How to Start a Successful Religious Podcast
Expanding your church’s online presence has become less of a technical novelty throughout the pandemic and more of a requirement. Of course, broadening your online presence via podcasting, vlogging, and live streaming enables you to spread the message worldwide. Also, creating a robust online services presence will allow you to reach the local community who might not be able to attend your church in person every week.
Should Your Church Have a Podcast?
Your pastor is already producing new engaging content for the congregation each week, so starting a church podcast can be a simple yet compelling way to serve your community and reach new members globally.
Let’s face it, a church podcast or online service is a way for several potential new members to evaluate a House of Worship before joining. They can listen to church services from the comfort of their homes to analyze if the church meets their needs. Gone are the days when they must physically attend your church to gauge their interest in the service.
A religious podcast is a convenient way to provide inspiration and powerful teaching to your congregation continuously. You can offer enhanced religious study, devotionals, or more in-depth teaching with podcasts. Your church podcast can bring the message into your followers’ daily lives.
How to Start a Church Podcast
1. Plan Your Content Strategy
The beginning step for most spiritual podcasts is to publish their sermon in audio form so that people everywhere can digest the message. This process is relatively simple because you’re already producing the content; you only need to record its audio and make it available on your website and social channels.
However, some churches like to take their religious podcasts a step further and create compelling specialized content only available in the podcast format. This content might include interviews, daily devotionals, panel discussions with other religious leaders, music led by the worship director, or something entirely new and unique to your church.
Remember that there are several religious-based podcasts out there, so the more individualized your podcast is, the more your content will be able to stand apart and gain more listeners.
How Long Should A Church Podcast Episode Be?
Another thing to consider is the overall length of each spiritual podcast episode. A shorter length will make more sense if you only want to create daily devotional podcasts. But, if you have in-depth episodes with panelists, interviews, or full sermons, the format will need a longer runtime.
The most important thing to remember is that consistency is critical. Podcast length varies greatly and can be as short as a few minutes to over a couple of hours long. However, most podcasts stay within 20 to 40 minutes.
Make sure you find a consistent length for your online podcast format and stick with it. The length of your church podcast episodes should reflect the quality content you can consistently deliver on the subject or topic.
2. Ensure Premier Audio Quality for Every Podcast
For most churches, ensuring crystal clear audio in every podcast episode is their chief concern. You can spend all week preparing, researching, and getting the best panelists for your church podcast. But, if the listeners struggle to understand the message due to poor audio quality, they will only listen for a few minutes before switching to another religious podcast.
As a church podcaster, it’s hard to be successful unless you publish episodes that sound flawless and crystal clear. No amount of editing will turn poorly recorded audio into a polished episode. While recording a podcast episode with your laptop’s built-in microphone is technically possible, we wouldn’t recommend it.
In every successful podcaster journey, an inevitable realization comes: If I take this seriously, I must ensure high-quality audio in every podcast. But there are so many microphone options – where do I start?
USB vs. XLR input
USB and XLR microphones are two types of mics for recording a podcast. A USB mic can plug directly into your computer, while an XLR mic needs an audio interface to be used with your computer.
A USB mic may be best for your novice religious podcaster just starting because you can plug the USB directly into your computer and start recording immediately. A key benefit of XLR mics is that they allow you to use multiple mics simultaneously since you are using an audio interface. So, if your church podcast has more than one person on the podcast, we would recommend opting for an XLR microphone and a good-quality audio interface.
Note that you will need an audio channel for every microphone you plan on using. Two mics? Then you’ll need a minimum of two channels on your audio interface - three mics, at least three channels, and so on.
Fortunately, some microphones can give you studio-quality sound for your church podcasts while being easy to use for the audio tech novice and expert. Choosing the right microphone for your religious podcast is your most critical decision to ensure the maximum intelligibility of the message to your audience.
Recommended Podcast Mics for Churches
The MV7 is a dynamic microphone that is easy for beginners and experts alike. Inspired by the legendary SM7B, the MV7 comes with both USB and XLR outputs allowing for use with computers and professional interfaces. The MV7’s touch panel interface controls microphone gain, headphone level, monitor mix, and muting.
The beauty of the MV7 is that it’s engineered with Voice Isolation Technology. Hence, the unique pick-up pattern from the microphone ensures it’s laser-focused on your voice and prevents any unwanted background or room noise from interrupting your recording.
Let your microphone do the work for you. If you’re connected via USB, download our free ShurePlus MOTIV app for desktop to active Auto Level Mode. With Auto Level Mode, you can select your preferred voice tone and distance from the microphone and let the microphone adjust your level in real time for a consistent output.
Auto Level Mode is perfect if you’re new to using microphones or find yourself constantly moving around when talking. It will ensure that your audio level stays consistent and doesn’t drop or get too loud based on your distance from the mic.
Consistency is key to a good listening experience, and this will save you hours in editing time.
The MV7X is a professional-quality XLR dynamic microphone, ideal for close-mic applications requiring vocal intelligibility and a balanced tone. Like the MV7, the MV7x is engineered with Voice Isolation Technology. This technology ensures the microphone is laser-focused on your voice and does not capture any unwanted background noise to give you perfect recordings in imperfect rooms.
The MV7X is an XLR-only version of our MV7 and the ideal choice if you need multiple microphones for your church podcast.
The attractive and durable all-metal design features an adjustable yoke that can be mounted onto various microphone stands for flexible placement options. If you’re recording your podcast with more than one person, then the MV7X will be a fantastic choice; remember, you’ll need an audio interface to accompany your mics.
The legendary SM7B is a vocal microphone with a smooth, flat, and wide-range frequency response appropriate for music and speech in professional audio applications. The mic's specially engineered dynamic capsule provides a smooth, polished vocal sound with a rich response in the lower frequency registers, making the mic a favorite choice among broadcasters and podcasters.
It features a cardioid polar pattern, bass roll-off, midrange emphasis (presence boost) controls, and shielding against broadband interference. An internal air suspension shock isolation helps to eliminate mechanical noise transmission, and a yoke mount facilitates mounting and provides precise control of the mic position.
4. Select Church Podcast Host Solution
Launching a church podcast will require a service to host and distribute your audio files. There are multiple hosting solutions your house of worship could turn to, such as Podbean, Sermon Cloud, Buzzsprout, and others. Your podcast will live on the hosting solution.
5. Record your first episode
If you’re hosting your church podcast solo, you will need your microphone of choice and your favorite editing program. Setting up is as simple as plugging your microphone in, ensuring your audio preferences are selected, and hitting record.
Choosing software for your podcast recording and editing depends significantly on your individual needs, especially whether you want audio-only or both audio and video. If you’re recording the podcast solo, the easiest choice is to record right into an editing package like Audacity (free) or GarageBand (free for Macs).
You’ll want to add some pre-recorded standardized intros and outros to your podcast. The introductions will be an excellent opportunity to introduce the church and episode. The outro is a perfect place to remind listeners about church policies, upcoming events, or ways to volunteer.
6. Promote Your Church Podcast
Your final step is to promote your church podcast to the world. Your church’s podcast marketing is critical for adding listeners outside your congregation. Make sure to add your podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and others. You want to ensure your podcast stays available on the major platforms where your new potential listeners search for new content.
Next, add your episodes to your church website. One way to help increase visibility for each podcast episode is to create a new blog post that includes the audio, show notes, and complete audio transcription. Another way to increase exposure is to promote every podcast episode on social media. And if you have any guests, ask them to promote it on their social media too.
Ensure Crystal-Clear Audio for Every Church Podcast
There are several benefits to starting a church podcast. Starting a podcast is a great way to reach a larger audience and keep your congregation involved when they can’t attend a live meeting.
With suitable church podcast microphones, you can ensure the highest intelligibility to your audience and grow your podcast audience.
Check out Shure's Central Hub for Houses of Worship to view more educational guides created by our experts to help you ensure crystal clear audio in every service.