Practical Techie: Podcasting, an easy way to set up mini-radio station
There are many ways an entrepreneur can acquire customers by using podcast technology available to anyone who knows how to use a smartphone. There are platforms for videos, text platforms for blogging and no less than a dozen powerful social media services.
There are also more than 100 platforms to setup a mini-radio station on the web for business or personal promotion.
Media specialists state that podcasting is a much less crowded space than blogging. There were 600 million blogs on the net and only 1.75 million podcast at last count this January 2021.
For those who have not jumped into the podcasting fray, the basic tool is as everything on the web: creativity. As added value, a good voice and a conversational style, themed content and basic tech such as sound editing software (Audacity.com is a free, open source platform), a good microphone or two, a sound booth or reasonable facsimile and a computer to edit content.
In any podcast, length depends on theme, purpose and disposition. There are five minutes podcasts and there are six-hour podcasts. Shorter is always better in these times of ever shrinking attention span. In terms of style: either interviewing or opinion. Better yet, a combination of both with music or historic sound thrown in for intros and outros.
There are free basic hosting services for podcasts or paying ones with more professional wares. Let’s see some topmost options.
FREE — It is very advisable to get a domain name for any podcast. On Bluehost a web hosting plan can start free of charge. PremiumBeat provides for podcast music for a basic fee. It’s easy to search for sound effects and the subscriber gets a user license.
What about Podbean? Through this one you can upload three hours of free content a month. You won’t be able to use your own domain name, though. It does offer good pricing and plans for serious, new podcasters such as an unlimited upload plan starting at $9 a month. It also offers formatting for iPhone and Android plus access to Alexa to listen to podcasts.
Podserve.fm comes with the basic necessities such as unlimited storage, 2TB bandwidth with 14 days free and then $19 a month. It offers an embedded player, podcast website and a few more perks. It also offers something unique: free podcast promotions.
Whooshkaa is another free podcast hosting, used by large media corporations the likes of Fox Sports and Murdoch News.
PAYING — Sites such as podserve.fm makes starting a podcast very easy. Once the cast is created the service gets it staged on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and other major podcast networks for some $20 a month. The same goes for Buzzsprout. Just upload your audio files they syndicate it, plus text transcription of a podcast, sound adjustments for professional quality and marketing integration.
Captivate offers advanced analytics that are easily understood, plus a podcast player, calls to action for sales by directing listeners to a product page. Also, an option for private podcasting. It also formats for mobile phone, offering a sound player with colors and animations.
This other one, Transistor is one of the newer podcast hustings and analytics platforms, focused on brands and content producers that take podcasting seriously, not as a hobby. Castos Podcast Hosting has some excellent features and integrates seamlessly with WordPress which means both podcasting and blogging under one roof. They own the Seriously Simple Podcasting WordPress plugin where a producer can manage its feed and upload new episodes right from WordPress with unlimited volume and bandwidth. The first month is free.
EDITING — This website makes sound editing so easy: alitu.com. It does audio cleanup for crisp audio, will let a producer add music, helps you piece together audio segments and does direct publishing of each episode. All you need to do is upload your recordings and use the fool-proof podcast-specific editor to take out any big mistakes. Alitu does the rest! It is pricey, at $28 a month for the basic tier.
Simplecast offers embeddable players. It offers detailed analytics for the user and the ability to have multiple people manage the podcast. Pricey at $35 a month.
Resonate Recordings is a veteran podcast production company and has also turned to podcast hosting. This means professional editing and production under one roof.
This one, bCast, is designed for marketers, by marketers with calls to action and customer email lists services. Included are automated guest notifications when their episode go live.
GENERICS — There are many more but most offer similar basic services. These include statistics and mobile-friendly podcast platforms. The client can host an unlimited number of podcasts a more or less 12K bandwidth downloads. They also allow for adding team members to any new podcast such as producers, editors, voice talents. Anyone can host multiple shows both private and public under the same account without paying for a new hosting plan. That is, host as many different shows for one price, plus get a website and sound player for the podcast.