Stage 2: Production
After you’ve done your research and learned what is required to get a podcast up and running, you should move into the production of the show as quickly as possible. There are many decisions to be made in this stage. The tools below will help make those decisions just a bit easier.
Artwork, Design, Photography | Web Design | Intro & Outro | Record | Edit | Transcription | Show Notes | Copywriting | Hosting | Microphone & Gear | Finding Guests | Music | Scheduling | Content Calendars | Guest Relationship Management
Artwork, Design, Photography
The success or failure of a podcast can often be applied, in part, to the quality of its artwork. The show’s artwork serves as a listener’s reason to give your show a shot but your artwork shouldn’t break the bank either.
Fiverr is a marketplace connecting people who do things with people who are willing to pay small amounts of cash for those things. They say you get what you pay for and this is often the case with Fiverr, however, if you spend the time to look you can often find some great hidden gems.
Get Podcast Artwork with Fiverr
For those of you who don’t know, 99Designs is a crowdsourcing platform for finding amazing designs. By creating a contest you can receive submissions from all around the world, select your favorite, and hire the designer.
Start a Contest on 99Designs
5 Examples of an Awesome Business Podcast Logo
This is a resource we created in order to highlight the WHY behind some of the best podcast artwork out there. If you are in the process of creating your own artwork you should take a look at this post to help you make decisions.
Read this Post
This company uses a fairly unique model for design services. Rather than hiring for a specific service they allow you to pay a set monthly rate for unlimited design work. Useful if you will need custom design work for episodes or ebooks down the road rather than just one off projects.
Get Your Personal Graphic Designer
Relay is an interesting bit of software focusing on using pre-designed templates in conjunction with your images and copy to make social media graphics easier to create.
Canva is a do-it-yourself design solution. Think of it like Photoshop but MUCH easier to use.
This is the search engine for all things stock media. Simply enter your keyword, choose which platform to search, and find thousands of photography options completely free to use.
Get Free Stock Media
Unsplash tends to skew a bit more “artistic” with their photos but as a result of this they tend to have the highest quality photos available for free use.
There are an endless number of web design services out there. Seriously, do a Google search. With that said, the three you’ll find below are all top notch choices for podcasters.
Matt Kohn is a freelance web designer and the founder of Different Hunger. He has a unique design style that focuses on optimizing every piece of the design to funnel your visitors towards your #1 conversion metric.
Matt Kohn Web Design
Toi is an award-winning full service agency focused on web and mobile projects. In full transparency their work may not be best suited for the average podcaster, but if you are building a business alongside the show then they would be a fantastic option.
Web & Mobile Services
Iris Business Intelligence
I’ve worked with these guys quite a few times and their work is phenomenally executed with a fast turnaround. Affordable and high quality.
Intro & Outro
Whether or not you should have an introduction to your podcast is entirely up to you. With that said, for many shows, getting an intro and outro professionally done is exactly what you need to take your brand up a notch. Below you’ll find my two favorite resources for getting this kind of work done.
Make My Intro
This is an excellent resource for getting your intro and outro done. Professional Voice Over Artist and Entrepreneur, Tim Paige, connects you with a professional voice actor to get you the best quality work possible.This option costs a bit more but is worth it if you aren’t experienced with the process of script writing, music selection, and directing VO artists.
Get a Professional Intro/Outro
I’m a big fan of websites like Upwork and, if you are willing to do a bit of work, it can be extremely cost effective to get your intro and outro created using its talent pool. Simply post a job, provide the script, ask for a test read, select your VO artist, and then get everything recorded.
In order to have a podcast you have to be able to record your audio. So that raises the question, how do you get that done? The resources below are the best options for recording high quality audio.
This is a plugin for Skype that is only available on Mac systems. It allows you to record both sides of a call making it easy to do interviews, roundtables, and any other type of content.
Get Call Recorder
Pamela is similar to Call Recorder with the exception that it works with Windows systems. The audio tends to be slightly lower quality on some systems.
One Cast is a browser based recording solution that allows you to set up a call between multiple parties, record, and share files.
Try One Cast
Zencastr is a similar product to One Cast allowing you to make and record calls in the browser.
Audacity is a free recording and editing software that works on both Mac and Windows. The one drawback here is that recording in Audacity can only be done locally. This means that you’ll either have to stick with doing a solo show or record your interviews in person.
Audition is similar to Audacity. It’s a little easier to use for most newcomers but it does come with a cost attached to it. Using Audition you can record episodes but again, you’ll have to stick to solo episodes or record in person.
While editing your episode isn’t always necessary for many new podcasters it’s worth considering because it gives you a chance to remove things like background noise, vocal ticks, and boring areas. If you decide to add editing into your process then the resources below will be valuable.
Audacity is free software that works on both Mac and Windows. It allows you to import audio, edit, remove sections, and export to multiple formats.
Audition is similar to Audacity. It’s a bit easier to use but comes with a cost. The software allows you to edit, add effects, and export to multiple formats.
Many podcasters believe that getting transcriptions of your episodes is a great way to promote potential discovery through SEO. Personally, I feel that it’s a waste of time and money but if you are interested in getting it done then the resources below will help.
I like Rev because they are the best quality at the lowest price. They aren’t specifically for podcasting but are usually the go to for podcasters and so they have quite a bit of experience. Rev utilizes real people which allows them to provide accurate transcripts.
Writing show notes for your episodes shouldn’t take you hours, that’s why we were confused when we tried to find the best show notes template to recommend and couldn’t find a single one. So we created one.
One Show Notes Template to Rule Them All
The point of this template is to prioritize listener experience and shareability over everything else. We think that treating your listeners well and making their lives easier will result in better retention, this show notes template is built on that idea.
Your titles and descriptions go a long way towards attracting listeners and growing an audience. Before you publish each episode take the time to consider your copy.
CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
CoSchedule is a fantastic marketing calendar to help you organize all of your content. More importantly, they’ve built a tool called the “Headline Analyzer” to help content marketers like us come up with the best titles and headlines for our content. I’m a big fan of this tool and I never publish a post or episode without checking it first.
Check Your Headline
Copy That Pops
Copy That Pops is a podcast and online resource for all things copywriting and conversion based. The host, Laura Petersen, is a teacher turned entrepreneur with a background in Psychology and she uses that knowledge and experience to help listeners learn better copywriting.
Audio hosting plays a critical role to a podcaster. Simply put, they host your files and provide you with an RSS feed in order to distribute your show to platforms like iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play.
This is the platform I personally use. It’s a bit newer than the other major players in the industry but they provide the best analytics which is important in helping you determine your next move. Awesound also provides a free plan and makes it easy to monetize your show.
Try Awesound (25% off)
This is the most popular platform. There is no free plan but at certain plans you’ll get access to a mobile application for your show. Libsyn also makes it easy to publish your episodes back to your website.
Microphone & Gear
Your microphone and gear need to be good, but they don’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
This is the microphone I personally use. It sounds incredible, is easy to use, and it retails at just $70. Highly recommended, in fact it’s the only mic I recommend for most podcasters.
Get the ATR2100
A pop shield is necessary when recording to help remove your P sounds and create a more even recording. Any pop shield will do so I’ve linked to the one that I use.
Get a Pop Shield
If you are recording outside or on the go then a wind screens job is to play the role of a pop shield while simultaneously reducing the harsh wind frequencies from your recording. Any wind screen will do so I’ve linked to the most popular.
Get a Wind Screen
If you are recording podcast interviews on the go then this is the best option for getting it done. It doesn’t allow you to record on multiple tracks but it does provide great quality at a lower cost.
Finding guests isn’t always easy. It takes a lot of time and effort to research, reach out, and close. The resources below will help you find great guests with less effort.
In full disclosure I’ve never used this service but my understanding is that they offer their service free to podcasters. Essentially they work with people who want to be placed on podcast interviews and connect them with shows who need guests.
Music plays an incredible role in taking a podcast from average to entertaining but finding music for your show isn’t always easy.
This is a marketplace site connecting independent musicians with people who need audio. There is a cost to getting licenses but if you are willing to pay there are quite a few good tunes to be found.
Try Audio Jungle
If you do a search on Soundcloud under the Creative Commons category you’ll find some great music across all genres to be used on the show. You’ll need to give credit to the artist but it’s worth it if you are able to find something for free.
Find Music on Soundcloud
I’m a big fan of using YouTube as a source of show music. If you look for it there are dedicated channels for curating and releasing copyright free music for creators. These are free to use on your show so long as you give credit to the artist.
If you host a show with guests then scheduling your interviews can very quickly become a massive pain. The solution is to find a scheduling tool to help manage the process.
Calendly has been a fantastic tool for helping me schedule interviews. It has a free plan and allows you to easily customize the availability.
When you are operating in the content marketing space it’s important to get organized. From content promotion to production it can be difficult to keep things together and released on time. Working with a content calendar is a great way to manage this process.
I’m a fan of building my own calendar. It’s for this reason that I often use Google Sheets (or Excel) to plan out and track my content production and promotion for the month ahead. It’s free but requires a bit of effort.
Try Google Sheets
I haven’t personally worked with CoSchedule but I recently signed up for an account. From what I can tell it’s a fairly in-depth content calendar system that allows you to quickly and easily track release dates and production progress.
Guest Relationship Management
If your goal is to publish an interview driven show it’s important to maintain the relationships you build along the way. Using a CRM (customer relationship management) tool is a great way to do so.
I personally use the HubSpot CRM tool because it allows me to set reminders, email directly from the platform, and keep track of past conversations. It’s also free.
Try HubSpot CRM
I’ve used Insightly in the past. It provides fairly in depth information on the person you are trying to build a relationship with. It also allows you to set reminders, email from the platform, and keep track of past conversations for free.
Stage 1: Research & Education
Where we explore what you can do after having the idea for a podcast and the tools to help set yourself up for success.
Stage 2: Production
Where we talk about EVERYTHING you need to produce the various aspects of your podcast. From artwork to intro music and everything in between.
Stage 3: Launch & Grow
Where we list all of the tools and educational resources for launching your podcast and building an audience.