Podcasting is a relatively cheap way to advertise your goods or services to potential customers.

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Podcasting is a relatively cheap way to advertise your goods or services to potential customers. But...

I wonder if you've considered it; I know I haven't until now: they say that, when a web page opens, you have just ten seconds to grab the visitor's attention. If you use up those ten seconds with "loading, please wait" or some garbage which fails to tell the visitor what the web site is about, he'll click away!


I'm "clicking through" these intros in iTunes and finding that most of them fill the first MINUTE or more with either music or incoherent ramblings. One even began with "oops, I dropped the microphone". In addition, most of them are very faint and/or have a poor microphone technique.

And iTunes presents the first 80 seconds of the LATEST podcast to the browser - not the earliest podcast that you did. So any introduction that you make must be in every podcast.

Bearing this in mind, if you want to get (and increase) a reasonable number of subscribers, there's a few simple rules to follow:

1. Make sure your Podcast title is clearly visible within the first 27 characters and include relevant key words.

2. In every podcast, within the first ten (OK twenty) seconds, you must tell the listener what you are about to discuss and you must be well into your podcast within the first 80 seconds when the iTunes sample fades out. If you haven't gotten your listener's attention by then, he/she won't subscribe.

3. Keep the microphone a constant distance from your lips and make it LOUD (but not distorted).

There's a few more rules if you want to keep your subscribers:

4. Don't play a jingle every two minutes. This really ticks people off. And don't play background music, either. It's distracting and won't be to everyone's taste.

5. Do include lots of interesting (and mostly relevant) information.

6. Don't include blatant advertising. It's better to make it an "advertorial" - maybe a product review with a web site address.

7. DO include the names of one or two people who correspond with you. People love to hear their own names mentioned and it encourages other people to send you ideas and to keep on listening (if that's what you want). It also adds to the personal touch which people love.

BTW a well known computer magazine recently did a reader survey. Do you know which page was the most popular and the one that was read first each month?

It was Readers' Letters.

(My own second favorite is Equipment Reviews).

As for the practical side of recording your podcast (Mac users can use the free "Garageband" software) and uploading the audio file, I can't advise you. But there are plenty of web sites which give this information.

 Podcast stuff here: http://www.podcaststingers.com