The Podcast Experiment of 2020

by Benas | Last Updated: April 27, 2020

Yes, this is happening. Are you excited as I am? Probably not… After all, I am just another stranger on the internet making a podcast.

But if you are curious, then hop on this train!

Okay, I am done – let’s begin for real 🙂

I am creating a podcast for this website which will be about building websites, SEO, affiliate marketing, business experiments and everything in between.

The goal is to have something more regular (like a weekly podcast) and have people more engaged + I think I will enjoy making these, as the blog posts, at least currently, are not going to be a regular thing.

Also, podcast seems like a more suitable medium for a more relaxed conversation compared to these blog posts are more like experiments.

I have never created, nor I know how to create a podcast. I am basically an average Joe here, which I think will be very relatable to many of you, so this experiment will be from the eyes of someone that has never done anything similar to this.

I will show my whole process, from start to finish as well as publish my results such as:

Okay, you get the gist – let’s start with essentials.

Phase 1: the Gear, the Tools, the Goal and the Deadline

I did some “Googling” to see what do I need to make a podcast. Here are the main ingredients:

  1. Microphone
  2. Software to record/edit podcast
  3. Cover image
  4. Scripts
  5. Podcast intro/outro (theme music)
  6. Hosting

Wait… that’s it?

Yeah, I know, doesn’t look like a lot, but that may be a disguise (not sure yet). Let’s break down everything into sections.

The Gear

Arguably – the microphone is one of the most important aspects of the podcast.

Of course, content always goes first, but if you are talking through the microphone of your laptop, it may not be so pleasant for the listeners, especially when podcasts can be over 1 hour long.

I am not saying you need the most expensive studio-quality microphone, but something more decent would go a long way.

After a little research, listening to various podcasts and youtube videos, I found that this Blue Yeti microphone has the best price/quality ratio.

Blue Yeti microphone
Here is mine

Fun fact: at some point, even Marques Brownlee used it (most influential tech reviewer out there).

I have read that headphones are advised to use, as it will make it easier to monitor your recording in real-time. But I am not including that here, as I am not buying any additional headphones and I believe most of us already have something laying around and that should do the trick for now.

Personally, I will be using Apple wire headphones that connect directly to the microphone.

Okay, that is now in order, let’s move onto the next section.

The Tools

Descript

One of my favorite podcaster published a video on how he used a software called Descript to record and edit one of his podcasts.

I was instantly hooked! The software seems simple, easy to use and edit.

Also, they have one of the best product videos I have ever seen! Take a look:

How can you not at least try their product after this video?

Disclosure: I am not in any way affiliated with Descript, just genuinely thing they had an amazing product video and wanted to try it out for myself.

It’s $10/month, but they do offer 3 hours of recording for free, so this will be a great way to test the software and see if want to keep it.

However, some of you may be screaming at me – why not use free software to start? For example, on my Mac, I have a QuickTime player which can easily record an audio sound.

Reason – editing.

As I am a complete beginner, I will make mistakes along the way. The problem with a simple audio recording – editing process will become much more frustrating and will take much longer.

For example, one of the features that I love on Descript is that they actually transcribe your whole recording, they remove any “uh” sounds automatically and finding errors makes it a LOT easier and faster.

Now in comparison, imagine that you only have an audio file. You actually have to listen carefully through all of the file and mark seconds where you say “uh” or want to remove something.

So $10/month for removing all that hassles seem worth it to me.

Google Docs

Another tool that I will be using is Google Docs (keeping it simple).

I am going to create scripts for my podcast, but they are going to be more like bullet points so that I don’t start to ramble about random things and keep everything on the topic.

Although it may be obvious to some, still felt like mentioning this.

Here is a little teaser of the first episode

Canva

I am going to need a cover image of my podcast and Canva seems to be perfect for this.

I do have a paid subscription, but you can also use their free version and honestly it’s enough.

However, if you do decide to use some premium images or icons, they cost like around $1, so it’s not something that will break your bank.

Fiverr

Yes, I will be using Fiverr for one thing, however, this part is definitely optional, as I don’t think it adds that much more value compared to the microphone.

I want to have a cool intro/outro of my podcast. And to be honest, Fiverr has some great ones out there!

Just search “podcats intro” there. I was very surprised to see so many good ones out there (you can listen to their previous work) and they charge around $50.

For a one time thing, seem worth it to me.

There are some really good ones there!

Transistor.fm

This was completely new information to me. Apparently, you need to host your podcast somewhere and then submit RSS feed to different platforms like Spotify or Apple.

After looking around a bit, Transisotr.fm seems like a good choice.

However, I do admit, this one is a bit pricy, but other services, although a little cheaper, had drawbacks or they were limited in terms of features.

Compared to Descript, paying here $19/month – I don’t see much value and think it’s a bit expensive, but I have to host my episodes somewhere.

This will do for now, but I may change later.

As of now, I haven’t yet signed-in or explored this one, so more details coming in the next phase.

Execution

So that’s it – we have all the necessary gear and tools ready.

I briefly mentioned the goal at the beginning of the post, but want to expand a little.

Storytime!

I never really listened to any podcasts until 2019. That was the year, where I accidentally found one podcast that I really liked and once I got wireless headphones I saw the full potential.

Going to the gym, driving the car, walking alone, cleaning the house – all of these activities were transformed completely. I am a big fan of music, but it gets boring after some time and it becomes a very passive activity.

With podcasts, I am actually learning something new, I am way more engaged, but it also does not disturb me to do other things.

Basically, I am really enjoying this type of content and as I am making a Benas Digital website, this type of medium seems fitting.

Again, these blog posts may not be a regular thing, as they will require time. Heck, even take this post as an example. The time between phases (times when I update the article) can be months!

Thus, podcasts seem like a very fun way to produce content, that is more laid back but can be done consistently.

The Plan

To produce 1 episode per week. I think the episodes will be between 20 minutes and 1 hour, so it seems doable.

It may sound like a lot or not – depending on your experience with podcasts.

However, I will be writing scripts and coming up with ideas in bulk, as this part seems to be the most time consuming, at least for now.

But once that is out of the way, recording and editing will be fun and I don’t think it will take too much time. I already have experience with video editing and Descript software seems easy to use (a lot of similarities with video editing).

So one a weekly basis it should look something like this:

At first, I will make only one episode from start to finish. I want to see how I feel about the whole process and if there are things that I haven’t thought about. Later on, I may even bulk record episodes. I will see how the overall process goes, as I may keep it a weekly thing.

The Goal

This podcasts, at least as of right now, is not meant to make any money, so it’s not created as a “business” but more like a side project/hobby to engage with you 🙂

This means I may still make episodes even if I don’t get many listeners. Right now, I am committed to run podcasts until the end of 2020 and then I will decide if I should continue or not.

Currently, the ideal would be to get to 100 downloads per episode.

Yes, I know that’s nothing in the podcasting world, but I am looking at this from a different angle.

HOLY SHIT – 100 different people tune in every week to listen to me!

If I reach this, then the podcast will have a much higher priority and will motivate me to go even further.

However, I am don’t want to get ahead of myself, let’s first start with 10 downloads per episode over the coming months.

Phase 2: Making the First Episode

The first, thing I did, was to record the first episode.

I was excited and I was nervous.

The first episode took about one hour to record, because I kept failing and wanted to start all other again, didn’t feel conformable, and always messed up the script that I had.

1 hour of recording and the end result was only 16 min… Not very efficient, but I gave it a pass – it was my first time recording with this microphone, this software, and from the script.

One thing, I will tell you straight away – I didn’t like the reading from the script. After listening, it feels a bit off and you can even hear that I am reading.

Maybe if I had a professional script and would know it well, that may work, but for now, I am ditching scripts.

I already recorded the 2nd and 3rd episodes and for those, I only had a structure, main bullet points prepared, and personally – I enjoyed recording way more!

So, I will keep the podcast natural – no reading from scripts!

Also, the second and third episodes were recorded way faster and the process was much smoother, so I think I can keep the recording time under 1 hour for each episode.

A few comments on the software – Descript. I really like it! It’s very simple to use, very intuitive, and deleting “uh” or any other words or unnecessary sentences is super easy! Still have a bit more than 1-hour free recording left, but I am definitely subscribing!

Ordering intro & outro

Once the episodes were recorded and edited, I went on Fiverr and order the intro and outro.

The guy who made it is a legend! I really loved the end result and the whole process of his is very professional.

Here, take a listen:

Benas Digital Podcast Intro

And it all costs around $110 which I think is a reasonable price. Every other sample on the Fiverr didn’t sound appealing to me, so although more expensive than others, as a one-time thing, that suited me.

Besides, I want my intro so sound cool and professional – after all, this is one of the first impression that the listener gets, I want it to count!

If you want, you can check him out on Fiverr and his other sample from which I bought the intro.

Making cover image

I am not a designer, but I do think I have a “sense” for colors and basics aesthetics, so I was making a cover on my own, through Canva.

Actually, it took a little longer than I expected as cover did not look professional and I had no idea where to start. I was working on this for a few days and a few hours at the time.

With a help of my little sister who is into graphics design and arts, she gave me a couple of pointers and that is what I needed to produce the final results which I am very proud of!

To me, it looks freaking amazing 🙌

Podcast Cover

Uploading the podcast

Once I had all of the pieces:

I was ready to sign-up to Transistor.fm and upload my podcast!

The process was super smooth and simple – not much to talk about.

Here take a look at the screenshot of what type of information you need to upload:

Side note: with only a few clicks, Transistor generates a website for you, which you can use to promote your podcast! Actually, I think this can be very useful and the site looks decent! If you don’t know how to build a website or don’t want to bother, this is the easiest option. Take a look at mine.

Submitting the podcast

The next step was to submit an RSS feed to all podcasting platforms.

If you don’t know, here is a little explainer about how a podcast works:

  1. You have to host your podcast somewhere (the same way you host a website). For me that is Transistor, but there are many podcasting hosting platforms out there – just Google them.
  2. Once you have all information set up, then you need to go to each individual platform and submit an RSS link (it looks like a normal URL).
  3. This only needs to be done once. The process is a bit tedious, as you need to find all of the platforms and each one has a different review process.
  4. The most important platforms are Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google podcasts as those make up the majority of podcasting listeners. Apple podcast is especially important as many other platforms read RSS feeds from Apple and copy them into their own platforms.
  5. It should take up to a week to get your podcast on every single podcasting platform.
  6. That is it! Uploaded the new episode on Transistor (or any podcasting hosting) and your new episodes will be available everywhere!

As a reference: Spotify was the easiest and quickest to show my podcast on its platform. I think it literally took an hour or something! Crazy! Apple podcast took 3 days to review and accept.

Here is my podcast playlist, take a listen down below or visit my new podcast page!

Phase 3: Promotion

The podcast is out and now the promotion begins. The goal is to get at least 10 subscribers that would listen to the podcast on a weekly basis, thus creating the first real audience.

It may take a week or a few months to reach those numbers, so the next update will be once I have something significant to show!

Until next time!


If you don’t want to miss the update, consider 👉 subscribing to my newsletter and I will let you know once this post is updated with phase three (it may take 2-8 weeks before the next update)

If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions – feel free to email me at ben@benasdigital.com

I would love to know who is reading my blog 🙂

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