Table of Contents
Our series Beyond Your Blog has offered up tips for expanding your blogging empire beyond the usual posts, from digital cookbooks to online culinary courses. This week, we’re looking closely at how you can incorporate a podcast into your offerings.
The popularity of podcasts has been growing exponentially for years. According to the Pew Research Center:
About one-in-five U.S. adults ages 12 or older (21%) listened to some kind of podcast in the past month, up from 12% six years ago, and 36% have ever listened to a podcast, up from 23% in 2010. Though the audience (and revenue) for podcasts is only a small portion of that for radio, streaming radio has been growing as well, with the share who listened to online radio (whether news or non-news) in the past month more than doubling since 2010, from 27% to 57%.
And as early as 2013, Apple had announced its iTunes podcast subscriptions had surpassed one billion.
Podcasts allow busy people to learn more about a subject while they’re on the go, in the office, or otherwise indisposed to reading or watching videos. That makes it a powerful tool for you, the food blogger, to grow your audience.
The good news is you don’t even have to do all the talking on your podcast! You’ve got enough to do, so why not play host and invite others to fill up the airspace?
- Invite your grandmother to share the secret to her perfect Southern biscuits
- Interview your children and a few of their friends on why kids hate vegetables
- Visit a local farmer and have her share insight on seasonal fruits and veggies
- Talk with a soup kitchen director on making more out of less
Your world is full of interesting people with moving tales to tell. Start there!
While you can air hour-long podcasts, there’s really no need. Instead, try recording shorter podcasts more frequently. Often, listeners will listen to several episodes of a podcast at once, so you might choose to focus on a particular topic of the week or month – say, building healthier eating habits – and tape numerous quickie episodes that will be effectively compiled for listeners by their favorite podcast app.
However often you choose to schedule podcasts, do schedule them. As with blog posts, consistent, regular podcasts will help you to build an audience willing to return regularly to listen to them.
Invest in a good headset and microphone to ensure a pleasing sound for your podcast. These don’t have to be studio quality, but you’ll definitely benefit from something with a little more finesse than your computer microphone.
Anthony Tran of Access Marketing Media recommends the Audio-Technica ATH-M20x headset ($44.95) and the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardiod Dynamic USB/XLR microphone ($79) for hobbyists, you can also find podcast equipment kits on Amazon.
Blue Microphone’s Snowball USB Microphone with Full Size Studio Headphones and Pop Filter has everything you’ll need to get started at a reasonable $89.
CAD’s Audio U37 USB Studio Recording Microphone with Knox Pop Filter & Full-Size Headphones is another kit with great reviews and a competitive price of $79.99.
Audacity is the most popular choice among serious podcasters. The free audio editor and recorder works with both Windows and Mac OS X to create incredible-sounding digitized recordings.
While Audacity isn’t difficult to use, it may be more robust than a beginning podcaster requires or cares to learn. If that’s your case, try Opinion Podcasting, which allows you to record, edit, and publish podcasts online for free on your iPhone. That’s right. Opinion Podcasting is a mobile podcast app, and look at just one of the positive reviews it’s been getting at the iTunes store:
I’ve been searching for a mobile podcast app for years. While the software has been available for years in different formats, most felt cumbersome to use, too overloaded with possibilities, and unwieldy. I needed to make a quick podcast, with only an hour to spare, in submitting a proposal. I stumbled on Opinion and was able to create a two minute podcast with minimal fuss. Great format, super UI, and just plain fun! Yayyyy!!!
Images via Opinion Podcasting
Once you’ve got your podcast recorded and edited, it’s time to load it up to your food blog where your audiences can find it! Fortunately, WordPress developers have already begun building plugins that make publishing podcasts easier.
The free and easy-to-use PowerPress is the most popular podcasting plugin on the market right now. You can begin using the tool in Simple mode and move up to Advanced as you gain an understanding of the features, which means you can start using it easily, right away.
It provides multiple audio and video player options, subscription tools, and SEO features, all while supporting iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn and Blubrry Podcasting directories.
If PowerPress is the most popular, Seriously Simple Podcasting is perhaps the easiest podcasting plugin to use with WordPress. This is a no-fuss tool that eliminates superfluous settings, making startup a breeze.
Don’t mistake simplicity for lack of functionality, however. SSP allows for multiple configurations of podcasts, provides RSS feeds that support all major podcast services and feed readers, and shortcodes that allow you put podcasts whether you’d like to on your blog.
If you need some inspiration, check out one of the fabulous podcasts from the dynamic duo at Food Heaven Made Easy. These two registered dieticians have got it going on!
For a zanier take on podcasting, listen in on Spilled Milk, recorded by two comedians who use food as their jumping off point in each podcast.
If you think you’ll need a little technical help, don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Once Coupled.