How To Start Podcasting

Aaron McHugh

After six years of podcasting, 180+ episodes, lots of people ask me about what it takes to start a podcast. Here is my advice on how to get started podcasting without a lot of money, time or expertise. 

The easy button is 

  • Record it: Buy $40 Call Recorder (below) and use your Skype account plus your iPhone headphones with a microphone to record an interview
  • Host it: Once you record the conversation, you will need to upload the recording to a Hosting provider. Podbean is a free option and super easy to use. 
  • Distribute it: Submit your podcast to iTunes for distribution. 
  • Celebrate: You can be up and running in 3-4 hours time and within a week iTunes will approve your podcast. 

Everything else from here is more complicated, sophisticated and costly. Stay above the line to simply ship and get going. The risk of below this line is it can take a lot more time, money and patience. I chose to stick with the easy button for the first two+ years of podcasting.

If you want to take the plunge and buy gear

Desktop microphone USB Blue Yeti $109 Amazon

For in-person interviews

I use an older Zoom H4N PRO Digital Multitrack Recorder

I use a pair of Shure SM58-LC Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone with cable $109 Amazon.

Skype and Call Recorder

This is the easiest way to record a Skype call. You can call a guest Skype to Skype or from Skype to a phone number. Push record and you are off and running. $40 for the Call Recorder software. 

Hosting: Free to $15+ per month

Podbean is the simplest. Soundcloud and Libsyn are additional options. There are tons of choices, but these are really simple. I use Libsyn.

Submitting to Podcast Networks

I’d recommend hiring someone to do this unless you are fairly technical. This gets into RSS feeds, URL’s, show descriptions, and other tech. Podbean appears to have a simple too suite to help remove the distribution technical stuff. Read here. 

Distributing your podcast

Top networks to consider having your podcast on iTunesGoogle Play  Spotify, Soundcloud, Stitcher, and tons of others. Each has a unique process for submitting your podcast. Again, having a technical person do this for you will likely be more efficient.

Podcast Editing

I don’t enjoy editing, but I’m dangerous enough to do some myself. I use Garageband for editing. The better option is to hire someone.

Final Polish: Auphonic low tech software to assemble an edited podcast. I use this software to polish the final podcast and publish directly to Libsyn, my hosting provider. Think of this as a final step.

Determining Show length

My advice is create the podcast episode that you want to listen to. If you like short podcasts, then make it short. Most podcasts are between 20-45 minutes in length. 

Show Logo design

99 Designs is a great affordable option for creating a graphic for your show. I use Ginseng Creative and Bottle-Rocket Design for all my creative.

Transcription service

If you want to offer a transcription as part of your show notes, I use Speechpad they run around $1 x minute. There are other options but this is the only one I’ve used. 

Show frequency 

I publish once to twice per week. Averaging towards once. I take a break at least once during the summer and over the holidays. I know people who batch episodes to cover these outage periods. I’ve yet to be ahead of the game. I view my podcast Work Life Play as a body of work project that builds over time. In the end, consistency wins.

Integration with WordPress

There are required plugins like Blubrry podcast that are required in order for your podcast to play from the show notes page. Another example of a technical component. 

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