A podcast guide: getting heard on line

by Lisa Brigham

Podcasting is the coolest way of making yourself heard on line. The anonymity of not having your face present as you would a ‘vlog’ (video blog) and the multitude of places you can host your podcasts on line nowadays for free is endless. Here is your podcasting guide and getting heard on line.

There are a few steps to creating a popular podcast series on-line and it’s not actually as hard as it may seem. If you want to go from only having your say in text on Facebook then why not have your friends downloading your podcast off iTunes by next week? Here’s how…

  1. Get in touch with your medium:

Podcasts for clarification, are defined as follows:

“A podcast (or non-streamed webcast) is a series of digital media files (either audio or video) that are released episodically and often downloaded through web syndication.” Wikipedia

A podcast will need to be recorded digitally, edited on a software program like Adobe Sound booth or other sound editor and exported as a sound file such as .mp3 or .wav version. There are even apps that you can download to make podcasts from your smart phone.

The podcast will then be hosted on a site or multitude of sites where it can be shared, socially shared, or embedded into other people’s content like blogs and downloaded for people to listen to when it suits them.

Your listeners will keep coming back if you do this properly and eventually you will have people subscribing to your podcast channel and demanding more.

  1. Coming up with a good idea:

Before you rush into a rant about your worst dressed celebrity or how much you hate a politician, you have to ask yourself if this would fit into a greater theme.

Hold onto your smaller topics and develop a larger umbrella topic that would allow you to cover a range of topics over a podcast series.

For example you could consider theming your series as a ‘tech savvy’ set of podcast episodes. Therefore you will talk mostly about ‘tech savvy’ topics. Anything from new releases in the tech world to deaths of well known innovators or simply even reporting on tech events.

You can go wide with a general but niche specific theme like this so don’t be worried about it holding you back. Come up with half a dozen or so topics that you could talk about under that idea so that you can discuss one of them for each episode.

Once you get used to the process you can talk about topics more currently, so if something happens today you can talk about it tomorrow. But for now try getting everything on paper for your first podcast series.

  1. Name it:

After you’ve come up with your idea you’ll have to title your series which should be easy with your theme defined.

Make sure that it is short, snappy and if possible use at least one word that would easily be searched for if someone were to look up one of your topics.

Including category style words like ‘tech’ or ‘fashion’ will help make your series more search friendly.

Come up with a standard set of keyword tags to go along with your series which you will use every time you upload a podcast episode and add to it depending on your topic.

  1. Style it:

Now that you have a theme and a name, you can go ahead and search for some creative commons music to create a ‘sting’. A sting can be defined as:

A short piece of appropriate music, overlaid with a tag line that you can record yourself, that introduces or reminds the listener of what they are listening to.

Decide how you or your host or speaker will come across. Guests will all have their own way of going about a topic but a host should be consistent so staying as natural as possible is best.

Coming up with a tone though is important so remember to be funny if your podcast is light hearted or good natured if you have that type of podcast planned.

An erratic host can mess up the consistency of your series so if they stay the same then your audience is more likely to return.

Work out a format for your podcast episodes in addition to this by producing a document that will guide your speakers on when to talk and a rough estimate of how long they talk for so when it comes to editing, the conversation is as natural as possible.

Listen to this Calm Your Beans podcast below to see how these producers have not only made a sting but also a type of end sting which is a piece of music from the same track used at the end to tie it all together. They have also got a type of format that allows the host to break up the guest speaker and for him to touch on important or conclusion points.

  1. Get creating:

Get your speakers or just you, whoever you intend to be in your podcast, into a recording session (even if its just a quiet room with some smart phones or a digital recorder) and record your first podcast.

Once you have done this get out your editing software and get it down to a time that you can stick to for the rest of your episodes.

3 minutes is generally a good time but check with your podcast host site to see what type of restrictions they apply.

  1. Uploading:

Uploading your podcasts will be very important and making the decision of where to host it, for how much and somewhere that will provide good storage options can be quite a dilemma when considered all together.

Watch the video below to see which site could be the podcast host for you.

  1. Managing your feeds:

When it comes to your Feeds Management it is important to note that no matter how good your podcast series is, if it isn’t properly set up for delivery notifications in feeds, your listeners won’t be able to access or be informed of new episodes when they are published.

Using a blog plug in along with a download provider like iTunes can help make the most of your podcast series potential.

Watch this video to see which way would best suit you.

  1. Talk to your audience:

Set up a Facebook fan page for your podcast series and post constantly and engage with your fans on your podcast series.

Ask questions about how they found a previous podcast, create a buzz on an upcoming episode or ask your listeners what they think you should talk about in upcoming podcast episodes.

Pleasing your fan base will not only improve listener loyalty but hopefully get them to share your series with friends.

Tweeting about your podcasts in a similar fashion will extend your social reach and increase your podcast downloads.

With all this in mind you are now schooled in starting your own podcast series. Mark your own unique stamp on your series, disucss trending topics and always be open to suggestions from your listeners to improve your podcast series and you will be a well known podcaster in no time!

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