How To Start And Produce A Regular Podcast

Last June 2017 I finally decided to stop thinking about it and start my own podcast. Security In Five was born. Now as I approach 200 episodes I thought it would be a good idea to write about how I produce my show.

There are thousands of posts about how to run a podcast and not every method applies or works for everyone. Mine is how I do it and it’s worked so far and allowed me to regularly record, edit and publish 200 episodes with no signs of slowing down. This post will detail all the tools, with links, the process I follow to make Security In Five.

Form Your Idea

The first step of making a podcast is figuring out what you will be talking about. You can’t be general or generic on your podcast. You have to figure out your brand idea and stick to it. Security In Five was a hard concept and went through many iterations. I wanted to make a security focused podcast but direct it toward ‘regular’ people for a wider range of audience appeal. The topics are security centric with heavy IT backup. Nothing else. In order to grow your listeners they need to expect consistency.

You also need to layout how your show will be formatted. I would recommend you stick to a regular length. Once you set it, format your show layout to fit in that time frame. People will listen because of the content but they will come back because they fit you show into their listening routine.

For Security In Five I built the time of each episode from the title. Five is for five minutes, roughly. Each of my episodes run about 5 minutes long. One security topic in about five minutes.

Set Your Schedule 

After you come up with your show will be about the second step is figure out how often you are going to release episodes. Consistent with your topics but also consistent with your schedule. You cannot release on a whim, you need to schedule it. Weekly, Monthly, daily, etc…

I chose that with Security In Five being five minute long episodes I could do daily episodes. With all the topics I could cover and wanted to cover I felt more, shorter episodes would appeal more than fewer two hour long episodes. There are many podcasts I would love to listen to regularly that are an hour or longer. I don’t have the time to get those in regularly and I didn’t want to have my podcast fall into that category. I made the podcast to be how I listen to podcasts.

Research Your Topics And Be Organized

For each episode you need to plan out what you are talking about. Don’t improvise it. The better research and planning you have the better your podcasts will sound. In order to do that you need the right tools to be as efficient as you can be.

Here are the tools and services I use to collect, plan and produce my Security In Five podcast.

  • Pocket – https://getpocket.com
    • Pocket is website that allows you to save websites, articles, videos for later reading. Similar to Instapaper, I find Pocket’s interface to be slicker and quicker to use for how I use it. There is a Chrome extension that I use when I come across an article that I want to save quickly for reading later. Pocket’s tagging system also allows for easy organization and every article that i save for a podcast topic I tag it with ‘podcast’, this is very important for a service, details below.
  • Airtable – https://airtable.com/
    • Airtable is a powerful online database service. You can create slick, slimmed down yet flexible relational databases through a web interface. I use Airtable to keep track of all my episode ideas and what I have recorded. The database I have setup is simple the record is made up of URL, Description, Status (Idea or Recorded), Attachments. That’s it. Airtable is the core subject matter source of truth for Security In Five.
  • Evernotehttps://www.evernote.com
    • I have been a premium user of Evernote for years and I love it. If you do not use Evernote, I ask why. Evernote holds my episode archive, my notes, formatted text, PDFs saved among everything else I use it for to organize my life.
  • IFTTT – https://ifttt.com
    • IFTTT, which stands for If This Than That (a programming term), is the glue that keeps everything together. I use IFTTT in almost every aspect of my social networking and podcasting activities. IFTTT hooks into your various online services and allows you to create ‘applets’ to monitor and then carry out an action based on what you define.
    • Here are the applets I have in place for my podcast production, it may look like a lot of work but it’s all automated from a few manual actions. –
      • Pocket to Airtable
        • This applet watched my Pocket and whenever I add a new website and tag it with ‘podcast’ it creates a record in my Airtable episode tracking database automatically.
      • Pocket to Twitter
        • Another applet I have watches for new articles with a ‘twitter’ tag. I use this for articles that I feel are worthy to share to my @BinaryBlogger Twitter account.
      • Pocket to Facebook
        • Another applet watches for new article with the tag ‘twitter’ and posts it to the Binary Blogger Facebook page. The twitter tag is my global social network tag.
      • Security In Five RSS To Reddit
        • This applet watched the RSS feed for my podcast and new entries trigger the applet to create a new post on Reddit. This is to get the podcast out to as many locations as I can.
      • Security In Five RSS To DayOne Journal
        • I use the DayOne journal app for many journaling purposes and one of those is to keep an archive of my podcast episodes. Each new episode gets a new journal entry with the RSS details the day it’s published.
      • WordPress To LinkedIn
        • This is not necessarily for the podcast but still applicable. This applet watches my WordPress blog and any new post with the tag LinkedIn creates a new post on my LinkedIn profile to the blog post.
  • LibSyn – http://www.libsyn.com
  • iTunes
    • I registered the podcast with iTunes. To find it search Security In Five in the podcast section of iTunes.
  • Stitcher – https://www.stitcher.com
  • TuneIn Radio – https://www.tunein.com

Recording

I use Garage Band to record all my episodes. It’s simple, easy to use and for my podcast it’s the perfect fit. Also, invest in a good quality microphone. Don’t use the built-in mic of your computer you can get a decent one for $100 and go through the roof with cost but build up to that.

Security In Five is a daily podcast but that doesn’t mean I record episodes every day. This is a hobby and I don’t have the time or consistent schedule to be able to daily recordings and remain consistent. With my organization with my tools listed above I record a week’s worth of episodes in one sitting. That’s the trick. Do you think they make a TV show week by week? No, they make all the episodes in one shot and release them through a season. Same concept. Being that my podcast episodes are 5-10 minutes each it doesn’t take a huge amount of time to get them recorded.

On Thursdays or Fridays, at some point during the day or night, I record 5 episodes for the next week in one sitting. To record, edit and be happy with 5 episodes takes less than two hours. I plan my topics throughout the week using my tools, build my episode list in Evernote, take talking points as I come across interesting topics and by the time I am ready to record I’m set.

Each Friday I post a Weekly Round up blog post where I embed the week’s episodes. That end of each of those posts list out what the following week’s episodes will be.

Putting It All Together

This is what works for my podcast production. It may seem like a lot of steps but when you take a look at the services and how they are integrated you will see it’s far easier than it appears. I am very busy in both professional and personal lives, add to the fact I am an IT nerd, I go for automation anywhere I can.

Podcasting is intimidating but it’s also lots of fun. I created one to help me professionally to stay on top of the industry. I also use it to help build credibility for clients that I do know what I am talking about, my podcast is a body of work showing as such.

If you have any questions on how to use the tools I listed drop me a line, leave comments, reach out.

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