How To Record a Podcast - The Perfect Guide To Get You Started Podcasting

On-demand, episodic talk radio. When you boil it down to basics, the definition of a podcast doesn’t sound very interesting, does it? So what’s the missing ingredient? The secret sauce?

Content. Rather than having to rely on the 24-hour news segments, or getting round a writers’ table to develop the newest drama, podcasters take their inspiration from all walks of life. You can talk about anything, which makes podcasting such an attractive avenue for businesses, entertainment personalities, and hobbyists alike.

If podcasting sounds like fun, give it a try! Though you’ll need to know how to record a podcast first. Well, worry not! CleanVoice is here to guide you through the starting steps so you can deliver clean, crisp audio to your prospective audiences! Let’s dive in!

What is a Podcast?

The iPod that gave podcasting its name back in 2004 may be gone, but the genre has grown from strength to strength. The medium moved to smartphones, and audio recording and editing equipment became more portable, cheaper, and diverse.

According to Statista, 82 million people in the US listened to podcasts in 2021 and numbers are expected to top 100 million by 2024, with NPR and iHeartRadio competing for dominance. There are over 4 million podcasts available for download. That may sound like a saturated market, but barely 13% are “active” ie. they’ve published an episode in the past 90 days.

So there’s still plenty of space for independent podcasters like you to make their mark with new content and is here to help your indie voice be heard. Cleanvoice is an artificial intelligence tool, which removes filler sounds, stuttering, and mouth sounds from your podcast or audio recording. We’re perfect for the new podcasters on the block, who might not be familiar with audio editing. But with our AI, you don’t need to be! Just upload your audio files to our platform, and we’ll take care of the rest!

As with any art or media form, podcasts come in a variety of formats.

The solo/monologue podcast

Just speak into the microphone. If you have a subject you can talk about for 30 or 40 minutes at a time, over multiple episodes then go for it. This format is very popular with new podcasters because it’s simple. Just set up a microphone and off you go.

Interview podcasts

Arguably the most common podcast format, a consistent host talks to a new guest each week. While guests and topics can vary, there’s always a common theme that links them together. Usually, different questions are asked of each guest or you could use the tactic used by Minnie Questions with Minnie Driver, whose podcast asks the same 7 questions of every guest.

Conversational Podcasts

Similar in style to traditional radio shows, conversational podcasts are also known as co-hosted or roundtable. Hosts discuss topics ranging from news through politics to history amongst themselves, bringing in guests when they need to mix things up.

A good example is the Always Sunny Podcast. Based on the hit sitcom, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the stars of the show center conversations around the show itself, providing comical tidbits and facts on the shows production, which is a delight for many fans.


While this format can feel like it’s been hijacked by the True Crime genre, there are other topics of discussion out there. Documentary podcasts are the investigative journalism of the internet with individual or group hosts tracking down the truth about their chosen subject and revealing their findings over a series of episodes.

Fiction Podcasts

Serialized radio plays, and fiction podcasts are audio dramas that tell scripted stories with a cast of voice actors, with effects and sound design to immerse the listener.

Some fiction podcasts, like Homecoming,  have been adapted into films and TV series. Fiction podcasts often have the highest production values (and associated complexity and cost) to create an atmosphere and draw listeners into the story.

Episodic vs Serial

Episodic means that stories are told and can be listened to seperately. They may be connected by a common subject, but often the only common factor is the podcaster themselves.

Serial podcasts tell a story that builds over time. Think Game of Thrones vs. Modern Family. Miss a GoT episode, and you’ll be left wondering why your favorite character has vanished or is perhaps missing a hand. Miss a Modern Family, and you’ll still be able to follow what happens.

Podcast recording software recommendations


Billed as “your online recording studio”, easily records podcasts and videos in studio quality from anywhere in your browser, tablet or smartphone.


Designed for videoconferencing, Zoom is an easy way to record interviews as part of your podcast. This works great when you and your interview subject are unable to meet in person. The video makes communication easier and conversations are far more natural and relaxed when participants can see each other.


As with Zoom, Skype was designed for videoconferencing but its record function makes it easy to use for recording podcast interviews. A downside of Skype is that it records a single track of both participants speaking. Most podcasters prefer a “double ender” recording where each speaker is recorded separately. This makes editing the interview easier and gets more sophisticated results.

Podcast recording: Strategic best practices

Step 1: Planning Your Podcast Recording

Pick a topic and stick to it. It’s all too easy to just start rambling on about your favorite subject but you’ll quickly run out of steam if you take this approach.

Think about your target audience and ideal listener so you can cater specific talking points to the audience you want to reach. Things to consider include:

  • How do you want to engage with your audience?
  • What topics are they interested in?
  • Where can you add value to those topics?
  • What are other podcasters saying on your topic?
  • Is there an untapped niche you can cater to?
  • How do you want your audience to engage with you?

Our second point may sound strange. Isn’t a podcast about talking to people? Without feedback you won’t know when you’ve found a talking point that requires more in-depth attention, or when a well has run dry. Audience feedback tells you if your style is resonating, whether you need to adjust the pace.

Step 2: Script the Episode

It’s incredibly important to script every episode, as it helps keep a regular structure in place and maintains a steady flow throughout your podcast. That being said, you’ll need to make a choice; will you go for a complete script, or a ‘skeleton’ script which includes the main topics you want to tackle for an episode, but nothing more?

Your answer will really depend on the kind of podcast you’re creating. For instance, a conversational or interview based podcast would probably prefer a barebones script, as they can flow through each topic in an organic way, spending as much or as little time on a topic as is needed. If you’re creating a fiction story however, you might want to make a comprehensive script to keep everything on track.

You could even implement a mix of the two approaches. Take The Last Podcast on the Left, a comedy true crime podcast which uses a scripted narrative to give the podcast structure, with chaotic, unscripted sections discussing elements of the topic at hand.

Step 3: Choose your recording method

Cleanvoice is an artificial intelligence tool, which removes filler sounds, stuttering and mouth sounds from your podcast or audio recording. You can try us out for 30 minutes for free. Our service works with pre-recorded audio files, so you need to create those files first.

There are several different setups for recording your podcast, depending on your situation:

  • Podcast recording software - record files to your laptop with GarageBand, Audacity, or Adobe Audition, for example.
  • Video conferencing tools - Skype, Zoom, or something similar
  • Remote recording platform - record files to an online cloud server so you can access them from anywhere, ensuring they don’t take up space on your recording device. Iris, SquadCast, or all use this method.
  • Record a double-ender - not all recording software packages are created equal. Make life easier for yourself by using software that records each voice to a separate track. Software specs change all the time, so check if the one you like the look of has adopted double-ended recording.
  • Portable recording device - You can use your smartphone, laptop or even a tablet to record portably, though we do recommend buying microphones for a better recording experience. Alternatively, look for something a bit more professional, like the Tascam DR-40X.

Step 4: Use the right equipment

You can record a podcast with your laptop’s microphone, but it’s not recommended. At least use an external microphone with a wind filter. We provide a small breakdown of necessary equipment below, but it’s best to read our full guide on podcast equipment bundles if you want something more comprehensive.

  • Laptop
  • Microphone - Blue Yeti, JLab Talk, and Rode PodMic all get excellent reviews from podcasters and come in ranges for different budgets.
  • Recording and editing software - see our suggestions above and add CleanVoice to harness the power of AI to clean up your audio files.

As we’ve said, for a minimal setup, you can do all this with a smartphone, but it’s fiddly to record and edit on a small touchscreen.

Step 5: Record in the right environment

We’ve written about setting up your recording space, including how to construct a recording booth on a budget in our guide on reducing background noise on a mic. The key takeaways are:

  • Minimal outside noise - ideally, use an internal room or one away from traffic.
  • Minimal internal noise - no fans, aircon, refrigerators, etc., that create noise in the recording space.
  • Soft surfaces - rugs, blankets, carpeting etc., all absorb noises and reduce reverberation (reverb) in your recording space.

Step 6: Host, Market, and Distribute

Ideally, you have your own website so that any links from your podcast lead back to a central source. If not, you’ll need a third-party hosting platform. Either way, a podcast is published by linking the RSS feed from the host to the distributor:

  1. Create a podcast RSS feed on your hosting platform.
  2. Submit the RSS feed to your podcast directory.
  3. Wait for your RSS feed to be approved.
  4. Publish your podcast episodes.

Some platforms like Spotify can both host and distribute your podcast, but you may have to use their proprietary recording software to use them. Popular hosting platforms include Buzzsprout, Captivate,, and Podbean, but there are lots more out there and new players appear all the time.

The top 3 distribution platforms are Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes), Spotify, and Google Podcasts, but again, there are plenty of smaller players if you want to shop around.

However you produce your podcast, you’re inevitably going to have a few issues with your recordings. Try out Cleanvoice, which uses artificial intelligence to remove unwanted background noise, filler sounds, stuttering, and mouth sounds from your podcast episodes, allowing you to deliver on the best audio for your budding audiences!


Podcasting is a great way to join the conversation on whatever topic is closest to your heart. According to Edison Research, the most popular podcast genres, as of late 2022, are

  1. Comedy
  2. Society and culture
  3. News
  4. True crime
  5. Sports
  6. Business
  7. Arts

And the list goes on, with music coming in at #13 and Tech at #15.

The tools and equipment you need to start recording a podcast are within reach, so pick your subject, do your planning, and start talking into the microphone.

And if you have your subject but can’t decide what to call your podcast use the Cleanvoice Podcast Name Generator. We couldn’t come up with a name for our underwater hockey podcast and it suggested “Pucks on the Bottom”. We love it! Watch this space. And, if you want help with your editing, check out our prices, or get 30 minutes of audio edited for free if you’re not convinced (but you certainly will be by the end of it).