You might be under the impression that expensive equipment and a studio is required to have a successful podcast for your business. Nothing could be further from the truth. The best thing about podcasting is that you can do it at home with simply a basic Mac or PC and an inexpensive microphone, but a better microphone will improve your sound quality to some degree. Some podcast hosting sites even make it possible to podcast using your cell phone. You simply register with the service and create your podcasts by recording them when you’re on your cell phone.
If you want to kick it up a notch, there are several ways to set up a podcast recording ‘studio’. And for serious podcasters, the list of necessary podcasting equipment is as follows:
- Digital recorder (or computer)
- Headphones – (These are the ones I use to record my podcasts)
- Sound-editing software
Podcasting on a consistent schedule is important when building a community and a wider audience. In fact, don’t expect your podcast to have a large audience in the beginning. But with proper promotion, quality content and a regular schedule, your podcast audience will grow. Many podcast audiences number in the thousands.
Decide, before you get started, how often you will be able to broadcast. Each podcast will take time to script, rehearse and record. You are likely to want to commit at least four hours of planning and production time for each podcast.
To determine how long your podcast should be, you’ll want to consider how frequently you’re going to broadcast, what content you’re delivering, and who your audience is. For example, if you’re doing a daily podcast you would be likely to want to keep it short. Five to ten minutes is a perfectly acceptable length for a daily. It is enough time to offer an inspiration, a tip for the day or an insight. If you’re doing a weekly and you know that your subscribers generally listen to your podcast on their drive to work, then a 20-30 minute podcast would fit perfectly into that time frame. I have always kept my podcast interviews to under thirty minutes and my training podcasts to under an hour.
Great news! Podcasts can actually be free. If your computer came with a microphone or you use the headset I recommended above, then you already have your recording equipment. All you need is a podcast host and, like blogging hosts, many are offered for free. Simply use your favorite search engine and you’ll find numerous choices.
Of course, for a few extra dollars you can find podcast hosts that offer sound editing software, more storage and unlimited bandwidth. To choose the right podcast host, it really depends on how many podcasts you want to produce per month, how big they will be and what kind of subscriber base you are expecting for your shows.
Adding music/sounds to your podcast:
Adding music to your podcast can:
1. Set the theme of your podcast
2. Prepare your listener for individual segments or features within your podcast
3. Entertain your listener
When selecting your music, remember to consider the theme of your podcast and your target audience. Since each podcast is different and has a unique audience, the music used should reflect both.
Royalty-free music can be used in productions without recurring fees, i.e. without paying royalties each time the music is played. An alternative to royalty-free music is “podsafe” music.
Podsafe music is acquired by partnering with a musician and crediting their work during the podcast. Independent artists are making their compositions available as podsafe music in exchange for publicity and airplay. Sound effect libraries can be subscribed to for a modest fee, or podsafe CDs can be purchased and imported through your computer’s media player.
By now you can see that podcasting equipment is inexpensive, music can be added easily, and that this is an effective way to reach your target market quickly. Do you have other questions or concerns I have not addressed in this post? If so, leave a comment and I will answer you personally.