Audio is versatile, easily shared, and is being used in numerous ways to augment the content plans and revenue streams of some of the top websites, blogs and famous personalities. The vast expansion of the use of audio has been fueled by Podcasts and they are here to stay. So what does it take for you to start your own Podcast?
Lose the excuses and fear of starting a podcast
The journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step. No one can guarantee how successful your podcast will be or how long it may take to be successful, but we know it will not be successful if you never start. One great thing to know is it does not have to be perfect. But with all the editing software like Adobe Audition, Mixcraft and other low cost solutions you can take the time to make sure it sounds professional before releasing it.
Let’s Do It!
Almost 55% of U.S. adults listen to podcasts. Starting a podcast can be a great way to gain a following and share your expertise in a certain field.
There is a huge opportunity for the growth of podcasts. Mobile devices, podcast platforms, desktop audio editing, and using the internet to obtain guests, make creating a podcast much easier than any time in history.
Listeners are willing to stay with a podcast longer than they will stay with many other mediums. The fact that the podcast is audio means it can be consumed while driving, doing chores, at work and so many other ways. The market for podcasts is growing rapidly but there is ample room for newcomers and their specialized content.
Affordable Quality Equipment is everywhere. Yes, we are going to encourage you to visit The Podcast Shop here at The AV Mart. You will find microphones, software, audio mixers and accessories that can quickly get you ready to record.
Step one: Buy a microphone.
Audio quality begins and ends with a microphone. The better microphone you buy, the sharper your podcast will sound.
USB microphones—like the Snowball by Blue Microphones—start around $60. Most podcast equipment buying advice you’ll read about podcast microphones is to purchase a dynamic microphone that is front-firing with good rejection, meaning it picks up your voice clearly without the unwanted sounds of wherever you’re recording.
You can also pick up a headphone/microphone headset for around $30. This is a great option if you’ll be podcasting with cohosts or with guests (more on this below). If you opt for the standalone mic, you can always grab a separate set of headphones—even some you have lying around—and you might also consider buying or fashioning a microphone stand so that you’re comfortable for your podcast.
Recording, uploading, and promoting
Before you press the record button, there are a couple final steps to prepare for your podcast.
- Format: What’s your podcast going to look like?
- Content: What’s your podcast going to say?
Podcasts can take many forms: one-man shows, cohosts, guests, call-in, etc. Metafilter founder Matt Haughey, who has put in hundreds of hours on podcasting, recommends that your show involve two or three hosts.
I listen to a lot of podcasts and the most typical format is 2 or 3 hosts and sometimes one guest.No more than 2-3 people on your show.
Your best bet for a podcast that sounds organized and professional is to practice beforehand by figuring out what you’re going to say and coming up with an outline for your recording. You don’t have to go so far as to script things out. Just have a road map for where you’re headed and what you want to touch on.
Here’s a sample outline to consider, via Voices.com:
- Show intro (who you are, what you’re going to talk about): 30-60 seconds
- Intro music (repeat for each show so listeners identify the jingle with your show): 30-60 seconds
- Topic 1: 3 minutes
- Topic 2: 3 minutes
- Interlude (music or break): 30 seconds
- Topic 3: 3 minutes
- Topic 4: 3 minutes
- Closing remarks (thank audience, thank guests, talk about the next show): 2 minutes
- Closing music (suggest same as Intro music jingle): 2 minutes
When it comes time to do the actual recording, the easiest solution might be a simple recorded Skype call. You can call up your co-host or guests via Skype, and record the call with special Skype recording software. When you’re finished, an editing application can help with the clean up, processing, music, and publication.
For Mac users, here is what you could use:
- Record calls with Call Recorder for Skype ($15 to $30)
- Edit with GarageBand ($0)
For PC users:
Your final audio can be uploaded to a number of different places. Here are a few of the big ones:
After you’ve finished recording, editing, and producing your podcast, you can upload it to hosting sites like Libsyn, Soundcloud, Anchor, and Transistor. They’ll generate your RSS feed for you, so you can submit it to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other players.
Here’s what’s involved in taking your podcast onto Apple Podcasts.
Step 1: Create an RSS feed for your podcasts. If you upload your files to a site like Libsyn, Anchor, or Transistor, the feed creation is done automatically for you.
Step 2: Log in to Apple Podcasts Connect. Using your Apple ID, log in at podcastsconnect.apple.com.
Step 3: Enter your feed URL and then click “Validate.” Apple will pull your podcast’s feed details (Title, Artwork, Description, etc.)
Step 4: Click submit.
Apple will give you a confirmation message, letting you know that there may be a review process for your podcast. This is typically within 24 to 48 hours but can take up to five days. You will receive an email letting you know if you’re approved. Three to five days after that, people can begin searching and finding your podcast in the Apple Podcasts app.
For promotion and sharing of your podcast, a lot will depend on the site where you upload. Places like Soundcloud, for instance, offer a robust set of sharing options built in. You can share directly to Twitter, Facebook, and more, and you can embed the audio directly into your blog posts.
Embedding audio is perhaps the best way to sync your podcast with your blog content. Many top blogs use their podcast as an additional blog post, adding the audio directly into the body of the post and providing either a full transcript of the podcast or a list of topics and resources covered in the podcast. (Complete transcripts can be helpful for SEO and accessibility.)