How Much Does It Cost To Get Started?
3 minute read
You’ve come a long way, traveler. I mean just look at you go!
For all of you still diligently researching this, I’m sure you’ve dreaded this part:
How much will it cost?
I’m not even starting a podcast and I felt a tingle go down my spine. It’s either a nerve condition I’m unaware of or an indication of my insecurity about money because I don’t have a lot of it.
So here we go guys. Dollars, dinero, smackeroos, dead prezidents, skrilla – how many of them are you going to have to part with?
Let’s dive right in:
This is the part where I tell you the bare minimum you need to get started. We’ll call this our “need to haves”:
- Recording software (Zoom, quicktime, audacity)
Aaaaaand in this part I’ll include some adorable accessories you can grab to up your game a bit. We’ll call this our “nice to haves”:
- Lighting equipment
It’s worth pointing out that your “need to have” list can totally get you there – but if you want a *little* more quality and ease of use, lighting and headphones are a great way to round out your investment.
The lighting obviously makes your shot and you look better and the headphones allow you to hear yourself which is a benefit that you just have to experience. Headphones also come in handy if you have a soundboard and are mixing on the fly, but that is for much later.
The rule of thumb with audio is that you don’t want people to notice it.
You can get really, really great audio quality with a $500, $600 microphone but the truth is that level of quality will be totally lost on the average listener.
Now, at the opposite end of the spectrum we have our $25, $50 microphones which some people think they can get away with – but they can’t.
Don’t make people regret hitting play, do them and yourself a favor – spend a little now and you save yourself a lot of trouble. Bad audio is one of the biggest turnoffs for a podcast. People come in contact with it and boom, instantaneously they are never listening again.
You just aren’t going to get quality sound without investing north of $100. The upswing is that the microphones we recommend sit just above $100 and they will last you a long time.
So let’s take a look at our options:
Audio-Technica AT2005: $129
The AT2005 is one of the most reliable mics we have used. You get great sound quality at a great value and the best part: the 2005 is ready to go out of the box. It’s a USB microphone so it’s compatible with your laptop or computer, you can plug and play immediately.
Rode NT: $167
The Rode NT is easily one of the best microphones for the under $200 range. You’re getting excellent sound that is stable, clear and transparent. It’s also a USB microphone, just like the AT2005, so you’re getting that same ease of use as well as some other goodies with your purchase (pop shield and solid mount).
Audio-Technica AT2020: $99
The AT2020 is a testament to Audio-Technica’s consistency and longevity. The cheapest microphone you can probably get that delivers this impressive sound quality.
Yes, yes I know that you can have an audio-only podcast. There are successful one and audio pods can totally work for some hosts and audiences. However, we included video in the “need to haves” list because we believe that having video really gives your content the best chance to be successful.
And again, these aren’t massive investments.
Logitech C920x: $59
Logitech just makes great webcams. This baby comes in at right around $60 and gives you that HD quality which, if we’re being frank, is an industry standard. Any camera that gives you less than 1080p is simply not a camera that is worth paying money for.
Logitech Brio: $159
The Brio is essentially the C920x’s more expensive cousin. The major difference here is that the Brio is going to be giving you UltraHD 4K video quality for about $100 more. You have zoom levels, multiple fields of view and in general better fluidity and clarity in your video. This isn’t a deal-breaker for podcast watchers however, so this camera doesn’t necessarily fit into a “need to have”.
To give you some context, with our cheapest options, the C920x (for video) and the AT2020 (for audio) your total investment is coming in around $220. All of the recording software mentioned above is free, leaving you completely open to starting your podcast 100% on your own for the cost of your cable and energy bill.