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Blogging And Beyond
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Podcasting 101: How to Create a Successful Podcast in 5 Easy Steps

How To Podcast – Podcasting For Beginners

image - Postcast RSS logoI’€™m sure you remember the times when you weren’t €œthat into Facebook,€ or you didn’t €œsee the appeal of Twitter.€ For many individuals and companies it takes a few hundred thousand people to convince them that they should jump on the bandwagon and figure out an emerging trend. It seems that in 2012, this trend is going to be podcasting. See Listening To Podcasts To Improve Your Online Business.

Creating a podcast seems like a lot of complicated work, but it’€™s entirely possible to create a quality, interesting podcast while still remaining pretty basic. For those who are unfamiliar, a podcast is a way for users to listen to content as opposed to reading it. This is extremely appealing to a lot of people because it allows them to listen to a press release or a promotion that a company puts out while they’re traveling to work. In other words, podcasts are extremely portable. They can be uploaded directly onto a person’s hard drive (as opposed to streaming from another server), and they’re inexpensive to create.

Many companies including Business Week magazine, CNN, and Toyota have begun creating podcasts so that they can offer another way for users to get to their content. If you are starting a small business and want to join the ranks of these major companies, but know nothing about podcasting €”don’t sweat it. There are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Podcasts can be offered through iTunes or a company can post the podcast straight to their website.
  • Podcasts are generally created and scheduled on a regular basis. For example, some companies publish a podcast on their blog every Monday. This gets readers into a routine.
  • There is no required length when it comes to a podcast. Some programs are ten minutes long while others are over an hour. I recommend around 20 minutes until you get a strong following.
  • Podcasts are often successful if you ask users to subscribe to the podcast.

Once you have a feel for the purpose of a podcast and how you will be able to use a podcast to engage customers and clients, it’s time to get started. Consider the three must-haves when it comes to podcasting:

Creating a Podcast is as easy as 1, 2, 3 (and 4 and 5)

Step #1: Writing great content.

It may sound obvious, but writing great content for a podcast is slightly different than writing a great article. You want to consider the length of your podcast as well as the material being discussed. Podcasts are generally not used for promoting a product or having a sales tone. People listen to podcasts to hear a great story and/or learn how to do something. When writing podcast content, your aim is to teach. Podcasts should be fun, light-hearted, and to the point.

Step #2: Get the right equipment.

The reason so many businesses stress out about creating a podcast is because they think they need to buy expensive equipment. The truth is, you can start creating your podcasts using the most basic equipment and still fulfill your purposes. Most companies who are just starting out with podcasting buy a podcasting kit. Kits will come with everything you need—microphones, audio editing programs and recording software, and headphones. If you would rather buy each piece separately, you will be able to go to a local electronics store and get all of these items individually. In terms of recording software, I recommend Audacity because it is free online, but it is audio only. You can stay as basic as Windows€™ Sound Recorder. Once you have the equipment in place and a script ready to go, it’€™s time to begin recording.

Step #3: Record your podcast

Using the software is really quite simple and generally comes with a list of instructions. If you’re doing it on your own, then there are a few things you need to remember. First, you will want to connect your microphone to your computer and begin speaking while running the software. You will then be able to edit the recording when you’re finished taping. Second, you will want to convert your audio recording into an MP3 file. This can be done a variety of different ways depending on the software you use. Typically, most businesses and individuals use ITunes and the file can be converted in four easy steps.

Step #4: Publishing the podcast onto your blog or website.

After you have recorded your podcast and edited it to your liking, it’s time to publish it on your website for your readers to see. Companies generally create an RSS feed to make it easier on customers and clients when they want to subscribe to a podcast. If you don’t already have an RSS feed, click here to get started. It may sound confusing, but it only takes a few minutes and no more than five steps!

You are then ready to upload your podcast onto the Internet. You will need a file transfer program (FTP) in order to make this happen. This software is generally around $40 and once again, is simple to use. One of the most popular FTP programs is called SmartFTP and can be downloaded for free.

Step #5: Advertise your podcast to your readers.

At the start of your podcasting efforts, it makes sense to give away your podcast for free. This will give readers a chance to see what it’s all about before you ask them to subscribe or buy the podcast on ITunes. You will want to advertise this podcast just as you would advertise anything else—use social media, feature it on your website, and ask people to share the link. It’s also a good idea to publish your podcasts on a schedule. This will let people know when to look for it. Once they know it exists and are used to watching/listening, they’ll be more inclined to subscribe in the future.

Software Summary for Your Podcast

It sounds like there is a lot of software that you have to buy in order to create a podcast. However, most of this software can be downloaded for free or at a very low cost. Just to stay organized, here is the software you will need once again:

  • Audio Recorder and Editor
  • MP3 Encoder
  • File Transfer Program (FTP)

However, the most important thing you will need to create a successful podcast is great content. If the content is there, the listeners will come. You can have all the fancy sound systems and editing techniques you want, but no one will want to listen if you have nothing to say. Keep this in mind, and then you’re sure to create a successful podcast.

Image Credit: Colleen AF Venable / Creative Commons 2.0

Amanda-DiSilvestro Visit Website
Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to starting a business. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including document software to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading business directory, Business.com. Follow Amanda on Twitter.

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44 Comments
  • Reply


    Twitter: bandantonio
    The final two phrases are the best. I want to try myself in podcasting already for a long time, but still can not choose a right direction. Perhaps in the near future, I ‘ll be ready to record my first podcast. I’m sure it will be interesting. Thank you for the article. It’s simple and very easy to read.

  • Reply

    I knew nothing about Podcasting. This post helped me to understand it. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply

    Thank you for this informative post. I run a blog on blogger and I know that I can create a podcast with it, either using feedburner or the enclosure links for each post provided by Blogger (I tried both before and they work fine).

    What I would like to know is whether there is a trustworthy service for hosting the audio files, since blogger does not offer such an option (if it also offers some free hosting will be great).

  • Sadie
    Reply


    Twitter: sadie_lankford
    Any suggestions on screencasting? CamStudio is the only program I’ve found and it’s like $300. :(
    Sadie recently posted..How to Add a Call to Action to Your Blog PostsMy Profile

  • Shanky Sahni
    Reply

    Hi Amanda,
    Thanks for these tips.Since my blog is around 4 months old,I don’t think its right time to start a podcast.But I will surely have it in future.

  • Clemens
    Reply

    Some good points. I like creating Podcasts much more than writing blog posts, because it’s simlpy more fun. Always feel like an broadcaster :) It’s definitively a very good alternative to posts. Thx for sharing!

  • Daniel
    Reply

    Thanks for your tips!Podcasting can be a great way to bring new trafic to the blog and make it popular and successful.

  • Ioana
    Reply

    Podcast can be a great way to make your blog more successful. The only problem that I see here it’s the your podcast needs to be of good quality. You have to speak well and without mistakes.

    I haven’t try this approach on my site, but after what I am reading here, I will try to do a podcast.

  • Edward
    Reply

    Podcast is a good way to reach out to the targeted audiences. But to start with, one should have high performance equipments. It is very necessary to have a good mic to give your listeners a clear content. I have not tried yet anytime before but I have observed this after listening to some of the podcasts. I think you have given all the basic tips which one can follow to start with podcasts. I also think that proper advertising of the podcasts is essential for beginners. After reading your post I am planning to start creating a podcast for my site also.

  • Asma Khan
    Reply


    Twitter: MissAsma
    I am also confusing.
    Anyway,after having read your blog,I will not take the Prodcast as a mis-spelling of the podcast

  • Justin Mazza
    Reply

    Hi Amanda,
    I have not done a podcast yet but it is on my radar for this year. I already have a recording headset and I have heard of Audacity too.

    The FTP thing I was not aware of yet but I will follow your instructions when I am ready to do a Podcast.

  • Hanna
    Reply

    I haven’t tried podcasting last year but definitely this year. I’m beginning to explore with trial and error.

  • Anonymous (Read Comment Policy)
    Reply

    This is a marvelous tutorial for everyone who’d like to find out what podcasting is in practice. Many thanks for sharing such helpful information

  • Emilia
    Reply

    I have never done any podcasting, to be honest, I had no idea about how it is to be done. It just seems so complicated and demanding thing. Thanks to this post, I changed my view on this issue and I might even go for it! Wow. :)

  • Nelson
    Reply

    Agree with you, podcasts are highly portable. It allows the users to listen wherever they want to and whatever they want to. Even I think It is going to become the trend in 2012. Content is the most important element of the podcast. Even if you have podcasts with great supports but with low content, readers are not going to listen. To make readers attracted, content must be of high quality and very useful. Thanks Amanda, you have given very good techniques for the beginners.

  • John
    Reply

    I am not sure if i would feel comfortable doing my own podcast but i definetly would like to use it to find out service information such a train times.

  • rohit kothari
    Reply


    Twitter: clickudos
    hi Amanda,
    i am new in podcasting never give it a try when i was searching about it (as i want to give it try to learn) what exactly is podcasting and landed on your blog must say you write really well.

  • Amit Shaw
    Reply


    Twitter: itechcode
    Very informative post for newbies in podcasting. Thanks For sharing this with us. I am thinking to implement podcasting on my blog and it will be helpful for me.Thank.

  • Ferb
    Reply


    Twitter: FerbHinlor
    Thanks for your tips, I’m actually looking for publish podcast on iTune andd luckily, at least I know where I can start, now. I meant I gotta buy a podcast before publish’s pocast on iTune.

    Howwever,I’m interested in making videos, if you have any problems on video’s making, feel free to ask me.
    Ferb recently posted..Do’s and Don’ts when Travel while BloggingMy Profile

  • Kee G.
    Reply

    That’s nice! Now I know how they make it. Podcasting is fun especially if you are good in your topic, I’m sure that there’s a lot of listeners who will listen to your podcasts.

  • Ayodeji
    Reply


    Twitter: ayoonis
    I’m getting to like the look of things in 2012, and I think podcasting is going to look great for me. Thanks for the wonderful article!

  • Stacey Cavanagh
    Reply


    Twitter: staceycav
    I’ve not done a great deal of podcasting myself, though do think I should be doing more of it.

    Great recommendations and software tips.

    Cheers!

  • sampath kumar
    Reply


    Twitter: webaroundme
    Are there any free softwares that let me create podcasts easily?

  • John
    Reply

    The main reason I never created a podcast is because I thought I couldn’t afford the software. I didn’t know there were free softwares out there you could download for free. I’ll give all three of these you’ve listed here and see which one works for me best. Thanks.

  • Abhi Balani
    Reply


    Twitter: abhibalani
    I am not in podcasting for now. But I was willing to enter this field. And this post is absolutely correct to guide me to start. Thank you, man.
    Abhi Balani recently posted..Good Blogger And A Good Blog: What Are The Signs?My Profile

  • Anita Richard
    Reply


    Twitter: topmovieswatch
    Hey very informative post for newbies in podcasting. Thanks. Good choice of a post.

  • sai krishna
    Reply


    Twitter: saithegeek
    your 4th step is very nicely explained :) thanks for tips

    • Amanda DiSilvestro
      Reply


      Twitter: ADiSilvestro
      Thank you! I think getting it onto the website is the most confusing part so I’m glad you think I did a good job explaining it. It will change depending upon the computer you have and the software you’re using, but hopefully it will at least give people some idea about where to begin/what to research.

  • Isabel Singh
    Reply

    Very well said and very useful information. Some popular podcasters have regular shows at planned intervals like once or twice a week. Others may create a podcast only when required. Additionally, there are podcast networks that feature multiple shows by different podcasters.Podcasts allow the audience to listen or watch when they want, where they want, and how they want.

    • Amanda DiSilvestro
      Reply


      Twitter: ADiSilvestro
      Very good points. I’m not sure I was clear enough when I discussed the timing of podcasts and how many a company should strive to write. I think once or twice per week is a good number if they’re short, and announcing a big (long and full of a lot of information; an interview or seminar recap) once in a while would work well.

      • Isabel Singh
        Reply

        Thanks for the reply Amanda! discussing the timing of podcasts and how many a company should strive to write is really a must.

  • Jacko
    Reply


    Twitter: freedommmc
    i read a post from viperchill about podcasting that was pretty cool make sure you get a great mic before you start. I need to get one like illene has she sounds great on all her videos.

  • Asad umrani
    Reply

    Hi Amanda

    Thaks for sharing this usefull post and im appericiating you for doing this great job.

  • Amanda DiSilvestro
    Reply


    Twitter: ADiSilvestro
    Thanks so much for the great tips! It looks like you do offer a lot of information about specific podcasting equipment in your article. I think it works great to come here and learn a little bit about podcasting, and then head over to your article for the specifics. After all, I think choosing the right kits/software is the hardest part.

    Thank you for sharing :)

  • Reply


    Twitter: Ileane
    Hi Amanda, Podcasting is one of my favorites and I just put together a post about where to get some affordable podcasting gear and I included Audacity on my list too. It’s pretty easy to learn and some podcasting services like Spreaker for example allow you to upload the wav file so there is no need to convert it mp3.
    Another tool bloggers can use to get their podcast on iTunes is the Power Press plugin from Blubrry.
    Thanks for sharing the information about podcasting!
    Ileane recently posted..Podcasting Gear and Ms. Ileane Speaks on iTunesMy Profile

  • Reply


    Twitter: HotBlogTips
    Thank you Amanda, this is exactly what I’ve been looking for, a great post to help beginners get started with podcasting. I appreciate you choosing Hot Blog Tips to share it. :)

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