Do you want to learn how to record a podcast? My simple yet in-depth guide is exactly what you need.
As a seasoned online entrepreneur, I’ve recorded a couple of episodes myself. I can help you get started by providing my firsthand insights.
If you are a digital native or close to becoming one, then you are no stranger to the increasing popularity of podcasts. There are over 29 million podcast episodes in not less than 100 languages on different platforms.
Yet, listeners are still craving for more – which opens opportunities for businesses to grow and individuals to take a shot at hosting an audio show.
However, despite the success in creating a podcast, some people still have the impression that to record a podcast means to go through a painstaking process – much like getting into country clubs.
But what if I told you that recording a podcast can be done without breaking too much sweat?
In fact, I’ve condensed the process into nine steps:
To start recording a podcast, it is essential to select a good subject, create a memorable title, craft an interesting description, make an eye-catching logo, plan your episodes, choose a platform, record your podcast, and submit it to directories.
If you’ve already started on any of these, you can click on any one to skip other topics:
There’s no time like the present so let’s dive in.
1. Pick A Great Topic
There are a handful of podcast topics you can choose from to start your audio show.
But, it takes a great topic to stand out and extend your reach.
To make this process easy, you can consider the following things in selecting your podcast topic:
#1 Look Into Your Audience’s Needs
It comes as no surprise that what you should learn is the needs of your target audience – topics that inform and entertain them at the same time.
After all, it’s all about winning the hearts and ears of your audience.
A surefire approach to this step is to provide answers to their problems.
Let’s say you aim to reach working millennials who are looking for side hustles on the internet.
It makes sense that a podcast topic such as “how to make money online” would be appealing to this crowd.
#2 Think Of Your Own Interests
I believe you would agree when I say that talking about a topic you’re not passionate about can be torture.
While we’ve mentioned that you should address your audience’s needs, it will be downright problematic along the way if you don’t really care about your podcast topic.
It could lead to burnout and loss of interest that audiences can easily pick on – the same way they can perceive your enthusiasm when delivering your podcast.
It will be a matter of time until it becomes a slippery slope for your podcast to become boring or cringeworthy.
#3 Identify What Sets You Apart
There are more than 1,750,000 podcasts out there.
But, there’s no need to panic.
Surely, you still have a spot despite this incredible volume – that is, if you have your differentiator.
You can either include a unique twist to a common topic or narrow it down to a niche.
Despite the explosive growth of podcasts, there are still untapped topics that you can explore.
2. Craft A Catchy Podcast Title
Your podcast title is the front of your entire show. So, make it a good one.
Coming up with a podcast title that immediately catches your audience’s attention is critical to successfully inviting them to your show.
There are technical rules that you need to follow if you wish to have a pivotal presence in the podcasting arena.
Take a look at these practices:
- Check if the title already exists
- Consider how it is received by your audience
- Use essential keywords or related phrases to make them visible in searches
- Include irrelevant terms in your title
- Choose a podcast title that is too long
- Create a podcast title that is too cryptic
2 Types Of Podcast Titles You Can Try
There are two directions that most newbie podcasters take when it comes to crafting their podcast titles.
They could either come up with a clever title or a descriptive title.
Of course, there’s also the option of using your name as Tim Ferriss did with his The Tim Ferriss Show.
However, this gets more traction if you have already established your name.
Otherwise, people are simply blind to who you are and what your podcast is all about.
So, let’s focus on these two approaches:
- Clever Titles: A witty take on a podcast title can instantly grab anyone’s attention. While you certainly have the freedom to play with words, it is important that you still retain the concept of your podcast. It’s should be a good mix of “that’s pretty clever” and “I know exactly what this is all about.”
- Descriptive Titles: Podcast titles can simply be what they are all about. It’s minimalist, easy to find, and suggests exactly what they focus on.
To craft a catchy podcast title means to make it visible, understandable, and instantly striking.
3. Write A Compelling Description
As a podcast creator, you should put some creative thoughts into coming up with a compelling description.
Your target audiences do not randomly click on a podcast.
Instead, they look into the title and read the description to get a gist of what your show is all about and how it can help them.
Another route you could take is providing a few of your credentials.
If your target audience can perceive that you are an expert on your topic, there is a higher chance that they won’t only click on your episodes but permanently subscribe to your audio material.
For example, if your podcast is all about drawing software, make sure to include your qualifications as a graphic designer or a specialist in the field.
4. Create The Podcast Logo
They say don’t judge a podcast by its logo – but we all know first impressions can linger for a long time.
While your content is the heart and soul of your podcast, your logo or cover art can bring your listeners in.
When done right, it can even stand as a marketing tool on its own.
In creating your podcast logo, be keen on the following:
- Measurements: Dimensions are critical in creating your podcast logo, and it generally depends on the requirements of the platform you are using. Set your cover into different sizes with pixel measurement close to the maximum of 3000 X 3000.
- Graphic Elements: The artwork of your logo should mirror the purpose of your podcast. If it is all about education, like online learning platforms, include icons or graphics associated with this particular topic.
- Words & Font: Your logo covers the visual appeal of your podcast. Hence, it doesn’t remake sense to put too many words into it. In the same way, selecting a clean and over-the-top font can cause distraction and lead your audience away from clicking on your show.
- Branding: Bear in mind that you have to promote your podcast on social media and other platforms. In doing so, you will have to use the same artwork or logo for brand awareness and retention.
5. Plan & Script Your Episodes
Before you can record a podcast, you need to come up with a concrete plan and a script or outline to follow for your episodes.
Otherwise, you’ll end up talking in scattered, and believe me, you wouldn’t want that.
To make things easy, you can choose from these four main podcast formats for each of your episodes.
- Interview-Style Podcast: Just like the name suggests, with this format, you will ask questions to a guest who is an expert on the topic or someone who has a unique but relevant insight to contribute to the discussion.
- Solo Style Podcast: This is by far the easiest and most common podcast style. You just speak to the microphone and voice out your prepared narrative about the episode’s theme or topic.
- Multi-Host Podcast: With this style, you are joined by one or more co-hosts. The format of your show is conversational, and you need to plan or rehearse before the show – just to make sure you’re in sync.
- News & Current Events Podcast: You can tackle issues about current events and the latest news to keep your listeners updated. Present a unique perspective and discuss potential solutions.
As a podcast host, you are responsible for setting how long your podcast will be.
While there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to ideal podcast length, you can always consider the following:
- Behavior of your audience
- Type of topic you’re covering
- Your capacity to determine the timeframe of your episode
Likewise, before even scripting the episodes, make sure to create a schedule of your podcast recording to preserve the quality and integrity of your entire show.
Your audience can easily pinpoint inconsistencies in your episodes, thereby, you have to carefully plan your show from start to finish.
6. Choose A Podcast Hosting Provider
After laying the groundwork and feeling more confident to record your podcast, there’s another task you need to complete – with great thought to say the least.
It’s time to choose your podcast hosting provider.
This platform will store and circulate your audio files.
Although there are plenty of podcast hosting providers to choose from, one may be better than the other in terms of storage capacity, marketing features, tools, etc.
Here are key things to look for when selecting a podcast platform:
- Easy to use
- Unlimited storage
- Monetization support
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Strong technical support
- Built-in security measures
- In-depth audience analytics
3 Top Podcast Hosting Platforms
Podbean has been a standout choice, especially for beginning podcasters.
It offers more than unlimited storage and unmetered bandwidth with its SEO features, customizable design, detailed analytics, user-friendly interface, and monetization support.
While it appeals to neophyte podcasters, Podbean is even more ideal for seasoned podcasters who aim to expand their brand and business.
If your priority is ease of use, affordable pricing, and minimalist but stylish design, then you can never go wrong with Buzzsprout.
It provides detailed audience insights.
It also maximizes your online presence through its partnership with top-valued podcast directories like:
- Apple Podcasts
- Google Podcasts
Use Buzzsprout if you have limited content in a month or if you’re still learning your way in the podcasting industry.
Transistor directs its services to professional hosts, businesses, and media establishments that aim to produce multiple podcasts and grow their brands.
In the absence of a free package, those who have chosen Transistor to enjoy:
- Customizable site
- In-depth analytics
- Unlimited storage capacity
- Visibility in multiple top-tiered podcast directories
7. Record Your Podcast
There is more to your soothing voice and insightful topics that keep your audience tuned in during the entire show.
Audiences are sensitive to the quality of your audio file, from the background noises to the tiny echo or inconsistent volume of your speech.
Can you imagine the horror of uploading an over-amplified low-quality audio file?
Let’s save you the trouble of worrying and look into how you can record a podcast with ease and quality.
#1 Find A Sound-Proof Recording Space
This goes without saying, but nobody likes to listen to podcasts with their dogs barking in the background.
Although, a lot of people would tell you that you can record a podcast anywhere, anytime.
What they fail to mention is that quality is no guarantee.
If you intend to offer the best user experience in your podcast, look for a sound-proof recording space.
It could be a dedicated room in your home or office.
You can invest in foam acoustic panels or soundproof barriers.
#2 Get The Right Recording Equipment
Everyone who decided to record a podcast secured the right equipment to make it happen.
Surprisingly, you don’t exactly need an entire sound studio to begin podcasting successfully.
You may even have some of these gears and equipment already.
- Computer/Laptop: You wouldn’t want to record your audio file on your smartphone, right? It has to be on a computer or a laptop where you can directly proceed to edit and polish your episode.
- Microphone: You need to have a reliable microphone to produce a podcast that is irresistible to your listeners. Your microphone influences the quality of your audio file. Consider purchasing a condenser or dynamic microphone. Likewise, include microphone accessories in your budgets, such as a shock mount, mic stands, and windscreen.
- Headphones: You need to hear yourself the best way during recording….and headphones can seal that deal. In choosing the best headphones for podcasting, look for closed-back headphones for maximum noise cancellation.
- Audio Interface: An audio interface connects your microphone to your computer. It converts the analog signal from the microphone to a digital signal that the computer or laptop can easily read.
#3 Get The Proper Software To Capture Your Audio
Whether you like it or not, editing is a crucial step before you can publish your podcast episode.
While it could be a lot easier to release a raw audio file, this should not be the case if you wish to grow your audience.
Editing your recorded podcast enhances the sound quality, trim the unnecessary sections, and screen for errors in the file.
In doing so, you can rely on the following editing software to make the process easier.
- Audacity: Audacity is a popular audio recording and editing with multitrack for sound mixing. It is compatible with any operating system (Windows, macOS, Linux), and it is open source, so you can use it for free.
- GarageBand: GarageBand is a digital audio workstation (DAW) for iOS and macOS devices. It is designed for audio recording and sound mixing with a collection of musical instrument sounds and other effects.
- Adobe Audition: With Adobe Audition, you can expect recording and editing with a multitrack and non-destructive mix environment. It allows you to preserve the original content through non-linear editing, which loses the risk of completed destroying your raw audio file.
8. Publish The Episode
You’re now ready to publish your podcast episode.
But, how to do it?
Your audience listens to your podcast episodes through popular podcast directories.
To publish in these directories, take the following steps:
- Export As MP3: Once you are satisfied with the quality of your audio, export your file as an MP3. This format is preferred as it minimizes the bandwidth and significantly cuts down the download and buffer time due to its smaller size.
- Include Tags: Adding metatags like the title, genre, and the name of your podcast enhances the visibility of the episodes in searches and defines the nature of your podcast.
- Upload Audio File: Unlike other media platforms, you cannot directly upload audio files in podcast directories. It has to be uploaded to your hosting platform to update your RSS feed.
- Copy-Paste Link: Copy your RSS feed link and paste it into the podcast directory tab. Once your RSS feed is in the system of the podcast directory, your podcast is ready to go. Each episode you upload to your hosting provider will appear in their stream.
9. Submit To Directories
As it turns out, a key step in the success of seasoned podcasters is submitting the RSS feed link to multiple podcast directories.
It makes sense as you tend to grow your audience when you are visible in every podcast directory.
Years ago, sticking to one directory was almost acceptable.
However, nowadays, it is almost impossible to get into the competition if you keep your podcast distribution to a minimum.
If your podcast hosting provider has a direct partnership with popular podcast directories, it makes the process of submitting your link easier as opposed to manually doing so.
Yet again, regardless of how you do it, it’s worth the effort and energy.
It helps you get more exposure and generate more leads.
Here are podcast directories you can explore.
- Apple Podcasts
- Google Podcasts
And just like that, we’ve covered all the essentials on how to record a podcast.
These nine important steps can make the difference between your wanting to podcast and doing it.
- Pick a great topic
- Craft a catchy podcast title
- Write a compelling description
- Create the podcast logo
- Plan and Script Your Episodes
- Choose a podcast hosting provider
- Record your podcast
- Publish the episode
- Submit to directories
As podcast redesigns the future of information and entertainment, you can take part in this development and share your ideas with the world.
Let this article be your guide in making one of the most pivotal decisions of your life. In no time, you’ll be recording podcast episodes like a true pro.