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.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Chromium 45.0.2454.85 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. Version 45.0.2454.85: Note: Does not contain the "... Read more
OmniFocus 2.2.5 - GTD task manager with...
OmniFocus helps you manage your tasks the way that you want, freeing you to focus your attention on the things that matter to you most. Capturing tasks and ideas is always a keyboard shortcut away in... Read more
iFFmpeg 5.7.1 - 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
VOX 2.6 - Music player that supports man...
VOX is a beautiful music player that supports many filetypes. The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all... Read more
Box Sync 4.0.6567 - Online synchronizati...
Box Sync gives you a hard-drive in the Cloud for online storage. Note: You must first sign up to use Box. What if the files you need are on your laptop -- but you're on the road with your iPhone? No... Read more
Carbon Copy Cloner 4.1.4 - Easy-to-use b...
Carbon Copy Cloner backups are better than ordinary backups. Suppose the unthinkable happens while you're under deadline to finish a project: your Mac is unresponsive and all you hear is an ominous,... Read more
OmniGraffle Pro 6.3.1 - Create diagrams,...
OmniGraffle Pro helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use... Read more
Monosnap 3.1.2 - Versatile screenshot ut...
Monosnap lets you capture screenshots, share files, and record video and .gifs! Capture: Capture full screen, just part of the screen, or a selected window Make your crop area pixel perfect with... Read more
Alfred 2.7.2 - Quick launcher for apps a...
Alfred is an award-winning productivity application for OS X. Alfred saves you time when you search for files online or on your Mac. Be more productive with hotkeys, keywords, and file actions at... Read more
Microsoft Remote Desktop 8.0.19 - Connec...
With Microsoft Remote Desktop, you can connect to a remote PC and your work resources from almost anywhere. Experience the power of Windows with RemoteFX in a Remote Desktop client designed to help... Read more

We're Sorry to Report that Moonrise...
Moonrise is a very promising-looking, Pokemon-esque monster collecting and battling game that we were really looking forward to reviewing, but unfortunately it looks like that's never going to happen. [Read more] | Read more »
The Latest Update for The Sims FreePlay...
Commerce has gotten a little more active with the newest update for The Sims FreePlay, making Sunset Mall more of a hangout than ever before. [Read more] | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: August 24-28, 2015
The Apps of August With 148Apps How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you're looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out... | Read more »
NASCAR in Real Racing 3? Sure, Why Not?
I have to give Firemonkeys credit - it's very cool of them to add NASCAR to Real Racing 3 via an update rather than making a separate game for it. But that's a different discussion for another time; for now let's sit back and enjoy driving in... | Read more »
The nuyu is an Inexpensive Activity Moni...
Today, Health o Meter nuyu has announced a series of health and fitness-related products, including the aforementioned activity monitor along with a wireless scale. All at a decent pricepoint, no less. [Read more] | Read more »
The Makers of Overkill are Trying Someth...
Craneballs, the studio responsible for the Overkill series, is taking a little break from all that violence (a little break) to bring us Cube Worm - a 3D take on one of the most classic PC/calculator games in existence. [Read more] | Read more »
The Sandbox Welcomes Cutethulu in its La...
Another month, another update to Pixowl's The Sandbox. This time players can say hello to "Cutethulu" - an adorable little rendition of perhaps the most well known (and infamous) of the Elder Gods. [Read more] | Read more »
ReBoard: Revolutionary Keyboard (Utilit...
ReBoard: Revolutionary Keyboard 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Utilities Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Do everything within the keyboard without switching apps! If you are in WhatsApp, how do you schedule a... | Read more »
Tiny Empire (Games)
Tiny Empire 1.1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1.3 (iTunes) Description: Launch cannonballs and blow tiny orcs into thousands of pieces in this intuitive fantasy-themed puzzle shooter! Embark on an... | Read more »
Astropad Mini (Productivity)
Astropad Mini 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Productivity Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: *** 50% off introductory price! ​*** Get the high-end experience of a Wacom tablet at a fraction of the price with Astropad... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

eFileCabinet Announces SMB Document Managemen...
Electronic document management (EDM) eFileCabinet, Inc., a hosted solutions provider for small to medium businesses, has announced that its SecureDrawer and eFileCabinet Online services will be... Read more
WaterField Designs Unveils American-Made, All...
San Francisco’s WaterField Designs today unveiled their all-leather Cozmo 2.0 — an elegant attach laptop bag with carefully-designed features to suit any business environment. The Cozmo 2.0 is... Read more
Apple’s 2015 Back to School promotion: Free B...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
128GB MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP,...
B&H Photo has 11″ & 13″ MacBook Airs with 128GB SSDs on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 11″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air: $799.99, $100 off MSRP... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (refurbished) avai...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros available for $829, or $270 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.... Read more
27-inch 3.2GHz iMac on sale for $1679, save $...
B&H Photo has the 27″ 3.2GHz iMac on sale for $1679.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP. Read more
Apple and Cisco Partner to Deliver Fast-Lane...
Apple and Cisco have announced a partnership to create a “fast lane” for iOS business users by optimizing Cisco networks for iOS devices and apps. The alliance integrates iPhone with Cisco enterprise... Read more
Apple offering refurbished 2015 13-inch Retin...
The Apple Store is offering Apple Certified Refurbished 2015 13″ Retina MacBook Pros for up to $270 (15%) off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Apple refurbished 2015 MacBook Airs available...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2015 11″ and 13″ MacBook Airs (the latest models), available for up to $180 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with... Read more
21-inch iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 21″ 1.4GHz iMac: $999.99 $100 off - 21″ 2.7GHz iMac: $1199.99 $100 off - 21″ 2.9GHz iMac... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Desktop Analyst - KDS Staffing (Unit...
…field and consistent professional recruiting achievement. Job Description: Title: Apple Desktop AnalystPosition Type: Full-time PermanentLocation: White Plains, NYHot Read more
Simply Mac- *Apple* Specialist- Store Manag...
Simply Mac is the largest premier retailer for Apple products and solutions. We're looking for dedicated individuals with a passion to simplify and enhance the Read more
*Apple* Evangelist - JAMF Software (United S...
The Apple Evangelist is responsible for building and cultivating strategic relationships with Apple 's small and mid-market business development field teams. This Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Desktop Analyst - KDS Staffing (Unit...
…field and consistent professional recruiting achievement. Job Description: Title: Apple Desktop AnalystPosition Type: Full-time PermanentLocation: White Plains, NYHot Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.