Audio podcasts are easy to create and are a great way to build your platform as an expert. You don't need any special equipment. An audio podcast is simply an audio recording that is made available online via mass distribution, via "feeds."
Options for recording your audio:
Simplest - Use your phone. Set up a free account at BlogTalkRadio.com, a phone-based recording studio. Schedule a time and call in. Use your show to interview someone, host a Q&A forum or deliver an audio lecture or lesson. The call is automatically recorded and stored in your account at the BlogTalkRadio site, where people can listen at their convenience. The recording is also automatically submitted to the iTunes store.
Almost as simple - Get your own phone conference call line with free recording features at freeconferencepro.com, freeconferencecalling.com or freeconferencecall.com. Use the conference line to record your interview or audio presentation.
The advantage over BlogTalkRadio is that you can schedule your call whenever you want and are not bound by the one-show-per day and 15-minute maximum limit on free BTR accounts. You also own the content and can store it on your site, in a public Dropbox folder or anywhere else you designate.
The disadvantage is that recording and submission to iTunes are not automatic. You have to do these steps yourself. Fortunately, the tasks involve what you already know how to do - download, copy and paste. Apple provides instructions on how to submit your podcast to iTunes.
If you're up to using a bit of technology - Record your podcast on your computer. You'll need a microphone (nothing fancy) and recording software such as the free program Audacity. You can record and edit, and even add some music. (Only use music for which you have permission.) If you're new to recording, search for Audacity tutorials online.
Posting your podcast online
You can post your recording on your website or blog. But for wide distribution you should submit it to iTunes or Podbean. You will be asked to submit keywords that describe your podcast. To make it more visible online, use keywords that you think your intended audience might be typing into search engines.
Tips for making your podcast appeal to your audience
- Stick to one general theme, so that people will associate your name with your topic. This will help brand you.
- To keep your audience engaged, put energy into your voice. I find that if I record while standing, my voice is more naturally energetic.
- Consider doing an interview with someone. A conversation is more interesting than a monologue.
- Use transitional phrases to grab the audiences attention. For example, "This next point in really important." or "There are three things to consider here."
- Work from a script or detailed outline. Your podcast will sound more polished and professional than if you just wing it.