Podcasting For Bloggers
Podcasts and podcasting are recommended as some of the latest and greatest ways to increase blog traffic to your site. But where do you start? Moreover, is podcasting as daunting as all the how-to’s and online guides seem to make it out to be? The simple answer is, no.
I have been podcasting since 2008 and can count amongst my friends some of the founders of Podiobooks.com [Tee Morris and Evo Terra]. Podiobooks.com is a site that is to podiobooks what Audible is to audiobooks. Some of my other friends have been maintaining podcasts since before it was considered the “in-thing”to do. So I speak from experience when I say that there is almost nothing easier to do for free as a blogger, than to begin podcasting.
That is not to say that podcasting is easy. Merely that it is not as daunting a task as it may appear to a novice. So how do you start?
You will need a mid-quality microphone for recording your raw audio files. There are podcasters out there who will drop $400 to $500 on a microphone, but that is overkill for a blogger who is not doing podcasting in a professional setting. A microphone that sits in front of your mouth on the desk is one of your best options, but stick with a Logitech headset [$40 - $50 for a better one] if that is what you can afford.
I also recommend some sort of pop filter. Your best bet is a wire hanger in the shape of a giant lollipop that has a nylon stocking pulled over it. It is not the best of podcasting equipment, but it may add a richness and quality to your sound that you would not otherwise achieve.
Many podcasters are willing to put good money down for quality audio editing software. However, there is a wide and wonderful world of open-source software that you can get great quality from at minimal to no cost. My personal preference is the cross-platform, Audacity audio editing software. With it you can record, edit, and export your entire sound file. You can find and download Audacity at http://audacity.sourceforge.net.
I definitely recommend getting the LAME library plugin [found on the plugin and library page] so that you can export your files as MP3′s.
Once you have your basic equipment, you must prepare your podcasting recording area. While there are many in-home studio options, your best bet is to simply go into your closet. The clothes act as a buffer dampening any external sound sources. Make sure to take the collar off the dog so there is no jingle and shut off your AC/Heater so there is no white noise in the background.
Audio Editing Basics
A quality podcast stands apart from a low quality one by virtue of the editing work put into it. You need to familiarize yourself with three of Audacity’s built in effects: Normalize, Noise removal, and Truncate Silence. There are many how-to’s on the internet that can help you more with your audio editing, but these three basics are necessary to improve your sound quality from raw to refined.
Currently I am following all of my own advice as I produce my BlogsAloud podcast turning the week’s best blog posts into an audio reproduction.
Podcasting is a great tool, but its benefits are measured in the amount of effort put into turning out a good signal.
About The Author
Allison D. Duncan has been blogging since 2001. Allison can be found at GetFound Consulting. She also offers Wordpress and computer/internet consulting services to her clients. You can listen to her podcast, BlogsAloud, this week's best blog posts through audio reproduction by going to BlogsAloud.com. Connect with her on Twitter @SVAllie, join her Facebook Fan Page, and at Blog Interact.
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