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How to create podcasts and audio posts guide

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An easy to follow 'how to...' guide showing you how to create great professional podcasts for free and a fantastic free method to create audio versions of your blog posts for anyone who either has eye …

An easy to follow 'how to...' guide showing you how to create great professional podcasts for free and a fantastic free method to create audio versions of your blog posts for anyone who either has eye sight issues or wants to hear your posts on the go.


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  • 1. Copyright 2012: www.TimsMinions.com. This FREE report can be passed around and shared but it must remain unchanged. This is for information purposes only. www.TimsMinions.com
  • 2. How To Create Podcasts and Audio Posts How to Create Podcasts and Audio PostsThere are 3 parts to this short guide, a short but informative reason why you should be creating Podcasts and whythey can be far better than videos, followed by two larger step by step guides on how to1) Create a Podcast and2) A fantastic quick way to create audio files of your blog posts.I know you will find this guide to be very helpful, useful and informative. Enjoy Andi the Minion (One of Tims’ minions)Why Podcasts Are Better Than Videos.Podcasting is something that probably isn’t used as much as it could orshould be; it is very simple to do and a lot easier to do than video. Theymight not get the same conversion results than video but they are great forbuilding that all important relationship with your blog visitors. There aremany reasons why using Podcasts for building a relationship are better thanvideos.  They are cheap to create  They are easy to create  They are quick to create  They are easy to share across the web  They can be sold  They can be added to your site as content  They can be added as a bonus to products  People can listen to Podcasts on the go  People can do other things while listening to Podcasts.  The list goes on Let’s look at them in more detail; firstly they are cheap and quick to produce; unlike videos, making videos requirecostly software like Camtasia for on screen tutorials and editing, for recording yourself you need a quality camerawith a tripod and light set up. This is not cheap,It is very easy to make videos look bad, they need the right lighting, they need to be engaging and they need theright focus. To look good they need intro graphics and smart looking animations along with professional lookingslides.The main difference with a video is that it needs to be watched. The viewer needs to sit and focus on the screen, yeswith smart phones you can walk along and watch the video but you run the risk of walking into things and causingyourself some serious harm. You certainly cannot take in the information properly without sitting and concentratingfully.www.TimsMinions.com Page 1
  • 3. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsPodcasts are different, they are extremely versatile, they can be sold on sites like iTunes, given away for free asdownloads, added to blogs as content and the best thing is that they can be added to any MP3 device includingsmart phones and listened to anywhere leaving the listener to still function safely.Like listening to music on a MP3 player or the radio, you can go out jogging, walking, driving or do a number of otherthings while listening to the Podcast. Yes, you need to use the brain a bit more to take in what is being talked about,normally music is heard and enjoyed but doesn’t need the brain to focus on it. A Podcast does but it still leaves youreyes and much of your focus available to carry on doing other things. You are not sat chained to the screen as youare with a video.Podcasts are incredibly easy to create and many of the most interesting and popular Podcasts like those done byYaro Starak and Pat Flynn are recorded over the phone.If you decide to sell your Podcasts the profit margins on Podcasts are fairly high; one comedian has made moremoney selling $5 Podcasts than the usual route of doing gigs and selling DVD recordings of those shows.Unfortunately I cannot remember his name or find the news article I read about it. I just remember being seriouslyimpressed.DJs record mixes from nightclubs or radio shows and release them as Podcasts, they are the mix tape for the newgeneration, in reality they are nothing more than a recording of a broadcast or show that is available online as anMP3 and that can be listened to by thousands of people on many different devices from many different places.Stop and really think about it, Podcasts are incredibly powerful. There are no manufacturing or postage costs. Theycan be accessed and downloaded from anywhere in the world that has internet access.Podcasts can be made very easily and quickly, giving you a great opportunity to get them out tothe world and start to build up a following. All you need is a fairly good quality microphone orheadset; I use a set that costs no more than $23 £15 and free open source software calledAudacity that you can download from the internet athttp://audacity.sourceforge.net/downloadwww.TimsMinions.com Page 2
  • 4. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsYou also need to download the MP3 encoder software that Audacity uses to convert its recordings to MP3 files.Audacity cannot legally incorporate it into their software then give it away as a full working package but it does use itand once downloaded it automatically works with Audacity. You can find this MP3 encoder software athttp://lame1.buanzo.com.arYou might be wondering what you can do as a Podcast, well one of the best ideas is to take old reports or blog posts,create a series of bullet points with some idea of what to say around those bullet points and then record yourselftalking about that subject. Elaborate on the key points and create a whole audio tutorial or inspiring talk.You don’t need to talk like a professional radio voice over artist, simply talk into the microphone as if you werechatting to a friend, maybe visualize someone sat in front of you and talk to them. This might sound daft but why nothave a large photo of a close friend you are comfortable being around opposite you and talk to it.Talk to it as if you were telling them something new, something you know all about and they didn’t. The biggest tipin Podcasting is to talk as if you were talking to a friend; a relaxed, informal tone makes for a great listeningexperience.If your Podcast can give people answers to problems they are having, if it can help them overcome a technical issueor simply inspire and motivate then your Podcast will do more than any written post can.Listeners can hear your voice, they can hear the pitch and tone, they can tell how genuine you are, and they can tellif you know what you are talking about. Listening to you will be like talking to a close friend on the phone. That isquite an intimate and powerful thing.To make your Podcast sound that little more professional you can add a piece of intro music. Obviously you cannotgo using any old piece of music; just because you are a fan of Coldplay doesn’t mean you can use any of their songs.You would need permission and you will have to pay royalties every time your Podcast was bought or played.The easiest and best thing to do if you cannot make your own music is to simply pop over to royaltyfreemusic.comand buy a piece of music for the onetime cost of $9.95 £6. The musicians add their music to this site withpermissions that when you buy it you can use it for projects like Podcasts and videos.You really shouldn’t be thinking that you cannot make Podcasts; you should be thinking what is stopping me!Remember, the software is free and will do exactly what you want, no need to go out buying ridiculously expensiverecording or editing software. The headset and royalty free music for the intro can cost as little as $34 £22.So what is stopping you creating fantastic Podcasts that get people coming back to your site? Put an evening a weekaside and create a 30-60 minute Podcast from your spare room.Popular Podcasts could be interviews with experts, they could be discussions about relevant buzz worthy topics, andthey could be stories of success that inspire like a Chicken Soup for the Soul type of Podcast series… I will evensuggest a name for it… Chicken Soup for the Ears! (Being vegetarian I think it should be Tomato Soup!) So I am left to ask one simple question, what is stopping you? In fact I will ask you another question, when are yougoing to start?Podcasting is an incredible way to get your points and thoughts across to your website readers and subscribers. Theycan be hosted on your own site, on a separate site like Podbean.com and even iTunes. They can be given away forfree, individually, as part of a product or simply sold.www.TimsMinions.com Page 3
  • 5. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsThe great thing about podcasts is that unlike written articles people do not need to be sat staring at the computer toenjoy them. As they are normally in MP3 form they can be downloaded to MP3 players and listen to in many places.Being audible they do not require your full concentration as reading does.Your subscribers could listen to your Podcast while exercising, while at work, while driving a car or simply relaxing inthe garden. Now listening to Podcasts is easy, but don’t go thinking that recording them is any different. They arevery easy to makey, apart from the cost of intro music (optional) and buying a decent microphone or headset (alsooptional) they can be recorded for FREE.So here is how to make your own dynamic Podcasts that you can share with your readers, email subscribers and beused to generate new traffic.First thing you need to do is download Audacity which is available for both PC and MAC, it is free open sourcesoftware available on the web from http://audacity.sourceforge.net/downloadPlease note, there is an extension that is required that allows Audacity to convert your recordings to MP3. LegallyAudacity are not allowed to include it within their software but you can download it that works with Audacity assoon as it is downloaded. It can be downloaded from here.http://lame1.buanzo.com.arOnce you have downloaded the free software all you will need is a decent headset ormicrophone. We Minions use a cheap Logitech USB headset which cost as little as £15.So we now have a headset and the free open source recording software, what we neednow is something to talk about. This is where all those old blog posts come in handy.You can obviously think of something new but for the beginning it could be better if you take old blog posts whichare still relevant, turn them into a series of bullet points and ideas to talk about and use them as your backbone of aPodcast.www.TimsMinions.com Page 4
  • 6. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsSimply read your list of bullet points and elaborate on those points in more detail. Let the thoughts come and flow,try not to read a full post otherwise you will sound like you are just reading. You need to talk as if you were chattingto a friend.Talking Tip: Imagine you have a close friend sat opposite you, imagine talking to them as if they were really there inthe room and you were explaining something new to them, if it helps, have a large photo of them nearby and talk toit as a visual aid.Once you have your headset or microphone connected, open up your Audacity software by clicking the desktopshortcut.A blank recording screen will open as shown in the screen shot below.To start recording a Podcast simply hit the red record button and start talking. The controls are standard type asfound on all audio and visual equipment these days.www.TimsMinions.com Page 5
  • 7. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsIf you mess up, don’t get flustered and delete the whole recording to start again, either hit pause and get your trainof thought back to normal or leave the recording to carry on and start again when you are ready.It is so easy to cut and delete sections from the recording, it would be a shame to delete a whole recording and startagain especially if you had made a small mistake after so many minutes of everything going well. Simply re start froma point before you fluffed your lines then delete the unwanted section when you come to edit the recording.Now you have a recording done it will look a little bit like the screen shot below.www.TimsMinions.com Page 6
  • 8. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsTo hear your recording playback is done by clicking the play button on the controls found in the top left hand ofAudacity.When you are in playback and you hear a section you want to cut out, pause the recording and click on the SelectorTool. (This is usually the default setting anyway).Highlight the area that you want to delete, you may require to Zoom in to see the recording in better detail, that wayyou will see where to highlight or not.www.TimsMinions.com Page 7
  • 9. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsTo delete the highlighted section click on the ‘Cut’ icon that is found in the tools section, you cannot miss it, it has animage of a pair of scissors on it. This will take out the section that you do not like. If you cut in the wrong place it canbe brought back by using the ‘Undo’ function found under the ‘Edit’ tab at the top left.Remember to listen to the recording after you have cut bits out as you go along. It is possible to cut too much ‘WhiteSpace’ out which can leave an unnatural speeded up feel to the sentences.When we speak we all have a natural flow which includes a certain time between words and sentences. Bad editingcan sound just like that, a badly edited recording. It is possible to edit a recording properly without destroying theflow. It is easy to master and you will be editing properly in no time.www.TimsMinions.com Page 8
  • 10. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsNow that you have your edited recording with all the ‘uhmms’, ‘ahhhs’ and mistakes taken out you can add a pieceof intro music if you like. This is optional but many professional Podcasts use intro music, it only needs to be a fewseconds long otherwise you will put people off. It is an intro, not a song!You cannot use your favourite musicians music without their consent, you would have to pay royalties every timethat piece of music was used. If you are going to be sending your Podcast to the four corners of the internet thenyou need something that you can use without requiring you to pay fees over and over again.This is where sites like www.royaltyfreemusic.com can help you. They offer music where the musicians are happy foryou to pay a one off fee for the right to use their music over and over again in videos and Podcasts. Individual trackscan be as little as $9.95 £6.37. Browse through all the music they have to find one that suits your tastes and needs,buy it and then download it ready to upload to your recording.To upload your intro music go to the ‘File’ tab, open up the drop down menu and choose ‘Import’ from the list thenchoose ‘Audio’.www.TimsMinions.com Page 9
  • 11. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsYour music folder will open in a new window, choose the music file that you want to use, either double click on thefile to open it or click it once and then click the ‘Open’ button. The music file will then be opened in your recordingwindow underneath your recording creating two more (left and right) tracks that can be edited.www.TimsMinions.com Page 10
  • 12. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsNow the new audio file has been added to your recording in another stereo track. What you will see is two new linesof waves, one being the left track and the other being the right. They are classed as one track; they will both beedited as one track unless you separate them. We have no need to do that for a simple Podcast.What we need to do is edit the track to make a short intro that fades to either nothing or very low backgroundmusic. Personally I believe it should be faded to nothing. Background music can distract, we do not need it.To fade the music, you need to click on the ‘Envelope Tool’,When you click on the icon thick-ish blue lines appear at the top of the waves. These lines allow you to click on themwith markers which can now become editable. You need to click twice on the top blue line of the top track, the firstneeds to be where you want the music to start to fade and the second one is roughtly where the fade ends. Thesemarkers will be mirrored on the other lines.www.TimsMinions.com Page 11
  • 13. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsThey can be moved back and forth as well as up and down. Simply pull the second marker down, the marker on theother blue line will move towards your marker indicating the volume is lowering. When they meet in the middle thevolume will be at its lowest point.www.TimsMinions.com Page 12
  • 14. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsThe screenshot above shows you what you will have when you have edited the intro. The intro does not need to belong. Certainly no more than 30 seconds long. I recommend you use only 10 seconds intro. It is an intro to a Podcastafter all and not a music MP3.INTRO TIP: When you have found a piece of music you want to use for all your podcasts, why not save an editedversion as an MP3 file so you can add it when you are ready as a finished piece. Or save an Audacity file templatethat has the intro added, simply delete the last voice recording, start from fresh and then save the new finishedPodcast as an MP3.Now your intro is in place, you need to move the talking bit over so it starts just as the music fades out. Again this isvery simple to do. Go to the tools area and click on the Time Shift Tool. You will now be able to move the wholevocal recording back and forth.www.TimsMinions.com Page 13
  • 15. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsMove the whole vocal recording to where the intro music fades away, play back the recording from the beginning tolisten to ‘The Flow’ it is important that the vocals start and the music fades away in timely manner. If the talkingstarts slightly forward or back from a beat, a second off and it will sound wrong. You will know when it sounds rightor wrong. We can all tell when a guitarist or a drummer is slightly out of time at a live show. Same applies here.www.TimsMinions.com Page 14
  • 16. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsOk so now you have your Podcast done, you now need to save it as an MP3 file. This is easy enough if youdownloaded the MP3 encoder that Audacity needs. If you have not yet downloaded it then you can get it from here.http://lame1.buanzo.com.arBefore saving the Podcast you may choose to add Meta details, these are for identification in MP3 players etc, whenthe Podcast is played in software on your computer or on your MP3 player it will show your details like Artist Name,Track Name, and Genre etc. To add these you go to ‘File’ and choose ‘Open Metadata Editor’ from the drop downmenu.A new window will open where you can add these details. Add what you want and click ‘OK’. Then you are set tosave your recording as an MP3.www.TimsMinions.com Page 15
  • 17. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsTo save your recording as an MP3 go to File in the top left hand corner and from the drop down menu click on‘Export’.A new window will appear where you give your Podcast a name and then save it as an MP3 from the list of files inthe drop down menu. The screenshot example does not show it but it is advised to add the date to each recording ora number like Podcast05122012 or Podcast01. This makes it easy to find and differentiate from your past recordings.www.TimsMinions.com Page 16
  • 18. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsNow your Podcast is finished and ready for you to share on your Wordpress site using plugins like PodPress or onsites like iTunes.com and Podbean.com.It really is that simple and Podcasts can be really powerful.www.TimsMinions.com Page 17
  • 19. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsCreating Audio Versions of Your Posts With Soundgecko.comRecently I was discussing with a fellow blogging friend about creating Podcasts based on posts, this was where youwould take one or several posts and create a new Podcast based around them, he shared with me a great idea ofcreating an audio version of each posts as they were specifically for people who might have difficulty reading theposts or for people who might be short of time.The idea of creating an audio Podcast version of each post seemed a little time consuming even though I know howeasy and fast it is to record a Podcast in Audacity as you will see here in this post. How to Make a PodcastWhat I wanted was a quick way of easily creating an audio version of my written posts and guess what? I think I havedone it!Welcome to the awesome world of SoundGecko.com. This is an online service which is free, not sure if that willchange in the future. It is designed to turn any online article into an MP3 so that you can listen to it anywhere at anytime. I am very impressed with the recordings, yes they have a slight false roboticness to them but in all honesty, forwhat they are, I think they are fantastically impressive. When you hear them I believe you will be seriously impressedtoo.For this idea we are going to use the service to quickly create an audio version of our posts that we upload to ourWordpress site and have available for people to hear as they come to our website.www.TimsMinions.com Page 18
  • 20. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsSo in this example we are going to create the audio version of the posts How to Create and Format an eBookThe screen shot below shows how the post looked before adding the audio player. This is one of those big tutorialposts that I like to create.What you do first is go to your browser/search bar and copy the full URL of the post you want converting to audio.The post above has this URL shown below.Once you have copied the URL to the clipboard head over to SoundGecko.com and paste it into the bar, add youremail address (the MP3 of your post will be emailed to you) then click the ‘Get MP3’ button.www.TimsMinions.com Page 19
  • 21. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsIt may take a few minutes for the post to be converted to audio but I will say this, I believe it is incredibly fast forwhat it does. Normally it is in your email inbox before you would be ready to start recording if you were going to doit yourself. The email will look a little like this when it arrives, it will be from SoundGecko and have the article title aspart of the email title.Open up the email and you will find a couple of links that will take you to the MP3 when you click through them.There isn’t a download option in the email so you will need to click through to the MP3 itself and save it from there.www.TimsMinions.com Page 20
  • 22. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsWhen you click the links you will be taken to a page hosted by SoundGecko where your MP3 can be played via theiraudio player. You can listen to the audio from this web based player. It was designed so you could listen to articlesand posts from sites while online.We want to save the MP3s to be used on our sites, so to do that simply right click your mouse on the blackbackground and from the menu choose ‘Save as…’A new box will open with the SoundGecko MP3 file ready for saving. It is recommended that you create a newseparate folder where you put all your audio posts together.www.TimsMinions.com Page 21
  • 23. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsAs you can see from the screen shot above, the file name that SoundGecko gives the file is awful, long and ugly. Iwould change it so it was shorter and identifiable; make it match the article title as much as possible. Click ‘Save’ andyour MP3 is saved ready to upload to your Wordpress site.Inside your Wordpress dashboard you will need to go to your Media Library, I won’t go into too much detail withWordpress, I am certain you know the basics such as adding plugins to your site. You will need the PodPress pluginfor this to work if you do not have it already.Down the left side of the dashboard is the ‘Media’ tab, hover over it until the menu opens up and click on ‘Add New’www.TimsMinions.com Page 22
  • 24. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsA new window within the dashboard will open, there you will see a box where you can drag and drop your MP3 fileinto or a ‘Select Files’ button to click that will open up your document folders on your computer. Unless you haveyour folders already open I click the ‘Select Files’ button as it will open them for you anyway. I very rarely used thedrag and drop feature.When you have clicked the ‘Select Files’ button a window will open where you can search your documents for therequired MP3 file. You can either double click the file to start the upload or click once or then click the ‘Open’ buttonto start the upload. The choice is yours! It will take a few moments to upload your MP3 file, but when it has uploaded fully a window will open where youcan add details like a description and title etc. I would leave it as you see it in the screen shot, you might choose toadd more information. I will add a title later. Before you ‘Save all changes’ highlight the URL destination and copy it.You need this link!www.TimsMinions.com Page 23
  • 25. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsSo now you have your link, you go to the post that you want to add the audio version to. Open the post up to ‘Edit’it. Scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will find the PodPress settings. If you have not yet installedPodPress Click Here and upload the plugin to your site. When you get to the PodPress settings you will see the ‘AddMedia File’ button. Click this and some editable fields will open.You will find the fields where you add the destination URL and a title. That is all you need to do for that part.www.TimsMinions.com Page 24
  • 26. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsNow that you have the URL and title of the Podcast added there is one vital thing you need to do. The audio playerneeds adding to the post otherwise there is no way to play the MP3. It is a very simple little action. In the screenshot below you will see just under the PodPress settings title there is a piece of short code [display_podcast]. Youneed to add that code to your post. I suggest you copy it to your clipboard then paste it where you want your audioplayer to be in the post.It is important that when you come to add this code to your post your post is open in the ‘Visual’ editor and not the‘HTML’ editor. You can tell the difference by sight usually. The ‘Visual’ editor will show images, links and bold writingas it would be seen by the readers.Paste or type the code where you want it and add a line or two of text telling the reader what it is and what to doetc. Like what is shown in the screen shot below.www.TimsMinions.com Page 25
  • 27. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsAnd that is it, all you need to do now is hit the ‘Update’ button on the right hand side to update and save all changes.Simple!So now you have the MP3 loaded and the audio player embedded in your post it is time to go and have a look. Thescreen shot below now shows you the audio player at the top of the post just below the option to download the postas a PDF. The site visitor now has the option to read on the site, to download it as PDF and now listen to it as anaudio recording as they scroll through it or even download it.When you set up PodPress on your Wordpress site you are given the option to enable things like the ‘Download’option that you see in the screenshot above. PodPress settings are found on the left hand bar in the dashboard.Hover over the tab and choose ‘General settings’ from the options.Why not have ‘Download’ enabled? It seems daft giving them the option to listen to the post but not allow them totake it and put it on their portable player for later. They might choose to share it which is good for you.www.TimsMinions.com Page 26
  • 28. How To Create Podcasts and Audio PostsI recommended to have the post start with something like, ‘This post is brought to you by www.TimsMinions.com’when it is converted to audio and shared, anyone who gets it will know where it came from and where to go. Theactual wording can be removed when you add the audio player after the audio version is made.It doesn’t stop there, when you write a post and if it is of the ‘How to…’ style of post, the audio can be used to createa video. I intend to create a YouTube video from this post; I shall take the audio recording, and then add it to a videoof me doing everything I show in this post.Why not take a week or months’ worth of audio posts and string them together using Audacity software (which isfree) and create a monthly audio newsletter?The Downside to SoundGecko and Audio PostsOne slight issue I have found with the SoundGecko service is that it doesn’t read anything that is written in a H2Header or above. Now this isn’t a big issue, again the post can be written in smaller font, converted to audio thenany sentences you want in a H2 Header can be changed later.Storage space might be your only issue, uploading them to your Wordpress site will take up space and over time, anaudio post for each post could eat up your storage space quickly.It might be worth looking for a storage space like Photobucket but for audio instead of pictures, as it is the URLaddress that you need to add to PodPress and not the MP3 itself. Podbean is a Podcast sharing site, it could be worthstoring your Podcasts on there, not only do you save your storage space you can have your Podcasts accessible toother people.So, is this not an incredible quick and free method to create an audio post that can be used to create a better userexperience and generate more traffic? What do you think? Will you use it? Free Report: How to Make a Successful Multi-Million Dollar Online Businesswww.TimsMinions.com Page 27