My Guide to Starting a Podcast

Updated 3/23/19

As many of your know, I’m currently the co-host and head of the Products That Count podcast, and I had a podcast called Flinteresting a few years ago (reboot coming soon!). Since getting into podcasting, I’ve talked with many people who are interested in starting their own. As a result, I decided to put together this quick guide to help them and others getting started.

Recording Tools

When recording and editing Flinteresting, I used Garageband v6.0.5 since more recent versions of GarageBand don’t have podcast-specific features. However, that version of GarageBand is showing its age, so using something like Audacity may make more sense now. We recorded with two Blue mics — one Yeti and one Snowball. Additionally, we used Skype with Soundflower to call and record our remote member of the crew, Mike. Check out this post for details on setting up remote guests that way.

For Products That Count, I’m still using my Yeti; however, for interviewing remote guests, my co-host and I use Skype with Ecamm’s Call Recorder. While the Soundflower solution above is free, using Call Recorder makes life much easier.

Hosting

While I initially used SoundCloud for hosting Flinteresting, I eventually switched to Liberated Syndication (aka LibSyn) since it’s more tailored to podcasting. For Products That Count, we were using LibSyn since day one. I may write more about the differences between LibSyn and other solutions, but for more, check out the iTunes Hosting Partner Comparison.

Also, I’ve recently started experimenting with Anchor (literally…it’s my experiment), especially after learning about the Spotify acquisition. It does make recording, hosting, and distribution crazy easy, but I have yet to really dig into the monetization tools.

Distribution

Once you’ve uploaded your first episode(s) to your hosting solution, you’ll want to take that RSS feed and get your podcast on all of the services! Here are the links:

Also, one of the great things about using LibSyn as your hosting solution is that it’s easy to distribute to all of the services from their user portal.

“Destinations” in LibSyn

And as I mentioned above, Anchor distributes to a bunch of podcast platforms automatically!

Anchor distribution

A Few Lessons Learned

  1. If I could do it again, Flinteresting would have been about evergreen content from day one. Listeners know that Flinteresting was pretty topical for the first eight episodes, and as a result, old episodes are less relevant (who wants to listen to thoughts on Trump’s prospects from September?). We’ve since changed things as of episode 9, and the feedback has been great.
  2. Recording a podcast is easy…editing it is a pain. Unless you really enjoy the intricacies of audio engineering and look forward to spending hours listening to your own voice, you should find a good audio engineer/editor.
  3. I’ve read that optimizing for getting lots of subscribers in the first month or two really increases your profile in iTunes. To do that, many podcasters start with a backlog of material to release during those first few months. Some also release an “episode zero” that serves as a preview or commercial for the podcast.

Additional Resources for Podcasters of Color

As a podcaster of color, I discovered a strong podcasting community. Here are some of the resources that I stumbled upon:

Submit to the Podcasts in Color Directory

Twitter Hashtags: #podsincolor #supportblackpodcasts

Here’s how to get in the Black Podcast Callout section of Buzzfeed’s Another Round’s Newsletter:

  • Name of the show
  • Host/s of the show
  • Description of the show
  • How to listen to the show (iTunes? Stitcher?) WITH LINKS
  • How to follow the show (Twitter, email, Facebook, etc.) WITH LINKS
  • A picture of the show’s logo (if applicable)

Want More Tips?

I’ve been planning to create a Google Group for sharing podcasting tips and tactics. If you’re interested in joining such a group, email me at don@flinteresting.com! Also, feel free to email questions about any part of the process. Good luck on becoming a podcast star!