There are times when we can overthink things. You always want to do your best and get input from your target audience. You want to know what they want.
There may be decisions that just you just can't come to a conclusion.
You could do more research if you want, but in some cases, you just have to make a decision and if it doesn't work out, then try something else.
I often say your podcast is a recipe and not a statue. I can almost guarantee that your podcast will start in one direction and end up going in a slightly different one that you thought.
I like bananas. I like peanut butter on bananas. I like Reese's cups which have chocolate and peanut butter combined. However, I never mixed bananas, peanut butter, and chocolate. On paper, it seems like I would like this but there is only ONE way to know and that's to make the recipe and eat it.
You can guess all day if your audience will like your show, but there is only one way to know and that's to make an episode and let them eat it. Nobody will punch you in the face, and you can change anything that doesn't work. Also keep in mind that when you first start out, you probably don't have much of an audience.
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If you look at other people in entertainment:
They all have some sort of “pre-seasons, or “Dress Rehearsal” to work out the kinks and your podcast should follow their example.
I am going to Podcast Movement next week and I have the following gear ready to use/test:
Tascam DR-10X miniature recorder
SC6-L Mobile Interview Kit
Rode Interviewer Microphone
I haven't used any of this equipment and I will have TONS of opportunities to use it at Podcast movement.
I DONT WANT MY FIRST “REAL” INTERVIEW TO BE MY GUINEA PIG
If your parents (or anyone who made an impact on your life) are still around, use them as your “test” interview. There are some fun twists with this:
1) As you are “in control” as the interviewer you may feel more comfortable asking questions you normally wouldn't.
2) They may really expand on stories as this is being recorded and they want to give you good content (they are your parents still)
3). If life goes according to plan, you will outlive them (I hate to bum you out) but you will thank me later
No matter if you start planning, starting, launching, growing, your podcast I can help with all of that.
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As a support person for a podcasting company (Libsyn.com) I have people contact me who are looking at their daily, weekly, and monthly stats and in some cases they panic.
If the numbers go up, they don't believe they are real listeners
If the numbers go down, then there must be something wrong.
I host a show that I've done since 2005 called The School of Podcasting and it has over 600 episodes.
When I look at the stats for a current month, 60% of them are from shows NOT released that month.
For example, let's say I get 20,000 downloads in the month of June. The episode released in June might get 2000 downloads an episode. That means four episodes would be 8000 downloads.
Then where did the other 12,000 downloads come during June? Your back episodes.
When someone finds your show and they like it they will download more episodes.
Some apps make I super easy to download ALL of your episodes. In my case that is over 600 downloads in one day.
With this in mind your daily, weekly, and monthly stats are not a consistent way to tell if your show is growing.
What you want to measure is the number of downloads per episode. Some people recommend the total number of downloads for the episode after it has been published for 30 days. They use this stat as that is often the time frame sponsors use.
I like to check the total number of downloads after seven days. Why? Because it shows me my (in my opinion) subscribers and “super fans.”
As os the case always with stats you can pivot and do creative math to see what you want to see. Just keep it consistent. If you want to compare one episode after 30 days to another one after it has been available for 30 days, you can do that. Just make sure they are both showing stats for the same period of time. A show that has been published longer will naturally have more downloads.
I would love to help you plan, launch, grow and monetize your podcast. Take advantage of my 14 years of experience.
The best way to have a podcast with multiple people is to get all the cards on the table when you start. Make sure everyone knows what they are responsible, and then approach each other with respect when surprises arise.
You've decided that you want to do a podcast with a co-host. That's great. Some people feel having a co-host makes podcasting easier because it's not just you talking into a wall.
But there some things you might want to think consider. Number one, who owns the show? So if it's the Bert and Ernie show, and Burt decides he wants to quit, does that mean Ernie can't find a new co-host and change the name?
You'll see this all the time with bands like Pink Floyd and Queensryche who spend tons of cash in court arguing over who owns the name.
Secondly, what if somebody wants to leave, let's say after nine months of doing the show, Burt says, I've had enough. I thought this was going to be fun.
Now here's the thing you have to keep in mind, this is going to be an awkward conversation because you're going to talk about what happens if things go wrong. And you don't want things to go wrong. But if you talk about this, (put your big boy put your big girl pants on), and have this awkward conversation, then if things do go wrong, it will be better than if you didn't have any exit strategy.
So what happens if somebody wants to leave?
What if somebody wants to quit?
What if somebody doesn't want to quit? What are the grounds to get fired?
Setting expectations eliminates surprises, and it identifies what is required for things to run smoothly.
You have to figure out who does what. And sometimes it's, “I'll record and edit. You do the social media and the website.”,
What you might want to do is divide up the list. This way, everybody knows who is responsible for everything
You avoid conversations that have people saying, “Wait, I thought YOU were going to write the show notes. No, I thought YOU were going to write the show notes.”
While this is an awkward conversation to have, it eliminates any miscommunication. Communication is the lubrication of your podcast engine. And many, many, many moons ago, I was a musician I played in a band, and we had what we call the “band fund.” I would come into our rehearsal, and I would say, Hey, guys, we have whatever $117 in the band fun The last thing we spent money on was Ryan need a new set of bass strings. It was very transparent. Nobody had to guess what was going on with the money, and consequently, we never argued about it.
If you answer all those questions and you keep everything transparent, you are much less likely to have issues with your co-host.
The thing you might want to do is revisit it regularly. I do a show on Saturday morning. It's called Ask the podcast coach. We're there every Saturday 10:30 AM eastern standard time askthepodcastcoach.com
My co-host is Jim Collison from the average guy.tv. We've been doing that for three years with a lot of fun. It's a lot of work. That's fine by me because I have a Patreon account that has patrons who donate.
I went to Jim, I said, “Hey, is this still cool?” and Jim said, “You're doing all the work.” He's a color commentary guy, but he brings a lot to the table. The show is different when Jim isn't there, and he's fine letting me take the money. I still revisited that every year.
When you don't talk about things, and you let it fester, that's how you end up in situations where things get ugly. Now I work for a company called Libsyn. It's a podcast media hosting company. You can get a free month there using the coupon code, SOP free all one word. And I see situations where Ernie and Bert aren't getting along. Bert will log into the account and change the password trying to lock Ernie out. And then Ernie will somehow get back into the account and start deleting items, and it gets ugly.
These ugly situations are why you need to put your agreement in writing and have everyone sign it. This document is you saying. “I agree to do this.” I've seen other things where you do that show with your best friend that you've known since the fourth grade, and four years later, it's gone to the dogs because you didn't have these conversations.
Then all the sudden money got involved. I'm here to tell you money changes everything. What was a discussion is now an ugly argument because money's involved. So the best time to have this conversation is when there is no money.
I would love to help you plan, launch, grow, and monetize your podcast. Tap into my 14 years of podcasting experience and schedule a time to chat today.
You may think that your best friend is the obvious choice to be a co-host. However, what if you both DO think the same thing. That's going to be quite a lot of “me too.”
Here are some tips to consider:
If you would like some help planning your podcast, let's sit down and get your going in the right direction. Schedule a session today.
So you want to share to the world that your podcast episode is out there? You're not sure what link to use.
Should I share a link to Apple?
Should I share a link to Google?
Should I just share a link directly to the mp3 file?
Well, I want to use the analogy of dinner, you've decided to have a bunch of people over for dinner. And then you say, well, let's see, we can't have burgers, because one person is coming is vegetarian. It's tough to have a one size fits all solution.
And here's the problem. If I send you just an apple link, 80% of Europe is using an Android phone. When you send them an apple link, it's kind of like, hey, look, I don't care about you Mr and Mrs. Android user.
Likewise, if I send an Android link then the apple people are left out.
So you need a one size fits all and realize that when you do clothing, that's one size fits all is not the prettiest fit but it works.
In the end, your website is your central hub, that is your home base. It is where you want people to go because if all these apps and websites blow up, they always know that they can return back to your home base.
There was a website called mp3.com and musicians were actually making a living using mp3.com to the point where they didn't have their own website. And they would just tell people, hey, go to mp3.com/DaveJackson. Well, mp3 dot com, got sold, sued, sold, and sold again and eventually right now it's worthless. And those people that didn't say go to davidjackson.org lost their audience. Go there, and you can find me and I will tell you how to get more music. They lost their entire audience. There were people that used to put all their ducks in a row on my space. Yes,
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc are all satellite offices should direct people back to your website.
So to get back to the original question, what link do I put in my social media? Put the link that points people to the episode on your website. So when they go there, they'll see a player, they'll see some notes about the episode. And hopefully, they'll see links there to subscribe because, in the end, we want people to subscribe to your show. That way, when you put out a new episode, it automatically goes to their devices. So what link do I put, when I'm sharing on social? The one that's going to work for everybody – the link to your website.
If they're on an Android phone, it works. If they're on an Apple phone, it works. If they're on their desktop, it works. Send your audience to your website which also reinforces your brand.
By using a link to the episode on your website people can click play on your player no matter what device they are using. You can also have subscribe buttons and other calls to action. If you're using Facebook, you can put “the pixel” on their device and start marketing to them. The best link to share on social for your podcast is a link to your website.
schedule some one on one time so we can get your going in the eight direction.
I get this question from people this can often stall your efforts. You have a message and you want to get it out there, but what format?
As a content creator (and when you boil it down, that is what podcasters are) what do you want? You want more exposure for your content. So why limit yourself to one type of format?
You can use Facebook Live or YouTube Live (formerly Google Hangouts) for free. Every morning I stream to YouTube using StreamYard (for some added features of pulling people into the chat and some cool display tricks) and record the audio on a portable recorder. While the audio on Facebook, YouTUbe and Zoom are tolerable, try to record it locally was a WAV file to capture the best audio you can.
Try not to say things like “As you see here” as the people who listen to your audio later have no idea what you're talking about.
When you produce to formats (audio and video) this means you get to edit both versions. This just takes more time.
Unless you are doing something like a cooking show (that REALLY needs the visual) go with the audio.
It's cheaper to host
It's easier to edit.
You don't have to shower or put on makeup to record.
I'm often confused by this question, someone will come up to me and say, Hey, Dave, there are these different places where I should list my podcast. Should I list my show in blank?
My answer is, well, let's see, it's free and it will give you more exposure, and just a few minutes to submit to them.
Why would you not list your show there?
The answer is, yes, wherever you can list your show or doesn't hurt your brand. Why wouldn't you?
While there are a TON of podcast directories to submit your show to, here are the top directories I recommend
This list is of directories that you can add your show to, but if I only have a few minutes I would start with the list above, and come back to these later
Acast is a podcast host, but does have its own app and website.
Audioburst – Audioburst is an audio search engine, and this may get your podcast discovered by new listeners.
BluBrry runs a full podcast directory that can be used by other developers
Bullhorn runs a podcast app with a difference: you can use it without any data connection. Instead, the app gives each listener a temporary telephone number to call to listen to a podcast – using their free cellphone minutes.
Deezer makes a copy of your content and gives you weekly consumption reports. Check with your media hosting to see if this is an option.
iHeart – You may have heard of this company….. Check with your media host to see if this is an option
Radio Public will also let you earn money, if you want, and has a bunch of other useful tools for podcasters.
Podbean – While primarily a media host, they also have a directory.
Podchaser This pulls from Apple Podcasts. Best to claim your podcast here though, to add more data.
Podknife – Register then use the “Add a podcast” menu item
Radio.com – This is a US-only option. Libsyn has this as a destination, but if you're not using Libsn you can add your show here
This is why Apple podcasts should be one of the first places you submit your show for approval.
One of my ALL TIME Favorite tools is text expander. Text expander allows you to take things you may have to enter over and over and make it easy to types those items with a few keystrokes that they call “snippets”. For example, when I type #dje it types my email ( I always use a # so I don't trigger a “Snippet” by accident). With this in mind you could make a snippet of you:
And fill out these forms in record time. There is a free trial, so you could use this software to submit your show to directories and never purchase the software (although there are a TON of things you can do with it like set up an episode template)
Let me apply all my years of podcasting (I started in 2005) to your podcast efforts. Schedule a time to chat today.
Back on episode 13 I talked about how to choose a name. Today we talk about what happens if you choose a name and it just falls flat, or even worse, confuses people. We talked about the mechanics of podcasting before in episode.
The bad news is that name that you chose for your podcast is falling flat, or even worse, it's confusing people. Because if you confuse you lose. You've come to the conclusion, I want to change the name of my podcast. In fact, what if I want to rebrand my show.
I did this three times with my first podcast, I originally named it the musician's cyber cooler. This is where musicians come to trade advice (kind of a water cooler). Back in 2005. When I started we called the Internet cyberspace. Hence, the musicians cyber cooler. Well, that confused people. Then the word cyber got attached to sex. People were talking about cybersex.
I need to lose the word cyber so then it was the Musician's Cooler. The artwork had a big picture of a water cooler that said Musicians Cooler: where musicians come to trade advice. People still didn't get it. They asked if it was about wine coolers.
Change the name, again, to the marketing musician Podcast, where musicians come to trade advice. Finally, my audience understood.
Your podcast is a recipe, not a statute. So here's what you want to do. If you want to change your name, you go into whatever system you're using to generate your feed. Remember, Apple, Spotify, Google, they're all looking at your feed. In fact, podcasting is syndicated. So if you're using something like Libsyn.com (you can use the coupon code sopfree to get a free month there) you simply change your information (the artwork, description, name) in Libsyn.
Now when you're uploading new artwork, make sure that it meets the specifications for Apple.
Use rGB color space
Be a JPG, JPEG, or a PNG file
You want the new artwork to have a different name (so Logo.jpg is now logo2.jpg)
If you're using Libsyn you might worry that your feed still have fragments of your old name. Here is a simple test:
Think of your favorite podcast. Now tell me their feed. Me neither. PEOPLE don't look or see feed addresses (apps do).
When I updated my show, I kept the same feed address.
If you're using the feed from your media host (Like Libsyn) you can blow up your website. It won't matter. However, if you are using a feed generated by your website it is a big deal. You need to create the new website with the new feed BEFORE you delete the old website address (as you will need to point the old to look at the new). This type of operation is somewhat out of the scope of an audio podcast. I can help you with it (I help people do this every day) but it just doesn't work in Audio format.
This is the question I get all the time. People want to know how to grow your podcast audience. I'm going to give you kind of the 10,000-foot overview.
It ALWAYS comes back to this no matter what you're doing, it always comes back to this is the number one thing: Identify who your audiences is.
If you were working someplace and they do the Secret Santa at Christmas time and you get Howard from accounting you need to find out what Howard wants for Christmas If you don't Howard is not going to like his present and pray you never pull his name again.
Now that you've identified what they wanted to hear, give them what they want. You can't grow your podcast without this step.
Create the content that they want to hear but don't stop there. Create content that will inspire them to tell a friend (70% of podcasts are found via word of mouth).
It's so easy to record, from behind this microphone, in your walk-in closet, your spare bedroom, the basement, wherever you record. You need to go to where your target audience is. Face to face is the best form of connection. I realized sometimes you're thinking, “I live here, they're over there.” That's where you can use things like meetup.com, and Facebook groups. There are all sorts of different places that you can go to get close to your audience. This is how you determine what they want as well. When you go to these locations, LISTEN first and see what people are talking about.
Make friend with your target audience, but more than that bring value to every single conversation. Be sure to listen for ideas for future episodes.
Here's a fun story. When I was first starting out, before there was a Facebook.com I found a forum of ex-DJs. I was like, “Oh my God, these are people that know how to talk into microphones, they probably have something to say and want to get back on the air.” This is MY TARGET AUDIENCE.
I entered into this forum and I said, “Hey, I'm Dave Jackson from the School of podcasting. You guys should start a podcast, you can get back on the air, (and just started pitching my service).”
I did not make friends with them. I walked in and just started selling. They didn't care about anything I said, because they didn't know who I was. And they banned me in less than 20 minutes. They completely kicked me out. That's why we have step five, make friends with people because they're not going to care about what you're saying until they care about you. They care about you when you bring VALUE.
We made friends and brought value to every conversation, and listened for ideas for future episodes. NOW we can then tell them about your show. Now they care about you. You have to be a giant salesman, you could just say, “Oh, I talked about this on my podcast,” and they'll ask, “Wait, you, you have a podcast?”
Then you give them your website address (you do have a website, right) and explain things like that.
If there was a step seven, step seven would repeat steps three through six.
The other thing you want to do is make sure on your website that it's easy to share your episode. Make sure it's easy to subscribe to your show. When people subscribe to your show, the next time you publish an episode and the start their podcast app of choice, there is a very good chance the app will automatically download the episode. This is why subscribers are so important.