Getting Started with B2B Podcasting: A not-too-techy guide for first-time podcasters
A not-too-techy guide
Here you‟ll find friendly technical advice on
how to bring your podcast all the way from
setup to submitting it to iTunes.
From left to right: Fiona Campbell-Howes – MD and lead copywriter at Radix
Communications, David McGuire of Lungfish, Emily King (me) – Research and Marketing
Executive at Radix Communications.
I started podcasting in 2008 and currently produce two
podcasts: the Radix Copycast (at work) and Nerds Assemble
(outside work). I‟m involved at all stages of production, from
outlines to recording, editing to uploading.
Wait, you don‟t even
have a podcast episode
yet and we‟re telling you
to sort out hosting?
It‟s one of those things
that you really shouldn‟t
leave last minute.
So where to host?
Your options are:
•Cloud storage solution
If you self-host on your company‟s web servers, talk
with your web team about how best to upload the
Note that your servers will need to be capable of
“byte-range” requests to be accepted on iTunes.
Using WordPress? There are plugins you can install
that display an audio player of your podcast – again
talk with your team about what will work best.
Audioboo (our favourite)
(And many more)
NOTE: some of
these are paid-for
have limits on
Cloud storage solution
Amazon Web Services
(And many more)
NOTE: some of
these are paid-for
have limits on
Wherever you host your podcast files, you‟ll need
control over the RSS feed – that‟s what lets you
submit your podcast to services like iTunes.
If your company blog RSS isn‟t RSS 2.0 compatible
or optimised for podcasts, consider using an RSS
service like FeedBurner to create an RSS feed for
What to base your RSS on
Every episode you upload (wherever it may be)
should be cross posted to your company blog with a
direct link to the audio file on where it‟s hosted.
These posts should be organised under a dedicated
category or tag for your podcast.
The URL for this tag or category is what you base
your RSS feed on.
The importance of controlling
iTunes is unlikely to disappear anytime soon, but
you may fall out of love with where you‟re hosting
And if you‟re using their RSS service, when it comes
to breaking-up you‟ll have great difficulty in
Blogging your episodes and having your own RSS
gives you options.
Already own a decent handheld digital audio
recorder? Use it to record episodes, with a pair of
headphones for playback.
Otherwise you‟ll need a desktop PC or Mac and a
few more pieces of kit.
Your easiest choice for
headphones is a pair
with a 3.5mm jack.
microphone that plugs
into a USB port on
If you‟re going to be recording by yourself, you can
use a combined USB headphone and mic headset.
There are lots of programs out there that will let you
record and edit audio. If you‟re a Mac user, you may
already have GarageBand.
Audacity (free and can be used for commercial
purposes) is available for Windows and Mac and
can be used to record and edit.
NOTE: If you choose Audacity. you‟ll need to download and install the
LAME MP3 Encoder. Downloads and instructions are available on the
software that can
data for your
podcast, once it‟s
Programmes such as Mp3tag can configure not just
information like Artist and Publisher, but also apply
cover art so that a track has an associated image
when played on an MP3 player.
Long distance podcasting
Hoping to have guests who aren‟t there in person?
You could use Skype and an audio recording
software like Total Recorder or host a Google
Hangout, download the video and strip out the
It‟s possible to record Skype calls via Audacity, but
the editing process is far more complex.
Check whether your hosting platform sets limits on
file size or episode length – that will be a critical
factor when planning episodes.
Scripts vs outlines
Some parts of a podcast are better scripted:
introductions and outros, for example. But scripting
more than that will make your podcast sound
INSTEAD: Create a broad outline for each episode.
This will let your contributors know what‟s up for
discussion and how long they should spend on each
Music can give your podcast a unique identity and a
professional feel. It also enables transitions between
Make sure you have the right to use your chosen
music in the way you want. E.g. can you edit it to fit?
Can you use it in multiple episodes?
Music resources with content under Creative
Commons and/or Public Domain licensing:
Free Music Archive
Search for other CC work here
Always check what kind of license a track has
before using it in your podcast.
Royalty free music sites:
• AKM Music
Check before purchasing
whether there‟s a limit on the
number of times a track can
own theme music.
Again – check what
your usage and
editing rights will
Unless you have access to a professional recording
studio, there are a few things you need to sort out:
Choose a quiet place to record (the less echoey, the
Let your colleagues know when you‟re recording
Ask contributors to switch off their phones or put
them in airplane mode
Use a stopwatch to keep track of recording time
Whichever software package you
use, you‟ll want to ensure a good
Ideally the quality settings of your
recorder should be sampling
audio at 44100Hz (CD quality)
and the sample format should be
32-bit, though 16-bit can also
work. You should record in mono.
Here are some
Guides on using
Audacity for the
Guides on using
Testing sound levels
Before you get into the full flow of recording your
podcast, make sure you‟re not sounding too quiet or
Digital recorders, recording software and computer
operating systems will have their own configuration
for how much sound a microphone detects.
Is it really recording?
It may seem a silly thing to check, but it‟s a problem
that many podcasters have faced.
Look for signs like time bars moving or estimated
file sizes getting larger.
It‟s okay to pause
Unless you‟re podcasting live, there‟s always time to
pause if things go wrong or you need a moment to
think about what you want to say next.
In fact, pausing and being quiet when something
goes wrong can help give a visual clue to you,
during editing, that something is amiss near the
area of that pause.
Pausing is also useful at the beginning of a
recording, distinguishing the episode audio from any
Long distance - tips
1. Get everyone
to do a sound
check before you
2. If the sound
begins to break up or
distort during the
recording, restart the
3. Guest doesn‟t have
access to a PC? If they
have a smartphone or
tablet they can use the
mobile versions of Skype
or Google Hangouts.
4. Regardless of device
- make sure they use
headphones or there will
be an echo effect from
their mic picking up the
tracks as a
Waveforms display a great deal
of information. The bigger the
peaks, the louder that part of a
track. A nearly flat line means no
one was talking at that point.
• Save often
• Making a major
change? Save it as
a separate project
• Get into the habit of
shortcuts to save
Audacity does have
a quirk where you
can‟t save your
current project when
the audio is playing
or paused, so
remember to stop
Sort out a rough version first
Edit together a rough version of your podcast
first, with all the audio tracks for the episode in the
correct order, and with any unnecessary
audio/silence at the beginning and end removed.
Once the rough version is edited together, you can
then work on fine tuning it – taking out “ums” and
adding theme music.
Pauses and „ums‟
A podcast should sound
natural, but sometimes
the proportion of „ums‟
and unintended pauses
can be too much.
Get used to recognising
what an „um‟ looks
like, it‟ll be easier to edit
Pauses have nearly no
Adding music & fades
Decide whether your music will keep playing under
the introduction or whether it will stop before the
Either way, add fades. Have your music “fade in” as
it begins and then “fade out” as the talking begins or
before it starts. It stops it sounding abrupt.
Fades are good for interval music and outro music.
Exporting your episode
Once you‟re happy with the editing, you‟ll need to
export the episode. The option to export is usually
under “File” in Windows based
software, Garageband has it under “Share”.
You should save your podcast as an .mp3 file, and
the bit rate quality is best set to 128kbps.
While you‟re exporting
you‟ll be asked to fill in
Key information to provide will
be your podcast‟s title as
“track title” and your
company‟s name under “artist
If you want a more in-depth
metadata editor and the ability
to add a logo as cover
art, take the exported .mp3 file
to a metadata editor.
Even if you‟re using
a third party hosting
service, create a
blog post for each
Things to include in your post:
A direct link to the mp3 file for
A specific tag or category for
your podcast series
Attribution to any CC or Public
Domain music used
Check out this episode of the
Radix Copycast to see how we
Getting onto iTunes & more
It‟s up to you whether to
submit your podcast‟s RSS
to iTunes and other
But your first episode blog
post must be live and
registering in your RSS
before you submit it to
Further advice and
submitting to iTunes can
be found here.
Sharing across your channels
Don‟t forget to promote your podcast
across relevant social media channels and
groups and in your e-newsletter.
Ideally you should link to the blog post for
each episode so you can track the
Simply having the podcast on iTunes will
not be enough to build an audience.
Keep an eye on metrics
Track visits to your podcast blog posts using your
web and e-newsletter analytics
If you‟re using a podcast hosting provider, keep an
eye on its metrics.
Watch how it does in social media – especially how
people to respond to it.
Look for episodes that do well and use that
information to plan future content
Don‟t be afraid to try again
If, after the first episode or two, you find that no one
is taking notice of your podcast or the format isn‟t
working out for you or your listeners: try something
Lots of long-running podcasts sound completely
different today from when they started – the
podcasters have improved and refined the format
Check out the following sites for more advice and
help with podcasting:
The Podcasters Google+ Community
The Audacity to Podcast
Advice on podcasting with an iPad
Tips on how to record a podcast with Skype and
Radix is a copywriting agency for the content marketing
era. We work with marketers to develop programmes of
content that guide customers through every stage of the
We specialise in the B2B technology sector, with
expertise in enterprise hardware and software,
networking, electronics and industrial automation.
We‟ve written for innovative tech companies large and
small, including Canonical, Oracle, Salesforce and
Our monthly podcast explores trends and issues in B2B
technology copywriting. You can listen to it here.