Thanks to the success of shows like Serial, TED Radio Hour, and The Nerdist, podcasts have become more popular than ever. Here’s how to create, record, and publish your own basic podcast—and get people to listen.
Podcasting is extremely fun and exciting, but there is one thing you must do before you start podcasting: Commit. You must internally commit to podcasting, as you must do with anything that is potentially beneficial but takes some time and effort to do.
It’s easy to assume that podcasts are easy to produce because they’re audio only, but don’t be fooled. They can take up a lot of time to put together, especially at first. Also, podcasts do best when they’re released consistently. If you’re interested in developing any kind of listener base, you have to be ready to release episodes on a regular basis. All in all, podcasting can be fun work, but it’s still work and should be treated as such.
You also shouldn’t expect to get rich from podcasting either. It’s certainly possible to generate income from podcasting, but that usually requires advertisements and sponsorships—both of which you’ll get after you’ve built up a listenership big enough to make it worthwhile to advertisers. If you’re not interested in starting a podcast for the fun of it or to have your voice heard, you might not get much out of it unless you already have an audience.
What You’ll Need
You can’t start a podcast without equipment, and good equipment will go a long way. Here’s what you’ll need:
Microphone(s): Any microphone will work for recording your podcast, but listeners can usually tell the difference between low and high quality microphones. If you’re not sure what to look for, our list of the five best desktop microphones is a great place to start (I use four analog Audio-Technica AT2020s for my own podcast). As you shop around, you’ll also need to decide whether you want to use a USB or analog (XLR) microphone. USB mics convert analog sound into digital so you can plug a USB mic directly into any computer and start recording without much hassle, but you could potentially get lower audio quality compared to analog. Considering you don’t need any extra tools or devices to record with a USB mic, they can be a little cheaper in the long run. Analog microphones use XLR connectors, which means you need another device to get your audio onto your computer, but you can get higher audio quality and can use them with other sound equipment (if you had a PA system or wanted to play live music, for example). Of course, if you have a gaming headset or other basic microphone around, you can easily use that too.
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