Many of my colleagues have asked how do you start a podcast...so hear goes.
This past month my church started a podcast. On July 16 I announced it on this blog and mainly hit on how to subscribe to a podcast. But I wanted to go a little further on how to start one.
I am going to approach this from a church perspective. Most churches who are podcasting now are mainly wanting to podcast their pastor's sermons...so that's what we will work with.
1) Convert your Pastor's sermon into an mp3. I use iTunes to do this. I import the file from the cd recording. I encode it at 128kps. It is a larger file but sounds the best. If you want a smaller file you can decrease this easily in iTunes by going to your "preferences" menu (CTRL +,), select the "import" tab and then change your settings to your desired rate.
2)Choose a location to host your mp3. If your church has a website then check to see if you can host it with them. Ask a couple fo questions...How much space do we have? and What is my monthly alotted bandwidth? You will want to have at least 30gb of bandwidth transfer. If you do not have enough space or bandwidth then check out www.startlogic.com to host your podcast. On the weekends they run a special: 5gb of space 100gb bandwidth transfer for $1 a month. WOW! Signup and get a domain name.
3) Once you have a location/server...create a folder on your site called "podcast". Upload your file to the "podcast" folder on your server. You can use any ftp client...I use seagul ftp. You can even use windows explorer. Once your file is uploaded you now have a url pointing to the mp3. For instance, our podcast mp3s are in the "podcasts" folder on our server at keystonechurch.com. The name of the latest podcast mp3 is pod_073105.mp3. So my url is http://www.keystonechurch.com/podcasts/pod_073105.mp3. When you know your url for your podcast mp3 remember it for later.
4) Create an RSS feed. Don't get scared...you are saying...what is an rss feed. Don't worry about what it is ...you only need to know how it works. To create an RSS feed you need to create an XML document. This XML document is basically code telling the person subscribing when knew content is ready and where the content is. I use Feedforall to create our feed. If you understand code, you can look at our xml document and make it your own. Use this tutorial on how to use FeedforAll to create a podcast feed. (during this tutorial you will need the podcast mp3 url).
5) Upload XML document to your "podcast" folder on your website. Using your FTP program or even FeedforAll, upload your xml document to the podcast folder on your website.
6) NOW YOU HAVE A RSS FEED. It will be this...http://www.yourwebsite.com/podcast/your_xml_document_name.xml.
7) Publish your podcast with iTunes. Click here to publish your feed. You will need your RSS feed like the above example. You can also publish your podcast at www.podcastalley.com.
Well there you have it! Please let me know if this helped you or even if it confused you. I will try my best to answer any questions you have.
P.S. Once you show up in iTunes directory (takes about 2 days - 2 weeks), you can search for you podcast and when you find it, right-click on the podcast and choose to "copy itunes url." Now you can use this url on your website as a link for your people to subscribe to the podcast in 1 easy step. There is another way to and you can check it out here.