How to Start a Podcast
Today, the Internet has opened many doors for creative artists to launch lucrative and exciting businesses. There are YouTubers, Twitch Streamers, Facebook and Instagram Influencers, and also Podcasters.
A podcast is series of audio episodes that a user can download or listen to (think of it as a radio talk show, only it’s “on demand” just like video streaming services Netflix and Hulu). A podcaster is someone who records and releases episodes in this format.
Why Start a Podcast?
There are many reasons to start a podcast. For instance, if you are an entrepreneur, then you can reach a large number of top prospects with little effort. You don’t have to take out a considerable amount of time from your daily schedule, and it’s not ridiculously expensive either. You can also use podcasting as a blogger, influencer, YouTuber, etc. to connect to a large number of users that prefer listening to audio content when traveling, exercising, or taking care of chores, etc.
How to Start a Podcast?
There are several things that you need to start a podcast, but the most important one is the theme. So, first learn how to choose a niche which can be accomplished by writing down the topics that you are the most passionate about and narrowing them down on the basis of their scope. Ideally, your choice of topic should be big enough to help you cover at least 10-12 episodes. You also need to do some research to see what kind of topics other podcasters are covering and the kind of competition you have in the industry.
While picking an interesting topic is important for a successful podcast, it can’t work if the content format is dull. Remember, you have just your voice (and perhaps some sound effects) to keep the listeners engaged. So, before you proceed, listen to some of the popular podcasts and learn from them as much as you can. Your goal is the find the perfect tone, language, storytelling style, and interview style (if you plan on conducting interviews) for your own podcast.
Things That You’ll Need
If you want your podcast to be popular and appealing, then you should design a beautiful artwork for your podcast. You can easily design a logo for your cover by using an online logo maker rather than a professional software like Adobe Photoshop or GIMP.
Make sure that the artwork has unique visual elements and colors and fonts that fit the kind of style you want for your podcast.
To record your podcast episodes, you obviously need a decent microphone. If you are in a pinch, then you can just your smartphone. In fact, there are all kinds of apps that are designed especially for podcasters like iRig Recorder, Spreaker, and Opinion. However, bear in mind that you won’t get the best quality audio unless you use a proper microphone.
Now, it’s better to use a computer than a smartphone as it’s more powerful and allows you to use advanced software that can simplify recording and editing. Plus, you can just plug in a decent microphone and record high-quality audio with next to no audio signal interruptions, static noises, or muffled sounds. The following are some of the best recommendations:
- Samson Q2U (budget): Samson Q2U is easily one of the best microphones that you can get for a low price. It offers way better recording quality than your laptop’s built-in mic and supports both USB and XLR. This means that when you are new to podcasting, then you can plug the microphone into your laptop or computer’s USB port, and once you are ready to go to the next level, you can get a digital recorder and switch to XLR.
- The Blue Yeti (high quality): If you want to offer good sound quality to your subscribers and have around $130 to spend, then consider getting The Blue Yeti which is also one of the world’s most popular microphones. It’s a condenser microphone which supports USB connections and a wide range of recording patterns too. So, you can set it for solo recording, ground recording as per your requirements on the go.
You can’t just use the basic recorder program in your computer and expect it to work for your podcasting endeavors. What you need is a comprehensive recording software that can also you to record your sessions in multiple file formats and edit the recordings as easily as possible. The following are some of the top recommendations:
- Audacity: If you don’t want to be overwhelmed or just hate working with complicated software programs, then you can start with Audacity. It may look simple on the surface but offers tons of features like cross-platform support, sound editing and modification tools, and more. In other words, it can get the job done, and it’s also free!
- Sony ACID Xpress: Just like Audacity, Sony ACID Xpress is also free. It’s, in fact, a limited version of the mighty ACID Music Studio which was once owned by Sony. You can use it to record and edit audio, and you can also use the provided sound loops with your own recording to make them more interesting. Overall, the program is slightly more complex than Audacity but you can still learn how to use it without any major problems.
- Adobe Audition: If you are tech savvy and don’t mind paying a monthly fee for premium recording tools, then you can’t go wrong with Adobe Audition. This is because it’s not just an audio recording program but a powerful Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) that offers many advanced features like adaptive noise reduction for exceptional track cleaning, Essential Sounds (music clips, dialogue, ambiance effects, etc.). If you are serious about your podcasts, then you must give it a try.
Once you have created the artwork and arranged the equipment, you are ready to start recording your episodes.
In the first episode, you can start by introducing yourself and briefing the listeners about what to expect in the future episodes. However, don’t write scripts for your episodes as the majority of listeners prefer natural and organic conversations, although you can still write down the points that you want to cover in your episodes.
Once you have got the hang of recording and editing your episodes, you can start sharing them on platforms like YouTube, SoundCloud, etc. That said, don’t be disappointed if you don’t get a lot of subscribers for a few weeks or even months. It can take time, but if you are consistent and don’t compromise with the quality, then you can see your podcast becoming popular eventually. Good luck!