If you’re used to recording your podcast in person, you’re probably scrambling a bit to get up to speed on recording with guests / friends remotely.

Have no fear! I’d guess the majority of podcasts are recorded this way so you’re joining in on a long history of people who self-isolated in order to not have to shower in order to record a podcast.

My goals for this article:

My goal with recording a podcast is to have the best possible experience with the conversation (i.e. no lag, no awkward talking over moments, easy to set up, and join for one-off guests, etc.) AND get as good an audio recording as possible at the same time.

(See any misspellings or ideas worth correcting in this article? Tweet at me (politely) or get in touch.

Before We Begin…

This post I wrote with 6+ tips for better podcasting still applies so read that and then come back for more here.

Also, I’m not going to cover any gear or software for recording in this post as that’s a separate discussion, but feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or book a consulting call if you have specific questions that you’d like answered about the mics, headphones, and editing software you should be using to record your podcast.

Connecting With Your Guest(s)

To connect with your guest(s), you can use a few different methods. As you’ll see later on in the post, how you connect isn’t really that important as long as you’re able to properly record yourselves.

Zoom

Zoom.us

If you haven’t heard of Zoom by now, you probably aren’t aware of the whole COVID-19 pandemic. Zoom has become, almost overnight, the standard way to have voice and/or video conversations with people online.

Zoom is generally what I recommend, particularly if your podcast is you and one other person. The free plan is all you need to use. Officially Zoom has a 40 minute time limit on group calls with 3 or more people, but in light of COVID-19 they’ve been gifting people unlimited time on calls – but there’s no guarantee your call won’t get cut off so if you have 3+ people on your podcast AND you talk longer than 40 minutes, it might be worth upgrading to the paid plan starting at $20CAD/month – pricing details here.

Besides having great video / audio quality on the call itself, Zoom offers the host the ability to record the call – video and audio – locally on their computer. Even on the free plan. You can read Setting Up Local Recordings on Zoom’s help site for more details.

Within Zoom you can set up a call and share the URL to join right away, without having to do any scheduling. Quick and easy. Read How to Find / Share the Invite URL support document.

You can also schedule a call for a future date or have a recurring call set up so the invite URL can be sent out ahead of time. Read Scheduling Meetings on Zoom’s support site.

If you have more than two people on your call, I’d also recommend using the mute button inside of Zoom for whomever isn’t the active speaker. It’ll free up bandwidth for the incoming audio/video, plus doesn’t get confusing if folks start to talk over each other. Read Attendee Controls in a Meeting support doc on Zoom’s site.

Remember: this is a podcast and you can edit the audio later. So feel free to pause at anytime and say something like "Hey Karen, you talked over Dan there. Can you start that thought over? Just count to 3 in your head and then continue so we have a bit of silence to work with in the edit."

UberConference

UberConference

UberConference is a new app to me, but one of my clients is using it to much success on their podcast as a way of having a conversation plus getting a recording of their guest(s), in much the same way as Zoom.

The other nice thing is that UberConference has very clear pricing information that states that their free plan has been bumped up to 50 participants and 5 hours of conversation in light of COVID-19 related events. It’s also only $15/month vs $20/month for Zoom.

UberConference appears to be limited to audio only on the mobile side vs Zoom’s ability to do video+audio on iOS – something to consider as well.

Definitely an app to try out if you’re not already set up on Zoom or needing to switch due to Zoom’s unclear messaging on account limits.

Other Options

There are plenty of other ways to have a conversation online with your hosts/guests and they all work. So if you’re familiar wtih one already, you might as well continue using it.

Your mileage may vary on each of these platforms. But the important part is to be able to hear each other. Seeing each other is a bonus as that can help with carrying on a conversation a little more normally – you can tell when someone is wrapping up a thought or signal to them that you’d like to jump in while they’re finishing.

Recording Your Call – On Each End of the Call

This is the most important part of the process for podcasters. Besides sending audio over Zoom to each other, each person is going to record the conversation on their own computer so you end up with nearly pristine audio rather than you recording whatever you hear after it’s been compressed and digitized over the internet through Zoom.

(This is where Zoom’s local recording is great to have as a backup or for times where your guest(s) aren’t technically able to record their side of the conversation for whatever reason.)

Note: I’m writing from a Mac centric world. I don’t have a lot of experience on Windows but I know audio recording apps exist.

QuickTime

QuickTime is free and included with every Mac computer. You can start it up and go to File > New Audio Recording, choose the appropriate mic in the dropdown list next to the big red record button, and hit record. Now you’re recording everything you say into your microphone.

When you’re done, hit the stop button and then File > Export As > Audio Only, give it a name, and save it somewhere you’ll remember and then share that M4A audio file over Dropbox or Google Drive and you’re done.

Piezo

Piezo from Rogue Amoeba is a delightfully simple app that does one thing and does it really well: records the audio from whichever app or device you choose. You could record audio being played back in Safari or Firefox from a web page, audio from a livestream radio program, or, for our purposes here, record audio from the microphone plugged into your computer.

Piezo is a one-time purchase at $19USD and is well worth it.

Audio Hijack

Audio Hijack, also from Rogue Amoeba, is simply the best audio recording app for any platform (in my humble opinion). I’ve even gone so far as to create a YouTube channel with a bunch of tutorials on how to use it I love it so much.

Audio Hijack is definitely more complicated than Piezo or QuickTime, but the extra flexibility it offers you if you’re recording podcasts makes it a no-brainer purchase. For my money as a podcaster, you should have it in your applications tool kit just in case. It’s like being a carpenter and not having a hammer in your tool kit.

Audio Hijack is $59USD.

Windows Users

I don’t have any experience with these, but you can use Voice Recorder on Windows 10, Audacity for Windows is another option.

Bottom Line

Whichever of the above apps you choose, you’ll use them to record your audio and your audio alone. See this tutorial video on how it works with Audio Hijack.

Each of your guests/hosts will do the same thing on their computer with their mic. You’ll all end up with audio files on your computer(s) that you need to collect and send to whomever is going to edit and put together your podcast – hire me?

What About Apps That Do Everything For You?

Another way of recording a podcast is using a web app that takes care of both the conversation you’re having AND records it for you on each local computer. Here’s a list of some of these for you to check out:

There’s nothing wrong with any of these and I have no problem recommending them as an easier way to record your podcast, particularly if you have guests that are easily confused or frustrated by trying to record their own audio.

The main reason I don’t like to use them is I prefer to use apps on my computer versus web based apps, particularly for audio. But that’s an old school preference for sure. Modern web apps are very powerful, make backups, and do a great job of capturing local audio. I’m just always terrified I’ll close a tab or window and end a recording. Your mileage may vary.

What Now?

Got questions about the things I attempted to cover in this post? Get in touch with Chris Enns of Lemon Productions via your preferred method:

When you’re recording a conversation for a podcast, you want high quality, uncompressed AIFF recordings of each side of the conversation – your mic on one track, your guest’s audio from Skype or Zoom on another track. But what if you want to also record a track that has both of your audio together in a compressed MP3 that you can quickly send off to an editor or play back on your iPhone while you go for a walk to listen to the conversation and make notes for the editing – or for your editor. (Hire me!)

In this Audio Hijack tutorial video, I’m answering my client & friend Matt’s question about that exactly – can you record with Audio Hijack and have high quality AIFFs + a unified MP3 to share?

The answer is yes – despite what I jokingly say at the start of this video. (Embedded above or via this direct link to the video on my YouTube channel.)

If you don’t already own it, you can try and then buy Audio Hijack for macOS from Rogue Amoeba. And then be sure to check out my YouTube playlist for Audio Hijack to learn all about this amazing app for podcasters and audio nerds.

Want More Tutorials Like This?

Leave a comment below if you’ve got a suggestion for the next video tutorial I should make!

Time for a new episode of The Story Behind the Lemon, my podcast about podcasting and the fun of running a business in the world of podcasting. (New episodes drop, as the kids say, every Friday afternoon.)

You can check out the website for it at podcast.lemonproductions.ca or hit up the subscribe page to subscribe to the show in your favorite app. Here’s the subscribe link for some of the popular apps:

In this episode I talk about ways you can make money with your podcast.

You can listen right here on the site thanks to Transistor‘s sweet embedded player – in dark mode (cue dramatic music):


p.s. Want to subscribe to my email newsletter and get notified about new episodes via email? You can do so right here, right now:


How Can You Make Money With Your Podcast?

Ok so this episode was inspired by a conversation that happened inside of a community I’m a part of called Megamaker. Joshua had asked about how much to charge for sponsorship opportunities on his new podcast and Justin, who runs Megamaker, chimed in response with a link to a post on his Transistor.fm website that has a lot of great info and tips. I jokingly said I was going to read it for the next episode of my podcast and he responded with “do it!” which I’m taking as legally binding and that he won’t sue me for copyright or anything.

Read the original article on Transistor’s website here: https://transistor.fm/make-money-podcasting

If you’ve got questions about podcasting you’d like me to cover, here’s your chance to get them on my to do list.

Got Questions for a Future Episode?

If you’d like to send in a question for a future episode, there’s a few different ways to do it:

I hope you enjoy the podcast. I’m excited to continue telling both my own story in podcasting as well as answer your questions about podcasting. I’ve been podcasting for almost 10 years and it’s awesome to see how it’s grown and changed over the years. I continue to believe that it’s one of the best ways to engage and communicate with your audience, fans, or potential customers.

Time for a new episode of The Story Behind the Lemon, my podcast about podcasting and the fun of running a business in the world of podcasting. (New episodes drop, as the kids say, every Friday afternoon.)

You can check out the website for it at podcast.lemonproductions.ca or hit up the subscribe page to subscribe to the show in your favorite app. Here’s the subscribe link for some of the popular apps:

In this episode I talk about ways for a business to be involved with podcasting besides the obvious way of just starting a podcast.

You can listen right here on the site thanks to Transistor’s sweet embedded player – in dark mode (cue dramatic music):


p.s. Want to subscribe to my email newsletter and get notified about new episodes via email? You can do so right here, right now:


How Can a Business Get Involved in Podcasting?

Lately I’ve been having conversations with people who feel like they should be doing some sort of podcast but who’s jobs or businesses don’t immediately lend themselves to an obvious podcast format or style. So I thought I’d talk about 4 ways that a business might get involved in podcasting.

Sponsoring a Podcast

If you’ve listened to any podcasts in your life, there’s a good chance you’ve heard a sponsor message.

Whether it’s for a developer focused service like Cloudbees Rollout, building your website with Squarespace, buying a new mattress from Casper, or getting some new underwear from MeUndies, sponsors are a big part of what’s made podcasting as successful as it is. While many podcasters work on their podcasts regardless of it bringing in money or business, without sponsors, many podcasters wouldn’t be able to work on the shows they want to create.

To figure out how to sponsor a podcast you think your business should advertise with, generally you can contact the host or visit the website for the podcast. If they’ve had sponsors before, they’ll definitely be looking for new ones. How much you’ll pay for a sponsored spot on a podcast will vary depending on how many listeners or subscribers the podcast has, as well as how focused into a niche the podcast is. If you sell vintage Star Wars toys, a podcast all about Star Wars is going to be worth a whole lot more to you than a podcast that talks about how to grow lemons in Saskatchewan. That’s one of the huge perks of advertising on podcasts – if you pair with the right podcast, you can speak directly to your target market.

If your business is a national or international operation – maybe selling your products or services on the web to the world – then it’s pretty easy to find bigger podcasts that have a global reach and try and sponsor them.

Where it gets more difficult is at the local level. There might be a lot of podcasts around you being created by people in your city or region, but it can be very hard to find them. They might not have your city in their name. They could be speaking to your perfect niche of listeners, but you don’t know they exist. A podcast with financial advice for rich folks with too much money might be a great one for an upscale clothing store, home builder, or realtor to sponsor.

p.s. if anyone wants to start a podcast targeted at super rich people and needs an editor, give me a call.

If you have followers on social media, start by asking for suggestions of local podcasts – not necessarily podcasts made locally – but podcasts that have a local focus. And when you find some, try out a sponsorship of an episode or two.

You likely won’t see any immediate return on that – podcasting sponsorship is a long game play. It’s why you hear about Squarespace for 200 episodes straight. But you’ll get the experience of working with the podcaster and see how professional they are, how well they handle your requests for what the sponsor read should say and sound like.

Helping Someone Start a Podcast

What if you can’t find any local podcasts serving your area or niche? And you’re too busy to actually start your own podcast. Send an email out to your best customers and ask if any of them currently do a podcast talking about your industry – you never know, there might be someone out there already that’s been too shy to talk about it. But assuming nobody has, ask your best customers if any of them are interested in starting a podcast. And offer to help fund the development and recording of the first season – say 10 episodes – of the podcast. You might spend $500 on gear, and another 5 to $10,000 on production and editing time – but if it’s done well and with the right people who are already passionate about your industry or market, you could help jump start a successful podcast.

It doesn’t even have to be a podcast about your industry specifically. Maybe you’re a local beer brewery and you pay for the development of a podcast telling local ghost stories and lore.

If you really want to open the floodgates, create a “Podcast Startup Fund” with a $10,000 pot of cash going to the best podcast pitch that aligns with your market.

Make Your Own Podcast

And of course, you could start your own podcast in house – but be sure to hire me to edit and help you produce it. Obviously.

It can be as simple as an audio version of your blog posts or newsletters you already are writing, just in audio form. It won’t necessarily garner you the widest array of listeners, but it will help those who enjoy what you’re trying to do to listen along while they’re doing things besides sitting and focusing on your blog or social media efforts.

One level up from that is talking with your employees or people in your industry about the work you do. If you repair shoes, talk about all the intricacies of shoe repair. I might not subscribe, but an episode you create about how to get gum off your shoes might get shared into my social feed and I listen to that episode and then remember your shoe repair shop when it comes time to get my winter boots fixed.

If you’re a home builder, document the process of building a home with you – in audio form. It’s more work than taking pictures, sure. But done well, it creates an instant audio story that you can share on your podcast as well as re-use on social media.

If you’re a coffee shop, interview some regulars. Do the small town coffee row political conversations in front of a microphone. See what kinds of conversations it sparks.

In the previous episode of this podcast, I talked about some of the podcast ideas that people wish they could find. Maybe go back and listen to episode 11 and see if there’s an idea you’d like to start.

If you’re curious about making a podcast and the costs associated with it, be sure to sign up for my email newsletter at lemonproductions.ca/newsletter – I’m planning to have some intro to podcasting training sessions in the new year at my office.

Talk About the Podcasts You Enjoy

Even easier – and cheaper – than putting any money into podcasting is to talk about the podcast you or your team enjoy listening to. You could write a blog post once a month with the 5 podcast episodes you and your employees enjoyed or found inspiring. It’s guaranteed to generate some conversation, especially as you share that out to social media and in your company email newsletter. Someone who already listens to podcasts is generally very interested in finding out more podcasts to listen to. Invite people to respond with their favorite shows or episodes. Just like talking about favourite bands and songs, people who are into podcasts love sharing and talking about their favourites.

If you’ve got questions about podcasting you’d like me to cover, here’s your chance to get them on my to do list.

Got Questions for a Future Episode?

If you’d like to send in a question for a future episode, there’s a few different ways to do it:

I hope you enjoy the podcast. I’m excited to continue telling both my own story in podcasting as well as answer your questions about podcasting. I’ve been podcasting for almost 10 years and it’s awesome to see how it’s grown and changed over the years. I continue to believe that it’s one of the best ways to engage and communicate with your audience, fans, or potential customers.