Technology and I have an interesting relationship. It is one that requires the right mix of passion and work to find that lovely positive balance. I need the steps clearly laid out for me to check off one by one in a nice orderly, getting stuff done kind of way, which has led me to put together the ultimate cheat sheet on starting a podcast. By following this cheat sheet I am 100% certain that you will have your first podcast launched in no time, with no stress and you won’t look back.
Podcasting is addictive and provides a natural high that can’t be topped.
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Name and Theme It
- What are you going to talk about? The answer ‘nothing’ is perfectly acceptable here. Remember that Seinfeld made a fortune from talking about nothing! Think about your area of interests, what do you enjoy talking about, have you got some guests in mind who can join you? What are there interests? The template that I used to come up with the first 8 podcasts for Like Minds Create can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. Prior to recording I would then put together a series of bullet points relevant to the topic so that I had information fresh in my mind.
- Select a name for your podcast series. This can be influenced by the theme of topics you plan to chat about or perhaps by your current business or blog name.
- Now that you’ve got something to chat about let’s jump into the technology. The first thing you need is a recording device. This is where some people get stuck and don’t move forward as there are so many options on the market. Disregard most of them so that you can move on quickly here. My advice is to select one of 3 options; your inbuilt computer microphone, your phone or if you’re thinking about investing in a good microphone then I would recommend the Blue Yeti USB Microphone – Silver. I use a mix of the second two to record the Like Minds Create podcasts. If I have a special guest who is not with me at the time I record a conference call using Free Conference Call. If I am recording solo or have the guest in the room with me then I’ll plug in my Yeti microphone which has been brilliant.
- Ready to press the red record button? Great this is your next step. If you are recording using the inbuilt computer microphone or a plug in microphone then download the free Audacity software, or if you’re on a Mac then Garageband will do the job nicely. If you have opted to record using Free Conference Call then it has the added advantage of recording your podcast for you and saving the file ready for download and editing later. People often ask me if I stop the recording if a mistake is made and the answer is no – just keep rolling. Editing can do amazing things taking out mistakes, the dreaded “ums” and delays in answering questions often found when recording using the conference style. Another typical question here is how long should my podcast be? There are differing answers to this one however my personal opinion is in the region of 22 minutes.
Congratulations you have just recorded your first podcast which people can listen to in their car, on their way to work, at home in the sun! Is the adrenalin pumping? Grab a cup of tea and calm yourself for the editing process.
- Both Audacity and Garageband are straight forward to use. You may want to add in some music to the beginning and end of your podcast. Some even have music underlying the actual podcast. Be warned that selecting the right music for your own podcast can be a big black time sucking hole. I think I spent more time on finding the music for my podcast that I did learning the process and actually recording the series! In the end I selected my music (and paid a once off fee) from BenSound which provides royalty free stock. There are free options available out there any if you’re lucky you may even have a muso friend who would be happy to help you out. Once you’re happy with the final edit its time to save your project and export it as an MP3 file.
- Creating the artwork for your podcast. I use Canva to create mine which is free and easy to use. To submit your podcast to iTunes you’ll need to design cover art that is a minimum size of 1400 x 1400 pixels and a maximum size of 3000 x 3000 pixels. If you are looking for great free to use stock images my go-to site is Unsplash.com
Podcast Host Provider
- Now that you have your MP3 file and your cover art the next step is to find a hosting provider for your final podcast. My recommendation here is Libsyn. It has been so easy to use and now that I’m set up transfers the Like Minds Create podcasts directly to iTunes for me and provides a link that I can embed into the blog post/ show notes and importantly provides great stats on how many people are listening to each episode. I love it and its now one of the tools that I can’t live without in my business.
- Have you got a website to host your show notes? If not I would suggest starting one. I use WordPress for our website which offers a Libsyn plugin. Once I’ve written up the show notes I scroll to the bottom of the page to find the prompt from Libsyn to add in the html address for the podcast. It takes this and automatically embeds the show into the blog post for me – super easy! I can now share the show from my website to my social media channels driving further traffic to the site.
- Setting up your account with iTunes. This is only something you need to do once if you are with Libsyn. Once its done, Libsyn automatically feeds your future podcast episodes to iTunes for you. Firstly test and validate the RSS feed for your podcast using FeedBurner. If the feed is OK then you are ready to submit it to iTunes using Apple’s Podcast Connect.
- Save all your new passwords. Through this process you’ve signed up to a bunch of new tools and remembering passwords can start to become tricky business. I use LastPass to keep track of all mine and its proved to be a lifesaver. Losing or forgetting a password always happens when you’re on a deadline doesn’t it?!
You are now a recording artist! How does that feel? Did this guide help you get started with your first podcast? If you get stuck please let us know so that we can help get you moving again. Once you’re podcast is live and you are sharing it with the world remember to send Like Minds Create the link so that we can promote it for you too!
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