January 22, 2024

How to Start a Podcast for Free in 2024? Simple Guide for Aspiring Podcasters

Starting a podcast for free is definitely possible. When listening or watching the biggest podcasts we are exposed to expensive equipment and diverse setups. In order to start a podcast none of that is needed. A good quality podcast can be made with equipment most people use on their day-to-day basis such as smartphones and laptops. Today we take a look at how to do just that.

Image of podcasting glass room with podcast equipment - microphones, computers, headphones- a dark transparent layer over it and overlaid text saying "How to Start a Podcast for Free?"
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash
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Written by
Filipe Pessoa

Marketing & Sociology. Gamer and music producer.
LinkedIn

Table of contents
Turn your podcast episodes to short-form videos with AI

Repurpose your podcast episodes and make them ready for TikTok, YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels in minutes

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Starting a podcast for free in 2024 is the easiest is has ever been and you can get started by following some simple steps:

  1. Smartphones and Desktops can be a good solution for microphone and camera. Headphones often also have a microphone and are good for monitoring your voice;
  2. Record video and audio for free with OBS and edit using DaVinci Resolve’s version or Spotify for Podcasters and CapCut if you're using a smartphone;
  3. Upload to hosting platforms such as Spotify for Podcasters, Podbean or Buzzsprout;
  4. Use Framedrop to automatically create YouTube Shorts, TikToks and Instagram Reels of your podcasts’ highlights with AI;
  5. Go viral!

Best Equipment:

As it has been mentioned, you can use your everyday tools to create podcasts. With a little creativity these tools can go a long way and get your podcast on the same level as the big names.

Photo of man in office with headphones around his neck and recording with his phone camera.
Photo by Malte Helmhold on Unsplash

Smartphone

Any modern-ish smartphone can be perfect for your podcast needs. Most have good quality cameras and microphones and can be a great tool for someone starting a podcast. There are also a ton of apps that offer extra processing settings as well as allow you to record and edit the podcast.

Desktop or Laptop

You can record and edit on a desktop or laptop. The advantage of laptops is that most have a camera and microphone built-in. Also, due to being portable, you can easily take your laptop to a room better suited for podcasting.

Headphones

Headphones can be a great monitoring device, allowing you to listen to how your voice sounds and letting you modulate it as you go. More transparent headphones are usually ideal for this since they will translate better to a bigger number of speakers but when starting any headphone should serve you well. Additionally, many modern microphones, especially Bluetooth ones, include a microphone. Also, if you’re a gamer chances are you own a headset which would serve the same purpose.

Synergies Between Equipments

By pairing different equipment together you can have a really versatile set of tools. For example, by using both a smartphone and a laptop you can have 2 camera angles. You can also mix two microphone audio tracks separately letting you balance their volume better. All of these options will allow you to increase the quality of your podcast and show that not spending money is not an impeding factor in starting a podcast.

Software

You will need recording software. On a computer, Open Broadcaster Software (or OBS), a free and open source software popular due to live streaming, will allow you to record and/or livestream your podcast. It has a ton of features that facilitate audio mixing, built-in options for sound processing (like EQ, effects, suppression filters and more which help improve the final sound quality of your podcast) and a very flexible scene system. This system lets users choose the layout of their on-screen elements as well as add text, images, overlays and even dynamic elements.

For editing you can’t go wrong with DaVinci Resolve’s free version. It includes editing, audio post-production and even professional grade color grading. It is a great tool even for more complicated edits and it has everything you need to get your podcast going.

Image of man using DaVinci's Resolve editing software in a studio
Photo by Sebastian Pandelache on Unsplash

If you’re recording with your phone I recommend you use Spotify for Podcasters (formerly known as Anchor) which is available for both iOS and Android. Spotify for Podcasters will allow you to not only record your podcast but also share it to the biggest listening platforms, for free. While Spotify for Podcasters allows some basic editing I also recommend CapCut (available for iOS and Android) for more intensive video editing.

Acoustic Treatment

Treating a room so that it has the ideal acoustic characteristics can be a whole post in itself. There are a lot of different options made of different materials that serve various purposes and, as you’ve probably guessed by now, treating a room can be very expensive.

Lucky for us, we’re going for $0. That means we have to be creative. Foam is often the choice for absorbing the biggest issue most rooms have - flutter echo. With this in mind, home decoration products like couches, blankets, curtains and pillows can be great attenuators of these high frequencies. Mattresses can also be very good for this purpose but unless you are recording in your bedroom or have a spare one, it becomes trickier. Shelves with books are also a frequently chosen option and lastly, a clothing filled wardrobe can also be a great way to treat a room.

Lower frequencies are quite a bit more difficult to control but for podcasts the above mentioned solutions should suffice due to the average voice sitting around the midrange frequencies.

Alone vs Other People

As you know, there are all kinds of podcasts. Some podcasts have multiple guests, some never do but are in groups and some are just monologues. Knowing how your podcast is going to be is important when setting up your space and equipment. On one side, having a solo podcast will allow you to start with less equipment and will also give you more freedom to record whenever possible. On the other side, having a podcast with 1 other person (or more) can be easier and require less preparation since conversations flow more naturally. Having more than one person run a podcast also means more than one smartphone or laptop so, more options for quality content.

Lastly, it is important to know if you can have guests on. Just like having a co-host, guests require extra equipment. Guests however can’t be expected to contribute equipment wise so assess if you have the necessary tools and space to have them on and decide accordingly.

Recorded My First Episode. What now?

Congratulations! Now that you have recorded your very first episode you want to upload it to a podcast hosting platform. Some known ones are:

  • Spotify for Podcasters (as previously mentioned)
  • Podbean
  • Buzzsprout
  • Acast
  • Captivate
  • Libsyn
  • Hello Audio
  • Castos
  • Transistor
  • Megaphone

Paid options allow you to post unlimited podcasts and monetize them. That being said, and staying within the theme of this article, most platforms offer enough features for a starting podcast for free.

Growing Your Audience

Uploading your podcast is not the end of the process. In order to grow your audience one must share and market it in as many ways as possible. These can also be done for free.

Get To Know Your Audience

This is important, no matter the branch of entertainment you’re on. Learning your audience means you’ll be able to effectively tap into what interests them. It also means you can operate your podcast better with targeted guests, topics, social media platforms and upload at specific days of the week and time of day.

Have Interesting Guests On

Everyone likes a cool personality. Invite people that you and your audience find interesting and let your audience be part of the conversation by asking your guest some community-chosen questions. The more your channel grows the more likely it is prominent figures in your niche will be featured in your podcast. Interviewing guests with established audiences is one of the main growth methods in podcasting.

Social Media

Social Media is one of the strongest tools when it comes to obtaining traffic and engagement nowadays. It is worth sharing it on platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to get an initial boost. Also look into sharing it among podcast circles (such as podcast specific subreddits) and do the same for circles of your podcast’s genre.

Repurpose Your Content

Your podcast’s highlights are going to be its best advertisement. You’ve probably seen it. Snippets of big podcasts on TikTok with subtitles added to them. A lot of podcasts post 5-10 TikToks of their latest podcast as promotional material. These moments show the podcast to audiences that would never get exposed to it otherwise and who knows, you might just win them over. To learn more about this topic we’ve made a post on how much you should be posting daily to grow your audience.

AI Highlights in Shorts/TikToks/Reels with Framedrop

Running a podcast can be tedious enough with all its preparation, recording, editing and managing. Framedrop is an AI-powered tool that automatically finds the best moments in podcasts (and all talking content in general) and lets users briefly edit and directly post them on all the main platforms. Turn your podcast highlights into TikToks, YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels super fast and save your time focusing on what really matters.

The best part? Yup, it stays within topic as Framedrop has a free plan, go give it a try!

Turn your podcast episodes to short-form videos with AI

Repurpose your podcast episodes and make them ready for TikTok, YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels in minutes

Get started today!

10 Step Guide

Step 1: Getting Started

Starting a podcast for free is not only feasible but can be done with everyday tools like smartphones and laptops. You don't need expensive equipment or complex setups to create a quality podcast.

Step 2: Essential Equipment

Utilize your smartphone, laptop, and headphones – tools most people already have. These devices can serve as your microphone, camera, and monitoring device, providing a cost-effective solution. Combine them creatively to enhance your podcast quality without spending a penny.

Step 3: Build Your Space

Although it's fine to record a podcast in a bedroom or living room you often want to do it in a clean space . Having a table can help but is not a requirement (square tables work better for 1-on-1 interviews but if there are more people than that you might want to do it in a round table). If you don’t have an available table you can just set up the seats in a way that  all individuals can be part of and engaged in the conversation.

Step 4: Acoustic Treatment on a Budget

Treat your recording space using home decoration items – couches, blankets, curtains, pillows, clothing and books – to absorb high frequencies.

Image of stacked blankets inside a metal basket
Photo by Mel Poole on Unsplash

Step 5: Recording and Editing

Use software like OBS for recording and DaVinci’s Resolve free version for editing. These tools allow you to have full control of the quality of the audio which is podcasting’s main technical component.

Step 6: Alone vs. Group Dynamics

Decide on your podcast format – solo, group and if you’re having guests on. A solo podcast requires less equipment and offers more recording flexibility. Group podcasts, however, provide natural conversations. Consider the extra equipment needed for guests and evaluate your space accordingly.

Step 6: Uploading Your First Episode

Nice, we’ve got a debut! Upload it to podcast hosting platforms like Podbean, Buzzsprout, or Spotify for Podcasters. While paid options exist, many platforms offer sufficient features for a starting podcast for free.

Step 7: Growing Your Audience

Sharing your content is super important for audience growth. Understand your audience's interests, invite interesting guests, and share your podcast across social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Reddit.

Step 8: Repurposing Content

Maximize your podcast's reach by repurposing highlights. Share snippets on TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Reels as promotional material. This strategy exposes your podcast to new audiences, increasing its visibility.

Step 9: AI-Powered Efficiency with Framedrop

Simplify the podcasting process with Framedrop, an AI-powered tool. Automatically find and edit the best moments in your podcast, creating Shorts, TikToks, and Reels for various platforms. Save time and stay within budget – Framedrop offers a free plan.

Step 10: Keep Going!

It can be easy to lose motivation and the numbers can take time to go up. But don’t give up, patience is key and if you’re doing everything else right it is a matter of time until the algorithm picks you up. Keep looking for ways to improve and connect with your audience.

Congrats! You've Done It!

That’s it! You’ve just taken the first step toward launching your podcast for free! You now know that with everyday tools like smartphones, laptops, house decoration and free software combined with a dash of creativity, you can create a high-quality podcast without breaking the bank.

Keep refining your approach, connecting with your audience, and exploring ways to improve. Don't be discouraged if results take time – success is a matter of persistence and continuous improvement. Now, go create and share your podcast with the world!

Turn your podcast episodes to short-form videos with AI

Repurpose your podcast episodes and make them ready for TikTok, YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels in minutes

Get started today!

FAQ

How much does it cost to start a podcast?
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Starting a podcast for free is easy with everyday tools like smartphones and laptops. Use OBS for recording and DaVinci Resolve for editing, both free software. Utilize your space creatively, incorporating home items for acoustic treatment. Upload your episodes to free platforms like Podbean or Spotify for Podcasters. Grow your audience through social media and maximize reach using tools such as Framedrop to automate short-form content production.

Do podcasts make money?
+

Yes, podcasts can make money through sponsorships, ads, and listener donations. Monetization options also include affiliate marketing and premium content subscriptions. Successful podcasts attract advertisers and generate income, making them a viable source of revenue.

How do I start a podcast for the first time?
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1. Define your niche and target audience;

2. Gather recording equipment and editing software;

3. Plan engaging and consistent content and have interesting guests on;

4. Choose a reliable podcast hosting platform;

5. Promote your podcast through social media and networking.

Published at
January 22, 2024
Filipe Pessoa

Having a bachelor's degree in Sociology and currently getting his Masters' in Marketing, Filipe has always followed a customer-centric ethos. In 2021, Filipe was part of one of the 3 European Innovation Academy winning projects - CultureKit - as its CMO. Since joining Framedrop in August 2022, Filipe has worked on a wide array of tasks such as Copywriting, Lead Generation, Influencer Marketing and even dipped his toes in SEO.

When not working, Filipe channels his creativity into music production in his home studio.

Favorite sport: Football ⚽️

Favorite hobby: Gaming 🎮

Favorite musical artist: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard 🎸

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