According to Stitcher the average podcast listener stays connected for 22 minutes, couple this with News Creed’s findings that average time a reader spends reading a blog post is just 37 seconds you have to start wondering about having some audio content out there.
If you need another reason to invest your time into this, by adding audio content, you are also making your website more accessible. Accessibility is something that we should all think about when creating content online. Why not give those who deal with visual impairments and reading disabilities the option to access your content instead of making the choice for them?
The trouble is not everyone has time to sit down and record let alone edit, produce, upload and promote a podcast. It takes a lot of work and dedication. I say this having spent many nights re-editing an audio interview based podcast, I’ve been there and it was great but I wanted to have time with my family so ultimately, I let it go.
Luckily, there is always an answer to be found!
What to do if you don’t want to start a podcast?
If you’re on WordPress then you have two options:
- You could turn your existing content into audio content by using text to speech plugins (like the one I have on my blog)
- You can use a plugin to automatically transform your posts into a podcast.
If you’re not on WordPress I’ll be back with another post dedicated to you but this post is for Jamie. Be a good human and go say hello and give him a follow and he’ll entertain you with some quality short stories.
How to turn your existing content into audio content by using text to speech plugins.
This is by far the easiest thing to do and it only takes a few minutes. You have both free and paid options. and it’s a simple as choosing an option and adding the pluging and choosing if you want it site wide or on blog posts only.
Free Text to Speech Plugins
This is the WordPress plugin I use on my site and it was the best free plugin I could find (and I tested a few). It allows you to customize your audio button and tailor it to your websites design and the audio voices are better than a lot of the other free options on the market.
All you have to do is sign up for a free account. Nope, I haven’t gotten any spam emails after I did this and follow the step by step instructions on their site.
iSpeech is one of the first plugins I tried and it performed well. The download and installation were really easy and set up was minimal. The audio voice was standard. It works via shortcodes and also allows for text highlighting.
The only reason I didn’t choose this plugin was due to the fact that I found the audio button a little small. Why make it harder for those with sight impairments to find the button?
This was the first plugin I tried and currently. They have 900+ active installs and you can check out a LIVE DEMO before you add the plugin to your site. GSpeech has some nice features that I really love:
- Ability to set greeting audio for your users.
- You can set different greetings for logged in users.
- Option for speaking menus where users can listen to menus when they hover over them.
- Ability to set custom events
The only reason I moved on from this was the interaction with my site and theme otherwise I would have stayed here.
Paid Text to Speech Plugins
If you are looking for a little more functionality and more natural sounding voices and your blog is making enough money to be able to support the move to paid plugins.
As well as offering you 200+ realistic voices you also have access to pretty nifty analytics data and more customizable options than the free plugins. This also works for Ghost too.
It comes with flexible shortcodes and a $19 dollar a month starting plan that could be subsidised with their ad placement feature! It’s definitely worth checking out.
This is one of the most beautiful plugins for text to speech that I’ve seen. You have the ability to edit the audio files to add pauses and add realistic voice-overs for your audience by editing emotions and tone. Thi service is one that is made for creators who would use professional voice-overs.
They support 100+ voices in 50 languages, offer full commercial and broadcasting rights to the audio you create and have a Medium Chrome extension.
You can give this a spin with a 14 day free trial before upgrading to the $90/year (which is 7.5 dollars a month!) so the price is pretty great too!
Automatically transform your posts into a podcast.
What if you do want to make a podcast out of your content? Here you convert your blog posts into a downloadable mp3 file format.
Step 1. Collect your mp3 audio files
This can be done in tandem with the previous option and In fact, if you chose Play.ht you now have the ability to share your content as a podcast! After you convert your audio you refresh your post and you now have playable embedded audio files.
Step 2. You then upload these files to your podcast host like Libsyn or use an RSS and voila you have a podcast.
Step 3. Generate you RSS feed and emdbed a playlist on your website.
Libsyn offers you the option of embed players so you can directly add them to your WordPress site then use this RSS feed to share your podcast with places liek Stitcher, Appled Podcasts etc.
You can also use the Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin for WordPress that is free to use. Here you upload your audio files to WordPress and follow the step by step instructions in the plugin. This then generates the podcast RSS feed. The only problem here is if you get a lot of traffic as having a fairly popular podcast could have a negative effect on your site speed.
Record it Yourself
You also have the option to record your own bog posts yourself and turn them into a podcast. I have a detailed post on how to do this over on my personal blog here which details the programs I use for recording my podcast set up and distribution. If you had a very detailed workflow you should be able to do all your recording and editing in one day from a lot of your previous content so don’t be ut off by the option of recording it yourself.
If this is all very overwhelming, like anything new is. Start small with the in- blog audio options. Then maybe branch out to a podcast. Who knows, a podcast of short stories that people can listen to before bed sounds like a wonderful thing to explore!
I do hope today’s post helps and please let me know if you have any questions in the comments and I’ll do my best to help.
Don’t forget to hit like and share the post if you find it useful.