Podcasts are trending – Here’s how to start now

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Podcasts have steadily gained popularity over the past few years with more people looking for on-the-go entertainment as they multitask through hustle and bustle of daily life.

#BookMarketingChat (read our entire Book Marketing Chat summary here) guest Rachel Moore shared her tips for starting your own podcast.

Podcast Format

  • The first step is to decide the basic components of your podcast. What will your focus be? Will you share snippets or sneak peeks of your books? Will you share your expertise? Think of keywords that relate to you and your books to determine what you will discuss on your podcast. Also consider if you will go solo, have a co-host, or guests.
  • Next, decide the frequency of your podcast. Will you post weekly, bi-weekly, monthly? Then determine which day of the week you will publish. According to Rachel, most choose to publish weekly podcasts. You can also create “seasons” so you can take periodic breaks. One thing to remember: whether you decide daily, weekly, monthly, the key is consistency. If you set your podcast for every Wednesday, make sure it goes up as scheduled.
  • Another thing to consider is where will you podcast from? A quiet space in your house, a coffee shop, an outdoor area? You’ll want to choose a place that you can access frequently and will provide little to no distraction.
  • Decide between video and audio podcasting. Audio is a great choice for those who are new (and nervous) about podcasting. It’s easier to put together and the files are a bit easier to deal with. Video podcasts do take a little extra prep in creating visuals, audio, making sure the lighting is right, focusing on both expression and body language, and makeup (for those who use it.)

Tools for Creating Quality Podcasts

Rachel recommends acquiring a good microphone, such as the Audio Technica ATR 2100 USB microphone ($70.00) along with the free software Audacity to get started.

For podcast graphics, use Canva, a free design site (which I 100% love!). And for interview podcasts, use SkypeZoom, or Livestream. You need a 1400X1400 (minimum 3000 X 3000 maximum) graphic art that shows up on iTunes, and a 600 X 600 visual for your mp3 file when people play it.

Due to the large size of podcast files, you’ll want to use a separate hosting site rather than posting directly to your website. Libsyn is a great choice for a podcast hosting site, plans ranging from $5- $75.00 depending on choice of features.

For self-hosted WordPress sites, check out the Blubrry plugin to add your podcast feed to iTunes.

Publishing a Podcast

To publish your podcast on iTunes, you’ll need to export the file as “AIFF.” Be sure to include tags and metadata (Google indexes podcasts, so using keywords whenever possible is a must do!).

Convert your file to MP3 to upload your podcast to Lisbyn or other hosting sites. Once it’s uploaded, use the published link to share via your own website.

To gain subscribers and advertisers, set up two to three social media platforms (Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram) with a matching hashtag for easier visibility. If you have a video podcast, consider uploading to YouTube as well.

Need Inspiration?

Rachel suggests checking out these podcasts:




For Fiction:


Want to be a Podcast Guest?

Go to http://podcastguests.com and register to be a guest.

Find Rachel Moore here because she’s awesome:

Website: http://really.social/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelMooreRS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IAmReallySocial

Podcasts: http://businessunusualpodcast.com/ & http://www.concealerchronicles.com/

Melissa Flicks 1Founding her own Author Assistance business Melissa Flick’s Author Services in 2016, Melissa is passionate about helping authors through the publishing and marketing process. Melissa currently co-hosts #BookMarketingChat with founder & host, Rachel Thompson (@BadRedHeadMedia).

This post was originally published on the BadRedhead Media blog.

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  1. That’s a good guide overall. I’m not sure why you suggest AIFF format for iTunes, though – standard formats are AAC and MP3 files for podcasts. AIFF is an uncompressed format and so will be much larger than needed, while AAC and MP3 are compressed, reducing download times.

    In most cases, you can compress your MP3 files down to a bitrate of 64kbps, unless you have a lot of music or sound effects, in which case you might go up to 128kbps or 192kbps.

    Also, whether you need additional hosting for your podcast files very much depends on your website hosting plan – if your hosting is fast enough and allows enough bandwidth, it can be fine to upload it to your website servers. Check the small print and test your download speeds to work out what you need.

    Feedburner (https://feedburner.google.com) is a handy tool for managing podcast feeds – it gives you stats on how many subscribers you have, and more options with feed settings than you might have otherwise.

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