Issue 148 * Blog 27-2020 * Read Time: 8 Mins * Podcasting 101
Note from the Raven: Joseph E Clay Dot Com was not pleased with the functionality of the blog that came with the Official Website hosted by Go Daddy. To remedy that we decided to have the Official Joseph E Clay Dot Com Blog hosted by WordPress. The below blog was posted to the official website on September 19, 2020. The blog Podcasting 101: Getting Started was transferred to this site on 3-2-2021, keeping it’s assigned Issue and blog number. The blog content has been modified from it’s original text. The blog was shortened, the sections deleted were used for another blog on Podcast Microphones.
So you are looking to start a Podcast are you. That’s great and podcasting is a lot of fun, once you get it up and going.
In the Podcasting 101 Series we us the experience and lessons learned when we developed our podcast, Spotlighting the Indie Author. I remind you that none of us had any experience in podcasting or had ever been on a podcast. So some of these steps, tips and advice may seem a little elementary to someone with podcast knowledge.
This posts intent is getting the novice person started on their podcast journey by furnishing them with references along with the aforementioned lessons learned that all may want to avoid.
Pay close attention to the sections marked “Podcast Tip:” by doing so, it will help you to avoid the mistakes we made. The complete tip will be in bold along with being italicized. Some of these are common sense, others are simple, but overlooked, and others make you say, Oh yes that makes sense.
With that out of the way let’s get to why your here.
As with all of our adventures we undertake it starts with research. We found the most helpful guide on Blogging Dot Com titled How To Start A Podcast: The 2019 Best Guide For Beginners. The blog breaks down the process in to 6 steps and ends with a section titled Common Mistakes to Avoid. Although the blog designates the year 2019, it was updated so it’s good for 2020.
We’ll also add our comments in each step.
Podcast Tip: Read the entire blog, How To Start A Podcast: The 2019 Best Guide For Beginners before taking the first step. There is great information you will need to know before the steps begin. We started with the steps and never read the common mistakes at the end. To be honest we started in the middle of the steps. We paid for our hast in a big way. We’ll get to that a little later on in this blog
For more in-depth information on each step please visit How To Start A Podcast: The 2019 Best Guide For Beginners. We have listed the steps below, up to recording and editing. We stop there as that’s where things can get complicated. Microphones, Condenser or Dynamic, USB vs XLR, etc.
- Choose a Niche for Your Podcast – Podcast Tip: For beginners this step is most important. Here is why. It is true that the podcast market is growing by leaps and bounds, but the last thing you need as a Rookie Podcaster, is to be fighting for listeners in a niche that is overcrowded and packed with podcasters who are household names. We were lucky! Our research showed that there was a need for a podcast dedicated to the Indie Author. That was great for us and made the first step a piece of cake.
- Choose a Name, Theme Music, and Design – Choose a name: This required some thought but wasn’t that difficult. We knew that neither myself, Joseph Clay nor Nina Turnipseed had the name recognition needed to name the show after us. We decided the show title needed to be short and reflect what the show niche was. Nina, Kay Douglass and myself knew that the show would feature book reviews and interviews of Independent Authors. The three of us began tossing names out. The third name on the white board stuck and rang a bell with all of us. That name…Spotlighting the Indie Author. Music: Joseph E Clay Dot Com is a member of Shutter Stock so any music needed could be purchase from there. Plus there are a ton of sites that have music you can use. Sound Bible and Free Sound are great sites for sound effects. Audio Jungle is an excellent site to pick up background music along with Into/Outro tracks. The cost of the tracks range from free to $59.00 and higher. Design: Joseph E Clay Dot Com’s graphic designer Rick Chappell could handle that.
- Pick Your Podcast Hosting Provider – This step is all about what fits your needs and budget. There are several choices out there that range in price from Free to $49.99 a month and up. After researching all the podcast hosting sites from Anchor to Podbean Nina, Kay and myself went with our second choice, Fireside. With the paid subscription Fireside came with a website for the podcast that was professional looking and the overall use of Fireside is easy. The webpage can be configured to the users liking such as adding custom pages and links to the menu bar. Another feature is the website comes with a blog. Fireside makes it easy to get your podcast on most of the major podcast platforms including Spotify and iHeart Radio. Fireside charges a monthly fee of $9.00/month for the Fireside Starter Plan, $19.00/month for the Fireside Standard plan. We choose the Fireside Standard Plan. We have had no issues with Fireside and have been pleased with the performance. Note: Since we signed up, Fireside has rolled out a new plan the Fireside Professional Plan $49.00/ month and offers yearly billing. Podcast Tip: Our first choice was Sound Cloud. We regretted that choice within 24 hours. With that said we strongly suggest that you do not use Sound Cloud as your Podcast Host. It is fine to list your podcast on the site but when it comes to hosting don’t waste your time and money.
- Record Your Podcast: This where things can get complicated. Why? Because we skipped over all material written before the steps. We remembered seeing pics of mics, interfaces and headphones. We ignored what was written as we figured they were trying to sell us those products or get commission off of a link. Plus the research had led us to a site that stated that a microphone or headphones were not needed to record a podcast. That blog stated you could record on your phone or record straight to Audacity, a free recording program using a built in computer mic or gaming headset with a built in microphone. You will find out later in this post why that particular blog is not linked!
- Editing Your Podcast Episodes: Once again there are several options here and is really a preference and mater of choice. We went with Audacity it’s free and with not much of a learning curve.
Podcast Tip: Steps 1 through 5 are listed above, leaving only 1 step remaining. After reading all 6 there is a couple of things you still to know. (1) Have at least 5-6 episodes ready to go before launching your podcast. If you don’t you will always be behind and rushed to get the next episode out on time. (2) Your first episode should be a show teaser and labeled as so. Most major podcast platforms list the show teaser at the top of the podcast lists. Read: Podcasting 101: A Teaser? Who Knew, Not Me! to learn more about that.
Here are some of the things we learned in a hurry and please save yourself some headaches and aggravation, take the advice below.
Here is why you read the complete post of How To Start A Podcast: The 2019 Best Guide For Beginners and why the other one is not linked. We recorded Episode 1: Book Review – Hotel 66 – by Michael King with an Inspiron 24-2455 computer using the built in mic. We knew how to record in Audacity but as far as post – production we were clueless.
The result: The podcast sounded like CRAP.
Podcast Tip: The material in How To Start A Podcast: The 2019 Best Guide For Beginners, before the steps plainly stated. “Your laptop microphone is not going to cut it. Neither are most cheap headset microphones. These microphones produce too much background noise and low sound quality in general. This is the one thing you must buy if you don’t already have a quality microphone.” Please take their and our advice “DO NOT USE THE COMPUTERS BUILT IN MIC”.
Everything they said would happen…happened. The built in mic picked up every sound in the room. This included paper popping, chairs squeaking and keyboard strokes. What was sad, those sounds came across less distorted then the voices. I took it a step further, I listen to it through headphones to see if it sounded better. The sound quality was worse when headphones were used to listen to the podcast.
The problem with that, most people use headphones or earbuds to listen to a podcast.
The quality was so bad, Nina, Kay and myself debated on whether to air it or not. We made our decision after reviewing other factors. The weighing factor that lead to the show being aired. The show subject and airing date had already been published on social media. We all know the show must go on!
We included the following in the podcast blog notes: “Today’s show was recorded on a Inspiron 24-2455 computer using the built in mic. There was no post production modifications made. We later learned that this was a mistake. We are shopping for a suitable mic and audio editing program to improve sound quality.” – Podcast Show Notes Episode 1
At this point in time Spotlighting the Indie Author was only recording one show a month. During the time we had between shows would be spent learning Audacity and reading what was skipped in the how to blog. After the reading and research was completed on microphones we were overwhelmed to say the least. Microphones are confusing to a person who has never picked one up.
What microphone did we decide on. That will be discussed in another installment titled Podcasting 101: Equipment – Microphones Part 1 coming soon!
Other blogs in the Podcasting 101 Series:
Thank you for reading and best of luck to you and your podcast.