Today more people are consuming podcast content than ever before. A report by Edison Research reveals that the number of people listening to a podcast per week increased by more than 120% in just four years.
There are an estimated 120 million podcast listeners in America in 2021.
Existing evidence shows that the number of people accessing, and consuming podcasts is exponentially growing, and therefore, this is the best time to start a podcast.
In this guide, we are going to share some useful information about recording a podcast. We will show you how to tap into the growing podcast market.
You will learn:
- Selecting a niche
- Buying the necessary equipment to record a podcast
- Setting up the perfect home or office recording studio
- How to plan out your podcast shows
- Recording your first episode
- Editing your recordings with the right type of recording software
- Adding your podcast to directories
- Hosting set up
Pick a Niche
Sometimes it can be easy to try to appeal to a wider audience with your podcast. But that can be a recipe for disaster. If you don’t narrow down your targeted audience, your show may not work and is not going to appeal to most people.
There are millions of podcasts out there today, which means you will be competing with so many shows that are way better than yours regardless of the topic. Thus you have got to find an approach that will help you stand out, and the easiest way to do this is to target a specific type of listener.
For instance, we have too many fitness and health podcasts currently, so if you were you launch a show in this sector, you may want to narrow down the market to target parents with responsibilities of taking care of the kids.
Narrowing down your niche does not mean you are cutting off potential listeners. Instead, this will increase the odds of your success in the game. If you want to build a bigger audience, that level of granularity can help you substantially in the long run.
Of course, the exception to niching down your podcast is if you already have a dedicated audience. For example, celebrities such as Joe Rogan and David Tenant already have a dedicated audience.
They both can get away with targeting the broadest market possible because they have an exciting audience behind them who will hear just about anything.
But if you are still building an audience, you need to make sure people care about the topic you base your podcast on for them to listen and subscribe. And this means niching down your topic so that it suits them impeccably.
Unlike a few years ago when this medium was new, podcasts have some of the lowest entry barriers and you can get started relatively easy with very little experience and or overhead. As a matter of fact, you can start recording your new show with just a smartphone and decent headphones.
When it comes to podcasting, content is the most important part, while equipment plays very little role.
No one listens to a show because it has high-quality sound. Rather, people listen to podcasts because of superior content.
Nevertheless, picking the best setup for your podcast can be overwhelming, particularly if you have limited knowledge of audio recording.
So to make it easy for you, I have put together the main equipment you need to start recording your show today.
You need a microphone to start podcasting. In fact, you will need one mic for every voice on your podcast. But before choosing a mic, make sure your recording space has soft surfaces rather than hard surfaces for better audio recording.
Some of the best mics on the market are Shure MV7 and Rode Procaster. They are easier to set up because they have USB options.
Just use the right cable to connect the mic to the computer. Microphones like the Shure MV7 have LEDs that will show if the connection is complete.
Once you have plugged in, select your mic from the drop-down menu and access customized options. Check sound levels and fine-tune microphone settings.
If you want to improve the sound quality of your audio, you will need a good mixer to provide you with recording options, especially if you intend to have multiple guests or hosts in your show. Behringer Xenyx Q802USB and Yamaha AG03 are two of the most popular and preferred podcast mixers today.
In addition to a mic and equipment to record on, you also need a pair of headphones for your podcasting. Whether you are an experienced veteran or a budding podcaster, a pair of headphones can make an impact when recording and editing your audio files.
I have tested more than 600 headphones, and Audio Technica ATH-m20x and Samson SR850 are the best on the market.
Unless you can sculpt your own RSS feed, you need podcast hosting to ensure every episode moves from your computer into the listeners’ ears. Thankfully, it is extremely easy to submit your podcast for hosting in of the many hosting platforms currently available.
We have a variety of podcast hosting providers and it can tricky to decide which one to choose. Some platforms have been in the business for a long time, others are new and some are popping up daily as we speak.
Before you start recording your podcast, you need to create an account with a podcast hosting provider to store your audio files as well as create a podcast feed.
Just as when you start a blog or website you need hosting for your web, when starting a podcast you need hosting for media.
When it comes to podcast hosting, few companies can rival Buzzsprout and Podbean.
Plan Out your Podcast Shows
Planning out a podcast means you ensure that you produce and deliver coherent content before you even begin to record. This enables you to maximize your audience engagement, increase viewership, and boost subscription.
Great podcast structure also ensures that your target audience is satisfied and eagerly waits for the next episode.
The first thing you want to get right is the length of the episodes of your show. In case you have just one format for all episodes, ensure you keep them at the same length.
Predictability is important when planning the length of a podcast episode and should be part of your planning before launching.
You can change the length of the show even when it is live, but make sure you let your listeners know about it in advance.
Perhaps the most important thing when planning your podcast show is writing the script. Before you hit that record button, make sure you write down what you are going to talk about.
I recommend all newbies prepare some kind of script for their podcast before recording. Talking intelligently, clearly, and smoothly can be challenging without enough practice.
By pre-writing the script of your show, you will now just be emphasizing your mechanics, such as removing filler phrases, enunciating as well as controlling your volume and tone.
When writing the script, keep it conversational to avoid flat, monotone delivery. You can try rehearsing the script before recording using speech-to-text software to dictate your words.
Where to Set Up a Space at Home to do a Podcast
The good thing about podcasts is that you can start recording from just about anywhere, including a corner of your home. But the drawback of recording a show in your home is that you need to find a space with a very limited amount of external noise.
For that reason, a room that shares walls with the rest of the rooms can be ideal, or even the basement!
Alternatively, instead of worrying too much about the sound of the existing room, you should consider creating a small recording studio.
Here is how to set up a recording studio at home:
Step #1: Select ideal room
You might a couple of rooms suitable for your studio. But choosing an ideal room is more about avoiding the wrong ones and less about finding the great ones.
However, always make sure you go with the bigger room because this will allow you to have enough space for multiple guests as well as more room for your growing list of instruments and gear.
Another thing to avoid is noise. If you never knew, the noise you hear in your everyday life is usually magnified 100 folds when you hear it via a mic.
Step #2: Remove clutter from the room
After finding an ideal room for recording, you want to clear everything out from floor space, off the walls, and anything that can vibrate.
Step #3: Set up your workstation
Once you have an empty room with decent acoustics, begin to set up your gear and equipment. The chair and desk will be the centerpiece of your studio, so begin with arranging those two and then everything else around them.
How to Record a Single and a Two Person Podcast
To begin with a single-person podcast, this is an episode comprising only the host explaining and elaborating on a particular topic as an expert.
It is just like a TED Talk but with no live audience.
Traditionally, a single-person podcast will be shorter since only one narrator is talking. But just because it is a single person does not mean it can’t deliver rich, thoughtful content.
So, how do you record a single-person podcast? Follow these tips:
1. Create a List of Solo Episode Topics
Start with brainstorming a list of solo episode topics. Make sure the topic you choose is interesting not only to the audience but also to you because since you are a solo talker, you may burn out and lose listeners.
2. Create Episode Structure
An episode outline is for you only since you are the only one who should understand it. But this shouldn’t be a complete script because a single-person podcast sounds more authentic and natural when the host is not reading from a note.
Try to put your own flair on your episode outline, after all the topic is something you have expert knowledge on, right?
3. Begin Each Episode with a Hook
Think of a funning phrase or quote, an intriguing anecdote, or relatable question and use it as your show intro. But regardless of the hook, always make sure you tell the listeners what they should expect from the show.
A multi-person podcast requires additional speakers and probably additional equipment. The show dynamics dramatically change when you have additional guests discussing a topic.
The most important equipment you will need for multiple guest podcasting is microphones. You don’t want your guests or co-hosts simultaneously sharing one mic because this could capture lots of room noise.
How to use Audacity
Audacity offers plenty of options when it comes to what you can do with it. Here are the basic steps for using Audacity.
Step #1: Find and import your audio file
Step #2: Check the file waveform
Step #3: Choose and change the audio range
Step #4: Make the last second fade out
Step #5: Export your final audio version
Step #6: Test out your audio
How to use Logic X Pro
Logic X Pro is for Apple devices, but it is also extremely easy to get started. Watch this cool video to learn how to use this editing software for your Mac or iPhone.
How to Submit to Directories
To submit your new podcast to a directory, all you need is the RSS feed link of your podcast, which should be generated by your hosting company. Then submit the feed to each aggregator just once, and after that, every directory will automatically update each time you upload a new episode.
The most popular podcast directories include:
- Apple Podcast
- Google Podcast