For the last few months now the blogosphere has been hot with the word “podcast”. As podcasting is not as ubiquitous as video, small businesses can utilize this medium more effectively as there is less competition.
If you want to start a podcast you could do no worse that to go to the podcasting expert, Pat Flynn at SmartPassiveIncome.com. Here’s Pat’s Complete Step-By-Step Podcasting Tutorial. It contains 6 videos containing over an hours’ worth of viewing.
However, I thought I’d do my own podcasting set-up guide and try to include only the most essential points for beginners. Another reason why I created the above video was that I have started a second podcast at GenuineHypnosis.com. So I show the whole podcast publishing process from beginning to end.
What you need to start a podcast
I could go on for hours and hours about equipment, passion, speaking talent (of which I have none), etc. But, basically, I think you need three things in order to start a podcast:
- An idea. Just like when you start a blog or a new website, you need to have a reason for doing it. Ask yourself, how can I help the podcast’s audience? The Design and Marketing Podcast seeks to help designers with business and businesses with design and the Genuine Hypnosis Happiness Podcast seeks to make the audience happy.
- Audio. Ah, yes, in order to start a podcast you’re going to need some audio! Here’s some words on podcasting equipment. Personally, my favorite tools are Call Recorder for Skype, Audacity, GarageBand (Mac only, I’m afraid), Levelator, Blue Snowflake USB Microphone and, er, that’s it!
- A brand. Your podcast is a brand just like your site is a brand and you are a brand. It needs a title and a logo. The logo has to be square and you need to save two versions. One 300 x 300 pixels; the other 1400 x 1400 pixels in size.
Above you can see the two square icons/logos for my two podcasts. There’s a real art to designing icons that work at both very big and very small sizes. I chose the easy way out and kept them simple.
How to experience podcasts and iTunes
Most people’s experience of podcasts comes from iTunes. They go along to the iTunes store and search for the type of podcasts that they will enjoy. They can then download a particular podcast episode MP3 and listen to it on their phone or MP3 player with headphones or earbuds.
Personally, I’m usually listening to podcasts during any sort of “downtime” I have. So, that’s when I’m going to the gym, driving the car or using public transport. It’s a great way to educate yourself while you’re doing something else.
And, because so many people do this, it certainly pays to get noticed on iTunes. So, make sure you set up your podcast feed and tag your MP3s correctly as I explain in the video.
But, also as Chris Ducker explains, the 8 weeks period after you are accepted onto iTunes is crucial. You are more likely to be amongst the first podcasts people see in iTunes once they have selected a particular category in the “New and Noteworthy” area.
So, once you start podcasting, it’s essential you get into your rhythm quickly and keep on publishing new episodes regularly. Just like blogging, really.
You can do it!
Spend 30-40 minutes chatting with a really interesting person and share it with people. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Podcasting really is as easy as that – although it does take time. It’s another way of putting great content out there and, what’s more, you’ll learn from it.
Are you thinking of doing a podcast? Let me know. Also, tell me what you think of my podcasting video tutorial.