Creating Your Own Online Radio Station
Podcasting has leveled the playing field for people around the
world. With just a few tools, you can quickly and easily set
up your own talk show on the topic of your choice. All you
need is a computer, a microphone, and a passion to share your
knowledge with others. Whether you are a sports buff, a
political guru, a part-time comedian, or a fitness professional,
there is an audience waiting for your voice on the Internet.
As an online marketer, podcasting allows you to step into a
market that is largely untapped. However, please don't take
it for granted. A quality podcast can garner the attention of
thousands of listeners.
By now you may be wondering how podcasting is different from
radio. I am delighted to tell you that podcasting stands head
and shoulders above radio by eliminating the many barriers
found in traditional radio.
For example, through podcasting, any person with an MP3
player can choose from a huge number of talk shows and
music varieties. One of the biggest differences is that they
can listen to the content on their own schedule. It's like
the Tivo for radio. In addition, as a podcaster, you don't
have to worry about the FCC rules and regulations of radio.
Simply plug in your microphone and go to town.
Podcasting is primed for growth, with many big names already
entering the arena. Here are just a few of the voices you might
be familiar with who are involved in the podcasting revolution.
Wall Street Journal
RealMoney Radio with Jim Cramer
Rich Dad Podcast by Robert Kiyosaki
Even colleges are getting involved. Duke University gives all
incoming freshmen an iPod preloaded with Duke-related content
such as information about orientation and the academic
There is an unlimited variety of what you could do with your
podcast. Whether you want to do expert interviews, tutorials,
news broadcasting, sports commentary, or coaching and
consulting, podcasting is an excellent platform for your
Best of all, podcasting is simple enough for anyone to get
involved. Here are the 5 basic steps to creating your own
1. Get the right equipment.
2. Produce and save your podcast.
3. Create an RSS feed.
4. Upload your podcast to your website.
5. Publicize your podcast.
So, let's dig in. If you want to create a quality radio station,
you'll need some quality equipment. Although the built-in
microphone in your computer will work, for better quality,
you'll want to invest in a good microphone. I would suggest
Audio Technica 3035 Microphone
If you're looking for something more portable, check out the
As far as software goes, Audacity is a great audio editor and
recorder that you can download for free at
audacity.sourceforge.net. Using this software you can
record live audio, edit MP3 files, cut, copy, splice, and mix
However, if you want to go for higher-end recording software,
try out Sound Forge Audio Studio software. This professional
software offers advanced audio mixing, editing, and effects
Now that you've got the right equipment, it's time to start
recording your show.
This is the fun part, so let your creative juices flow. Have fun
with it and your listeners are sure to enjoy.
If you want to add music intros to your podcast, you can find
some Podsafe music at:
These resources will help you to stay out of any legal trouble.
Once you've finished perfecting your recording, you'll need to
export it as an MP3.
Keep in mind that your subscribers will be downloading your
podcast from the Web. Therefore, you don't want your file
size to be too large. You can save a lot of bandwidth by
using the proper settings during your MP3 conversion.
For talk shows and audio books, I would recommend a bit rate of
48 - 56k Mono. However, if you are recording music or music/talk
combinations, you'll want to choose between 63 - 96k Stereo. A
high bit rate (around 160kbps) is great for music but overkill
for a talk show.
Once you convert your audio file to MP3, you also need to edit
the ID3 tags. These tags identify the artist, title, and genre.
Now it's time to upload your audio file to your web server.
Once you've done that, you must create an RSS file. This is a
crucial step because it allows listeners to subscribe to your
podcast and have it automatically synched to their MP3 players.
This is the step that transforms your audio into a true podcast.
An RSS file is created in XML and will contain four main items:
title, description, link, and enclosure. You can also use your
RSS feed to provide your listeners with additional information,
including file length, file size, file name, category, topics,
You can see an example of a podcast RSS feed at
If you don't want to write your RSS file from scratch, there are
plenty of RSS file generators available. One of my favorites can
be found at www.tdscripts.com/webmaster_utilities/
However, if you are using Wordpress to distribute your blog's
RSS feed, then turning your blog into a podcast station is
quick and easy. Simply link an audio file (MP3) from your web
server into one of your posts.
Once you have linked to the audio file from within your post,
WordPress will automatically add the necessary enclosure tag
to your RSS feed to make it useable as a podcast.
If you would like to provide your visitors with convenient
play buttons for your podcast, you can do this using
www.odeo.com or www.audible.com
How to Publicize Your Podcast
A podcast isn't much use if no one is listening to it. Creating
the podcast is just a small part of being a podcaster. To be
truly successful, you must promote your podcast to an eager
audience. You can do this in a number of ways.
First, you should tell your website visitors about your podcast.
You can do this using a podcast chicklet. Create a custom
chicklet at www.twistermc.com/shake/RSS-index.php
Next, complete the ping form at audio.weblogs.com to get
your podcast listed there.
Then, submit your podcast into iTunes. This alone can bring you
a nice subscriber base.
However, you'll also want to get your podcast into all major and
minor podcast directories. You can find a complete list of
directories at: www.masternewmedia.org/news/2005/05/20/
If you are persistent in your promotions, you should see your
subscriber base rise fairly quickly.
Podcasting is one of the best ways to increase your online
audience. If you do not keep up with these exciting changes,
you will quickly get left behind and your online business will
certainly suffer. Therefore, have fun and dig into what I expect
to be a massive transition in the way we communicate online.
Kim Roach is a staff writer and editor for the SiteProNews
(www.sitepronews.com) & SEO-News (www.seo-news.com)
newsletters. You can also find additional tips and news on
webmaster and SEO topics by Kim at the SiteProNews blog
(blog.sitepronews.com/). Kim's email is:
kim @ seo-news.com