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Podcasting tutorial

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Podcasting can be a great way to build a group around a shared interest or your content and build a social network. They are good SEO tools as they generate inbound traffic. Because of the natural graduations of podcasting people are always on the lookout for new podcasts to consume.

These are some important summary tips if you want to build a podcast.

Podcast type & content

  • Set a time / day commitment and stick to it, so your release times are regular (e.g. Friday 3pm), make sure you stick at it for at least 12 months, it takes that long to build a following …
  • Choose something you are REALLY into – it you want to do a regular show about something for ages you need to love it enough to not get sick of it.
  • Generally if you are just starting – go audio first. The technical/recording & editing over head is a lot less – it’s generally faster.
  • You would at least want to aim to do one episode/month to keep people engaged. Consider doing a shorter episode more regularly. People want short content that is to the point, it is easier to reference and consume.
    • Push sundry information & links into the show notes then people can investigate it further. If listeners/watchers are interested, you can do successive follow-up shows with more detail.
    • It will dramatically reduce your your production cycle time, and help you feel like you are progressing.

Distribution & Promition

  • Registering with iTunes is a must – they have the largest directory and will give you access to the iDoobie traffic.
  • Make sure you also publish an RSS feed. This makes your podcast available to non-iTunes devices and apps (e.g. MyPOD) and it is the podcasting standard.
  • It is always good to register on other directories. The state of the podcast directory ecosystem leaves a bit to be desired unfortunately:
    • A lot start off with good data but over time the podcasts come and go and most directories have not cleansed, making searching for current podcasts a an issue.
    • RSS URLs are generally a bit hard for novice users to configure. New services like pod.to use short linking to try to help this.
  • You can use feedburner to cache and track your RSS to get Analytics.
  • Doing a live show with users in a chat room or twitter can be great for engagement. People like a show they can contribute too and get mentioned on. Though most podcasters say their numbers are from on demand downloads.

Podcast quailty – audio

  • For an audio podcast, the digital recorders are a good bet for decent audio quailty. There are a few recorders – the Edirol R09-HD is a good one. They give great audio quality with little effort.
    • Just trying to directly record into a computers microphone slot will generally give poor audio quality. These computer mics are made for voice chat, not broadcasting.
  • Generally try to minimise background noise … it’s distracting:
    • Use a directional microphone type, rather than wide angle .. look at the microphone pattern.
      • Microphones with a shotgun pattern are the most directional, you will likely need one mic per voice.
      • Microphones with a Cardioid pattern are good for groups, as they are only sensitive to sounds at the front and to each side.
    • Close windows and doors and cover up holes & crack & vents in your recording room. The less air can move, the less noise.
    • If you are out doors then use a wind buffer (a foam or hair cap that fits over the mic).
  • On Linux (and Windows), Audacity is a free and easy audio-editing program. You can get good results with it.
  • On Mac there at the usual Mac options (GarageBand?).

Resources

  • In Depth Look (Video) – Goes into options for different podcast types.
  • How Stuff works – Has sections on:
    • Introduction to How to Podcast
    • The Podcasting Business
    • Podcasting Equipment
    • Putting the Cast in Podcast
    • Lots More Information
    • See all Internet Basics articles
  • Heidi Miller (A podcaster) – There is quite a lot of research links organised here.


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