Following my Content Strategy post last week, I was asked by a contact on Ecademy if I could help explain how to go about making a Podcast. So Peter, here are some thoughts on Podcasting, making Videos for YouTube and Screencasting.
What I will endeavour to do here is to help you with suggestions for hardware and software, identifying where ever possible the free options. I will also share with you some of the best sites that I have found which have much more detailed instructions on what to do. This will helpfully enable you to learn from some of the real experts (of which I am not one) in these fields and get started quickly. Hopefully once you understand some of the techniques and terminology you can then develop your own publishing journey. Please come back and share what you find.
I have NOT included any affiliate links in this post nor are there financial arrangements in place with any of the sites or people I mention in this article. This is not a monetisation scam.
Deciding on Content
The first step – and the one I cannot help you with – is deciding on the content you want to share. My recommendation is to have a clear objective, if you are producing this for a specific purpose. If this is a means of extending your Blog content, I would only say be passionate, informative and helpful
Clearly you need a computer – either an Apple Mac or a Microsoft PC. I will endeavour to make sure to cover both schools as we go through. It is certainly helpful if your computer has a built in camera although this is not essential. It should be reasonable modern as video in particular is a large file format and older machines may not run very quickly when editing or converting file formats.
For a microphone – you can use your mobile phone. However if you are keen to get a reasonable quality level, I would recommend finding a microphone (perhaps integrated with a headset if you are only doing audio) which has a USB connection rather than a phone jack connection.
Have a look at your App store for Apps which enable you to turn your smart phone into a voice recorder. There are several of them – simply search for voice recorder. A word of advice, you should aim to be creating MP3 files and you should check that your recorder can do this or you can convert the file to MP3 once you have recorded the file. To do this you will need to find an MP3 Encoder if your software does not allow you to do this from within it.
If you are interested in learning about some really high end equipment, visit the Podcast Answer Man Podcast Equipment page but this is really not for beginners.
In order to put together a good quality podcast you will need some software to either take your video recording for further enhancements or to do the recording in the first place. On the Mac this is Garage Band which comes freely pre-installed on your Mac. You can also purchase an App for the iPad.
To find out how to use Garage Band tale a look at this video from YouTube – http://youtu.be/GqAwTcH_EAE
If you are working with a PC download the free Audacity software from http://audacity.sourceforge.net/. It also works on GNU/Linux.
This is a brief introductory video on YouTube which shows you how to use Audacity in just over 3 minutes. – http://youtu.be/IqJw94YozTU. You will need to download the Lame MP3 converter from http://lame.sourceforge.net/ to convert your files to MP3 format after recording.
In order to distribute your podcast you will need to find somewhere to put it on the net. This involves hosting and then distribution via an RSS feed to get the podcast up on iTunes. The Podcast Answerman videos (see below) explain how this can be done.
Tips and Tricks
A few thoughts on production. I must stress that I am still learning about this. I have recorded an opening sequence and a closing sequence so that each edition of my podcast has a similar structure and feel to it. I also try to break up long pieces of spoken words every couple of minutes with a little 10 second jingle. This gives more structure and a chapter like feel to the podcast. You can if you wish have a back ground music track running but just make sure that you are complying with all the copyright laws or get permission of the owner of the track to use it. Also try googling for “royalty free” or “creative commons” licenced music. Check out the new Vimeo music store (thank you to Amber and Sarah at TWIT’s Social Hour Podcast for this tip)
If you want to make the recording and publishing process very simple and fast let me recommend a free service that I use. Go to ipadio.com and register an account. Using iPadio you can upload an existing file or record one directly there. To make life even simpler, download the free ipadio App from the itunes (only iPhone at the moment I believe) and you can record on your phone and at the press of a button upload this recording to the iPadio site.
iPadio also sorts out all the RSS syndication and enables you to distribute your recording to a number of social media platforms including iTunes. When I set up my podcast “A Conversation with the Six Minute Strategist” this is how I did it.
Another free posting and hosting service is Podbean – while I have not used this service I have heard of others who have. Check it out, again its free at www.podbean.com
If you have a wordpress blog, check out the Podpress plugin. The podPress plugin gives you everything you need in one easy plugin to use WordPress for Podcasting. You can find out more at http://www.manvswebapp.com/podpress
Once you have published your podcast you need to promote it:
- Put links on your email signature blocks
- Put a link on your site
- Make a video about it – put this up in YouTube and on your blog or website landing page
- Get some business cards made up promoting it
- Find other Podcast Directories to list it
- Ask your listeners to review it in iTunes (or the other directories and tell their friends)
How To Guides
Podcast Answer Man has a free eight part video course on his site which takes you through the process of creating a podcast and getting it out there.
The videos can also be found here on YouTube
Part 1 – An Overview of Podcasting – http://youtu.be/-qD9AsooUcU: I have embedded this one below to get you started.
Part 2 – Tagging your MP3 Files – http://youtu.be/YRWMGc4Ixm0
Part 3 – Equipment Options – http://youtu.be/2f_QHNRsnXw
Part 4 – Website & Media Hosting – http://youtu.be/hVxAxc17GaA
Part 5 – Proper RSS Feed Setup – http://youtu.be/J8BsR5995QU
Part 6 – A Proven Podcasting Workflow – http://youtu.be/1k_0mPb6efI
Part 7 – Your Journey Starts today – http://youtu.be/dESvCO2YcV4
Part 8 – Q&A Session – http://youtu.be/YETRin7u5jA
Jason van Orden has a free step by step tutorial on how to podcast which can be found here. – http://www.how-to-podcast-tutorial.com/00-podcast-tutorial-four-ps.htm. Jason has lots of recommendations and links which you should check out for more detail.
You can find more comment and helpful advice from the PodcastGuy at www.thepodcastguy.com. I would also suggest checking out his podcast on itunes for more helpful content and advice. You can find a link on his site here: http://www.thepodcastguy.com/category/show/
As a final tip, go and do your own search on YouTube and on iTunes for videos and podcasts about podcasting, find some you like and watch and listen to the content. In particular if there is a specific problem which is causing you difficulty search for it specifically on YouTube as someone has almost certainly made a video about how to solve it.
In next week’s Part 2 I will cover making videos and screen casting.
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