In recent years, the medium of podcasting has become one of the most popular outlets for information, discourse, and entertainment. We even started our own podcast, L-Town Radio, earlier this year.
A great thing about podcasts is that anyone can start making one– and without having to spend a lot of money, you can distribute your podcast on platforms like Apple, Google, and Spotify, where it’ll have the potential to reach millions of listeners.
If you’re interested in starting your own podcast, here’s what you’d need:
What do you want your show to be about? Offering your perspective on current events? Exploring unsolved mysteries? Chatting with friends about your favorite TV shows? Your podcast could be about any topic that interests you– though of course, if you’re hoping to reach a wide audience, you’ll need a premise that would be of interest to many other people too.
Once you’ve decided on your show’s premise, make sure to give it a snappy title and an eye-catching logo. If you don’t already have graphic design software, you can download & use apps like GIMP or Canva for free.
Once you have your show in mind, next you’ll need access to a computer, tablet, or other device that can connect to the internet and record audio. If you mainly plan on recording your own voice, the built-in microphone on your device should work well enough. If you want to record phone or video chat conversations with friends or interviewees, apps like Skype or Google Meet can do that. If you don’t already have an external microphone, you could get one if you want your show to sound cleaner, but it may not be necessary. After all, with the vast increase in media produced by ordinary equipment in this post-pandemic age, your audience’s ears may be fairly forgiving of lo-fi audio, as long as they can hear and understand you.
The amount of editing you’ll need to do will vary, depending on whether you mainly plan to record extended, casual conversations, or you plan to have a more sonically adventurous show. Either way, you’ll want some audio editing software. We use Apple’s GarageBand to edit L-Town Radio, which came installed on our library’s Mac laptop. If you can’t use GarageBand, there’s software like Audacity for PCs that’s freely available to download.
Programs like those may seem confusing or overwhelming at first, especially if you’re new to audio production. But don’t fret– just play around with them for a bit, and soon enough you may find you’ve figured out the basics. And if you can’t figure something out, you can always find the answer in the program’s help tab, or from helpful users online.
Hosting & Distribution
Once your first episode is recorded, it’s time to distribute it to the world! In order to get your podcast available on giant platforms like Spotify, Apple, and Google Podcasts, you’re going to need an RSS feed, and a place to host it. For L-Town Radio, we use SoundCloud, which allows you to post up to 3 hours of material for free, and also offers paid subscriptions for unlimited uploads. You could also use Libsyn, which offers various plans depending on how much monthly storage your podcast needs.
– Joe , Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian