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How To Start A Podcast In 2022

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In 2022, if you’re just getting around to figuring out how to start a podcast, you’re in luck. Now, without a doubt, is the easiest year there has ever been for those starting their first podcast.

Why is 2022 the best time yet?

Because you’ve got the benefit of the medium having been in a perpetual state of evolution since 2005. That means this year is the best yet, and next year will be even better. The well of knowledge you have to pull from is deeper than its ever been – and the tools at your disposal are more broadly available and more affordable than they’ve ever been.

Figuring out how to start a podcast in 2005 might have take a week or two, but in 2022? It’ll take just the few minutes it takes to read this article, and then you’ll be able to create and launch a podcast in less than a day.

In what follows I’ll be answering the question, “how do I start a podcast?” but I want you to keep something in mind: while the technical process of creating and launching a podcast have gotten far easier over the years, making a podcast successful is as involved a job as it has ever been – many (myself included) would argue it’s harder than it’s ever been – so once you’re done reading this article, don’t think you’re done. There’s a lot to learn once you’ve gotten off the ground.

How to start a podcast, in five simple steps

I like making things simple; it minimizes the intimidation newbies feel when starting something new. In the spirit of that preference, I’ve reduced this process down to just five steps. Follow these five steps, and you’ll have a podcast up and running in no time.

How to Start a Podcast, Step One: Choose a Podcast Hosting Provider

You know that part of podcasting is recording audio, and that another part is people listening to that audio, but you might not know that you need to store that audio somewhere online. You don’t want to store it on your own website because this could lead to bandwidth limitation issues with your website hosting provider. Instead, you want to store your audio with a podcast hosting provider.

Podcast hosting providers are structured specifically for the purposes of storing and serving audio files – and that’s what you need, so you’ve got to choose one.

There are tons of options. Captivate, Libsyn, Bluebrry, FiresideFM, Buzzsprout, Spreaker – the list goes on. At this point the podcast hosting provider you choose is largely inconsequential because they all fulfill their basic functions equally well, they all cost pretty much the same ($10-$20 a month), and they’re all equally reliable and easy to used..

Since you’re at the stage of just figuring out how to start a podcast, your main struggle is probably not becoming overwhelmed. So this “all podcast hosts are pretty much equal” thing is good news! It means it’s impossible to choose a podcast hosting provider that is going to suck at its job – so breathe easy, explore your options, and just choose.

For my money, the best option out there is Captivate.fm

If you’re looking to support a new hosting company, consider Podtrics. It’s a one-man show, but it’s important to support new entrepreneurs (at least I think!). Give Podtrics a shot here.

How to Start a Podcast, Step Two: Purchase Recording Equipment

You know you need a microphone, right? But which microphone is the right microphone? No doubt you’re terrified you’re going to inadvertently choose the worst microphone possible and your whole podcast will fail as a result. Well, I’ve got more good news for you: the microphone you choose has almost zero impact on the audio quality of your podcast. All microphones capture sound, and while it’s true they each prioritize different frequencies when capturing that sound (like how all headphones sound different, all microphones “hear” differently), the quality of the captured audio, once you hit a certain build quality with your recording equipment, is very similar.

That doesn’t mean go spend $30 on an Amazon special from a company you’ve never heard of before, but it also means you don’t need to spend $500 on a microphone in order to get good audio quality.

Here are my microphone guidelines and suggestions:

  • Make sure the microphone is a dynamic microphone (not a condenser microphone)
  • Spend more than $50, spend less than $200.
  • If you’re recording by yourself, or all your guests/co-hosts are remote, get a USB mic
  • If you’re recording with others, in the same physical space, you’ll need XLR microphones
    • XLR and USB are different connection types
    • If you get an XLR mic you’ll also need to buy an Audio Interface Device in order to connect it to your computer
  • Lean towards trusted brands with a reputable history. You want a company that will support its products.

My suggestion for a USB microphone is the Audio-Technica AT2005USB ($79.99)

My suggestion for an XLR microphone is the Shure SM58 ($99)

If you need to purchase an Audio Interface Device – which you only need if your guests or co-hosts are in the same room as you – I recommend the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 ($199)

How to Start a Podcast, Step Three: Purchase a Recording Solution

Whether you’re podcasting by yourself or with friends, you need a way to record your audio. If you’re recording by yourself, with no guests or co-hosts, then all you need is Audacity.

Audacity is a free audio recording & editing app.

Simply connect your microphone to your computer, launch audacity, hit record, and record your voice. When you’re done, use audacity to edit what you recorded.

If you’re recording with remote guests or co-hosts, you need Riverside.FM

If your co-hosts or guests are joining the podcast from afar, you need a solution to bring them together. Something like Zoom, but never ever ever Zoom.

Podcasting is an audio-centric medium, and Zoom was not build with high quality audio in mind! You need a meeting/recording platform that is build around audio, not boring business meetings.

Riverside.FM is like Zoom in that it allows people to get together and have a recorded conversation. It is unlike Zoom in that it doesn’t compress or otherwise negatively impact the quality of your recordings.

Regardless of whether you record with Audacity or Riverside.FM, you still need to download Audacity

Audacity isn’t just a piece of recording software, it’s a piece of editing software as well. You’ll need it in order to edit your audio, regardless of how you record it.

Get Audacity here.

Get Riverside.FM here.

How to Start a Podcast, Step Four: Record, Edit, and Upload an Episode

Now that you’ve got the foundational pieces in place, it’s time to record your first episode. Record it, edit it, and then upload it to your Podcast Hosting Provider.

That’s it. That’s all there is to it. You record some sound, edit the sound, and upload the sound.

Easy, right?

As you get more comfortable with producing, editing, engineering, and marketing, this step (the actual creation of individual episodes) will grow in the amount of time and attention it demands of you, but the basics are that you record, you edit, and you upload.

How to Start a Podcast, Step Five: Distribute and Launch

This is it, the final step: distributing your RSS feed to all the podcast listing platforms so that people who listen to podcasts can actually find yours.

In some cases your podcast hosting provider is capable of doing this step for you, but many prefer to do it themselves so they have more control and ownership over the process and of their content.

If your podcast hosting provider offers a way to do this for you, there’s likely a section of your podcast hosting provider’s dashboard that says “Distribution” or something similar. Click on it, and begin the process of automated distribution.

If you prefer to do it yourself, you’ll copy your RSS feed address from the dashboard of your podcast hosting provider, create accounts with all of the podcast listing platforms, and manually submit that RSS feed address to each of them individually.

Either way, once this part is done, your podcast will be findable on the platforms to which you submitted that RSS feed within a few hours to a couple of days.

That’s it. You’ve just started a podcast.

Is it really that easy?

Yes. Podcasting is nothing more than the recording, editing, uploading, and distribution of audio. That’s all there is to it – at least from a technical perspective.

As you develop your skills you’ll produce better content, you’ll create better recording environments, and you’ll begin to explore marketing and monetizing – but as far as the steps involved in going from zero podcasts to one podcast, this is all there is to it.

Take it easy, don’t stress out, go step by step, be willing to learn as you go, and you’ll be fine.

Good luck!

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