Tech Resources for Podcasting and Audio Recording

Want to start a radio show but feel limited/overwhelmed by the tech resources for podcasting and audio recording? I feel you.

But here’s the thing, it’s SO accessible these days if you want to do it, then do it.

Tech Resources for Podcasting and Audio Recording

Tech resources for podcasting

One interesting benefit of shelter-in-place realities is people are launching their dream audio projects and podcasts! And if you know me at all, you know I’m a fan of any and all audio projects.

Radio dramas. Podcasts. Documentaries. News. Farm Reports. Whatever.

And as part of my day job for the past, oh decade or so I’ve planned, edited, produced, distributed, etc. A daily 30-minute program to radio stations and web streaming outlets across Canada and in several States.

Cool, right?

And as part of my freelancing business I write radio and podcast scripts, as well as help people plan, launch and edit podcasts.

Great, right?

Living the dream 🙂

By the way, I’ve written an ebook on how to plan a podcast. It’s available from Gumroad as an Epub, Mobi or PDF for $7.99. It’s called Plan Your Podcast Playbook. Thank you for your support!

Anyway, I wanted to list the tech resources I use every day to give you an idea of how little you really need to produce your audio project.

Of course, the deeper you go the more you’ll want…and the more expensive it gets. But to get started? Easy.

Tech resources for podcasting and audio recording

While the scope of tools and resources for recording, editing and producing a podcast are literally limitless, the list below are some of the tools I use or recommend to most people who have little to no professional audio experience.

There are a lot of shiny (and expensive) things out there. I hope this roundup helps you stave off overwhelm and focus on the big picture…your podcast.

Microphone

In the audio world, sound is of the upmost importance. But you don’t have to break the bank to have decent audio.

Here are a few suggestions for getting started but the best advice I can offer is try a few out and see what you like. In the end it does come down to personal preference.

Beginner—Blue Snowball

  • Custom condenser capsule offers crystal clear audio for Skype, Messages and FaceTime
  • Record vocals, create podcasts, and add narration to your home movies
  • Add crystal clear audio to recordings for YouTube. Frequency Response: 40 –18 kHz
  • Easy plug and play directly to your Mac or PC-no drivers to install
  • Snowball iCE is a USB 2.0 device (USB 3.0 compatible as per USB 3.0 backward compatibility specification).Sample/word Rate: 44.1 kHz/16 bit

Intermediate—Blue Yeti

  • Tri-capsule array – 3 condenser capsules can record almost any situation.
  • Multiple pattern selection – cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional & stereo. Frequency Response- 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Gain control, mute button, and zero-latency headphone output. Power output (RMS): 130mW
  • Perfect for vocals, musical instruments, podcasting, voiceovers, interviews, field recordings, conference calls.
  • Compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8 (including 8.1), Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP (Home and Professional), and Mac OS X (10.4.11 or higher), and requires a minimum of 64 MB of RAM(remove existing and upload).

Advanced—Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

  • Flat, wide-range frequency response for exceptionally clean and natural reproduction of both music and speech
  • Bass rolloff and mid-range emphasis (presence boost) controls with graphic display of response setting
  • Improved rejection of electromagnetic hum, optimized for shielding against broadband interference emitted by computer monitors
  • Internal “air suspension” shock isolation virtually eliminates mechanical noise transmission
  • Highly effective pop filter eliminates need for any add-on protection against explosive breath sounds, even for close-up vocals or narration
  • Now shipping with the A7WS detachable windscreen, designed to reduce plosive sounds and gives a warmer tone for close-talk vocals
  • Yoke mounting with captive stand nut for easy mounting and dismounting provides precise control of microphone position

Note: With the Shure, you will need a few extra audio products, linked below. The Blue mics are USB plug-and-play so better for beginners.

Do you want to launch a podcast?

I’ve created worksheets to help you plan a podcast…before you launch. This is a free resource but it’s part of my resource library and you’ll need a password. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Once you’re in the library, navigate to the “miscellaneous” section and download the “How to Plan a Podcast Worksheet.”

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Audio editing software

Once you’ve recorded, now it’s time to edit. Sure, you can move ahead with a straight read but…I think you can do better.

Even if it’s basic enhancements like dampening background noise, cutting out mistakes or adding some intro/outro music (or…an ad?) there should be at least a bit of editing.

At the beginning, you’ll find free programs like Audacity or Garage Band will be enough but after a while you’ll want more control. That’s where next-level toys come in. I use Audition myself, but I’m in the spoken word world so I don’t need the fancy shmancy next-level stuff Pro Tools offer. But the music producers I know SWEAR by it.

Beginner—Audacity

  • Record Live Audio
  • Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs
  • Edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV or AIFF sound files
  • Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together
  • Change the speed or pitch of a recording

Intermediate—Adobe Audition

  • Improved playback and recording performance
  • DeReverb and DeNoise effects
  • Improved multitrack UI
  • On-clip gain control and waveform scaling
  • Add tracks and delete empty tracks

Advanced—Pro Tools

  • Avid Pro Tools redefined the music, film, and TV industry, providing everything you need to compose, record, edit, and mix music and audio
  • Create without bounds and work at the speed of your creativity, so you can take on the most demanding sessions and deliver the best sounding mixes possible
  • Avid Pro Tools 12 sets the stage for Avid Cloud Collaboration, the upcoming Avid Marketplace, and flexible options, so you can access the industry standard in more affordable ways than ever
Tech Resources for Podcasting

Tech resources for podcasting: podcast hosting

While you can host audio files on our own server…it’s better to invest in a podcast host. Audio files are huge and they take a lot of space and speed to manage.

There are many great options so while I’ve listed a couple below, you really can take your pick. These are podcast hosts I’ve worked with and recommend.

But do your research, see which host you resonate with and have fun!

SoundCloud—you can start publishing for free and manually submit your podcast to different platforms. While this is more popular with musicians than podcasters, this is a great little host and easy to use!

  • Real-time stats
  • Find your community
  • Connect directly with fans

Libsyn—as far as podcast hosts go, this is a classic choice. Libsyn allows you to publish once and push your episodes out to many, many outlets including Spotify, YouTube and even LinkedIn!

  • Publish your podcast everywhere
  • Podcast monetization options
  • Play and podcast pages
  • Detailed audience stats
  • Custom smartphone apps

OK so these aren’t all the resources you need but a good mic, an editing program and a podcast host WILL get you started.

I mean, you’ll need a computer to record and edit on…I hope that’s clear and I’m not keeping that part a secret.

So you’ll need a good mic, an editing program, a podcast host AND a computer. Then, you’re ready to go. Everything else is details.

Want More about Podcasting?

Want to start a radio show but feel limited/overwhelmed by the tech resources for podcasting and audio recording? I feel you. But here's the thing, it's SO accessible these days if you want to do it, then do it.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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What Does a Book Publicist Do for an Author?

What does a book publicist do?

In general, this is a broad name for a person who has direct and indirect influence on book sales. So it’s an interesting and important role.

But just how does a book publicist affect this positive influence? And what does a book publicist do for an author? And what does it take to be a book publicist?

what does a book publicist do

What does a publicist do, anyway?

Think of a publicist as both your biggest cheerleader and a teammate on your book marketing team.

He or she will champion your book to the media and sing about how wonderful it is. And my, how wonderful that feels.

They have one main goal: get positive press coverage for his or her client.

A book publicist gets involved in the process after your book goes to print but (in general) before it’s published.

You've decided to write a book tip sheet free download

By the way, are you thinking about writing a book? You are, aren’t you.

Read the post, How to Write a Book before you dive in. And when you’re ready, grab the complimentary worksheets that go along with the training. They’re in my resource library—just pop your email address in the form below for the password.

Once you’re in the library, navigate to the writing section and look for “You’ve Decided to Write a Book Worksheet.”

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Here are a few things a book publicist does for an author

  • Gets book reviews
  • Gets articles written about the book or author
  • Nominates book for awards
  • Gets interviews for the author
  • Sets up and promotes virtual book tours
  • Schedules book talks and tours

These are all essential ingredients in the book marketing recipe for success.

Now if only you could look at marketing as a creative outlet instead of a thorn in your side we would all be singing to the bank.

But I digress

Of course an author can do his or her own marketing and if this is something you’re considering, here are some of the required skills.

Here are a few skills a book publicist should have in order to be successful

  • Ability to work with all kinds of different clients (every author is different and requires a different approach)
  • Strong writing and oral skills
  • Strong public relations skills
  • Knowledge of the journalism industry
  • Understanding of what journalists and book bloggers are looking for
  • Outgoing personality
  • Good at networking
  • Organized

Considering becoming a publicist? For extra credit, read So, You Want to Work in Publishing: The Role of a Publicist from Writer’s Digest

Your writer's statement worksheet free download

There are four decisions every writer needs to make before they get started marketing themselves online. They’re foundational to your writing life.

Download the Four Decisions Every Writer Needs to Make worksheets from my resource library.

Pop your email address in the form below, confirm your subscription to my email list and I’ll send you the password to my free resource library. Once you’re in, navigate to the “writing” section and look for the worksheet titled, “Four Decisions Every Writer Needs to Make.”

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There’s no question publicity (aka marketing) helps book sales. If people hear about a book they’re more likely to purchase it rather than one they’ve never heard of.

“If you write it they will come,” isn’t really a thing.

Before you get too worked up, I understand this isn’t your favourite thing but I still think you can rock your marketing. And when you need a boost, hire a book publicist.

Related posts

What does a book publicist do? It's a common question. In general, it is a broad name for a person who has direct and indirect influence on book sales.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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What does a book publicist do? It's a common question. In general, it is a broad name for a person who has direct and indirect influence on book sales.
What does a book publicist do? It's a common question. In general, "book publicist" is a broad name for a person who has direct and indirect influence on book sales. So a book publicist is an interesting and important role. But just how does a book publicist affect this positive influence? And what does a book publicist do for a writer? And how long does it take?

Discover Your Ideal Reader

No matter if you’re a freelance writer or an author, knowing who your ideal reader is will make a huge difference to your writing career.

Ideal Reader

What is an ideal reader?

This is a fictional persona to whom your writing will most appeal. While this is not a scientific process, creating a profile helps you write with purpose and enables you to craft elements into your writing that surprises and delights this person.

Your ideal reader represents who you are writing to. It’s one person, not many people. This is a specific process and if you do it right, your ideal reader will come alive in your mind.

What this means is you need to figure out who your ideal reader is, what his or her interests are, and why your ideal reader reads.

Your most important question is why will your ideal reader be interested in your book?

Whatever the why, all readers have one and it’s your job to discover it for your ideal reader.


Discover Your Ideal Readers Worksheet

Do you want the worksheet that goes with this training?

Pop your email address into the form below, confirm your email subscription and I’ll send you the password to my free resource library.

Once you’re in look for “Discover Your Ideal Reader Worksheet” in the writing section.

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Your ideal reader is your biggest fan

When you know who you’re writing to it gives your writing purpose and direction. This may seem like a strange exercise to go through but trust me, it’s a key step.

Even if it’s a loose definition, think about the person (real or fictional) who would most be interested in reading your work.

ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS

  • What does this person tend to focus on?
  • On social media, what does your ideal reader like sharing about?
  • From what you can gather, what does he/she most need/want/desire?

Once you know the answers to those initial questions answer this one: what problem are you solving for your ideal reader through your writing?

Through thinking about your ideal reader you should have a few words and phrases jotted down. Take a look and add a few more words to the page.

This time, write down things about your ideal reader. Noting things like hopes, dreams, challenges or family dynamics can help you paint a picture.

It can be vague or specific, long or short. Just jot down as much as you can think of in a five-minute period.

Look at the list you came up with and compare it to your first one—are you seeing a character emerge? Write a biography for this person—whatever comes to mind with as much detail as you can include.

Remember, this is a creative exercise. You’re trying to imagine who the person is who can’t wait to read what you write. The more human you can make this person, the better.

No matter if you're a freelance writer or an author, knowing who your ideal reader is will make a huge difference to your writing career.

Here are a few marketing applications

In essence, marketing your writing is simple—put your writing in front of the people who will love it. If you have an idea of who your ideal reader is then finding those (real life) people is a lot easier. The more you know, the better.

  • What stores do they shop in? Now you know where to sell your work
  • Where do they hang out? Now you know where to hold workshops or readings
  • What is their favourite social media platform? Now you know where you need to be online
  • What are their biggest fears? Now you know how to help them
  • What do they care most about? Now you know how to relate to them
  • What type of marketing will they best respond to? Now you know what you need to do

There are a lot of ways you can find your ideal reader (or book buyer, or ideal client, etc.) so it’s important not just to parrot what you see others doing online but to find something that works for you and feels natural.

Don’t forget to download your free worksheets for this training

Pop your email address into the form below, confirm your email subscription and I’ll send you the password to my free resource library. Once you’re in look for “Discover Your Ideal Reader Worksheet” in the Writing section.

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Other helpful articles

No matter if you're a freelance writer or an author, knowing who your ideal reader is will make a huge difference to your writing career.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets (like the worksheet from today’s training!) and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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No matter if you're a freelance writer or an author, knowing who your ideal reader is will make a huge difference to your writing career.

How to Find an Editor | 3 Tips

If you’re a writer wondering how to find an editor I’m here to tell you, you’re not alone. This is one of the most common questions I receive!

How to Find an Editor | 3 Tips

Yes, you should work with an editor

Now, you (the writer) might feel like hiring someone to edit your work is unnecessary.

The truth is, a good editor makes your writing better. And it’s in your best interested to work with one if you can.

They aren’t as close to your precious words and sentences (and commas and semi-colons) as you are and can give objective—not personal—advice on how to improve your work.

So consider it. Be open to it.

You've decided to write a book tip sheet

*Pause*

Are you thinking about writing a book? Read the post, How to Write a Book before you dive in. And when you’re ready, grab the complimentary worksheets that go along with the training. They’re in my resource library—just pop your email address in the form below for the password.

Once you’re in the library, navigate to the writing section and look for “You’ve Decided to Write a Book Worksheet.”

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Different types of editing

If you’re writing short-form pieces like articles, essays or blog posts, you’ll probably work with a copy editor or a proofreader.

If you’re writing long-form pieces like books then there are additional types of editing to consider.

  • Developmental editors takes a 30,000-foot view and look at the overall story and structure, ensuring the work flows from beginning to end
  • Copy editors go through material ensuring the work is suitable for the publication, check grammar, word usage, and punctuation, improve it for readability and organization and remove inconsistencies, errors and repetition
  • Proofreaders go through material in order to catch typos and fix formatting issues. At this stage there isn’t much (if any) reworking, just tweaks
How to find an editor | 3 tips

How to find an editor

Once you’ve decided what type of editing you require, here are a few things to consider when you’re looking to hire an editor.

  1. Ask people in your network for references. Use your network! They want to help you. If you don’t know any editors, ask someone who does. Get a referral then look at their website. If he or she seems like a good fit for you, reach out
  2. If you don’t have a network or you’re still looking, go to a professional editors association. Sure, you can look on freelance sites for an editor and you might find an awesome one but I recommend going to a professional association like Editors Canada first. In order to be accepted into an association like this editors need a track record, training and professional experience
  3. Choose an editor in your niche. Just like you have a specialty, individual editors specialize in their areas. Every genre and industry has different rules so you’ll benefit the most from an editor who understands your niche inside and out and can make sure your work conforms the way it needs to

During this process it’s a good idea to reach out to several editors and interview them.

This person will be working alongside you so you need to be confident in his or her work and abilities and you need to trust his or her judgment and advice.

And yes, it is acceptable to ask for a sample edit and to check references.

Final thoughts about how to find an editor

One other thing to keep in mind: if you’re not open to being edited there isn’t much your editor can do for you. Don’t hold on too tight.

Try and understand your editor wants to make your writing even better and isn’t attacking you or your person even though it can feel pretty unnerving at first.

If you can stick with it and trust your editor, you’ll learn a lot about writing…and yourself through the process.

If you're a writer wondering how to find an editor I'm here to tell you, you're not alone. This is one of the most common questions I receive! 

Now, you (the writer) might feel like hiring someone to edit your work is unnecessary. The truth is, a good editor makes your writing better and it's in your best interested to work with one if you can. They aren't as close to your precious words and sentences (and commas and semi-colons) as you are and can give objective—not personal—advice on how to improve your work.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required
If you're a writer wondering how to find an editor I'm here to tell you, you're not alone. This is one of the most common questions I receive!

Got Writer’s Block? Move Forward with These 5 Tips

Got that dreaded writer’s block? Most writers share a passion for the craft but it’s easy to get stuck, lose your words or become lost in a whirlwind of insecurity or even writer envy.

Break free my friend!

Read through the tips and prompts and take what you need in order to keep writing.

Got Writer's Block? Move Forward with these Tips

By the way, I’ve added these tips as a pretty PDF download in my resource library. It’s free to access but you’ll need a password. Just enter your email address in the box below and I’ll send it to you.

Once you’re in the library, navigate to the “writing” section and look for “Tips for Beating Writer’s Block.”

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Tips for beating writer’s block

Got writer's block? Take a break. Take a walk. Change your environment.

TIP 1: Take a break. Take a walk. Change your environment.

Article going in circles? Staring at a blank page? Wondering how you’re going to squeeze 500 NEW and INTERESTING words out of your tired, exhausted, drained brain?

Take a break. In fact, go outside and take a walk.

A change in your environment can do wonders for sparking the creative challenges in a writer’s day. Try it. What’s the worst thing that can happen? You get some fresh air?

Whenever I need a boost of creativity I take to my spiral notebook. There’s something about handwriting that triggers motor memory in a way keyboard clacking doesn’t.

TIP 2: Feeling stuck? Try handwriting. On paper.

Whenever I need a boost of creativity I take to my spiral notebook. There’s something about handwriting that triggers motor memory in a way keyboard clacking doesn’t.

Staring at a blank document or page is THE worst. THE WORST! And beating yourself up about it isn’t going to help. I find doing a mindless activity like gardening or going for a walk works magic for figuring out what to write. And sometimes even sleeping on an idea helps. It’s so amazing to wake up knowing what you’re going to write. Why not let your subconscious figure things out the next time you don’t know what to write.

TIP 3: Work it out in your head when you can’t write.

Staring at a blank document or page is THE worst.

THE WORST!

And beating yourself up about it isn’t going to help. I find doing a mindless activity like gardening or going for a walk works magic for figuring out what to write. And sometimes even sleeping on an idea helps.

It’s so amazing to wake up knowing what you’re going to write. Why not let your subconscious figure things out the next time you don’t know what to write.

I know you think this is not a serious writing prompt, but it is. Because we’re serious about our writing and this seriousness can get into our process and steal away our creativity. And we all know what happens when creativity DOESN’T strike. Tic toc tic toc…deadline approaches! Remember to write and write and write and don’t worry about perfection. You WILL write a crap first draft. You just will! And it’s FINE! Write yourself silly and get words on paper.

TIP 4: Write yourself silly.

I know you think this is not a serious writing prompt, but it is. Because we’re serious about our writing and this seriousness can get into our process and steal away our creativity. And we all know what happens when creativity DOESN’T strike.

Tic toc tic toc…deadline approaches!

Remember to write and write and write and don’t worry about perfection. You WILL write a crap first draft. You just will! And it’s FINE! Write yourself silly and get words on paper.

Take a random word or phrase and write about it for five minutes. Don't think, just write. Even if it's "I don't know what to write" over and over, keep writing. You will unblock yourself. Fact.

TIP 5: Write from a stream of consciousness. Using prompts.

Take a random word or phrase and write about it for five minutes. Don’t think, just write. Even if it’s “I don’t know what to write” over and over, keep writing. You will unblock yourself. Fact.

(Keep reading for writing prompts for you to use.)

Tips for beating writer's block: change your environment, write on paper, work it out in your head first, write yourself silly, use writing prompts. WAY more detail in the post, check it out!

By the way, make sure to grab this visual reminder from my resource library. I’ve saved it as a PDF download and it’s free, you just need a password to access the library. Just pop your email address into the form below and I’ll send you the password.

Once you’re there, navigate to the “writing” section and look for “Tips for Beating Writer’s Block.”

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Actual writing prompts to move forward in your writing

In February 2020 I attended Laura Munson’s Haven 1 Writing Retreat (and I’m so glad I chose February considering how the rest of 2020 went!) and each morning we began by freewriting for five minutes (maybe it was 15?).

And yes, it was on paper, with a pen.

We started by writing a word or short phrase on a piece of paper and putting them in a hat. Then we’d draw a prompt and WRITE.

It was amazing because there was no preparation, no editing and NO judgment. We wrote for the alloted time and then stopped. Full stop, mid-word, mid-sentence, mid-thought.

There were no rules except KEEP WRITING, even if all you wrote was “I don’t know what to write” over and over.

This was such a cool experience and I found it great for unlocking my creativity and getting my mind and body in “writing mode.”

Below I’ve included a list of some of the real prompts from our retreat. Pick one and try it out!

Writer’s block got you down? Here are some writing prompts to help you break through

  • Wandering down the wilderness highway
  • She was happy
  • Starfish live in Oregon
  • My heart aches
  • I am a vibrational being
  • Maybe I believe in magic
  • Running makes me very happy
  • What I need to say
  • My boulderheart is drowning
  • Jeepers!

And for next-level accountability, send it to me when you’re done. No judgment on the writing itself (it’s freewriting afterall) but I promise I will celebrate you for WRITING.


40 Simple Writing Tips

40 simple tips for writers

By the way, many of today’s tips are from a MUCH longer list.

I’ve compiled, curated and collected 40 of my best writing tips for you move forward in your writing journey. Take a look through and take what you need to GET WRITING. Hope they’re helpful!


More tips for overcoming writer’s block

Got that dreaded writer's block? Most writers share a passion for the craft but it’s easy to get stuck, lose your words or become lost in a whirlwind of insecurity or even writer envy. Break free my friend! Read through the tips and prompts and take what you need in order to keep writing.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required