I often get email from people asking me how my podcast works. Here is a synopsis of the process and the gear I use, in particular for The Daily Short(s).
I don’t record every morning. It’s not a good time to think clearly at our house, so I record them the night before, or will record several at a time.
I don’t script them out – I’m aiming for a conversational tone, not a lecture. At most, I’ll open Text Edit and fire off four or five sentences as a rough guide.
Gear and Services
I use a Blue Yeti Pro mic and have access to another, similar mic (the plain Blue Yeti) that belongs to Jackson. The Pro version features both USB and XLR outs. Both look very, very cool. You can compare the two here.
The Pro draws a lot of power through the USB – and that one of the USB ports on my MacBook Air supplies much more power than the other. I’m not sure if this is normal or not but it drove me crazy cutting out until I experimented a little. Early podcasts reflect this. (MacBook Air users, my ‘hot’ usb is on the right side).
I prefer to record with the Pro at my office, using my iMac, because of the bigger screen, but have done it all over the nation using my laptop.
I record directly into GarageBand, using one track for intro and outro music and another for my voice. I always wear headphones (the mic has a headphone out jack) to give me a clear sense of what it will sound like.
Once I’m done, I export the file as to iTunes as an MP3.
I struggled to figure out how to distribute the podcast, but at Shawn Blanc’s encouragement, I dove in, registering with Podomatic. They have a free service, but I signed up for more space. I think it costs about a hundred bucks a year.
I can upload the file to Podomatic, add a photo and a headline, and set the time that it will publish. Podomatic also helped me set up the feed in iTunes so people could subscribe there as well.
Once published, I also post them to Facebook where most of my listeners initially hear them. My subscriber base has grown though – and so perhaps half now get them via iTunes and listen on their own time.
Podcasting a great way to connect with supporters, friends, and even people you don’t know. It’s not unusual for the only feedback that I get from a particular podcast to come from someone I’ve never heard of. It’s the magic of the interwebs.
If you think you’d like to get started, remember to under promise and over deliver. Think you want to do a daily podcast? Announce a weekly, then blow our socks off. You’ll find yourself working your way up to doing more, but better to do that then make promises you don’t keep.