With a WordPress blog, you can get your voice heard in several ways. While writing is great and sufficient for most blog owners, sometimes it pays to mix up your content with podcasts. For instance you can hold interviews with authority figures in your niche and share them as podcasts on your blog. You could also share tips on daily challenges and insights as podcasts.
Bottom line is that your blog can benefit in many ways from offering a variety of content types besides writing.
In this post we’ll cover the steps for setting up a podcast on WordPress and how they work.
First though are the basics.
How Podcasting Works
A podcast is a media type comprising an audio recording and made available via the Internet. Typically a podcast has some form of subscription – free or paid – where subscribers automatically receive new podcasts in episodic format.
Podcasts have limitless applications: they can be used for news discussions, debates, basic web content relay, tutorials, and more. If you’re planning a tutorial series on a specific topic, consider a podcast as one of the media types for offering the series.
Podcasting combines MP3 technology with blogging to create an online ‘radio show’ of sorts. Since you need minimal setup and equipment to record a podcast, anyone can create one and share their thoughts online with ease. Essentially it costs nothing to make a podcast provided you have a microphone.
Setting Up A Podcast On WordPress
What you need:
- A blog
- A media hosting provider
- Recording equipment
Before you think of setting up a podcast on WordPress, you need a live blog or website running on the platform, with top-notch hosting of course.
Next you need a media hosting provider to store your podcasts. Usually audio and video files are big media files that can quickly exhaust your hosting space. Using a dedicated media host is hassle free and offers the best user experience. In short, use a separate media host for your podcast rather than your normal web host.
Finally, you need audio recording equipment – a microphone and recording software. A basic microphone that can connect to a computer is usually sufficient but as you gain more experience in podcasting, you will realize that it pays to invest in a quality microphone.
- Install audio recording and playback software
- Record your podcast
- Publish the podcast
Start by installing audio recording software on your computer. Audacity is a powerful audio recording application you can try out for free but search for a few others to and experiment.
Once you’re properly setup, record your podcast and export it in MP3 format. Find an orderly format to name your podcasts.
Now it’s time to publish your podcast to the world. You could do this the hard way by creating a feed for your podcast and then registering it with a feed burner or you could use a plugin to streamline the process.
The Manual Process:
Step 1: Create A Category For The Podcast
To do this, login to your dashboard, hover over the Posts menu and click on Categories. All your podcast episodes will fall under this category.
Step2: Get A Feed URL For Your Podcast
A feed URL for your podcast is different from the normal feed URL. To get the URL for the podcast, append this line to your domain name: /category/podcast/feed. For instance, if your category is mypodcast, your podcast URL will be: http://www.domainname.com/mypodcast/podcast/feed. You’ll use this in the next step to setup the feed burner.
Step 3: Set Up Feedburner Feed
A FeedBurner feed is important because it sits between your blog and the iTunes podcast repository. In reality, iTunes doesn’t actually store your podcast but acts as a central directory pointing to the actual server that stores your podcast.
Once your feed source is identified, you then provide a title (which will be the name of your podcast) and Feedburner address. Your FeedBurner feed should be active once you click Next.
Step 4: Configure iTunes Listing for your Podcast
Once your FeedBurner feed goes live, you’re now left with setting up the podcast to be listed on iTunes, which is a pretty straightforward, fill-in-the-blank space type of thing you do within the FeedBurner interface.
Step5: Submit Your Podcast To iTunes
First, you’ll create a new post (the name should be for your podcast show) and then upload your recorded podcast using the Add Media button. If your podcast is hosted by a dedicated service, you’ll use the Insert from URL option to upload it. Ideally this URL should be a downloadable link. If the podcast is stored on your computer or web host, you’ll need to create a downloadable link for it.
Now launch iTunes on your computer (download it if you don’t have it installed already). Click on the iTunes Store button and then the Podcasts menu. A list of quick links will be displayed; choose Submit Podcast. You need a valid Apple ID to submit your podcast. All you need to do is submit the FeedBurner URL you created earlier on in the process and then iTunes will pull all the relevant info in your feed.
Once you submit your podcast successfully, it goes into the review queue and if it is approved, it will be listed in the iTunes podcast directory.
Plugins make the process of creating and submitting a podcast more streamlined as you do everything within one admin dashboard. It’s basically the same process as above but done from within your WordPress dashboard. Check out the Podlove Podcast Publisher and the Blubbry PowerPress Podcasting plugins although there are plenty others that do a solid job.
Creating and submitting a podcast via a WordPress blog can be a lengthy but manageable process. If done right and with some persistence, it can be greatly lucrative so think about it if you have good content to share.
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