Launch Your Podcast for FREE
Getting Started: Planning to Recording
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Planning for the Future
So, you have something to say and you want to be heard daily, weekly, or even monthly? Great! Thousands of people have this same idea. We are going to tell you how you can get started on your podcasting journey for a total of $0!
Before you put your voice out there for your audience, you need to figure out what exactly you want to talk about, and why. Think about passions, what you love to do, and about what you enjoyed doing today. Ask your circle of friends and family what they think you like doing, or what you’re very good at. Write them all done and pick the one that gets you excited. Need someone to talk to about this?
The length of your show doesn’t have to be a specific amount of time, but it does have to be the right amount of time. Confused? Okay. Take as much time as you need to get your point across. Don’t leave content out because you don’t want your show to be long. There was a 36 hour podcast episode recorded once!
So, you have your name, topic, your audience, and the reason you want to join thousands of other people hosting their own podcast. Before we start discussing equipment, you should have an idea of what type of show you will have.
You can decide to record your shows alone and talk to yourself for about an hour, or you can have other voices on your show. These other voices will be another person, or people, that will be co-hosting with you. These other voices can also be people that you want to interview. Don’t forget about your #1 fan. Make sure whoever you have on your show will be able to offer value to your audience.
Getting Free Equipment
When you imagine a podcast host recording their show, you probably picture them talking on a mic. When we started out, we initially had a lavalier mic by PowerDeWise that cost less than $50. We have since made the decision to upgrade to a Blue Yeti microphone for now because we believe quality is the prince if content is the king.
If you want to ditch the quality and take the free route, you can simply substitute a mic with your cell phone. We do strongly advise that you invest in sound quality (people need to listen), but this is about doing it for free. Speaking of sound, there are a few ways to get quality music without paying a dime!
If you’ve listened to a few podcasts already, then you may have noticed that they have music during the show, or maybe for their intro and/or outro. There are plenty of royalty free music sources out there, but you have to make sure that you read their terms to avoid any possible legal issues going forward. Podcasting Insights has a great list of different sources for royalty-free music for your podcast.
Now that you have the tools and content to begin recording, we need to make sure that you aren’t overlooked by podcast listeners. If the look is where you want to spend some money at, we obviously recommend that you use The Blare Group to get cover art for your podcast.
However, there are times when we aren’t the best fit for your business. Another great source would be to run a design contest on 99 Designs, and you can have several designers compete to win your prize.
The free option that we suggest is Canva. You can visit Canva and use a template to build your cover art at to charge.Regardless of who creates the artwork for your podcast, be sure it is under 500kb and that it is 1400 x 1400 pixels.
Before we begin to record, there is one final task. Take about 15 minutes to outline your show. You don’t have to write an entire script, but create a road map to guide you from, “Hello,” to “goodbye.” This is important because it keeps you from missing key points that you wanted to discuss, and it also helps with stammering and losing your thought.
We shouldn’t have to tell you, but it is best to record your podcast somewhere that is quiet. Preferably, a large room with carpet so that the sounds can’t bounce off of flat surfaces and create an echo-like sound.
We use the free audio recording software, Audacity, to record our solo shows. The same program can be used to edit your shows after you have finished recording. More on this later.
Recording solo shows are also easy if you are using Anchor. You launch the app, follow the on-screen instructions and press record. Then talk! Anchor also makes it very easy to have someone connect with you via the app to record interviews.
Many podcasters like to use Skype to record interviews for their show. We’ve heard some pretty bad horror stories about Skype, so we suggest using Zoom for your interview shows. Need someone to test your equipment with?
Every podcaster formats their show in their own way. We like to make a sandwich out of our episodes. The top of the show (top bread) is the intro where we let the listeners know what to expect on the upcoming show. Every show we do begins with a question, this helps the audience know what we will discuss. If we have a guest on the show, we introduce them to prior to getting to the content.
Next is the best part of the show. The meaty part is all of the show’s content. This is the stuff that the people want. This is where they get the answer to the question we ask at the top of the show. This is where you make a name for yourself.
Finally, we wrap the show up (bottom bread) by thanking the listeners, giving any announcements, then giving our audience a call to action (CTA). The CTA varies from show to show. It may be sending listeners to a website, reminding them to sign up for your mailing list, or whatever it is that you would like to ask them to do.
After you finish recording, it’s time to edit the show. Again, if you want to spend some money, you can pay a subscription to have Adobe Audition.
If the work you have to do in post is something that you want to avoid paying for, we recommended downloading Audacity for free! There is a bit of a learning curve with Audacity, but nothing a few YouTube videos can’t fix. You can upload your audio to Audacity to edit out all of the “uhs” and “ums,” and much more.
If you’re on a Mac, then GarageBand might be the better option because it is easier to learn, and it is more thank likely already installed on your computer. Once you’re done with editing, just add in your intro and outro. Now it’s time to go live!
Finding a Good Host
There are several platforms you can use to host your podcast. We suggest Buzzsprout, not just because we can both get a $20 gift card from Amazon when you use that link, but because the experience and support from Buzzsprout is amazing. The downside is that if you stick with the free plan, your shows will be deleted after 90 days.
So, if you have no intentions of upgrading, we suggest to take a look at Anchor. One of my favorite features on Anchor is that you can record interviews using their app with ease. Anchor will also take care of getting your podcast on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and a lot more.
If you plan on submitting your show to podcast directories yourself, you will need to grab your RSS feed from the settings of the hosting platform you select. Submitting your feed to directories is different depending on where you want it. Let us know if this is the route you want to take and we’ll help you out.
Wrapping It Up
What happens after you finish recording and your show is listed to several platforms? Your audience are going to want more! Some people are going to start searching for your show notes, and if you want full control of where your show notes, we suggest that you post them on your own website. If you don’t have a site now, we recommend hosting yours on Bluehost for less than $100.
We understand that paying for a web host is not an option for everyone, but it is highly recommended. However, free options include wix, squarespae, webstarst, and whole lot more that you can just search fro.
We’ll be reading the comments, so let us know what we forgot. Also, if you need additional help, feel free to contact us. You can also apply to be a guest on Blare Radio if you want to get a feel for how it is on the other side of the mic!
May have been more reading that you expected, but it’s simple right!? You can get started on your own podcast show with your phone and a few apps.
One more thing. Get some water. You mouth is going to get dry, and it will suck to be wanting water in the middle of a great discussion. Now, go be heard!