So you want to learn how to go about creating your very own podcast, but have no idea where to start. Don’t worry, we have a couple suggestions to get you started on the right track.
The first step is to make sure you have the right equipment. You don’t need to shell out thousands of dollars for all the gear. You’ll need:
- Recording Software – We are biased, but try out the new ScreenFlow 5. Record and edit your podcast in one simple application.
- USB microphone – The microphone built into your computer is not going to give you the quality you want. Around here we use the Blue Yeti USB mic, but there are many options out there.
- Pop filter – A good pop filter helps to even out noise levels and reduce sounds that occur in normal speech. Recordings can turn a normal exhalation of breath into something far more explosive!
- Mixer – Although not as vital as the items above, a mixer can really dial in the audio in your podcast. Do some research to see if dropping the cash is something you need to do.
If you want some tips on recording great voice over audio, check out this blog post!
Preparation & Production
Now that you have equipment nailed down, spend some time mapping out your podcast on both individual episode, and “big picture” levels. Create a theme so your podcast has some continuity to it. As fun as it may be to just get a few friends together to shoot the breeze, having a strong core will help keep you on topic as well as appeal to a more dedicated audience. Although it doesn’t by any means need to be entirely uniform, it’s best to try and keep the lengths of your podcast within a decent range of each other; having one that’s ten minutes followed by another that stretches over an hour is jarring. In this vein, have a set schedule. Whether it’s daily, weekly, or bi-monthly, your listeners will be looking forward to your next episode if they know when it is coming.
For each individual episode, you will need a script, but not a word for word one. You don’t want to sound as if you’re reading a story as your listeners will be able to tell. Write down all the main points you want to touch on, and any important details. If you are looking for music for the intros, outros or any transitions, check out sites that offer stock media files to avoid any legality issues.
Now you’re ready to record. Always do some tests to make sure everything is working. You don’t want to get halfway through and realize nothing is being recorded. Once you have a recording you’re satisfied with, make sure to do a bit of editing. Any dead space or accidental flubbing of words can be cut out. You’ll also want to make sure that the volume levels are steady throughout and that if you have any background music or sound effects that they don’t drown out your voice.
Managing your Files
If you are using ScreenFlow, exporting your file will be super simple. Open the export menu, select the “Web – High” export setting, and then click customize. In the resulting window you can toggle off the video export, which will allow you to export only your audio file. Open your file in iTunes, and in the iTunes preferences menu under “General,” click “Import Settings” and change it to “Import Using Mp3 Encoder.” Now in your music library you can right click your new podcast file and convert it to a Mp3 by clicking “Create Mp3 version.” Check out this slideshow for a bit of guidance.
Once you have your podcast file in the .Mp3 format, it’s time to send it out to your listeners! There are many options for hosting your podcast, free or paid, but one of the best is Lybsin. This is a great option for anyone starting a new podcast. For a small monthly fee you will be set up with storage, a RSS feed (quite important for promoting your podcast) and a few other essentials. Once you have your podcast feed through a hosting site, you can head back to the iTunes store and submit your podcast. With millions of users worldwide, iTunes is a great way to get exposure for your podcast. Make sure to follow their instructions on how to submit your podcast.
Interesting in becoming a ScreenFlow Affiliate Partner? Learn more here!