Music Education

How to make a podcast


Let’s Get Psyched about creating a podcast. Making podcasts is rewarding and, thankfully, pretty simple too. If you don’t have everything you need at the start I think it would still be worth it to try and make do with whatever you do have and advance what you have as you go. This way by the time you have your ~preferred~ setup your podcast has matured to the point you want it at.

Step 1: The idea & purpose

If you’re planning to start a podcast you may already have your idea going, but either way it’s worth it to do an ‘purpose’ that you write down or say aloud. This can simply be a written statement you put in the description, on your social media, or even just in your personal writing spaces. This could also be a short first episode setting the premise of what you are doing, which is what I like to do when I start a new project.

This can help both you and your potential audience have an idea of where the podcast is going and why you are doing it. Knowing why you are doing something will help keep the work cohesive, and it’s good for brainstorming. If you ever feel stuck you can go back to this mission statement and remind yourself what you’re in it for. And if you ever feel like you don’t connect with the purpose anymore you can go back and change it. This just gives an easy and trackable way to see how you feel about your content and evaluate what you’ve been doing!

Step 2: Make a sample episode

The best way to learn anything is to try it. Just sitting down and making your first episode will teach you a lot. Do you like free flowing? Does it help to have notes written up? Do you sound natural? Are your ideas coming across the way you hoped? It has always been difficult for me to listen back to old material and watch old videos, but it’s the most helpful thing you can do for yourself. 

I’ve found that scripting does not work well for me at all. I sound very unnatural if I plan my thoughts too much and it’s slightly less exciting to record that way. However, not scripting at all doesn’t work for me either. I like to have bullet points, highlights, something to guide me if I get lost in thought, but I like to keep them brief so I can be more engaged in thought while recording. They really just serve to give an episode direction and cohesiveness, but most of what I say is freehanded and I find that has served my purposes best. But there is no one way to do it and you may find something else works way better for you. The best way to figure it out is to try and learn along the way.

Step 3: Equipment

You know it makes sense this would come before 2… but anyhow the equipment needed for a podcast is simply a microphone (depending on the type you may need an interface), something to record into (laptop, computer, tablet, maybe even phone), a pair of headphones, and software for editing.

There are so many ways to do a podcast and setups can go from ‘simple and affordable’ to ‘complex and studio grade’. I use an Audiotechnica AT2020 microphone, I got it used for $50 and I got my interface (Scarlet red solo) for $70 open box. I used to use audition to edit podcasts, but since I no longer have access to that I use Audacity and reaper for recording and editing. Audacity is a free software so it’s an ideal choice for anyone starting and not looking for something too complex that is also affordable. Reaper is also pretty affordable, a license can be obtained for as little as $60 depending on the use of the software. Lastly, I use a pair of Audiotechnica M50X headphones. They’re studio quality and not too expensive at around $100, but there are definitely cheaper alternatives if you aren’t looking to spend that much. I believe the M20Xs are much cheaper and still a good choice.

Step 4: Putting your stuff out there

Publishing a podcast is also a pretty varying part. This really depends on the purpose of your podcast and who you want it to reach and how much you’re willing to pay. Publishing a podcast can be free if you use something like youtube (there are also other options), but again this is something you’ll have to do further research into because popular streaming services like Spotify and Apple music require payment for publishing. If you’re just starting publishing somewhere like youtube is a great place to start. You can gain an audience while you work on your direction and content. I posted my first episode on a free wix website before I started the ‘Get Psyched’ Podcast through WKNC and it helped me learn a lot about how I wanted to make my podcast before it went on a bigger platform.

I hope this information is useful to anyone looking to start their own podcasts. The best piece of advice I have is to just have fun with it~ Making podcasts has become one of my favorite things and further developing my podcasts mission and topics has been incredibly rewarding. I’ve enjoyed having guests on my podcasts a lot, starting to turn my podcasts into videos, and using the podcast as a way to educate myself more. There’s so much that came out of podcast making I didn’t expect, so good luck on your podcast creating journeys~

Until next time,

Let’s Stay Psyched about Podcasts,

DJ Psyched