How Do I Make A Podcast?
Unlike a blog, podcasting requires more than just having something to say. Some specific equipment and web connections are required. Here's a simple guide to getting started:
Get Your Hardware
Since a podcast is a recording, you need to be able to actually digitally record what you have to say. You could do this with a digital recorder, but since editing it is also a requirement, a computer can serve both purposes.
The Faster the Computer, the Bet
Being able to record and edit sound files does take a bit of processing power. Any old computer won't work; you should use one manufactured after 2005, at least, to produce your podcast.
Choosing a Microphone
Like any technical hobby, you can spend as much on equipment as you like - and many people use a microphone that is $1000's of dollars. However, you can get a decent one for around $100 - just something more than the internal mic on your computer is good.
Connecting the Mic
The sound has to get into the computer, and usually the internal sound card won't be able to handle the demands of the mic. Either getting a mic that has a computer interface built in (like the Blue Snowball's USB connection) or getting an analog-digital mixer from a company like MACKIE is a good idea.
Even the most experienced podcasters mess up recordings sometimes. There are many sound editing software platforms out there - from the free Audacity to very expensive apps like Logic Pro. These require some learning to work with, so spend some time on the tutorials before starting your podcast.
Most podcasts are in MP3 format, because that is playable on most computers. However, podcasts in .AAC and MP4 format also exist, and often include images. Apple's Garageband is an example of a podcast production software that can include pics, documents, and other media in a podcast.
Now Make a Podcast!
- Once your equipment is all in order, you finally get to answer that question: "How do I make a podcast?" The answer is: you talk. Talk about something you're passionate about. Pick one part of that, and just talk about it - or talk with someone about it. Record it, edit out any egregious errors, and you've got a sound file!
A sound file doesn't make a podcast - it has to be hosted online and then an RSS file must be created so that people can subscribe to your podcast. Libsyn is a professional company dedicated to providing unlimited bandwidth to podcasters, since hosting them on your own site can be expensive, especially if your podcast is popular.
Really Simple Syndication
You may want to hand-code the RSS file, but this can tedious as you produce more and more podcasts. Content platforms such as WordPress include the ability to automatically generate RSS files.
There are two parts to publicity. One, you need to submit your podcast feed to popular podcast readers and sites like iTunes and Podcast Pickle. Two, you should find other podcasts on similar subjects and send them short one or two minute "promos" for them to put in their podcasts. Also, just commenting on their sites and becoming friends will help them want to listen to your work
Remember, podcasting is not a way to get rich - that's what radio is for. Podcasting is a way for you to connect your own passion with other like-minded people. Stay true to yourself and your message, and the tools will get out of the way and let your voice be heard.