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Let me preface this article by saying that I am the farthest thing from an expert when it comes to Podcasting. This is merely a post outlining the exact steps I took in order to have my own Podcast up and running and on iTunes in 2 weeks, with virtually no knowledge about how any of it worked prior.

A few weeks ago, I introduced my first (and very humbling) Podcast interview with Seth Godin. When I started this blog, I never had any intentions of starting a Podcast. There were 2 main reasons for this:

  1. I am not comfortable interviewing successful people nor do I like the sound of my recorded voice.
  2. I didn’t want to take the time to learn what I needed to in order to start a Podcast.

Well, thanks to my post asking for your suggestions on how I could improve my blog in February and some great feedback, I was on the hook to start one!

Time To Step It Up A Notch

I basically put off learning how to Podcast for as long as I could. After a couple of months of not introducing anything new on the blog, I decided it was time.

The first thing I did was get ahold of a buddy of mine who has a very successful tennis instruction Podcast and asked him for help.

Our initial conversation went something like this:

  • Me: I need to start a Podcast ASAP, Um..what am I supposed to do?
  • Him: Buy a microphone, download Audacity, install the lame encoder, download Skype recording software, and make a call on Skype.
  • Me: WTF are you talking about???

Fortunately he was patient and I took some notes. I had committed myself by this point to starting this Podcast no matter what, so it was ON!

How I Got My Podcast Up and Running In 2 Weeks

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After I published my first Podcast a few readers/listeners emailed me asking if I would write a post on how I did it. Clearly I am no expert when it comes to Podcasting when just a few short weeks ago, I knew virtually zero about it!

I know many of my readers are fellow bloggers with aspirations of becoming successful online entrepreneurs. Podcasting is a phenomenal way to get in front of huge crowds (think iTunes). I’ve seen bloggers like Pat Flynn and Srini Rao grow their blogs significantly with the use of Podcasting.

So here is my step by step process of how I went from someone who didn’t know one single thing about Podcasting to interviewing Seth Godin, remembering to record it, and publishing it, all within a few weeks.

Step 1

I wanted to use Skype for all my Podcasts and had never used the “call” feature. I know, it doesn’t sound hard, but I was still resistant to it. The text feature seemed so much less complicated. As it turns out, calling is ridiculously easy. You just plug in your mic, find the person you want to call, and hit call…

Step 2

If I was going to record calls, I needed a recorder. Makes sense. I Googled ” Free Skype Recorder” and found this one. There a bunch of free ones and this one seems to work just fine.

Step 3

I bought a microphone from Amazon. Some of the well known Podcasters will suggest high end products, but for the newbie, the Logitech USB Desktop Microphone works great (affiliate link).  It cost me about $20.

Step 4

I downloaded Audacity, the free audio recorder/editor software software. For all you Mac users, Garage Band does the same thing (only better). Audacity can be a pain in the ass, so here is a link to a great tutorial to get started.

Step 5

I was told I needed a lame encoder to help with exporting MP3 files from Audacity. I don’t know what it does, but you definitely need it! Luckily, you can download it right on the Audacity website. Just make sure you follow the directions! I screwed it up the first time and had to uninstall it and then reinstall it.

Step 6

I downloaded PowerPress, which is a free WordPress plugin for facilitating your Podcast. The most well known plugin is PodPress, but I have been told by several pro’s that PowerPress is much better. I’m not going to lie, the back end of PowerPress is overwhelming!

Instead of spending hours trying to figure it all out, I hired Daniel Clark from QAQN.com. I paid him $60 for an hour (great deal!) and he helped me set up everything I needed to publish my Podcasts. He also walked me though the process of submitting my show to Itunes and recorded it all on video. Very professional and definitely knows his shit!

Step 7

Prior to getting accepted on iTunes, I needed cover art to submit along with my Podcast. Since I know very little about this area, I had my web designer Mike from 107 Designs create a graphic for iTunes. By the way, I have worked with Mike for 6 months and he is incredible. Seriously!

Step 8

Daniel pointed me to MusicAlley.com, where there are tons of free music clips for Podcasts. You can also Google “Royalty Free Podcast Music”and find sites there. Of course you don’t need to add an intro, but it does add a little flavor!

Step 9

Once I had the interviews recorded in MP3 format and the intro music I wanted, I spent a little time messing around on Audacity trying to edit and mix it. I finally figured out how to get the intro music to play before the Podcast.

Step 10

Once I had my MP3 edited and ready to go, I uploaded it to my server through Filezilla. It’s a free FTP client for those who are not familiar with it. Once in Filezilla, open the public_html folder, then open your website folder. Now create a folder for your Podcasts and drag and drop your MP3 into it!

Step 11

Now from the back end of PowerPress, I uploaded that file and Bam! it’s ready to go. Just write your post, add your Podcast, and you’re good to go. This actually a bit confusing the first time so here are a few tips.

  1. You have to manually type in the URL of your podcast. In my case, it’s https://www.endingthegrind.com/podcast/nameofpodcast.mp3. Obviously, change “nameofpodcast” to the mp3 file name.
  2. Use the ” iTunes Summary” field to describe your Podcast episode. I didn’t at first and when I went to iTunes and looked at the description, I saw my entire post! Not good.
  3. To insert your media player anywhere in your post, just type (powerpress) where you want it. You actually need to use the [ ], not the ( ) brackets.
  4. Here is a pretty decent Powerpress tutorial, but it’s a little outdated.

Done!

Total cost was under $100 and I now have access to some of the most successful people online! What a great investment.

I also want to add that I started emailing people I wanted to interview after step 5 . The response was surprisingly excellent and before I knew it, I had about a dozen interviews scheduled. Once I took the time to think about what just happened, I started freaking out a bit because I wasn’t even ready for them. Well, it got done quickly and the rest is history…

A Few Notes

As complicated as all of this sounds, it’s actually really pretty simple once you do it a few times. I hope the steps I laid out are clear enough to understand and that this actually helpful in getting you started.

If I have been unclear or wrong about anything (certainly a possibility), let me know and I will try to help or correct myself.

Also, there a few additional tips I want to share:

  • Don’t forget to ask for your interviewee’s Skype name. Nothing is more embarrassing than getting ready to call someone and realizing that you don’t have their number. Not good.
  • Always check to make sure your call is being recorded. Some of my interviewees offered to record my calls as well just in case I blew it.
  • Have a list of interesting questions at the ready. During one interview, I ran out of questions and my mind went blank. It sounds easy enough to just keep talking, but when pressure is on to produce a good interview, it’s very helpful to be fully prepared!

So if you were thinking of starting your very own Podcast, I hope this helped a little!

Please leave me a comment with any questions or send me an email if you prefer.

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