The Edit

Podcasting 101

podcasting

Feeling creative? Have the urge to perform? Want to stand out from the crowd or perhaps simply promote your work? Starting your own podcast can be the answer to all these questions.

Podcasting has been around for more than a decade, but it continues to be a popular way to reach out to audiences – here's a quick guide to getting started. 

Starting your own podcast

Before you start producing a podcast, you need to choose your subject and make a plan.

Choose a topic that floats your boat – whether that's your work, the work of others, your industry or current affairs. You may decide to speak on your own, assemble a panel or interview experts. Choose a good title for your show and decide how frequently you want to produce it.

Set up your studio

We’ll focus here on making an audio podcast. You don’t need to spend a fortune: the basics you’ll need are a microphone, a recorder and some software to edit and put your show together. If you have a laptop, the chances are you’re ready to go without spending any extra money, provided that the built-in microphone is of a decent quality.

Download Audacity – this is a free software program that lets you record, edit and even mix different recordings together. If you have a Mac, you can use GarageBand – it’s more complex that Audacity but well worth getting to grips with.

Record it

Put a blanket on the table – this will reduce that horrid echoey sound. Get close you your microphone and hit the record button. Be yourself, and above all, have fun.

Post production

It’s good to edit your recording. Remove fluffs, long pauses and some (but not all) ums and ahs. If you’re more advanced, you can mix in music or pre-recorded intros and outros. You’ll need to export your finished episode as an MP3 file, a format that makes audio files much smaller and quicker to download, without loss of audio quality.

Tag your MP3 episodes to make them more discoverable – this means embedding a title, description and some artwork. There are programs you can download that help to do this, or you can just use iTunes.

Get it out there

Now you have your first episode, you need to host it somewhere on the web. Definitely take a look at Libsyn.com: prices start at around $5 per month at the time of writing. Libsyn lets you upload your episodes and automatically creates an RSS feed for you. It also gives you great stats, so you can see how many people are listening to your show.

Finally, submit your RSS feed address to various podcast directories so people can start discovering you. iTunes is one of the most popular, but there’s also Stitcher and other podcast directories worth investigating.

Podcasting is a powerful vehicle with impressive reach – what other medium allows you to get into the ears of your audience on such a regular basis? You never know what a successful podcast series might lead to – just look at Karl Pilkington's improbable rise to fame after appearing on the Ricky Gervais Show podcasts – so good luck and happy recording! 

For beds and stings, check out our Editor's Toolkit

Andy White is a podcast presenter and producer, who also trains and coaches individuals and businesses on how to make their own podcasts.

HOW TO PRODUCE MUSIC WITH TERRY DEVINE KING

A guide from one of our very talented composers, Terry Devine King on how to produce music. Learn everything from equipment you may need to get started, to actually writing, mixing and sharing your music.




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