So you're thinking about starting a podcast? That’s great, and congratulations on your choice to be part of an awesome form of media! In this guide we will help you get the info you need to get started and launch your podcast. Keep in mind that there is no definitive right or wrong when doing podcasts, there are probably only two rules you should keep in mind:
Check out the charts below, podcasts are now mainstream! The important thing to take away from these chars is that if you provide quality content, you will be able to find listeners and if you manage to attract a sizable audience, you may be able to generate some side income which could eventually grow into something of significant size.
These days, recording a podcast is simple. All you need is a computer/laptop, some software and a hosting provider. We will outline the basics you need below; if you are completely new to this and confused by some of the terminology, an afternoon of using Google (or any other search engine) should be enough to clear up any questions you may have.
Any modern computer or laptop will be powerful enough to record a podcast. Your computer should be powerful enough to run without intermittent hickups/freezes and have enough free disk space to comfortably record a few episodes; these days you can buy a reasonable machine for under USD 300 (not counting the monitor)
This is probably the most imporant piece of equipment for recording your podcast as it determines the sound quality. We recommend you use a condensor microphone as they are more sensitive and give better audio quality. You can get good condensor microphones for under USD 100 and if you want to save money, you can get a budget condensor microphone for under USD 50. As with everyhing, you get what you pay for but even a budget condensor microphone will allow you to record audio which is good enough for a podcast. You may want to opt for a microphone which comes with it's own stand, this allows for easy placement in front of you and you won't have to buy a separate microphone arm.
In order to keep things simple, we recommend you get a microphone with a USB connector which you can then directly plug into your computer. Also, since condensor microphones are very sensitive, we recommend to use a pop-filter and to find a quiet room to record your podcast.
There are a lot of reviews on YouTube and articles all over the internet which feature microphone reviews and comparisons. While there are differences between these microphones, if you avoid bottom price segment and get a reputable brand and avoid the lowest price ranges, you won't be disappointed; they're all quite good. But don't take our word for it, do your own research and make a decision based on the information you find.
There are a lot of programs which will record audio on your computer. Depending on the platform (Windows, Mac, Linux) you use, there may be a lot of very polished programs out there, some of which are probably free. We have had good experiences with Audacity, which is a cross-platform (meaning that it will run on Windows, Mac and Linux) audio recording and editing tool. There are a lof of tutorials on YouTube (or even just written articles) which explain how to use Audacity to process a recorded podcast in order to improve it's audio quality. Once you have completed your editing, you should export your raw audio to MP3 at a rate of 128Kb/s; this quality setting is enough for podcasts but does not product excessively large file sizes. Do not use variable bitrate encoding as this is not guaranteed to work on all players.
Once you have recorded and edited your podcast, you're ready to publish it. There are a lot of hosting providers you can choose from, but (for obvious reasons) we hope you pick Podcaster.One.