If you are thinking about launching a podcast on a budget, now is the time to get into action!
Right now, there are more than 500 million blogs out of 1.7 billion websites. And there are over 2 million blog posts going out into the internet lands daily. There are more than 31 million Youtube channels out there. People around the world are uploading 500 hours of video every minute.
But! There are only 850,000 active podcasts. That means that right now is prime time to start the podcast you want.
What does this mean for launching your podcast on a budget?
If you remember back to blogging in 2009-2010, there weren’t that many blogs out there. Blogging was the way to create content and tell people your story. That is what podcasting is right now!
So don’t wait to start the podcast you’ve been thinking about. Just start and make forward motion. This post will give you the exact step-by-step guide on how to start your podcast on a budget. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to get your podcast off the ground.
I’ve started two separate podcasts for less than $30! If I can do it, you can too! It’s easy to start a podcast on a budget. Simply follow these steps.
Here is the best budget equipment and systems you can get that won’t break the bank. If the podcast is meant to be a hobby and you want to make some affiliate and sponsor sales from it, then I recommend that you only spend money on hosting and a microphone. You can get by without all the other frills in the beginning.
Microphone (Budget Range $15-$45)
Your microphone can make or break your podcast. If you don’t want negative reviews about the sound quality of your podcast then it’s important to invest in a microphone. Honestly, your earbuds or headphones are better than using the computer or phone microphone. But these microphone options won’t break the bank and can still help you keep your sound quality at a decent level.
This microphone comes highly recommended by Amazon as their choice microphone for podcasters. I’ve seen a lot of fantastic reviews about it and would have started with this one if I didn’t need a lapel one since I podcasted in my car on my phone when I first started.
This is a microphone very similar to the one I started with. You don’t always need something fancy to start out. As long as you have something that works well, you can fix any issues on the editing side. If you are just looking to start, there is nothing wrong with using this one. It keeps your S’s and P’s from being too overpower and keeps the volume smooth.
Recording / Editing Software (FREE)
Don’t be afraid to start with just a voice app on your phone to record if you are recording from your car or very small closet. This is how I started doing my solo shows so I could record them on my lunch break. I was determined to get my podcast into the world
I use Audacity to edit my podcasts. Their manual is very easy to understand and they do a great job of helping you get started. There are tons of YouTube videos available if you get stuck.
Garageband for Mac
If you are a Mac user, then your Mac should already come with Garageband installed on it. I’ve heard that it is very similar to Audacity and easy to use. You can also record right into the program from your computer.
Call Recorder (FREE)
Zoom is a great option for recording long distance interviews or co-hosted podcast episodes. In my first podcast, I had almost every other episode as an interview and Zoom was my go-to. Now that my sister and I record our podcast from different states (NY and NC), we use Zoom and haven’t had many issues. The only thing you have to be careful of is if the other person doesn’t have a great internet connection. Their audio may cut in and out on your end and in the recording. There are ways to edit this out so it doesn’t sound too terrible but it can be frustrating.
If you’ve ever recorded with someone else, you know that it can be easy to talk over each other. This can be really hard to edit out if you keep the audio for two people on one soundtrack. To make sure Zoom keeps the tracks separate, be sure to select Record a separate audio file for each participant who speaks in the Zoom Settings. This should give you two (or more) tracks when you are ready to edit.
Zencastr is another great option for interviews and connection. It does not allow audio, so that can be frustrating if you enjoy seeing your interviewee or co host. If you don’t mind it just being audio, this is a fantastic option. They offer up to 8 hours for 2 guests per month for free.
The great thing about Zencastr is that the audio is uploaded to the cloud from each person’s computer so you don’t have to worry so much about a bad internet connection ruining the audio.
Intro / Outro Music and Voiceover (FREE)
Disclaimer: Using copyrighted music for your content is a big no-no. Please make sure you look into the fine print when using these websites.
BandLab: Create Your Own Music
I love creating my own music for my podcasts or having my brother do it. We use the app and website, BandLab, to create a unique and fun piece of music. We then use this music in our intro and outro or for ads. This is great for any creative looking to launch their podcast on a budget.
This is one of the older royalty-free music sites. There are hundreds of songs available to choose from by the artist Kevin MacLeod. As long as you give credit at the end of your podcast description and website (if you have one), you are free to use any of the songs on the site for your podcast.
This website and app has a library full of songs that you can use for your podcast. This one isn’t a pick and run with the song kind of website though. The use for the music varies from song to song so make sure you read the fine print for each individual rights. You can read their FAQ to better understand what songs you can use for your podcast.
Musopen offers an array of musical goodness. This website has sheet music, royalty-free music, and a free continuous stream of classical music radio. (SIGN ME IN!!!) If you are looking for classical music for your podcast then this is the website you’ll want to check out. They also have a pretty cool rating system so you don’t waste time looking through each song.
Podcast Hosting (Price Range $12-$18)
I love Buzzsprout for it’s ease of use and amazing customer support. There are obviously other podcast hosts out there but I have found that Buzzsprout works best for me and my clients.
You can set up a FREE Buzzsprout hosting account but this only allows for up to 2 hours of uploaded audio and your episodes disappear (meaning: are no longer hosted) after 90 days.
I recommend you sign up for the $12 / month plan since it includes indefinite hosting. This plan works great if you are keeping your weekly episodes on the shorter side and you might throw some longer interviews in there. When I had my business podcast, this was the plan that worked great for me.
If you are going to have longer episodes coming out every week or you have more than one episode go out every week then the $18 / month plan would work best for you. This is the one used on my Two Sisters and a Cult podcast. Our weekly episodes are 1 – 1.5 hours long so we knew this one would work best for us.
Cover Art (FREE)
Your cover art should be attention-grabbing and should be very easy to read no matter how big or small the cover looks. This will help you be found by new listeners since some people look through categories and start listening to what grabs their attention. This will make it easy for you to launch your podcast on a budget.
Podcast Cover Art Guidelines:
- Your cover art must be in JPEG or PNG file format with the correct file extensions (.jpg, .png).
- In the RBG color space
- Minimum size of 1400 x 1400 pixels and a maximum size of 3000 x 3000 pixels, 72 dpi. You can read more about specifications for podcasts on iTunes.
Canva is a great FREE tool that can help you create your own cover art for your podcast. I use this website and app for all of my podcast graphics and they make it very easy with their color and font options.
In Total… Starting at Less than $30 to Start a Podcast!
There are plenty of other tools out there that you could purchase for your podcast, but if you want to get your story out into the world on a small(er) budget then I want to encourage you that it is totally possible.