Jul 27, 2014
In today's episode we talk about how I often revisit some concepts about podcasting. Today I get an email from a listener that points out that I repeat myself over and over. Looking back, I see his point, but I also know that new podcasters make the same mistakes over and over and over (hence causing me to repeat myself). Here are some basic podcasting truths that will never go out of style:
1. Build your website using a Web hosting company (use the coupon podcastcoach at Host Gator to save).
2. Put your media on a media host like Libsyn.com or Blubrry.com (use the coupon sopfree to get a free month at both places).
3. Have a great looking album artwork.
4. Don't use another platform (blog Talk Radio, Tumblr, etc) as your "main" website
5. There is a huge difference between a $8 microphone and a $99 microphone. There is NOT a huge difference between a $99 microphone and a $300 microphone (in my opinion).
6. When in doubt ask your audience.
7. Don't get into podcasting to make some quick cash
8. When you connect with your audience, they will download your back catalog.
9. Podcasting takes time. A 15 minute audio podcast takes about an hour from start to finish to create (roughly speaking).
10. Some times you get what you pay for when the prices is free.
Brainstorm from the Cannabis Community Project explained how he got free tickets from Jay Mohr by just reaching out to the comedian/movie actors/radio host and to his surprise he got a direct response from Jay himself. Now he can truthfully say that Jay Mohr has been involved with his podcast.
In response to the listener who emailed and said I repeat myself too much, thank you so much for the feedback. I will try not to do that in the future. There are some topics I will repeat (see the list above for a short list) but I will try to not stretch 15 minute topics into 45 minutes. I was unaware of this. I would love any additional constructive feedback in the comments (below) or just send them directly to me.
What I've done in the past and will continue doing in the future is I find other people to share their experience that reinforces the opinions and facts that I shares on each episode.
I had a caller on the Ask the Podcast Coach show who was very excited about starting a podcast (we've all been there) but couldn't really say WHAT his podcast was going to be about. Many of us have been in Michael's shoes and we focus on the tools of podcasting. We ask about microphones, and wordpress themes. We ask about promotional tools like twitter and facebook. The problem is we don't have a podcast yet. We have nothing to record. We have nothing to upload .Podcasting starts with content. So if you are in this boat ( I want to podcast, but I'm not sure about what). I would recommend listening to the episode where I talk about getting your podcast in sync with your goals, and then write down 10 topics for 10 episodes. This will help you identify if you are really ready to start a podcast.
Don't get distracted by the tools. The tools you will use to distribute your content. They are worthless without the content. Make the content first, then start working toward how to distribute the podcast. Don't look at distribution, and then figure out what you're going to create.
I appeared on the Timelines of Success Podcast with Bill Conrad.
Podcasters Roundtable - Best Practices
I have been saying how its a bad idea to use your web host (a website that provides a service to build a WEBSITE on) as a MEDIA HOST (a service designed to deliver and track the delivery of audio or video). I was contacted by Ralph Sutton of The SDR Show (Sex, Drugs, & Rock and Roll) because Ralph was using Dreamhost as his website host, and as his media host. H e even asked them if it was ok, and they said "Sure." One month later and his dreamhost had turned into a nightmare. He was getting thousands of downloads per episode and his server was taking a beating. Consequently, his host wanted him to upgrade. The upgrade would be $150 a month to be on a private server because he was getting too much traffic.
Luckily, Ralph contacted myself and a representative from Libsyn and we switched his media to a media server and now instead of spending $150 a month, Ralph is spending $20. Had this continued, there is a good chance his website company would shut him down. At that point you've developed a nice audience only to have your reputation tarnished by trying to save a few bucks.
Ralph didn't look for the giant switch that would turn on one thousand listeners. He flipped those switches that turned on one new listener one thousand times. He crafted an email message and then customized it and sent it to everyone he knew on facebook. He then asked his friends who work in the rock industry if they would tell their audience about the show.
Stating the Obvious: Ralph has a radio background and a syndicated show across the US. he also has access to guests who are/were famous. This helps, but none the less these people would now have known if Ralph had not told them about his podcast. He did it in a personal way, and utilized the relationship he had built up over years of being in radio.
Ralph had some stickers printed up and went to places where his target audience hangs out and passed out stickers. He went to where his audience was, made some contacts, and told them about his podcast. He use fiverr.com to have someone paint his logo on her back. He used this image to announce t-shirts.
Ralph does not write out questions, but topic he wants to know about. He wants to avoid the interview being an interrogation. He wants it to be a conversion. He plans how he will start the podcast, and from there he tries to have a conversation.
Be Ready For Traffic
Ralph switch to Libsyn.com for his media and his problems went away. (use the coupon sopfree to get a free month at Libsyn). He then hired Dave to move his feed from one website to another.
Just because you can add domain after domain after domain on your shared web host doesn't mean you should. It is OK to do this as long as you don't use up more than 25% of the server's resources. I had 18 add on domains, and I was taking up 87% of the server's resources and consequently, my media host emailed me that they were shutting me down, and before I could upgrade it was too late. Does this mean every podcaster should NOT use shared hosting? No. Shared hosting should be fine for 95% of the podcasting community. When you do see yourself getting close to exceeding your resources, don't wait to upgrade.
In the end, I took a huge hit for two days as my websites were down. What did I save? $50-ish