This is one of the most common questions I get asked. And I have to tell you, I absolutely made this up as I went. So please. Take everything you’re about to read with a grain of salt and know that there are like 1,000 ways to podcast. So here is just one of them.
When I started podcasting with Not According To Plan in early 2016, there was a lot less technology and resources. My co-host Scott and I recorded our first episodes onto my iPhone, which is also where I edited and posted them from. I waited weeks to get our podcast on iTunes and I had a full on breakdown at Sam’s music store on Sunset (after finally buying real mics) where I pulled out 10 difference cords and adaptors I had bought on Amazon over the last few months and begged them to help me “make it work!!!” It was a hot mess. Over three years ago when I decided to start a pod specifically for my “actor blog” I had already learned so much….and yet…
I made a lot of mistakes. I spent hours editing, “perfecting”, trying to get the right logo image, the right mic settings, I even deleted full eps by accident. Basically anyone you see on seasons 1-3 deserves a medal of honor for giving me their time of day. PS: my logo is in its third iteration….give yourself room to grow.
Tech has gotten so much better though! Now you can podcast for free (game changing) recording directly to your computer, and use an app like Canva to make a logo sized correctly from the start. It’s amazing.
And yet. I have to be the one to say this. I do not think everyone should have a podcast. Hear me out. You have awesome ideas and you want to put them out into the world? YES. Now ask yourself if this is the right platform for them: Is it an audible medium? Can you handle the constant work to maintain consistency (a key ingredient to making it work)? Are you willing to keep going when no one listens for over a year? Do you have the proper time and budget? Is this an excuse to schedule time to drink wine and gossip or hear the sound of your own voice? Hey, were all actors here ok…
None of these are wrong, but they may be reasons to put your idea on a different platform. YouTube. TikTok. IG. Snap Chat. All very viable useful places! Still think this is the best thing for you and your voice? Great. Here is what I know.
This is all the equipment I use. I highly recommend starting out with a mic that just plugs into your computer. The rest is harder.
As of late I have recorded all the pods on Zoom (you can record and pull the audio file specifically) however this does put all your vocals on one track. That is fine with me because as I will state below, editing is not my strong point. I pay for the monthly membership ($15).
I personally don’t do a ton of editing because it is very much a time suck and after about a year I realized people tuned in for the content and not the quality of the sound, but I record on a program called Sound Studio ($50) into my computer/laptop. It’s super efficient and very user friendly (especially if you’re not well versed in this area). I know a lot of people also use Audacity (free) but that has too many buttons for me (not joking). One day I plan to out-source editing completely, but until then, minimal is my game.
In terms of a platform, I cannot recommend Anchor enough. They give you unlimited storage for FREE. And they get you on to all the platforms. I used to pay 100s a year for various other places and had to do all the RSS feed leg-work to get my podcast out to the world. Save yourself time and money and use Anchor.
Here’s a rough breakdown of my time needed for an episode:
-scheduling/prep: roughly 1 hour per podcast (on google calendar slot creation, initial reach out and explanation of the podcast, confirmation emails with anyone involved, jot form signing for legal stuff, sending all pertinent info for day of recording)
-recording itself: usually 2 hours, some small talk in the start and finish, things get edited out, plan for guests being late, any photos or things to be taken care of (in non-covid times)
-editing/completion: 1.5 hours, I record separate intros/outros for each ep after they’re done and edit out any crazy things like someone forgetting their best friends name or my dogs locating a squirrel. When I first started, this took me 2-3+ hours per ep. I let a lot more go these days.
-posting and etc items: 30-45 min, I pull quotes from eps, make images for social media and get them prepped to go, post the podcast on my site and also on my blog with links, and I send a thank you email (scheduled for day or release) to the guest along with the images for them to share as well. I have this as a template in Canva already so it saves a lot of deign time (also used to spend hours on this).
So that’s about 5+ hours of work per podcast interview.
Now of course you don’t need to do anything that I do. Heck you may not even want to do any interviews and stick to short form eps (doing some of those myself next season!). This is just what I’ve learned. And I know, it’s a lot. There is a reason celebs and famous podcasters getting picked up by big agencies makes this all so easy…they don’t have to do the leg work of scheduling, editing, promoting, etc! Especially with the career we are working in and other various jobs and relationships we juggle.
Please don’t take it too seriously. But I want to be honest!
In terms of content, I will over simplify: make sure you make something you would want to listen to. Have FUN and if you’re hoping to gain an audience, have PATIENCE. After almost 80 episodes I am just now starting to get the ball rolling. If it didn’t make me so happy, I would have given up so long ago…ring any acting career bells?
Thank you so much! This is so useful. I’ve tried once, but definitely wasn’t ready for all the workload. Kudos to you for not giving up!