I often get asked how long it takes me to record a podcast. Sometimes people ask because the are considering starting their own podcast, sometimes just because they are interested. In response, I thought I’d try and write a little ‘workflow’ to illustrate my process. So here is a little “behind the scenes” glimpse…
I try to release a show at least once a month, ideally twice. So in the lead up to a podcast recording day I keep a “podcast ideas” page in my notepad, by my laptop. I make a note of anything that crops up which might feature in the show. Also, I use the Evernote app to record things electronically.
Podcast recording day
I usually record on a Sunday. I go to a class at the gym 10am – 11am and then come home to brunch with hubby. Then it’s time to prepare for the show. The show has a basic structure:
- Theme music mentioning show sponsor, Great British Yarns (1 minute)
- Welcome, mentioning the date and thanking listeners for tuning in (I think this is really important). I normally sign post the format of the episode and introduce the first section by suggesting listeners “grab a drink (this varies) and a crafty work-in-progress”.
- The first show section will always be about my recent creative exploits, usually knitting first.
- Then I move on to a main show topic.
- There might be a giveaway next.
- Then the Guernsey section of the show.
- I add new topics and take away sections as it suits in order to fit the show to what I have to say.
The first thing I do is type up a basic show script. This consists of section headings and bullet pointed notes to prompt what I am going to say. In the early days, I wrote a full script, now I just do bullet points. While the script is printing out, I’ll usually grab some water and set up my kit.
You can find my kit list here: Podcasting Resources. Basically I plug my microphone into the laptop and open up Garageband. I set the microphone on a stand and place it on a book or a towel to try and absorb any vibrations (my laptop is really noisy). I place a pop filter on the mic and grab my headphones for listening back.
Then it’s time to settle in and record the show. I import a pre-recorded intro, outro and incidental music into the software and listen back (on headphones) and edit, section by section. I prefer editing “on the fly”. The show is recorded in Garageband using the previous episode as a template. I spend a while tweaking levels (and still rarely get them right) and it takes me a while to get my podcasting voice going!
Once the basic show is recorded I write a short paragraph describing the episode and decide on a title for it. I save the show using a specified naming format and export it as an MP3. Recording 30 mins of audio usually takes me between 1 and 2 hours.
At this point I listen to the whole episode on headphones, pausing to note the time of each section and draft the show notes. I have changed my show notes format so they are more search engine friendly, which is great, but they now take twice as long to write. I’d estimate that the notes for a 30 minute show take an hour to write. I draft the show notes as a WordPress blog post, using the previous episode’s notes as a template, and add links – this does not go live yet.
During this first listen through, I might have to go back to the original Garageband file and edit further. But usually it’s ok as I’ve been editing as I go.
Once the show notes are finished and the audio has been checked, I copy and paste the show notes to Libsyn (my podcast hosting company). This usually requires further formatting. Categories and tags are added to Libsyn (and the WordPress blog post); the category is always ‘podcast’ and I use the same tags every time (I keep a list in my Evernote app and copy and paste them). I then upload the MP3 to Libsyn. This takes a short while so at this point I’ll probably make a cup of tea!
I then publish on Libsyn and this generates a URL for the audio file. I take this URL and paste it into my WordPress show notes post so people can play the episode online there too. I add my podcast banner as a featured image to the WordPress blog post and then go live.
After this, I set up a thread in the iMake Ravelry group for the episode.
I have my social networks set up in such a way that my followers on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter will be notified about the podcast straight away. Anyone who subscribes to the iMake blog by email or RSS feed will also be notified. You can check out my blog/podcast syndication set up here: blog syndication set up.
I think that’s it! I have probably missed something out, but I hope this has been of interest. Getting a podcast live can take a whole afternoon. That’s why I can only really manage 1 or 2 episodes a month. I am in awe of people who can do more!
I hope you have enjoyed going behind the scenes of the iMake podcast.