It’s easier than you think, especially if you’ve got something to say. And a microphone. Or a microphone app.
Get your researchdone
There are heaps of podcasts out there, ready and waiting foryour earballs. Before you embark upon your own recording adventure, listen to abunch of them and take notes. Do you like the way they do certain things? Hatethe way they slurp drinks while talking? Don’t stop listening, either. Evenwhen you’re ready to move onto the next stage, it can be useful to see howother people solve the problems you might face.
Get your ideas downpat
This sounds pretty scary, doesn’t it? Well, you can starttalking into your phone’s recording app and see how it sounds. Or you can writedown a bunch of ideas you have – including a name for your podcast, what it’sgoing to be about and who you hope will listen to it. Or you can chat tofriends, family and anyone else who’ll listen about what they think sounds likethe best idea.
David Hunt, co-host of Aussie historypodcast Rum, Rebels & Ratbags, adds, “Do it on somethingyou are interested in, but don’t expect your audience to be interested becauseyou are. You need to approach it from the viewpoint of a person who knowsnothing about the subject matter.”
Again, you don’t have to come out of the gate with a perfectfirst episode. It’s okay to play around with formats, adding and droppingelements that make sense as you go. But it’s good to think about the shape ofyour podcast – will there be interviews? Music between bits? Do you have aco-host? Is that co-host just you with a slightly different voice?
“Listen to podcasts you like and figure out what makes themgood,” says Clare Testoni, host of fairytale-themed podcast SingingBones. Do you like casual conversation? Or where there is more storytellingand one person talking? Do you want to add music? Think about the sonictexture, nature’s sounds, traffic, real-world noises, and how they can be usedversus a smooth recording that sounds like a studio. We don’t always want tojust hear talking!”
Get your equipmentready
Where are you recording your podcast, and what with? Itdoesn’t have to be crazy-expensive – you can use your phone or record a convoon Skype.
Siobhan Coombs, co-hostof comic-book podcast Serious Issues, says, “For me themost important equipment was finding a co-host who already had and knew how touse the equipment! We have a very simple set-up with two microphones and a Zoomrecorder. My co-host [Andrew Levins] then edits it on his Macbook.”
The main thing is to record somewhere without background noise. “Linen cupboards make great mini studios. Lots of sound absorption,” says Clare.
Get it out there
The main thing is to put your podcast up somewhere people can hear it, right? There are lots of different platforms, so do your research and pick the one(s) that suit your material best. If you’re not sure, Soundcloud is a good place to start. Make sure people know what to expect – for example, is it funny or serious? – and keep pumping out those episodes!
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