How To Create Your Own PodcastHow To Create Your Own Podcast

But first, what is podcasting?

Podcasting is a relatively new kind of technology so here is a bit of background for those who haven't come across this term yet. The definition on wikipedia is pretty good:

"Podcasting" is making audio files (most commonly in MP3 format) available online in a way that allows software to automatically download the files for listening at the user's convenience.

The way I see podcasting is a cross between a radio show and a blog. The great thing is anyone can produce a podcast with little outlay and only very basic knowledge of IT. Once you have produced a podcast you can allow people to subscribe to receive updates when they are uploaded to your website. This is done in a very similar way to using an RSS reader to syndicate blog/news feeds (more on this later).

How did I make and publish my first podcast?

The first step for me was research. I wanted to find out what other podcasts sounded like and what other people were already doing (particularly in my field of personal finance). This was also a useful activity to remove any fears that all of the podcasts already produced would be of a highly professional quality - some are, but most are not!

Once I had established that nobody else was doing what I planned to do (with the exception of Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert, but this is more about saving money than financial planning) it was time to work out how to record my first show.

I planned to record ten minute shows which would cut down on production time and also keep the file size quite small. Because this is an audio file hosted on our website I wanted to ensure that it was not too large (to keep download times fast but also save on bandwidth restraints).

To record the content for my podcast I first tried using 'Sound Recorder' that comes with Windows XP. This wasn't ideal for a couple of reasons. The recording time is limited to 60 seconds which would have meant cutting my planned show into ten perfectly timed segments then editing them all together. It also wouldn't have allowed me to speak over backing music (something I felt was important for a professional sounding show/introduction).

I searched the web and found some free to try software on download.com. This software is called Propaganda 1.0 and it offers a complete solution to the would be podcast creator. I downloaded the free trial to ensure it did everything I wanted it to and then shelled out the $49.95 to activate the full version.

I wanted to ensure that my podcast wasn't ten minutes of me talking about pensions so I asked my sister to record some sound bites for me. These were just simple bits of audio that I could use to introduce the show, break up the content and use to finish the podcast (my regulatory warning/disclaimer).

In terms of hardware I just used a microphone headset; the same system I use for Skype. This cost me ?10 in Dixons and does a good job in terms of recording a single voice.

Using Propaganda I could record content for the show, line up as many as 16 different audio tracks (including some backing music) and play with the timing. This whole process took just under 2 hours before I was happy with the final version.

Publishing my podcast

The Propaganda software makes this pretty easy as well. Essentially there are three steps to publishing the podcast.

1 - create an MP3 file of the podcast. MP3 seems to be the most common file format for podcasts so I stuck with tradition. Propaganda allowed me to convert the 16 tracks of audio I had lined up into a single MP3 file and choose the most appropriate file quality. I opted for something mid-range, not too low as the sound quality suffered and not too high to keep the file size reasonable (under 4MB).

2 - host the MP3 file on your website. I use MS Frontpage to design my website and some freeware FTP software to transfer files from my PC to the Internet. To host the file I also built a basic website page that would tell prospective listeners a bit more about my podcast in general and more about this particular podcast show.

3 - make an RSS feed. Again, Propaganda did this for me with its publication feature. The RSS feed is the syndication feed that allows podcast players to find your podcast and subscribe to updates. When you produce a new podcast show you update this RSS feed (which is hosted on your website) and the various podcast players notice the update and download the new podcast for the listener.

Promoting my podcast

Now that I had a podcast I had to get some listeners! I posted a request for help on an online network, Ecademy.com, and got some very useful responses. It seems that the main podcast directory is Apples iTunes so I started there. It is really easy to get listed as all they need to know is the links to your podcast, website and RSS feed. There is a vetting process so I had to wait a couple of days to get listed but by Sunday morning I found my link and was able to use iTunes to download, listen to and subscribe to my podcast.

There are loads of other podcast directories but one that caught my attention was Britcaster.com. As this only lists UK podcasts (most of the directories, including iTunes, are US centric) it should result in a more relevant audience.

As well as listing in the various directories I added a blog on my website and a mention on my Ecademy signature. The combined effect of these two items is to get a high result on google.co.uk when the search term 'personal finance podcast' is used.

I think that I had a fairly good story to tell the press now as this is a first for a UK podcast (personal finance from an Independent Financial Adviser). I have already had some positive responses from the trade press so this week I plan to move onto the consumer financial press.

What next?

Well, apart from working on show number two I plan to improve the production quality of the show as time goes on. I might consider getting some 'jingles' produced that I can mix into the show to improve the feel and quality of the production. There is, of course, a business motive for producing this podcast as (I hope) it will lead to new enquiries and a higher profile on the web and in the press.

For anyone who is considering their own podcast (or has read this article and thinks it might be something they could do) I would suggest go for it! Podcasting is still in a very early stage and not many people in the UK have caught onto the technology just yet. With the explosion in iPod and other MP3 player ownership all of the predictions are for massive growth in the podcast market.

Because relatively few people produce their own podcasts now is a good time to get your own show up and running before your competitors catch onto the idea.

by Martin Bamford
References and Bibliography

Martin Bamford is an Independent Financial Adviser and also the Managing Director of Ciris Business Development Limited (http://www.cirisbiz.co.uk). At only 26 years old he combines traditional finanical advice for high net worth investment clients with cutting edge use of technology to help market and develop the business of professional advisory firms in the United Kingdom.

Rated:NR/0 Votes
3 Views
Add To My Article Reading List
Add To My Article Reading List
Print Article
Print
More Article By Martin Bamford
More Article by Martin Bamford
Share
More Articles From Podcasting
More Articles From Podcasting
Related Articles and Readings
Dont Attach That By: Judith Kallos
The topic of sending attachments by e-mail is not one that is discussed as much as it probably should be. It is easy to attach a file to an e-mail. Almost too easy! E-mail programs allow you to attach almost anything, regardless of the size and format without giving the ...
Beginners Guide to Music File Formats By: Gary Hendricks
Are you confused by the various types of music file formats out there? Most of you would have heard of the popular MP3 format, but are you aware there are other alternative digital music formats like WAV, WMA, RA and MIDI? Some of these give better sound quality than MP3 ...
Take Control of Your Hard Disk Space By: Manoj Shinde
Now a days managing files and folders on PCs seems to be a critical task for network administrators and data storage managers due to huge capacity hard disks and millions of files and folders.This article will help you in two ways1. Understand the disk space allocation and wastage.2. Understand how ...
CSS Maximum Benefits By: Zoran Makrevski
What is CSS?CSS is a simple file which controls the visual appearance of a Web page without compromising its structure. Using CSS we can control our font size, font color, link color and many other attributes on our web page. This will make our HTML code much more readable and ...
Definition of Resolution By: Robbie Darmona
Resolution can be defined as the number of pixels that, constellated together, form an image or a photograph. Pixels are small points on the image that can have various colors. Digital photography uses pixels to create photos. Image sizes in photography are measured by the number of pixels in width ...
The information provided in this article and/or the comments is the sole responsibility of their respective authors and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of ezinepost.com. ezinepost.com  does not endorse any article and/or comments published by our web users unless otherwise noted. 

Member Panel

login to submit articles and more

StatisticsEZINEPOST.COM

  • » Active Categories: 419
  • » Active Articles:252603
  • » Active Authors:31917
  • » Active Members: 38237
  • » Statistics Updated:
    - Tue Sep 1st, 2020 09:28AM EST