This section provides resources from independent podcasters and well-established audio producers on how to get started on your podcast and how to successfully plan and tell a story.
Lynda.com is an online educational site that features courses and videos related to technology. Beginner courses related to podcasting include: "Learning RSS and Podcast Subscriptions," "GarageBand: Podcasting," and "Learning Audacity." Lynda.com is available remotely through the New York Public Library, or check with your institution.
Logo by Source, Fair use, Via Wikimedia Commons
These "Tenets of Good Podcasting" come from "Turn Up the Volume: A Down and Dirty Guide to Podcasting" by Michael O'Connell (2017):
1. Podcasting is hard; do the work
- "you need to be committed to doing the work necessary to succeed" (p. 2)
2. A podcast is a promise; post regular episodes on time
- "Will it be monthly, bimonthly, weekly, biweekly, daily? ...Be realistic about how much time you have to commit." (p. 5)
3. Start shorter; earn longer
- "Some episodes can be a few minutes, whereas others can go on for hours." (p. 7)
4. Every episode is an audition
- "produce quality content that people will enjoy listening and coming back to again and again." (p. 9)
5. Imagine the person you're talking to
- "Identifying your audience before you start recording will make it easier for you to create content they can relate to and find enjoyable." (p. 15)
O'Connell, M. (2017). Turn up the volume: A down and dirty guide to podcasting. New York, NY: Routledge. [not available through the New York Public Library, check with you local institution]
Lessons from an Independent Podcaster -- A few things to keep in mind while starting a podcast written by an independent podcaster for Bello Collective, an online newsletter that writes about podcasts. This is a short, digestible article that also has an audio version if you prefer to listen to the advice.
McLoughlin, A. (2017, June 19). Lessons from an independent podcaster. Bello Collective. Retrieved from https://bellocollective.com/lessons-from-an-independent-podcaster-86ae0d324216
Podcasting for Dummies -- This is a comprehensive podcasting how-to book, but the chapter “Before You Hit the Record Button” is applicable when you are thinking about preliminary logistics, such as finding a topic for your podcast, determining the release schedule, and deciding on a music theme. Available in hardcopy and eBook from the New York Public LIbrary, or check with your local institution for access.
Morris, T., & Tomasi, C. (2017). Before you hit the record button. In Podcasting for dummies (3rd ed., pp. 89-111). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
How to Start Your Own Podcast Guide 2018 -- This in-depth blog post explains more than the first steps to starting a podcast, but does give concrete, guiding advice on beginning steps such as how to find a name for your podcast, what format your podcast could take, how to choose your podcast artwork, and how to decide on the episode length and release schedule.
Spencer, J. (2018). How to start your own podcast guide 2018 [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://makeawebsitehub.com/how-to-start-a-podcast/
So You Wanna Start a Podcast? -- This is an intensive, in-depth post from noted podcaster, Zach Valenti, with information ranging from equipment recommendations to branding ideas. The first section of the article has a few do’s and don’t’s for the mindset of a beginning podcaster.
Valenti, Z. (2017, July 25). So you wanna start a podcast? [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://medium.com/@zachvalenti/so-you-wanna-start-a-podcast-6f4081db4036
FactCheck.Org -- FactCheck.Org describes itself as a “nonpartisan, nonprofit ‘consumer advocate’ for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.” The project comes out of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania and monitors and verifies public statements made by American political leaders. The site also has a feature where you can ask FactCheck or SciCheck (for public policy issues related to science) your own questions. Accuracy in any endeavour is important and you may find this useful if you plan to focus on politics in your podcast.
Annenberg Public Policy Center. (n.d.). FactCheck.Org. https://www.factcheck.org/
A Blueprint for Planning Storytelling Projects -- Storytelling is a process and it is helpful to know where you’re going before you start. This article from National Public Radio (NPR) outlines a project blueprint, a list of questions you should ask yourself as you’re planning a podcast. Each section guides you through what you should focus on and how much time you should devote to answering each question.
Athas, E. & Graslie, S. (2017, February 27). A blueprint for planning storytelling projects. Retrieved from http://training.npr.org/audio/a-blueprint-for-planning-storytelling-projects/
Image: “Storytelling” by Becris, CCBY, from the Noun Project
Reality Radio: Telling True Stories in Sound -- This book features engaging essays by well-known radio and podcast makers such as Ira Glass and Jad Abumrad about their own experiences with working behind a mic. These essays are not how-to’s, but are meant to be inspirational. This book is especially applicable to anyone interested in radio documentaries, featuring real-life people and stories. Available from the New York Public Library or check with your local institution.
Biewen, J., & Dilworth, A. (Eds.). (2010). Reality radio: Telling true stories in sound (2nd ed.). Durham, NC: University of North Carolina Press.
A Master Audio Storyteller on How to Create a Powerful Podcast -- An article with tips from Marty Goldensohn, “an Emmy award-winning radio and television producer.” The short, introductory article includes definitions of different types of podcasts, how to carry out a successful field recording or interview, how to tailor your voice to speaking on a podcast, and how to write for an audio-only medium.
Hepworth, S. (2017, April 14). A master audio storyteller on how to create a powerful podcast. Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved from https://www.cjr.org/innovations/how-to-make-a-podcast.php
Radio Intros: 5 Examples of Success -- How can you intrigue new listeners to listen past the first minute of your podcast? This article from NPR gives several examples of successful audio story introductions. These introductions may provide a visual analogy, leave the listener in some suspense, or add a playful tone to draw in the listener.
MacAdam, A. (2017, January 10). Radio intros: 5 examples of success. Retrieved from http://training.npr.org/audio/radio-intros-5-examples-of-success/
Podcasting for Dummies -- This is a comprehensive podcasting how-to book, but the chapter “Interview-Fu: Talk to Me, Grasshopper” is applicable when you are thinking about how to set up interviews and how to craft questions that will engage both your interviewee and your audience. Available in hardcopy and eBook from the New York Public LIbrary.
Morris, T., & Tomasi, C. (2017). Interview-Fu: Talk to me, Grasshopper. In Podcasting for dummies (3rd ed., pp. 89-111). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Journalism of Empathy -- In this episode of HowSound, podcast host Rob Rosenthal interviews another journalist and podcaster, Meribah Knight, on how she used a journalism of empathy in her new podcast The Promise. For example, Knight suggests viewing the situation from your interviewee’s standpoint, listening to them instead of trying to just pull out a quotable moment. HowSound is a podcast from Transom.org, a program sponsored by American Public Media, which provides workshops and online resources for media creators.
Rosenthal, Rob. (2018, February 6). Journalism of Empathy. HowSound. Podcast retrieved from https://transom.org/2018/journalism-of-empathy/
Master Your Message: The Guide to Finding Your Voice in Any Situation -- Podcaster, inspirational speaker, and digital strategist Vernon Ross shares his personal experiences with how he became more comfortable speaking in public and learned how to say and express what he meant. This book is a small quick read that may offer some helpful, motivating advice as you embark on your podcasting project. Not available from the New York Public Library; check with your local institution for access.
Ross, V. (2017). Master Your Message: The guide to finding your voice in any situation. New York, NY: Morgan James Publishing.