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How To Start A True Crime Podcast How To Start A True Crime Podcast


How To Start A True Crime Podcast

Written by: Emylee Timms

Learn how to start your own true crime podcast and captivate your audience with thrilling stories. Explore the world of podcasts and start sharing your passion for true crime today!

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Table of Contents


Welcome to the thrilling world of true crime podcasts! With their gripping narratives, dramatic re-enactments, and suspenseful storytelling, true crime podcasts have gained immense popularity in recent years. If you’ve been captivated by the mysteries, unsolved crimes, and the psychology behind criminal behavior, starting your own true crime podcast can be a fulfilling and exciting venture.

Not only do true crime podcasts provide a platform for sharing captivating stories, but they also offer insights into the criminal justice system, raise awareness about cold cases, and even contribute to ongoing investigations. With the increasing demand for true crime content, there is plenty of room for new voices and perspectives in the podcasting landscape.

In this article, we will guide you through the essential steps to help you start your own true crime podcast. From choosing a theme to promoting your show, we’ll provide you with the knowledge and tips to create a podcast that stands out in this ever-growing genre.

But before we dive into the details, it’s important to understand that true crime podcasts require sensitivity and respect for all those involved. While the stories may be intriguing, it’s crucial to remember that they often involve real people who have experienced great tragedy. Always approach the subject matter with empathy and integrity, and handle the content responsibly.

Now, let’s begin our journey into the world of true crime podcasting!


Step 1: Choose a Theme

The first step in starting a true crime podcast is to choose a compelling theme. A theme defines the focus and direction of your podcast, allowing you to explore specific types of crimes, time periods, or geographical locations. Choosing a theme that aligns with your interests and expertise will make the podcast more enjoyable for you to create and for your audience to listen to.

When selecting a theme, consider what aspect of true crime fascinates you the most. Are you drawn to infamous serial killers, unsolved mysteries, or historical crimes? Do you want to focus on a particular city, state, or country? By narrowing down your theme, you can create a niche podcast that appeals to a specific audience.

Additionally, research existing true crime podcasts to see what themes are already popular. While it’s important to be unique, studying other successful shows can provide inspiration and help you understand what works in the genre. When choosing a theme, aim for a balance between something that interests you and something that has the potential to capture the interest of a broader audience.

To further refine your theme, consider incorporating unique elements or angles. For example, you could focus on lesser-known or overlooked cases, explore the psychology of criminal behavior, or interview law enforcement officials or experts in the field. By bringing a fresh perspective to your chosen theme, you can set your podcast apart from the rest.

Remember, your theme should be driven by your passion for true crime and your desire to share compelling stories with others. By choosing a theme that resonates with you, you’ll be more motivated to research, write, and produce engaging content for your podcast.


Step 2: Research and Gather Information

Once you have chosen a theme for your true crime podcast, the next step is to dive into extensive research and gather information about the cases you plan to cover. Thorough research is essential to ensure accuracy, credibility, and the ability to present the facts of the cases effectively.

Start by reading books, articles, and online resources related to your chosen theme. Look for reputable sources, such as true crime authors, investigative journalists, or law enforcement agencies. These sources will provide you with in-depth information, timelines, and details about the cases.

Another valuable resource is documentaries and true crime television shows. They often offer visual insights, interviews with experts or witnesses, and additional context that can enhance your understanding of the cases.

Additionally, consider reaching out to experts in the field or individuals directly involved in the cases. Cold case detectives, forensic psychologists, or even family members of the victims may be willing to share their insights or personal experiences. Interviewing these individuals can provide a unique perspective and add a personal touch to your podcast.

As you gather information, organize and keep track of your sources. This will help you accurately cite your references and ensure you have a solid foundation of knowledge to draw from during podcast episodes.

Remember to approach the subject matter with sensitivity and respect, especially when dealing with victims and their families. Treat the information you gather with care and discretion, making sure to verify facts and corroborate details whenever possible.

Ultimately, the quality of your research will greatly impact the overall credibility and authenticity of your podcast. Taking the time to gather accurate and comprehensive information will enable you to present the cases in a compelling and informative way, keeping your listeners engaged throughout each episode.


Step 3: Develop a Unique Perspective

With the abundance of true crime podcasts available, it’s important to develop a unique perspective that sets your show apart from the rest. While your chosen theme may have been explored by others, your perspective and approach can bring a fresh and distinct flavor to the podcasting landscape.

Start by considering what makes your perspective unique. Do you have a background in criminal justice or psychology that can provide insights into the cases you cover? Are you an expert in a particular time period or type of crime that can offer a different angle? Alternatively, do you have a personal connection or a compelling personal story that adds value to the podcast?

Next, think about the narrative style and format of your podcast. Will you take a storytelling approach, combining research with dramatic re-enactments to engage your listeners? Or perhaps you prefer a conversational format, where you discuss the cases with co-hosts or experts in the field. Experimenting with different formats can add variety and uniqueness to your show.

Consider incorporating elements of analysis or deeper exploration into your episodes. This can involve examining the motives and psychology behind criminal behavior, discussing societal implications, or exploring the historical context of the crimes. By going beyond the surface-level storytelling, you can provide a thought-provoking and intellectually stimulating experience for your audience.

Additionally, think about your target audience. Who are they and what do they want from a true crime podcast? Understanding your audience’s interests, preferences, and expectations can help you tailor your content to their needs. Keep in mind that authenticity is key – your unique perspective should reflect your genuine passion for true crime and your commitment to providing valuable and engaging content.

Lastly, be open to feedback and adjust your perspective as you gain experience. Pay attention to what resonates with your audience and what they enjoy most about your show. Use listener feedback and analytics to refine your approach, making your podcast experience even more unique and fulfilling for both you and your listeners.

By developing a unique perspective and adopting a distinctive style, your true crime podcast will stand out among the sea of others, attracting and retaining a dedicated audience.


Step 4: Plan and Outline Episodes

Planning and outlining your episodes is a crucial step in creating a well-structured and engaging true crime podcast. A thoughtful and organized approach will not only make the recording and editing process smoother but also ensure that your content flows seamlessly and keeps your listeners hooked. Here are some key steps to consider when planning and outlining your episodes:

1. Choose a narrative structure: Decide on the narrative structure that best suits your podcast. Will you follow a chronological order, starting from the beginning of the case and progressing towards its resolution? Or will you opt for a more suspenseful approach by revealing information in a non-linear fashion? Experiment with different approaches to find the one that works best for your show.

2. Determine episode length and frequency: Decide on the ideal length for your episodes while considering your content and audience preferences. Some podcasts thrive on longer, in-depth episodes, while others find success with shorter, more frequent releases. Strike a balance that allows you to delve into the details without losing your listeners’ attention. Additionally, establish a consistent release schedule to build anticipation and maintain audience engagement.

3. Outline the main points and story arc: Develop an outline for each episode, identifying the main points and story arc you want to convey. This outline will serve as a roadmap during the recording and editing process, ensuring that you cover all essential aspects of the case and maintain a logical flow of information. Consider building suspense by strategically revealing new information or clues throughout the episode.

4. Incorporate supporting material: Enhance your episodes by incorporating supporting material such as audio clips, interviews, or sound effects. These elements can bring your narrative to life and add depth and authenticity to the storytelling process. Ensure that the supporting material aligns with the overall theme and enhances the listener’s experience without detracting from the main story.

5. Craft intriguing episode titles and descriptions: Pay attention to crafting attention-grabbing episode titles and compelling descriptions. This will entice potential listeners to click and explore your podcast. Capture the essence of each episode while maintaining a sense of mystery and intrigue, leaving your audience eager to discover the details.

Remember, the planning and outlining process is not set in stone and can evolve as you gain more experience and feedback. Stay flexible and open to adjustments, refining your approach to create a captivating podcast that keeps your audience eagerly awaiting each new episode.


Step 5: Select and Purchase Equipment

Investing in quality equipment is essential for producing a professional-sounding true crime podcast. While you don’t need to break the bank, having reliable and suitable equipment will significantly enhance the overall listening experience for your audience. Here are some key considerations when selecting and purchasing podcasting equipment:

1. Microphone: The microphone is the most critical piece of equipment for podcasting. Look for a microphone that captures clear audio and minimizes background noise. USB microphones like the Blue Yeti or Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB are popular options for beginners due to their ease of use and affordability. If you’re willing to invest more, consider upgrading to an XLR microphone, like the Shure SM7B or Rode Procaster, which deliver professional studio-quality sound.

2. Headphones: Invest in a good pair of closed-back headphones to monitor your audio while recording and editing. Closed-back headphones provide better noise isolation, allowing you to catch any audio issues or background noise that may need to be addressed. Popular options include the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x or the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro.

3. Pop Filter and Shock Mount: A pop filter helps reduce plosive sounds (such as “p” and “b” sounds) that can distort the audio. It is a screen placed between the microphone and your mouth. Additionally, a shock mount helps reduce vibrations that can be picked up by the microphone. These accessories are relatively inexpensive and can significantly improve the quality of your recordings.

4. Audio Interface/Mixer: If you choose to use an XLR microphone, you will need an audio interface or mixer to connect your microphone to your computer. These devices provide preamps, controls, and additional inputs/outputs for connecting multiple microphones or other audio sources. Popular options include the Focusrite Scarlett series or the Behringer UMC404HD.

5. Recording and Editing Software: To record your episodes, you will need recording software. Popular options include Audacity (free and open-source), Adobe Audition, or GarageBand (for Mac users). For editing, you can use the same software or consider other options like Adobe Audition or Logic Pro X.

6. Acoustic Treatment: Consider optimizing your recording space by adding acoustic treatment. This can include foam panels, bass traps, and diffusers to minimize echoes and reverberation. Creating a controlled recording environment will result in cleaner and more professional-sounding audio.

Before purchasing any equipment, research and read reviews to ensure that it meets your specific needs and budget. Additionally, consider whether you will be recording solo or with co-hosts and guests, as this may impact your equipment requirements.

Remember, while quality equipment is essential, content and storytelling ultimately drive the success of your podcast. Focus on creating engaging and compelling episodes, and let the equipment enhance your delivery and overall production value.


Step 6: Record and Edit Episodes

Recording and editing your episodes is where your true crime podcast truly comes to life. This step allows you to refine your storytelling, enhance audio quality, and create a polished final product. Here are some key considerations when recording and editing your podcast episodes:

1. Find a quiet space: Choose a quiet and controlled environment for recording. Minimize background noise by closing windows, turning off fans or air conditioning, and eliminating any potential distractions. Consider using acoustic treatment to improve sound quality by reducing echo and reverberation.

2. Use a script or outline: Having a script or outline can help you stay on track during recording. It ensures that you cover all the necessary points and maintain a structured flow. While some podcasters prefer a more conversational and improvisational approach, having a general outline can serve as a guide and prevent the episode from going off-topic.

3. Maintain a consistent voice and tone: Develop a consistent voice and tone throughout your episodes to establish a connection with your audience. Whether you choose to be formal, casual, empathetic, or authoritative, maintain that tone consistently to create a sense of familiarity and trust.

4. Edit for clarity and flow: During the editing process, review your recordings to remove any mistakes, long pauses, or tangents. Smooth out transitions and ensure that the content flows seamlessly. Edit for clarity by adjusting audio levels, removing background noise, and enhancing the overall sound quality. Aim for a clean and professional-sounding final product.

5. Add music and sound effects (optional): Consider incorporating music and sound effects to enhance your storytelling and create a more immersive experience. Choose music that matches the tone of your podcast and complements the narrative. Use sound effects sparingly and strategically to add impact or emphasize specific moments in your storytelling.

6. Include intros, outros, and transitions: Create intros and outros that reflect the theme and feel of your podcast. Introduce and conclude each episode with a clear and engaging statement. Use transitions to smoothly move between segments or topics, further enhancing the listener’s experience.

7. Consider guest interviews (optional): If you plan to include guest interviews, ensure that you have a reliable recording setup and clear communication with your guests. Take time to prepare questions and structure the interview to maximize its value and flow smoothly within the episode.

8. Remember to save backups: As you edit, save multiple versions of your project files to ensure you have backups in case of any unforeseen issues. It’s also a good practice to save a final version of each edited episode separately to avoid accidentally overwriting your work.

Once you’ve completed the editing process, take the time to listen to the final episode before publishing to ensure the highest quality. Pay attention to any remaining imperfections or areas that might need additional tweaking before releasing it to your audience.

Recording and editing episodes can be time-consuming, but it is an essential step in creating a professional and captivating true crime podcast. Dedicate the necessary time and attention to detail to produce episodes that engage, inform, and entertain your listeners.


Step 7: Create Engaging Podcast Artwork

Creating engaging podcast artwork is a crucial step in attracting potential listeners and making a memorable first impression. Your podcast artwork serves as a visual representation of your show and can greatly impact its discoverability and appeal. Here are some key considerations when creating podcast artwork:

1. Reflect your theme and style: Ensure that your artwork accurately represents the theme, tone, and style of your true crime podcast. Whether you choose a darker, suspenseful aesthetic or a more graphic and bold design, the artwork should immediately convey the essence of your show to potential listeners.

2. Use compelling visuals: Choose visuals that capture attention and arouse curiosity. This could include crime scene imagery, forensic symbols, or relevant objects related to your theme. Incorporate colors that evoke the mood and atmosphere you want to convey, such as deep blues or sinister reds for a true crime podcast.

3. Include clear and legible text: Incorporate your podcast title and subtitle in a clear and legible font that is easy to read, even in smaller thumbnail sizes. Consider using bold or stylized fonts that align with your show’s aesthetic while maintaining readability.

4. Keep it simple and memorable: Avoid cluttering your artwork with excessive text or complex visuals. Instead, aim for a clean, minimalist design that stands out and is easily recognizable. Remember, simplicity can make your artwork more memorable and visually appealing.

5. Ensure scalability and legibility: Your artwork should be visually striking and easily identifiable at various sizes. It should look appealing and legible when displayed as a small thumbnail on podcast directories or mobile devices. Test how your artwork appears across different platforms and devices to ensure it remains impactful and readable.

6. Hire a professional designer or use design tools: If you have the budget, consider hiring a professional designer who can create custom artwork tailored to your vision. They can bring your ideas to life and provide high-quality, eye-catching designs. However, if you prefer a more hands-on approach or have a limited budget, there are various design tools available that enable you to create your own artwork using templates, fonts, and graphics.

7. Be consistent with branding: As you create your podcast artwork, ensure that it aligns with your overall branding. Maintain consistency in terms of color schemes, fonts, and style across all your podcast assets (cover art, website, social media profiles, etc.). This consistency establishes a cohesive and professional brand identity for your podcast.

Remember, your podcast artwork is the first visual representation of your show that potential listeners encounter. Investing time and effort into creating compelling and engaging artwork will help grab attention, attract your target audience, and leave a lasting impression.


Step 8: Choose a Podcast Hosting Platform

Choosing a reliable and user-friendly podcast hosting platform is crucial for distributing and managing your true crime podcast. A podcast hosting platform serves as a central hub where you can store, publish, and distribute your podcast episodes to various podcast directories and platforms. Here are some key considerations when selecting a podcast hosting platform:

1. Storage and bandwidth: Ensure that the hosting platform offers sufficient storage to accommodate your podcast episodes. Consider the size and frequency of your episodes and choose a plan that provides enough storage and bandwidth for your needs. You don’t want to run out of space or incur extra costs due to exceeding your allocated storage limits.

2. Ease of use: Look for a platform that is intuitive and user-friendly, especially if you’re new to podcasting. The hosting platform should have a straightforward interface that allows you to easily upload, manage, and schedule your episodes. Consider the platform’s dashboard and analytics features to ensure it provides the necessary insights and metrics to track your podcast’s performance.

3. Distribution to podcast directories: Check if the hosting platform automatically submits your podcast to popular directories like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and others. The platform should simplify the process of making your podcast available on various platforms and directories, ensuring maximum exposure to potential listeners.

4. Episode scheduling and publishing options: Consider whether the hosting platform allows you to schedule and publish episodes in advance. This feature can be beneficial, as it allows you to plan and automate your podcast releases, ensuring a consistent publishing schedule.

5. monetization options: If you plan to monetize your podcast through advertising or sponsorships, check if the hosting platform offers built-in monetization options or integrates with third-party advertising networks. Having monetization options available can help you generate revenue from your podcast.

6. Analytical insights: Review the analytics and reporting features provided by the hosting platform. It’s crucial to have access to key metrics such as audience demographics, episode downloads, and listener engagement. This data will help you understand your podcast’s performance, make informed decisions, and tailor your content to your audience’s preferences.

7. Customer support: Consider the level of customer support provided by the hosting platform. Look for platforms that offer responsive customer service, documentation, and resources to help you troubleshoot technical issues, answer questions, and get the most out of the platform’s features.

While there are numerous podcast hosting platforms available, popular options include Libsyn, Podbean, Anchor, and Spreaker. Research and compare their features, pricing plans, and user reviews before making a decision. Many platforms offer free plans with limited features, allowing you to test the platform before committing to a paid plan.

Choose a podcast hosting platform that aligns with your needs, budget, and technical capabilities. The right platform will ensure that your true crime podcast is seamlessly distributed and accessible to a growing audience of loyal listeners.


Step 9: Submit to Podcast Directories

Once you have your true crime podcast episodes ready to go, the next step is to submit your podcast to various podcast directories. Podcast directories are platforms where listeners can discover and subscribe to podcasts. Submitting your podcast to these directories increases its visibility and allows it to reach a wider audience. Here’s how to submit your podcast to podcast directories:

1. Apple Podcasts: Apple Podcasts is the largest and most popular podcast directory. To submit your podcast to Apple Podcasts, create an Apple ID and sign in to Podcasts Connect. Provide your podcast’s RSS feed URL, artwork, and other necessary information. Once approved, your podcast will be available on Apple Podcasts.

2. Spotify: Spotify is another prominent podcast directory with a growing user base. To submit your podcast to Spotify, you can use a podcast hosting platform that automatically submits your podcast to Spotify or manually submit it using Spotify for Podcasters. Provide your podcast’s RSS feed URL and other required information.

3. Google Podcasts: Google Podcasts is an essential directory for reaching Android users and is also available on the web. You can submit your podcast to Google Podcasts through the Google Podcasts Manager or through your podcast hosting platform by opting for automatic distribution to Google Podcasts.

4. Other Podcast Directories: There are various other podcast directories you can submit your podcast to, such as Stitcher, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Overcast. These directories have their own submission processes, so visit their respective websites and follow their guidelines to submit your podcast.

5. RSS Feed Submission: Ensure that your podcast’s RSS feed is valid and properly formatted before submitting it to podcast directories. Your podcast hosting platform usually generates this feed for you. Double-check that your feed contains accurate metadata, artwork, and episode information to provide an optimal listening experience.

6. Verification and Approval: After submitting your podcast to the directories, it may take some time for your podcast to be verified and approved. Approval times can vary, so be patient. Once approved, your podcast will be searchable and accessible to listeners on the respective directories.

7. Update and Maintain Listings: Regularly review your podcast listings on each directory and ensure that all information is up to date. This includes updating episode titles, descriptions, and cover art as needed. Keeping your listings accurate and engaging will help attract new listeners and maintain a positive user experience.

Remember, submitting your podcast to podcast directories increases its discoverability and helps you connect with a broader audience. Take the time to submit your podcast to the major directories and consider exploring niche directories to reach specific listener communities. Regularly monitor your podcast’s performance on these directories and adjust your marketing efforts accordingly to maximize your reach.


Step 10: Promote Your Podcast

After creating your true crime podcast and making it available on podcast directories, it’s time to promote and market your show. Promoting your podcast helps increase its visibility, attract new listeners, and build a dedicated audience. Here are some effective strategies to promote your true crime podcast:

1. Utilize Social Media: Leverage the power of social media platforms to promote your podcast. Create accounts on popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Share engaging and visually appealing content related to your podcast, such as episode highlights, behind-the-scenes insights, case updates, and intriguing facts. Engage with your audience by responding to comments, asking questions, and encouraging discussions.

2. Collaborate with Influencers and Podcasters: Reach out to influencers and podcasters who have an audience interested in true crime or related topics. Collaborate on episodes, guest interviews, or cross-promotion. Their endorsement or mention of your podcast can greatly boost its exposure.

3. Leverage Guest Appearances: Actively seek opportunities to be a guest on other podcasts or participate in interviews. This allows you to showcase your expertise, share insights, and promote your podcast to new audiences. Be prepared with compelling talking points and provide links to your podcast in the show notes or during the interview.

4. Engage with Online Communities: Join online communities such as Reddit, Facebook groups, or forums where true crime enthusiasts gather. Engage in discussions, respond to questions, and share relevant content. Avoid simply self-promoting; instead, aim to provide value, build relationships, and establish credibility within the community. When appropriate, mention or recommend your podcast as a resource.

5. Encourage Listener Reviews and Ratings: Encourage your listeners to provide reviews and ratings on podcast directories like Apple Podcasts or Podchaser. Positive reviews and ratings can attract new listeners and improve your podcast’s credibility and discoverability. Engage with your listeners by responding to reviews and showing gratitude for their support.

6. Create Compelling Trailers and Teasers: Craft short trailers or teasers that highlight the most intriguing aspects of your podcast. Share these snippets on social media, podcast directories, and your website to generate curiosity and entice potential listeners to tune in.

7. Optimize Your Website and SEO: Create a dedicated website for your podcast where you can provide additional information, episode show notes, blog posts, and resources related to your podcast. Optimize your website for search engines by including relevant keywords, meta tags, and clear navigation. This can improve your podcast’s visibility in search engine results and attract organic traffic from interested listeners.

8. Engage with Your Audience: Actively engage with your audience by responding to comments, messages, and emails. Encourage listener feedback, suggestions, and episode ideas. Building a connection and fostering a sense of community with your audience can lead to loyal listeners who actively promote and recommend your podcast to others.

9. Attend Podcasting Events and Conferences: Participate in podcasting events, conferences, or meetups to network with fellow podcasters, industry professionals, and potential guests. Share information about your podcast, exchange ideas, and establish valuable connections within the podcasting community.

10. Explore Paid Advertising and Marketing: Consider investing in paid advertising and marketing channels to further promote your podcast. Platforms like Google Ads and social media advertising offer targeted options to reach specific demographics or interests. Allocate a budget and strategically run ads to increase your podcast’s visibility and attract new listeners.

Remember, promoting your podcast requires consistency, creativity, and active engagement. Continuously try new strategies, monitor and analyze results, and adjust your promotional efforts accordingly. With persistence and the right marketing tactics, your true crime podcast has the potential to reach a wide audience and gain dedicated listeners.



Starting a true crime podcast can be a thrilling and rewarding endeavor. With an ever-growing audience hungry for compelling storytelling and in-depth analysis of heinous crimes, there are vast opportunities to carve your niche in this popular genre. Each step of the process, from choosing a theme to promoting your podcast, plays a vital role in creating a successful podcast that captivates and engages listeners.

By selecting a theme that resonates with your passion and interests, you can bring a unique perspective to the true crime podcasting landscape. Thorough research and gathering of information ensure that your podcast is well-informed, accurate, and compelling. Developing a distinct narrative style adds depth to your storytelling and sets your podcast apart.

Investing in quality equipment ensures professional-sounding audio, and well-planned and outlined episodes keep the content structured and engaging. Engaging podcast artwork helps attract potential listeners at first glance, while choosing a reliable hosting platform and submitting your podcast to various directories increases its discoverability.

Promoting your podcast through social media, collaborations, guest appearances, and other marketing strategies is essential to grow your audience organically. Lastly, by consistently engaging with your listeners, optimizing your website and SEO, and exploring various promotional channels, you can expand your podcast’s reach and cultivate a loyal listener base.

As you embark on your true crime podcasting journey, remember to respect the subject matter and the individuals involved in the cases you cover. Approach each story with sensitivity, empathy, and integrity, ensuring that you handle the content responsibly and respectfully.

Starting a true crime podcast requires dedication, creativity, and a commitment to providing valuable content. By following these steps and infusing your own unique voice and style into your podcast, you can create a compelling and captivating show that entertains, educates, and leaves listeners hungry for more.

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