How to record a podcast: Tips and tricks for audio success

how to record a podcast (2) How do you record a podcast? How do you distribute and market it?

Podcasts have quickly become an ever-present in today's digital age. According to reporting and analytics platform Demand Sage, there are over 5 million podcasts in the world, with over 70 million episodes and 465 million listeners between them (as of February 2023). Spotify alone hosts around 5 million podcast titles on its platform.

The growth has been stratospheric: in 2019, there were only 275 million listeners in the world and it is predicted there will be around 500 million listeners worldwide by the end of 2024.

So how do you get in on the action? How do you record a podcast? And how do you distribute and market it? But let's start at the start: what is the definition of a podcaster?

Podcaster definition

A podcast is a form of digital media, typically audio (though it can also be video), that is released in episodes and made available for streaming or download on the internet. A podcaster by definition is thus someone who publishes and hosts a podcast. Podcasters produce content on a wide range of topics, including but not limited to news, storytelling, education, entertainment, interviews, and more.

How to record a podcast

Now we have our podcaster definition fixed, let's dive into our step-by-step guide on how to record a podcast and get it right.

1. Choose your software

The first step to recording a podcast is choosing the right software. There are many options available, but some of the most popular ones are, Buzzsprout and Podbean.

Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to do your research and choose the one that best fits your needs. Here at Memberful we use Riverside and are very happy with it.

For more in-depth information on software and hosting, see our article on the best podcast website for hosting and distribution.

2. Test your podcast equipment

Before you start recording, it's important to test your podcast equipment. This includes your microphone, headphones, and internet connection. Make sure everything is working properly and that you have a strong and stable internet connection.

record podcast sennheiser To record a podcast, you'll need noise-canceling headphones such as the Sennheiser HD280 Pro

One of the most common issues with podcast recording is poor audio quality. To avoid this, make sure you have a good-quality microphone and that it's positioned correctly. You may also want to invest in some noise-canceling headphones to help eliminate any background noise. We use the Shure MV7 microphone and Sennheiser HD280 Pro headphones.

3. Set up your recording environment

The next step when considering how to record a podcast is your home studio: you need to create a quiet and distraction-free environment. Find a quiet room with minimal background noise and make sure to close any windows or doors to reduce noise from outside.

how to record a podcast Professionals may use a studio to record their podcast but when you're starting this shouldn't be necessary

Carpeted floors work much better than hardwood; some soft furnishings such as a sofa will help to reduce echo. You may also want to consider investing in some acoustic panels to help improve the audio quality; here at Memberful, we don’t have these just yet and I don’t think it’s too crucial but we might invest in a microphone shield soon.

4. Set the stage

Once you've chosen your software and tested your podcast equipment, it's time to set the stage. Make sure that your microphone is positioned correctly - about a fist’s width from your mouth and at a 45-degree angle from the horizontal.

Make sure you're happy with your setup, and have a glass of water nearby and a comfortable chair. Perhaps the most important preparation when thinking about how to record a podcast is to make sure you feel at home!

recording podcast equipment - shure mv7 The Shure MV7 microphone has a volume level meter

Test your audio levels to ensure that your voice is coming through loud and clear; our microphone has a level meter that flashes red when the sound is too loud.

5. Record your podcast

Now that you're all set up, it's time to record your podcast! Make sure to take breaks if needed and don't be afraid to pause and re-record if necessary. This will ensure that you have high-quality audio that is easy to edit later on.

how to record a podcast (1) Let's 'Go live' - it's time to record your podcast!

During recording, it’s smart to try to avoid saying too many sentences that refer to earlier parts of the conversation, such as “Yes, as we said earlier…” or “As we were discussing before…” because this makes it easier to move individual clips around if necessary. If you’re hosting guests on your podcast, tell them about this important technique before you start, too.

6. Edit and post-produce

Once you've finished recording your podcast, it's time to edit and post-produce. This includes adding intro and outro music, sometimes known as ‘jingles’, editing out mistakes or unnecessary pauses, and adding any other sound effects or transitions that you'd like to include.

Podcastle offers a very intuitive online audio-editing suite, with functionality to trim or cut audio clips, fade sound in and out, and add extra music files for intros and outros. Prices start from free for unlimited audio recording.

7. Publish your podcast

Finally, it's time to publish your podcast! Make sure to optimize your content for SEO, and share your podcast to increase your reach and visibility.

record podcast editing Onve you've recorded your podcast, you need to publish, optimize and share it

Your podcast title and description should accurately reflect the content of your podcast and should include relevant, descriptive, keywords and keyphrases such as ‘How to…’ and tags/categories such as ‘Business'. Providing a transcript can improve your SEO by making your podcast more accessible to search engines.

Share your podcast on social media to improve your visibility and if you have a website, make sure to include a link to your podcast on your site. This helps to improve your search engine ranking and make it easier for your website visitors to find your podcast.

FAQs for how to record a podcast

How long does it take to record a podcast?

Recording times can vary depending on factors such as episode length, preparation, and editing requirements. On average, it may take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours to record a podcast episode.

Do I need a professional studio to record a podcast?

While a professional studio can enhance the quality of your recordings, it's not essential for starting a podcast. With a quiet space, quality equipment, and good editing software, you can record professional-grade podcasts from the comfort of your own home.

How can I improve the sound quality of my podcast recordings?

To improve sound quality, invest in a high-quality microphone, use pop filters to reduce plosives, and record in a quiet environment. Additionally, experiment with microphone placement and settings to find the optimal setup for your voice.

Should I script my podcast episodes?

While some podcasters prefer scripted episodes for precision and clarity, others opt for a more spontaneous and conversational approach. Find a balance that works for you, whether it's using bullet points, an outline, or a full script.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when recording a podcast?

Common mistakes to avoid include excessive background noise, inconsistent audio levels, and overly long or rambling episodes. Take the time to prepare, practice, and refine your recording process to minimize these issues.

Conclusion: How to record a podcast

By following the steps outlined above and using the right podcast equipment, you can ensure that you record a high-quality podcast that is easy to edit and publish. We hope that this guide has been helpful in getting you started with podcast recording.

Remember, the most important thing is to have fun and be creative. Happy podcasting!

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