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.”

What Happens when your Personal Brand Grows Up #Blogworld

BlogworldPanelists – Peter Shankman and Jelena Woehr, Social & Community Communications Manager, Yahoo! Contributor Network

Just an aside. Peter started off with this: “everyone knows me, so I won’t introduce myself.” Dude – no offense, but I don’t. I think you wrote a book? I just found your website to link to your name… Go ahead and give a brief introduction next time. Just sayin!

Now onto the panel discussion. This panel was sorta kinda about millennials, their personal brands, and being a good employee while maintaining a personal brand. So discussion floated around those concepts.

Peter – entrepreneurship is the new MBA. I disagree… anyone can get an MBA, most people don’t have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Or maybe I missed the point :-)

Millennials – 1 in 4 move back in with their parents…

People over 25 – more college grads are unemployed than those who have a high school degree.

Get a real job, then go home and work on your business.

Peter – claimed that CEOs don’t trust millennials, so a new employee needs to gain a level of trust. Don’t embarrass the company you work for.

A lot of talk about trust…

Millennials need to learn that for the boss, “it’s all business, never personal.” Bosses have to make business-oriented decisions, and you won’t necessarily be their friend. Instead, find a job that you love, then post that. That loyalty will shine through. But don’t fake it.

Giving a comparison between Anthony Weiner and Elliot Spitzer. Elliot did something wrong, then disappeared and owned it. He’ll be forgiven. Anthony didn’t own it, and will probably never be in an elected position again. The point – own your mistakes.

Mentorship is important. Ask “what did I do wrong,” learn from the mistake and fix it. The mistake won’t come back to bite you, but the lie about it will.

Gave some examples of bad use of social media … people getting fired, bad dates, etc. Point – be smart. Do better work thatn everyone else (which isn’t hard – just try a little harder than everyone else). Do that, and you will be noticed.

Jelena told a funny story – two guys in the woods, and a bear starts chasing them. One guy said “run!” The other guy said “what’s the point? The bear’s faster – we can’t outrun it.” The first guy said this: “I don’t have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun YOU.” Point – just outrun the next guy, and you will do ok!

ou can get away with a lot with your personal brand, as long as you still produce (i.e., produce good content, good results, etc).

They claimed young adults have a 2-3 second attention span… this panel had some good info, but you had to tone out some of their big blanket statements that weren’t really accurate (i.e., the attention span thing, the MBA thing, etc.).

Q & A:

How to write better – take a class, read good books. Travel? Seriously? Travel is cool, but travelling will not help you write better. Thankfully, someone else piped up and said “write a lot, get people to critique you.” Thanks Mr. Attendee Man!

Older people in business – they have something that millennials don’t. They have experience.

12 Imperative Must-Dos for the Serious Blogger #Blogworld

blogworldPresenter: Jay Baer, @jaybaer

Jay works with other companies to take their blog from good to great. Cool.

He briefly shared his business model or funnel – social – blog – speaking – clients.

Jay’s 12 Imperative Must-Do’s for the Serious Blogger (this was good stuff!):

1. be patient.

  • Give it some time. Don’t get frustrated. Took him 3 years before he made any money for the blog

2. Be specific.

  • What is your blog about? Be someone’s favorite blog. Who are you writing for? Figure that out.
  • They actually make personas for their blog, then write for them. Cool.
  • Sharpen your focus. write 50 headlines of posts you want to create. Identify questions you’ve answered and the topical scatter pattern. Who needs those answers? That’s your audience.
  • Audiences aren’t static. They have changed their focus quite a few times since inception in order to match up better with their goals and their audience. Redesigned for that audience too.
  • Key question: Answer this – “Because of this blog, <specific audience or persona> will <specific benefit>.”

3. Be consistent.

  • You are in the magazine business as a blogger.
  • You are a publisher. Don’t just post when you are inspired or when “you have something to say.” You always have something to say.
  • More = more. The more you post, the more success you will have. If you write more, more people will visit your blog.
  • Share the burden.

4. Embrace variety.

  • If you think it’s not very good, it’s not. If yoga re bored by it, others will be too.
  • Break it up with podcasts, videos, interviews, reformat a presentation. Do at least one non-standard post a week.
  • Again … it’s a magazine. If Sports Illustrated had all the same stuff all the time, it would get boring fast.
  • Best posts of the week… weekly cartoon… uses exam software to do a side/side Skype call, then dumps that to youtube.
  • Awards – do them.
  • Fun thing – Tom reads his spam. Tom does a dramatic reading of one of his spam emails! How fun.

5. Be a YOUtility.

  • How can you actually help people?
  • Helping is the new selling. Give away knowledge snacks to sell information meals.
  • quote to remember – giving someone a list of ingredients doesn’t make them a chef.

6. Find an anchor.

  • a blog post that you can go back to again and again.
  • More of those weekly post thingies. Like a best posts or the week, six interesting links every week, etc.

7. Have a call to action.

  • it’s about behavior, not page views. You are not selling ads. So have a call to action. Make it clean and clear.
  • Key question. After visiting this blog, I want readers to do this. The second best thing is this. At a minimum, they should do this.
  • So figure out what behaviors you are trying to get.

8. Cultivate community. 

  • I Love This Place! Community drives repeat visits and sharing behaviors. Chris Brogan – “the difference between an audience and a community is the direction the chairs are facing.”
  • WFACT – Welcome, Facilitate, Answer, Connect, Thank – cool idea from Valeria Maltoni
  • Vulnerability drives community.
  • If you lose the human element of your blog, you will lose readers.
  • self-validate. Your community isn’t your validation. You are. Blog comments are not a business model – nor even a particularly sound metric. Comments don’t necessarily drive behavior. Those people probably already did the Call to Action…

9. Be Findable.

  • Your most important reader is Google. Always optimize.
  • Every page is the home page. Only 14% actually landed on his actual home page. So don’t put Twitter icons only on the home page. Sign-up page …. etc.
  • Inbound Writer – it helps with optimization. Costs a bit. There’s a WordPress plugin!!!
  • Key question: what search term will people use to find this post in Google realistically?

10. Keep Score.

  • Only some metrics really matter.
  • What is your real goal? Comments, traffic, ReTweets – not real goals. They are links in a chain that possibly get you towards your real goal.
  • Measure behavior, not aggregation. Numbers that are ratios and percentages are usually measuring behavior. Numbers that count up aren’t as useful.
  • Set up goals, funnels, and event tracking in Google Analytics. to measure behaviors that drive sustainability and financial meaning.
  • What he measures:
    • visits to the newsletters page and conversions
    • visits tot he podcast page
    • visits to the speaking page
    • % visits to the consulting page
    • Then he looks at conversions by source – where are they coming from (twitter, blog posts, etc – and what posts or search terms)

11. Embrace Extensibility.

  • Your blog is a trampoline. Or home base. So also live on slideshare, linked in, scribed, comments on other blogs, youtube, interest, instagram, etc.
  • Quote to remember – think small. You need to be a digital dandelion. People can find you in many places.

12. Be sharable.

  • be social, don’t do social.
  • shine the light on others, and the light will shine back on you. If you want to be shared, be a great sharer.
  • Share down, not just up. Find the new peeps and bring them up. Find new voices. Better strategy.
  • Write great headlines. It really matters. Lists work. Unexpected words. Incorporate keywords.

Lots of Blog Posts Headed Your Way!

BookExpo AmericaJust a head’s up about next week for y’all. On Monday-Thursday, I will be frantically attending three concurrent conferences in New York City:

BEA Bloggers ConferenceAnd if you can believe it, I’ll attempt to blog the whole thing! Well, my view of the whole thing, anyway. So – look for a bunch of session notes type blog posts next week about anything from ebooks and publishers to how to improve a podcast. Maybe even a video or two.

My posts will be heavy on the Blogworld side of things, but there are some really interesting-sounding ebooks/publishers/libraries talks going on too, and I think both you and I will find those interesting!

Yessirree, I will be in geek heaven. Just sayin :-)

Blogworld Expo