Podcasting has been popular for some time now, especially among the techies. You may have read a lot of articles on how to start a blog, but how can you take advantage of your WordPress blog to convert it and try to start podcasting? Here’s your must-read guide to podcasting using WordPress.
Now that things are beginning to be put online, it’s becoming hard to imagine how and why some companies and individuals are not uploading anything on the Internet.
Podcasts are online audio and video content delivered to users via Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds.
There are still more ways to make use of podcasts these days. You can now take advantage of this technology in either of the following ways:
- Self-Guided Tours
- Playing Music
- Airing Talk Shows
Now, one of the many benefits podcasting offers is that listeners can play this content wherever and whenever they want.
Because of the popularity of podcasting, it has turned journalists into bloggers, and radio personalities into podcasters.
In addition, WordPress has been opened as an avenue not only for blogging but for e-commerce and podcasting as well. It is very easy for a blogger to both perform blogging and podcasting activities.
Things to Prepare
- WordPress Site
- Audio Player Plugin
- iTunes account
- Image Artwork (1400×1400 px)
- (Optional) S3 Amazon or Libsyn podcast account
*Disclaimer: This is the least costly method I know that will help you spark up your podcasts. Mostly, these are free services with the exception of your podcast host accounts (in S3 Amazon or Libsyn) and probably, your WordPress site. I’m also assuming that you already know how to start a WordPress site. If you happen to have no idea at all about this, click here.
Preparing Your WordPress Site:
Let’s face it. Not everybody owns an iPhone, iPad, iPod. Not everybody even has iTunes installed in their computers. Having said that, it’s safer that you resort to hosting your podcasts in a platform that can be available to everyone.
Good thing, WordPress is the perfect fit for that. WordPress has been a potent tool in sharing content. Its uses extend from simple text-based information to rich and dynamic data such as audio and video. Plus, with the variety of plugins and tutorials about WordPress out there, setting up everything and troubleshooting them is a cake-walk.
To prepare your WordPress site for podcasting, simply create a category by logging in to your account. Hover on “Posts” and a submenu appears. Click on “Categories” then add a new category named “Podcasts”.
You would also want to leave the “Parent” field to none. To finish everything, click on “Add New Category”.
Now that you already created a category, you will post all your podcasts under this one. The links to your podcasts from now on will be filed under: http://yoursitename.com/category/podcasts. Just take note of this.
Next thing you would want to do is to upload your audio files. Now you have a few options to do that.
Using a Plugin
- Go to your WordPress Admin Dashboard.
- Click on “Plugins” then, “Add New”
- Key the phrase “Audio Player” in the search box and install the plugin created by Martin Laine.
- Activate it.
*You also have the option to download the plugin to your computer and install it by yourself.
Other Plugin Options:
Using the Audio Shortcode
You can add a link from your website to a file from another site. You just have to link it to the WordPress audio shortcode ([ audio <space> link]).
You can upload files to your blog’s Media Library and be able to edit, add, or remove the Title, Artist, Caption and Description of the File. If you want to insert it in a post, be sure to select the option called “Embed Media Player” and then click the “Insert into Post” button. It will insert the Audio Shortcode.
Aside from this, you can also create playlists using your Media Library. Using several files that you have uploaded into your server, you can put together a list of podcasts that you want to play. You can even play them on your sidebars.
- Add files to your playlist. (.mp3)
- Once your files are uploaded, a “Create Audio Playlist” tab will be visible in the “Add Media Window”.
- You can choose which tracks to include and insert in the post.
- Click on “Create a New Playlist” and you will be taken to the “Edit Audio Playlist” menu where you can drag tracks to reorder them. You can also include details in your Playlist Settings , remove or include Tracklists, Artists, Names and Images.
Embedding the Podcast/Playlist on Your Sidebar
- From your WordPress Dashboard, hover on the “Appearance” tab.
- Click on “Widgets.”
- Drag the “Music Player Widget” to your desired sidebar.
- Click on the link to upload or choose your media.
Create a Download Link
Another option is to create a download link that will require you readers to download the file to their computers and play it there. This is easier, especially if you are too conscious of the file size of your podcast, but you also need to adhere to copyright laws.
Now that you have already uploaded your podcasts on your blog, they are now ready to be published.
Submitting Your Site to FeedBurner
A feedburner stands between your blog and iTunes. Being able to publish feeds is pertinent because it gives you options to easily migrate to other websites.
According to Google,
Feeds are a way for websites large and small to distribute their content well beyond just visitors using browsers. Feeds permit subscription to regular updates, delivered automatically via a web portal, news reader, or in some cases good old email. Feeds also make it possible for site content to be packaged into “widgets,” “gadgets,” mobile devices, and other bite-sized technologies that make it possible to display blogs, podcasts, and major news/sports/weather/whatever headlines just about anywhere.
That being said, you will be needing a feedburner URL. To do that, go to feedburner.com. For this link, you will be needing a Gmail account.
Google has centralized all services you need, so, having a Gmail account will be advantageous. You will eventually need it to use Analytics, WebMaster tools, AdWords, AdSense, YouTube, and, of course, FeedBurner.
After signing in, you will see a welcome message. Below this is an invitation to “Burn a feed right this instant.”
- You will be needing your feed address there. (http://yoursite.com/category/podcasts)
- Paste it in the address and add “/feed” at the end of it. Check “I am a podcaster!”.
- Click on “Next.” In the case that you receive an error, that means your XML file is invalid. You need to check your blog is public (check Privacy Settings). Remember, private blogs can’t be submitted to iTunes.
- Next, in the “Identify Feed Source” window, you need to select or confirm the appropriate feed. If you see other options, click on the one containing “category/podcasts/”.
- Then, you need to review the feed article and address. You can always change or keep them. Click on “Next”.
- You will now be directed to the “Congrats” page. From there, you need to copy the feed address. (It begins with feeds.feedburner.com and ends with the title you confirmed.
- Click the Next button.
- Afterwards, you need to tick on the check box next to “Include iTunes Podcasting Elements” in the “Configure Your Podcast” page.
- You will also be asked to select the category and subcategory for this.
- Click the Next button.
- Next, you will be asked for the statistics tracking option. Click on “Next” afterwards.
- You now have your feeds prepared for iTunes store.
Submitting Your Podcast to iTunes
Now that your post is ready and already published, it’s time to let the masses know. For this, you’ll be using the iTunes platform. As you remember, as mentioned earlier, that not everybody uses iTunes. Yes, that is true but iTunes is the most plausible of all the alternatives. If you really don’t like to distribute your work on iTunes, you have alternatives:
As said, iTunes will be the distributor for your podcasts. For this, you will be needing an account. iTunes may also require you to key in your credit card number. But don’t worry, it’s totally free.
Here are the steps:
- Go to Apple’s instructions on testing your feed and following them.
- Now that you confirmed that you can listen to your podcast using iTunes, submit your podcast.
- After submission, your podcast will be reviewed by the iTunes staff. That means your podcasts won’t be readily available.
- Once your podcasts are accepted, you will be able to get a link to distribute them through email or website linking.
Some notes on Files
- Files can be hosted using your current server. It’s the easiest and least costly way to do so. However, when traffic increases, your server is prone to crashing and being permanently suspended.
- Try using S3 Amazon or Libsyn
Bonus: Equipment You Can Use
To make your podcasts high-quality, you also need to invest in your equipment. Yes, content is all that matters, but bringing in the content in a better way possible is a game changer. Here are a few gadgets you may want to invest in.
Mixers and Audio Interfaces
If you want to learn how to create podcasts, here are a few awesome people who could help you:
Here are some great podcasts for web designers and developers:
You are now ready to Podcast using your WordPress site! We here at 1stwebdesigner are happy to finally see how you roll on those podcasts. We hope that we have helped you in this. If you have some questions, feel free to ask.
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