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Recording Your First Podcast

Oct 10, 2007
Podcasting is one of the best ways to build an audience online. Not only do listeners become familiar with your expertise but they are also introduced to your personal style and delivery. Podcasting also falls nicely into the exercise of acquiring expertise and giving it away as a strategy for becoming a recognized expert in your field. All in all, podcasting is a great way to position yourself as an authority and find an audience of people interested in exactly what you have to offer.

In a previous article, I discussed the tools necessary to begin podcasting. You can find that article by visiting my website or viewing my author profile. As a quick summary, you'll need a microphone with a foam-rubber pop filter, an RSS hosting account and you'll need some recording software. None of this stuff costs a lot of money and you can get the basics setup easily within an hour or two.

This article will discuss the steps involved in recording your very first podcast. Keep in mind I went through this entire process in about 13 hours when I first got started. I discovered podcasting on the same day that I recorded and posted my very first one. I say that to assure you it's just not that hard if you just put your head down and get it done. But with the following tips, you'll also save some time down the road.

The first thing you should do is write an outline for the first 20 episodes or so. That might seem pretty daunting at first but don't be intimidated just yet. I'm talking about a title and 3 or 4 bullet points for each episode; nothing fancy. The idea is to get an idea how your expertise will unfold in the series. Each episode should build on previous episodes, allowing your audience to learn in a chronological way. It also encourages them to subscribe to your series, automatically receiving future episodes as they become available. And by the way, I would plan on posting one episode each week if possible.

The second step involves scripting out your first episode. You should already have an outline and this step requires you beef it up enough to begin recording. For some people (including me), I actually write out the entire episode as a Word document. I type pretty quickly and the process allows me to get my thoughts organized and fleshed out. Often, once I'm finished typing it all in, I go back and add paragraphs where additional explanation is necessary. But this may not be required for everyone. You might be able to speak freestyle with only a few notes in front of you.

I actually have the Word document open on my laptop screen with the microphone plugged into the front, allowing me to read along as I make my recording. I also know that I speak at a rate of about 145 words per minute so I know a 2800-word episode will take me about 19 minutes to record. And that's the average length of my podcasts. You can choose whatever length works best for you but I recommend less than 1 hour per episode unless you have some really captivating content.

Once you've made your recording, upload the MP3 file to your RSS hosting account and then register the feed URL with iTunes. Just go into the iTunes Music Store, click on Podcasts and then scroll down. You'll see the Submit a Podcast option at the bottom left. You'll need an account to submit your feed but it'll only take you a minute or two. I would also register the feed with some of the top podcast directories and I've included links for the Top 10 on my website under the Links tab.

Podcasting is nice because listeners will find you all on their own. Now, if your content is weak, they'll abandon your series as quickly as they joined. But if you have good content, you'll be surprised how quickly you develop an audience. I started my first series in January 2006 and ended up with over 16,000 downloads in 27 countries. Believe me; nobody was more surprised than me. Give it a try and get ready for fascinating journey; a journey that completely changed my career and might change yours as well.
About the Author
Tactical Execution with Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a strategic company focused on growth marketing and program implementation across business markets. Visit the website for actionable guidance for revenue generation.
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