It’s time for your second lesson in the Business Podcasting Basics crash course. We hope you found lesson one informative and now have a better understanding of what podcasts are and what they can do for your business. The first step to a well designed business podcast is deciding what you want it to do and creating a plan of action.
Start by asking yourself a few simple questions like:
- How can a podcast help my business?
- Will it help me reach my income goals?
- Will my customers respond to audio information? (Are they auditory learners?)
- Do you want your podcast to be your main product or method of communication?/
- Do you want to use it to help brand yourself or your business?
- Is it going to be a primary way for your business to attract new customers?
- Do you want to use it to become a niche expert or internet celebrity?
There is no right or wrong answers to these questions. Just like, there is no one surefire way to use podcasting. It really depends on your preferences, your target audience’s response and your own level of comfort. After you have a good idea of what you hope to accomplish with your podcast, it’s time to figure out what type of equipment and services you are going to need to get started.
There are more than a few ways to go about recording, storing and distributing your podcasts. Again, the method you choose will depend on your comfort level and your technical skills. Now let’s go over a few options available for you to try.
The first thing you’ll need is a good microphone and recording software. The microphone you can pick up at your local electronics store or online. Just make sure you choose one that produces a good sound quality and has noise reduction built in. There are many affordable options available. Just be sure to do your research.
- Audacity – this is a free, open source software for recording and editing audio. They have versions for Mac OS X, Windows, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. It’s a great option, especially when you are just getting started. Find out more here!
- Adobe Audition – This is a more advanced software for editing audio from Adobe. It works with Windows and Mac. You can download a free trial and if you decide you like it, you can purchase the full license. Find out more here!
- Hipcast – This service makes it easy to record high-quality audio from your web browser or your phone with no software to download or install. This is a nice option for those of us who aren’t exactly tech savvy. Find out more here!
- Podomatic – This is another service, which lets you record audio and even video directly from your browser. You can also receive in line calls from listeners wanting to leave voice comments.
Find out more here!
You will also need a place to host your podcast files: You can of course host them on your own domain, but as you create more and more episodes just be aware that they will take up a lot of room and require a lot of bandwidth, which can become costly if you don’t monitor it closely. There are website completely dedicated to hosting podcasts.
- Amazon S3 – This hosting is nice because it offers quality hosting at a lower price in comparison to other paid services and it grows with you. Meaning you only pay for what you use. It also has a free plan with a limit of 5 GB of storage and a limit of 20,000 get requests. Find out more here!
- Soundcloud – They offer free and paid plans, which are reasonably priced. The free version has some limitations, but it’s great when you are just getting started. The pro version has perks like tracking so you can see who is listening, where they are from and other statistics that will help you improve your podcast. Find out more here!
- PodBean – This is an easy-to-use podcast host for casual podcasts that don’t exceed 30 MB. They offer a free account with a friendly user-interface, mobile options and a RSS feed for your podcast. They also offer statistics and creative themes to spruce up your podcast page. Find out more here!
- iTunes – To reap the benefits of the iTunes Store you must host your media files and RSS feeds on your own web servers or a third-party hosting provider like the ones listed above. iTunes doesn’t host podcasts but once you get your cast uploaded to your feed, you can submit it to include in the iTunes Store podcast directory.
That’s it for today’s lesson. You’re now well on your way to creating a well designed business podcast. In your next lesson, we will talk about planning content for your podcast.