Introduction: How to Make a Podcast
Podcasts are one of the fastest growing growing forms of media, and anyone can contribute to it. This Instructable will give you six easy steps to create a quality podcast and spread it on the internet.
Step 1: Planning
The first step to creating a podcasting is the planning stage. You need to decide who you want your audience to be, and what topic or topics your show will feature. Even if you want your podcast to be more of a free flowing conversation, as opposed to one narrow topic, you need to clearly define what that means to you. Then you need to come up with a format. Do you want to host the podcast alone, or with a guest host? In addition, will you have guest interviews or guest hosts? Do you want the show to have a defined structure and segments, or just an ongoing conversation? All of these questions must be answered in order to know what type of show you’ll be creating.
Step 2: Equipment
Next, you will need to get the equipment needed. First, you will need a reliable computer to record your audio onto. You can record using something as simple as the microphone on your smartphone, but if you want to go for a higher quality, you’ll need to invest in a podcasting microphone. A popular one, that I use myself, is the Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone, which can be purchased on Amazon. Make sure the microphone you buy can be hooked up to your computer. USB microphones are the easiest option, as most computers have built in USB ports.
If you choose to record with another person, they will need their own mic, and if they are recording from another location, you’ll need to download a video call service like Skype or FaceTime. Then you will need to download software that can record the audio from the call. These can be found online, and will usually let you use them free for an amount of time, but you’ll likely have to pay if you plan on using it all the time.
Step 3: Record
Now you’re ready to record. If you purchased a USB mic, it will be very easy to hook up and start recording. If you got something more complex, you’ll have to read the instructions to make sure it’s set up correctly. You can either record the audio directly into the editing software (we’ll discuss options for this software in the next step), or you can save the audio files onto your computer and insert them later. If you're worried you wont know what to say, or will run out of things to talk about, consider writing out a rough outline of topics, but not a script. You don't ant to sound like you're reading lines.
You’ll want to get all of your audio recorded now, anything that you think you might want to include in the podcast. Remember: it is always better to record too much, than too little. You can always cut things out in our next step...
Step 4: Editing
After you finish recording, you’ll have to edit your audio. There are many editing softwares, but I highly recommend using Audacity. It’s free and easy to use. And if you do have trouble with it, there are plenty of tutorials online (including on this site) to help you. Make sure to edit out any unwanted pauses, or messed up takes. If you are looking for more of a casual conversation, and want to leave any slip ups in, it is still a good idea to listen through and make sure you are okay with everything left in there. You may also need to trim it down to fit the time frame you hoped to stay in.
This is also where you will add any music or sound effects. It is a good idea to have some type of music as an intro, and possibly as an outro as well. Beware of using any music you don’t have the rights to, as this can get your podcast pulled off the internet. You can find royalty free music on many websites online. Once you finish, save your audio file as an mp3.
Step 5: Publish
Once you have edited your audio down to the final product, you’ll need to publish your podcast online. There are many options for this, but again, I will recommend SoundCloud. It is a popular site, that allows you to upload a certain amount of audio for free (however, if you plan on uploading podcasts frequently, you’ll need to pay to upgrade your account). Once you sign up for an account, and begin to upload your audio, you’ll be able to edit your podcast’s image and episode description. If you want people to listen to your podcast, take this very seriously. The image is the first thing people will see, so it needs to look appealing and grab their attention. Some people won’t listen to a podcast without reading the description, so make sure it gives a good idea of what is in the episode, without overloading them with more text than they want to read.
At this point, you have technically finished the job! You’ve created a podcast and uploaded it to the internet. But, if you want to take it to the next level, you’ve got a little more work to do.
Step 6: Promote
Finally, you need to promote your podcast to the public. Once you’ve uploaded it to SoundCloud, it will be available to listen to from there. But if you really want people to find it, you need to get it onto iTunes. To do this, you will have to copy your RSS Feed (this will come with your account on SoundCloud), and submit it to iTunes, which can be done through their podcast store page. Once you make sure everything meets their submissions, they will approve it (this could take a few days), and the future episodes uploaded to your feed will automatically show up on iTunes. After this, you can upload it to YouTube or a blog, anywhere where you may find listeners. Finally, make sure everyone knows about your podcast. Post it to all your social media pages for people to find, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Make sure you provide a link so they can easily get to it. Ask them for feedback and reviews so you can get started on your next episode!
I produce my own podcast, called the The Stanchion. If you liked what you saw here today, give us a listen! You can find us here, on iTunes (or any other podcasting app, just search for "The Stanchion"), or on our website, www.thestanchionpod.com.