Getting Contacted by your listeners is great!Many people with a podcast want to have their audience to be more engaging. They try the open questions, the podcaster tries to get emails sent people to call in. Some type of feedback. Any feedback at all. How do you get feedback? This is the question many listeners ask after they ask how to get more listeners. One way to help is to make it easy for your audience to contact you and help with the interaction is for you to have a simple contacts page.

Why a contact page?

  • Simplify the call to action – You can say visit our contact page in way to follow us.
  • keep everything in one place – Instead of telling you audience to go here then here then here, OH and dont forget there, There , and over Yonder. It is all in one spot and people can go to where they are most comfortable
  • People look for ways to contact your show. – Many times people are driving running or doing something with their hands so a pen and paper is not close by. This way it is easy for people to remember just direct the podcast listeners to your contacts page.
  • You can have an email form lined up so people can easily send you emails. There is nothing wrong with a email form on your site. you may get some spam but

What needs to be in a contact page?

The main items you want to have on your contact page is

A contact form at the very least. you can use the wordpress plugin Contact Form Maker This is a simple little plugin that allows for your listeners to quickly send a simple message to your email inbox with out them having to deal with the hassle of opening their email client copying over the address and hitting send they just enter their information and BOOM! They are done. no muss no fuss.

Use a Prettylink to make the url rememberable like yourdomain.com/contact

But you might want to also have a combination of any of the following.

  • Phone number make sure to make it clickable for the mobile phones
  • Email address You can put this on your site if you use
  • Social Media Information
  • Call to action for rating the podcast

Tip of the Week

Make sure your information is set up to work on mobile devices. The mobile users are growing. So you might want to use these special codes, for instance

To make your phone number clickable <a href=”tel:[PHONE-NUMBER]“>[PHONE-NUMBER]</a>

You can also so an SMS Messages <a href=”sms:[PHONE-NUMBER]?body=[MESSAGE]“>[PHONE-NUMBER]</a>

maybe you use Skype to talk to people They can now contact you with <a href=”skype:skype_user?call”>Call us using Skype!</a>

You might also want to tell your audiance where they can meet you in person. <a href=”http://goo.gl/maps/XXX” title=”Your Address here” target=”_blank”>Your Address Here</a>

A Podcasters Site – New Segment

When you you start growing. Your audience will start wanting to help you out when they can. A nice convenient way is by donations. A new site that has been up for a few months  called Patreon Fills this gap nicely. This is a  support site for creatives. Whether it is painters, bloggers, youtubers, or podcasters, writers, or photographers this is a site that will help you feed your habit.

Some people look at it like it is a continuously running Kickstarter campaign. After you set your page up your listeners are able to go and pledge money to your show and for each show, or monthly depending on you set your page up, your pledgers will then contribute when you release an episode. Now this doesn’t make your show a pay to listen. Your listeners will still be able to get your show for free, it is just a way for your podcast audience to help with your show.

You are able to set up rewards for reaching different goals, which will help to make each accomplishment the much better.

Podcasting News

Adam Corrolla has taken the gloves off on the patent troll Personal Audio LLC He is hitting the this non producing Bully with everything he has got, and the podfather is needing our help. Adam has put a fundraiser together over at Fundanything

Listen to Marc Maron and Adam Corolla talk about the patent troll

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This is a continuation of last weeks episode

iTunes and feedburnerSetting up FeedBurner

When you go to Feedburner. You choose Edit feed Details just under the title of your Feed.

Here you will choose the Smartcast tab on the left hand side. This will open the Podcasting options you are going to need to edit.

  • Create podcast enclosures from links to – Here choose according to the type of podcast you are creating if video you can choose Video Files only if you are only doing an audio podcast the you may choose to select the Audio Files only  if you are doing both then again you might want to choose the Any Rich Media File
  • Include iTunes podcasting elements – Check this or it just wont work right.
  • Category – They allow up to 5 different categories but again choose the proper category if  you are about Child Raiding you want family &Kids not Podcasting
  • Podcast image location – This is te URL for your 1400 x 1400 pixel image for your art work. You want it to be that big because iTunes will only accept new and noteworthy if there is a 1400 x 1400 image
  • Podcast subtitle – again this is your Tag line you can put a few keywords here
  • Podcast summary – Keyword city! as long as it doesn’t become too spammy.
  • Podcast search keywords – Go crazy there is no maximum that they state but make them relevant.
  • Podcast author email address – Again enter your email address
  • Include “Media RSS” information and add podcast to Yahoo! Search – Check this it can not hurt to have your media files place in another search engine.
  • Contains explicit content –  If you use harsh language then yes. If you make it an effort to be family friendly then choose clean. Choose “No” if it is going to be PG-13
  • Copyright Message – Enter you copyright information like 2014
  • Podcast Author – what is your name?

The little we know about Apple and how they actually rank the shows. For obvious reasons they are not going to tell us how they rank the shows but at the same time Apple could let us in on some of how they so their iSEO. But most people have gathered there are at least 4 key points to the rankings of the show in the results

  • Downloads –  the person with the most downloads is at the top
  • Keywords – The most matching keywords is at the top
  • Reviews – The most reviews with the highest ratings are listed the highest.
  • Subscribers – The person with the most subscribers get a higher ranking

If we look at “Learn to podcast” Search term You get a whole bunch of podcasts that are teaching you something but sprinkled through out there are The School of Podcasting in position 16. Then Podcast Quick tips is at 46, and Podcast Dojo with it being a new show in the line up is sitting at 104. If you search of Podcast Dojo I show up in the 25th spot  behind Didgeridoo Dojo, and Leadership Dojo. If you look Didgeridoo Dojo, you notice they haven’t released a show since January of 2012 and yet they are still at the top of their ranking for the Dojo Keyword. That is because of the number of subscribers and downloads . They put out pretty good content and I even listened to the show just because it is a cool instrument. Yet there is only one review for the show. There are more downloads because his show is has been out long than Podcast Dojo then he surely has more subscribers also. Some people may be holding on just to see if he puts out another show.

News

Personal Audio Update

The EFF was successful in smashing the request that Personal Audio LLC made for the Donor list for the Save Podcasting fund. The Judge on the hearing took hardly anytime to some to the conclusion of no Personal Audio could not have Electronic Frontier Foundation’s donor list.

Blubrry now has an affiliate program

Like all things Blubrry they are doing it a little different. Their program has the ability of producing residual income through out the year. There are also other programs that are coming down the pipe so it looks like Blubrry is up to some good things. Podcast Dojo’s is still in the application period so the link will be available soon.

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With a podcast, you want people to be able to find your show. One of the best and essential directories you want to have your show listed in, is iTunes. Now you can just put your information into the iTunes or you can enter the needed information the correct way and increase you chances of being found when a person searches for a show or your topic.

Ther earekey points to working with iTunes search so your podcast will be found

How to set up

Start off with a good foundation. This is the your setup on your blog. If you are using WordPress then more than likely you will be using the PowerPress plugin. If you are using Tumblr or another free blogging service then you are probably using FeedBurner to tag your feed. In both you want to make use that you have plenty of keywords in your show title, tagline, and description. There are these three place you can place your keywords and help your show appear before more potential audience members. Yet, Dont do “Keyword Stuffing” and it is evident when a person is keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is when a person tries to place as many keywords as they possibly can into each field. So, do not go overboard on the keyword use your key words and put them into proper sentences. That actually turns me off from a podcast when I see “Super Mega Social Media Podcast | podcast  social media Facebook twitter Google plus weedeater lawn care hot russian chicks” I see something like that, I get the red flag that the podcast host may not know all that they are talking about and are just looking to garner hits and sell you something.

So, You might want to use something more along the lines of  “Super Mega Social Media Podcast | We are the Experts on all Social Media platforms.” With a Tag line of “Keep up with Social Media Jones” And keep that  up with the description. Tell a story in your description. Remember, you are selling here, you are giving your pitch to the listener as to why they should listen to your podcast. So, explain who, what and why. If need be, get inspiration from your about page.

Where do you put the Title, description, and all that jazz?

So, where do you put these magical settings? That will be in one of two places. Depending on which tagging service you are using, PowerPress or Feed Burner.

PowerPress

placing keyword rich itunes description and title will help you be found in iTunes

Click to enlarge

For PowerPress users you settings will be in the PowerPress menu in your Admin Settings. In PowerPress you will see a tab at the top that is labeled iTunes, and we will also be doing some edits in the Feeds tab. First the Feeds Tab. In this tab we are going to the “Feeds Settings” and the two fields that need to be edited are the Feed Title and the Feed Description. The Title is your show title for example my iTunes title is currently

“Podcast Dojo | Learn how to podcast like a master by understanding podcasting techniques, podcasting equipment and social media”

It has the keywords I want in there without it being spammy, that is because it is worked into an actual sentence. The Description here is a lot of the same

Podcasting is exploding! It seems that everyone is starting a podcast. Yet, many people end up doing it wrong. They follow sales pitchy blog posts about how to start a podcast in 4 easy steps only to find out that the “easy steps” have  enormous gaps that are missing critical details. These details that can block you from your audience. I am glad you have the podcasting bug and there is a LOT of information that you need to know as you learn to podcast, but that information is not difficult to learn. This show will help you plan out your show, build your audience, and explain the power of podcasting. While talking about podcasting tips,  and podcasting strategy. I desire nothing more than to help you realise that this is a new medium, that is different from any other medium out there because you will have an amazing relationship with someone who WANTS to listen to you.

The keywords I want people to find me with are found in this description like Starting a podcast, how to start a podcast, and learn to podcast. Now the reason that these are phrases instead of keywords like social media, or podcasting equipment. That is because, long form searches are becoming more and more popular. People want to search more by phrases and as iTunes improves their search algorithm I see it going to a more phrase based search. While at the same time iTunes still does most of it searches by actual keywords. There for you want to make sure that you do have those keywords into the description and title.

The next tab is the iTunes tab and this tab you want to make sure you get this filled out properly because it can cost you some listeners. Since this is the case Lets go over each field starting from the top down.

  • iTunes Subscription URL – This is the URL that you are given when you are accepted into iTunes.  It typically look like https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/name-of-your-show/id000000000 If you have lost that URL, don’t worry go into iTunes and search the store for your show. once you find it and you go to your in-store page right-click (For Windows users) and choose “Copy URL”. That is the URL you will need. Paste the URL into this field and remove the “?mt=2″ at the very end you really don’t need it.
  • iTunes Program Subtitle – This is your Tag line another good place to insert some good keyword rich description
  • iTunes Program Summary – More space for Keywords but just don’t get spammy about it. Again make sure it fits our podcast and the keywords are actual parts of the sentence.
  • iTunes Episode Summary – Leave “Optimize iTunes Summary from Blog Posts” unchecked
  • iTunes Program Keywords – Here you are limited to 12 keywords separated by commas. So, choose the best 12 keyword you can think of. and if you think of a better on you can always trade out a lesser keyword for the better keyword
  • iTunes Category – This is the genre of your show. what category does your show fit into, and choose the most specific. We know your show is a podcast so unless it deals with podcasting do not put it in the podcasting category.
  • iTunes Category 2 – Another category your podcast would fit into
  • iTunes Category 3 – Rinse and repeat with another category your show would fit into.
  • iTunes Explicit – If you use lots of blue words in each podcast episode. You will need to choose the explicit tag. If you make an effort to not have any swearing, in your show, then I would use the Clean tag
  • iTunes Talent Name – This is your name.
  • iTunes Email – This is the email address you can be reached at and is required
  • iTunes New Feed URL – You will only use this if you are changing your RSS feed

Next you will need to go to the tab Art Work.

  • iTunes Image  - This image should be your album art at 1400 X 1400 pixels place the URL that the image can be found at
  • iTunes Episode Image – this is if you have episode specific images  you are wanting to use.
  • RSS2 Image – again use your album art but keep it at 300 x 300 even though the info on the settings says you can use your iTunes album art. Not the best because 1400 x 1400 is huge and when you view your feed in a rss rendering it will take up your whole screen and force your listeners to have to scroll down a ways before they see your episodes.

News

Be Yourself! This is actually a node to the previous episode On personal branding and how people can tell a fake. There is an article that is talking about how the rapper Eminem has just rocketed out of the gates with his new album while Lady Gaga’s newest release fizzled and is laying spent in the gutter. The reason is because people don’t really like fake people. There is a quote from the article that sums it up.

“…his instant commercial triumph demonstrates the readiness of a discerning world public to respond to power and passion of voice rather than to manipulative gimmicks or exhibitionistic stunts.” - The Sunday Times

Or in other words if you are authentic and your show displays your passion, people will can not help themselves but be attracted. People like passion, that is what draws them to your show.

Reviewcast

Now many people who use iTunes they there is a small flaw with how iTunes is set up. trying to find all of the comments to your show is cumbersome. you have to scroll down to the bottom click the flag and change to another country to see if there are any comments listed. One guy saw this problem and took action and created Comment cast. it took all of the comments and ratings and put them all together in one place so that it was easy to find. Except it was Mac only so us windows users were still left to the hard way of gathering comments. That is till now. The makers of Comment cast are dropping commentcast and starting up a web app called Reviewcast.io and this is the solution for everybody. you will be able to get your last 25 comments emails to you for free for now, no mater what OS you use.

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Do you need a mixer?

Reasons for YES

Skype Recording and you do not want to worry if Microsoft is going to pull the API again and you want to be able to do Skype recordings without having to spend anymore money. A mixer comes in very handy for this. you can do what is called  a mix minus and that allows for you to be able to record the audio on a separate platform or just to have a backup of the conversation. Mix Minus is…

In audio, a mix-minus is a particular setup of a mixing console or matrix mixer, such that the output to a certain device contains everything except the input from that device. This prevents echoes or feedback from reverberating or howling and squealing through the broadcast or sound reinforcement system.

… Thanks Wikipedia

this is a technique used in not just podcasting but radio too that allows for people  calling or skyping in to be mixed into the audio stream but not have to try to talk with their echo coming back at them

Co-hosts you want to have more than one person on, while they are in the studio. It is cumbersome to try to talk to a co-host or guest on your podcast with only one microphone. With some mixer boards you can actually record your podcast episode with each person in their own track so it is easier to edit separate tracks than trying to separate two people talking over each other on one track.

Incorporating a sound board

If you want transitions or background music and you do not want to do the post production insertion of the sounds or transition music. A mixer allows you to control the volume and allows you have a separate channel for the sounds

You want more granular control of your sound. So you don’t sound so flat and you want a little more bass in your voice or a little more treble, the mid range sounds need to be brought out. A mixer can adjust and fine tune your sound.

You can mute a mic if needed. If someone is having a coughing fit you can mute that microphone till your guest or co-host regains their composure.

Should you use a Mixer in your audio podcast?

If you are needing to connect your microphone to your computer. If you have an XLR microphone it can be a little tricky connecting your microphone to  your computer if you do not have a digital recorder. A mixer can be a good link to get your audio into your computer by using either USB, if your mixer supports a connection, or by using the audio out into mic port.

Reasons for NOT having  a mixer

It is just you. Unless you are wanting to have the control of your sound and push your audio to the sound you want.

If its only you and you only have the one mic that is either USB or you have a TS end then you can plug into either into your Recorder or your computer.

Keep it simple There are fewer points of failure so you don’t have as many chances of strange buzz on the line

News

Update to BluBrry PowerPress

5.0.4

  • Released on 1/30/2014
  • Fixed bug with MEjs player not working for m4a files (Thanks JT for the code patch!)
  • Added logic to PowerPress edit iTunes Subscription URL settings, precaution to make sure the field is saved correctly.
  • Made a few CSS changes for WordPress 3.8+
  • Noted in the HTML5 audio player option that Firefox 26.0+ now supports mp3 playback. We are aware that Firefox 21.0 supported mp3 playback but it was limited to particular Windows versions.
  • Fixed bug where player and links may not appear for custom post type podcasting episodes. (Thanks Seth and Segovia for discovering and helping me debug the problem!)
  • Fixed bug where Blubrry hosting customers may not have been able to publish media for custom post type podcasting.
  • Renamed post type podcasting setting field in database to avoid possible field setting conflicts.
  • Added logic to allow for the premium podcast feeds feature to work with custom post type podcasting.
  • Added the HTML5 download attribute, when then download link is clicked the file will be downloaded, rather than streamed to default media player. Only Chrome, Firefox and Opera web browsers currently support this HTML5 attribute.

The Patent troll update

Electronics Frontier Foundation (EFF) was able to raise over $76,000 but the patent troll Personal Audio LLC is now wanting to know who the donors are. Personal Audio is asking a judge to force the EFF to give up the 1300 names on the donor list.

“If Personal Audio succeeds, we fear it will send a message that this new process can be made invasive, cumbersome, and expensive after all, which will in turn discourage others from using it to challenge low quality patents,” - Daniel Nazer lawyer for EFF

Now ArsTechnica was able to get a hold of the CEO of Personal Audio LLC to explain their action and Brad Liddle replied with…

“EFF insinuates the information we are seeking is not relevant to the Texas litigation, but to the extent that other third parties have donated or assisted to the PTO proceeding—to the extent they’ve been working on the inter partes review—they should be bound by the result.”

EFF is fighting and fighting hard to keep the donor list private as it should be.

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Social Networks are great for building your personal brandWhat is a personal brand

Who are you? what are you wanting to put out as your personal brand or as some call it image? A personal image is important for podcasters on a few different levels. First, it is who you are.You have a certain message you are trying to put out. You do not want some other schmoe coming in and using your name and undo all the hard work you have put into fostering and developing your personal brand.

Also it is who your audience thinks you are. This takes time, patience, and lots and lots of work. Your personal brand should be who you really are. If you try to be someone you are not people will figure out that little detail and then your personal brand will be that you are phony or fake and when you make a recommendation it will not carry nearly as far. In other words to thine own self be true.

Do you need a personal brand?

That is up to you in whether you want to build your personal brand but you should know that your brand is who you are. Your actions will form your image it would be better to cultivate your image to be more of what you aspire your image to be. Now this doesn’t mean if you do a specific character that you have to act like that character. Look at Alison Sweeney. She plays the character Sami Brady on Days of our live. I don’t watch it any more but yes I use to be hooked on the darn show. Anyhow, the character Sami is not a very nice person and at times can be down right evil. Allison has told stories of her walking through the airport or down the street and having a fan of the show walk up to her and slap her. It is not because Alison is a bad person but her character is. So, when you release a podcast episode or you are on another show for an interview, or guest hosting, You want to put out the same person

Ways to build your personal brand.

  • Be real
  • Don’t use a fake voice unless it is a part of your character.
  • Look at your site. Is it a good representation as to who you are? Is the site an extension of who you are? Does it represent you the way you want to be shown.
  • Also Go to the different Social media sites and claim your name. Grab the email addresses. are you going to be able to get them all? no but you will be able to get a good portion.
  • Get your domain! this is the big one it is the best way to ensure your shows name. get the domain for your show. It is easier for your listeners to find your show if they are wanting to see the show notes for a particular episode.

Tip of the Week

Be real. That is the true key to building your brand

Podcast News

Rob Greenlee Announced As New CTO At PodcastOne

Rob has been an advocate for podcasting in the Microsoft world for several years and for the longest time if you wanted to be listed in the Zune market place you sent an email to Rob himself. Well his hard work and dedication to this medium has awarded him a position over at PodcastOne. Which is a Celebrity podcast directory The directory is created by the same people who created WestwoodOne. PodcastOne prides itself in having hand-picked audio podcasts for its line up. to represent the”Best” podcasts. This way they are able to educate advertisers that Podcasts are not amateur hour and that the money what need to be put into podcasts should be a lot higher.

So if you see Rob online Tell him congrats he earned it.

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Podcasters dont need to worry about using feedburnerWhat is Feedburner?

Feedburner is an RSS feed redirector, and rose to popularity as blogging starting becoming popular. Feedburner was a way for people with blogs to get stats on who was reading their posts through a new web service called RSS, or Rich Site Summary. Since with RSS, people were not actually going to the site they are just looking through a news reader or aggregator, Bloggers turned to a service like FeedBurner. Feed Burner would then let bloggers know how many people each day read their posts and get a rough idea as to how many people were subscribed to their blog’s RSS feed.

From There Google bought Feedburner in 2007 and  added podcasting tags to the line up and the service started being used by podcasters to find out how many listeners the podcast hosts could possibly have and what countries was it most popular in. The service was good for podcasters because one they didn’t have to find a way to enter the needed iTunes tags into their RSS stream before Pod press and Power Press came onto the scene. Feedburner would do that automagicly and all you did was direct your RSS feed to Feedburner and it would give you a new RSS feed that you would share with the world.

What are uses for Feedburner

These days Feedburner is still used by bloggers and many podcasters. Not just new guys but good deal of the original podcasters use Feedburner for a clue as to how their shows fair and for the ability to change their feed url without loosing their audience. Which Feedburner is a good service to utilize if you are using a free service like WordPress.org, Blogger, tumblr, or some other blogging platform.

Feedburner is commonly used for blogging and podcasting subscription stats. A podcaster can find out from what countries people are listening. If you use a free platform Feedburner allows you to put in the iTunes RSS tags needed for your show to be in iTunes. What Rss Client your listeners are using allows you to customize the feed with some extra tags like geo tags or making your feed readable in a browser. You can edit the description of feed. There are lots of customizing options you can do inside of feedburner

That is all great so why is it not recommended that podcasters use Feedburner if it does all that and more? The answer to that is Google. Now, yes Google does provide great services and then they also use to provide great services but recently  they have started closing many different popular services that were not making any money. With Google being a company that is their primary objective, but none the less Google has grabbed peoples attention by closing some very popular services. The big one that happened with in the year is Google reader. This was Google solution to the RSS aggregators. When Google started up the Reader service it killed, and some would argue all, the RSS reader programs that were available to download. Many adjusted by just tying onto Google reader and let Google do all the heavy lifting. Then in 2013 there was a shock through the Podcasting community because the main way most bloggers and podcasters got their news for their specific niche was through Google reader. This was very sudden and out of the blue.

This got people to look for why and the reason were also lining up with Feedburner. It hasn’t been updated in a while. many of the support services have been close Feedburner Japan lost its domain, and listening to a particular camp Google was going to shut Feedburner down in a couple of months . Well At the time of this release Feedburner is still up and running. Will it close? Possible it really is not making any money for Google, but I would argue a that close to half if not more of the blogging community still is tied to feedburner for subscription stats. Yet, Google did enable there to be permanent redirects for you feedburner feed. Which means they may be closing it soon. Maybe…

Should podcasters use FeedBurner?

That depends, are you going the free route?If so then yes because you might have to change your RSS feed a few times if you decide to invest in your show by purchasing a domain or you change platforms. If you have your own domain and you want maybe a little different view of your subscribers then ok know that there is an out if they do close the doors.

But personally I would not recommend it.because it is just to unknown why deal with the uncertainty of a service you really do not need. There are podcasting stats that will give you more information about your listeners, and a few are free or cost very little. For tagging your feed Blubrry’ s PowerPress has everything covered. The only thing Feedburner is really good for now a days is the RSS redirect, and if you have the other items you really don’t need the redirect.

What to do if you are using feedburner and you want to get out?

Close the Account and this will create a redirect to your real RSS feed. Yet, this will only work for those checking the site so iTunes should update their feed but what if you have listeners who use a different podcaster? This is the argument for having a mailing list. SO that if something happens then you can help your podcast listeners out by telling them that your feed address has changed and they need to update that feed.

Also you want to set up the iTunes redirect in Powerpress just as a Cover your Tail move Since most of your listeners come from the iTunes Directory. In the Admin section of your WordPress Site go to PowerPress and choose the Settings, and in Setting chose the iTunes Tab here you will see

“Set iTunes New Feed URL”

Here you will get a big scary warning. Now this warning should be heard and fully understood. cause if you do mess up you will basically loose all of your audience.  After accepting the warning you will have a space you can enter your Feed URL which it should be

yoursite.com/feed/podcast

If you are not sure what your feed is then go to the feed tab and you will see your special podcast only feed and copy the url and paste it into the iTunes New Feed URL. Save and you are pretty much set after you let your listeners know and I would also as another level of cover the ol’ posterior by making a blog post too, that way if you have someone who doesn’t read emails wills till be able to get the information.

Tip of the Week

If you are starting a podcast and you are wanting to know how many people are “listening” Use Blubrry if you are using a media host other than Libsyn you get your basic information for free and if you want deeper details then it is only $5 a month. If you have some type of aversion to BluBrry then you can also use Podtrac though I don’t feel their information is as detailed as Blubrry.

News

More celebrities getting into podcasting Ice T is starting a show called Ice-T: Final Level  Ice T Is producing a  bi-Monthly show with a friend of his. He will be doing what celebrities can do and talk in general formats, or not have a show about hip-hop it will be a show about News Stories, Video Games, Politics and other generalities.

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The truth of successIt is the beginning of a new year!

Yippee, and you are wanting to start or freshen up your podcast. What are some things you can do to have a good year with your show? Are you wanting to grow your show, or do something big? Great! But, how are you going to do that? What steps are you needing to take to make it to that objective.

There is a saying that a goal is a dream with a deadline, and what better time to set the deadline than for each quarter of this year? Yes, I am talk about goal setting. If you don’t have a plan you’re not going to go anywhere. You do not go out of the house with out some sort of plan. You know that you have to go grab a jug of milk. To do that you have to set up a plan. This plan can be elaborate or simple but you will set up a plan of go to the store, What store? The IGA and I will grab a Jug of milk. What size jug? half Gallon Ok and what brand? I am cheep, so it will be the IGA brand. With that we have our plan basically laid out. So how is buying milk like a podcast? You want a plan or set goals.

Yes, everyone is talking about goals and new years resolutions. These are good ways to set up a goal that will position you to succeed and then there are the not so good ways that yeah ou might succeed and you might not. The key is to have a plan with your podcast and with that you will at least have a foundation for your show to grow with this year.

The plans key points

When making your goals you want to keep in mind that the goal needs some specific details.

Measurable Markers.

Your goal for the show needs to have markers in it so you can measure how well you are doing. Say for example you are wanting to grow your audience. Well great, by how much? 500 listeners, 50 listeners, 5 listeners? Don’t just say I want to grow your audience put a number on that bad boy so you will know if how close you are to your goal. This can also be a Yes or No. I will buy a 2 new microphones for the podcast. At the end of the period you can look back and see whether you did that goal or not

Challenge yourself

Now you can go easy with the goals you want to set, but why set the bar low? for your self-esteem? So you can sit back and say that was easy. Why not aim a little higher. Don’t worry if you fail failing is just that you found your limit and now you can push beyond that limit. The high jumper doesn’t get better by clearing the lowest post. nope he tries to clear the height that he fails at, and he then has  a new goal to try to

You have your number whether it is

Give it a dead line

Some Ideas

make a social media plan

set up a meet up

talk to 25 of your audience members

Learn to talk about your show better

News

There is a new service out there that you want to keep your eye on. not because it is good for you but because it is truly stealing your content and trying to make money off of your content. The company is Filmon but I will not link to it. Jefferey Powers of Geekazine and Rob Walsh of Podcast411 were talking about these low lifes. and I personally think that they should be sued out of existence. No permission was asked to use the content and they are charging for free content, that they didn’t create.

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Why social networks?

Social NetworksFor your listeners, the number one reason is for your listeners. These are the people who are your going to help grow your audience. These are the people who will point out to those they believe will be a good fit for your show. That is because we each travel in our own circles. Your fans have their own circles, or networks social networks, and as the World Wide Web everybody is connected with everybody in some way. People like to talk share, and even from time to time brag about their accomplishments. We are social people even though there are some folks that would rather spend time with a volleyball named Wilson, than with an actual person. These people are still desiring to be social in some form.

Social media allows for people to find what they like. many times people will start following a group because of what they see or hear that is interesting to them. Later on will actually through the actions of either the fans of the podcast or the podcast themselves become advocates for that show. These new people will hear some news that is being talked about and mention it to their friends in other circles and this networking is how new fans are made. The share and resharing helps make more people aware of your brand and who you and your show are.

This is why social media is such a hit. They allow for people to be more sociable on their terms. They can be social and share their likes, dislikes, and what entertains them with everyone in their group. These in turn can be shared with other people who can in turn share with other people. The word of the decade is Viral. Companies aim at making their ad campaign turn viral some do, some fail in poor pitiful ways. Viral content didn’t exist till twitter and Facebook were around. Yeah there were internet hits that would appear on every forum and bulletin board around, but the term Viral was just not around till Charlie chomped on his brother’s finger.

Which social networks?

Where your listeners are at

How to use the different social networks

The key to all social media is have a plan on how you want to engage your audience. This plan is different for each network you are apart of, and many times the way the people engage with your brand will also be different. This is why so many people use social media ineffectually, they post the same post across all their social media channels and then sit back and say social media doesn’t work. You have to actually think about the objective of your social media presence

Facebook – This can be a general gathering for your podcast listeners. Lots of people look at Facebook as a means to connect to friends and family not really all that up for talking to business’. Therefore, if you want to engage your audience you don’t want to be stiff and overly formal on Facebook. You want to talk to your fans mention them by name and virtually shake their hand. Be their friend troubleshoot their problems they are facing whether your services can fix the problem or not, doesn’t matter if you help them they will remember it and comeback to say thank you in a purchase of your product or service.

Twitter – Many people say they don’t get twitter, it is an information over load. The best way to look at twitter is to imagine a huge social mixer event at  your local coliseum. You walk in and instantly you are faced with this huge roar of noise, this can be very over whelming. The noise is all these people talking all at once, and the conversations do not make any sense you hear one thing then another, but there is no cohesion to the conversations. How are you to find out what is going on? First, you walk in and as you do, you will start to see that people are in large groups. These large groups are made up of many small groups and you start to hear bits of conversation. After wondering around and looking for a bit you hear something that strikes your fancy so you stop, and listen a little more. Before you know it you throw your 2 cents into the ring and people are talking to you too. You carry on this conversation for a bit, then decide to see what else is going on, and you find another conversation about something completely different. Here you engage this group, and ask questions and find out more about what they are talking about. Eventually, you start to make friends and new networks.

This is twitter, the longest running social mixer on the planet. Quite possibly the best way to find your followers. The key though is to be authentic. Don’t try to be something else. Like in your podcast use your voice not the crazy radio guy, because your listeners will take it as being fake and just not really buy into the whole bit. If you are true to who you are, your audience will follow you, and they will be truly engaged in what you have to say even if it is only 140 characters long.

Google Plus – Or sometimes known as Google’s social network. This is a social network you want to be on, whether you use it or not. Yes this goes against what the tip of the week but there are always exceptions to the rule. and the reason for this exception is because Google ties so much into Google plus. If you want to comment on a youtube video, you must have a Google plus account. If you want to rank high you want to be on Google plus because Google Authorship is tied to, you guessed it Google plus. If you have a location for your business your location is tied to Google plus. But even with all that Google plus is a great network that allows you to share what you want, to whom you want, when you want. The key is the circles which are groups that the people you are following are placed into. Now a key to help your friends is to make the names of your circles descriptive because they are used by Google to find out the best way to describe those people. So, For example if you are following a comedian you might place them in the “Funny” circle or “Comedians” circle, but not “People I want to see” circle, that tells Google nothing.

Remember it is all about search, but you will find that Google plus attracts a group of creative people. Photographers, poets, podcasters, and more use Google Plus more than they do many of the other social media sites. The circles you create you will be able to adjust to what ones you like more and what ones you will see less, and you will find your way of engaging this audience.

Don’t dismiss this network so fast, there is another reason to use Google Plus, Not only is it easy to find your audience due to the search but there is also communities. You can join in and have great conversations with people who are right in the middle of your niche. What better way to grow your audience? You are placed right in the middle of the people you are looking for.

Pinterest – It is more than that Social Network your wife or girlfriend spends all her time on. This is Social network has untapped powers of drawing your audience to your. If you have the proper plan as to what you want from it. You can use the images to draw people interested in your services or product by sharing with the site but to do that you must have pictures on your posts. Find compelling pictures and add some text to that picture too not your site’s name but engaging text that will insight curiosity to that post. It will take your time but be active on the site. If someone follows you them follow them back if they like a post then like their board back. Reciprocate their kindness with your own.

Instagram – Pictures with different filters you can use these to help bring awareness of your brand and use it as a means to give a glimpse into your life. You followers and podcast listeners will always like to see what is happening in your life. This is more for building a cohesive community than selling your wares but that is also part of Social media showing the world that you are human. You are inviting the world to celebrate you accomplishments with you.

Vine – You have to get crazy creative to pack a lot of information into 6 second flick. but if you can do it… you have a hit.

LinkedIn – You can find great Business to Business customers on LinkedIn this is more of the formal social media. This is the Businessman’s social network and so your plan should be approached with a little extra starch in the collar and a clean sharp crease in the leg. There are some groups you can join in here but they are a little wild west in that many of them are spam pits and not much conversation going on.

Foursquare – It is all about location, location, location with this social network.if you have a brick and mortar location your business can be found at then you want to use Foursquare. You can actually use it to draw new customers in and by working the gaming angle of the network you can get returning customers happy to come back think free cup of coffee for the mayor. This can be fun and should be fun if you have a physical location for your customers and podcast fans to gather.

Reddit – This is a very tough crowd to engage. You figure out how to use this social network let me know. That is a tough crowd

Meeting network like MeetUp or Eventbrite – your fans want to see you in person. they want to shake your hand and tell you how much they like your podcast. That is where MeetUp and Eventbrite come into play. Now these are not free MeetUp is $12/ month to have a group, but If you use it regularly then it will pay off in audience engagement. Eventbrite also charges but is different in that you can set a number of responses and also charge for the event to make sure that people

Forums – The original social networks that are found throughout the internet. These are great places to find our audience. Yet, be careful you can easily get yourself banned from these site if you just arrive to sell your wares. This is always a bad move look at forum as those small country towns that look at the new folks with a hint of suspicion. The best tactic here is to help and talk do not talk about your site or what you do except in the introduction forum. The rest of the time it is advice and opinions that you dish out. pose questions and them in turn. after a long while people will get curious and look at your profile and start to follow you. Forums are very engaged and see a scam a mile off so again don’t spam.

Tips of the Week

Don’t over do it. Be everywhere your audience is. If you audience is not on Pinterest then don’t focus on it. It looks bad to have a ghost town of an account than to have no account at all this goes back to know your audience if not then best to gather them in the places you use the most till you find out that you have a loyal following someplace new. There is an exception to this rule and it is Google Plus where you want to be here even if you don’t use it.

News

Spreaker has added a new feature that allows you to import your show automatically into the spreaker ecosystem. At first I was like yes! great idea that way I don’t have to go to spreaker and add each file each week. One last thing I have to do, automation is wonderful, till Dave Jackson over at the School of Podcasting, talked about the down side.

In his article Why Spreaker’s RSS Importer is a Bad Idea, Dave made a more than a few good points as to backing up his statement. One is they scrub the ID3 Tags. WHY? now maybe they are going to get set to put some of their branding on the episode. Then Alright, I don’t like it but I am using their service for free so they are able to do some changes. like  putting hosted by spreaker and other items on here.

They also take the Album art off and put your profile picture in its place. Why? Does Spreaker assume you do not have an image and they are just covering that base for you? Don’t know but I am not liking it too much right now.

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Some people find shopping for a podcasters a little difficult. Do they need a new mic or mixer. What type do I get? Would they use a new set of cables, or what is a pop filter?  The following list is a collection of different equipment needs going from inexpensive, it is the thought that counts; to high dollar, I really love ya, gifts. The podcaster in your life can and will use any of the following you purchase for him.

Podcasters wishlist number one inexpensive item

Audio Technica ATR 2100 USB/XLR microphone

Mics

  • Audio-Technica ATR2100 - $39.99 Great beginner podcasters microphone it has a USB interface for those who do not have a mixer to connect and a XLR connector for those who have a sound system. So this is easily the most versatile mic out of the lineup. It Many podcasters use both the USB and the XLR to record while using it with a Skype call. This inexpensive mic also has great sound rejection or not as much background noise is noticeable when being used.
    • Dynamic microphone with USB and XLR analog output
    • USB to your computer for digital recording, and the XLR connects with your sound system conventional microphone input
    • Smooth, extended frequency response ideally suited for podcasting, home studio recording, field recording, voiceover, and on-stage use
    • Built-in headphone jack allows you to directly monitor your microphone output without audible delay
    • Cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of unwanted sounds from the sides and rear
    • Built-In Headphone Jack With Volume Control
  • Electro Voice RE320 Dynamic Microphone - $276.99 Bring this great professional studio quality dynamic microphone home to really add the desired warmth and depth to your podcasters recording.
    • Designed for Broadcast booths, Concert venues, or podcast studio
    • Variable-D pattern control
    • proximity control minimizes positional and off-axis tonal shifts
    • Integrated hum-bucking coil and built in pop filter helps get the best sound you can
    • Neodymium magnet creates faster transient response and allows for a cleaner fuller sound
    • Unique Dual Personality switch creates two mics in one Extremely durable build, fit and finish
  • Heil Sound PR40 - $310.00 The Cadillac of the podcasters microphones. This is a great durable warm sounding microphone. This gem of a microphone helps bring the polishing touch to your sound.
    • Copper-wound dynamic with neodymium magnet structure
    • Body: Steel body with zinc die-cast bottom ring
    • Frequency response: 28Hz to 18kHz
    • Impedance: 600 ohms balanced
    • Output level: -53.9dB @ 1,000 Hz
  • Rode Podcaster USB Dynamic Microphone - $229.00 If you are needing a USB alternative to record with this microphone will help bring your sound to that desired level
    • Broadcast sound quality
    • 28mm dynamic capsule
    • 18-Bit Resolution, 8 – 48 kHz sampling
    • Windows and Mac compatible
    • Tight Cardioid pattern for superior off axis sound rejection

Stands

Mounts

MixerMackie 14 channel mixer Great for the podcaster who is wanting to expand their recording

  • Peavey PV 10 10-channel Compact Mixer $229.99 Great little mixer with XLR inputs along with 1/4″ TRS connections the slider controls help with the percission of getting the sound just right.
    • Built-in DSP effects processor
    • 6 RQ (reference-quality) low noise microphone inputs with insert points
    • Channels 7/8 and 9/10 w/ dual switchable stereo line inputs
    • 3-band EQ on all channels
    • LED clip, signal, mute indication
  • Mackie 1402VLZ4, 14-channel Compact Mixer$399.99 Recommended by many podcasting enthusiasts
    • 14-channel mixer featuring Mackie signature high-headroom/low-noise design
    • 6  Onyx mic preamps
    • RF rejection perfect for broadcasting
    • Phantom power for Condenser Mics
    • 14 line inputs with +4/-10 operation control
  • Allen & Heath ZED-14 14-Channel Mixer $399.00 Perfect mixer for the beginning Podcaster that is looking to add a mixer to their audio chain. Contains a USB for the chance to send the recording to a computer if you choose.
    • 14 inputs total, with 6 DuoPre mic inputs
    • 4 auxiliary sends, 2 stereo returns
    • 3-Band EQ with sweepable mids
    • 12-100MM faders for a professional feel
    • USB

Headphones

Digital Recorders

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  • Roland R-05 Studio WAVE/MP3 Recorder $188.00 – You will want to have the Roland Recorder Power Adapter$43.65  This is a must have if you have a podcaster in your life and they are recording into a computer. Hep them out and get them this  little personal digital recorder. The Built in condenser mics are incredible to record with but if you like you can also record in the mic input and ass an extra line input.
  • Zoom H4N Handy Portable Digital Recorder $215.00 Quite possibly the most versitile personal digital recorder you could use. With a wide pattern of recording you can use the built in mics or you can use any mic you like because the H4N has 2 XLR input jacks that provide phantom power.

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Adapters

Who doesn’t need adapters? We all need adapters. All are needed in one form fashion or another, Buy one of each or ones you have heard your podcaster talk about

XLR Female to Balanced 1/4 inch Male

1/4 TRS Female To XLR Male Adaptor

RCA To 1/4 Inch TS Adaptor

CMS105 1/8 inch TRS to 1/4 Inch TRS

MHE325 Female TRS 1/8-Inch to Male TRS 1/4-Inch

Windscreens

GLS Audio Mic Windscreens - $9.99 These are your typical foam ball mic cover it helps with the plosives and mild wind noise.

Rode Dead Kitten Windscreen - $24.99 Designed for the Rode SVM but will fit any mic that is shaped like it. but dont worry no cats were harmed in the making of these windscreens

Pop Filters

Studio Microphone Mic Wind Screen Pop Filter/ Swivel Mount / Mask Shied For Speaking Recording  - $7.59 to keep the noise of plosive and simblances at bay your podcaster needs to use a popfilter this will clamp on to just about any stand

Auphonix Pop Filter for Best Recording - $16.99 a double meshed pop filter for added filtering.

Cables

Like the adapters a podcaster can always use cables. normally they will just need either XLR  male to XLR Female or XLR female to 1/4 Male TRS

6 Foot XLR Male / Female Microphone cable$8.09 XLR male to Female

Pyle Pro PPMJL30 30′ Professional Microphone Cable 1/4″ Male to XLR Female

SAXLX-2 – 2′ Red XLR Male to XLR Female Patch Cable – Balanced – 2 Foot Patch Cord

3 Feet 3.5mm Stereo Male To Male Cable

SF Cable, 12 feet 3.5mm Stereo Male to Two RCA Male Splitter Cable

Live Wire 3.5mm TRS Dual XLR(M) Patch Cable 2 Meters

Pre-Amps

DBX 286s Microphone Pre-amp Processor - $187.89 many times you need just a little extra power and clean gain.

Fethead inline mic  preamp - €69.95 great inline preamp, that does a incredible job of increasing the gain of a mic without the noise.

Other

Macally Audio and Video Cable for iPod classic 4G, 5G, 5.5G (White) - $9.95 This cable is great for tying an audio device to a mixer.
PNY High Performance 32GB Class 10 SDHC Flash Card (P-SDH32G10H-GE) -$21.99 if you have a personal digital recorder then you want to have an SD card

 

Tip of the Week

Adapters, thes little things are a life saver!

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Podcast statisticsIn the realm of podcasting there is one thing you will discover and might even become addicted to. No it is not the fame nor the fortune you will make from podcasting. Yet is it a particular service you will need and want. People will inquire about this item that is so addicting that it has closed shows down. Is it a drug? Is it the latest and greatest social network? No. Is it a set of numbers that tell you how you are doing in the scheme of things. Stats. What are your stats? Should you be worried about your stats? Why are stats important, and why you should at the same time not worry about them.

What are stats

Statistics or stats are the collection, organization, and study of data that is analyzed and interpreted to help give insight as to what your listeners and readers are interested in. Stats will help tell you if your show is doing good or bad, growing or shrinking. Stats are normally a third-party service that means you install a piece of code on your webpage and then the service will collect assorted data associated with what the user does on your site. Yet there are normally some type of stat service on your web hosting.

What’s services should you use?

By far the most popular is Google Analytics

Open Web Analytics – open source web analytic service that you run on your own site there is a WordPress plug-in that will allow you to be able to view in your dashboard but this service can be recourse intensive. So if you are wanting to run it you might look at running it if you are on a private server.

Clicky – Web Analytics that the price depends on the number of page view you get.

Count.ly – Web analytics for a mobile platform

Buzz Numbers – Social Media Monitoring

Data Torrent – Real time stream processing platform Enterprise solution

ViralHeat – Social Media stats service

Site 5 uses Awestats

Podcasting centered Stat services

Podtrac – Uses a redirect to gather numbers and information good but is difficult to change your feed if you need to.

Blubrry – Will integrate with your WordPress through the PowerPress plug-in or you can use a redirect Very good service. They have certified stats that you are able to give to an advertiser.

Libsyn – Many claim it is the best most comprehensive stats available.

Should you be worried about your stats?

Stats are great for telling you lots of great information about your site and your show, but they can be a point of useless obsession. When you first start and you release your first show you will want to check your site daily and at times hourly. You may want to see if a particular tweet is having any effect on your traffic or you start looking at your bounce rate. Yet these are only indicators to what people are looking for on your site. It that type of information s good to know but you will not see that type of information by looking at your site everyday. This has an old saying of Cant see the forest for the trees. Checking in on your stats from time to time is good because you will be able to see the different trends a lot better than if you check hourly.

Terms you should know

Hit – A hit is actually not important at all. At first people used to mention the hits their site would get and it was this huge number and that is because a hit is anytime a file on your webpage is called. So for example you home page has 25 pictures a CSS file, and a JS file. That would end up being 28 hits just for going to the home page. that is one hit for each image, plus the hit for the CSS file, a hit for the JS file, and the hit for the HTML document that is your homepage.
Page Views – This is what you will look at stat wise. how many page views or how many pages have been looked at? The difference is this is the whole page beginning counted instead of each individual element.
Bounce rates – Many people, including myself, can get a little nervous about bounce rates. A bounce is when a person goes to one page and then leaves. This could be caused by an assortment of reasons. Either your site is not easy to navigate, or it could be that the person who came to your site found what they are looking for and then left. So, it really depends on the context you are looking at your site to be able to tell whether it is a good thing or not.
Visits – This is how many times your site was looked at
Unique Visits – This is how many different people looked at your site.

Why are stats important?

Stats are very important. They tell you interesting tidbits of information about your sites that your listeners aren’t telling you. Many times you can glean some very rich nuggets of data out of your stats. They give you heads up of different trends that are happening on your site. You can find out how people are finding your site through what key words and what pages they are being attracted to. For instance This site is getting the majority of its page views for the Podcatchers/Manger list I created. Since this is the case I have started working a little harder on my reviews of these different apps so that I will provide a little more value to those who come by and maybe they will stay and listen to the show. Without the use of Google analytics for this I would not of figured that out and would be doing my visitors a disservice by not helping them out with their searches. If you have on site searching that helps you find new information you can provide in addition to what you already have..

Yet I shouldn’t worry about them?

No, I wouldn’t you can many times obsess about your stats and not see the whole picture. many a podcast has shuttered because they were not getting the numbers they wanted. Of course that shows that those particular shows were in podcasting for the wrong reason. So, maybe stats are good for weeding out, but then there are some great shows that closed because of numbers also. You numbers will grow. Your audience for your podcast will expand as you release shows and you engage your audience.  Your marketing is more important, for growing your podcast audience while looking at your stats will help judge if it is working, staring at your stats will not.

Now How do you tell how many listeners you have?

Lets use Podcast Dojo numbers. I have had 658 Total Downloads. Most people would think sweet! I have 658 listeners. The Answer to that is no, not quite that number is for the past 3 months so you do not want to give that number to an advertiser. You will be messing up your chances Yeah the Total downloads sounds impressive, Well not this one at this time but it is growing but if you look at October I have 355 Total Downloads and 253 Unique downloads You can then look at all the downloads and find the average number of listeners off of the unique listeners and you can then have a starting point. Yea math I know not a big fan either but it has to be done from time to time. But how many subscribers so you have? that is a tough marker to put down unless there was a standard put into place that any RSS feed, Podcatcher or Podcast Manager would sent back a ping of some sort, but that wouldn’t go over well because people do not like to give out identifying information. In reality it is a guessing game as to how many podcast subscribers you have.

Tip of the Week

Be honest. When it comes to your stats be honest. Yeah your numbers might be low but they will grow. They will get bigger and if you engage your audience they will listen even more and tell other people about your show and so you will grow even more. But don’t lie about your stats.Not only are you cheating yourself you are putting a black mark on other podcasters who are looking for advertisers and sponsors.

Podcasting News

Skype closing desktop API. This is putting a lot of podcasters in to a tizzy their way of recording podcasts is being pulled. Now this will mean one of two things either 1) People will start doing Mix Minus on their mixers or someone will come up with a program that will work around the problem of there not being a means to record Skype. maybe more people will go to Hangout on Air but that will not fix the problem of those who do not use a microphone. There has to be  a solution of that will allow people to call phones not just other computers.

If you would like to have a WordPress site set up for podcasting you can go to Site5 and sign up and is doing so  you will help the podcast out and I will give you a shot out and link to your site

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