written by: Kumara Velu•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/23/2010
You may be considering jumping on the podcasting bandwagon after hearing all the buzz about it. Before you get started with creating your podcasts, you may want to explore the pros and cons of podcasts so that you will be better prepared for the adventure.
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Pros of Podcasts
Podcasts are a good way to relieve the tedium of a website overloaded with text. Reading text over the Internet is not a bed of roses for some. So, podcasts can be a welcome relief for those who have to read a lot of text over the Net and they will take kindly to your website for that.
Some areas of your website could be better covered by podcasts to give the personal touch web visitors crave. Sections like frequently asked questions or your take on comments on a particular blog posting would make excellent podcasts.
Content on the Go
The main advantage of podcasting is that your subscribers can listen to your content even when they are away from their computer. Podcasts can be downloaded and listened over mobile devices like iPods and MP3 players. This is especially attractive to those who spend quite a bit of time commuting. Listening to podcasts would be a welcome relief for your subscribers who have to stand all the way in a crowded train.
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Cons of Podcasts
The cost of setting up your equipment could put you off. If you have a computer with an integrated sound card, you may need to buy at least an entry level dedicated sound card, if you don’t want to encounter any recording issues. You would also need a USB headset microphone with noise-cancellation feature and that could cost quite a bit.
Secondly, you would need a quiet place to record your podcasts. If your computer is in the living room with children engaging in horseplay in the background, forget about recording quality podcasts. All said and done, you would need a room where you can shut the door and windows to keep out external noise. Are you game for it?
If you have the right equipment and recording space, you may have to contend with a steep learning curve in the process of producing your podcasts. Learning how to position the microphone and modulating your voice to produce acceptable recording quality may need a little getting used to. You would need audio editing software to edit your podcasts and that would require some time to learn if you’re a first timer.
Then there would be the presentation aspect. You may have to write a script to enable to speak spontaneously and that would take time. If the going gets tough, you may wonder if you should just forget about podcasting and use the time to produce written content for your site.
If you manage to get speaking over the microphone, you may end up making mistakes while recording and you would need time to edit out the bad parts.
All in all you may need months before you could produce podcasts of acceptable quality. Are you prepared for the time investment involved?
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Preparing for Challenges
Please be informed that the cons listed above are not meant to discourage you from podcasting. The whole idea is to make you better prepared for the challenges that accompany podcasting. If you have the passion and drive for podcasting, these cons are not going to discourage you but make you work out solutions in advance so that your podcasting work would go on without a hitch.