Podcasting is an excellent strategy for building audiences on the web. When you create a podcast you detach your content from the web and drop it onto people’s iPods and MP3 players. Listeners who would never read become fans. The problem is, podcasting isn’t easy.
From a technical standpoint, podcasting is not very hard. Anyone with a computer and a headset microphone can make one. But, making a good one that people will listen too is a different story. Most podcasts by ‘newbies’ sound terrible. The audio isn’t clear. They mumble and stumble as they speak. They umm and ahhh over and over. You can hear the dog, or kids, or traffic in the background. And, honestly, if you have a ‘bad voice for radio’ it is just hard to listen. The required time, effort, and skill for people wanting to produce a quality podcast can be prohibitive.
Odiogo is a text-to-speech service that reads your blog posts and converts them to audio files on their server. Then, they provide plugins to use with your blogging software to insert a ‘listen’ button under every post’s title and a ‘subscribe’ button to let people subscribe to your audio feed.
Creating my Odiogo account, adding my site information, and adding the plugin to my WordPress blog took about 5 minutes (however it took Odiogo nearly two days to process my blog posts and create the initial audio files for my site.)
The resulting audio feeds sound remarkably good and require little extra effort to produce. The primary difference in my workflow is that I have to proofread my posts to look for words and abbreviations that might ‘trip-up’ the text-to-speech converters. This is not any more complex than training yourself to write keyword-optimized articles for search engine optimization (notice how I didn’t use the abbreviation SEO.) It will get easier over time as I learn the sorts of things that cause problems.
There are a few other important things to do when adding an Odiogo podcast to your blog. First, make sure you turn off the Post-Teaser plugin in WordPress. I left this active and it caused my initial podcasts to cut-off abruptly after a few seconds. I also switched the RSS settings to display full texts and upped the number of posts listed in the RSS feed to 20. I’m not sure if these last 2 changes make a difference, but I did them anyway.
The last change I made in WordPress was to update my ping list with the address for pinging Odiogo. This ensures that Odiogo will get notified every time I add or update a post on the blog. The address to add is:
Now I have a podcast based on my Internet marketing blog which will help extend my reach to new audiences and create valuable links back to my blog from the podcast directories where I submit the feed for my new podcast. Ultimately, this is the primary reason to go use this service at all.
I submitted my podcast to the top directories listed in the podcast directory at Podcasting News dot com. I will be watching to see how my traffic changes as a result of adding this podcast. As the results come in, I will write about them. My hopes are high on this one.
Automated text-to-speech podcasts will not take the place of a traditional recording in my work. I have already started working on a new podcast but will be waiting until I have a reliable quiet-space to record in before launching it so I can keep up the pace and the quality of the shows. Quiet is hard to find living in a small New York apartment with a young (the only time it’s quiet is when she naps – and then I can’t make any noise or she’ll wake up!) Odiogo is a good transitional solution.
Have a prosperous day,
The Go-To Guy!
If you are listening to this post through my new podcast – visit my blog at (Go To Guy Enterprises Dot Com slash Blog) and see the Odiogo plug-in in action.