The 7-step Podcasting Process: Podcasting Made Easy
If this is your first time here, then welcome to the Best Tech Setup blog, here you will find all times of advice ranging from the practical, like “How to Build a Cool Tech Setup”, to the theoretical, like “What Is a Gaming Mouse?”.
If not, you probably got here via the links at the bottom of the “How To Podcast: The Beginner’s Guide to Podcasting” article.
Outside of the Beginner’s Guide to Podcasting, this is perhaps the most important article on Podcasting because this dives deep into guiding you along thru the steps of your Podcasting journey.
The steps detailed at the bottom of that guide are a really general overview of what will be needed to have a podcast at all. If you’re looking at the list and thinking to yourself that they don’t match, that is because this guide is a close examination of steps 4-6.
This will help guide you thru the recording, editing, and publishing process in 7 easy steps.
The First Thing You Need To Know is The Last Thing You Need To Do
The first thing you should know is that there are 7 recurring steps that need to happen every single time. The second thing you should know is that there is an 8th step that only happens the FIRST TIME you create your Podcast. That 8th step is to Submit You Podcast To Directories.
If you followed along the Beginner’s Guide to Podacasting, you know that the directories are the major hubs for podcasting where people can search and listen to your Podcast. I’m talking about it now because no matter when you want to go live, this will need to be done first.
Pro-tip: Do not launch your podcast with less than 2 episodes live. Give people a chance to binge and get hooked from the start.
My recommendation is to launch your podcast with at least 2 episodes live and ready to go in your media host. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have an episode entirely about you and the Podcast itself so that new listeners can immediately grasp what you’re all about.
Once you have your launch episodes edited, uploaded, and ready to go, feel free to submit your Podcast. As I said, this will only need to be done once, but it will need to be done once per platform. So that means once for iTunes, once for Stitcher, once for Google Play Podcasts, and so on.
Something to note is that you have to be approved by the directory before you Podcast starts to show up, This takes anywhere from 24-72 hours on average. After your Podcast is on the directory though, it will automatically feed new episodes directly without any input on your part. All you have to do is keep uploading them to your host.
PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO SUBMIT YOUR PODCAST TO DIRECTORIES, THIS WILL SAVE YOU LOTS OF TIME AND HEADACHES! 😀
Step 1: Recording The Episode
The first step to having a fully finished Podcast episode is to actually record the audio file. This may seem like a simple task, but it can be more difficult than it seems. Thoughts come into your head that may cause you to question yourself. Doubts, fears, and insecurities will all plague you if you let it.
Its difficult to fight these thoughts as they are part of the human experience and are not really logical thoughts. They are fears and emotion. The best way to handle that is to just start. It doesn’t matter what you say (you have the power of the edit), so long as you say something. Over time you will develop into your style and comfort.
Step 2: Editing The Episode
The next step is the edit. This is where you clean up the audio as much as possible. Get rid of any unwanted pauses, awkward phrasing, mistakes, etc.
This is also the time to add in any advertisements, intros, outros, etc.
Step 3: Export The Episode As An MP3
Before we go any further, here’s why you should export your episode as an MP3 audio file. You will be presented with a few options for how you want to export your final files, .wav, .flac, .mp3, are a few examples.
You should keep in mind a few things when deciding how to export.
- Most people do not notice the quality difference between FLAC, WAV, and MP3. Nor do they notice the difference in data rate offered by higher bitrate files.
- People are often listening to your Podcast via mobile devices, and larger files take up more data, load more slowly, and may present the listener with a negative experience if they aren’t connected to wifi.
- Storage space on your media host is in limited supply, and depending on your plan, you can blow through your entire month’s data budget with one file that is too large.
MP3’s are generally the smallest file size you can get that are still usable and offer a good listening experience for the listener. A Protip is to export your file in mono, rather than stereo to save data.
Step 4: Tag Your MP3
This is an important, if often underrated step. Tagging is you adding additional metadata to the audio file. This can be done via 3rd party programs (later discussed in the software part of this guide).
Once your audio file is tagged, it will be its own standalone file. What this means is if something unfortunate were to happen where all the data got lost between your media host, and any Podcast directories, this file would have all the information needed to represent itself as a part of your Podcast.
The directories would be able to pull all the necessary information directly from the file itself, and instead of being “audio_file_2343_johns_pc_final_FINAL”, it would be something more understandable like “Episode 2343: John Talk Radio”.
Usually when tagging your files you include the following: The title, podcaster name (your name), Podcast name, description, album artwork, copyright, etc.
I use ID3-Editor, and it works pretty well, but there are a variety of software that does this. Find one that works for you and remember to use it.
Step 5: Upload Your Episode To Your Media Host
I recommend you to have a dedicated media host. For those who may not know, a media host is similar to a website host in that they host files for you. However, where a website host handles all the files related to your website, a media host handles your media (in this case, audio files).
This is pretty simple once it’s laid out like that. So simple in fact, that some people think they don’t need it and decide to host their Podcast directly from their website. This may work for a moment, but for ANY large scale Podcast that gets a lot of traffic, you will be in DEEP trouble.
You probably know that if there are a lot of people on one website at any given time, it may cause the website to crash. This depends on data allowances and other things outside of the scope of this article. Just know that a lot of website traffic is good, but a lot of unexpected website traffic can spell disaster.
If your Podcast is successful and you have large amounts of people visiting your website trying to download large files (your Podcast), your website may not be able to keep up, and crash. This is obviously bad because people will not be able to listen to your Podcast, and may think you, your website, and by extension your podcast are low quality.
Use a media host and this problem goes away almost entirely. Your website can still crash if you get too many visitors too quickly, but at least you’ll know it’s not because of your Podcast. My media host of choice is Libsyn, as for around $20 a month you get about 400MB of data to upload, and for the Best Tech Podcast, that’s about 7-8 interviews. However you can also use things like Soundcloud, I use them too as a backup.
The best part about a dedicated media host is you get unlimited bandwidth, so a near infinite amount of people can download your Podcast with no cap on users or downloads.
Step 6: Schedule Your Episode’s Release Date
This is pretty self explanatory, but I’ll jump in and give you some thoughts. Scheduling your episode’s live date is nice to do because this allows you to spend time doing other things without the worry of, “Did I publish this weeks episode?”
You will know you have done it, because you scheduled it in advance. So now you can go on vacation without worry that your schedule is messed up and fans may be disappointed.
Libsyn allows you to schedule posts in advance, and most reputable media hosts will allow this as well. Beware any that do not, this may be the sign of a poor quality host.
I try and stay a month out with everything, blog articles, Podcast episodes, YouTube videos. It removes that anxiety of having to make the deadline, as you’ll always have something ready to go.
Step 7: Publish Your Episode
So this is the step that everyone loves. You made it this far and are finally ready to publish that episode to the world.
If you have already submitted your Podcast to the directories then you will have done this entire process multiple times by now, but it is no less exciting. This is also the reason I had you read the entire article prior to doing anything, so you knew what steps to take to get to publishing.
If you scheduled your post in advance, then on the day and time you set, your Podcast episode will be available to the masses. If you are publishing live, then the moment you hit that button will be the time your Podcast is available to the world.
You did it! You have a real life Podcast ready to be enjoyed for years to come. It took a lot of courage, guts, and discipline to make it this far. You rock!
Now that you have a Podcast that is ready to be listened and enjoyed by people all over, the next thing you want to do is make sure your Podcast actually reaches people all over. The next articles will teach you have to take this Podcast from you and your friends, to you and the WORLD!
You can find those articles by clicking on the links below.
How To Find Guests For Your Podcast: Collaborating 101
How Do I Make Money Podcasting: Making Money Online 101
How Do I Grow My Podcast: Podcast Growth Strategies 101
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