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The Rewards of Podcasting

Reaping The Podcasting Rewards
Getting started with podcasting is a relatively inexpensive venture. The equipment and software required for podcasting is inexpensive for a business contemplating podcasting as a new marketing and communication adventure.

Required Equipment

1. A Computer Capable of Recording Audio
2. Recording and Editing Software (RecordForAll Suggested - US$39.00)
3. Podcast Creation Software (FeedForAll Suggested - US$39.00)
4. A Microphone
5. A Recording Location (quiet, without any echo)

Start With A Plan Or Concept

First things first -- you will need to decide on the podcast's content and format. What types of content will the podcast show contain? How long will each broadcast be? How frequently will new podcasts be available? The general format of the show will shape future podcasts, so a fair amount of thought should be given to the show's format. You must also determine what the approximate length of each show and show segment will be. Listeners will come to expect a certain format and time commitment. Create an outline that will dictate the format and segment lengths. If you are going to use audio advertisements in the podcasts, be sure to include them in your format outline.

The Actual Recording

The first show will be part of the educational process, and likely won't be perfect. But there are a couple of the obvious things that you should plan on doing from the beginning, such as: The recording should be done in a quiet place. And record the show segments in "chunks" rather than trying to stream everything all together -- this will make the editing process much easier.

Edit And Add Transitions

Edit each audio file to remove extraneous words, noise, long gaps or silence. Add transitional effects between podcast segments. To make the show sound more professional, introduce the show with a podsafe music clip, which can also be overlaid easily into each section. Audio recording and editing software will make building your show easy.

Create A Feed And Upload

Once you have completed the editing of the podcast audio file, save it as an MP3 file, upload it to the web, and then use podcast creation software to create an RSS feed. The link to the audio file will be included in the enclosure field of the RSS feed's first item. Use the RSS feed's Item Title and Description fields to describe the show. Use keywords related to the audio content in the description of the RSS feed. You may also want to include a text transcript of the show to give listeners a better sense of what the show will cover.

Promote The Podcast

Promote your new show to the masses. Submit the podcast to the various online podcast directories and podcast search engines. Include a page on your website that includes information about the show, and how to subscribe to it. Make it easy for interested parties to find information about the podcast.

Analyze

Analyze the podcast's popularity by viewing web logs or other podcast tracking data. Continually monitor the podcast's popularity, and determine whether subscriptions are increasing or decreasing. Pay attention to which topics attracted the most attention, and consider doing follow-up and related segments that pertain to the more popular shows.

Communicate With Listeners

Setup a forum, blog, or email feedback form to communicate with listeners. Allow your subscribers to comment on your show and provide feedback about what they liked and didn't like. Build and improve your show based on the feedback you receive.

Podcasting is a viable and interesting new method of communication. Use podcasting to boost your company to the forefront of your industry. Leveraging this powerful communication tool will give you a leg up on the competition.

About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for RecordForAll http://www.recordforall.com audio recording and editing software.