So you’re ready to take the plunge and get started with your amazing independent podcast. But there’s just one problem. You don’t have the budget of a successful media company behind you.
How can you create a high-quality podcast that doesn’t break the bank?
Luckily, you don’t have to be sponsored, or have a huge recording studio, to create a great podcast. All you need is a little creativity and follow some best practices to make the most out of what little you do have in your budget.
Here are some tips on how to create a high-quality podcast on a budget.
How to Create a High-Quality Podcast with Little Investment
While some might consider a small (or non-existent) budget to be a hindrance, it can actually be quite freeing. You’re not beholden to any big sponsors, so you can really do whatever you want with your podcast. Your overhead is low so you can get creative, explore new ideas, and take risks.
Your podcast can be completely independent, and you can build an audience organically by being true to your vision.
1. Keep it short and sweet.
One of the best ways to save money on your podcast is to keep each episode short and sweet. There’s no need to drag out each episode for hours on end. Instead, focus on delivering quality content in a concise format. This will help keep your costs down while still providing value to your listeners.
2. Plan your promotional content.
With the advent of social platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, shorter, more “snackable” content is the key to hooking your audience. You can more easily gain a following by posting snippets from longer episodes, or by creating standalone promotional content that is designed to be shareable.
When recording your podcast, think about how you can break down your topics into smaller, more digestible pieces. Take notes throughout the recording process, or listen back after you’ve finished and identify key soundbites or sections that could be used as standalone content.
This task can double as quality control and help ensure your episodes are clean and free of any technical issues.
3. Get creative with your recording setup.
We’ve all seen the recording setups of some of the biggest names in the business. Boom mics, sound treatment, mixing desks… thousands if not millions of dollars on display can make you feel inadequate.
But You don’t need expensive equipment to produce a great podcast.
In fact, you can get by with just a smartphone and a simple recording app. If you want to step up your game, invest in a small portable recorder and a USB microphone. This will give you much better sound quality than your smartphone, without breaking the bank.
For independent podcasters, it’s about building a connection with your audience. As long as your episodes are easy to listen to, people can understand you, and the overall quality is good, that’s all that really matters.
4. Choose a recording platform built for indie podcasters.
When you’re first starting out, it’s tempting to try and save money by using free call recorders like Zoom, Google Meet, or GotoMeeting. But these platforms aren’t built for podcasters.
A cheap alternative (free) to meeting platforms is software and apps like Garageband and Audacity. While this will get you a clean recording, the interfaces are cumbersome and the learning curve is a bit steep. You have to consider the time you have to invest in learning a new program before beginning your podcast.
The best option for independent creators is a platform that is built for their use case. Look for the features of your prospective recording platform before committing. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Can you record audio, video, and live stream?
- Does it back my recordings up in the cloud?
- Can I customize the look and feel of the interface to reinforce branding?
- Do they have flexible plans to fit my growth stages?
Take your time on this decision, it is crucial to the future of your show.
5. Utilize free (or affordable) resources.
There are a number of free (or affordably priced) online resources that can help you with everything from recording and editing to promoting your podcast.
The independent podcasting community is vibrant and supportive, so don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. There are also a number of online forums and groups where you can get advice and feedback from other podcasters.
You aren’t in this alone, so take advantage of the resources that are available to you.
6. Invest in yourself.
Finally, don’t forget to invest in yourself. This includes taking the time to learn about the industry, developing your skills, and networking with other podcasters.
The more you know about podcasting, the better equipped you’ll be to create a high-quality show. There are online courses, tutorials, and hours and hours of videos from experts on YouTube — that can teach you the ropes. Alternatively, consider attending a podcasting conference or meetup to rub shoulders with other like-minded individuals.
Getting Started on the Path to Independent Podcast Creativity
There’s a myth about podcasting that you can just hit record and your audience will find you. While this may have been more true in years past, the podcasting space is crowded. Podcasting can be a fun and rewarding outlet, but it’s also a lot of work.
However, by following these tips you can differentiate your new show from the pack and give yourself the best chance for success.
What are you waiting for? Get started today and join the ranks of independent podcast creators!