Steven Hammer says all you need to get started on your own podcast is a laptop and $100.

Building a podcast from scratch can be very intimidating. You may be thinking about all the technology you’d need, the software, and other equipment like a good quality microphone. We had these same thoughts before interviewing Hammer, professor at Saint Joseph’s University in the Communications department. But thankfully, he outlined these two processes in starting a podcast:

  1. Knowing Your Audience  

To draw the audience that you desire, you need to think of the ways that you can fit in the existing community of interest. Hammer says it is important to understand that communication is less about the production itself, and more about understanding your community of interest. In doing so, you can find the gaps of already existing content and put your own unique twist on it. People create podcasts about topics they are passionate about and in turn, they create a community of people brought together by those similar interests. 

2. Technical Needs

Podcasting Studio in Bronstein Hall

This is probably the most intimidating part of starting a podcast, you may be wondering how expensive is the necessary equipment? Thankfully, you can range from low to high-tech equipment based on your budget. Free audio software like Audacity is easily downloadable and easy to navigate. There are some reasonably priced USB microphones on Amazon that can drastically increase the sound quality of your podcast. These microphones can record directly through software like Audacity on your device! Even better, If you are an SJU student, you have access to the podcasting studio located on the second floor of Bronstein Hall.

Hammer gave three key pieces of advice to beginning podcasters:

  1. Consistency is Key

Be consistent and have a regularity with your content that amazes your audience. When producing content it’s a good idea to produce on a consistent schedule so the audience remains engaged and interested in what you will produce the following week. The goal is to please your audience with the content and quality of your work while also leaving them wanting to hear more from you. Hint towards upcoming ideas in order to retain engagement!

2. Network and Branch Out

Connecting with people and understanding how to engage your audience is very important. You need to know how to talk to people and know how to properly interview people when need be. Communication is key and more engagement with others will broaden your audience and maybe even attract more listeners!

3. Develop Your Online Persona

The possibilities that come with creating your own podcast are endless! You have the capability to turn it into whatever you want to and to present yourself in a way that evokes engagement from your targeted audience. Hammer said it best, “You can also escape you a little bit and that can be fun.” Develop your online persona and have fun with it!

If you’ve been contemplating starting a podcast, the time is now! It is less intimidating than it can seem at first glance. Podcasting is a fun, creative, unique way of articulating your passions while also creating a community of people with similar interests. It all depends on the strength of your expression of passion towards your topic!