Blog: Ron Suarez

Creating your own podcast

First, you shouldn't begin trying to create a podcast until you've learned to subscribe to one and listened to many. While there are many ways you can subscribe to a podcast, about 90% of all subscribers use iTunes. So, download iTunes if you don't have it already. It a little confusing the first time you try using iTunes to find a podcast, because even though podcasts are generally free you have to click on the "iTunes Store." Once inside, you then click "podcasts" and you'll see lists of top podcasts. However, since the essence of podcasting is niche marketing, try exploring by typing a keyword into the search box and seeing which podcasts come up.

A really easy way to start creating a podcast is to use Gcast. All you need is Internet access to sign up and after that all you need is a telephone. After setting up your Gcast account, you just phone in and speak. This means you can do a podcast from anywhere your phone picks up a signal. I've experimented with using this to record people out at events and have the audio up on the web site in a minute. This is so easy, it makes considering creating your own podcast for a few family members or friends very reasonable.

If you want to record a conversation you can call a land phone using Skype. Before making the call, navigate to "Do More" in the "Tools" menu. Then select the "call recorder" for installation. For editing and recording the free Open Source tool Audacity is a first choice of many podcasters. Now that you've got an MP3 you need to wrap that with the necessary code to make it into a podcast. You don't need to worry about this code if you chose the Gcast route above or countless similar tools (use the advanced Google search to find sites similar to Gcast). But, if you are going to take the next step, then feedburner (recently acquired by Google) is a good place to get your recording turned into a real podcast. You get statistics and all sorts of add on capabilities.

If you want to do a really professional podcast, then you'll want to have the media from each podcast episode embedded into a blog post, which offers the ability to easily associate a text post that describes your show both for your human audience and for search engines. In that case the premier solution is the Wordpress platform along with the podpress plugin.

The most important thing is to just get started. Once you're hooked you find the time to learn the more advanced methods or decide to work with someone who has already done it. You can get to know local podcasters through user groups such as the Detroit Podcasters Network.