With the technology available today, you can start a a course in miracles without spending any money at all and have it published to the world by tonight! Yes, it is that easy to do. Really, all you need is an interesting topic of which you have a bit more knowledge than the average person. That’s it! You do not need to be a scholar that teaches the subject at an Ivy League university. You only need to have more knowledge of that topic than the average person.
But, you should not start a podcast just because it is the “cool thing” to do right now. You should not start a podcast because your friends are doing it. You should not start a podcast if you are only going to pitch your products to make some money from it (people will see right through that)! Although it is fairly easy and inexpensive to start a podcast, getting people to listen and follow (subscribe) to your podcast is an entirely different ball game (which will be discussed in a different article).
In its basic form, a podcast is simply an audio file, made from a recording, and loaded to a platform that is accessible to your audience via the Internet. That’s all it is. I started my first podcast by speaking into a flip-style cell phone (I’m aging myself now, right?). The sound quality sounded like I was speaking into a flip-style cell phone, too!
But modern-day cell phones have advanced so far, many people are unable to tell if you recorded into your cell phone or a microphone. The technology available today is astounding! If you really want to get fancy, get a microphone or microphone/headset combination that will plug into your cell phone. This will do wonders in advancing the quality of your recording as well. And that combo system is less than $50 (in most cases).
But, to get back to my main point, you can get a great sounding audio file using only your cell phone, with zero out-of-pocket dollars. If you record using your cell phone, you can use an app from Anchor.FM that will allow you to upload the file directly to them. They will then handle the distribution to the major podcast directories for you. Your files are instantly available around the world!
In order to upload your audio files to Apple Podcasts (and most major directories), you should create what is known as “cover art” for your podcast. In order to submit your podcast to Apple Podcasts (which, by the way, is THE major player in podcasting directories), you will need to create your cover art with at least a 3000 x 3000 pixel square image. Only JPEG or PNG files should be created, as these will almost always be accepted. Other file types may not be approved.
And don’t try to make an award-winning cover art image. Something as simple as your name or the name of the podcast on a color background would be sufficient. Actually, too much “busyness” would actually distract from your cover art. You want people to be able to quickly glance at, identify and remember your cover art. Too much information will not allow them to do that. That being said, do not worry too much about “the perfect podcast name.” I recommend to my clients that the name should be short (probably not more than 4-5 words), catchy (i.e. something that describes the podcast, podcast topic or audience) and easy to remember.
I have several podcasts, but I’ll use my podcast question and answer program as an example. My program is called, “Ask Bob Podcasting Q&A” – it says it all right there! People “ask me” (Bob) questions about podcasting and I answer them on the podcast (Podcasting Q&A). Easy, right?