“Hey Lauren, I want to start a podcast. What equipment do I need?”
I get asked this question a lot. The really good news is—you don’t need much. And the even better news is that many options are pretty inexpensive or free.
Now it’s true that in order for your podcast to be successful and gain an audience, it mostly needs awesome content that speaks directly to your ideal audience. But I’m not going to lie, your overall sound quality matters, too.
So, here are my recommendations for the five things you need to start a podcast. I put this list together so you can spend more time dreaming up awesome episodes and less time researching microphones—you’re welcome!
First, don’t let fancy equipment hold you back from starting! If you’ve already got a plug-in microphone for your computer, try that out. But also know that investing even just $70 in a microphone can get you much better sound quality. And whatever mic you choose, make sure to do some test recordings so you know you’re happy with the sound.
Rode SmartLav+ Lapel Mic: I seriously love this mic. If you’re starting out and want to spend under $100 or plan on recording on the go, this is the mic for you! It attaches to your shirt, hooks into your phone, and it also produces good sound quality.
Blue Yeti USB Microphone: This mic gets the best reviews within podcasting communities (and on Amazon!) It comes in a bunch of fun colors (if that’s your thing), but most important, it produces great sound quality.
Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB: This is another great USB mic option, with the added bonus that this one comes with a pop filter (to reduce the popping sound from letters like P, T, and B). And it’s a great bang for your buck!
2. The Right Location to Record
Ok, this one isn’t really about equipment, but I’m going to drop some truth on you—the sound quality your mic picks up will only be as good as the space you’re recording in. A lot of people say you should record in a closet, and while that can work, it’s not your only option. Here are the Dos and Don’ts of picking a room to record in:
Record in a room with lots of fabric, like a bedroom or yes, a closet. The fabric absorbs sound so there’s no echo.
Record in a carpeted room.
Record in a room with lower ceilings.
Record in a room with high, vaulted ceilings.
Record in a mostly empty room (like a hallway or at your kitchen table!)
Record in a room with wood or hard floors (try your best to avoid at least!).
3. Apps to Record
You need some way to capture your recording so you can edit it later. Here are some options:
Voice Memo App: Many phones natively have one of these or you can find a free app to download.
Audacity: This works on all platforms and is the software I recommend for editing.
GarageBand: This is an Apple iOS/Mac app (not available for PCs or Android devices).
Zoom: I like the other options for solo episodes, but this one is the top recommendation for recording interview episodes.
4. Storage Space
After you’ve recorded your episode, you need a place to save it. And if you’re having someone else do the editing (which I recommend), you need a way to share it with them. Both of the options below work great.
Dropbox: The Basic plan is free up to 2 GB of space so if you plan on saving all your episodes here then you’ll need to upgrade. You can set up a mirrored folder on your computer and drop files into it and it will automatically sync and save it in the cloud. You can also choose folders to share with others.
Google Drive: This is linked to your Google/Gmail account. You can save podcasts in a specific folder (or folders) and share those folders with anyone you need to. The basic (free) storage limit is 15 GB, but that includes everything you have saved across your Google apps: Drive, Gmail, and Photos.
5. A Podcast Manager or Editor
The last thing you need is a podcast manger or editor. Yes, you could do this on your own! There are lots of great resources online to teach you what you need to know to edit and optimize your sound quality, upload episodes to the various platforms, find graphics and music, and all of the things that go into making a great podcast but I know your time is valuable and could likely be spent somewhere else in your business!
If you’re ready to get started and make an impact right away with your amazing podcast, you need the time and space to focus on creating your actual content. Let someone else streamline the process and take the technical work off your plate so you can focus your energy on what really matters.
Once you’re ready to hire a podcast editor or manager, head to hireapodcastmanager.com! You’ll then be contacted by a select group of skilled and passionate podcast managers and editors. I know they’re legit because I’ve trained them myself!
Sometimes people are well-intentioned and want to start a podcast, but then they get bogged down with all of the tasks involved. Don’t let that be you! Go to hireapodcastmanager.com and find someone to help you make your dream podcast a reality.