Starting a Christian Podcast is a high calling! If you’re feeling led to begin a ministry through podcasting, praise the Lord! I think that there is no such thing as “too many” Christian Podcasts. So, don’t let the vast amount of Christian Podcasters deter you from following what God is placing on your heart.
Pray often. Ask for discernment. Give your dreams and hopes and desires to God and be obedient to what He is calling you to do!
That all being said, Christian Podcasting is not easy. It takes effort, consistency, and a constant learning and awareness. It brings on Spiritual Warfare, it makes the Enemy turn his head towards you and it causes you to take up your armor and fight the good fight of faith.
Christian Podcasting will most likely test your resolve. It will cause you to decide if you truly lean on God, or if you lean on your own efforts (a mistake I have so sorely made and am learning from!) Podcasting for God’s glory will cause you to learn a deeper dependence on Him. It will spur you on to desire Him more. It will lead you deeper into the Word. Or, at least, it should. Because if you’re heart isn’t right with God, it will audibly become noticeable. Your pride will get in the way. You’ll become too focused on subscribers, reviews, downloads, analytics. It will drive you bonkers… or, it will drive you closer to Jesus. Closer to knowing His grace, His salvation, His mercy, to knowing Him.
And all while you’re getting to know Him better, you’ll be documented. Your voice will be heard, and you will- by the Holy Spirit- draw others closer to Him.
After deep reflection and prayer, here’s the nitty gritty to what it looks like to actually start a podcast:
Podcasting isn’t free.
It’s not free concerning time and it’s not free in regards to money.
The Cost of Your Time
Depending on the length of the show, your set-up, and your editing experience, the time it takes from idea to publishing an episode may vary.
For me, 20 episodes in, each episode approximately takes 6-12 hours to create.
Sending an email and corresponding back and forth with the potential guest
Creating a podcast format guide and compiling questions for the guest (see below my formatting guide that I send to guests)
Recording the actual interview (1 hour)
Editing (3-4 hours); this includes pausing and typing out noteworthy quotes that I can further use in my show notes, and for social media promotion
Publishing (copy writing, editing images, compiling show notes)
This can vary depending on what services you use, and if you have a Podcast Website.
For me, I host my website on Squarespace (which I absolutely love and would recommend over WordPress or any other website building site)
This costs a domain name of $99 a year
You can use Squarespace to publish and host your Podcast media, however, I was running into a few problems trying to do that that I could not work around, so I opted to integrate an outside Publishing Website for that.
I use BluBrry, which is another $20/ month
So monthly, my cost is approx $45/ month
There are some ways to offset the costs:
Patrons: I haven’t yet considered supporters or have used Patreon, a popular artist-income site, but I’m prayerfully considering it in the near future.
Site Donations: I could, also, use my Squarespace site to easily add a donation or support button in which visitors could support this ministry if they so choose.
Affiliate Programs: I’ve signed up for Amazon Affiliates, which means I could potentially earn a small commission (At absolutely no extra cost to the buyer) if someone clicks on one of my amazon links (like the ones in this post). Daily Grace Co. also has an affiliate program, as does ChristianBook. com and many more sites.
Other Costs: Equipment
These are all the microphone options I considered
Lavalier Microphones: good idea if you will be recording many in-person interviews, or creating YouTube videos along with your Podcast
Rode smartlave+ -- plugs into phone
Rode videomic me—also plugs into phone
This Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB was going to be my second option. It’s cheaper than the Blu Yeti (below) which I have, and I’ve heard it’s a great starting mic. It’s around $60-80
This Audio Technica AT2020USB+ would be my “next level” microphone up from the Blu Yeti that I currently have. So far, I haven’t seen any need to upgrade.
Blu Yeti USB Microphone- ** This is the one I have and I really love it so far! I also bought a pop-filter for it (below), and I think it works so well. You certainly need to be around soft surfaces or it sounds echo-y, but otherwise no complaints!
I can’t rave about this microphone enough. It plugs directly into my computer, so I can easily record.
Plus, the white one I have makes me feel uber podcast stylish. I typically record just myself, and then connect with my guest via Zoom (more on that below), but there is a mode on this microphone where you can record dual ways, which is perfect for interviews in-person.
Now, there are many more options out there.
You can buy a sound converter box that can connect two microphones together. (Or it’s called something like that)
You can buy more expensive microphones.
But, I suggest beginning with the Yeti. It’s a pretty penny- I think around $150-200, but worth it.
You need headphones to listen to your recording or into your conversation, because the USB microphones steal the audio away from being able to play aloud from your computer. Even if they didn’t steal the audio, you’d want to have headphones. Otherwise, you would most likely record a really odd echo or feedback loop.
I went cheaper on my headphones and just bought these:
I bought this pair of $30 Sony MDRX11ONC headphones on amazon, and they work just fine!
But there are plenty of headphone options out there, of all price ranges:
The importance is to get padded ones that don’t allow the noise to seep out and your microphone to pick it up again in the recording.
There are numerous ways to record Podcasts.
Here’s a couple I’m familiar with:
Record Skype calls: Podcast Host’s link how to do that here
Record with Zoom.us: I’ve been using zoom.us to record the conversations and connect with interviewees. It’s free and really easy! There’s a video option to use if needed, but I usually just chat with sound. Guests can call in to a special phone number or download zoom for free connect online.
Use QuickTime as a back-up- I always use the free QuickTime on my Mac to double-record an episode, just in case. I’ve had to use this back-up option only once, but I’m glad I saved it that way, too!
Media Hosting to get podcast on itunes, ect.
First, you need to decide if you will have a website to go with your podcast. If so, you’ll have to set your website up. Again, I use Squarespace.
If you do not want a website to go along with your podcast, you can skip the website setting up step.
Second, figure out where you will store your media files (if using in conjunction with Squarespace), or where you will completely host your podcast (if not using a website).
Places to host: Blubrry or Libsyn are top ones. I tried Libsyn, but I got frustrated at how complicated it seemed, so I switched to Blubrry. However, Libsyn has more options to get onto a few select podcast players (with Blubrry, you can submit to Spotify.)
ONCE YOU’VE SET UP YOUR WEBSITE OR HOSTING, YOU CAN BEGIN PUBLISHING YOUR PODCAST
You need to publish to iTunes:
iTunes, or Apple Podcasts is the biggest Podcast player thus far. To get on iTunes means that your podcast will automatically sync to a few other major podcast players (Podbean, Overcast).
To start, go to iTunes Connect, here is where you will supply your RSS Feed. This RSS Feed you will get after you have created your website to host your media (I find mine on my Squarespace page) or after you sign up on Blubrry or Libsyn to host your media.
I edit with GarageBand: which originally came on my computer. Once you can figure out the copy, cut, and move functions, you’ll be set!
Lastly, if you’re seriously considering beginning a Podcast, and need more information about editing, I couldn’t recommend Jacey Verdicchio’s guide enough!
It was one of the best purchases I made to really boost my confidence in beginning a Podcast.
Connecting with Guests:
If you are having guests on your show (because you also can do a solo show), here are some tips:
Plumb the depths of people who are experts or who can contribute to your conversations starting with people whom you do know first.
Then, create meaningful social media interactions to connect with guests you don’t know. Get to know them via their online presence. Read their books. Watch their media. Listen to other podcast interviews of them, and then send them the email. If you don’t get a response, try someone else. If you get a “no”, it’s okay. There are more people out there. Try again.
Then, once someone accepts, send them your well-thought out questions and some guidelines and instructions about your upcoming conversation. Here is a PDF of one of mine I’ve sent.
Other Websites to view for further information:
Mainly, the Start Your Podcast guide by Jacey was the best, all-encompassing resource.
I really liked the Podcast Host website for help; especially for technical things.
Recording Interviews with Phone
BEFORE YOU GET OVERWHELMED….
You can do it.
It’s a lot, isn’t it? There are many technicalities (many that I haven’t even gone through here). But, with time, effort, consistency, and many YouTube videos, you can do it.
There are so many how-to resources out there for you to succeed. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need some encouragement or if you have more specific questions. I’d love to help you along! We’re in this to give God glory together!
All it takes is effort, time, a little bit of money, a whole lot of prayer, and all the dependency on God to create a Christian Podcast.
Let me know in the comments below if this is helpful, or if you’ve decided to start your Podcast! Update us below when you’re voice is published, and up and out there!