How to Make a Podcast: A Step-by-Step Guide

Blogging Your Trip — By on January 31, 2011 at 10:00 pm

podcastBy Brooke Schoenman
LG Tech & Gear Editor

Adding a podcast to your blog can have many benefits—it’s a more personal element since people are able to hear you speak, and it can also help you grab an audience that would prefer to listen instead of read. There are many reasons to start a podcast, but putting it together can seem more laborious than it really is. Read through this podcast guide and you’ll be on your way to having a one of your own in no time!

1. Make sure you have the proper equipment

Making a podcast doesn’t require a ton of equipment: Try a computer with a microphone and some sort of recording program (even Windows Movie Maker has a narration function). If you think about it, there’s even the chance to use a phone that has a recording device to do interviews and then transfer the audio later on.  Being creative with what you have while traveling can help you continue to produce fun and interesting podcasts when you would otherwise think it’s impossible.

Check out this PodcaStudio microphone setup for a more professional podcast production:podcastudio

2. Download a free audio editing program

I chose to download Audacity (free and open-source), and am quite pleased with the decision. This program is fairly easy to use and offers the user the ability to insert numerous audio tracks, add effects, and export the audio into a podcast friendly format.

3. Record and collect your audio clips

There are a number of ways to collect your audio—sitting at the computer with a microphone, using your cell phone recording device, or even installing a program that records your Skype calls (great for interviews).

For the mini-podcast example I have at the bottom of this post, I had a few people send me clips via email, and the rest was done with Audacity and a microphone. For recording Skype calls, simply go into your Skype Tools menu and then “Get Extras.” Searching for “recording” will bring you the results of some simple programs to work with.

4. Choose music for your podcast

You can’t just go out and put your favorite song in the background of your podcast since it would be a violation of certain usage laws. Your best bet is to search for music that has already been approved for podcast use, such as through the Free Music Archives. You’ll have to attribute the work, but more often than not, it’s free.

5. Assemble the podcast in Audacity

Now is the time to put it all together in Audacity. You can import all of your clips into separate tracks, add effects, and smooth it all out until you’ve reached a final product that listens well. If you get creative, you can insert ads or commercials—even throw in some sound effects.

6. Export the audio as an MP3

Once finished, export the audio file as an .mp3 since it’s the most popular audio type for podcasts.

Podcast Image7. Upload your file to your podcast hosting site

Where you decide to host your podcast depends on your frequency, size, and popularity of the files. Hosting on your own website is nice unless it starts to take up too much bandwidth. In that case, you can try using a free podcast hosting site like PodBean.com.

8. Link the podcast and create a feed

If you’re blogging already, then next step is easy. Head over to feedburner and syndicate your podcast. After you create the feed and follow this guide, then anytime you link to an audio or video file in your posts, a special RSS enclosure will be included that is picked up and recognized by several services.

9. Syndicate your podcast with iTunes

Finding listeners for your new podcast is much easier if you get it listed on iTunes along with thousands of others. There is a process to submit your podcast to iTunes, and you can find that and everything you need to know on the iTunes podcast page. When you’ve got your podcast and feed fine-tuned, you can head over to the submit page.

As an example,I put together the podcast below. It features a couple of introductions to other travels along the way.

Check out the LG Podcast!

The music for the podcast:

Symphony of Curves (Transient) / CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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    4 Comments

  • Great simple guide. You might mention simple distribution too. Add a 9 with a link to Apple’s podcast submission page, and a link to things like (but not necessarily) Callisto.fm. The truth of the matter is that a podcast is great fun, but without listeners, it’s a hobby 🙂 Oh, and make sure to mention Feedburner’s Podcast specific options, like the managingEditor email address.

  • Brooke S says:

    Cheers Michael!
    You sound like a real pro at this 🙂 Thanks for the feedback… I’ll add in the point about syndicating with iTunes.
    -Brooke

  • I’d been thinking about incorporating a podcast into my blog, but thats likely just a pipedream, right there alongside my aspirations to actually create another post for said blog. Your outline at creating a podcast and subsequent finished product are great though! Nice work!

  • Brooke S says:

    I’ll admit, it did take me a bit of time to put it together, but it was fun 🙂