Are you passionate about a specific topic? Do you have a fresh new idea that's burning inside you? Well, in this day and age, podcasts are all the rage. They're free, widely accessible, and pretty easy to make. My own podcast has a decent following, but I definitely made a few blunders at first launch. My podcast structure was weak and I had no idea what sort of equipment I needed to invest in. If you're looking to develop your own podcast, I'd like to help you get off on the right foot. Here are a few helpful tips and items to consider.
Whether you're an amateur or a seasoned veteran, podcasters generally deal with a lot of cords. For most podcasters, their computer area doubles as their workspace. You don't need a colossal machine to get the job done, but I highly recommend reducing the number of wires cluttering your workspace. Believe me, you'll do yourself a huge favor in the long run by keeping your workstation as organized as possible. This wireless mouse is not only reasonably priced, it's also a brand I personally trust.
Gel Wrist Rest
I try not to over-edit my podcast, as uncensored conversation tends to be more engaging, but sometimes I stumble over my words or say the wrong thing. Editing is time-consuming work, and it's rough on your hands too.
If you're spending a lot of time at a computer, you'll want to invest in a gel wrist pad. I've only experienced minor symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, but the pain made a lasting impression on me and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. For the love of Cthulu, take care of your wrists and hands.
This heart shaped pad supports your wrists, giving you the relief you need. I recommend a cooling pad like this one, as it helps with swelling.
You're not going to attract an audience with poor sound quality. My headset was held together with electrical tape and, as a result, I sounded like I was underwater or inside a spacious cavern. Don't be like me, folks. You're going to want a solid microphone setup because nothing detracts from the experience quite like bad audio. Your audience will be thankful, believe me.
The Blue Yeti brand gets stellar reviews on Amazon. The sound quality is great, but the price isn't bad either. Most standard Blue Yeti microphones retail for about $100, but if it's the bells and whistles you're after, you can customize your order right on the Amazon website. They offer gaming bundles, headset bundles, and more.
How to Make a Fiction Podcast
If it's a fictional tale you want to tell, check out Matthew McLean's book on the art of audio storytelling. He gives helpful tips on how to tailor your writing and build your audience. A successful podcaster himself, McLean really takes you from development to execution. After all, there's no such thing as an incorrect way to tell a compelling story. Podcasting is just one of many mediums.
Welcome to the Night Vale, a science fiction podcast, is an excellent example of audio storytelling. If you're sniffing around for inspiration, do give it a listen. Between the original score and the slew of hilarious ads, you won't be disappointed.
Maybe it's the writer in me, but I take copious notes. In the spirit of staying consistent, I always keep a paper copy of my introduction on hand at all times. I may occasionally modify it if I'm hosting a special episode, but I find it's important to be clear with your intention and direction. What do you want to say? What kind of tone do you want to set? These are important questions to ask yourself.
This Neo Smartpen might cost a pretty penny, but you can use it with most smart devices. It's a super cool writing instrument that digitizes handwritten notes, which is great if you're transferring paper notes to your computer.
Credit: Kyle Looney and Jeremy Stamas