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How to start Podcasting

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What do you need for equipment? Now you can use a head set with a microphone to start off. This will get you by but if you are serious about growing your audience the you will need to get serious about your equipment. Now content is King but the equipment is the Queen and and she decided how well the King is portrayed. If you excellent content is not coming through clearly and is distorted you may get some listeners but they will not stick around.You can start with just the very basics this is a microphone computer and hosting.

So, What do you need to have great sound and not bust the budget? This is surprisingly easy.

The bare bones you need is

The very least you need is a mic and headphones

  1. A Microphone
  2. Headphones
  3. Computer but a digital recorder would be even better

These three items are for the bare minimum to start a podcast. You can start that podcast but you will want to rapidly get a better setup especially if you are going to get serious about your podcast show. So, What about these three items do you need to know?

Microphones

There are two different types of microphones. There are

  • Dynamic – normally found where there can be lots of other sounds due to their ability to pick up the sound right in front of them.
  • Compressor – considered the mic for studios because of the rich sound you can get from them but they pick up lots and lots of room noise.

Both are good but it depends  on your environment as to which one you get. If you have a sound deadened room then you might want to look into a Condenser microphone. If your like most podcasters your studio is in your house, and that house is not known for being a sound deadened. If that is the case then it might be better to use a Dynamic Microphone. But don’t get a microphone just  for the price. many times you will find that getting a $500 dollar mic when you just start is not needed. It is just as easy to start with a Audio-Technica ATR2100-(affiliate) this mic is very inexpensive and both USB and XLR so this microphone will grow with you as your podcasting equipment improves.

Headphones

Headphone are needed part of your podcasting arsenal. This is for one reason and it is sound quality. You want to know what you sound is doing. Does your sound have a crackling noise? Is there an echo? You want to know if something is happening in your sound. Can you can fix it at that time?  If not, at least you are aware of the problem and adjust for the sound. You want a good set of headphones or also known as Cans. You can use ear buds but you might miss some details that are in your sound that many people will pick up if they are in a quiet room.

Record your podcast

The final piece of equipment you are needing to have is away to record your sound. Whether this is your computer or you get a portable digital recorder you cant have an mp3 to give to your audience unless it is recorded. Using a computer can cause some problems, many times that problem will happen when you least expect it. More often than not, when you are doing the most important interview you have ever done.

Computers are great instruments, but when you try to do too much computing there can be problems. Sometimes these problems are not detected other times the problem is a program crash and your data is lost. How do you fix that? Many podcaster who use computers will use one computer for only recording. They will turn everything off and close all background programs so that there is no problems. Or you can go to something that its whole purpose is to record sound. That is what a portable digital recorder will do. You don’t have to worry about there being any audio problems due to too many programs running in the back ground. though there are times that a SD card will die and that might cause you to loose your recording but that will happen far less than a program crashing or having bad sound because the computer is over taxed.

A solution that I started off with was the Technical Pro podcast kit (Affiliate) if you keep your eye out you can catch it for $100 which is what I did. or you can get just a simple headset and microphone this is good if you are not sure if you want to podcast.

Equipment is needed to make your  podcast but you don’t want to depend on that equipment because your content is what brings your listeners. Yes equipment is important but don’t over do it. Use what you need add equipment to fix a problem. Now that you have your passion and your home time to record.

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You need a place to call your home for the podcast. This is a hosting service, true this word may of just scared the crud out of you. Finding a good hosting plan is a truly scary ordeal. You may not think you are technical enough, or spending your scarce hard-earned dough is a rather stressful thought. I understand, I was in your shoes, 4 years ago, when I first tried to podcast. I chickened out for a long time because I could not see spending money on something that was just a virtual hobby. Just remember there is more than one way to de-fur a feline.

You need a hosting server to really launch your podcast.

Many times If you look your hosting servers will look like this

Hosting

You have to have some sort of home for your podcast. This home is important and you really need to pay for web hosting, if for any reason it allows you the ability to control more of your site. There are a few different types of hosting these are

  • Shared Hosting – This is the economy class of hosting. Which means your server is packed in too one server with hundred if not thousands of other websites. Your site performance is effected by other people’s sites and your site can affect your neighbors. This is good for starting out for the price and probably the only time you will celebrate  that you have to spend more money because you are getting more popular. A good hosting service is Site5 and BlueHost both of these site will help you get set up and going out the gate with very little effort.
  • Dedicated Hosting – This is the where your site is the only kid on the block you have a whole server to yourself. If you get so popular that you crash this server then that means you are Amazon. You have pretty much full control but you are still somewhat limited. The prices on this very on your Bandwidth. Other words if you get popular your fees will increase because of how much data you are using.
  • Private Server – You make the server you install the operating system, the web server, the database, You have full control. This also means you are in charge if your own security on that server. You have a problem you will have to hire somebody. many times private server are charged by bandwidth also and a fee to connect your server to the network not cheap at all. There is a reason that only the big corporations have their own private server.
  • Virtual Private Server – These are cheaper than a dedicated private server but again the price is not for the beginner unless you are starting out with the funds.

So, Why not any Free hosting servers?

This is because if you have ever played around with free hosting servers the big problem is that they are fly by night. Here one minute and gone the next day usually without any warning. Which means your podcast is gone daddy gone. Another problem with Free is they have to make money somewhere and that is usually in the form of ads and guess where these ads appear. Oh you are the smart one… That is right on your web page! you don’t want that.

Ok so no free hosting how about free blogging sites?

These don’t give you the control you really want either many times you are restricted by your themes and plugins you can use. The wordpress.com site you can’t place the Power press plugin on your blog. So again very limited. It is possible, I helped a young woman out on getting her podcast set up on tumblr she does have RSS and I recommend that she go through Feedburner till Google closes it. That way she doesn’t have to worry about changing domains and the problems it causes to your feed.

Be kind to your media

Media hosting is the one item that is required. A person can go free but you do not, I repeat DO NOT, want to do that, you lose most if not all of your control of your control over many important items. Speed of the download for your listeners and fans. Many Free Media Hosts take over your RSS feed and so when you leave, you lose many of your listeners because they are not willing, or do not know how to move their feed to your new site. You can do a 301 redirect but need to have access to your RSS feed and you don’t get that for free. But if you go with Libsyn or BluBrry their hosting is very reasonable in price and created with podcasters in mind

Let me make one change on the earlier statement because there is one media host that is free and will work as a means of hosting because it has byte range requests for iTunes yet you can not remove a file if you find that you messed something up and need to take it down. This media host is Archive.org, Very good host but you are subjected to slow downloads. but it is a work around.

Tip of the Week

Plan for the future, What happens when you stop paying for your site or you pass away? normally your site will fade just as fact as you. So, protect your site and media from no pay deletion and Move your media to archive.org and throw up a mirror site of your information on a free blog site.

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Find that idea that really stirs you.

This is part 1 of a 5 part series on starting to podcast.

How do you start a podcast? As any podcast, You start with an idea from there you have to get your proverbial ducks in a row.

First you need to have an idea. These ideas can be anything. but there are some keys to help keep you from being like 90% of the other podcasts. That is you need the drive some people call it passion. How ever you pronounce it you have to have to know that it is that lights your buttons. Many times talking about your work will not… well… work because most people do not have that drive.now if you are working at your dream job and you love every single angle of that job then go ahead.

Most of us the best thing to do is to pay attention to what your actions are. and note when you really get worked up about a specific topic. That one thing that really gets your creative juices moving. That topic you just will not shut up about and you eyes shine brightly, and you get jazzed; that is the topic you want to podcast about.

Now The video helps a good bit but it still really doesn’t help explain how to really dig down to find your passion. Many people have to make a few different attempts to be able catch the true essence of what really gets their engien going. Entrepreneur has a great article that throws outseveral suggestions one how to find what you are truely passionate about.

Then the Great Self-help blog Life hacker put out an article on how to find your passion. They throw out in the great way that only Life Hacker can, a wealth of information makes it next to impossible to ignore. Some tips they recommend Read about that topic, and Practice your passion.

Finding that passion can be elusive. You want and should find it. That passion is one thing that halps make you vocation, a vacation and keeps the burn out down to a minimum, and help you to be twice as productive with half the effort.

So Do you know what your passion is? How did you find your passion? Comment below and let us know.

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