Learn recommendations for audio equipment, software, plugins, and other podcasting gear that are worth spending money to get. These will improve your podcast!
This may sound crazy for my top suggestion but this will be crucial to your entire brand and podcast future.
Get a domain for your podcast and you can use that domain for professional-sounding email addresses (instead of Gmail or Hotmail).
Even if you don't have your own hosting yet, you can point this forward your domain to somewhere else, or work with pseudo-hosts (such as LibSyn or WordPress.com) to make your domain work on their system.
Whether you're recording an audio or video podcast, your sound quality is second in importance only to the quality of your content.
For audio, I recommend the Audio-Technica ATR2100USB ($50) or the Heil PR40 ($300).
For video with lavalier (lapel) mics, I recommend the Giant Squid Audio lavalier ($40 for mono, $75 for stereo), the Rode Lavalier Microphone ($249), the Sennheiser G3 wireless kit. For a shotgun mic, I recommend the Rode NTG2 ($269).
Pop filter: $15+
The quickest way to sound unprofessional in a podcast is popping your plosives into the mic. A simple pop filter can fix this, as well as pointing the mic at your mouth from an angle and not talking directly into it.
Web hosting: $60–$100/year
Media hosting $5+/month
If you have a small audience (under 100 downloads per episode), you may be allowed to host your media on your website host. But remember that “unlimited” doesn't really mean unlimited and your host may shut you down for abusing the resources.
I highly recommend a dedicated media host that provides truly unlimited bandwidth for video or audio files for your podcast.
LibSyn media hosting starts at $5/month for 50 MB rolling storage and basic stats. Use promo code “noodle” to get your first month free!
Blubrry media hosting starts at $12/month for 100 MB rolling storage and premium stats.
Video camera: $500+
I love the Canon Digital Rebel T3i ($550) or Digital Rebel T4i ($650) for short-form HD video production and high-quality photography. I use the T4i, but it's not much of an upgrade over the T3i if you'd like to save some money. Digital SLRs are usually limited to 20–25 minutes of video recording at a time (regardless of storage).
The Canon Vixia HF G10 ($1,039) is a beautiful camcorder designed for HD video and has no recording limit. You really can't go wrong the Canon's Vixia line of HD camcorders and you may find one that fits better in your budget.
Mic stand: $120
I love my Heil PL-2T overhead mic boom because it can keep my mic and stand from getting in the way. It's very smooth and has a special slot for the XLR cable. It works with any mic.
Get a comfortable, quality pair of headphones and you'll be glad you did. Make sure they have very little noise leakage (back into your mic) and that they're comfortable enough to wear for hours.
You don't have to have a mixer to podcast. But a mixer can allow you to do so much more with greater ease! Bring in Skype calls, play sounds into your recording, output to a digital recorder, or have multiple in-studio guests—all made easy with a mixer.
External digital recorder: $200+
Recording into an external digital recorder has some great benefits, but it isn't necessary. But these recorders are great for audio, video, and remote recording and provide reliability and some extra features.
For live-streaming video, I think the Logitech C920 ($78) is the best HD webcam you can get! It works on Windows and OS X. If you're on OS X, also get Webcam Settings in order to have further control over the camera.
Premium WordPress theme: $80+
Thesis—$87 for unlimited sites and one year of upgrades, $197 for unlimited sites and unlimited upgrades.
Premium WordPress plugins: $37+
Gravity Forms—$39 for one site, $99 for 3 sites, $199 for unlimited sites. Half-price renewals.
Pretty Link Pro—Free basic edition, $37 for one site, $97 for unlimited sites. No renewals.
BackupBuddy—$75 for two sites, $100 for ten sites, $150 for unlimited sites. Discounted renewals.
Cover Art and other design: $5+
The visual branding of your podcast is often a potential subscriber's first impression. Because of this, you want something that looks professional and communicates your brand.
You can get design services as cheap as $5 from Fiverr.com, or hire me to professionally design something for you.
Other software that makes podcasting easier: $10+
- ID3 Editor ($15) for tagging MP3 files with ID3 information.
- More advanced audio/video-editor ($50–$350), which can make editing quicker or easier.
- Soundboard program ($10–$50) for playing sounds directly into your recording.
- Screenflow ($99, OS X) or Camtasia Studio (Windows) for screen-recording.
- Wirecast ($495 or $995) for professional live-streaming video.
- Skype recording software.
- Webcam Settings (OS X) for controlling your webcam settings (aptly named).
This is at the bottom of the list for a reason. Consulting isn't required, but if you need the help, this will be far worth it to pay for as your top priority.
But many podcasters will benefit and maybe even enjoy the self-teaching process.
I'm available for consulting if you need help with podcasting, branding, design, fixing your podcast, WordPress, and more. Check out my new consulting page if you'd like to hire me to help you.
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This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship and may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.