This week we talk about how to start a podcast with tips for getting started, where to host it and how to handle the workflow. We used LaRosa Johnson’s Devos.hiphop podcast as our case study. Make sure you check it out.
Would you like to post your sermons online or maybe create a weekly show to tell members of your church about upcoming news. Maybe you’ve got something you want to say the Christian world or just want to give tips for how to make mac and cheese. An audio podcast can bring your message to the greater world in a fun and interesting way. Watch the video below to learn more about how LaRosa creates and Devos.hiphop podcast. And make sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel as well.
Podcast Recording Hardware
In the video we talked first about the tools needed for recording a podcast. You can record on your computer with a mic hooked up to it. That’s how LaRosa records his podcast. He and Rick Mansfield both use the Blue Yeti microphone.
The mic will plug into your computer’s USB port. It’s got a number of modes great for using solo, with 2 people on either side of the mic, or with a group of users. It’s noise cancelling too, so you get a pretty good recording.
Some people record their podcast using their iPhone or Android phone. Others use a tablet like an iPad or Android tablet. We also talked about using the Zoom Recorder, which records to flash storage. Then you can copy it over to a computer or mobile device.
The computer used doesn’t need to break the bank. Most basic machines work great. Any Mac or Windows computer made in the last five years will work. It’s the same for phones or tablets.
Podcast Recording Software
A great piece of software called Audacity records audio and makes for easy editing. It’s free and open source, has a great community of users supporting it and is both easy to learn and powerful enough for complex multi-track recording.
Other recording options include the high-end tools like Pro Tools or Adobe Audition. On a Mac, use Garage Band. Most phones or tablets have an audio recording app either pre-installed or available in the app stores. We talked about Ferrite Recording Studio, a great iOS app.
Hosting Your Podcast
Lybsyn is a great service for hosting your podcast. It costs $5/month to upload up to 50mb/month. If that’s not enough, you can pay $15/month for 250mb. Our podcast runs about an hour and takes up about 20-25mb each file. Since we do more than 2/month we’d need the 250mb/month tier.
Theotek uses a host and WordPress to run our site. I upload the file to our host and link to it in WordPress using a plugin called Seriously Simple Podcasting. It puts a section at the bottom of your WordPress screen where you can either upload the MP3 file or past the link, if you use something like Lybsin. Then add other information. Notice in the screenshot above you can add the following info:
- Episode Type – click audio or video.
- Podcast file – either paste the link here or click on Upload File and choose the MP3 file on your hard drive and it uploads it for you.
- Duration – this will fill in automatically when you save the page or publish it.
- File size – this also will fill in automatically like the duration.
- Date recorded – click the box and a calendar pop lets you choose the date you recorded the podcast.
- Explicit – hopefully churches or ministers won’t need to check this.
- Block – if you don’t want this one to show up in iTunes for some reason check this.
You could upload the files to the Internet Archive or to YouTube. The first will host your files. LaRosa used to use that for his Blaizin’ Faith podcast. With YouTube, you’re really creating a video, but the focus will be on audio. Just use your album cover art as the image.
Tips for Podcasting
Finally, we’ve got a few tips for a successful podcast.
- Pick a topic that’s interesting and that you’re passionate about so you can keep going.
- Edit your ID3 Tags, so your podcast has the details embedded in the MP3 files (title, artist, description, copyright, etc).
- Share your podcast on iTunes and Google Play Store podcasts (follow Libsyn’s How To).
- Make an attractive cover art, which shows up in your podcast app or the podcast service like iTunes.
- Use Google’s Feedburner to make a good RSS feed that will work with iTunes and the other services.
Rick Mansfield shared his Favorite Things – the KDLinks Dash Cam. Find out more about it at their website. Here’s a couple of samples of the video you get from the camera.
Antoine Wright joined us at the tail end of the podcast because he was travelling. His favorite thing was more of a tip. He suggested using something like Impact Hub, a coworking space. This is an office for those who don’t have one. It provides a workspace with Internet, a mailbox and address for deliveries, and camaraderie of being with others even if you work alone. This might offer a nice option for solo pastors or those who are planting a church and don’t own property yet.