So, you are thinking about starting a Podcast. First things first: what is your Podcast going to be about? You need to have an idea of what your “theme” will be before you get started, otherwise you’ll just be silently sitting in front of your equipment, and that won’t get any listeners. Podcasts are a great way to reach many people throughout the world. It can even be used as an instructional tool.
Your theme could be as specific as only talking about the Minnesota Wild or the Arizona Coyotes or broaden that a little more to Hockey in general or even more broad and just have a Sports Podcast. However, you could go the route of having a more generic Podcast so you can discuss different things all the time. It’s YOUR Podcast. YOU decide what YOU want to talk about. It all depends on what listeners and followers you want and what you will enjoy. Why start a Podcast if you won’t enjoy it? You should enjoy every moment of it! It is yours to create, produce and enjoy! So, find something you are passionate about and hit the ground running and even mix it up once in awhile if you want to! A key piece of advice to keep in mind however: unless you are famous no one wants to hear you jibber jabber about what you had for lunch, or what you and your friends did this weekend. People listen to Podcasts that pique their interests so settling on some form of theme is a better way to get more listeners.
Once you decide what you will be covering in your Podcast you need the right equipment to get you started. You’ll need a microphone and headphones. Yes, computers often have a microphone and speakers built in, DO NOT USE THESE! Even for beginners this is not acceptable equipment. You can find affordable equipment at a local store or online. The best type of microphone to get is one that has a stand. There are a few reasons why this is better than one without a stand:
1: You don’t have to hold it, simple enough.
2: If you are holding a microphone you might accidentally pull it too far away from you, or bang it on something. This would leave you to have to re-record your Podcast.
3: If you are like me, you talk with your hands. Even if no one can see me, I always talk with my hands. Allow yourself the freedom to sit, talk and flail your hands about if you feel like it!
As I previously mentioned you also need headphones. You can use any type of headphones you would like. I use Steelcase headphones and love them, so just find ones that work best for you!
Now that you have a microphone and headphones you are almost ready to start recording your Podcast! You need to decide which recording software you will be using. You can use different ones such as GarageBand, Audition, or Audacity. I have used GarageBand and Audition and I enjoy the ease of both of them. GarageBand is part of iLife and Audition is part of Adobe Suite. Audacity is a free recording and editing platform that is compatible with both MAC’s and PC’s and can be downloaded online at http://audacity.sourceforge.net/.
After you select which software you will be using you can record and edit your Podcast! Make sure you export your final file as an MP3 audio file as this is a universally accepted compressed file format for audio.
If you are doing any interviews, whether the subject is in the room with you, it’s a phone interview or a skype interview, be sure to have a talent release form signed and be specific about the details within that release form to legally cover yourself when using the interview. Without a signed, detailed release form you are at risk for lawful action if your interviewee decides they don’t want you using the interview. You can find samples online by a quick google search for “release forms”, just be sure to carefully read through them to ensure you find the one you is appropriate for you and your Podcast.
You are finished! You have an edited Podcast in an audio file and you are ready to distribute it.