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Creating a podcast

A podcast is a digital audio file which can be downloaded or streamed from the internet. Typically, podcasts are produced as part of a series, new instalments of which can be received by subscribers automatically through an RSS feed. The freedom for podcast creators is boundless, as they can be based on practically anything and everything. This guide will feature an inclusive guide for producing, publishing, and promoting a podcast, including top tips and essential equipment.

Ever considered making a podcast? Have a quick look at this video, where we explore four key reasons why you should consider making a podcast as a student.

Podcasting Hardware

The easiest way to record and transfer audio data is through a USB microphone. Once you've recorded your podcast simply plug the microphone into your computer and listen back to your files. If you're looking to record large quantities of audio data we would recommend purchasing an SD memory card for additional storage.

Headphones are also an important piece of equipment for podcasting. Once you have recorded content begin editing, using headphones for playback helps to distinguish any background noise that may overshadow the speaker, or iron out any noticeable differences in the frequency or amplitude of the sound.

 

Podcasting Software

Despite there being several audio editing tools available on the market, we suggest using Audacity, a free and open-source, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems (accessible through AppsAnywhere on SHU computers). Audacity is an easy-to-use software, perfect for those starting out with limited editing experience.

Depending on your experience in audio editing, the university also provides students with access to Adobe Audition. Perhaps a more complex software to grasp, Audition includes features such as multi-track, non-destructive mix/edit environment and a destructive-approach waveform editing view. This software is available on SHU computers through AppsAnywhere.

  • There are a number of considerations when producing a podcast, some of which are more important than other, but still contribute to composing a good podcast nonetheless.
  • While freedom and spontaneity can be viewed as a considerable benefit when creating a podcast, there is still a substantial need to follow a tight structure. This will help speakers to stay on track with the podcast theme. Following a structure also helps encourage the audience to listen, if the podcast flows well and clearly signposts through the podcast.
  • Using music and sound effects can be a good way to distinguish your podcast from others. By adding additional sounds, the audience may feel more engaged with the content.
  • Finding a suitable room is essential. Avoid using rooms with air conditioning, or other sounds which may reduce the clarity of an audio recording.
  • To minimise any severe differences in sound amplitude between speakers, ensure all participating speakers are a reasonable and similar distance from the microphone. Moving about, or if speakers are disproportionately sat around the microphone, then sounds are likely to record at different amplitudes (volume). This would then require a lot of unnecessary editing.
  • Keep it consistent - similar podcast lengths will help to retain a solid audience.

 

Publishing your podcast

You should give some thought to choosing the most suitable podcast hosting provider. There are a number of online platforms which can be used to host a podcast but it is important to choose the most appropriate host.

Some factors that you may want to consider are:

  • Price - Host providers will vary in price. If you are a beginner to podcasting then it may be advisable to start using a free platform. Most free platforms offer limited space, so until you are exceeding the 'free' capacity, save your money!! Paid hosting subscriptions are designed to store large media files and support the high bandwidth needed for listeners to download or stream podcasts.
  • Simplicity - Some podcast hosts are easier to use than others. If you feel overwhelmed, go for simplicity over power.
  • RSS feed support - ensure the host provider accommodates for an RSS feed. This will enable listeners to subscribe to your podcast, receiving notifications whenever you publish new content.
  • Embeddable player - An embedded player for a podcast from your point of publicity allows much easier accessibility for listeners.
  • Sitebuilder - Some podcast hosts give you a site builder so you can build a complete website that can easily integrate your episodes. This may be useful or completely unnecessary for you. Others simply give you a basic podcast page that lists your episodes.
 

Promoting your podcast

Once you have chosen a host provider and you podcast is ready for publishing, you need to formulate a promotion strategy. This will help you to maximise interest in your podcast and reach a wider audience.

You may want to consider:

  • Sharing you podcast on social media - ensure you share the podcast on all social media platforms. You can also sponsor or pin posts, and reach out to SM pages with big followings and ask if they would share your content.
  • Enabling podcast comments - this helps to build a sense of community between you and your listeners.
  • Submitting your post to directories - this will help to broaden the potential audience
  • Ensuring your podcast title and cover art is memorable and catchy - This will help listeners to recognise your podcasts above others. You should remain vigilant to the names and artwork of other podcasts to ensure minimal crossovers with other podcast branding.
 

LinkedIn Learning pathway

Do you want to learn more about the key steps in producing, recording and promoting a podcast? We’ve put together a learning pathway on Linked In which includes a course on podcasting which you can get a certificate for completing, and some additional videos on skills like speaking confidently. This would be a great opportunity to demonstrate your professional development to future employers, so why not give it a go?

Learn more about podcasting through LinkedIn Learning.

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