One of the fastest growing trends online is podcasting. Podcasting is creating audio files (usually in MP3 format), posting them to a web site and allowing users to subscribe to a feed for downloading them. Podcasting is a great way for people to record their thoughts on a variety of subjects from health to politics to movies and share them with the world fairly easily. A web site called PodcastAlley.com is very comprehensive and popular directory of most known podcasts. Some of the most popular podcasts to date are Free Talk Live, The Dawn and Drew Show, The MacCast, and this Week in Tech. It was Free Talk Live that inspired me to investigate podcasting as a medium and get involved.
My wife Heavenly and I started a podcast over the last month called Ethan Allen Radio, which is a podcast covering local issues and events that Heavenly and I are involved in or have opinions about. It has been fairly successful since the first day we introduced the podcast as I have promoted regular on forums where the reader would have interest in the content of our podcast. I will now run down how we create our podcast.
Starting a podcast isn’t very difficult. All you need to get started are the following:
- podcast content
- a computer/ internet access
- podcasting audio recording software
- podcast web space/ bandwidth
- podcast promotion
You need to start with thinking of content that people might actually what to hear about. Heavenly and I participate in local events city council meetings, city events as well as following the news and state-wide issues, so it made sence for us to create a podcast about this providing viewpoints that the traditional media doesn’t cover.
Computer/ Internet Access:
You will need a fairly decent computer to create the podcasts as the files as creating them does take a lot of computing power. We use a computer with a 1.1 GHz processor and 240 RAM which works well. We use DSL high-speed internet access. DSL or Cable is definately preferred for uploading the files.
Audio Recording Software:
There are many different free programs you can use to create your files. We use and highly recommend WavePad, which has many great features for recording and modifing the audio files. It is a shareware program where some features are disabled after a certain amount of time, but the features that most people would use stay active after the trial period.
Podcast Web Space/ bandwidth:
This is probably the biggest problem for most people trying to start a podcast. Podcasting can quickly take up a lot of space and a whole lot of bandwidth and this can get very expensive when just starting a podcast. I would suggest using your existing site to include information about your podcast and actually store the physical files at OurMedia, which is a new non-profit organization that is now offering free storage and free bandwidth for your videos, audio files, photos, text, or software. Forever with no catches. After you create a free account, upload your podcast there and then link to the podcast from your existing web site.
Now that you have created your podcast and uploaded it and have it listed on your web site you must promote it. You can do this a variety of ways. You can do the following:
- Tell your friends, family, customers, clients, suppliers, everyone you know about it that might be interested.
- Issue press releases and send them to the media.
- Participate in chats and forums and mention your podcast.
- Register your podcast with podcast directories such as podcastalley.com and itunes.com or any other directory that relates to the topic of your podcast.
- Optimize your web pages for the search engines and the submit your pages to the search engines for indexing. Don’t forget to include a Google Sitemap.
I will be continuing to experiment with it. I will probably be starting a podcast to compliment these blogs so that way readers such as yourself will have the choice to hear or read these blog entries.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding podcasting or would like us to help you create your own.