5 Questions to Ask Before You Start a Podcast

Close-up image of microphone and white computer screen in the background.
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Podcasts are hot. These downloadable audio files have seen a recent surge in popularity. You can download individual episodes of a program to your computer or smartphone, or subscribe to have new episodes automatically download. Apple’s iTunes store reports more than 1 billion podcast subscriptions and the show tracker Raw Voice says the number of podcast listeners has tripled in the last five years to more than 75 million per month.

So it seems like a good time to start one. And sure, you love a good discussion. But is that all it takes to start a podcast? Before you jump behind the microphone and hit record, ask yourself these five questions.

What’s Your Reason for Podcasting?

Is it because you love to talk? That’s not enough. You need a message that you feel must be shared and the time and commitment to make it happen. To deliver a quality podcast on a regular schedule requires ongoing dedicated time and resources.

Do You Have a Voice for Podcasting?

Do you have any experience in radio or TV? Is your voice strong and confident? Are you comfortable reading a script or conducting an interview?

Do You Like to Research and Write?

You’re probably asking, “What does that have to do with podcasting?” Well, a successful podcast starts with a great topic idea. Then, it takes researching that idea, vetting your research and putting it all together into an evidence-based script. The hardest work of podcasting goes on before you ever start recording.

Do You Have Access to a Professional or Home Studio?

Some local radio stations offer recording and production services. Some even provide script editors, too. Of course, all of that costs money, which can add up. If you opt to build a home or office studio instead, do you have a quiet spot that can be off-limits during production? You don’t want to pick up background noise during recording.

Can You Afford It?

Do you have funds to pay for in-studio production or to set up a home or office recording studio? A home office requires the following:

  • a high-quality microphone
  • headphones
  • a computer
  • production software

Bonus questions: How committed are you to this new venture? Are you willing to put in the time to learn new software to record and edit? Are you willing to put other projects on hold to meet your production schedules?

With eight years behind the mic, we are bona fide podcasting veterans. It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience. It can be for you too, but like any new venture — especially one that relies on technology — there is a learning curve involved. If you’re ready to commit, we can’t wait to hear it!

Regina Ragone, RDN, MS, and Susan Mitchell, PhD, RDN, FAND on Twitter
Regina Ragone, RDN, MS, and Susan Mitchell, PhD, RDN, FAND
Susan Mitchell, PhD, RDN, FAND, and Regina Ragone MS, RDN, share the food you love, how to stay fit for life and be fabulous everyday through their Breaking Down Nutrition podcasts, videos, social media and websites Food Fit Fabulous and BreakingDownNutrition.com. Connect with them here and on Twitter.