This in-depth episode examines and explains the steps for creating and publishing your own podcast.

Five key ingredients to creating a successful podcast

1) Recorded content
2) Produced show
3) Media hosting
4) RSS Feed to automatically tell the world that you have new stuff
5) Syndication on major services like Apple Podcasts (previously known as iTunes), Google Play, etc.

In our conversation we go deeper into each one of these ingredients and explain how they all relate to each other.  Below are additional resources and links to things mentioned in our discussion (and some added after the fact).

1. Recorded Content

  • “Good enough” equipment is all you need to get started
  • You want the sound to be clear and warm in a quiet location
  • Raw content can take many forms
    • monologue
    • discussion
    • presentation
  • Solo episodes (just you) can be recorded with:
    • Audacity
    • Quicktime
    • Other audio programs
  • You can conduct interviews with
  • Save original recording in a high quality, lossless format
    • wav (Windows or Mac)
    • aiff (Mac)
  • Each guest should use earbuds
    • Not laptop speakers which can cause feedback or echo

Keep in mind that you can spend thousands of dollars on the best equipment and production (if you want to) and most people are going to listen on $30 earbuds

In addition, for the cleanest, best sound from whatever platform you use, you want each person to be recorded on a unique track so that their audio is isolated from the people speaking.

USB Microphones Mentioned

2. Produced Show

  • This is an area John specializes in and helps people
    • Create finished shows on a regular basis
    • Optimizes production workflow using a custom Trello workflow
  • This step involves editing and assembling all of the pieces of audio recordings and music for good sound and flow
  • Adding music can add life to your podcast
    • Finding music can be a huge time sink
    • Make sure you have a valid license to use the music in your podcast
    • See the section below on royalty free music
  • Recommend creating a final mono MP3 file (not stereo to save on file size) at minimum of 60 kbps
    • Some people swear that intro and outro music sounds better in stereo and that file size doesn’t matter these days.

3. Media Hosting for the Produced MP3

  • Go with a recommended media hosting company
    • Don’t host medial files at your regular web host unless they allow and support it
    • If your show gets popular and receives a lot of downloads you don’t want to have to move it or worse have your site and content go offline
    • Keep it simple and start with good media hosting from the beginning
  • Recommended media hosting providers
  • Monthly storage cost ranges from $5 to $15 a month for most podcasts need
  • You can also use Squarespace (link to podcast configuration guide)

4. Automatically Tell People About New Episodes

  • Automatic notification of new podcasts is usually done with an RSS feed
  • Powerpress is a great plugin for WordPress that creates a podcast RSS feed for you
    • Powerpress also provides content sharing buttons like the ones you’ll see on my site
  • Alternatively Libsyn will also host and create an RSS feed for you
  • Opinions vary on where and who should host your RSS feed
  • John has always hosted his own RSS feed and has never had a problem
  • Make sure Powerpress is configured to include more than 10 episodes in your feed.  Otherwise Apple Podcasts and other aggregators will only show 10 episodes even if you have lots more

5. Make it Easy For People to Find and Get your Content

  • Apple Podcasts is THE place to be
  • Google Play is up and coming
  • Spotify is up and coming
  • Stitcher has historically been a good alternative
  • Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, etc. simply need your podcast RSS feed to automatically make your content available to listeners
    • Using one of these three locations is the EASIEST way for people to consume your content
    • This is far better than trying to get someone to manually add your feed to their player
  • This article by Ray Ortega explains how to submit your podcast and the top five places he recommends.

Examples of Shows John Has Previously Produced

Editing & Production Tools (DAWs)

DAW is short for digital audio workstation. Here are some editing and production tools or DAWs to consider

  • Hindenburg (start here)
    • Used a lot by public radio folks
    • Popular for creating story telling type podcasts
    • Try the 30 day trial
    • $99
    • This is John’s recommendation for someone with no audio editing or production experience looking to get started
  • Adobe Audition
    • $20.99 a month as part of Adobe single app subscription
    • Many podcasters and producers use it
    • John doesn’t like because of perpetual subscription
      • If you already have access because of an existing subscription then it’s worth considering
  • Audacity (John & Paul have both used it)
    • Free
    • Good for getting started, but can be confusing and combersome
    • Interface is dated, but works well enough
    • User interface for handling third party plugins is unideal because of destructive editing
  • Logic Pro X (John’s current DAW of choice)
    • $200 from the Apple App Store
    • Mac only
    • Sometimes used in commercial recording studios and professional settings
  • Pro Tools (Paul’s DAW of choice)
    • Expensive and sophisticated
    • Often in used in commercial recording studios and professional settings

There are many others, however these are some of the best known DAWs in the podcasting space.

Royalty Free Music Options

Even if the music is royalty free you usually have to give attribution. Make sure you review the license for the music you are using to give proper attribution.

Sites I have used and recommend

Other Free Sources

Other Paid Sources

Learn More

Getting Production Help From John

  • If you have a podcast you’d like to sound professional or get out on a regular basis I’d love to help you
  • I offer a free, no obligation, 60 minute consultation to talk about any aspect of podcasting that you want
    • Beginner, intermediate or advanced
    • Questions following up on what we’ve shared here
  • Learn more about John’s Podcast Production Service

Affiliate Links Present

Some of the links on this page and elsewhere on are affiliate links which means if you purchase after clicking on that link I receive a small amount of money with no difference in cost to you. I only recommend products or things I’ve used and had good experiences with.


All songs licensed under Creative Commons