Podcasting Made Easy

I’ve always wanted to host my own podcast but it producing it seemed to difficult or expensive so I kept postponing the idea. As part of my renewed focus this year I was determined to finally launch a podcast. wp_podcast

Why is Podcasting important to me?

  • Audio creates a very intimate experience
  • Speaking comes naturally to me

I researched podcasting thoroughly and one evening feeling a bit overwhelmed I realized the answer was staring at me in the face all this time.

WordPress

WordPress is much more than a simple blogging platform. It has matured into a full fledged content management system (CMS) that powers university websites, social networks, &  podcasts. My beloved WordPress is the key ingredient to the “Podcasting Made Easy” recipe.

Recording and Editing a Podcast

Before we jump into the details of WordPress podcast publishing let’s talk about the easiest way to record and edit a podcast.

Skype.

Chances are your podcast will include interviews and/or group discussions and that makes skype essential. Skype is the the world’s IM/voicechat service so you should be on skype already.

Recording

If you are a Windows User record skype conversations with Pamela Call Recorder ($22), Mac users try Call Recorder ($20). I’ve used Pamela forever and been very happy with it and my man @cottonr swears by Call Recorder.

Editing

There are plenty of professional packages that you might consider in the future but many of us still rely on the wonderful and free Audacity. It’s open source and widely used so you’ll find plenty of tips and tutorials to get you started.

Now that you have your first podcast recorded its time to publish.

Publish a Podcast with WordPress

A few clarifications –

  • I’m talking about self-hosted WordPress.org sites, not WordPress.com
  • You still need a place to upload and host your audio files online.

All you need to turn your WordPress Blog into a podcasting platform is a wonderful plugin from the fine folks at BluBrry, the PowerPress Podcasting Plugin.

Do a search for “powerpress”, install, then activate the plugin. Now in your left sidebar you have a new menu called PowerPress. Dig into the options if you want but you are ready to publish a podcast with the defaults.

How to Post an Episode

To publish a new episode just create a new post and add your audio files. The title of your post is the Podcast Episode Title, the post itself becomes the show notes, you add the audio file with the new fields below the post.

audiofile_pp

Paste the direct link to your audio file. You’ll need to upload the audio it to your server first and paste the link, there is NOT an upload function. Powerpress will detect the file size and length and include it into your post.

Syndicate your Podcast

PowerPress does a good job of helping you submit your post to iTunes directly from the settings page but I prefer to syndicate to Feedburner and then to iTunes. It adds a step but gives me the flexibility to edit my podcast source in Feedburner without having to resubmit it to iTunes.

  1. Copy your Podcast feed from PowerPress->Settings->Feeds: It should look like http://example.com/feed/podcast
  2. Go to Feedburner.Google.com and burn a new feed, make sure to check the box “I am a podcaster!”
  3. Take your new burned feed http://feeds.feedburner.com/example and submit it to iTunes

After about a week you should get an email from iTunes that you podcast is now published. Congratulations!

BONUS tips:

Keep It Simple Stupid

Does all this still seem overwhelming? Take a couple of minutes and listen to the audio portion of this post where I share a great site that will have you publishing audio within minutes for free. Yes I’m serious. If you just want audio posts without any hastle you can’t go wrong with… well you’ve have to listen.

I also share a great site to find free sound files you can download, remix, and adapt for your own podcast.

Final Notes

This is not meant to be complete guide to podcasting so remember that documentation and Google are your friends. If you need help leave a comment or contact me.

I’d like to say a word of thanks to Mr. @studionashvegas / studionashvegas.com for planting this seed with his presentation, How to Use WordPress for Dang Near Anything, at Wordcamp Fayetteville last year.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Know the Network Podcast. Thanks for reading & listening.

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