In episode 1 of our podcast, I chat with Craig Hewitt from Castos Podcast Hosting and the force behind the Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin.
Craig has been in the podcast space for some time and also runs a biz providing production and other podcast services. I asked Craig some questions that will help both someone who is considering starting a podcast and those who have just begun and still are pondering certain aspects of the business.
Craig’s biggest goal is making sure there are as few barriers as possible for anyone getting started, to make sound decisions and to put resources in place. His tips will help you avoid falling into the rabbit hole and remove some of your hesitation about getting your voice online.
Tips on Starting Your Podcast
- Making the audio vs video decision.
- How to avoid confusion when choosing a microphone.
- Whether show notes are good enough, or whether you need to provide transcripts.
- The two biggest mistakes beginners make when jumping on the podcast wagon.
- The benefits of using WordPress for your podcast vs. using a podcasting platform.
Highly produced shows transformed what people think of podcasts from a consumer perspective, but they also changed in terms of the types of ads that people can run in their episodes.
This highly produced show format and the host-read ads transformed what a podcast can be like from both the content creator and the consumer’s perspectives.
Video vs. audio?
Video podcasting touches on one of the things about podcasting that is neat from a content creator’s perspective and from the standpoint of reach and accessibility for your audience perspective too, partly because you can record a piece of content one time, in a couple of different formats.
So you’re doing a bit of work to spread your message to these different channels, but also really from a convenience standpoint for your audience to say, if you listen to podcasts while you’re walking the dog, great: here’s the audio version. If you’re wanting to slough off at work or watch this during lunch, you can do it on your computer, on Youtube. If you just want little tidbits, we can share pieces of the set on social media via audiograms. So I think it’s a strong argument for however you want to repurpose your content. I’m a huge advocate of it.
Picking a Microphone
There’s some confusion around just how this works. The barrier to entry into podcasting is so much higher than blogging because there are all of these things. We try to demystify that as much as we can.
I’m using the Audio Technica ATR 2100 and I liked this mic because it’s cheap, it’s easy, and it’s durable and it plugs right into your computer via USB port.
I have a Plantronics headset USB headset that is fantastic. The mic comes up short in a couple of departments, like the overall sound quality— just a little bit. It just doesn’t quite sound as good. But it overcomes one of the biggest problems with using a mic, which is, people are too close or too far away from the mic or they don’t know that it should be at the level of their mouth, not sitting down on the desk or not way above them.
Transcripts and Show Notes
I think the simple answer is yes, they’re good enough. And I say that because my overarching goal with what we do at Casios is trying to just make podcasting easier and achievable for folks and making it simple to get started and simple to keep going with. Because that’s one of the biggest things.
Adding transcripts just makes that harder. It takes more time. It takes more money no matter how you do it. And it’s definitely important for accessibility. It’s definitely probably a huge benefit for SEO.
One is over-complicating all of it: asking too many questions of yourself like, do I need to get transcripts, am I recording video and putting it on Youtube. They are spending hours and hours and hours on every episode, which just burns you out too quickly.
Call a friend, talk to him about the football game last weekend, record it, and then go back and listen to it and say, oh, this was good, or this was weird. Let me find out how to make my voice sound better. Or the input volume needs to be higher there. Or I forgot to use headphones. So there’s all this reverb and echo from, you know, the my computer speakers you know, outputting the volume and the podcast and you might pick it up. All of these things are things that if you don’t do a dry run and you get into an interview with somebody, you realize really quickly, oh wow, I screwed up all of these things.
Podcasting on WordPress
WordPress is where you create all of your content. It’s the home for everything you do online. It should be. And, and that should be where you publish your content, your podcast from as well