Podcasting Myths ~ Part 1: Podcasting is Expensive

One prevailing myth about podcasting is that it requires a substantial investment of money. However, the truth is, starting a podcast can be quite affordable. Basic podcasting equipment, such as a decent microphone and headphones, can be purchased at a reasonable price. Alternatives are available and probably in your pocket as you listen.

When it comes to microphones, there are many budget-friendly options available that still deliver good sound quality. USB microphones, for example, are often favored by beginner podcasters due to their ease of use and affordability. These microphones can be plugged directly into your computer, eliminating the need for additional audio interfaces. Additionally, there are dynamic microphones that are suitable for podcasting and are more resistant to background noise, making them a great choice if you’re recording in a less-than-ideal acoustic environment.

As for headphones, any pair that provides decent sound quality and comfort will suffice. You don’t necessarily need to invest in expensive studio-grade headphones. A reliable pair that allows you to monitor your recordings effectively is all you need to get started.

The phone you’re probably listening to this episode with has a great inbuilt mic. Learning how to use it to obtain great audio doesn’t take long. You record, listen, more the phone to another spot, repeat. The best way I’ve found is to hold the phone parallel to to the ground, at 45 degrees to your face and speak away. Indeed, this how I recorded the first 20 odd episodes of my very first podcast way back in 2016. It has drawbacks but it also has advantages. And that was with an iPhone 5. The mics have become exponentially better since then. For interview situations the phone can be moved between the speakers much like you see on a TV news vox pop. The first episodes of “Disability Sunflower Stories” were recorded this way. Really good audio and powerful stories.

Furthermore, there are several free or low-cost software options available for recording, editing, and publishing your podcast episodes. Audacity, for instance, is a popular open-source audio editing software that provides a range of editing tools and effects. It’s free to download and can help you produce professional-sounding episodes. Audacity works cross platform and if it’s something you like, great. I’ve never been alble to take to it. If you’re in the Apple ecosystem, Garageband comes free with iOS and MacOS. It was designed with music in mind, as was Audacity so there’s a huge amount of unwanted “Stuff”. But, it is a good tool to learn the basics of editing which we can describe as taking out the parts we don’t want and leaving in the bits we do.

For publishing your podcast, platforms like Podbean offer free hosting services, 5 hours of recordings on their free option. SoundCloud offers 2 hours for the free option. Of the two, Podbean is the dedicated podcast host and even ifthe hour numbers were reversed, I’d still go with Podbean. They offer paid upgrades and there are other hosts too. This show is currently hosted with Podbean, from whom I receive no rewards for plugging them, on a paid plan and all my other shows are on Libsyn which doesn’t have a free option but starts at USD5 per month which is not too excessive.

Many successful podcasts have been created on a shoestring budget, proving that you don’t need a massive bank account to get started. What truly matters is the quality of your content and the value you provide to your audience. With a clear vision, engaging topics, and dedication to consistent production, you can attract listeners regardless of your initial investment.

In addition to the affordable equipment and software, it’s worth mentioning that podcasting allows for scalability. As your podcast grows and generates revenue, you can reinvest that money into upgrading your equipment or improving the production quality. This means you can start small and gradually invest more as your podcasting journey progresses.

In conclusion, the myth that podcasting is expensive is far from the truth. With a reasonably priced microphone, headphones, and access to free or low-cost software, you can embark on your podcasting adventure without breaking the bank. Remember, what matters most is the content you create and the value you provide to your listeners. So, don’t let the misconception of podcasting being an expensive venture hold you back—start exploring your ideas, share your unique voice, and let your creativity shine through the world of podcasting.