Millie’s Guide to Starting Your Own Podcast
Written by Tusshara Nalakumar based on Millie's Guide to Starting Your Own Podcast.
Podcasting isn’t just a quarantine project, it’s here to stay. If you’re interested in making your own podcast, but aren’t sure how to go about it, read on for a how-to guide!
So, what exactly is a podcast?
Ever daydreamed about being on a talk show? A podcast may be just the thing for you! A podcast is an audio programme that can be about anything you’re interested in. Podcasts are available for streaming on different online platforms, such as Spotify and Apple, and are a popular form of entertainment. Each podcast typically has an overarching topic or theme, with individual episodes focusing on different aspects within that.
“Staying fairly consistent with the format and structure of your podcast can help build a loyal audience as they learn what to expect.”
Your podcast can take a wide variety of formats and structures, such as podcasts with one host, a roundtable with multiple hosts, interview-based podcasts, and even documentary style and fictional podcasts that tell immersive stories over the course of a series. Staying fairly consistent with the format and structure of your podcast can help build a loyal audience as they learn what to expect — and what to look forward to.
That sounds cool, but how would I even start?
As podcast host Oscar Peimbert shared in our webinar, a podcast can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be! The basics that you’ll need in order to get started are:
- A microphone
- Recording and editing software
- A publishing platform
- A smartphone
- Good internet connection
This doesn’t have to mean spending hundreds on equipment — there are many free and low-budget options.
“A podcast can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be!”
You’ll want to get a good microphone in order to provide your listeners with good audio quality. After all, no matter how interesting your podcast’s content is, people may not be inclined to keep listening if they’re struggling to hear what you’re saying.
There are a variety of microphones that you can choose from. If you’re planning to record your podcast alone, or with other people remotely, and are on a lower budget, we recommend beginning with a bluetooth microphone.
If you want to invest a little more into your equipment and perhaps record with other people in-person, you may want to look into XLR microphones. Don’t worry about recording your podcast perfectly — take advantage of the editing capabilities of free audio editing apps like Garageband and Audacity.
“Don’t worry about recording your podcast perfectly, take advantage of the editing capabilities of free audio editing apps.”
There are a lot of podcasts out there. How can I make mine stand out?
To help get your podcast noticed, it’s a good idea to create some interesting, eye-catching cover art, which will be visible on whichever streaming service you launch your podcast on. You should also be sure to include a stinger, which is the introduction that kicks off each episode. Just make sure to respect copyright laws for any music you may use!
OK, I’m ready to release my podcast into the world!
Once you upload your podcast to a publishing platform, it creates an RSS feed which distributes your podcast to as many different websites as you’d like. Paid options like Transistor create a website for your podcast and provide analytics about it such as audience reach.
It’s important to consistently produce high-quality content that you are proud of and be patient with your podcast’s growth. It’s also important to network through social media, especially with other growing podcasts — this allows you to learn from others and attract new audiences.
Listening to other podcasts will also be a great source of inspiration and knowledge for you, and may introduce you to different formats that you could experiment with in future. There are also a number of blogs out there that can offer useful insights on how to up your podcast skills.
Those are the basics — you’re ready to go. Happy podcasting!