In 2020, more podcasts have launched than ever before as more people are home. If you didn’t hop on the 2020 bandwagon but wish to start podcasting in 2021, this blog post will teach you exactly what you need to have a successful podcast.
#1- A clear topic on what you want to talk about
When we think about people who start podcasts, they usually are experts in their field. They are the people you want to talk to about something. If you’re struggling with coming up with a topic, answer the following questions.
What motivates you to get up in the morning?
What do you enjoy doing?
What is something you are very knowledgeable about?
How long can you talk about this thing?
Having a clear answer on those questions will help you narrow down the exact topic you should talk about. But, we need to bring this in a little more.
#2- Understand exactly who you want to talk to
This is a hard one because you have to truly think about the ideal person you want to listen to your podcast. For example, my podcast, ‘Your Life Travel’ is all about travel. However, travel is a HUGE topic and that doesn’t even begin to narrow down my audience. The more you are able to get clear on who your podcast is for, the more success you will have. If you’re talking to everyone, you are talking to no one!
I had to get into a mindset that really provoked me to deeply understand who I wanted to speak to. I realized that I always solo travel. I prefer solo travel actually. Everytime I travel alone and tell people from back home, they panic and worry. They start to feel like it’s not normal or that I am going to get kidnapped because I am a woman. And by thinking about the horrid things people say to me about solo travel as a woman, I began to process my area of expertise. I’m not skilled in travel as a whole. I am skilled in being a solo female traveler. Now, I know exactly who I am speaking to. I have to speak to other solo female travelers. That’s how my podcast was born.
Try this for yourself. No matter what your general podcast topic is, try to understand your niche and then break down who your niche helps. Get as specific as possible here. Ask yourself, what specifically within my general topic am I experienced in? Then ask, what problem does my podcast solve?
#3- You need a good microphone
Once you have a general idea and you know who your audience is, it is time to focus on the materialistic things you will need. A microphone is important. To be very honest, if you’re a newbie and don’t have a lot of money to spend on any equipment then don’t worry. As long as you have a smartphone, you already own a microphone. Hop into your closet. You’ll want to use a closet that is full with clothing or you’ll hear an echo/ loud nose in the background. You need to be able to control the sound so a closet full of clothing is your best bet. If you are ready to go all in but still don’t want to spend a lot of money, go to Amazon. If it’s just you recording alone in your house or studio then any microphone on Amazon will work. Just search, “podcast microphone”. You will see microphones ranging from $20- $300.00. It’s not just the microphone alone that will help you to have a great quality it is also the microphone accessories. Pro Tip: If you can afford it, a Blue Yeti is one of the best in the game.
#4- You need a pop filter
A pop filter is super cool because it helps in controlling those hash “sss” sounds. It prevents spit and other kinds of things to end up on the microphone which can also cause additional noises you don’t need. This is super important. A lot of times, you can buy this together on AmazonI do recommend you buy a full set as opposed to buying everything individually. This will help you to make sure that what you buy will work with the other products.
#5- You need a microphone stand
This can be in the form of a desk stand or a shock mount. Truthfully, this depends on the amount of space you have. I like to be simple and keep a lot of things off my desk and therefore am in the process of switching to a desk stand rather than a shock mount. A shock mount stands high up and takes up more space on my desk. It truly is up to you but you will need something that holds your microphone.
#6- Get some good headphones
If you’re starting out and don’t want to spend a lot of money plus you’re recording alone, then you don’t really need headphones right now. Whether recording alone or with someone, headphones are great during editing because you can clearly hear everything and can focus in on errors. I also recommend headphones for those of us recording remotely or together. Especially, if you’re remote, you’ll need a way to properly hear the other person so be sure to invest in some great headphones.
#7- (optional) Make sure to buy a mixer
Alright, I am going to be honest. You only need this if you are recording in person with someone else. If you are just recording alone or remote recording with someone else, then having a mixer is not necessary. Purchase a USB microphone that plugs into your computer and then headphones that also plug into your computer and you’ll be good to go. No need for a mixer.
#8 - You need a computer
I think this goes without saying but I want to ensure I am listing everything out. You can’t have a microphone that plugs into your phone, it just won’t work. Buy a laptop or a desktop computer.
#9- (optional) Invest in an Isolation Shield
An Isolation Shield will control all of the noise to help you get a clear and crisp sound. I completely recommend this as a go to for you as a beginner or advanced podcaster. You want to try to eliminate any chance of static that you can while recording.
Pro Tip: This may be optional on my list but I recommend highly that this is on the top of your list.
#10- (optional) purchase a remote recording software
I like remote recording with my guests on my show, especially since they are all over the world and not just in one location. Therefore, I need something that will allow us to record together. The software that I use is called Squadcast. I really like Squadcast because I can also see the person if I choose to do a video call. I also like how affordable it is. It is only $14 a month. I have their most basic plan as I only record 4 interviews a month. Squadcast also downloads files individually. It doesn’t mesh the tracks. My guest will have their own track and so will I. This makes it super easy to edit compared to one track. There are others like: Zencastr and Riverside. Make sure you go online and compare prices and services before choosing one that fits for you.
Pro Tip: DO NOT USE ZOOM. I can’t stress this enough. When I first started, I didn’t know that we could remote control on anything else and a lot of podcast groups I am in, convinced me that Zoom was the best way to go. The problem is if a lot of people are on Zoom at one time, your audio is super staticky. Zoom is tricky and only gives you one track. That means if you’re the one who has a little static in your background but your guest is the one talking, you can’t just remove the static. In fact, you can’t at all. You’ll have to have your guest re-record that part.
#11 - CONFIDENCE
Go out there and be great! You got this!
Cienna Richards is a world traveler whose mission is to empower women to travel the world and live their lives. Cienna helps women become confident in who they are and create programs that work so they can travel the world as much as they would like. Connect with Cienna below.