7 indispensable tech tools to help you launch your podcast
Seems like every day produces a new podcast. There are all kinds of ways to produce, publish, and monetize a podcast. So if it feels like all of your friends have podcasts, it’s because becoming your own talk show host in 2021 is easier than ever. If you have an idea for a podcast, now is the time to give it a shot.
Podcasts are an effective extension of your brand or business. By hosting your own show, you can express yourself and add your voice to the world. They offer a way to reach people who prefer consuming audio content rather than reading articles. The number of podcasts grows significantly each year. In 2018, there were 550,000 podcasts. By January 2020, there were 850,000 active podcasts, with more than 30 million podcast episodes.
You will have to make an investment in starting a podcast. Think carefully about what you want to achieve with your podcast and how much of an impact investing in software and equipment will have on your budget. Try a free trial or a one-month subscription to a podcast platform. Your equipment can be used for other tech needs. Overall, the price points are reasonable enough, especially if your podcast is tied to a business venture — think of your investment and the value of the returns it will yield.
There are many comprehensive podcast guides for those who like to pore through the details. But if that’s overwhelming for you, rest easy. Here are several products — both software and equipment — recommended to The Boulevard by experienced podcasters.
“Riverside.fm is my indispensable software. People tell me all the time that my podcast doesn’t really ‘sound indie’ and then they ask me what mic I’m using,” says Thamarrah Jones, host of As It Should Be.” “The fact that my audio is recorded on two separate local tracks has a lot more to do with my sound quality than my mic.”
Riverside.fm starts at $9 for a basic plan, which allows you to record two hours of audio or video a month. Guests and producers can join the recording with just one click.
“Zencastr has high-quality audio and now video recording, and it’s only $20 a month,” says Matthew Jones, producer of the Dollars and Sense podcast. Zencastr offers live editing, chat, and automatic post-production. The free plan usually has a limit of two guests and eight hours per month, but those limits are lifted during the coronavirus outbreak. Hop on that deal before the vaccines set in!
“This is the easiest distribution platform I’ve found. It’s comparatively affordable at $190 for a year of hosting, and it can manage a lot of shows on the platform. I signed up for Transistor because they also took a stand on Black Lives Matter,” Jones said. Transistor is a tool you can use to get your podcast published to Apple, Spotify, Google, and many other platforms. It also has analytics such as subscribers, downloads, and listener trends.
“Audacity is great for individual recording because it’s 100% free and easy to use,” said Zachary Nunn, founder of Living Corporate and co-host of Real Talk Tuesdays. Audacity is an open-source software you can download on many operating systems. It lets you record live audio, export and import sound files, and edit with basic cut, copy, and paste commands.
“Blue Yeti is a highly affordable and sturdy mic. You can’t get better quality at that price point,” Nunn said. The Blue Yeti mic is one of the most popular among podcasters. It has four modes with multidirectional recording, which makes it versatile for podcasting, streaming, music recording, live performances, and multi-person interviews and panels.
“I think table mics pick up more echo than a mic on a boom arm,” said Joe Sallustio, co-host of the EdUp Experience. There are several options for an arm sturdy enough to hold a heavier mic. A boom mic has the added bonus of clearing up desk space for the water you should keep on hand whenever you’re recording.
“These are the headphones I got for listening and editing — literally the best in the game,” Jones said. When editing sound in your podcast, you want to pay attention to the most minute details. If your workspace involves co-workers, kids, pets, family members, or any other ambient noise, these headphones provide the quiet and concentration you need to pick up on important sound notes.