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The four things you need to start a podcast

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WANT TO START A PODCAST BUT HAVE NO IDEA HOW? THIS GUIDE TAKES YOU THROUGH ALL THE TOOLS AND TECH YOU NEED TO GET GOING!

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Retro-style podcast microphone on table

What can you not live without?

The question on everyone’s lips if they’re new to this podcasting game is “What do I need to start a podcast?”

Do you need a mixer?  Will your computer microphone do?  Do you have to buy special headphones or can you use the ones that come with your phone?

Search Google and you’ll have a shopping list of items as long as your arm.  But the truth is you only need four things to start a podcast…

iTunes Google Podcasts Stitcher Spotify

The bare essentials if you want to start a podcast

Microphone(s)

You definitely need a microphone if you want to start a podcast.  In fact, you’ll need one for every voice on your show.

Unfortunately, your computer’s inbuilt microphone isn’t going to cut it unless you want it to sound like you’re broadcasting from a toilet.  So, if you’re going to invest money anywhere a microphone is where to do it.

It’s also a good idea to get a pop guard, which is a little foam sock that stops people ‘popping’ when they say words that start with a harsh consonant like ‘p’ or ‘b.’  These sounds can be really grating for your audience and fixing them in the edit can be a fiddly job.  So, it’s best if you can avoid them when you’re recording.

What are the best podcast microphones?

Read

Headphones

This is the next thing you need to start a podcast and it’s also one of the most important items in your podcast kit.

There are so many sounds that can affect your recording or (heaven forbid) render your audio unusable.  Most of the time you won’t pick these up with your ears so it’s essential you’re wearing headphones.  You don’t need to buy expensive ones, in fact, when you’re starting out you can use the earbuds that come with your phone and upgrade later.

It’s also a good idea, if you’re doing a show with guests, to pack a spare pair. Just make sure they’re the type that go OVER your ears because no one wants to put some random person’s earwax in their earholes.

Why you need to wear headphones on your podcast

Read

Audio Editing Software

Item number three on the list of things you need to start a podcast is somewhere to record and edit your audio and that’s where audio editing software comes in.

The good news is, if you’re on a budget, you don’t need to pay for it because there’s a free program called Audacity that works just fine.

While there are a lot of podcasters who still use this program after they’ve ‘gone pro’ I find it a bit clunky.  So my recommendation is Adobe Audition which you can purchase for a monthly fee.

Ultimately your choice of audio software will come down to personal preference. But you want a program you find easy to navigate and that you enjoy working in.

Do you need to edit your podcast?

Read

A Podcast Host

When you’ve recorded your episode and exported it to MP3 the next thing you need if you want to start a podcast is somewhere to house your MP3s.  The place to do that is inside a podcast host.

Podcast hosts are an essential part of getting your show into people’s ears because they’re the link between you and the podcast directories (this is where listeners find your show).

There are a bunch of different ones out there so again it will come down to personal preference.  But here are some of the more popular ones…

Libsyn

This is one of the longest-running and most trusted hosts.  I started out using them and never had a problem but I decided to upgrade to Whooshkaa because I preferred their tech and player design.  There are a lot of really successful podcasts that use this platform so if you go with them you’ll be in safe hands.

Blubrry

Another long-running host that a lot of podcasters recommend.  I’ve never used them but I know podcasters who have.

Omny

A popular host with a nice player design and a simple interface to navigate.  Unfortunately, their players currently don’t play natively in Facebook or Twitter which is a bit of a bummer.

Whooshkaa

This is the host I use for my personal shows.  They’ve got great tech and I love the design of their embedded player.  Their sharing capabilities are also much better as their players play natively in Facebook and Twitter which is something other platforms don’t do.  You can also opt-in for them to put ads in your podcast which means you might also be able to make a little bit of money (it’ll probably be very small at the start).

How to submit your podcast to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify

Read

And those are the four things you need to start a podcast.

If you’re just starting out it’s ok to get the bare essentials and build up your kit as time goes on.  But if you just had these four things you could still create a professional sounding show that will stand the test of time.

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

2 Comments
  1. Ashleigh says:

    Can you use garageband to record podcasts? I’m curious as to why it wasn’t mentioned as an option. I have a Mac & therefore, garageband. From what I’ve researched it seems like a viable option but just wondering if there’s a reason you didn’t mention it?

    1. rcorbett says:

      Hey Ashleigh. Absolutely you can use Garage Band. I didn’t mention it because I only really recommend programs I’ve used myself and I don’t use Garage Band. But if you’re a gun at it, go for it! Rach

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GET MY FREE PODCAST GUIDE

WANT TO START A PODCAST BUT HAVE NO IDEA HOW? THIS GUIDE TAKES YOU THROUGH ALL THE TOOLS AND TECH YOU NEED TO GET GOING!

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