How to Produce a Podcast

Marshall Poe explains the podcast production process
Anne Stein ’84
  1. You’ll need a computer with a broadband Internet connection, a decent microphone, a set of earphones, and a reasonably quiet place to record.

  2. To make the podcast, talk into the mic and have your computer record it. If you want to interview people, that’s more complicated. To do it in person, you’ll need something studio-like to get good audio. Interviewing them remotely is easier, and you’ll have several options: Do it over Skype, with audio-capture software like Piezo, or over Zencastr, which works through a browser and is your best option in terms of ease and audio quality. 

  3. You’ll then end up with one or more audio files, like MP3s. This is the raw audio. You’ll need to edit and process it (remove sounds and such) with an audio editor like Audacity, Garageband, or Adobe Audition. Once you’ve buffed and polished your raw audio, it’s almost a podcast. 

  4. The final step is to put “bumper” music on it, beginning and end, because, well, all podcasts have bumper music. You can use the audio editors to do that. You’ll have to get something that’s free to use; there are websites for that. 

  5. Once your podcast is done, you have to distribute it. That means uploading it to a server, showing it on a webpage, and getting it on any number of podcast aggregators like iTunes and Stitcher. You can do all this yourself, but it requires technical know-how. If not, use a dedicated podcast hosting service like Blubrry, Podbean, or Libsyn. 

  6. Now the last step, the one everyone misses. If you want people to listen to your podcast, you have to promote the heck out of it. If you want to do this on the cheap, be prepared to spend a lot of time on Twitter and Facebook. Or, you can pay to have your Twitter and Facebook posts “boosted,” and pay other podcasters to promote your podcast. Not cheap, and only sometimes effective. As any editor will tell you, the way to build an audience is to produce good stuff in volume, consistently, over the long term. If you don’t want to do this, I recommend you avoid the podcast business altogether. Remember, content is still king.  

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