This is my latest summary of the podcasting process. After two more people asked for my advice, I decided I should put together a big-picture summary. At the end of the post, I give an update on my own system–where I started and what I’m doing now.
STEP 1: Record the Audio
Somehow you need to record the spoken word, generally saved as an MP3 or WAV file (WAV is better quality).
This step involves a lot of decisions, which are based on a number of factors:
- Budget: Low/no-budget, middle of the road, pro.
- Location: Pro studio, home studio, on the road, online.
- Type of podcast: Solo, Collaborators, Online interview, In-person Interviews, etc.
- Type of Microphone: Lav/lapel, shotgun, dynamic, condenser, XLR, USB, etc.
- Equipment: Mobile phone, audio recorder, mixer, sound gate, audio interface, laptop, etc.
- Software for Communication: Skype, Google Hangouts, Source-Connect Now, Appear.In, WhatsApp, Zoom, etc.
- Software for Recording: Ecamm Call Recorder, Pamela, Audacity, Audio Hijack, Boss Jock, Sound Byte, etc.
NOTE: Check out my blog post that’s an introduction to podcasting. And when I was first learning to podcast, I wrote a two-part “how-to” – Part 1 and Part 2. I later added more about software and lav mics. These four blog posts cover elements in the items below, not only recording.
STEP 2: Edit/Mix the Episode
You might need to clean up the audio, removing noise, repeated “ums,” coughing fits, statements that are “off the record,” etc. You’ll probably want to add theme music and an introduction/conclusion (Step 1) to the main audio file.
Free Editing Software: Audacity (any platform) and GarageBand (Apple) are free software that are easy to learn. There are lots of tutorials on YouTube. Auphonic is a good way to get your sound up to -16 LUFS and to clean up minor problems. It’s free for 2 hours a month or something like that. Auphonic is better than the old Levelator.
STEP 3: Add ID3 Tags
STEP 4: Upload the File to a Host
iTunes doesn’t hold your podcast; they just make it easy for people to access it. Therefore you need a place to store your audio files that can play the files even during peak demand for the files. That means your own website is not a good place to do this; the two most common hosts are Libsyn and Soundcloud (I use both), but there are others. Comparing costs and services will help you choose what fits you.
STEP 5 (first time only): Verify the RSS Feed from the Host
STEP 6 (first time only): Submit the Verified RSS Feed to iTunes for Review and Approval
STEP 7 (first time only): Submit Your RSS Feed to Other Sites like Stitcher or Google Play.
STEP 8: Write a Blog Post with Show Notes
It is common practice to have a blog accompany the podcast. This allows you to post show notes, and it makes sharing the episode easy because this gives you a URL to include in your social media posts.
Examples (individual posts on each blog):
- The Iconocast (Jesus Radicals)
- Ingredients (Michael Nixon)
- Adventist Peace Radio (my podcast for the Adv Peace Fellowship)
- Chasing Justice does not have this, and it makes it a pain to share specific episodes.
STEP 9: Share the Blog Post Link/URL Via Social Media
You’ll need to let people know that you have great content for them.
STEP 10: Repeat steps 1-4 and 8-10!
Ideally, you’ll learn more every time you go through the process of recording, editing, and posting an episode. Keep at it!