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Want 5 quick ways to improve as a podcast host or guest?

Mastering the Art of High-Quality Video Podcasting (on a Budget)

Mastering the Art of High-Quality Video Podcasting (on a Budget)

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How are you doing in podcasting as a guest, host, or both?

Discover the untapped potential of YouTube as a platform for podcast distribution and audience discovery. In this blog post, Travis Albritton reveals game-changing strategies to transform your audio podcast into captivating video content. Learn how to seamlessly integrate video into your existing workflow, utilizing affordable equipment and free editing software. Get ready to elevate your podcast to new heights and engage a broader audience by harnessing the power of high-quality video on YouTube!

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Read the Blog Post: Mastering the Art of High-Quality Video Podcasting (on a Budget)

What’s the most popular podcast consumption app in the world? It’s not Apple podcasts. It’s not even Spotify. It is YouTube.

The video-playing, sharing, and hosting app is the number two search engine behind Google.com. It is also the number one place where people listen to podcasts. Now, you will likely not become a podcaster or start a podcast because you wanted to be a YouTuber. But as podcasting has matured and more people are entering the space. YouTube has become a viable and important distribution platform for podcasters to get the word out about their show and get in front of people where they’re consuming media online. We’re going to talk about how to create or how to start a high-quality video podcast, and we’re going to do it for free.

Video Podcasting Without Any Additional Costs

So there’s not going to be any additional expenses that you need to make once you have your audio set up to pull this off. But I want to simplify this whole process for you. Take the overwhelm away, the confusion away, so that you know exactly how you can start publishing your podcast to YouTube. And have it be successful because you don’t want to add a bunch of extra work and a bunch of different steps and have it not be worth your time. I’m giving you a step-by-step simple process that you can follow to create a high-quality video version of your podcast for free. Right off the bat, I will tell you audiograms don’t work well on YouTube.

An audiogram is where you take a piece of audio or the whole episode, and then you use a platform like Wavve or Headliner to simulate an audio waveform with an image in the background. And the reason that doesn’t work is that when people go to YouTube, they want to watch videos of people; they want to see people doing things in the same way that this talk is recorded for video and audio purposes.

It’d be weird if there were just a static image of me on YouTube, and you just heard audio in the background. And so, for YouTube to work and make sense as a distribution platform, you need to have a video of yourself or whoever is talking to pull it off. But that doesn’t mean you need a ton of expensive gear.

“You don’t have to have a multi-thousand dollar camera setup to start recording YouTube videos, especially for video podcasts.”

All you need is your audio podcast setup. So it would be best to have a camera for whatever microphone you use, whatever audio interface you use, whatever website or software you use to record your audio. It could be the camera on your phone, which is exceptionally good nowadays. If you have an iPhone or a Samsung, that phone is better than what you could get with a DSLR or a video camera ten years ago. So use the camera you already have in your pocket.

Watch the Walkthrough: Alex Sanfilippo’s Home Podcasting Studio Setup

Or you can use a webcam that comes with your laptop or your computer, or if you have a desktop and an external webcam, those work too. I know Alex uses a webcam for all of his presentations. It seems to work pretty well. And so you don’t have to have this multi-thousand-dollar camera setup to start recording YouTube videos, especially for podcasts.

“You just need the camera you already have in your pocket for video podcasting.”

You need the camera you already have in your pocket. So let’s talk nuts and bolts, how you will record yourself to put your videos on YouTube, to put your podcast as a video version on YouTube. And let’s start with if you’re recording solo episodes by yourself in the same style I’m doing for this PODTalk. So if you’re registering by yourself, you can use platforms like Zoom, Riversides, Squadcast, and many of these long-distance recording platforms here, where you can interact, schedule, and record meetings online. You can also record just yourself.

Every platform allows you to bring people into a meeting room, and Record will still work with just one person. And so if you’re comfortable with a platform like Zoom, and you already have a subscription to it, to do meetings, you can pop into a Zoom room all by yourself and hit Record. And you can record the video and the audio from those meetings. You’ll want to go into the settings to ensure you can get the best quality possible from whatever platform you’re using.

Related Video (From Pat Flynn): Best Zoom Settings for Podcast Recordings (Step-by-Step)

If you want the highest quality possible for audio and video, then rather than using software like Zoom, which is set up as an online meeting space, then I recommend recording your audio the same way you normally do. Whether it’s Audacity, GarageBand, Hindenburg, or Adobe Audition, and then record your video separately.

Using What You Already Have to Incorporate Video

So if you’re using a webcam, you have video capture software on your computer. QuickTime is free software that comes preinstalled on MacBooks, and you can download free software to record your screen. For PodMatch, you can have that window up in front of your audio recording software and then just be recording your screen or a window on your screen. And that’s a normal way to do it. If you want to use your phone to record video, you can just set it up on a tripod behind your monitor or off to the side, which is what Joe Rogan does.

So he’s not staring right down the barrel of the camera, he’s looking off to the side, and the camera is capturing it that way. And so you can have video recorded separately from audio. But regardless of how you do it, in the end, you’ll still have a video recording of what you just did and an audio recording. Now, that whole process can stay the same with what you do and how you record your audio. So if you normally do different takes and segments and it’s more scripted, you can do that.

You can have a scripted podcast with the camera recording you from the side. And that’s fine. People are willing to watch and listen to that video in the background on YouTube. It doesn’t have to be this huge production. Or if it’s more conversational and you’re having interviews and just talking about things you’re already passionate about, speak the way you would normally.

“Don’t be so caught up in trying to be perfect, especially as you first get into video podcasting. Just do your best and publish what you have.”

And don’t worry about perfecting every word and having the right phrasing. You’re going to have some stumbles; you’re going to have some fumbles. That’s just a normal way that people talk. And so when recording yourself, don’t be so caught up in trying to be perfect, especially as you’re first getting into video. Just do your best and publish what you got.

Recording Your Audio and Video

Now, that’s how you record yourself. If you want to record interviews, whether in person or online, you will do exactly the same thing. So if you’re recording long-distance interviews, you’re going to record in a platform like Zoom, in a platform like Riverside that allows you to join from two different places in the world to the same online meeting room and Record that interaction. You want to make sure that you’re recording video alongside your audio.

If you’re using Zoom, you’ll want to make sure you go into your settings to record separate audio for each participant. And that’s it. Then you’ll have the audio and the video from that interaction. If you’re recording in the same place, so you’re set up in an office or something like that, then all you have to do is set up a camera in the corner to record the whole interaction. You don’t have to have multiple cameras set up.

You don’t have to worry about it being fancy. In fact, you can just set up your phone on a couple of books, maybe get a little tripod with a mount, and then record yourself having the conversation of your podcast. That’s it. You don’t have to overthink this. You need a camera to record you recording your podcast the way you normally do it. That’s all you need to get started.

Now, here are some tips for how to record a video. Because you don’t want it to be bad to look at. You want people to watch the video and enjoy the process of watching your podcast interview—so here are three really quick tips.

#1. Pay Attention to Your Background

If you’ve got a pile of dirty laundry in the background, that will show up on video. Whereas if you have an audio podcast, nobody cares because they can’t see where you are. One of the long-running jokes in podcasting is the best podcast recording place in your home is probably your walking closet. But it looks weird to record yourself in your closet with a bunch of clothes in the background and stuff on the floor when you have video.

So you want to be mindful of what is behind you in the shot. And so, I have things on the wall in my camera angle. I have a bookshelf, I’ve got, like, a plant, and that’s to make it more visually interesting and look more like I care about the space I’m in. You want to present a clean environment to look professional and polished. But all you can do is take all the clutter, throw it on the floor. Record your podcast, and then when you’re done, throw it all back where it was!

You want to be mindful of what’s in your background on your video. You don’t want it to be distracting.

#2. Pay Attention to Lighting

So with audio and audio podcasts, we focus on reducing echo, making it pleasant to listen to, eliminating background noise and reverb, and things like that.

With video, lighting is the biggest thing you must pay attention to:

  • Is it easy to see your face?
  • Is it easy to see your facial expressions?
  • Can viewers find it easy to tell what’s going on?
  • Or does it look like you’re in a room without good lighting?

A straightforward way to do this is to record in front of a window. Sunlight is free. And since we’re on the free 99 kick for this PODTalk, I would recommend that. If you’re getting started, just set up your camera where you’re facing a window during daylight. You can get some nice, even lighting on your face, and it’ll look absolutely fine, especially if you’re getting started. If you want to record in different places or Record at night, you can get a cheap ring light or desktop light for office recording and zoom recording.

There are many of them on Amazon, and you can do that to have better control over your lighting, but you don’t have to. You can use your phone or webcam to record looking into a window. That’s it. Now, you probably don’t want to record the window as well. You want to use it for lighting, but that’s a straightforward way.

#3. It’s Okay to Look at Your Notes

I’m reviewing my notes to ensure I’m on track and covering everything I want to protect. If you never break eye contact, it makes you look like a serial killer. And so don’t feel like you have to maintain eye contact with the camera the entire time. Never look down and never give off the vibe that you are referring to notes to tell where you are and what you want to talk about. That’s fine.

Most people know what you’re doing, and they’re going to keep watching it. So don’t let that hold you back, and feel like you have to have a teleprompter or memorize your whole podcast episode. That’s just a lot of stress you don’t need. Once you have your video and audio, how will you edit it? How are you going to put it together?

Editing Your Video and Audio

So the software that I recommend is Adobe Premiere Rush. I suggest it because it’s free and does everything you need to do to edit a video podcast. It’s available on Mac and Apple computers and other operating systems. It’s also a mobile app. So you can download it on your iPhone or Android phone, and you can edit the video and audio on your phone.

So if you use a platform like Anchor, you can still have your whole workflow on your phone and use Adobe Premiere Rush to edit it. You’ll take the video recording if that’s separate from your audio and bring that into Adobe Rush. And then you’re also going to get the audio track underneath it. And you will use the waveforms to line up the audio from the video with the audio you captured with your microphone. Lastly, you’re going to mute or delete the audio from the video track.

Make Sure You’re Getting The Highest Quality For Your Video Podcast

So you have the highest quality audio you’ve captured for your podcast and the video you captured. You’ll then want to cut off the beginning and the end where you’re not quite recording yet. You’ve just hit the record button but don’t want the episode to start with 10 seconds of dead silence. And then you’ll chop off the end where you’ve stopped the episode, but you haven’t quite hit stop on your recording software yet. And then, you’ll export that and upload it to YouTube.

That’s how you edit your podcast episode. You don’t have to do fancy cuts or have fancy graphics or transitions. You can add that later; Adobe Rush will allow you to do that. But you are just getting started.

Upload to YouTube

Just have that audio and video be excellent quality and upload that to YouTube. Now, a thumbnail is one thing you will need for YouTube that’s different from podcasts. So when creating a thumbnail, you want it to be visually interesting. You want it to represent what your episode is about. Then you want it to match the branding of your audio podcast. So if people discover you on YouTube and want to subscribe to Apple podcasts or Spotify, they know what to look for.

And the best place to do that is Canva. Canva is a free online graphic design tool with many templates for you to use. So, you don’t have to be a graphic designer to make YouTube thumbnails! You type into the search bar YouTube thumbnail. It’ll pull up a bunch of templates for you to start from with different colors, designs, and styles. Then you can customize it to match your podcast’s branding. And then, now you have an episode template. So every time you record a new episode, you change the text, change the picture, and export it. Now, you have a free YouTube Thumbnail that looks good to upload with your video.

That’s All You Need To Have a Video Podcast!

That’s all you need to do to turn your audio podcast into a video one. You want to use a camera you already have, whether your mobile phone or webcam. You want to use Adobe Premiere Rush to edit the beginning and end of your recording. Use the highest quality video and audio you’ve recorded to create a good video for YouTube. Lastly, use Canva to create a thumbnail for that video for every episode. (And do everything else the same way you always do it.)

When you’re recording your audio episodes, creating your outlines, show notes, titles, and everything else, none of that changes. All you’re doing is adding these little tweaks to add a video component to your podcast recording. Then you can put it on YouTube and have your podcast available on the number one consumption app in the world for podcast listeners. So creating a video podcast does not have to be overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t need to buy anything besides what you already have for creating your audio podcast.

And now you have everything you need to jump into video with your show this year. Good luck. I look forward to seeing your podcast on YouTube!


About Travis Albritton

Travis Albritton is the host of “Honest Marketing,” a podcast dedicated to teaching business owners and entrepreneurs proven strategies to grow their business without selling their soul. He is also the founder of Honest Podcasts, a full-service podcast production agency that serves businesses and specializes in high quality video podcasts for distribution on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify.


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