Here in this post I’m going to write about how to start a podcast from the very start to the very end, from recording the podcast, editing it and getting hosted online where it can be picked up by iTunes and Google Play as well as posted on SoundCloud.
Alright, so this blog is part of my ‘How To Podcast’ series for content creators. I’ll also have a blog on advice if you have content on YouTube, blog or podcast. I’m going to break this blog down into two parts. The first part is creating your podcast, recording it and editing the podcast content itself. And the second part is about hosting your podcast online so it could be on iTunes, Google Play, SoundCloud, etc.
HOW TO CREATE YOUR FIRST PODCAST
The absolute necessities to create your podcast are a mic, a headphone, a quiet space to record and a Digital Audio Workstation or a DAW where you edit your audio and also if you want to do interviews online, online then you’ll need programs like Google Hangouts, Skype or Zencastr.
So, let’s start with the mic. I have a ton of suggestions for mics that you can use. There’s the Rode NT1 condense mic with Scarlett Solo Interface. It’s an XLR mic that has to go through an interface in order to plug into your computer. There are also many great condenser USB mics out there, mics that you can just plug in directly to your PC or laptop through USB. If you want to start recording your podcast, I would recommend USB condenser mics and some examples are the Blue Snowball, the Blue Yeti and also Audio-Technica AT2020 or depending on what kind of podcast you’re recording, I would consider getting a portable recorder.
If you’re thinking of doing a podcast where you’re going to go out and interview people or get kind of environment sounds or that kind of stuff, then definitely get a portable recorder. In that case, I would suggest Zoom H1 Portable Recorder or Zoom H4N Portable Recorder. On the other hand, if you’re starting out and you’re on a slim budget you could totally just use your phone. There’s ‘Voice Memos’ app that you can use on your iPhone to record yourself. Just get started with any mic that you can, get some practice just doing the podcast and maybe you can upgrade later on.
Next, you’re going to need some headphones while you’re recording your podcast. To be honest, any headphones or earphones will do because all you need to do is separate the audio that’s coming out of your computer. One of the good headphones out there is Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO as you don’t want the feedback coming out from your speaker back into the mic. So, you can use any headphones to prevent that feedback. You can either put it on mute or have some headphones on as you’re recording your podcast.
And of course it’s important to have clear audio. So, you want to make sure that you’re recording in a very quiet space. Usually closets are really popular because they’re small and they kind of muffle the sound. So, you have to use your ear and test the sound of that room. If you hear like an echo in your room, that would not be a good room to record a podcast in but if you walk into a smaller room like a closet, you’ll notice that the sound is more muffled. And also the more furniture you have or if you have carpets or a rug, then the sound will be more muffled. You’re trying to stop the sound waves from bouncing around so that your audio into the mic is as clear as possible. So, if you want to reduce the echo in a, room you could try a few tricks like hanging blankets on the walls or putting up pillows or getting some acoustic panels that professionals use to put all over the wall in the recording booth so that sound doesn’t bounce around.
Next, you need a DAW which stands for Digital Audio Workstation. This is a program on your computer where you can record and edit your audio. You can use Logic Pro or any DAW out there. If you have a Mac, you can use GarageBand which is free and if you have Windows, Audacity is a free software that you can use to record audio. So, what you do is just plug in your mic to your computer, open the DAW software, make sure that it’s reading your mic, sometimes you have to change the settings. And then you hit record, record your podcast, hit stop and once you’re done, you can edit in that software.
An exception to recording straight into your DAW software is if you want to do an interview with someone online through Google Hangouts or Skype. You can actually just record your Google Hangouts from there. When you are recording via Skype, you have to download external plug-ins to record that call.
There is also another website called Zencastr where you can invite your guests to go on that page with you together and through that website you can hit record and once you’re done doing the podcast, it will send that mp3 file to your Dropbox. So, there are many ways to record your audio online without using a DW. It just depends on what kind of podcast you’re recording, what you’re going for and whether you want to edit your podcast or have it raw.
HOSTING YOUR PODCAST
Now, that you’re done recording and editing your podcast, it’s time to make it online. There are a host of ways you can do that and one of them is through a WordPress.org blog. You can also host your podcast on podcast hosting sites and the popular ones out there are Libsyn and Blubrry.
Now, if you have a WordPress.org blog, you can use a plug-in called Blubrry PowerPress. This is how you install Blubrry PowerPress on your WordPress.org blog. Go to your WordPress dashboard and then go to plug-ins and search for Blubrry PowerPress and make sure you install it. Once you’re done installing the plug-in, go to PowerPress, fill out all the settings for your podcast, fill in your descriptions, everything according to what your podcast is going to be about. Then under ‘Advanced Options’ make sure you tick ‘Category Podcasting’ and save changes.
To add your first podcast, what you do is on the top menu you click ‘New’, then click ‘Post’ and it’s kind of like you’re adding a blog post. What you do is you just write your podcast title and then you your podcast description and you put your URL to the mp3 audio of your podcast, depending on where you host it. If you want to host directly on WordPress, what you need to do is host your audio on WordPress and then copy the link and then post it in the ‘Media URL’ slot. If you host your podcast audio on Dropbox, Amazon or whatever, just grab that link from wherever you’re hosting it and paste it in the ‘Media URL’ slot. Then click verify URL to make sure that the link works. Once it’s verified successfully, all you have to do next is under ‘Categories’ make sure you check ‘Podcast’ and do whatever else you need to do – add your tags, add your descriptions, your blog post – but basically that’s all you need to do. Then you click ‘Publish’ and your podcast is posted on your blog.
Then you have to submit it to iTunes and Google Play. So, once you’ve posted your first podcast and it’s up on your blog. To submit it to iTunes you go back into PowerPress and then you click the link that says ‘Publish a Podcast on iTunes’. Then you have to copy the feed link which will be YourWebsite.com/feed/podcast. So, on the Blubrry ‘Publish Podcast to iTunes’ page it will show you what your feed link is and you have to meet the requirements given on the page before you submit it to iTunes and basically just follow the instructions to submit it. Once you have it submitted, you’ll have to wait a couple days before they email you back to let you know whether your podcast is accepted and if it is, then congratulations, your podcast will be on iTunes.
Also, if you want to submit your podcast to Google Play, what you do is in PowerPress settings you switch to ‘Advanced Mode’ and then here you will see more options, you click Google Play and you click the link that says ‘Publish a Podcast on Google Play’ and you basically follow the same rules to submit to Google Play Podcast.
It’s really important to note that you have to post your first podcast blog post before you submit to iTunes and Google Play. You have to have one podcast audio up and then you can fill out the submission forms and stuff and then the submission process takes a few days. Once your podcast is accepted, they’ll send you an email and then from then on you just have to post your podcast as usual, tick that ‘Category Podcasts’ and it will feed automatically into iTunes and Google Play and there’s not much else you have to do on your part
Another platform that’s really easy to post on is SoundCloud. With SoundCloud, all you have to do is create an account and then upload your audio one by one. You can sort your podcast audios into a playlist and it’s really convenient that way.
If you have any questions of comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments below and get in touch with me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Make sure to check out my future blogs. This is the first in the series of blogs about podcasting and how to attract your target podcast audience.