How to become a podcaster
The key attraction of podcasts is that, with the right tools, they can be created by professionals and amateurs alike. It is important to note that even if you don't earn money from your podcast, you are still subject to copyright law. This means you can't just use music or film clips without permission. There are several good websites with "pod-safe" music available free of charge to podcasters, as long as they give credit to the artist and the website.
To record your podcast, microphone and audio recording software such as Apple's Garageband or QuickTime are a good place to start. For video, you'll need a video camera and video-capturing software on a computer. Apple's iLife suite of tools, which includes Garageband and video-editing software iMovie, makes it easy for the beginner podcaster. There are also podcast-specific tools such as Cast-Blaster and ePodcast Creator.
It is important to save your recorded podcast as a file that is compatible for your listeners' equipment and small enough to download quickly. QuickTime files (.mov) or video iPod files (.m4v) that are around 20-70MB are the best option for video. For audio, .mp3 is the most common type of file, with a maximum file size of around 25MB.
The next step is to upload the file to a server and create a link to it in a blog (web log or online journal) and rss (really simple syndication) feed. It is easy to purchase server space on a "dot Mac" or idisk account through Apple or PodBus. Blogger.com is free and easy-to-use. Once your blog is set up you need to send it to a "feed" so that subscription/aggregation tools can find it.
Feedburner.com is a free service with step-by-step directions specifically for podcasters. Next, you make a link to the uploaded audio or video file in your blog. People often use this blog to also outline the contents – or 'show notes' – of the podcast.
The last step is to get listeners. The best way is to register your podcast with the various podcast aggregators: iTunes, Odeo, Podcast Pickle and many more. Some of these aggregators may have found your cast on their own. Include good keywords to describe your show as these determine how people searching for podcasts find you.
Many people also set up an email account for their podcast to receive feedback. Podcast listeners tend to be highly interactive, sending comments, images and audio clips.
Many of the sites listed below also include more in-depth instructions and resources for getting started with a podcast.
Describing themselves as "for podcasters by podcasters", Podbus allocates server space and hosting for podcasters at a reasonable price. They also include a free podcasting ebook, as well as online tutorials through the School of Podcasting to give you in-depth instructions about how to get started in podcasting.
Podsafe Music Network
This is a great resource for finding cheap or free podcast-friendly music. Musicians and record labels add their tracks, which you can preview and download. Generally, if you use the song for a podcast, there is no charge, just a request to mention the artist and provide a link to them in your shownotes. Even if you don't have a podcast, you can browse the site previewing and downloading songs for a small fee. The variety of music is huge and it's not just unknown, unsigned bands – some larger record companies have seen the value in making their artists available for the podcast audience.
Podshow is a programmer for some of the best entertainment content available on the web. Getting your podcast on PodShow is the true sign of having "made it" as a podcaster. It is organized into different channels and categories, so it is really handy when you're not quite sure what you're looking for. For interesting podcasts, music, and online entertainment, PodShow is definitely worth a look.