The world has gone podcast mad; we enjoy listening to them, and people love making them. While demand for new series is at an all-time high, recording a podcast from the comfort of your own home has never been easier. So, where do you start when making a podcast from home?
Find your topic
The first step to any podcast series is deciding what your podcast is going to be about. At the beginning, you shouldn’t get too distracted by the “how” and instead focus your energies on the “what”.
You want to choose a subject you are interested in, while making it unique enough to garner an audience. It’s also important to know why you’re making your podcast. Are you trying to market your business? Raise awareness on a certain topic? Or simply have some fun exploring a certain topic?
Knowing your podcast inside out will save you a lot of confusion down the line and it will help you figure out your podcast’s format. For example, will you have a co-host or guests? Do you need to write scripts or do any research? Will your podcast be fiction or nonfiction? What will I name my podcast? These are all important questions you’ll need to ask yourself before you sit down to record your first episode.
Pick a schedule – and stick to it!
Knowing how often you are going to release episodes tells you exactly how much time you have to plan in between releases. This can tie into the kind of podcast you have chosen to make – if your show is completely improvised, then you might be able to sit down and record an episode or two per week with minimal preparation ahead of time. But if each episode requires lots of research, or you need to hunt down guests or maybe the show needs heavy editing, you might need to space out your recording and upload schedule. So plan around your availability and don’t take on too much all at once – make sure you set a target that is realistic.
Having said that, publishing one episode a week gives your fans a steady stream of content and a consistent upload schedule allows listeners to learn when to expect new episodes. This is a good way of retaining an audience and growing your show.
If you can’t sit down to record every week, try to bulk record your episodes and have them ready to publish in advance.
Get your recording set-up sorted
You don’t need to be a professional sound engineer to start off your podcast. Most people are happy to listen to your podcast if your subject matter is appealing. Do your research before you start investing in any recording equipment. Different setups suit different podcasts, and of course different budgets.
It is important to know where you should focus your time and money to get the best recording setup possible. Take a look at this article, which will guide you through what you will need to start your podcast on a budget.
Recording with a guest or a co-host
If you are recording with another person at home, ideally they should be using a microphone with the same make and model as yours. You’d be surprised by the difference in the sound of some microphones, so using the same kind of microphone will ensure the audio quality matches. If possible, make sure everyone has their own individual microphones.
If your guest or co-host is joining you online, the same rules apply – double-check their recording setup in advance and check whether they have access to an external microphone. If they don’t, can you send them one? Maybe they have a headset or a pair of headphones with a mic built-in? Nobody minds if the audio quality of your dial-in guest isn’t up to par – but do prep ahead of time to get the best sound possible.
Recording your first episode
Record somewhere quiet. Limit reflective surfaces and choose a room with absorbent materials like carpet, furniture – you might even want to surround yourself and your recording setup in blankets to help dampen the sound.
If you’ve never hosted a podcast before, or public speaking isn’t your forte, be sure to practice! Test out your best presenter voice, and make sure your equipment works properly. Bring in a friend or a sibling and record a mock episode with them. Running through a trial episode in advance can take a lot of the pressure off and you’ll have something to use later to practice your editing. This can help you judge what sort of tone you want to strike with the rest of your show.
It’s always helpful to have some sort of script or a list of bullet points to keep your show on track. Don’t be afraid to go off-book either! A good host will listen to their guest or play-off their co-host to keep the conversation flowing naturally. If your podcast is more like an audio drama, read your script ahead of time and practice saying those difficult to pronounce words. But never be afraid to mess up while you are recording, you can always edit out any boring dialogue or long gaps in speech – this is a podcast after all!
Now you’ve completed your first episode recording at home, but the work doesn’t stop there. You’ll need to edit the episode, publish it, promote it – there’s a lot to get done and it can seem like there is a lot that can go wrong – but there is plenty that can go right, so be sure to enjoy the process, work hard and always, always remember to press record!
At The Podcast Studios we work with companies, organisations, and individuals to help them tell their stories in audio form. If there is any part of your podcast journey that needs a professional touch, from start to finish, get in touch today by contacting us at [email protected] or visit our website at www.thepodcaststudios.ie