Podcasting has been one of my favorite ways to create content. I get questions regarding how I started a podcast and what I use to sustain it. Spoiler alert: it is pretty simple and inexpensive because you know.. I am on a budget!
You can listen to this post on the Don’t Mix In Podcast
It Started With A Suggestion
Let’s begin with how I actually got into to creating a podcast. The idea came up a couple years ago. It was my sister (who was an early adopter of podcasts) that brought it up. I thought it was an interesting idea but I wasn’t sure how that would work with my blog content. My content is pretty visual so I didn’t know how I could do something with audio. Also, I had no clue how to record, what equipment to use, etc. So, this idea remained just an idea for awhile.
I am going to get into the basics that you need to start a podcast on a budget.
1. The Platform to Host Your Podcast
First, I looked into Anchor and decided to use that to record my podcast. I went with Anchor for a few reasons. It’s super simple since it’s an app I can use on my phone. I can record and edit from my phone. It allows you to import your own music as well. Plus, it is free.
Quick Tip: Go with what is easy to maintain.
Most of the Don’t Mix In episodes have been recorded from my phone. I did leave Anchor for a moment to try a different platform. I was looking at elevating my podcast. Other platforms were way too complicated and weren’t as easy to record from my phone. So, back I went to Anchor.
Anchor also links you up with sponsors so I have actually been able to monetize my podcast. Anchor is currently a sponsor of the Don’t Mix In podcast (but not this post).
2. A Microphone For Your Podcast
I don’t use a lot of fancy equipment. But, a decent microphone is a must.
Quick tip: Get the basics and start small.
Lucky for me, my husband had bought a mini mic, a Rode VideoMic Me for something else. This mic costs about $60. He also had a windshield (the puffy things around mic), Rode WS9 Deluxe Wind Shield . That costs about $24. I just use an Apple Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter to plug my mic into my phone. You know the one that comes with an IPhone, with your earbuds. That costs $8.99. Now that I had some equipment, I needed to figure out my format. I recently upgraded to another microphone that is under $100, the Fifine USB Podcast Microphone .
3. Have a Podcast Topic and Format
Next, so after I got some gear, I was ready to start. However, I still had the problem related to my content being visual. Cue my sister again, she suggested that I just talk about my posts. Easy, right? That is what I decided to do.
Quick tip: Go with a format that works for you.
Along with talking about my posts, I included more story telling. I treated my episodes like I was having coffee with my sister.
Additionally, I did do some research on podcast formats. I wanted my episodes to be long enough for some story telling but short enough to get through them in under 30 minutes. At first, I just did episodes on the content that I already had. Then, I began to create blog posts then a Don’t Mix In podcast episode to accompany the post.
Dime en Español
Además de hablar sobre mis publicaciones, incluí más historias. Traté mis episodios como si estuviera tomando un café con mi hermana.
Quería que mis episodios fueran lo suficientemente largos como para contar historias, pero también suficientemente cortos como para escucharlos en menos de 30 minutos.
4. Develop a Recording and Editing Routine
I talked about routines and creating in a blog post, How to Make Time for Blogging or Creating. In this post, I get into my routine for creating. Basically, how I squeeze this stuff in while I fulfill the role of mom, wife, school psychologist, and graduate student. In other words, how do I carve out time for me! Routines are what has helped me do this.
I developed my editing routine through trial and error. I edit from my phone using the Anchor app. This is my process: First, I record my segments. I leave 3 seconds buffer in the beginning and at the end of each segment. I started doing that after I noticed that you could hear the noise of the clicking on and off. Recording takes me approximately an hour, max. I rely on a notebook with my talking points for the original blog post. That makes recording so much smoother. My recording studio, I mean my car, is where I do most of my episodes. I sometimes record in my bedroom. The car has been the best so far for absorbing the sound. I just keep a bag with my notebook and my mic in the car.
After I have the raw audio, I edit after my kids go to bed. Since the episodes aren’t long and my format is consistent, this takes me about an hour and half. Anchor has music you can use and allows you to import music.
5. Making It Your Own
Music is super important for a podcast.
Quick Tip: Find some music that matches your vibe.
What I did is went on Soundcloud and found royalty free music. Then, I downloaded it from Spotify and Soundcloud. It was a bit complicated at first. Now I have a set of songs I can pull from for my style videos and the podcast. I only use one song that I downloaded for my intro and outro. I use the song “By the Croft” by Joakim Karud.
Quick Tip: Keep your format consistent
Next, I came up with key phrases that I use throughout my podcast to maintain a certain structure. Having a consistent rhythm to my episodes helps my listeners know what to expect.
Quick Tip: Create your cover art on Canva.
Finally, there are so many things you can create on Canva! The Don’t Mix In cover art was created on Canva as well. I just tooled around with a logo with Word Swag. I made it consistent with my blog although the name was different.
6. Distribute and Promote Your Podcast
Anchor does the distribution for Don’t Mix In. So that’s easy. I do advise making contact with Apple Podcasts so you can access your podcasts directly. This was something I did once I returned to Anchor.
Quick Tip: Spend some time getting the word out on your podcast!
Once your podcast is distributed to the various platforms, get the word out about your podcast! I do this a few ways. On Instagram, I go and talk about my latest episode in my stories. I also make quick music videos to promote my episode and blog post. Spotify also has a share feature so it’s linked directly in stories.
Quick Tip: Make an audiogram with captions.
I started to do some other things to promote my podcast. There’s this desktop app called Headliner. This site creates an audio video clip of your podcast with captions. Now, know that this can take some time since you need to edit the audio a bit. It’s worth it. I’ve gotten new listeners from Instagram that way.
7. Pay Attention To What Works (And Feels Right)
To conclude, I’ve evolved my podcast style over time. I also have looked at which types of episodes get the most plays. Additionally, I pay attention to the episodes that feel flowed well. In the end, it’s about enjoying the process of creating that fuels the creation of worthwhile content. And, it fuels me too.
I hope my little podcasting journey was helpful! I still consider myself to be on a learning curve. There’s so much to learn. The next thing I want to tackle is interviews on the podcast.
Because getting dressed (and living life) should feel good! -Vivian
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