How to Start a Podcast (Tech-Wise)
Podcasts are the new blog. You and your peeps are constantly going and podcasts are your audial BFF that you can hang with at the gym, while you’re working or on the way to your beach house. Being in your ideal’s ears is a solid way to build relationships and cultivate new clients. DOUBLE WIN!
Shauna is bringing her technical know-how and expertise as the previous host of a long-time running podcast to assist you in getting started! Take it away, Shauna!
1. Gather your recording gear
This can be as simple as using your laptop’s built in microphone – just make sure you have your earphones plugged in so you don’t catch any background noise. For a smooth and professional sound it’s worth investing in a decent microphone. The Yeti USB mic sounds great and is reasonably priced.
2. Record the episode
If you have a co-host or guest record a Skype call using add-on software like eCamm Call Recorder (Mac) or MP3 Skype Recorder (PC). If you’re flying solo you can record directly into your editing program. Whichever you choose, the output will be an MP3 file.
Tip: Don’t start over if you make a mistake. Just pause for ten seconds then keep going. This will make it easy to find the bits to chop out when you edit.
Import your MP3 file into the software then let your creativity rip. You can tweak volume levels, edit out dodgy moments then add sound effects and music. Find royalty free tunes on Bensound, BeatSuite and Audio Jungle.
Export the file as an MP3 when you’re finished.
Tip: If the volume levels are out of balance between you and your guest, eCamm has a great tool called Split Sides of Conversation, part of their free Movie Tools. Drag your original MP3 recording into the software and it will split your voices into separate files. You can then import to your editing software and tweak the volume the levels individually. Genius!
4. Create cover art
If you want to submit your podcast to iTunes you’ll need cover artwork, which shows in the iTunes Store listings and on mobile devices. Make it eye catching and on-brand. The file should be a JPEG or PNG with a minimum size of 1400 x 1400 pixels and a maximum of 3000 x 3000 pixels.
5. Export and tag your MP3 file
This where you embed all the techy info into your MP3 file. Import the file to your iTunes library, then right click on it and choose Get Info. Click on the Info tab and fill out the fields:
- Name – name of this episode.
- Artist – your name. Make sure to spell your name identically in each episode.
- Year – obvious. (optional).
- Track – the episode number (optional).
- Album – name of the show (not the name of the episode).
- Genre – choose Podcast.
- Comments – enter a blurb about the show.
Now click on the Artwork tab and browse to add your prepared cover art.
6. Upload the finalized MP3 to a podcast host
A podcast hosting service gives you two essentials: a place to store your episode MP3’s, plus an RSS feed for your podcast, which you need to submit your show to iTunes and other podcast directories.
Libsyn, SoundCloud and Podbean are three good hosts, each with free and paid options.
Once you’ve signed up to a host, upload your MP3 file then make a note of the podcast feed URL.
7. Submit your show to the iTunes Store
First test your feed: open iTunes and choose Subscribe to Podcast from the FIle menu. Enter your podcast feed URL and click OK. If you can successfully download and play the episode in iTunes the feed is working and it’s ready for the iTunes Store. Go to the Podcasts section of the Store then click on Submit a Podcast in the Podcast Quick Links.
Your submitted podcast will be reviewed by Apple to ensure it meets their standards and terms. If approved you’ll get an email with a link to your podcast. It will appear in iTunes Store shortly after.
8. Create show notes
Write a quick blog post about the episode, including any links or further information mentioned in the show. Embed a podcast player (your host will provide one) for in-browser listening, then add a link to your iTunes pages so people can subscribe and leave reviews.
9. Tell the world
Spread the word on social media then sit back and relax… or crack on with planning Episode 2!
Shauna Reid is a copywriter and content editor at Shauna Reid Writes. In a former life she was producer and co-host of the popular Two Fit Chicks & A Microphone podcast.