Podcast series two: getting started

In our last blog post, we provided a brief introduction to podcasting and discussed three key reasons why starting a podcast could be the right move for your nonprofit. This time, we’ll be taking a further look into what’s required to create your first podcast.

The concept may sound high-tech, but truth be told, it doesn’t take an expert to start a podcast. In fact, podcasts are very easy to create with a budget of $150 or less. As mentioned in our previous blog, to get started you will need these key pieces of equipment:

  • A microphone
  • Decent headphones or earphones
  • Audio recording and editing software

Equipment

There’s a huge variety of microphones to choose from, with the differences in price being associated with their size and the audio quality they produce.

Some of the most notable microphones used by podcast beginners include the Blue Yeti USB and the Samson Q2U. When choosing a microphone, keep in mind that sound quality is very important when recording a podcast. A general rule of thumb should also be to provide one microphone for each person that will be speaking during the show.

After recording the audio file, it’s time to edit your content before uploading it online for listeners. Unless you have an extensive background in talk radio, it’s hard to imagine recording over an hour of audio content in one continuous recording session without making some pauses or mistakes.

Most podcasters will edit out the very beginning and end of the show in addition to unwanted pauses and mistakes in order to help the show flow better for listeners. Editing software that is recommended for podcasting include free options such as Audacity (PC computers) and GarageBand (Mac) as well as premium services like Adobe Audition, which allow for more customisation and better sound quality. During the editing process, a decent pair of headphones or earphones will come in handy to ensure you remove all of the unnecessary sounds.

Format

Before you hit record, it’s a good idea to have already planned what you are going to talk about during the course of the show. Most podcasts include elements such as: interviews, Q&A sessions, and new updates on the topic being covered on the show. It’s also important to decide the format of the show in regard to how many people will be hosting, as well as how frequently you wish to upload episodes.

Platform

The next important decision that you will need to make in regard to making your podcast is where to upload the audio file so listeners can find, listen, and hopefully share it! There are many different places to do this with some of the most notable being iTunes, Spotify, and Soundcloud. iTunes has arguably become the most popular place to upload podcasts as they have specific podcast application that is already installed on all apple devices making it easy for listeners to find. It’s important to note that other mediums should be considered such as Spotify or Soundcloud in addition to iTunes since only Apple devices can connect to the iTunes store and you do not want to separate your audience on whether or not they are an Apple user.

Well, that’s everything you need to know to get started. If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out these Nonprofit podcasts:

Charity Chat discusses all things charity and nonprofit in Australia. Each episode features an expert in a specific topic area to give listeners a better sense of what the charity is all about and what they are doing to further help their cause. Episodes also feature updates on the charity sector as well as analysis of resources that can be found on ACNC’s website such as webinars and facts sheets on Australian charities.

The Charity Champions Podcast chooses six nonprofit organisations each year to represent as their “Charity Champions.” These organisations are first nominated on the podcast’s website and are then selected based on the impact they are making in their community. When selected as a Charity Champion, an organisation has the opportunity to come onto the podcast for their very own featured episode to tell their story and increase awareness of what they are trying to do.

Although this show does not release episodes very often due to its format, tuning in may help you establish how podcasts can effectively portray stories and enhance content on a more personal level.