how to make podcast
Thinking of doing a podcast?

In the previous blog post, we talked about how podcasts are becoming increasingly popular. Are you thinking about starting a podcast? Do you want to bring a breath of fresh air into this polluted podcasting landscape? Great! But we know how hard it can be to set up your own "studio" when you don't have any experience. Let alone gaining enough reach with your podcasts.

Don't worry, because this article gathers all the info you need to get started!

If you are an avid podcaster already, you can click through to the end, to find out how StoryChief can help you publish your content multi-channel and reach more people.

Table of contents

  1. The subject matter
  2. The gear
    2.1. Microphone
    2.2. Headphones
    2.3. Audio Interface
    2.4. Editing Software
  3. Invite a guest speaker
  4. Building your "brand"
  5. Where to host your podcast
  6. Publishing and promoting your podcast
  7. Content syndication

Go your own way

The most important part of your podcast production is definitely to think of a concept that makes your podcast stand out among the crowd. Let's be honest, there are many podcasts out there, and it's not easy to find a subject that hasn't been touched upon already. You need to find your niche! If you have an idea that is creative enough, people will inevitably be drawn towards your podcast - if you are promoting and distributing it sufficiently, that is!

The setup

This is a small list of basic gear you are going to need. Later on, you can always transform your house into  Abbey Road Studios, but for now, let's focus on the basics.

Mixing panel in the Abbey Road studios. Many, many, many buttons and sliders.
A typical setup for beginners (just kidding, just kidding)

The microphone makes the star

You probably already thought as much, but everything stands and falls by the quality of your microphone. If your podcast isn't pleasant to the ears, your listeners will give up soon. This is a small investment, and you don't necessarily need THE most expensive mic to have a quality recording. Don't forget to add a microphone stand, a shock mount, and a pop filter, to get rid of harsh popping sounds.

grayscale photography of condenser microphone with pop filter to record a podcast
Photographer: neil godding | Source: Unsplash

Listen to your smart(ness)

Wear headphones so you can hear yourself talk and adjust your voice or settings if necessary. It can be scary to hear yourself speaking at first. Don't worry, it's scary for most people, but it won't take that long to get over this.

Connect your microphone to your laptop

Now you need to link your microphone to your laptop. The easiest way to do this is to buy a microphone with a USB connection, so you don't need an extra device. If you happen to have a microphone with the classic XLR connection laying around, you can buy an audio interface to send the audio signals directly to your computer.

The nerve! The audacity!

Many podcasts are quite basic and aren't edited much, if at all. However, an editing program can help you to make your podcast sound more professional and much better paced. For instance, it allows you to remove background noise if you don't have the highest quality mic. A great free tool for audio editing is Audacity. Adobe Audition is also a great program, though this one is not free to use.

Adobe Audition logo. "Au" green-blue letters with dark blue background
Adobe Audition

Basic tips to make your editing process easier:

  • Don't say anything for half a minute in your original recording. This way, you can take a sample of your environment and cancel out all the unwanted noises that are disturbing your sound quality.
  • Mind your volume! Make sure your volume levels are mostly between -6 and -12 decibels. Then it is not too much of an issue if you occasionally rise above -6 decibels, as long as your volume bar does not go into the red zone. Then, your volume would be too loud and won't be easy on the ears of your listeners.

Friends with benefits

Many podcasts have multiple hosts, to keep things more varied. It all depends on the subject, really. If you want to make a non-fictional podcast, it can be interesting to have a discussion with someone. However, if you are telling your listeners fictional stories, you might prefer to create a more intimate setting and make the podcast by yourself.

Spongebob and Patrick sitting down, throwing hands in the air, being happy
Twice the people, twice the fun! (most of the time)

Treat your podcast like a brand

Arguably the most important step to gain popularity for your podcast, is to make sure potential listeners click on your podcast. To achieve this, it's important to make a great visual to go with your podcast. People are more likely to click on a podcast that has a visually appealing image/design and an interesting description.
If you want your podcast to sound even more professional, you can also add an intro and an outro with a CTA to subscribe to your mailing list, but this is optional.

Find a home for your podcast

Now, you need a place where you can host your podcast. This is not an easy choice to make, as there are so many platforms out there. We will give you a short overview to help you make that choice.

So many places for podcast hosting...

1. SoundCloud

This is the overall biggest podcasting platform. A big plus is that you can host your podcasts on there for free (as long as you don't go over 3 hours of podcasts per month). If you want to create more/ longer podcasts, you can pay for SoundCloud Pro Unlimited, which is relatively cheap (€8.25/month) and lets you post an unlimited amount of podcasts. However, do keep in mind that the analytics of SoundCloud are not up to date with the IAB Podcast Measuring Guidelines 2.0. This means that potential advertisers will not perceive SoundCloud analytics as valid. Another downside can be that podcast hosting is not SoundCloud's main concern, as musicians still make over 90% of their client base.

2. Libsyn

Libsyn pioneered as a podcasting platform in 2004. This is a good place if you are planning to have a long podcasting series, although it is more expensive and looks a bit less flashy in design. You do have a very detailed analytics section, which can be a big selling point for some podcasters. You can also directly publish on Spotify, the streaming giant that plans to invest more in podcasts in the future.

3. Anchor.fm

Anchor is the platform with the most momentum. In total, it has already overtaken Libsyn in the number of podcasts hosted and in mid-2018, it was hosting almost 30% of the total podcasts worldwide! And it's not difficult to see why they are this popular: the platform is great for beginners who have never edited audio before and has a satisfying free plan. The biggest downside is that the editor might not give experienced podcasters enough editing options. Anchor will also add ads to the end of your podcast.

4. Simplecast

This is a great platform for analytics, and has a very fast interface and unlimited upload length. The downside is that it is not the cheapest platform, but it is very easy to use and customers report a great experience with the support team. The unlimited podcast length and amount is also included in the cheapest plan of only $15/month.

5. Pippa

The great part about Pippa is that it automatically transcribes your podcasts. The platform can also automatically generate videos to extend your reach even further. They also provide you with quite detailed analytics. Moreover, one of their main selling points is the simplicity of the platform.

top podcasting platforms

Publishing and promoting your podcast

Now the most difficult part lies behind you. At least, that's what you thought. But only now you find out the struggle of publishing your podcast on multiple channels. Yes, this will take hours of your time, just copying, pasting, and adjusting the format and the layout. 🤯

With no way to shorten this painstakingly long process.

Not. A single. Way...

Don't throw it out of the window just yet!

Just kidding! With StoryChief you can easily publish your podcasting notes and embed your podcast in the StoryChief editor, cutting hours off your production time. Just embed your podcast in the editor and send it to your website, social media, newsletter, and content hubs with just one click. Your first podcast will probably take a long time already if you want to fine tune everything exactly as you want it. So why spend even more time on sharing it manually on every possible channel out there?

What the hell is content syndication and why you should care?

First things first - it is crucial you share your podcast on as many channels you own otherwise your podcast won't get the attention it deserves. Content syndication refers to a way in which you can distribute web content to multiple sites on the internet.

"Content syndication is the process of pushing your blogpost, article, video or any piece of web-based content out to other third-parties who will then re-publish it on their own sites." - Search Engine Watch

A number of different types of content can be syndicated, such as blog posts, podcasts, videos, press releases, etc. Syndication is important because it generates more traffic, improves SEO rankings, and increases brand awareness.

One of our users is Polymash, a company that helps businesses shape their digital strategy and aids them to launch, produce and market their own podcasts. They created a review podcast in which they explain why StoryChief is so important in their publishing process.

Listen to this podcast to get a complete review on all benefits of the StoryChief editor!

In short, StoryChief helps you to syndicate your podcasts. 🙌

Need more reasons?

You should also consider transcribing your podcasts. This way, the hearing-impaired can enjoy your podcasts as well. Moreover, it creates a space for Google to crawl your content, and thus increase your discoverability in the Google Search results. The StoryChief editor helps you to improve the readability of your text.

In our editor you can receive help with optimizing your SEO, so more people will find your podcast online. If you spent this much time on your first podcast, you want people to find it through the clutter of other podcasts in the search results, right? Our integrated SEO tool helps you to write the perfect meta description, title, and URL.

Another important feature is how in StoryChief editor, you can embed your podcasts from the following podcast hosting websites that we have integrations with:

If you're going to start creating content without a content calendar, you're doing it all wrong. Keep an overview of your tasks with the StoryChief content calendar. Plan your podcasting campaign beforehand to either create a more cohesive series of podcasts, or to make sure that your release schedule is on point.

StoryChief content calendar demo.
Keep the overview with our handy content calendar!

You can also check your ROI, so you can learn from your successes and your failures. If you want your podcast to succeed, it's important to understand what your audience likes and what you should avoid at all costs. Once you start implementing StoryChief, you will soon start seeing results in greater traffic and discoverability.

"With StoryChief, we were able to increase our backlinks and SEO ranking by 230%" - says Juergen Berkessel, Co-founder, Polymash

Convinced that StoryChief could be a great match for your podcast? 😎

Start your free trial today and optimize your podcast content syndication process!

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