Does Your Design Blog Need a Podcast? Plus, 8 Free Podcasting Software Tools
Blog content is important, right? If you have a web design blog for your freelance web design business, you already know how having a blog can help you attract traffic and establish yourself as an expert. (If you don’t have a blog on your freelancing website, why don’t you?)
Blogs need content, but not all content is writing. Podcasts are an important type of content that is often overlooked. Consider adding a podcast to your freelancing blog to give it more variety.
Podcasts are audio or video files that you add to your blog. You can also submit your audio file podcasts to iTunes. While some podcasts contain music, many successful bloggers present informative material with podcasts and you can too. For the purposes of this post, we’ll be discussing audio podcasts.
Podcasting is not for everyone. But adding a podcast to your blog may be just the thing you need to set your web design business apart from the rest.
In this introduction to podcasting, I’ll explain how podcasting can help you promote your web design business. I’ll also identify some tools to help you to get started with podcasting. Finally, I’ll include some tips and tutorials so that you can learn more about podcasting.
Image Source: ON THE AIR by Rochelle Hartman CC by 2.0
You may wonder why you should include podcasts on your web design blog. The reason is simple. By adding podcasts you can grow your audience and reach more prospective clients.
The popularity of podcasts is growing. Recent statistics show that nearly 1/3 of the adults in the United States have listened to a podcast. Podcast listeners also use podcasts to make purchase decisions. For more details on the growing popularity of podcasts as well as some case studies and guidelines, see the post the Case for Creating A Podcast for Your E-Commerce or Software Company from John Dumas on the ConversionXL blog.
If you think about it, the popularity of podcasts only makes sense. Podcasts give listeners a chance to learn while doing something else. You can easily listen to a podcast while:
- Doing chores
Imagine using a podcast to showcase your expertise in your web design niche or to answer frequently asked questions for clients. You can certainly reach more people through a podcast than you could ever reach by talking to them individually.
Do you think you might be ready to create a podcast? Before you start you’ll need some tools.
Tools You’ll Need
While some podcasters simply use their smart phones or tablets and an app to create a podcast, you may wish to purchase equipment to produce a better quality podcast. Remember, the quality of your podcast reflects your web design business.
Equipment for podcasting can get quite expensive, so it’s up to you to decide how much you want to invest.
Here’s a list of additional hardware (in addition to your PC) that many podcasters recommend:
- Microphone. Your microphone should be able to record the nuances and tones of your voice. It’s best to spend a little money here so you’ll sound better. Microphone prices start at around $50.
- Headset. A headset often includes a microphone. It can help you while you’re editing your podcast. Headset prices start at about $30.
- Mixer. Some podcasters consider mixers optional for business podcasts. A mixer enables you to filter and control sounds. You can use it to add sounds from multiple sources. Mixers can be quite expensive. High end mixers can run up to $1000 or more.
8 Free Podcasting Software Tools
There are dozens of software applications that can help you with the various stages of creating your podcast. Some of them can be quite expensive. Fortunately, there are also some very good tools that won’t cost you anything.
Here’s a list of free podcasting tools or tools that offer a free trial:
- Audacity. This popular tool is great for recording and editing. It works on a wide variety of platforms including Windows and Linux.
- Audioboo. This tool allows you to record and share podcasts. It also integrates with Twitter and Facebook. There’s a free version or you can upgrade to the paid version.
- iTunes. You need to submit your finished podcasts to the iTunes directory. However, you cannot create or host podcasts on iTunes.
- GarageBand. You can now download this formerly paid app for free. Record and edit music or voice using your Mac. There’s also an iOS version.
- MP3myMP3. This versatile sound and voice recording tool lets you record from a wide variety of sources, including Skype. It’s available for Windows.
- Odigo. This converts blog posts to podcasts. While it’s an interesting concept, the sample seemed a little stilted to me. However, it could definitely make your posts accessible to sight-impaired folks.
- PodBean. PodBean prides itself on being an all-in-one podcasting solution that includes hosting. There is a free trial, but if you like it you will eventually have to pay. iPhone and Android apps are available.
- PodOmatic. This is actually a directory of podcasts on a wide variety of topics. It also includes a tool for creating a mini-podcast.
Note: Free offers may change over time.
Other Podcast Considerations
Once you start podcasting, it’s important to leave a good impression. Here a few more pointers to help you create the best possible podcasts:
- Don’t forget cover art. Cover art is a graphic that represents your podcast on the iTunes store and elsewhere.
- Quality counts. I mentioned this above with the hardware list, but it bears repeating. If you can help it, don’t publish a poor quality podcast.
- Organize your material. Plan and practice your podcasts before you publish.
- Consider length carefully. Unless you are already a well-known speaker, your audience probably won’t listen to an hour-long podcast. But they may listen for five to ten minutes.
- Go to a quiet place to record. When you’re recording, every little noise detracts from your podcast–whether it’s a barking dog, the doorbell ringing, or a crying baby.
Learn More–3 Podcasting Tutorials
Do you want to go further with podcasting? Here are three tutorials to help:
- From Jeff Coon on HubSpot, How to Set Up a Podcast: Clear Instructions for the Uninitiated.
- From John Lee Dumas on SocialMedia Examiner, How to Start a Business Podcast.
- From Karol K on HongKiat.com, Beginner’s Guide to Setting Up Your Own Podcasts.
Do you have a podcast for your web design website? Share your experiences.