Where to start?

Now that you have the motivation to start podcasting, you'll need an idea for your show.

That may seem easy, but your idea has to be substantial enough to carry the entire podcast. So take some time to brainstorm and think of how you can fully expand and alter your topic to make it appealing to a wider range of people and still interesting to listen to.

Consider these questions when brainstorming your idea: What is my audience? How long do I want my show to be? Will I break the show up into segments or make it one long, continuous piece? Will I use music? Who will participate in the show?

Equipment

As promised, the goal of this Web site is to get you podcasting on a very limited budget, so there's not a whole lot in terms of equipment. If you are fortunate enough to have the money to spend on nice audio equipment, look for microphone(s), studio headphones and a quality audio mixer. Most people get their sights set on headsets with built-in microphones, but getting your money's worth out of those can be difficult unless you spend hundreds of dollars.

Fortunately, it is possible to get a respectable sounding podcast with none of that. In terms of physical equipment, you simply need a microphone and a computer. If your computer comes with a decent built-in microphone, then you're all set. Most Apple computers have fully respectable microphones if you adjust your settings correctly (which we'll get to later), but if not, you can buy decent USB microphones for under $30.

A sample Feedburner page

This is only the first bit of information Feedburner will give you. It can also help with information about your subscribers, your downloads and the properties of your feed.

Software and Web accounts

It's not all about physical equipment, though. You will definitely need software to record your podcast. Macs come with GarageBand pre-installed, which is all you'll need. If not, Audacity is a free download and a great piece of audio recording and editing software.

Now that you have the necessary equipment and programs to capture your audio, you should look to the future and think about where you will host your podcast. This involves several different Web sites, all of which are free and easy to use. First of all, you should start a blog to generate an RSS feed for your podcast. I highly recommend Blogger, and I use it as well. It's quite simple, and it's been very reliable.

To make your feed even more legitimate and to access a great number of pieces of information about your podcast and RSS feed, sign up for Feedburner as well. Feedburner (pictured to the left) will be of great assistance when you look to get your podcast on iTunes. Check all the requisite boxes noting that you are a podcaster, and Feedburner will set up information about your subscribers, item use and feed maintenance.

Finally, I'll assume you have iTunes and an iTunes account, but if not, get to it.