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Subscribe On Android Logo

There has been a problem that Android users have suffered from since Android’s start. That problem being to quote Rob Walsh, “Google is not a podcasters Friend”. That is because Google doesn’t make it easy for podcast listeners to subscribe.

Normally a podcast listener on Android opens their podcatcher of their choice searcher for the podcast show they are interested in subscribing to. If they are not able to find it because of whatever reason. Then they have to do the multi-step trial of patients. Most podcast listeners give up before they even try these following steps. This is one of the reasons I do believe Google has failed their platform and not even tried to rectify the issue. This could also be the reason why listening to podcasts is predominantly Apples field and not more Android listeners.

The Traditional Steps were

  1. Find the website for the show
  2. Look to see if the RSS feed link is visible on the front page. If not, then the podcast listener may keep looking around till they find the rss feed’s address
  3. Once they have the RSS feeds address, the listener then copies the URL and pastes it into their Podcast manager.
Google is not a Podcasters Friend - @podcast411 Click To Tweet

These are way too many steps. The incredibly smart guys over at Blubrry have come up with a solution, and this solution is pretty innovative. The folks over at Blubrry have created the necessary protocols for podcast manager developers to add to their apps for the simple one click Subscribe  on Android.

What it means for the Podcast Listener

How it works is easy. If your podcast player supports the Subscribe on Android, and you come across a podcast that has either the Subscribe on Android logo or uses the PowerPress WordPress plugin then when you click on the link, the podcast show will instantly subscribe in your podcatcher. Cuts out the hard work, by making it easier for you, the listener to subscribe to a show.

What it means for the Podcast Producer

Podcast Producers how you can help is by going to SubscribeOnAndroid.com and place your shows RSS Feed Url into the textbox press the “Subscribe on Android” button. If you scroll all the way to the bottom you will see Embed. Place that logo somewhere on your site, preferably in the same area as your other subscription buttons.. Even if you already use PowerPress. This will help the podcast listeners know that the podcast community is trying to help them by making it easier to consume podcasts.

Who supports the Subscribe on Android

As of the 10th of April  Podcast Addict Version 3 is the only app that has the needed protocols but more will follow.

If you are a podcast manager developer

Then Subscribe on Android has the needed information for your app development so you can easily implement it into your app and help your listeners not have to work so hard. That information can be found under the For Developers section they lay out all of the needed details and by the looks of it it is only about 10 lines of code.

So give the guys over at Blubrry a big thank you! by using the Click to Tweet link below.

Thank you @Blubrry for the Subscribe on Android! #NeededTHis Click To Tweet
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Find your listeners in your Stats. Statistics are great for finding out who is actually listening not just downloading your podcastYou record your podcast. You post it up, share it out to ALL of the social media sites that your audience is enjoying. Are they listening to your show? Are they listening how far along are they listening? How can I tell how many are listening?

Analytic and Statistical tools

Stats are a podcasters endearing frustration. We all look at them while some obsess and others just obsess at a lesser degree. And we should obsess about our podcast performance. Now to what level can be debated and we wont do that here.

What tools to many podcasters use to find out about their audience numbers? There are many and the common ones

Web Analytics

The first tool is something all websites need to have in their arsenal. This can be Google Analytics or StatCounter this will let you know that there are people actually going to your web site and getting information. If you’re not getting any hits after the first month of opening the doors this will let you know that there is a problem you need to look into.

Also web Stat programs are good informing you of what your audience is wanting to know more about. If you look at the what your landing pages are, and combine that with the few keywords Google lets through, you can see what information the people coming to your site are after.

Now your WEB hosts stat program not quite the best because they show everything. Every little impression whether it is a spider crawling your site or a bot stuck in a loop. You can get many false bits of information. Good if you want an ego boost, bad if you want to help your audience.

Blubrry & Libsyn stats

There are several Podcast stat companies out there and there are more cropping up, but there are a few that are trusted in the community. Media hosting companies are pretty good in general but BluBrry and Libsyn both pride themselves in making sure to filter out the nonsense that can at times be generated because of bots and shady practices. Blubrry general stats are free but if you want to dig deep they are 5 dollars a month if you do not have hosting with them

Libsyn’s stats are for those podcasts that host with them, and are equally good.

Podtrac

Podtrac has positioned themselves as a podcast advertising firm but they have long been known for the free stats you are able to get through them. Compared to blubrry and libsyn their stats are good.

Feedburner

Feedburner was a blogging tool for people to be able to sort of track the people who subscribed to their RSS feed. The statistics it gives is there. I wouldn’t trust the numbers Feedburner says but as an RSS redirect I couldn’t recommend a better service.

Stitcher

Stitcher is a Podcast directory and Podcast player. This gives them a unique angle of being able to let you know not only when people listen to your show but you are also able to see how long they listen and where they dropped off in relation to the whole show.

Are they listening to your show?

Sweet, now you know about some of the services how do you tell if they are listening to your show? The easiest is to look at your Media hosts stats that are provided. This will show you that your show’s episodes are being downloaded. Yet these are not listens, and there is a difference between downloads and listens.

Downloads are the event of a mp3 file being downloaded. A listen is the act of a person consuming your content. Podcasters often want to use the downloads stats for advertisers and often with the easily obtained  large download numbers, advertisers will think that the show is popular. Yet though there can be a large download number through different practices like Twitter Bombing, you can have very small number of listeners. So you want to look for the harder to find listens.

Other events that will trigger a download is Flash plugins, Autoplays, and bots. Flash auto loads the file to be ready if your listener presses play. Autoplays are an annoying way of getting download but because of the annoyance the vast majority of people instantly stop the player and though it registers as a download that person didn’t listen to the show. Then there are bots that request the file and will be triggered as a download, but I have yet have a bot buy anything from me.

Finding your podcast listeners takes a little detective workHow do you find the listeners in your stats?

Finding the elusive listener can be a little bit like being a Private Eye in that you are looking through your data over time. There are a few items that you want to look for in your stats the big list you want to employ is clients. When you go to your stats page there needs to be a clients list if you are not able to find it or your host doesn’t keep that stat. Then look to Blubrry’s Statistic service* it is only $5 and will give you all you will possibly need. Bluburry you are able to get a list of clients. This list of clients is will show you all the iTunes downloads, the Podcasts app downloads, the Pocket casts downloads, Zune, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and any other players that is available.

How I find my listeners is, I take all of these clients for a month and add them together minus the browsers and other clients that are not actual podcast players. Then average those out for four weeks. This will give me a rough idea of how many people are actually listening to the show. Then keep track of that number from month to month will give you a good idea as to if your listeners are increasing.

Why do I take the browsers out? I remove them because those are often bots hitting your site. Agreed there are actual listeners  going to the site listening through the players I have on my site. But I feel those people are few and often they are just people sampling the show to see if it is worth them downloading. My actual browser listeners have a special place and they let me know they are listening by commenting on the site.

So are they listening to the whole show?

This is very difficult to show how far people have listened to a show. The best way to tell is to use Stitcher.  This service is free to add your show and they give some useful stats for help to understand where your listeners are dropping off,  and it will be just those people that listen to your show through stitcher not all of your listeners. So it will not give you a full idea of how people are listening to the show, but it will give you an idea.

So finding your listeners is possible in a way but getting that number is just part of the solution. Never put numbers over names getting to know who your audience is and what they do and how they use your information is the absolutely best way to find out who your listeners are. Also, when you put names over numbers you will cement you audience and help turn them into fans, and that is what we really want.

*=Affiliate link

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You can synce your podcasts with DropboxSay you are wanting to listen to podcasts at work but you don’t want to have to copy and sort through all of the podcasts you listen to, or for another reason you need to have some podcasts episodes that are automatically uploaded to dropbox after they are downloaded.

You can do this with iTunes and a small add-on called Dropbox Folder Sync

First download  Dropbox Folder sync

This add on will help in linking your podcast download folder to  your Dropbox folder. Just click the orange “Download” button on the left download and install. Once installed, go to your iTunes podcast folder this is normally

C:\Users\<user name>\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Podcasts\

Right click on the Podcasts folder and you will see the option “Dropbox Folder Sync” choose “Sync with Dropbox” and all the podcasts in that folder will be synced to Dropbox.

Now if you don’t want all the folders listed in the Podcasts folder. Then instead of selecting the podcasts folder just choose the shows you want synced and right click go to “Dropbox Folder Sync” and choose “Sync with Dropbox”. Then every time you grab new shows, Your dropbox will be updated and they will be dropped when you remove them.

That should get you going without having to go search for the shows again and try to sync your shows if you do not use the iPhone Podcasts app.

Remember this is for being able to consume podcasts don’t try to use Dropbox or Google Drive or any other cloud storage as your media server.

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Learn to podcast will help you become a better expert

You are hearing about podcasting more and more each day. Hearing about this person starting a podcast and that person is becoming very well known for his podcast. Should you learn to podcast? What should your podcast be about? Where to start? What questions should be asked? Is there money in Podcasting, if you are a business? I will aim at answering these. So that you may be able to make a good decision on whether you should invest in time and money to learn to podcast.

Why even start a podcast?

The reasons for podcasting is as numerous as podcasts. That’s because each person, and business have a very unique objective. Podcasts do create a few effects that people desire to achieve. First, learning to podcast will help you become an expert in your field. If you want to be a thought leader in a particular field doing a podcast is a great strategy. Podcasting is different from just blogging, though you will be blogging also. Your audience is able to hear the different inflections in your voice and know you are passionate about your topic. From that aspect, your audience will see you as the expert.

The other effect is that you want to work with your “Competition”.  You will have a head start on the others who are late to the game. Many times your “competitors” will give up just because they see that you have already started and are 5 shows in the can. More “competitors” will give up when they see that there are 50 shows available, and you will then find out that you don’t have any competitors. Even if there are other shows talking about your very same topic. You will find advantages in working with them. Invite them on your show. You will find yourself looking to talk to the people who are in your field sharing their expertise. In other words you ware helping your competition to help you. Many podcasters have started using the word Co-opetition. Because they are cooperating with the people who they are in direct competition with.  From these conversations most podcasters develop lasting friendships and bonds. So, Eventually you will see that there is no competition in podcasting.

With an engaged audience you will be able to find out who is listening. Learn about what your audience likes, the challenges they face, or in other words the most valuable data almost any advertising pays dearly for, and your audience is giving it to you for free.  Because you are giving them so much value in the information you are providing. The listeners to your podcast will find a way to pay you back, if anything to say thank you.

Learn to Podcast

Where should you start when deciding to podcast? First there are two basic branches of podcasting those who will PodFade, or podcasts that no longer are producing shows, and those that are still producing podcast shows on schedule. From these two there is a discernible reason for 90% of the shows stopping. Lack of passion and direction. This goes for shows that are created by the hobbyist and the business based programs.

So, you want to make the decision as to what you want your show to be about. What type of value are you wanting to give to your customers/listeners? How are you going to convey that passion, that drive you have, for whatever it is you are wanting to podcast about? Once you have narrowed that down and you know what your show is going to be about then you can learn to podcast. If you find your fire, the path will be lit.

Learning to podcast is not hard. Most people over think the topic or the show and cause paralysis through analyses. In other words, They never get out of the planning stages. With podcasting being as mighty of a media wave, that it is growing into. You want find out how to podcast to the best of your budget and ability. Don’t worry so much about the quality of your equipment. Yes, it is good to have good equipment but not as important as your message. Your message is your product in the podcasting arena. The most valuable item is your thoughts and views of your show. Don’t fall in to the trap of broadcast media. Trying to appease as many people as you can, it is better to podcast in as fine of a niche as you can. Doing this will create an audience that is more engaged than any television or radio show. With a very detailed niche your audience will find high value in each podcast episode you produce.  By providing your podcast audience with the value of your show, they will reciprocate that value back to you.

So, you have decided you want to podcast. You found your passion. you have gone as fine of a niche as you think you can. How do you start? How do you podcast? There are many ways you can get your show up and running. You can take a combination of two paths and both are highly recommended.

Self Taught

As many people, you can learn to podcast through the avenue of self taught trial and error. You can also gather information on proper podcasting techniques and practices by listening to other podcasters who talk about the craft, as in Podcasts about podcasting. These podcasters have great knowledge and insight about the world of podcasting. Their finger is always on the pulse of podcasting events, and have ways around common problems in podcasting.

The Assist

Having people help you learn to podcast is another way you can have consulting sessions with known Podcasting coaches or take online classes. Though online courses can, at times, be rather expensive, many people believe they have invested good money for the service and would gladly do it again. Online podcasting courses do help in getting the information you need and helping you learn to podcast quicker than listening to podcasts about podcasts.

The Hybrid

There is a 3rd way of learning to podcast and that is in a mix of the first two. You can join some forums about podcasting. Look for Meet up’s that center around podcasting and find people who can help you as you learn to podcast. These people will be able to give you fairly real time feed back as to what to improve.

Show Me the Money!

If you learn to podcast how rich are you going to get? If there money in podcasting? What is your ROI?

Answer in short…

You podcast, itself is not going to make any money. You may get a few dollars here and there but growing filthy stinking rich? Nope, that is a very rare bird to get. Adam Corolla, Leo Laport, these guys are able to make money from their shows because they brought an audience with them. Marc Maron again he had a comedy act before grabbing a microphone and recording.

For business’ this is a tough item to get around your head. And understood the old model of not interested unless it becomes an revenue stream means most businesses will not even try to podcast. This is good for you because podcasting is more of a value generator than a revenue generator. When you learn to podcast you are able to engage your audience, and do so in ways that you would never thought were possible. having your customers become fans. How many advertisers do you now can say you will develop a fan base? Not many if any I am sure. Yet, that is actually what happens when your business is podcasting about a valuable topic. Your listeners become fans. Fan want to buy your products and services. So No you cant make money off of podcasts but you can make money because of your podcast

For the individual person who is podcasting about what they like the benefits can not only be having people who are fans but but also your show can lead to dream jobs and opportunities never thought of before. Which can lead to an increase in money. This again is because you will be seen as the expert. You are able to share your knowledge with everyone else.

Now many people ask about sponsors. these are rare things at the moment also. This is because of the challenge of measuring the audience size. Analytic companies are finding better ways to measure how popular shows are becoming but even then the ad agencies are still running on the old models of broadcasting hitting millions of non-engaged audience members, instead of looking at hundreds of highly engaged listeners. So more and more are coming onboard that is still a little ways away. Most podcasters these days make a little money off of the affiliate programs. Which is another option you can go to help pay for your podcast.

When you learn to podcast  for yourself or for your business. It is good to have a clear plan of what your show is going to be about. Clearly define your niche. Learn from those before you, so you wont make any costly mistakes. Use the resources online while getting current up to date information from the thought leaders because even though they are your competition they will also be happy to help you. Learn to podcast, find that “Fire in the Belly” and tell the world about it.

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That first time can be scary

Norman Rockwell

Every summer back in the 80’s, the swimming pool in Sunray, TX had kids, ranging from 7 to 10 years old,trying show their worthiness to jump off of the legendary high dive. The young hopefuls would have to swim across the pool and back.  Width of the pool may of been 50 feet across, but to the kids we might of just as well be doing the Iron Man. Kids would try and fail, try again, fail again, they would keep it up till the desire to jump off that mythical board became so great that nothing would keep them from stopping.

Finally, they would achieve that great rite of passage and make it across the pool and back. These sorry drowned rats would struggle out of the water and proceed to their ultimate goal, the High dive. Now, some would take a baby step and do the low dive a few times. Eventually the high dive would beckon to that young adventuress heart and sense of glory, and the kids would find themselves in line for the high dive. After the long agonizing wait it would be their turn.

Now to the youth of Sunray the high dive may of been 15 feet above the waters surface. Looking at the steps it somehow doubled in height. After getting all the way up to the peak, one was sure that they were getting light headed due to the altitude shift. Once the head cleared the Potential Flying Squirrel would shuffle himself out to the edge. Only to see that the height had somewhere along the way grown to be at least 100 feet in the air. Then stories of the first jumps that ended in brutal humiliation of  the deadly, at least we heard it was, Belly Flop would be recalled to memory. Looking down  every epic flop would flash in front of their eyes. Seized with terror They would climb back down with the hastily designed excuses that were made to make it look like they weren’t chicken.

After a few moments the jumper would be back in line, looking pale enough to have Caspar think he had some color. Realizing that if he didn’t “do it”, He would have this horrible albatross around his neck till it was done. The jumper has to think of something since he chickened out once. He has to impress his friends, his enemies, that girl who is in town visiting grandma. What to do?

“I have to do a trick”, our young  jumper thinks. 

Frantically he begins going the his whole list of  “Cool Moves” even considering the infamous Nut Cracker, but that is for “emergencies” cause if the Lifeguards see you, you are kicked out of the pool. So, a flip? No, the flop factor is too high. How about the spin? Might spin too much and lose your orientation and again, flop. How about a dive? Really? Oh Heck no that is just a little ways away from the FLOP! How about feet first?

“WHAT? My turn?” the Young Jumper hears. 

Sure enough he is already back at the base of the steps but they seem to of already doubled. Yet our Young Hero climbs the insurmountable steps again and hits the very same precipice still going through his catalog of tricks. what to do? What to DO? WHAT TO DO! 

Jump! The Jumper hears, but “I don’t know what trick to do!” Jump! more people in line yell. but our Jumper is frozen he knows he can only leave this platform by one direction. So it is time to man up.

The Jumper bends his knees  ready to jump and leaps! Well he thought he was going to, but his feet have such amazing grip in the diving board. This hesitation sets the board into motion. It bounces up and down. Our Young jumper is caught in the terror of the board coming to life and shaking him off. The Jumper is heaved forward just a bit and is loosing his balance. He is leaning forward. OH NO! I’m gonna FLOP!!! He hears in his head. So, in a desperate last ditch effort our jumper brings  his feet up under him to get his feet positioned.  So, hopefully he will save his life.

And he starts to fall

“What ever possessed me to do this?” OH MY GOD! I am going too fast! I am going to die!!!!!”

SPLOOSH!!!!!

Underwater, swimming frantically. Our Hero vaguely thinks “how deep is 12 feet again?” His lungs start hurting. Is he going to make it?

Then our young friend feels his arm poke out of the water. Then his head, and he takes the sweetest  tasting gulp of air. Our Hero Survived. His friends and confidants, Jake, John, JJ, Super Dave. His Crowd, they are all at the pools edge to congratulate him. His crowd doesn’t care if our hero did a trick, that will come later, They only care about the fact that he did it.

The same about your crowd. Your listeners They aren’t looking for excellence. People aren’t looking for the guy who will give them everything. Your listeners are wanting to hear from you. So, don’t worry about that Flop, you will not die from it. The worst is your “friends” may rib you a little. Yet they will look at you in admiration, because you actual did it. You Jumped and made that killer show.

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