So you've listened to podcasts and would like to start your own. There's more to it than just talking into a mic and hoping people will subscribe. More than anything, Podcasting is about storytelling. Look at the sidebars to the right to start figuring out what your show should sound like. We also recommend thinking "Beyond the 5Ws".
Essentially, every episode will need to be scripted, recorded, edited, and posted. Whether you're doing this with a team or by yourself, you're going to get organized. Decide who's going to do what and when. We recommend checking out our online workshop "Organize Your Group" to introduce you to some tools that may be helpful.
This will depend on your podcast's style. If you mostly want to talk about research and have conversations, your script may look more like a series of bullet points or an outline. If you're going for something more narrative, it may be a more traditional script with notes for sound effects. For an interview, it may just be a series of questions. The goal is to make sure you're prepared so you don't have to go back and record something else later. Preparation is key!
And don't forget to cite your sources in your script so you can put them in your show notes! This is much easier than going back to find them later.
The Studio has some great equipment available that can help your podcast sound professional. It's available to check out for three days at a time from the Studio desk on the 3rd floor of the Library.
The Yeti is a desktop USB mic that just needs to be plugged into your computer. It's perfect if you have a quiet room set up and just want to talk into a mic. You can either reserve one ahead of time, or just come to the Studio desk and ask for one.
These are perfect if you have a little more experience, and are looking for that something special. You can either reserve one ahead of time, or just come to the Studio desk and ask for one. Both the Bluebird and Rode Condensers have an XLR output, so you with need an audio interface, Zoom H6, or Rodecaster to use it.
The Zoom H1 is a one-button, portable recorder that's great for interviews on the go. It can also be used as a USB mic if one of the Yetis isn't available. And, yes, it comes with that nifty tripod. You can't make a reservation for an H1. Just come and ask at the desk.
The Zoom H6 is the H1's big sibling. It comes with three interchangeable mic capsules (omnidirectional, mid-side, and shotgun), but it has extra ports you can connect XLR or 1/4" cables to. It's great for capturing interviews on the go, or recording your band in your living room. You can reserve one here.
An audio interface and microphone designed specifically for Podcasting. The interface includes 4 mic preamps, 8 faders, 8 programmable pads, USB to Host connection, and Bluetooth capability. You can reserve one here.
The Wireless Go mics are great for getting action sound where you can't be across the table from your subject. They plug into any camera or phone (adapter may be needed), and also record directly into the receiver. You can reserve one here.
All of these programs are available on computers in the Studio on the 3rd floor of the Library as well as the computers in the 24-5 area on the 1st Floor.
Audacity is a free Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) that works for both Windows and Macs. It's pretty basic, but it does all the things you need to get a podcast up and running.
Garage Band is a free DAW that comes with Macs. It's not available for Windows. Like Audacity, it's pretty basic. It's another solid choice if you don't want to spend money getting started.
Part of the Adobe Creative Suite, Audition is a professional DAW with all the bells and whistles. It has more of a learning curve than Audacity or Garage Band, but it's what the pros tend to use.
It may seem like podcasts are just people talking about things that interest them, but it's a good idea to narrow down your topic. It'll give you a direction once you finish the shows you already have ideas for.
There are lots of different kinds of podcasts. Do you want something where one person tells a story like Lore? Do you and a friend want to research a topic and then talk about it like Maintenance Phase? Do you want to go all-out on a deep dive into a topic like RadioLab?
Once you think about what you want it to sound like, who is going to help you? Figure out who's doing what and what your schedule will be. The best way to gain a following is to post consistently.
Who is this for? How old are they? Are they someone who already knows a lot about the topic, or are they hoping to learn more? What other sorts of podcasts do they listen to? How are you going to get their attention and what can you do to hold it?