Published on July 15th, 2019 | by Bibhuranjan


How to start your own podcast without spending a fortune

The podcast has become one of the most popular forms of media over the last few years. The ever-growing and expanding medium has really caught the imagination of audiences worldwide leading to the kind boom that has seen everyone simply start up their own podcast on subjects ranging from true crime to sport.

The great appeal of this format is that, with the right know-how, it can be done very cheaply if not for free. This has opened up a market for creative people to launch themselves into the audio genre in a way that, just 10-years-ago, was not possible.

So, how easy is it to set up a podcast from scratch and get started? The answer is very but you do have to know what you are doing to a certain degree. That is why we have put together this complete guide on all the things you need to start a podcast.

What is a podcast?

Let’s start with the basics. A podcast is an audio (or video) file that can be downloaded by the user from the internet to listen to on their computer or mobile device. Podcasts are usually episodic that release on a set, regular basis be it weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Listeners subscribe to them via their mobile devices or computers.

Serial Podcast by Casey Fiesler (CC BY 2.0)

The podcast is often referred to as an online radio show that can be downloaded and listened to at the user’s convenience.

According to recent statistics, there are over 700,000 podcasts out there in the ether and this number is expected to continue to rise. The Edison report suggests that, as of 2019, 70% of Americans are familiar with podcasts, compared to just 43% 10 years ago, and that 144 million have listened to a podcast at some point in their lives.

How to start your own podcast and what to consider

The first thing you need to consider when starting your own podcast production is the subject or theme you are going to cover. It is easy to launch into something without giving it too much thought, but this is a mistake. You need to be able to offer listeners something valuable, after all, they will be giving up their time to have a listen. Unless they see your podcast as a valuable way to spend it, they will not become a regular listener – so they need to be hooked in by the early episodes.

The genres of podcasts are extensive. You have literally thousands of different choices: travel, sport, true crime, financial planning, family advice – the list is endless.

If we take a betting advice podcast as an example, you would need to know your subject in detail. It is no good offering a superficial overview as the listener can probably find this on the internet. You should consider offering them a step by step guide on starting an account. Offer a detailed review of each bookmaker, citing which ones have the best odds and apps, for example.

Finding the best bookmaker offers and relaying this info to the listener will be appreciated. So, those offering specific deals on certain sporting events, or free bets every week or even reward cards that accumulate value. All of this information is out there but you can truncate it into an easy, digestible audio package.

Finding a podcast host

Once you have your subject it is time to find a host. There are loads out there and they are all similar, but none are the same. The things to consider are value for money, how much you pay each month or each year for them to host your podcast is important. Have a look at what support they offer if you run into problems. Also, statistics will be very important in order to analyse your audience and how many listeners you are getting from which geographic locations. Try a few and find the hosting site that best suits your needs.

Equipment needed for a podcast

To start with you need a good microphone. Do not start a podcast without one as having bad sound quality early on will turn listeners away and make the podcast lose credibility before it has even started.

Sen Microphone by Chris Engelsma (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The best microphone to purchase is a USB mic that plugs straight into a computer. There are plenty to chose from but don’t feel you need to invest too much money as a $35 mic will do the same job as one three times the price without a huge benefit in sound quality unless you are going to jump straight in at a professional level.

Headphones are also highly recommended as they allow you to hear yourself better when recording while also being a necessity in the editing process.

Software needed for podcasting

The only piece of podcasting software you will need in order to successfully podcast is an audio editor. There are a few choices but the best one to go for if you are starting out is the free, open-source, programme known as Audacity.

This is a hugely versatile programme and can cope with almost all the requirements for a podcaster. Many sound effects can be downloaded for free either using the YouTube music library or through third-party, copyright-free sources so don’t be tempted to spend big on these.

Finally, promote on social media, get some traction with your core audience prior to release and off you go. To become a successful podcaster you will need a high-quality video and audio recording from both sides as well.

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Editorial Officer, technofaq.org I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.

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