HOW TO START A PODCAST
I get asked a lot of questions about how to start a podcast.
A lot of the questions are about the podcasting kit that you need to get started. And I can sympathise as I spent hours trawling articles and researching what the essentials were that I needed to get going so I thought I would pop it up into a blog post with some useful nuggets I have learnt along the way.
I wish there had been something like this out there for me to read when I was starting so I hope this is useful for anyone considering dipping their toe into the podcast waters.
Pick a topic
I think the old saying used to be that everyone has a novel in them and now I really do think everyone has a podcast in them. There are so many different types of podcast out there which means there’s something for everybody
Things to think about:
What format will it take?
Will you be interviewing guests or will you be recording solo shows and sharing your area of expertise with your audience?
If you interview guests - will it be in person or over Skype?
Make a list of people you would like to interview and brainstorm how you might approach them
How long would you like your episodes to be?
How often will the podcast go out?
Will you do them in seasons or commit to doing them weekly, fortnightly, monthly etc?
Once you know what your show will be about - it will be easier to pick a name. Check that no one is using that name and that there aren’t any trademark issues.
Design a logo - I love using Canva or Pic Monkey for that sort of thing as they make it really easy
Recording the thing!
Now that you know what your podcast will be about - it’s time to think about how you will record it and the good news is that you don’t need a serious amount of kit to get started. What you choose to spend is kind of up to you - there are so many different options out there.
Obviously it depends on your budget - and it’s useful to decide how much you want to spend before you get going. If this is just going to be a hobby then you may want to think about the cheaper options whereas if you want to turn podcasting into a business then you may want to invest in the slighter snazzier kit. That decision is up to you! But here are a few options.
There are a gazillion different ways to record a podcast but as I am not technologically gifted, I wanted to keep mine as simple as possible.
If you are recording at home and you are doing solo shows. You will just need a microphone and I have heard very good things about this one:
This is also one which is very popular with podcasters and is a slightly less expensive version:
If you plan on interviewing people - I really recommend the Zoom recorders which are basically snazzy dictaphones that record onto a memory card and I think they are really good.
For the first 6 months or so I used this one, which I would just plonk in the middle of the table between me and the guest and I think it was a really good starting point. This is the one I used:
I then upgraded my zoom to this one:
The one I have has microphones inbuilt in it so you can also put that in the middle of the table or you can use microphones which you plug into it.
I think Rhode do the best microphones.
And perhaps most important of all do not forget you need one of these!!! V v v important.
Done is better than perfect
I think this warrants is own section because whilst I think it is important to put your best foot forwards and to try to do the best you can - you do get to a point where it is better to start somewhere than be paralysed by the fear of not being perfect. So do as much as you can to do your best, but then take a deep breath and begin. I promise it gets a whole lot easier.
This may sound very obvious but practicing is key. I found even getting used to the sound of my own voice fairly difficult so practice as much as you can and if you are interviewing people and you haven’t done that before - it really is helpful to do some practice runs with some friends and then make sure you pick some friendly people to be your first guests.
What to do with the recording
I use a free editing software called Audacity. It’s really simple to use and I think even if you end up outsourcing the editing eventually - it’s really good to be able to do it yourself at the start so you know what’s possible.
You might also need some music to use as an introduction for your podcast. If you have a musical friend who can create some for you - lucky you! But if not there are loads of websites that offer music for this kind of thing. Just make sure you have the right permissions to use the music in the way you want.
Google is your friend here but I’ve heard good things about one called Free Stock Music (here) which could be a good starting point.
Choose a host
You need to find a home for your podcast!
This is literally just the place you upload your episodes to and this will link your RSS feed to places like iTunes, Spotify and Soundcloud.
There are loads and loads of options - none of them are very expensive. But it’s worth checking out the following ones:
And that’s it!
So there is quite a lot to think about when you are getting started but then you will be in the groove of it and off to the races!
Let me know if you’ve got any questions and don’t forget to subscribe to Desert Island Dishes if you haven’t already and leave a 5* review. x