In last week’s post, we weighed the pros and cons of uploading your podcast to YouTube. This week, we’ll dig into how to upload your podcast to YouTube. The first thing to take note of is the fact that you can’t upload audio only (MP3 or .wav) directly to YouTube. Instead, you have to convert your audio into a video (MP4).
There are a few ways to achieve this. Below, we’ll explore the various options.
The simplest option is to convert your audio into a video using a static image. This image could be your cover art (resized to fit YouTube’s recommended 2560x2240px) or simply the title of your podcast. For creating this image, we recommend using a program like Canva.
Once you have your image, you need to combine your audio and your background image to create an MP4 that you can upload onto YouTube. To do this, you can use a program like iMovie by importing your image and audio file and then exporting as an MP4.
Creating an audiogram will also require the use of a static image, and will also incorporate the waveform. The waveform adds movement and will make your “video” slightly more visually interesting. You can easily create an audiogram with programs like Headliner or Wavv.
Note: as discussed in last week’s post, neither of the above options are true videos, and are therefore unlikely to perform well within the YouTube algorithm.
If you’re recording remote guests, a screencast video might be a good option for you. Screen captures allow you to record whatever is on your computer screen, and programs like Zoom can be set up to record you and your guest as a split screen video using your webcam.
Speaking directly to your webcam can add a personal touch to your video and can help your audience feel more connected to you. The downside is your webcam usually isn’t very high quality, although you do have the option to upgrade your computer webcam with a webcam attachment via USB. Keep these factors in mind when weighing your options; at the end of the day you should choose whatever works best for you and your goals.
Setting up an external camera is a more involved option but can yield a higher quality video than your webcam. All you need is a tripod and a camera; you can even use the camera on your phone.
Note: In audio editing, you can seamlessly cut out long pauses, “ums,” or even entire sections of your recording. However, unless you are filming with multiple cameras, you will be unable to make seamless edits to your video recording. For this reason, if you are filming your podcast, it’s a good idea to plan on uploading your episode as is without any edits.
Uploading to YouTube
To upload your podcast to YouTube, you’ll first need to create a YouTube account. You can create an account for free or sign in using an existing Gmail account. Note that the name of your YouTube channel will be determined by the name you use in your Google account, so make sure to use your podcast name, for example: firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you create your account, you can:
- Add your podcast description in the “About” section in your profile
- Upload your episode and insert your summary/ show notes in the “Description” section
- Customize your YouTube banner to reflect your podcast cover art
- Engage with other channels
As podcasts on YouTube grow in popularity, some hosting platforms are adding the option to publish to YouTube for you. Check with your hosting platform for specifics.
There are various options for uploading your podcast to YouTube based on the amount of time and effort you want to put into it. However, remember that high effort is more likely to yield high results. Succeeding on YouTube takes time and effort, but can be a great way to reach new listeners and grow your audience.