A Master Podcaster Shares His Advice

Travel Bloggers benefit from podcasting tips
15 February 2010 Post Author:
Print This Post Print This Post Email This Post Email This Post

 

So you want to start your own audio podcast?

Perhaps you always dreamed of having your own radio show.

Or perhaps you just want to document your travels for your friends and family.

You can create your own internet radio show by creating a podcast.

A Plan

The first thing that a podcaster needs to do is determine if they have enough content ideas to create more than one episode. If you are on the road traveling this should be pretty simple. Create a list of 10 different ideas for different episodes.

Podcasting equipment does not have to break your budget. You don’t need to create a $40,000 dollar studio.

The Equipment for Audio

To create an audio podcast you need a microphone. Some podcasters record their show directly into their laptop using the built in microphone for the laptop which can work but you are going to pick up a lot of undesirable sound like fan noise. To figure out what microphone you will need you have to figure out what kind of show you will be doing.

  • Single person show recorded in the “studio” – The easiest podcast setup is when you are the only person who will be on the show. So if you plan just on having a monolog with your inner DJ all you need is one microphone. I would recommend a decent USB headset microphone since the sound quality will be more constant when you use a microphone that moves as you move your head. A decent starter microphone would cost you around $40. The alternative would be a podcasting kit with a USB microphone, pop filter and stand but that will cost over $100.
  • Multi-person show recorded in person – If you plan to sit around the computer and record a podcast with friends then the simplest setup would be to get one microphone that can record a room. A well regarded microphone is the Blue Snowball USB microphone that can plug directly into your computer. You can pick up a Snowball microphone for around $70. A higher end setup could get much more complicated with separate microphones and headphones per person and a mixing board, but that can’t wait until later.
  • Multi-person show recorded via the internet – There are numerous shows with more than one host (like my shows This Week in Travel and the Amateur Traveler) that have 2-4 hosts but these people are seldom if ever in the same room. In this case you need the same setup for a single person show and the free program Skype. You can record both ends of a Skype call using either HotRecorder (Windows) or CallRecorder (Mac). If your guests are don’t have a Skype setup you can call a regular phone number through Skype.
  • Field Recording – If you want to record in the field to capture the sounds of a location then you will want a small portable recorder. A popular field recorder is the Zoom H2, but recently podcasters have increasingly started using their iPhones or iPods with an external microphone like the Blue Mikey to avoid having to carry another piece of equipment.

Software

After you have recorded a podcast episode you will probably want to be able to do at least a minimal amount of audio editing. How much time you spend editing a show is very much a matter of personal taste. Some podcasters say that podcasts should never be edited and others (like me) spend an hour editing each 10 minutes of final audio to produce a cleaner sounding show. The most popular editors for podcasts are Audacity (Windows / Mac) and Garageband (Mac). Audacity is free and Garageband is part of iLife which comes with each new Mac.

RSS feed

The most frustrating technology for many new podcasters is the RSS feed. You can just create audio and attach it to your blog posts but if you want to get more traffic and truly have a podcast rather than just internet audio then you need to create a feed that people can subscribe to with programs like iTunes that will notify them of new episodes. The most common solution to this is to either host your audio files at a podcast hosting site like Libsyn.com (inexpensive) or Mevio.com (free but they will insert ads) which will create an RSS feed for the audio files or run your podcast from a WordPress blog and use a WordPress plugin like PowerPress to create the appropriate podcast ready RSS feed.

Podcasting equipment does not have to break your budget. You don’t need to create a $40,000 dollar studio… Although I know a few podcasters who did. For as little as $100 dollars you can create an audio podcast that will capture the sounds or experiences of your travel.

~Chris

Are you a Podcaster? Share your advice!

11 Responses to “A Master Podcaster Shares His Advice”

  1. Gwen McCauley
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Chris

    What a great blog post! I’ve been fiddle-faddling with the idea of Podcasting for some time and mostly have allowed RSS feed stuff to stop me dead in my tracks. With your sage advice, I can’t see why I’d allow that block to persist.

    I also like the tip about being able to use an external mike with my beloved iPhone! I have a couple of recording Apps which I’ve used when I interview people in the field for written articles I’m preparing. But it sounds like Blue Mikey will let me get good enough quality that I can podcast those interviews as well as use them as background research! Wow, that’s exciting.

    I started my interviewing days as a folklorist about 40 years ago when we still used reel-to-reel machines. I remember the thrill it was to get a small, plastic ‘portable’ machine that was battery operated. It was about 14″ square, 5″ thick, had a fold-down handle which meant it was easy to carry. Of course, I was broke all the time because of the cost of buying batteries (machines really chewed through them back then), but that portable was a major breakthrough in field recording!

    Between my iPhone and a teeny-tiny Sony digital recorder that’s the size of a package of chewing gum, I now can go anywhere and capture great quality audio wherever I am.

    Thanks for helping me move beyond recording and into publishing my stuff via Podcasting!

    Gwen McCauley

  2. Glad I could help… oh and somehow today I have to work the phrase “fiddle-faddling” into conversation.

  3. Maralyn D Hill
    Twitter:
    says:

    Chris,
    Thanks for this exceptional post. I’ve wanted to start podcasting or a radio show and have been putting it off. I had not wanted to take the time to research what I needed to do. You’ve done a tremendous amount of the work for me and answered additional questions I had not thought of yet.

    Thanks again.
    Maralyn D. Hill, President
    International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association (ifwtwa.org)
    WhereAndWhatintheWorld.com and SuccessWithWriting.com
    .-= Maralyn D Hill´s last blog post: Test =-.

  4. Maralyn et al, if you have any questions my contact info can be found on http://AmateurTraveler.com

  5. Rebecca
    Twitter:
    says:

    I recorded a couple of interviews via phone using Audacity and they turned out all right. Too bad the podcast programs don’t transcribe the interview. Is there software for that? :)

  6. I have talked to voice transcription vendors about transcribing podcasts and none of them have been very hopeful. The current technology, for instance, requires that you speak your punctuation. So far I have not found a solution that helps.

  7. Dave and Deb
    Twitter:
    says:

    Wow! What a fantastic post filled with useful information. Podcasting is something that we may look into in the future and I will be sure to keep this post as a reference for when we take the plunge. Thanks for putting the Mac information in as well as the Windows information. I have always wondered how people record from Skype.
    .-= Dave and Deb´s last blog post: Sri Lanka-Visa Extension =-.

  8. Like everyone else, I’ve been considering going this route, but felt overwhelmed by the research/options I’d have to sort through. *So* appreciate this post!
    .-= Cherrye at My Bella Vita´s last blog post: Travel Tip Tuesday: How Not to Look Like a Tourist in Southern Italy … for Men =-.

  9. 30Traveler
    Twitter:
    says:

    I’ve also just started using WordPress + Powerpress plugin for podcasting, and so far so good!

  10. Ryan says:

    That’s some good advice Chris. It’s important to have the right tools before jumping onto something.

Trackbacks & Tweetbacks

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by TheTravelTart: #travel #writing A Master Podcaster Shares His Advice – So you want to start your own audio podcast? Perhaps you al… http://ow.ly/16A8Qw

Leave a Reply

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Some links on this page do earn us a small amount of money if you click on them and make a purchase. Not much, maybe enough for a cup of coffee or a beer, but we would never recommend any item if we didn't believe in it's value to you. Plus, every little bit helps keep this site going and helps us continue to provide you with great information.  We appreciate your support!

Topics:

Archives:

Travel Writers Resources:

Featured Travel Blogs:

Travelers Corner

Social Media on Travel

Travel Blog Networks

Travel Podcasts