What Is a Podcast?
The term “podcast” is a word created by two other words: “pod” from the Apple iPod, and “cast” from the word, broadcast. A simple definition is that podcasting is broadcasting on the internet in an audio format. In other words, a podcast is an audio show. To understand how podcasting is different from from downloading and listening to music files, you have to know about RSS (Really Simple Syndication). Still confused?? Per definition from the dictionary, a syndicate is “a group of individuals or organizations combined to promote some common interest”. (Example: a crime syndicate). So to participate in a podcast, you become a part of a syndicate by subscribing to the feed or the supply of content of a particular site on the internet.
What is Feed Reading Software?
There are two types of feed reading software: 1) standalone feed readers, and 2) web-based feed readers. The standalone software has limitations in that you can only use it on the computer on which you installed it. The web based feed reader is wholly internet based and can be used online from any computer.
What Do I Have to Do to Create My Own Podcast?
- Understand the Commitment: Be aware that creating a podcast will take time and effort, and to be the most effective and successful, your podcasts must be released on a consistent basis. (Your commitment is a big deal.)
- For Fun and/or for Money: Understand that if it is your purpose to create income from your podcast, this will not happen until you have a broad enough listener base to attract advertisers. Most podcasters start because it is fun to be heard. Profits usually come much later.
- Choose an Interesting Name for Your Podcast: Create an original name and graphic image that will attract listeners and will communicate what your podcast is all about. For instance, if you plan to talk about learning piano chords, you might choose “KEYS TO CHORDS”, with the image of an expanded keyboard going diagonally across the art image. The possibilities are endless! To find music to go with your title and art image, you can find free music at “Free Music Archive” and others. You can hire designers for your art images if you can’t do it yourself, or you can search for the appropriate images online.
- Cultivating a Following: Finding your niche in the podcasting world can be a challenge, but your hobbies and favorite subjects are the best places to start. Choose topics and themes that you love and feel passionate about and you will begin to attract listeners that feel the same. Also, it is important to stay with the subject/themes you have decided upon. This will fuel the interest of others who like the same things, and will keep them coming back.
You Will Need Good Equipment
- A Microphone: There are different types to consider, but the use of a good quality, rather than a cheaper, low quality mic, will make a difference that will be noticed by your listeners.
- A Computer: You need a computer to record, edit and upload your podcast Both Windows and Mac work equally well for this, but you may want to check with your IT person to make sure your computer will support what you want it to do.
- Software for Audio Editing: The Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) are fairly pricey for a beginning podcaster. However, there are free programs that you can use like Audacity when you are just getting started. For instructions on how to download and install Audacity, go to Audacity 2.1.0 at audacityeam.org.
- Optional Equipment: An Audio Interface is needed if you are recording to your computer with analog microphone, but a USB microphone is probably a better and less expensive choice.
- Pop Filters: These are not a requirement, but are a good addition to your equipment as they are fairly inexpensive and mute your plosive consonant sounds when you are recording.
You Will Need a Place to Host Your Podcast
You must have a place to host your podcast so that you can get your show into podcast directories and apps by RSS feed. Some hosting sites you can start with are: SoundCloud, Podbean, Podomatic, Libsyn and Amazon S3. You can find instructions on how to proceed with this on their websites. Then, get listed in iTunes. There are other directories, but iTunes is the most used by most people. For instructions on how to do this, go to “Official iTunes Podcast Specs.”
Let the Show Begin!
If you are having fun, your listeners will be enjoying themselves too!
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