The Accidental Podcaster – How to Start a Podcast

Today’s post about podcasting is by Vickie Petz Henderson.

Podcast Vicki Petz HendersonAfter delivering 5,000 babies, Dr. Vickie Petz Henderson woke up on the other side of the sheets. Her disabling turned her life right side up and enabled her to pursue her heart’s desires. She encourages women to look beyond their circumstances and find God’s blessings through speaking, writing, and podcasting.

You can find her here:
Her website


I’m a doctor, not a podcaster. I know far more about delivering babies than producing a show, yet I call myself experienced; that is if you listen to Oscar Wilde’s notion, “Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.”

How I accidentally became a podcast host…

My gig as a podcast host happened purely by accident. My Journey of Faith Radio interviewed me about my unusual faith story. When an unfortunate series of events forced the host to resign, I agreed to “guest” host. Recording from my hospital room, I silenced the IV pump, the nurses put a sign on the door that read, “Quiet: On the Air,” and over 100 episodes later, I’m still at it. Since my chronic illness regularly tethers me to the outpatient center, it wasn’t the last episode I recorded from the gurney.

Why I quit…

Since talking is my favorite pasttime, podcasting suits me perfectly. My extroverted personality relishes the connections I make with others. So if you like to talk, can find someone to listen and react to what they hear, then podcasting may be for you.

But of course, it’s never that simple.

When I hosted for another ministry they set up the website, the podcast link and paid for the service. My job was to hit record, then publish and the amateur show was broadcast. Then I hit a bump in the road when a lump in my throat led to surgery. As a minor complication, I lost my voice. Totally.

Take two…

After some time in voice rehab, I was ready to launch my own podcast, this time with a co-host. I had no idea what I was doing, but I wasn’t going to jump in blindly.

It took 12 years to say I’m an obstetrician/gynecologist, so I figured I needed some training. I listened to all the experts (a few of my favorites are listed), did my homework and consulted an experienced friend. Then I hired professional help. After hours of labor, “The Heart of the Author Podcast” was born, and I never even asked for an epidural.

Podcast Basics

Let’s start with what you need to launch a podcast:

1. Listeners. This is the hard reality. You simply must have listeners because it’s not true that if you record it, they will come. It’s necessary to have some kind of platform: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or a blog. Find your people and meet their needs.

2. The ability to record and release content. I use Audacity to record. There is a bit of a learning curve but it’s free and it gives you the ability to edit your files, add intro and outro music and create an MP3 file to upload to your server. Speaking of servers, I now use Libsyn, but I’ve used Blubrry too.

3. Something to talk about. Not something to ramble about, but something valuable to say. Albert Einstein said, “Strive to become a man of value rather than a man of success.” Your podcast needs to be informative, interesting or fun, and preferably all three. Remember, people always want to know WIFM (What’s in it for me?)

4. A little capital investment helps too. Depending on your talent you can DIY or hire on a budget. Design your own logo on Canva or PicMonkey. Download a free jingle or Fiverr provides affordable originals. For the best sound quality, invest in a microphone and a mixer.

5. A voice. Go ahead and laugh, but remember, I quit my last podcast because I lost mine.

6. A little knowledge, a lot of endurance, some perseverance, and a touch of luck.

The same key ingredients to success in any field.

This is what you should not do, little bear…

One of my favorite childhood books was The Bike Lesson by Jan Berenstain. Papa Bear ran off the road, into a tree and through a mud puddle. I can relate. Here are the highlights of my bloopers.

  • If you interview people on your podcast, make sure you pay attention to differences in time zones.
  • Check the battery on your computer, or better yet keep it plugged in.
  • I jokingly call my dog my co-host, but seriously, find a quiet place. It’s easier than editing out the baby crying, and barks are particularly hard to edit.
  • The worst mistake I ever made was to accidentally delete one of the best interviews. She graciously agreed to record again, but it wasn’t as fresh. Fresh is best. My co-host and I now let the recording roll, then I edit them out. Truthfully, I wish I had kept some of them for my own entertainment.

“This is what you must never do, now let that be a lesson to you” ~ Papa Bear

Podcasts on podcasting:

Communicator Academy
Podcast Answer Man
Influencer Podcast
Audacity to Podcast

And of course, I’d love for you to listen to my Southern drawl on The Heart of the Author.



Want to get published but don’t know where to start?

Maybe you have a finished manuscript or just an idea stuck in your head. Email me today at Deb [at] DebraLButterfield [dot] com, and let's discuss how I can help you reach your dream of publication.

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