A quick and easy way to test audio on your site is provided by SoundCloud – play or read, the choice is yours.
Leverage is one of the current buzzwords, presenting your content in as many ways as possible. Hype aside, it is also the polite thing to do as it makes your content available to more people. That said, many of us don’t like appearing on video without a full makeover and I, for one, think my voice sounds really strange on audio, certainly not the way I sound in my head. Then there are the technical issues. It is possible to spend a small fortune in time testing something out. The financial cost might not be so great but in my world time is far more valuable than money.
Given that, Audio is probably the one to test out first, it gets you over those performance nerves before going to full blown video. With SoundCloud you have an easy, and inexpensive way to test it out.
Straight away I am going to jump in with the disclaimers. It might not be the right long term solution if you decide to go ahead with a wider use of audio, but it will certainly get you started at no cost, assuming you already have a microphone. Best of all, it’s quick and simple.
Take yourself off to SoundCloud.com and sign up for a free account. That will give you 120 upload minutes which is plenty to test out if audio is for you. There are other features and paid plans but leave that til later – this is just a test.
I’m not going to tell you how to fill out a profile, but once that’s done you get to your dashboard. All you need to do once you are there is click on the Upload/Record image which takes you to the point where you can Record or Upload.
Assuming that you are going to make a recording all you need to do then is turn on the microphone, click the button which allows access to it, hit the record button and start talking. If all you are doing is recording a test don’t worry too much about a script. If you prefer to do the audio first you can always get your audio transcribed afterwards, whichever suits your way of working, somewhere like fiverr is good.
Once you have done talking, hit the stop button, and click on the link to upload your recording. There is a form to fill out and you can make it pretty with a logo if you want. Most of the fields are self-explanatory but do remember to give it a proper title, description and tags.
You then have a choice, you can make the recording public or keep it private. In the case of something to go on one of my sites then public is generally the way I would go. It would be available to anyone on SoundCloud and would also be available to Search Engines and so could potentially generate traffic for your site. It’s not a final decision, you can change it. Once that is done hit ‘Save’ and all your settings are done.
The downside is that you can’t edit your track unless you download it and do so on your machine and reupload but, to be honest, nobody minds the odd ‘um’ and ‘er’, and nobody gets it right 100% of the time so don’t worry about it too much. If you are really concerned about it and want to use audio I can also point you to an excellent Voiceover Lady if you prefer not to hear your own voice.
When that is all done you will spot a ‘Share’ option. With the free account you only have a few options to tweak your Player but you can make the colour fit your site. All you need to do then is grab the embed code and add it to your article by pasting in the code. There is also a WP Plugin that you can use with a shortcode if you wish.
It’s actually taken me about five times as long to write about this than to do it. SoundCloud gives you an ideal way to test if Audio is for you and your audience, and don’t worry if it’s not, there are other multimedia options.
The paid plans are not overly expensive and if you want to keep your technical involvement to a minimum then SoundCloud is a good way forward and do let me know in the comments if you like the idea of posts being in both audio and written format in future..