Everyone knows (in my circles, anyway) that November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. This is an annual event where aspiring authors commit to writing the first draft of a novel.
Everyone knows that November is NaNoWriMo, but did you know it is also November is National Podcast Post Month?
I was at a podcasting Meetup Monday evening when one of the hosts happened to mention that next month is the 12th annual NaPodPoMo. This month-long event is kinda like NaNoWriMo, except instead of writing a novel in thirty days, you publish a podcast episode every day for 30 days.
The goal, as I understand it, is to give new podcasters a reason to release a lot of episodes in a short period so they can make all the usual beginner mistakes and thus get better at podcasting. Everyone who sticks with the program will, by the end of the month, have a pretty good idea what the type of podcast they want to launch and how to produce it.
I for one only just heard about NaPodPoMo on Monday, and I can't wait to jump in.
As I mentioned the week before last, for the past month or so I have been working on launching a podcast about web design called The Website in a Box Show. I am still months away from being ready to launch it, and I see NaPodPoMo as a great opportunity to speed up the schedule by making a lot of mistakes very quickly. (I am being realistic.)
I expect to learn a lot, but the other reason I am diving in is that the NaPodPoMo organizers are aggregating all participating podcasts into a single feed. That makes this a good opportunity to build an audience before I launch the podcast.
If you want to join the fun, I have a few suggestions. There are only nine days left until November, so there's really not enough time left to start a podcast from scratch. But if you already have an idea what you want to talk about on your podcast, I can tell you how to get a podcast website up and running quickly.
If you want to launch a throwaway podcast, you should register a new site at WordPress.com. Give it a name, and description, then fill out your profile on the site. Once you have recorded and edited your podcast episodes, you can embed them in a blog post and take advantage of the WP audio player feature. It's not a very sophisticated audio player, and WP.com has only limited storage, but this is enough for you to get started (and it will cost you nothing but your time).
If you want to add a podcast to your existing WordPress site, I would suggest installing the Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin. SSP is the plugin I am going to be using with my podcast, and it's what I will be recommending to my clients when asked. This free plugin adds the podcast as a separate section of your website (the podcast episodes won't get mixed in with your blog posts), and it includes all the necessary features such as subscribe links for Stitcher and other podcast services, automatic embedding of podcast episodes, etc.
Of course, you don't have to have a website for your podcast; you could just set up an account with Libsyn or another podcast service, and let them handle distribution. (Actually, I think BlogTalkRadio would be the better choice). I am just professionally inclined to start with a website if only because I can control it in ways that I can't control a Libsyn account.
So tell me, do you want to launch a podcast?