Starting a Podcast
Q: What made you want to start a podcast?
Honestly, the idea to start a podcast came from my marketer. He’s my social media guru. I own Twitter’s soul, but when it comes to playing with other types of media and social platforms—essentially anything that involves interpersonal communications—I’m not interested.
I just wanna write!
So when I looked for a marketing company to help me, I kind of knew what holes I needed to fill and searched for a team that could give me just that. Consider it shoe shopping, but…not for shoes. Hehe.
The marketing company I use is Eclipse DigitalX, and before finding EDX I was dandy in my little hermit hole. Oh man. I don’t think I could go back to the way I was doing things. One of the things EDX suggested was to start a podcast. This was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard considering this was during our first conversation, and I literally had just mentioned that I’m 100% introverted.
Yet, here we are! Although I dislike talking for more than 15 seconds every three hours, this podcast changed the way I blog about books and share content with you all. And the only reason I have a podcast to begin with is because of the trust I have in my marketer.
I feel like my team is small, but Gaaawd it feels good to know that I have them behind me every step of the way. Most importantly, a team who is dedicated to the brand we’ve created together. *tears*
Q: What kinds of tools do you use?
In terms of microphones, there are a bunch of microphones out there. The Blue Yeti mic has excellent quality, is relatively affordable, and is easy to use. I definitely recommend this microphone for podcasting.
When recording audio, gosh, I’ve tired everything from Skype, Google Hangouts, voice recordings from multiple devices…gah. Typically, with all of these methods, my audio quality is pretty consistent, but when I have a guest, their audio quality suffers. Not cool.
I used to record directly to GarageBand from Google Hangouts, and there’s also Skype to record guest interviews.
Now, I’ve switched to Zencastr. This is an online platform, and the host (so me) has an account. There are free accounts and monthly subscriptions available, so pick your poison. I love Zencastr because if I want to invite a narrator, author, or literary agent to chat with me, I just send them a link and they’re immediately sent to my recording booth.
This is what a guest sees when they are invited.
This is what the booth looks like. (And if the host hasn’t arrived yet, it’s not a big deal.)
What I love about this platform is guests don’t need to create an account for Zencastr like they would for Skype or Google. It’s just so easy. AND I can capture audio from all users. This is particularly helpful in post production because I can edit all participants’ recordings separately, and I can capture everything from my end. Perfection.
On a side note, I’ve found that when I record directly to GarageBand, the sound is muffled. I mean, the Blue Yeti is a fantastic microphone, so I was baffled while recording my first few podcast episodes. But Zencastr is crystal clear. It’s definitely the best platform I’ve ever used, and I’ll continue using it for recording any type of audio.
For editing, I just use GarageBand (which is free on Macs). Audacity is great, too. I just plop my audio in, add my intro/outro music, and we’re ready for broadcasting!
Once you have the audio, there are a few different options to host your podcast: you can host your podcast on your website, iTunes, or Soundcloud. I’m sure there are more options, but these are the ones I’m familiar with. I host my podcast on my website, and I use the BluBrry PowerPress plugin for WordPress to host my podcast concurrently on iTunes.
So that sums up the equipment I use. Really, you don’t need a lot to start sharing content, and creating a podcast is one of the best things I’ve done for my website.
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