computer, you might have access to free and perfectly effective recording software pre-installed or available to download (Garageband on Apple devices is one such example). Audacity is another good option, as this is open-source recording software and available across most operating systems and platforms.

You also have the option to invest in premium recording software options such as Ableton, Adobe Audition, Hindenburg Journalist, or Logic Pro X. These programs might be costly but will allow you to play with advanced editing such as multi-overlays, multiple voices, and so on.

Step 6: Outline your first episode

Getting your first podcast episode right is important, as this sets the first impression and the initial perception of your podcast offering. Here, you have the chance to introduce to your listeners what you will be covering and the tone, style, and language of your podcast.

Plan your podcast carefully in terms of its structure, content, and episode descriptions, and rehearse this comprehensively in order for the first episode to land successfully. Consider some test recordings with friends and family, and collect feedback. Don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board if you aren’t happy with it.

Step 7: Record your podcast

By now, you’ll be ready to start recording your podcast episodes! Consider writing yourself a script or having prompts to keep yourself on track. You can also rehearse the podcast for sense-checking and timing before you hit the “record” button.

Because podcasts are rarely live, you don’t have to accept the first attempt as final. Feel free to re-record, cut, edit and splice to get a final audio file you are happy with. You can also record segments at different times to break up the work and give yourself a break.

Remember: recording a podcast is a skill in itself, and the more practice you undertake, the better at it you’ll get.

Step 8: Record an intro and outro

Intros and outros can help define your podcast brand and give it an air of polished professionalism.

Intros typically share with the audience what they will be listening to, who they’ll be listening to, and serve as a “contents” to the podcast. Be sure to keep it short and catchy to spice things up before the podcast body. Outros thank the listeners, summarize the episode, tease the next episode, feature calls to action for the listener, and credit contributors.

Use the same format for your intros and outros in each episode to build consistency, trust, and of course, your brand.

Step 9: Edit your podcast

As discussed above, the editing process is essential to end up with a polished and popular podcast that will delight listeners.

After you have recorded your podcast, you will want to edit out background noise, dead air such as long pauses, and splice together separately recorded segments into one flowing and coherent file. You might also wish to edit out content that you feel is less relevant in order to meet your preferred episode length.

Editing podcasts can be tricky, and if you want to undergo advanced or professional editing, you might wish to consider a freelancing service to support you with this.

Step 10: Decide on podcast hosting

Once you have your initial podcast episodes recorded, you need to make it accessible to audiences and podcast platforms. This is achieved through podcast hosting, a combination of promoting your podcast through traditional hosting like linking it to a website powered by a site like WordPress or Wix, and using RSS feeds.

RSS feeds can be created by a podcast app or a podcast hosting platform like Buzzsprout or Podbean and will take care of the distribution to podcast directories like Apple or Spotify. The podcast hosting services you can choose from will vary in terms of specificity and pricing, so it’s important for you to research them depending on your needs.

Step 11: Market your podcast

There are many options when it comes to promoting your podcast. You can rely on an initial push and a lot of word of mouth, such as sharing with your friends and family and asking them to leave reviews and likes, or promoting it directly on social media like Facebook or TikTok. You might even choose to release snippets of your podcast on video sites like YouTube.

Another option is to invest in a more polished and extensive marketing campaign via an advertising or PR agency, though this can be pricey and might be best left until your podcast has gained some traction and more than a handful of listeners.

Final thoughts

Podcasting is a competitive career that takes tenacity, skill and talent to succeed in. That said, anyone with a bit of presentation ability, basic tech skills, and a good idea can set up a basic podcast and go from there.

Providing your idea is engaging and you market it effectively to your audience, you can build your podcasting talent and ability and begin to produce flashier and more comprehensive podcast productions that captivate larger and larger audiences. This is truly a job that can offer you as much as you are willing to put into it. Good luck!

Got a question? Let us know in the comments section below.