My own podcast journey began early in 2015. God re-inspired me to engage the world via media. Years ago, I invested about five years of my ministry into television broadcasting, winning several regional awards. While I enjoyed that experience, it required too many hours per week that rightfully belonged to my congregation.
When I discovered podcasting and how much easier it was, my interest was reawakened – especially when I learned that over 600 million podcasts are downloaded every month! I also found that the time investment was much lower. Today, I invest about 5 hours/week instead of the 30 hours required by television.
I encourage you to start your journey as well. There is a learning curve, but you can get started with a professional sounding podcast and website for a little as $100. I list below some things that will help you get started and thrive.
When I first started, I used the ATR 2100 USB for recording pictured here. The cost was around $75 on Amazon. The great thing about this microphone, is that you just plug it into your computer (no adapter needed), switch it on and you’re in business! The quality is excellent for the price.
For convenience, I also have an apparatus on my desk that helps me to create the optimum microphone placement. You can get that along with the microphone for an additional $30 or order it here.
Record your show on Audacity (Windows) or Garage Band (Apple). Both are free and have tons of tweaking enhancements to make you sound great.
Currently, I upgraded to an AT 2035 which set me back $150. I did this to get an extra 7-8% of sound quality (and also because I received a gift card at Christmas!). The challenge with the AT 2035 is that it uses an XLR cable. In simple terms, that means you are required to also purchase a preamp to go between the microphone and the computer. A basic preamp will set you back another $100. I went the more expensive route to the DBX286s because I wanted more features.
The DBX goes for about $200 on Amazon. Essentially, it enables you to enhance the quality of your voice and minimize sounds that distract the ear. I started using the DBX in episode 21 and love it. That said, it is not essential unless you decide to upgrade from the ATR 2100, but is something to consider if you are serious about podcasting. You can read more about it here.
If you have your heart set on podcasting, plan on a minimum of $60/month for all the services necessary to both produce and market your podcast.
Once your podcast is ready, you will need a service to upload it to ITunes, Stitcher and wherever else you want it to be available. The best and most cost effective program is Libsyn.
Getting started with social media can seem daunting, but here are some great tools to help you get the ball rolling.
If you’ve not already done so, download my free eBook here to understand the basics.
Whether you blog or podcast, you’ll need a website. I highly recommend Bluehost as the place to start your journey. Your web address is your personal real estate online. Click here to get started for about $60/yr. The site has several easy tutorials to guide you every step of the way. What I appreciate about Blue Host is their commitment not to host pornographic websites. To my knowledge, they are the only hosting company with that standard. Soon, I will be posting more detailed help for getting your website to attract new guests.
If you’re a potential podcaster, the two best resources I can recommend are Pat Flynn and John Lee Dumas. Both have excellent free courses on how to get started. JLD has a paid membership site designed for podcasters who are serious.
In the social media world, email connects you to your community on a regular basis. ConvertKit is an Email server. What does that mean? If you blog or podcast regularly, ConvertKit enables you to send out customized emails to all your subscribers as often as you like.
In addition, you can create forms and landing pages on your website or social media to attract new subscribers. Rather than asking people to listen to a podcast, you can show them a picture of what you are talking about. When they click on the picture, it brings them to a form that collects their email in exchange for gaining access to something you’d like to give them for free. They have lots of video tutorials to help you get started and costs $29/monthly.