Notes on Podcasting

These are some notes I took on podcasting at last fall’s Podcamp Topeka. I “rediscovered” them, and decided they could be useful to some of you.

Rob Walch, who’s Vice President of Podcaster Relations for Wizzard Media/Libsyn and does the Today in iOS podcast, gave this presentation. Here are the notes – maybe more libraries need to start a podcast!

Some podcasting facts:

  • There are over 1.8 million blogs, but only 200,000 podcasts
  • Podcasting is much easier to listen to now. You can still do it the old way – dump it to an iPod. But you can also use an app, download directly from iTunes to your iPod, or just listen on the web.
  • Podcasts have really loyal audiences – one podcast has listeners who are getting tattoos related to the podcast!
  • Audio is much more popular than video podcasts. Audio is much more portable.

iTunes and podcasting:

  • iTunes is really important to the success of a podcast
  • The podcast’s title is really important, especially in iTunes. Make sure to stuff keywords into the title, because that’s a primary keyword area for iTunes.
  • Artwork has to be great on iTunes. There are apparently two guys at Apple who pick featured podcasts for the podcast app, and they don’t pick bad artwork…

September 2012 podcasting stats from Libsyn (a major podcasting service):

  • 50% got 153 downloads per episode
  • 20% – 1000 downloads
  • 10% – 4000 downloads
  • 8.6 % – 5000 downloads per episode
  • 5% 10,400
  • 1% – 50,000
  • If you can get to 1000 listeners, you are doing an awesome job

Submit your podcast to:

  • iTunes
  • Podcast411.com – directories
  • Zune next best place
  • Blackberry podcasts

Some How-To’s for Podcasting:

  • One mic – you hold it, you are in control of it.
  • Don’t host on your website. If you store your media files there, and your podcast gets too popular, your whole website might shut down… that means you have shut your whole business down. So host the podcast somewhere else….
  • Frequency sweet spot … Weekly and consistent – like every Friday. You will be put into people’s routines. Same day, same time
  • Edit! Hugely important. Even in interviews. Editing is good. Remove ums, ahs, etc.
  • Prepare – do some prep work.
  • Get a call in number for your show and leave voice mail messages. If people hear themselves, they share it. Especially teens…

Pic by owaief89

All my Notes from BlogWorld Expo #bweny #BEA #beabloggercon

New York CityFor those interested, here’s a list of all my notes from Blogworld Expo, BookExpo America, and the BEA Bloggers conference in one handy place.

There’s some really good stuff here – but it’s a LOT to go through, too. I know I will be going through these, sharing some at work, and pondering others for my own blog. Enjoy!

Blogworld sessions:

BEA Sessions:

BEA Blogger’s Conference sessions:

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.

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!

Playing with the ProJive XLR iPhone Cable

I just bought the ProJive XLR mic cable for my iPhone. What’s it do? It’s an XLR to headphone jack cable adapter, and it’s made to plug a normal XLR microphone into an iPhone.

This lets me use my better-quality microphones (well, better than the built-in iPhone mic, anyway) for recording. It works with any audio app (like the voice recorder) or with video apps, too.

So – check out the video above, and listen to the sound. Not bad for an iPhone video, huh? Also listen for the unmistakable cell phone interference – that “beep beep beep” noise that you sometimes hear when a cell phone is close to some speakers. I’ll have to experiment more – if that interference happens a lot, the cable isn’t going to be all that helpful.

But we’ll see. Until then, I can now get quality audio in my iPhone videos effortlessly. Sweet!