Podcasting has become a great medium for entrepreneurs, influencers, and anyone who has something to say. Starting a podcast can help establish a brand or can expose that brand to more people. One of the best things about podcasts is that they can be on just about any topic.
The most common format is the interview style, this is when a podcast host brings in guests and interviews them however a podcast episode can just be you sharing and expressing your thoughts.
Starting a podcast can seem like a complex and costly endeavor. In reality, it pretty straightforward to get a podcast up and running. To make a podcast great, there are a few things you will need.
Here are 5 things you need to start a professionally sounding podcast.
A good mic
One thing that can make or break your podcast is sound quality. Listeners may be very interested in what you have to say but many will not stick around long enough due to bad sound quality. That’s why a good quality microphone is extremely important.
If you’re looking for quality and affordability, Blue Snowball iCE USB Microphone is one of the most popular and for good reason (£48.32). It has many attractive features and is optimized for podcasting, music recording, webinar recording and live streaming.
For an entry-level option with a decent price, the ZealSound Studio Recording Mic Kit with USB and 3.5mm Port for Phone, PC, Laptop, AMSR, Macbook, Gaming, Podcasting, Online Chatting, iPad, PC and YouTube Recording. This microphone costs around £35 and includes features such as a Desktop Stand, Mic Clip and a USB Cable. The quality of the mic is not as great as the Blue Snowball but it is still decent.
To make sure you are coming across to your audience the way you want, you’ll need a decent set of headphones. Headphones are especially important if you are interviewing guests or have a co-host, being able to hear others well will make sure the flow of the show is smooth and natural.
You may be tempted to purchase headphone and mic combo but we would advise against this because the sound quality is usually sub-par. Instead, consider the great sounding Skullcandy Grind On-Ear Wireless Headset, for around £30 these headphones will deliver great quality without breaking the bank.
For a professional caliber set of phones consider Skullcandy Hesh 2.0 Over-Ear Bluetooth Wireless Headphone with Volume Control for around £78. These phones offer premium sound quality and they offer wireless for better mobility if you need it.
The right platform
The next big decision you must make is where you are going to host your podcast. SoundCloud has been a popular choice for years and it still offers free plans so that you can get started on your podcast right away.
Libsyn is another popular option that offer plans that start from £4 a month but has higher price options for more monthly storage and advanced features such as statistics and media transcoding.
A pop filter
A pop filter is a noise protection filter for microphones. It helps reduce or eliminate ‘popping’ sounds caused by the fast moving air on the microphone during the recording of your voice. This is a very important accessory to have when podcasting so that your listeners don’t hear the distorted sound that is created when you pronounce the “p” in the word “podcast”.
Even though a pop filter is essential to have, you don’t need to break the bank for a studio quality product. RobotsDeal Microphone Pop Filter Swivel with Double Layer Sound Shield Guard Wind Screen Popfilter for Blue Yeti for around £6 is an affordable option and does a great job of eliminating sound and preventing saliva from landing and collecting on the microphone.
The above mentioned microphone, ZealSound Studio Recording Mic Kit, comes with a pop filter for the same price.
Recording & editing Software
Audacity is a great place to start and with its free open source digital audio editor and recording computer software application, available for Windows, macOS/OS X, Linux and other operating systems.
It allows you to do a many of the things that other editing software charge for including important features such as noise reduction, audio file manipulation, and support for multi-channel mode.
For a professional audio workstation, we recommend Adobe Audition CC. Audition includes multitrack, waveform, and spectral display for creating, mixing, editing, and restoring audio content. This is great if you also want to do video editing as well but if you’re just podcasting, you may not need all of the features available.