Video might’ve killed the radio star, but the podcaster’s doing just fine. As the audio-based format grows ever-larger, more and more people are rushing to set up their own recording studios in greater numbers.
And that’s why you’re here, aren’t you? You want to learn how to record your own podcast with the least friction possible.
Well, great news—you’re in the right place. So sit back, relax, and learn how to hit the ground running like a professional.
Finding Quality Equipment
First, let’s review the hardware and software you’ll need to get started. Here’s a list of podcasting essentials:
It’s hardwarin’ time.
A Quality Microphone
You don’t need the most expensive microphone on the market to get quality sound, but you will need something that doesn’t produce static or dropouts.
I recommend the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ or the Rode NT-USB condenser mic.
You need a good pair of headphones to avoid feedback loops and get the best sound quality. I recommend closed-back over-ear headphones like the Sony MDR7506.
A Pop Filter
A pop filter helps to reduce “p” and “b” sounds that can produce popping noises in your audio. There are many different designs and prices for pop filters, but I recommend the Auray PF-12 for its affordability and durability.
XLR cables are how you connect your microphone to your audio interface (we’ll get to that in a second).
An Audio Interface
An audio interface is a device that lets you connect your XLR microphone to your computer. I recommend the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd gen) for its price and features.
Acoustic treatment is optional but recommended. It helps to reduce echo and reverb in your recording space. I recommend the Auralex MoPAD monitor isolation pads for their affordability and ease of use.
Now that we’ve got our hardware out of the way let’s talk about software. Here are a few recommendations for recording and editing your podcast:
Audacity is a free and open-source recording and editing software. It’s simple to use and offers a variety of features for podcast editing.
Hindenburg Journalist is a paid audio editing software that’s specifically designed for podcasting.
Setting Up Your Podcast Recording Studio
Now that we’ve gone over the hardware and software you need, it’s time to set up your studio.
1. Find a Quiet Space
First, you need to find a quiet space to record in. This can be a dedicated recording studio, a converted closet, or even a quiet corner in your bedroom.
2. Set Up Your Microphone
Next, set up your microphone. If you’re using a desk stand, place it on a sturdy surface. If you use a boom arm, mount it to a desk or table.
3. Connect Your Microphone to Your Audio Interface
Then, connect your microphone to your audio interface using an XLR cable.
4. Connect Your Audio Interface to Your Computer
Now, connect your audio interface to your computer using a USB cable.
5. Open Your Recording Software
Once your hardware is all set up, open your recording software.
6. Configure Your Software Settings
Now it’s time to configure your recording settings.
There are a couple of reasons why it’s important to set your recording settings to mono when recording a podcast.
First, it ensures that both sides of the conversation are perfectly in sync.
This is important because it helps create a natural feel to the conversation, making it sound like the two people are actually talking to each other in real-time.
Second, mono recordings sound much better than stereo recordings when played back on a mono device, such as a speakerphone or a computer with only one speaker.
This is because mono recordings are less likely to produce echoes and other unwanted sound effects.
Third, so it doesn’t take up too much space on your computer.
So in Audacity, go to Edit > Preferences > Devices. Then, in the “Recording” drop-down menu, select your audio interface. Then, in the “Channels” drop-down menu, select “1 (Mono)”.
And in Hindenburg, go to File > New Session. In the “Audio Input” drop-down menu, select your audio interface. Then, in the “Channels” drop-down menu, select “1 (Mono)”.
Next, set your recording bitrate to at least 96kbps. This will help to ensure your recording sounds clear and crisp.
Finally, set your recording sample rate to 44.1kHz. This is the standard sample rate for CDs and will help to ensure your recording sounds professional.
7. Position Your Microphone
Now, position your microphone in front of you about 6-12 inches away.
8. Put on Your Headphones
Then, put on your headphones and adjust the volume until it’s comfortable.
9. Test Your Levels
Now it’s time to test your levels. To do this, simply speak into your microphone at a normal volume.
Then, look at the levels meter in your recording software and make sure the needle is peaking around -12dB.
If it’s not, adjust your microphone—silly goose.
Choosing a Publishing Platform
Now that you know how to set up your podcast recording studio, it’s time to choose a publishing platform.
There are tons of different podcast hosting platforms out there, but I recommend Spreaker.
Spreaker is a popular podcast hosting platform that offers a variety of features, including:
- Unlimited audio storage
- Advanced analytics
- Embeddable audio player
- RSS feed
- Support for video podcasting
Best of all, Spreaker offers a free plan that includes all of the features listed above. So if you’re starting, it’s a no-brainer.
Publishing Your First Podcast
To sign up for Spreaker, visit their website and create a free account. Once you’re logged in, click on the “Create New Show” button.
From there, you can give your show a name, description, and cover art. You can also choose whether you want your show to be public or private.
Once done, click on the “Create Show” button.
Creating Your First Episode
Let’s create your first episode. To do this, click on the “Episodes” tab and then click on the “Create New Episode” button.
Next, give your episode a title, description, and cover art. You can also choose whether you want your episode to be public or private.
Uploading Your Audio File
Now it’s time to upload your audio file.
To do this, click on the “Files” tab and then click on the “Upload Files” button.
From there, you can either drag and drop your audio file into the “Drag and drop files here” box or click on the “Select Files to Upload” button to select your file from
Publishing Your Episode
Finally, it’s publishin’ time.
To do this, click on the “Publish” tab and then click on the “Publish Episode” button.
From there, choose when you want your episode to be published. You can also add tags and choose a category for your episode.
Promoting Your Podcast
Now that you’ve published your first episode, it’s time to start promoting your podcast.
There are a number of different ways to promote your podcast, but here are a few of the most effective:
1. Create a Website
The first way to promote your podcast is to create a website.
Your website is a great way to give your listeners more info about your show, and it’s also a great way to drive traffic to your episodes.
Best Website Builders for Podcasting
Creating a website for your podcast doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.
In fact, there are a number of website builders out there that make it easy and affordable to create a professional-looking website.
Here are a few of the best website builders for podcasting:
WordPress is the most popular website builder, offering a huge variety of features:
- A large selection of themes and plugins
- Flexible customization options
- Integrated social media tools
WordPress is a great option for podcasting, but it’s important to note that it is a bit more complicated to use than some of the other website builders on this list.
If you’re not confident in your technical skills, I’ll more streamlined options next.
Squarespace is a streamlined site builder with an impressive number of features, such as:
- A large selection of themes
- Flexible customization options
- Integrated social media tools
Squarespace is a great option for podcasting, and it’s a bit easier to use than WordPress.
Wix is a full-featured website builder featuring a drag-and-drop editor, hundreds of templates, and 24/7 customer service.
2. Create Social Media Accounts
Another great way to promote your podcast is to create social media accounts. This will give you another platform to promote your episodes and engage with your listeners.
Best Social Platforms for Podcast Promotion
There are a number of different social media platforms out there, but here are a few of the best for promoting your podcast:
Not only is Twitter a great way to share your episodes, but it’s also a great way to engage with your listeners.
Facebook’s extensive community engagement toolset makes it a prime space for engaging with your audience. It’s engagin’ time!
Instagram is an excellent way to share audio clips and behind-the-scenes photos with your listeners.
Snapchat is a great platform for promoting your podcast, but it’s important to note that it’s a bit less effective than some of the other platforms on this list.
LinkedIn is excellent for sharing your episodes and articles with other professionals in your field. I post on LinkedIn every day!
YouTube is prime for sharing video clips—or even entire episodes—with an extended audience.
3. Submit Your Podcast to Directories
One of the best ways to get new listeners is to submit your podcast to popular podcast directories, such as iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play.
Most Popular Podcast Directories
Here are some of the most popular podcast directories to register your podcast with:
iTunes is the world’s most popular podcast directory, with over 500 million active users.
Spotify is the second most popular podcast directory, with over 200 million active users jammin’ out each month.
iHeartRadio is the third most popular podcast directory, with over 85 million active users.
4. Run Ads
If you want to reach a larger audience, you can also run ads. There are a number of different platforms you can use to run your ads, such as Google AdWords and Facebook Ads.
5. Collaborate With Other Podcasters
Finally, you can also collaborate with other podcasters. You can do this by guesting on other shows or by having other podcasters guest on your show.
Just email them and say, “It’s guestin’ time, and I wanna guest all over the place.” They’ll get the reference and be your best friend.
And that’s it! You now know everything there is to know about recording your first podcast and getting your first listeners.
Now it’s podcastin’ time! Go podcast all over the place!