How To Add A Podcast to A WordPress Blog

Many blogs are moving away from being text only to include multimedia files.  Audio, images and video are all common in WordPress blogs.  In a three part series I would like to give detailed how to’s on adding these type of media to your posts, how to manage the files and the best available plugins to extend WordPress so it can serve up your shiny new content to your readers / viewers or even listeners.

In the first part of this series I would like to look at how to add a podcast to your blog.

What Is A Podcast

In the truest sense of the form, a podcast is an audio file available to download and be played in an audio player such as an iPod.  The podcast will be a series of audio files which can be subscribed to using an aggregator.  The aggregator will then download each new episode as it is released and make it available to listen to at a time convenient to the user.  For me this means I can subscribe to a pocast in iTunes and upload it to my iPod.

Bloggers may not be creating pure podcasts, perhaps we are doing a one-off audio posts with no series, but the techniques are the same.

I have created a podcast using the techniques I describe to highlight this posts, it is available at the bottom of this post.

Why Podcast Over and Above Writing?

Podcasting is not a replacement for the written blog posts, I think it is a useful addition to your articles.  Here are some benefits and pitfalls of podcasting versus writing.

Getting your voice over – a podcast allows people to hears and associate with the real you, rather than assuming what you are like via your writing

Interviewing people – there is no real replacement for a person to person interview, it has to be audio or video, the nuance of voice is lost when an interview is transcribed to text.

Distributing large amounts of content – if you are delivering a large amount of content, podcasting may be for you, it allows people to get the content for review whilst they are traveling or have it playing in the background when doing other tasks.

If you audience is not online all the time – podcasting is great for an audience which is not listening all of the time, the asynchronous format means you can record and distribute your podcast and your listeners can hear what you have to say at a time convenient to them.

Podcasting takes practices –  once you are comfortable with the medium you can rattle off a podcast with a great deal of content very quickly.  Writing the same amout of content would take much longer.  As you can tell from my podcast, I am not very comfortable with the medium, but that would come with practice.

Podcasting is linear – your reader may not need all of the information you are spouting out, is it not easy to jump to a particular section of a podcast as it is with a written document.  Use podcasting where podcasting works use blog posts where thye work best.

A very good example of a podcaster cum blogger is Ozzie blogger Yaro Starak, why not skoot over and check out some of his podcasts.  Yaro blogs about blogging and internet marketing, here is one of his podcasts http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com/1104/scocco-interview/.

Subscribing to A Podcast

As I have already mentioned, podcasts are available to subscribe to using the RSS format.  This functionality is not available out of the box with WordPress so your old WP install needs to be extended, I sense plugins are needed.

Creating the media file

Creating your audio file is a little beyond the scope of this posts, but I will give you a few pointers:

Microphone – buy the best one you can it will show in your final production. I use a fairly cheap one and you can hear the hisses and pips as I breath out or speak.  Check out podcasting microphones on amazon they are not cheap but if you are serious about podcasting you will need to make that investment at some point.

Recording Software -MAC and PC both come with an audio recording package, as you can expect these are limited. It looks like a lot of people are recommending audacity, an open source recording package available to download for free at http://audacity.sourceforge.net/.  This is what I used for the podcast included with this post and I found it easy to use and full of neat little editing tools and effects.

Uploading the media to your blog

So you have recorded your podcast and converted it to an MP3 format.  Now you are ready to upload it to your blog for play back or subscription via an MP3 player.

Login to your WordPress dashboard and click on the tab marked media.  From there click on add new, and browse to your podcast file.  Upload it. The file will be saved in the wp-content directory.  In the case of this podcast, it is saved at https://ibraininc.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/howtoaddapodcast.mp3

Bandwidth Concerns

Streaming MP3 over the net will use up your bandwidth quite quickly if you have a popular site with a limited amount of downloading on your hosting plan.

There is a solution to this problem and that is to host it on a third party server.  I have never done this so I cannot recommend any provider over another, but a search for podcast hosting on Google will return quite a few, if any readers of this posts can recommend any podcast hosting providers please leave a comment below with a link – cheers.

The Plugin

Ah god bless em over and over again, the happy little plugin developers.  I have seen podcasts on other peoples blogs so I knew there would be a plugin out there for me.  I made a small list of things I wanted from my plugin and went a-searching.  I wanted:

  • Podcasting subscription functionality
  • Use a local or remote file – this allows me to host the file wherever I like
  • Ability to Play from a blog post – I want immediate or downloadable access to my podcast.
  • A neat player with pause / play / volume functions

I went to the WordPress plugin repository and did a search for podcasting, this returned all the plugins available, I checked the functionality against my list and got a hit with my first plugin.  I am using the imaginatively names Podcasting 2.1 plugin produced by Spiral Web Consulting.   It is available to download at the following location:


To add a podcast to this page, I enclose the URL to my podcast with a tag {podcast}http://podcastURL{/podcast}. If I want to play a remotely hosted MP3 I simply point at the remote file, all of my problems solved.

To subscrive to this podcast or any future podcasts,  the plugin has created the appropriate feed at https://ibraininc.com/feed/podcast. At the time of writing this does not work, I will update once I have sorted the problems.

You can see my nice little player at the base of the post with volume controls, play and pause controls – a very nice little plugin.


Podcasting is a great way to build a more personable feel to your blog, it lets your readers hear and get a sense of what you are like.  Sometimes our written voice is  not the real us, this helps to grow brand-you.

I the next part of this series I will talk about adding video to your blog.

My Podcast

Here I am with my lovely Geordie accent, an English accent which most people outside of the UK never hear, we don’t all talk like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins you know.

[podcast]https://ibraininc.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/howtoaddapodcast.mp3 [/podcast]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *