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#1: Complete ‘How To Podcast’ Guide

By | January 1, 2007

A podcast listener!

Welcome to this, the first episode of The Podcasting Blog, I’m your host, Ken Walker, and I’ll be your guide to all things podcasting. This first episode is gonna primarily introduce the main goal of what we’re gonna be doing here and I’m also gonna talk a little bit about where podcasting is going and some of the things that we’re starting to see. This podcast is for anybody that wants to know about how to make their own podcast, whether you wanna do that just for fun or if you’re starting a marketing campaign for your company, whatever, we’re gonna deal with everything and anybody interested in podcasting is gonna learn a lot. The first part of what you’re gonna hear in this episode is actually an original recording from when we first started podcasting and back then our episodes were a lot shorter, like around 5 minutes, but as time went on things started to really move forward and we started to change the format and put a little more time and energy into the podcast. So what I decided to do was to go back and redo some of those early episodes and change ‘em over to the new format, maybe add another segment or two, so that new people that are just finding us and weren’t there through our growing pains, so that they’ll get the full benefit of what we offer today. So with that, here again is our very first, original podcast on what we’re all about.

Though there currently exists hundreds of blogs on how to podcast, I haven’t found one that actually walked the reader through the entire production process from beginning to end.

By that I mean showing details of how the audio is recorded, edited, produced, and then finally distributed.The goal here, therefore, is to create such a blog. My blog entries, starting with this one, are going to be laid out in such a way that they walk you through, from beginning to end.I’m going to take you from “What do I podcast about?” to audio editing to RSS Distribution and SEO practices.

Now, this is a tall order. What many bloggers do is offer you some very vague information. Realizing though that the people who want to podcast are not all computer geeks, I think a niche exists here where I can help the average computer user (and maybe even the below average user) produce a good quality podcast. You’ll hear me say this over and over, your podcast has to have great content AND it has to sound great.

Have you started listening to a podcast where it sounds cheap? I mean, maybe there’s no music at all, or worse yet, it sounds like they have a portable CD player nearby and when they want music, they just press play and point the mic at the CD player? Those kinds of podcasts don’t usually last long and they don’t usually get a lot of listeners.

Let’s start with content. You have to have an idea of what you want to podcast about. Nobody is going to subscribe to your podcast and listen to you talk about whatever comes to mind. Think about what you like to do. Think about something that you enjoy. If you have a hobby like gardening or even reading books, you can podcast about it. If you are really good at your hobby, that’s even better.

While we’re talking about none-technical issues, you might also want to think about ‘Why’ you want to podcast. Is it just for fun? Will you try to attract a lot of listeners and use advertising to make money? What are your motives? This will just help you determine how much time and money you want to invest in your podcast.

Your topic doesn’t really matter from the perspective of these articles, because the information will all be applied the same no matter what you’re Podcasting about. For the sake of making things easier, I’m going to pick a topic that I like, and we’ll do a walk through of how I would go about Podcasting about that topic. Let’s say the topic is photography.

So if I had to number things, I would say the first step is: Determine why you want to podcast (and again, this is only so that you have an idea of how much time and money you want to put into it), and then the second step would be to pick what you want to podcast about.

Since there are many different levels that you could be at in your podcast commitment, I’m gonna try to be sensitive to that when making recommendations of hardware and software, however, I’m not going to show you how you can podcast with $25 worth of equipment and 5 minutes worth of recording time. That said, these articles are for someone who is fairly serious about Podcasting, whether it’s just for fun, or profit.

Podcasting News

Adobe’s got a new application that might interest podcasters, well, it’s not really new yet because it hasn’t been released, but it’s called Sound Booth CS3 and from the looks of it, this could be the perfect tool for podcasters and especially video bloggers. It looks to me like a marriage of Adobe Audition and Adobe Premiere, which means that it’s not really a full blown audio editor and it’s definitely not a full blown video editor, but it gives you the look and feel of Premiere and a lot of functionality of Audition. The best part is that they didn’t just take existing functionality from Audition, but they actually made things better. For example, you can visually adjust volumes directly in your waveform and you get visual feedback while your adjusting, that is totally excellent!

Some of its more impressive features are built-in music production and composition, which means that you can take a built-in track, and adjust the way it sounds by adjusting its mood, the amount of instruments that are in it, and dynamically its length, but I’m not talking about just stretching it, you can just say “Hey, I need more music.” And it composes a song for you, to your exact length, that is nice. Its got built-in stuff for improving vocal quality, which again would be handy for podcasters that don’t wanna fool with audio equipment, its got real tight integration with Premiere Pro if you happen to be doing some heavy video editing, which is one thing that it doesn’t really let you do. You can’t actually edit the video, though it looks like it has great support for working with videos, at least from the audio stand point.

The biggest selling point here is that it’s for people who don’t do full audio production, but want to sound great. So, like having an EQ preset for a male voice narration, things like that. I’m hoping that it does auto-ducking like GarageBand, but I couldn’t find that feature listed. All in all, it’s about $200 which is a little less than Audition, it doesn’t do real multi-track but if you compare it directly to Audition, the things that stick out are the interface and the people it’s designed for, which is people that don’t really have an audio background. Audition is a little more complex maybe, to use, but it’s more powerful, you can insert cue points for Flash, which is kinda neat, but I’ve saved the best for last. Probably the biggest thing about Sound Booth is that it’s going to be available on the Mac platform, can you believe it? For years Adobe has ignored the cries of Mac users and Audition has only been available for PCs, now you’ll be able to get an Adobe audio product on OS X. Check it out at www.adobe.com

SEO For The Road

That’s this week’s show, thanks for listening. If you find anything at all helpful in this podcast, let me know, I love getting mail from listeners. You can reach me at podcasting@seocompany.ca and by all means feel free to post a comment on the blog. I do moderate those though, so only nice comments get approved and absolutely no spam. I’ve got an ‘SEO for the Road’ for you this week, make sure that you include links to big name sites in your podcast and be sure to provide clickable URLs in the text of the podcast, either in show notes, or hopefully your transcribing the podcast and you can make sure the link is in the transcript because that’s gonna help your site rank better. I’m Ken Walker, see ya next week!

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