101: "Everything you Need to Know to Get Started"
By Merle http://MCPromotionsPress.com
Everywhere you turn online these days you hear the
word "podcast" or "podcasting." No, it's not some broadcasting method
used by Martians, even though it might sound like it. A Podcast
is just an audio file that is syndicated via an RSS feed, that you
download and listen to with your computer or a portable device such
as an iPod.
What makes it different from an ordinary RSS feed
is the audio component included in the "enclosure field." Think
of it as a feed that talks to you.
Podcasting is increasing in popularity. According
to Forrester Research, by 2010 podcasting should have about 12.3
million listeners. That's a pretty big audience. For more info see
Similar to a talk radio show, podcasts can also take
the format of an interview. Topics range from business to hobbies;
even rants and obsessions. Lengths vary, but a typical podcast will
run anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, but I have seen some longer.
So far, there are not many music podcasts due to the red tape and
cost of music licensing -- although musicians and/or small record
labels bypass that issue by utilizing their own recordings.
Before you think you need some special device to listen
to a podcast, let me assure you that you don't. Most RSS readers
have the capability built in to play podcasts. Any software that
can play a sound file can play a podcast. If you want to take them
with you to listen to while on the road you'll want to invest in
a portable MP3 device like an iPod.
Like other RSS feeds, you decide which ones you want
to subscribe to and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Online business owners should think of podcasting
as yet another avenue for promoting your products and services.
Like an ezine or the RSS feeds you already use, it's a simple inexpensive
method of syndicating your audio files online. It would appear that
a podcast is a bit more personal. Instead of just reading, like
an ezine, people can listen to the sound of your voice and make
a more personal connection.
Now that I have your attention you may be wondering
"How do I create a podcast?" Well, it's really pretty simple if
you follow the easy steps below:
1) First you'll need to use software to record your
own audio file. A good free one is Audacity which you can download
While there, you'll also need to download the Lame
MP3 Encoder which allows MP3 exportation.
2) Once your audio is recorded you'll need to create
an RSS feed file which is simply a special text file with an RSS
extension that also includes a particular enclosure tag. For step
by step directions on making a feed file see this site:
There's also a great tutorial on RSS here: http://www.mnot.net/rss/tutorial/
3) Once your audio and RSS files are completed you'll
need to upload both of them to your server/website. If you'd like
to read more here are some more online sites to help guide you.
Make Your First Podcast http://tinyurl.com/757fx
Create Podcasts Using Your PC http://tinyurl.com/9jfcb
If you don't want to do all this work manually there
are software tools specific to podcast creation.
ePodCast Creator http://tinyurl.com/do7sq
Pod Producer http://tinyurl.com/9dwrh
That's it. Wasn't that simple? Remember, you can't
get subscribers if people don't know about your feed, so make sure
you add it in a prominent place of your site. You want to make it
easy for them to subscribe and add your feed to their news reader.
Audio files are rather large and can take up a lot
of space on your server, so make sure you won't run out of bandwidth.
If you're tight on space you can always farm it out
to a third party service such as http://www.PodLot.com
. For only $5.00 they'll give you 150 MB of storage space with no
bandwidth limitations. Your domain will look like this: nameofyourshow.podlot.com
If you think you're going to have a hit on your hands
and want to try to generate cash from your podcast, check out http://www.PremiumPodcasting.com
. They provide a system that allows you to charge for your shows
and also include private access to them, track who is listening
and more. You can try them out for a four day trial for only one
Once your podcast is live you'll want to make sure
you list it with the various directories that exist for just this
You'll find a nice list here: http://www.podcasting-tools.com/submit-podcasts.htm
Podcast Bunker http://tinyurl.com/9qayk
Open Media Network http://omn.org/submitfeeds.htm
Podcasting Station http://tinyurl.com/7qlzq
Robin Good has a huge list at http://tinyurl.com/9rusq
So now that you see how easy it is to create a podcast,
what's stopping you? Remember, this is a great tool to add to your
marketing mix and if you're a bit on the creative side this might
be just the ticket. Have fun with it, experiment and you'll become
an expert podcaster in no time.
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