The Dead Simple Guide to Being a Podcaster

Discussion in 'Technical Reference Threads' started by The Night Funky, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. The Night Funky

    The Night Funky BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Some years ago, I briefly did a podcast, and while it wasn't hard to set up, it was a bit kludgey to do. After recently hearing a few podcasters mention some things about how they're doing it, I took a look at doing it again, and it is way simpler than it once was. You can do it for just a few bucks a month, and unlike a few years ago, there's no need to kludge, plus you get tons of feedback about how many people are listening to your podcast.

    So, for anybody interested in learning how to do it, here's the absolute basics of how to get started:

    1.) Get a microphone for your PC, if it doesn't already have one. Don't worry about how fancy it is, unless you're planning on doing remote recordings or something like that. Your bargain basic mic is good enough for the beginning. Or, if you've got a smartphone, you can use that to do your recording.

    2.) Audio software for recording/editing. Audacity is free, and is used by some professional podcasters (yes, people do make a living at podcasting). You'll need to install a plug-in in order to use MP3 (the standard audio format for podcasts).

    3.) A host for the podcast files. There's lots of them out there, but many folks use LibSyn. Its cheap, plans start at $5/mo., they show you how to submit your podcast to the iTunes store, give you a free webpage for your podcast, and provide you with a ton of data about how popular your podcast is.

    Essentially, you're done at this point. You'll probably want to create an email address for the podcast (this can be done via gmail or similar free email services), create some cover art (even big name podcasters often just use text on a background, so don't think you need something fancy), and a Facebook page, but all of that is optional, and doesn't require anything fancy software/hardware wise. All you have to do is record an episode, edit it (if it needs editing), add the right tags, and upload it to LibSyn. They'll handle the rest.

    If your podcast is popular enough, you can sell ads on it via LibSyn's ad network, but it seems like damned near everybody out there is using Patreon to crowdfund their podcasts. Your total cost, if you didn't have to buy a mic, is $60/year on the cheapest LibSyn plan If you did buy a mic, then you can pick one up that'll do the job well enough in the beginning for $15 or so.
  2. gul

    gul Revolting Beer Drinker Administrator Formerly Important

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    This is great advice for anybody seeking a greater platform to voice their thoughts and opinions. I bet a few Wordforgers would do well as podcasters.
  3. mburtonk

    mburtonk mburtonkulous

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    I would subscribe to the Wordforge Daily* Update podcast. You guys should get on that.

    *Or weekly.
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  4. Diacanu

    Diacanu Comicmike. Writer

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    It costs money?
    Screw that.
  5. mburtonk

    mburtonk mburtonkulous

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    You have to host your files somewhere, I assume that's about it. With services like LibSyn, you're paying for convenience.
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  6. garamet

    garamet "The whole world is watching."

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    You should look into it anyway. You've got a great voice!
  7. The Night Funky

    The Night Funky BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Oh, you can do it for free, but you've got to have a site that'll host your files for free, know how to write your own RSS feed, and then tie your RSS feed into Feedburner, so you can have it post them to iTunes. That's not easy. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication (Aaron Swartz helped invent it), and despite that name, when I tried to find "how to" instructions on the web, there didn't seem to be any.

    The $20/yr. version is only slightly easier. You pay the money to Wordpress.com for a blog, you then upload your completed podcast to Wordpress, once its posted, you go to the account you've set up with feedburner.com, tell it that you've posted a new episode, and then, if you're lucky, it'll start feeding it out to your subscribers in 30 minutes. Other times, it'll take as long as a day for it to recognize that you've posted a new episode before it starts to feed it.
  8. mburtonk

    mburtonk mburtonkulous

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    This is funny, because the only voice I remember from the "what do we sound like" thread (is that still around?) was Elwood reading us our rights.
  9. gul

    gul Revolting Beer Drinker Administrator Formerly Important

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    I only recall Tamar and Nick.
  10. mburtonk

    mburtonk mburtonkulous

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    I don't even recall myself.
  11. The Night Funky

    The Night Funky BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Just a bit of an update, apparently, PodBean has some kind of free level for podcasting. Not sure what the details are, because you have to register to find out. I will say that its cheaper than Libsyn, and the services they offer are slightly better according to the folks I know who've used both.