A podcast is a digital audio file that is downloaded via the Internet to a computer or portable media player. Podcasts are usually available in a series, with new episodes received automatically by subscribers.
Like other forms of media, the audience is in charge. Listeners choose what to listen to, when to listen to it and if they will share it around. As a podcast creator, you are competing for their eyes and ears (and hearts) so make sure you make content they want to listen to. If you get subscribers, it means you are doing something right.
Benefits of podcasting
Well-conceived podcasts are an effective, portable, convenient and intimate way to deliver and produce content, and to build ongoing relationships with your clients, employees and constituents.
- Podcasts make information personal. You can convey personality and character through your words and intonation.
- Podcasts are convenient. They are automatically downloaded, they can be stored, shared and listened too when it suits you.
- Communication is easier. Your subscribers don’t have to read anything, they can listen to you instead.
- Once you have the equipment (a decent microphone, while the basic software is standard in computers and normally free), podcasts are a very cost-effective way of communicating to a mass audience. Because of digital delivery, there are no shipping or postage charges to worry about, no paper or printing costs incurred, no graphic design requirements either.
- Podcasting is time efficient. Record several episodes at once and upload them as you need to. Your subscribers can listen at home or work, or as they commute.
- Depending on the circumstances, podcasts might be used instead of face-to-face meetings.This offers businesses an easy way to get a message to offices in different geographic regions and saves money incurred from travel and time, leading to improved productivity.
- Podcasts are portable, which is one of the best benefits. You can take a podcast with you.
- Excellent for personal branding (as well as business) because it delivers a means of establishing credibility and authority – and establishing a new community.
- Podcast subscribers can become brand champions. You can deepen your relationship with them through cross-sell and loyalty.
How To Podcast
To create a Podcast, you’ll need the following equipment:
- A computer (either a PC or a Mac).
- A microphone (or a headset that combines headphones and mic).
- Broadband Internet Connectivity.
- Mic Input and Headphone Output on Your Computer.
- Pop Filter (optional) (A pop filter is a screen that filters and reduces loud pop sounds that are made when you speak letters like ‘p’ or ‘b’ into your microphone.
- Audio recorder and editor software, such as audacity, it’s free).
- MP3 encoder (such as LAME, it’s free).
- If you want to add extra tags or pictures to your podcast, get MP3TAG, it’s free.
If you are running a PC, it will need at least 512MB RAM and, if you want to archive your audio files, 2-3 GB of storage space.
PODCASTING IN 4 STEPS.
Creating a podcast that you upload to Apple iTunes is basically done in 4 steps:
STEP 1: Create your audio content (in MP3 format)
STEP 2: Upload MP3 files to a public web server.
STEP 3: Create RSS file and validate it.
STEP 4: Submit RSS files to iTunes (if you want your audio content available there)
APPLE ITUNES RESOURCES.
If you are seriously considering doing podcasts, check out Apple’s podcasting resources for more information, including quality guidelines and all the technical standards.
READ: More about the stuff I like in my BLOG.