How to Record a Podcast: A Step-By-Step Guide to Your First Episode

Written by on April 5, 2021

Podcasts have become one of the most salient, profitable, and exciting forms of media in recent years, and there are plenty of factors driving the medium forward. Making a podcast has never been a better idea, as the world of online audio continues to grow alongside other innovative technologies. In this detailed step-by-step guide to your first episode, we will help you get up and running by walking you through how to record a podcast.

How to Record a Podcast: A Step-By-Step Guide to Your First Episode

Step 1: Develop Your Concepts, Themes, and Approach

Before diving into your first podcast episode, it helps to outline your ideas. Is there a central theme to each episode? Are you looking for a serial approach? Do you want the tone of speech to be formal, or more impromptu? Asking yourself these questions and others can help you mold your first episode before you get in front of a microphone.

Collaboration is helpful in the early planning stages. If you are working with co-hosts and producers, be sure to incorporate their ideas. Anyone who is trying to learn how to record a podcast may feel overwhelmed at first, but remember that help is always available when you have a team.

Step 2: Gather Your Equipment

An audio interface is an external hardware device that attaches to your laptop or desktop computer to enable recording. If you’re using a phone or mobile device to record, then you don’t have to worry about getting an audio interface. However, an interface will allow you to upgrade your sound quality in a significant way.

Most audio interfaces connect to your computer with a simple USB connection. Some popular companies that make great beginner interfaces include Focusrite, Sony, and Behringer. Alternatively, you can also purchase an external mixer to plug your microphones into.

Most podcasts use condenser microphones. These capture a wide range of voices and can accommodate diverse recording environments. If you are planning to use a phone to record, then lavalier mics may be your best choice. Be sure to shop around for a microphone that meets your needs and your budget.

Step 3: Prepare Your Recording Space

Create a Quiet Space

You want your recording space to be as “dead” as possible. This means that you should reduce sound, echoes, and anything else that detracts from the sound of the human voice. Smaller rooms are better, as are rooms with carpets, rugs, and other sound-dampening objects.


Reduce Background Noise

If you can’t find a space that is completely free of outside sound, then work to reduce it as best you can. This may mean turning off fans, heating units, and other electronics before you record. This will improve your sound quality immensely.

Step 4: Get Your Recording and Editing Software

Unless you are using an all-in-one podcast solution, you will need audio recording and editing software to handle your audio. You can get complex with this step if you choose, but there are plenty of free software solutions that can get you started without much hassle.

We suggest looking into Audacity, Reaper, and Ableton Live Lite. Mac users can also use Garageband. Each one of these programs makes it simple to get things running if you are not sure how to record a podcast.

Step 5: Plan Your Episode and Take Notes

Once you have set up your studio space and obtained your gear, you can begin to map out your first episode in more detail. Similar to your initial plans, it helps to dig a bit deeper into the specifics of your first episode.

Segments are a great way to break things up a bit. Music and other sounds can add some much-needed texture. Consider these tools and others as you construct your format in detail.

Step 6: Record, Edit, Distribute, and Promote

Recording

Now that you have all your pre-production work done, you can record your first episode. It’s never a bad idea to do a few test runs before starting your official recording. This can help you to work out the kinks and ensure that you are recording properly. Make sure to have some water nearby for you, your co-hosts, and your guests. Hydration is key to maintaining an even, smooth vocal tone for you and your guests.

When recording, you may also want to take periodic breaks to check in on the recording. It’s helpful to have another person in the studio monitor your recording and ensure things are running smoothly.

Editing

To edit your show, you will need to use a digital audio workstation. It’s a good idea to take care of any annoying hums, crackles, hisses, and pops as you work through your first episode. Editing a podcast can take some time but it is well worth it to ensure that your quality meets a high standard. In the editing process, you can also add sound effects, music, and advertisements to enhance your production quality and put the final touches on your episodes.

Distributing

To distribute your podcast, you will need to set up an RSS feed. This sounds far more technical than it is. There are plenty of resources from Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and other platforms that can help you through the details.

Similarly, you can use automated podcast hosting services that will take care of the technical side of things for you. If you are interested in this route, we suggest checking out services such as Podbean, Simplecast, or BuzzSprout.

Promoting

Now that you have recorded your very first podcast episode, how are you going to get the right people to listen to it? There are so many podcasts out there in the world right now, which can make the task of finding your audience that much more difficult. However, there are plenty of tools to help you. To promote your first episode, it’s a good idea to get on social media. Make use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tik Tok, and any other social media platforms that can help you to reach your audience.

If you have guests on your first episode, then also ask them to post about their appearance on your podcast as part of their social media output. We also suggest that you interact with other podcasters, influencers, and creators who are relevant in your niche. Do you have a podcast that’s focused on cooking and meal planning? Why not reach out to some relevant chefs to talk about promoting your show on their channels. There is no end to the promotional possibilities on the internet these days. With the right approach, growth and progress are inevitable.

As you can see from our brief guide, recording your first podcast episode does not have to be such an intimidating process. With all of the software, hardware, and guidance available to you in the modern world, getting your first podcast episode off the ground is easier than ever before. Contact Helium Radio Network today if you need help setting up your podcast, publishing your first episode, or getting your podcast in front of the right eyes and ears!


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