Libsyn Studio is a simple and free tool that lets you plan and record your podcast while using the robust publishing tools in Libsyn 5. Studio’s sleek, easy-to-use interface combined with automatic post-production features is designed for new podcasters as well as experienced podcasters with established workflows.
Making a podcast can be broken down into four different steps: Plan, Record, Produce and Distribute.
Step One: Plan
It is important before starting a podcast that you sit down and spend time planning before you even think about recording.
Planning can sometimes be the most difficult part, but thinking about the following questions will help you get your content flowing:
- What is your podcast about? Create a one-sentence summary of your show.
- What is your show objective? Are you doing this to promote your business or other work? Create art? Share your area of expertise? Grow your connections in a community?
- Who is it for? Describe your target audience. Identifying your listeners will help you plan content in the future as well.
- Who is your competition? What’s out there that’s similar? What do you like and dislike? What are they missing?
It is important that you answer these questions as the first step in how to start your own podcast. They will help you maintain consistent goals and values throughout episodes and serve as a foundation to make creating content easier.
Plan Your Show
- Create your show title.
- Write your show description. Your description is often the first thing seen by people looking for podcasts, so it is a key marketing tool. Be succinct, engaging and limit yourself to 300 words.
- Choose your format. Monologue/dialogue, interview, panel discussion, journalistic storytelling, and multi-segment journals are common formats.
- Create your podcast cover art. Your image should be square and a minimum of 1,400 x 1,400 pixels or maximum of 3,000 x 3,000 pixels. It should be smaller than 500 kb, use sRGB color and be in the jpg or png format. Canva is a great app for creating podcast show art.
To learn more, see About Your Podcast Settings.
Plan Your First Episode
- Think about participants. Will it just be you or will you have a co-host or interviewees?
- Plan your main content. Outline your show. Write down some themes, questions or other ideas to help guide you once you begin recording.
- Build your show. You will want to build a structure for each episode, arranging segments in a fluid order.
A common arrangement looks like this:
- Select your music. At Libsyn Studio, we have a full library of royalty-free music from which to choose. You can also upload your own music, as long as you have the copyright.
To learn more, see Create Reusable Chapters in Libsyn Studio and Set Up Your Chapters in Libsyn Studio.
Step Two: Record
Now that you have a plan for your show, you are ready to record.
You don’t need any! OK, so you need a computer or phone and ideally an external microphone for each participant. You will also need headphones for each person.
If you are the only one speaking, an easy way to get started is with a USB microphone, which plugs directly into your computer.
With a traditional microphone that doesn’t have USB, you’ll need an interface or mixer to connect to the computer. If more than one person is recording, you can only connect one USB mic at a time, so interfaces are a better choice.
The most important element of recording is getting close to the mic. A $50 microphone properly positioned will likely sound better than a badly positioned $1,000 mic. Get between a finger and a fist away from the mic and set it to point slightly to the side of your mouth. Staying close and off-center are key to sounding good. For more info, see FAQs About Recording Equipment for Libsyn Studio.
To set up your recording space, you want to have a quiet room with as many soft things as possible such as couches, rugs and drapes. Turn your computer and phone to “Do Not Disturb” mode, close the windows and doors and remove any other distractions.
If you have a guest or co-host that isn’t in the room with you, you can use additional software to connect and record, such as Skype or Zoom.
It is important to make sure you and your guest wear headphones. Even if you are using the mic built into your computer, you need to wear headphones to avoid picking up other voices in the speakers, creating echo and feedback.
Remind yourself, your guest and/or cohost to get close and stay close to their mic.
Step Three: Produce
Post-recording production of a podcast involves many steps. It can get pretty technical and require a deeper level of understanding of audio software. Using Libsyn Studio simplifies the process and eliminates the need for deep technical knowledge. You can put a podcast up in 15 minutes.
Here are some basic things you usually need to transition from raw recording into a finished podcast. With Libsyn Studio, we pretty much do it for you (OK, so you have to write your own show notes).
- Listen to the episode and make notes about any concerns.
- Compare your recording to the plan you created in Step One.
- Determine if anything was left out and still needs to be recorded.
- Assemble all the parts into the final order of the episode.
- Write show notes so your episode is searchable by keywords.
Step Four: Distribute
After you have planned, recorded and produced your show, the last step is getting it out for the world to hear. See Are You Ready to Publish an Episode?