How to Record a Podcast Remotely while on Remote Year
17. Nov. 2023
Step into the world of remote podcasting with Chelsea Riffe. She joined a 4-month program with Remote Year and, not only mastered the intricacies of podcast recording and editing but also delved into the art of interviewing other Remotes thriving in fully remote lifestyles. Join her on a journey where quietude amplifies the voices of those living and working remotely.
What do you think when you hear the term “remote work”? What often comes to mind is lush, dewy palm trees, vibrant watercolor sunsets, and fancy laptops open at a cozy coffee shop, spacious modern villa, or popular co-working space.
You wouldn’t be off-base if those visuals came to mind. Community and environment are major appeals of joining Remote Year, and pursuing a remote lifestyle. But for me, there’s one major difference in my setup: I need absolute silence and completely quiet spaces.
Why? Because podcasting is my gig!
I’m Chelsea Riffe, the Host of In My Non-Expert Opinion. I started my podcast nearly 5 years ago. It launched as a creative hobby covering my interest in health and wellness, and I interviewed a mix of guests and friends, then sprinkled my own opinions throughout. It evolved into a lifestyle podcast, now covering travel, entrepreneurship, remote work, dating, and mindset.
Now, outside of hosting my own podcast, I teach people how to do the same: launch, grow, and monetize their podcasts as a Podcast Coach.
When I signed up for a 4-month program with Remote Year, I did not know how I was going to record, edit, and interview guests living a fully remote lifestyle. Spoiler alert: I’m 3 months in now, and figured it out!
If you’re an aspiring podcaster, or currently host a podcast and want to know how to record a podcast remotely, I’m sharing everything you need in this post.
FINDING QUIET SPACES WHILE ON THE ROAD FOR HIGH-QUALITY AUDIO
Remote Year allows you to list your primary and secondary preferences for accommodation before you arrive in each city. One of mine is always “good for working from home conditions”, because I need a quieter space to record, which is usually my bedroom. Believe it or not, a small bedroom is actually the perfect substitute for a recording studio!
Pro-tip: sound bounces, so high ceilings, glass windows, and large spaces are a no-no for a recording session.
Another thing I do before I get to a new city is Google podcast recording studios or co-working spaces that have soundproof booths for quality recordings.
I check the costs and services, as well as location, and then decide if I want to invest. In Cape Town, I used a small phone booth at the co-working space Remote Year partners with, and my sound quality was crystal clear. Score!
BEST EQUIPMENT FOR REMOTE PODCAST RECORDING
Your luggage is already filled to the brim, about to explode at the seams, and definitely overweight, right? Or is that just me…?
You might be wondering how to run a remote podcast when you already have so many other things to pack. Where does your mic go? Do you need a studio-quality setup with a ring light and XLR cables and pop filters like those big Spotify podcasters use? Is this all supposed to work with Zoom?
Nope! Here’s how I do it.
My usual remote recording setup looks like this:
USB Microphone (I personally use the Blue Yeti Nano USB mic - super easy to travel with!)
GarageBand editing software for simple edits and splicing
Descript - I use this for post-production, including adding filters, creating video assets, and transcriptions
Zencastr (this is my personal favorite recording software for high-quality audio, video recording, and remote interviews)
Headphones (cord only! No wireless ones, it will ruin the sound quality of your podcast episodes)
Here are helpful recording and editing softwares to help you have the best audio for remote interviews:
Zencastr - in my opinion, this is the best option for remote podcast interviews, due to their audio and video recording abilities. They just added post-production to their capabilities too!
Zoom - best for video conferencing. I like to chat with guests on Zoom before we start recording to do a “vibe check” and ensure we’re on the same page.
Skype - also great for video conferencing to connect with guests before a recording session
Riverside.FM - another highly-rated option for remote podcast interviews.
Squadcast - many of my clients use this for their remote recordings.
Descript - the “Alpha” post-production tool in my honest opinion! It can splice, stitch, transcribe, record, create audiograms, subtitles for videos and SO much more.
Audacity - incredible editing tool for beginners. I used this for years when I first started my own podcast!
GarageBand - most Mac owners already have this on their laptop, so I recommend this if you’re a big Apple user. It’s free and simple to use (and how I currently edit my own podcast episodes).
THINGS TO AVOID:
Glass conference rooms
All of the above are sound-killers and your listeners likely don’t want to hear Maximo yelling out your espresso order in the middle of a bustling café in Sicily as background noise.
COACHING AND FINDING CLIENTS WHILE WORKING REMOTE
While I have brand sponsors and affiliates, my primary source of income is through podcast coaching. And guess how a lot of my clients find me? Ding, ding, ding, you guessed it - podcasting!
They either listen to mine, or hear me as a guest on others. It’s a pretty sweet lead generation system.
When you think about how listeners consume audio, it makes sense that podcasting is such a high-converting medium; the content is binge-worthy, and often, new listeners download multiple episodes at once to devour, similar to how TV audiences did with Bridgerton or Money Heist on Netflix.
Consuming a podcast host’s POV for hours on end builds trust, likeability, and the listeners feel like they know you. You likely know your favorite podcast host’s dog’s name, inside jokes they have with their BFF, and their full astrology birth chart.
That’s why it makes it easier to invest in a host’s services or products - they’ve probably already consumed hours of their content!
For podcast coaching calls, it’s easy to find spaces for private meetings because of the co-working spaces Remote Year partners with. I can always book a meeting room or find a phone booth to chat with my clients one-on-one. The phone booths in our Portugal co-work space have soundproof walls. The audio gods answered my prayers!
The WiFi and internet connection in our apartments is also high-speed and reliable, so if I decide to WFH one day, no problem! I can easily chat with clients on Zoom video calls from the comfort of my space, whether that’s on a private rooftop in Valencia, Spain, or a sunny living room in Lisbon, Portugal.
SUSTAINING THE REMOTE LIFESTYLE
In order to work remotely (and successfully), planning is key. Get your bearings when you land. Google Maps (as a verb) the closest places to work, eat, exercise, and hang out. Get familiar with your neighborhood.
This will eliminate “decision fatigue” - the “state of mental overload that can impede a person’s ability to continue making decisions”, according to the American Medical Association.
The fewer decisions you have to make day to day, the more mental real estate you can put towards your creations and work.
Pro-tip: Each Remote Year Program has City Guides AND Program Leaders, as well as the Remote Year Nation Community Hub, which are all resources full of knowledge and insight into each area. The best coffee shops, bars, recording studios, and steak I’ve had is from asking someone in the RY community or staff about it!
Community and networking are also essential to not feel isolated when working remote. We’ve all been there - eyes bloodshot, squinting at our screen for hours on end, “forgetting” to eat, desperately trying to get to 0 emails. Then, you come out of this black hole, make yourself cereal for dinner, and question why you wanted to work remote in the first place.
To avoid this mental vortex, find yourself a group of like-minded individuals who understand the lifestyle, how to balance work and play, and value travel.
That’s exactly the type of group Remote Year curates, which also lessens decision fatigue. You book your trip, show up, meet your new favorite group of people, and realize working remote long-term IS possible!
CAN THE REMOTE LIFESTYLE WORK FOR YOU? ESPECIALLY AS A REMOTE PODCAST HOST?
Look, being a digital nomad is not for the faint of heart. The constant change of scenery, culture, and language can be overwhelming, and sometimes you think: “why am I doing this? I should just buy a home with a white-picket fence somewhere cozy, get a golden retriever named Sunny and stop moving so much. I’m an adult…I can’t travel this much!”
But each time you immerse yourself in a new city, that thought goes flying out the window. Spain's streets are pure magic. The intricate art tiles in Lisbon will mesmerize you. Cape Town’s breathtaking nature will captivate you and make your jaw drop in real time.
And each time you can find a pocket of stillness to reflect on these incredible experiences and places, you’ll remember why you chose the remote lifestyle. It IS possible to sustain, it just requires thought, intention, and planning.
As a podcaster, I thought this lifestyle was a pipedream and wouldn’t work for me. I require silence to do any kind of remote podcast recording. Traveling in a group seemed counterintuitive and irresponsible for my line of work.
But I took a chance and figured my resourcefulness would get me through. Fortunately, Remote Year casts all hesitations aside. I’ve actually had my best month in business while working remote with Remote Year while working less hours, exploring more, and still putting out high-quality audio content for my podcast.
What do you do for work? Could you figure out a way to do it on the road? If so, what would be your first stop?
Remotes with Podcast
At Remote Year, we believe in the power of shared experiences and amplifying diverse voices and stories. Our diverse community of remote workers represents over 90 nationalities, 40% people of color, 65% women, 15% LGBTQ+, an age range of 21-77, and professionals from all industries. Remote Year is not just about professional growth but also about connecting with the unique journeys each individual undertakes. In the spirit of fostering this connection, we are excited to feature podcasts from some remarkable Remotes who have traversed the globe, bringing their stories, insights, and passions to the virtual table.
Explore these podcasts from fellow Remotes and add a new dimension to your remote work and travel experience. Happy listening!
Allison Kastner - Wifi Chasers
Join Allison Kastner on the "Wifi Chasers" podcast as she normalizes the remote work life and travel. Engage in conversations about the challenges, magical moments, and real-life topics related to the digital nomad lifestyle. For inspiration and community, this podcast is your go-to. Link to Podcast
Chimdi Ihezie - Voice Notes From Your Friend
With over 15K followers on YouTube for personal and spiritual development, Chimdi Ihezie extends the conversation on his weekly podcast, "Voice Notes From Your Friend." Tune in for insightful discussions and reflections on personal growth and development. Link to Podcast
Daniel Hartz - Sustainability Champions Podcast
Discover stories of people protecting and healing the planet on Daniel Hartz's podcast. With new episodes every week, sustainability champions from around the world share their actions and insights. Join the conversation on building a more sustainable future. Link to Podcast
Haley B. Thomas - The Passion Pursuit Podcast
Empower your journey with Haley B. Thomas on "The Passion Pursuit Podcast." Business hacks, marketing strategies, and real-life entrepreneur stories await, equipping you for a life and business you love. Get inspired and ready to take action on your passion pursuit, as dreams transform into reality. Link to Podcast
Karey Brown - Real Estate 101: Everything Real Estate
For a comprehensive guide to real estate, tune in to Karey Brown's podcast, "Real Estate 101." With over 200 episodes covering every facet of buying, selling, investing, and more, Karey provides valuable insights to navigate the complex world of real estate. Link to Podcast
Karina De Leon - The Wanderful People Podcast
Listen to Karina De Leon on "The Wanderful People" podcast for inspiring tales from her travels. These stories, filled with motivation and empowerment, will evoke smiles and tears. Beyond destinations, it's about the lessons learned and the people met along the way. Tune in to explore the transformative power of travel through unforgettable human connections. Link to Podcast
Leah Arao - Ticket 2 Anywhere
Leah Arao's podcast is your first stop to infinite travel. Dive into discussions on travel gear, tools, and tips, making your remote journey smoother and more enjoyable. Join Leah on this informative and entertaining exploration of the world of travel. Link to Podcast
Maria Olsen - Becoming Your Best Version Podcast
Maria Leonard Olsen, a biracial attorney and TEDx speaker, invites you to join her on the "Becoming Your Best Version" podcast. With a focus on reframing the next chapter of life, Maria shares empowering stories and insights. Check out her podcast for a dose of inspiration and thoughtful conversations. Link to Podcast.
Matt Bowles - The Maverick Show
Embark on a journey with Matt Bowles on "The Maverick Show." With in-depth conversations featuring world travelers, location-independent entrepreneurs, and digital nomads, Matt unravels epic adventures and unpacks the skills behind building remote businesses. Link to Podcast If you're hungry for more stories from fellow Remotes, check out The Maverick Show to hear interviews with Remotes about their inspiring travels.
Michael Constable - Reaching Out: Stories of Coming Out
Join Michael Constable on the "Reaching Out" podcast, where members of the LGBTQ+ community share their coming out stories. With a mission to make this process easier, each episode offers unique insights and support. Whether you're currently coming out or contemplating it, these stories provide the encouragement and understanding you might need. Link to Podcast
Stefanie Contreras - Pop Culture Junkees Podcast
Stefanie Contreras, a Latinx author and self-proclaimed geek girl, co-hosts the Pop Culture Junkees podcast. Alongside her podcast partner, they embark on a journey to explore all the geeky fandoms the world has to offer. Link to Podcast
Tara Jabbari - Adventures on the Road and Women in History
Tara Jabbari's podcast takes you on adventures on the road while highlighting the stories of extraordinary women in history. Explore the intersection of travel and history through Tara's engaging narratives. Link to Podcast