How to Make a Podcast
Starting a podcast is one of the best and most effective ways to present information to your audience. Don’t be afraid of starting your own digital radio show, digest, or serialized audiobook – the creation is not hard, even if you do a podcast from home.
What do you need to start your first podcast? In actuality, all you really need for starting a podcast is a computer with an internet connection, a microphone, and a good sound card. All of this can be very inexpensive, if not completely free.
What is a podcast? In short, a podcast is an internet-based talk show that can feature guests and producers from all over the world. As the host, you will be responsible for collecting guest interviews, submitting them to your sponsors, arranging studio time, and, of course, producing the finished podcast. However, it’s not quite as simple as that might sound, hence these tips on creating a podcast that will help those of you just getting started in the business.
Here are some basics that will help you create a podcast and then make it perfect.
- Choose your topic. To become a successful podcast producer, you must be passionate about your subject matter. It’s up to you to make people interested in it. It’s not enough just to be a professional. You may be super smart and erudite on the subject. But if you bore yourself, you’ll never convince anyone else to listen to your podcasts. So, making podcasts starts with deep questions about your core interests and goals in life. Be especially thoughtful at this stage of preparation!
- Keep it simple, yet unique. Even if your subject is really complex and you need to use specific terminology, try to keep your approach as simple as possible. For some people, it may be hard to take in complex information by ear. So don’t talk in long sentences with hard-to-follow figures of speech. Imagine that you’re discussing the subject with a child.
You also have to make sure that each of your episodes is unique. You should never repeat the same content; instead, you should select and incorporate new and interesting subjects and guests that expand on your theme.
- Define your audience. Who is going to listen to you? Imagine the typical person you want to have listening to your podcasts. Start with their age and social attributes, like profession, education, marital status. Then describe their interests and values. Find the point where they intersect with yours.
But don’t be distracted by your imagination, because age, gender and social status are not the most essential attributes to understand. Focus on questions like: when and where will your subscribers listen to you and how much time do they have for listening to one episode? A business executive and a stay-at-home parent may be both interested in travelling. But the business executive listens to podcasts while commuting and may only have 10 to 15 minutes to listen, while the stay-at-home parent may have several hours to listen while cooking or doing housework.
Understanding your audience will help you choose the most appropriate format.
- Choose the format. Long evening monologues, round table discussions, face-to-face conversations, or one-on-one interviews – all are possible formats for your podcasts.
Think about what’s easiest for you – to chat with other people or cover the topic yourself. If you choose the first, you’ll need to find participants who are just as passionate about the topic as you are. You’ll need to search for people whose opinions are important and interesting for your audience, and some may not like the idea of taking part in a homemade radio show.
If you’re confident about your ability to carry the show solo, the monologue will be a better choice. But, in this case, you have to make a good plan because there should be no long pauses or boring stretches.
- Make a plan. We could have listed this first, but we’ve placed it in the middle because it’s not the main driver of success. First, you must create the idea and get a clear understanding of your audience. When all your mental preparations are done, you can plan the first episode.
Separate your performance into four sections – inception, main body, summary, conclusion. This structure is also known as a fish skeleton. Then detail each part. What will you start with? How are you going to greet people? What’s the agenda? What will be the headliner for your stream?
The main body should be also divided up into multiple subsections. Define the points that you want to highlight and think through each of them. Fill out some interesting facts and maybe add a little humor.
At the end of the show, summarize the content for your audience. If the episode was short, it can be as short as one sentence. But if you were talking for an hour, it’s better to give a more detailed summary.
What can you say in your conclusion? It’s a good idea to invite people to the next episode and ask them for feedback. You can also create a branded ending that will be your identifier.
After you’ve made the main plan, make a Plan B. You’ll need it in case something goes wrong. Do you know how astronauts prepare for flight? One of the things they do is create scenarios of their death. They try to predict the worst situations and make plans of what to do in those cases. You should do the same with your show. Imagine what can go wrong and make a Plan B so you can react quickly.
- Get good equipment. Podcasting can be recorded using computer equipment or a microphone and a digital recorder or even a handheld recording device. A microphone is optional but might be more appropriate if you intend to broadcast in a public place.
If your budget is tight, you can choose to use cheap microphones that are not branded, but it is important that the quality of the microphone is good. If the microphone is not portable, you might want to borrow one from a friend who uses good quality microphones. Many companies offer a range of accessories, including cables and USB microphones. When choosing a USB microphone, you can either go for a wired or wireless model.
Some recording devices come with pre-installed software that can help in editing your podcast. You can get software like Movavi Video Editor Plus that will make editing easier. If you already own music software, you might want to check which programs it is compatible with and download it.
- Install audio recording software. Obviously, sound quality is a significant factor. But it doesn’t depend solely on your recording devices. You should also have some professional software to get high quality output without unwanted interference and dropped sound.
You may have some built-in tools for audio recording on your computer, but we would not recommend using them, as they’re unlikely to produce clear sound and don’t include editing tools.
There are plenty of audio recording programs available – from desktop software to online recorders and browser extensions. But the most convenient and reliable way is to install a desktop app. When choosing an appropriate recorder, pay attention to the choice of exporting formats. Some programs don’t support saving audio separately from video. So you wouldn’t be able to export files in MP3 and upload them to podcast hosting websites.
Later, we’ll explain how to make podcasts with software from Movavi. You can try it for free before deciding to use it in future or explore other options.
- Train yourself. Now you have an idea, plan, equipment, and software. Is that all? Can you start your own podcast now? Not quite yet.
Before you start your first show, you need to train yourself. First of all, practise your talk and listen to how it sounds. Written material is different than spoken words. You may notice that some narrative can be easily understood when it’s on paper, but less so when it’s spoken aloud. You could even record your presentation with a voice recorder to check how it sounds.
Pay attention to the correct pronunciation of words, especially if you’re going to use complex terminology. Remember that people prefer to listen to clear speech.
Check the equipment and recording program you’re going to use. If you encounter technical difficulties during the recording, you may lose the thread of your presentation and get confused. So, it’s better to spend a little more time on preparation than be disappointed with the result.
- Choose your web platform. There are many websites dedicated to podcasts where you can publish your content. They are trustworthy, of course, but you risk getting lost in a crowd of newcomers like yourself.
One great way to attract listeners is via social media sites. Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ all have millions of viewers, and new podcast episodes are being uploaded to YouTube every week. If you have a Facebook page or a Twitter account, you should promote your podcast every week to reach a large audience. You can even upload multiple podcasts to each social media platform every week.
- Commercialize the channel. In addition to having a good idea of what kind of podcast you want to create, you also need to think about how you will market your podcast. Promoting upcoming episodes is essential if you want to get biggest return on your investment.
You can make money through podcast hosting by selling advertising space or products related to your podcast, but you can also use wrap-around marketing strategies to promote your episodes. Consider hiring a ghostwriter or professional website designer to help you create a newsletter, ad campaign, and other online marketing efforts to start generating revenue from your new career as a podcast host.
How to Use a Podcast Recording Program
Let’s talk more about software for producing podcasts. Every podcast creator needs reliable software for making and editing audio tracks. In this article we’ll explore how to start a podcast using software from Movavi.
Our Movavi Screen Recorder + Video Editor Plus bundle is functional, fast, and very simple to use. It will help you become a podcast producer in no time: just capture your voice, add some music, and edit the result so it’s just the way you want it.
Movavi Screen Recorder is much more than just a podcast generator; it’s also a powerful tool for capturing and editing streaming video and screen activity, saving Skype calls, ripping webinars, and a whole lot else besides.
Advantages of Movavi Screen Recorder + Video Editor Plus:
- Screen Recorder grabs your voice without any extraneous sound. It has clear audio output.
- You can record not only just voice but also your screen, computer audio, and webcam images.
- It includes many useful capture tools, such as an automatic recording scheduler, the ability to draw on videos, demonstration of mouse clicks and keystrokes, and much more.
- You can save recordings in MP3 to your desktop or upload files to cloud storage or YouTube.
- With the Movavi editing program, you can edit the audio track. You can trim it and delete unnecessary parts. It’s also possible to mix audio tracks so you can add background music and make intros and outros.
- Both programs have an intuitive interface, so you won’t lose precious time learning how to use them.
- There’s high-quality customer support. If you have any difficulties with your podcast recording, you can always ask for help and get solid technical advice.
Disadvantages of the programs:
- If you use the trial version of Video Editor Plus, only half the audio length can be saved.
- The video output has a watermark in the trial version.
- Movavi Video Editor Plus has only a 7-day trial period.
To learn how to start a podcast with Screen Recorder + Video Editor Plus, just download the appropriate version to your PC or Mac below and follow this short guide on how to make a podcast.
Step 1. Install the Program
Launch the setup file you’ve just downloaded and follow the instructions on your screen. Once the installation process is complete, the program will open automatically. The whole process will take just a few minutes.
Step 2. Set Up the Audio Recording Parameters
Launch Movavi Screen Recorder. On the pre-recording panel, you’ll see a camera icon. Click on it and choose the random capture area. Don’t worry – the screen will not be in the output.
Now you see the recording panel. Mute Webcam and Screen, and activate Microphone. If you use a portable microphone or headphones for audio recording, click on the Microphone icon and choose the appropriate device from the drop-down menu. If you want to include system sounds in your podcast, activate System Sound.
Step 3. Record the Audio Track
Now click the REC button. The recording starts in three seconds. Don’t be confused if the first sentence sounds weird. Just start your speech one more time. You can delete the false start in the editing program.
Step 3. Edit the Recording
When you’re done, stop recording. Your track will appear in the preview window. You can trim it right in the Screen Recorder.
If you need more advanced editing tools like audio mixing, click on the Open in Video Editor button to launch Movavi Video Editor Plus.
Now you can tweak your track however you want: delete unwanted elements, set the audio volume and speed, insert background music behind your voice, add intro and outro music. You can choose from the built-in audio tracks or add audio from your computer.
If you want to cut out unwanted parts, place the red marker at the beginning of the segment you want to cut out and click the scissors button. Then move the red marker to the end point of the unwanted segment and click the scissors again. Now you can delete the marked piece by selecting it and clicking the trash can button. The remaining parts will be joined automatically.
If you want to link in another track or add background music to your digital audio show, click the Add Media Files button and select the desired audio file. It will be linked automatically to your voice recording. Click and drag it down to create a separate track and use the additional audio as background music.
To access the complete set of audio editing tools, select the audio on the Timeline and click on the Audio Properties button. This will open the Tools tab, where you can change the Volume and Speed of your recording, normalize, denoise, or reverse it, and even apply special effects.
Step 5. Save the Result
If you’re satisfied with the result, save your audio track by clicking the Export button. In the new dialogue box, choose the MP3 format. You should also choose the folder where you want to save the file and the filename. Finally, save the file.
Congratulations! You’ve just produced a podcast, and now you can do whatever you want with it: share it with friends, upload it to your blog, or add it to a podcast platform and wait for it to get popular!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I start my own podcast at home?
To start up your podcast channel, follow these steps.
Step 1. Create your idea and get a clear understanding of your audience. The topic of your podcast should be interesting and something that your audience will enjoy hearing. If you are not sure what topic to use for your podcast, look for questions in forums and blogs to get some ideas of what might be needed.
Step 2. Choose the format and length of your podcast episodes: long solo presentations, discussions with co-hosts, interviews, quizzes, storytelling, etc.
Step 3. Make a plan and fill it out with interesting facts, anecdotes, and even a little humor. Don’t forget to make a plan B in case something goes wrong!
Step 4. Prepare the recording equipment and install the audio recording software. The equipment you’ll need includes: digital camera, microphone, computer, and speakers. Some podcasters use lightweight microphone stands, and a tripod is also handy for shooting episodes.
Step 5. Record and edit the audio track. Add an intro, outro and background music.
Step 6. Upload the audio file to the podcast hosting website. Free hosting can sometimes be a problem for podcasters, since most hosts charge for their services. A good alternative for hosts is subscription-based hosting. Hosts can be paid per month or for the entire year. A hosting provider can host as many episodes as the podcasters need. Subscribers pay only for episodes they download.
Step 7. Create a transcript of your podcast. Podcast transcription is the conversion of podcast recording into text format. Several programs are available that are designed specifically to convert audio recordings to text. You can use any text editor that has the ability to insert notes.
Podcast transcription is an inexpensive way to provide a valuable service to future audiences. Many people who listen to podcasts may miss earlier episodes, but those who catch them will benefit from your podcast transcripts.
Step 8. Make a marketing plan and brand your channel. If you have an existing podcast, you may choose to make your new podcast official and promote it in order to gain more listeners. This process is called branding. Branding allows you to position yourself as an authority through the podcast name and content. Podcast listeners will trust you and will come back for more podcasts.
It’s easy to start a podcast but it’s harder to make it interesting, useful and engaging. So be patient and don’t expect to be a great success after the first post. To become a popular podcaster, you’ll need to work hard, create unique content and act on to feedback from your subscribers.
What equipment do you need to start a podcast?
If you’re a beginner in creating podcasts, don’t buy expensive equipment right off the bat. Start with a simple microphone and computer. You might find you don’t like doing podcasts at all, so don’t be in a hurry to spend money.
If you’re a professional podcaster, you may find it useful to use specific equipment such as USB microphone, audio interface, audio mixer, pop filter or windscreen, branded headphones, sound amplifier, mic stand, shock mount, and more.
It’s also reasonable to record audio in a room with soundproofing. You can make it right in your home but note that it’s not cheap to create a soundproof room. Alternatively, you can go to a local audio recording studio where you can rent equipment and make audio recordings for your channel.
How can I make a podcast for free?
To record a podcast for free, follow these steps.
Step 1. Install Movavi Screen Recorder + Video Editor Plus trial versions for free. These programs will help you to record clear sound, edit the recording and export in high quality.
Step 2. Prepare your computer microphone or portable speaker. Launch Screen Recorder and capture your voice.
Step 3. Open the recording in Video Editor Plus. Add background music, intro and outro. Delete the parts that you don’t want in the final version.
Step 4. Save the file in MP3 to your desktop or upload it to cloud storage. Then you can upload the audio track to the podcast hosting website.
Step 5. Share the link with your friends so they can evaluate your first episode. They will be your first free audience.
The process of how to create a podcast for free isn't too difficult if you plan it out carefully and know what you need, but there are things you can purchase that will make the process easier. It's not difficult to get started with a podcast but it can be costly. You will need a microphone, a computer, and a high-quality computer recording device. The type of microphone you buy will depend on what level of sound quality you need for your podcast.
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