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The Ultimate Podcaster Starter Kit on a Budget

podcasters kit on a budget

Introduction

How do you start a podcast without breaking the bank? Maybe my podcaster starter kit can help.

If you are thinking about starting a podcast to share your message with the world, the first thing you think of is probably that you have to buy tons of equipment. Not everyone has thousands of dollars to start their own podcast. 

When I first started podcasting. I had difficulties coming up with the right starter kit for me.  It took a lot of time and spent money I didn’t need to.  I didn’t want you to go through that. So I created this great starter kit with everything you need to launch your show without going broke.

Because despite what you might think you don’t need to spend a lot of money to start your podcast.

Even if money is not an issue, you will find my podcast starter kit will provide you with the basic tools you need to start and grow your podcast.

It’s easy to swirl your way down a rabbit hole when learning about how to start a podcast.  Yes. There’s a lot of information out there.  

I wanted to keep this kit simple. Because your message matters more. Getting started matters.  

Maybe all you need is a mic and a hosting platform. 

And while there are dozens of options to choose from, it can feel like you’re running into brick walls as you sift through them. This post offers an Ultimate Podcaster Starter Kit on a Budget that lists the most essential pieces of hardware and software you’ll need to get started with your podcast.

Basic Equipment Set up

Samson Technologies Q2U *

*Similar to the Audio Technica ATR 2100 which has been discontinued.

Foam Microphone Windscreen

Audio Technica ATH M20x*

**Picked by Riverside.fm as the best podcasting headphone under $100.

Breaking it Down

Microphone

It’s true you can use you computer mic or you can use your iPhone to record your podcast.  Some of the top podcasters sometimes use their phone for recording.  But the little nuances that comes with creating, editing, publishing, and promoting your podcast, may not allow you to use your phone or computer mic on an ongoing basis.  

Choose a low cost mic like the AudioTechnica ATR-2100.  It’s recommended by top podcast teachers and will make your show sound professional.  

Unfortunately the ATR2100 was discontinued, although it’s still currently available on Amazon. The Samson Technologies Q2U is a similar microphone that’s just as good if you don’t want to purchase the ATR2100.

I’ve also seen the Blue Yeti come highly recommended among bloggers. However, in taking my lead from the best, my preference for good quality low cost starter mic is either the ATR-2100 or the Samson Technologies Q2U.

You can choose from a wide selection of headphones on the market.  If you don’t already have one you may opt for noise canceling headphones.  But most headphones will do when you are starting from scratch.

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    Software

    Recording/Editing:

    If you are using an Apple platform, you can use GarageBand to record and edit your solo show. It’s a free software that comes with your Mac and is easy to use. Just plug in your mic and headphone and begin to record. 

    GarageBand also has a notepad so you can create writing prompts to remind you of what to say.

    You can also use Audacity to record and edit your podcast. It is free and can be used with either Mac or PC. 

    Audacity has many more features than GarageBand and can also be used to remove background noise easily. This is a great option for when you thought the baby was asleep but she let you know she’s awake right in the middle of your recording. Yikes!

    Finally, use Auphonic to normalize loudness so your recording sounds more even. You can upload up to 2 hours worth of recordings per month free of charge.

    Intro/Outro

    One of the features of your podcast will be the intro and outro. What you will say at the beginning and ending of your show. Most podcast have just music with a voice over for their Intro. I used a clip form my son’s single.

    Audio Jungle is one location where you can get hundreds and thousands of royalty free music and audio clips for your show.

    Another site you can use is Music Radio Creative. I like them because you can customize the voice you want (say one with an English or Australian accent).

    Hosting

    Most hosting companies will let you start for free. The free period gives you time to get a couple of episodes recorded and ready for publication.

    My two favorite podcast hosts are Captivate.fm which i currently use and Buzzsprout which I used during my first year podcasting. 

    Each has similar features such as in depth analysis of your show’s listener behavior.  Broken down by location.

    Podcast hosts are evolving. I see a lot of changes in offering during the last 2 years.  The good news is that it seems owners are listening to their customers (podcast hosts) and making improvements as a result. 

    Miscellaneous

    Artwork

    One very important part of starting your podcast is to create artwork. And though this might seem daunting, you can easily create your podcast artwork on Canva which is a graphic creation software you can use for free. When you are well on your way with podcasting, upgrading to Canva Pro will give you the ability to create audio and video clips to promote your episodes on social media.

    If you can’t be bothered to figure out how to design your podcast artwork, you can hire someone for as little as $5 on Fiverr.

    When you can’t or are unwilling to shell out big bucks for graphic design, either Canva or Fiverr can be a great source for free or low costs podcast artwork creation.

    More…

    One of the more important steps to creating and making your podcast available on Apple is to create an account at itunesconnect.apple.com  You can use your current itunes account but that’s something you may want to think about before you proceed. 

    Podcasting on the Go

    When I traveled across the US and Canada last year while still podcasting, I learned that several methods exists for you to continue to create and publish your show as if you never left home.

    The Zoom H6 is a popular mobile recording equipment.  There are several models.  When you are ready to choose, check out the features that works best for you.

    This model works for audio as well as video recording.

    Or you can also explore Spotify’s Soundtrap which offers podcasting on the go more. 

    Recording Guest Interviews

    What if you want to interview guests on your podcast? There are a host of free tools you can use to record both audio and video content for your podcast.

    Zoom is not just for meetings. You can use zoom to record your podcast and so can your guests. The software is free to download from the app store so no need to purchase anything.

    In addition to Zoom, I’ve used Skype as well. Only thing with Skype you would need to purchase Call Recorder for Skype to record your episode. One thing I really like about Skype is that if your guest is in another country, you can give them a local number for them to use for dialing in.

    Both Zoom and Skype are free or very low cost ways to record your guest interviews.

    When you want to level up your podcast interviews with a service that can provide backup recordings, create transcripts, and merge both audio and video, a platform like Riverside.fm will help you with all of that and much more.  With Riverside.fm you can livestream to Facebook and YouTube.  You can also invite an audience to your recording.

    I like this service because they respond to emails quickly and have a live chat you can use even during your recording.  

    A similar product to Riverside.fm is Squadcast.fm.  I used Squadcast.fm prior to using Riverside but I switched because they did not have video capabilities at the time.  

    When you are ready to level up from Zoom and Skype try one or both and see which one works best for you and your show.

    Important to Note

    1. When purchasing your microphone, be sure to check your connection. The ATR2100 microphone above comes with both a USB and an XLR connector. With the XLR jack (see picture below) you will need to run your microphone through an audio interface like the Focusrite Scarlet Solo.

    2. When i purchased my new MacBook Pro earlier this year, I noticed it only had two ports. I had to purchase the adaptor so I could plug in more than two equipment. For example, before I purchased the ATR-2100 I had the Audio Technica Broadcast Mic which is a combination of a microphone and headphones. But because the one I purchased only used the XLR connection, had to buy an audio interface (Scarlet Solo mentioned above). So I need more than 2 USB ports.

    ultimate podcast kit xlr audio interface

    Conclusion

    Starting a podcast can be daunting. But you can start more quickly and improve your way to the top with my budget friendly podcast kit. Once you get started you can upgrade to a more sophisticated set up that matches your personality and podcasting goals.

    Below are a few more resources that might help with your podcasting journey. Some links are affiliate but some are not.

    Have you started or want to start a podcast? What is the biggest hurdle you are facing right now? Leave a comment below and let us know.

    If you need help setting up your podcast or talking through options for starting your podcast, drop me an email and let’s talk about it @ jen@jrosmarie.com

    Resources

    #beaguest #findaguest platforms

    Check out Matchmaker.fm if you are looking for guests for you podcast.  You can also create a profile that other podcast hosts can use to qualify you as a guest for their show.  Appearing on other podcast is a great way for you to access another podcast audience.  This helps to give both you and your show more exposure which can help to grow your show.

    Another great platform where I’ve gotten a few guests as well is Andrew Allemann’s Podcastguest.com.  You can use both sites for free so you can test your needs and preferences.  

    Don’t forget you can join Facebook podcast groups where you can get connected with shows looking for guests, as well as find guests for your show.

    Facebook Groups

    Christian Podcasters Association

    Women in Podcasting

    Moms Who Podcast

    Learning 

    PowerUp Podcasting w/Pat Flynn.  

    The PowerUp Podcasting course is a step by step course that teaches you how to start and grow your podcast.  Each lesson is taught by Pat.  He demonstrates through examples of even the smallest steps.  You know those little steps that can trip you up or frustrate the heck out of you.

    For example I learned from Pat through the course, about the free Auphonic tool above that helps to even out the “sound” of your podcast. 

    Why it’s awesome: Weekly Office hours where you can ask your specific questions or learn from questions others may ask.  Answered by Pat himself.

    Membership/Mentorship

    Podcaster’s Paradise with John Lee Dumas.

    I got my first podcast mentorship pairing from Podcaster’s Paradise.  It gave me the opportunity to connect with another podcaster.  We bounced ideas off each other.  We became a good support for each other through the early years of podcasting.  

    One other advantage of membership in Podcaster’s Paradise is that you get to add your podcast to their membership directory.  

    Why it’s awesome: Peer mentoring when you need it most.

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