How to Record Solo Podcast Episodes
Even though you might think of podcasting as a conversation, that doesn’t mean podcasts always have to include more than one person. Hosting solo podcast episodes is a more straightforward way to produce a podcast without worrying about booking a co-host or guest interviews. It’s also a fantastic way to showcase your expertise while building one-on-one relationships with your listeners. And, if you’re on the fence about podcasting, recording a few solo episodes is a low-risk way to try podcasting out and see if it’s the right move for your business. So, if you’re thinking of getting behind the mic for some solo podcasting, this blog on how to record solo podcast episodes for you!
Solo podcast vs. guest podcast
There are definitely some significant benefits to hosting guests on your podcast. First and foremost, whenever someone else is recording with you, you don’t have to fill all that time with your own voice! Many people get into the recording groove easier if it feels like they’re having a conversation rather than giving a presentation. Plus, when you invite guests to your podcast, you can take advantage of a built-in marketing opportunity to get in front of a whole new listening audience.
That said, there are plenty of benefits to hosting a solo podcast. For starters, it’s a fast-track way to build an intimate relationship with your listeners because it feels like you’re speaking directly to them. And when you record on your own, you’ll never have to wait until your guest’s schedule is free before recording an episode. You simply sit down in front of the mic whenever it works best for you (and stay in your pajamas while you do it!)
One thing to consider with solo podcasts is that you’re responsible for coming up with every topic…and what you’ll say during the episode. In contrast, podcast guests usually come prepared to talk for a while about a topic they’re an expert in. A conversation will naturally develop as you ask them questions and bring your ideas to the table. That doesn’t happen quite the same way when recording alone.
The good news is you don’t have to choose between solo podcasts vs. guest podcasts. You can start your podcast with solo episodes, then grow to include interviews, co-hosts, or roundtable conversations over time.
Solo podcast episode ideas
Choosing topics may feel challenging at first, but remember that there are already tons of topics in your zone of genius, and you have a message that people want to hear.
Start by thinking about the steps you take each client through. What kinds of problems need solving for your clients? What do you want your clients to know about working with you? Why do all those little things you do for clients matter for their business? Which questions are people asking you on repeat? Those can all become episode topics!
Here are 5 solo podcast episode ideas to get you started:
- Explain how to do one thing that’s helped your business
- Address a specific client problem
- Detail 5-10 ways to improve your ideal client’s pain points
- Give listeners a behind-the-scenes look at your systems or workflow
- Record a review of something your clients would love
How to record solo podcast episodes
Many entrepreneurs are already the prominent brand personality behind their businesses, so recording solo episodes is a natural move. However, even though it sounds easy peasy to record an episode alone, it can throw some people for an unexpected loop! Ten minutes can feel like ten hours when you’re the only one talking. Not to mention, if recording yourself on audio (or video) is a brand-new experience, it can take some time to feel relaxed and record podcast episodes with confidence. Here are some tricks of the trade to make sure recording runs smoothly.
Gather the equipment
Getting your supplies together is the beginning of any podcasting venture! Make sure your home studio is set up for solo episode recording with a USB mic, a laptop, and quality headphones. Sign up for recording software (Riverside is my go-to) and an editing tool like Hindenburg.
Plan the topic
Even though you’ll be all alone, this is not the time to wing it! Planning makes everything about recording and editing SO much easier in the long run. Do some soul-searching about your ideal listener and think about the types of questions they’re asking, problems they’re having, and struggles they’re encountering. You can also check out Answer the Public to see what questions people have about different topics to get some inspiration and direction. At first, thinking up podcast topics is difficult, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll see topic ideas everywhere, from listener feedback to client conversations.
To script or not to script?
Scripting for a team of one might feel a little like overkill. But if you don’t want to record the same episode 20+ times….just script it. You can write everything out word for word or jot down bullet points to keep you on track. Whatever works for you is perfectly fine!
Keep things short
Longer isn’t better unless you’re already a well-known podcaster or handle deep-dive topics like true crime. Each solo episode should be around 15 minutes long (or 20 minutes, tops, if you have a lot of information to get across). That sounds really short, but you’ll be skipping guest intros, wrap-ups, and the back-and-forth banter that comes with more people!
Solo podcast episodes take practice
It’s absolutely OK (and very normal) if you’re not the best solo podcaster the world has ever seen right away. Relax! No one is perfect the first time they record. However, you will get better with time and practice. The more episodes you record, the more natural you will start to sound. Not to mention, if you’re perfect when you first start out, that doesn’t leave any room to grow in the podcasting craft (and have your audience grow with you!) 😉
7 tips for solo recording
Once you’ve done all the prep work, it’s time to make some episodes! Here are a few ways to help yourself feel more relaxed and confident during the recording process.
Go ahead and take a few deep breaths, then stretch. Push out your breath and take a giant yawn. If you don’t do it now, you’ll probably catch yourself doing it during your recording session!
Massage your jaw
Doing all that talking by yourself is hard work! Give your jaw a little massage to warm up the muscles and relax your body before diving into recording.
Smile when you talk
It sounds like a silly thing to do, but people can hear the difference! Even if listeners never see your face, it’s a proven fact that people can tell you’re smiling based on sound alone. Plus, it’s the perfect way to keep yourself from sounding too monotonous or uptight when reading your script!
Take time to pause
Recording can make you nervous, which could cause you to subconsciously speed up your talking speed. With no one else there to naturally break up the conversation, it’s easy to fast-forward right through your script without noticing! Take intentional moments of pause to slow yourself down throughout the process.
Try a one-minute warmup
Don’t feel like you have to dive right into the script the moment you press record. Read something out loud first to get your vocal cords ready to go, prep yourself for the proper headspace, and get a feel for your microphone and headphones.
You’ll thank yourself when it’s time for the editing process! Dry mouths produce more natural clicking and popping noises that you’ll need to edit out or master in post-production. Plus, a hydrated body and brain help you stay more focused! Drink at least eight ounces of water before you start, and feel free to drink throughout the recording process. You can always splice, dice, and ninja out excess noise in post-production. Just avoid alcohol, caffeine, sugar, or ice-cold drinks (they can strain your voice!)
Pro tip! Try adding a squeeze of lemon to your water. The acidic properties of lemon are known to increase saliva production.
Ready to record your first solo podcast?
It’s a fabulous way to get started in podcasting and determine if it suits you. Even if you’re a more established podcaster, mixing in some solo episodes allows you to build a one-on-one relationship with listeners that you can’t get from co-hosted or interview-style episodes. I hope these tips on how to record solo podcast episodes give you the confidence boost you need!
Still have questions?
We help people with the ins and outs of recording and growing an audience with all kinds of podcasts – solo podcasts included! Reach out to chat with us about an audit or full-time support!
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