Andy Green's Blog

A web-workers world…

The Importance of the Podcast

When you are working to build your online presence so that you can enhance your business and eventually increase profitability, then you need to take advantage of all mediums available. This means it is time for you to get over your fear and create a podcast. The best way to connect with your visitors is to give them a way to hear you and feel as though you are a real person. Part of building a relationship with your customers is making them feel like they know you. The more comfortable they are with you the more likely they are to listen to what you have to say… and more willing to spend money on what you are selling.

A word of caution though, podcasts need to be done with diligence. Ideally you should start the podcast by talking a little about yourself. Do not unload your life story on the listener, you want them to get to “know you” but we are not looking to make best friends. Talk a little about you, then move to the product or service that you have which can provide a benefit to the listener. I would even recommend that you look for current news to include in the podcast that is relevant to your product.

I also recommend that you give your visitor an option of whether or not they want to hear your podcast when they come to your site. One thing that irritates me is going to a site, where I am looking to get certain information and I am bombarded by video and audio that I really was not prepared to listen to. Podcasts are very beneficial to your online success, when they are used correctly and not forced on the visitors to your website.

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September 28, 2009 Posted by | Podcasting | , , | Leave a comment

Which Podcasting Software?

Podcasting has been quite a mystery even to the experienced Internet users since it was introduced back in 2003. But now with its growing success, increasing demand, and huge income potential, podcasts have now been considered as essential resources in making the site interesting, which greatly help keep people within the site.

This is a great time to stay competitive and set up podcasts of your own so that you too can capture some fans of your own. To start things off, you will need a podcasting software or service that can let you create podcasts quickly and transfer them easily to the server. There are different kinds of podcasting software that vary in features.

Although choosing the software that you are most comfortable in using could be the best choice, it is important to know how each podcasting software weighs in with their pros and cons.

FeedForAll

FeedForAll is a decent program that supports one of the crucial elements in creating podcasts – RSS feeds. RSS is now being supported in all the latest Internet browsers and mobile devices. The sole purpose of RSS support is to allow regular Internet users to have syndicated content of the sites of their choosing and give them the quickest access when updates are made. If your podcasts are created with RSS support, you can easily distribute your podcast RSS link and have them add it to their browser for easier distribution and updating.

However, FeedForAll has no built-in audio recorder and editor requiring you to purchase 3rd party software for podcast production.

Podcast Studio

Podcast Studio is a strong contender because it has it all complete with the RSS feed support, an audio recorder with support for audio signal mixing, an audio editor which can be used to make some quick fixes and enhancements to new recordings, and even a built-in FTP client for uploading the podcasts to your designated server. The interface is well done and even has a trial version available for people having second thoughts in buying. The price is a bit much compared to other podcasting software, but all the programs included make it worth the purchase.

Magix Podcast MAKER

Magix podcast MAKER emphasizes on turning your computer into a radio station. This is the perfect choice for people who want to record their voice and have some music playing in the background. It has plenty of advanced audio options allowing users to tweak things such as the audio speed and even adding some cool audio effects too. It is fairly cheap and should be a perfect companion for making radio-style podcasts. However, it lacks an FTP client, but has a great submission tool for putting the new podcast link in a number of podcast directories.

The best way to choose which podcasting software is best for you is by downloading multiple programs and trying each one directly. Weigh them all in and see what podcasting solution is worth your money. If you find all of them too difficult to use, try to join some forums and ask around on what their favorite podcasting software is. Once you get the hang of things, you should be able to produce podcasts on a routine basis.

January 11, 2009 Posted by | Podcasting | , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Create Your First Podcast

If you are interested in creating a podcast it is really simple to do. If you have never created a podcast, follow these brief instructions and you will have uploaded your very first for distribution. The steps involved in creating a podcast include creating the audio, converting the audio, and publishing, creating a feed, and publishing your news feed.

A podcast is an audio file that you can distribute across the web or upload to your website. This type of file is similar to radio content in a way. Audio content is very important to online viewers today. It provides a way for you to give a feeling to the customer as if you are right there in the same room to the listener. You aren’t forcing an online user to read a bunch of material because you are offering it in audio. Many people would very much prefer audio files rather than read pages and pages of content.

The first thing you want to do when you create a podcast is to create an audio file. You do have certain computer requirements in order to do this. You will need a working microphone on your computer. If you do not have a built in microphone then you will have to purchase one. You will plug a microphone in the back of your computer on the sound card microphone input slot.

You should have software that will give you the opportunity to record audio files. Today, most Microsoft operating systems have integrated software that will allow you to record a short audio file of you talking. This will be called ‘Sound Recorder’ or something similar. This is what you will use to create your audio file.

Your podcast is going to be an audio file. You should write out exactly what you are going to say. You might want to have the text on your screen so you can read it as you speak. This should be professional. Be sure you do not say a lot of ‘ums’ or it will not sound professional but amateur. You might have to record yourself reading the content a few times until you are comfortable with the way you sound and read your copy.

Be sure while you are reading that there are no distractions or loud noises in the background. Many cheap audio applications, like the one integrated inside of the Window’s operating system will pull in the background noises. You should create these files with no television, radio, or children playing in the background. It should be silent. Open the recorder when you are ready. Press record and say aloud into the microphone your copy that you want to tell the world. When you are done click on stop. You have now created your audio file.

Once this is complete you will need to convert the file into an MP3 format. The best way to do this is to use a converting tool. If you don’t want to go through all of the work. Save the audio file to a thumb drive or a CD. Put the CD back into your computer and let your Windows Media Player automatically convert the file.

You have to have a website if you want a podcast. These instructions are upon the assumption you have a website and a web host. The next thing you will do is log into your web host and publish your audio file. This will require you to upload the file to the server. The next thing you will do is create a podcast RSS news feed to the location of your podcast. This is really simple. On your hosting tools you will click on the button that says create RSS feed. It will automatically generate a link that will be the destination of your website RSS feed.

Now all you have to do is publish the RSS feed and you are done. This means click on the save button or publish with your web host. Not all web hosts are the same. Some only require you to click on save. When you go to your website you will see an RSS link and your podcast file. When you click on it you will immediately begin to hear your audio file that you have just created.

You can create a podcast in just a couple of minutes if you have the right tools to do it. You will need audio software, a converter or a media player, and a web host. You can immediately begin blogging and distributing your podcast upon the upload of the file.

January 11, 2009 Posted by | Podcasting | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Build an Audience With Podcasting

Millions of people around the world are connected to the Internet. What better way to send out a message than by recording a podcast. If there are some skeptics out there, there’s always Quantcast to reassure your doubts.

Podcasts are one of the most popular and growing Internet devices that allows website owners to directly talk with their website visitors. There is no topic too crazy or different when it comes to producing a podcast. However, a podcast is not only a radio show converted to either streaming audio or an MP3 that can be downloaded to the end-user’s computer or iPod, but a conglomeration of technology that’s been put together to provide the ultimate marketing tool for anybody who dares to venture into speaking about issues important to them.

Podcasting has made it easy for even the novice computer user to get their message out. Information found on Apple’s own website along with other technology websites, make it easy to understand how to customize your own show with pictures, animations, and even how to make instructional audios. Even large corporations have jumped on the bandwagon to promote ideas, products, and services in order to increase sales.

Quantcast is a website designed to produce statistical data concerning the Internet websites that occupy the virtual world. Any individual at any time can access the site to search by date data for any website and even browse sites that are similar. This can be a useful tool for businesses and companies to track their appeal and popularity on the web.

Additionally, this website gives out statistics such as; how old is the average user; what is their annual income; or if they are a male or a female. This type of data helps businesses understand how to reach their target groups with their podcasting efforts and tailor their podcasting marketing campaigns.

Podcasts has become one of the best methods for building an audience for your website. Not only is a podcast available to PC and MAC users, the podcast can be downloaded on a phone, iPod, or even burnt on to a CD/DVD to use in the car. The adaptability of podcasts gives it an edge in building an audience.

Satellite shows are convenient but don’t run 24/7 without commercials, and you can only listen to it at home or in the car. Podcasts, on the other hand, are easy to upload and broadcast, are available for download from anywhere in the world and at any time of the day or night.

With the help of sites such as Quantcast, building an audience becomes easy; however, keeping an audience is the hard part. Millions of web surfers subscribe to podcasts, for free, each day. Users, also rate the shows, leave comments, and even interact with the producers in real time. Taking phone calls, sending out emails, and answering questions live is a great way for producers to connect to users in real time.

Podcasts put the human element back into the equation. They can be used to answer questions, teach how-to’s and comment on the world scene. And, that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to podcasting. Since the future lies on the Internet, podcasting will continue to be a force in the global marketing, advertising, and online communication arena. It increases businesses popularity, company sales, generates interest in other nations, and gets good ratings on websites like Quantcast.

December 27, 2008 Posted by | Podcasting | , , , , | Leave a comment

Podcasting Explained

Whether you have been listening to podcasts for ages and you want to find out how it can apply to your own business or you are simply curious about this communication medium and what it is all about, you will find that there are many different types and styles of podcasting out there. At the most basic level, you will find that a podcast is a series of audio or video digital media files which can be downloaded from the internet onto a media player of some kind. It sounds quite simple, and it really is, but a closer look at podcasting will show you how it has become such a powerful promotional and informational tool.

Podcasting is the action by which you create a podcast, and a podcast is essentially the content that you are putting out there. You will find that a good podcast can be about any topic that can sustain the interest of a listener or watcher. While political podcasts and entertainment podcasts are extremely common, you will also find that there are plenty of podcasts out there about things that are as different as living in a specific area or country, religion, the experience of being a student in a certain area or of a certain topic, and much, much more. If you are interested in it and can offer a new spin on a topic, you will find that podcasting is a great way to get your viewpoint out to the people.

The sheer variety that is out there is something that has drawn people to podcasting, both as viewers and listeners and as content producers. Podcasting, although it takes a certain computer literacy to set up and to start recording, is fairly straightforward and the equipment that it takes to create a podcast is actually quite easy to find. More and more people are being drawn to this form of expression and many people who would have been lost in the crowd when it comes to more traditional media are finding that they have quite a powerful voice!

When you are looking at podcasting, you will find that there are several reasons why it has become so popular. You will find that your podcast can be easily syndicated. That means that for people who choose to follow it, your podcasts will be delivered to the media player of their choice, whether that is on their computer or on their portable media player. Most podcasts are fairly short, meaning that they can be enjoyed during a wait or between appointments or classes, and you will also find that they can be accessed anywhere that there is a computer with an Internet connection.

The best way to decide if podcasting is something for you is to simply start looking around and seeing what podcasts are being made and what you can learn from them. Listen to a variety and figure out what this medium can do for you; this might be the best way to get your information out into the world!

October 16, 2008 Posted by | Podcasting | , | Leave a comment