Podcasting your way to a bigger audience-PART 2

This has been quite the adventure. My “no frills” podcast turned into a 3-day extravaganza…

When we last left off, I was struggling with my voice recording; not the software, but the actual sound of my voice. Finally, I got my voice to sound less nasal and more cheerful, and finished recording my audio file using audacity ( http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/). When I decided to add music, I found it was not as easy as just popping a CD into my computer slot and dragging and dropping, I had to download mp3 converting software (http://www.mp3-converter.com/easy_cd_ripper.htm). I then spent a lot of time editing, cutting, fading tracks in and out, and trying to make everything sound as professional as possible. This is not a bad thing; if you are going to announce yourself to the world, let it be in all your glory.

I have to say I am overall impressed with the audacity software; it’s not going to turn you into the next Rick Rubin, but it has everything a novice podcaster could ask for: noise reduction, making the volume of your audio track consistent, and adjusting the levels of your music.

Once the raw audio file was done, exporting it to a mp3 format was easy (remember, I had downloaded the audacity plug-in during Part 1). A note on the exporting process: you will be asked for information about your file, like title, author, etc.; be careful when typing all this in, because once it’s in, there is no way to change it. Take my word for it, I made a typo, and now have to live with it.

My podcast was done. So now what…

This actually turned out to be trickier than the recording.

My first instinct was, is there a way I can do this without getting my web guy involved? Not that I have anything against my web guy, but it was 11PM, and I didn’t think he would appreciate a frantic phone call from one of his clients at that late stage in the day. As per my handy dandy podcasting video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hrBbczS9I0&feature=channel_page), you needed somewhere to upload your podcast to–a website or hosting service. If I wanted to upload it to my website, my web guy would have to get involved, so at that moment, that was out. My other options (as per the video) were podango.com, wordpress, easypodcast.com, or mypodcast.com. Podango was on vacation (seriously). Uploading it to wordpress did not mean their free blog hosting website, wordpress.com (I found this out after I rushed to create a whole new blog for my book series). What this really meant was that if your website is built in wordpress, as in through wordpress.org, you can download a “podpress” plug-in. I then tried easypodcast.com, but must admit, I wasn’t feeling the “easy”…or I was just getting really tired. Luckily, fourth time was the charm.

I created an account at mypodcast.com. It was as simple as creating an account for my blog at wordpress.com. After creating the account I noticed you can also do all your recording through their website; they have their own recording and editing software you can download. Once my account was created, I uploaded my mp3 file, and here it is: http://hannahbooks.mypodcast.com/.

The next day of course, I called my web guy, and asked him what the deal was with podcasts, and how I could create an RSS feed, or a .xml file. This is what I remember from our 20-minute conversation: From a time and money perspective, you should just let me handle it. It’ll take me a couple hours; it’ll take you…more. After spending three solid days dealing with something I initially thought was going to take a few hours, I gave my web guy (www.bushidodesigns.net) the greenlight, and here it is: http://www.sexlifeandhannah.com/podcast.php. One of the reasons I really wanted a .xml file was because then I could submit it to iTunes for general searching, people could subscribe to my podcast through iTunes, and then download it to their iPod to take with them wherever they were headed–audio books for the new generation.

Let’s go over the “how to create a podcast” steps again:

1. Get a microphone that plugs into your computer.

2. Make sure you have some kind of audio editing software on your computer. If you don’t, download audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/) and don’t forgot to also download their mp3 converter plug-in.

3. If you want to include music tracks, make sure they are mp3 files. This means you might have to download a mp3 converter (http://www.mp3-converter.com/easy_cd_ripper.htm). I want to mention here that if you are concerned about any music licensing issues you can use a royalty free music website like Shockwave-Sound (http://shockwave-sound.com./). They have hundreds of music tracks and sound effects available for a very reasonable price, and they all arrive via e-mail in mp3 format.

4. Convert your raw audio file to mp3.

5. Upload your mp3 file to your website or hosting service. Easiest way to go: www.mypodcast.com. Otherwise ask your web guy to create an RSS feed for you and a .xml file.

Although this experience was more work than I expected, I still believe podcasting will be great for my books; a great way to involve my audience–and make it grow. People like options…and iTunes…and their iPods. See what I’m getting at?

If you have any additional questions, I am happy to answer them through my website: www.aohwrite.com

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