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

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Soft Drummer (Music)
Soft Drummer 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $14.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Soft Drummer is the closest thing to a pro session subtle drummer in your pocket. Easy to use and fast, it's much more than a... | Read more »
Is GO Gear the Pokemon GO map app you...
Now that we've settled into something of a Pokemon GO status quo, the number one desire of most players can best be summed out by modifying a quote from Rod Tidwell of Jerry Maguire: "Show me the Pokemon!" [Read more] | Read more »
Rodeo Stampede update: Mountains, new an...
The Savannah and Jungle were just the beginning in Rodeo Stampede. Get ready to head for the Mountains. I think I heard that in a beer ad once. [Read more] | Read more »
COSMOS RINGS (Games)
COSMOS RINGS 1.0.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $5.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: This game cannot be played without the Apple Watch.Released anniversary sale until August 31,2016 PST! A tragic tale of time's... | Read more »
How to get started selling on Mercari
As far as ecommerce has come over the last decade or so, there's still a tremendous opportunity to make it easier for people to buy and sell goods. That's especially true when it comes to shopping apps, which should only continue to increase in... | Read more »
Human Anatomy Atlas 2017 Edition - Compl...
Human Anatomy Atlas 2017 Edition - Complete 3D Human Body 1.0.24 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Medical Price: $24.99, Version: 1.0.24 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Heroes of Normandie (Games)
Heroes of Normandie 1.5 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $14.99, Version: 1.5 (iTunes) Description: The game does not support iPhone 4s and below | Read more »
Why you should never power up Pokemon in...
There's no question that candy is dandy in Pokemon GO. You need big quantities of it to evolve your Pokemon, and when combined with stardust, it can be used to power up your favorite pocket monsters as well, making them more formidable for the gym... | Read more »
Webzen launches 3D MMORPG MU Origin on i...
Mu Origin is featured time and time again at the very top of App Stores in China, and within the top five worldwide top-grossing charts on Google Play.Its popularity in Korea and China, featuring more than 120 registered players in China and 6... | Read more »
Severed (Games)
Severed 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $5.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: LAUNCH DISCOUNT ON NOW!! ENDS AUGUST 4! ==== Take control of a one-armed warrior named Sasha, wielding a living sword on her journey... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Second-Quarter Tablet Shipments Fell 4.8% –...
The latest report from the global market research firm TrendForce finds that worldwide tablet shipments for this second quarter totaled 33.54 million units, representing a quarterly drop of 4.8% and... Read more
Global Smartphone Sales Volumes Mark Second S...
According to preliminary results from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped a total of 343.3 million smartphones worldwide in the second... Read more
Apple TVs on sale for $20-$40 off MSRP
Best Buy has 32GB and 64GB Apple TVs on sale for $20-$40 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-store... Read more
Mac minis on sale for $50-$100 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac minis on sale for $50 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $449 $50 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac mini: $649 $50 off MSRP - 2.8GHz Mac mini: $949... Read more
Clearance 2015 13-inch MacBook Airs available...
B&H Photo has clearance 2015 13″ MacBook Airs available for $300 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air (MJVE2LL/A): $799... Read more
Apple certified refurbished iPad mini 4s avai...
Apple has certified refurbished iPad mini 4s now available for up to $120 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each iPad, and shipping is free. The following models... Read more
Notebook Makers In No Rush To Adopt USB-C – R...
Digitimes’ Cage Chao and Joseph Tsai note that while the USB Type-C interface is enjoying growing popularity among smartphones and tablet makers, notebook and all-in-one (AIO) PC vendors (other than... Read more
iMacs on sale for up to $250 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for up to $250 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2049 $250 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $... Read more
12-inch 1.1GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for up...
Amazon has 2016 12″ 1.1GHz/256GB Retina MacBooks on sale for up to $100 off MSRP including free shipping: - 12″ 1.1GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook: $1199 $100 off MSRP - 12″ 1.1GHz Silver Retina... Read more
Bare Bones Software Releases Free TextWrangle...
Bare Bones Software has announced the release and immediate availability of TextWrangler 5.5, a significant update to its powerful, free, general purpose text editor for Mac OS X. TextWrangler is a... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant - APPLE (United...
Job Summary As an Apple Solutions Consultant, you'll be the link between our future customers and our products. You'll showcase your entrepreneurial spirit as you Read more
Lead *Apple* Solutions Consultant - APPLE (...
Job Summary The Lead ASC is an Apple employee who serves as the Apple business manager and influencer across a number of Reseller locations. The Lead ASC's role Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions, Charles...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions, Willow...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, 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
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.