Last time we talked about why you should podcast. Today, I’m going to show you how to get started podcasting. There are several different ways to put together your podcast, but I am going to show you an easy and free way to do it. This way, you’ll have no valid objections to getting started.
Step One: SoundCloud
You’re going to use SoundCloud to record your voice. You won’t need an external microphone. Just “speak up” and your computer’s microphone will pick your voice up great.
First ~ Sign Up For SoundCloud
Start with a free account, it will do you just fine for now. You can record up to 2 hours with a free account. And don’t worry, it doesn’t go through the roof after that. You can get an additional two hours for about $35 a year, and 12 hours for about $95 a year.
You can sign up by connecting through Facebook or simply entering your email and a password. Once you are signed up, take some time and fill out your personal profile. Add a bio, and links to your website and all of your social media accounts. The reasons for this are (1) so that people who find you on SoundCloud can connect with you other places, and (2) you can search for and follow people on SoundCloud, so having your profile filled out will help people find you and make them want to follow you.
Also make sure you customize your SoundCloud url. You can easily change the numbers they give you to your name or business name.
Second ~ Record Your Voice
At the top of the page you will see a button that says “Upload and Share.” Click on that button and this screen will come up:
As you can see, it will show how many minutes you have left in your current plan. Click on the “Record” button. A box will come up asking you to grant SoundCloud permission to access your computer’s mic and camera. Allow this, then click “Record” again and start talking. An orange button will appear for you to push to stop the recording when you are finished.
Third ~ Upload Your Recording
After you have stopped the recording, this screen will appear:
You can play the recording to see how you like it. Then either hit “Start over” and do it again, or (hopefully!) hit “Upload your recording.” Once you click “Upload,” your recording will start uploading to your account immediately. While it is uploading, you will be filling out information on the screen, including the name of your recording, a description, tags, copyright information, and an image (if you want).
There is an option on the “Upload” screen that allows you to make your recording available for people to download. Download is not automatically enabled, so I recommend you click the box to enable it. You want to give your listeners every possible option to listen to you at their convenience.
Fourth ~ Request Your RSS Feed
Now your audio is available for all to listen to and download in SoundCloud, which is great. But, I don’t yet find a lot of people who are active on the SoundCloud website itself. Because of that, and to get you maximum exposure, you need to broadcast your audio as a podcast. To do this, you’ll need an RSS Feed from SoundCloud.
Your RSS Feed is not automatically available in SoundCloud. Their podcast feature is in beta right now, so you have to fill out a form and get approved. You can find the form here, or by entering “RSS Feed” into the search box in the help section on SoundCloud. Don’t be intimidated. I applied after doing my first 5 minute recording and was approved the next day.
Once you are approved, the RSS button will appear on your personal profile page like this:
Just click on the orange RSS button and the box will pop up giving you your podcast URL. Copy that, then we’ll head over to iTunes.
Step Two: iTunes
You will want to have your podcast listed in iTunes. It’s not the only place people go, but there are enough people there to make this a “must.”
In iTunes, you can subscribe to podcasts and they are automatically downloaded into your iTunes account. You can then listen to them on demand, and they will automatically upload to your iPod when you sync it. This makes it easy for people to listen to you when and how they want. And easy is good for all of us.
Getting your podcast listed in iTunes is also easy. Go to your iTunes account and click on “Podcast” in the top menu. On the right-hand side, you will see this menu:
Click on “Submit a Podcast” and it will ask you to submit the RSS Feed you copied from SoundCloud in step one. It took two days for iTunes to notify me that my podcast was listed.
You are now officially a podcaster. Good job!
Step Three: Tell the World
There are lots of places in addition to iTunes where you can have your podcast listed. There’s a great comprehensive listing of podcast directories on Podcast411. Don’t even try to list your podcast in all of these directories. Just find the ones most appropriate for your audience and slowly add your podcast to additional directories. For starters, being on SoundCloud and iTunes is good.
SoundCloud is well integrated with most social media sites. You can embed your audio track directly on your Facebook page so that your audience can listen to it without ever leaving Facebook. There are also social sharing buttons on each track in SoundCloud that allow you and your listeners to easily share your track to Twitter and Google+. You can also pin your tracks on Pinterest.
And, of course, you can share the link to your iTunes podcast on social media and encourage your audience to subscribe.
The combination of SoundCloud and iTunes allows you to share your podcast everywhere. And, it allows your audience to listen to it on demand (yes, SoundCloud has mobile apps), to download it from SoundCloud, or to have it automatically delivered to them on iTunes.