As part of what you need to start a podcast, you need to get it right with podcast production right from the onset. The earlier you realize that making a great podcast is not about pressing the record button, the better. Podcast production is where you give life to your content.
We want to eliminate the confusion and stress associated with podcast production. Through your voice, you’ll establish a connection and win the hearts of your listeners. In the end, you’ll be convinced that producing a podcast is far easier.
When you hear podcast production, this can extend to research, planning, recording, writing, editing, analytics, and marketing. These are all aspects of what you need to start a podcast.
While it’s normal for you to struggle to find your feet at the start, podcast production does not require years of training or practice.
In this article, we’ll be offering valuable advice on podcast production. It’s an important part of what you need to start a podcast that stands out.
1. Create a Podcast Template
One thing about how to start a podcast that we often ignore is a podcast template. With a podcast template, you can easily improve your workflow.
A podcast template dictates the tempo and pace of your podcast. It’s not just about you but also your listeners. With a set template, they know what to expect in every segment of your podcast episodes.
You can always introduce a new template at the beginning of every podcast season and maintain it throughout.
2. Choose The Right Equipment Needed To Start a Podcast
It does not matter what your budget is; you’ll always find the perfect equipment needed to record a podcast. You must prioritize audio quality as a podcaster, as your voice is your brand.
You need to ensure that you get things right with your audio quality, starting with your choice of podcast recording equipment. Never compromise when it comes to the quality of your audio.
You will find the editing process easier with high-quality audio and produce top-notch podcast episodes.
3. Always Rehearse Your Podcast Script Before Recording
This is the secret of most established and successful podcasters. They do not just jump into their recording studio without practicing their podcast script. While it may seem like it, there’s nothing silly about rehearsing your podcast script.
By rehearsing ahead of time, you will save yourself from the little pauses here and there during recording.
However, don’t over-practice and memorize the scripts. What is important is that you know your script.
4. Record Only in a Quiet Environment
We cannot overemphasize the importance of choosing a quiet environment. Your recording environment is important. Imagine that you are about to start recording in your house, and your next-door neighbor starts vacuuming.
If you record in a bad environment, you’ll end up with bad audio. There’s a little that audio engineering can fix. Even the best sound engineer needs a good audio recording to work on. If you record clean audio, you will make editing and mixing easier.
5. Bring on the Best Guests
One of the things Joe Rogan has going on for him is the ability to choose the best of guests. To produce an excellent podcast, you need to master the art of selecting guests that your listeners will love.
You need to build your podcast in a way that attracts the best guests. There’s no guarantee that your guests can help your podcast succeed; you just have to try.
Don’t hesitate to ask anyone to be a guest on your podcast show, as much as you know they have value to add to your listeners.
6. Learn To Take Breaks During Recording
There’s no need to record your podcast episode at a go. The break will allow you to rest, stretch your legs, have a snack, check audio issues, and even prep your guests.
During breaks, you can fix your audio issues. You can playback whatever you have recorded; maybe there’s a need to re-record a segment.
Depending on the length of your podcast episodes, you will have to take breaks when necessary.
7. Learn To Use Your Podcast Microphone Correctly
We expect that you have gotten things right with your podcast microphone being one of the equipments needed to start a podcast. Afterward, you must master the art of using a podcast microphone to arrive at an even and clear voice.
There’s no shortcut to this; the result of your correct use of a podcast microphone is excellent audio quality. Here are a few quick tips;
- Keep your mouth off the mic
- Let the mic be placed evenly with your mouth
- There should always be a pop filter between your mouth and the microphone
- Don’t move anything around your desk.
- Breathe slowly and evenly
8. Stay Abreast of Volume Level During Recording
If you are choosing a podcast recording software, choose one that displays your recording volume. Most recording software has a scale that goes from green, yellow to red depending on your volume level.
Keep your voice at a moderate level by keeping yourself within the green. You can go a bit into the yellow just for emphasis but never into the red.
Whenever you are in the red zone, know that you are screaming into the ears of your podcast listeners.
9. Use Sound Effects Only When Necessary and Appropriately
Yes, there are a lot of good sound effects can do to your podcast show. However, this can only happen if you know when and how to use it. If you’re not careful with sound effects, you’ll sound cheap, unnatural, and unoriginal.
There’s no need for loud and obnoxious sound effects. You don’t need them. If you have to use sound effects, ensure it’s a rarity. Use only when they have value to add to the content.
10. Never Use Your Computer or Smartphone’s Built-in Mic
No matter how boxed into a corner you are, don’t be tempted to record a podcast episode using the default microphone of your smartphone or computer.
You may think you are in a quiet environment, but the microphone picks up every noise around you. They are built with zero noise cancellation, making a mess of your recording.
In the end, you will have a podcast recording filled with distracting background noises on your hands.
11. Record Every Speaker Separately
This is a well-kept secret of professional audio producers. When recording a multi-guest show, everyone is recorded separately.
Let’s say it’s a two-person interview; you can pan the host to the right and the guest to the left. If you do this right, it will be easier for you to edit flawlessly.
12. Leave the Mistakes
There’s no need to aim for perfection with your podcast episodes. You’re human; let your podcast listeners enjoy a natural conversation. You’ll be tempted to remove all the uhms, ah, haha, and others.
Of course, it may appear like the right thing to do. However, this will reduce the authenticity of your podcast. Let everything flow naturally. However, try as much as possible to ensure there are not a lot of such occurrences.
13. Prep Your Guests Before Recording
While preparing your podcast guest, you should also prepare for your guests. There’s a chance that your guests might never have listened to an episode of your podcast. To make it easy on the, prepare them on what to expect.
Preparing your guests will ensure they can have a good time on your podcast show and add immense value to your listeners.
You should also get to know your guests ahead of time. Know what they do, and write a short bio in advance about your guests.
14. Do Your Best to Eliminate all Background Noise
This might be the most important tip on podcast production. When learning how to start a podcast, emphasis should be on this podcast production tip. For as much background noise you can eliminate during recording, the lesser you will have to do during editing.
The only sounds picked by your podcast microphone should be the ones you intend. That’s why we advise the following;
- Turn off notifications from your phone
- Record during off-peak periods when there are fewer activities
- Inform anyone around that you want to be left alone for a while
- If possible, record it in your closet.
15. Keep Yourself Hydrated and Eat an Apple Before Recording
This may sound strange, but it will do your podcast production a lot of good. You need to learn to drink a lot of water as a podcaster; this will help you do away with mouth noises.
You should eat apples as well. This will help you curtail the nasty mouth noises. Adequate water and apple will calm your nerves and loosen your mouth and throat.
There are natural clicking and popping noises from a dry mouth. Once you drink enough water, this is bound to reduce. Moreso, if you are well hydrated, your brain and body will also be focused.
16. Always Wear Headphones While Recording
This is not just for you but also for every guest on your podcast show. Yes, it’s possible to record a podcast without headphones, but recording with one will do a lot of good for your audio quality.
If you wear headphones, you’ll save a lot of editing time.
When recording, you’ll not hear your voice but the one inside your head. You’re not hearing the version being recorded or heard by someone else. With a headphone, you can self-review while still recording.
17. Be Still and Quiet When Guests Are Speaking
If you run a multi-guest podcast, you should mute your microphone and others not talking. This is not a regular conversation always filled with huh, right, or OK when others speak.
There’s no need to respond to their message at that point. Please wait until it’s your turn before you respond. While these responses may appear polite, you will be distracting and confusing your listeners
18. Approach Podcasting as a Marathon and Not a Sprint
This is where a lot of podcasters get it wrong. As part of what you need to start a podcast, you need to know that podcasting is a marathon and not a sprint.
You don’t have to jump into podcasting and start producing at a supersonic speed. Regardless of what you do, embrace slow and steady growth.
We’ve seen a lot of podcasters who jumped in at a great speed and fizzled out faster than they arrived.
19. Edit Like You Listen
As a podcaster, you need to trust your ears. That’s why we suggest that while editing, you should approach it as a listener. You’ve heard a lot of other podcasts; what do you like when you listen to those?
This should form the basis of your edit. This is the only way you can edit your podcast mindfully in a way that your listeners will find satisfying.
20. Record Only High-Resolution Audio
As a podcaster who values listeners, you must record only high-resolution audio. At the very least, this should be a 24-bit/48kHz WAV or AIFF file. Anything should of this will come out crappy and difficult to edit.
Don’t even talk about AAC, MP3, or M4A format. These will restrict and limit audio quality.
If you can go as high as 32-bit, please do. This will afford you additional opportunities to maximize your audio output level. There should never be a compromise for high-quality audio recording for your podcast.
21. The Less The Mixing, the Better
While we encourage you to mix and master your podcast audio properly, we should also say that the less mixing, the better. When you mix a track, you will add something not there before.
No matter how skilled you are with audio mastering and mixing, you’ll still be leaving a trace. A podcast is all voice and nothing else; it is always easy to spot over-processing of the audio.
Yes, you are bound to have a problematic recording once in a while. Just work on the EQ, noise reduction, and compression.
22. Always Test Your Equipment Before Recording
As you have invested in the right equipment needed for a podcast, you need to make the most of them. These pieces of equipment are bound to disappoint you; that’s why you should always carry out checks before you start recording.
Imagine discovering an entire episode was not recorded after you’re done. This can be painful and demotivating. If you’ve tested your equipment, use the moment to warm up in readiness for recording your podcast.
23. Always Start With an Intro Music
According to Search Engine Journal, your podcast intro music is fundamental to its success. For thousands of years, humans have relied on music to impact the emotions of others. You can use music in a variety of ways on your podcast.
You can set the tone for your podcast by working on intro music for every episode. It’s either you stick with single music for an entire season or change it every episode.
You can record your own, hire a musician, or just deploy royalty-free music when it comes to the intro music. There’s quite a lot you can achieve with music with your podcast.
24. Be a Good Listener
Ask any established podcaster what is needed to start a podcast; they should tell you to be a good listener. This is important if you bring on guests to your podcast show. Let them do the talking, don’t interrupt.
Don’t try to disrupt the flow by trying to comment or share opinions. When anyone is talking, give them the room to talk freely.
You may come in with yea, hum, or OK, at a point. Don’t do beyond that; even limit how often you do this.
25. Always Use a Pop Filter
This is a piece of important equipment needed to start a podcast. There are many different things a pop filter can do to the audience’s listening experience.
Interestingly, this is inexpensive, yet it delivers a lot of value. The job of a pop filter is to eliminate the plosives and ensure moisture does not make it to your podcast microphone.
As a podcaster, you will need a pop filter. With a pop filter, you can focus on the topic without worrying about the quality.
26. The 5 Seconds of Silence
It does not matter where you are recording your podcast; always record 5 seconds of silence before you start talking.
When you are editing, you will be able to remove the white noise of the environment. This can be done using the noise reduction feature on Adobe Audition or Audacity.
27. Reduce The Echo
One of the defining elements of good and bad audio is an echo. If you can reduce or separate echo from your audio, you are one step closer to good audio quality.
There’s no need to spend hundreds of dollars on getting this done; there’s a hack. Get close to the podcast microphone and keep your recording volume moderate.
Nobody teaches this in any how to start a podcast masterclass; you just have to learn on the job.
28. Always Back Up Your Recordings
It does not matter the device you are recording into; always ensure that there’s a backup of your podcast recording.
While you trust your computer, make it a standard practice to back up onto an external device. You may also choose to record into a computer and an external recorder as the backup.
29. Create Video Highlights of Your Podcast
Video podcasts are fast becoming popular among podcasters. While you might be ready to take that leap, you can make video highlights of your podcast recording.
The video highlight can either be a behind the scene or highlight of the episode. Most importantly, this can serve as promotional material for your podcast. This can be shared on social media.
30. Always Get Professional Help When Necessary
It’s until you start that you’ll realize that a lot of work goes into podcast production. You may not be able to take it on alone; you’ll need extra hands and help. There are too many podcast shows, and if you intend to stand out, you must prioritize podcast production.
An important part of how to start a podcast is knowing when to get professional help. It could be outsourcing or hiring a podcast team to help work on your show.
You may also explore hiring an intern with the necessary skills.
While we’ve provided all of these podcast production tips, it’s important to state that nothing trounces planning. However, we strongly believe that putting these tips into use will greatly benefit your podcasting journey.
We have a guide on how to start a podcast with sections devoted to podcast production. However, consider this as an additional resource that can boost the quality of your podcasts.
If you have a podcaster friend, don’t hesitate to share this content with them. They will appreciate it.