How to Make a Podcast: Plan, Record, and Launch with Success | John Lagomarsino | Skillshare

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How to Make a Podcast: Plan, Record, and Launch with Success

teacher avatar John Lagomarsino, Head of Production at Anchor

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      What Are Podcasts?


    • 3.

      Getting Started


    • 4.

      Plan Your Pilot Episode


    • 5.

      Choose Your Gear


    • 6.

      Recording Tips & Tricks


    • 7.

      Prepare to Mix Your Pilot


    • 8.

      Find Your Style and Tone


    • 9.

      Mix Your Podcast


    • 10.

      Prepare Your Podcast for Launch


    • 11.

      Launch Your Podcast


    • 12.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Dream of starting your own podcast, but don’t know where to start?

Learn how to write, record, and launch your very own podcast in this introductory, step-by-step class! Anchor’s John Lagomarsino walks through each step of the podcasting process, from honing your initial idea to launch and promotion.

Easy-to-follow lessons include how to:

  • Plan your pilot episode
  • Record high-quality audio
  • Interview guests like a pro
  • Create a plan for launch
  • Promote and grow your podcast

Plus, every lesson is packed with audio examples, gear recommendations, and John’s favorite tips-and-tricks so you can hit the ground running.

Whether you have a specific idea for a podcast or are simply curious how they’re made, this class will give you a behind-the-scenes look into the tried-and-true techniques your favorite podcasters are using. By the end, you’ll have everything you need to outline your content, record and edit your audio, and launch your podcast for success!


Anchor is the company democratizing audio by enabling anyone to easily create, distribute, and monetize a podcast.

Anchor has everything you need to make a great podcast from start to finish, for free. Get started now ➞

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

John Lagomarsino

Head of Production at Anchor


I’m a producer of audio and video, living in New York City. Right now, I’m Head of Production at Anchor.

In the past, I’ve worked at The Verge, The Outline, and Mic, in a mixture of production and post production roles, in video and podcasts.

I’ve got a BA in music from Vassar College, and I’ve written and performed for musical theater in past lives. I’m a mediocre pianist, but my enthusiasm is boundless.

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1. Introduction: This is a class about podcasting; how to start, how to make your podcast, and how to publish and promote it. You've probably heard a lot about podcasting recently, and don't worry you're not missing the boat. This is a really, really good time to be getting into podcasting. Every year, more and more Americans are listening to podcasts every month. Every year there are more and more podcasters, and there's more variety and a greater number of things to listen to. What excites me about podcasting is just how immediate and how personal it can be. There wasn't a whole lot of equipment to get in the way of storytelling, there isn't a whole lot of setup time, there isn't a whole lot to distract you from the business of just telling the story that you're telling. The technical barrier to podcasting has really never been lower. If you've ever shot a video on your phone and uploaded that to YouTube, you're more than prepared to make a podcast. In today's class, we're going to go through all the steps that you need to do to start your podcast, and that means ideation, recording, editing and mixing, distributing and promoting the show. We'll be looking at audio examples of all of this to illustrate how different edits can give the same material in different feel, or how different setups can make your show feel different. We're going to be doing all of that through the lens of your pilot episode. So, if you've already got an idea for a podcast or a some things jotted down, you can follow along and start building out a plan for your own check. I think podcasting is a really deep, temporal way of telling a story. It's a way of telling the story in a way that a lot of people will pay attention to for long periods of time. That's what gets me excited about the possibilities of storytelling within a podcast. I'm John Lagomarsino, I'm a broadcaster and Anchors Head of Production. I'm excited that you've joined the class. Let's get started. 2. What Are Podcasts?: A podcast very generally is just a way to deliver audio files automatically to listeners. What's in that audio file and what's in that feed, doesn't really matter. So as a listener to a podcast, you would use a podcast app to subscribe to a certain podcasts, and when there's a new episode, it gets downloaded. As the creator, you upload an audio file for every one of your episodes, and that episode gets distributed to your subscribers. Podcasts obviously then are a little bit different from traditional radio. Podcasts are on-demand. Back in 2005, when Apple added podcasts to the iTunes app, Steve Jobs said, "It's like TiVo for the radio, both of which sounds quaint and updated now." Podcasts run the gamut in terms of what they're about and what format there are, there are shows like the Joe Rogan Experience, Death, Sex, and Money, Welcome to Night Vale, Planet Money, or Another Round. Shows hosted by all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds, they're all different lengths and all different subjects. There are super short podcasts. There's one hosted I anchor called Describing a Rock, in which the host, Milo Axelrod, literally describes a rock for a few minutes. Jonathan Coulton got famous off a podcast called Thing a Week, where he just released one song every episode in a podcast feed every week. Make your episodes as long as they need to be, and no longer than that. Don't exhaust your audience, but don't feel like you have to fit them all to some predetermined length of an episode. Today, we're going to be focusing primarily on nonfiction podcasts, not because they're more important or whatever, but because I get asked about them most often. Those nonfiction shows are often a mixture of interviews and reporting, and usually they're about a central topic. Many times, the episodes are freestanding. So something like 99 percent invisible, you can listen to any episode at anytime without having prior knowledge of other episodes, and usually it's a mixture of interviews, reporting, and some narration. Less often, but still very much important, you'll find things like serialized nonfiction like Serial's first two seasons, or a serialized fiction, like Homecoming, or things like improv comedy, panel discussions, or straight news. For simplicity's sake, in today's class, we are going to be focusing on a nonfiction non serialized interview show. So think of things like Death, Sex & Money, or WTF with Marc Maron. In today's class, we'll be talking about how to pilot your show. So if you've already got an idea for a podcast, or some things jotted down, you can follow along and start building out a plan for your own show. A couple of things to think about right at the start. How serious about this are you? Are you doing this to make money, or a doing this as a fun hobby on the side? That's something important to think about, because as you go into the planning of your show, how serious you are about it could determine how much time you spend before publishing your first episode. If you plan on doing this for fun forever, that's great, and you've got a whole lot of possibilities for what your format could be. If you do plan on making money on it ever, whether it's up-front or down the road, you might want to be thinking about where in the show you place your ads, because that could determine parts of the format of your show, making room for those ad breaks. So for example, in a show that I'm working on right now, we've built an ad break into the show even though we don't know whether or not there will actually be ads there. At a certain point in the show, there's a cliff hanger, we'd say, "After the break" whatever, then we come back from that break. With the assumption that at some point there's going to be something there that is either an ad, or a promo for something. Because there might not yet be anything in that break, avoid things like, "And now we're going to take a break for an ad." Instead, say something like, "We'll be back in a second." or "After the break, this will happen." Another thing to think about is, are you doing this alone, or are you doing this with a team? You might find it useful to have a couple of people around to bounce ideas off of. But you may be able to move faster and make something exclusively your own if you work alone. Some things to look out for if you're working with a team are, don't get bogged down in process. Makes sure that there's a clear division of labor, maybe someone is doing booking for you and you're the host, or maybe you're all co-hosting, but one of you is working on publishing the other is working on pre-prep for an interview. Whatever their roles in your team are, make sure that they're working for your show and not slowing you down. So in the next lesson, we're going to really get into it and start talking about concepting your show and starting to build an outline for your pilot. 3. Getting Started: So in general, most podcasts begin with a concept or an idea. For your podcasts you probably want to be able to answer the question, what's my podcast about? Generally, the answer to what is your podcast about should be specific enough, you've got a real answer and that you've got to focus on your podcast, but just broad enough so that you can sustain it for long enough with multiple episodes overtime. The Allusionist is a podcast about language. Reply All is a podcast about the Internet. The Derry Connection, a podcast made by someone who works here at Anchor, is about Stephen King novels and how their worlds fit together. How Did This Get Made, is a podcast about movies so bad they're good. Basically, this is what you would call a logline in the film industry. A sentence or two that's really concise that just explains what the work is, it's essentially a pitch. If you've already got an idea for your podcasts, now would be a really good time to jot down a couple sentences about what your podcasts is about, then we can move on to formatting your pilot. Building a format for your podcast is the decision that's going to have the biggest impact on how your show sounds and feels. That's because the format of your show dictates how your story is told, and gives your listeners a roadmap to what's going on inside an episode. It's generally the same from episode to episode and it's the blueprint of what makes an episode of your show, your show. So my advice for finding your format is to find a central question that your show is answering and back into the format from there. What's the format that will answer that question the best it can. So on a podcast that I work on called Tuner, the central question of the show is why do we like pop music. We answer that in two ways. One on the episode level, we pick a pop song in every episode and try to get at why we personally like that particular song. Then on a broader level across the series, we're getting at what is it about pop music that draws us to certain sounds. It's all answering that central question, why did we like pop music? Sky's the limit with format and only you can know what question it is that you're answering and what format will answer it best. For simplicity's sake, today we're going to focus on a simple interview show with one host and one guest who's different every week. We pick that format because it's a prototypical talk radio format for a podcast, and it's one that has comparatively little technical lift. You've definitely heard shows like this, WTF with Marc Maron, Pretty Big Deal with Ashley Graham, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, show is where one host is interviewing one person about what they do. So really important decision that you can make at the beginning of your show is who's your audience, could you imagine as the person listening? There's a really great book called Sound Reporting, The NPR Guide to Audio Journalism and Production. In that book, they point out that when you're writing for radio or in this case podcasting, you're speaking to an audience of one. Basically, who were you imagining is the person listening to your show? Who are you building your show for? This can help you focus your show and help you answer the central question of that podcast really specifically. In The Derry Connection, that's Stephen King podcasts, the intended audience is Stephen King fan. The Daily from the New York Times is probably aimed at a commuter. Ashley Graham's podcast, Pretty Big Deal is aimed at a millennial woman. You might find it helpful to talk to people who listen to podcasts, ask them what they like about their favorite podcasts, what they'd be looking for in a podcast with your topic, or what don't they find in other podcasts that your podcasts could do. Finally, look at the landscape. Just listen to a ton of podcasts. See what's out there especially in same topic area that your podcast is about, see what you like about those shows, what you don't like about those shows. As you're listening to podcasts especially ones that you like, remember that everything that's in the show is the result of a decision of some sort. Maybe that was an editorial decision. Maybe that was a decision in the middle of an interview to ask a certain question or move the conversation in a certain direction. It was all the result of decisions and even more decisions on top of that were made in what to leave into the final version of the show that you're listening to. So when you're evaluating what your own show is going to be, remember that you have choices to make and that those choices will show up in the tape. This is a good exercise in remembering that you've got editorial control over what's inside your podcasts. So when you're listening to your favorite podcast, just keep an ear out for how things got made and what decisions went into making them. So once you've gone through these exercises and you've got a handle on who your show is for or a question it's answering, and what your plan of attack is, it's time to start planning your pilot episode. 4. Plan Your Pilot Episode: Your pilot episode is the first episode that you'll produce. It may or may not be the first episode that you'll release, but it will work as a blueprint for your show as a whole. Basically, by now you've already thought about your show as a whole, and what it's about, and now it's time to hone in on one single episode and work out all of the details about how it's actually going to sound. You can even assume that you'll never release the pilot episode, it's just a tool for you to build the show and actually hear it on its feet and see how things work. If it winds up being an episode that you want to release as your first one that's terrific, but don't go in with the expectation that this is something that you have to release. Personally, on pilots that I've worked on, it's a little bit freeing to have in my head that maybe I won't even release this or maybe I'll completely rerecord it later. It gives me a little bit more room to play around with the format and a little bit more license to experiment. Also keep in mind that when you're planning your pilot episode, you might want to pick an episode that is pretty typical of what your show will be, not an outlier episode that breaks format or something that doesn't completely answer the central question of the show. It should be something that is very firmly a typical episode. So how do you approach making that pilot episode, for me there isn't always a clear line between planning and recording. It's really important to keep in mind that things will get messy, there isn't a clear order to things, and it's going to be normal that you record something try it out, rerecord it, delete it, adds something new. That messiness will be part of the whole process, and it's actually really important in trying things out experimenting and building a format for your show. When you're doing all of this don't worry exclusively about the structure of your episode, you can mess with that and the edit later, but what is important to keep in mind is that any good story no matter your format, typically has a beginning middle and an end. This is probably a good time to pause and talk about what I mean when I say story. It can mean a lot of different things. I think for most people when you hear the word story, think about a narrative or a piece of fiction or something, but when I say story in this class, I'm referring to anything that takes your listener on some kind of journey. That word is overused, but to me it means that the listener ends in a different place from where they began, and that if it say an interview, that interview has a shape, and that shape might be lumpy and it might be jagged, but it has a shape to it, and the interviewer is paying attention to where they're bringing the listener during the course of the interview, that story. For example, if I'm conducting an interview, I'll probably write down six questions before hand, and these are the sign posts of the story that I want to tell during the course of that interview. Obviously, the interview subject is going to be the person propelling that story, but I'm going to make sure that I've mapped out a structure, and a story to the whole thing before I even begin. Those are the sign posts that I'll want to hit while I'm asking questions and engaging with the guests during the interview. Now, of course down the line, you might decide in editing that you want to change portions around, you want to reorder those signposts, but at least you're thinking about it from the very beginning and making sure that you've got some shaped your interview at least have a fighting chance of making it straight to tape that way. As you're outlining an interview obviously, you should know who your interview is. So you'll have to pick who your first subject's going to be. I would suggest picking someone that you know might be a little bit more forgiving than others because this is going to be your first interview, things might be a little bit messy, or you may not even publish this interview at all. So, eliminate the stress of having someone you don't know, or someone who may be breathing down your throat, the whole interview, and pick someone that you're comfortable speaking to. So the next step depends on what the format of your show is, but for me I usually start from a really detailed outline. I'm talking about the real nuts and bolts of what the show will sound like. It can be really informal, it can be totally your own thing, there isn't one set way to outline a pilot episode of a podcast. In the case of our interview, I would probably start the outline with an introduction for the guests that I'll probably literally read into the microphone, then I'll follow that with say where music will go as the guest enters the conversation, then from there, I'll write down what six or eight questions I want to ask the guest in the 45 minutes I've got with them. If there's going to be an ad in the episode maybe I'll make a note for myself of where that add should be in the course of the interview, I may intro it during the interview itself, or I may have to write some script into the advertisement, somewhere in the middle of the outline. It's things like this where if you read the outline, you have a clear image in your head of what this is actually going to sound like when you hear it for real. So it's really just a chronological plan of what's going to happen in the episode one item after another. In a lot of cases, it could be this weird mix of semi-scripted, semi-freestyle, things on a piece of paper that map out the general feel of an episode without having a specific word for word write-up of what's going on in that episode. In our interview show, I would probably have this outline in front of me while I'm conducting the interview itself. It will just be a safety net for me as I ask questions and have this conversation, and elements that are scripted like the intro, outro ad breaks up probably record those later not while I've got the guest in front of me because it's a waste of time frankly. So let's quickly walk through an actual outline of a pilot episode. This is the pilot for this show Talk Money, it's by Mesh Lakhani and before he recorded anything, he read a really good detailed outline of what his first episode was going to sound like. In reading down this page, you can actually get a feel for what this podcast sounds like, what it feels like before he committed anything to tape yet. So you see in the outline that the first thing that you hear is a little bit of music, and then he goes to some soundbites from a friend of his in the wedding industry, the sets up that what we're about to hear about the wedding industry and how much money goes into it, then while keeping the music here, he indicates light music. He back introduces who that friend was, her relationship to the wedding industry, and then a little bit of background about how much money is spent on weddings every year in the US. The music swells a little bit he says intro music/V0, introduces himself, then introduces the show. Welcome to Talk Money, a show about unlocking the financial secrets around everyday topics. So, we know exactly in the first minute or two of the show what this episode is about, who he is, and what the show's central question is, and he's mapped all this out right from the beginning in his outline very, very clearly. From there, he moves on to his central interview for the episode, and how that's going to sound, and how we transitioned into that episode. He's also broken it into two with an ad break in the middle, he even knows how long the ad is going to be 30 to 60 seconds, and he knows what music is going to go underneath that ad, and then the second half of the interview happens, he knows how he's going to thank its guests for being there, and then he's written a little bit of a script for his altro. So as you read this document from the top to the bottom, you know exactly what this episode sounds like, you know what's going to happen when he does get in front of a microphone. I know we went through that pretty quickly if you want to take a closer look at rashes outline, it's available in the class resources down below. So, now that you've got your outline, and an idea of how your pilot episode is going to sound, the moment of truth has arrived, it's time to record. 5. Choose Your Gear: So it's time to actually start recording your podcasts. Obviously, to do this, you need a microphone of some sort. There's an enormous range of microphones that you can use all the way from your cell phone up to very expensive studio microphones. To be honest with you, choosing the one that's right for you is a matter of taste, budget and what you've actually got access to. Then, the other side of what you need to record is some software to record with. There's a huge array of software to record audio on from again, voice memos on your phone all the way up to something extremely fancy like Pro tools on a computer and all of the options in between. At the end of the day, you need to gather recordings. What you need is a piece of software that can record from your microphone or microphones and give it to you in a format that's going to be useful to you in the editing phase. Obviously, working at Anchor, I can recommend the Anchor app as a good way to start capturing audio for your podcast, either on mobile or the web. All right. Let's get to some specific microphones. I've got three here that represent kind of three different tiers of microphones that might be good for your podcast. All three of them are what are called dynamic microphones. They're essentially when you go to buy a microphone, you'll be presented with either a dynamic microphone or a condenser mic. A condenser mic can sound much better than a dynamic mic. They tend to be a little more clear, more present but, that comes with the risk of them not sounding as good in untreated rooms like say, your bedroom or where you maybe podcasting. So for most beginning podcastors, I recommended dynamic mic because, they'll usually sound better in compromised rooms where you may be recording. So if you've been shopping for podcasts mic, you may have encountered the popular Yeti microphone. That's a condenser mic. Personally, I don't gravitate to that microphone for the reason that it is condenser with a pretty wide pickup pattern. So in most rooms, the Yeti might not sound as good as a comparably priced dynamic mic would, for spoken word like a podcast. So all three of these mics are dynamic microphones. The first mic I want to talk about is the audio Technica ATR2100. This is a microphone that doesn't cost a whole lot of money and way out performs its price. You can usually find it on Amazon for like $60. I like this mic for a lot of reasons. One of them is that it's got both XLR and USB connections on the bottom of it. That means that you can use it directly into your computer through USB, if it's the only microphone you're using. But, down the line if you decide that you want to add more microphones or use a mixer or some other interface to get to your computer, and we'll talk about that later. This microphone coagulate up to that equipment without having to completely replace it. So you can plug this into all places and it sounds pretty decent for its price too. So I will switch over to that mic right now. So now I'm speaking into the ATR2100 and you probably notice that there's less room noise than there was before when I was speaking through the lab mic that's attached to my chest. You'll also notice that my voice is a little bit more present and a little bit more full. You may also notice that with this mic though that there's a little bit less high frequencies. You can hear my s's, and t's and that kind of stuff, a little bit less clearly than you can on other microphones. But for its price, I really recommend this microphone especially if you're just starting out. I should also mention that with the right adapters, you can even plug this microphone into a phone or an iPad. So it's a really good option if you're going to be recording and editing on mobile. You'll also notice that I've got a wind screen on this microphone. That'll go some of the way to eliminating plosive p's and b's that you would get on a microphone without one of these like this one over here. The next mic I want to talk about is the SHURE BETA 58A. This is another dynamic microphone that's also pretty popular. When I turn on this microphone, you can hear that there is a pretty big step up in quality from the Audio Technica. That's not surprising considering this costs probably like six times what the Audio Technica does. The main advantage of this mic that I really like is how directional it is. This has what's called a super cardioid pickup pattern. Basically, all that means is that it's got a narrower pattern in front of the mic that it's picking up sound from. So things to the left and right of my microphone and behind it are picked up less. That means less room noise and more of my voice making it into the final recording. You'll see here that this mic is a little bit more clear on the high end than the Audio Technica. Also not surprising, this is a better more expensive mic. It's actually not for stage use but I think it works really well in podcasting. That leaves my favorite podcasts microphone. This is the SHURE SM7B. This is not a cheap microphone and this is the microphone you'll find in a lot of high-end studios. The SM7B is another dynamic microphone, but this one has a lot of characteristics that I love for voice. It's got a nice rich tone, it's got a good high-end, it's just really balanced, solid microphone. It also works really well if you're close up next to the mic like I am right now. There's just a lot of presence, and this is like the standard radio sound. That sound does not come cheaply though, this microphone costs around 300 to $350. In order to really make it sound good, you've got to plug it into what's called a preamp that can power it adequately, and that'll add another $150 minimum. So you're looking at a very expensive microphone, but it sounds really great. I'm also fun fact. This is the microphone that the entire thriller albums vocals were recorded on. Obviously, these are not the only options they are for microphones, but my advice would be, when you go to pick one, look on YouTube for demos of any microphone that you're interested in. There tend to be a lot of YouTubers out there who are recording comparison videos and just demo videos of what things sound like. Depending on the room that you're in and what you're looking for in your microphone, that can be really useful in picking what you buy. If you end up picking a microphone that doesn't have a USB jack on the bottom, and honestly that's most microphones, you'll probably need something like an audio interface or a mixer, some way to get the signal from the microphone into your computer. There's all kinds of interfaces, all kinds of mixers going from really inexpensive to very expensive consoles. Again, what you're looking for is the right number of channels to match the number of microphones you're recording at one time and whether you'll need a bunch of the features of a full-fledged mixer. The mixer that's in front of me is the Rodecaster Pro. It's a mixer specifically geared towards podcasters that record basically up to four microphones in the same room. I like this mixer a lot because it's kind of a podcast in a box. You're basically recording your whole podcast live to tape, it's got a bunch of effects and enhancements for the microphones, plus a strip of sound effects that you can play whenever you hit the pads. This mixer also makes it really easy to do remote interviews. You can pair your phone to it via Bluetooth, and then integrate that call into your podcasts. So this was a really good option. It's not the cheapest mixer there is, but it's really versatile. You can use it to either record directly to the mixer or to your computer. On the audio interface side, there are devices like this Scarlett interfaces which are basically simple devices where you plug XLR microphone's into them. On the other end, it's got USB off the back and that's how you get the signal into your computer. Those again run the gamut in terms of price and features, but there are popular option for getting audio to your computer. There's one more option that I personally don't use myself but you could use a field recorder like one of the zoom audio recorders. They've got XLR jacks in the bottom, you can plug microphones into them and record directly to an SD card. You'll have to dump that SD card to a computer later to edit. So that's not my favorite way of working, but it's got a recorder already, that's a perfectly adequate way to record. Again, the most important thing to think about at the beginning is not exactly which microphone you're using but making sure your idea actually works as a podcast. That'll serve you well for far longer than investing in a bunch of fancy equipment at the beginning and having nothing good to say into it. 6. Recording Tips & Tricks: Regardless of what you're using to record, there is some tips and tricks that'll make your recording sound as good as it possibly can. So the first is always wear headphones. When you're recording, you want to hear what you sound like. I tell people you would never take a photo without looking through the viewfinder, why would you record yourself without hearing what you're recording? So wear headphones, it takes a little bit of getting used to hear your own voice coming back to you, but this is what your audience is going to be hearing. So it's important to know exactly what you're capturing. Also, remember to speak relatively closely to your microphones. I'm a couple inches from this one and it sounds really good and really present. As soon as I back away, you're going to hear more of the room, less presence, and it's less like I'm in your ears and more like I'm around in the room. Maybe that's the sound you're going for, but for most podcasts, I prefer to tell people to stick pretty close to the microphone. When we're talking about room noise, do your best to minimize things like reflections and other noises coming into your room. That could mean putting up a bunch of pillows and blankets in the room that you're recording it, just surround yourself with soft things. It's weird but a number of podcasts as I know record with blankets over their heads when they record. You don't have to take it that far, but doing something to minimize the number of echoes in your room can go a long way to making you sound a little bit more put on quote professional. So if I'm recording my interview podcasts, there are a few things that I can do to make sure things sound good and go smoothly. The first is to go in with a plan obviously. We've talked about this a lot but going, knowing what you're going to ask, how you're going to ask it, and what the tone of the interview is going to be. You also probably want to warn your guest about things like how far they should be from the microphone. They should wear headphones too to know how they sound themselves. Make them feel comfortable, and let them know what to expect during the interview. Once the interview is going, make sure to listen to what they're saying. It's really hard to space out or be thinking about the next question, really stay in the moment, and if you hear something that catches your year, be willing to drop the questions and go down weird avenues and just think like the listener on the other end of that microphone, and think about what they would want to be hearing at that moment, and have an interesting conversation that way. One of my favorite things to do during an interview is, if I get a dud of an answer from the person I'm interviewing, I just sit in silence for a second and let the answer linger in the air. A lot of the times they'll either realize that their answer wasn't good enough or do something to fill the air with some extra detail, and a lot of the time that detail will wind up being so much more interesting than the original answer, and you end up with great tape. Try to avoid asking just yes or no questions that are easy to respond to, ask why, or how, or what questions instead. Those'll often give you back a more interesting story than the one that you would have gotten with a yes or no question. Likewise, keep your questions relatively short. Don't give the person you're interviewing a bunch of options to choose from in the answers that they can give because that'll lock them into an answer that you had predetermined. You'll get something more interesting if you keep it short, open-ended, and they'll be forced then to tell you something more interesting than you ever could have imagined. So a big thing that people often ask is how to do remote interviews and podcasting. There are some relatively simple ways of doing it, but make sure above all that you practice this before you get in a real interview situation. It can be dicey, your Internet can drop, the technology you're using might not work the way you expect it to, so just be very ready to do your remote interview before you start. That said, there are a bunch of options that you can use. So one option the classic option is to interview someone via Skype. Now, if you're interviewing via Skype, you want to do a couple of things. You want to record the Skype end of the call, and you want to record your end on separate tracks so that you can mix them later. There are a few tools that you can use to do this. If you're on a Mac, I like Audio Hijack or Piezo. Before doing a Skype call, I would really suggest googling and searching YouTube for tutorials on how to record Skype calls. It's a rabbit hole and outside of the scope of what we're talking about here, but it's one thing that you can do. Another super simple option that you can use if you're hosting your podcast on anchor is that both you and the person you're interviewing or up to nine other people, can download the Anchor app and connects via it. The app records the conversation on the server then and it's automatically added to your podcast's Anchor account. It's super easy to do and just requires that you and the person you're interviewing both have the Anchor app. Another high-end option is to use a service like Zencaster. That does this fancy thing where it uses your browser to record your end and your interviewees end to the browser directly in sync with each other, and then at the end, you get a folder full of files that are all sync to each other and sound like they were recorded in the room with each one of you. It's really easy. It costs money though, and it's geared towards people who do recurring interviews that are remote that use external microphones plugged into their computers. If that's too expensive for you, you can do the really complicated high-touch version of that which is to talk to the person that you're interviewing via Skype, and have both you and that person record their end of the conversation on their own computer. Then later, you can synchronize those up and it sounds like there was a microphone in the room with each of you. It's complicated but it's tried and true, and it does work. It just takes a little bit more time to get the sync right. We would call that a Double Ender and it's the oldest trick in the book for remote interviews and radio. Recording someone via the phone is a more complicated road that's outside of the scope of what we're talking about, there are options to do it. My advice is to find a way to record the phone end and your own end separately from each other. That way even though the interviewees sounds like phone quality, you'll still have a clean recording of your own end of the conversation recorded on a nicer microphone. So if I'm doing a Skype interview with someone as a one-off, I'm pretty sure that the person I'm interviewing doesn't have a nice microphone at their disposal. So usually what I'll tell them to do is, use some device that'll get the cheap microphone that they have closer to their mouth. That might mean using the Skype mobile apps, so they literally holding the microphone close to their mouth, or it might mean plugging in a pair of earbuds with a microphone in them into their computer to get that microphone closer to their mouth. It won't sound like they're in a studio, but it will sound better than using the distant microphone that's built into their laptop. That's a lot to take in, if this is a path you do want to go down, I would encourage you to check out the links in the resources underneath this video, or just Google, or a search YouTube for tutorials on remote interviews. 7. Prepare to Mix Your Pilot: Right. You've got your audio recorded and now it's time to do the glamorous work of file management. It's really important despite how boring it is, because if you're making many episodes of your podcasts, you want to have a system that'll let audio flow through that system really efficiently, in a way that's predictable and in a way that you can keep track over large amounts of volume. Now, I'm a little bit crazy about file management, and I've got my own system mapped out here. So if you look at my screen, here's an episode of a podcast that I worked on called, I Should Start a Podcast. I know this is episode three because ISS003 indicates that it's an episode of that podcast. Underscore structure means, that's what that episode was about, structure. Inside that, I've got this one folder for my projects. I've got one folder for my media, which is audio that I've recorded. Then, I've got a separate folder for bounces and those are the exports of my project. I may also have added a folder for assets or things like that, that I pull in from elsewhere. This project didn't have any of those. It doesn't matter what the specifics of my system are, it matters that you have a system that works for you and your show and that is replicable every time. You could even go so far as to make a template folder that you copy every time you have a new episode and all of the folders are there for you including a project template. So you can just drop your recordings into it and it's always the same every time. I will just spend a little bit of time with the beginning of your show, either during or after the pilot, to make sure that you've got an efficient system that works for every episode of your show. Once your files are in place and you're happy with how they're organized, the next step obviously, is to bring them into the software you're going to use to edit your podcasts. Now, there are tons of variety in that software, and the software that you're editing in, may actually be the software that you use to record. In which case, you wouldn't have to pull in the audio, it would already be there in the project that you recorded it into. But for the purposes of this demo, I've recorded my audio externally and I'm going to drop it into a project inside of Logic, which is what I use to edit podcasts. So I'll just click and drag my files into this project. I create new tracks with that. Now, in this case, Logic actually copies the media into the folder that it's working inside. I'm comfortable with that because I have tons of space and I'm okay with some redundancy. So every piece of software deals with audio files differently. In my case, Logic copies the media into the project file itself. It might behave differently in whatever software you're using. The key here though, is to understand where your files are. Make sure you know the location of everything and make sure it's all backed up. There's nothing worse than losing an interview. So take the time to make sure you understand your workflow, make sure you know where your files are, how you're backing them up, and how they all work together so that you don't lose audio ever. Now, when you're picking which software to use to edit your podcast, again there are lots of choices. They go from very basic to extremely advanced. For the purposes of our interview show, we could probably edit the whole thing using Anchor. It's a single track audio editor that lets you do basic trimming and cutting of your audio. For more complicated shows that involve lots of tracks of audio, you might want to look at Audacity or GarageBand or Logic or even Pro Tools. There's tons of software that's out there and picking the right one for you might involve looking at some tutorials online. Obviously, the style of your show dictates a lot of what you'll need from your audio software. So, for instance, Joe Rogan's podcast is basically live to tape. He could probably get away with recording to a single track of the live mix that was happening in his studio. On the other end of the spectrum, listen to the first three minutes of any episode of Radiolab and you'll notice that they do tons and tons of multi-track sound design, and they need Pro Tools to do that show. Regardless of the software you choose, the basic function of editing is to make sure you've got everything you need and organize it into a way that's digestible as an episode of your podcast. So for an interview podcast, that means sifting through all of the audio that you recorded. Not just the chunky interview middle part, but what came before it and what came after it. You never know what nuggets of fun stuff happened outside of the normal interview that you can integrate into your show somehow. Might become a cold open or it might become some transitional element that you use somewhere in your show. There's stuff everywhere that you've recorded, try to use what you can and what's interesting from it. So a really simple example of this is that in my show, Tuner, one of us in the second episode wound up saying, "Let's do it," before the opening music came in. That became a permanent fixture of every episode and we never even really talked about it. It just worked that time and it became part of the show. What makes Thriller so halloweeny? What makes it scary for non-neurotic reasons? Exactly. Okay. I think I could handle that. Good. Let's do it. As you're listening to the audio and you're organizing it and you're starting to trim it down and shape it into a show, listen to it and see if there's anything that needs to be picked up and re-recorded, see if there's anything that's missing, see if anything that really needs to be done again, see what feels like you need to add to the show. If you're dealing with tons of source material, I find it really useful to be working off a transcript of my interviews. There are a bunch of companies now that'll do automatic transcripts that are good enough for referencing while you're doing your cut. Descript is one that I really like because it lets you not only get an automatic transcript, but it lets you start editing the audio as text. There's also services like Temi and Trint that do automatic transcription for a pretty reasonable cost. Transcripts can really save time in finding that one bit of audio that you knew was there that you can't find in your hour long waveform. It's really nice to have a time-coded transcript, so you can search for that thing that you know was said some point during the interview and find it in the audio. Another consideration is, are there moments in the episode where you feel like it needs music? Identify those moments, maybe make a note of them or start adding the music even temp music at that point. Another big question that we get all the time is, where can you find music? If your podcast is being made with Anchor, you've got access to a really good library of over 100 tracks right now that you can integrate right into your podcast. I also really like Blue Dot Sessions for my music. There's also Musicbed. AudioJungle tends to have a huge volume of things that costs less that might take a little bit more sifting to find. If you're willing to put in a little bit of work, get thrifty. See if you know any musicians that are also looking to score a podcast or something like it, see who's out there and whose music you like and who you can maybe strike up a relationship with, who'll let you use their music in your show. So once you've listened to all of your material, you've made notes about what's good, what isn't good, you've got some ideas about sound design, now it's time to dig into the really fun part for me, mixing your episode. 8. Find Your Style and Tone: Mixing an episode is the part of the process where things start to take shape. Some people call this editing. Some people call this cutting. People in radio tend to call this mixing. What basically it means is assembling the elements of your story, or your interview, or whatever you're making into the finished episode. That means doing all of the levels, doing all the sound design, all the polishing, that's all in the mixing stage. This is where the style and the format that you had planned from the beginning of this starts to take shape and where you can really hear what's going on and in the case of your pilot, start to make changes and get the thing really sounding like you want it to sound. During your mix, this is the first time you'll be able to hear basically what your listener will be hearing when they listen to your show. You'll start to feel out your beginning, middle, and end. You'll start to give that episode shape and you'll give it a feeling of arrival at the end of it somehow, that your audience can feel subliminally. This is a thing that comes with trial and error and with maybe playing it for people that you know. It's something that can be really important to your show and it'll be the backbone of other episodes. So let's do a fun example of how all this works. Earlier this year, a bunch of people at anchor edited the same audio material in different ways completely. The source material was around 20 minutes of stuff that we would condense into around a six minute episode. It varied from person to person. The results were wildly different even considering that we all have the same source material. The formats were different. The story-telling, styles were different, and the amount of production that went into each one of them is totally different. So just a little bit of background. This is a podcast called ''Tell me what you're reading.'' It's hosted by my boss' dad actually. The concept at the beginning of his show was that he would go to restaurants and ask people what books they were reading. Basically, just interview them about the books they like. The show has changed in format a lot since then, but the source material gave us a lot to think about. So this is the version of that episode that my co-worker, Grant, came up with. Here I am at The Pines in Mount Tarampa, New York. Pines is a great restaurant founded by German Banstein from Woodstock, also known as Burn-in pines. I'm here with Harper. I'm going to ask Harper about her favorite book, maybe about her favorite movie, and something about The Pines. She will be here in a moment. My name is Harper. I've been working here in Mount Tarampa for the past year or so. I live in Kingston. One of my all-time favorite books it's called The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham. So it goes on for about six minutes, but you can see that this is a pretty standard cut of the material that he got. He had a little bit of music at the beginning as a wave introing, but there's no setup, there's no welcome to, ''Tell me what you're reading.'' None of that. It just goes straight into the interview. It's interesting and it sounds polished, but there isn't a whole lot of artifice around the whole thing. Grant incidentally added here on this layer, a bunch of background sound of a restaurant to cover where he was making edits and it works really well. It sounds really continuous and it sounds like all of this is happening in real-time in a restaurant even though it's not. So now, I'll play my version of the same material. During the World's Fair in the early 1960s in New York City, I was a pretty little guy. My dad would take me and my brother, or brothers perhaps, to the World's Fair. ''A fair is news. Often big news.'' We'd stand on these interminably long lines to get into exhibits. My dad would always strike up conversations with strangers online. Frequently, people from elsewhere around the world. ''The central theme of the fair 'Peace through understanding.' will gain in-depth and perspective through impressive religious and cultural exhibits and events.'' I felt that was terrific. I always had interesting discussions. Many years later, when I found myself eating out normally with Carol and the kids, I would strike up conversations. I do strike up conversations with waiters, and waitresses, and bartenders. Usually, I ask, among other things, what book they are reading? I get the most interesting responses. We have the most interesting discussions. So I said the other day, ''Why don't I start a podcast talking about books in restaurants?''. It's my take on this same material and the edit was completely different. I was thinking that since this was the pilot episode, it was okay to include some setup at the beginning about why Howard was making this podcast, what it was about, and set expectations. He did this in a really compelling way I think where he told a personal story about what brought him to making this podcasts in the first place. It is a full two minutes until the first interview begins, but to me, it made sense to let that go because it was interesting enough to listen to and set you up for what you are about to hear and honestly why there was a bunch of restaurant background noise during these interviews, where they wouldn't normally be noise in an interview. Suddenly, I also used a little bit of restaurant noise to bridge gaps, but it wasn't there the whole time. So that's what these down here are all about. 9. Mix Your Podcast: So one of the easiest ways to get started editing a podcast is by using the tools that Anchor has. So I've got opened here podcasts by our head of product actually, her name is Maya. She does a podcast called The Derry Connection, which is about Stephen King show. She edits her show completely inside of Anchor. Anchor's editor is pretty unique. It runs like a vertical timeline. So you'll see here on the right side of the screen inside this episode, she has a bunch of what we call segment stacked up on top of each other. It works a lot like a playlist. So if I hit play on the intro. Watch movie. Yes. Cell is unwatchable. Well, I don't know if you read Cell The Book. I did read Cell The Book but its also very bad. Yes. It's funny that I wrote this in my write-up but I was like, if one of those things were like- You'll see that it plays from one segment straight into the next one. So this example Maya's intro goes straight into her theme song which happens right after her intro. She's basically stacked up a bunch of these segments on top of each other to make the flow of her episode work. So if she wanted to, she could rearrange these segments as well, change the order of things that happen inside the episode. So obviously this is a pretty basic way of editing. It's only a single track of audio and you can't mix and match things. But you can get a whole lot done actually inside the app or on the web app and it's a really great way to start very quickly recording, trimming, and uploading episodes. Of course, this won't work for everybody and if that's the case you can start graduating up to something like a multi-track editor like GarageBand or Audacity or in my case Logic. So I'm going to go ahead and open up Logic to show you a project that I've been working on. This is actually an episode of Maya's other podcast which is about the book Children of Time. I've got Maya on one channel and her co-host on another channel. This allows me to do some fancier things with the mixing, not terribly fancy in this case, but things like isolating single tracks and making cuts over those tracks. I'm obviously not going to sit here and edit this entire podcast pilot, but I'm just using this as an example of how you can work through the source audio, find things to cut, find entrances for music, find ways of keeping it interesting as you're going, and a sound will emerge from it basically. So let's listen to a little bit of that. So that's fine. Here is what I want to do. While John is sitting here, because he doesn't know what the book is about, I want to explain the plot of the book to him. This is going to ruin my preamble though, but that's fine. What is your preamble first? I wonder if you had the same one as mine because that was the same thing I was going to do. Why don't you do yours first. Then separately, I'll explain the pods and then we can use whatever we want to. Okay. I was just going to say that when you first pitched me this book. All right. So all of that stuff I want to cut before. So I'm going to make a cut here. I'm going to make a cut before Maya comes in. Because this is the beginning of my edit, I'm going to "Select All", and shove these over to the beginning of the project. When you first pitched me this book, you pitched it as spider people in space, I believe was your tagline. I feel like that is the worst pitch I've ever heard for this book. It is so not, when you hear spiders in space, you think like some stupid science.Star Wars but with spiders. Yes, like Star Wars with spiders. It sounds so unbelievably dumb. I had this image of a spider in like a zero-gravity suit with a laser on its belt. That sounds cool. I guess. All right. So there, we are going to call our cold open. It just seems like some fun banter before any music comes in. I'll make a cut there and I'll make sure I've got a clean ending. But for now, I want to add some music right at that point after the cold open. So I'll drag in my music channel into Logic, have it come up right after that. That sounds cool. I guess. I'm going to tap in a little bit later than that. Laser on its belt. That sounds cool. I guess. It sounds a little bit abrupt. So I'll start fading them using the fade tool here. Laser on its belt. That sounds cool. I guess. Around there, I want the music to fade out because imagine they'll start speaking again over that music. Now, I just have to find what it is that they say over that music. So I'm going to mute the music and continue listening. This is not at all that and I was very happy when I started reading it that it was actually great. How would you describe it in one sentence because I used to tell people the part in 20 minutes and that got hold on everyone. That's worse, you shouldn't do that. Then I condensed it into spiders in space. So I have been trying to pitch this on all my friends. So I feel like I've gotten it, kind of. What's your pitch. My pitch is it's like it's post-apocalyptic. Okay. So for the purposes of this demonstration, let's start with his description of Children of Time. So I'll unmute the music channel to hear how this transition sounds. Laser on its belt. That sounds cool. I guess. It's post-apocalyptic but not like you've seen before and it prevents a very actual scientific view of post-apocalyptic future kind of thing. But it's not like waste lands and fall outs, one of the things I've said is none of it takes place on earth, which I think helps. Yes. As I often said that I try it because it's really hard not to spoil anything. So around by that point, I want the music to have faded out. So I use the fade tool again, add a big fade over here. Also, he goes for a long time where Maya is not speaking, I get really picky about this kind of thing. I try to cut out chunks of audio where people aren't speaking on their own track just because it cleans up the audio a little bit, less room noise is present. So that's what I'll do over here. So you can hear this happen. But not like you've seen before and it prevents a very actual scientific view of- So it's good in present and we'll hear the fade happen over while he's speaking. Post-apocalyptic type of future kind of thing. But it's not like waste lands and fall outs. One of the things I've said is none of it takes place on earth, which I think helps. Yes. I often say that, I try because it's really hard not to spoil anything, so I'll say it like half of it is presented like a nature documentary, which is really interesting. If you listen to the audio book, it's fantastic because the woman who reads it is British and it's like- It's how you did the audio book. Yes, did the audio book. That does sound nice. It sounds like a real nature documentary because British people do nature documentary. I believe that- Yes. Okay. So at this point we've got something cooking. What's occurring to me though, is that that never said the name of the book that they're talking about. So if I were cutting this that's fine. If I were cutting this, I would have them go back and say, you should do some intro or fake a portion of the conversation or something where you bring up the fact that you're talking about the book Children of Time. It can come even after the music comes in. Something in there though has to situate the listener so that the curiosity gap created with this weird spider thing that happens before the music comes in is rewarded with what they're actually talking about. So far they're not, and I don't think they're going to be if I remember the source material correctly. I'm not going to go super deep on audio processing but there are few things that I like to do during or at the end of the mix to keep levels in check. One of them is to add a safety limiter on the master channels. So I'll do that right here, and I set my limiter to negative 0.5 dB. Basically what that means is if anything gets louder than negative 0.5 decibels, delimiter will clamp down and limit the level to that point. This helps me prevent really ugly distortion from happening. I put this on the master fader so that if I've screwed up in some way and made something so loud that it would have distorted, it'll tamp it down and keep things under control. Another thing I like to do is put a gentle compressor on most vocal channels. It smooths out the volume levels between the highs and lows and makes everything more listenable. This is especially important if people are listening in the car. It drives me crazy when things jump between extremely quiet and extremely loud when there's whole bunch of background noise happening. That's all they do in England. That's cool. Yes so that was really cool. I think it's interesting you describe it as post-apocalyptic like in terms of the human side of the equation, because I don't give a shit about that part of the story. Yes, I guess it's just. So I put a compressor on my, I will copy the same compressor over to the second channel. It's the framing of it. You don't want to say anything specific because you're right, that's not really what matters but it's the idea of, okay. we're- That's honestly more processing than most people think to do to the microphones that are in their podcast. It just adds a little bit of sparkle and a little bit of presence that isn't there without any processing. When you're adding other audience versus like the music here, try to keep an ear out for making sure that the loudness that you're perceiving is pretty common throughout the whole program. So in this case, the voices shouldn't be terribly louder or quieter than the music when it comes in. That sounds cool. I guess. The music comes in at pretty much the same volume that the speaking was. Now, when the music dips. It's post-apocalyptic. It leaves room for the vocals to come out above it but not be so quiet that you can't hear it at all like it's a mistake. It's there but you can hear things. Use your ears. This is something that involves a lot of your training honestly, and you'll get better and better at it over time. Like I said in an earlier lesson, just listen to a bunch of podcasts and think about what decisions they made in the mixing step to make things clear and to make things designed and to make things sound intentional. So obviously that's not a comprehensive look at how to mix a podcast, and I was only showing you one program that I used to do it. But the idea is that, over time you can develop these tricks and develop these skills and develop your ear most importantly, so that you can hear something that you want to happen and then use software to make that thing happen. This is a thing that you'll learn over time and with practice. I've been doing this for a very long time and it comes very quickly to me. But that's because I've spent a lot of time practicing and it's a skill. Just like any other skill, you'll practice it, and you'll get better at it. So in general, after you've completed the first pass of your pilot, now's the time to start chiseling away at what it actually will be in the end. You should go back and listen to it right from the beginning straight through. A lot of times I like to actually load it into my phone and take a walk or ride the subway while listening to the first draft or something, because it really is like I'm listening to a podcast that somebody else listened. I want to experience it like my audience member is going to experience it too. That'll often expose a lot of things that I didn't catch in my first round through it that I thought were totally fine that totally are not fine in the final version. It also helps in my experience to sleep on it. Finish a draft. Don't listen to it for a day or two, listen back to that draft and now that has a way of exposing things that you didn't hear when you were so close to the editor in the first place. Then from there, it's just a game of iteration. It's going back, making small changes, listening to them again, making some more changes, moving something around, maybe making hard decisions where they say kill your darlings. You're going to make some hard decisions about what to kill, what to keep, and you'll wind up with the best version of that pilot that you can possibly make. Once you've got that pilot version and you've maybe played it for some people whose opinions you trust, now's the time to start thinking about how you're going to replicate that format going forward. You're thinking about what elements of that first pilot are going to translate into other episodes, that will become a standard part of your podcast. This can be something really simple like how the intro works or where the music comes in or even how loud the music is in relation to your first lines. All of that stuff will inform future episodes. Honestly, it'll make those future episodes easier to make because you've got a blueprint for what an episode is, you can concentrate on what's different about that one. Maybe it's who you're speaking to, the story you're trying to tell, any of that stuff. One other thing that you can build after that first episode is literally a list of the things that you'll need to complete every episode going forward. So maybe it's a little bit of link narration after you've set up who your guest is going into the conversation. Or maybe it's some setup to go to the ad break or things like that. It's just the to-do list of everything that you need to pick up in the next episode to complete the episode. As you put the finishing touches on one or more episodes, now you'll start to think about when you actually want to launch your podcasts for the world to hear. That's what we'll talk about in the next lesson. 10. Prepare Your Podcast for Launch: So there are a few pieces of information that you should have ready to go along with your podcasts launch. You should think about these things as early as possible so that they're ready to go when you're episodes are ready to go. These are things that you'll fill in that also get distributed to podcast app. So it's information about the show that shows up alongside your show. The first, and maybe the most important is what is the title of your show? You might have a really clear idea of what this is already, but if you don't, you should think about strategically how you're going to name the show. It should probably be pretty short, and probably should not have the word podcast in the title. I can't think of many TV shows that are called TV show. Try to avoid putting your own name in the title of your podcast. There are tons of podcasts out there obviously with celebrity names in them, and if you're a celebrity, congratulations, you can probably disregard what I'm telling you. But for most people it doesn't make sense to put your own name in the title of your podcast. For a lot of different contexts, you'll need a concise description of your podcast. It can be a little bit longer than your log line. We're aiming for around 300 words. This will show up in things like the Apple podcast directory, and in podcast apps where people can choose to subscribe to your podcast. Try to avoid again using the word podcast in your description. If people are looking at this they already know that they're looking at the description of a podcast, so don't waste valuable real estate on telling them that it's a podcast when you could be trying to convince someone to listen to the show that you've made. You'll also need to provide the author of the podcast. For most people, that's your name, but in some cases, it might be a production company or the name of a company that you work for. Very important, you need show art. That's this square icon that represents your podcasts in any app where people subscribe to the show. It has to be square, and it should be 3000 by 3000 pixels. Inside that image, you should have the actual title of the show, and as little extra text or logos as possible. This is going to be shown at really small sizes in podcast apps. So you want something that stands out, makes sense, and it's instantly recognizable as your podcast. This is the first impression that somebody has of your show in many cases. So try to make it the best it can possibly be. As you're thinking about how to promote your show down the line, you'll also probably want to get the social channels associated with that show. So pick your Facebook handle, your Twitter handle, maybe a website URL. Try to get those things before you launch so that they're there on day one when you launch your show. If you've chosen to start a website to go along with your podcasts, that website should be a one-stop shop for all of the information that anyone could possibly want about your show. It even probably makes sense if you're really serious to have a section of your site dedicated to an electronic press kit with a description of your show, biographies of whoever is on the show, really high res art available for embedding elsewhere, and maybe some press clippings to be distributed around. This is all to help people who want to know about your show or talk about your show in media, have instant access to all the information that they could possibly want about it. So when you've got all that information squared away, it's time to start thinking about how you're going to distribute your show, and when you're going to launch it. 11. Launch Your Podcast: So you've got all the information about your podcast squared away and now it's time to find a place to host your podcast. Every podcast has an RSS feed, which is basically a list of episodes and where the audio for each one of those episodes lives. That's a file that's hosted somewhere on the Internet say at anchor. That RSS feed is then scraped by apps like Apple podcasts, or Pocket Cast, or radio public, any of those this grape that RSS feed. Now, finding a place to host that RSS feed and your audio, that is what the step is all about. This is pretty similar to how you would choose a blogging platform like Blogger or WordPress or Tumblr. It's the system that you go login into to upload your new episodes, give them descriptions and publish them. I'm a little bit biased, but I think anchor is a great place to host your podcast. It's free. It's great for people just getting started out and since you don't have to pay for it, there's very little risk in starting to host your podcasts there. But, of course there are tons of other places that you can host podcasts ranging from very inexpensive to huge pro plans. Regardless of which host you choose, the first step will be setting up your podcast with its title, description, all of the information that we gathered in the last step. Then from there, you'll want to submit your show to all the popular podcast directories and apps. If you host on anchor will do this for you automatically. If you host anywhere else, you'll have to go to all the services one-by-one and submit your RSS feed. So that would be on Apple podcasts and Stitcher, tune in, all of those endpoints and make sure that your show is listed there. It is a little bit convoluted and a bunch of websites that you'll have to go to, but it is something you only have to do once and people do it. You might have to do a little bit of Googling about how to get your podcast submitted to each of these places, but it's doable. One thing you should definitely know is that you can't submit your podcast feed until you've got some audio inside the feed. That can be a 30-second trailer, that can be some kind of teaser or it can actually be your first episode. I would strongly suggest putting a trailer in your feed before you submit to these places for a couple of reasons. First, it can take a few days to get approved in any of these directories and you don't really have any control about when you'll actually show up on the directory. So, if you want to have absolute control over the launch of your first episode, the best way to do that is by submitting a trailer, having that live in the directory, and then you've got control from then on of when your new episodes appear. So after that initial approval when you hit publish on a new episode, it will show up in those places pretty quickly right afterwards. It's just this one time approval process that is a little bit unpredictable. So I would suggest putting a trailer in the feed first making that the thing that is a little bit hard to predict, and then from then on you get total control over when each of your episodes comes out, and you can do a coordinated launch say, around episode one. As you're launching your show, think about how you consume other podcasts and how you interact with them outside of that show specifically. What's their Twitter account like, what's their website like, what kind of other media exists in the world to promote that podcast, and see what works, and what grabs you and then just emulate it. You only get to launch your podcast once. So, it's really worth spending time thinking about how you're going to do that, when you're going to do that, and what episode you're going to launch with, or maybe its episodes. Think about what is the prototypical episode of your show. You want to come out swinging with something really good and also something that is pretty much what your show will typically sound like. You want to let your new audience and all of your audiences name at this point. You want to let your new audience know what your show sounds like, what you're setting out to do, and what the show is going to be like every time it comes out. It's a tough thing to figure out, but it's really worth spending your time thinking about it if you want a large group of people to be listening to your show. Pick a day that you know you can control and control what happens on that day to promote the podcast. It's a good idea to set aside a lot of time that day to getting people to listen to your podcast. You can promote it over social media obviously and your call to action should generally be to subscribe to the show. A subscriber is really valuable because they'll get every episode of your show as it comes out rather than being a drive-by single listener of the show. It's the same reason a YouTuber would drive subscribers to their channel. It's more valuable if the subscriber gets every new video. It's hard to predict how the Apple Podcast charts work, but we do know that they are at least somewhat informed by the number of new subscribers in an amount of time. So, if you can drive a bunch of subscribers all at once at the beginning of your show's launch to subscribe to the show, you do stand a better chance of winding up on the Apple Podcast charts. Also consider if you're going to launch with one episode, two episodes, three episodes, people approach this all different ways and there isn't one right answer. It's nice in some cases to lunch with more than one episode so that you can get people in the habit of listening to your show. A downside of that approach is that now you've gotten rid of some of the runway that you had leading up to other weeks, and you're going to have to work harder and faster to produce an episode every week if your show is a weekly show. Another thing to consider when you're picking when to launch your show is how much runway do I actually want. You might want to launch after you've already produced four or five episodes just to give yourself a little bit of buffer so that you're not in panic mode week to week producing a show that you can keep up with. Another huge question that people ask all the time is what day of the week should I publish my podcast on? My standard answer is there isn't a standard answer to that question. The most strategic way to approach this for me is what day of the week am I most likely to have a free night, the night before. I don't want to be in a situation where I've committed to publishing my podcasts on Wednesdays, but every Tuesday night I'm taking classes until 10 pm. I want to make sure that I've given myself some buffer time in case something happens, on my way to publishing the show, so that it's never late. Consistency is really really important when you're trying to build an audience for your show and you can do nothing better than publish, like clockwork on the same day of the week, every week, if your show is a weekly show, and making sure that your audience is never asking why you didn't show up for a given episode. So once you've launched your show, you want people to listen to it and you want to grow your audience. So let's talk a little bit about how you could go about doing that. Broadly, you want to make yourself really available. Be around social media, be around your website, make yourself available to people who want to talk to you about your podcast. If you have a website associated with your podcast, you might consider making yourself more searchable by adding full transcripts with episodes or extra bonus content there. It'll drive people to your website and hopefully, more subscribers. A big way that you might see a jump in subscribers is to cross-promote your show. You can find other podcasts that are either about the same topic or have similar audiences. In kind of work ideally where you promote each other on each other's podcasts. So even better, do guest spots interviewing each other on each of these podcasts. This is a great way to reach new audiences because you're reaching them where they're already listening to audio. Once you've got some subscribers and you're seeing a little bit of growth in your show, you may start to consider how you can make money from your podcast. Typically, podcast just make money by reading ads on their show. Getting money from advertisers for promoting a product within the show itself, and host for the ads it turns out are very valuable and you can make some actual money from reading ads on your podcast. There are a few ways to get sponsored on your podcast. There are agencies dedicated to this that you can sign up with, or you could try selling your podcasts directly to potential sponsors. But the easiest way to do it is with anchors, fairly new monitization platform. It's actually really simple to get started with this. You just sign up for the feature, then we match you with sponsors who want to sponsor your podcast. At that point, you'll start getting scripts to read for the ads that are going to be in your podcast, you read them, and then you choose where in your episodes to insert the ads and we serve them automatically into your podcast feed. It's a super easy way to start making money on your podcast pretty much immediately. When to start monetizing your podcast is a matter of personal decision. Some people would like to start monetizing right away. You might not be making much money, but at least it's built into your show. Other people would rather focus on growing a larger audience at first without thinking about monetization and then adding ads later. This is an individual decision and just know that you've got lots of options to monetize your podcast. 12. Final Thoughts: So, that's it. You've reached the end. By now hopefully you're well on your way to making the pilot episode of your podcast. I would love to see whatever you're making, whether that's your outline for your pilot, or your show notes, or even a final episode. You can show those down below in the project gallery, and feel free to ask whatever questions you've got about podcasting, too. I'd be happy to answer them. Thanks so much for taking the class and I can't wait to listen to your podcast.