Note: This post is part of the Podcasting curriculum for Social Media University, Global.
In Podcasting 105 through 108 we demonstrated how you can use a WordPress.com blog as a server to create an RSS feed for your podcast, and can subscribe to your podcast by cutting and pasting that feed URL into your iTunes program. But using the native RSS feed from WordPress.com has a couple of disadvantages:
- It doesn’t give you feed statistics, so you don’t know how many people are subscribing. That’s fine if you are doing a personal podcast just for fun, but if you’re doing this in a work environment your employer will likely expect better statistics so you can determine whether the podcast is worthwhile.
- Cutting and pasting is a little clunky for your users. They have to know how to subscribe manually in iTunes, and it would be a lot better if there was a nice interface to guide them through the process.
“Burning” your feed through Feedburner.com provides solutions to both of those problems, as you will see and hear below:
- Go to Feedburner and set up an account. You will be able to use this to burn your RSS feeds for your WordPress.com blog as well (to be described in a future post in the Blogging curriculum), but it all starts from having a Feedburner account (as Toby Palmer now does).
- Go back through the earlier courses in the Podcasting curriculum so you can record an audio file and launch your own student podcast. As you will see in Podcasting 105, we have a standing offer for any SMUG student to create a free podcast hosted from the SMUG Podcast Blog (and thereby avoid paying the $20/year additional fee to WordPress.com in order to experiment with your own podcast.)
After you’ve learned how to do a personal podcast, you’ll be ready and confident in your abilities to launch one for your business or non-profit organization. You’ll probably want to spend a little money on better recording equipment, and at that point paying the $20 to be able to podcast from your own blog will be well worth it.
But our goal at SMUG is to let you experiment with all of these tools without spending even a penny of your own money, only investing your time in the on-line education process. So please take advantage of the opportunity and start your own podcast today.