WordCamp Las Vegas 2014

Podcasting: Forget the Why, Let’s Talk About the How

Podcasting: It’s not for the faint of heart! You’re ready to take your voice to the web, but how do you go about making it happen?

Let’s get started!

Preparing for your Podcast

First things first, know that there’s no single one best way to podcast. Every podcast will have its own unique flavor due the combination of your style, your format, and the equipment you use.

Let’s look in more detail.

Choose Your Style

Yes, you are a snowflake. 😉 If you’re thinking about podcasting, choose a style that fits your personality. The worst thing you can do is mimic someone else’s style. Be yourself – it’s a heck of a lot less effort.

The worst thing you can do is mimic someone else's style. Be yourself - it's a lot less effort. Share on X

Here are a few quick questions to help you think about your unique style:

  • Do you like to teach? If you’re someone who enjoys getting down in the details and explaining those details to others to help them get a better grasp of a topic, then an education approach could work well for your podcast.
  • Are you a people person? If you’re someone who enjoys banter with other humans and has a knack for creating conversations from scratch, then an interview approach could work well for your podcast. You might also work well on a co-hosted podcast.
  • Can you talk about a topic you’re passionate about ad nauseam? If you’re someone who’s super-passionate about a particular topic (maybe it’s tech, business, or fake flying monkeys), then a live Q&A style podcast might work for you.

These suggestions aren’t prescriptive, rather they’re meant to help you start thinking about how you can play to your personality and strengths to produce the most interesting content.

Choose Your Format

If you’ve listened to many podcasts, you know they come in all shapes and sizes. When we talk about Format, we’re talking about the details of your podcast. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will your podcast be live or pre-recorded?
  • Will you have guests or a co-host?
  • Will your podcast be audio-only or is there video?
  • Will your podcast be broken up into pre-defined segments (i.e. tip of the day, reviews, breaking news, etc.)?
  • What length will your podcast be?

Listen to a ton of podcasts to figure out which ones are your favorite (here are my faves). Consider the elements you really like and could blend into your format. If you’re not sure where to start, check out these three podcasts and note their different formats.

Choose Your Equipment

Ok, so you’ve identified your style and thought through the format for your podcast. The next step for how to podcast is to choose you equipment.

Equipment includes items such as a web cam (if you plan to have video), a microphone, a microphone stand or mount, a headset, and your audio processing software.

Here are a couple of articles to help you consider what’s right for you:

Warning: You can spend very little or a whole heck of a lot when it comes to choosing equipment. My recommendation is to start with something inexpensive and upgrade to higher quality as your podcast popularity grows.

Case in point, I started with this AudioTechnica mic, but just upgraded to the Rode Podcaster after 40 episodes of Genesis Office Hours.

How to Podcast

When it comes to the mechanics of podcasting, there are three basic elements involved:

  • Preparation
  • Podcasting
  • Post-Production

We covered a lot of the Preparation in this post, but check out the slides below where I’ll unpack these things in more detail.

Have fun and happy podcasting!

Bonus

This post is based on my presentation from WordCamp Las Vegas on the how-to’s of podcasting. Here are the slides:

Presentation slides for WordCamp Las Vegas 2014

3 thoughts on “Podcasting: Forget the Why, Let’s Talk About the How”

  1. Hi there,

    just landed on your post. Nice content, congrats!

    I was wondering if you have ever tried Spreaker (web and mobile application). It’s an app for podcasting live and recorded, and it’s a really simple tool for those who are approaching to the podcasting field.

    I am curious to get your feedback.
    Cheers
    Tonia

  2. I’ve been catching up on back episodes of your podcasts, and I find them very valuable. The one problem I have is that I have to manually add ID3 tags before copying them onto my MP3 player. I don’t know whether SoundCloud has settings for this, since I haven’t had time to investigate it, but if so, it would be great if you could fill in the title, author, and album fields. (Date and episode number get you extra credit.)

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