Everyone starting a new podcast for first time worries about how much the podcast would cost to make. What should be my first cheap podcasting setup ?
Most of them also have a doubt at the start of the podcast if they will be successful in their new venture and how much they should really spend on it. Is it worth the investment?
While starting a new podcast everyone is excited about what they want to do and most of the times the tendency is to go overboard and buy a lot of costly equipment, software and other things.
Selecting the right podcast topic is crucial for the success of your podcast , read our article on PODCAST TOPICS to select the perfect topic for you.
If you plan to start your podcast with a simple iPhone then take a look at these external microphones for iPhone , this will make a lot of difference.
However, after a few days or months when you still don’t get the required audience, it can be a little disheartening and you may lose focus from your podcast and then you will wonder why I spent so much money. Should I have spent a little less to begin with.
To take care of this dilemma one can start with a small budget setup and then grow it as per requirement. Let’s take a look at an ideal first cheap podcasting setup.
What my first cheap podcasting setup should include?
Assuming that you are starting on your own and you will not have any guests or celebrities on your show to begin with, you will need a single person setup.
Before going into the cost. Let’s first understand. What do we really need to start a podcast?
- Equipment: Microphone, pop filter, stand, audio recorder, mixer etc.
- Software: Recording and editing software
- Graphic design: Graphic artwork for your podcast episodes and logo
- Music: Background, intro and exit music for your podcast.
- Hosting: A place where you can put all your MP3 files and create a feed for the podcatches.
Since we are starting on a budget, we need to spend the money on the right areas. Not all of above areas are equally important and spending money wisely at the beginning can save a lot.
First cheap podcasting setup: Equipment
The only equipment that you need to start a podcast is a microphone and a computer to record the audio.
The computer or smartphone that you already have also comes with a microphone, but the quality is not that good. We suggest not to skimp on the budget for the microphone as it is the most important part of the setup and decides the overall quality of your podcast.
Many other things such as POP filter, audio recorder, mixer etc. are not really needed as a part of your first cheap podcasting setup. All you need is a good budget microphone.
Our choice of best budget microphone to start a podcast is Audio Technica ATR 2100 microphone. It should be available anywhere between 50 to 70 dollars on online shopping sites.
It has both USB and XLR outputs, this gives it the connectivity to your laptop for recording purpose. In future when you want to grow your podcast, you can connect it to an audio recorder / mixer as it also has an XLR output.
It has a cardioid polar pattern and is a dynamic microphone. This gives it good background noise reduction characteristics.
It also has a headphone jack to monitor your voice directly, this helps to monitor the sound levels and overall quality of the audio in real-time.
The mic is suitable for both Windows and Mac, comes with its own tripod stand and all the cables you need.
Buy this microphone and you are good to start your first podcast. If you want to read about some of the other USB microphones then read our post Best USB Microphones For Podcasting.
First cheap podcasting setup: Software
You need a software to record the sound from your microphone and edit it after recording as per your requirement.
The good news is, there is a completely free tool available for this. Audacity is available for both mac and windows as a free tool.
Audacity has all that you need to record your podcast, edit it as per your requirement, enhance it using various filters and enhancing tools and finally save it as a MP3 file.
We suggest not to spend money on software as a part of your first cheap podcasting setup. Use Audacity or for MAC users even Garageband is also available for free.
These tools have all the necessary features to record your first podcast.
You can download the audacity it from here.
First cheap podcasting setup: Graphic Design
Well if you have some basic knowledge of photoshop or any other similar software then you can do it yourself.
Another great method to make some basic artwork is Microsoft PowerPoint. You can create a slide with your graphics work and save it as a JPEG and then upload it.
If you want to be a little bit more professional looking, then you can spend some money and hire an artist on fiverr to get some artwork done.
This is not going to make or break your podcast so spend as less as possible here to start with.
First cheap podcasting setup: Music
Since you are on a budget, you can try free music available online or you can buy a small piece of music online and use it as your intro music. You can also couple it with some free stock music to make some nice combinations.
There is plenty of free stock music available on the internet, though finding one for your podcasting niche can be a bit time consuming, but you will certainly find one for sure.
Some examples of free music online.
- Incompetech: One of the oldest.
- The Free Music Archive: Free songs for podcasts.
- 909 Music on Soundcloud
- Danosongs: Donation based music.
- CCMixter: Free remixes, samples.
- Purple Planet Music: Browse music by feel.
- YouTube Audio Library: Huge selection of royalty-free music.
- Soundbible: Library of free sound-effects
First cheap podcasting setup: Hosting
This is the last and one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. You can start with a free starter plan for hosting and invest in future as you grow, or you can invest upfront and buy a hosting plan that will take care of your needs for some time to come.
Amazon S3 or any other good hosting service can be used. It should cost you between 5 to 15 USD.
Hosting is generally a monthly or yearly payment. Here are some of the options for you to look at.
In order to begin your podcast at a cheap starting point, while maintaining the quality of audio it is essential to spend the money on the right front.
Spend money on microphone as it is deciding the quality of your podcast, Audio Technica ATR 2100 is our choice for best budget microphone.
Use free software to keep cost under control, Audacity will meet all your needs to start with.
Spend as less as possible on artwork and music.
Spend a bit on hosting as it can also affect the listener experience, you can use some of the cheap starter plans to begin with and grow into a professional plan in future.
All in all, you should be able to start a podcast in 100 dollars budget.
So, let’s start podcasting!!
Welcome to your podcasting journey with quickstartpodcast team.
Below paragraphs have links to all our posts in a logical manner starting from being a podcast listener to being a podcast creator.
The podcast Listener phase :
The podcasting journey generally begins with various questions such as what is a podcast , what a podcast is used for ? how to listen to a podcast , what are the best android and iOS apps to listen to podcast .
Depending upon the things that you like you will search for fiction podcasts , educational podcasts etc. Most of the people restrict their journey in podcasting to this level. They just end up being listeners to podcasts. Some of then take the next leap of faith and decide to start their own podcast.
Podcast creator Phase :
How to start your podcast ? is the main question they are faced with . Once that you have decided to start a podcast , what should be the name of the podcast , what should be the podcast format , which podcasting niche should you chose , what should be episode titles , what are popular podcast formats and what should be mine and so on ..
What is the right equipment for creating a podcast , what are the best XLR , USB , Condenser and dynamic microphones available. Can I record my podcast in an iPHONE , What should be the polar pattern , should I use an audio interface or a mixer , do I need a POP filter . There are so many question . How much podcasting will cost me , what are different setups based on my budget.
Once you in the journey of podcasting you will need to decide how should be a great podcast intro , how to record the podcast , how to record podcast online , how to test the mic , what should be length and frequency of my podcast , how to make great sounding podcasts and finally how to make money from podcasting ? ..
The journey starts from being a podcast listener going all the way to being a great podcast creator and quickstartpodcast is there with you in all this journey.