TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Tips & Tidbits

Volume Number: 21 (2005)
Issue Number: 10
Column Tag: Programming

Tips & Tidbits

Podcasting 101: A Step-by-Step Guide to Making and Promoting Your Own Podcast

by Sonia Winters

If there's one thing the Internet is fabulous for, it's giving virtually everyone the ability to be heard. Long gone are the days of controlled media messages sent out by the powerful few, information available only by way of the Tom Brokaw and Time Magazine. Thanks to the World Wide Web and an influx of user-friendly software, now even old Mr. Jones down the street can project his voice across oceans.

Podcasting is one of the newest, freshest ways for him to do that.

Think of it as an audio blog; a podcast is a recorded program similar to radio (sans commercials, of course) made available via mp3 files on websites or RSS feeds. But unlike radio, users can download these programs onto an iPod or any other mp3 device and listen at their own convenience. Also unlike radio, there are no FCC standards to regulate the content; a podcast can say anything about any topic at any time. It's revolutionary, really.

And by following a few fairly simple steps, anyone can make them.

1. Get a Niche. Maybe you already know precisely what your podcast will cover: you want to host your own music countdown, promote your friend's newest invention or discuss the nitty-gritty political issues of your home state. That's great, get to it! But for those who aren't so sure, who know only that they want to give podcasting a shot, it's a good idea to check out what other hosts are up to. iPodder.org and Podcast.net are home to tons of podcasts on a variety of topics. Download several shows on issues that interest you and see what's being done and how you might do it differently. Don't be afraid of creativity; try putting a new spin on an old issue or blowing the doors off a topic that's only rarely, if ever, covered. Listeners will continually come to your podcast if you offer something fresh and vivid.

2. Get a Plan. Once you've discovered your niche, get down to details. Though the beauty of podcasting is the ability to buck the rules of traditional audio broadcasts, it sometimes helps to consider what made those rules so traditional in the first place; this will help you map your show much more effectively.

First, consider format: how long will the podcast be? Will you have guests or take phone calls? Will you play music of any sort? Think about how other shows similar to yours function, remember all the radio programs you've heard before. Keep in mind that while you can certainly forget all the rules, you want to keep your listeners listening; a you-only six-hour program about cheese might not be the easiest thing to digest.

Once you've figured out the format, divide and plan the show accordingly. If you're hosting a talk show, for instance, decide how many (and which) topics you'll cover and how long each topic will get. And don't forget to break it up; since podcasts have no commercials, you'll need a way to give listeners a breather between issues -- consider using some sort of music or audio clip. Also, make sure to prepare opening and closing remarks for the entire thing, maybe even give listeners a sneak peek at the next program; identifying yourself, as well as referring to future episodes, is a great way to remind listeners to come back for more.

3. Get Tech. You've got the idea in theory, now get it into practice. You don\'t need to be a tech genius to record your podcast, but you definitely need some basic recording equipment and software. First and foremost, you'll need a microphone. While it\'s entirely possible to use your computer\'s built-in mic to record your voice, it\'s a much better idea to invest in an external mic; the sound will be that much cleaner and professional. Shure makes several microphones perfect for voice recording (try an SM57 or SM58), and you can find these at very affordable prices on eBay or any music shop that sells pre-owned instruments. And while you\'re scoping out microphones, grab a pair of headphones to track the sound; you'll want some unidirectional that covers your entire ear. Again, eBay and used music shops are the best way to go for these.

Now you just need the software. Mac owners tend to use GarageBand, but PC users or those with no recording software already on their computer tend to use Audacity, a free audio recording/editing program that can be downloaded online (audacity.sourceforge.net); it\s a fairly simple program, but tons of tutorials are available to walk you through its functions. Just remember to also download the free mp3 encoder as well; you'll need that to turn your podcast into the most easily consumable file type.

Once you've recorded your podcast and edited out any mistakes (and added music or audio samples), you'll need to minimize the file size (by either lowering the sample or bit rate), convert it to mp3 and upload it onto your website. Don't have a website? No worries! Our media (www.ourmedia.org) has recently begun providing users with completely free bandwidth and storage for podcasts and other sorts of media. It's a great way to get your podcast online while avoiding fees (if the podcast starts to gain a following, however, you'll definitely want to consider creating a website for it specifically).

4. Get Heard. So you've got the first episode of your podcast recorded, edited, uploaded and ready to go. Now you just need some listeners -- but how do you find them? The most obvious and widely used way of attracting listeners to your podcast is by submitting it to podcast directories and search engines, of which there are hundreds (run a Google search to find them). And while directories and search engines are a definite means to getting your voice out there, it's sometimes worth looking into alternate methods of promotion if you really want to take your podcast to the next level. Get involved in online forums and blogs that are similar to your topic and trade links with like-minded people; there's a whole community of podcasters out there eager to check out your program. And if your podcast has a regional slant, try getting some publicity in local papers or magazines. Though it may seem difficult, it's often entirely possible to get mentioned in print media simply by asking. Create a press release and personal bio for your podcast and send it off to as many media sources as possible; you'll be surprised at what may transpire.


Sonia Winters enjoys podcasting and writes for Andy Hagans Link Building ( http://www.andyhagans.com ), a link building service.

 
AAPL
$94.72
Apple Inc.
+0.78
MSFT
$44.83
Microsoft Corpora
-0.01
GOOG
$594.74
Google Inc.
+5.27

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Macs Fan Control 1.1.12 - Monitor and co...
Macs Fan Control allows you to monitor and control almost any aspect of your computer's fans, with support for controlling fan speed, temperature sensors pane, menu-bar icon, and autostart with... Read more
A Better Finder Rename 9.37 - File, phot...
A Better Finder Rename is the most complete renaming solution available on the market today. That's why, since 1996, tens of thousands of hobbyists, professionals and businesses depend on A Better... Read more
MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.9 - Fo...
MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update is recommended for MacBook Air (Mid 2011) models. This update addresses an issue where systems may take longer to wake from sleep than expected and fixes a rare issue... Read more
FileZilla 3.9.0.1 - Fast and reliable FT...
FileZilla (ported from Windows) is a fast and reliable FTP client and server with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface.Version 3.9.0.1: MSW: Fix installation issue with locked DLLs... Read more
OS X Yosemite 10.10 DP4 - Developer Prev...
Note: This is a Developer Preview. You must be a registered Apple Mac Developer to download this update. OS X Yosemite is Apple's newest operating system for Mac. An elegant design that feels... Read more
FinderPop 2.5.6 - Classic Mac utility, n...
FinderPop is a Universal preference pane that extends OS X's contextual menus using a FinderPop Items folder much as the Apple Menu Items folder used to do for the Apple menu. It has other features... Read more
SpiderOak 5.1.7 - Secure cloud backup, s...
SpiderOak is a multi-platform secure online backup, storage, access, and sharing solution engineered for the consumer and small businesses. You must first sign up to use SpiderOak. Running natively... Read more
Espionage 3.6 - Simple, state of the art...
Espionage offers state-of-the-art encryption and plausible deniability for your confidential data. Sometimes, encrypting your data isn't enough to protect it. That's why Espionage 3 goes beyond data... Read more
calibre 1.45.0 - Complete e-library mana...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital... Read more
iFFmpeg 4.3.1 - Convert multimedia files...
iFFmpeg is a graphical front-end for FFmpeg, a command-line tool used to convert multimedia files between formats. The command line instructions can be very hard to master/understand, so iFFmpeg does... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Celebrate Summer With a Cat in the Hat L...
Celebrate Summer With a Cat in the Hat Learning Library Sale Posted by Ellis Spice on July 22nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
MyTaskList Review
MyTaskList Review By Jennifer Allen on July 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: EFFECTIVE IF PLAINUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad It’s not the most stylish of task management apps, but MyTaskList has all the features you could... | Read more »
FlyCraft Herbie: Crazy Machines Review
FlyCraft Herbie: Crazy Machines Review By Jennifer Allen on July 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: TRICKY FLYINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad A tough game of careful thrusting and navigation, FlyCraft Herbie: Crazy Machines... | Read more »
MTN Review
MTN Review By Jessica Fisher on July 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: ADORABLE, SERENE, AND AMUSINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad MTN is an adorable, talking pet mountain that is less game and more zen garden.   | Read more »
Fly High with Ninja UP! Now Available o...
Fly High with Ninja UP! Now Available on the App Store Posted by Jessica Fisher on July 22nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Bio Inc. Review
Bio Inc. Review By Nadia Oxford on July 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: SICKENING - IN A COMPELLING WAYUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Bio Inc is about orchestrating the medical destruction of a single person. If that doesn’... | Read more »
HELMUT Review
HELMUT Review By Andrew Fisher on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: TRUNDLE SIMULATOR 2014Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad HELMUT is a fun, fleeting time-sink that offers a momentary distraction and nothing else.   | Read more »
Walkr Review
Walkr Review By Jennifer Allen on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: ORIGINAL WALKINGiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Walking is a bit more exciting thanks to this planet building/discovering sim reliant... | Read more »
Zombie Commando Review
Zombie Commando Review By Jennifer Allen on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: MINDLESS SLAUGHTERUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Briefly fun but ultimately forgettable, Zombie Commando will scratch an itch then be... | Read more »
Swords & Poker Adventures Review
Swords & Poker Adventures Review By Jennifer Allen on July 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: SOULLESS POKER PLAYUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Swords & Poker Adventures is a mishmash of Poker and RPGing, but it lacks... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

15-inch 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Retina on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 15″ 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1829 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $170 off MSRP. B&H will also include free copies of Parallels... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished Mac minis for up t...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished Mac minis for up to $150 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 2.5GHz Mac... Read more
Twelve South HiRise For MacBook – Height-Adju...
If you use your MacBook as a workhorse desktop substitute, as many of us do, a laptop stand combined with an external keyboard and pointing device are pretty much obligatory if you want to avoid... Read more
Why The Mac Was Not Included In The Apple/IBM...
TUAW’s Yoni Heisler cites Fredrick Paul of Network World whoi blogged last week that the Mac’s conspicuous absence from Apple and IBM’s landmark partnership agreement represents a huge squandered... Read more
Save $100 on 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros, plu...
Adorama has 13″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: - 13″ 2.4GHz/128GB MacBook Pro with Retina Display: $1199 - 13″ 2.... Read more
Blurr it 2.3 for iOS – Quickly Blurs Selected...
Hyderabad, India based TouchLabs has announced a new update of Blurr it 2.3, their photography app for iOS users. Blurr it allows you to blur part of the image to hide potentially sensitive or... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP, start...
Best Buy has the new 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $100 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free home shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Prices valid for online orders only... Read more
Amazon Announces Kindle Unlimited: Unlimited...
Amazon.com has introduced Kindle Unlimited — a new subscription service which allows customers to freely read as much as they want from over 600,000 Kindle books, and listen as much as they want to... Read more
New Linksys Wireless Range Extenders Boost Wi...
Linksys has announced its new lineup of Linksys Wi-Fi Range Extenders. Consumers often experience a weak wireless signal in some parts of their house or apartment caused by blocking elements such as... Read more
MacBook Airs available starting at $719
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2013 & 2012 MacBook Airs in stock today starting at $719. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: 2013... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Systems Administrator - DISH (United...
…satellite service provider, and Dish is currently looking for an experienced Apple /Mac Systems Administrator. Apple systems administrator will be responsible for Read more
*Apple* Systems Administrator - DISH (United...
…satellite service provider, and Dish is currently looking for an experienced Apple /Mac Systems Administrator. Apple systems administrator will be responsible for Read more
*Apple* /MAC Systems Administrator - Tekkies,...
Title: Apple /Mac Systems Administrator Location: Englewood, CO Term: Permanent Placement Description Our client is currently looking for an experienced Apple /Mac Read more
*Apple* Support Specialist - Expert Technica...
Apple Support Specialist Expert Technical has an immediate opening for an Apple Support Specialist with an industry leading creative and graphic arts company in Read more
Sales Director, GAM - *Apple* - AMD (United...
This position will be responsible for managing the Apple relationship with AMD. Ideally, the candidate has a good understanding of Apple 's products and Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.