Sounds difficult, doesn’t it? You need equipment and time and technical skill … it’s just not worth it. And who listens to podcasts, anyway?
Of course, we can rationalize away anything that’s new and scary. Podcasting — contrary to popular belief — is an immensely powerful form of social communication. After all, how much credibility can you establish when people are eager to hear your voice? How much more trust and goodwill can you engender from the spoken word compared to the written word?
Podcasting is worth it. Here’s how to do it right:
How to Podcast
- Buy a high-quality microphone. A cheap $15 USB microphone may work if there is a single podcaster, but it’s better to invest $40 in a real cardioid mic from Radio Shack.
- If there are multiple podcasters (or guests), buy a mixer. You can get a simple mixer for less than $50. These devices allow multiple inputs and a single output. You could try sharing a single microphone, but this practice introduces scratches and audio distortions that will drive listeners away. It’s best to have one mic for each participant, and to use a mixer to manage the various mic inputs.
- If you are going to have phone guests, get a plug that will connect your phone’s audio-out jack to the audio-in jack on your mixer.
- Get a decent audio-editing program. Audacity is a free and open-source solution for Windows, Mac and Linux.
- Plug your microphones into the mixer, plug the mixer into the audio-in jack on your computer, and fire up Audacity.
- When you finish your recording, Audacity will export to MP3.
- Post your MP3 file to your Web site.
- Subscribe to Feedburner, and consider letting Feedburner run your site’s entire RSS package. It will allow you to publish podcasts seamlessly, and you can check out who has subscribed to you (at least in terms of numbers).
- Sign up with iTunes and post your Feedburner feed into it to get your podcast added to the iTunes library.
Tips for Success
- Don’t turn the podcast into a commercial — focus on providing educational or entertainment value, with understated references to your company.
- Be upbeat and positive — people can hear insincerity.
- Plan in advance.
- Listen to your podcasts to find those annoying habits, like “um” and frequent verbal tics, that you must work on.
- Publish regularly.
- Remember that this is an opportunity to get your voice into a potential client’s ear. This is your chance to establish yourself as someone your client knows, likes and trusts, so go the extra mile to put out a quality product that provides value.
- Keep it short — 15 to 30 minutes is ideal.
There. It’s a start. Good luck, and happy podcasting!