Having a content rich website which contains a lot of video and/or audio files is a smart strategy for a number of reasons including
- Providing great content for your visitors in an alternative format from text only and
- increasing the amount of time that visitors spend on your site which will reflect well in your Google analytics statistic concerning bounce rate.
However there are a couple of considerations you need to keep in mind when you follow this strategy.
Firstly if you simply upload your videos to a video sharing site like YouTube, Vimeo, Revver, Daily Motion or any of the other popular video sites you will be given a nice, convenient video player which you can place on your site to show your videos.
You will just need to grab the code from Youtube and insert it in your post or page.
The problem with this convenient method is that there will be a link to YouTube in the player and once the viewer is finished watching the video they will be prompted to watch related videos..on YouTube. This will obviously take your hard earned visitor away from your site and to either YouTube or someone else’s related video.
It can be difficult enough to attract visitors to your site without then allowing them to leave through a link to an external site that you have inadvertently placed on your site.
Amazon Simple Storage Solution (S3)
A solution that I use for this problem is the Amazon Simple Storage Solution (S3). This is a web based storage solution provided by Amazon which allows you to store your files, video, audio or anything else for that matter, in the “cloud” on Amazon servers.
Once you upload your video or audio to Amazon S3 you can simply place the url to the video stored on your Amazon storage files on your site which solves the problem of visitor leakage. You need to open an account for the S3 service but it is incredibly economical as you are only charged pennies for each time someone downloads or accesses your video or audio files.
You will also need some type of player on your site-for either video or audio or both-but this can easily be created with any of the many free plugins available for this purpose such as Audio Player (aka 1 Pixel Out) for audio and the video player plug in called FLV Embed.
Signing up for an Amazon S3 is simplicity itself and there are plenty of free video tutorials available on the web which will show you all you need to get going.
It will be well worth your while setting up an Amazon S3 account to show your video and audio on your own website as it will remove the difficulty of visitor leakage and allow you to enhance your site greatly with different forms of great content.
To make a podcast with WordPress the first thing you will need is an audio recording and the open source, free software provided by Audacity is recommended highly.
So step one is:
1. Record your audio with Audacity
2. Store your audio file on Amazon S3
Once you have your audio file in mp3 format you will need to store it somewhere and we recommend the Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) which offers great value storage for storing data from anywhere on the web with a straightforward web interface.
Storing audio or video files on your website hosting account is not a good idea as you can run into restrictions with your hosting company quite quickly as video and audio files can be pretty large, particularly if you intending providing a lot of video or audio on your website.
3. Set up a category on your WordPress site and name it Podcast or something similar.
Then each and every episode of your podcast should be categorised with this category. What you will be doing then is getting the feed for this category only and submitting it to Feedburner which will ultimately allow you to submit your podcast to the Apple iTunes store.
4. Download the free Audio Player plugin from the WordPress plugin repository.
Once you download and install this plugin create your first podcast episode in a post on your WordPress site and use the following code to make your audio accessible to your visitors:
. Make sure to categorise it in your Podcast category as mentioned at 3 above.
5. Now you need to get the RSS feed of your category which we have called Podcast. Depending on which browser you are using there may be slightly different ways to access this feed; however the critical thing here is to get the feed for this category only.
I use Firefox so I go up to the browser bar and click on the orange RSS icon which gives me the feed address for the category. If you don’t have the orange RSS icon in your browser you can get a simple free add on to identify RSS feeds and install it.
The other browsers also offer you this functionality so you will have to explore this yourself but you simply need to get the feed for your podcast category.
6. Go to Feedburner at Feedburner.Google.com and open a free account.
Go to the box which says “burn a feed right this instant” and insert the address of your category feed which you will have obtained at 5 above and make sure to tick the box marked “I am a podcaster”.
Once you do this and hit the “next” button Feedburner will create a new feed for you which can then be submitted to iTunes.
First though you need to choose the Optimize tab at the top of the page and then choose the Smartcast option down the left hand side. This will bring up a page allowing you to submit all the necessary details for your feed prior to submission to iTunes such as the categories you want your feed to be in at iTunes, copyright information and contact details and so on.
7. Submit to iTunes
This is the fun part-go to iTunes store and choose “podcasts” and fill out the submission form.
You will receive a confirmation from iTunes some days later that your podcast has been accepted provided it is acceptable.
8. Promote your podcast
Make sure to promote your podcast by providing a link or badge on your site to your iTunes podcast and also submit it to the many podcast directories on the internet.
This will allow you to obtain some great backlinks from around the web which will improve your seo efforts and help you reach a wider audience that a few years ago you could only dream about.
Filed under How to Create a Podcast
Creating audio content for your website can be a great way to distribute your content and build a relationship with visitors to your business website.
MP3s and other audio files can be easily created with a great, free program called Audacity which you can find at http://audacity.sourceforge.net/.
Once you download it and install on your computer you can make recordings easily with the click of a couple of buttons.
Make sure to save your files as MP3s and do take the time to experiment with the various effects that you can achieve such as noise removal, fade in, fade out, changing pitch and tone of your voice and so on.
You will need to store your files somewhere and the best place to do so is with the Amazon cloud computing service, Amazon Simple Storage Service (http://aws.amazon.com/s3/) where you can store video files, mp4s, mp3s and any other large files very cheaply.
You only pay per download and they are incredibly cheap and competitive and you will avoid getting into any trouble with your website host by hosting these large files on their computer servers.
Why create MP3s?
MP3 and other audio files is a great method to allow people who are exercising, commuting to work or who cannot spend a lot of time watching videos or reading text to listen to what you have to say on behalf of your business.
You can create podcasts and upload them to iTunes.com and other podcast catchers and build a whole new audience for your business-an audience with whom you can build a relationship and ultimately grow your business. (Check out how to create a podcast or videocast also)
Your business message, provided it is useful and helpful, can be delivered to your potential customers and clients in many different ways. Text, video and audio should all be weapons in your armoury of promoting your products and services.
The number of people who have access to phones, ipods and other devices who can access your content in their own time and which is most convenient to them is increasing exponentially so losing out on this potential market would be a mistake.
Filed under How to Create Audio Content