Are you wanting to learn how to publish a podcast?
Well today, you are going to learn how to go from podcast idea to having an optimized and published podcast on the interwebs, the PROFESSIONAL way!
Podcasting is the ‘third pillar’ of my content marketing strategy, and it is powerful.
But, you will find that there are a lot of steps involved in this process.
If you want to publish awesome podcasts and maximize your podcast reach, then this is the article for you!
No more rookie mistakes! Here is how you podcast like a pro!
So let’s get started.
First… Why Publish A Podcast?
If you are a blogger or a YouTuber, you may be wondering why you should even bother with a podcast.
Let’s talk about that a little bit before we get started.
You Want To Show Up On Podcasting Directories
This is the first, and probably the most important, reason for why you would want to create a podcast.
As you grow an online audience to monetize from, you want to show up everywhere.
- And Podcasting
So if you don’t do podcasting, that is a huge piece of the pie you are missing out on.
Is Podcasting Right For You?
Some people struggle with what to do first.
Should they blog, put videos on YouTube, or podcast?
If you love to talk about things, love discussing important topics with people, and don’t care a lot for video or writing, then rest assured that podcasting is probably the best type of content for you!
But you should go with your gut on this one.
Most people instantly know which type of content they would be more likely to prefer.
Don’t overthink this part. If a podcast seems like fun, jump on it!
At first, don’t worry about monetization. Don’t worry about sponsorships. Don’t worry about making it all perfect. Just podcast for the joy of podcasting.
Put out 30, 60, even 90 episodes, and see how much you learn and grow.
Eventually, if you keep going, you will start to build up an audience. And that is the entire goal!
Have fun, build an audience, help that audience, make money… WIN!!!
Quick Note: Go Deep With One Publishing Method First
I am quite a few years into my content marketing business. So it goes without saying that I really need to be working on all three of the big content marketing mediums if I want to fully embrace the top levels of success.
But with that being said, it is also important for new content marketers to go really deep with one publishing method first, before delving into the others.
For me, this was YouTube. There is nothing wrong with establishing a strong presence on one medium before you start branching off into others.
This helps you to start growing an audience, but it also helps you to avoid getting bogged down and overwhelmed with too much to do!
Anyway, now that we’ve got this talked about, let’s move on and talk about the first step of the process.
Publishing A Podcast: 8 Steps
This is a basic, beginner’s step-by-step guide for how to publish your own podcasts. This will take you through the entire process, and will even show you what tools you can use to get everything ready and finished out.
There is more to this than you may realize. But remember that the key is to just get started. If you want to get into podcasting, the biggest victory will be to put out that first episode!
After that, it all starts to get a little easier!
Step 1: Get Your Audio Recorded
You can do this in a number of different ways. Since I create all of my podcasts from YouTube videos, I actually use a site called ‘SaveFrom.net.’
This is a simple downloader that you can use to download YouTube videos to your computer.
Now, this tool will only let you download the video as an MP4. So then, you can go in and use VLC Media Player to convert the file to an MP3 and save it that way.
These are both free programs, so it doesn’t cost anything.
If you are recording your videos directly to audio and are not recording a video first, then you obviously won’t have to bother with ripping the audio off of a video.
There are two easy ways to get started with recording your audio. It could be as simple as recording a podcast on your smartphone, or you could buy a microphone, download audio software, and record the audio straight to your computer.
A smartphone is faster, but recording to your computer will probably result in better-quality audio. Either method can work though, especially at first!
If you want to use your smartphone, you will need…
- A recording app
- A pair of headphones
- Recommended upgrade is this lavalier mic for smartphones
And that is about it! For the recording app, you can use an app called Voice Recorder HD. This app is available on Apple and Android phones, and is very popular for recording podcasts on a smartphone.
For headphones, anything will work… as long as you can hear yourself.
If you DO record your podcast on a phone, you will also need to upload the file to your computer for editing. You can use Dropbox for this, or you can plug your phone directly into your computer and upload it that way.
If you plan to record using your computer, then you will need…
- A USB Mic
- Recording Software
There are plenty of USB microphones out there that you can use for this. If you Google ‘USB Mic for Podcasting,’ you will come up with all kinds of options, this is the one I started with.
As for software, we will talk more about that in a moment… but for most new podcasters, you can download Audacity.
It is free, it is easy to use, and it will do everything you need to get started. You can even create your intro and outro with Audacity.
There is a bit of a learning curve with it. But with a bit of practice, you should be good to go to record and edit your audio, regardless of whether you recorded it on your phone or on your computer.
Either way, you will need to end up with an MP3 file that you can use to start the audio process.
Next, we move on to editing.
(Note: Editing will go much smoother if you make sure that you are getting decent sound quality on your recording. This is why you should always use headphones, so that you can hear how good the quality is as you record.
It is very frustrating to record the whole thing with no headphones, just to realize that you cannot hear or understand your voice because your mic wasn’t set up right or wasn’t close enough to you! )
Step 2: Create An Intro And An Outro
If you listen to many podcasts, you will quickly realize that most podcasters have specially designed intros and outros for their podcast shows.
These are usually 10 to 15 seconds long, and may combine elements like music, a vocal introduction, some cool sound effects, etc.
There are two main goals with intros and outros.
- They provide common-theme segways into and out-of your podcast episodes...
- They help to brand your podcasts and make them recognizable to listeners as your podcasts!
You can easily create your intros and outros yourself by using free sounds and music-clips from sites like freesound.org, recording your own voice, and editing it all together.
Then, just save them as MP3 clips to edit onto your podcast audio. You can tag them onto the beginning and end of every podcast.
So listen to some podcasts, gain some inspiration from what other people are doing for intros and outros, and start designing your own to go along with your recorded podcast audio!
You can use your audio editor to layer it all together. We will talk more about editing next.
Step 3: Edit And Save Your Audio
My wife and I have been using Mixcraft to edit our audio for years. This is a paid tool, though there are also programs like ‘Audacity,’ which are free to use.
Keep in mind that editing audio requires some knowledge and practice. But at the end of the day, the goal of this process is to prepare the audio for publishing as a podcast.
At this stage, you will want to import 3 pieces of audio into your audio editor.
You will need…
- Your Intro
- Your outro
- The audio that you recorded (or ripped off of your own YouTube video) that will serve as the main body of audio for your podcast
If you haven’t yet designed your own outro or intro yet, you may want to do that first!
Anyway, now that you have all three of these vital components loaded into your audio editor, it is time to start editing.
You don't have to get super technical about editing this audio. The main goals are to end up with something that people can hear and understand, and to eliminate distractions and ‘unpleasant’ sounds.
Layer your intro at the beginning, your podcast audio in the middle, and your outro at the end. Then give the transitions between each segment a quick listen.
If there is too much of a pause at one or both ends, trim the audio a bit to cut that pause down.
You don’t want long stretches of empty space, obviously. But you also want quick sequences and for things to move along at a decent, comfortable pace.
And of course, if there are any glaring mistakes in the audio, now is the time to trim them out and splice the rest of it back together. This is a great time to fix problematic noises, pops, coughs, uncomfortable pauses, etc.
Once you have this all edited, it will be time to save it and level it out. Here is how you do that.
Save It As A WAV File
As soon as you get done editing your podcast in the audio editor, save it as a WAV file. This is a bigger file than an MP3, but there is a reason for why you want to do this.
Level Your Audio Highs and Lows
You can use a free tool called ‘The Levelator 2’ for this next phase of the process.
What this tool does is it levels out all of the audio throughout the track. So, if one part of your WAV file is really loud, and another is really quiet, this tool will automatically balance out those levels to make them all sound awesome and equal with one-another.
Using this tool could not be more simple. When you open the program, you will see the little ‘Levelator’ screen pop up. You will then take your WAV file, drag it onto the screen, and watch it work its magic.
There are other tools that do this as well, obviously. But this is a free and easy way to get it done.
Balanced audio is really important to the end-product. If the audio levels are all over the place, the user just won’t have a good experience with it.
And the only type of file that the Levelator will accept is a WAV file. You cannot use MP3s with this tool, which is why you will want to save the podcast as a WAV file first if you plan to use it.
Take The Newly Leveled Audio File And Open It Back Up In Your Audio Editor
When you open the file back up in your audio editor, you should see that all of the levels are nice and even.
Give it a quick listen, just to make sure that it doesn’t need any last-minute changes. Then, export it as an MP3.
Export The Audio As An MP3
This part is actually pretty important if you plan to upload your MP3 audio to any platforms that have bandwidth restrictions.
In other words, some platforms charge you more if your files are larger. So at this stage of the process, you may want to make your MP3s as small as possible.
But this isn’t the only advantage to making your MP3 as small as possible. Smaller MP3s also help the user on their end of the experience, in a number of different ways.
- It helps reduce download times
- It helps to minimize bandwidth so that the user doesn't blow through data while listening to it
- It reduces the odds of buffering during playback, and also eliminates long download times
- It also just makes the audio file easier to handle in-general, thanks to its smaller size
This can usually be adjusted in your settings as you are getting ready to save the WAV file as an MP3. I usually shoot for the 96 kbps option, as this gives you a small file, but still good enough sound quality that people won’t really notice that it has been compressed.
Step 4: Add Tags
At this point, the actual podcast audio file is complete. Now, you want to go in and add tags.
For this, you can use a free tool called https://www.mp3tag.de/en/.
This will help you add ‘tags’ to the actual MP3 file. You want to add tags for the artist, add an image, add a title, etc.
And what this basically does is it helps it to look normal when playing on someone’s phone.
It will have a nice big image that shows up. It will display the title of the episode and the artist’s name as usual, etc. These metatags will live right on the audio file, so no matter what device plays the downloaded file, they will still show up.
Essentially, you want it to look professional and normal so that it will create an even better user experience on the listener's end!
So to do this, you will want to open the ‘MP3 Tag’ tool and find your completed MP3 file on your computer.
Then you just click on the file, and fill out all of the tag information you want to fill out. It is super, super simple!
You will want to add the following tags to all of your podcast episodes…
- Title: Title of the episode
- Artist: Your name
- Album: The name of your podcast
- Year: The year the episode was made
- Genre: Speech
- Album artist: Your name
- Composer: Your name
- Image: Add a customized 3,000 x 3,000 pixel image here to serve as the cover of the episode. This is actually a very important part of the process!
Once you get all of this filled out, you can just save it… and you will now have it all tagged!
This Podcast Episode Is Now Complete
Once you get to this point, your podcast episode will be complete and ready for uploading to the different platforms you will be using.
Next, you must ask yourself a very, very important question.
Where do you go from here? Where do you go to get your podcast uploaded and heard by people?
Let’s talk about that next.
Step 5: Choose A Platform
This is a very important choice that you need to take pretty seriously when starting a podcast. There are so many different platforms available to upload your podcast to.
You can also upload it to multiple platforms, of course. But what is the best way to get started with Podcasting?
Easy. You need to choose a host. A host is simply where you will store the MP3 file that you’ve just created to be your podcast episode.
I have been using Libsyn for quite some time now, and I really like them. You will want to pay for pro-level hosting with this platform, as it is MORE than worth it. Their basic package starts at just $5 a month, and they are super reliable.
In fact, if you use my name “Miles” when you sign up for it, you can even get the rest of the current month and the next month free of charge!
There are four main reasons for why I like Libsyn.
- They have a player that embeds really neatly on my blog/website
- Their custom WordPress plugin works quite well
- They offer a ton of awesome features that make publishing my podcast super easy
- Their service is super reliable and bulletproof
- Spotify and Itunes syndication are built into the platform!
Anyway, there are a lot of options out there for podcast hosting. But I have tried a few and have stuck with Libsyn.
Step 6: Upload Your Podcast And Optimize
Uploading your podcast to Libsyn could not be easier. You simply click the ‘upload’ button at the top of the screen, choose your file, and go with it.
At this point, if you have already filled out your tags, a lot of the metadata information will already be recorded.
But you still need to go in and fill out the ‘Additional Tags.’ You will also need to fill out the description.
Here are some tips that will help you to optimize these things for maximum effectiveness and visibility.
- Choose additional tags that your target audience would be searching for
- Write out a brief, relevant, accurate description of what your podcast episode is about
- Make sure to include each one of your additional, episode-specific tags in your description as well
- I put links to both the relevant blog post and YouTube video in the description as well, in case my listeners want to check those out. I also link to my website.
As I link to my other content platforms, I spread my ‘web’ of visibility and influence. So everyone who sees these could potentially also follow me on YouTube, or on my blog, etc.
And this is a huge part of the advantage of using all 3 ‘pillars’ of content marketing, and then linking them all together.
Anyway, this completes the process of uploading and optimizing your Podcast on Libsyn. Next, you want to embed this podcast into your blog, if you have one, so that your blog readers can click on the link and easily get access to it.
With your Podcast published on Libsyn, you then want to get your podcast on iTunes and launch your podcast to multiple platforms.
Step 7: Embed Your Podcast Link Into Your Blog
If you don’t have a blog, you may not be concerned with this step right now. But at some point, once you are making use of both of these mediums, you will certainly want to do this!
You can actually use a plugin called the “Libsyn Publisher Hub” to accomplish this step.
This WordPress plugin essentially connects your WordPress site to your Libsyn account, and offers a number of awesome features that are designed to make publishing to WordPress from Libsyn a piece of cake.
Now, people who visit my blog can also follow this to listen to my podcast. This further spreads my online ‘net’ and gives me the ability to attract more viewers, build up my brand, and make a name for myself on my blog, podcast, and YouTube channel.
Libsyn also does a great job of giving you a nice-looking embed image when you put the podcast on your blog, which is awesome.
Now, Just Keep Going!
So, that is it! We literally just went through the entire process that I use to create, upload, optimize, and link my podcast episodes.
It is super, super simple. The most important thing is that you stay committed, keep creating content, and don’t give up!
Content marketing is a long-term game. But there is most certainly a big payday in the future for those who can stick with it, keep learning, and adapt to challenges.
The Advantages Of Using ‘The 3 Pillars’ Of Content
By the end of this process, I have a network set up between all three pieces of this content (the blog, YouTube video, and podcast) that is really helping me in a number of ways.
And this is where you really start to see compounding positive results while using all 3 of the main content types.
- Libsyn is now hosting my podcasting episodes, which increases my visibility to podcasting audiences
- My Libsyn is also linking over to my YouTube videos and my blog
- My blog now has this Libsyn episode embedded, so it provides a more ‘multimedia’ experience for my visitors
- My blog also appeals more to Google because it is offering relevant, connected multimedia content to support my blog post
Of course, you may also want to look into submitting the feed for your podcast to multiple sources. iTunes is a great platform to get onto, as is Spotify, etc.
Should You Link To Your Podcast And Blog From YouTube?
You may be wondering why I have not mentioned linking to the blog and podcast from my YouTube video description. Well, I actually don’t do this… and here is why.
With my understanding of the platform, I actually don’t think YouTube appreciates us trying to get visitors to go somewhere other than YouTube. So, as a general rule, I let the YouTube video part of this net stand on its own.
Don’t Be Afraid To Start Out With One Form Of Content For A While
If you are interested in getting into content marketing, you may be very tempted to go ahead and dive into all 3 mediums (blogs, YouTube, and podcasting) all at once.
But while this is a good strategy to aspire toward in time, it is NOT necessarily the right strategy in the very beginning.
And here is why.
You need time to build up that first platform, regardless of what it is. Yes, conquering all 3 pillars is a long-term goal… but conquering just ONE of them is the first goal.
This will help you to build up confidence, get some experience, grow your viewer/listener base, and establish a name for yourself in one area before you start moving on into new areas.
So don’t get into too much of a hurry with this. Take your time and do what feels natural at first. If you are a writer, blog. If you love video and feel comfortable with that, do YouTube first.
If you love going deep with conversation and talking about things over audio, go with a podcast first.
Take your time and build THAT before you start branching off into other things.
Getting your first podcast up and running is a huge victory! And I hope that you have found this article helpful for you in that journey!
To be quite honest, this is pretty easy stuff… but it IS a bit time-consuming. I actually outsource a lot of this work to inexpensive virtual assistants now, which saves a lot of time.
Have you found any useful tools for your own podcasts that have really helped? If so, send me a note and let me know!
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask them in the comments.
So good luck! Let me know how it goes. I will see you on the next one!