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Why should I have a podcast?

You want to be searchable on iTunes.

How do I set up a podcast?

Technically, you can host your podcast on your own FTP site, the one your website is on, but that means you’ll have to learn RSS language, and if you don’t want to do that, it’s best just to sacrifice a monthly fee to a host that will do all the RSS stuff for you. I like LibSyn, but you can use Podomatic or whatever you like best.

Let’s say you choose LibSyn. Go to libsyn.com and sign up for an account. Choose a pricing plan. I pay $15/month for about 2 1/2 hours of new audio content each month. After your content has been up 30 days, it gets “archived.” This doesn’t mean that listeners can’t get at it anymore. It simply means that it no longer counts against your allotted megabytes of media per month.

Next, Create a Show. I believe you can have more than one podcast under your account without paying more, as long as you don’t go over your allotted megabytes. I have never tried to have more than one podcast on the same account, though. When you create your show, you can choose things like title, keywords, description, etc. These are very important in the searchability of your episodes, so be accurate and thoughtful in what you put here.

Once you’re done, you will get your own podcast webpage on LibSyn that you can customize (though Libsyn doesn’t give you a whole lot of options of templates unless you really know your HTML and go in and play with the code manually). Here is an example of one of my podcast webpages on Libsyn. Notice the embedded widget that allows you to play the episode right on the page? You can also embed that onto your website. It’s just a matter of copy-and-pasting the code that you see when you click on the widget icon (next to the feed icon) on your LibSyn dashboard.

Getting your podcast on iTunes

First, make sure that you have filled out all the information about your podcast in LibSyn, including the title, description, logo, and keywords. This is very important because you want this information to translate over to the iTunes Store. When you’re logged into your LibSyn account, click on the feed icon (third from the left) that shows the URL of your Classic Libsyn Feed. Copy this URL. Then open up iTunes. Go to the iTunes Store. Click “Podcasts.” In the sidebar, click “Submit a podcast.” The first step is to paste that Classic Libsyn Feed that you copied earlier. Continue with the prompts until you’re done. It might take a couple days for iTunes to review your information and post your podcast on iTunes. That doesn’t mean you can’t keep posting episodes on LibSyn in the meantime. iTunes will post all the episodes once it gets the okay from Apple.

Uploading an episode

Just click “Publish,” and it will allow you to name your episode, write a description, keywords, add a photo, and upload your MP3 file of your podcast. Once you “publish” this page, it will be added to your podcast’s webpage. It won’t take too long before it shows up on iTunes either.

Useful Links

How to Start a Podcast
Libsyn’s blog not only spotlights podcasters, but offers great advice on both content creation and the technical side of podcasting.