How to Make a Podcast: A Step-by-Step Guide
Adding a podcast to your blog can have many benefits—it’s a more personal element since people are able to hear you speak, and it can also help you grab an audience that would prefer to listen instead of read. There are many reasons to start a podcast, but putting it together can seem more laborious than it really is. Read through this podcast guide and you’ll be on your way to having a one of your own in no time!
1. Make sure you have the proper equipment
Making a podcast doesn’t require a ton of equipment: Try a computer with a microphone and some sort of recording program (even Windows Movie Maker has a narration function). If you think about it, there’s even the chance to use a phone that has a recording device to do interviews and then transfer the audio later on. Being creative with what you have while traveling can help you continue to produce fun and interesting podcasts when you would otherwise think it’s impossible.
2. Download a free audio editing program
I chose to download Audacity (free and open-source), and am quite pleased with the decision. This program is fairly easy to use and offers the user the ability to insert numerous audio tracks, add effects, and export the audio into a podcast friendly format.
3. Record and collect your audio clips
There are a number of ways to collect your audio—sitting at the computer with a microphone, using your cell phone recording device, or even installing a program that records your Skype calls (great for interviews).
For the mini-podcast example I have at the bottom of this post, I had a few people send me clips via email, and the rest was done with Audacity and a microphone. For recording Skype calls, simply go into your Skype Tools menu and then “Get Extras.” Searching for “recording” will bring you the results of some simple programs to work with.
4. Choose music for your podcast
You can’t just go out and put your favorite song in the background of your podcast since it would be a violation of certain usage laws. Your best bet is to search for music that has already been approved for podcast use, such as through the Free Music Archives. You’ll have to attribute the work, but more often than not, it’s free.
5. Assemble the podcast in Audacity
Now is the time to put it all together in Audacity. You can import all of your clips into separate tracks, add effects, and smooth it all out until you’ve reached a final product that listens well. If you get creative, you can insert ads or commercials—even throw in some sound effects.
6. Export the audio as an MP3
Once finished, export the audio file as an .mp3 since it’s the most popular audio type for podcasts
7. Upload your file to your podcast hosting site
Where you decide to host your podcast depends on your frequency, size, and popularity of the files. Hosting on your own website is nice unless it starts to take up too much bandwidth. In that case, you can try using a free podcast hosting site like PodBean.com.
8. Link the podcast and create a feed
If you’re blogging already, then next step is easy. Head over to feedburner and syndicate your podcast. After you create the feed and follow this guide, then anytime you link to an audio or video file in your posts, a special RSS enclosure will be included that is picked up and recognized by several services.
9. Syndicate your podcast with iTunes
Finding listeners for your new podcast is much easier if you get it listed on iTunes along with thousands of others. There is a process to submit your podcast to iTunes, and you can find that and everything you need to know on the iTunes podcast page. When you’ve got your podcast and feed fine-tuned, you can head over to the submit page.
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