A man with a microphone looks up thoughtfully as thought bubbles around him show clouds, a pencil, headphones, and a laptop.

Starting Your Own Health Podcast

Are you passionate about health advocacy, itching to share your thoughts and ideas with others? If so, starting a health podcast might be the perfect platform for you!

Podcasting has exploded in popularity in recent years. It provides an accessible way for anyone to create and share content. As a patient advocate and Health Leader, podcasting can offer a sense of community, empowerment, and support for others who are navigating their health journey. As a podcast host, you can also:

  • Help raise awareness about important healthcare issues
  • Advocate for policy change
  • Amplify the voices of marginalized or under-represented patient populations

Podcasting can be a powerful tool for patient advocacy and creating positive change in the healthcare landscape. Several Social Health Network (SHN) Health Leaders have started their own podcasts and have great advice for others who want to get started.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you kickstart your health podcasting journey

Step 1: Define your podcast concept or niche

Before diving in and hitting record, take time to brainstorm and define what your podcast will be about. What topics are you passionate about? Who is your target audience? What unique perspective or insights can you offer? Having a clear concept will not only guide your content creation but also attract listeners who are interested in what you have to say.1-3

Step 2: Plan your episodes and pick a podcast name

Once you have your concept in place, start planning your episodes. Consider creating an outline or script for each episode to ensure a smooth flow of content. Decide on the format of your episodes – will they be solo monologues where it’s just you speaking, interviews with other people, or a combination of both? Planning ahead will help you stay organized and maintain consistency in your podcasting schedule.1-3

SHN Health Leader Kathy Reagan Young offers a topic idea: “Find hot-button issues for your listeners, then find experts in those topics. Post on your socials, in your newsletter, or wherever your audience lives and tell them the topic and the expert and ask them what questions they have for the expert. Tell them you’ll ask on their behalf.”

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When it comes to your podcast name, choose one that’s relevant, catchy, and around 29 characters or less. A quick tip: you don’t need to include the word "podcast" in your name. It’s redundant and it uses up valuable character space.2

Step 3: Gather the necessary equipment

You don’t need fancy equipment to start a podcast. But investing in some decent-quality gear can greatly improve the audio of your episodes. At a minimum, you’ll need:1,4

  • Recording device – like your phone or computer
  • USB microphone – if you want high-quality sound, getting an external microphone is key
  • Headphones – helps to make editing easier; any headphones will do, including wireless earbuds
  • Recording and editing software – also known as a digital audio workstation (DAW); don’t worry, there are many free options available

According to Kimberly Nash, SHN Health Leader who just launched her podcast The Chronic Truth, a good microphone can make a big difference: “Get a good microphone with a voice screen to block out the ‘tttt’ and the ‘ssss’ sounds. It helps so much.”

But you don’t need fancy equipment to start a podcast. As SHN Health Leader Racquel Dozier says: “Just do it! It doesn’t have to be perfect to be effective. The more authentic the better. Your cell phone and your voice can really make a difference.”

Step 4: Record and edit your episodes

With your equipment set up and ready, it’s time to start recording! Find a quiet space with minimal background noise to make sure the audio quality is clear. Practice speaking naturally and confidently into the microphone.1-3

Once you’ve recorded your episode, use editing software to trim any mistakes or pauses, and consider adding music or sound effects if you like. Remember, editing is where you can polish your content and make it shine. There are lots of editing software options out there. Audacity and Garage Band are 2 free versions that can be good to get started with.1-3

Health Leader Chris White adds: “At a minimum just get someone on the other end and hit record. The way I look at it is something is better than nothing and there are patients out there that will appreciate the content.”

Step 5: Create cover art, intros/outros, and write descriptions

First impressions matter, so invest time in getting the details ironed out. Create eye-catching cover art that reflects the theme and vibe of your podcast while grabbing people’s attention. Write engaging episode descriptions that provide a brief summary of what each episode is about to entice listeners to tune in.1-3

In addition, create your signature intro and outro. An intro and outro are what a listener hears each time at the beginning and end of your podcast episode. It’s an opportunity to capture your show’s essence in a concise, memorable way.1,2

Keep the intro and outro short and sweet – around 15 to 30 seconds each. For the intro, start with some music that reflects your podcast’s tone and content. Follow it with a brief, engaging introduction that includes your podcast name, host, and a teaser of what listeners can expect. For the outro, thank your audience for listening and encourage them to subscribe and leave a review. You can also include a call-to-action for upcoming episodes or promotions.1,2

If all of this is over your head skill-level-wise, consider outsourcing to a freelancer. Fiverr, Upwork, Craigslist, and Facebook are all places you can go to to get help.2

SHN Health Leader Rebecca Lombardo has this advice for creating intros: “Go through Fiverr and have them do an intro tune for you once you come up with a name.”

Step 6: Create an RSS feed and choose a hosting platform

After editing your episodes, you’ll need a hosting platform to make them accessible. You can either create a website for your podcast or create an RSS feed. Many companies like will host your podcast and create an RSS feed for you for a low cost or for free.1,2

Step 7: Submit your podcast to a podcast directory

This step is optional, however, if you want to grow your podcast audience, it’s a great way to reach more people. Once you have your website or RSS feed, you can create an account with a directory and submit your podcast. Popular podcast directories include:2

  • Apple
  • Spotify
  • Stitcher
  • Audible
  • Google Podcasts
  • iHeart Radio

Step 8: Promote your podcast

Now that your podcast is live, it’s time to spread the word and attract listeners. Use social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, X (formerly Twitter), and Facebook to share episode releases.1,2

This is also the time when you can collaborate with other podcasters in your niche. Have special guests on your shows and interview them. Be a guest on other shows and be interviewed! Participate in online communities related to your podcast topic. Consistent promotion and engagement will help grow your audience over time. And over time, you can even consider monetizing your podcast.1-3

Rebecca Lombardo adds: “Set up a website, a Facebook, and a Twitter (X). You can also do IG. Have fun! It's a lot of work, but it's worth it.”

Step 9: Stay consistent and have fun

Remember that building a successful podcast takes time and dedication. Success doesn’t happen overnight. Stay consistent with your episode releases and engage with your audience by responding to comments and feedback. Most importantly, though, have fun. Podcasting is a creative outlet that allows you to share your passions and connect with like-minded people around the world.1-3

Starting a podcast may seem daunting at first. But with the right mindset and some planning, anyone can create interesting content that resonates with listeners. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your microphone, hit record, and let your voice be heard!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The SocialHealthNetwork.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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