Podcasting has been making big waves on the Internet in the past decade. It’s only right that you make the most of this opportunity by setting forth to try it out for yourself.
Although the WordPress core offers support for podcasting, getting started on the right foot isn’t always a cakewalk. In this post, we’ll run you through a quick guide to starting podcasting with WordPress and cover some of the best podcasting plugins on the market.
Let’s cover some podcasting basics before we begin.
A brief overview of podcasting
Podcasting has been around for over 10 years now and it’s still as popular today as it was in its early days – maybe even more so.
A podcast is an episodic series of digital media files which a user can set up so that new episodes are automatically downloaded via web syndication to the user’s own local computer or portable media player. – Wikipedia
The term itself is a blend of Apple’s iPod and broadcast. When we think about podcasting, the first thing that pops into mind is an audio recording. Although podcasts are typically distributed as audio files, they can also be videos, PDFs, and ePub files.
Put simply, a podcast can be thought of as an on-demand Internet radio. A greater population of listeners is consuming podcasts on their smartphones or tablets who crave easy-to-digest content on their daily commutes or when they’re out for their morning jog. Mobility is driving podcast growth.
Benefits of creating a podcasting website
Sometimes the written word is more difficult to consume as compared to the spoken word. This makes podcasting a new channel for online business owners to interact with their audience. If that still doesn’t convince you then here are a few more reasons why you should start podcasting today.
Humanizes your site
Podcasting allows you to humanize your website and connect with your audience on a more personal level. Connecting with listeners through a podcast gives your business a human element and builds trust.
Podcasting is growing in popularity once again and with the ratio of podcasts to blogs currently around 1:1000, there’s no better time to start your own podcast.
According to Entrepreneur, if you’re consistent throughout and promote your channel on social media networks then podcasting is a surefire way of driving traffic to your site.
Constitutes on-demand technology
Easy access to on-demand audio and podcasts through Internet-enabled smartphones has replaced the traditional AM/FM radio in terms of usability and simplicity. Enhancements in IoT technology and interactive voice platforms are expected to improve upon listener’s consumption of podcast content.
Tap into a new audience
People have different preferences for the type of content they like to consume. You may prefer to read a blog post, while others may prefer to listen to a podcast. When you start leveraging different types of content, you open your site up to an entirely new audience.
Supplementing your online business with a podcasting channel is a great way to add a human element to your site, boost traffic, and deliver value to your audience. Let’s move on to take a look at some of the best tools you can use to record your podcast.
Tools to help you record your podcast
The first thing you’ll have to do to kick things off is record your podcast. Regardless of your niche or content, you’ll need a hardware-software toolkit to bring a solid recording onto your computer.
In the grand tradition of doing the bare minimum, we’ve included only the essentials to help you get the ball rolling. You’ll need:
As you may (or may not) have already guessed, the most important tool in your podcasting endeavor will be your microphone. Your podcast’s audio quality is a key factor that determines its overall success.
We recommend going for a dynamic microphone (designed to pick up your voice and leave out any background noises) paired with a microphone arm to ensure sound consistency.
Once you have your microphone set up, you’ll need recording software to get your voice onto the system. If you have a PC, you can start out with Pamela – a free, recording platform. Those of you with a Mac device can go for Call Recorder for Skype instead.
One of the first things you’ll notice when you start podcasting is that no matter how clearly you speak or how hard you try to follow the script, you’ll end up editing the recording. Audacity is an incredibly powerful and user-friendly tool for PCs whereas GarageBand works just as well for Mac devices.
Popular plugins to publish your podcast
If you’re reading this post then you’ve decided to publish your podcast through your WordPress website. Thankfully, WordPress takes care of the technical aspects of publishing your podcasts and presenting them on your website.
Podcasting Plugin by TSG
Those of you who are dipping their toes in the podcasting waters might think it’s best to start out with a lightweight solution to evaluate the audience’s response. Podcasting Plugin by TSG improves on WordPress’ default podcasting support through iTunes integration.
- Includes support for iTunes.
- Allows users to create multiple podcasting feeds.
- Comes with a built-in media player for your website.
Seriously Simple Podcasting
Webmasters who crave simplicity can’t get it better than Seriously Simple Podcasting. The user-friendly interface paired with a concise settings page makes for a great platform to start publishing your podcasts through.
- Enables webmasters to publish multiple podcasting feeds.
- Includes support for audio and video podcasting.
- Supports shortcodes and widgets for presenting podcast episodes effectively.
Price: Free (options of add-ons also completely free)
Blubrry PowerPress is a feature-rich podcasting plugin for WordPress that’s ideal for webmasters who are truly serious about launching their own podcast. It comes with a plethora of advanced configurations covering everything from media player options to subscriptions and importing podcasts to setting custom titles.
- Offers support for iTunes and Google Play.
- Comes with podcasting SEO right out of the box.
- Includes HTML5 media players for audio and video podcasts.
Price: Free (paid options available)
Libsyn Podcast Plugin
Libsyn Podcast Plugin boasts external cloud hosting, custom mobile apps, and automatic RSS feed updates. This plugin works by publishing your podcasts directly onto your Libsyn profile from your WordPress website. If you’d rather not have your site’s servers loaded with podcast data alone then Libsyn is the right choice for you.
- Offers external cloud hosting on Libsyn’s servers.
- Includes an HTML5 media player.
- Allows your audience to use a mobile app to listen to your podcast.
Price: Free (Libsyn Podcasting Hosting account from $5/month required)
Wrapping it up
If you’re thinking about podcasting then WordPress has you covered from a technical aspect. By opting for one of the hand-picked plugins on our list, you can focus on the creative aspect of your podcast and let WordPress do the heavy lifting for you.