How to Build a Professional Podcast Setup on a Budget

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Since I’ve been locked inside for the better part of 2020, one of the ways I’ve been able to produce new content is through starting my own podcast. 

Along with writing articles and blog posts, and producing video content for YouTube, launching a podcast to amass new listeners and share insights has become a valuable tool. After all, podcast listenership has grown almost 38% in the last three years, and monthly podcast listenership has grown over 50% in that same timeframe. Right from the comfort of my home, I’m able to tap into new markets just by recording myself and posting my ramblings online—and I have fun doing it!

The best part is that starting your own podcast doesn’t have to be some scary experience. You can start a channel and talk about anything you’re interested in. Whether it’s sports, politics, news, inspirational content, movie reviews—the sky’s the limit. All you need is a few pieces of equipment to get set up, and I’m here to give you a quick rundown of how you can put your new podcast into action. 

If you’re wondering how to build a professional podcast setup on a budget, here’s what I did: 

Launch Your Podcast with Anchor.FM

Okay, so you’ve decided to launch a podcast, but now, you need a place to distribute it. 

Thankfully, I found this simple and effective platform called Anchor.FM that lets you record and distribute your podcast for free. Yes, that’s right—it’s completely free—and it even distributes your podcast to all major streaming platforms, such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Deezer, and many others! 

All you have to do is visit Anchor.FM and sign up for their services. They charge no membership fees or monthly service charges. In fact, you can actually make money through Anchor by running voice ads on your podcast that you can record yourself on behalf of other brands that partner with the service. 

There are easy-to-use platform tools in Anchor that allows you to record your podcast directly onsite, you can use their built-in soundbites and music to add effects to your podcast, and using the mobile app, you can even invite other friends to log into your podcast and record multiple people at once.

For my own podcast, Weekly Chaser, I use Anchor.FM exclusively, and I create every episode within the platforms podcast editor tool. I can check my analytics onsite, too, and learn about my listeners to grow my channel with what they enjoy. 

So, Anchor.FM makes podcasting super simple, but that still doesn’t cover what other equipment you’ll need to ensure that your podcast sounds as professional as possible. For that, you’ll need some equipment…

A Podcast Equipment List to Consider

Now, keep in mind that your smartphone, laptop, or computer (you’ll need at least one of these to start your podcast) has a built-in microphone in it. However, to ensure that you have a smooth, professional-sounding podcast, you’ll need a high-quality microphone that you can work with externally. 

For instance, I use a Blue Baby Bottle SL microphone on a mic stand when recording my podcast episodes. It comes with a shock mount to reduce any outside movements, and I can use the mic stand to alter the height and reach of the microphone for when I’m standing or sitting at my desk. Altogether, this microphone setup cost around $400. But something else to keep in mind is that this microphone uses an XLR hookup that feeds into a preamp that I bought to help condense the sound and process it before it reaches my computer. For the preamp, I went with a PreSonus Studio1810C, which allows me to hookup 4 microphones and a MIDI keyboard in case I want to record any of my own sound effects and tunes. 

Full disclosure: I invested in a nice microphone and preamp because I also record my own music at home. I realize not everyone will need to go to such great lengths for their own setup, but at least you know what’s possible if and when you decide to get more involved with your recording abilities. 

That said, you can easily get by using a budget microphone, like a USB Condenser Microphone that you just plug into your computer and record with. 

Here’s a list of some super affordable, and high-quality, USB microphones that you can purchase: 

Once again, with these microphones, you just plug them into your computer’s USB slot and let Anchor.FM do the rest. You can record internally to Anchor’s platform and then edit your audio and podcast episodes using their dashboard tools. 

In the future, there are some additional tools that you can invest in, like pop filters, mic stands, a podcasting arm, or preamps (like I mentioned earlier), but for the most part, all you need is a computer, a decent mic, and Anchor.FM to get started. 

Grow Your Podcast with Fiverr

Once your podcast is up and running, don’t forget that you can help grow your channel and improve your freelance services by leveraging Fiverr in your favor!

For instance, you can share your podcast in the Fiverr forum, and after you’ve developed your recording skills, you can even offer new services to clients through voiceover work, editing podcast episodes, or providing audio mixes. Of course, you may also want to invest in a digital audio workstation platform, like Logic Pro X or Audactiy, but once you start learning all these platforms for yourself, the sky is the limit!

More than anything, podcasting is a great way to improve your offerings as a freelance creative, and as long as you stay consistent, you’ll have a following in no time! Get to work and happy podcasting!

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Chase Maser
Chase Maser is a full-time freelance writer and content marketer. Aside from meeting deadlines, he writes poetry and fiction, and hosts poetry events throughout Los Angeles, CA.