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“So … why can’t you just start a podcast?” Well, that’s a really good question and here’s another. “Why bother thinking about the ins and outs and pesky details of making a podcast when all you want to do is interview people and/or talk about what-ever comes to mind?” Well, that’s another good question, and here’s one more. “When all is said and done, couldn’t spontaneity be the key to a successful podcast?”
The answers to these three questions are:
- you can;
- you don’t have to
- and, yes.
But these are not the three most important questions you need to ask yourself before you start your own podcast. Hopefully, you will consider these and other questions as you progress towards producing your own podcast, but, you see, there are a lot of things that need to be considered and some are more important than others.
Let’s get real here. Audio recording and editing (especially simple, digital recording and non-destructive editing) is not at all difficult in this day and age but it is an ever-evolving craft as far as equipment and software is concerned. Although not quite the same, this same thought holds true for video recording and editing. Podcasting, more often than not, is merely an extension of recording and editing either audio or video or both.
While we’re at it, let’s not forget what a definition of podcasting actually is. It is the ability of the listener to take recorded audio or video files of information they’re interested in and listen to them at a time more convenient for them. Perhaps better stated, it is a recorded audio or video file that is portable and time-shiftable by the listener.
In the end, however simple or complicated you decide to make the above tasks determines what equipment and software you will need, but those are questions we can better answer later.
Now that we’ve gotten those preliminaries out of the way, there are other things you need to consider as you plan producing your podcast. You don’t need to consider every little detail here at the beginning, but you do need to think about the bigger picture. In other words, you may know you want to be podcaster, but, do you know what you are getting yourself into?
Let’s take a look at three of the questions you really need to ask yourself before you get started and before you make any large investments in equipment or software.
First: Just how serious are you about making a regular podcast?
- You must first make up your mind whether or not you are really serious about doing a regular podcast. Believe me, somewhere down the road you will definitely come to the point of answering this question and you might as well answer it first. It is one of the most important you can ask yourself right now, before you spend any money or invest in any equipment or software. Think it through. After the newness wears off and the drudgery kicks in will you still want to pursue this?
Second: How much do you want to invest in this adventure?
- Just because you only have a little money — or don’t have any money — to invest in equipment or software doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your goal. It just means you may have to be more creative in your approach to getting started. It may mean you have to think a little harder or consider more broadly how you can actually get started or where you want to spend what little money you do or don’t have to purchase the necessary equipment or software. It is my opinion, if you have a relatively new computer and a microphone that records your voice somewhat decently, you are ready to get started, (even if only on a limited basis to begin with.) Your options are still wide open in any case. Trust me, if you really want to be a podcaster, there are even ways to be one whether you have a computer or not.
Third: How willing are you to listen to the input of others even if you have a working knowledge of recording, editing and podcasting?
- Just because you know a lot doesn’t mean you know it all. Swallow that pride, be open-minded and listen to the input of others. You may not agree with them and you may not use all or any of what they offer but you can gain valuable input and information from them; and come to better know why you do things the way you do and why their way won’t work for you. You never know, you may actually find they have some really good ideas that you can tweak and use for your own purpose. (Who knows, you may even one day discover that people are willing to listen to what you have to say concerning this ever-changing way of communicating ideas to others.)
As I said earlier in this article, there are many things you need to consider before jumping headlong into your choice of podcasting. These are three of the ones I consider to be most important to consider before you get started. I do believe if you take the time to evaluate them and your plans for your production you will be miles ahead now and in the future.
See you next time …