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Investigation into Starting a Podcast
Episode 628th December 2020 • Informal Investigation • Asher
00:00:00 00:15:22

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You are listening to the Informal investigation podcast

This is the podcast where we investigate, experience, and share interesting finds  

My name is Asher and lets begin

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The informal investigation podcast is for entertainment purposes only. We are not responsible if you mess up. You should always do your own homework. If you try anything mentioned on this podcast you are doing so at your own risk. The views presented on this podcast do not represent any affiliated or unaffiliated organizations.

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Today we are opening an informal investigation into how to start a podcast. I hope by the end of this podcast you will feel empowered to start your own. 

I’m excited to announce we have finished our first quarter of the informal investigation podcast. I hope all you listeners out there have been enjoying our content. If you have I kindly ask that you subscribe and rate our podcast on Itunes. Let’s review what we have been doing.

 We started off with episode 1 - Investigation into Pumpkin Beer - Where we discovered pumpkin beer dates back to 1771 and we made an actual recipe from the 18th century.

In episode 2 we investigated Gold to help us understand the rising gold prices and an exploration into the process of buying gold without getting ripped off

For our third episode we investigated flannel and how this warm soft material became so popular and fashionable. We found our favorite flannel company - The Vermont Flannel Company and shortly after our episode release they almost completely sold out!

For our fourth episode we were getting thirsty again and investigated pale ale. Of course we had to brew our own and made an amazing blonde ale.

Then there was our most recent and popular episode where we took a super deep dive into dry cereal. We talked about the kellogg family, CW Post, and ofcourse we made our own cereal - Coffee Bean Puffs

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Why am I making this episode? 

I know what y'all are thinking...I have only been podcasting for 3 months now! What do I know?

You're correct to some extent. Although I lack the long term experience of many podcasters I am close to my podcasting beginning and I remember exactly what it's like to start a podcast because I'm living it now. I can give you a slightly different perspective then what you may be reading online. Since starting this journey 3 months ago I have already been approached by multiple people asking for advice on starting their own podcasts. I hope by the end of this episode if you wanted to start your own podcast you will feel ready, inspired and empowered to do so. 

Why do you want to start a Podcast?  

There are really 2 reasons people start podcasts. Either to make money or they have something they are passionate about that they want to share with the world! Obviously you can be doing it for both reasons. 

The reason I started this podcast is a little different. For those of you who are listening to this episode years in the future - we are recording this episode during the covid 19 pandemic. This has been a stressful time for everyone. To get my mind off of things I have been taking on small projects - or investigations as I now call them. The pandemic has limited my social life and I wanted to tell people about these experiences - This is how the informal investigation podcast was born.

One thing to understand is Podcasting is just a medium of distributing information. I believe the topic of your podcast should be your inspiration and not that - you just want to make a podcast

What are you going to name your podcast?

This can be difficult but generally you want something that describes your topic, is easy to remember/spell, and not currently in use.

For me, the Informal Investigation Podcast seemed appropriate because I was talking about my informal investigations. 

Now that you have your name...Should you Trademark your podcast?  

I am not a lawyer so I cannot give you legal advice. I don’t think this is hugely important if you're just starting a small podcast for fun. If you have the $500 to spend go for it!

What about a website and domain name? 

Your domain name is what people type in to find your website. This is the www.wtvryouwant.com. Podcasts should have a website because the information on podcast listening apps are extremely limited. Also having a website helps people find your podcast through search engines. In my mind it is important to reserve a domain name. I snatched up Informalinvestigation.com and informalinvestigationpodcast.com for about $20 a year. You don’t want a situation where your podcast is becoming more popular and someone else buys your domain name and holds it for ransom.

What about artwork?

This is actually pretty important because it is what people will see every time they click on your podcast. I wanted to get started quickly so I just went onto Fivrr and found a graphic designer who made me my current artwork for around 30$. In the future depending on the direction of the podcast I may hire a really talented graphic designer I know to improve the design and make other artwork. If you're short on cash design something simple yourself - don’t leave this blank.

So you're ready to make a podcast, how do you make your first episode?

Topic: First you need to research your topic. Whether it's you, you and your co-host or hosts, or you and your special guest or guests; some research needs to be done. If you want people to listen, you have something worthwhile to stay.

Microphone: Next is what you are speaking into. This is going to be a microphone. You don’t need anything special but if you are willing to spend $60 on a microphone you will get significantly better results. If you don’t have the $60 I would recommend a pair of iphone headphones which will be just fine to start with.  

When purchasing a microphone you need to be aware there are 2 types of microphones - Condenser and dynamic microphones. I didn’t bother researching all the nitty gritty of the differences. I chose a dynamic microphone, which is appropriate for most beginner podcasters, because you don’t hear background noise unlike with condenser microphone. If you have a home sound proof studio then go for the condenser version. The 2 most popular beginner podcast dynamic microphones are the samson Q2U and the ATR 2100 because they both have ports for usb cable in addition to XRL(thats those beefy mic cables the pros use) options so you don’t need a big mixing board. Just plug it into your computer and play! And when your podcast is a huge success you have the option to change to XLR. Also for the small price tag they give you all the accessories you need - a little microphone stand, both cables, and a foam ball that limits the plosives - This is the P’s that slap you in the face - lemme show you - peter piper picked a peck of pickled peppers!

Editing software: There are a bunch of options out there. Macs come with garage band for free. Watch a couple youtube videos on garage band and you will be editing like a pro in 15 minutes. 

Theme Music: This actually was a bit more complicated than I thought it was going to be. Finding good royalty free music can be difficult and expensive. After going back and forth on what to do I eventually decided to go way way old school with my music. I looked for something that was “public domain” - this means the copyright has expired. Regardless of what you decide to use, be careful not to break any copyright laws.

Hosting company: This is a company that you upload your podcasts to and they manage your RSS feed so all your listeners can easily download episodes. I believe you need a hosting company even if you already have your own website. Podcasts require the ability to rapidly transfer large amounts of data and you're likely to just crash your website. There are a number of good companies that do this. I chose captivate because they give you a free easy to set up website and have amazing customer support(important for a noob like me). They are a newer company but their product is good. Also they are constantly innovating and making their product better. Every few weeks they send me an email explaining new features. I am paying 19$ a month - for me this is worth it because of all the support they give. If you're interested in captivate please use the affiliate link on informalinvestigation.com to help support this podcast - just click the captivate logo at the bottom of my website and they will give some amount of time free. If you don’t have the cash there are hosting companies that offer an entry level plan for free. I hope you are seeing the theme here - you can start a decent podcast for free and if you are willing to spend a little money it can be even better. 

Podcast listening apps: In order for people to be able to find your podcast on their podcast listening app of choice you need to sign up with each listening app. If you have a host they normally walk you through this process regardless it's pretty straight forward. 

Letting people know you have a podcast: In order to let people know you have a podcast you can use social media, ads, or leave it up to search engines and word of mouth.

I set up 2 social media accounts:

YouTube channel: The people who do this normal have a video of their podcast. This makes your podcast discoverable by you-tubers and potential also have a second source of income if you monetize your YouTube channel. An example of this is Joe Rogan. I currently don’t have the setup for video podcasting but maybe in the future. 

Instagram: I also set up an intagram account because this allowed me to post pictures from my investigations. You can’t really appreciate how amazing coffee bean puffs look without a picture! 

How often should I put out an episode?

Setting a schedule is important no matter what you are doing. You need to have a goal or it will never happen. Even my podcast which is a hobby podcast - me letting my mind and interests loose and then telling everyone about it needs a schedule. Obviously the more content the better but at the same time you want to keep quality up and not burn yourself out! For me, I decided on 2 episodes every month that would be released on the 14th and 28th of the month. One thing to keep in mind is if your schedule is not practical, change it rather than giving up. I heard that most podcasts fail after 7 episodes. So try to break 7!

How do I meet other podcasters?

I don’t really know the answer to this! If you know, comment on Itunes! I happened upon a few creators the past few months just by chance. I met one of the hosts from My so-callled Opera Life - its a podcast about opera. I also met a random lady on a swipe app that had a feminist podcast(will respect her privacy and not mention it by name here). 

What are my future plans?

I have tons of great investigations planned. Now that we made it through our first quarter i’m going to start throwing in some more controversial investigations to spice things up! Stay tuned for our valentine's day episode. I'm already super pumped!

I also want to start having guests on this podcast. I am currently working out the technical details to record multiple people in studio and remotely. I have an amazing lineup of guests already scheduled.

I am also working on a mailing list to keep everyone up to date on all of our latest episodes. There is an email signup form on my website.

With that we are going to close this investigation. I would like to wish everyone a happy new year and thanks for investigating with us! If you enjoyed this podcast please subscribe to be notified about our upcoming episodes. Also, Check the links in our show notes for the resources discussed in this episode on informalinvestigation.com.

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