Podcaster & Creator Resources Center

PODCASTER & CREATOR RESOURCES CENTER

So you are ready to talk to the world, publish your voice, and build an audience?

We know it’s tough to know where to begin when it comes to creating your very first piece of audio content. The same way we’ve sorted through the masses of audio content out there, we are here to help creators make sense of all the tools and platforms available to create your place in the audio world – at all budgets and at all skill levels!

Podcasting Online Courses, Books, Guides & Tutorials

Getting started with podcasting can feel overwhelming when you’re not sure where to begin. There are countless resources, how-to guides, and tutorials to sift through. But really it depends on your existing knowledge, your goals, and of course, your budget.

If you’re new-new, budget-friendly start-up podcasting from your home office might be where you start. If you plan to have multiple hosts and in-person guests, you may want to find a podcast rental studio or content creator space. If you have the money to spend, you may even pay for an online course, hire a consultant, or use professional production, recording, and editing services.

And sometimes, before you even begin researching microphones and equipment, you may want to take some time to get your head in the game. There are some fantastic books for entrepreneurs and freelancers that can set you up for success and help you define your goals – before you ever hit the record button.

If you’re ready to start podcasting, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite online courses, books, guides and tutorials.

Top Vurbl Recommendations

Top audio creators recommend…

Phil Lichtenberger, creator and host of the Scanner School podcast, used the How to Start a Podcast in 2020: The Complete Podcasting Tutorial from award-winning podcaster and consultant, Pat Flynn. Lichtenberger says of the resource, “Thanks Pat Flynn for the awesome courses, office hours, and being you! I would certainly be lost in the woods if it wasn’t for your guidance and mentorship.”

While Flynn’s tutorial listed here is completely free (and incredibly robust for a free resource!), he also offers paid online courses and consulting services for podcasters ready to take their game to the next level.

Microphones

The immense power of audio has to be properly channeled to achieve its full effect. The tool on the front lines of this is the mighty microphone. Sure, you can start recording using an onboard mic in your phone, camera, or laptop, and that may be fine if you look at audio as taking second fiddle to visuals. But if you are recording for something voice-centric like radio or podcasts, you really need the quality and control that a standalone microphone provides.

While it is true that dynamic microphones are better at handling loud sounds (like live music) and condenser mics are the go-to for general voice recording, the overall durability of a dynamic microphone and its performance when recording multiple individuals in one room often makes them a good choice as well.

Luckily, you don’t have to break the bank to dip your toes into the water of solid sound quality. You can achieve a modicum of quality for as little as $25. As you grow your audio enterprise, you will find a broad array of possibilities to upgrade, with many more microphones in the sub-$100 range, dozens of good options in the sub-$500 range, and a lot that you may find worthwhile approaching $1.000 and beyond. Ultimately, though, try not to overthink sound quality so much that you delay starting that podcast. It’s more important to get your podcast going and build up the production value as you can afford to.

Top Vurbl Recommendations…

Top audio creators recommend…

Audio Interfaces

Not every new podcaster may need to invest in an audio interface right away since you can use built-in microphones or USB mics to get started. However, when you choose to begin using a standalone, traditional XLR style microphone, you will need a way to turn that analog sound into a digital signal. That is where audio interfaces come in. These USB devices will convert your voice (and your guests’) into a form you can work with later on in editing software.

There are a lot of choices, but don’t let that intimidate you. As with microphones, there is no single one that is perfect, and you only need one to get started. Each will have a different combo of inputs/outputs, overall quality, and other features. However, some commonalities include mic preamps that are built into the XLR inputs, as well as the ability–through the USB connection– to provide phantom power to condenser mics. Also, consider the number of mic inputs on the interface you choose, as you will want more than one if you plan on the simultaneous recording of multiple guests.

Top Vurbl Recommendations…

Top audio creators recommend…

Studio audio production expert James Ivey compared four well-known brands and concluded that “…bang for buck the little Focusrite 6i6 still had its hour in the sun with that stunning result in the 96KHz Round Trip Latency test.” Priced at less than a third of the other audio interfaces it was tested against (in the $800-$1400 range), the Focusrite was the only one to have a latency under 3ms.

Audio Accessories

Audio accessories can be a large, difficult category to weed through and narrow down to choices that a podcaster might actually benefit from. The accessories we at Vurbl have compiled here include:

Pop filters: These are usually small cloth attachments that sit directly in front of your mic to prevent hard puffs of air from affecting your voice recording.

Isolation shields: Also called a vocal shield, these are small walls of acoustic foam that sit between your mic and nard, angular surfaces (like walls) to mitigate unwanted sound reflections.

Swivel mounts and boom arms: Rather than just sitting your mic on a desk in front of you, you can attach it to a swivel mount or boom arm to suspend it over and in front of you, easily reposition and angle the mic head, and protect it somewhat from the effects of vibrations.

As you progress through your podcasting adventures and find yourself encountering some of the issues these accessories can address, you will likely want to invest in one or more of them. Most perform equally well, so aim for something within your budget.

Top Vurbl Recommendations…

Top audio creators recommend…

Albert Torres of iBertz says “Way back before I was buying $100 boom arms I was buying…the $20, $30 ones, and they were okay, but you can hear the springs, you can hear the creaking.” He then demonstrates the maneuverability and total silence of the Blue Compass boom arm, one of the best he’s ever used.

Podcast Hosting

Podcast hosting services are the nexus of your podcasting experience. These providers host your files and also produce the RSS feed for your podcast. When listeners subscribe to your podcast via one of the podcast directories (like iTunes, Stitcher, etc.) the podcast hosting service sends them the audio files. Because of the large size of audio files, if you plan on sharing your podcast with more than a few dozen friends and family members you will want to enlist the help of a podcast hosting service.

While in order to be a podcast hosting service a company needs to provide the ability for you to store your, mp3s, your files to be downloaded, and generate the RSS feed that describes your media, what separates the services are the extras that they can give you. These include tech support options, extra file storage, streaming compliance, marketing tools, unlimited bandwidth, and various analytics.

Top Vurbl Recommendations…

Top audio creators recommend…

Jon Street of Resonate Recordings lists Buzzsprout as number one on his list of best podcasting services. He says, “…it’s got a really nice clean interface, and they’re really easy to use, and they’re actually geared toward creators and new podcasters. They want to make your podcasting as simple and easy as possible.”

Audio Recording & Editing Software

While your raw voice recording quality depends greatly on the microphones, audio interfaces and audio accessories you choose to utilize, the final product that you deliver to your listeners is shaped further by the audio recording and editing software that you use to create the .mp3 files that end up with your podcasting host.
Every serious podcaster should know the basics of EQ and removing unwanted low frequencies and adding in some high-end for voice clarity; using dynamics for voice compression and limiting to make sure there aren’t any extreme peaks and valleys; adding in sound effects for additional flavor (Storyblocks Audio is a great resource); adding filters and fades; cutting excessive voice pauses (vocalizations like “mmm”, “rrrr”); and mixing down multiple tracks to produce a great final product.

The best software packages for audio combine intuitive controls with an easily navigable user interface and a wide array of various controls that will allow you to achieve a professional-sounding result. Whether you are a sound editor by trade or you just want your own podcast to be a little bit better, take your time when picking out this important bit of your podcast arsenal.

Top Vurbl Recommendations…

Top audio creators recommend…

“Over the years I’ve been using Adobe Audition since it was called (Cool) Edit Pro, and have yet to find a better audio editor.” – Mike Russell, Music Radio Creative

Remote Recording Software

So many podcasts are interview-focused, and it is virtually impossible to have every guest come to your studio–or for you to travel to their location with your equipment. And with the current social distancing measures in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to gather good source audio via remote recording software is more important than ever.

Web-based recording services like the ubiquitous Zoom platform are one of the easiest-to-use ways to handle remote interviews. These can be used in computer-to-computer fashion, where you simply hop on a video call with your guest and record it with web-based recording software. Though your guest may not have the best equipment on hand, it would be good if they at least have access to quality headphones and a USB microphone at a minimum. Check out our sections on headphones and microphones for recommendations.

In addition, there are also voice-only solutions like that offered by ipDTL. This is live remote broadcasting software that replaces traditional phone systems using internet audio. It also includes a virtual mixer to mix and record your audio.

Top Vurbl Recommendations…

Top audio creators recommend…

Brian Heater, veteran podcaster, says, “I’ve been using a handful of different options on the software side of things. Zencastr continues to be an excellent option for audio only. The software is custom built for podcasts and includes some excellent touches like simultaneously uploading individual tracks to the cloud. The company also greatly reduced the restrictions on their free tier to encourage amateur podcasting during this pandemic.”

Audio Analytics

While you can definitely have a great time podcasting for the sheer love of the audio game, there may come a time when you want to get more serious about optimizing your podcast’s reach, increasing the effectiveness of promotions, or even try to sell some advertising space. To help you in these efforts, many podcast hosting services offer some analytics that you can leverage to help make decisions. These are often on the more basic side, however, so you may want to consider services that are available to specifically track and make sense of the data generated by your podcast.

Analytics are only growing in importance, as this is what will give you the edge over the quickly growing pool of competing podcasts available in the market. 90 million Americans older than 12 listened to podcasts in 2019 every month. That was an increase of 14 million more weekly podcast listeners over 2018! You will find that numerous podcast hosts like Spotify’s Anchor and Buzzsprout have very useful (and necessary) built-in statistics and analytics tools, but you will find greater variety with dedicated podcast analytics offerings. Some key features you want to look for include:

  • Get access to popular podcast directories
  • Check average downloads per episode
  • RSS feed generation
  • Analyze listener trends
  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth
  • Sort episodes by popularity
  • See which apps people are using to listen to your podcast

You can also find extras like automated transcripts, podcast monetization options, and more, so take your time and compare various services with what you want to achieve (more listeners, higher rankings, ad revenue, etc.).

Top Vurbl Recommendations…

Top audio creators recommend…

Jeff Large from Come Alive Creative says of Chartable: “This is a great way to see all of your reviews (from all countries) in one place. It’s also a great place to see your rankings on the Apple Podcast charts.”

List of podcast/audio analytics tools

Music & Sound Effects

Podcasts are at their best when creators treat them like the technical art forms such as film and video. While the human voice is amazingly versatile and can carry information and emotion, the other levers of audio entertainment are music and sound effects. These serve to build an audio “world” for listeners, and enhance the overall experience.

Just as in radio and TV, any audio you integrate into your podcast needs to either a) be original creations, or b) be sourced legally. You need to be sure the music and SFX you plan to use are licensed or fall within creative commons. The term “royalty free” will show up in your search. This does not mean the sounds and music are free. Instead, it means you can use those assets in your production without having to pay an extra fee (a royalty) every time your show is listened to.

These sources fall into two camps: Actual “free” sources and services that you need to pay for, either one-time or a subscription. While the free sites are convenient and budget-friendly, nearly all offer a very limited number of effects and/or music that might include some fairly low-quality selections. When you can afford to, it will usually be better for your podcast’s production values to upgrade to paid services, especially if sound effects and music figure heavily into your podcast format.

Top Vurbl Recommendations…

Top audio creators recommend…

Justin Brown of Primal Video says Artlist, one of his top favorite paid options, “…is fantastic because it’s got a huge range of music tracks, it is a one-off fee of $199 per year, and there really isn’t any restriction around the licensing.”

Headphones

In order to be sure you are collecting good sources for your voice audio recordings, you will want to consider investing in some quality headphones. You will be best served by on-ear versions that offer a complete seal, as many mic-and-headphone combos tend to not provide enough isolation and overall craftsmanship for studio-level production.

Aside from general quality, there are many other factors to look at. Does the price fit your budget? If you are recording in a noisy environment (office, pets, children), do the headphones have a noise-cancelling feature? Are they going to be comfortable enough to wear for hours every day?

And then there is the option of choosing bluetooth headphones for the wireless convenience. When all is said and done, what is on the surface one of the simplest bits of podcasting equipment is actually much tougher to get right on the first try. While you can narrow down other items like microphone and software by looking at features and reviews, you may need to buy one or two and wear them for a few sessions before you realize they just don’t fit properly. This is why we recommend starting on the less-expensive side of things to make sure you find the right ergonomic design for your own biology if you don’t have working experience with headphones going into it.

Top Vurbl Recommendations…

Top audio creators recommend…

Evo Terra recommends Sony MDR-7506 headphones. “…the first piece of equipment I’m recommending is a great pair of headphones. Studio-quality monitors, to call them by the proper name… I’ve had three pairs of these cans, and I love them. They’re not terribly expensive, either.”

Video Equipment

Though you’re likely reading this because you want to start (or upgrade) a podcast, you may also desire to produce a companion show for distribution on YouTube or another streaming video service. Not only is this a treat for your regular podcast listeners, but it also gives you an opportunity to expand your audience and increase online exposure and SEO. This format has become known as vodcasting, vidcasting, and video podcasting, though at its heart is really no different than telecasted radio shows.

As with most other equipment on this list, you can choose to stay very budget-friendly with lower cost options or you can really go crazy with high-end selections. For online streaming of a podcast studio show, we at Vurbl recommend going for a balance of quality and cost, as most creators do not need a $5-10K camera for the web. 

Some other considerations: 

  • Make sure you have enough SD card storage on hand for recording full HD / 1080p video. Most podcasts run between 30-90 minutes, so plan accordingly.
  • Provide three light sources, including primary source (or “key light”), a secondary source (“fill”) to dull any hard shadows, and a backlight to help separate your subjects from their backgrounds. Backlighting can be optional if there is already strong contrast between subjects’ hair and clothing color and the backgrounds.
  • If you need to cut any corners, do so with your choice of tripod. You won’t need many special features for static shots that go with the podcasting territory.

Top Vurbl Recommendations…

Top audio creators recommend…

“I have a Sony a6400 pointing towards me with a 50mm 1.8,” says Javier Mercedes. “The reason why I love this camera is because it can do continuous recording and it doesn’t get bound by the twenty-nine minutes and fifty-nine seconds time limit, which is a big plus when you’re doing podcasts…because one of the biggest things that can happen during a podcast is if someone’s talking and telling a really good story and all of a sudden your camera shuts off.”

Communities, Forums & Subreddits

Sometimes, the best way to learn about podcasting is simply to talk to people who have been in your shoes. Fellow podcasters just getting started, seasoned pros, and technical gurus all can be found in one of the online communities dedicated to podcasting. 

In the Subreddits alone, there are millions of members in groups dedicated to podcasting. If you have a question about gear, marketing, interviewing, or any other podcasting-related topic, there’s a good chance you can search the posts and find others with the same question. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Start a new post and let the answers come to you! As a bonus, many users post questions specifically looking for new podcasts to listen to or interesting people to interview. Once you’re up a running, these are great places to post links to your show and find new listeners or guests. 

If you’re interested in connecting with fellow podcasters, check out some of our favorite communities, forums and Subreddits below. 

Top Vurbl Recommendations 

Top audio creators recommend…

Tom Kerss, the creator and host of the Star Signs: Go Stargazing! podcast grew his show to thousands of listeners in just 6 months. He attributes much of his success to the tips he learned from the Podcasting Subreddit, saying “When I started, I benefited from the advice of the community here, so I’d like to give back the tips I can vouch for, to help anyone following me – that is thinking about starting, or relatively new to their podcasting journey.”

Industry Newsletters, Events & Promotional Sites

What’s better than connecting with fellow podcasters in online communities and forums? How about meeting up IRL! There are several online communities that take their show on the road with annual conferences featuring prominent names in the podcasting industry, inspiring speakers, and trade shows showcasing innovative products and technology. These conferences are for anyone interested in podcasting – rookies and pros alike can customize their conference experience depending on where they are in their podcasting journey. 

If you want to stay up-to-date on the latest news in podcasting, several of these industry sites also offer a newsletter signup. There are even a few sites dedicated solely to podcasting news that you can subscribe to and receive daily email updates. 

Whether you want to attend an upcoming conference, or just stay on top of the rapidly-growing podcasting industry, here are a few of our favorite resources to check out. 

Top Vurbl Recommendations 

Top audio creators recommend…

Motivational speaker and host of the Conscious Millionaire’s Epic Achiever podcast, Marcus Aurelius Anderson had this to say about the 2019 Podfest Multimedia Expo, “I can’t recommend this enough! If you currently have or ever want to have a Podcast, then PODFEST IS THE PLACE TO BE!!” 

Newsletters & Podcasts

Networks & Publishers

While anyone can create a podcast and submit it to iTunes for free, having the backing of a network can give a podcast more exposure, credibility, and marketing and production resources. Being part of a network, especially when all of the shows are connected by a theme, gives you instant access to a broader audience of listeners. It also gives you an instant connection with fellow podcasters that are in the same boat as you, and the opportunity for sponsorship revenue that you might not have been able to land on your own.

That being said, some of the major networks only invite high-performing shows to join the gang. In response, many smaller, niche networks have been created to support up-and-coming shows. Joining a network can provide many benefits, but it’s important to research several to find a good fit for you and your show.

Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite, credible podcast networks. 

Top Vurbl Recommendations 

Top audio creators recommend…

As one of the founding members of the indie podcast network, Radiotopia, the wildly-popular podcast 99% Invisible had this to say about the network, “Really, it’s the best group of programs that has ever existed, all in one place. Get to know your new favorite podcasts and subscribe to them all!” That was 6 years ago, and now with more than 400 episodes in the archives, 99% Invisible is still one of the top-performing shows on the network. 

Podcast Studio Rental & Equipment

Podcast Studio Rental & Equipment

When it’s not practical to record your podcast from home, you may consider renting a studio and accompanying equipment in a city near you. A studio is ideal when you want to improve sound quality, you have multiple hosts, or you plan to have in-person guests on your show. It makes you and your show appear more professional, and is perfect for start-ups that are not ready to invest in equipment. Because podcast studio rental fees are usually hourly, a lot of podcasters will book several hours and record multiple episodes in one sitting. Then, editing can be done at another time when you’re not on the clock. 

While a simple internet search will turn up podcast studio rentals near you, we recommend using the Podcast Rental website, which is an online marketplace of studio rentals in every major city. You can sort the listings based on price or view them on a map to find the one closest to you.

Top Vurbl Recommendations 

Top audio creators recommend…

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List of Podcast Studio Rental & Equipment

Podcast Studio Rental

Editing Services

Unless you’re planning to do a live format for your podcast, editing is a fact of life. If you’ve never tried your hand at editing audio or video, there really is an art to it. Talented editors take out “ums” and “errs,” and slice and dice clips to make you sound like a pro. Many podcasters find the expense of hiring a professional editing service is money well spent compared to the time and hassle of trying to figure it out on their own. 

When your show’s audio is clean, clear, and flows seamlessly, listeners are engaged and more likely to stay tuned in. These shows are also more attractive to sponsors, who want to advertise on professional sounding podcasts that have a solid listener base.

If you want to explore professional editing services, check out a few of our recommendations.

Top Vurbl Recommendations 

Top audio creators recommend…

Farnoosh Torabi, host of the So Money Podcast, recommends the We Edit Podcasts team for editing services. She says, “Listeners always ask how my show has such great sound quality – given that I record from home with a basic microphone. My secret – this brilliant editing team!”

Advertising & Monetization

If you want to take your podcast beyond the hobbyist level, you have to understand your audience. You need to know where and how they’re listening, and you need to be able to serve them targeted ads that aren’t annoying. Ideally, you attract a sponsor to your show; a brand that your audience will connect with and appreciate hearing from. But that’s not always easy, and podcasting at any level has costs associated with it that can be offset with advertising. Positive revenue is even better! 

There are several platforms that facilitate this. They act as a hub, a single place to create a site for your podcast, and where you publish, edit, distribute, manage, and analyze your show’s statistics. Many of them have built-in advertising features that allow you to analyze your listeners’ demographics and insert timely, targeted ads into each episode. It’s one of the quickest and easiest ways to monetize your podcast with advertising. 

If you want to get more creative, there are many other ways to monetize your podcast, including affiliate marketing, consulting or online courses, premium content for download, membership-only content, branded swag, and simply asking fans for donations in lieu of advertising. You would be surprised by how many people are willing to pay for high-quality, ad-free content! 

Check out a few of our recommendations below for podcast platforms with integrated advertising. 

Top Vurbl Recommendations

Top audio creators recommend…

Jimmy Pardo, the host of the Never Not Funny podcast had this to say about working with Midroll, a network from Stitcher: “Love working with Midroll. We run our mouths, they sell the ads, we cash the checks. Couldn’t be easier.”

Transcription Services

Despite the nature of podcasts, there will always be some people who prefer to read, or just skim, a transaction before deciding to listen to a show. Transcriptions can also help your individual episodes rank in the search engines for keyword phrases or terms that people are searching. But let’s get real: listening back to every episode of your show and typing up the transcription is a hassle. That’s why a lot of podcasters opt to use professional transcription services. 

Human transcribers are the most accurate, but they can be slow and pricey. Automatic transcription software also exists that combine machine learning and artificial intelligence, but the literal transcriptions can sometimes sound clunky. The best transcription services use a combination of bots to transcribe and humans to edit. 

Top Vurbl Recommendations 

Top audio creators recommend…

Altcoin Author of the Altcoin Author Crypto Podcast had this to say about Descript’s cutting-edge machine learning transcription technology, “If you haven’t checked out @DescriptApp then I would advise you to do so–Podcaster or otherwise. This is one of the most earth-shatteringly spectacular pieces of software I’ve downloaded in years.” 

Guest Booking

Collaborating with fellow podcasters and inviting guests on your show is a fantastic way to diversify your content and keep listeners engaged. These collaborative episodes expand your audience base, and the backlinks that are created when episodes are published can boost your SEO. 

But finding those guests isn’t always easy. Likewise, you may be a subject matter expert yourself, eager to share your knowledge, but you’re not sure how to get booked on other podcasts. 

While you can spend hours researching guests, finding shows in your niche, and digging up contact information, there are several websites that do the hard work for you. You simply create a profile and verify you have a legitimate podcast, create a guest opportunity or state that you are open to guest speaking, then review your matches! 

If you want to connect and collaborate with like minded podcasters, check out a few of our favorite networking platforms below.

Top Vurbl Recommendations

Top audio creators recommend…

Spark Growth Strategies, a growth consulting company, had this to say about the up-and-coming Kitcaster podcast networking platform, “Had the opportunity to connect with the founder of https://kitcaster.com recently.  Really great solution for people looking to get booked on podcasts and for hosts to find guests.” 

Podcast Discovery

With more than 800,000 active podcasts worldwide, discovering a new show to listen to is no small task. And if you’re a new podcaster trying to break into the market, it’s critical to scope out your competition and evaluate whether there’s a viable space for your show. 

Fortunately, there are several podcast discovery platforms that are accessible from a computer or via an app on a mobile device. These platforms generally list the ‘top’ or trending podcasts on their homepage, and also allow you to search for specific shows, or view shows by category. Several of these sites also offer listener reviews and ratings, as well as top-ten and curated reviews by independent journalists that can help you find the best shows by topic. 

Top Vurbl Recommendations 

Top audio creators recommend…

Alex and Christine Schiefer, hosts of the Beach Too Sandy, Water Too Wet podcast, had this to say about Spotify, “Support from Spotify has given us the opportunity to reach listeners from all over the world. Not even a month into our show, we found ourselves featured on the podcast homepage.”

WordPress Plugins

If you’re not a developer, you might struggle to add all the buttons and widgets your website needs – luckily, WordPress has you covered. A good WordPress plugin will usually have simple functionality, and perform it simply and efficiently. The design should be versatile and the features should be customizable. Many of them are free, but most will have paid options. 

As you’ll see in our top recommendations, WordPress plugins can be used for a wide range of utilities. The LibSyn Podcasting Plugin is the closest to a complete podcasting plugin, while Podcast Subscribe Buttons simply helps get your links set up, and the Patreon WordPress plugin just interacts with Patreon to help get you paid. Even in our favorites, plugins cover a wide variety of edge cases.

Because WordPress plugins can help with a myriad of website problems, it’s hard to pin down any particular benefit. They’re a valuable podcast resource because they allow you to have a holistically functional website with minimal work put in. If you’re just getting started with your podcast, WordPress plugins are the best way to optimize and experiment with your website.

Top Vurbl Recommendations

Top audio creators recommend…

“Perhaps the most intriguing feature of this plugin is the Podcast SEO feature. It enables you to specify custom episode titles for RSS feeds, and provides guidance on how to make your podcast more visible on Google and iTunes – definitely something to excite podcasters who are looking to grow their audience organically.

WordPress Themes

People like you more when you look good. So, if you’re going to have a website, you’d do well to make it look good. But making an attractive website is easier said than done when you don’t a degree in design or visual arts. For people who don’t fit that description, WordPress Themes are the place to go.

The most obvious aspect of a WordPress theme that you’re looking for is that you like it. If the design is pleasant to you, then it’s probably the one for you. As a tiebreaker, you’ll want to look at customizability and responsiveness. If the design of the theme isn’t going to accept changes easily – if it has a lot of design elements or lots of static fields – then you should look elsewhere. And no one likes a slow website, so you want to keep things as fast as possible.

WordPress themes range from free to the $100s, but you’ll want to remain in the middle range. Free WordPress themes are often out of date or ugly, but there are many exceptions to that rule if you spend some time. More expensive themes can be worth the money, but the cost offers diminishing returns.

Top Vurbl Recommendations

Top audio creators recommend…

  • The editorial staff at WPBeginner are proponents of Tusant. They had this to say about the theme:

Tusant is an excellent WordPress podcasting theme made specifically for podcasters, music bands, vlogs, and other multimedia-rich websites. It features an impressive modern homepage layout that puts your media front and center.

Audience Support

Gathering audience support for your podcast is difficult enough on it’s own. But leveraging that audience support isn’t always easy either. If you’re new to the podcasting world, you might know that podcasts are mostly supported by ads and sponsorships. However, audience support is a much more profitable monetization method for many podcasts.

While most audience support platforms will take a percentage of the money they pay out to creators, it’s worth it for the streamlined service. You might be able to get support in through PayPal donations and the like, but that’s often more trouble than it’s worth. Instead, look into some of these platforms as a way to ask your audience for a little kickback.

Top Vurbl Recommendations

Top audio creators recommend…

  • Juicy Scoop’s Heather McDonald… 

…“said she’s always had a successful podcast using ads, but she recalls how nervous she got when someone from her ad department told her that she wasn’t getting enough people clicking on the ads and how nervous it made her because she had already built up a successful community of people who depended on her twice a week podcast and would send her angry emails if they didn’t get it. “I need to be financially covered so I can do my show no matter what,” she said and now Patreon provides her with a supplemental income she can count on that guarantees she can provide them with the content they depend on.”

in a Forbes article about Patreon’s service.

 

List of Resources

Website Builder

Designing websites is expensive, and it’s also difficult. It’s difficulty likely has something to do with it’s expensiveness. Because of that, most people can’t afford or build a professionally designed website when starting their podcast. Even established podcasts sometimes don’t worry about it. Your website can say a lot about you, though.

If you want to have a clean website but don’t have the money to hire someone or the expertise to build one for yourself, then website builders are your best friend. A good website builder is usually free if hosting is done through the same company, but a handful keep the free price tag. They should be easy to use and produce clean, but customizable website designs.

Top Vurbl Recommendations

Top audio creators recommend…

  • Football YouTuber and podcaster Brett Kollmann chose Wix and had this to say about them, “Building a homepage only took like an hour. It was way easier than I thought it would be, and it looked way better than I thought I could do on my own.”

 

List of Website Builders

Website Hosting

Website hosting is much like website building. That’s mostly because you’ll likely do both through the same company. But also because website hosting without some help is a pretty difficult task. If you know how to host a server, then you might consider that. Otherwise, you’ll want to find a host you can work with.

The usual costs involved are an annual and often small domain fee, and a monthly hosting fee. For most websites, you can host for around $10 a month. If you want better speed or upload storage, you’ll need to increase the cost a bit. Hosting rarely reaches more than $20/month for podcast sites.

Top Vurbl Recommendations

Top audio creators recommend…

  • Traci Quote
  • Creative coach Phil Svitek liked SquareSpace, listing it’s pros as:
    • The “Block” system makes adding and moving site content easy
    • Easy integration of social media profiles, online merch stores, etc
    • The $12/mo Personal plan is middle-of-the-road cost wise and sufficient for most pocasters 

List of Web Hosts

Email Service Providers

Email has fallen out of favor in the eyes of many people, but it’s come back into favor for many more. If you trust someone with your email, you’re trusting them with direct contact to you. And while it’s less glamorous than social media, it’s often an easier place to grab someone’s attention. Using email correctly is an important aspect of keeping attention.

Good email service providers will make this much easier than trying to run things through your own account. Usually, these services will be free up to a certain number of emails. By the time you reach the 5,000 MailChimp requires, paying up should be no problem. Most work similar to website builders and are easy to learn.

Top Vurbl Recommendations

Top audio creators recommend…

  • Syed Balkhi chose MailChimp because it “has a great user-interface. It lets us send emails, manage subscribers, offer SUPERB tracking, setup autoresponders, create beautiful email templates, target subscribers, and split test our campaigns.”

 

List of Email Service Providers

Social Media Management

Social media management is a full time job. If you’re working on your podcast while already maintaining a full time job, that’s clearly not very appealing. Instead, you should look towards social media management suites. These tools allow you to schedule content ahead of time, so you don’t have to be ready to post 24/7.

This can increase your social media engagement as you’ll have content going out regularly. More engagement will become more fans, and more fans will become more engagement. Most social media management tools have a free plan, but will cost a little more for full functionality. $15 – 30 a month is the usual range.

Top Vurbl Recommendations

Top audio creators recommend…

  • While most podcasters aren’t shouting from the rooftop their favorite social media management tool, many are known. Critical Role, for example, is known to use Hootsuite.

Note Taking & Scripting

If you weren’t a good note taker in school, you’re going to need to become one now. If you’re doing your podcast on the fly, having solid notes to work off of can improve content quality significantly. For podcasters who are doing things with a script, well… you’re going to need something to write and read those notes.

Good note taking apps are usually free with a premium version, but you’ll know when that’s right for you. You’ll want a note taking app with a workflow that’s natural to you and with features you’ll need. If you work with a lot of visuals, photo clippings are going to be important. If pure text is more your style, it’s best not to allow distraction.

Top Vurbl Recommendations

Top audio creators recommend…

Note Taking & Scripting Apps

List of Audiogram Creators

Instagram and YouTube are both huge platforms for promoting content. Unfortunately, they can be a little difficult for promoting podcasts. Without a visual element, it’s difficult to capture attention on either platform. You know what to do, right? You need to go out and buy a few DSLR cameras and tripods and you’re good to go!

Oh, do you not want to (or can’t) make a several thousand dollar investment? You could turn to your phone. Or you could turn to an audiogram creator. Usually free with upgrades or very cheap, audiogram creators let you create reactive visuals for your podcast. You can use these to post to Instagram and YouTube, and start finding your audience there.

Top Vurbl Recommendations

Top audio creators recommend…

  • Dr. Nick of FUTURESPEAK was a fan of Headliner when it used to be Sparemin, writing on Reddit that he tried it and “the end result was so good it quite literally compelled me to create an Instagram account.”