Podcasting 101: How to start a podcast for your business?
Andrew and Bob talk about how they got into podcasting.
We get into the topic by stating how important it is to have passion for the topic in order to prevent a common condition known as podfading.
We use the divorce lawyer that does a podcast on how to stay happily married as an example.
Andrew says that if you business isn’t your passion and is just a job or a way to pay the bills you can still podcast about your passion. Podcast about what really interests you and make your business the primary sponsor. If your a real estate agent but your passion is collecting classic cars… podcast about classic cars brought to you by YOU the realtor, call me when your ready to sell your house.
Bob asks Andrew to explain what is a podcast?
A podcast is any media file (audio, video, slide show, etc) syndicated over an RSS feed.
RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication. The RSS feed is the key… it’s not a podcast with out the RSS feed.
Bob talks about places you can listen to podcasts: iTunes, Android Apps, Blackberry Podcast App, Zune and many more.
Bob mentions one of his favorite podcasts is a crazy show that teaches you how to do weird things. The latest episode explained how to shrink a human head…
Andrew said the best podcasts are Super Niche… General topic podcasts don’t generally get a big following. If you have a super niche podcast and only have a few hundred listeners that are interested in exactly what you are looking for you have nailed down a good market for your business.
Bob brings up the guy that is totally into pop… and gets people excited about pop because he so passionate about the subject.
Andrew mentions that you can use a podcast as a training manual for your staff or as a resource for your customers. A good example is the dentist that uses podcasting to record detailed descriptions on each procedure. Instead of spending countless phone calls explaining the procedure over an over again to clients he can direct them to that particular podcast episode.
Bob asks Andrew how much money you need to get started in Podcasting?
Assuming you already have the most expensive part of the podcasting equation which is a computer than all you really need is a half decent microphone.
Andrew shows the audience a headset boom mic which plugs in to the USB port on your computer. Bob says that it is better to start out cheap because you may not stick with podcasting for whatever reason. Once you know podcasting works for you get yourself some more expensive gear.
Bob recommends London Drugs because of their return policy. And he also stresses that it is very important to pick comfortable headphones because they will be on your head for a long time so comfort really makes a difference.
Bob explains the difference between Condenser mics and Dynamic mics.
Condenser mics pick up all the audio in the environment. Dynamic mics pick up audio close to the mic. A dynamic microphone is less sensitive except in the sweet spot about an inch from the mic.
If you do research online everybody is saying that condenser microphones are the best. Studio Quality microphones. But if you have a condenser mic you need to treat your room that you are using as a studio to keep out unwanted audio. We use moving blankets to dampen the sound at the Bunker Project despite using dynamic mics because we record inside a bar.
There are a ton of choices for dynamic mics.
Bob got a good mic on Craigslist – there are a lot of great deals if you take the time to look for it.
The Shure SM58 Beta is a great dynamic mic that is very durable and therefore is a favorite among musicians and podcasters.
Bob explains that if you get a dynamic xlr mic you need to also have a mixer.
Andrew says that you don’t need to get a mixer to do a decent podcast. You can use a headset boom usb mic or a studio quality dynamic usb mic like the rode podcaster.
Plug in the mic and record directly into your computer using fee audio software like Audacity or Garage Band. If you need to do interviews in your show use skype to call your co-host or guest and a free program like power gramo or pamela will record the interview automatically for you.
Bob brings up the difference between recording “live to hard drive” and an edited show. We talk about the time it takes to edit a show and polish it. We prefer the live to hard drive approach.
Andrew brings up Pod Producer which allows you to que up audio. Voice mail feedback, intro music, outro music, and sound effects.
Andrew says that if you want to save editing time use The Levelator to automatically run audio processing on your show. Highly recommended!
Bob brings up recording into a computer vs a digital recorder.
Computers can crash… at the worst possible time!
Andrew tells the story about why he now records in a digital recorder now.
You can record your podcast into a digital recorder and you can also use it as a field recorder to do on site interviews at trade shows or on location somewhere. They are condenser mics but when your out in the field it is a good thing to capture the ambiance and atmosphere of the event.
Bob suggests a parked car as a good place to record a podcast.
We mention Audacity, Audition and Garage Band as audio editing software.
Bob explains how he used to use Audacity and Garage Band… but now uses Audition.
We go into some detail about the different programs.
Bob explains where “hum” comes from in your recordings.
Bob separated his studio from his computer by putting the computer box in the other room and running the wires through a hole in the wall.
Andrew says you can remove noise in post production but it is far better to deal with the noise before it gets into your show. The more you remove in post production the more artifacting is left behind… and it is a lot of work.
Intros and Outros:
Use creative commons music or get explicit permission from the copyright holder before using music in your show. We talk about where to get music.
If you want unique sound you can buy the rights to the song and it is less likely that other podcasters will be using the music because most people will use free music.
We talk about how to put the audio together in Audacity or other software.
The next step is to TAG the file using ID3 editor (mac) or MP3 Tag (PC).
The album art is your podcasts first impression. If you don’t tag the mp3 file your album art won’t show up. Also, your description, titles, author, copyright, etc won’t show up either if you don’t tag the show.
Next Bob asks what do you do with the show next…
This is back to Free vs Paid
Blog Talk Radio
If you go with a free service you don’t have control of the RSS feed.
If the company goes out of business you lose all your subscribers.
We talk about why you should get a service like Libsyn which offers unlimited bandwidth.
We talk about how Libsyn works in terms of storage vs bandwidth.
Bob explains what iTunes and other podcatchers do. They are just directories… they don’t host anything except for the links to your files.
How do you promote your podcast?
It’s a product – treat your show like a product.
Andrew explains why it is a good idea to use Feedburner to protect your feed.
We are out of time… Bob talks about how you can get in touch with us…
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Andrew McGivern & Bob Garlick