Starting Your Own Podcast

Have you ever had someone tell you that you have a face for radio? Maybe becoming a radio personality was never your destiny, but almost anyone can build a podcast! With a few simple steps, you can start your own podcast, gain a loyal following, and broadcast your information to people all over the world. Or maybe you’re just like me and enjoy listening to podcasts and thought, ‘hey, I can do that!’ and you can! I’ve had that thought more than once and when I was browsing around a site, I realized that this could be a fun hobby that is super cheap once you get the equipment together. Here’s what I’ve learned so far…

Step One: Planning

The first step in building a podcast is planning. What is your topic? Pick a title, write a brief (under 400 words) description, and plan out your first few episodes. Plan the regular format for your podcast. Usually, it’s easier if you can do interviews on a podcast – the time goes much faster and it’s easier to fill the time. When you’re just starting out, you may not have a guest, so practice and rehearse your speech for time.

Podcasts are normally fairly conversational in tone, so you want to avoid being too formal with your speech. Decide how frequently you plan to podcast, and make sure to stick to that schedule.

Step Two: Recording

Recording a podcast can be easy or complicated, but there are a few tools you’ll need to get started with:

  • A good microphone
  • Audacity (a free program)
  • Call Recorder for Skype (if you’re doing interviews)

With these simple tools, you can begin recording your first podcast! Audacity is an audio editing program that allows you to edit and reformat your podcast, so you’ll want to save your podcast in mp3 format.

Step Three: Tag Your File

On the Properties section of your new podcast file, you need to add some information so that the podcast services know what it’s about. As a minimum, you’ll need to write the podcast title, your name, the episode number, and the artwork. This ensures that when your podcast is properly uploaded, the podcasting services like iTunes and Stitcher can provide those additional details when someone looks at or downloads your podcast.

Step Four: Upload Your Podcast

Podcast experts recommend that you host your podcast on a server outside of your own website’s server. The reason is that podcasts can take up a lot of bandwidth and space, and they can sometimes cause your primary website to run slowly. Libsyn is a fantastic media hosting service that offers a flat fee for media hosting with plans starting as low as $5.

Step Five: Syndication

Once your podcast is on the server, it’s accessible by anyone who’s looking for it. But syndicating it to a podcast feed like iTunes or Stitcher allows people with those services to play it quickly, conveniently, and easily. If you’re using Libsyn, the site has tutorials in their knowledge base to help you easily syndicate your podcast feed to iTunes. Additional step-by-step instructions can be found through iTunes or Stitcher. The server and podcast app can change the exact steps, so check the tutorials for the latest info.

Podcasting can be a great way to build an audience and to build credibility. While expert podcasters may spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to build their podcast, you can start podcasting today with a very low initial investment and then upgrade later, when your audience is large enough to support your expenses.

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