Creating Your Own Podcast

 For the uninformed, a podcast is an internet radio show that can be downloaded for listening after the podcast is recorded, often on a personal media player. However it should be noted that podcasts are not limited to these devices and can play on practically any computer.

Usually a podcast offers an RSS feed, which is a listing of all the recent shows. The RSS feed can be connected to specific programs called podcast receivers which will automatically download the latest editions of the podcast and place them on your portable media player or on your computer.

First, you will need to decide what your podcast is going to be about. Generally podcasts with specific topics in which the broadcaster has expertise in are more successful because the podcaster can offer a more unique insight for people to listen to. It is definitely a good idea to come up with an introduction to be used every show, and a general script to go off of, so that you are not caught without anything to say.

You will also want to find some music for a introduction that goes well with your podcast. You can find these at any number of places online; it is a good idea to use public domain and creative commons music to avoid any copyright issues. Some localities allow podcasters to use 30 seconds of a copyrighted song as a theme, but you should check the legality of doing this where you are at before doing this.

Now you will need the only piece of hardware you should have to purchase, you will want a decent headset microphone which can be purchased at any of the big box stores for less than twenty dollars. This will help ensure your recording has a decent audio quality that people will want to listen to. You will also need a piece of audio-editing software to splice in your introduction music and record your actual podcast. I recommend a piece of software called Audacity, which is available for free online. You are now ready to begin recording your podcast!

After you have all the editing done and the MP3 file ready to go, you will need a place to host your podcast on the internet. Generally you can get a free website through your internet service provider, or another web host online which will include enough space to host your podcast. If your podcast becomes quite popular, you may need to move your podcast to a place which allows for a high amount of bandwidth to be used. You should create a website to go with your podcast to help promote and publicize it. You will want to upload the audio file you created and then you can begin creating your RSS feed.

A RSS (Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication) feed is how your listeners will know you have a new podcast recorded and uploaded. Their podcast receiving software will check your RSS feed periodically and download the latest podcast. You can create one of these quite easily without knowing the markup language behind the RSS feed it self at a number of websites online.

Now that you have your podcast recorded, uploaded to your website, and an RSS feed created, you will want to promote your podcast, which you can do by submitting it to iTunes and Podcast Alley, which are two of the major podcast directories. After a sufficient amount of promotion, you are done! Congratulations, you have your very own podcast, remember to post a new podcast at least once every week or two so that users are not left hanging!

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