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
$100.75
Apple Inc.
+0.64
MSFT
$46.36
Microsoft Corpora
-0.08
GOOG
$577.36
Google Inc.
+1.00

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

QuickBooks 2015 16.0.0.1352 R1 - Financi...
QuickBooks 2015 helps you manage your business easily and efficiently. Organize your finances all in one place, track money going in and out of your business, and spot areas where you can save.... Read more
Mac DVDRipper Pro 5.0.1 - Copy, backup,...
Mac DVDRipper Pro is the DVD backup solution that lets you protect your DVDs from scratches, save your batteries by reading your movies from your hard disk, manage your collection with just a few... Read more
Apple OS X bash Update 1.0 - Fix for sec...
The OS X bash Update fixes a security flaw in the bash UNIX shell on OS X 10.9.5 (also on OS X 10.8 and 10.7 [see Related Links below]). OS X 10.9.5 or later Downloads for OS X 10.8 and OS X 10.7 in... Read more
SyncTwoFolders 2.0.5 - Syncs two user-sp...
SyncTwoFolders simply synchronizes two folders. It supports synchronization across mounted network drives and it is a possibility to run a simulation showing in a log what will be done. Please visit... Read more
FinderPop 2.5.7 - 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
VueScan 9.4.45 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.2.2 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
calibre 2.4 - Complete e-library managem...
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
Default Folder X 4.6.9b1 - Enhances Open...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click... Read more
Beamer 2.0.4 - Stream any movie file fro...
Beamer streams to your Apple TV.... Plays any movie file - Just like the popular desktop movie players, Beamer accepts all common formats, codecs and resolutions. AVI, MKV, MOV, MP4, WMV, FLV. To... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

WW2: Sandbox. Strategy & Tactics (G...
WW2: Sandbox. Strategy & Tactics 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $9.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Sandbox is the unlimited sequel to our Strategy & Tactics: World War II. We've abandoned... | Read more »
apeFilter (Music)
apeFilter 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Shred It! Review
Shred It! Review By Jennifer Allen on September 30th, 2014 Our Rating: :: GORGEOUS BUT BASICUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad It might look lovely, but Shred It! is a pretty shallow endless runner/snowboarding game.   | Read more »
It Came From Canada: Angry Birds: Transf...
Anyone afraid that throwing Transformers into the Angry Birds mix would result in a Michael Bay-level of childhood pillaging can rest easy. While Rovio’s famous fowls may be a 21st century staple, Angry Birds: Transformers wears its affection for... | Read more »
Galaxy Trucker Review
Galaxy Trucker Review By Rob Thomas on September 30th, 2014 Our Rating: :: IN FOR THE LONG HAULiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad We got a great big convoy, rockin’ through the night… the endless night of outer space, that is.... | Read more »
Moon and Sun – children’s book Review
Moon and Sun – children’s book Review By Amy Solomon on September 30th, 2014 Our Rating: Moon and Sun is a fable-like children’s book with lush illustrations.   Developer: Marcio Monteiro Price: $3.99 Version: 1.0 App Reviewed on... | Read more »
Kairosoft Finally Brings The Pyraplex to...
Kairosoft Finally Brings The Pyraplex to iOS Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 30th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Yeti’s Parole Officer Review
Yeti’s Parole Officer Review By Jennifer Allen on September 30th, 2014 Our Rating: Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Yeti’s Parole Officer proves that looks aren’t everything in this entertaining, if plain, piece of... | Read more »
Record Keeper and World Wide Words – Two...
Record Keeper and World Wide Words – Two New Final Fantasy Games Arrive on iOS in Japan Posted by Ellis Spice on September 30th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
iPollute Review
iPollute Review By Nadia Oxford on September 30th, 2014 Our Rating: :: iPOLLUTE, uPOLLUTEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad iPollute is a delightful-looking pollution simulator, though it’s a bit light on “game” content... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus Available in Chi...
Apple has announced that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available in China beginning Friday, October 17 from the Apple Online Store (http://www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores, and an expansive... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP, start...
Best Buy has the new 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free home shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Prices valid for online orders only, in-... Read more
Apple Releases OS X Mavericks bash Update 1.0...
Apple has released a patch update for OS X Mavericks users to address the recently-detected “Shellshock” security bug in BSD UNIX’s bash shell. Apple says only a few Mac users who had manually... Read more
Pivotal Payments Ready for Apple Pay – FlexPo...
Pivotal Payments, a provider of merchant services and global payment processing solutions, has announced its proprietary FlexPoint platform will support credit and debit transactions through Apple’s... Read more
iStabilizer Announces Tabarm — First Friction...
iStabilizer, a specialist in universal lightweight compact tripods, steady cams, dollies, mounts, and remotes for smartphones, tablets, and cameras, announced today the iStabilizer tabArm, the first... Read more
IStabilizer Flex Smartphone Tripod Wins Usa T...
iStabilizer, a specialist in universal lightweight compact tripods, steady cams, and other products for smartphones, tablets, and cameras, has announced today that its iStabilizer Flex smartphone... Read more
13-inch 2.8GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 13″ 2.8GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1699.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. They’ll also include free copies of Parallels Desktop and LoJack for... Read more
15-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They’ll also include free copies of Parallels Desktop... Read more
Get Down to Business On Your iPad With Free N...
Utah based Poem LLC has introduced Nexticy 1.0, a full-featured, affordable (Free) forms application for iPad. Nexticy makes it ‘way easy’ to create, store, retrieve and analyze paper-like forms of... Read more
13-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $100...
Best Buy has 13-inch 2.6GHz Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Prices are for online orders only, in-... Read more

Jobs Board

*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* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Project Manager / Business Analyst, WW *Appl...
…a senior project manager / business analyst to work within our Worldwide Apple Fulfillment Operations and the Business Process Re-engineering team. This role will work Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.