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April 17, 2008

7 Steps to Creating a Podcast from an Article

I love to write once and repurpose the articles I write into as many marketing opportunities as a I can that will reach the greatest number of people. While podcasting has always intrigued me, I never wanted to take the time to create additional content for an audience who prefers to listen to their information rather than read it. Then it occurred to me that I could create podcasts from my articles by simply reading them (with some feeling and inflection) and integrate that into my weekly article marketing plan.

Podcasting is the process of creating audio files (most commonly in MP3 format) available online so that users can automatically download the files to listen whenever they want. Many will listen to the file via their computer, but since the file is portable, the listener can also download the file to the mp3 player, much in the same way they would download and listen to music.

Here’s my 7 step process to creating podcasts from my articles:

1. Write article. Yes, you have to begin here, as without content, you have no podcast.

2. Create introduction. There are actually 3 parts to your introduction. In the first part, give your podcast a name and create an introduction to who you are and what you do. Here’s an example:

“Hi and welcome to the (your name here) podcast. I’m (your name and title and description). What I do at (my company name) is….(your 10 second audio commercial).”

In the second part of the introduction, I create a short sponsor message. Instead of finding paying sponsors, which is a very viable option, I create sponsors by buying domain names for affiliate products that I routinely recommend and then use that domain name and description of my product as my sponsor. In this way I leverage the information I already have at hand (recommendations of trusted products and services for which I’m an affiliate) without the hassle of seeking out paying sponsorships.

So, the second part of my introduction might be constructed to say something like, “Our sponsor this week is XYZStorytelling.com. What if you had a FAIL-PROOF SHORTCUT to consistently capture attention, whether you’re closing a sale, writing promotional copy, or captivating at a cocktail party? This new teleseminar will teach you how at XYZStorytelling.com.”

The third part of the introduction gives the listener the title of your podcast, as in this example: “This week’s (podcast name) podcast is called, (your podcast title here).”

3. Create outtroduction. This is the exiting information that you say at the end of every podcast. For maximum effectiveness, incorporate your website’s primary call to action here. My call to action is sending people to pick up their free copy of the ebook giveaway that I provide when they sign up for my email newsletter list. Here’s an example: “Thanks for joining me for another (your podcast name) podcast. As your free gift, please pick up your copy of my ebook, (your free giveway here), at (your website URL).

4. Prepare for recording. In order to sound natural and relaxed yet animated and interesting, you’ll probably want to rehearse the reading of your article a couple of times before actually recording it. Initially I was copying and pasting my article into a Word document and enlarging the type so that I could easily read it. Then, I discovered a fr*ee online teleprompter call CuePrompter.com. Now I copy and paste my entire podcast, including the intro, article, and outtro into CuePrompter, set the speed to 3, rehearse with the teleprompter a couple of times until I’m comfortable, and then I’m ready to record.

5. Record the podcast. You can record your podcast on any type of audio recording software, like Audacity, or through a teleconference bridgeline service that records phone calls. I use an audio recording service that permits me to record and distribute my podcasts. Because your podcast will be fairly short (6 minutes or so), if you stammer or stumble during the recording process, it’s simple to just begin again.

6. Upload the podcast. Once you have your completed recording, you can upload the podcast into your podcast distribution service or your podcast website. The link to your service or to your podcast website should be readily available on your primary website, in your email newsletter, and on your blog.

7. Post to podcast sites. If you don’t use a podcasting distribution service, you can manually submit your podcast to various directories online and enter the appropriate distribution information there. That may include info like the podcast title, your name and company name, category for podcast, podcast album art, and keywords to describe the podcast. I’ve found a comprehensive listing of podcast directories at http://www.podcastingnews.com/topics/Podcast_Directory.html.

Instead of reinventing the wheel by creating new content for a new marketing medium, the podcast, simply repurpose the material you’ve already created. This is a very effective strategy to get the word out about your products and services to an entirely new market!

Online Business Resource Queen (TM) and Online Business Coach Donna Gunter helps independent service professionals learn how to automate their businesses, leverage their expertise on the Internet, and get more clients online. To claim your FREE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, visit her site at http://www.OnlineBizU.com. Ask Donna an Internet Marketing question at http://www.AskDonnaGunter.com.

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