Continuing with the series on how to create a podcast, we'll look at the hardware and software you need to create and share your podcast. Or- the technical side of podcasting.
Fortunately it wasn’t nearly as technical or difficult as I originally thought it would be. I think you'll be surprised at just how easy (and inexpensive) it is to get started.
The process of creating a podcast is fairly simple. You record it, share it, and promote it. I'll break it down into a simple checklist for each of those 3 tasks...
Recording A Podcast
To record an audio podcast, you'll need a microphone and a computer. You will also need audio recording & editing software. I use the Audacity software which is free, and both Mac and PC compatible. It's super easy to use - in fact, it's simplicity is it's best feature in my opinion. No complex bells & whistles.
A high quality microphone is ideal for podcasting. I have been using the Plantronics Wireless USB Headset for interviews, webinars, guest appearances on podcasts, audio/video creation, etc - and I love it.
For my podcast, I decided to go to a higher quality mic and chose the Blue Yeti USB Microphone. You can listen to a sound quality comparison of the two at that link.
You'll simply plug your mic into your computer, open Audacity, and start recording. You can also edit your audio in audacity, and easily add intro music or an intro clip.
For intro music do a search on Google for "royalty free audio" or "royalty free podcast music" as a start. I decided to have a custom intro (a "jingle") created for my own podcast, for stronger personal branding.
You can hear my new podcast jingle here, as an example:
(created by @GeoffSmith)
Also see: How to create a Video Podcast
How/Where To Upload Podcasts
In order to share your podcast with others, you have to upload it to the web. The most popular and least expensive option is Amazon S3. There is a Firefox Plugin that makes uploading your podcast episodes (media files) to S3 very easy.
Ryan Price demonstrates it in this video:
Sign up for Amazon S3 and get the S3 Firefox Plugin
I am starting with Amazon S3 myself, but ultimately plan to invest in a higher quality podcast host that allows easy insertion and removal of advertising across a series or set of podcasts. Ideal if you plan to monetize your podcast with sponsors or advertising. I'll share details on that host & the features when I have it myself.
Promoting Your Podcast
Once you have created your media file and uploaded it to the web, you'll want to share it with the world. The first step is creating an RSS Feed for your podcast.
The PodPress plugin for WordPress is a good solution, as it integrates your podcast with a WordPress blog - and generates an iTunes friendly RSS feed at the same time.
You can now submit your podcast to iTunes so that it can be found by searchers. You'll also be able to properly optimize the blog posts for each episode, bringing in free search engine traffic.
Also set up a Facebook Page, a Twitter & YouTube account, and a Gmail account for your podcast. Anytime you set up a blog, website, podcast, etc you should set up all of the related social media accounts for personal branding. And of course, start interacting in those spaces.
One other thing you'll need is Album Art. This is an image that represents your podcast in iTunes, and can also be used across your social media profiles. You want to create this in super high quality, 1280x720 so that it doesn't look grainy on Apple TV and similar. You can easily outsource this task on freelance job boards if you're not the creative type.
Now that you've generated an RSS Feed and WordPress blog for your podcast, be sure to submit it to both podcast and blog directories!
How To Create A Podcast - Master Checklist
Use this master checklist to get your podcast created, from start to finish:
- Get high-quality mic
- Create Album Art
- Download Audacity
- Record Your Podcast
- Insert intro clip or jingle, and exit clip
- Convert recording to MP3 format
- Sign up for Amazon S3
- Download the Firefox S3 Plugin
- Upload media file to S3
- Install PodPress Plugin on WordPress Blog
- Submit your Podcast to iTunes
- Submit your Podcast to directories
The podcast report mentioned below will contain detailed screenshots, resources and help with each of these steps
Once you have everything set up, continue recording & uploading on a regular schedule. Creating a publishing schedule will help you line up topics and stay on track - consistency is good.
You can tweet when you have a new episode available, and also involve your followers by letting them submit questions or suggest topics they'd love to hear. Your blog and social media profiles can do a lot to grow your listener base and make your podcast successful!
p.s. Subscribe for email notification below so you don’t miss a single post in this Podcasting series – which is also where I’ll send you the free report on how to create a podcast. That report won’t be available for free any other way so be sure you are subscribed now if you want to get a copy!