mic suspension boom

What is a Podcast – How Does Podcasting Work? | Detailed Guide

Honest Disclosure: Some links may be affiliate links that generate us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

“What is the benefit of a podcast? I’ve been hearing about it so much, what is the point of a podcast?”

It’s simple.

The Meaning of Podcast

Podcasts are mostly misinterpreted as an online radio with a proper RJ talking about some deep topics. But that’s not exactly the case.

It’s a video shooting or audio recording episode which covers some great topics about anything and everything:

  • Your favorite comic
  • Your favorite social entrepreneur
  • Musicians
  • Athletes
  • Cuisines 
  • Social movements and discourse 
  • Art, movies, books;

You name it! 

Pop Filter

It’s an episode dedicated to fun and fresh content that you want to hear about. You can watch a podcast or even record your own and upload it on so many streaming platforms, honestly – the list is endless. Here are some:

  • YouTube
  • Spotify
  • Pandora
  • Apple Podcasts
  • Facebook
  • PocketCasts
  • Laughable 
  • Castbox 
  • RadioPublic
  • TuneIn Radio 

These are some of the major podcast sites and apps. You can select from several other platforms available as per your estimations and needs and wants. 

What Is a Podcast Used For?

Podcasts are a great way to put your thoughts out there for an audience that wants to hear about what you have to say regarding a specific topic, like feminism, Elon Musk and SpaceX, the newest iPhone’s statistics and the Kardashian’s business empire. Anything and everything from cooking to working out, there is space for your content.

Dictionary wise, it is defined as “a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.”

You can play it directly on an app or your laptop, your Smart TVs even. It’s a combination of the two words, and concepts, iPod and Broadcast! It’s a genius idea of making a very interactive and fast-paced session on an intriguing set of thoughts that people listen to from their device, that is available for the whole world to listen to. If you’re an individual, a thinker, a social entrepreneur, cook, trainer, musician, author, blogger, or want to start your own talk show, this is a great way to kick start your process instantly. 

How Does Podcasting Work? Is There a Format?

A podcast lasts for however long you want it to last. Do you want to talk about Elon Musk’s newest invention for an hour? Shoot a podcast! Want to share your opinion about a famous book that everyone’s talking about? Podcast time! Thinking about historic events? Record your very own podcast. Design its length, decide the content you want to talk about, choose a platform you want to stream it on. The sky is not your limit. That’s the benefit of a podcast. 

You can make a series on a specific genre, and post episodes on specific topics within that genre. You could also simply number each episode of your podcast if you want to establish a dialogue regarding several different topics! That’s the beauty of podcasts, it is so easy and so flexible. You decide your own path by taking an easy step-by-step plan forth.

Simple steps, to get your podcast up and running!

  1. Select a genre or set of topics that you want to discuss.
  1. Pick a co-host or a list of people to come onto the podcast with you if you want. You could also find interesting personalities to interview on your podcast and host!
  1. Create a name for your podcast channel. Keep it short and simple.
  1. Create a display image and cover photo to upload on the app or website you would be uploading your podcast on. Choose a specific image or your personalized symbol. This is key to building your brand. 
  1. Record the podcast.
  • For audio-only podcasts, you could use: For starters, your phone, laptop, PC, or tablet’s mic would work well! Invest in an XLR mic, condenser mic, or USB mic with time as this ensures good quality audio which is crucial. 
  • For audio-video podcasts: Using your phone, laptop, webcam, PC or tablet works well! Turn the camera and mic on, you got this! You can kickstart your podcast easily this way. Invest in the mics we mentioned above and a good quality camera. Visuals make a huge impact on your ratings. Get an adjustable stand for your camera as well.

Listeners want good quality audio AND video, it keeps them engaged for long periods of time. This system is essentially your mode of communication, so the better quality it is, the better the outcome will be. 

  1. Edit the podcast. Here is list of softwares and apps you can edit the podcast on:
  • GarageBand and Logic Pro for macOS
  • Adobe Audition, Audacity and Hindenburg Journalist for Windows and macOS

You could also hire someone to edit and shoot the podcast for you. 

  1. Upload the podcast to the app or website of your choice!
  1. Promote it with your friends and family. Set up social media accounts for your podcast to promote it.

Here are some important podcast statistics for you to consider before starting off!

  1. Users who are 35 years and older had the biggest increase in online audio consumption, with their preferred platforms being Pandora and Spotify.
  2. The most popular platform currently for online audio listening is Spotify. Look at their podcast submission instructions here.
  3. 155 million people in America, which comprise 55% of the nation’s population, have listened to a podcast at least once. However, 75% of Americans are aware of podcasts as a medium. 
  4. Every month, there is an approximate increase of 9% listeners who belong to the 35 and above age category.  
  5. Approximately 104 million Americans tune in to podcasts on a monthly basis.
  6. There is a 7% monthly increase of women listeners, a contrast to the 3% monthly increase of male listeners.
  7. On average, each user spends approximately 6 hours and 39 minutes each week, listening to podcasts. This statistic has been constant since 2018.

The Best Podcast Equipment for Beginners, 2020

Audio quality is super important, and if you’re shooting a video as well, you have to ensure you’re delivering on clear and attractive visuals. Good audio and video quality builds a consistent and growing listener base. Here is a list of gadgets beginners, intermediate podcasters, and pros could get their hands on for some top-notch content. 

1-Person Podcast Starter Kit

For beginners:

For intermediates:

For pros:

2, 3 and 4-Person Podcast Starter Kits

For beginners with a 2 or more person podcast:

  • An XLR microphone and studio headphones for each person

For beginners with a 3 and 4 person starter kit:

Depending on seating arrangements, get one for each person

For intermediates:

Audio Interface/Mixer:

  • 2 XLR inputs:

Mixer: Yamaha AG06 (only channel 1 has phantom power)

USB Interface: Focusrite Scarlett 6i6

  • 4 XLR inputs:

Mixer: Mackie ProFX8v2 or RODEcaster Pro

USB Interface: PreSonus STUDIO 68

  • 6+ XLR inputs:

Mixer: Mackie ProFX12v2

USB Interface: Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (2nd Gen)

For pros:

  • Heil Sound PR 40 Bundle
  • Shure SM7B
  • Electro-Voice RE-20
  • Electro-Voice 309A shock mount
  • Heil PL-2T Scissor Boom Arm
  • Shure SRH940 Headphones
  • Heil PR-40 Microphone
  • Heil PL-2T Boom Arm 
  • Shure SM7B (built in shock mount– add a separate boom arm)
  • Heil PRSM Shock Mount 
  • Electro Voice RE-20 
  • Electro-Voice 309A shock mount 
  • Heil PL-2T Scissor Boom Arm
  • Shure SRH940 Headphones 

Audio Interface/Mixer:

  • 2 XLR inputs: Universal Audio Apollo Twin USB
  • 4 XLR inputs:

Mixer: RODEcaster Pro

USB Interface: Focusrite 18i8 (2nd Gen)

  • 6+ XLR inputs:

Mixer: Allen & Heath ZED-12FX

USB Interface: MOTU 8pre USB

Get your hands on basic gadgets to begin with, and if you have the budget, definitely invest in the gadgets mentioned above depending on the stage your podcast is in, and its size. Once you have the tech in place and the editing software down, you’re good to go.