Hello and welcome to The Podcast Collaborative blog! Here, we’ll be discussing anything and everything related to podcasts– How to start, how to find guests and choose topics, how to reach your target audience, and so much more! The Podcast Collaborative is a growing community of podcasters and guests who are looking to work together. Our Facebook group is constantly growing and is a great way to establish real relationships and collaborations with others. There are opportunities to promote your podcast, as well as community support and encouragement. You can learn more about our Facebook group and join it here! In addition to the group, there is an opportunity to join an exclusive community, the Podcast Collab Club. This directory membership is a streamlined platform that allows you to take your connections to the next level with others who are also serious about podcast collaborations. It is designed to help you quickly and easily find podcast guest and host matches to suit your needs, saving you hours of research. The membership is $14.99 per month. Find out more about this exclusive club and its perks here! We would love to have you join us if you’re interested! Until then, let’s get started with today’s topic.
In our last article, we began discussing how to start your own podcast. We covered tips on how to determine your topic and audience, which involves choosing a broad topic and narrowing it down to something more niche. We then talked about how to come up with a creative name for your podcast, a format for each podcast episode, how to create cover art, and how to record your podcast, including what types of equipment you will need. If you are interested in learning more about the first steps of starting a podcast, we encourage you to read our last post!
Today, we’ll be continuing our discussion on starting a podcast. After you’ve completed all of the steps we talked about last time, it’s time to actually record and edit, and ultimately publish your podcast! Exciting, right? We’ll be talking about recording and editing software, incorporating music into your podcast, scripting, publishing, and everything in between. So, if you’re ready to learn about the next steps to creating your podcast, you’re in the right place. Let’s get started!
Recording and Editing
Once you have a good microphone, you’ll need a way to actually record and edit your podcast.
This is most often done with recording and editing software. First, you’ll want to understand the difference between these processes. Recording is the process of actually talking into the mic and discussing your topic. Editing is when you can cut out mistakes as needed, add music or other sound effects, and stitch together audio clips. When it comes to software, there are a few different options to choose from, so it’s all about what you think works best for you.
- Audacity: This is a free audio recording and editing software that is compatible with Windows, macOS, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. Audacity can record live audio through a microphone or mixer, or digitize recordings from other media. You can import, export, and combine audio files. It makes editing simple with a “copy, paste, and delete” system. This is a great option for beginners, and did we mention it’s free?
- Alitu: This is one of the easiest options– Alitu: The Podcast Maker is a web app that allows you to record, edit, and publish all in one place. It features drag and drop tools for easy editing and allows you to automatically clean up audio for a clean and crisp sound. Alitu offers a free 7-day trial, and pricing is $32 per month or $320 yearly. This option is especially great for those who have no previous experience with editing software, since it does most of the work for you.
- Adobe Audition: This software is designed for podcast production and has advanced tools specifically for podcast editing. It is part of the Creative Cloud suite, so if you have a subscription, you already have access. It is $20 per month separately. Although this is one of the trickier programs to use, there are tons of easy-to-follow tutorials out there.
- GarageBand: If you use a Mac, GarageBand is another great, free option. This digital audio workstation allows you to create separate tracks and fade them in and out as needed. You can also enable various plug-ins like compression and noise gates.
- Zoom: If you are recording with a remote guest, you can use Zoom to record the call. Zoom allows you to adjust your audio settings as well as record a separate audio file of each participant. You can then store the files on your computer, and upload them to the editing software you choose.
- Riverside: This is another great option if you have guests. Riverside allows you to record podcasts in studio quality, including 4k video resolution. It automatically separates audio and video tracks and allows you to edit easily all within your browser.
Recording and editing software can be intimidating at first, especially if you have no prior experience. Sometimes, trial and error will help you figure out which software is best for your needs. Remember, it’s okay if you don’t nail it on your first try!
Incorporating Music Into Your Podcast
Your podcast does not have to include music, but it’s always a nice touch. Most podcasters add some music at the beginning and end of their podcast to tie everything together and to give it a more professional feel. You do not want this music to play for too long, however. Don’t bore your audience– They’re here to listen to you, not music! With that being said, you’ll probably want to keep your intro or outro music to a maximum of 10 seconds. One of the many fun parts of creating a podcast is deciding how you will incorporate music. Maybe you want to hook listeners with a catchy jingle or intro, or maybe you feel that a simple sound effect will do the trick. You should have your audience in mind, as always. Ask yourself: What do you want your listeners to feel when they start listening to your podcast?
When adding music, what kind of music should you use? The genre, or type of music, is totally up to you. However, you’ll want to make sure you’re choosing royalty-free music. Royalty-free music refers to music that doesn’t require you to pay per use or download. This is sometimes referred to as stock or library music. There are many websites that allow you to purchase a subscription to access a library of music, such as Shutterstock, which offers an unlimited music plan for $16.60 per month. The bottom line is that you want to make sure you have permission to use the music, in order to avoid legal issues.
Scripting and Speaking Into the Mic
Have you ever felt like you had so much to say but when the time came, you just went blank? It happens to the best of us, and that’s where scripting comes into play. Once you have decided on a specific topic for the episode you’ll be recording, make a bulleted list of all of the key points you want to touch on. After you have decided on how long you want your episode to be, you may also want to put roughly estimated timestamps beside each point, so you’ll know how long you want to discuss each topic. This will help you stay on track and create a clearer structure. Something you want to avoid is having a completely scripted episode.
You should never read off of a script word-for-word– Unless you have practiced a lot, it is hard to avoid sounding like you are reading. Not only can most listeners tell when you are doing this, but it can come off as inauthentic. Figuring out exactly what to say in each episode of your podcast will get easier with time. After you’ve practiced and have recorded a few episodes, you may not feel the need to have any sort of script at all!
Speaking into a microphone might feel awkward, or maybe even scary, if you have no previous experience recording audio. Rather than focusing on the idea of speaking into a mic, think of your audience. Who are you speaking to, and how would you speak to them if they were in front of you? You want to make sure that your listeners feel like you are speaking directly to them, rather than reading off of a script, as we mentioned above.
Additionally, even if you’ve invested in a good microphone, the way you speak into it matters. Sensitive microphones can pick up sounds such as brushing up against your desk, or even mouth sounds, which can be unpleasant to the listener. A good position for your microphone is about 6 to 8 inches away from your mouth. This will help prevent excessive reverb or bassy sounds.
Publishing Your Podcast
Even if you don’t feel quite ready to publish your podcast, it’s important to think about how you will go about doing so when the time comes. You’ll need a podcast hosting account or a media host. This is a service that stores your audio and allows people to listen, download, and subscribe to your podcast. One great option for this is Buzzsprout, the cheapest and most popular option. Buzzsprout allows you to promote and track your podcast. You can list your podcast on a variety of platforms such as Spotify, Apple, and iHeartRadio. Buzzsprout provides advanced statistics to see how people are listening to your podcast, total downloads, and more. There are plenty of options for media hosts out there, so once you’ve chosen one, you can then submit your podcast to different directories. Distributing your podcast to different directories will allow more people to discover it.
As you can see, there are many steps to creating your own podcast, but it is a breeze once you get the hang of it! If you are ready to launch your podcast, congratulations! We hope that you have found this article informative, and that you check back for more tips on starting and maintaining podcasts, and growing your audience! Thank you for reading. We encourage you to check out our website and Facebook group, and take advantage of the Podcast Collab Club membership and its perks. We would love to have you join us! Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. See you next time!