Not unlike a podcast directory, YouTube is a fantastic place for new listeners to discover and fall in love with your podcast. As the second largest search engine in the world, YouTube’s audience is enormous and actively looking for something to entertain and inspire.
If you’re looking to get your podcast on YouTube but don’t know where to begin, we’ve got you. Here’s how to start a podcast on YouTube.
1. Make Sure Your Equipment Produces High Quality Audio and/or Video
Unlike TikTok, on YouTube, audio and video quality matter. Crunchy, low-fi, or poor audio quality will hinder your channel’s ability to grow. If you plan to film video content to accompany your podcast, the same reigns true.
Make sure you’ve invested in a solid podcast microphone at a minimum. If you’re planning to film video content instead of repurposing existing audio (more on that later), you may also want to consider investing in a nice camera and lighting equipment, like ring lights and softboxes.
Don’t worry—you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars, but remember that investing in your content from the get-go may help you reach your growth goals more quickly.
2. Create and Brand Your Podcast’s YouTube Channel
Creating a YouTube channel is free, and even easier if you have an existing Google account. For example, if you created a Gmail email address for your podcast, you can use that to create your YouTube account as well.
Once your account has been created, you’ll want to add a few things to your channel before you start uploading videos. Doing so will help contextualize your channel to newcomers. You’ll need:
- A banner. Like your podcast’s cover art, your banner helps legitimize your channel and is a good way to convey your brand’s overall vibe. On your banner, you should include your name/your podcast’s name as well as your brand colors and font. YouTube recommends 2560 x 2240px as the optimal banner size.
- Your About section. Your YouTube channel will have an “About” tab where people can read more about you and your show. Be sure to write an apt description about what your show is about and what people can expect.
- Links to your other socials, website, and email address. You can connect your other social media platform links and website links to your channel, which is a great way to help funnel people into your other endeavors. If you’re interested in potentially earning sponsorship opportunities, you can also add your email address so that brands can contact you directly.
3. Upload Your Content
To upload content to YouTube, your podcast files need to be in video format (.mp4 or .mov) instead of audio format (.mp3 or .wav). A free tool like Headliner can help you convert them.
All you need is your audio file and a background static image to serve as the video component. You can use a photo or an original graphic that you created through a photo-editing tool like Canva or Photoshop.
Headliner will let you combine a static image with your audio and export the file in a video format with the correct dimensions for YouTube’s 16:9 aspect ratio. This is, by far, the quickest and easiest way to turn your existing podcast episodes into video content.
Alternatively, you can also set up a camera wherever you record your podcast to capture video. Keep in mind, though, that if you decide to go this route, you may need to edit both your audio recording and video recording depending on how the recording goes. If you don’t anticipate having the time to edit both types of footage, using Headliner may be a better option.
The longer the video, the bigger your video file will be. Larger files take longer to upload. You can also schedule your videos to go live at a certain date and time once you’ve uploaded them on the backend. Scheduling videos will help you keep a consistent content schedule, which is important for growing your channel.
4. Optimize Your Videos for SEO
SEO, or search engine optimization, is powerful if you can use it to your advantage. YouTube is both a social media platform and a search engine, meaning that millions of people use it every day to search for an answer to a question or for specific content.
To help your podcast’s channel get more views and subscribers, it’s important to optimize your video titles, descriptions, and tags for search results. Making your videos easy to discover will help new listeners find your podcast more readily.
5. Take Advantage of YouTube Playlists
Once you’ve uploaded several videos, you can group them together with YouTube’s built-in playlist feature. YouTube will automatically play related videos once a video ends, but podcasts give you the ability to create an entire sequence of videos that will play one after the other. As a podcast channel, making a playlist so that each episode plays in order will not only organize your content for your viewers and subscribers, they also bring huge advantages analytics-wise.
YouTube playlists help viewers watch your content for much longer—the playlist automatically plays video after video after video. This will increase your views, retention, and watch time—which are all key metrics for growing your channel and qualifying for monetization through YouTube’s partner program.