Podcast Cheat Sheet

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Podcast Cheat Sheet

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last decade or so, the chances are pretty high that you will have heard about podcasts, the medium that has dominated the market in a range of subjects (also see, ‘What Year Did Podcasting Start?‘).

Thanks to the rise in technology – and in particular, smartphones – it has never been easier to create your own podcast; and we have put together all you need to know.

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What Is A Podcast?

Podcast Cheat Sheet

A podcast is essentially an audio file that can be downloaded from any number of websites (also see, ‘What Is A Podcast‘). The most common way to do this is through iTunes, but there are other podcast apps too.

You can also download them directly from the website where they were created.

The main difference between a podcast and a regular radio show is that a podcast usually contains more than just one speaker (also see, ‘How To Use Multiple Mics for Podcasting‘).

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It could contain multiple speakers, with each speaker talking at different times during the recording. This means that a podcast can often be longer than a traditional radio show.

The length of a podcast varies enormously, depending on what type of content it contains. A typical podcast might be around 20 minutes long, while others can run into hours.

ALSO SEE: How Long Should Your Podcast Be?

How Do I Create My Own Podcast?

man creating podcast

Creating a podcast is relatively easy – and our cheat sheet will have you up and running in no time.

1. Choose A Topic

Before you start creating your first podcast, you should think carefully about what kind of topic you want to cover.

There are many different types of podcasts out there, ranging from comedy shows to political discussion programs.

If you don’t know exactly what you want to talk about, then you may find yourself struggling to come up with ideas.

If you are looking for inspiration, then you could try searching online for some podcasts that already exist, including those in niches and subjects that you are interested in, or have a particular knowledge of.

Alternatively, if you are feeling brave, why not ask friends and family for their opinions – what do they think you are particularly knowledgeable about?

Are there any podcast topics they think you would excel at?

The trick is to choose something that interests you, and that you feel confident enough to discuss. Once you have decided on a topic, you can move on to step 2.

2. Choose Your Format

Podcast Cheat Sheet

Once you have chosen a topic, you need to decide how you want to present it.

If you are planning a comedy podcast and aiming for top tier comedy stars as guests sometime in the future, you should lean towards a conversational style.

Aim for sharp conversations that can engage the audience and feature guests, as well as time for sketches, games, and interviews.

But if you’re aiming for a deeper dive into a particular topic, you should choose more of an educational format with occasional guest interviews.

If you are planning to interview experts, you should go for an academic style. And if your podcast is about news and current affairs, then a more formal approach may be best.

Whatever the topic or format of your podcast, make sure that it fits in with what your target audience wants to hear.

ALSO SEE: How To Structure A Podcast

For example, if you are going to interview people, you will probably want to record the interviews separately and add them in at a later date – this can be a great way of ensuring that you have ongoing content.

However, if you are simply going to read out information, then you may prefer to record everything as one continuous piece.

You may also want to consider whether you want to use music or not and if so, check that you find a perfect royalty-free piece to accompany your podcast.

3. Find A Perfect Recording Spot

podcast studio setup

Now that you have thought about your format, you need to look for somewhere suitable to record your podcast to ensure superb audio quality.

While it is possible to record anywhere, the best place to do this is likely to be a quiet room away from distractions such as phones, computers, and pets (also see, ‘How To Create A Podcasting Studio‘).

There are a number of elements that go into choosing a spot to record a podcast; these include :

  • Is there enough space for you to comfortably sit down and work (also see, ‘Best Podcast Chairs‘)? Remember that ergonomics is important, so ensure that you are comfortable and that your posture is supported as you record (also see, ‘Best Tables For Podcasting‘).
  • Is there enough natural light to see clearly and comfortably? Though obviously nobody will see your podcast, it is nonetheless important that you can see what you are doing without straining or damaging your eyes.
  • Can you hear other sounds clearly (such as traffic)? Background noise can be edited out later, but this can be time-consuming – if possible, find a spot that has minimal background noise to remove.
  • Does the location have good acoustics?
  • Will you be disturbed in the location?

ALSO SEE: How To Soundproof A Room For Podcasting

4. Get Some Equipment

To make sure that every podcast episode sounds professional, you will need to invest in some equipment. This includes:

  • A microphone. You can either buy an external mic or use the built-in microphone on your computer. The latter option is usually better because it allows you to adjust the volume independently of the computer’s own sound system.
  • An audio interface. An audio interface lets you connect multiple microphones and/or instruments together. It also gives you access to more advanced features like reverb and compression (also see, ‘Best Audio Interface For Podcast‘).
  • Software. There are many different software options available for recording and editing podcasts. Editing software available ranges from free apps like Audacity to paid programs like GarageBand (also see, ‘Best Podcast Editing Software for Mac and PC‘).

5. Choose A Podcast Hosting Platform

No cheat sheet podcast launch would be complete without a recommendation for a podcast hosting platform (also see, ‘How To Publish A Podcast – Uploading Guide‘).

This is because after you’ve decided on the format, content, and frequency of your podcast, it is time to choose a hosting platform.

A podcast host provides tools like analytics, storage space for audio files, as well as RSS feed generation that helps you distribute your podcast to popular platforms like Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts (also see, ‘Google Podcasts vs Apple Podcasts‘).

Popular podcasting hosting platforms include Anchor, Buzzsprout, Podbean, and Simplecast.

When selecting a hosting platform, you should consider features such as:

  • Analytics – how much data can you access on the platform
  • Storage – thow much storage space is available to upload your audio files
  • Pricing options – free vs paid
  • Ease of use – how user-friendly is the platform
  • Customer support – do they offer help and guidance
  • Integrations – do they offer any integrations with other services or platforms.

Be sure to take the time to compare different podcast hosting platforms and determine which one is the best fit for your needs. Once you’ve decided on a platform, it’s time to start recording your episodes!

5. Start Recording!

With all of your equipment ready to go, you’re finally ready to start recording. Before you begin, however, you should take a few minutes to get familiar with your new setup.

This means making sure that you know where all of your controls are located, and that you understand how they work.

If you don’t already know how to operate your equipment, you might want to practice using it before you actually start recording – this means that you can hit the ground running.

ALSO SEE: Best Podcast Starter Kit

6. Edit Your Podcast

Once you’ve recorded your podcast, you’ll need to edit it. This involves cutting out any unwanted noises, removing any pauses between sentences, and adding transitions so listeners/viewers can properly enjoy your show from their favorite podcast app.

Getting skilled at editing can be one of the most enjoyable parts of producing a podcast, and it’s something that you can learn over time.

To start, simply make sure that your podcast is clear, audible, and pleasing for your audience to listen to.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have everything set up, you’re almost ready to launch your podcast, share your knowledge with the world, and, with enough practice and experience, start earning some cash from your new hobby!

Matt Brook

With a background in Journalism and years of experience in the industry, Matt brings a wealth of knowledge to the WiredClip team.

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