Want your own podcast? I keep getting asked this question by people who want to launch their own podcast. How did you do it? How should I go about it? What are the steps involved? And when I start to explain it to people, it sounds so complicated. When I wanted to learn how to do this I had to go to a number of websites, watch a number of different videos and then come up with my show. Not without all the mistakes I made and all the errors of judgement that comes with experience. Recommending other people to a bunch of websites was highly impractical. 🙁
So here I’m laying down a step by step method of getting your podcast together. Now there is a reason for the order on the checklist. If you itemize work according to this list, you will have no trouble when you actually set up in two days or less, because each component I list is necessary for the podcast host. I will explain in each step why it’s needed.
- Choose a name for your podcast. This is important. You have to have this because when you fill in details on soundcloud, blubrry, or even amazon you will need a name. I chose THE CHRISTIAN CIRCLE podcast.
- Choose the name of the person hosting. Unless your hiding yourself and going anonymous, you will need a name that shows up on itunes or other digital radio stations. If you’re building a brand make sure your name is the same as it will give you a chance to earn a reputation online. I went with my name. My mistake here was to use my whole name. I think something short is better. I’ll tell you why. Every time you embed this on a website, if the name is too long the name takes all the space and the title of the episode doesn’t show. See what I mean:
- Cover Art or Album Art: Now once you have the first two steps, every host asks you for a cover picture and header picture. I suggest creating one specially for your podcast. It makes it look very professional. You don’t have to spend money, just pick some pics for free that resonate with the theme of your podcast from Pixabay. Download the lowest resolution, because this will go into your thumbnail. Then go to Canva and choose album cover and create your own cover. You can use the free fonts, templates or you can spend money. I didn’t spend a cent. Here’s what I made, most of you must have seen it.
- Choose a host. So this is where things get tricky. Now the podcast or audio has to be hosted somewhere and there are special sites where the bandwidth of an entire show no matter how long or dense can be hosted. There are so many now with different features catering to different audiences. There are even hosting sites catered to music, and genres of music. When I started the best were Blubrry, Libsyn, Soundcloud and Amazon S3. Now I chose soundcloud because they offered a free plan in the beginning and I didn’t think we’d be any good. Typical Jonah mentality, but we did well during the free period and as the podcast grew I realized I liked being on soundcloud. Now the services of stats, unlimited data all comes with payment, but the first few hours I believes 5 hours of data is free. I do believe if you have wordpress or a wordpress website Blubrry is the best. Although I think, when I started none of them had anything free. Even if you’re in doubt you can always started free with soundcloud and shift to another host later. Amazon S3 had alot of issues with copyright and legalese, from some of it’s users and it wasn’t very popular so it was never on my radar.
- Now record three episodes of your show. Yes now. Why? Because 3 is the magic number. Once you have three episodes as soon as you upload them on to the host which then transmits to itunes, stitchr and other digital radio, the digital stations give you the new and exciting label, which propels you to the front page and gets you immediate listeners and fans. Recording in the same room is always awesome. It has the best sound, but I almost always record on skype for long distance. I use the Pamela software, I started with the free trial version and then tried others which died on me midway and stuck with my namesake ever since. It’s pretty reliable. Always record with backup. I use Audacity(free) to record a backup version and to clean up audio. Record in mono not stereo because it consumes less bandwidth especially if you’re using free space. And save your files as wav not mp3 because hosting sites only use wav. forms. If you want to convert files you can always use Zamzar online conversion.(free)
- Register with your host either Libsyn, Soundcloud or Blubrry. It’s very simple your name, email and details. So here remember the brand name, the name of your show, the image and the host’s name. It all gets added in one feel swoop. So carefully add all these details.
- Link your RSS feed with digital radio like tunein.com, itunes, stitchr and wherever. Here’s how. This video is super helpful. You MUST watch this and do it with the video. All the steps you did earlier were to help you do this in one fell swoop. All these other sites will directly take in your cover image, album art and name of the show from your host, which is why I insisted you complete them in the step above. 🙂 <
- Upload all your three episodes on to your hosts sites. Tada your podcast is live. :O
- Wait for 24 hours for all stations to update through your RSS feed.
- Share once this goes through the internetosphere.
Podcasting is a lot of work. In fact, this set up will probably take you a day or two. But finding the speaker, getting your dates matched, recording, then cleaning up the audio, it’s hours of work. I still haven’t outsourced audio clean up though I should. I use transcription services like Speechpad as I just couldn’t do it myself. To give you an idea, it takes me roughly four hours of work for 1 episode. And since I can’t afford it, I do just two a month.
Now I know a lot of people will ask what recording equipment to buy. I’d say just make do with what you have and build from there. I can’t justify buying an expensive high quality mic like Rode at this stage of the game, especially when I talk for just five minutes on the show while my guests do the bulk of the talking. There are mixers and mics and audio outputs and what not. You can always see what these guys at Podcastfast recommend.
So there you have it how to start your own podcast.