Podcasts. We know them. We love them. We’re making them…or at least a lot of people are. It feels like a new podcast is popping up every day, and I love it! Spotify recently acquired Anchor and that was a HUGE move! Spotify’s probably one of the top 3 places where folks consume their podcasts (next to Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts), and it makes sense because so many people use Spotify to stream their music. Why switch apps/programs if you don’t have to?
Now whether you have the gift of gab, you want to put your two cents in on a topic or 50 of them, or you want to give your blog a voice, podcasting is for you! I know that it might like it’s hard to start a podcast, but I promise it’s not. In my opinion, you can go two routes, the professional studio route or you can do it by yourself.
I recommend at least starting with the studio route, that way you get a feel for being behind the mic and possibly on camera if that’s something that your studio offers. If you’re in Houston, TX I can’t recommend The Sphere enough! Garry and his team brought the stems of an idea that I had to life and helped me get comfortable behind the mic. I actually recorded in the studio for a few months before I made the move to recording at home with a mic, but the beginning stages of both routes are the same.
Decide what you want your podcast to be about. Pop culture? Social justice? Romance? Beauty? Women’s rights? Or maybe a mix of everything like me since mine is an extension of my blog? Figuring this out helps with the rest of process.
Name that ish. Pick a name that’s unique and catchy. If you’re like me and already have a blog, it can be a play on your blog name or something else entirely like Katie’s podcast ‘If I’m being honest’. Picking something unique helps people find you quicker when they’re searching for you, and having a catchy name will draw in new people who will stumble upon you while searching for new podcasts.
A picture (or graphic) is worth a thousand words. This is like album art. You want to make sure that you have a primary logo for your podcast. One of the great things about starting with The Sphere is that their ‘Deluxe Podcast Package‘ includes this in case you’re not too comfortable with creating graphics. They have someone on their team who’s a wiz and will bring your ideas to life.
Set up distribution. If you’re going the studio route then The Sphere will assist with hosting and RSS feed setup; it’s included in the package! If you’re going the other route the hosting platform you choose (like Anchor) will assist with this.
Mic Check 1-2-1-2. Now it’s time to record your intro! Whether it’s just a song clip or you introducing yourself, you want to make sure you have a standard intro for each episode. I have a song clip at the beginning of mine, but I know people who have a spoken intro, both will work so just choose which ever you’re comfortable with. And remember that you can always change them later!
Time to record! This is my favorite part. It’s where I flourish, where I get the opportunity to put a voice to the words on my blog, where I get to interview loved ones and strangers about topics near and dear to my heart. It’s where I get to laugh, joke and sing. Nowadays I’m just going the audio route, but when I first started I was doing audio and video, something that was provided in The Sphere’s rate. I honestly don’t think that I would be comfortable recording by myself now if I hadn’t had Garry’s help in the beginning. I choose not to do video podcasts anymore, but I know that I can always go back to it if I wanted to.
Post-Production. This is an optional step. If you feel like you’re a ‘One-take Drake’ and that you don’t need to tweak the sound, edit out long pauses, or you put out episodes live then this step won’t be for you. One of the great things about going the studio route is that if you choose their premium plan it comes with post-production, and that’ll save you so much time. They’ll literally drop your finished shows (audio and video) in your Google Drive. The audio will be pushed to the audio platforms of your choosing (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, etc) and you can upload the video to Youtube or whatever video platform you choose.
Publish and promote. This is what makes all of the hard work worth it. Your episode is out there for people to listen to. Promote it on social media, promote it on your blog, let folks know that it’s out there.
I know these might seem like a lot of steps, but I promise it isn’t. And I know that I said that you should check out The Sphere if you’re local to Houston, but they’ve just launched a remote podcaster subscription and it’s one I would encourage you to check out! Have you considered starting a podcast? What’s stopping you from getting started?