How To Start A Podcast
Podcasting has many uses. If you’re a business, it’s great for keeping customers and potential customers up to date with your brand and/or industry. For those who are getting into podcasting personally, it’s possible to monetize the show and make podcasting fun as well as profitable. “Vodcasting” or video podcasting is anther route to go. As the name implies, vodcasting is basically a podcast series with video media. For those vodcasting, the video layer can always be stripped and converted into a podcast as well.
What’s Required To Get Started
The requirements really aren’t much. In fact, if you go the YouTube Live route, there’s really zero requirements to get started (outside of a computer and internet). We’ll get more into Google Live later on in this post. For the audio podcasts, you’ll need some sort of podcast hosting. We’ll go into that more further on. Of course, the better the gear (webcam, microphone, ect) the better, but it’s possible to get started without much of an investment at all.
Setting Up An Audio Podcast
Some of this might sound sort of complex, but it’s really fairly simple. There’s shortcuts that can be taken, like just using an RSS feed from a podcast directory instead of formatting a feed from a WordPress site, for example. But with shortcuts, there is also a lack of effectiveness. For those looking to take shortcuts, we’ll let you know where they exist as we continue through this guide.
In order to start your podcast, you’ll first need podcast hosting. I’d personally suggest either BluBrry or Libsyn. This will come with a little bit of monthly overhead, but nothing that’ll break the bank. If you’re really that bootstrapped and don’t have anything to invest into podcasting, keep reading and check out the section on YouTube Live.
Using A WordPress Site For Podcasting
WordPress is a great website building platform. WordPress also generates RSS feeds right out of the box, which makes them perfect for podcasting, as all podcasts are RSS-driven. If you’re business podcasting, there’s a good chance your company site is already built on WordPress and only requires a plugin to get started. If your site is not built on WordPress, but a different platform or it’s just an HTML site, you can always toss WordPress on a sub-domain or sub-directory.
If you don’t currently have a website, it’s a great idea to build one for your podcast. Your website will make it easier to gain valuable search engine exposure. If this is a personal podcast and not a business podcast, the website can be a great way to monetize your project. This is through affiliate offers, display ads and other forms of monetization that we’ll discuss further below.
For those who don’t want to build a website, or don’t have the time or budget, the podcast hosts will be able to generate an RSS feed that you can use. Although you can do this without a website, it’s still highly suggested. If you can’t create a website at this time, definitely make it a priority as your podcast grows and evolves.
Learn More: Setting Up A Podcast Using WordPress
Adding The Podcast To Directories
Once WordPress has been configured and the feed is ready, it’s time to syndicate the show to all the podcast directories. The main ones are iTunes and Google Play, but there are tons of podcast directories out there. It’s worth noting that a lot of the smaller podcast directories (also referred to as “Feed Catchers”) will scrape iTunes or Google Play to find new shows to add to their site. This is because it generates more content for them. Because of this, your show will be picked up automatically by certain sites, without any intervention required by you. Others, you’ll have to submit yourself.
Setting Up A Vodcast
Now we’re going to go over how to setup a odcast, video podcast, vlog, whatever you want to call them. Due to networks such as YouTube or Vimeo, this can actually be done 100% free of charge. If you’re really that bootstrapped to where you can’t pay for podcast hosting, this might be the smartest, or only route to go. At a later date, you can always strip the audio layer and convert the video podcast into an audio podcast. This is a smart idea, as you’ll gain a larger reach from being in most places. Likewise; you can also convert the audio file into a video file, with an image or collection of images added and gain exposure for your audio podcast through all the popular video sites.
YouTube Hangouts On Air
YouTube is the world’s largest video site. It’s also a great destination for podcasters. If it’s only you, or someone in the same room as you, you can simply record the video file and upload it to YouTube. If you’re hosting multiple people from different locations, YouTube Hangouts On Air (or YouTube Live) makes this incredibly simple to do. Much easier than any of the other live streaming networks.
The live aspect is also great, as it allows your fans to interact with you in real time. The live chat is slightly different than the regular chat, and an archive of the live chat will be available after the live hangout has finished. The archived version of the live hangout is also available on the YouTube channel after the show has wrapped up.
YouTube is also one of the networks that can be monetized via AdSense. There are certain content requirements as well as channel requirements before the content can be monetized.
Vimeo and Vimeo Live
Vimeo and Vimeo Live is another option to consider for video podcasts. The one issue with Vimeo over YouTube is that there’s no way to monetize Vimeo and if you’re a business or planning on using the live streaming, you’ll actually have to pay for Vimeo. For personal podcasters trying to monetize, you might not to pay to have content featured on Vimeo, instead of on a video site that offers a revshare. If you’re a business trying to get a larger reach, Vimeo is less competitive and a great site to be a part of.
Vimeo Live also isn’t as feature-rich as YouTube Live. Especially when it comes to the ease of inviting guests on your shows. We’ve had shows where someone we recognized in the live chat wanted to jump on, and it was as simple as emailing them the hangout join link. Something like that isn’t nearly as simple over Vimeo Live.