Blogging in an audio format is probably what best describes the art of podcasting. In many ways it’s like subscription based TV, an a la carte menu of channels if you will. Listeners are able to subscribe to any podcast channel of their liking and consume it any way they see fit.
Podcasts have their benefits when you as a small business are trying to reach a wider range of people. With mp3 technologies swiftly sweeping the compact disc under the rug, there really isn’t a better time than now to embrace podcasting.
Millions of people have mp3 players, iPods, smartphones and any other peripheral that can play audio files so they can easily be reached. Podcasts just like music can be listened to anywhere at the listener’s convenience be it in the car, in the park or even in the shower.
Sometimes reading blog posts or any kind of content can be difficult for people for whatever reason. By creating podcasts, you give your potential customers more options to consume your content. Options that they may find preferable and convenient.
It really is no surprise that people are adding podcasts to their blogs and websites. As technology improves, our phones will only get smarter so podcasting your content will help you keep up with the trend. So if you truly want to reach a wider and more diverse demographic, then podcasts is really the way to go. So let’s get you started.
Now when it comes to content writing and producing, “content is king.” What this means is that if you want to generate a large group of followers and subscribers, you have to produce good stuff. Listening to a straight forward monotonous voice can put people off very quickly.
Much like with blogging, you have to put the listener first when you craft your podcast. This includes your listener bases’ interests as well as their listening habits. The thing about podcasting is that there is little margin for error. The moment the listener starts losing interest he can instantly change to the next track and you’re gone.
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In this regard, it is imperative that you mix it up a little bit. You want to provide useful information as well as a little entertainment. In essence, you should aim to provide value to your listeners. This will ensure that they will continue to listen to your podcasts.
So when you make podcasts these are the few things you want to focus on:
Providing valuable information
This can come in the form of information, motivation, entertainment, edutainment and anything else that gives value to your listeners.
Now when it is possible, try and have podcasts teams of two or three people. Listening to a small group of people have a conversation keeps the listener engaged and it banishes the danger of the monotonous voice that can happen to solo podcasts.
Much like with your websites, you need calls to action on your podcasts. Encourage your subscribers to subscribe and sign up for the various other things you have to offer. Advertise the other services that you also provide. You want the same people who listen to your podcasts to convert.
That being said, you should provide links to your podcast in your blog and various other places. Through social media, up on iTunes and any other distribution services. iTunes is well past a billion podcast subscribers
Setting Up Your Studio
Now that you know the do’s and don’ts let’s set your podcast studio up.
You really need only two things.
- A microphone
- and audio processing software
Selecting the Right Microphone
When it comes to selecting the right microphone not just anyone would do the trick. You may be tempted to use your computer’s microphone. This could work particularly if you can’t afford professional microphones. Unfortunately, computer microphones are not studio quality so that would be instantly noticeable to your listeners. Excess noise in the background and other things can interfere with your podcast.
What is important though is that you try and record your podcasts in a silent environment. Top notch microphones come with noise cancellation features but you should always strive to record in a silent place to ensure your listener’s get the best possible audio experience.
Selecting the Right Audio Processing Software
Once you’ve recorded your podcast, you need audio processing software to edit and insert various other materials into your podcasts. There are a lot of good paid software but if those prices put you off, don’t fret. Audacity is a free audio processing software that comes with every feature you will need to make a good podcast.
Audacity provides you with a blank canvas for your podcasts, you can fast forward, rewind, split, insert, cut and even allows you to open multiple recordings at once.
The only downside to using audacity is its inability to convert your recorded files into mp3 format. Luckily there is a fix for that.
Publishing and Sharing Your Podcast
The only thing left now is publishing your podcast. What you will need to do is create a podcast category in your website or blog where you would be able to store your podcasts and keep archives. Creating a podcast category has its benefits because iTunes will be able to locate your podcast if it has an RSS feed for subscribers.
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Now before you upload your podcast to the podcast category of your website or blog, always ensure that it is in mp3 format. When that is taken care of, you can then add links for your subscribers to download them.
As an added incentive for your listeners, you should also include an audio player plugin in the podcast category so that people will be able to listen to your podcast right off the blog or website.
Now that your podcast is on the website you have to spread it across various distribution services like iTunes and Feedburner. A lot of your podcast traffic will come from distribution services like these. Spread the word across social media and keep your subscribers informed.
These expert guides will tell you more about publishing your podcasts
Podcasting is something that all individuals with small business all the way to giant corporations should embrace. It provides a new form of accessibility to people who just can’t wrap themselves around written content and those who just don’t have the time to watch videos.
As a medium, the podcast will only get more and more popular so embrace the trend. If you have any questions about the podcasting process or have any further tips or advice please let me know in the comments below.
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