Podcasting has become a medium that’s hard to avoid in 2022. Every TV show, celebrity, influencer, even footballer, has their own podcast. Although live radio still exists and thrives, more and more people are turning to the on-demand easily digestible nature of podcasts for their audio consumption. Jojo Jones gives you a step by step to creating and hosting your very own podcast…
Don’t be discouraged
So often when people think of podcasting they think of swish studios, high tech mics, sound effects, smooth editing etc. And all of this can look like it is pretty costly (which it often is), however, the truth is you don’t need expensive equipment to produce really great audio content.
That’s why my first tip is don’t be discouraged by lack of experience or funds, because really anyone can create podcasts that people will love, from home, with just a laptop or phone, and little to no spending costs at all!
Dream up some podcast ideas
At this point in the process, there are no bad ideas. This is the time before you’ve got anything set in stone so you can be as creative as you want to be. For me, brainstorming comes in the form of mind maps and talking ideas out with friends. So whatever you have found helps nourish your creativity and come up with ideas, do that!
Also, think about what genre your podcast could be. A few examples of these categories are interview, sports, pop culture, political, music podcast etc. It might be a good idea to analyse the types of podcasts that you already listen to, as this will indicate the areas that you’re really passionate about. It’s also a good time to brainstorm some catchy podcast name ideas. If you are really struggling there are some show name generators out there that could help spark ideas!
It’s also important to think about podcast hosts. If you have a clear vision for how you could talk at length about a subject on your own, then it sounds like you need to be the sole host of your podcast. If not, many podcasts thrive with multiple hosts as it gives presenters room to bounce off each other for ideas. Why not hit up some friends or family members who might be interested in hosting with you? You never know what could happen!
Structure & format
Make sure you think about the format your podcast will take. There are tons of different types of podcasts, but nearly all take a similar structure. This normally includes a jingle or musical introduction at the beginning of the podcast (make sure you are using royalty free music so that your podcast doesn’t get taken down for copyright breach, see below for some websites to help you find this!) and a brief description of the podcast by the host. You also might hear in your favourite podcast the guests saying “let’s take a break”, and then adverts run or a musical interlude ensues. This is a nice way of breaking up the structure of your podcast, as it allows you as the host when you’re creating the audio to take a break, refresh and clear your head. And for the listener, this also allows them to have a quick break from the audio. Don’t worry if you haven’t got adverts or music to go in between your audio sections, you can use a transition sound or even just a fade out and fade in. Usually the end of a podcast will have plugs to the podcasts or hosts social media pages, and sometimes after it seems the podcast has ended, there are small excerpts of outtakes or behind the scenes sections to act as a funny, final joke of the episode. A lot of this structure might come naturally when you start recording, but have this structure in mind when formulating ideas, and it will help you shape your strands of podcast ideas into fully formed episodes.
Utilise free online programmes
Similar to our How to… Get into Radio Broadcasting piece, utilising free programmes to make podcasts is essential. Basically if you have a phone or a laptop, you are able to be a podcast host. Whoever knew it was that simple?
If you want to podcast with your phone, the leading app for this is the anchor app. The anchor app was the first of its kind in which you can use your phone microphone to record and edit audio, right from your phone. The anchor app will also distribute your podcast once ready to services like Spotify and the Acast app. It’s basically a one stop shop for creating podcasts from your phone! There are also fun apps like Cappucino which will prompt you to send daily voicenotes to your friends through the app, and then stitch these into your own little podcast!
If you are planning on using a laptop or computer to record your podcast, you can download the programme Audacity, which is DAW (meaning, digital audio workstation), which allows you to record and edit audio. Make sure to use headphones with a microphone when recording to avoid feedback or background noise. If you are having guests on you can use Zoom or Skype to record your interviews, and then drag the mp3 recording into Audacity for your podcast.
You can also use websites like these to find royalty free music to act as your jingle or transition music:
Record your first episode
Now is the time to hit the record button and start the podcast chat. It’s good to remember at this point that you are still learning and experimenting, so try things out, record multiple takes, do whatever you need until you are happy with the content created. Podcast lengths range from 15 minutes to 3 hours, so record as much or as little content as you want.
Be confident in what you want to say, be playful if you’re interviewing people and be kind to yourself when listening back to content. You may be tempted to write a script for yourself, but if you can work your way towards writing brief notes and ideas to prompt for yourself, it will sound much more authentic and original to your listeners!
Marketing your podcast
In the age of social media, although podcasting is an audio art form, you will need visuals to go alongside your show. Canva is a free website with templates ready for every occasion, so all you have to do is input your podcast name, and play around with fonts and colours so that it matches the vibe of your show. You can also make a dedicated Instagram, TikTok, Twitter etc page for your show, and remember to document any time you are making any content for your podcast, like recording or doing interviews.
When you have finished an episode of your podcast you can also use the anchor app to distribute the show for you. Anchor will put your podcast on platforms for you like Spotify, Apple podcasts and the acast app. You can also upload your show to independent platforms like mixcloud.
You are now a podcast host!
Congratulations! Without spending any money at all you are now a podcast host. From here, if you are planning on releasing multiple episodes of your podcast, make sure you stick to a schedule of releasing at the same day of the week or month. Listeners want to know they can rely on you for a new episode! If you get really into podcasting and want to spend money on your craft, you can invest in a proper recording microphone like a USB microphone, or you can invest in a different DAW like Reaper or Adobe Audition.
Listen to Jojo Jones on the first Wednesdays of the month 1-2pm on Voicesradio.co.uk