No matter what you’re into as a hobby, there’s a podcast for it and about it. Most people who listen to podcasts, I’d venture to guess, have thought about starting their own at one point or another. If you fall into that group, here are some tips to help you get started.
1. You don’t need a crazy microphone
Don’t worry about what the podcast pros are using and double-don’t-worry about recommendations from websites that earn a higher commission when you spend more money on a microphone that they recommend.
Good enough really is good enough, you don’t need to spend more than $100 to get a totally serviceable microphone. Use a free or affordable digital audio workstation and follow some good advice about how to edit a podcast and you’ll be off to the races.
2. Listen to podcasts
I don’t mean just throw on your favorite pods and zone out, I mean really listen on a critical level. Pay attention to when there’s background music playing, pay attention to when they edit in cuts for commercials, pay attention to the format (do they have segments? Is it more open-ended? How do the episodes flow?)
These are things you might not normally notice, especially if they’re well-done, but paying a little extra attention will help you come up with your own ideas and to craft your own format and style of podcasting.
Here are some podcasts that are enjoyable and suitable for teens of all ages:
- 10 Must-Listen Podcasts for Tweens and Teens
- 11 Awesome Podcasts Teens Will Actually Want to Listen To
- “I make my kids listen to 4 podcasts a month as their cell phone “payment”. It’s simple, $35 or 4 podcasts? They choose podcasts every time.”
3. Be safe and talk to your parents about it
If you’re planning to start a podcast and you’re a younger teenager, it’s important to talk to your parents about this and also to understand what precautions you need to take.
If you talk about your own life, it’s not a bad idea to include some red herrings in case anyone listening tries to find out your real identity which can lead to them knowing where you live, your schedule, etc. That means you could talk about walking home in the cold winter weather even if you live in Texas, or tell a story about the time your (imaginary) younger brother tripped and fell onto a cactus (even though you really live in Alaska.) You get the idea. I’m not saying you should be phony or inauthentic at all, and it really depends on what type of podcast you’re making, anyways.
Now if you’re 18, 19, turning 20… you probably have a better understanding about the basics of staying safe online, and can make your own decisions about how personal you want to get on your podcast – but you should still take basic steps to protect parts of your privacy.