If you’re not exactly sure what podcasting is, well, here’s a short definition: audio blogging, which means sitting in an armchair and talking. But don’t be fooled. Podcasting is not as easy as it sounds.
Starting a Podcast on a Budget
In this guide to how to start a podcast on a budget, I’ll take you through the five steps you need to take to launch your podcast. We’ll cover everything from what equipment you need through to finding your niche and tips for promoting your content. Let’s get started.
Step 1: Commitment is Key
Before we get into the details of how to set everything up, you must be 100% sure you want to do a podcast. It’s going to be a lot of work. Podcasts, after all, do best when you are consistent. You should create at least one podcast a week, not just when you feel like it.
Also, you have to know that podcasts, contrary to popular perception, won’t make you money fast. It’s going to take a lot of time and effort to grow your audience. Having said all those things, if you’re still interested in running a podcast, then read on.
Step 2: How to Start Podcasting on a Budget
To start a podcast, you will need some equipment. Rather obviously, you’ll need a recording device. The smartphone in your pocket is more than good enough to record a podcast.
You can download apps to record and store the audio, and even edit the sound quality.
Ideally, you’d record your podcast in a sound studio. This is just a space you’ve set up to record, that is quiet, and has some soundproofing. A sound studio is an ideal place to record because you get the best sound quality. The interior of your car shares many of the same characteristics of a sound studio btw.
The next thing you’ll need to do is invest in a podcast hosting platform.
The two most popular hosting platforms are Podbean and Buzzsprout. Both have freemium plans. I prefer the latter, though both are great platforms. You can find user-generated Podbean reviews here.
How to Create Your Home Studio
While you can start a podcast with next to no equipment, it pays to invest as you take your podcasting more seriously. Some of the things professional podcasters invest in include.
- Microphone: You should probably get a USB microphone.
- Recording studio: move out of your car and set up a space for recording your podcast. You’ll need to use soundproofing materials to dampen the sound so you get the best audio quality.
- A computer: load it up with some sound editing software.
Your biggest investment will probably be the microphone.
Microphones can be broadly broken down into two categories. You have USB microphones on one side. They can be plugged directly into a computer before you start recording. You don’t need extra tools to do your recording with this type of mic, which means it can be cheaper. The downside, is the generally lower audio quality.
Then you have analog microphones. These are higher quality, but they are generally more expensive and at the top end, require specialized equipment to use them.
Step 3: Find Your Niche
So that covers the tools you need to start your podcast. Now you need to determine your niche.
If you’re serious about doing a podcast, you’ve probably spent a great deal of time thinking about your niche. Honing in on your niche works the same as it would in traditional blogging where you would conduct in-depth research and find top affiliate programs before doing anything else.
Rather than suggesting a niche for you, I’ll share some practical tips to get you off to the best start.
- Your value proposition: One of the most important things to think about is what will your audience gain from listening to your podcast? Do you want to entertain them, inform them, etc.?
- Check out the competition. See what other people in your niche are doing.
- How many hosts do you want: You can do a podcast with a single presenter, or have more than one presenter. Two is a common number, but you can do group podcasts.
- Figure out your formula: Are you going to do interviews, chat with a co-host, talk into the microphone for 20 minutes, or a mix of the above.
Going through those four points listed above will put you in a good space as you prepare to record your first podcast.
Step 4: Record Your First Podcast
So now we’ve covered the theory, it’s time to get practical.
There’s a good chance you’ll be nervous before your first podcast. It’s natural. Push through those nerves, have a glass of wine or whatever, and relax. The first time will probably be nerve-wracking.
You can look back later on and say, “I wish I had done things differently.” But you know what?
You only get to say that if you completed the thing in the first place. Reflection comes from experience. It means you put yourself out there and learned something. This is how you grow as a person, regardless of what set of skills you choose to develop.
Step 5: Get Your Podcast Out There
The last step to creating your podcast is getting it out there. For this, the podcast hosting platform you choose will be important. The best podcast hosting platforms allow you to quickly upload your podcast and then distribute it across the largest directories.
When it comes to podcasting, the biggest directory in the world is iTunes. It’s through iTunes that you’ll find most of your listeners.
You can improve the rankings of your podcast by getting people to rate and review each episode you produce. The more people listen to and then subsequently rate your podcast, the more prominently it will be displayed in the iTunes audio library.
You can also get people to your site by promoting it through SEO, make sure you use the best anchor text so you get the benefits of this promotion method. You can also promote it through social media and other marketing channels.
Keep in mind, promoting your podcast is going to be the most time-consuming part of this whole process. You need to put a lot of effort into marketing; however, over time, as your audience grows, then this effort will pay dividends.
Wrapping Things Up
In this article, I summarized the steps of how to create your very first podcasting. First, you need to secure your equipment. After you do this, find your niche and start recording. The last step is to get your podcast out there.
Podcasting is a relatively new way to communicate (compared to blogging at least). As a beginner, follow these steps to the letter and do additional research if needed – best of luck.