So you want to know how to start a podcast on YouTube. You have come to the right place!
In this blog post we are going to give you everything you need to know, with no fluff. 💪
Here is how we are going to do it:
First, we will go over all the benefits of having a podcast on YouTube. 😁
Even if you already know that you want to have a YouTube podcast, it is still helpful to go over the benefits. That way you have the full context as you start making decisions about how to specifically shape your podcast.
Then we will get right into the meat of it: How to make a YouTube podcast. We will first cover how to do a mostly audio podcast, then we will get into how to make a video-based podcast that pops. 🤩
After that we will talk about how to optimize your YouTube podcast. Because after all, you do not just want to make a podcast, you want to make sure it goes to infinity and beyond! 🚀
Ok podcasters, are you ready to get crackin’? Let’s goooooooo! 🗣️
Why a Podcast on YouTube?
Here are some of the benefits of having your show on YouTube. We also recommend checking out our blog post: Podcast vs Youtube.
It is Very Approachable and Accessible
There are like 20 something major podcast listening platforms in the world, why add YouTube to your distribution? Well, in some ways, because it is not a podcast listening platform. 😅
YouTube attracts all kinds of people: Young and old, computer geeks to people who do not really like technology. Some get on YouTube because they want to listen to the latest music, some because they want to watch their favorite TV show from 40 years ago.
The fact is, some people find the idea of listening to podcasts as “not for them.” 😱
They may not be likely to ever download an app. Or maybe they feel alienated from podcasts after listening to one that they really did not like.
But you can put the same content on YouTube and suddenly it seems approachable to everyone. Magic. ✨
It Recommends Your Show
Whenever you are watching a video on YouTube, a bunch of recommended videos pop up on the side. A lot of times they even start automatically playing after your current video ends.
Talk about a powerful push to watch videos (and podcasts!) that you may have never otherwise heard of! 👀
As a podcaster on YouTube, your video could be that recommended video that automatically plays next.
It is free, excellent marketing. 😍
There is no listener path where a potential listener has to make decisions and click buttons in order to play the show. It just plays! 🤗
Even better, being recommended takes no work on the part of the podcaster. Sure, you need to make sure your podcast is optimized in order to give yourself the best chance, but you would be doing that any way!
YouTube recommends videos based on what the viewer has watched in the past, what videos are often viewed together, and how much of a topic a viewer usually watches. 🤓
It also looks at the metrics of a specific video: Average view duration and average percentage viewed. If people clicked away after 10 seconds, then YouTube sees that as not a great content and does not want to recommend it again.
But do not worry! That is not going to be your show because in the following sections, we are going to tell you how to make videos people cannot take their eyes off of (or at least cannot take their ears off of). ❤️
You can Make that Money, Money, Money
If you want your podcast to develop into a business, YouTube is a great platform to use. It has something called the YouTube Partner Platform (YPP) where you can make money from your creations in various ways. 💰
To get approved, you have to have 1,000 subscribers on YouTube and 4,000 watched hours in the last year. Definitely doable. ✅
Once you are accepted into the YPP, you get a share of the revenue of ads shown before, during, after, or even around your show on the Watch page. You also get a share of the revenue from YouTube Premium subscriptions when someone with the subscription watches your content.
YPP also gives you other monetization tools:
You can have a store right on YouTube to sell your merch. 👕
You can make membership channels that are exclusively for people who have paid you for that premium content.
There are also Super Chat, Super Stickers, and Super Thanks features where your fans can pay to have their comments highlighted in special ways. 😻
As you can see, there are major benefits for podcasters on YouTube. And you may have also started to see how this context will help you understand how to make your show– making sure your audience sticks around for as long as possible, using excellent keywords, etc.
With that in mind, let’s start on the nuts and bolts of how to start a podcast on YouTube. ⬇️
How to Start a Podcast YouTube
First we will go over how to make a podcast on YouTube if you do not want to create video episodes. Then we will go over how to make video episodes.
How to Make a (Basically) Audio-Only Podcast for YouTube
Let’s say that you already have a successful podcast going. You have never done video and you never want to do video. Fair enough. 🤷
But YouTube is still a great option for you.
If you have Ausha, you have to do absolutely no extra work to publish a version for YouTube. If you do not have Ausha (very sad), you do have to put in a little bit of work. Allow us to explain.
If You Have Ausha
If you have Ausha, the answer to “how to start a podcast on YouTube” is “kick back and relax.” 🏖️
Ausha automatically publishes to YouTube for you. All you have to do is link your YouTube account to Ausha and check that “Broadcast to YouTube” is selected in the settings. You also want to check that “Publish to YouTube” is toggled on in each new episode you add to Ausha.
Ausha then automatically creates a video file to accompany your audio file, sending both to YouTube to be published. 🎥 🖼️
The video file is comprised of a moving sound wave that matches the audio, your podcast’s cover art, title, and description.
How easy and awesome is that? 😮
And the awesomeness is not just limited to new episodes. You can go back through your whole catalogue of old episodes, toggle on “Publish to YouTube,” and boom Ausha automatically creates a video for the episode and publishes it to YouTube.
If You Do Not Have Ausha
If you do not have Ausha, the answer to “how to start a podcast on YouTube” is a little more complicated. Here is how to manually do it yourself, step by step:
You need to hop on a video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro and create a new file file. Import the audio from you recording. Then place your podcast cover art as the visual for the duration of the recording. 🎞️
You can add more visuals to appear as the episode is played, but that technique has not been shown to make much of a difference. It probably is not worth the effort.
After you save and export your video, you then need to upload in manually to your YouTube channel. Then add the episode title and description to it. ✍️
Make sure to place the uploaded episode on the correct playlist and in the correct order, otherwise it will confuse or frustrate potential listeners and possibly lead them to click away and not listen.
How to Make a Video Podcast for YouTube
You have decided you want to go full on video podcast for YouTube. Way to be brave! 🦸
Here are tips for how to do it.
Good lighting is a must. Your whole face should be well lit, no shadows. Strong lighting makes the visual fresh and professional-looking. 💡
Natural light works great, so if you can, set it up so you, the podcast star, are facing a window and the camera is between you and the window. ☀️
If this is not doable, that’s ok. Rather than facing a sunny window, face a nice soft light when you record.
It also helps to turn the brightness of your computer screen all the way up to act as a little light itself. 🔆
On the flip side of this, check that that nothing is ‘blown out” or so bright that it is basically recorded as pure white. This can happen if you have a window of daylight behind you– it will look almost whited out. The solution can be pretty easy- just lower the blind!
The same goes for your face– make sure that there are no shiny spots on your face when you record. If you cannot lower the lighting, try a little make-up powder on the shiny sports. Yes, that is regardless of gender. A little bit of powder can go a long way in helping your lighting setup work. 💅
Keep in mind that you can also adjust the light settings on your camera, if you have one that allows it. You can increase or decrease the aperture.
However, a lot of built-in cameras automatically adjust their aperture. So even if you turn on more lights, the camera will just automatically counter by closing its aperture more.
In these cases the smart cameras just are not that smart. Just do the best you can to make the lighting even- no black shadows or white out light. Then you can easily edit the brightness in post production. 💻
Some people say that looking straight at the camera and having your whole face take up most of the screen makes your podcast seem like an intimate, one-on-one conversation with your viewer.
Some say that’s a little too intense and instead suggest that you have at least down to your elbows showing so that people can see your nonverbal communication and so that you can be more physically relaxed.
At the end of the day, it is totally up to you. Do what you think works best. 👈
Just keep in mind two basic things while setting this part up.
First, try to sit as far away from the wall behind you as possible. This may mean setting up in the middle of a room. It might seem awkward to you, but for audience’s eyes and brain it is nice to see some depth of field. 🧠
The other basic thing to get right in positioning is eye line. Put the camera at eye level or even a tiny bit higher.
This is how most people would naturally see you during a conversation. It is also more flattering for your facial features and body. Do not raise it to a point where you have to move your neck, just where you can look at the camera like you would be looking someone in the eye. 🤝
If you can have more than one camera, that is great. Have one straight on and then another a bit to the side. 📹
That way when you have to make a cut during editing, you can cut away from the main camera and switch to footage from the side camera. It feels more natural than if you just cut out a chunk of footage from the same camera– that is called a “jump cut” and is kind of like a visual hiccup. Of course if you only have one camera, that’s ok!
There are some tricks to the trade when it comes to wardrobe. No we are not talking designer clothes. There are just some things that make recording on camera easier. 🧘
Most cameras really struggle to correct record prints, especially ones with small details like pinstripes. They can create something called a “moire effect” that makes your shirt look like a weird, electric version of those Magic Eye posters. 😵💫
Also stay away from silk or satin shirts because they often produce a glare. Plus, it can be easy to see sweat marks on them and it can get pretty toasty while recording with all the lighting. 🥵
Avoid wearing white because your camera may try to automatically adjust its white balance setting or its aperture setting off the shirt when you do not want it to.
Here is another wardrobe tip that might be difficult for some of us: Avoid wearing anything with visible logos when you record. 🙅
Technically they are copyrighted and you cannot use them in creating your own content. That is rarely enforced though. What matters more is that it can distract your audience– they may try to figure out what logo it is or maybe they have a negative perception of the logo’s brand.
Jewelry can also be tricky. It can produce a glare and it can produces little “clink” noises that get picked up by mics. Earrings can get really uncomfortable if you are wearing a headset.
Glasses can also produce glares. 👓
Ok, ok, so then what should you wear?
Try going for solid colors, specifically jewel tones. What the heck is a jewel tone? Things like “emerald green” or “turquoise.” 💎
Black is also ok as long as it does not make you blend into your background. 🕴️
Think about your branding too. What are your brand colors? Does it make sense to wear them? If not, what can you wear that still keeps you in line with your branding?
Also, feel free to pull a Steve Jobs or Elizabeth Holmes and wear the same thing at every single recording. If you know an outfit looks good with your lighting and camera, why change? Though you should definitely wash it once and a while… 😬
The absolute most important thing at the end of the day is to wear what you are confident and comfortable in. You’ve got this!
Audio Still Trumps All
Even in the professional video world, audio is the most important aspect of a creation. People’s brains are typically a lot more forgiving a not great visual than they are of not great audio. 🙏
That means pick a good mic equipment (check out our blog post on that) and make sure your setup, wardrobe, and everything revolves around the mic being placed in the ideal spot with nothing bumping into it.
How to Optimize Your Podcast on YouTube
Now that you have created your beautiful episode, you do not want to just dump it on YouTube. You have already put in so much work, so finish strong! 🏁
Taking these few steps will ensure that the most people possible see your podcast.
Write Excellent Descriptions with Keywords
We are sure you are already doing this for your podcast show description and episode descriptions, but you know we just have to say it: Type up engaging descriptions, using keywords that potential listeners would use to find your content and that YouTube will use to recommend your show to potential listeners. ‼️
Create Good Thumbnails
The thumbnail is the still image listed for the video so people can get a taste of the video without even having to press ‘play.’ YouTube may automatically choose one for you. You should make your own, though.
Well, half the time the thumbnail is some screenshot of your video when your eyes are half open and you look goofy. But also, you usually want something more than just a screenshot. You want a nice image and some text. 🧑💼
On YouTube, your thumbnail needs to be a 16:9 aspect ratio, 1280 x 720px, and a file size of less that 2MB.
Do not use the same image for every thumbnail. If you do that, people will have a hard time telling episodes apart, get frustrated, and leave.
The ideal thumbnail has a nice visual of the host (maybe a nice screenshot of them while recording the podcast) and a couple words that give people an idea of what the episode is about. 😃
In some cases, if the episode title is short, that can be the text in the thumbnail image. Including the episode number in the thumbnail can be helpful for your audience.
Take a little journey through YouTube podcast pages and see what thumbnails you like and which you do not, and then plan yours accordingly. Feel free to check out our channel! 🕺
Make Your YouTube Page Look Good
Your YouTube page has space for a banner. Use it. The image you use needs to fit the size and resolutions specifications. If possible, make a banner yourself with the title of your show, a nice background image, and maybe a little graphic design flair. 🧑🎨
The same goes for your avatar. It is much smaller, but still packs a punch. You can use a head shot of yourself, your podcast cover art, or really anything!
You also can have a podcast trailer on your YouTube page. If you have the capacity, make one. It can just be about 20-30 seconds of you summarizing your podcast. 🧑🏫
If you want to get fancy, you can pick some of the video highlights of your episodes and edit them into a compilation. But that takes a lot of work and skill, so do not feel like this is a must.
Organize Your Videos Well
Make sure all your episodes are in one playlist and are in the correct order. Do not put any content that is not an episode in that playlist. If you have other snack-able content, put that on its own playlist. ↔️
Clearly label your playlist(s), your titles, and any other content. YouTube does recommend that you include the episode numbers in the episode titles. 📋
YouTube lets you create chapters in your video in order to give your audience signposts of the episode’s structure or to highlight a super great section. This also helps potential viewers dip their toes in the middle of your content to see if they like what they see. Utilize the chapters feature! 📕
Curate the Comments
One of the features that makes YouTube different than other podcast listening platforms is that people can leave comments and there can be whole comment threads. 🤠
Unfortunately, opposed to the timeless wisdom of “do not read the comments section,” you do need to read the comments section and monitor it. Reply as frequently as you can. Delete spam posts and hateful rhetoric. 💆
This is a great tool to build your podcast community. It also can become a little bit of a downside if you do not keep up with it. So just stay on top of it!
Edit the Auto-Captions
YouTube does provide auto-captioning. This is great because captions are an absolute must in terms of accessibility. However, the auto-captioning can get a few words wrong. Check through all the captions and manually correct any mistakes. 📝
This is also a great time to think about if you want to create your own caption files to upload with your video on YouTube. Also, creating your own transcript can be super helpful. You can just put a link to the transcript in the episode description and host the transcript on your podcast’s webpage. It can be a great way to entice people to come to your webpage! 👯
That just about covers everything you need to know about how to start a podcast on YouTube.
YouTube says it is the future of podcasting, and since it is owned by Google, it is likely to succeed. If you have been thinking about distributing your podcast to YouTube, now is the time to do it. If you have thought about doing video podcasting, now is the time to give it a try. 🏋
We are always here to cheer you on, and we will always share all the YouTube tips and tricks we learn! 💜💜💜
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