How To Start Your Own Podcast
Hrefna Helgadóttir (Habbi) is a co-host of the MakeWorkWork podcast, available on iTunes and wherever you listen to podcasts.
When I wrote ‘Only the Work Remains’ — it was on the broader topic of starting any creative project. The takeaway I was hoping to convey was that now that technical, financial and structural barriers have been wiped away, the only work that remains is the work itself.
So to make a podcast, you need to make a podcast. Know what the podcast is about. Once you know; proceed to record – talk to someone or read a script, edit, and publish. Fiddling with the tools is not the big barrier here, it’s about starting and doing it and figuring it all out on the way.
But people care about the specifics. I get asked about how to start a podcast both in person and online pretty regularly. The question below* from Chenc perfectly captured the types of questions I get, so I wanted to write down the full process in response to him – and publish it here in case it would help anyone else along.
I have a friend who is looking to start his own podcast.
He doesn’t have any clue as to what he needs to do or where to start. I want to recommend ANCHOR to him, but I’m not sure if it’s worth it. Do you have any advice as to which are the best apps and/or programs to start a podcast without breaking the bank?
Thanks for the help and keep up the awesome podcast.
This is our literal process, step-by-step, down to every single tool and equipment and how much they cost. I hope this helps. Feel free to get in touch with me to ask any further questions.
There are three parts to this process: record, edit and publish
(and preparation I guess)
- Yeti microphone + headphones
- Call over Skype
- Call recorder (this one) >> on both sides, so each audio is recorded locally
- Ecamm movie tools >> split into separate audios
- Upload tracks to Dropbox
- Garageband >> add tracks to GarageBand
- YouTube >> figure out how to make a ‘cut’ in GarageBand (no joke, I didn’t know and had to look it up)
- YouTube Audio Library >> find royalty free music for tones
- Export track >> share in Dropbox
ProTip: Overcast lets you upload (but not publish) your own audio so you can listen to in-progress-version on your phone.
- use calendar to schedule when the episode goes live
- upload to Anchor >> syncs to Spotify, iTunes & bunch of others
- upload to SoundCloud
- when the episode goes live, share on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook >> on Buffer (disclaimer, Hailley works there)
- add show-notes to website >> hosted on Promogogo (disclaimer, I work there)
Planning & Preparation
- Slack, for coordination
- Google Docs, for internal show-notes
- We use Buffer to schedule our social media
- We use Canva to make Instagram quotes and other artwork
- We mainly use our own task managers for project managing, but we technically use Trello as well
- Zoom for video calls (episode preps, strategy meetings, etc.)
ProTip on Preparation: It helps the recording process along to have an outline of what we want to talk about. If you’ve listened, you know our conversation often meanders into tangents and we sometimes even stumble across topics we didn’t plan for.
That might make you think we wouldn’t need an outline, but that is definitely not true. When our outline has been half-asked, the recording goes all chaotic and becomes unusable.
If you listened to episode 12 we list the brands of headphones we use. A pair of headphones is definitely required — but the specific version doesn’t matter. I like using a fancy pair because I have one anyway, but it is by no means essential. Any pair of headphones will do.
Also if you’ve been listening since ~episode 10 you know we now have an audio mixer who makes the audio sound extra good. We love Jan and he absolutely does magic. But we were 10 episodes in before he was onboard — and it should not hold you back if you don’t know how to mix/have a mixer.
We used to pay for hosting on Lisbyn, but now that Anchor offers free hosting we’ve made the switch. Hailley deals with the back-end there and loves it and definitely recommends Anchor. Easy interface, and free is great.
We’ve also paid for hosting on SoundCloud to cater to our Android listeners. Now that we’re on Spotify and Google Podcasts we might downgrade our SoundCloud subscription.
- If we do, we will literally pay $0 for hosting.
- The Yeti microphone is $130 (one for me, one for Hailley)
- The call recorder is $40 (one-off for each) and absolutely essential in my opinion if you do a podcast over a call and care about quality.
- I already had a paid subscription to Dropbox ($99 year) which we use to exchange the audio files. It’s probably possible to do this cheaper – especially if this is a solo project and big audio files don’t need to be shared a lot.
- Everything else is on a free plan (or employee perks).
So you can start a high-quality podcast for less than $200 per person.
Bottom line, the hard work is knowing what you want the podcast to be about, the vision and the branding, and setting the time aside to do it, commitment.
Everything else — is like fiddly sometimes and maybe even tedious, but not hard. It should not be a barrier if you want to make your own podcast.
I hope this helps, let me know if it does
(and maybe send me a link to your new podcast!!).
Visit our website MakeWork.Work to learn more – or listen to our show!
*Chenc’s question has been mildly edited for clarity.