I’ve started creating an Instagram Stories Highlight on my Instagram page for Frequently Asked Podcasting Questions, and as much as I love helping people when these questions are asked, I realized it would be a great resource to put the 5 most common questions in a blog post. So, enjoy!
Where should I host my podcast?
The four places I tell soon-to-be podcasters to look at for hosting are:
Depending on your podcasting needs, one of these may be better than the others.
Want to try Libsyn free? Use the code EMILY when you sign up!
Blubrry does a great job (as does Libsyn) working with your own Wordpress.org website.
For those looking for save some money and wanting to create longer shows, Podbean’s pricing plan is great for unlimited storage space, meaning you can put out 10-hour episodes every day and not have to pay extra because the files are so large.
Spreaker is good if you want a Live element to your show. You can record your show live and those with the Spreaker app can listen in real-time. Spreaker also doesn’t charge you to add new shows to your account, which many podcasters have used to create networks.
There are a number of new podcast hosting companies coming onto the scene and many of them are free. You may be wondering if any of them are any good.
I’ve seen many free hosting companies come and go in the four years I’ve been podcasting. Many times, they are gone within a year or two of launching.
Because podcasts cost money to host. Podcasts are big files and there needs to be a good amount of space for hosting companies to store these podcasts. Space, in terms of where podcast files are stored, costs money.
Podcast hosting companies that are free may be working with money up front, but without a business model, I question how sustainable they can be.
Do I recommend these free hosts?
Those who want to try out podcasting but don’t want to commit fully or those who just want to do a show to hang out with friends and have fun and don’t have any intention of turning it into a business would probably do perfectly well on these free platforms.
Again, I’m not advising podcasters to go with a free hosting company, but if you do want recommendations, here are three (as of May 2019):
What Microphone Should I Get?
If you’re a beginner podcaster and may not want to invest in the big fancy microphones yet, it’s OK! I still host my podcasts using my $65 microphone after three+ years!
All three of these microphones can be connected via USB (directly to your computer) or XLR (through an interface/mixer/portable recorder). (Need more help with Podcasting Terminology? Check out my Glossary of Podcasting Terms!)
The only reason I put the ATR2100 first is because it is the only one with a lifetime warranty, meaning you can send it back to get fixed if you have a problem or Audio Technica will send you a new one.
These microphones are also Dynamic, meaning it picks up what’s being spoken into the top of the microphone and not as much the room noise, meaning you’ll have cleaner audio, as opposed to a Condenser microphone.
Here are my three favorite microphones for beginning podcasters:
I also recommend getting a boom arm and pop filter.
What’s the Best Podcasting Recording/Editing Software?
My three recommendations for podcasters just starting out are:
All three of these have plenty of videos online to help you learn how to use them for your podcasts.
Currently, I use Reaper for recording and editing. It has a lot of bells and whistles, many of which podcasters may not need or even use, since the software was created with musicians in mind.
I started podcasting using Audacity and only switched because I was finding I got a better recording when I was recording in Reaper and I wanted to be recording and editing my own show in the same software.
There are some some great things Reaper can do for podcasters, like create Templates where the music and breaks are already in the show and all I have to do is pull in the audio for the podcast into the template to make an episode.
I will say that once you find a software, take your time getting to know it. Before you press the record button, make sure you are familiar with how to software works.
How do I Record a Podcast Interview?
I have a lot of tips for recording guests in this post on the blog, but since it’s more than a year ago, I’ll mention what I recommend here, as well:
Double-Ender (each person records their own side of the audio and it’s put together in post-production)
Mix-Minus (the host records both sides of the conversation on separate tracks on their end with the use of a mixer/audio-interface/Zoom Recorder)
Bonus tip: If your guests are necessarily technologically-savvy, create a Skype account that guests can log into if they don’t want to set up their own account.
There has been a rising trend of using Zoom.us for recording interviews. This works well, especially because you can easily give out a phone number for guests to call into. Just be aware the audio isn’t as great as many podcast editors would prefer.
How Do I Market My Podcast?
This could take up a whole blog, by itself. Marketing your podcast isn’t as easy as saying “Hey! New episode! Come listen!”
Your podcast is one of 600,000+ out there. When you’re marketing your podcast, the number one thing you want to think of is “How can I entice my audience to listen?”
And the answer is: Provide value that makes listeners want to share your podcast!
That doesn’t just mean on the podcast. That means in your marketing as well.
You could post the link to your new episode on social media once an hour every single day and get downloads. It’s gross and spammy, and you’re probably not going to get the engagement you’re looking for from your audience.
Instead, think about the benefits of listening to your podcast.
When you’re coming up with marketing materials for your podcast, whether it’s an audiogram, a tweet, a Facebook post, or even an Instagram Story announcing your latest episode, I want you to ask yourself why someone would want to listen.
And, going even further, ask yourself why someone would want to share your podcast?
This might mean giving away some of the key points of your podcast.
Did your guest have a great quote that you think your listeners will love to hear? Make an Audiogram (I love Headliner for this) or a video.
Make sure you add captions to videos — most people watch videos on social media with the sound turned off!
Are you featuring a high-profile guest on your show? Make sure you’re putting their photo out there on your social media and tagging them! And when the show is live, send them an email with the link to the show and promotional images they can use to promote the show.
Don’t have time for any of that but still looking to market your show? Make sure you have good show notes! SEO can really be your friend when it comes to people discovering your podcast.
If you’re not big into learning SEO, the best and simplest advice I can give you is make your content as easy-to-read as possible. Bullet points and short paragraphs work great for this. And make sure you’re including links to anything mentioned in your podcast.
How do I Monetize My Podcast?
I feel like I’ve exhausted this topic to death over on my Instagram Stories, but it’s probably the most common podcasting question.
There are four main ways:
Be Your Own Sponsor.
This is where a company or person gives you money to promote them on your show. This could include ads read by you or supplied by the advertiser. It could also include linking to them in your show notes and promoting them on your social media channels, as well.
This is similar to sponsorship, except you only get paid only when a product or service you are selling on your show is purchased. It usually includes a special URL or checkout code you give to listeners so the company who you’re working with knows it was your podcast that brought them the sale.
This also includes affiliate links you can include in your show notes.
This would be using something like Patreon, where listeners can pay you a direct fee for your content. You can even offer bonus content for those who support you through Patreon.
Another example is putting something like a Paypal button on your website.
Be Your Own Sponsor
Are you using your podcast as a way to market your own product, service, or business? Make sure your listeners know about that!
Some podcasts that are part of a business’ marketing arm aren’t even about their product, but they use the podcast for product awareness. Agorapulse’s podcast Social Media Lab is one of my favorite examples of this!
Merch for your show could also fall under this category, like T-shirts and products from places like TeePublic where you get a percentage of the sales.
What other questions do you have?
I’d love to help you with any podcasting questions you might have. And, if I don’t know the answer, I know plenty of other podcast experts I would be happy to get you in touch with! Send me an email!
If you have a number of questions not answered here or want to get real nitty-gritty-in-depth about what we’ve talked about here, consider setting up a Strategy Session!
When you sign up for a Strategy Session, I include a spot for you to ask all the questions you’ll want to know about on the call. The reason I do this is because I like to prepare for our call together by putting together resources I send in an email after our call, so you can spend more time on the things you want to talk about and less time taking notes while we’re talking.