Podcasts are a great way for blogs and web sites to increase awareness of their content. By providing a podcast in addition to written content, bloggers and webmasters can additionally target those who prefer audible content. Podcast listeners represent a huge demographic; many people commute daily to work while playing podcasts in their car. Some prefer podcasts as a workout accompaniment instead of music.
Launching a podcast is not overly difficult if you already have a following on your blog or web site. With some equipment and tools, you can start a podcast in no time. Start with the step-by-step instructions below:
1. Purchase a Microphone
Your computer’s built-in microphone is not ideal if you wish to launch a successful podcast. Podcast listeners will be playing your podcasts through stereo speakers or headphones, so audio miscues like pops and distortion would be big turn-offs. In order to prevent this, it’s wise to purchase a high-quality USB microphone.
Good USB microphones will cost you anywhere from $100 to $300, though it’s fine staying on the cheaper end of the scale. A Blue Yeti USB Microphone is below $100 on Amazon and is capable of producing the high-quality sound every good podcast needs. Once you get the microphone, simply plug it into your USB port and use free recording software like Audacity to begin recording your content.
2. Prepare a Host and Feed
After recording your content and exporting it to MP3 or WAV, you need a place to host your podcast audio. You can use the host you’re already using for your web site, but for better analytics and accessibility it is better to use a different host. Some audio-friendly options include SoundCloud and Amazon’s S3 service, both of which are only a few dollars per month.
You should also set up a feed, so people can subscribe and receive updates based on your podcast. Feedburner is great for that; just create a new feed and name it after your podcast. Share your feed’s link with interested subscribers.
3. Integrate Analytics
Using a host like SoundCloud is recommended because it provides built-in analytics, where you can see data like number of daily listeners, geographic trends, referral sources and other listener data. If you use the WordPress plugin Powerpress to publish your podcasts on your blog posts, then a tool like Blubrry Podcast Statistics can track its analytics. Still, SoundCloud is recommended for its built-in analytics features and ease-of-use.
4. Consider Additional Promotion Sources
You can easily embed your SoundCloud podcast into your site using the provided code, but there are other sources – like iTunes and YouTube – that have the potential to offer additional exposure for your podcast.
With iTunes, you – or a hired graphic designer – should create a well-designed image to represent your podcast. For example, if your podcast is about great wedding venues, use a logo that incorporates a scenic church or loving couple. This will increase the potential of it standing out to those interested in the topic browsing on iTunes.
In addition, you’ll need a podcast name, description and summary. Once you have all these, open iTunes, go to the iTunes store, click on ‘Podcasts’ and then click on ‘Submit a Podcast.’ Here, you can submit your podcast’s Feedburner feed from step two. Be sure to use only your sounds to avoid copyright issues. If you need special effects, use a free source like Audio Jungle.
5. Stay Committed
Once you launch your podcast, maintain a consistent focus while providing engaging content. If you do so, your podcast’s listeners will continue to increase. Integrate your blog or web site for sustained additional exposure, as well. As your podcast continues to grow, you should remain committed to releasing new podcasts on a consistent basis to accommodate new listeners and regulars alike.
What kind of podcast do you hope to launch? Tell us in the comments section below!
Image by mr brown
Such a well-detailed post, Courtney! Loved it!