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So you want to start a podcast? Hooray! I’m excited for you!
Podcasting can be extremely rewarding and you can make a valuable contribution to the world by sharing your message through podcasts.
And, the reality is that it can be overwhelming too. There are a lot of decisions to make in the pre-launch phase and many people get stuck in analysis paralysis trying to research every option to the nth degree.
These days, there is also a lot of out-dated advice online about starting a podcast, as well as advice from people who have priorities that I believe are wildly inappropriate for beginners and DIYers.
These things are the main contributors to ‘pod-fade’ or podcaster burnout. I don’t want that for you.
I want you not to just start a podcast, and then stop by episode 6. I want you to start and keep going long term!
Because THAT is where the real rewards start to happen.
That’s why I’ve put together this simple quide, to answer some of the most frequently asked questions I get.
My answers are based on my 7 years experience in the podcasting industry, as an indie guest and host, but also as an editor, producer and teacher.
I know what it’s like to be starting out, bootstrapping and DIYing everything. This is just a brief guide, so if you want my full guidance on starting a podcast, check out my Minimum Viable Podcast training and if you’re going to DIY your editing too, make sure you add the Minimum Viable Editing training at check out!
FAQ: What microphone do I need?
My preferred mic for beginners is the Samson Q2U. I made a whole video about why but essentially it’s an affordable and easy to use dynamic mic that has both XLR and USB connection options. This means for the average person recording at home through their computer, it’s super easy to connect and use!
Please note, I do NOT recommend the Blue Yeti unless you are in a very sound-treated environment. It’s not a bad mic but it picks up a lot of background noise and is not ideal for beginner and DIY podcasters. It will make your editing a lot more time consuming and/or expensive.
FAQ: What recording and editing software do I use?
This all depends on how you are going to record, how you are going to edit, how many speakers you have and whether you are in the same room together. There are heaps of options and generally none is better than another but they have different features and serve different needs.
If you’re DIYing your recording and editing and have no previous experience with sound or music recording and editing, then I highly recommend Descript. It’s AI-supported so it saves you lots of time and it works from text transcripts rather than wav-form, so if you can edit a Word document, you will be able to edit your podcast using Descript. I have a whole mini course about it here.
Otherwise, there are a lot of wav-form based recording and editing options available, but for beginners they have a much bigger learning curve. Audacity is free and open source, but a bit clunky. Adobe Audition is brilliant, and you might already have access to it if you use others in the Adobe suite of products but it’s an ongoing subscription cost.
Of course you can always outsource your editing to the team here at Perk Digital! It’s what we specialise in and we’d be happy to help. Get in touch today for a custom quote.
FAQ: My co-host/guest is in the same room as me, what equipment do we need?
Believe it or not, it’s actually much more complicated to record in the same room as someone else. You need more equipment and you need to be even more thoughtful about the space where you are recording.
If you are committed to recording in person, the Rodecaster Pro is the best in class but it’s pricey to purchase that and all the extra equipment like mics and stands and pop filters etc. If you’re in Toowoomba, QLD I have one that I rent out occasionally so get in touch for a quote.
Otherwise, my usual recommendation is to follow the instructions below for remote recordings. I have literally followed this process with my husband in separate rooms of our own house before because it’s easier than setting up all the equipment!
FAQ: My co-host/guest is not in the same state/country as me, how do we record online?
Lucky for you, this is the easiest option in my opinion! There are heaps of supporting software these days to help you do this. If you can record a Zoom, you can record a podcast together online. I don’t recommend Zoom for podcasts because it only records at one end so it can cause issues with the syncing of the voices if there are internet issues, but it can work.
A much better, more reliable and more podcast-specific solution is to record using a browser-based program like RiversideFM. It’s designed specifically for recording podcasts, both audio and video (but you can just use the audio if you don’t want to worry about all the extra involved in getting camera ready!).
All speakers will need a mic and a pair of wired headphones, and decent internet with the Google Chrome browser. That’s it!
FAQ: How do I upload my podcast files to Spotify and Apple Podcasts?
Well, you don’t. What you need is a Podcast Hosting Platform which stores your podcast mp3 files and then we connect that to the various podcast distribution apps like Apple and Spotify. Again, there are many options on the market for this. There are some free ones like Anchor but I don’t generally recommend free hosting platforms because they are limited in features and mostly because I’ve seen it go wrong multiple times in the past.
Anchor is backed by Spotify so they’re probably not going to go bust. Even still, I’d rather you spend less on equipment and spend a few dollars each month on a podcast hosting platform that will serve your needs long term. My favourites are Captivate and bCast.
FAQ: Do I need a website for my podcast?
Not technically, no. If you have a podcast hosting platform (see above) then you don’t really need anything else. BUT If you want to build out your podcast brand and especially if you want to monetize your podcast, a website is a good idea.
Again, with websites there’s a huge range of options and lots of conflicting advice online. My favourite is No Hassle Website templates because they are very affordable and come with fantastic instructions that will help you not only customise your site but also learn how to use WordPress. It’s what both my websites are created with and I absolutely love Neta and the team.
If you want a custom website made for you, then I highly recommend Leisa from RetroHex.
Of course if you have any further questions, please book a consult with me and we can discuss your specific podcast needs and I can give you custom advice.