How to Start a Podcast
I could make this article very short and simply say this about starting your own podcast: just do it! Oh wait, that's the Nike tagline isn't it? But it still has legs here I promise! But let me explain a bit about my own background with podcasting.
In the winter of 2018, one of my superyacht clients, OceanScape Yachts and I discussed the value in starting a travel podcast - part educational, part travel inspo, simply a new way to connect with people and take a little virtual vacay. So I went onto Best Buy, bought a Blue Yeti microphone, plugged in my knock off Apple ear phones (yes before ear buds) and away we went! Just like that---no fancy sound engineer, no fact checker, no studio time. In fact, all interviews are conducted over the phone. The podcast is still running today and has grown in leaps and bounds thanks to building a wider network of interesting industry contacts to welcome to the show.
Fast forward to the fall of 2019 and my sister and I launched our own podcast! I was able to take some knowledge from my first podcast, but this had to evolve a bit since we would be recording together in a room---this means the sound would be affected (as well as scheduling we learnt!). This has been a lot of fun since the premise of Life As We Try It is all about trying new things! Every week we pick a new fad or trend that we are going to trial for the week. We then meet up to discuss the background of the trends, and our thoughts about it over a bevvie that matches the theme!
For both of these podcasts, I needed slightly different software or apps to help things run smoothly. Here's a list of my top tips to help you launch your own podcast too (and stop putting it off!):
1. Invest in a good mic: I know this is a few years ago, but my Blue Yeti mic was under $100 and has a number of settings depending on how many are recording at one time. Don't go cheap when you'll just have to buy another one in a year. Better for the environment, and your wallet.
2. Choose a platform: For the Life As We Try It podcast, we decided to go with Libsyn. We got the medium road package and it's around $25 CAD per month for hosting with ample space for our weekly episode uploads. This makes it super easy to get into all of the platforms as well. It auto uploads every week to iTunes, Google Play, Spotify and just about anywhere else you get podcasts. For OceanScape, I signed up for Blubrry PowerPress (free version...woohoo!) for Wordpress.
3. Get the right equipment: If you're recording over the phone with different guests, (like I do with OceanScape) you're going to want to get the right software for recording and downloading. I used Ecamm for Skype which is excellent, only had a one time fee, and is super easy to use. You just click record when you're on your call and the file gets exported to your computer. You can cut and edit within the app if you want to as well. For recording at home, make sure you're in a smaller room, with a closed door and do all you can to limit echo. This might be a foam box around your mic, rug on the floor, or even use your car as a good sound bubble (trust me, we've done this too!). Once it's time to edit, I use Wondershare Filmora for both which is also super easy to lay your audio tracks with your intro music, cut to any ads, etc, and also came in with a one time only fee.
4. Invest in Analytics: Libysn has its own analytics and stats built in, while Blubrry PowerPress integrates beautifully with Wordpress. Both give you a good idea of how each episode is faring, where people are downloading your podcast from (both globally and which platform) and can really help provide insight into what has resonated with your listeners.
5. Have fun! It can be nerve wracking the first time you hit record and play back your voice later. Does anyone like how they sound on a recording?? Unless you're Beyonce, chances are you think you sound awful. I can assure you that you don't! We're our harshest critics, so my best advice here (and in life in general really) is to just take the leap, hit record and make some magic happen!
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