Before the internet age, the only way to really broadcast your show was either through television or radio. Skip forward to the 21st century, almost anybody with an internet connection and the right podcast equipment can share their show, or podcast, with the world. So if you have ever thought about having your own radio show, keep reading this article as we will show you what you need to make that dream into a reality.
The word “podcast” is derived from the combination of “iPod” and “broadcast”. At the time when podcasts were still up and coming, they were mainly accessible through an iPod. Now that there are cell phones, tablets, MP3 players, and other portable devices capable of playing digital files, podcasts can be viewed from many devices.
There are a variety of reasons why people podcast. The main purpose is to express your knowledge, ideas, or personality to the public. The beauty of a podcast is that the cost is low and no education or experience is required to start one. Rather than having to start a radio station, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars, why not just invest in a computer, internet connection, and some sound equipment? Most people also produce their podcasts in their own home or office, making it extremely convenient and easy.
The types of podcasts being broadcasted these days range from news information, sports talk, political views, music stations, learning a new language, and even make-up tips. As a music artist, creating a podcast is a great way of promoting your name and music, as well as letting people get to know you better. And since there is no censorship compared to public television and radio, you can say anything you like.
Podcasts can be downloaded through a number ways, depending on how the creator wants to distribute them. iTunes has a library full of podcasts, as well as websites, phone apps and file sharing programs. They can usually be downloaded for free, but there can also be a charge for it, depending on the artist and website.
So if this all sounds great to you and you feel ready to start your own podcast, let’s look at what a typical podcast setup looks like.
Knowing exactly what kind of gear you need to start podcasting can be a bit tricky and confusing at first. If you aren’t sure whether you can see yourself doing this for a long period of time, you may want to buy used equipment or buy lower priced pieces to save yourself some money. Although having great equipment will make your production stand out, you can still get away with making a good quality podcast with the bare minimum.
Unless you don’t plan on speaking during your podcast, you will want to have a microphone. If you’ve never purchased one before, you will soon learn that there are a ton of choices, varying with a range of prices. Although most laptops come with built-in microphones, we wouldn’t recommend using that for your podcast. The problem with that is not only does it produce bad sound quality, but they also amplify vibrations and other noises from inside the machine.
If there is one piece of equipment you shouldn’t hold back on from a financial standpoint, it’s probably the microphone. You can probably get away with a low quality one if you are mostly playing music during your show. Otherwise, the microphone will be put to a lot of use, and the quality of your sound will reflect how professional your podcast really is.
There are a lot of USB microphones that make it easy to install and use. The high-end ones go for over $250, but you can still buy a good quality microphone for less than $100. You may also want to purchase a mic stand, unless you don’t mind holding the microphone during your entire show.
Unless you are working with a lot of music, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on headphones. Headphones are important though, otherwise the sound will come from your computer speakers, causing it to leak into your podcast while you are recording. Don’t settle with ear buds or any other type of earphones. Make sure the headphones go on your head and they are closed around your ears, so no sound is escaping. You can also buy headphones with a microphone attached to it, but make sure that the sound quality from the microphone is good.
The type of software you will want to use will greatly determine on the type of podcast you are conducting. For audio editing software, your options are almost unlimited. There are free programs as well as professional software that can be fairly expensive. For your first run podcast with a setup of a typical one-person show with intro and outro music, you can probably get by with using GarageBand for Mac or Pamela for Windows, which are both free software.
When there is more than one host or there are guest callers and speakers on the show, you may want to use a program that can handle your post-production editing needs. Very few podcasts are recorded live in one take and then uploaded straight to the web. Having the right software can do wonders for your podcast, assuming you know how to use it correctly.
Luckily for you, almost any computer (PC or Mac) purchased within the last few years is probably capable of handling your recording and editing needs. So that means you probably won’t be adding this to your shopping list, saving you some money. And this should go without saying, but you will want a fast and reliable internet connection so your Skype calls to guests don’t get disconnected and you can upload your content quickly. Also, if you happen to use multiple microphones or you are using a very old sound card, you may want to invest in another sound card. This can give you the option of multiple inputs and could increase the quality of your sound.
Once everything is set up, it’s time to start recording! In the early stages, you will probably have a lot of questions and concerns regarding your podcast. Luckily, there are a lot of courses and tutorials offered here that can greatly benefit you. Whether it’s regarding equipment, how to gain more listeners, or ideas on how to make your podcast better, we have you covered.
Starting Your Own Podcast – If you are still debating whether to start your own podcast or not, this course will show you what to expect if you do decide to take the leap. The topics range from how to name your podcast, to RSS feeds, and how to attract listeners.
How To Podcast Like A Pro – Learn how to separate yourself from the rest of the pack by using the MINE system. Anyone looking to improve their podcast or gain more listeners should definitely check out this course.
RapidAction Podcasting – This is a course for beginners and experienced users that can make your podcast from good to great. You will learn some tips and secrets on how to promote your podcast and market it effectively.