In this post of the Podcasting for Business series, we’ll take a look at the basic podcasting software and equipment that you’ll need to get started.
As I mentioned in Part 1, here we’re talking about podcasting as an online/content marketing strategy for your business, not as a hobby or source of income. I’m repeating that here because in light of that, you shouldn’t be spending too much money on equipment. In fact, you can start a podcast for under $100!
The podcaster’s voice is one of the most overlooked podcasting tools―and it’s perhaps the most important element here! Practice speaking by talking to yourself or a friend/family member.
Make sure you’re enunciating clearly and pacing your words appropriately. When you first begin podcasting, I can guarantee that you’ll record a few times (probably more) before you’re satisfied.
Remember: don’t drink or eat while you’re recording. You might think this is an obvious one, but I still read a lot of reviews by podcast listeners who complain that the host is chewing or slurping while talking!
It is important to have water nearby, but perhaps pause/stop the recording when you hydrate yourself. If you don’t want to interrupt the flow by stopping a recording, then finish your sentence, take a sip of water, continue and edit that part out later.
Bear in mind that I’m not an audio specialist, but you will need the following:
Microphone: Your computer/laptop will have a built-in mic, but most experts don’t recommend using it because of the sound quality. If you have a bit of extra cash, you can get a foam windscreen and mic stand too. Here are two good resources for the best mics to choose from:
Headphones: The next hardware on your list should be a pair of headphones. You can get decent ones for around $30. There are, however, various considerations for headphones, ranging from comfort to cord style.
Pop filter: “If there’s one thing that should always be a part of your recording setup, it’s the pop filter… Don’t even try recording without [one]. You’ll just make your listeners mad, and you’ll sound extremely amateurish in the process.”
This guide defines a pop filter as a noise protection filter that prevents the popping sound when, for example, speaking words that begun with P or B. Pop filters also prolong the life of your microphone.
Extra hardware: The above are your top 3 essentials, but you could also consider things like a mixer to boost the tone of your voice; a shock mount to isolate the mic from vibrations; and a portable recorder for traveling.
For recording & editing: To save and edit your audio on your PC or laptop, Audacity, Adobe Audition, and GarageBand are reliable and popular options.
For hosting: If you can’t host on your website, you can use hosting services such as Podbean, Blubrry, Podomatic, Libsyn or even SoundCloud. Some are free and others have pretty cheap plans.
For interviews: Skype is still the most popular option for recording remote interviews. You can use call recorder software from Ecamm (an add-on) or Pamela for example.
Other software: You’ll also need an MP3 encoder (to convert to a smaller file size and so that others can listen easily); and an FTP client (like FileZilla) to upload the audio to the Internet.
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I hope that’s not too overwhelming! In the next post of this series, we’ll take a look at your podcast content.