Beginner’s Guide on How to Start a Podcast During Quarantine
Back in the normal days (a few months ago), I filled many of my hours listening to podcasts.
Podcasts was the easiest content to consume for a commuter like myself; but when I moved back to the Philippines, I found out that podcasts are an even better form of entertainment when stuck in the traffic jam. I listened to all kinds of podcasts–true crime, productivity, TED Talks, business, stories podcasts, etc.
And I wasn’t alone in my increased consumption of podcasts. More people are listening to podcasts than ever before. According to Buzzsprout, podcast awareness and consumption has exploded. By 2022, it’s estimated that podcast listeners in the US will grow to 132 million people!
Listening habits show that many users consume podcasts during commute and at home. Most podcast listeners listen to podcasts to learn something new or to keep abreast with personal interests.
How to Start a Podcast During Quarantine
Do you want to start a podcast during quarantine period? Now is the opportune time to start a podcast.
Whether you want to create a podcast to complement your business, personal branding or just as a fun hobby, a good time to start is now.
I’ve just recently launched a podcast too, and I’ve published 8 episodes in a span of a week–Starting a podcast is actually fairly easy and all tools I used are all free! I had a great time learning the new skill of podcast production–and if I could do it, you can, too! This beginner’s guide will help you on how to start a podcast during quarantine lockdown–from concept to finish.
Why Start a Podcast
The term podcast is the amalgam of ‘iPod’ and ‘broadcast’. Podcasts are episodic series of audio files where users can download and listen to. There are loads of platforms you can listen podcasts to–Google, Anchor, Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
If you want to learn how to produce a podcast during ECQ, we’ll assure you: it’s fun, it’s free and it’s quick! You can even produce a podcast within a day!
First of all, why start a podcast?
– Growing importance
Podcasts are rapidly growing to be traditional media. As podcasts continue to take an increasing role in the media landscape, it’s time for content creators to adapt to the times and explore this new and easy form of media.
Podcasts is the new radio, and it is innovating how we listen. The podcast form particularly appeals to the younger generations. They love the convenience of being able to download podcasts, and listen to them at their own convenience.
Media landscape is quickly shifting to becoming more on-demand and consumer-centered–this is why podcasts is growing exponentially in value. As podcasts continues to grow, it’s good for you to take real estate in the space now and be in “first in mind”–whatever brandname or phrase you want to own in the market.
– It’s easy and free
As a producer, creating a podcast is definitely easier than editing a video or starting a website. As a listener, it’s free and easy to listen to–just search your interest in the many platforms you can get podcasts from.
Think of podcasts like Radio on Demand: you can binge podcast episodes at your own schedule. The freedom to binge is particularly an important feature for the younger audience.
– Close relationship with listeners
In fact, there is something so authentic about voice that adds to the allure of podcasts. For some reason, people start treating their favorite podcasters like close acquaintances. The voice is a strong medium to create a close relationship with your listeners.This is something brands should consider in advertising. It is noted that 38% of listeners buy a product after hearing it in a podcast. Advertising from a podcaster sounds more authentic than from a TV endorser.
– Monetize your channel
The most popular podcasts are able to create successful revenue streams right now: via advertising, exclusive content, and donations.
Affiliate marketing is also a lucrative means of income for podcasters.
It pays for brands to be omnichannel–and the podcast is a great way to syndicate and increase your spread.
Beginner’s Guide to
Start a Podcast During Quarantine 2020
Come up with a podcast name that is unique, catchy, and sums up what the podcast is about as a whole. I’ll give you some examples of local podcasts within the Philippines, along with their by-line:
- The Creator Life Podcast – Conversations with Content Creators (bloggers, video makers, founders, entrepreneurs, designers, etc.)
- The Big Picture Philippines – The Community and Podcast aim to empower every Filipino to take the next step towards success
- The Halo-Halo Show – As the name implies, Rica Garcia and JC Teves cover a lot of topics
- The Underpaid Podcast – A podcast for the pro-emplyee that deals with everything that is happening inside the office
Do some research on similar podcasts with the same concept. It is important to do your research of the podcast landscape. This will give you a better understanding and get best practices from other podcast creators. Who are your favorite podcasters? Listen to other podcasts both local and global; both professional and indie; Filipino and foreign. What kind of content attracts your attention?
Determine the genre of your podcast. The most popular genres according to statistics include music, What do you like to cover in your podcast? What is your expertise?
When we decided to do the podcast, my co-host and I realized that our expertise was in: nothing. We were two jack-of-all-trades who love to talk about anything around the sun! Hence we decided to just record our musings and opinions on random topics we go on about in our phone conversations; especially in economics, business, law, history, culture and more.
What’s your podcast format?
Here are the most common types of podcast show formats:
- Solo / Monologue. The good thing with a solo show is that you don’t need to rely on anyone else to record–the show is 100% your style exclusively. It’s actually a lot harder than it sounds. It requires more preparation and scriptwriting. It’s the most intimidating style of podcast for a newbie. It feels weird to ‘talk to yourself’. Example of a Philippine podcast in this format include Joyce Pring or my own travel stories podcast Postcardpretty.
- Co-host. The type of podcast I am producing right now. A good way to get over mic fright is to co-host the show. You’ll have someone with to make conversation and bounce off ideas with. The challenge is figuring out the time for both to record, and also ownership of the podcast. This is a common form of podcast, and example of this form of podcast is Wake Up with Jim and Saab.
- Interview. A great way to get content is to interview other people. This way, you get to borrow their expertise and value. Other podcast formats include Documentary and Roundtable.
It is important to define your podcast format so that you will know the type of recording equipment and setup you will need (crucial for next step).
Now it’s the fun part: time to create content!
The first thing you need to get is to secure recording equipment for your podcast. As a beginner, here are your bare essentials to get you started:
Podcast Equipment for Beginner Podcasters
- Computer. A laptop, PC or even a smartphone with editing software and internet access
- Recorder. Another friend of mine, also a podcaster, records via the Zoom H4N. However, as a beginner, I suggest you just start with your phone, laptop, or PC. I just record with Voice Memo on my iPhone and it does the trick for me.
- Mic. Right now our setup is dodgy–we didn’t have the time and means to buy mic equipment. Ken my co-host just records using the mic on his headphones. I also recorded mine the same for the few episodes, until I was able to find a BOYA Shotgun Condenser Mic.
The equipment needed will largely depend on the type of podcast set-up and equipment you will need.
Our WDYTO Podcast utilizes the co-host podcast format, and given the situation that both Ken and I are stuck in different cities in lockdown (Manila and Cebu, consecutively) we needed two different recording set-ups.
By trial and error, we were able to figure out that the best way to do this is to go into a call and record the audio separately on our end of the conversation. This makes for cleaner and better audio quality.
Ready to start recording? Get into the hang of it, and be prepared prior to recording. At the start, speaking to a mic might feel awkward–especially if you’re doing a monologue show. With more practice and a bit of trial and error, you will soon get the hang of it.
Time to edit! So what are the best editing software out there for podcasts?
Personally I use Audacity to edit my audio files. It’s easy to use, it’s free, and it has all the basic features a beginner podcast like myself will ever need. Another recommended audio editing software is Garage Band (Mac).
We like to be as raw as possible with the podcast episodes. Editing is limited to removing some ‘ums’ and noise reduction; but we like it as raw as possible. As we had two separate voice recordings for my co-host and I, we also needed to stitch them together in the Audacity editing software.
4: Upload and Distribute
For beginners, I recommend you use Anchor. Anchor has all the features for you. You can even record straight from the app, upload audio files, edit the podcast details, and after, publish.
Anchor creates the RSS feed for you and will even take care of the distribution for you across all podcast platforms: Spotify, Pocket Casts, Apple, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Radiopublic and more. Finally, you can setup monetization features in Anchor–such as ads and listener support.
5: Promote and Share
- Share the good news! You finally have a podcast. Tell your family, friends and online followers!
- Make an Instagram, Facebook and Twitter page for your podcast for maximum social media exposure.
- To drive traffic, you can create video teasers that link to your podcast episode to drive traffic. I really loved how Headliner creates the podcast videos for you.
Finally, engage with the podcasting community!
Don’t be shy and go ask for advice from fellow friends. During this time of quarantine, they should have plenty of time to help youso… go bug them on messenger! Personally, I’d like to thank my podcaster friends who have guided us and asked our questions on how to start a podcast. Allow me to give a shout out to my personal friends who have helped me navigate the new world of podcasting: Jullian, Joseph and Dave!
Interact with the podcast community within your area. There are tons of Podcast FB groups out there where you can connect with fellow podcasters, do cross-collaboration via Zoom, and more. Some Podcast FB groups in the Philippines include Podcast PH and Philippine Podcast Directory.
That’s it on how to create a podcast for beginners! Let us know if you’ve started a podcast during this quarantine! If this guide helped–and if it did, don’t forget to share your podcasts on the Comments section.
You can follow our newly-minted podcast following the links below:
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