If you have been online long, you have probably heard of podcasts, but have you ever listened to one?
A podcast is an audio file that is somewhat like a radio talk show, only it’s generally pre-recorded, not live.
Of course, some podcasts start out as a live show and are recorded and uploaded as a podcast, but most of the time they are just recorded first.
Most podcasts are recorded by a single individual, but there are also duos and groups that record them, and some people invite guests to do interviews and other types of formats on their show.
Have you ever considered using podcasting to promote your website or business?
If not, is there a reason?
Maybe you thought your voice wasn’t right for podcasting. But as long as people can understand you, it doesn’t really matter what you sound like.
Maybe you thought it wouldn’t be beneficial because you are in a niche that doesn’t get a lot of podcast traffic, but how do you know how much you’ll get if you don’t try?
Maybe you thought it was too difficult or technical to set up a podcast, but the truth is, if you can set up a website or send an email, you can probably podcast without much trouble!
The fact is, podcasting is a lot easier than you probably think. All you need is a way to record and edit audio, and an internet connection.
Seriously, that’s it!
If you have a computer or mobile device and a somewhat reliable connection, you’re all set!
Can Podcasting Help My Business
You might be wondering if it’s even worth trying podcasting, especially if you are in a niche where the average customer or client doesn’t tend to use a lot of technology.
But the fact is, podcasts are popular with a very wide range of people, including both genders, all ages, people from all around the world… just about anyone.
Millions of people listen to podcasts, and if you aren’t doing one, you’re missing out on a huge source of traffic!
If you want to get a general idea of whether podcasting might work for you, take a look at the podcasts currently on iTunes or Google Play.
Search for your niche, or for some of the most popular personalities in your niche, and find out if there are any existing podcasts.
If there aren’t any existing podcasts, that’s okay! All you are doing is seeing if there are any, and if so, how many listeners do they have?
If there are no existing podcasts in your niche, you might try looking for a similar niche. Let’s say your niche is a small segment of the diet market, such as a very specific diet. The weight loss niche is huge, and there are probably plenty of people listening to those podcasts.
If you still can’t find anything, that just means less competition for you!
See? You don’t have to worry too much. What’s the worst that could happen? You spend a small amount of time recording a few podcasts, don’t get any listeners, and then you can include those podcasts in a future product you develop.
You aren’t out anything!
Software For Podcasting
Besides your own voice, there are two major things you need to record a podcast—hardware and software.
Let’s talk about the software that you can use to record and edit your podcast.
The type of software you use will depend on the device you will be using. Most people will probably be using a PC, but you can also use a Mac, or even a mobile device like an iPhone or tablet.
If you have a Mac or iOS device, you may already have what you need—GarageBand.
Yep. You can use the standard software that nearly every Apple user owns to record your podcast, and even do quite a bit of editing with it. (Most people don’t need advanced editing features for audio, anyway.)
As a bonus, you can add neat sound effects with GarageBand by adding some cool music you make yourself!
Audacity is a free software package for PC and Mac. It’s been around for a long time (since 2000!) and is used by a large number of podcasters!
They do have a paid version, but most people don’t need those extra features.
Audition is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud package, so if you already have it for Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, etc. you can just use Audition without needing to spend any extra money.
If all you need is Audition, you can pick it up for about twenty bucks a month, which is a small price to pay for advanced sound editing. It does have a bit of a learning curve, but it’s got more features than other packages.
Hardware For Podcasting
Above we talked about some software you can use to create and edit podcasts, but the hardware side of things is just as important, if not more so.
You can use pretty much ANY software package that will let you record and edit audio as long as it will output to MP3 format.
But without the right hardware, your audio will be AWFUL.
Have you ever tried to record sound with just your phone?
You probably heard a lot of echo, as if you were in a concert hall or something, right? Or maybe a lot of wind or air flow, or static?
The thing is, most devices that have internal microphones have really cheap ones. They’re garbage. They pick up everything you DON’T want, and don’t pick up half the stuff you DO want!
I’m not saying you need some crazy expensive professional microphone like you might need if you were trying to record yourself singing or playing a musical instrument.
But you DO need a decent microphone, which will usually run in the neighborhood of $50 to $200, depending on which model you decide to get.
The features you should look for in a mic include:
- One that stands up so you don’t have to hold it
- One that has blocking of ambient noise or noise reduction
You will also probably want to get a windscreen to block the air that comes from your nose and mouth when you’re speaking, as well as the air flow from fans, air conditioners, wind, etc.
You’ll need to make sure you are picking up a microphone that works for your device. You cannot use a USB microphone with a mobile device, for example. You would need one that can connect to your headphone jack.
Podcast Episode Planning
You may be wondering how you could possibly come up with topics to talk about on a regular basis, but if you think about it, it really isn’t that difficult.
What do you talk about when you get together with your friends or family? It’s probably not that difficult to think of what to say, right?
Each time you want to create a podcast, just think about what you might talk about with a friend who was interested in the topic.
You can also check out other podcasters in your niche for ideas, as well as checking YouTube, blogs, and social media.
If you want to avoid being boring, use different formats for your podcasts to have a little variety.
For example, you could interview popular personalities in your niche.
Or you could get a group of people together to give different perspectives on a single topic.
Some ideas for things you can talk about include:
- News related to the niche
- New product releases in your niche
- Problems people might have in the niche, with solutions
- Funny experiences and anecdotes
- Other people in the niche your listeners can follow
- Questions from listeners
You don’t have to stick solely to your niche once you gain a following. In the beginning, you’ll probably want to so you don’t alienate people. However, once you gain fans, you may discover that they love hearing you talk about other things, too!
Submitting A Podcast
Okay, so let’s say you’ve recorded a few podcast episodes.
It’s time to submit them, of course!
Now, here’s where most people get confused. If you’re like me and the majority of people out there (most of whom don’t really know much about podcasts) then you may not realize that the podcasts aren’t actually hosted on iTunes or whatever other directory you might be looking at.
Instead, they are hosted elsewhere, and iTunes and the others just serve as directories, or search engines for podcasts.
This means you need to host your own podcast.
You can use a service such as:
Once you upload your podcasts, you will need to submit them to the various podcast directories.
Some directories include:
- iTunes (submit through iTunes on your Mac or PC)
- Stitcher – https://www.stitcher.com/content-providers
- Google Play – https://play.google.com/music/podcasts/publish
You can submit to others as well, but those are the most important ones.
Your podcast needs to be in MP3 format, and you will also need to create an album cover at approximately 3000×3000 pixels. It must be square, and it should grab attention and pertain to your niche in some way.
Check out other podcasters in your niche, assuming there are others, for ideas you could use to create your own. (Without copying, of course!)
Marketing Your Podcast
Okay, so you’ve created a podcast. But what good is it if no one ever listens to it?
In order to listen, people need to find it.
So the first thing you need to do is make sure all of your podcasts have keywords that will help people find it.
You can add keywords to your podcast in four places:
- The title of your podcast
- Your publisher name
- Your podcast description
- Each episode’s title and description
Yes, you can put keywords into your podcast’s title and even your own name!
Do it like this:
The Recipe Podcast – Yummy Food And Recipes Weekly
Jane Doe – Your Recipe And Cooking Guru
You can also add ID3 tags to all your files. You will need ID3 Editor for this. (Don’t worry, it’s quite inexpensive!)
You can add SOME information with iTunes, but ID3 Editor will let you add tags, which will really boost your SEO!
Also, make sure to ask people to leave reviews for each episode. They probably won’t do so unless you ask, and this is important for getting more people to listen! ASK!
You should also set up social media profiles at:
Any place you think is appropriate for your audience is a great place to be, especially if there are any specialized sites in your niche!
You can also run giveaways for listeners, and ask other people in your niche to link to your giveaway. This is one killer way to attract a lot of new listeners, especially if you make it so they must listen to your podcast all the way through to find out exactly how to enter!
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