How to start a podcast

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Podcasting has become one of the most influential forms of broadcasting on the planet. From podcasts like the Joe Rogan Experience and the TravelFit Global Podcast, to more obscure ones that tackle different niches, podcasting is taking over the world. If you’re looking to get in on the action, here are some tips that can help you start your own podcast from home.

Develop a Solid Concept

With the thousands of podcasts already being broadcast out into the world, you’ll need a solid concept to build on if you want to stand out. Indeed, at the core of NPR’s podcast starting guide is getting your ideas together. By developing a central concept or idea, it will be easier to figure out technical factors like the podcast’s structure, whether or not you’re taking on guests, and the role of producers in both live and recorded shows. Your concept will also dictate the audio tools you’ll need and whether or not your podcast will have a visual component. NPR itself actually runs a number of podcasts, all of which are centred around specific concepts. Leading podcasts such as Hidden Brain for instance is all about the science of human behaviour, Planet Money is about our global relationship with cash, while Up First is focused on delivering news via its guests. All of these were developed by NPR to cater to specific niches. And every successful podcast was created around a solid and well-developed concept.

Get a Microphone

If you’re serious about podcasting, you better get serious about microphones. While the built-in mics in smartphones are getting better and better each year, the quality of the recorded audio you can get from even the cheapest professional mics is still exponentially better. Shout4Music’s best mics for vocals guide notes how models like the Audio-Technica AT2020, the Sennheiser E-835, and Shure SM58 are all suitable not just for podcasting but for a wide variety of studio work as well. And these types of microphones range from just $100 to $150. That’s a small price to pay for professional-level audio, especially if you want to succeed in a medium in which the human voice is such a central element. In a world where you’re literally competing with some of the greatest stand up comedians, storytellers, and motivational speakers in history, you’ll need all the vocal clarity you can get. Having a professional mic to record high quality raw vocals also makes balancing audio levels much easier during post-production. All great, technical podcast-related audio work starts with a good mic.

Choose Your Hosting Platform Wisely

The ideal podcast hosting platform depends on your concept, niche, resources, and goals. Currently, the top 100 podcasts as identified by the Australian Podcast Ranker are hosted by popular platforms like Wondery, Stitcher, ARN/iHeartMedia, Audioboom, and many others. Any of these platforms can prove to be the ideal home for your homebrewed podcast. Apart from the initial costs of getting onto any podcast platform, you should also consider your prospects in terms of advertising power, their connections to your niche or concept, and the possibility of growing alongside that platform. Choose wisely, because your platform will be the home of your podcast, at least until the end of your initial contract.

Although these are far from the only tips you need to keep in mind to create a world-class podcast, following them can set you on the right track. Get a proper microphone, develop a concept based on your interests and expertise, and find the platform that can best represent your podcast.

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