Podcasting 109: Hotter Podcast Feeds through Feedburner

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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:

Homework Assignments:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.

Podcasting 108: Subscribing to Your Podcast

This is a one-credit course in the Podcasting curriculum for Social Media University, Global. It shows you how to subscribe to the podcast feed you’ve created (or to our guinea pig Toby Palmer’s) using a manual cut-and-paste method.

Here’s the slidecast for the course. When you’re done viewing it, see the homework at the bottom.


1. Try clicking this link and see what happens. Then describe what happened in the comments below.

2. Open iTunes, and copy and paste this URL into the “Advanced/Subscribe to Podcast” window as described in the slidecast above.


Podcasting 107: Posting Your Podcast Episode

Here is a slidecast with audio showing and telling the steps involved in posting an audio file to a wordpress.com blog. Please check out the prerequisites in the Podcasting curriculum to prepare you for creating your first podcast episode.

Now that you’ve seen how it’s done, it’s time for you to join the fun.


  1. Create and prepare an audio file using Audacity and iTunes (See Podcasting 103 and 104 for instructions.)
  2. Get your own wordpress.com blog if you haven’t started one already, or at least get a username so I can add you as an author for the SMUG Podcast Blog.
  3. Ask to be added as an author, and tell me the title you would like to use for your podcast.
  4. Create a new post that includes your audio file.
  5. Post the link to your post in the comments below.
  6. Get ready for Podcasting 108, 109 and 110 which will tell you how to subscribe to your podcast, enhance your feeds and promote your podcast’s existence.

Updated: The file type Toby had sent me was a .m4a, which I could play in iTunes but which doesn’t appear to be a type recognized for podcasts. I will try to get this as an mp3 so we can move to the next stage.

Still Later: I converted Toby’s file to an mp3 using iTunes, and now it works. In Podcasting 108 I will show you how to subscribe to your podcast (or Toby’s), and where the information you put in the blog post appears in iTunes.

Podcasting 106: Creating an RSS Feed

We have a volunteer to be the class podcasting example. Toby Palmer has done the narration of his children’s book Lilly and the Russet Gigantus, and wants to make a podcast of the narration.

So we will start by creating a category in the SMUG Podcast blog, which I have to do for him as an administrator. I can do this quickly and easily because Toby has used WordPress.com to host his blog.

Once I hit the Add User button, we see that Toby is now added as an Author on the SMUG Podcast Blog. He remains an Administrator on his own blog. By being part of the WordPress.com community, you can have some blogs on which you are the Administrator or an Editor, and you can be an Author or Contributor on others. This graphic shows Toby as an Author:

Continue reading “Podcasting 106: Creating an RSS Feed”

Podcasting 105: WordPress.com is My Podcast Server (and Yours)

Note: This post is part of the Podcasting curriculum for Social Media University, Global (SMUG). SMUG provides free, hands-on training in applied social media, so enroll today.

Once you have recorded your audio files using Audacity, and added ID3 Tags in iTunes, your next steps in becoming a podcaster are to find a server to which you can upload your files, and to create an RSS feed that you can post to the iTunes store and to other podcast directories.

Fortunately, you can do both of these things in wordpress.com for just $20 a year by purchasing the 5GB space upgrade for your wordpress.com blog. But for SMUG students I have developed a way that you can experiment with developing your own podcast, and create your own podcast feed, absolutely FREE.

I have set up a separate blog called the SMUG Podcast Blog and have paid the $20 fee that enables me to upload mp3 files. But I have more space now than I could possibly use, so for anyone who is enrolled as a SMUG student, I will add you as an author for that blog, and will create a category you can use for your podcast posts and to set up your RSS feed. The steps to get started are in your homework assignment for this course.

Homework Assignments:

  1. If you haven’t started your WordPress.com blog yet, do it now. You will need a WordPress.com account to be added as an author for the SMUG Podcasts blog.
  2. When you have your WordPress.com account, send me the e-mail address you used to create the account. I need that to find you on WordPress.com and add you as an author.
  3. Tell me what you would like as a name for your podcast. Mine is Chancellor Conversations. Whatever you decide, we’ll create a category on the SMUG podcast blog.

In Podcasting 106 and 107 I will show you how to set up your podcast feed and create a post.  And if anyone wants to volunteer to be the “guinea pig” for those courses, please send me a message and we can use your podcast for a class demonstration.