One of the most powerful tools for communication today is podcasting. Millions of people are listening to these broadcasts right now. You can record one with ease, but mastering the process can be a little difficult. If you have ever wanted to start your own show, or you wanted to simply create a daily audio blog of sorts, you will no doubt want to look into podcasting.

If you’re not sure where to start, however, you may get stuck. The following breakdown will help you navigate the basic elements of this communication platform. These are just preliminary elements that can get you started. With these elements, you can start working on a review show, or simply a rant or rave of your choice. These are the elements for beginners to consider moving forward with right now.

Get An Idea

"podcasting brainstorming"What would you want to talk about? Think about that for a moment. Podcasts are informal at times, structured in others, and can be done in a variety of different ways. The starting line for everyone, however, is found with an idea. What would you want to talk about? Seriously consider what you would want to say and how you would want to say it. This is the starting line for everyone that has ever wanted to get into audio.

Get A Microphone

Moving forward, you will need a microphone. You could buy a headset mic or you could by a standalone solution. Getting a condenser mic is going to be a good thing. You could buy a podcasting kit online, or you can buy things separately. When starting out, you will want to look for options that come with a pop filter and condenser built in. That’s something that can help you get clarity in your voice, and will definitely go a long way for you. Don’t worry about expenses when starting out, look for entry level options that are less than $150. With that budget, you can get a fine production starting point.

Software

There are two ways to look at software. You can look at it from the professional side of things, and purchase expensive software. Or you could look at it from the beginner’s view, which means going free. There are free options like Audacity, that can help you record your audio outright. There are also smartphone apps and much more to explore in this arena. At first, don’t spend a lot of money on software, focus on low cost, or free solutions to get you started. You won’t need to upgrade for some time, and truth be told, more people use free or lower cost solutions than not.

Getting Comfortable With Speaking

When you’re first starting out, don’t be hyper critical about your speech. Practice talking in front of a mirror, and whenever you’re alone. Then start recording by simply reading a script, or a book. Practice enunciating, and just work on talking. This is the biggest hurdle that people face when starting out. You’re not going to be used to talking to yourself, but it’s important to get over this, and simply speak as though you’re teaching someone something and they are sitting in front of you.

Editing and Sound Quality

Once you are comfortable speaking, and you have recordings, you will need to learn how to edit and create better sound quality. There are two routes you can take here as well. The first is to learn how to use the audio program you’ve decided to work with. You can learn with tutorials, books, or take a class.

The second route is to outsource your production. You can outsource the editing and audio post production to others, and get back a completed file that has been mastered and ready to upload and distribute. Either way, you will need to edit raw recordings to ensure quality.

Collaborating With Others

Many people start shows solo, but there are plenty of individuals that work with others. You can get a friend, or hire someone to help you with hosting duties. If you get someone else to work with you, you’ll need double up the production elements. You’ll need a second microphone, or feed their audio into your software with extensions to Skype, or other programs. Collaborating can lift some of the recording burden off of you, as you can have someone to talk to and bounce off ideas with.

At the end of the day, the overall costs associated with podcasting can be as little as a couple of hundred dollars. You can do this all on a shoestring, invest in a kit, or go all out. You can even host things with sites like Podomatic, and others for a low cost. To start, however, take the steps above and you’ll be on your way.

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