Podcasting 101: Planning and Prep #blogworld

blogworldPanelists: Dave Jackson, Daniel J. Lewis, Dan Lyons, and Ray Ortega

4 Steps to podcast:

  1. prepare a topic
  2. Record yourself
  3. publish to the internet
  4. share and promote

How much time and money does it take to start a podcast? it depends. Easiest way to get started – a USB microphone. Plug and play = easy.

$100 in basic audio equipment, $100 per year for website. Free music, sound effects, and software. IT’s the price of a basic hobby.

4:1 ratio – 4 minutes of prep and production to every 1 minute of audio

Why are you podcasting?

  • hobby – less budget, less time
  • side business
  • full-time job or part of your job

Determine your passion and podcast about that. Podcast what you know about. What’s in your RSS feed.

Start with a wide net. Look at iTunes top-level categories. If you see other similar topics, don’t be discouraged. It might be a dead show, or it might just mean lots of people want to listen.

Have a long-term plan. Use a whiteboard (me – or a mindmap, or a notebook, etc). Brainstorm and write down a subject. Then figure out your angles, figure out what your audience might want to know about it, etc. Write down future titles of posts…

How niche can you go?

Average podcast has about 40 listeners.

Improve or enhance a topic already covered.

Title: be descriptive! Bad – the John Smith podcast. Good – how to be awesome! So be descriptive and short. Easy to spell and understand. Avoid ambiguous words. Avoid accidental words. Always try to get the dot com version.

Choose a format:

solo or co-host? Figure it out.

Length and frequency… let the strength of your content determine the length of your show.

Audio or video? Both can work. Have fun and do what works for you. Video – more likely to be shared. iTunes is great, but Youtube is HUGE. People like to put a face to the voice. It’s also harder to edit, to set up, etc.

Ask this – does it need to be seen? Can you show it? If it’s audio-only, you need to remember that no one can see what you’re talking about. So you have to describe it.

Audio is easier to dump into your iPod.

Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World #Blogworld

blogworldPresenter: Michael Hyatt

Was CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, a very traditional Publisher, he realized that someone needed to figure out new media, so he jumped in with both feet. Nice – more leaders need to do this!

All the world’s a stage – William Shakespeare… and it’s very true today!

164 million blogs. Wow. 1 million new books published last year. Youtube content … etc. point – there is a LOT of noise being created.

You need a platform. A thing to stand on so you can be heard.

Today’s platforms are made of people. Fans, friends, followers.

He started a blog in 2004, mainly to help him think (he thinks better when he writes).

His blog traffic jumped up hugely. 1st four years, he didn’t have much blog traffic. Huge jump in 2008 (from 700 to 20,000 unique visitors). In 2008, he decided to become consistent – two posts a week.

Thought Twitter was silly, but got his family to join, so he cared about who he followed. And he made his executive team sign up.

Most people quit right before the inflection point. So keep going!

Has a new book out – Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.

Three Benefits to having a platform:

  1. Visibility – provides a way for others to see you
  2. Amplification
  3. Connection

Build Your Platform:

Plank 1: Start with Wow. The gap between someone’s expectations and experience – that’s where you deliver the wow.

But – balance that with shipping. Consistently deliver your product (be that writing, podcasting, etc). Just do it – even if it feels like it’s not the best thing there.

Plank 2: Prepare to launch. It’s a process, not an event. You are the chief marketing officer, and you have to take responsibility for the outcome. Don’t abdicate. If you are a book author – you are in charge. Blog? You are in charge. Etc.

Plank 3: Build your home base. Social Media Framework.

  1. Need a Home Base – a place you own and control (i.e., my blog is my Home Base).
  2. Second element – embassies – social media services that you don’t own or control, but you put regular content there, and send them back to your home base. He has primary and secondary ones.
  3. Third element – outposts. He uses Google Alerts for this. He listens, and answers those questions when needed.

Plank 4: expand your reach. Interruption based marketing (traditional commercials) is dying. Marketing today is sharing. Sharing what you are interested in and passionate about. HE sees a dip in traffic and engagement when he talks about himself.

Plank 5: Engage your tribe. Gave some examples of tribes – Dave Ramsey fans, Harley Davidson fans. Keep comments open. Don’t use those captcha things that are hard to read … don’t make it hard for people to comment.

If you invite people to dinner, and then don’t show up? That’s weird. If you respond to every comment? Also weird.

The 20-to-1 rule. For every withdrawal you make, you need to make about 20 deposits…

Power up your blog: Lessons Learned Over 11 Years of Blogging #Blogworld

blogworld

First up, Tom Webster: Edison Research:

Funny – he read some of his spam for us. I think he does this in a podcast format sometimes.

Next up: Founders of Blogworld. They are changing the name of Blogworld & New Media Expo to … New Media Expo (NMX). Makes sense.

Next up: Chris Brogan

Anyone had the feeling that you just wrote your best post ever, and it goes nowhere … but a throwaway post gets huge? He’s had that (I have too).

“I’m too busy to blog right now” – shut up already. Everyone’s too busy. How do you find time? Don’t get distracted by emails, social media, etc. Write in time bits – 20 minutes or so at a time.

Make a framework for how you blog. For example – find a pic, write something personal first, then write 2-3 paragraphs about the topic, then ask for something at the end. Chris usually writes using this frame.

Practice. Like musicians. Work on having passion in your work.f you have really great technical skills but don’t have passion, you won’t go far.

“I don’t know how to find any topics” – take lots of photos. Then turn it into a post. This gets you out of one type of thinking and into another.

Put emotions into your post. People connect with that.

Making money on your blog – Google Adsense won’t get you too far. Amazon Affiliates won’t get you there either. In fact, most of the ways you find money will be indirectly. Affiliate programs might be useful.

Don’t ever write “sorry, I haven’t written on this blog in awhile.” Just write. Try to get it to once a week.

If you have a huge sidebar with links to Twitter, Youtube, etc – you are sending people away from your content and your home base site.

Don’t worry about being consistent. Especially if you’re just having fun.

If you think of your blog as a business, look at magazines, and figure out what magazine you are.

There are a lot of knobs to fiddle with – don’t pay too much attention to those. He gets lots of questions like “should I use disqus or livefire for comments?” His answer – who cares?

Pride does not replace hard work. He gets lots of praise and lots of criticism. Both are a trap. Believe the praise, and you become a jerk. Don’t believe the haters either. Nothing replaces the hard work. It took Chris 8 years to get his first 100 readers.

Always reply. Don’t suck up to the big guy – talk to the little guys.

The hard work isn’t writing a blog … it’s connecting with people and talking to them with their stuff. Remember their names.

Be yourself, and be brave.

How to grow your audience and market your podcast #Blogworld

blogworldPresenters: Cliff Ravenscraft (Podcast Answer Man), Father Roderick

26 things that will help!

1. There is power when your show has a narrow niche focus. The more focused on a niche you can be, the better. It will actually help you find a larger audience.

2. Only podcast about things for which you are passionate about.

3. Before you record your first episode, you should know why you are podcasting in the first place. Have a mission/purpose for your show. ANd – is a podcast the best medium for your message?

4. Become crystal clear on exactly who your target audience is! Imagine your occupation was that of a bounty hunter.

5. Build it and they will come does not, often, work in podcasting! Creating an amazing show is about 30% of the equation. The other 70% is marketing and relationship building. Go read the book “How to win friends and influence people.” Actually schedule time to promote your podcast, answer emails, etc.

6. You should submit your podcast directories like iTunes, Zune, Blackberry, and Stitcher Radio. Customize and brand those sites if you can. tweetadder.com – Cliff used this to follow 500 people a day that were interested in the topic his podcast focused on. You can do this manually too – just follow people that talk about the same things you are interested in. Cliff has some helpful info/submission tools on his podcast website.

7. Content is king! Create high value content that people can’t live without. It’s an added bonus if your content is so great that they are compelled to share it with others.

8. Entertainment goes a long way. Don’t be boring! Make your enthusiasm show through your voice.

9. Keep it positive. The world is seeking hope and encouragement. Give it to them! Sell hope – this keeps people coming back.

10. Be enthusiastic! Don’t do it more than what is natural for you though.

11. skipped this one

12. Audio quality is queen! Remember that there are times when the queen will trump the king! Many people will not listen to your great content if your audio quality is not that great. Both said don’t use USB mics of any type. Better to get a real mic, a mixer, etc and sound professional.

13. Build relationships with your audience! Learn the first name, last name, and a minimum of at least one other personal fact about as many of the people who download your show as possible. Wow.

14. Include the voice of your audience in your show.

15. Thank members of your community publicly, both in your show and in your online efforts. Give praise! DOn’t just focus on yourself.

16. Establish and build meaningful relationships with other content creators in your niche/industry.

17. Create keyword rich titles, show notes, etc for your podcast. And all that other SEO junk.

18. Make yourself newsworthy! (http://podcastanswerman.com/newsworthy)

19. Interview others in your show.

20 – 26. Went over time, so I didn’t catch these. Either way, these were all great suggestions!

Let’s Make Some Mobile, Mmmkay? #Blogworld

BlogworldPresenter: @SaraSantiago co-owner of @RollMobile

Some stats: US smart phone penetration just hit 50% (Neilsen, 2012).

One in four US mobile phone owners use the mobile web every day (Antenna Software Report).

Gartner predicts more people will be accessing the Internet with mobile devices than with their computers by 2012.

If I access your site, what will I see? If it’s not mobile-friendly, people will go find another site that is.

White space time = commute time, getting ready for work, etc. People digest content during that white space time.

Google – howtogomo.com/en/#gomo-meter – looks at your website and tells you how mobile-friendly it is

Responsive design/Adaptive design – discussion about what they both are.

WordPress – install a mobile theme for your blog. Check out http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-mobile-pack/

Other blog software was covered too, including Movable Type, TypePad, WordPress.com, and Blogger.

http://www.lmgtfy.com – Let Me Google That For You

Once you make a mobile-friendly site, test out everything – make sure it works. Click the links, play the video, scroll through the site, click the navigation, etc.

QR Codes: use a link shortener first, then make your QR Code. Makes the code less dense. IF you use a QR Code, the place that code resolves to HAS TO work on a mobile phone. You KNOW the user is on a phone… so make whatever the QR code is pointing to work on a phone.

Sara’s Rules for Providing an Awesome Mobile Experience:

  1. Think. Plan. Resist “shiny new object syndrome”
  2. Remember, you aren’t creating an experience for yourself. So ask your audience what they want.
  3. Please. Don’t make me feel like you hate me. Make it easy and make it work.
  4. HTML5 is not a verb. Do some planning before you do responsive design, use HTML5, etc.
  5. Be the ball. ME – what in the world does this mean? I’m not sure, and all she said was “this is the best advice that I’ve ever heard.”