How to start a podcast
Credit: Public Domain Pictures

A lot of people are looking to start a podcast, as it is an industry that is still untapped. There are more than 173 million blogs [1] in the world compared to about 90000 podcast shows[2]. The blogging industry is saturated and much more difficult to find your niche when compared to the podcast industry. But, starting a blog is easier and cost less. With so much hosting companies vying for your business and blogging platforms such as Wordpress making it easier to create a website on your own, many has chosen to start a blog and not a podcast.

The initial cost of starting a podcast can also be a deterrent. You will need some recording hardware, audio editing software to edit your recordings as well as a hosting site where you can upload your episodes.

All these upfront costs and be really scary, especially if you want to first try podcasting, before you commit. What happens if you buy everything you need to set up shop and you don't like it. Then you have wasted all that money for nothing. 

Luckily, there are a few short cuts that you can take to lower the cost of starting a podcast and then if you find the exercise likable, you can buy extra equipment that will improve the quality and experience of your episodes. 

Microphone

There are a lot of different microphones on the market that you can use to record your podcast episodes. Their price ranges from cheap to really expensive and they all give different levels of sound quality. If you want to try podcasting first, without spending a lot of money on equipment, then you can use the built-in microphone in your laptop, or you can even use the microphone in the earphones that you use for your phone. The built-in microphone isn't as good as a proper microphone, but it will get the job done.

Audio recording and editing software

You will need software to record and edit your podcast episodes. Luckily there is a great software tool, Audacity, that you can use to easily record and edit your audio files. It is an open software tool and there is a lot of support and tutorials available on the internet that guide you through the process of editing your audio files.

Another software program to consider is Pamela for Skype. It is a great software tool that you can use to record any conversation you have over Skype. It comes in handy when you are interviewing people over Skype for your podcast and need to record the session to add to your episodes. The downside is that the software costs money. There is a way to get it for free, through a company called trailPay. When you visit Pamela for Skype's webpage, navigate to their Products page. There will be a list of all the available options and you will see a button which you can click to get a free, fully licensed version through trailPay. When you click that option it will redirect you to trailPay's website where they give you different ways to qualify for a free version of Pamela for Skype. You will need to complete one of their offers before you can get the software free of charge!

Hosting site for your episodes

Another cost for starting a podcast, is the hosting costs. You need some place where you can host your episodes from. It is not advisable to host your episodes from your hosting company where you host your website from, if you have a website. If your podcast gets multiple downloads at the same time, it can take up all the allocated bandwidth of your site's server and it can cause it to crash. There are multiple hosting companies that specialize in hosting podcast episodes. One of these sites, Spreaker, gives you 5 hours worth of hosting space for free! So you can upload 5 hours worth of podcast episodes for free to their servers. 

Get that podcast out there

You can start a podcast quite cheaply if you want to. If you then find that you don't like it, you don't have this guilt of spending so much money on equipment and software, just to give it all up at a later stage. 

On the other hand, if you enjoy podcasting and want to continue, then you have the confidence of buying the right equipment for your need, knowing that you are investing in your product!