By Sarah Lawrence Hinson, Mom on a Spiritual Journey
Podcasts as well as blogging: what are podcasts, anyway?
If you haven’t bumped into a podcast on the interwebs yet, it’s media in the form of audio.
Podcasts can be created from any material, really, just like a blog post or youtube video. Find a use for a podcast on your blog, and it’s yours for the making.
Despite the name, you don’t need an iPod to listen to a podcast either. Podcasts are available through apps, for sure, but also as clickable links you can reach from your PC or laptop. Dependent upon who has produced it and how it is posted and shared, you can listen to it online or download it for personal listening later.
So why create a podcast for your blog?
A podcast can work if it follows on naturally from the blogging experience you have already created.
My blog at Mom On A Spiritual Journey is a place where I choose to write about anything, especially those subjects that are health related and have a mind, body, and spirit connection. I’m not averse to having a good rant, either! In my case the first podcast was energetically inspired, the second spiritually inspired.
When working with clients I often notice that the same exercises or certain approaches are useful for several different clients. After a while I thought perhaps that I could start offering these exercises in an easy-to-digest format after an online session or reading. So my first podcast was an energetic exercise about being slimed!
I have plenty more podcasts I would like to create — so far I have created podcasts about being slimed by negative energy, a poem about trees, an interview with an acupuncturist, and two talks on spiritual development that I gave for a Facebook group.
As you can see, creating a podcast can be about anything, really!
How often should I podcast?
Now I could quote a number of people online who say “You should do this, that or the other (fill in the gap)” with your podcasts. I’m guessing many people would say ‘podcast weekly’ or ‘make sure you use this plugin’ as part of their advice. After five years of blogging I have read a lot of technical articles about all aspects of blogging and many have been helpful, yet many — as I am sure a lot of you can attest to — have been just plain wrong and ended up being time wasters for those of us on the sharp end.
I can only speak from my experience and hope to inspire you to figure out the best ways to incorporate podcasts into your blog. My intention is and was always to be of service to clients … or anyone else who happens to stumble across my blog and finds something useful to take away.
I also promote links to the podcasts on Facebook and Twitter. You can sign up free for MavSocial and with their new Sound Card feature promote your podcasts directly on the Twitter feed (e.g. people can click “play” from there!). I think that’s amazing. There’s my podcast tip for the month. 😉
What do you need to create a podcast?
In my experience so far I have used:
- My Plantronics headset with a good microphone (recommended by Skype). There are lots of expensive mics out there. The way I see it, when I need one, I’ll buy one!
- Audacity software you can download to your PC for free. It can be time-consuming, but if you have an interview to edit then I recommend it. Plus it can reduce file size or convert file type.
- An appropriate podcast plugin for your type of site.
- The knowledge or assistance from someone in creating a podcast feed (which is a separate RSS feed from your normal blog feed)
- A new podcast Category and Tag on your blog
- Platforms to promote your podcast.
Are there podcast directories we can join?
I use the BluBrry plugin as well as iTunes. The most recent recommendation I could find does list Blubrry in the top 8, along with iTunes at No. 1, Stitcher, Tunein Radio, Miro, doubleTwist and Libsyn.
One last thought about podcasting. It goes right in your audience’s ears and into their limbic or emotional brain. This is why when we hear certain music it can key off specific memories. That’s a really big deal when you are trying to make a deeper connection online. Just sayin’!
I’d love to hear about your experiences with podcasts and any ideas this article may have inspired for you. Feel free to comment and let me know. And thanks to Erin for inviting me to post.
Sarah Lawrence Hinson is a Brit abroad on the Kansas prairie. She arrived here in Kansas via three other States and because of a retired Navy husband who likes to fly. She started her working life as a BBC secretary and worked her way up from there. Jobs many and varied from television program planning through to helping to write software for television companies. She would be the first person to agree that she is a geek! She started her family later in life (one baby in Virginia, the other in California whilst on the Navy track) and has now added a rescue dachshund to the mix. After spending many years using her spiritual gifts in other quieter ways she came out of the spiritual closet in 2010 and started giving Akashic Records readings. You can find her services site at New World Energetics. Follow Sarah on Twitter @sarahsenergy, on her Facebook page, and on LinkedIn.