6 Steps To Setting Up Your Own Podcast

Podcasting and the steps needed to set up a podcast came up in a recent conversation with a consulting client. What follows is a snapshot of our conversation. I am developing an in-depth training program that covers all aspects of podcasting in detail, but this overview will be enough to get you started until the training program is finished. (If you have specific questions you’d like me to cover, leave them in a comment below!)

I’ve been working with my friend/client on the promotion of a book he wrote. Recently I was advising him to start a weekly podcast that incorporates portions of his book and then directs people to his website (were he sells the book, of course!)

He has already posted MP3 audio excerpts from the book (www.AllenPaulWeaverIII.com) and the first big question he wanted to know the answer too was what the difference is between these MP3 recordings and a podcast. I thought the answer made a good introduction to the subject of podcasting.

So, What is The Difference Between an MP3 and a Podcast?

Short answer, not much!

The audio file in a podcast is just a plain old MP3 – nothing fancy. But, the content of the audio file will have certain distinct characteristics.

The content of the file will probably have an opening segment to the show, maybe some commercial breaks, and a closing segment – like a radio show.

The resulting MP3 file is loaded onto a server, like any other file.

Besides the structure of the content, the biggest thing that distinguishes a Podcast from other MP3 files is the way in which it is promoted and distributed.

Podcasts use the RSS technology built into blogging software to create a ‘feed’ for people to subscribe to. This feed gets promoted at places like Apple’s iTunes store, iPodder.com, Odeo.com, and other places dedicated to tracking and promoting podcasts.

When a subscriber adds the RSS link to your podcast into a program like iTunes, the software will automatically download your podcast MP3s when a new one is posted and synchronize it with the subscribers iPod or media player.

There is one special distinction between a regular RSS feed and the RSS feed used for a podcast. The podcast feed must include something called enclosure tags around the link to the MP3 file. These tags tell the feed reader that a link to audio media is present.

Some blog software adds enclosure tags automatically and some does not. WordPress handles it automatically. For those blogs that don’t do this automatically, a simple way to generate a podcast-ready feed is to take the regular feed from the podcast category and use feedburner.com to ‘burn’ a new feed. Feedburner will add the enclosure tags and then you can submit their feed link to the podcast directories. (Here’s an added bonus – Feedburner will also give you lots of great statistical traffic data about your feed subscribers, so you might want to go this route anyway!)

Here is the 6 step process for distributing a podcast using WordPress:

  1. Record and Upload your audio files
  2. Create a new Category on your blog for the podcast
  3. Post a new entry into this category that has a link to the audio file
  4. Submit the RSS feed from your category page to the podcast directories (run it through Feedburner.com if you want the added stats or need to add enclosure tags)
  5. Brag to all your friends about your cool new podcast (aka Social Promotion)
  6. Record and Upload More Episodes

I use WordPress to create my blogs and websites. To create a link to the RSS feed on a specific page on a WordPress blog, you just need to copy the address of the page from your browser and add “/rss” to the end. Here is an example from this website as an illustration:


The hardest part of the whole process is coming up with great content for your podcast. The tech isn’t as complex as it may appear at first glance.

Did I leave something out or give an answer as confusing as the question? Just add a comment to this thread and I’ll do my best to clarify.

I haven’t set Allen’s podcast up yet, so I may discover a few new issues along the way. If I do, I’ll update this post.

Andrew Seltz
The Go-To Guy!

If you are listening to the podcast version of this article, visit us on the web at go-to guy enterprises dot com.

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