Start a Podcast

So, you’ve listened to This American Life and you want to start a podcast, eh? Well, unfortunately, it’s not as easy as grabbing a mic, a couple friends, and gobbing off for an hour. Starting a podcast and monetizing it takes a lot of work unless you have experience on a similar platform like radio or television. Assuming you’re just a regular person without any sort of celebrity status, starting a podcast will take some time.

Where to start? Well, let us take a bit of the load off of your shoulders and give you a headstart by laying out exactly what you have to do to begin producing your own podcast.

 

Choose a Niche

First things first; decide what your podcast to be. Who is it for? What will you talk about? What kind of genre do you visualize it as? Figure out exactly what you want to make before you start making it. You need to be focussed and on-point.

Prepare Equipment

At the very least you’ll need microphones for your hosts and a computer for pretty much everything. You could buy some extra equipment to help slightly increase audio quality and make editing easier, but here we’ll focus on the bare minimum. Microphones will be used to pick up your voice and will have a huge impact on your sound quality, so don’t cheap out too much on them.

Here’s a list of our top picks for microphones that will serve you well without blowing too much money:

Prepare Software

The only software you’ll need is Audacity, a free program you can quickly download from the internet, and LAME, an MP3 encoder that can also be quickly downloaded from the internet.

Record Your Podcast

You have the equipment, you have the recording software, and you have the idea for your podcast. Now you just need to record it! Get your fellow hosts around a table in a quiet place, get your (optional) scripts ready, and press record!

Make sure to connect your mics, ensure Audacity is running right, and mess around with your audio levels. Once you’ve finished recording, make sure to save it.

Edit

It’s now time to add some music, adjust sound, and make whatever cuts you need to. Putting in music is simple. Any outside sounds you want to include is through ‘File’, then ‘Import’, then ‘Audio’. From there, find your audio file and choose where you’ll be putting it in your podcast.

Export Your Podcast and Get It Hosted

This can be a little complicated for less tech-savvy people, so we’re going to make it as simple as possible:

  • Under ‘File’ select ‘Export’.
  • Under ‘Save as type’ select MP3.
  • Name your file.
  • Fill out your metadata. Track is for your episode number, title is your episode name, artist is for the names of the hosts, album is your podcast name, year is year of release, genre is your genre, comment is for a summary of your podcast, copyright is your copyright information, cover art is for your cover or picture.
  • Save your template to help with recording future episodes. Finish up by clicking OK.

To host your podcast you’ll need to sign up for a hosting service. Our favorites are Soundcloud, Amazon S3, and Podomatic. Try out free services first, and if you like a particular one then it’s worth it to pay for hosting. Any service worth their salt will provide with simple instructions on uplaoding your podcast.

Distribute Your Podcast

The best place to have your podcast indexed is iTunes. The iTunes podcast specifications are here.

Here is a nice guide on how to submit your podcast to iTunes.

Believe in Yourself

If you are passionate about your podcast’s topic and you aren’t the only person out there that cares about said topic, you will eventually find an audience. Hone your podcasting ability, stay up-to-date on your topic, and have fun! Oh, and as with everything, marketing your podcast is never a bad idea.

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