Whether you want to start a podcast, just started podcasting, or have been doing it for years, there is always more to learn and ways to improve.
There are excellent guides all over the internet for all things podcasting and audio production. But, there is also a lot of junk so it can be hard to find the best information.
So I've spent the last few weeks pulling together the best free podcasting resources I could find. I'm including resources that apply to all different skill levels on a variety of podcasting topics.
I hope to update this resource list with new guides as they come out, so feel free to recommend resources you've found valuable. And be sure to check out this page in the future so you can return when you're tackling a new podcasting hurdle.
Guides to start your podcast
You'll want to start with a general guide on how to start a podcast. There are three that stand out from the rest, and they complement each other really well.
- How to Start a Podcast: Pat’s Complete Step-By-Step Podcasting Tutorial. This guide was created by one of the most successful podcasters out there. Pat has an inspirational story and will help get you in the right mindset to start your podcast.
- How to Make a Podcast: The step-by-step guide by Buzzsprout. This is one of the best guides on starting a podcast (and I'm not just saying that because I'm writing for them). It covers everything from “why to start a podcast” to mic technique and speaking style to equipment and editing—all the way to uploading your first episode.
- Podcasting for Beginners by Buffer. This is a detailed guide that I recommend checking out as well. It covers many of the same topics, but they also includes lots of great examples to help illustrate the main points.
Guides to podcasting equipment
You absolutely need a microphone for podcasting. But which one? And what else do you need? There is a ton of different podcasting equipment and your needs will vary depending on how many people you have and your skill level with audio equipment.
- Best Podcast Equipment (For Beginners & Pros) - This is a guide I wrote to highlight the audio recording equipment you will need, as well as some things you may want to get later as you get more serious to really build out a complete podcast studio.
- Podcast Equipment: Helping You Find the Best Podcast Gear. The Podcast Host has some of the best podcasting guides out there. This is an entire section devoted to their various equipment guides. Lots of great resources when you have an idea of what type of equipment you're in the market for.
- Podcasting Equipment for various Budgets. A sound engineer at Tech Talks Central recommends 3 basic podcasting equipment packages depending on your budget and your possible recording situations.
Take a look at this podcast starter kit for easy-to-follow gear recommendations whether you are hosting solo or have 3 co-hosts.
Podcast Audio Quality Guides
Here are 10 excellent tips to improve your podcasting audio quality from iZotope. They cover a nice variety of recommendations about your recording environment, mic technique, editing, and more. Follow these and you’ll sound better than 90%* of podcasts out there.
NPR’s audio training category covers a lot more than just audio quality tips, but they clearly know their stuff and have a bunch of great resources to dive into. This printable field recording checklist is one of my favorites.
* 90% number is completely made up. But you’ll definitely sound much better, which will keep your audience engaged and wanting to keep listening.
Recording Remote Interviews
Interview-style shows are very popular. They are a great way to grow your audience by tapping into your interviewee’s audience. They also allow you to be associated with well-known names in your industry, raising your status in the process.
Buzzsprout has an excellent article all about recording remote interviews. They cover Zencastr, Ringr, Cast, and Skype. Those first 3 are paid services dedicated to getting quality recordings over the internet.
Skype can be hit or miss, but is a great choice if you’re on a budget. You’ll need a way to record your Skype calls as that functionality is not built in.
Audio Editing Guides
Audio editing is important and even if you don’t plan on doing it yourself, it’s still a good idea to know your way around a DAW (digital audio workstation) - that’s the software program you edit with.
Here are a few really detailed tutorials that should help you get started using various programs:
Audacity is free, but quite powerful. It’s a great place to start before investing more advanced programs.
- Audacity Tutorial: 17 Essential Podcast Recording & Editing Tips
- How to record and edit a podcast with Audacity
Reaper is a low-cost audio editing program that is very popular in the podcasting world. The podcast editing company Podigy put together an amazing podcast editing guide with detailed instructions and clear screenshots. You’ll also want to read their podcast recording and audio clean up posts.
All 3 of these are some of the best posts I’ve seen.
Adobe Audition is one of the powerhouses for podcast editing. If you have a Creative Cloud subscription, you already have it so you might as well use it. This Podcasting with Adobe Audition guide is directed toward beginners but covers quite a bit with tons of screenshots. Adobe also has detailed help files for podcasting that should be a good starting point too.
Podcast Cover Art Guides
Should you judge a podcast by its cover? It doesn’t matter, because that’s what happens. You need great eye-catching cover art to stand out when people are searching for a podcast to listen to. It will make you look more professional, giving your new listener a better first impression.
Once you're convinced you need to invest some time in creating your artwork, check out these tips to Design Stunning Podcast Cover Art That Stands Out in iTunes.
Podcast Show Notes Guides
Podcast show notes are important for a variety of reasons. It gives people a place to visit for more information. You can provide links to resources you mentioned, people you interviewed, or products you’re trying to sell.
I personally like a summary vs a word-for-word transcript, but it can be valuable to provide both. Search engines like Google tend to like more written content at this point so I would aim to have at least 500 words for each show note page.
ConvertKit recently came out with a series of podcast-related articles, but this one about creating better show notes is really good.
Podcast Motor also has an excellent article on podcasting show notes.
Best Podcasting Courses
- Pat Flynn (hi Pat!) of Smart Passive Income recently came out with Power-Up Podcasting, a thorough podcasting course that has received amazing feedback so far. It seems he only releases it a few times a year so you can personally help as much as possible.
- If you want something to get started with right away (and a little more budget-friendly), John Lee Dumas’s Free Podcasting Course is a perfect place to start.
- We can’t forget about Colin Gray’s Podcast Academy. It’s a membership that includes a number of different courses, live coaching, checklists, and a community of like-minded podcasters. He has courses on interviewing, using a digital recorder, planning, and more. This is an excellent value and Colin is a great teacher.
What did I miss?
What other great resources have you found to help with podcasting and audio production? Help out your fellow podcasters by sharing them in comments!
Ross Kaplan-Winn provides detailed podcasting guides and well-researched audio equipment reviews at Podcast Insights to help people start podcasting or improve the one they already have.