How to Launch Your Podcast

About a year ago I had a conversation with someone looking to launch their first podcast. At that time, I put together an entire reference guide with all the technical pieces a person would need to create, publish, and distribute a podcast. Since then, as podcasting has made its way into mainstream marketing, I have been asked by so many more people. And now I’m sharing that reference guide with you.

Here is everything you need to launch your podcast.

Choose a Podcast Hosting Service

A hosting service stores your audio files and provides you an RSS feed to distribute to various channels, like Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, YouTube, or to share on social media. There are so many options but here are a few.

There are no shortage of hosting options. If you’re an amateur and want something simple, I’d go with Soundcloud. If you’re looking for all the bells and whistles, go with Libysn. I use Libysn to distribute two of my podcasts. I use Soundcloud for storing random audio files I want to distribute, but you can certainly use it to distribute your show’s episodes.

Download Audio Editing Software

If you’re like me and do the editing yourself, download audio editing software to clean up, edit, and finalize your audio files. Audacity is what i use. It’s free. It has a bit of a learning curve but there’s no shortage of tutorials on YouTube. A few other options are Garageband, which is standard on a MAC computer. Adobe Audition comes with the Adobe Creative Cloud suite. I would consider it advance software, however.

Get Your Podcast Microphone

Run a search on Google or Amazon for microphones and you’ll see an overwhelming amount of results. I did the hard work for you though. Here’s a list of microphones from least to highest cost that I recommend:

  • Blue Snowball - $69.99 - Perfect for just getting started, especially if you’re doing monologue episodes. It’s a USB mic, so you can plug-and-play and start recording immediately. It has the capability of picking up sound from around the room, including multiple people, but it also picks up tons of noise within the room. I recommend this mic if you’re on a budget and simply want to get started.

  • Shure SM58-LC - $99.99 - Very high quality XLR mic that is very professional. I use two of these mics for in person interviews. The downside is that you’ll need to buy extra equipment—a digital recorder, XLR cables, mic stands (not required but I recommend), and wind screens.

  • Blue Yeti - $129 - a high quality USB mic that is probably the most popular podcasting mic. I highly recommend this mic because the quality is high and you can record in several modes. I’ve been using the Blue Yeti for many years and sad to say I have about three of these mics—two for my office and one for home office.

  • Rode NT1 - $269 - a professional mic that will make you sound like a true professional. Full transparency, as of the time of this post, I have been using this microphone for a couple weeks and I love it. The quality is outstanding! But you will need extra equipment to make it work, including an XLR cable and audio interface to connect to your PC.

If you’re using an XLR mic, such as the Shure SM58, you’ll want a digital recorder. I use the Zoom H4N. You can record multiple channels , including up to 2 XLR mics. If you want 4 XLR mic inputs, get the Zoom H6n. These recorders are also capable of recording stereo tracks directly from the device and in fairly good quality, too.

Recording Podcasts

For in person—if you have two USB mics, you will need to record separately into different personal computers using recording software, such as Audacity. I moved to using the Shure SM58 mics and a Zoom H4n digital recorder for in person interviews. It’s easier to sync the tracks together and is very high quality. You could also use the standalone digital recorder for in person interviews, but the quality wouldn’t be as good.

For interviews over the web or phone

  • Over Skype using MP3 Skype Recorder or Call Recorder (MAC only) add-on license.

  • Using a premium podcast recording subscription, such as RINGR or Zencastr service within a browser or mobile app. If you can afford $19/mo for this, I highly recommend going this route since Skype can be unreliable with the add-on software. Quality is outstanding and you can export to various file types.

Post Recording—What now?

  1. Export your file from your PC, from your application, or digital recorder   

  2. Edit podcast track using editing software

  3. Add any music or intro/outro tracks

  4. Name the file and enter all meta data for track

  5. Upload to podcast hosting service

  6. Add title, description, image, etc.

  7. Publish & distribute to the channels of your choosing

  8. Your published track updates the podcast feed with the latest episode and will push to any service utilizing your feed (such as iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, etc.). Please note that you’ll need to set up an account directly with the distribution channels, like Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Youtube, etc. and submit your RSS feed link. It’s a process but only needs to be done once. All other updates can be done directly with your podcast hosting service.

  9. Promote. You could let your podcast organically grow and let people find it, but my guess is you’ll want to take the proactive approach and push it out via social channels. Grab the direct link or a link from a channel like Apple Podcasts and share on social media. Or use a service like Wavve to generate video clips to promote and share all channels all in one post. More on podcast promotion in another post!

Still have questions? Contact me and let’s chat about your podcast!