Podcasting for writers, sounds daunting right? Podcasting is not incredibly difficult, can lead to a massive increase in traffic and you can start podcasting for free.
You might ask yourself, free means my podcast will not be as good as many other podcasts? While equipment and experience are important, a freshman podcaster can produce a high quality podcast using only free tools and services. Here is what a basic podcast setup might include:
- Laptop with built in microphone (this assumes you purchased a laptop for writing mobility making the laptop free for podcasting use)
- Audacity – free software for recording and editing audio
That is a complete podcasting setup. If you cannot record audio without a lot of background noise or if your built in microphone produces static, you can always buy a $20 or $30 microphone or headset from any local electronics store.
Visit some of these resources for more information on podcasting equipment:
- Podcasting Equipment Guide (2011) – dated but still accurate
- A B&H Guide to Podcasting – a guide from an electronics retailer
- Podcast Equipment – a list of from the Podcast Answer Man
- Podcast Equipment Recommendations – a list of equipment from a podcasting tutorial website
- We Grow Media’s Equipment List – an expensive set of podcasting gear and technical details
Working out the equipment details is just the start to podcasting for writers. The next part of podcasting for writers is the hardest part- what will your podcast be about? There are no rules or best ideas for this part because your podcast is your podcast. It can be about anything, but I would stick with something you are an authority on or talk about your writing niche or genre. Otherwise, everything you record will sound over-rehearsed, stiff and possibly fake.
Some things to consider:
- Will your podcast be solo or will you have guests?
- How often will you release a new podcast?
- Will you use a script or ad lib?
- Where will you host your podcast?
Podcasting solo may be your only option as a beginner. Your podcast or website might not have the traffic necessary to entice guests, but you need to decide if you plan on a solo, interview or talk show format.
Solo will be the easiest, but may not produce the traffic you want unless you are a best selling author or recognized authority on something. Interview podcasts are harder to arrange, but they get more traffic. A talk show format allows you to have a conversation with your guest instead of a question and answer session like the interview podcast.
New podcasts should be released weekly or at least twice a month. Any less and you run the risk of your listeners forgetting about you and anymore carries the risk listeners will get tired of hearing your voice.
A script is a necessity. Not a script that you read line by line, but an outline of what you want to talk about at the beginning, middle and end of your podcast. Make sure your podcast outline includes any questions you plan to ask your guests.
Try to avoid an ad lib format unless you are sure that format is right for your podcast. Otherwise your podcast will sound like this, “well, ummmm, “ummm,” “ok so ummmm,” – you get the idea.
Hosting your podcast is the last step and you can choose from free or paid services. If you are using WordPress and want to host your own podcast, try WordPress Audio Player. Using the WordPress Audio Player is as simple as uploading your podcast and using the correct syntax where you want the player to show up in your blog.
Check out my list of free places to host your podcast.
[box style=”note”]Did I miss anything? Have you written a how-to on podcasting? I would love to hear about your work, podcasts or ideas in the comments below.[/box]