How To Create A Professional Podcast

 A professional podcast is one that provides information and entertainment in a well-presented manner. Creating a professional podcast is simple when following these tips.

Podcasting is, in essence, the production of audio files that can be downloaded and played on a computer, mp3 player or other device capable of playing the file format the podcast is saved in. Many of the more popular podcasts are on topics of general interest but, a corporate podcast demonstrating the expertise of a business can be an excellent way of raising the business’ profile.

How to Make a Podcast

Basic podcast production is as simple as recording a file and uploading it to the internet but creating a podcast that listeners will want to listen to requires a little more time and effort. Because of its audio nature, a podcast requires a microphone and sound recording software. While it is possible to create a podcast using Sound Recorder, it is far easier to edit the recording in fully-fledged software like Audacity, which is free.

A decent microphone is essential to give a crisp, clear recording. While sound editing software will allow some cleaning up of the recording, removing extraneous noises and enhancing volume to improve clarity, no editing can make up for the clear sound provided by a decent microphone recording the full human vocal range.

Once the podcast is recorded and edited, it is best to save it as an MP3 in order to ensure maximum compatibility with the devices listeners will use to play it. This also has the advantage of allowing a “cover image” to be added to each podcast. Cover images brand podcasts, giving them a more professional appearance than a basic sound file, when played in a player that can display them.

The simplest way to add a cover image, and other basic details such as artist information, to an MP3 file is to load it into iTunes and right-click on it to bring up the information window; select “Get Info” and then drag an image file into the white box on the “Artwork” tab. In the “Info” tab, enter the name of the Podcast into the “Album” line and then enter any other details as required.

Press Okay to save this information into the MP3, and copy the MP3 out of the iTunes Music folder to have a file that contains the artwork and new information as well as the podcast itself. This file can then be distributed as an episode of the podcast.

Choosing a Podcast Topic

The most popular podcasts are on specific topics and market themselves to people interested in that topic. When choosing a topic it is important to pick one on which a series can be based. This allows a listener base to be built up over time, and will provide a podcast library of sorts when a back catalogue is developed. A business podcast could focus on specific areas of interest relating to the business, discussing the problems faced in that area and how they can be overcome.

Businesses and other organisations may also consider podcasts as a means of delivering training to employees and volunteers. Podcast training allows advice and guidance to be provided on an as-needed basis; meaning employees can learn at their own pace and at a time that suits them. This cuts down on the need to schedule expensive specialist training for what may be a topic only of interest to a minority, or even giving employees the opportunity to brush up on knowledge and skills already acquired.

Distributing the Podcast

Podcasts are only successful if they can be accessed by their target audience. The simplest method of distribution is to create a dedicated blog for the podcast, as the blog’s RSS feed can be used to syndicate the podcast into iTunes and other podcast tracking sites. This improves the chances that the audience will find the podcast and enables quick and simple syndication.

For podcasters who want a more rounded experience for their listeners, creating a dedicated website in WordPress, or similar content management software, allows extra information (and possibly also a discussion forum) to be provided on the main site while still retaining the RSS feed for syndication.

Podcasts are an excellent way of widely distributing information; building a reputation; or providing training cheaply. With the right tools and equipment, a professional podcast can be created easily, and when combined with distribution methods like iTunes and an RSS feed, can be very successful.

No comments:

Post a Comment