Do you want to launch a podcast in 2022? Then you’re in the right place! In this beginner’s guide to starting a podcast, we’re going to cover the equipment you need, how to actually record your episodes, how to get your podcast on Apple and Spotify and other podcast apps, and how to launch your podcast and share it with the world.
Podcast Launch Strategy
Before you begin recording episodes, you have to come up with your launch strategy. How often do you want to release your episodes? How often do you need to record your episodes? Do you want to record alone, or with a co-host? How about guests? Answering these questions will help set you and your podcast up for success.
If you’re the type of person that likes a physical planner to keep organized, check out these podcast planners. It will help you answer important questions about your podcast launch and help set you up for success!
You don’t need a bunch of fancy equipment when you’re starting your podcast. You do, however, need a microphone.
When choosing a microphone, there are two factors you want to consider.
1. Do you want to use a dynamic or condenser microphone?
2. Do you want a microphone with a USB or XLR connection?
When starting your podcast, I recommend using a dynamic microphone. This is because dynamic microphones are less sensitive than condenser microphones, and therefore will pick up less background noise. If you choose to use a condenser microphone, make sure you have adequate sound proofing. For more on this, make sure you check out the video below!
If you are a solo podcaster (only recording one person in your space) then I would recommend using a dynamic USB microphone. USB microphones plug directly into your computer and don’t require any additional equipment to begin recording.
If you are recording multiple people in your space, I would recommend using XLR microphones. XLR microphones plug into an audio interface, and the audio interface plugs into your computer. Can you just plug multiple USB mics into the same computer? The short answer is no, attempting to do so will cause a lot of issues. You’re better off using XLR mics and an audio interface!
My recommendation: No matter if you are a solo podcaster or recording multiple people, the microphone I’d recommend is the Audio Technica ATR2100x. It is a dynamic microphone with USB and XLR capabilities, making it extremely versatile. So if you want to plug it directly into your computer you can, or if you want to use an audio interface you can do that as well. Check out the video to hear this mic in action.
Speaking of audio interfaces, my recommendation is the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. It’s a popular favorite among podcasters and works great! Remember, if you are recording multiple people in the same space (and using XLR microphones), you need an audio interface.
Like I said, your microphone is your most important piece of equipment. You’re also going to want to wear headphones when you’re recording so you can monitor your sound levels. These don’t have to be fancy- you can use the same headphones you use with your phone. If you want to be a little fancier and purchase over the ear headphones, I like these, but if I were just getting started, I’d just use my regular headphones.
One thing though, you do not want to use wireless headphones. When you use wireless headphones while recording there is a slight delay which makes it impossible to focus on what you’re doing. So stick with good ole wired headphones.
So when you’re starting your podcast, you need a computer, microphone, headphones, and an audio interface if you’re recording multiple people in the same space. That’s it! There are additional upgrades you can get, but if you are a beginner, then this is all you need.
Here are some additional equipment pieces I would purchase that will help improve the quality of your audio / work flow.
Boom Arm (A flexible stand)
Shock Mount (reduces sound caused by the vibration of the microphone in the stand)
Foam Panels (these are great if you want to do a little sound proofing in your space – otherwise pillows work great!)
Record Your Episodes
So now you are ready to actually record your episodes. To do this, you need a recording and editing software.
If you’re on a Mac, I’d recommend using GarageBand, and if you’re not on a Mac then I’d recommend using Audacity. Both are super easy to learn even if you’re not super techy.
If you want something higher tech, I use Adobe Audition. It’s pricey, but to me it’s worth it because I use the entire Adobe Creative Suite.
Most recording softwares work the same: to record, push the red button!
*Tip – record each person on their own track. This will give you more flexibility when you’re editing!
In my opinion, remote recording is here to stay. It’s just so convenient!
My favorite platform for remote recording is Zencastr. Zencastr enables you to record your episode as audio only or with video, it’s super easy to use, and I find the quality to be better than other platforms I’ve tried. Plus, the free plan works great for most podcasters!
Another option is to record via Zoom, but I prefer Zenastr.
Edit Your Episodes
Once you’ve recorded your episode, you can use the same software, GarageBand or Audacity, to edit the episode. If you recorded an interview in Zencastr or Zoom, you’ll need to import the audio file into your editing software.
You can edit your episodes as much or as little as you want. I suggest not going overboard on the editing. If you get overly focused on cutting out every “um” or breath, then you can spend hours editing a single episode. If you catch yourself saying “um” a lot, take note of it and focus on saying it less next time you record. You will get better with time, and you don’t have to try to make everything perfect.
After you’ve edited your episode, you’re going to want to export it as an MP3.
Hosting Your Podcast
Okay so you have your final episode and you’re ready to share it with the world. This, I think, is where people get stumped. There are so many places people listen to podcasts (Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, etc) – how do you get your show on to those platforms? What is an RSS feed?
I have good news for you, this is actually really simple. Again, I’m not going to go too deep into the nitty gritty, but in order to add your podcast to Apple, Spotify, etc, you need an RSS feed. Your RSS feed is generated by your hosting service. If you have a website, you might be familiar with a website host. You have to have a host in order for your website to have a place to live on the internet. Your podcast host is similar.
Now if all of that made your head spin, don’t worry, because you don’t need to be super techy to be able to do this. You just need a good hosting service. There are a number of great hosting services out there that make it really easy to distribute your podcast. The hosting service I use and love is Buzzsprout (plus they’ll send you a $20 gift card if you sign up with my link!)
I like Buzzsprout because it’s easy to use, I like the user interface, and their customer service team is awesome. Check out the video below for a walk-through of how to use Buzzsprout!
No matter which hosting service you use, they all work pretty much the same. Your hosting service will generate your RSS feed, which you will then submit to directories such as Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, and more. Note that in order to submit your podcast to these directories, you will need to have all of your episode details complete including your title, podcast description, and cover art.
This submission process does not need to be repeated every time you upload a new episode. Once you’ve done it once, you’re good to know!
Launch Your Podcast
It’s launch time! 🥳 First of all, pat yourself on the back and CELEBRATE. Launching a podcast takes a lot of work, so congrats to you my friend! Now, here’s the important part: you have to tell people to listen to your podcast! Tell your friends, tell your family, tell ME, and build some hype around your launch. I recommend that you launch with three episodes, because it will help you perform better within the algorithm.
And there you have it! You’re now one step closer to starting your podcast. I hope you found this beginner’s guide to starting a podcast helpful!
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