From the August 2006 issue of Entrepreneur

Podcasting is no longer a niche web phenomenon--today, it's a serious business tool. For the right type of business, it offers a great way to connect with your online visitors and customers, while also enhancing your online marketing message. If you have content relevant to your business that would fit well in this downloadable audio format, it could be worth trying out.

New tools put podcasting within just about anyone's reach. Visit Yahoo!'s podcastinghub for a quick primer on what you need for a do-it-yourself podcast. The necessary equipment includes a microphone, sound-recording software and an MP3 encoder. Now talk. Give news that's rel-evant to your business area. Offer your insights and expertise. You don't have to hammer home your marketing message, but provide useful information that will bring listeners back and encourage them to check out your website.

Other sources for podcasting solutions include ClickCaster, Odeo, Podblaze and PodOmatic. Some tools allow beginners to make podcasts using only a microphone and a web browser. Once you have a completed podcast, you can make it available from your own web page as well as through a variety of search engines, such as Google, MSN and Yahoo!. An informative podcast can add a personal and engaging touch to your online marketing plan.