Bernie, I want to start a podcast got any tips?
I get asked every week about how to start a podcast, I’m not about to start a podcast production business but here is my take.
At the end of this post is a list of websites and people I trust to teach you about podcasting, I know them, I love them and have learnt from them.
You can also join our monthly Podcast Meet Up in London here
One thing to note is that I’ve never ever got my head around editing or that end of the tech.
I’ve worked on client projects with full editing team and dynamic everything, but my skill is in the interview and getting to air fast.
In fact, the learning curve on editing was so steep for me that I gave up and threw all my energy in learning how to interview and avoid any editing.
I watched both Frost Nixon, directed by Ron Howard and Alex Blumberg’s Power Your Podcast with Storytelling about 100 times.
Is a podcast like a blog?
There is a lot of crossover between making a podcast and making a blog, of course, one is written and one needs a whole load of audio stuff but the essence is the same.
You are creating or capturing information or an interview and sharing it with the world.
At the time of writing, it has never been easier to record something and stick it online, even ten years ago it was easier to be an astronaut that it was to make a podcast.
How can I start recording a podcast today?
So before you run off an invest 1000’s of £’s, $’s or whatever you buy you stuff in slow down and pick up your phone.
Look for an app called Auphonic, download it and create your free account.
This app will record your interview on your phone, then you can upload the audio where it will do some magic engineering on the audio to balance it out, it won’t edit it though.
You have to connect these up in Auphonic but that is easy.
But we are not concerned with the other levels of sophistication in Auphonic, we are only looking to record something and post it. Read on for more details and action.
How do you plan your first podcast?
Lock yourself in a room and interview ANYONE or even just read something back to yourself to get used to talking and recording.
Write out the order of what you are going to ask questions, talk about or anything like that.
This is one place where a blog post and podcast look the same, you are mapping out the order. Which is simply the beginning, middle and end.
You can do this on one bit of paper and you only need a few prompts.
It is worth noting that I always do this and hardly ever look at it, proof that just the act of writing it helps you organise your head.
So you have had a practice run, you have felt stupid, embarrassed and the other odd feeling you get when you to talk yourself, alone with a phone.
At this point, you’ll be looking at all the podcasting greats in Apple and Spotify, you’ll be thinking of NPR, BBC and Netflix wondering how you are going to make the leap from where you are with your phone to world domination.
Stop it, this is sophisticated procrastination and you have not even hit publish yet.
A well-known reality check for imposter syndrome and people like me who like polishing things too much rather than hitting publish is this segment called ‘The Gap, by Ira Glass’
Not every platform will enable you to record on a phone or a tablet, for example, Zencastr is a great option but only works in the chrome or firefox browser on a computer.
Out of every app I’ve used since I started podcasting in 2011 Zoom is my preferred one, it is like a way better version of Skype.
It records both ends of the call and then mixes it together, the recordings are stored online in your account. Zoom also works directly with Calendly for online bookings and syncs directly with G-Suite apps like Gmail and Google Calendar.
Otter is a transcription also connects directly to Zoom. I can record a call and it is sent by magic to Otter and the words are there in less than five minutes. I’m working on perfecting the art of recording an interview that will go straight to text, so the skill is in how I ask the questions and get answers. I’ll keep you posted, it’s not going quite as well as I thought!
Where to publish your podcast.
I would use Auphonic to send your audio to Youtube and this might be all you need, it is free and you can ‘flex your podcast muscles’ you can also embed the Youtube on your blog or website.
I’d call this the MVP, the whole shock of recording something and putting it online can be absorbed by pushing a button in Auphonic and then sending it to Youtube.
I obediently used Lipsync at first but my face fell off it was so complicated. I get shit from ‘real podcasters’ for not using Lipsync but I’m happy with Castos.
Of course, I’ve used Soundcloud and Spreaker in the past, I chose Castos because of the long-standing reputation Craig and his crew have in the blogging/podcasting world and because of Castos working specifically well with the WP Genesis framework that underpins Studio Press.
What podcast microphone do I need?
For an absolute beginner, an Apple headset and computer or phone will be fine. Yes, you heard me, that is it.
You need to make sure you are in a quiet space, without echo or interruptions. If you are recording online with something like Zoom make sure you have a good internet connection.
Trying to record a podcast in a cafe on public wifi on your phone with headphones it not a good idea.
For the first few recordings are where you’ll develop your style, then you can work out how you think you will work.
Don’t be the knob that buys all the gear and then does not use it.
I did not know anything about gear, other people who knew what they were doing got it for me.
Back in 2014, I did a series of company podcast projects run by Jon Buscall and his agency in Stockholm. Jon sent me all my gear and I’ve taken care of it and used it ever since, so I managed to miss out the endless comparing of mics and recorders.
Some of those people have written posts here about
One of the best podcasts about podcasting on the face of the earth is Podcraft with Colin and xxxx
It is rock solid, down to earth advice and you won’t be played loud adverts about joining a 10K mastermind group to make your first million.
Also, Craig has regular good content on the Castos blog
Christina and Aaron from Australia Podcast do videos every Tuesday on Linkedin here.
Back in 2018 both Craig, Aaron and Christina we all in London at the same time and we did an impromptu workshop at our coworking space for London Bloggers Meet Up.
Most of the episodes are organised into seasons so they are easy to dip in and out of.
From July we’ll run the London Podcasting Community Meet Up from Mainyard and you are welcome to join us in person whether you are a hardcore pro or just starting out.