So, You Want To Start A Podcast?
For me, podcasting has been a very rewarding experience. It’s enabled me to better express myself, connect with like minded people and given me valuable technical experience that’s helped me professionally. Podcasting can be an amazing adventure, but it can seem like a vast, uncharted jungle when you’re starting out. Podcasting is a lot of fun, but it takes a certain level of commitment to make one successful. To that end, I’ve decided to put this guide together to help you on your way.
Do Your Research
The popularity of podcasts has drastically increased over the past few years and there is A LOT of content out there. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do a podcast, but it does mean you should do your research and find a niche that you can really make your own.
Once you know WHAT youre talking about, there’s still more research to be done to figure out the logistics of your show. Listen to other podcasts you enjoy and figure out what kind of format you’d like to do. What kind of segments will you have? How many hosts will you have? Will you have special guests? What will you do about a theme song and or sound effects? Do you have a logo and other corresponding graphics? What about hosting the episodes, and having a website, email and social media?
Once you have a good idea in your head what the show will be like and are willing to make a commitment the next step would be to invest a little in some decent equipment. There’s tons of fancy, expensive equipment out there, but for a good decent sound quality not too much is needed.
I’m still using the two different mics that were recommended to me, so I’ll go ahead and pass on what I have learned:
Blue Snowball and Pop filter
This was the mic I got right away when I started podcasting and I still have it today. This is a simple usb mic and you’ll find it provides excellent sound quality when you’re recording directly on your computer. Also invest in a pop filter. It will help to make your audio sound a bit more polished. Check it out on Amazon.
For mobile recording (or if you and your co-hosts record your audio separately) I recommend the Zoom 4hN. This little powerhouse is perfect for on the go recording, especially cons. It’s also durable as heck, which for me has been a lifesaver!
I just use my little white apple ear buds that came with my iphone. I’m sure there are better options out there but I find it suffices. The important thing is to always wear earphones of some sort!
I’m a Mac user, so I’ve always used GarageBand to do my editing. It’s not necessarily created for podcasting, so I have run across a few glitches here and there, especially when it’s a large file size. But for me that’s what I’m used to. I know a lot of PC user who use Audacity. If you’d like to use that it’s a free program and I’ve heard good things about it.
This is the recording program I’ve been using to record interviews over Skype. One thing to watch out for is the channels. Be very careful not to talk over each other or else it will majorly screw with the channels. Other than that I’ve had a lot of success with this.
I use soundcloud to upload the episodes and then embed that into a wordpress site. Some other popular podcast hosting sites are Podbean, Libsyn and Blubrry. Do your research and see which option is best for you.
Once you record, edit and upload your first episode it’s time to tell the world! (Actually, I would recommending setting up your social media a few weeks before you launch just to stir up interest a bit.) Social media will be your best friend as a podcaster. The best way to utilize it is to engage with your listeners. Find ways to incorporate your listeners in your podcast by giving shoutouts, having contests or even inviting them on as guests.
Also interact with other podcasters. It’s a great community and great way to make friends and get new ideas. A good suggestion is to have a links page with other awesome podcasts/sites!
Last but not least, have fun. For most of us, podcasting is a hobby which can make it a challenge to carve out the needed time for a podcast. But, it’s certainly not impossible. Keep it fun and keep it balanced and you’ll find just how rewarding having your own podcast can be!