Hard Lesson 3: How to Create a Professional Sounding Podcast for Only $221.00

March 25, 2016

There seemsto be a common misconception out there that creating a podcast is reallyexpensive. Well that’s just not true, and I’m going to show you today how tostart a podcast for $221 right now.

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I know thisisn’t our usual episode, but so many creatives have asked me about this exactthing that I feel that I need to talk about it. Besides, starting a podcast isone of the best ways to grow your business for a couple reasons.

1. It gives you immediate authority in theniche you are looking to target. We’re notgoing to talk about format in this episodes, but rest assured if this goes wellI will have a follow up episode in the future.

2. Podcasts allow you to contact influencersin your space to whom you would otherwise not have access. I can’t tell you how many amazing people Iwas able to meet and connect with specifically because I had a podcast.

3. It allows you access to your fans and theability to give them incredible value for free. One of the keys to success is providingincredible value, and a podcast allows your fans and potential fans to get thatinformation in one of the most intimate ways possible: by allowing you accessto their earbuds.

Those areall great ways to start a podcast, but the best one is the unwavering desire towant a podcast. Podcasts are tons of work in booking guests, and creatingquestions, and marketing something new. They are so worth it though. I lovethis podcast in a way I never thought I would, and can’t see my life withoutit.

But I’mcheap. I wasn’t about to spend $1000-$3000 setting up a podcast though. Thatwould be crazy. I wanted to hack the system and find the cheapest way to getstarted and sound professional.

So below isthe exact set-up I use for my podcast. I’m not advocating this for anybodyelse. I’m just relaying the exact information as I’m using it to help you cutcosts by thousands of dollars and actually make your podcast a reality.

And I’mgoing to do it for $221. Let’s put $221 on the big board.

AMOUNT LEFT: $221.

I should saybefore I get started that I’m in the USA, and these numbers might be differentin other countries. This is still the CHEAPEST way to launch your podcast. Note:This is assuming you have a computer decent enough to run all of theseprograms. This is also only for the first year.

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AMOUNT LEFT: $221.

STEP 1: MICROPHONE – The first thing you are going to need for apodcast is a microphone. I highly recommend the Blue Yeti.

The Blue Yeti is what most podcasts without enormous budget use. It is prettyobjectively the gold standard of bootstrapping podcasts like The Business ofArt. What’s great about this mic is there are four settings, gain control, andvolume control so you can use it for multiple people, just yourself, or anycombination in between.

Right nowthe BlueYeti is $109 on amazon, but I have seen it for under $100.

If you don’twant to go baller, you can also get the BLUE SNOWBALL for $50.00. The Snowball is also by Blue andI know plenty of podcasts that use this one. It’s only designed for one personand doesn’t have quite as good audio quality as the Yeti, but still a solidchoice.

For thesepurposes I’m going all in and buying a Yeti. You can also buy a pop filter forunder $10. I like this one. You can also buy a shock mount and a boom stand, but for thisexercise we’re not gonna buy any of that.

AMOUNT SPENT: $110

AMOUNT LEFT: $111

STEP 2: RECORDING GEAR – Once you have your dope microphone, you canset off into the wild world of recording. If you are going for perfection thenyou could buy a travel recorder, equalizer, and a bunch of other gear, butwe’re doing this the cheapest way possible, right? So here’s what I use:

Travel Recorder – My smart phone. That’s right. When I go tolive shows and do on the road interviews I use my iphone with an app called Recorder Plus. It’s how I used to record my audio before Istated podcasting for everything. This is FREE.After I’m doing recording I just email the files to myself. Note: if you aredoing that this exports a file not supported by Audacity, so you have to do somefree conversion tool you can find online.

In Studio Recording – When I’m at home, I use Audacity to record all my intros and outros, as wellas this episode. Sometimes I also bring my computer on location with me and useAudacity there as well. This is a free, relatively easy to use program. Thereis a learning curve, but there are also guides on Youtube to walk you throughset-up.  

Inadditional to Audacity, you need something to record guests. All my guests areremote and call in using Skype. Skype is free to call between Skype names, but you can pay $2.99to get unlimited domestic calling to phones (again, only in the US). I havethis, but only because some of my guests have terrible wifi.

Skypedoesn’t allow you to record audio in app, so I use MP3 SKYPE RECORDER to recordeverything. So far we’ve recorded 40 episodes and it hasn’t failed me yet,knock on wood. This is also free!

Because Ihave so many different USB plugs (computer, microphone, etc) I needed a 4 portUSB adapter to fit everything. I chose this one which is about $10, but you don’t need this. It is absolutely aluxury, but an amazing luxury.

Becausewe’re going for the cheapest way possible, I going to say you can get all ofthis for FREE!

AMOUNT SPENT: $0

AMOUNT LEFT: $111

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STEP 3: MUSIC AND LOGO – Now you have all your gear. You can record atwill! However, you are probably going to at least make it sound nice with somemusic and have a cool logo right? If you don’t want to beg your friend or hirean artist, there are a couple resources that work really well.

First, ifyou google ROYALTY FREE MUSIC + GENRE, you will find scores of instrumentaltracks for very cheap in the genre you see fitting with your podcast. Whetherit’s rock like WTF with Marc Maron, or Weird Barbershop Quartet like You Madeit Weird, or techno explosion like The Tim Ferris Show, you can find somethingyou like for under $10. I spent a grand total of $15 on music by using thismethod, and only because I bought three tracks to test. I wanted chiptunesmusic like the Start-Up podcast.

I’m going toassume you can find something similar for around what I paid for 3 tracks. SoI’ll say you can find a track for $15.

Then, itcomes to graphics.

What’s greatabout graphics is there are programs out there that make you look awesome.Whether it’s Canva for PC,Phonto for Android/OS, or Typorama for IOS, you can find something that makes you look like a boss.I did my logo on Phonto forFREEEEEE! It took me about 10 minutes. You can spend a few bucks to unlock someawesome extras, but I’m going to assume you will use the free version like me.

AMOUNT SPENT: $15

AMOUNT LEFT: $96

STEP 4: PODCAST HOSTING – There are dozens of choices when it comes towebsite hosting, including self-hosting, but I didn’t want to deal with that. Iwanted somewhere who would syndicate out to as many places as possible. Yousee, itunes and others do not host podcasts. Oh no. They only pull from podcastfeeds on other sites, like Podbean.

If you gothe self-hosting route, you’ll have to make sure everything is perfect on yourend before submitting to itunes, and it’s still going to cost you money to geta site and a theme. If you are looking for a wordpress site, I highly recommendBluehost with the Podcaster theme. Bluehost allows you do one click WordPress install ina snap and it’s cheap. I love it.

However, Ihost everything with Podbean because I didn’t want the hassle. I wanted to make sure thateverything was syndicated properly because this was my first podcast ever. Theonly reason I got another site is because sponsors asked for it. Podbean costs$8/mo, which is on the high end. If you want to get a theme and a site you arelooking at about $6 for Bluehost and $50 for the Podcaster theme. There are other choices out there forhosting as well.

I’m going tosay you go with Podbean because who needs that hassle.

AMOUNT SPENT: $8 x 12 = $96.00/yr

AMOUNT LEFT: $0

And thereyou have it, a fully functional podcast for only $221 set-up cost. Now, you’llhave to spend $100/yr in recurring costs, but even in 20 years that’s less thanmost people will have spent just to set up their podcast initially!

After youget set up, then you can talk syndication to other networks and actuallymonetizing this bad boy.

I hope youenjoyed this. If you did please sound off in the comments. Don’t forget to subscribe and rate on itunes!

Russell 

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