Being a content creator today means more than writing well, or making impressions-grabbing videos. The impact of content lies in its reach, and this involves finding newer ways to get it out into real and virtual spaces where potential customers and users can be found.
Depending on the use case, podcasting can be another interesting way to share content.
Is podcast a fancy name for recorded audio?
A podcast essentially is a pre-recorded audio with single or multiple voices. But it is in its format, content type and overall accessibility that it differs from just another recorded voice file. In fact, some people like to call podcasting the 21st century version of pre-internet era radio, because of how connected it makes the listener feel.
What makes podcasts so popular?
Podcasting has been steadily growing in popularity over the past decade. The covid-19 pandemic has further accelerated our digital usage and podcasts have also benefited from a larger audience. If you don’t listen to podcasts or if you have tried them and don’t see why so many people like them, this answer on Quora throws some light: 'a podcast’s format is uniquely situated to fit into our busy lives’. The insight here is that most people listen to podcasts while doing something else, like running, driving, or doing the dishes. The other advantage of podcasts is its flexibility - no matter what the topic (Marketing, News, Neuroscience), its angle (True Crime, Educational, Stories) or your listening tolerance, there will be a podcast for you. Finally, podcasts help create communities of like minded individuals, like hobby clubs of old.
Yet another factor that has propelled podcast growth is economic: creating media like videos or films requires specific expertise, both technical and professional. Some of these might also be expensive to make. But anyone can produce a podcast - there isn’t as great a divide between listener and creator.
Starting a Podcast
Many podcasters began incidentally, with content that was created for another purpose - say a video interview, or a lesson module with slides. The question anyone who wants to refashion existing assets into a podcast will face is - does it have to be redone, or recorded again expressly in an audio only format? In other words, is it possible to make a podcast for free?
Redoing is certainly one way, especially if there is extra content that needs to be added, or if there are disturbances in the audio that cannot be edited out. After all, the quality and hearability of the voice is critical to a podcast.
With time and effort constraints, the best bet would be to refine what you have at hand in order to make the voice over complete in itself. At this time, remembering who the general audience of a podcast is, and envisioning the kind of person who would listen to your video-turned-podcast is a good guardrail.
Most listeners of podcasts today would define themselves as ‘intellectually curious’. Podcast listeners are much smaller in number than those who watch videos, but they are discerning, constantly looking for something new to learn, and most importantly - loyal.
So, music fades and professional intros-outros are wonderful, but the real hero is the content itself. Plus, bootstrapping your first podcast effort is a great way to test the waters, both for your own experience as well as in terms of listeners’ responses.
Any time and effort spent in polishing the content of your potential podcast is well spent. Listen to the voice over a few times, without recalling the video assets. If you want to add content, you can record only the additional parts, and stitch the individual voice files together. At Murf Studio you can trim or mute words, and modify pauses in your recorded voice over, and combine voice files. When you upload the audio file it gets converted into text, and this makes basic editing possible.
The other option is to use Murf’s AI voice generator. Once the recorded voice over is converted into text you can use the fantastic Voice Changer tool to transform your recording into a studio-quality voice over. The best part is that you can modify the script as much you like, just like working on a word doc.
In this section we explained how a podcast can be created with a very low budget, or with minimum overlay to enhance the quality of the voice itself. Pre-recorded content or not, every podcaster’s goal is to harness the powerful potential of a podcast by approaching it afresh. This can be done with an outline and a plan. Read on to know more.
Creating a Podcast
For some listeners, a modified and readapted podcast can create a less than optimistic experience. With some planning and forethought, it is possible to make the most of the adaptability that is innate to the podcasting format, to create memorable listening for your audience from their very first seconds.
Listening to someone talking in your ear can feel personal and intimate. When this is coupled with the topical specificity of podcasts, the community feeling that it fosters becomes a natural reaction rather than a deliberate marketing strategy.
But not every podcast engenders this spontaneous sharing, and not every listener is driven to recommend their podcasts to their followers or friends. Nevertheless, the road to amateur podcasting success can be carefully built, milestone by milestone, if the foundation is strong.
Components of a Podcast
Content Outline: A short, bullet-pointed list of the points to be covered will form a thought cloud of sorts that can keep you on track while preparing the script. Defining the genre of your podcast, and the subcategories that it belongs to will help you with content ideas, and in better classification while sharing your podcast online.
Duration: Opinions and options vary from 5 minutes to 150 minutes. Let your content decide the duration, and be ruthless about editing out the parts that are not moving your conversation forward.
Format: A conversation format like an interview lends itself to the sharing and bouncing of a variety of ideas through casual banter between two people. At the same time, some of the top podcasts are voiced only by one person. Start with what you have in hand and what you are comfortable with. You can experiment and learn with every subsequent podcast you create.
Script: As a written flow of the content, it is a key element to the podcast. For beginners, writing everything out - from pauses to laughter to canned sounds - is a good practice. It ensures that you stay consistent with the topic, speak at an even pace and also makes you conscious about the quality of your content.
Intro and Outro: Some podcasters begin and end their piece with short bursts of music. The intro music is usually followed by an introduction of the podcaster, along with a blurb of what to expect from the podcast. This can also be a good time to thank your sponsors or advertisers, or even mention that you are looking for one.
Signing off: Once you have gone through everything you want to say, wind down gradually. Your listener is likely to still be keyed in and humming with all the information you have shared. Use this crucial time to request for a review, repeat the name of your podcast, and share when the next one can be expected.
Recording: If you intend to record more than one podcast, investing in a good microphone and recording equipment can make a lot of sense. Alternatively, if you’re just starting out and want to give things a go first, you can do an equally good job by recording in a quiet, non-echoing room in your home or office. You can also feed your script to AI voice generators like Murf, and tweak the voices in the Studio to your liking. There is no one way, or the best way to get a voice over podcast-ready.
Cover Art: This is the first thing a prospective listener sees on a platform like Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Investing in cover art that grabs attention while visually representing what your podcast speaks about is a smart way to attract new listeners, organically.
Title: An easy-to-understand, searchable title will amplify your visibility. At the same time, pick a title that best conveys the content in your podcast, and be aware of misinterpretations of similar or familiar sounding words.
Getting podcasts on Spotify or Apple: Once your podcast file is ready, upload it on a hosting site and generate an RSS feed. Now you can make it available on podcasting platforms like Apple, Spotify, social media, or even your own website. As a thumb rule, make sure it can be played and shared online.
Recording a Podcast
Here is a short note on recording, as voice forms the backbone of any podcast.
Recording your own voice
If you cringe while listening to a recording of your own voice, or you are not satisfied with how it sounds, don’t worry. Feeling conscious while recording yourself, and using artificially sounding intonations and pronunciations is natural while starting out.
Remember: a podcast is not just a recorded voice; it is a good story, told in an engaging and informative way. As long as you have all the ingredients of a good story: intent, plot, closure and a single message or takeaway, you will eventually get a recorded output that you are happy with. All it takes is a number of tries, honest feedback, a goalpost, and relentless self-belief.
One of the many reasons for podcasts being so popular across age groups and segments is its unique ability to absorb any type and style of recording. There are no fixed rules for how a podcast is supposed to sound, or its duration. So you can introduce yourself, get someone else to do it for you, or choose an AI voice from voice studios like Murf. You can also use sounds of the things you talk about. For example, if your podcast is about sport, you can add sounds of supporters cheering in stadiums, or the sounds of the sport itself being played. An interplay of different kinds of sounds along with the voice over will light up your listeners’ minds with images faster and more effectively than wordy descriptions.
MAKE PODCASTS WITH MURF
Pre-recorded video to podcast
If you have a video with a voice over you want to rework into a podcast, Murf Studio makes it easy for you by separating the audio and video tracks once you upload your file. Make sure that your video is in the mp4 format.
Upload a video by clicking on the ‘Upload videos’ button under the Video/Images tab. If you have images in jpg or png formats click on ‘Upload images’. You can also upload online videos from platforms like YouTube, vimeo or dailymotion by clicking on ‘Import videos’ button and entering the URL.
Pre-recorded audio to podcast
Murf can import the audio track alone from videos online, too. Click on the ‘Import audio’ button under the Audio/Music tab.
If you want to upload an .mp3 file, click on ‘Upload soundtrack’.
The ‘Gallery’ button opens Murf’s music gallery, which has a wide selection of royalty-free soundtracks you can add to your voice over.
Click on the audio track and you will see the option to ‘transcribe audio’ under the Voices tab.
Select this and watch the magic unfold! Once this is done you will see two major changes:
The first is that the audio will be neatly transcribed into text and automatically split into paragraphs within a block, with one sentence in one paragraph. The pauses will also be called out separately, and their duration mentioned in brackets.
The second is that the audio track, which was earlier seen as one indivisible track, is now split into blocks and pauses to mirror the transcribed text.
Before transcribing the audio:
Now if you no longer need the video track, simply select and delete it by clicking on the white garbage can button against an orange background.
Editing the script:
You can retain your recorded voice, but this can limit the changes you make to muting or trimming words. You can also add and remove as many pauses as you like.
Pro tip: To add specifically timed pauses between your recorded voice, add a new text block by clicking on the ‘+’ at the very bottom of the text screen. Click on the text box and a variety of options will appear under the ‘Voices’ tab. ‘Add pause’ will add a pause unit in the box.
To position it between text blocks of your recorded voice, click on the block in the audio tracker at the bottom of the Studio Interface and move it to the left block by block.
If you want to edit or rewrite parts of your script, you can change your recorded voice into a professional voice over from Murf’s extensive voice library.
On conversion a default voice will be allotted, which you can change at any time. Now editing the text is as easy as editing a word doc!
Once you are satisfied with your script select a voice over of your choice. You can further refine it by adjusting pitch, speed and volume. Further enhancements like emphasis on certain words, intonation and pronunciation are also available. The best part of using an AI voice over is that you can add multiple AI voices in the same file. Click on the text block for which you want a different voice, and under the Voices tab, click on the name of the voice to see your options and play samples.
Check out this article for detailed instructions on working with recorded audio and to learn to use the Murf’s awesome AI Voice Changer.
Pro tip: When you copy and paste the script onto the Murf Studio interface without the formatting, the text will get automatically split into blocks and pauses. With each sentence in a separate paragraph, editing and proofreading will become a breeze.
Murf’s Gallery has copyright free music tracks sorted by content and mood. What’s more, when you add a music track in between text blocks, it automatically fades out just before the voice sounds, and fades back in during the pauses.
Build and render
Click on ‘Build Audio’ to hear a preview of your audio. Murf’s paid plan allows you to download the file and to create a password protected link of your podcast. With a free plan you can still create a shareable link that will be valid for specified duration.
Making a podcast can feel like a daunting task, especially if you haven’t attempted it before. Take heart in the knowledge that there are many others out there who were in the same situation as you, but took the plunge and went on to become confident podcasters and storytellers.
You can produce your own podcast. It does not require sophisticated equipment, or a studio-quality voice. If you have pre-recorded or pre-written content that you want to reuse, voice over makers like Murf can separate the audio and video tracks, and provide basic editing tools for your recorded voice.
The other option is to convert your recorded voice over into an AI voice. Murf is an AI voice generator that offers 100+ realistic voices across gender, age and accent. If speed is your imperative, Murf Studio’s Voice Changer can help you cruise through your editing work while providing a high resolution output.
Taking time to write out the outline and thinking through the content so as to make the script cohesive and coherent can be a strong start to your podcasting journey. Consider auxiliaries like music intro-outros, cover art, a blurb about your genre and a searchable name to further strengthen your presence on podcasting platforms and garner relevant listeners.
Investing in recording equipment and editing software is an option, but an equally satisfying result can be had with strong content, thoughtfully designed voice overs, and nominal spends on voice editing tools or voice over platforms like Murf. Like every new skill you learned so far - from walking, cycling to doing somersaults - making podcasts won’t feel as intimidating once you think through its components and give it a few tries.
There are said to be upwards of 750,000 podcasts in the world today, but there is always room for one more. Murf on!