To start a podcast on iTunes is not as difficult as you think it is. Will you believe me when I say “there are more than one million active podcasts online today“. There are also more than “30 million” episodes on the podcast as on date.
Podcasting has become the main door for many people, small businesses and even students to share their knowledge with the world, over the last few years. Starting a Podcast is not as difficult that you think it is. You can ask yourself why so many podcasting are active online today.
What it takes is your careful planning and regular practice to start a successful podcast. If you’re searching for a guide to starting a successful podcast, then this short, simple guide yet powerful, is here to guide you on how to start a podcast on iTunes.
When you finished reading this article, you’ll be able to start a podcast for your own.
Before we start, I’m want to let you know in brief “What is Podcast?” and “How does it work?”
I’m going to explain to you what a podcast is, in a very simple way. You may have come across the word “Blogging” so many times if I’m not wrong. A blogger simply writes an article and publishes it on the internet. Likewise, you can consider Podcast as audio blogging that literally means you publish your content in the form of audio. This is the only difference between podcasting and blogging.
You can easily understand how podcast work in the following steps –
- Select a niche or topic
- Choose a name and theme music
- Choose a hosting provider
- Start recording your audio episodes using podcast tools and a computer.
- Edit, Export, and upload to directories to start listening
Basic tools required to start a Podcast
Depending on your budget, a simple podcast recording setup can range anywhere from $100 to over $1,000. If you’re just beginning you can opt for a low budget and later you can upgrade as per the situation demands.
1. Choosing the right Microphone
Buying a good mic is your first smart decision to begin the journey of podcasting. Neither your laptop’s microphone nor any cheap headsets are going to work to produce high quality podcast episodes.
To start your first podcasting, you absolutely need a good microphone. Choosing a good or right microphone will be a little tricky for many beginners like you.
Two categories of the microphone are available in the market in terms of their connection type to your computer or system. One is USB and the other is Analog. If you’re just starting and searching for budget one, I recommend you to go for the first one. You can upgrade to analog once you gain the experience as it is always better in the long run for better performance.
Recommended Microphones for Beginners
This is one of the few budget microphones available in the market with both USB and Analog output. You can start with this mic as it cost around 100$ and it is worth buying. The microphone is ideal for performers, podcasters and musicians, allowing direct USB connection to a Mac or Windows OS computer, for use with any recording software. The main advantage of this mic is that its cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of unwanted sounds from the sides and rear. For the best result without any distortion, you can easily talk directly into the microphone with a gap of 2 to 6 inches away. If you lean back and talk from a couple of feet away, you will still be heard but your voice will sound in the distance.
You will not be disappointed later when you buy this analog microphone. Compare to any other Analog mic this one has a very low price and it will cost you approx 250$. This is an incredibly versatile microphone. It will not pick up much background sound and room echo. It is a good choice for beginners and is worth buying.
If you go for Analog you’ll need an audio interface to connect the microphone to your computer. Analog mic has XLR connectors and you can’t connect directly to your computer.
You may find little difficulty in finding perfect and good audio interfaces if you’re just starting. Any Audio Interfaces can cost anything from $100 to the $1,000 range. It will be more than sufficient to choose the low-end interfaces for a beginner in most cases.
Recommended Audio Interface
TASCAM’s US 2×2 is the most reliable and budget audio interface with two XLR inputs. It is compatible with both Mac OSX ( iOS devices like the iPad) and Windows. Its simple and user-friendly interface makes the perfect choice for podcasters.
2. Optional Accessories like Pop Filters & Headphones
To show some expertise and produce a professional like audio you may need to pick up a pop filter. It is mounted in front of the microphone to reduce or eliminate unnecessary or unwanted sounds that produce after every speech.
It ‘s not mandatory to wear a headphone while recording your speech. However, headphones are important because you can clearly hear yourself talk and judge your own sound quality. You can also easily find out if your mic is picking up any background noise.
You can also try some of my recommended headphones to see the difference
3. Software for Editing
The last piece in the essential list is audio editing software. I can assure you that whatever you’re recording on your computer can never be perfect without editing. So, you need a editing software to perform this task. Varieties of editing tools (free & paid) are available in the market and you can choose one according to your requirement.
It is free to use audio editing software that can be used in Windows, Mac or Linux platforms. Audacity is free of charge. No registration or hardware purchase required to start using this software. It is a highly recommended software for beginners.
To start using Adobe Audition you need to pay US$20.99 per month. As a beginner, it is not recommended to use this software. However, its comprehensive toolset that includes multitrack, waveform, and spectral display for creating, mixing, editing, and restoring audio content makes the perfect for podcasters. Whether to use it or not, it is your decision.
It is a fully equipped music or audio creation studio that comes free for MAC users. You don’t need to spend a dime if you’re a MAC user. It has a very simple and user-friendly interface and has a lower learning curve than most.
With all the equipment in your hand, it’s time for the fun part – Podcasting! Now, this is the time you need to ask yourself some important questions about your podcast.
1. What’s my niche?
Just like blogging, you need to decide or choose a topic to start a podcast. You can start on the topic that you’ve a good knowledge and think you can convince your listeners.
Generally, most of the podcasters often start podcasting to either drive sales to their current products or to make money on the podcast itself. You’ve to decide which way you should go to achieve the goal of podcast. Before you start your podcast you’ve to know what people are talking about or what is trending. It will help in finding your niche that suits the current trend. Most people turn to podcasts for news, advice, or entertainment, which means you should know what you’re talking about.
You also need to validate your topic before you finalize it. Generally, the competition level is low in podcasting as compared to blogging. However, you need to check the lists of top podcasts related to your niche. You can check your podcast’s topic in Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes) to see if there are already podcasts in that genre. If you find any podcasts similar to your niche, listen to a handful of episodes to see what they’re doing well and think of ways they could improve.
Another part of your niche is the type of format you choose. You may want to be a solo podcaster, take interviews or a storyteller. However, you should go along with the niche you are good at.
2. Choose a name, music, and design
Give a Name to your Podcast
In podcasting, if your name is weak or boring, nobody is going to be enticed. Have a glance at what a listener see when they browse podcast directory.
The titles of your Podcast should feature keywords that relate to your topic. If you’re all about finance you can use keywords such as money or entrepreneur. You may find Podcasts that are named after their hosts. It happens when the host already had an audience before they started the podcast.
Music or Theme Song
Ensure that your music should also blend well with your topic without being overwhelming. When you start your podcast you may want to give an intro. You’ll probably need some music to add to your intro section. If you’re searching for royalty-free music for your podcast, You’ll find dozens of free music online. However, you may be annoyed sometimes when you discover other podcasters also using the same track. In this situation, you don’t need to panic as your listeners will never notice it.
3. Pick your Hosting Provider
You will need a hosting service to host your podcast and publish it on the internet. So, before buying any hosting service you need to do some research. This will help you in finding a reliable, good quality host. If your hosting quality is not good, listeners might have trouble downloading or streaming your podcast episodes. This is the easiest way to lose your listeners.
Things to consider before you buy a hosting service:-
- How much you can afford?
- How easy is the service to use?
- Can you easily embed your podcast episodes into another site?
- RSS feed support
- Site Builder
After you considered all these you can buy a hosting service that suits your budget. You can look at options like SoundCloud, Podomatic, and Fireside. These podcast hosting services will provide you with an optimized RSS URL, that helps you in publishing your podcast on various platforms like iTunes, Google Podcasts, Sticher and other podcast services.
4. Record Your Podcast
Now, you can start recording your podcast. You can start using your microphone by connecting to your PC or MAC and record. If you’re using a USB mic, just simply plugged in and your system will automatically be recognized. If Analog mic is your choice, you’ve to follow the instructions that came with your audio interface.
When you’re recording for the first time, try to record at least 2-3 podcasts in one sitting. Always stick to a schedule while recording your podcast. It shows your consistency and your listeners will convince that they are in the right place. It shouldn’t be like -once published and stop podcasting for more than a month. Make a time table for podcasting your show. It is a good idea to keep at least 5-6 podcast topics ready before you publish one.
5. Just Edit, Export and Upload
Well done! You’ve finished the first recording of your podcast. Now it’s the time to Edit your record and upload it to be able to reach the right ears. The purpose of editing your podcast is to remove any unwanted or odd sounds. Your podcast’s listeners may not want to listen to your sneeze or hear the sound of the crying baby living next door. You can use any software that I’ve mentioned earlier to start editing your record.
Once you finish editing you can export your file as an MP3 and set the title, Keywords, and description of your podcast. This time, you’ll need your podcast’s RSS feed from your hosting provider to start listing it in podcast directories. like iTunes, Google Podcast, Soundcloud, and Sticher.
You need to register your podcast to any of the podcast directories only once. After this registration, you can keep adding your episodes regularly and your podcast episodes will be added to these podcasting sites automatically.
Starting a podcast is not as difficult as you think it is. The only thing requires to start a podcast is your passion and ideas that can influence people. If you think you’d all these traits in you, this is the exact stuff you should start. If you find my article helpful, don’t forget to share it as it encourages me to write more and share it with you guys. Any suggestion or points that I miss in this article is highly appreciated and you can connect me in the comment box.
Recommended E-Book for Guide to start a Podcast
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