One reason people love to create podcasts is because it's possible to do so for free from the comfort of their own home! This article was last reviewed and updated in March 2021.
You probably already have a computer, so that requirement is already checked off your shopping list. What else do you need to record a podcast for free?
How to make a podcast for free (or close to it)
Here's what you need to make a podcast for as close to free as possible:
1) A good microphone. Blue Microphones are the best podcasting microphones on the market. They sound excellent and are affordable, portable, and easy to use. Blue's cheapest is the Snowball. Priced at $50 on Amazon, it's a simple and great sounding mic. They also have the Yeti, which costs $130. While it's more expensive, it sounds just as good as a microphone you'd find in a radio station's studio. (Be sure to check out their Yeti Nano, too)
Free alternative: Use wired headphones included with your phone, like Apple's iPhone headphones, to record your podcast. While Apple's headphones are good quality, others may not be. Still, it might be a good solution to consider if you're just getting started.
2) Audio recording software. Mac users have two options: Quicktime and Voice Memos. Both are automatically installed on Macs running the latest operating systems, and can record your microphone. For Windows users, the app called Sound Recorder, which should be built into your system, will do the trick. There are recording apps out there with additional features, but these three picks are good for beginners.
3) Zoom. This will let you speak with co-hosts who aren't in the same room as you, and you can even record yourself and your co-hosts/guests from within Zoom. Best of all, you can record each participant on their own audio track, which will give you more control while editing.
4) Audio editing software. This is the complicated part of the process and can cost money if you need to add multiple co-hosts or a substantial number of effects. For a beginner, an app like Audacity is a good place to start. It lets you trim, cut, and paste audio into a single file. For additional flexibility like editing multiple tracks, Apple's GarageBand is a free solution. Both pieces of software will have learning curves.
If you don't want to edit in co-hosts and music, you can also mix them in live-to-tape. And if podcast editing seems like too much work, I can do it for you.
5) A podcast server. Audioboom is a great place to upload your show to. They'll also help you add your show to places like Apple Podcasts, but you'll need to do some leg work to get your show everywhere. Another popular podcast host is Libsyn. Neither of these options are free, but they're easy and affordable to use. I personally am loyal to Audioboom, because they also help sell advertising.
Podcasting for free is possible!
For this bare bones set up, the only thing you'll need to even consider buying is a microphone. Spending money on a good one is a wise investment so that you can sound as great as possible!
Keeping things cheap at the beginning of your podcast journey is a good idea. Experimenting with free software will let you try your hand at podcasting with as little risk as possible. Once you're sure you want to continue your podcast over the long run, you'll want to invest in some good software and accessories to enhance your show.
Hire me to help you set up all of these elements and to learn about software and accessories that will take your podcast recording to the next level.
Learn how to play music and sound effects live on air, stream your episode recording live to the internet, and record live-to-tape so there's next to no editing involved. I can also teach you how to create a professional website and get your podcast in places like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, and other major streaming apps -- all while making money off your passion. My consulting services are a one-stop shop for learning how to podcast.