I know I haven’t written a post in a while. Sorry about that. I’ve been busy with my Baby Boomer blog, moving, and other crazy stuff. But I get asked all the time, “How do I become a voice actor?” For several years I hosted a podcast, along with a partner. It’s called 2 Boomer Broads – Life, Love, Laughs, and Unsolicited Advice. It was lots of fun and a great way to become an instant voiceover actor.
For one thing, you have total control over your show and you can monetize it any way you want. You can also use it as a way to create celebrity. Talk about whatever you’re interested in and get as crazy as you want.
It’s not that hard to set up a podcast. I did it all myself and I’m not a youngster. I admit, I’m kind of a geek and set up my own websites too. Here’s what I did.
First, decide what you want your show to be about and purchase a domain name for it. You can buy your domain name at Godaddy. However, I recommend setting up a hosting account at Bluehost. They’ll give you a free domain when you sign up. You’ll need a hosting account to set up a website for your show notes.
I host my audio files on a site called Libsyn. It’s one of the best sites to host your podcast audio files. I have an account that costs approx. $15 per month because my show has over 90 episodes. You can use sites like BlogTalkRadio or other call-in sites, but I like to own my show.
There are various ways to set up your podcast to submit it to iTunes and other podcast networks. I use a WordPress plugin called Blubrry PowerPress, which creates my podcast feed and I submit my shows through that. You can also submit it using Libsyn and then embed your show on your website, Facebook, and Twitter. Libsyn will send your feed to various destinations like Soundcloud.
Libsyn will give you stats and let you know how many downloads you’ve had.
You have to submit your podcast RSS feed to iTunes because that’s where everyone listens to podcasts. I also submitted my show’s RSS feed to Stitcher Radio, Tune In, Google Play, and a few others. It depends on the genre of your show.
My Recording Setup
Because I’m a voice-over actor, I already had a mic. I use an Audio Technica 2020 condenser mic, which has a USB capability. I also use a Behringer Xenyx 302 USB mixing board that filters the sound so it’s not going straight through my laptop. The Beringer is great for one person, but since my show is co-hosted and we interview other people, I wish my board was bigger to accommodate multiple mics. You may want to go a step up to a Behringer Xenyx 1202FX if that’s the case for you.
When we interview other people we use Skype and record it using a PC program called Pamela for Skype. If we’re just the two of us together in the same room, I record it using Audacity, which is a free program. I also edit the show using Audacity. It’s an easy program to use. I could get big and use Adobe Audition, but I haven’t found that to be necessary. Other options to record are using Zoom, Zencastr, Go to Webinar, Google Hangouts. It’s great if you can put it on YouTube as well. We don’t but its an excellent way to get more traffic.
Another option, especially for on-the-go podcasting is to use a recorder like the Roland R-07-BK, which I own or the Zoom. This Zoom bundle comes with a Lavalier mic. It’s very cool but is a little more expensive!
You can also do live-stream podcasts using Facebook Live, but for some reason, I find Facebook Live to be creepy but that’s just me.
Once I have the show recorded and edited, I save it as a WAVE file and convert it to MP3 using iTunes. Then I have to add the metadata to the audio file before uploading it to Libsyn. I use ID3 Editor for Windows.
You’ll need channel art 3,000 x 3,000 pixels and your iTunes channel info (title, artists, description) to submit with your feed. You can usually get something decent using Fiverr.
Become an instant voice over actor
Podcasting also gives you some experience behind a mic and the entire editing process. I still recommend taking acting or voice over classes before attempting to make it as a professional voice over actor.
My show immediately started getting inquiries from PR people who had authors and others who wanted to be interviewed. It’s been lots of fun.
If I can do it (I’m almost 64) so can you. Go on! Get your feet wet. You can Google how to set up your show. Pat Flynn has a nice tutorial.
Let me know what you think and leave a comment below.