Podcast Essentials: Everything You Need To Start a Podcast
Thanks to modern technology, today, creative people who want to get the word out have the option of writing a blog, creating vlogs (video blogs), and narrating podcasts. Today we’ll discuss everything you need to start a podcast. It’s the latest craze of all three, and because we love to listen to topics we’re passionate about, podcasts aren’t going anywhere. Let’s look at what you need to get started.
Name and Topic
You can’t really begin if you don’t know what you’re all about. Decide what your podcast is about and narrow it down so it isn’t too general. Maybe you want to talk about cars—but what kind? Or motherhood—but which stage? Deciding on a topic helps listeners decide who to tune into. When it’s very general, you’re competing with millions of other podcasters. Specificity is key!
Now that you have your topic, name your podcast. Choose something that makes your topic of discussion obvious and make it catchy so it’s easy to remember.
What’s the Format?
Every podcast has its own format. Here are the typical formats, along with their pros and cons:
The interview format allows the podcaster to interview a guest or two. The great thing about interviews is the host doesn’t have to do all of the talking. It relieves some pressure.
However, a negative is your fans will expect interviews, and you’ll need to find new people to interview every time. That’s difficult when you’re just starting out.
The Solo Podcast
This is the most common format and is run just by the podcast host. In this case, the podcaster is passionate about a topic or sincerely wants to share some information. If they aren’t passionate about their topic, the podcast probably won’t last long.
The best part about a solo podcast is the host has complete control. You can speak your mind with no one to argue a different point. Of course, if you don’t appeal to a fan base, you’ll have no listeners, so keep that in mind.
The cons are obvious; there’s a lot of pressure on the solo host to perform well and be interesting. When there’s a pause, no one is there to help out and fill in the gap. You’ve got to be comfortable with your voice and confident in what you’re saying, or it will show.
Still, having complete control and 30 minutes to an hour just to talk about something that lights your fire is not a bad gig.
A conversational podcast is when two people co-host, and they simply have a conversation. This takes the pressure off and is a lot of fun. Basically, there’s a topic, and the hosts converse back and forth. Such podcasts tend to be pretty entertaining for listeners.
The downside is you now have to edit two voices rather than just one, a script won’t work very well, and if you don’t realize you aren’t both on the same page about a topic, you might be in for a surprise while trying to converse during the podcast.
Similar to interviewing, the host asks questions to a panel of guests rather than just interviewing one person. This may be the greatest format to relieve pressure. Listeners enjoy the natural flow of conversation between multiple people.
However, it’s easy for the host to lose control of the podcast if the conversation gets too heated or one panel guest goes on and on. How do you politely tell them to please stop talking? It’s a tough part of the panel format.
After choosing your format, you need to find a quiet space to record your podcast, and then you need the right equipment. Let’s look at the essential equipment to get started.
Your podcast needs somewhere to land so it can be edited and sent out to the masses. A laptop or desktop both work just fine.
Yes, your computer has a built-in microphone, but if you want listeners to return to your podcast, we recommend you choose a high-quality microphone designed to capture recording. There are many to choose from under the categories of condenser (usually for one person) and dynamic (usually for two), and both offer USB or XLR.
You don’t have to choose the most expensive microphone to start, but you should choose one designed to do the job you need.
The audio interface takes your voice from the microphone and into the computer. Without it, there’s no digital signal for the computer to use.
Don’t even consider trying to skip out on headphones for your podcast. They take some getting used to but make a huge difference in sound quality. Choose closed-back headphones to help eliminate background sounds. Sorry, your earbuds won’t do for this job.
Your microphone needs a place to go, and you’ll feel more comfortable having it propped at the right height for you to speak into. You don’t need to fidget with a microphone in the middle of a podcast.
Just what we all need—more cables in our lives. Seriously, though, your microphone needs to plug into your audio interface, so please don’t go cheap. It’ll only cause issues. Start with the middle of the road, and you’ll be fine.
Submit and Promote Your Podcast
Way to go! After your first recorded and edited podcast, you’ll need to choose a podcast hosting platform and sign up. There are several, and they’re all pretty good. Once you submit your podcast, it’s time to start promoting it. The best way to start is with social media.
Let friends and family know you’ve started a show. (You know your mom will listen.) Blast all over your social media accounts and ask friends to share the news with their friends.
Keep creating podcasts, and you’ll gather fans quickly. Listeners lose interest when there’s nothing new to listen to. Enjoy podcasting and sharing your passions with others. Some things are too good to keep to ourselves.
When it comes to audio, Yandas Music has everything you need to start a podcast. From a digital mixer for sale, along with microphones, headphones, and more. Contact Yandas Music, and we’ll get you set up so you can share your podcast with the world.