Be Still & Knit * Lisa Akers
3591 Boardwalk Circle * Highlands Ranch, CO 80129
(303) 345-7620 * firstname.lastname@example.org * www.bestillandknit.com
Podcasting for Fun and Business!
What is podcasting?
Podcasting is a great way to share your business with people from around the world. If you have something to say, then there are people who want to listen. Podcasts are sent to the subscribers by syndication, so whenever you release a new episode, your subscribers know about it. People love podcasts because it gives them something interesting to listen to when they are working, traveling, or just relaxing. They can listen to it whenever they want to.
Why would I podcast?
You might podcast to share ideas with others around the world. Millions of people use podcast aggregators to find messages they want to hear. You can use a podcast to build credibility with your potential clients. You could share a newsletter via podcast and grow your subscriber base even more! You could use a podcast as a product brochure. Video podcasts could be used as a way to share a product demo. You could do a podcast to update news in your industry as a service to your clients. You could do training for consultants who aren’t local with a podcast. You can seek podcast sponsors to pay you for advertising. Of course, you’ll need thousands of subscribers to get much of a commitment from advertising.
Here’s some basic rules about podcasting:
1. Decide what you want to do with your podcast. Keep it focused and keep on topic. Is it a sales tool, a newsletter, or a way to establish yourself as an expert? It’s ok to meander a bit in the podcast, but it should always reflect your original purpose.
2. Create valuable content. No one wants to listen to your commercial or your sales pitch. Most people aren’t interested in your politics, but you may find a small audience that will tune in. Most people want to learn something and be entertained.
3. Decide how much time you want to devote to it. Podcasting is a very time consuming activity. From the concept to publication, it can easily take 5 to 10 times as much time as the podcast is long for each episode. If you don’t have the time to commit to a regular schedule, listeners won’t take the time to listen.
4. Make sure you have enough bandwidth and server space to host your audio files. Podcasting takes a lot of space and can get expensive! Some low-cost options in the basics section.
5. Know that you are putting yourself out for criticism. People will write you nasty emails and let you know that your podcast isn’t what they want. Don’t take it personally, but consider every opinion and see if you can use it to make your podcast better.
6. It’s better if you can speak extemporaneously rather than reading a script. Listeners want to feel like they are conversing with you. Work from an outline rather than a script.
1. Set up a blog website. Podcasts are linked to blog pages so that aggregators can read them. You can use blog software on your own website or use some of the free blogging sites. Blogger.com, blogspot.com, and typepad.com are some free sites. Free sites won’t host your audio, because of space and bandwidth limits. You will need a hosting service such as podomatic.com or libsyn.com to host your audio. Free sites make it harder for search engines to find you. If you want traffic, set up your blog on your own website using WordPress (wordpress.org). If you use WordPress, you’ll need to add a plug-in called PodPress to allow you to link your podcasts to the blog (mightyseek.com/podpress).
2. Create the audio. You’ll need a way to record yourself. You can use an mp3 recorder, a telephone voicemail account, or your computer’s microphone. Just some way to create an mp3 file of your audio.
3. Edit your audio. Make it sound nice—take out the uhhh’s and ummm’s. You can record at 44kHz and a variable bit rate. A great free software program to use for both recording and editing is Audacity. You can get it free at audacity.sourceforge.net. To save it as an mp3 file, you will need to download and install an additional file called a LAME MP3 encoder. There are instructions on the Audacity website for this.
4. Upload your audio file to your hosting server, and write down it’s location. You can host your files for free through the Internet Archive (archive.org), but you will have to agree to their terms for copyright licensing.
5. Write a blog entry that includes your new podcast audio. How you link will depend on your blog provider. Each blog will be different, so check and see.
6. Burn a feed with feedburner.com
7. Publicize your podcast with aggregators like itunes.com, podcasts.yahoo.com, podcastalley.com, and others. Also, send a short 30 second or less promotional spot to podcasters with a similar audience.
8. Watch for listeners!
9. Prepare your next episode.
Does this sound overwhelming? Join the School of Podcasting for just $4.99 a month. They have lots of audio, video, and print resources to hold your hand as you develop your podcast.. Visit my affiliate link at
Want some local, personal help? I’m happy to help you get your podcast up and running. I’ll answer your quick email questions for free. I also offer podcasting coaching and setup for a fee. Please contact me for details.