Volumes of interesting information are delivered to the public, by the public, daily through the medium of the podcast. This downloadable audio format has endless possibilities including the ability to share new products, information, instructions, tutorials, and just about anything else audio in nature, and make it available on the web and through mobile media players. One of the best things about this format is you can create a podcast with minimal financial investment on your part, that people can listen to for free.
Just like blogging or sharing videos on YouTube, setting up your own podcast can be relatively simple. Whereas the blogging space and YouTube are becoming crowded and noisy, podcasting is still pretty open for exploration. With podcasting, a big benefit for business owners is the ability to provide prerecorded, value added information to their listeners and subscribers that can be accessed and enjoyed anywhere, anytime. It’s no secret that busy on-the-go customers are opting for audio learning that can be digested as they exercise, drive and commute. Anyone who has a smart phone, an iPod or some other type of media player, has instant access to the growing library of podcasts available. If your business has been looking for new and innovative ways to get your message across to info-hungry buyers, podcasting may be just the ticket.If your business is looking for a new way to get your message out, podcasting may be just the ticket.Click To Tweet
Decide on a topic – What valuable information, classes, tips or strategies does your business have to share? The most popular topics are ones that are timely and interesting for listeners and address real-life business or personal issues. Just like content writing, you need to choose the information that not only educates your listener, but keeps them listening and coming back for more. To gain insights and tips from other veteran podcasters, spend some time listening to other podcasts in the field you are considering and make note of tactics that work.
Get your equipment – If you expect to keep your audience engaged and coming back for more, not only you will need great content, you will need good recording equipment. If the content is good but the audio quality is poor … well, don’t expect a huge following. If you are even somewhat serious about podcasting, make an investment in decent equipment. Critical equipment needed includes either a USB or analog microphone. Keep in mind that, if you choose an analog microphone, you will also need a mixer. It’s also advised to add a full headset to your equipment “must have” list. If you plan to record your podcasts in your home office, you may also want to make sure your listeners aren’t getting distracted by ambient noises such as traffic or the fridge running in the background. The solution to this would be to invest in a headset with a noise-canceling mic; but new podcasters don’t need to spend a ton of money to get a headset that works well.
Choose your software – Some software comes free with your computer, for example Garageband is a part of the Mac’s iLife suite. Sound Recorder is available for Windows users and if you have a PC, Audacity is free for download or you can go with a monthly subscription to Adobe Audition.
Get ready to record!
You are now set to record your podcast. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Run a few samples before you actually record your podcast, just to make sure you are getting the quality you desire.
- Speak clearly and use inflections in your tone; because honestly, no one wants to listen to a monotone speaker. Keep your “ums” and “ahs” to a minimum and focus on speaking at a casual pace. Talking too fast, stumbling over your words and using excessive “ums” are not only distracting, but may give your listeners the impression you are unfamiliar with your subject.
- Write a script or an outline. Keeping in mind that if you do write a script, you need to make sure the finished product doesn’t sound like you’re reading it word-for-word. Practice your script until the words flow well and you are able to speak well without needing your written guide.
- Adding music to the intro and ending of your podcast adds a professional touch and is enjoyable for the listener as well.
Save the completed recording in a WAV file format as a master backup, and save a copy in MP3 format for distribution. Remember to avoid special characters in the file name, e.g. ?, /, # etc.. Label your podcast with pertinent information that always includes the date and episode.
You will need an RSS podcast feed that meets industry standards. For beginners, the easiest thing to do is to include it on your blog. Be aware of any bandwidth limits. If you go over your allotment of free bandwidth, you may end up having to pay extra charges. OurMedia.org, Libsyn, SoundCloud and other podcast hosting providers can help you get the feed set up.
Sign up on Feedburner (or you can choose another RSS feed service you like), then enter your blog’s URL and check the “I am a podcaster” box. You’ll receive a feed address. This will allow people to download your podcasts. Once you have the feed address, display it on your blog or website. Graphics for this are available on Feedburner as well.
You can add your new podcast address to a variety of podcast directories. This will help people interested in your topic find you. Keep them coming back for more by providing new content on a regular basis.
If you’ve thought about podcasting but have been reluctant to try it, contact us for a complimentary 20 minute consult to see how our podcasting expert can help you get started!