What do a gaming headset, laptop, and phone have in common? Well, besides obvious answers like ‘entertainment’ or ‘communication’, each of these objects have a microphone.Have you ever wanted to start a podcast? Maybe you’ve wanted to promote your business. Or show off your expertise. Or have a nerd moment about the Star Wars movies and how their easter eggs come together to tell a hidden story (and chances are there is already a podcast discussing this).Well, if you have a gaming headset, laptop, phone, or other microphone, then you have no excuse to put off your podcast! This New Year is the perfect time to start your podcast show.Podcast listenership and production has been exploding in the past few years. According to Edison Research, 40% of Americans aged 12+ said they have listened to a podcast, and 24% said they have listened to one in the past month. This online audience will only continue to grow. Everyday, more people start listening to podcasts on their daily commute to work, while taking a walk, or other times when their ears are free. Just imagine what this large audience can do for you!As you start on the road of podcasting, you’ll find creating a podcast isn’t too difficult—as long as you go in the proper order. If you follow along with this article, do your research, and ask questions, you’ll be fine. And the greatest part about podcasts? You don’t need to be an ‘established’ anything. No business certification, audience following, or other prerequisites are required to start a podcast series. Anyone with a microphone can start! So first off, what do you want to talk about? This is the most important step in creating a podcast. Whether your topic is specific or encompasses a wide range of subjects, all you need is a solid idea to run with. Be careful to not get ahead of yourself—as you start planning out each podcast, make sure there is a consistent theme to tie them together. Chances are, someone has already created podcasts and built up an audience around the same, if not similar, topic. Don’t get discouraged! As you begin refining your podcast idea, put a spin on it. Make your topic something listeners haven’t heard before, but would want to.In this process of finalizing your perfect idea, and making it unique, be sure to spend plenty of time to figure it out! We cannot stress this enough. Your idea is the most important part step in creating a podcast, as this is what you’ll discuss... for the entirety of your show. Please don’t get ahead of yourself; making your podcast topic unique comes AFTER you’ve figured out what to talk about. Creating a podcast show happens one step at a time.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image media="49703" media_width_percent="100"][vc_column_text]Now you should have a refined idea. The next step is to invest in equipment. Just like cameras used in video projects, the higher quality (and usually more expensive) the equipment is, the better the result will be.Listeners are able to tell the difference between a low and high quality microphone, so be prepared to invest in a good microphone if you’re serious about future podcasts. As you begin researching, you’ll need to decide if a USB or analog microphone is the best fit:
USB microphones allow you to plug the microphone directly into your computer and start recording immediately. This converts the analog sound into digital (hence the computer plug-in). A downside to USB microphones is how users may receive lower audio quality when compared to an analog. The plus? You won’t need any extra tools, devises, or other equipment, making it a cheaper microphone option.
On the other hand, analog microphones use XLR connectors, which is more cost in the beginning, as you’ll need another device to transfer the audio onto your computer. While the higher cost and more equipment are downsides, analog microphones do come with some nice positives, like a higher audio quality and the ability to use that microphone with other sound equipment.If you are starting out with no money to invest in a microphone, there are replacements such as headsets, phones, laptops, and other devices with microphones. While these options can be used to create podcasts, be forewarned their microphones were not designed for podcasts.As you structure and organize your podcast topic and become familiar with your microphone, the next step is to determine which audio recording software to use.Different people prefer different software, depending on their ability and preference. Audacity and GarageBand are both free, top audio editing software for podcast beginners. Each software is easy to use and there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube for any and all questions. Before you start, keep these tips in mind, as they will make recording and editing easier:
- Find a silent recording place. Users don’t want to hear sounds of your next-door-neighbor or dog in the background.
- Record a few seconds of silence before and after you’ve finished your podcast. This chunk of time gives you the ability to cut out unwanted noises or words.
- Decide the best way to narrate your topic. Will your podcast be solo, have multiple hosts, or contain interviews? Or will you switch off each podcast episode?
- Practice speaking naturally in front of the microphone. Refrain from using a ‘radio voice’.
- Have bullet points to touch on, but try not to read word-for-word off a script.
After you have recorded and finished your first few podcasts, the last step is to decide where it will best be heard! The biggest podcast places are iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube, and SoundCloud.Chances are, you’ll end up publishing to iTunes. To get you started, here are the minimum requirements for submitting to the iTunes directory and other sites:1.Create an image for your podcast, as this will be featured along with your podcast’s title. A square jpg or png sized 1400 x 1400 is recommended.2. Give your podcast a unique title. Along with your image, this will help separate you from the competition.3. Select at least one iTunes category where you think your audience will be.4. Make sure your podcast is in one of these formats: mp3, p4a, mp4, m4v, or epub.That’s it! All you have left is to submit to iTunes directory and other podcast sites. Just a head’s up: all podcasts submitted to iTunes are moderated, which can take up to 10 days. Be sure to plan episodes ahead if you’re on a schedule.As you become more proficient in your podcasts, start posting at a consistent rate. A consistency in posting daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly helps listeners to know when your next episode will be uploaded.Ask listeners to get involved with your podcast by subscribing and leaving a review. Besides boosting your rating, the more subscribers your podcast has, the higher up it will appear in a search. Also, build up an audience by asking users on your website and social media to listen.If you’re feeling overwhelmed, just remember—this is only the beginning. Take time to refine your idea. Listen to other podcasts and copy some of their elements you like. Practice talking to your microphone and figure out a posting pace that works for you. Enjoy it!(If you want more information about podcasts, we will be discussing podcasts and the proper equipment in one of our later podcasts. Stay tuned!)Have any further questions? Feel free to leave us a comment or email us at Content Supply!