The Podcast Starter Kit: Everything You Need To Get Started
Starting a podcast has been a blessing in my business and life and can be for you too. I created this podcast starter kit for people who are seriously considering starting their own podcast, but want to learn the basics before diving in. You’ll find everything you need to know for starting a podcast, what equipment you need, to getting your podcast on iTunes, and marketing your show. This podcast starter kit will help you get your show launched in no time. And when you are ready I’ve got a ton of other resources you can check out to help you easily launch your podcast.
What equipment do I need for a podcast?
When putting together your podcast starter kit there is only one thing you really need: a microphone. The reason for this is because the audio quality of your podcast is the most important thing. Why? Because that’s what your audience is going to hear. If the audio isn’t crisp and clear then the experience won’t be good and people aren’t as likely to listen. The good news for you is you do not need to spend much money to get your first podcast microphone. There are three options that I would recommend when you are just starting out:
Blue Yeti USB microphone ($113) (http://bit.ly/blueyetiUSB) It plugs into any UBS port so it should be super easy to hook up to your computer. It should be pretty simple to use. It comes highly recommended by many podcasters (I have not used this mic.)
Audio-Technica ATR2100 microphone ($67) (http://bit.ly/audtech) It plugs into any UBS port so it should be super easy to hook up to your computer. It’s a good starter mic (I have not used this mic.)
If you are an Apple user you can consider using the Earpods that came with your iPhone, or if you purchased Airpods use them. I do need to caution you that these options are not as good as purchasing a microphone. You’ve got to be careful with the Earpods rubbing against your shirt when you are doing your podcast. This can create a static sound (which isn’t pleasant to the listener). With the Airpods they’ll improve the audio quality more than talking into your computer or phone, but won’t be as crisp as an actual microphone.
Make me a promise that you are not going to overthink or spend too much time on what microphone to use. While it is important, it is a decision that you should make quickly. Also, you don’t need expensive equipment when you are just getting started. You’ll have plenty of time to build out your podcast studio when you’ve got some episodes under your belt and are crushing.
How do I record a podcast?
One of the great things about podcasting is the low barrier to entry to record. You’ve likely already got all of the equipment that you would need to record a podcast (assuming you’ve got a computer or phone).
When using your computer I recommend recording online via Zoom. I’ve done hundreds of episodes using it and it’s pretty easy. All you’ve gotta do is click “host a meeting”, invite your guest or cohost, and then push the record button. That’ll give you an audio and video file of your podcast when you are finished. Best of all this can be done for free (up to 45 minutes).
There are other ways to record a podcast but when just getting started I recommend you keep it simple. Zoom is what you want to use.
How do I edit a podcast?
One of my keys to being successful at podcasting is to keep it simple, especially when it comes to editing. I had no prior editing experience before I started so I make sure to do the least amount of editing possible with my shows.
If you wanted to take the audio file that Zoom gives you and upload that then cool. The only thing you’ll need to be aware of is starting to speak immediately upon hitting record. That way there is no dead air in the beginning.
If you wanted to add in some intro music and cut out the dead air at the beginning then there are three editing options I recommend.
Garageband: When I first started podcasting I used GarageBand, which came with my Mac, and it was great. The software is pretty easy to use and after watching a few YouTube videos on how it works I was able to edit my podcast in no time. This is my recommendation for anyone starting out who is using a Mac.
Audacity: A free software editing option for Mac and PC is Audacity. I used it as well and found it pretty simple to learn after watching a few YouTube videos. This would be my recommendation when starting out if you are using a PC.
Descript: This paid app ($12/mo) is an all in one audio & video editing platform that is great for creators new & experienced. Editing a podcast is as simple as moving a slider and making a cut. After watching one or two videos you’ll be good to go. As a bonus they also give you the ability to add captions to your videos (in the event you are also doing a video podcast).
Promise me that you will not let a lack of knowledge for how to edit a podcast stop you from launching your show. I spend less than 5 minutes editing my podcast (I chop out the dead air at the beginning and end and that’s it) and you can too. It’s very easy to learn and once you get the hang of it it’ll become second nature for you.
How to get your podcast on iTunes & Spotify
Once you’ve recorded a podcast and have the audio file, now it is time to share it with the world. To get your podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, and all the other podcast directories you need to sign up for a podcast hosting provider. Don’t overthink this as it’s a minor detail that you set up once and it does the work from there.
I recommend using Buzzsprout as your podcast host as it is very easy to set up at the beginning, and it’s low cost ($12/month). When you sign up they’ll have an onboarding process that’ll help you connect your podcast RSS feed to all of the podcast directories. You essentially copy a link they give you and paste it to a few different places. Once that is connected you’ll never have to worry about it again.
Yes, getting your podcast on iTunes & Spotify is actually that easy.
Marketing your podcast
How do you get people to know about your podcast? The answer is “everything”. Any way you can think of to let someone know that your podcast exists is a good way to market your podcast. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
•Post a link to your episode on social media
•Word of mouth: when someone asks you “Hey, what’s new” tell them about your podcast
•Put a link in your email signature
The more you do this, and the more episodes you publish, the more your podcast downloads and audience will grow.
I do want to caution you. When you first launch your podcast you might not have many people listening. This is to be expected, and it might be that way for a while. The reason is because it takes time to build up credibility and awareness. At the same time, you are going to get better as a podcast host the more times you do it. When you get to episode 20 of your podcast you’ll be significantly better and more confident as a host than you were when you first launched.
The best podcast starter kit is a simple one. It has a microphone, a vision for your podcast, and a lot of action. The mindset you have about your podcast and what you want to accomplish will also be a big contributor to your success. Be committed, understand that this is a process that will take time to see growth, and be excited about the opportunity to share what you have with the world. When you do these things consistently great things will happen for you.
If you are ready to launch your podcast and would like to speed up the process then I encourage you to check out Shining Your Voice. It’s a step by step blueprint to turn your dream podcast into reality.