Here at CSTM we’ve been podcasting for nearly three years now and during that time we’ve learned a lot about the medium. We’re constantly learning and looking for new ways to improve our workflow so that we can provide the highest quality possible. In the past we’ve had a few individuals ask us for advice about podcasting. We’ve done the best that we’ve could by emailing them our advice and making posts about our podcasting setup. But we’ve really never discussed how to start a podcast or the resources we use to learn how to podcast. With the advent of the Newbie Blogger Initiative I thought it would be a great time to bring up how to get started in podcasting as well.
First off, the best beginner’s tutorial on how to get started with podcasting is the Learn How to Podcast tutorial done by Cliff Ravenscraft. This tutorial is free and it will get you up and running on the Posterous web hosting platform in a couple of hours. However, let me throw out the disclaimer that I personally have no experience using Posterous as a web hosting platform or for hosting my media files. We use Libsyn to host all of our media files and we would advice others to consider using them as well. There are other media hosting services that you can use as well such as Archive.org (which is free), Blubrry, or Cyberears.
As for our webhosting, we are actually hosted on My Middle-earth Network’s server due to our traffic demands, but we have another podcast’s website being hosted on Bluehost (affiliate link), which is working well for us. We like the WordPress platform quite a bit, and you’ll find that most bloggers and podcasters do as well. In fact CSTM was initially hosted on a sister-company of Bluehost. However, if WordPress is not your style I believe there are other blogging solutions that can be used as well.
In order to attach your media files and “publish” your episodes you’ll need a Podcasting Plugin for WordPress too. There are two main contenders to choose from: Podpress and PowerPress. Now, I know that in the tutorial Cliff expresses his preference for PowerPress, but honestly either one is a good solution. CSTM has been using Podpress for years now and we stand by it, but if you choose to go with Powerpress there is a good tutorial that was recently created by Daniel J. Lewis that will explain all the features available. Podpress tutorials are also available on YouTube and other websites (but frankly it’s pretty easy to use on your own).
Next, what good would a post about learning how to podcasting be if I didn’t include links to podcasts about podcasting? First off, there is a page on Davidjackson.org that hosts links to Podcasts about Podcasting if you want to take a look at a long list. I’ve found though that the problem with this list is that a number of these podcasts have podfaded. So for those looking for a quick list of the podcasts that I think are the most relevant to learning how to podcast and staying up on the latest news, here you are (in order of relevance):
Be aware that even some of these shows don’t update that often, but you can probably find relevance in the content when it is produced Personally I think the first two hold the most value for podcasters, but I subscribe to all of the podcasts about podcasting that I can find in order to get as much of a “podcasting fix” as I can. I would also like to advise those thinking about subscribing to paid version of The School of Podcasting not to do so unless they are absolutely sure. I think you’ll find the answers most of your questions answered in the back catalog of The Podcast Answerman and The Audacity to Podcast which are entirely free.
Lastly, but certainly not the least is the podcast artwork. Remember, this is probably the first thing that someone is going to see when they look for you in iTunes so it should be as professional as possible and not contain copyrighted material. Your artwork should be 1200×1200 and inserted with a program such as MP3tag or ID3 Editor. (For more information on ID3 tags and why they’re important you can listen to episode 52 of the Audacity to Podcast.) So if you’re looking for artwork to be done, we have a listener that does great work and who is actually working on artwork for a different show. If you’d like to
contact him to make artwork for a podcast you’re thinking about feel free to do so.
So that pretty much wraps it up. With this information and some tenacity you should be able to create a podcast of your own. Good luck!