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How to Create Your Minimum Viable Podcast in 7 Days

How to Create Your Minimum Viable Podcast in 7 Days

I had been thinking about starting a podcast for some time. And today, there was no going back. I had just purchased John Lee Dumas’s Podcasters Paradise training program. I now had all the information I needed to build, launch and monetize my new podcast. I was committed and excited to get started. But the excitement didn’t last for long and pretty soon it turned into frustration.

A month later, I looked back and realized that I’d made almost no progress with my podcast. I couldn’t understand it at first. I had invested in an excellent training course and had all the information that I needed. So why hadn’t I made progress?

It came down to a simple fact – I wanted to create a successful podcast and I was afraid of failing. I was struggling to make decisions and focusing my energy in the wrong areas. For example, instead of figuring out how to get started, I was wasting time making a detailed spreadsheet of possible microphones to buy.

But that all changed when my friend Andrey challenged me to launch a podcast in 7 days. I thought he was crazy! I hadn’t even picked the headphones that I was going to buy. How could I possibly launch a podcast in 7 days? But he insisted that we could do it. It didn’t have to be the real podcast, but we both needed to submit at least one episode in iTunes within 7 days.

And then he said we should have a crazy consequence if we didn’t get this done. I suggested we give money to a charity we hated. I figured I’d just pay the money and get myself out of this ridiculous challenge. But he insisted that it needed to be something that would really drive us to get it done. So he proposed a barefoot hike up Tiger Mountain. Now I knew he’d lost it, but he looked completely serious.

I felt my back against the wall and reluctantly agreed to the challenge. I couldn’t stop thinking about how painful that hike would be. Was he really serious? Anyway, I couldn’t back out now. I just needed to get an episode, in fact any episode, published in iTunes in under 7 days.

I rushed back home and started looking through the Podcaster’s Paradise course. But this time, I was looking at it differently. Instead of trying to perfect each step of the process, I was looking for the fastest way to get the job done.

To make a long story short, I created a new podcast and submitted one episode in iTunes in 24 hours. It wasn’t a great podcast but I completed the challenge. And I didn’t have to deal with the consequences of failing.

But more importantly, I learned so much by going through this process. I realized that creating a podcast isn’t that scary or hard. And I learned that getting started is much more important than wasting weeks or months trying to create a perfect podcast. Because the reality is, your podcast will never be perfect.

In this guide, I’m going to show you the step by step process that I went through to create my ‘minimum viable podcast’. I’m assuming that you can spend about an hour a day over the next 7 days.

What This Guide Is Not

This guide is not intended to replace the incredible and very detailed podcasting resources out there. But what I’ve found is that many people (just like myself) sometimes get overwhelmed when we start learning all the details of creating a podcast.

Once you’ve launched your ‘minimum viable podcast’, it won’t seem that complicated or scary. You’ll be a lot more confident. But if you’re remotely serious about podcasting, you will have to go back to the start and learn the more detailed aspects of podcasting.

So think of this guide as a ‘primer’. And once you’re done; ‘painting’ your podcast will be a lot easier. And when you’re ready to do that, consider one of these two resources as the next step:

But first, finish this guide and create your ‘minimum viable podcast’!

Before You Start

I want to be sure that you’re approaching this with the right mindset. You need to throw away all your ideas about creating a perfect podcast. Focus on getting started and making incremental progress.

Think of the ‘minimum viable podcast’ as a prototype or experiment. It probably won’t be your real podcast. In fact, you’ll most likely delete the podcast from iTunes when you’re done and start again with your real podcast.

So why bother creating a ‘minimum viable podcast’? Because once you’ve published that first episode in iTunes, you’ll realize two things, (1) you can create a podcast and (2) it’s not as hard as you think it is right now. You will learn so much, that everything will seem much easier when you start working on your real podcast.

I’m confident that won’t regret spending this time to create a ‘minimum viable podcast’!

Day 1: Plan Your Podcast

The first step is to plan your podcast. We’re not going to spend more than 30 minutes on this. In that time, you’ll identify your podcast topic, audience, format, name and tagline. It sounds like a lot, but it isn’t really.

Here are the questions you need to answer in the next 30 minutes. Remember, forget about perfection and instead focus on making progress. So even if you’re not sure about an answer, just take your best guess for now.

Your One-Page Plan

  1. What is the general topic of my podcast?
  2. Who is my ideal listener e.g. gender, age, profession, interests etc.?
  3. What will my podcast help them do? Is there a problem I’ll help them solve?
  4. How would I describe my podcast to my ideal listener in 3 to 5 sentences?
  5. How would I describe my podcast to my ideal listener in 1 sentence?
  6. Will I have a co-host? Will I interview guests on my podcast?
  7. What one word best summarizes what my podcast is about?

Finally, you need to choose a name for your podcast. Using the one word that you identified in the last question, write down 3 to 5 ideas for a podcast name. And then pick one of them. Don’t spend more than 5 minutes on this.

To make it easier, we’ve created this free one-page PDF worksheet for you.

Create Your Cover Art

Next we’re going to create cover art for your podcast, which will be displayed in iTunes and other destinations. Again, we’re going to keep it super simple and complete this task in under 15 minutes.

We’re going to use Canva to create your cover art design. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Go to and sign-in (create a free account if required)
  2. Create a custom dimension image – 1400 pixels by 1400 pixels
  3. Select a background color
  4. Add a headline and sub-headline
  5. Add your name (optional)
  6. Save the image to your computer

Here’s a 60 second video that we created to help you get this done:

And we’re done! In less than an hour, you came up with a one-page plan for your podcast and a cover art design!

Day 2: Hardware & Software

Basically, there are 3 things that you need to start recording your podcast:

  1. A microphone
  2. A headset/headphones
  3. Recording software

Microphone & Headphones

Now it’s time to get your hardware ready. There are essentially two piece of equipment (other than your computer) that you need for recording your podcast – a microphone and a pair of headphones. In fact, for the ‘minimum viable podcast’, even the headphones are optional.

Now, we’re not going to discuss all the possible micrphone options out there. We’re not going to talk about about the pros and cons of a dynamic versus a condenser microphone. We’ll just use a microphone that you already have. Don’t make this complicated…

If you don’t already have a microphone for podcasting, then use the headset/microphone that you use with your mobile phone. Don’t have one of those? Then borrow a mic from a friend or family member. Can’t do that? Then you’ll just record using the built in mic in your computer.

Don’t get sucked into researching microphones and headphones. Yes, you will need to invest in some decent hardware to record a high-quality podcast, but you can do that later.

Recording Software

We’re not going to discuss the ‘best’ recording software to use for your podcast. Instead, we are going to select the one that you can start recording with quickly and easily.

So here’s the deal – if you already have recording software and you know how to use it, then you’re in good shape to move onto the next step.

If you haven’t decided what you’re going to use or aren’t totally comfortable with the software, then you’re just going to use Audacity to record your ‘minimum viable podcast’.

The Audacity software is available for both Windows and Mac users and it’s free. Just click the relevant link below to download and install it:

Here’s a 60 second video that we created to show you how easy it is to install Audacity on a Mac (and installing on Windows is pretty easy too):

Note: some of you may want to record Skype calls for your podcast. Please don’t worry about that for now. Once you have published your ‘minimum viable podcast’ to iTunes, going back to start recording via Skype will seem a lot easier.

So our hardware and software is now setup and we’re ready to start recording!

Day 3: Plan & Record Your First Episode

Your first episode is going to be just 5 or 10 minutes long. We’re going to spend 30 minutes creating an outline of your episode and then it will be time to start recording!

Create an Outline

The content of this first episode doesn’t really matter. You’ll probably be the only person that ever listens to this episode and you can delete it once you’ve published to iTunes.

So don’t get hung up about the content — just record something.

If you have an existing blog post that you’ve written, then you can just record yourself reading that. If you don’t have existing content, then no problem, let’s plan your new episode.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Write down a headline for your episode i.e. what’s it about?
  2. Write down a one or two paragraph introduction for your episode.
  3. List out 4 or 5 main points that you want to make about the topic.
  4. For each main point, list out 3 to 5 supporting sub-points.
  5. Write down a one or two paragraph close for your episode.

To make it easier, we’ve created this free one-page PDF worksheet for you.

Once, you’ve completed the worksheet, take a few minutes to practice what you’ll say. You may want to go back and refine your points a bit, so they flow better.

It’s Time to Record

The first thing you always need to do is a test recording. You never want to be in a situation where you record something and at the end realize that….well, you didn’t record anything.

So open up Audacity and hit the record button. Record anything for a few seconds and then play back the recording to make sure that it’s recording your voice.

Now we’re ready to start recording!

Create a new file in Audacity and hit the record button again. Use your one-page episode outline worksheet to help guide you through the recording and help you remember the main talking points.

Don’t worry about making a mistake. Just keep recording.

When you’re done, hit the stop button. Congratulations! You just recorded your first podcast!

Save MP3 File

Now all you need to do is to save your recording as an MP3 file.

  1. In Audacity, select the File > Export Audio
  2. From the Format drop-down menu, choose MP3 Files
  3. Enter a filename name and click the Save button.

If this is the first time you’re trying to save an MP3 file from Audacity, you will be prompted to install an additional library. Just click the ‘download’ button and follow the instructions to get that library installed. Then you can return to step 3 above and click the ‘Save’ button again.

Here’s a 60 second video we created to show you how to do this:

You now have an MP3 file ready for publishing!

Day 4: Hosting and Publishing

There are 2 steps involved publishing your episode:

  1. Add ID3 Tags to MP3 File
  2. Upload to Podcast Hosting Service

But before we can do that, we need to make sure that you’re hosting account is setup. We’re going to use Libsyn to host your ‘minimum viable podcast’ and you can use this same account for your real podcast in the future.

Create an Account with Libsyn

Here’s a 60 second video we created to show you how to setup your Libsyn account:

Add ID3 Tags to MP3 File

The next step is to add ID3 tags to your MP3 file. This ensures that all the information about your podcast and episode shows up correctly in places such as iTunes and other podcast players and sites.

Although, there are dozens of ID3 tags that you could add, our research into how the most popular podcasts on iTunes add ID3 tags showed us that there are only 8 tags that really matter.

Here’s a 60 second video we created to show you how to add ID3 tags to your MP3 file:

Upload MP3 File to Libsyn

Now we’re ready to upload your MP3 file with the correct ID3 tags to Libsyn.

The basic steps involved here are:

  1. Upload the MP3 file to Libsyn
  2. Add an episode title
  3. Add an episode description
  4. Set the iTunes rating
  5. Schedule the release date/time

Note: once your episode is published (step 5) it will be added to your podcast feed and will show up in iTunes when you’ve registered your podcast. Don’t worry about that now, as we’ll cover more details about this on day 6 (below).

Here’s a 60 second video we created to show you how to upload your MP3 file to Libsyn:

You’ve now uploaded your first podcast episode to Libsyn and are almost ready to go live!

Day 5: Building a Show Notes Page

Next we’re going to add the player to our website and create a very basic show notes page.

If you don’t have a WordPress site, then you can register for a free website at It’s best to have a self-hosted WordPress blog instead of hosting your blog at, but for the purposes of our ‘minimum viable podcast’, either of those options will work.

We’re going to create the show notes as a WordPress page (not a post). This will ensure that your page will not show up anywhere on your site unless you explicitly link to it.

The basic steps involved here are:

  1. Create a new WordPress page (not post)
  2. Add a headline and description
  3. Grab podcast player embed code from Libsyn
  4. Add the embed code to your WordPress page

Here’s a 60 second video we created to show you how to do this:

Now when you launch your real podcast, you’ll probably want to use another podcast player with better functionality such as Simple Podcast Press or Smart Podcast Player. But don’t worry about that for now – just use the basic Libsyn player for your ‘minimum viable podcast’.

Preview the page and you should be able to play the episode. Awesome!

Day 6: Submit Your Feed to iTunes

Finally we’re going to submit the feed to iTunes and publish our podcast to the world!

The basic steps here are:

  1. Ensure your Libsyn feed is setup correctly
  2. Submit the feed to iTunes
  3. Wait for iTunes to approve your feed
  4. Go live!

Here’s our final 60 second video which shows you how to do this:

And you’re done!. Now it will take a few days for iTunes to approve your feed but other than that you’ve just created your ‘minimum viable podcast’!

Day 7: Celebrate

There’s nothing to do on day 7, other than celebrate from the amazing progress you just made in the last 7 days!

You’ve got a your first episode published in iTunes. Hopefully, the whole business of podcasting won’t seem that complicated or scary anymore. Congratulations on making it this far and taking action every day.

You have a choice now to either iterate on this and make it better. Or you can delete the podcast in iTunes and Libsyn and create your real one!

Was it worth creating your ‘minimum viable podcast’? What was one of your key insights or takeaways? Let me know in the comments below….

Omer Khan

I'm the founder of Prestopod a software product that helps you plan, organize & publish your podcast. And I'm also the host of The SaaS Podcast


  1. John Lee Dumas on August 11, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Wow, what a great post! Thanks for the mention of Podcasters’ Paradise and Free Podcast Course, it’s an honor 🙂

    • Omer on August 11, 2015 at 12:11 pm

      My pleasure John. Podcasters’ Paradise is an incredibly useful resource and helped me do a much better job at launching The SaaS Podcast podcast. So just giving credit, where it’s due. 🙂

  2. Mustafa Abousaleh on August 11, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    Great post Omer!
    I was getting stuck myself with the ton of resources out there.
    I think I am going to do what you advice and see what happens 🙂

  3. Hani Mourra on August 13, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    Powerful post Omer! I love the idea of keeping it simple and getting your podcast out there and incrementally improving it as you go.

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