If you’re reading this, I assume that you’re ready to learn how to start a podcast. Well, you’re reading the right article, friend.
Keep reading as I break down my podcast launch methodology and favorite podcast equipment bundle that’ll get you going in the right direction on your podcasting journey.
In this podcast tutorial article, you’ll learn the technical definition of a podcast, how to plan your podcast launch, the best podcasting equipment, the best podcast editing software, the best services to purchase, and more!
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a podcast?
- 2 Why do you want to start a podcast?
- 3 How do I plan and prepare to launch a podcast?
- 4 What podcast equipment bundle do I need to start a podcast?
- 5 What is the best podcast editing software?
What is a podcast?
A podcast is a collection of audio files distributed via RSS feed that listeners can listen to or download on a device (i.e. computer or smartphone). It’s a collection of edited audio files with glorified distribution. You, the human, do all of the creative work and the RSS feed does all of the magical distribution.
Why do you want to start a podcast?
If you’ve read any of my other articles, you’d know that I like to start with WHY (a great book by the way). So I’m going to encourage you to do just that. Think about why you want to share your voice and thoughts with the world and write that why down on a sheet of paper.
My why/mission for the Chris Craft Show is to help listeners renew their mind with educational content and insightful interviews. I talk to our guests about how their relationship with Jesus impacts their work or calling!
Your why will be the foundation for your podcast’s mission and will be the beginning of your podcast planning process.
How do I plan and prepare to launch a podcast?
This is a great question. It shows that you’re thinking strategically about launching your podcast.
You’ve already gotten started with the planning process by writing down your WHY for wanting to do a podcast. Next, you need to look out there and see who is doing something similar to the podcast that you’re planning to launch. Study and learn from what they’re doing right and plan to improve upon how they’re coming up short.
The following items should be apart of your podcast launch plan:
- Your WHY statement and podcast mission
- Your market/competition research
- Your monetization strategy (if necessary) -- potential podcast sponsors, advertisers, affiliate marketing, episodes behind a paywall (Substack vs. Patreon)
- A content calendar with recording and publishing dates for each episode
- A well thought out list of interview targets if your pod will feature guests
- The DSPs that you want your podcast to appear on (Spotify, Apple, and Google Podcasts are a must. Also consider Stitcher and TuneIn)
- A simple marketing and social media strategy
- A list of items, which will include a podcasting laptop, software, hardware, and services to purchase in order to get started
Power tip: Do batch recording! Record 6-10 episodes before you launch your podcast. That way, you’ll always have some shows in the tank after you start releasing the first few. Trust me. You’ll thank me later.
Another power tip: Launch your podcast by releasing two or three episodes from the beginning so that you can establish a rhythm with your listeners. You don’t want a listener to listen to one lonely episode and then be left hanging with nothing else to listen to for another week or two. Think the Netflix model.
What podcast equipment bundle do I need to start a podcast?
Let’s get to the tools you’ll need to record and launch your podcast. When it comes to podcast equipment packages, I think the following products make the best podcast equipment bundle for beginners. I’ve used all of the brands mentioned below to produce the Chris Craft Show and the InspireFirst Podcast. So I can attest to their excellent functionality and quality.
The Best Podcast Microphone
Your podcast and your listeners deserve the best sound quality that you can provide. If you want crisp vocals for your podcast, I recommend that you purchase the Audio Technica AT2020 podcasting microphone. The professional studio-quality sound that you get for under $100 makes the Audio Technica AT2020 the best podcast microphone.
While sitting at a desk or table recording your podcast, you’ll need your podcast microphone to remain stable. Your solution will be a quality microphone stand or boom arm with a table mount. You’ll also need a pop filter for your microphone to keep those popping “P” sounds from causing your audio to clip (clipping is not a good thing).
I suggest that you purchase the Audio Technica Podcasting Pack which comes with the Audio Technica AT2020 podcasting microphone, Audio Technica ATH M20x podcasting headphones, and a boom arm with a table mount and a pre-threaded XLR cable (the audio cable for microphones).
This leaves you needing a good pop filter for your podcasting microphone. Go with the Aokeo professional microphone pop filter.
Boom! Now you’re that much closer to having the ultimate podcast equipment bundle.
The Best Audio Interface for Podcasting
You will need a way to record your voice (and other sound effects) on your computer. This will require a USB audio interface that will connect your microphone to your computer. The best audio interface for podcasting is the Focusrite Scarlett 6i6. The Scarlett 6i6 will give you the option to plug in two microphones if you need to record vocals for an in-person co-host or guest!
The Best Audio Recording Software for Podcasts
I like to keep it simple when it comes to audio recording software. So the best audio recording software for podcasts is Skype! Everyone has it and it’s easy to use.
If you want to know how to record a Skype call for a podcast, you’re in luck. There’s a great software called Call Recorder for Skype (Mac) by Ecamm that will record you and your guest or co-host on two separate tracks! Having two separate tracks will give you more freedom for mixing a great sounding podcast. Pamela for Skype is a good Skype call recorder for PCs.
The Best Headphones for Podcasting
When you’re recording your podcast, you don’t want the audio from your speakers to create nasty feedback when the sound is captured by your microphone. Therefore, you need to turn the volume down on your USB audio interface and use a good pair of podcasting headphones.
Look, I’ll understand if you want to keep to that old pair of white Apple earphones early if your budget is low. But if you’re ready to step it up and be a podcasting pro, the best headphones for podcasting are the Audio Technica ATH M20x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones. You can’t beat the superb quality that these headphones provide for under $50!
The Best Computer for Podcasting
All of the hardware that I mentioned above needs to connect to a quality computer for podcasting to go smoothly. You’ll need to have a computer with a good amount of memory, a fast processor, and a ton of hard drive space (audio and video files can be huge depending on the length of your show).
You also may be wondering if you should get a desktop computer, a tower, or a laptop computer. Though I run my podcasts from my iMac in my home office, I love the versatility of podcasting from a laptop. You can take a laptop with you wherever you go. With that great benefit in mind, the best laptop for podcasting is the Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch). It comes with 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of hard drive storage. This is enough memory and space to get you going on your blogging journey. This is the laptop that I use to record podcasts when I’m not in the office. MacBooks come with the excellent Apple Care and Apple’s phenomenal customer support. If you’ve ever owned a Mac, you know they last forever and are the gold standard for user experience and integration with your other Apple devices.
If you want the combination of a nice and sleek Mac-like body design with the PC / Windows operating system, then I would purchase the ASUS ZenBook 15 Laptop. This podcasting laptop has a 15.6” screen, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB Solid State Drive (SSD) like the MacBook above. But it’s half the price of the Mac (and half the weight too at 3.6 lbs -- sleekness is undeniable). I have an Asus laptop that I use for writing on-the-go. Asus is known for their great lightweight design with power that packs a surprising punch.
If you want to go with a low-cost PC option, I recommend the HP 17.3″ HD+ High Performance Laptop as the second best laptop for podcasting in the PC category. I’m a fan of sleek body design and HP is not known for its sexy design by any means.
Though I’m honestly pro-Apple/Mac for my podcasting computers because of their durability and virus protection, it’s hard to turn down this HP laptop that boasts a larger screen, seven hours of battery life, double the RAM (32 GB), and double the hard drive space (1 TB) for under $900!
When it comes to recording, filming, and saving big audio files, you will want to have some backups of your files. To accomplish this, you need to get the best external hard drive. I suggest that you purchase the LaCie Rugged USB-C 5TB External Hard Drive. Occasionally back up all of your important podcast files to this portable HDD for safekeeping.
Check out our article about the best laptop for podcasting for a deeper dive on podcasting laptops.
A DSLR Camera Bundle for Streaming and YouTube
If you’re going to be doing video for live streaming and/or YouTube, I don’t suggest purchasing a webcam because they mostly fall short in terms of video quality. Invest in a beginner’s DSLR camera instead. You don’t need anything fancy unless you’re going to be doing professional photography. Buying a DSLR gives you some flexibility if you ever wanted to use the camera to take photos while on the go.
A good beginner’s DSLR camera for podcasts or vlogs is the Canon EOS Rebel T7. It has a max resolution of 24.1 megapixels and it kicks in with Full HD 1080p video.
Fetch the bundle linked below to get the camera, the Canon EF-S 18-55mm wide-angle lens, two 64 GB video memory cards, and more!
Here’s the big bonus for going with a Canon camera. Now all Canon DSLR cameras (including the EOS Rebel T7 recommended below) can be used as a webcam with the EOS Webcam Utility Beta Software! This software works on both Mac and PC/Windows--a total gamechanger. You get webcam functionality with DSLR / 1080p video quality. The only other thing you’ll need is a USB cable (10 feet, which is plenty long for other uses) to connect the camera to your computer. Download the webcam utility software here.
The Best Desktop Tripod for Your Camera
You’ll need a way to position your DSLR webcam on your desk for video recording. In my opinion, the best desktop tripod is the JOBY Gorillapod. The Gorillapod is a high-quality flexible tripod for DSLR cameras like the EOS Rebel T7. The flexible legs help you get some unique angles. Or you can even twist the three legs together to transform it into a monopod. But don’t let the flexible legs fool you; they are quite strong--able to support 6.6 lbs. Neat product!
What is the best podcast editing software?
The best podcast editing software for Mac is GarageBand and the best free podcast editing software for Mac or PC is Audacity.
After you record the raw audio of your podcast episodes, you’ll need to clean them up by doing some good podcast editing. Remove parts of the show with errors, incorrect information, or audio hiccups. That’s the beauty of podcasting compared to live radio, you can always edit out your mistakes!
My favorite podcast editing software is Ableton Live because it gives me the option to do more complex audio editing for the podcast. It’s also a killer music production software.
But I realize that Ableton might be overkill for you. So I have another option. GarageBand is the next best podcast editing software for Mac users. It’s a free DAW (digital audio workstation) for Mac and iOS. It’s designed well and really easy to use for your podcast editing needs. If you’re creative, you can even use it to produce an instrumental for your show music.
Here’s a great GarageBand podcast editing tutorial video by Ben Leavitt:
Whether you have a Mac or a PC, the best free podcast editing software is Audacity hands down. Audacity is a free, open source digital audio software that’s extremely easy to use.
Warning: Podcast editing and post-production takes a lot of time. There is a strong likelihood that you will outsource this task to a skilled friend or professional. This will save you time so that you can focus on other creative tasks. Contact my team at Nao Media for professional podcast editing services.
Stay tuned for more updates on how to start a podcast!