How To Start Your Own Podcast Today
Sound crazy? Nope. Here’s how to do it
It’s time to start your own podcast. I’m serious. Right now. And, best of all, you likely have the content here on Medium.
And the really great news is there are several ways that you can do it and keep it really simple.
You can spend some money on podcasting gear or you can do it for free today. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s probably a better idea to start now vs. spending tons of money on stuff you may not need or want.
You’ve got tons of posts on Medium just waiting to be made into podcast episodes. It’s time to start.
Step 1. Start Recording Today (Yes, Today)
Whaaaa? Yep. You gotta start. That’s how you’ll get good at podcasting. That phone in your pocket just screams portable podcast studio. Don’t believe me? Just keep reading and try it out for yourself (even as a little experiment).
A few quick tips before you press record:
- Hold the phone right in front of you and do your best to speak clearly.
- Go to a quiet place. I honestly like recording in my car. A bathroom isn’t ideal because you’ll likely have a lot of reverb. Turn off any fans or things that produce white noise.
- Know you’ll likely get jumbled up with some of your words. That’s okay. You’ll get better, I promise.
Now, find one of your favorite pieces of content you’ve written and read it through a few times. Feel free to add to the written content.
Feeling nervous? Not sure what to say? Then you can read the post. Just add a beginning and end. This is just practice right now, so even having an intro and an outro and reading your post could be enough.
When you press record on your phone in the voice recorder app, you’ll have an MP3. Then just take the recorded MP3 file and email it to yourself. Then import it into a handy free app like Audacity or Garageband.
Keep in mind that it’s always obvious to other people when you are reading something. Do not release a recording of you reading your post (unless you clearly state that it is the audio version of your post. Then that’s probably fine.)
Next, listen to what you’ve recorded.
I know this is painful. I know it’s a bit awkward (and maybe even scary) hearing yourself on a recording. You’ll get used to it, I promise. Feel free to play around with the positioning of your phone to see what improves the sound. But honestly, sound isn’t the main concern at this point; the main point is that you are actually recording. This is huge!
If you overthink podcasting (like I did for years), you will just keep putting it off. There will always be some shiny new piece of gear out there. And a billion audiophiles will argue what is the best gear and way to record, so you’re not even going to have any real agreement on the “right way to record.”
Step 2. Keep Showing Up
I know it might sound dull, but you must keep showing up now. Be willing to learn and grow. It might be a bit awkward. You might not be happy with the results.
The good news is you are growing in leaps and bounds. I started a daily podcast to get better. When you show up every single day, you are bound to get better. You’ll also create momentum. It will become easier and easier, kind of like riding a bike.
Step 3. Figure Out a Show Topic
Go through your posts and connect the dots. What is the overarching theme? Maybe it is becoming an entrepreneur or becoming a writer. Maybe you’re talking about your experiences as a single parent, or you want to talk about technology.
Okay, great. You’ve got a starting point. But you need to narrow it down even further.
Who is the show for?
Think about this question. The answer is not everyone. Who is your audience? Who do you want to reach?
How long do you want the show to be?
Think hard about this one too. You don’t want to have a three-minute show one day and a 20-minute show the next day. The listeners won’t know what to expect, and it will throw them off.
Step 4. Figure Out Your Show Format
The most common show formats are solo shows, interview shows, and roundtable shows (groups of three or more).
If you’re using some of the content you created here on Medium, a solo show is likely the easiest option.
However, if you want to have someone ask you questions, you could possibly do a show that is partially an interview. Discussing an article you wrote (and maybe someone else’s article) with a few friends would provide some different perspectives and could be really fun.
Mix things up a bit and don’t hesitate to get a little creative here.
Step 5. Get a Logo
It’s a really good idea to get a logo for your podcast. Sure, you could do it yourself on Canva if you really want. Or you could use a service like Logonerds which has a full logo package for under $30. It’s your choice.
You could also barter with someone by trading some writing or editing or social media updates in exchange for some design work. Just be crystal clear on the terms upfront.
Step 6. Publish Before You’re Ready
Whaaa? Yeah, I’m serious. You’re never going to be completely 100% ready. It’s a fact. You’ll have to jump into the water and start swimming at some point.
Ask for honest feedback from a few honest people you trust, and once you hear that the show is pretty good, you’re on the way to publishing.
Anything that will put your podcast in front of people serves as a way of publishing your podcast. In theory, you can publish your podcast on YouTube (using a website called Tunestotube) or even your own website.
That being said, Libsyn is by far the most popular option for hosting your podcast. You upload your MP3 files there to the podcast host. Then Libsyn sends it out to Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher and other places that people find podcasts. The cool thing is the basic plan is only $5 per month. But you don’t have to do that out of the gate.
Podbean is another option too that is likely worth checking out. (I don’t use Podbean myself, all of the podcast professionals I know use Libsyn.) The cool thing is these services will even help you set everything up if you need it just by contacting their customer service.
Boom — Now You’ve Got a Podcast!
Once you are set up with a host, you officially have a podcast. Now you can share your stories via audio to anyone around the world. Podcasting is a great way to connect with your audience because it is very personal. It’s like listening to a chat with a friend.
Don’t overlook the importance of connecting with others and sharing stories via audio. You can even share your podcast right here on Medium. Now engage with as many people as possible to share your message with the world.