We’re not sure if you’re aware of this but people dig podcasts… Like a lot. According to Nielsen, almost 1 out of every 5 adults listens to podcasts every single week.
That massive number probably gets some wheels turning in your head.
You might be thinking to yourself that podcasts could be a great medium for promoting your business, for boosting your reputation as an entertainment personality, or for connecting with tons of people just for the sake of connecting.
And guess what? You’re right about all of that (way to go, smarty!).
If you can create a successful podcast, the sky is the limit as far as what you can do with it. The big question here is how exactly can you make your podcast successful?
To help you address that question, below, our team breaks down some simple how-to-record-a-podcast tips that’ll have you producing content like a pro in no time.
1. Watch out for The Red
Audio levels. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them.
If you’re not an audio person and have no idea what we’re talking about when we use the term “levels,” don’t worry. All you have to know is that your mic should have a digital display on it that shows off one or two little bars that jump up whenever you speak into it.
When those bars “peak” (get to the very top of their range), your mic (or monitor) will likely flash red.
You don’t want that.
Peaked audio comes out distorted and fixing that distortion in post-production can be a serious hassle for you (or your overworked interns).
Give your interns a break and just make sure that when you’re recording your podcast, you’re keeping your audio levels within a safe range.
2. Keep Your Proximity to the Mic Consistent
A lot of people don’t consider their proximity to the mic when mulling over how to record a podcast. It’s just not something that really occurs to you, especially while you’re in the midst of creating something.
Here’s the thing though: if you’re bobbing your head all over the place while you’re talking into your mic, your volume is going drop and spike sporadically which is going to make for a cruddy listening experience. Compression tools in your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) can make up for some fluctuations in volume, but not if you’re bobbing back and forth like a prizefighter on the ropes in front of the mic.
We shouldn’t have to tell you that a cruddy listening experience means that nobody but your parents are going to listen to your work. Bummer.
Bottom line: unless your sole ambition is to impress your parents with your podcasting skills, try to keep your head in a stationary position while recording.
3. Make Your Duration Semi-Consistent
We all like routines. In that way, we humans are no different than most animals.
Per that fact, you’re going to want to make sure that your podcast lengths are relatively consistent. Doing so enables your soon-to-be rampant fan base to consistently budget out a portion of their day to listen to your episodes.
4. Have a Good Hook
People don’t have time to listen to sleep-inducing material (unless that person is trying to fall asleep). So if you don’t manage to grab a listener’s attention in the first 60-seconds of your podcast, can you guess what they’re going to do?
We’ll wait… Time’s up!
They’re going to hit the back button on their listening device and tune into somebody else.
To avoid that fate, make your hook strong so that people are enticed to invest the next 30+ minutes listening to whatever profound wisdom your podcast is throwing down.
5. Keep Your Episodes Focused
We can’t tell you how many podcast’s we’ve listened to where hosts just sit down and talk for 60-minutes. Our team’s got news for those hosts and for you.
You’re not that interesting!
Don’t take it personally. Nobody is.
Unless you’re an A-list celebrity who’s sneezes induce the public’s interest, you’re going to want to keep your episodes focused on providing valuable information to listeners.
That value can come in the way of being consistently entertaining or consistently teaching somebody something new.
A little bit of planning goes a long way towards achieving this end so sit down before you hit that record button and understand the direction you want to take your show in rather than just winging everything.
6. Gear Won’t Make Your Show… But It Can Help
Content is king in the world of media. Therefore, your how-to-record-a-podcast ambitions should be first and foremost focused on planning an engaging show.
While we don’t like to insist that people drop tons of cash of recording equipment in order to make their podcasting dreams a reality, good equipment definitely does help. If possible, pick up some basics like a solid microphone, a pop filter, and a dent overall system.
We won’t make any specific recommendations because we’re not trying to sell you on any particular thing. Google “podcasting equipment” and you’ll get nudged in the right direction.
7. A Little Bit of Editing Goes a Long Way
Yeah, yeah. We get it. You’re a podcasting legend that gets everything right on the first take (…narcissist).
No matter how good of a podcaster you think you are, believe us when we tell you that your work could benefit from some light editing. When it comes to The Podcast of No Return, editing is a whole creative process on its own, adding sound effects, musical background, and fine-tuning the dialogue to maximum comedic effect (or a least that’s the goal).
There’s a ton of software out there that people leverage to adjust audio levels, trim segments and make other edits to their podcasts (Pro Tools, Audition, Audacity, etc.)
Find a tool that works for you and start getting good at using it by checking out online tutorials on Youtube and elsewhere. Lynda.com has proven over the years to be an invaluable resource for us here, which having been bought out by LinkedIn is now under the LinkedIn Learning platform. If you’re a LinkedIn member, give the free trial a whirl.
As your editing chops increase, so to will the overall quality of your podcast.
Our Final How to Record a Podcast That’s Successful Thoughts
A lot of people record podcasts. Very few record podcasts successfully.
By leveraging our how-to-record-a-podcast tips, we think that you’re going to give yourself a solid chance of getting the most out of this awesome means of sharing yourself/your business with the world.
And if you need more podcast inspiration or just want to be entertained, don’t be shy about checking out our awesome podcast content here on podcastnr.com (we don’t bite… seriously).