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If you follow me on social media then you probably saw my big announcement yesterday … I started a podcast! The Rock Your Wedding Biz podcast is hosted by my friend Renée and I, and it’s geared towards people who work in the wedding industry. Our hope is to help educate wedding professionals on all sorts of topics, big and small, related to their businesses. We are really excited about this new path we are creating!
But it has taken us a long time to get to this point. Aside from both of us working full-time busy jobs, there’s a lot that goes into starting a podcast. I thought it would be easy … I mean, it seems like *everyone* on Earth has a podcast. How difficult could it be? Turns out, there’s A LOT involved with getting started.
If you’ve ever thought about starting a podcast or wondering about the process, I’m going to give you some quick advice. This is NOT a definitive guide to setting up a podcast; that would be waaaaaaaaay too long. This is just a list of a few things I learned along the way.
5 Things You Need to Know Before You Start a Podcast
1) It’s complicated. There are a lot of moving pieces involved with starting a podcast you have to figure out (and if it’s a joint-venture, you’ll need to make decisions together). Things like … how will you record your voice? Will you have a fancy introduction with music? How will you edit? Where will you host your MP3 files? Will you make a corresponding website and social media accounts? Will you create your own branding (name/logo/colors/fonts) or hire it out? How will you promote your show to find listeners? These are just a FEW things I can think of off the top of my head. I feel like there were a million decisions, big and small, we had to make.
Just as a side note, I never would have gotten all of this figured out without the guidance of Pat Flynn‘s free class “How to Start a Podcast in Three Days” – so THANK YOU PAT for the amazing free course!
2) Sound quality is everything. If your podcast doesn’t sound good you’re going to lose listeners before they even finish with episode 1. Before you get started make sure you invest in a decent microphone. The microphone built into your laptop won’t cut it. Using the in-line microphone in your earbuds is better, but an external legit microphone is your best option. I use this microphone which I got off Amazon for only $40 (price may fluctuate). I like that it’s portable so if I need to record while I’m traveling I don’t have to bring a bunch of bulky equipment.
Aside from a good microphone, you’ll need to minimize the background noise. Make sure you’re in a quiet place (as quiet as possible) where there won’t be an echo. I know a few podcasters who actually record in their closet because the clothes absorb the sound!
3) Figure out plenty of topics before you start. When Renée and I were brainstorming the idea of a podcast we wanted to make sure we could come up with at least 10 episode ideas before we even got started. We sat down and ended up ultimately coming up with around 50 ideas, so at that point we knew we were in good shape. But what you don’t want to do is start a podcast on a whim, and then become inconsistent because you ran out of topics to discuss.
4) Prepare to get a crash course in audio technology, unless you’re prepared to pay someone to handle it for you. There are a lot of things to consider when you’re recording your audio. Sound levels, editing out water sipping, slicing together the intro … figuring all of this out was by far the most difficult aspect of getting the podcast started. Let’s just say I had to do a lot of trial and error and a lot of Google searching to get our files to sound decent. Just one example … I ran into an issue where the end of the podcast kept getting cut off in iTunes. The file ran longer than the time listed on the player. WHAT??? It was so confusing … then after hours of research I discovered I had to export the MP3 file as CBR instead of the default setting of VBR. Does all this sound like gibberish to you? Yeah, it was all gibberish to me a week ago! This is just one small example of the issues you may run into.
5) If you’re working with a co-host for your podcast, use a platform or app to keep yourself organized. Renée and I used Asana. With Asana we were able to list all the tasks we needed to complete, assign due dates, and assign a person to finish them. It helped us figure out the order we should be completing tasks and avoided any confusion on who would handle what. Even if you are a one-person show, using Asana will certainly help, especially if you set a deadline for yourself.
I hope this list gives you a few things to consider if you’re interested in starting a podcast. Recording and launching our podcast has been a very rewarding experience, so if you have a podcast idea stewing around I recommend taking the leap!