Starting a Podcast
Updated: Oct 26, 2020
It seems everyone and their cousin has a podcast now. And why not? The market shows no sign of reaching saturation, and if you can find your niche, it's a great way for less photogenic folks like myself to get their message out. So let me share what I've learned so far about this process.
Have a Plan
As tempting as it can be to just start doing, and how frequently I do things this way, it's best to have some kind of plan for your podcast. Will you be solo, do interviews, or work with one or more other people on air? What niche are you trying to fill? Do you want to cover games or do book reviews? Or both?
Have an idea so you can work towards it without flailing around. It will make things easier for you, and easier for listeners to find you.
Hardware-wise, podcasts are on the low-end of overhead. If you've got the money, you can use a recording studio. If you don't, which is the case with 90% or more of podcasters, you just need a decent microphone, a quiet space, and a computer with enough hard drive space to save large audio files.
I use the Blue Yeti mic. It's a mid-price mic with excellent audio quality. There are newer versions, but really any of the Blue mics are decent. Even the Snowball, if you need to go budget for now.
Either PC or Mac will do fine for podcasts. If you use a Mac you have the benefit of having Garage Band as a cheap audio editor. I use Adobe Audition because it comes with my existing Creative Cloud account, but Audacity is a great free tool as well.
Hard drive space is important, as all those audio files can get big pretty fast. But they don't have to be internal hard drives, and often aren't. I use a 2TB WD, but bigger is always better. At least with storage space.
Have a Host
The way podcasts work is simple. You record your podcast on your computer, edit it with your choice of software, then upload it to a hosting provider. There are numerous services out there that do this, and the fee will depend on how much you plan to upload and how many bells and whistles you want. I use Podbean as my hosting provider. I didn't want to pay a lot when I had no idea if anyone would ever listen, but I didn't want to have to keep track of file size limitations.
Most of these services will let you create a website for your podcasts, create an RSS feed for users, and send your podcasts out to all the big services like Apple, Google, etc. You can then link your other sites to this podcast site, and your spiderweb of content is created. As an example, I have a podcast section on this site, and my podbean one is the master list.