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How Do I Make a Podcast?

written by: Kumara Velu•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/22/2010

Content is King. If you already have valuable written content on your site or blog, you can further enhance its appeal by having podcasts. Here are tips that will help you get started with podcasting and keep going.

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    You may be thinking, “How do I make a podcast? I know next to nothing about podcasts!”

    Worry not. Although the term podcast may sound intimidating and perhaps lead you to the impression that you need some kind of specialized training to undertake it; the truth is, podcasting is just an audio commentary or talk show on the subject matter of your blog or website. In short, a podcast is nothing more than spoken content.

    If you’re struggling to write content for your site, podcasting is a good way of providing valuable content to your visitors on a regular basis.

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    Tools Needed

    You will of course need a computer and, chances are, you already have one equipped with a sound card.

    Most importantly, you are going to need a quality microphone. If you don’t already have a microphone you’re proud of, you will need to fork out a little cash to invest in one. Go for a USB headset microphone which has a noise-cancellation feature. Look for a microphone around $40 and you’re in business.

    With the hardware part taken care of, you will need audio editing software to edit your podcasts. You don’t have to invest any money on this front. You can download Audacity for free and use it to record and edit your podcasts.

    Once you have your tools ready, you should spend some time testing them out. In case you run into difficulties in setting up your microphone or using Audacity, you can head to YouTube and watch the helpful how-to videos there.

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    Podcasting Strategy

    With your tools ready and tested, you’re ready to make your first podcast. If speaking impromptu or spontaneously over the microphone is an unimaginable task for you, worry not. Even those who are good speakers freeze when they face a microphone.

    The way around this is to prepare a script before you speak. A script does not mean you have to prepare word for word of the content you’re going to deliver. It would be a good start if you can jot down the main points you would want to cover in your podcast and have them for quick reference when you start recording your podcasts.

    Take your time to rehearse your podcast content until you’re ready to record. When you record, concentrate on your content instead of worrying over how good you sound. Speaking clearly is more important than your sound quality.

    Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. If you fumble your lines, just go on until you find your rhythm. You can always edit out the bad parts.

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    If you’re going to have serious subscribers for your podcasts, you'll need to do it on a regular basis. Your site visitors are going to expect to hear you on a daily or weekly basis.

    To ensure that you produce your podcast regularly, plan your podcasts in advance. Have a podcast planner, where you jot down topics or points you will cover daily or weekly.

    If you’re doing it weekly, try recording four podcasts in advance before posting your first podcast. In that way, you’ll have enough leeway to work on new podcasts without placing yourself under unnecessary strain should you run out of time. Think about a podcast bank seriously.

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    How to Keep Podcasting

    Are you worried that you may run out of ideas after podcasting for a while even with a podcast planner? If so, take a look at the topics on your site. You would surely find areas that could do with elaboration or expansion. Do the elaboration or expansion in your podcasts and link your existing written content to them. Take a look at general information and make them specific in your podcasts. This way, you’ll never run out of ideas.

    Also listen to other podcasts over the Internet and see if you can offer a fresh take on a subject that has been covered quite often. Jot down ideas as they occur to you in your production planner and act on them.