Podcasting and podcast hosting is one of the most accessible ways to make engaging content for regular folks or businesses. But you’ve still got to get the basics right. This article walks you through the 4 simple steps you need to follow to record a podcast. We’ve also got tips from our own experience to help you along the way.
1. Get your setup right
As someone who’s recorded a podcast with a bad setup and with a great setup, I can attest to the enormous difference this makes. Not only will all the following steps be easier but if you’re more comfortable recording your podcasts will simply be better.
Getting started then. The first step is to get your equipment right. A full podcast setup can cost as little as $100. Just be sure you get equipment that you find comfortable to use and which gets you sound you’re satisfied with. You don’t want to buy gear and then end up buying something different in a few months. You can even set up a recording space in your office.
The right room
The trick to getting the room just right is balancing the requirements for sound and video (and creating videos for your podcast is something you should be doing). Audio demands a smaller room with lots of sound absorbing surfaces while video needs lots of light. The best compromise is to use sound absorbing panels if needed along with some studio lights and a backdrop.
2. Get in the right physical and mental space
This is something that doesn’t get considered nearly enough when it comes to podcast recording. Whether you’re interviewing someone in your office or recording alone at home, it’s essential to be comfortable. Consider your chair, posture, etc. and make sure your setup is an environment where you can feel at ease. The result will be better and more natural content.
Then there’s your mental space. I find that one of the hardest things about recording a podcast is being in the right mental space. What helps is giving yourself space, making sure your recording space is comfortable, and learning what puts you in the right headspace. Personally, I keep some Youtube videos that I know will get me in the right headspace to record on hand.
Also, have a glass of water for you and any guests. Trust me, it helps - and that's a podcast production hack.
Now that you’ve got your space together, equipment set up, and you’re in the right headspace, it’s time to record. Here’s what you need to know to get it right:
Take your time
Rushing things is going to get you frustrated and result in bad content. Your audience will be able to tell if you’re flustered, so best to take it easy and make sure what you end up recording is good enough to use. So before you choose your recording software, get in the right headspace, be prepared, and start with confidence.
Some level of spontaneity is great for all kinds of podcasts, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan ahead. Whether it’s an interview, discussion, or monologue, coming in with a general outline of what you want to discuss will help you be more relaxed and ultimately give you better quality content.
Leave pauses for easy editing
If you’re only recording an audio podcast, this is an editing technique that has saved me countless hours. Whenever you make a mistake you want to edit out, just wait a good 5 seconds or so and try again. This gives you time to get back into things mentally and those gaps are easy to stop in editing software. This way, you don’t need to listen to the entire episode to edit it, you can just jump between the long gaps to fix any issues.
4. Edit and release
Once you’ve got something recorded it’s time to put it out to the world! Of course, there’s more to it than that. Let’s go through all the steps for success here.
For audio editing software, free programs like Audacity offer all the functionality you need to get professional quality results. For video, free programs like MovieMaker for PCs or iMovie for macs have plenty of powerful features to make something professional. Audio quality is key!
Consider hiring an editor to walk you through editing your show if you want to learn to do it yourself. You can always use online tutorials but paying someone to take you through exactly how it should be done with your specific setup is going to save you a lot of time.
Make a checklist
Even after nearly 7 years of podcasting, I still occasionally forget one of the many things I have to do to release an episode. A checklist is an easy way to avoid that problem. From remembering to post on all of your social media that a new episode is out to all the small editing steps like removing background noise, checklists are essential for maintaining consistent quality for your podcast.
Don’t forget to promote
If there’s one thing that a podcast can do to succeed, this is it. Your audience is out there and it needs a way to find you. The best way to make that happen is to put out plenty of content around each episode and to customize it for various audiences and platforms.
Repurposing content from each episode is the most effective way to create as much engaging microcontent as possible that you can consistently put out on social media to build an audience. Better yet, you can use this microcontent to test out what your audience finds the most engaging. Then, you can take those insights and put them towards creating better episodes.
Ready to start? We’re ready to help!
Now that we’ve broken down all the steps required to create your own podcast, you’re closer than ever to making it happen. If you’d still like to pick the brains of some seasoned experts though, let’s have a chat.