If you are thinking about starting your own podcast in order to market your business, there are several essential podcasting tools you can’t do without.
Let’s look at the most important first, down to “nice to have if you can”.
1. A high-quality microphone
You can usually buy a good mic for less than $100 on Amazon. Some prefer headset microphones, while others like a desktop microphone such as the ones you would see in radio stations.
The best type of microphone is a USB one that plugs into your computer because it assures high-quality sound without the need for any special audio interface. After all, quality podcasting tools result in great podcast sound quality.
2. Podcast cover art
People will judge a book by its cover, and therefore a podcast too. You can list your podcasting in online stores and directories. Your cover art will also often be visible in aggregator windows. Each site will have a certain size image is required.
Get a pro to design it based on your logo, website color scheme, and/or niche that the podcast is going to be about. You can find talented artists on Fiverr.com, who will charge $5 and up for their work. Look at their star ratings and reviews before choosing one.
The current requirements are:
- iTunes Podcast – 1400×1400 at 300 dpi
- iPhone Display – 160 dpi
- iPhone App Image requirement – 512×512 pixels at 160 dpi
- iPad Display – 132 dpi
3. Podcast file hosting
Your files will be big, and even more importantly, they will be erratic unless you host time in a location where they will download smoothly or be played live online without lags or jumps in the sound. The best choice for unlimited uploading and sharing of your podcasts, and giving a great listener experience, is SoundCloud.
4. RSS feed reader embedded at your site
Once you’ve uploaded the files to SoundCloud, enable your visitors to listen to them using some form of reader or widget. Once you upload your content to SoundCloud, you will see an embed code for each track, and for the channel.
5. An audio editing program
The main program used is a free open source one called Audacity. It will help you edit out any mistakes you make when recording and also enable you to add music at the start and end of the podcast and more. Record your show in Audacity, clean up the file and you are ready to publish.
6. Free theme music
You can get free theme music for the start and end of your podcast from royalty-free music sites such as Free Music Archive.
7. A great title for your channel
Create a title that makes it clear what the podcast is going to be about, and which also generates excitement in your niche audience to listen to it.
8. Teaser copy for your channel
Your teaser copy should also entice your target audience, telling them what to expect from the channel.
9. A title for each podcast (track)
Some people just number their podcasts, but this is missing out on the chance to offer a descriptive, keyworded title that will show up if someone searches SoundCloud or the iTunes store for a particular topic.
If you are talking about three different items in your hour-long podcast, incorporate all three words into the title in some way.
10. Teaser copy for each podcast
You should write enticing copy for each podcast as well, using keywords and making it clear what topics are going to be discussed. Make it sound exciting – something they would not want to miss. Great podcasting tools are useless if no one can find and listen to your content.
11. Express Scribe Transcript Software
Either offer your script online to gather search engine attention, or (if you have interviewed someone, for example) use transcription software. Express Scribe is one of the best podcasting tools I’ve come across. It has a free and paid pro version with great features and options. Post the transcript under the track for each podcast you create.
Starting your own podcast does not have to cost a lot, but it does require some organization to make it look professional and worth listening to.