Want to start podcasting but don’t have any money to get started? Avoid the trap of buying expensive equipment or taking expensive courses in order to learn to podcast. If you’re podcasting as a hobby you don’t want to invest thousands of dollars just to find out you don’t like it or lose interest.
These tips are for people who want to explore podcasting as a hobby. If you want to start a business or intend to market a product, you probably want to take a more professional route. However, if you’re interested in podcasting because you like to hear yourself talk then check out these 5 tips to start podcasting for free.
Stop trying to sound like a professional
Your audio doesn’t have to be perfect or sound like it was recorded in a studio. Background noise, interruptions, etc. are OK as long as they don’t distract from your content. This is something you can look to improve in the future. The key here is that there shouldn’t be anything distracting in your audio. A constant hum or buzz is distracting. An occasional dog barking or even less than stellar audio isn’t.
OK, don’t stop editing completely. However, you can get away with a rough edit or just working through a problem. Do that instead of trying to re-record or edit for perfection. Sometimes hearing someone work through a problem is OK. Don’t record yourself clicking through screens on a website, though. That’s something that should be edited out. An occasional mistake, however, is fine.
If you have a smartphone you can record a podcast
I could record podcasts in my car back in 2006 with a PDA. Smartphones today have better mics and apps that will help you quickly and easily record a podcast. If you have an iPhone or Android smartphone you can record a podcast. Even a tablet will do. Just make sure you get close to the mic. The key is to use what you have before spending a ton of money. Many desktops and laptops now come with mics. They’re not ideal but are OK to get started.
You don’t need a fancy website
A free WordPress.com, Blogger, or Tumblr site is enough to get you started. I recommend getting a WordPress.com website because it will be easier to port to a self-hosted solution later. It’s simple to setup and easy to find an RSS feed to submit to iTunes. More on RSS and other podcasting terms and technology in a future post.
You don’t need to pay for media hosting
Free services like SoundCloud and Archive.org are fine for podcasts under 30 minutes. If you keep your episodes short enough you can use any number of free audio hosting services online. The thing you want to avoid is having that service submit your podcast feed to iTunes. If you embed the audio from these free hosting services into your posts you should be OK. I’ll talk about that too in a later post.
I know a lot of these tips are controversial. In fact, for most people I would not make these recommendations. However, I want to take the approach of someone who isn’t quite sure they want to podcast and just wanted to test the waters. There’s nothing worse than spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on something you think you’re going to enjoy only to find out you don’t like it.
Additional Free Resources
Learn How to Podcast – Online course that will teach you to podcast from the Podcast Answerman, Cliff Ravenscraft.
Podcasting for Free – Dave Jackson from The School of Podcasting explores how you can podcast for free.
The Audacity to Podcast – Daniel J. Lewis provides thorough deep-dives into a podcast topics.
Featured image credit: Ryan McGuire