My Podcasting Tools

Image From Unsplash

Image From Unsplash

Recently, I started my podcast called Graduate Theory. I wanted to create a place to have meaningful conversations about having successful and fulfilling careers.

I won’t go into the podcast too much here, but so far it’s been a great experience.

The focus for this post is on the TOOLS that I use to get things done.

It’s been an iterative process so far, but after 16 recorded episodes, I think I have optimised my processes and have created something valuable.

Through my process, I’ve tried to use as few tools as possible, for maximum impact. I do pay for many of these tools, so keep that in mind as you go along.

Tools

The main tools I use are (click to go to section)


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My Podcasting Workflow

My Podcasting Workflow

Below, I’ll outline the tools and how I use them.

Notion (Free)

Notion is a very well known database and knowledge management tool. It’s easy to use and has heaps of customisation ability so it makes sense to use it for episode preparation and review.

Here is what my main Notion page looks like

My Notion Page

My Notion Page

I have this page filtered so that once I complete an episode, it is not shown. This means I can only see episodes that are on the way or still need my efforts in some way. This also works as a kind of to-do list as I can very easily see which part of my pipeline need my attention the most.

In this table, I keep track of

  • guest name
  • when I contacted the guest
  • any notes about the guest I should keep in mind
  • the stage the guest is at (Should Contact, Contacted, Date Set, Recorded, Edited, Completed)
  • the date of our episode
  • the number of the episode and its release date

This has worked very well in keeping track of who I have spoken to and how my guest pipeline is coming along.

What is great about Notion is that each of these rows is its page. What this means is that inside each of these pages I can have further, more detailed notes from when I prepare and what I’m going to say in the episode.

In the page, I embed 2 pages ๐Ÿ‘‡

Preparation Page

  • notes about the guest from LinkedIn, other podcasts, social media
  • intro for the guest that I say during the episode
  • questions that I want to ask the guest

Review Page

  • things we discussed during the podcast to put in the show notes
  • my top 3 takeaways and notes for the newsletter

All of these things together means I have a very simple workflow for guest relationship management, guest research and episode planning.

I have also turned this into a template that you can download and copy ๐Ÿ‘‡

PODCAST MANAGEMENT NOTION TEMPLATE

Calendly (Paid/Free)

Calendly is my reliable scheduling tool. I contact the guest, send them to calendly and everything is taken care of.

If you’ve never heard of Calendly, it allows people to book an available time in my calendar.

When booking the time, my guests get asked some questions to help me prepare for the interview.

  • Do you know that this is a video interview?
  • What is one thing you’d like to speak about during the episode?
  • Is there anything you don’t want to speak about?
  • What are your accomplishments so that I can write an intro for you?
  • Would you like a small video after our interview?
  • Do you know anyone that would be a future guest for the show?

My workflow also

  • sets the location of our call to Riverside
  • reminds the guest 24 hours and 10 minutes before the call of where to go

So far this has worked an absolute treat. It’s professional, efficient and lets me find out more information from my guest.

I paid USD 144 for 1 year of Calendly. (This is 12 USD / month). You can do some of this on the free plan but you need a premium account for the reminders.

Riverside (Paid)

Riverside is where I record my episodes. There are several advantages to using something like this over another free service like Zoom.

Riverside is better than Zoom for podcasters that want quality episodes.

Another article on why riverside is the best podcasting platform.

Riverside.fm enables local recording of lossless audio and 4K video tracks independent of internet connection.

When recording with Riverside, I can edit with the local recordings of my guests audio and video. On Zoom I am taking a cloud-based version that has been compressed and is of less-good quality.

When it comes to podcast recording I want my audio and video to be the highest quality possible. It’s a no-brainer for me!

I use the 29 USD/m plan that gives me 15 hours of episodes per month.

Descript (Paid)

Descript is something I first heard about from Oscar Trimboli on episode #5.

It is my highest value tool by far.

Descript is a fantastic video editor. It creates a transcript of the video and then I can edit the video by editing the transcript.

It contains features like - direct upload to youtube and podcast hosting platforms - filler word removal with 1 click - studio sound to remove background noise and polish audio - automatically level the volume of clips

These features make it VERY easy for me to edit my podcast. My editing workflow is usually like the following ๐Ÿ‘‡

  1. Add raw clips to project in Descript
  2. Create my sequence (descript timeline) with my clips
  3. Auto level volume (1 click)
  4. Add studio sound (1 click)
  5. Transcribe and create my composition (descript editing) (1 click)
  6. Remove basic filler words (1 click)
  7. Watch through on x2 speed and edit parts that need fixing (1-2 hours)
  8. record intro and outro (30 mins)
  9. Publish to Youtube and Buzzsprout (1 click)

Done!

It’s very simple to edit a podcast with descript and more certainly worth the approx $40 AUD p/m, I spend on it. Before Descript I was taking hours and hours to edit my episodes. Now it’s fast and fun.

Get Prospect (Free)

When finding new guests for the show, some come through referrals, but some come through cold outreach. A great way of doing cold outreach is with Get Prospect.

Get Prospect allows me to go onto a person’s LinkedIn and get their email address. Then I can use this address to send them an email and see if they would be interested in coming on the podcast.

This tool is free for a certain amount of uses (about 100) and then you’ll have to pay.

Alternative’s to this that I have been trying out are https://www.emailchaser.io/ and https://rocketreach.co/.

Ghost (Paid)

Ghost is where I host my website and what allows me to send my newsletter. All of this can be done directly in Ghost which makes it a great tool.

I’ve purchased a theme to make my site look great.

I use Ghost for my weekly newsletter that comes out with each episode, it includes

  • youtube video of the episode
  • Spotify link for episode
  • guest intro
  • guest contact information
  • my episode takeaways
  • links to things we discussed during the episode
  • timestamps of topics

The newsletter then remains on my site as a page that can be viewed anytime.

An alternative to this would have been to use Substack, which in hindsight would have been a smarter and cheaper choice given the size of my audience. Regardless, Ghost does a great job of hosting all my content and giving me good insights into my audience.

Buzzsprout (Paid)

Buzzsprout is a podcast hosting tool. It is the place that allows you to host on Spotify/Apple and many others.

Alternatives to this are https://transistor.fm/ which seems pretty good and https://anchor.fm/ which is a free hosting site provided by Spotify.

Buzzsprout and Transistor are quite similar and I’d personally be fine going with either.

Anchor is free because Spotify will dynamically insert ads into your episodes. People also raise concerns about the podcasting landscape becoming too dominated by a single incumbent in Spotify and thus will support paid alternatives like Buzzsprout and others.

Anchor is probably a solid choice but I have chosen Buzzsprout at 18 USD / m for 6 hours of upload time.

Conclusion

There is my complete stack for running my podcast. It’s not fixed and will certainly change over time.

Right now though, it’s working a treat.

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