Podcasting is the medium of future and we have had a lot of people writing in to ask about how we started the Edges & Sledges Cricket Podcast and what equipment and software we use. The podcasting space is really open and democratic at the moment and we hope to see many more awesome podcasts hit the market as people around the world get to grips with the audio revolution.
Here is a quick and dirty guide on how to start your own podcast. You need an internet connection and a laptop/smartphone with a mic and speaker. Everything on the list below is a free version of the software.
Recording Software: As we are based in three different cities/continents we use Zencastr or Cleanfeed to record remotely. When are all at home, we prefer Zencastr as it allows you to have separate tracks for each person on the podcast – this comes handy in editing the show later. But Zencastr is tricky when on the move as it doesn’t allow you to join from mobile so Cleanfeed is a reliable alternative while travelling or if you have a guest who doesn’t have a laptop. Both are free softwares (but Zencastr only allows three people to record at a time on the free version). Skype also allows you to record audio but can be glitchy and sometimes files don’t save, which is a little bit embarrassing if you are speaking to a guest!
Editing: First run the file through Auphonic to level the spikes on your file and reduce noise. Auphonic is free upto 10 hours a month (tip: you only need an email account to use this so both Ashwin and DJ registered). We used Audacity to edit the podcast before the fantastic Tejas at our network IVM started editing the show. Believe you can use Garage Band as well. Make sure to remove umms/ahns/mistakes. You can also mute any background noise (those not speaking should be on mute but anyway!). Used to take us an hour to edit about 10 mins so keep this in mind while recording long and rambling podcasts!
Hosting: Before moving to to the IVM podcast network we used Anchor and cannot recommend it enough. Anchor hosting is free and will automatically syndicate your show to all the biggest platforms – plus they have great breakdown of stats (by episode/geography/platform). And if you are based in the US (which Ashwin is) you can make some money off running ads on your show. We are now hosted along with other IVM shows on Libsyn.
Microphones: There are two types of podcast mics – condenser and USB. We all use USB mics. DJ has a Blue Yeti and Varun and Ashwin both use a Blue Snowball Ice. This has been a gamechanger for the sound on our podcast and we would definitely recommend getting a USB mic. The Blue Yeti is a little pricey because of its four different settings but the Snowball Ice does the job equally well. We don’t use a pop filter but you could do so. The key is to angle the mic right (speak at a 45 degree angle to the mic). Also, try and record in an enclosed space to reduce echoes – DJ records in the corridor of his London flat with all the doors closed!
Guests: Get out there on social media contacting established podcasters/writers asking them to come on your show. Slide shamelessly into DMs. Don’t be afraid to ask people to join you on the podcast- what is the worst that can happen?
Social media: You almost have to spend ten times the time promoting the show that you spent recording the show so keep re-posting on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram etc. Respond to every comment you get. If people are taking the time to tweet you, make sure you reply. A podcast is built around its listener community.
Numbers: Remember, every podcast has single digit listenership for the first few weeks (we did too). Don’t even start to think about numbers until you have podcasted regularly for a year. Do it for fun. Look forward to recording you podcast. Send it to friends and family. Ask for feedback (don’t take it personally if it’s not great!). Numbers will follow in time.
Good luck with everything! Please get in touch if you have any more questions.