In this guide, we explain how to start your own podcast. We compare various podcasting tools for your activist movement or nonprofit.
How to start?
Before you start recording it is important to ask yourself why you are making a podcast and for whom. This isn't only important to keep you motivated in the process, it will also help you choosing a format that fits the purpose of the podcast. For some inspiration check our page with podcasts about activism.
Identify your audience
Who are you making a podcast for? Do you allready have an audience or are you starting from scratch?
Give your audience a reason to listen
If you know who your audience is you can ask yourself why they should listen to your podcast.
Decide on a format
What format will bring acrross your message best?
A solo or monologue podcast
A co-hosted or conversation style podcast with two or more hosts
An interview style podcast with one or more guest speakers
A panel or roundtable style podcast
A documentary or narrative storytelling style podcast
A repurposed content style podcast
Choose a catchy title
How do you pick a title for your podcast and how do you name the episodes?
- Pick a podcast title that people will remember and find back
Scripting the podcast
- Captivate the listener, introduce them to what they are listening to and what they can expect.
- Call to action.
Recording the podcast
Once you know the concept of the podcast you can begin with recording. Making sure your recordings are of good quality can be challenging if you have little experience making podcasts. These are some low budget suggestions:
Where are you recording?
Do you have a room available for recording your podcast? Or will you record while you are on a stroll. And how about guests that join via a call?
Recording in a room
The room you record in affects the quality of the recording. The most immportant aspects to consider are:
Does the room create a reverb or echo? Avoid large and empty rooms to prevent reverb. Soft materials such as carpets, curtains and big furnitures minimise rerverb by absorbing and diffusing the sound.
Is the room silent? Avoid background noises that distract from the recording. Some things to keep in mind are notification sounds, outside noises and your computers ventilator.
Record the background noise in the room. A lot of sound editing software have a noise canceling tool. This enables you to filter this static room tone out of the rest of the recording when editing the recording. By recording about 10 seconds of ‘silence’ you can easily remove this background noise from the rest of the recording.
What microphone do you use?
- earpieces, headsets, usb mics
Another possibility is using the inbuilt mic of a device such as your phone or a computer. The application you are using to record has influence on the quality as well.
Recomended recording applications (audacity, garageband)
Podcast applications: usually paid subscription, make it easy for you to record, edit and publish podcasts.
Investing in a mic
These are some suggestions to look for in a mic:
USB and XLR connections
Recording online interviews
Recording an online interview brings a few additional challenges such as the reliability on a stable connection as well as a the consistency in audio.
Zoom conferencing has a few paid plans that allow for recording (video) calls as well as live streaming. Zoom enables recording on all devices at the same time which prevents a bad internet connection affecting the audio quality.
Welder is an easy to use tool with a free plan that allows you to record (video) calls in your browser. This does require everyone to have a stable internet connection. Welder has some additional features such as switching backgrounds and overlays during the recording as well as an automaticly generated transcript. Another advantage of Welder is that they have an unlimited cloud storage which is included in the free plan.
Google meets has a paid plan that allows for recording (video) calls. Google meets offers a few sollutions for people who don't have a stable internet connection. It allows you to lower the video quality of the call or you can call in using a local phone number. Your recording is autommatically saved on your google drive.
Editing the podcast
Some things to take into consideration:
Nourmalising audio / volume
Publishing the podcast
Activist Handbook has a youtube channel where our podcast episodes can be shared. However, it is important that your audience will be able to find the podcast.
Do's and dont's
Some practical advice to get you started:
In this section, we outline various tools that you can use to publish your own podcasts. We have separated them into three sections: free, paid, and self-hosted platforms.
- Podlibre: an open source tool to share your podcasts.