Tuesday, February 06, 2007

How to create and host a podcast for free

How to create and host a podcast for free

1. Write a script
Find what you want to record and create a script.

2. Find a voice
You can try to recruit people with radio voices, but you may need to do it yourself. Be sure your voice is upbeat and that you sound excited about your topic.

3. Record your voice
Most digital recorders record your voice in a .wav file. I use my office phone since it is equipped with a televantage client. I record my podcast like I would a phone greeting and import the file to where I am working.

4. Add music
This step is optional, but it adds some interest to have an opening theme, or background music. You can get royalty and copyright free music anywhere. I used Incompetech, http://incompetech.com/m/c/royalty-free/. Try to pick music that is real music and not musac. You can splice music with your podcast together at http://splicemusic.com. Just upload the music then upload your podcast and then you can mix the two together. The program is intended for DJs, but it works great for this purpose.

5. Host your podcast
Odeo.com can host your podcast for free. You can download your podcast from SpliceMusic and upload it to Odeo. You can just link to splicemusic, but you don't have as much functionality. You have to use the Odeo player on your webpage, or you can just add the link wherever you want. I would choose the player. Odeo inserts a three second add at the beginning of your podcast without it. Your podcast may not have as high a quality, so the comparison between professional and amateur would be obvious.

(A trick for getting the odeo script minus the ad or player is to click on their provided link, which will launch your windows media player, right before that happens, the url changes. If you are able to stop it or copy the url before that happens, you can post it without interference.)

6. Create a podcast button
You can find a webpage to copy a button image that says podcast. You can search here You can host the image on your webpage, however, if you don't control the webpage, you can post the image to photobucket, then link to that host. Either way you need to link the button to the podcast link. For instance,

a href="http://media.odeo.com/8/7/0/splicemusic_1_.com-music-Adult_Program_Podcast_February_2007.mp3 img src="http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m209/grey-podcast-2.gif" border="0"

7. Find a prominent location on your webpage
My podcasts are just for library events right now, so I placed the podcast link right under the link to that program section webpage. When I develop them for our library news, I will place the button and link there.

8. Advertise your podcast
Make sure you tell people about your podcast. Advertise in your newsletter, webpage, newspaper, email, etc.

9. Create a subscribe in itunes button.
You can find some examples here. The podcast you host on Odeo shows up in itunes, so it is a neat way to advertise since everyone has heard of itunes.

10. Say how often you update and stick to it
Monthly or weekly is fine. Don't overextend yourself and end up with an irregular podcast.

Always have fun with it. Podcasting adds a neat and personal feature to your website. It is one thing to have general text information, another to have a blog, and especially a podcast. It provides a personal touch to a usually impersonal webpage.

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