Welcome to the TeacherCast Ultimate Guide to Podcasting. This blog post and the majority of the content linked to it are a culmination of recording over 1,000 podcasts over the span of 8 incredible years.
In 2010, I had the opportunity to listen to my first podcast while taking a trip with my wife and from that moment, my life and my career would forever take an amazing turn that has given me the opportunity to connect with thousands of educators and hundreds of companies and make a pretty nice life for my family in the process.
This Ultimate Guide to Podcasting is broken down in several categories listed below. The information in each of these sections is intended to give the reader a taste of what is possible while also providing links to full articles or podcasts on the topic. Essentially, while I am calling this post an “Ultimate Guide,” I really should be calling it, “Things I wish I knew before I started my first podcast.” I hope some of this information helps you on your journey as a podcaster.
What is a Podcast?
If you are reading this Ultimate Guide, you still may be asking yourself this question. I tend to break down the answer to this into two categories, Professional Podcasting, and Educational Podcasting.
I use the word “Professional” only so I can separate this type of content from what I might discuss with teachers for classroom use. The could also be called “studio podcasting” or “podcasting at home.” The word professional does not necessarily have anything to do with money, although we discuss these types of topics from time to time.
Topics inside of this category involve purchasing and using audio and video equipment, editing, publishing, and of course promoting. In essence, it's about growing and building an audience to support what could be a hobby into a sustainable side business.
When “Professional Podcasters” get together and talk about podcasting, they have an extremely strict definition that has rung true for just over a decade. Essentially, a podcast is described as an audio file distributed through a subscribable broadcasting medium through an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. For more about the history of podcasting, please visit this amazing article from the creators of International Podcast Day, an event celebrated each year on September 30 around the world.
When I speak about Educational Podcasting, I am referring to working in the classroom with students on activities that involve the recording (or use) of audio and video.
Topics inside of this category involve using podcasting for curricular activities, using live broadcasting platforms to share school events with a community, and preparing students for futures in the broadcasting arts.
When educators get together and use the term podcast, they have a radically different definition from those outside the classroom. Generally speaking, teachers are using the term “podcast” to mean the use of audio or video in a recorded fashion for use in the classroom. This is a drastically different definition of the term because, for teachers, they aren't necessarily interested in taking student audio and applying it to a subscribable RSS feed. They simply want to record their students and use it for educational reasons after the fact.
This chart shows some of the similarities and differences between these two types of podcasting and the topics that might come up in discussion.
Why Should You Create A Podcast?
No matter what side of the podcasting fence you lie on, there are many things to consider if you want to actually go through the motions of creating a podcast and using it to build a brand for yourself.
Personally, I was encouraged to start my own podcast after working with a podcaster who became a friend, and then a co-host. I was amazed at how he was able to create content to help others and how it was extremely simple to distribute it to a global audience. As my story goes … one day, I told him that I had an idea to create content that spoke directly to teachers about how they could best use educational technology in their classrooms to enhance their lessons and better engage their students. It was at that moment when I was encouraged to do so and on July 11, 2011, I bought the domain TeacherCast.net and the rest was history.
The TeacherCast Ultimate Guide To Podcasting
This guide will be updated pretty regularly as time goes by and new applications and technologies come into the podcasting space. I encourage you to bookmark it and share it with your friends.
As always, if you have any thoughts on this concent or would like to help me add to the post, please leave a message below in the comments section.
In this article, you will learn about:
- Planning Your Podcast
- Recording Your Podcast
- Recording With Guests
- Podcasting Equipment
- Editing Your Podcast
- Publishing Your Podcast
- Promoting Your Podcast
- Growing Your Podcast Audience
- Consuming Your Podcast
- Podcasting With Students
- Where To Find Help Recording Your Podcast?
- Let's Work Together
Planning Your Podcast
One of the first things you should do before you do anything is to sit down and have a serious talk about what you want to accomplish with your podcast.
- What are your goals?
- What are your objectives?
- What do you want to get out of this project?
- What do you want to do with your podcast?
Why is this important? Because podcasting, where it can be free, generally is an activity that has some basic costs to it. One of the most fascinating statistics that I heard once is that the average podcast on the Apple Podcasts platform has less than 10 episodes. If you think that a podcast might get released once a week, this means that the average podcast has a lifespan of only 2.5 months before it podfades.
What happens to these podcasts?
Why do they podfade?
The answers to these questions could be anything and everything, however … what is true for all podcasts is that every podcast needs to start with some type of planning that involves brainstorming not just a ton of show topics, but brainstorming the simple things such as your podcast name and your domain name.
With more than 700,000 podcasts listed in the Apple Podcasts directory, it's obvious that many of them overlap topics. However, more often than needed, you find multiple podcasts sharing the same name. This, I must say comes only from poor planning. For this reason, one of the first things that you need to do for your podcast is to figure out what topics are going be not only easy for you to talk about but entertaining and educational for your audience.
When doing any type of audio or video project, there are two ways that you can come up with content. The first way is to ask the question, “What topics would I like to talk about?” and the other is to ask the question, “What questions do others have and how can I help them by creating content to answer those questions?”
When we take a look at podcasting from the second of these lenses, we need to first define who are Avatars are.
Defining Your Avatar (Podcast Listener)
What Is An Avatar?
The word Avatar is one that gets tossed around a ton these days. Essentially, an Avatar is the person or group of people to whom you are creating content for. Traditionally, you may look at your Avatar being the students in your class. When you create your lessons, you select age and subject appropriate materials and methods from which you will begin your instruction.
In the world of being an Edupreneur, your Avatar is the educators, business owners, and service professionals which you wish to reach with your content.
How Do You Choose Your Avatar?
When I work with educators who are just beginning their blogs or podcasts, I always tell them to think of who their listener will be.
- What do they do for a living?
- What type of family do they have?
- What are their goals and objectives when reading or listening to the content that is being produced by your channel?
For many first-time content creators, when being asked who their audience is, their answer is too broad. They often say “my audience is teachers”.
While that answer may be true, it's extremely broad and it sets a goal that will never be reached. When creating your content, you must always identify your target audience and only then ask the question … “what does my Avatar seek?”
What Does Your Avatar Need?
For most of us, we start a blog, podcast, or other passion project based on something that we enjoy doing or discussing. It's only natural. The problem with this when it comes to converting our hobbies into our side hustles is that we often take for granted what we already know and sometimes lose sight of what our Avatars are seeking.
In our digital workbook, we are asked to come up with a clear image of who our avatars are. We shared a few questions to give you an idea of what your Avatar does and where they go to seek their content. It is from these answers where we can begin to create our overall content strategy.
For example, if you know that you are creating content that is focused on a typically older audience, then you might not want to spend time creating Instagram images and podcasts. However, if you are looking to carve out a niche teaching about the most innovative ways you can use an edtech product, then maybe you should be considering using YouTube and your blog as a vehicle for promoting your content.
What Questions Do They Have?
Once you have your Avatar in mind, it's important to start asking what your Avatar needs. They are all coming to your blog or website to learn something and the best way to keep them coming back is to ask them questions, possibly through a Google Form Survey, to get a better sense of topics that you may wish to turn into podcast or blog topics.
Organize Podcasting Topics
One of the questions that I get asked often is “How do you keep track of all of the content you create?” This is certainly one of the more difficult things to manage on TeacherCast.
For this reason, I have created a simple solution that has helped me to keep organized through the years and today, I’m offering it to you to try out for your own podcast or blog.
Using An Editorial Calendar?
Long and short, an Editorial Calendar is a useful tool that helps you keep track of current and future blog posts. Many bloggers setup both a micro and macro calendar from which they plan their content.
For example, on the macro level, you might take a look at the entire year month by month:
On the micro level, you might break each of the months apart into weeks or days:
Do I Need An Editorial Calendar?
If you only publish your posts every now and then, you might not need to be thinking about an editorial calendar. However, if you are someone who is creating both blog posts and podcasts you might consider downloading our FREE Editorial Calendar Google Slides template by becoming a member of the TeacherCast Insiders Club! In our post called, “Free Podcasting Editorial Calendar: Keep Track of your Blog Posts and Podcasts with this Downloadable Spreadsheet” we help you learn how you can save time and energy by creating a simple Editorial Calendar in Google Sheets.
How can I keep up with my Editorial Calendar?
One of the hardest parts of the Editorial Calendar process is keeping up with it. My advice to you on this topic is to encourage you to save the Google Sheet as a bookmark so you constantly are looking at it during the week. One thing that I have found is that when I use my calendar to plan content, my content improves because it’s more focused and my podcasts are better because I have a goal in mind for each recording.
Recording Your Podcast
If you speak to 10 podcasters, the joke goes that you will learn 20 different ways to record your podcast. The truth is that there is no single right answer to this question. Personally, I have about a half dozen ways that I record my podcasts all depending on where I am at the time of the recording and how many people I am speaking with.
For many new podcasters, the simple thought of taking your thoughts and hitting the record button is one that is petrifying. For this reason, I often tell podcasters not to worry about the recording and not to call what you do “interviewing.” Instead, I highly encourage both the podcaster and the guest of the show to think that they are doing nothing but having a simple conversation, much like they are speaking to each other over dinner.
However that all being said, I very much encourage new podcasters to write down at least a simple outline for their shows before recording. This of course then asks the question, “Should podcasters have a script for their podcasts?”
To Script Or Not To Script
As a new podcaster, I feel that it's important to have a roadmap of where you are going to be going with your podcast. This could be anything from a simple list of bullet points to an entirely written out series of paragraphs that you read.
One of the things that I always recommend podcasters have organized in their intros and outros to their shows. It's pretty simple to have a discussion in the middle of a show, but often getting the first few sentences out of your mouth are the most terrifying things that a podcaster ever has to do. The same philosophy goes for the closing of a show.
It is for this reason that whenever you hear a TeacherCast podcast, you will always hear a scripted intro and outro. These days, I don't have a written script in front of me, but I always start my shows and end them with the same format that I have used for the last 3-4 years.
As you start your podcast planning, it's important that you take a moment and sit down and come up with a list of reasons why you are starting your podcast. It's important that you use these reasons to propel your show episode by episode.
One of the first things that you should consider doing when planning your podcast recordings is to come up with “Episode Zero.” This is usually your introduction episode that talks directly to your audience and sets up not just the podcast but begins the relationship that you will ultimately have with your audience.
These shows are often short … only a few minutes and often these days are used as teaser episodes when doing early promotions on social media.
Additionally … for many podcasters, the Episode Zero show is generally your first recording. My best advice for this type of episode is this:
- Record your Episode Zero from a written outline
- Record it a second time and master it.
- Record your real episodes 1-5
- ReRecord your Episode Zero and publish it and promote it
The reason for this philosophy is simple. You first use your primary recordings to get used to recording this show. Perhaps you are new to recording or are recording a brand new podcast with new links and information to discuss. The more you say the call signs the more prepared you are for your first interview. Once you record you real episodes 1-5 you now have a better idea of how your shows will be going and what your show is all about. THEN when you go back to record your final Episode Zero, you can better speak to your audience about what your show is about and what your audience can expect as you launch your podcast.
Your First Podcast
If you follow the suggestions above for creating an Episode Zero then by the time you are live with your first guest, things “should” go pretty smoothly. Don't forget that every episode is a new experience for at least one member of your listening audience. You should take the first dozen or so podcast episodes and open them up by explaining who you are and why you are doing this podcast. It's also important to explain at the top of the show what your podcast is all about and who you are going to be speaking to in your podcast.
For example: Welcome to the “Ask The Tech Coach Podcast” a show for Instructional Technology Specialists and Tech Directors.
Recording Your Podcast On Location
If you are looking to take your podcast on the road and record remotely at conferences, there are several things that you should do ahead of time to prepare. As discussed in our post, “What Microphone Is Best To Use While Podcasting At Conferences Or On The Road?” we take a look at not only some equipment choices you might need to make but also discuss the importance of keeping your gear as small and lightweight as possible.
Recording With Guests
These days you can record a podcast with virtually any device that is available to you. In our blog post called, “How To Create A Podcast Using Your MacBook Or Apple Device,” we discuss how easy the MacOS platform is to get started podcasting … for FREE!
In addition, there are several great applications that work just as well for both the Windows 10 and Chromebook platforms … many of which are completely free to use.
Applications For Connecting With Your Guests
Google Hangouts / Meet
One of the now older, yet newer applications in the “how do you record with a guest” is Google Hangouts/Meet. I use the naming system this way because many still do not know that Google Hangouts has been updated with the new name “Meet.”
Hangouts/Meet is a pretty simple platform to use and get used to and requires little prep from your guests.
Another platform that is often used to record meetings and webinars is Zoom. For free, Zoom allows you to record a 45 min show and when finished, produces a downloadable audio AND video file that you can then edit and publish.
One of the most used platforms used by podcasters to connect with guests is Skype. Created by Microsoft, Skype is extremely simple to connect to and also produces a nice file using the paid eCamm Software. ($20)
A newcomer to this category of applications is Rendezvous from Telestream. Packaged as a feature of its popular WireCast platform, Rendezvous provides users up to 7 connections to guests and all your guest has to do is click on a link that gets generated once the broadcast recording starts.
Tips For Successfully Recording With Guests
- When meeting guests for a podcast recording, it is import that you see it as an opportunity to have a conversation … not “do an interview” this thought process will hopefully relax everyone and create a more enjoyable recording experience.
- Set your guest up for success. Always invite them ahead of time to ask you any questions about the recordings. They are often more nervous about the experience than you are.
- Send your guests an email a few days before the recording to welcome them to your show and explain a little bit about how the recording process works. Don't assume they even know what a podcast is. Make sure they know that they will need to be in a quiet area and will need to have headphones and if possible, a microphone, and a video camera to make the final recording as best as possible.
- Don't be afraid to make mistakes during the recording process … you can always go back during the editing process and pick those up … however, one tip that I do have is to always keep a continuous recording file. This way you have one single file to edit rather than several smaller files. Once you hit the record button … forget about the fact that you are recording. Just make great content.
- Make sure that YOUR equipment is all set up and checked before you make contact with your guest the night of your recording. Your job is to make them feel comfortable and it's best if you take care of any last minute equipment glitches before you meet with them.
When it comes to recording any type of audio or video content, the question often comes up: “Do I need a microphone?”
This is, of course, the first question that you might have. Do you really even NEED a microphone? Well, this is a yes/no question
- No: If you are working with your classroom to create simple audio projects then I would say you do NOT need a microphone. You can simply get by with the built-in microphone in your phone, tablet, or desktop computer.
- Yes: If you are looking to take your recordings to the next level in a way that you would like to be a publisher in the podcasting space then … YES, you certainly want to take a look at a few microphones.
In this blog post called, “USB vs XLR & Dynamic vs Condenser: Choosing the Microphone that is best for your podcast,” we take a look at recording devices and podcasting equipment in detail.
Audio Technica 2005 USB Microphone
Popular amongst many podcasters, the and , are extremely sturdy and versatile microphones. Extremely reasonable in price, each of these comes complete with a microphone stand and cables. These two microphones are both USB and XLR which means that you can plug them directly into the computer, but also plug them into a Mixer.
Blue Raspberry Microphone
Another great microphone that is gaining popularity amongst podcasters is the microphone. Coming in at about $200 and available at most retail stores, the Raspberry not only is a great USB microphone but also comes with a lighting cable to connect it directly to your iPhone or iPad. This has been my go-to microphone when I do conventions and conferences because it's very lightweight and easy to throw in my recording bag.
For the last several years, my podcasts have been recorded almost exclusively using the Microphones. They are dependable and great, however, they are still USB Microphones that just “happen” to have XLR connections. When thinking about my new microphone, I wanted to purchase something that would make my voice stand out above other podcasts and podcasters. This is why I choose a Dynamic microphone and selected the .
MOVO LV4-02 Lav Microphones
If you are looking to record without having a bulky microphone, the MOVO Lav Microphones are extremely high quality. These little gems clip really nicely on to shirt colors and record only what is right above them.Click Here To Share This Post With Your Twitter PLN!Click To Tweet
For the longest time, I was recording my sounds directly into the . It is a fantastic piece of hardware that allowed me to connect just about everything else in my studio to it to bring into my final mix. This past holiday season, I purchased the new RODECASTER Pro interface.
The RODECASTER Pro Can
- Record 4 microphones at once, each with their own monitors and adjustments.
- Record directly into a memory card, or stream directly into the computer through USB cable.
- Connect to your computer or phone through Bluetooth enabling me to take phone calls while recording my show. (something I wasn't able to do in the past)
- Program interviews, Sound Effects, and other audio goodies into the 8 sound banks.
- Record in Multi-Track to a high-quality memory card.
The Zoom H6 came into my podcasting gear bag just before the ISTE conference last year. I can't say enough good things about this. For starters, I am able to connect six individual microphones to us using the extension capsule. With individual volume controls for each of the microphones, I have created a nice little recording studio that takes full advantage of both the Zoom and my AT2005USB Microphones.
Logitech C920 Web Camera
Where I believe that the majority of my video recordings will be through the iPad, I am bringing along my trustworthy . These webcams are pretty amazing and extremely clear however they have been discontinued over the last few years and replaced with the new 4K Logitech Brio webcam.
Last year, I met the team at Padcaster and absolutely fell in love with the device and all of its components. The video that I recorded on how to use it was a very popular hit on YouTube. (Check it out here)
Padcaster for iPad Pro
There are two different that I am bringing this year. The first is the Padcaster for my iPad Pro. This will allow me to put the Padcaster on a tripod and use it's video capability when I don't have the need for pulling out the C920 and connecting it to the computer.
New to education this year is the Padcaster Verse. This is a smaller unit that is designed to work with Phones. I can't say enough how much I have been using this unit and how easy it has made my job as a broadcaster and recorder because I no longer need to lug around tons of heavy equipment.
As you can clearly read into the agony of preparing for a conference by reading above. You can't podcast without cables. This year, I am being a bit smarter by only bringing essentials with me, and also packing multiple devices that take the same style of cable.
Livewire Essential 5ft SM5 XLR Cable
These cables are for the 2005's as well as the MOVO Lav mics. They are long enough to reach to all of my guests (I hope) but small enough to be lightweight and fit nicely into my bag.
What is a conference without your array of computer dongles? Is it still ok to admit that I chuckle every time I hear someone ask someone else if they have one to borrow?
Tripods and Stands
A good tripod costs over $30 and is light enough to want to carry on your back for 12 hours at a time and easy enough to be able to adjust quickly while your guests watch you sweat under pressure.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where one must carry not one, but two pair of earbuds because their devices may or may not have headphone jacks.
Tips for Purchasing Podcasting Equipment
Home Studio Tips
The purpose of your microphone and any other piece of equipment is to help you create the best content that you can, but it never will ever replace your voice and the words that come out of your mouth. In the podcasting world, Content is King and you should never spend a ton of money on equipment that might be above your ability level.
Focus on your content and your message first … then consider looking into equipment.
Travel Recording Tips
It's always important to think about how much you are bringing with you and how many different ways you can be using your equipment. I often create about a half dozen different setups before packing my equipment bag one last time. Often this becomes a little heavy costing me a few extra trips to the Chiropractor. Try not to bring too much that you may never take out of your bag.
Editing Your Podcast
Just as there is a wide variety in opinions of how to record your podcast, there is an equal if not a wider range of opinions of how to edit. There are always two thought processes when it comes to editing your podcast and they both should be considered before in the beginning planning stages before you even hit the record button on your first episode.
The first school is one where you will be doing the editing yourself. You know that no matter what the recording looks and sounds like … at the end of the day … you are the one spending the time with your editing application and you are the one responsible for the final output of the file. This is more often than not the situation that most podcasters find themselves in with their shows.
The second school is one where the podcaster is recording a show to be then sent to an editor for processing. This usually requires money and could cost between $30-$100 per episode depending on the length of the show and how many voices are on the recording.
No matter what happens to your podcast file after you are done recording it, it is critical that you always think about the editing process and in fact, think about your editor during your recording process. Let's take a look at the two basic recording options that you have and why you may one to choose one over the other.
Audio Editing vs Video Editing
If you are recording an audio podcast, it is natural to think that you would be recording your podcast to an audio track. But is that the best thing for the next phase of your show?
For many audio podcasters, recordings are done through popular audio apps such as Garageband (MAC) or Audacity (Windows). These applications are fantastic because they can quickly help you produce a professional quality .mp3 file to be sent to your podcast distribution platforms.
For the last 8 years, I have recorded my podcasts, no matter what my final format is, in a video format. I have done this and have discussed this process at great length because I believe that it's much easier to edit and produce in video than it is to edit a long audio file.
Here is my reason behind this method… If you are recording an audio track and you make a mistake, there is little that you have to know where you made that mistake on your audio track. Many often have to go back and listen to their recordings and write down time stamps of their errors before sending their files to their editors.
By recording on a video file, I am able to do a visual “wave to the camera” when I need to create an edit point. These visual cues have not only sped up my editing process but have given me hours of extra time to spend away from the computer that I might not have if I were listening back to an entire hour-long audio track.
For this reason, I have several great video editing platforms that I like to recommend. All of them are easy to use and produce a high-quality video or audio-only file for your podcast.Please share this post with your Twitter PLN by clicking on this button today!Click To Tweet
Podcast Editing Applications
TeacherCast creates screencasts and instructional videos for the educational community. Through student inspiration and educator feedback, I have had the privilege of creating online courses and video tutorials on subjects such as Evernote, Video Editing, student communication, and mobile classrooms. Quite often people ask about the tools that I use and my methods for creating these screencasts.
There are several great tools both freemium and premium that I use for creating digital content. Quite often, I just don’t have the time to use a free application such as Apple Quicktime and then transporting it into a video editor such as Final Cut Pro X to make the edits for exporting and uploading. My favorite tool for creating screencasts is called ScreenFlow from a great company called Telestream. It has a simple interface and has powerful tools to allow you to create amazing classroom resources.
Telestream ScreenFlow recently pushed an update that introduces some amazing features. Are you looking to create a video that not only shows your screen but your pretty smile? ScreenFlow can do that. Are you interested in teaching your students about a new iPad app by doing a screencast?? ScreenFlow can do that too! How about having a great app with the ability to publish to platforms such as YouTube, Dropbox, AND your Google Drive??? Yup…. ScreenFlow is the choice for you.
If you are looking for an application that is quick, easy to use, and can streamline your video tutorials I highly recommend checking out Camtasia 2019. They have a FREE Downloadable Trial version that you can download on their website and it is available for both Mac and PC operating systems.
Garageband / Audacity
As mentioned above, many podcasters and master editors use either Garageband or Audacity for their podcast editing needs. Both platforms are easy to use and provide a ton of great features to get you up and running quickly with a simple export process.
Final Cut Pro X
For the last 8 years, I have edited all of my podcasts exclusively using Final Cut Pro X (FCPX). By using FCPX, I am able to set up templates for each of my podcasts that allows me to quickly import, edit, and export so I can spend more time off the computer rather than spending hours tweaking settings. To learn how to use Final Cut Pro, please visit this video tutorial or a recent webinar.
One of my favorite apps to talk about is Wirecast from Telestream. I discovered Wirecast back in 2012 while searching for solutions to live broadcast my TechEducator Podcasts. Since then, all of my broadcasts have been recorded through this amazing software. Recently, Telestream updated to a brand new Version 9. This new version added some pretty cool features that I can't wait to show you on future broadcasts. (Subscribe Today).
Tips for Editing Your Podcast
- The first rule of editing is to make sure that you are recording your podcast with your editor in mind. Record using a single file rather than handing off several smaller files. It will speed up the editing time greatly.
- I always suggest recording in video format that way your editor has one more tool to help them create the final podcast file.
- If you do make a mistake when recording, see if you can leave your editor 3-4 seconds of dead air so they can easily cut into the file and splice things together.
- Always export your podcast as a mono file … it's a smaller file size and nobody needs to hear a podcast in stereo.
Publishing Your Podcast
Once your podcast is fully edited then it's time to publish to a variety of destinations. For many podcasters, they subscribe to a podcast audio hosting service. For others, they send their audio files to their websites for distribution. No matter how you decide to publish your show, there are two things to think about when publishing and they all have to do with how your Avatar will be consuming your content.
Podcasting Show Notes?
Should your podcast have show notes? It's a great question! There are so many reasons for doing great show notes and so many reasons for not spending any time on it. If you take a look at any one of the more than 700,000 podcasts in the Apple Podcast Directory, you will see that there are more than 700,000 different ways of creating your show notes. If you take a look at our post called, “FREE Podcast Show Notes Template that Attracts Listeners and Converts Subscribers!” you will learn several ways to create SEO friendly show notes for your podcast.
Download Our SEO Friendly Podcasting Show Notes Template Today!
Why Create Show Notes For Your Podcast?
At the very minimum, your show notes should act as a summary of what happened in your podcast. For some, this is a few sentences and for others, it's a full paragraph or two. Either way, the top of your show notes should include the name of the show, episode number, and your guests. Also included should be something that your guest is currently working on. There is a good chance that your listener will only be skimming the top of your post and so, for this reason, you should make things stand out as clearly as possible to entice people to click the play button on your post.
Podcast Distribution Services
After your audio file is exported, it's time to decide where you are going to distribute that file from so it can be distributed to the various podcast listening applications.
What is Podcast Hosting?
The purpose of Podcast Hosting is to do two things. First, it serves as a location to host your audio files for distribution. Second, it creates an RSS feed that can be submitted to directories such as Apple Podcasts.
Popular Podcast Hosting Services
Backing Up Your Podcast Recordings
No matter how you decide to publish and promote your audio, it's always important to keep a copy of your audio files for future use. You may find that even after you publish your show that you still have an error in it that needs additional editing. For many podcasters, they store a backup of their shows in Google Drive or Dropbox so that the files are saved off of their production computers in the case of emergency.
Tips for Publishing Your Podcast
- There are two places to publish your audio files to, your website, or an audio host. There are several advantages and disadvantages to each of these options. It's best to figure out what is best for you before starting your podcast.
- Publish your podcast files in mono. This keeps the file sizes down and may save you in the pocketbook with any hosting services that charges by the size of the upload.
Promoting Your Podcast
Once you have your show published and released to the world, it's time to begin promoting your shows. You are generally going to see a spike in your traffic statistics every time you publish a show that lasts anywhere from 1-2 days. In order to keep your visitors coming back to your website looking for additional content, there are several things that you can do to your podcast to leverage additional content.
Promoting On Your Website
For many podcasters, they create a show and add it to a blog post and then move onto another topic. However for maximum visibility and to increase the number of times someone listens to your show, it's important to take your content and repurpose it across a series of additional blog posts.
For example, let's say that you create a show on the 10 most helpful Chrome Extensions. You record your show, create the blog post and then release it to your community. What happens now?
What should happen now is the creation of 10 smaller blog posts … each post doing into a little bit more detail on each of the Chrome Extensions. On each post, you can then put the audio file with links for others to subscribe to your podcast. This then gives you not just one post promoting your podcast, but 11 total shows that all can be back linked to create a web of traffic that both your audience will enjoy and Google SEO crawlers will be able to follow and help you raise your website in search results.
For many podcasters and bloggers, the most popular platform to create and promote content is WordPress. WordPress is a visual database of content that allows users to create blog posts that interconnect to each other through links. It also is a playground for Podcasters because you can create a site that is focused on driving traffic to specific pages to capture email subscribers and podcast listeners through a series of plugins. For more information about WordPress, please visit our Intro to WordPress page today!
Plugins are the little pieces of code that you can install into your website to give it additional functionality. There are thousands of plugins, both free and premium that allow you to build whatever type of website you want. One of the most popular plugins for podcasters is PowerPress from BluBrry
PowerPress is one of the most popular WordPress Plugins to help you add your podcast to the website.
Alternative Ways Of Adding Your Podcast To Your Website
Where PowerPress is one of the more impressive plugins that is freely available, it certainly isn't the only one in the WordPress repository. Here is a list of 15 additional plugins to choose from.
Have you ever stopped to think about all the work that goes into bringing ONE reader or listener onto your website? What do you do with that reader/listener once they are there? Do you provide them valuable content or do you sit back and watch them bounce from your website as soon as they get what they needed.
This is the very reason why you need a newsletter and you need to be thinking about a few ways to not only attract readers to your website but ways you can turn them into repeat visitors. Just think about all of the websites you visit each day. How many of them are trying to get your attention by offering you freebies? They are looking to gain your trust and ultimately gain access to your email so they can promote their content to you. There is nothing wrong with this and if they are doing it… then YOU should be doing it too.
5 Tips For Building Your Email Newsletter Subscribers
- Provide An Incentive For Signing Up
- Create Multiple Incentives To Attract Returning Visitors
- Focus On Your Avatar's Needs
- Rotate Your Incentives Throughout The Year
- Keep Your Sign-up's Simple
Social Media is also a popular way of promoting your Podcast once it has been published. More often than not, you will be promoting the specific blog post on your website that your show is associated with it. For many, they find that posting regularly on Facebook and Twitter using strategic hashtags helps drive traffic to their shows while others find that Pinterest and Linkedin are useful platforms. Each Social Media website has their own unique demographic and should be tested to see what works best.
Word of Mouth
Another great way of driving traffic to your podcast is Word of Mouth. This could come in the form of testimonials, t-shirt give aways or even fun stickers of your podcast logo. If you are a podcaster at a conference … consider creating some nice stickers to hand out as promotional materials and see if you can get the crowd talking about your show.
Tips for Podcast Promotions
- Grass Roots campaigns to get the word out about your show are always helpful. There is nothing like free promotion from your peers.
- If you are going to be using Social Media to promote your show, test out each platform to see what works for you and then focus on growing your following on those platforms. There isn't enough time in the day to be an expert in every platform. Do what works best for your show and your audience.
- Sometimes the best way to promote your podcast is by being a guest on another podcast. Search out other shows in your category and ask to be a guest on their show or ask if you could guest blog on their platform.
Growing Your Podcast Audience
Once you have your podcast published, the next thing you need to start thinking about is growing your audience. If you have taken the steps listed above, you should have a pretty good idea of who your Avatar is and what they are looking for. This information then can be used to help you find and grow your audience.
What To Expect After Your First Show
For many podcasters, they publish their first show and then look to see who will be paying them for their time and energy. This is not the recommended road that any podcaster should travel. After your first show gets published, I always recommend taking time to share it with friends and family to get opinions on it. If you do this with your first few episodes, you will find that you are better off for it.
Always remember that your first show will never be as good as your 10th show or your 20th show.
What is important to remember is that the only way to grow your show is by creating an audience that is seeking out your content. You should have several ways of connecting with your audience (emails, social media, sign up forms) so you can begin to understand what your actual human audience is looking for so you can compare it against the notes you took when first coming up with your show concept.
What To Expect After Your 50th Show
If you are going to be recording one episode a week then by your 50th show, you should be a year into your podcasting journey. By now, you should have a completely different show than you when you first started out and you may find that you are making much more headway with each episode in terms of audience interaction and retention. With milestone shows such as your 50th and your 100th, I often suggest celebrating by re-releasing your first episode to share with your audience some of your back catalogue.
What to Expect After Your 1,000th Show
For the last 8 years, I have had the privilege of recording more than 1,000 podcasts featuring more than 500 edtech companies and thousands of educators. I have learned a TON about podcasting, building community, and building relationships. The one thing I can tell you is that you are never done learning and it's always important to continuously reflect on both your recent shows and the shows you wish to record in the future to keep on top of your game. Podcasting isn't easy, but it's been a lot of fun being able to meet so many people and have so many amazing experiences along the way.
Tips For Interacting With Your Podcast Audience
One of the ways that many podcasters invite their listeners to interact with them is through a free voice mail application called SpeakPipe. SpeakPipe, as discussed in this blog post is a great system because it sends podcasters an email every time someone leaves a voice mail and also provides the opportunity to download the file to be used perhaps on a future podcast.
Consuming Your Podcast
2019 Podcasting Statistics
Did you know that there are more than 700,000 podcasts on the Apple Podcasts directory with more than 530,000 still being deemed as “active shows”? The statistics for podcast creation and consumption are pretty amazing and are discussed in detail on this blog post from Podcast Insights.
Podcasting Applications For Podcast Consumption
It seems that each week, there are more and more applications available on the market for consuming podcasts. Where the majority of your audience will either listen through Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts because they are native to mobile phones, it is important to share that your podcast can be found on other platforms that might provide additional listening features.
4 Great Apps To Discover Podcasting
- Apple Podcasting App
- Love it or hate it, in my opinion, Apple has created a pretty decent podcasting app. Why do I say this? Because it allows you to search through your entire iTunes library and all of your subscriptions are then synced across your devices. Few podcasting apps can say this. This app allows the playing of both audio and video podcasts across all mobile devices AND it also allows you to play them on your AppleTV. Be sure to check out our shows on the Apple Podcasts app by visiting http://www.TeacherCast.net/iTunes
- Stitcher Radio
- Rated as one of the Top 50 Apps by TIME Magazine, Stitcher Radio is one of the go-to apps on any mobile device. It has several great features for your podcasting considerations. While you are driving around in your Land Rover or Jaguar, simply connect your mobile device to your car and Stitcher Radio will broadcast in beautiful crystal clear sound as you sip your sports drink of choice. Once you have your shows connected, one great feature of Stitcher is called “Listen Later.” Have you ever been channel flipping and wanted to save a show for a later date? If so, this feature is for you!
- Although not a free app, PodCruncher ($2.99) does provide many great features. PodCruncher allows you to both Stream and Download shows, create playlists, and best of all, it is VERY fast to navigate through. Users have the ability to stream over both WIFI and Cellular and it responds to basic swiping gestures. This feature is very useful when listening to podcasts while driving.
- OverCast is natively a free app that offers many great features after a $4.99 in-app purchase. The full version of app allows users to listen to each episode in variable speeds, create playlists and alert you to new episodes through push notifications. One neat feature of OverCast is a sleep timer. This feature has been handy when rocking my babies to sleep at night.
Tips for Helping Your Audience Find Your Podcast
- Keep your podcast name simple. This will help both your audience and the search engines find you.
- Try to give specific URL's to your audience when encouraging them to seek you out. Telling your audience to “search on iTunes” for your show will only get them lost and frustrated.
- Have a central location on your website where your subscribing information is so you can point everyone to one website.
- Don't expect that your audience knows what a podcast is and how they can find you. You need to continuously teach and train your audience.
- Encourage your audience to share your show with a friend.
Podcasting With Students
As more school districts turn to 1:1 learning by putting devices both in the hands and the homes of students, it's important that teachers break the tradition of only assigning written content to show mastery of the subject. One of the best ways to do this is through audio and video.
Why Should You Podcast With Your Students?
When we take a look at the 4C’s in education, they all can be found through the world of podcasting. In fact, podcasting not only aligns itself with the 4C’s and the SAMR model but also helps students reach the top of Bloom’s Taxonomy and hits many of the ISTE standards for 21st-Century learning.
Podcasting with the 4C’s
- When students work with audio and video, they are given the opportunity to bring out their personality and showcase how much they know about the subject. Creativity can come into play by the way their show is created or by the way they deliver the content to their users.
- When creating a podcast, students have the ability to roleplay as both the show host and content expert. Student projects can be set up as both individual or small group projects or can be structured as full class activities where groups of students are responsible for sections of the podcast.
- The entire goal of a podcast is to communicate a thought or idea. For many, a student project might be as simple as speaking directly into an audio or video application with little to no editing or production.
- When a student is asked to create a 5-paragraph essay, they are given a structured assignment When a student is given a microphone and a few guidelines for creating their content, the possibilities are limitless.
Podcasting Applications For The Classroom
Synth is a new Classroom Podcasting application that is free to use. Created by the same company that brought you the Swivl, Synth’s are short audio/video clips that can be used to help students learn the curriculum in an extremely dynamic format while giving teachers the ability to flip their classrooms easier than ever before. Personally, I think Synth is an application that belongs in every classroom no matter the grade level or subject area. There are currently more than 700,000 podcasts featured in the Apple Podcasts Directory with more than 3,000 new shows arriving each week. It’s no wonder why teachers are turning to Podcasting as a new way to deliver instruction.
Where not specifically designed for or promoted as a podcasting platform, Flipgrid is certainly a fantastic application to be used in the classroom. Allowing teachers to create a platform where a video question can be asked and video answers can be returned, all across the world, teachers and students have come down with a case of #FlipgridFever ever since the announcement in the summer of 2018 that the company was purchased by Microsoft.
Simple Audio Recorder
For those who are simply looking to create an easy way for students to record audio on their devices, a favorite Chrome Extension that is highly recommended is Simple Audio Recorder. When using SAR, students can record audio directly into their computers that is then saved into their Google Drives. This is extremely simple and a great way to get started with audio for no cost at all.
One favorite of all applications that you would never think to be a podcast recording device s Evernote. I have been a user of Evernote since 2012 and I love using it to record simple audio files that get saved as notes and synced across all of my devices. For many new podcasters, this is a great way to create your show notes and record directly into the application on the road. This method has saved me a TON of time when traveling.
If any of these options aren't available to use, it's always important to remember that just about every mobile phone or tablet device has some type of Voice Recorder app that can be used to record your students.
If you are looking to bring podcasting into your classroom, there are a few different roads that you can travel.
Many teachers are turning to podcasts as a way to help teach audio and video technologies to their students. For example, students in Hans Appel's class are creating podcasts to connect to their communities. Additionally, students in Randal Blacks classes are creating podcasts to help learn about the career opportunities of being a digital media expert.
Another way to use Podcasts in the classroom is to help our students gain college and career readiness skills. As discussed in the TeacherCast Educational Podcasting Workshop presentations, teachers can use podcasts through a variety of lessons in audio and video to help students feel confident about themselves while giving a presentation in class. These opportunities for public presentation can help students when it comes to college and job interviews in the future.
Where To Find Help Recording Your Podcast?
If you are looking for help starting your podcast, please check out our great channels below or reach out to use with any questions you may have. We are happy to help.
- Podcast: Educational Podcasting Today
- How to Podcast in the Classroom: PodcastingWithStudents.com
- Twitter: @PodcastingToday
- Facebook Group: Educational Podcasting Tips and Tricks
Podcasts About Podcasting
Educational Podcasting Today
If you are searching for the best way to create your own podcast or to bring podcasting into your classroom, check out Educational Podcasting Today. I started EPT a few years back and have recently expanded it into not just one, but two pages to help teachers learn how to both podcasts in the classroom and with their students. If you are interested in learning more, also join our Facebook Group to be apart of our learning community.
Additional Podcasts About Podcasting
Podcasters On Social Media
- Tim Cavey – @TeachersOnFire
- John Sowash – @JohnSowash
- Kelly Croy – @WiredEducator
- Joshua Stamper – @Joshua_Stamper
- Jeff Gargas – @JeffGargas
- Dr. Will Deyamport – @iamDrWill
- Rae Hughart – @TeachBetterTeam
- Sarah Johnson – @SarahSAJohnson
- Gretchen Schultek Bridgers – @GSchultek
- Gabriel Carrillo – @EdTechBites
- Chuck Poole – @Cpoole27
- Amber Harper @BurnedInTeacher
- Dan Kreiness – @DKreiness
- Dr. Sheldon Eakins – @SheldonEakins
- John Staumont – @Staumont
- Owen Peery – @OwenPeery
- Eric Guise – @WeGotTeched
- J. Belt – @TWhyCast
- Erin Kiger – @EBGTech
- Chris Nesi – @MrNesi
- Brian Costello – @BTCostello05
- Dr. Amy Heger – @DrAmyHeger
Let’s Work Together
- Host: Jeff Bradbury @TeacherCast | @JeffBradbury
- Email: email@example.com
- Voice Mail: http://www.TeacherCast.net/voicemail
- YouTube: http://www.TeacherCast.net/YouTube
- iTunes: http://www.TeacherCast.net/iTunes
Check Out More TeacherCast Programming
- TeacherCast Podcast (http://www.teachercast.net/tcp)
- Educational Podcasting Today (http://www.educationalpodcasting.today)
- The TechEducator Podcast (http://www.techeducatorpodcast.com)
- Ask The Tech Coach (http://www.AskTheTechCoach.com)
Need A Presenter?
Ever since 2010 when I was driving up the New Jersey Turnpike listening to my first podcast episode, I was in love with the idea of creating an online space where I could help others around the world. Podcasting has meant so many things to my family that I hope this Ultimate Podcasting Guide serves in some way as a Thank You to everyone who has ever listened to a show, emailed me with a question, or attended one of my TeacherCast University workshops.
If you are interested in starting a podcast for yourself or in your classroom, my advice to you is pretty simple … DO IT.
The reality is … there are no rules. Everyone makes this stuff up for themselves and everyone has their own way of doing things that is right for them. No two podcasters are alike.
If you are looking for additional resources, here are additional posts on the subject.
What I hope you do remember is that Podcasting is supposed to be fun. It's a conversation between you and your audience. Take a deep breath and turn on your microphone and have a good time.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out. I'm happy to reply to an email or jump on a video conference with you. I LOVE working with podcasters of all experience levels.
I hope you have enjoyed this TeacherCast Ultimate Guide to Podcasting. If you have additional questions, or if you think I have left anything out, please leave a message in the comments below.
Until next time everyone … Keep up the great work in your classroom, and continue sharing your passions … with your students.