The first Podcasters’ Studio that doesn’t start with a zero (ex: 001, 099)! Episode 100, we made it! Thank you to everyone who has ever listened and helped the show reach this milestone.
This is a mighty episode filled with all the still relevant tips from the last 99 episodes of The Podcasters’ Studio. I relistened to every episode (that was painful) and culled all the tips that I thought would still be useful in 2017. There is plenty of good content left in each of the episodes, I don’t include them all here but the tips on this episode are ones that you can take back to your own show right now and grow the show you already have or start the podcast you’ve always wanted.
Most of the lessons in this episode where culled while listening to most of my back catalog of content. I scrubbed through all my past podcast episodes picking out those things that made me think I could of done it differently or want to change moving forward past episode 100.
• TPS002 subscribe, listen and interact with the other shows in your niche. You don’t have to publish a podcast to talk to your audience. Blog in between episodes. This is great for discovery in search where you can reach people who didn’t know you had a podcast. Social is another great way to interact and inform between episodes. TPS does not have a consistent schedule but if you follow me (twitter, Instagram, YouTube) I do consistently produce content that would be on my show, that fits the audience who listens.
• TPS003 – Skype for the Podcaster. Skype is still probably the best way to conduct a remote interview where your guest has limited ability to do anything more than answer your call. Can also call landlines. Not much has changed since this episode was published in April 2009, Skype as a podcast tool, has stood the test of time.
For recording, Call Recorder is the easiest option and I like having it installed for instances where something more impromptu happens where you just want to start recording immediately. This is for the Mac and it’s also the best way to record HD video which you can record on separate tracks (you get two separate audio and video files).
For Windows, Pamela is probably the best equivalent. By the way, these are also the recommendations I made in 2009. Are there new options? Yes. Zencastr, Cast, Ringr are all cool options but each have their own quirks that don’t make them as good of a choice as Skype at least for the newer podcaster. I also love Audio Hijack for Mac because it’s so powerful with some many customizable options for more advanced recording or even just as a good recorder.
Wear headphones, you and the guest;)
• TPS004 – Blogging for the Podcaster – bottom line, have a website for your show with your own .com. This isn’t only for branding, professionalism, and usability but most importantly for ownership. Build on your own site instead of someone else’s but even if you just map your domain to a Tumblr page etc., at least you can move somewhere else in the future and your domain never changes.
• TPS006 – Podcast Hosting – Don’t host on your own site, especially shared hosting. Unlimited bandwidth doesn’t mean unlimited everything else such as CPU cycles etc.
• TPS007 – Comment on other blogs and social (answer questions, offer valuable feedback and discussion to others in your niche. There are many communities on facbook, websites, G+, etc., which are great places to become recognized as someone who valuable knowledge or just a good friend. The core message is to get noticed, get your podcast noticed by having conversations away from your show, get into the community. Use hashtags or keyword search on social networks to look for conversations, join tweet chats, etc., just go have the conversations.
• TPS008 – Podcast intros: your name, who you’re talking to and what you’re talking about. Hook the audience, give them the necessary info up front and fast. I’m not a huge fan of templates when it comes to your podcast’s conversation, I prefer something more loose but I have also always sort of held to this format cause I know as a listener it’s nice to know what is coming up and setting up the person you are interviewing for context.
Make friends with future guests (interviewees) on social media (facebook, linkedIn etc.) and once you can see who your mutual friends are, pick a few that you know, and ask them what question would you ask the interviewee if you were interviewing them? You might be surprised by what other people think to ask because they know the interviewee from a different perspective than you do, and when you go to a specific person and say that you’d like to give them a shoutout on the show, and I’d love to have a great question I can use, 9 of 10 will respond.
• TPS009 – Creative Commons – with copyright, if you create it, you own in (draw something on a napkin, boom an All Right Reserved copyright is yours for that piece of art. But when you want a less restrictive license, you can use CC and they don’t have to come to you for your permission cause hello what year is this?;) beyond being nice and giving back, they are promoting you at the same time (links, mentions, etc). You can go to creativecommons.org and they have a fill in the blank form which lets you decide how you want your content to be used and you can place this text or graphic with or on your work. The main benefit to you however are all the great free resources you can use via CC such as flickr or google for images licensed CC, music and SFX at Internet Archive or video clips and this is still a great place to put your content for backup storage but beware that when you post your stuff there, it becomes CC licensed.
• TPS011 – Tweetdeck from 2009, I still use it today (Chrome extension). Create a column to follow relevant content in your niche to help populate your show with news, new ideas, etc. Something I wasn’t doing in 2009 but discovered the power of later on, making sure I see “likes.” You have more interaction than you know but if you’re not seeing people who like your tweets, you won’t know it.
Why I don’t follow everyone who follows me: in my case I’m trying to create value for people who follow me, I can do that best if, when I look at twitter, I can quickly and efficiently find content that my followers will also enjoy or need to know (podcasting news). I could create a column in tweetdeck but I can’t do that on my phone. Plus following everyone leads to burn out and honestly I don’t want someone to follow me if they aren’t interested in the content of my tweets.
• TPS012 – the best part of my convo with Cliff was regarding sponsorship. He said, and remember this was back in 2009 but I think it’s still a good place to start, that he takes no less than $200 per episode from a sponsor. This was a nice revelation because at that time, not many podcasters would speak about advertising rates and what they make from sponsorship. I still think this is a nice starting point and if you calculate out the per hour rate that you’d get from this based on how much time you put into each episode, you’ll likely see that this fair if not less than you should be getting. But this is good to test out a sponsorship for a 4-6month period and then you can renegotiate after that if all goes well. And it will go well if you choose a sponsor that fits your audience and is something that the majority of listeners would use and love because you have also used and love it.
• TPS013 – record better audio by standing up and smiling more. This just goes to having more energy instead of slumping in your chair and will come through the mic that way.
Re: audio editing, Audacity is still a great option for free but I prefer to export a completed project out of Audacity as a uncompressed .wav and use iTunes to compress to mp3.
Re: compression settings: 96kbps, joint stereo is still my favorite compromise but consider file size. This episode 100 is so large that I compressed to 64kbps, mono and it’s perfectly acceptable and doesn’t put a large burden on the listener.
•TPS014 – Google Voice as a call-in number. I still have my number from 2009 and it works well. Not the best audio quality available but a great for a free option.
Biz cards – get one. I like to have some negative (blank) space that I can make notes on and my image on the back so people actually remember you and hopefully the conversation you had when you handed it to them. ps they’re cheap and I even got some stickers for my show and seeing these show up in the “real-world” on other people’s stuff is the ultimate compliment. Elements to include: [see current card] and make sure you always have a few with you.
• TPS015 – Google Alerts. I went back and set one up for TPS and PR… are they still worth it? I think so as long as you keep it specific enough, otherwise you’re likely to overload your inbox with too many alerts. Unless you are trying to follow news. That might be a good case for broader terms.
• TPS021 – I still use iTunes to tag and compress my audio.
Get interviewed or interview hosts of other podcasts in your niche. This is a time tested way of getting in front of your target audience and I can say, even as someone who has listened to most podcasts about podcasts, there are still some that I have not heard of.
In fact early on there was one or two of the bigger shows in my own niche that I didn’t find out about for a long time. It’s amazing how these can slip by you but when I found out about them, I went over and started listening. I didn’t leave one show for another, I simply added the new show to my line up because it was content specifically focused for me. So there’s plenty of room for new, good content and there is almost certainly something new you can glean for every show in your niche and the people who host them.
• TPS021 – ITPC links. If you ever hear about using this as an option to make your link a “single” click so that iTunes will open, this is very bad and should not be used. If you have it that way currently, like a link on your website to iTunes, change it.
When a subscription happens from this type of link, the iTunes store, has no idea that you gained a new subscriber because it’s going around the store instead of through the store. It’s subscribing listeners to your show by just using the iTunes software instead of the store.
You work hard to get a new subscriber and when it comes to iTunes subscribers are the number one currency. Not reviews and ratings, subscribers. So get seen by those that you want to listen to your show and make sure your subscriptions are being counted.
To make your links one-click that opens the iTunes software or more importantly Apple Podcasts App, simply add &ls=1 (ex: https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/podcasters-studio-how-to-record/id312884767?mt=2&ls=1). To get your link, search for your show in iTunes, right click on your artwork that’s on your podcast’s iTunes page, copy the link and then add &ls=1 to the end of that URL.
Want your show featured in iTunes? Stay current with their showart specs. As of this recording, it’s 3000×3000. Without that minimum, they say they won’t feature your show. I’m not convinced of this but it’s usually a good idea follow the native specifications of a platform. Make sure to keep your artwork filesize for your show less than 500kbs in size.
• TPS022 – You can use tools like AWeber and WordPress to create a premium podcast RSS feed. People used this combo in 2009 and are still making a living online with those tools and others like it such as Patreon.com.
• TPS025 – my fairly common name “Ray Ortega”, could be harder to rank for than using a moniker (PodcastHelper). Another way to rank for your name is the long game of creating great content and slowly you will rise in Google for your name. Podcasting, and writing good shownotes is an excellent way to build your name over time. However, if your name is John Kennedy or something that famous, you might want to consider that moniker;)
Taglines in iTunes titles (The Podcasters’ Studio – How to Record Audio and Video Podcasts | Learn, Publish, Market, Profit) let people quickly know what your show is about. Don’t make them guess, get them to click the play button not the back button. You can add a tagline as well as a title to your author tag for better SEO and to quickly establish credibility or once again, giving the person browsing more quick info about what and who they are going to listen to.
• TPS26 – FeedBurner stats: first tip, don’t use FeedBurner anymore. One issue I recently ran into it was FeedBurner related where all of a sudden it was pinging my feeds thousands of times a day which drove up my CPU on my shared hosting and almost got me shutdown.
If you are still using FeedBurner and you look at the stats, these are not a good indicator of how many subscribers you actually have. If you notice that these numbers change drastically day to day, it’s because it’s only showing you how many times your feed was pinged by people whose podcatcher checked the feed that day.
My first listener voice feedback came on episode 26. So just to point out, that asking for feedback is a high threshold engagement so don’t be disappointed if it takes quite awhile to get feedback or it comes in rarely. That said, this can be a great measurement of engagement. As you continue to ask, incorporate the feedback that is helpful to your audience, into your show. The amount of feedback will increase and that’s a great indicator that you are reaching your audience and making an impact.
• TPS028 – On episode 28 I exchange some work with Wayne Henderson. I think I did some artwork and he did a voice over for my show Podcast Quick Tips. This can be a way, when you’re getting started, to build your podcast assets if you’re on a budget. I also used to have my wife do VO for my first podcast.
Todd Cochrane used to do a 24-hour podcast around the Podcast Awards and one of the things he would do is The State of The Podcast Sphere. He’d give lots of great insights gained from judging podcasts nominated for an award and one of his big recommendations is to have a strong website.
Some of the biggest insights here were to have a good “about” page that reflects the content of your show, have good shownotes (the more the merrier to be found in search), have various subscribe options and make them obvious, and be easy to contact.
Back then, in 2009, 66% Of total nominations were shows creating audio, video and blog posts. By doing comprehensive shownotes, you can essentially do two of these as once, a podcast and a blog. We (podcasters) have the advantage of our shows being both a blog and a podcast. Bloggers cannot say the same.
• TPS029 – have a podcast branded email. Over the years, it’s be so helpful and credible having an email like ray[at]thepodcastersstudio.com. I can set these up for free with my shared hosting and I funnel all my emails to Gmail. But however you do it, it’s easier for people to remember and it looks more professional when sending out emails representing your show be it an interview request, sponsor inquiries or other.
• TPS030 – tongue clicks? Really? Come on, Ray. Edit that out. I really stumbled through this episode and it’s painful to listen to. Tighten up your show for the listener. I found myself getting frustrated with the parts that should of been edited out which is pulling me out of the content. You definitely should do some level of editing.
• TPS032 – first off let me correct some really bad info I gave out in this episode, people will not be automatically unsubscribed from your podcast if they don’t listen to an episode in a specified amount of time like 5 days. Myth perpetuated and busted by the very same person lol.
What actually happens, is if someone doesn’t play one of your episodes within the last X weeks, their subscription to your show will pause (get more info on durations here).
Sponsor your own podcast – take 15-30 seconds to cross-promote something else you produce (YouTube, a social site where you post rich, relevant content (IG, with stories, etc), with something you can get there that you don’t get in the show. A product that is relevant to your audience, an event, another podcast of your own or someone else. The quick reasons for this, 1) because this is an obvious place to promote your similar content. 2) it builds in sponsorship to your content and you’ll never suffer from that effect of going from no ads to ads should you pick up a third party sponsor.
One of my favorite older tips comes from something I thought of doing while producing a friend’s music podcast a long time ago, if you are doing interviews or even reviews, reach out to that person or the brand and let them know about it and most importantly, give them the tools (links, graphics, etc.) to make it easy for them to share on their social.
We had interviews with bands that had Facebook followings of 100K plus and if you can get in front of that audience with the exact type of content they are there to receive, you are certain to grow your show by a few new listeners.
Critical piece of podcast gear: a good chair! I screwed up my tailbone by sitting in a cheap deskchair that I’ve only now, 6 years later, mostly recovered from. I also added a standing desk and employed a small workout routine into my day just to get up and off my backside. You can’t podcast if you’re not healthy, at least not as well as if you were. Stay well!
• TPS034 – A reason to get your name as domain (.com, .net, .info) whatever is available; if you have multiple brands or multi-type content (podcasts, YouTube etc.) like I do, it can be a one-stop-shop for all your content. A nice reference for people who want to know more about what you’re doing online, once they start to enjoy your brand, which btw becomes you and your name at some point.
• TPS036 – Logo Design For Your Podcast – there were many basic tips about creating a logo like make sure it’s readable at thumbnail size (125×125), fits iTunes specs, use fonts that are easily readable, consider a subtitle, etc. but I can wrap up the entire episode in one thought: get a great logo.
Not only may a logo be your only chance to get someone to check out your show (while browsing iTunes for example) or in an app like Pocketcasts (each is very logo heavy) but a logo is also a point of pride. When you have a great logo/album artwork, you’ll love showing it off and it could be something that makes its way on schwag, etc.
Here’s a tip from this episode that I’m not even employing myself but probably should. If you spend time answering emails that provide listeners of your show with valuable feedback or helper type info like how-to’s, consider including that text, probably reformatted, to help the SEO of your podcasts on the web.
Google will love that content and if you can work it into your shownotes (if feedback is part of your show), include it. Or maybe people send you email that you can include on your show. Use those in your shownotes too for the relevant info which is a nice way to give back to the person for their time and for helping you create content.
I don’t incorporate enough feedback, the way I used to on TPS, but I certainly answer tons of questions every day. A Q&A section on my site would be very valuable.
• TPS037 – Do you use AdWords on your site? Is it really worth it? I tired it many years ago and for me it wasn’t. Not only does it not look that good, it’s distracting and the returns are often low.
I don’t think it’s worth the few dollars a month you might make over degrading your site’s visual appeal and usability. Besides, you work really hard to get someone back to your website and when they finally show up, you don’t want to send them right back out. They may see an ad, click and be taken off your site never to return. And if you’re lucky you just made a few cents.
Personally, I want those clicks to go to podcast plays or at worst, an affiliate link that opens in a new window so that a podcast playing on your site is not cutoff. But really it’s about the play and the subscribe. That’s the conversion you want, it’s worth many, many multiples of anything you’ll get from an Adwords click.
• TPS038 – Podcasting and the Law. Copyright; you create it, you own it. But, if you use someone else’s content, a song for your intro for example, it’s possible infringement whether you make money from it or not. It simply comes down to the fact that you don’t own it. And even if you have permission, these days with Content ID systems such as what YouTube has, you can still get picked-off by the robots (algorithms) and in that case, you won’t be able to monetize that content on YouTube or any money will go to the content creator that you are using.
• TPS040 – in December 2010 when ep. 40 was published, podcast listening on desktops was not only high, approx. 75%, it was growing according to Edison research. Well nowadays mobile has ushered in whole new listening habits and are by far the dominate place people are listening to podcasts, in fact the numbers have probably flipped with mobile taking the place of where desktop listening was at 7 years ago.
But, don’t ignore listens on your website. Make sure you have a good audio player, that is mobile friendly (HTML5 capable and easy to use) and is at the top of each podcast post if that’s how you publish your podcast to your website.
Even if people aren’t prone to listening to whole episodes on the desktop, having a player allows those who do, the opportunity to consume how they prefer and for those who come to your site from other places to discover your show. If they don’t listen on your site they have a chance to sample your show and jump off into a podcast app from there and become a subscriber.
In addition to having a podcast player, you should also have social share buttons in and around each post. The goal is to make it easy for those who want to share, to do so. Often I’ve clicked a twitter or facebook button to share someone’s content and what it ended up being was a button that takes me to their social profile on that platform. Put those elsewhere, in the sidebar and/0r bottom of a post and clearly labeled but don’t get in the way of someone who wants to share your episode because word of mouth is still the best promotion a podcast can receive.
• TPS041 – When you are done with your podcast but you want your episodes to remain on the web, available for download. On episode 41 I went a little morbid and wondered out loud what would happen to your show when you died. But it could also just be, when you are done. In either case, if you want your podcast to live on without you, one thing you can do if you’re at a premium host like Libsyn, you can pay $5 a month to keep the archive available. You could probably even prepay this. Like any other business, there’s no guarantee that they will be around for any length of time but if Libsyn goes out of business, podcasting probably have a bigger problem than just your show. Another alternative would be to upload each episode to Archive.org. This is free and the nice part is it will just live here as long as the site is live. It will be more work and you might want to have an archive feed as well in order to point at all those episodes on arvhive.org in chronlogical order but if this is a concern of yours, these are some options. Check your hosting provider to see if they have an archive only option as well and you could probably also host the files on your website if that was something you plan to keep alive once you are done with your show. Not the normal recommendation for file hosting but in this case, most podcasts do not have a really popular long-tail, they won’t get that many downloads at once, and almost any website you pay for should be able to serve an archived podcast.
TPS043 – Looking to use your shared hosting to host your podcast media (your mp3 files that get downloaded by your listeners) yes, that 5.95 a month hosting says unlimited bandwidth but check the amount of CPU usage that you get. It’s going to be low, around 2% or lower on average and there are lots of things that can send you past your limit quickly. This is where you will be taken down by your host not bandwidth, should your podcast get popular or in my case, you reach episode 100 and your feed is such a size that having many people hit it at once (new episode release) it spikes your CPU. Stay tuned as I’m going to go much more in depth about my struggles with shared hosting and my solutions which I’m still working my way through at the time of this recording. The tip here is to simply not host your media on your shared sever.
• TPS044 – if you’re thinking about trying to get an advertiser on your show, you need to have a better idea of who is listening. From a good host with good stats you can get stats on the media file such as (# of downloads, geography of downloads, devices that are downloading, etc) but what about the people themselves, those who are doing the downloading, who are they? Maybe the best way to get a decent sample and look at who your audience is, is to use a survey. Hosts like Libsyn and blubrry offer surveys that you can point your audience to. Ask on your show and maybe a good tip is to only ask on your show. Not social or website etc., so that you know people who answered the survey are actually answering your survey as a listener.
After you have those stats, bundle them up, and present them an appealing way in a media kit along with short and long descriptions of your show, important links (social, website, feeds, etc) show logos, host bios. Have that available on your website.
• TPS046 – one fun fact that I uncovered when listening to this episode was this was right around the time I released the video that essentially launched my YouTube channel. I had a YT channel for a couple years before this video but this was the one, a Canon 60D setup video, that really was the video that became the backbone for success on YouTube. The video did extremely well and it really sparked a direction for me to go with all future videos. So the lesson or tip here is to pay attention to what is popular be it your videos or audio podcasts. If you watch this old video, I start it off by saying that this video is for a member of my community, Dave, who had asked me about my setup probably after seeing a tweet I had sent out showing some BTS of the video I was filming. So I just set it up my cameras and went through the setup. Apparently lots of other people wanted this info too. So when you see a topic is popular, go deeper. Get into that topic more or branch out from that same topic and talk about related items. And ask your audience, what do they want to know more about, what questions do they have?
Various ways to get more feedback on your show – ask. Ask for feedback but not just in general. Be specific. Do this on your show as well as social and then bring those responses into your podcast. Involve the audience more and they will participate more. Go to where you audience is. If they aren’t on twitter, don’t shout into the void. Maybe they are on facebook, maybe pinterest and the point here really is don’t stretch yourself too thin if you don’t have the extra time, optimize that time by putting your efforts into the place where your audience is more likely to participate. maybe your email list which is also another good reason to have a list. Voicemail is cool, I’ve had the same number for the entire time this show has been active 925 567 3335 but Anchor is another cool app that makes two way audio Q&A really easy and integrates really well with twitter.
• TPS047 – double enders will make for the best quality in remote interviews, assuming the other person knows how to record properly but to make this even easier these days, check out browser based services like CAST tryca.st or Zencastr. These two handle the double ender in the browser. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time and there have been a few different services over the last couple years but nobody had emerged as the winner, the one I could reilably recommend. The key is that this won’t fail on you which they seem to do every so often. They’ve cleverly solved this issue by saving the interview in realtime so if you lose your connection, you don’t lose your interview.
• TPS048 – I talked about Mixlr on this epsiode back in 2011 and if you want to live-stream audio only, not video, just the audio, then mixlr is still my recommendation. I’m really happy that they are still around, they’ve always been the best and honestly there are little to no acceptable alternatives so I hope they remain. And they even have a free level so try it out.
• TPS049 July 2011, talking about something google was cooking up that would allow multi person video chat live to the public. This would become HOAs and ultimately when they opened up to everyone, I would start a new show, Podcasters’ Roundtable which is still going today and is a ton of fun. So the platform is still strong even though it’s gone through lots of changes and now lives on YouTube exclusively, but if you are interested in starting a podcast where you live-stream the video recording, this is a super easy way to get started in video and live-streaming at the same time all while having guests or co-hosts, in the case of the Roundtable we have both, with new podcasters on every Round, that means you should sign up to be on a Round at podcastersroundtable.com/guest and of course we have regular co-hosts, Dave Jackson from the SOP and DJL from TAP.
• TPS050 and 051 are Back to Basics and I’m going to skip those here because episode 101 is for obvious reasons going to be a back to basics reboot. Get it. 101. yeah, like I had to say that. But seriously, somewhere in this archive, probably on episode 50 or when I finish the introductory first few episodes of this show, I said that i wanted to do a back to basics every 50 episodes so the episode number aligns perfectly and I’ll be giving you all the, “if I was starting a show today, in 2017, tips in that one.
• TPS052 & 053 are with Dave Jackson, tons of tips but a lot of advice you may have heard in the previous tips however this was a gem that I pulled out that will be helpful to some of you looking to do reviews of products, Dave says don’t contact the sales department, get in touch with someone in marketing. “sales people want to sell you stuff, marketing want to get the word out. So in his case he was able to get a really nice mic. RE320 in exchange for a review. And he says many times, if you have a niche, you probably won’t need to give them audience numbers but explain to them who your audience is. And mention that you don’t want to keep it. And make sure you don’t give good reviews just to get stuff. Tell them they may not get a review if it’s not something you would endorse. Some companies, like my relationship with B&H, they don’t care if the review is good or bad.
• TPS054 – question about audio recorders and I recommended the Zoom H1 as an option for an audio recorder that you can use to record to either as a primary or backup solution. This is still an entry level recorder that I would recommend, it’s plastic but it’s proven itself over the years to do a great job. I’ve heard great audio from people using this as a primary mic, it has built in mics, when used correctly sound amazing. You can plug a lav mic into it and the preamps are very clean, providing great audio in a compact solution, it can fit in your pocket. Small recorders like this are still hard to find at the $100 mark. You can often find a sale on this mic all the way down to $75 bucks and it will accept line level audio, the level that would come out of your mixer. So it;s extremely versatile while remaining affordable and you get a high quality sound. If you want to plug in XLR mics for podcasting with multiple, pro mics out of the studio or even in the studio for a simple setup, you’ll need to upgrade to a higher end Zoom like the H5, H6 H4n Pro or many different Tascam options. Avoid the H4n. That was a wildly popular recorder and I still have mine but outside of hooking it up to a mixer, it’s preamps are bad and you won’t be happy with the audio you get. Zoom has fixed this with all the previous models I mentioned and of course if you want to pick one up or check out the different options, check out my gear page at thepodcastersstudio.com/gear. Using links on that page also supports the show so I appreciate it.
• TPS056 – disable auto gain control in Skype. This tip had just been implemented for the mac version, before this you had to go into the code of your Skype install and turn it off, which you can still do if you want to get rid of Skype’s other feature, echo cancelation, but when I recorded ep. 56 back in march 2012, Skype had literally the day before, released an update that allowed you to simply uncheck the box in your audio settings under the audio meter. This will prevent Skype from changing your levels, the ones that as podcasters we have worked hard to dial in and don’t need adjusted. This might be something you instruct your guest to do as well unless you know that they won’t have any mic technique and tend to drift off mic which in their case may just be the built in microphone on their laptop. They may need this feature so that you can get as consistent levels from them as possible. And this is an option on computers not phones/apps even though they are more computer than phone. you know what i mean;)
• TPS058 – audio post production and like me, he is all about getting it right, at the source so we spent a good deal of time talking about how to get it right before you ever enter the editing stage. He also prefers dynamic mics because they are less sensitive and thus reject more unwanted sound but with dynamics, being close to the mic is usually a necessity. However, one thing he said he has done over the years is to actually back off the mic a little more than before, say to around 6 inches instead of 2 or three in order to get a more natural sound and he has less work to do in post production to correct the issues that being too close are present such as the proximity effect. He talks about an rule in audio that says if you double the distance of the source (your voice) to the microphone, the volume goes down by half. So he says if you are right on top of the microphone, a couple inches away, if you move back just one inch, it can sound noticeable different, it can sound half as loud and thus, just moving your head around the way you would in normal conversation, you could have inconsistent audio levels, a pain to deal with in post production. But by backing up your starting point just a little bit, a couple inches, suddenly the audio is much more consistent. I will say, that with mic technique it really is something you have to test and dial in for your audio setup and voice. One issue I’m currently battling in my new studio is reverb. By being right on top of the mic, I take out as much of that reverb as possible but I do have to be much more cautious of plosives (pops into the mic), my Ss, and too much proximity effect especially on the mic like the PR40 which already has too much low end in my opinion and needs processing in order to sound it’s best. So take these tips, work with your own mic and setup and find that spot that will produce the sound you need and want.
Joe gives a couple good tips about checking the quality of your final audio. He has a cheap, 3 inch computer speaker that he’ll often, at the end of an edit, plug into his computer and listen to the sound through. Because like me, he masters his audio on nice reference monitors and/or well made headphones but most podcasts and a lot of music (which is what he produces in addition to podcasts) is going to be played through a device like a mobile phone with much different speakers or earbuds. So check your audio against more than your higher quality gear, listen via computer speakers and check the audio in your car as well. Does it sound OK in these places as well? Fix as necessary. He also says, “it’s not wrong to compare what you’re doing to others.” Pull up a podcast that you like the sound of. Is there a big difference between your sound and theirs? Chances are there’s something you need to fix or work on. He says, just going off of memory, doesn’t work very well. If you switch back and fourth between your audio and your reference audio, it’s a good reality check. He admits this can be a sad moment but you’l get better for it and your audience will appreciate the time you’ve put into making your show’s audio quality on par with others that they listen to.
And I mentioned it already but in Joe’s tutorial videos, he does something I love which is he purposely tweaks the knobs beyond what they clearly should be. So if he’s teaching you compression, he make sure to over-compress by a lot so that you can actually hear what that sounds like. He says, he gets emails from people asking him, “hey is it ok if I do this or that when I’m working with my audio? He writes back, just do it! Turn all the knobs and just have fun with it and you might stumble across something that sounds great but if you’re too timid to try stuff, you’re probably not going to find what you’re looking for anyway. So becoming familiar with the tools you have in front of you is part of the process of getting it to sound how you want it to sound. This is such good advice. You have to experiment. I give this advice all the time to video shooters who are trying to get things perfect. You won’t know what good really is until you’ve seen bad. So make purposeful mistakes, record audio, shoot video that you never intend to publish and learn your gear, your software and your own style.
• TPS059: continuing on because post processing is such a big topic. I asked Joe if there was a good way to know if you’ve overdone an effect such as EQ and his answer is obvious but great at the same time because sometimes simple really is the best answer that many will forget. He suggests using the bypass button on the effect that you are applying so that you can hear the difference between the audio you recorded and effect of your processing. And my favorite quote is he says, “close your eyes, click it a few times and make sure the after sounds better than the before. So simple yet so effective because ultimately when it comes to post processing, you need to master with your ears not with your eyes. And after you sit with an edit and tweak knobs endlessly, you lose reference for what you’re working on and it may sound ok until you walk away from the edit, take a break and then come back and listen again with fresh ears. You might be amazed at the difference and wonder to yourself, what the heck was I doing lol. But again, if it sounds worse than the originally file, you know you’ve gone too far.
Joe also has his own 3db rule and that is he doesn’t make any changes up or down larger than 3db at a time. So don’t grab your eq and change it by 10db, make small changes, assess and adjust as necessary. And this is different than my tip about purposely screwing up your audio to hear what bad audio sounds like. This rule would apply for your real edits and mastering, my tip: push the effects overboard, do push it 10db or more applies to when you are learning an effect on a test piece of audio. This will help you when you get into the actual edit of your podcast episode that will be published. You’ll know when you’ve done too far cause you’ve heard what bad audio sounds like.
Another great tip, in this case we were discussing compression but it applies to any effect, start with a preset. Most effects plugins will have some presets in them, maybe one for voice, dialog or other. I love what he says about this: “somebody who knows more about audio than you, setup that preset. So see what they did, you may not know why they did it right now but eventually you will.” So presets can be a great way to get started and you can adjust from there. A great learning tool.
• TPS063: Libsyn signup discount hack. If you’ve listened to this show enough, you know that I host my audio on Libsyn.com and in fact i recently moved all my feeds into their own accounts at Libsyn and moved my feeds off of my WP site and onto each respective Libsyn feed. Much, much more about all of that and the process of doing so in an upcoming episode. But, since I use and love Libsyn, I have an affiliate code for you if you decide you also want to host your media at Libsyn. You could host there and create your feed on WP which is what I did for a long time or you can host there and also create your feed there as well. Lots of flexibility, ease and most of all speed and reliability. If you use promo code: podcasthelper when you checkout, you’ll get your first month free.
But here’s the trick to actually get two months free. Whenever you sign up for an account, you actually get the remainder of that month for free as well as the entire following month free. So what is going on here is that Libsyn wants you to have an entire month free. To do this, they don’t start charging until your new billing cycle which happens at the beginning of the month when you storage limit resets. So sign up a few days into any month and you’ll get that entire month as well as the next month free. This actually isn’t a secret, Rob Walch, VP of Podcaster Relations at Libsyn, told us about this back on episode 63 and that’s why I bring it up here as a tip from the past 100 episodes.
AppleCore media in libsyn stats = iOS device or more specifically, quicktime player
Subscribers matter most in iTunes. Make sure any links you are using for people to subscribe via iTunes are actually sending people to iTunes store or the Podcasts app, the best way to do this is to right click on your show art in iTunes, copy the url and use that when linking. This means you subscribers who use this link for iTunes, will be counted by iTunes and when it comes to rank in the store, search results, top 100 lists, it’s all about how many subs you have. This is why older shows, that are no longer producing episodes may show up higher in search results than your own currently running show. This is a big frustration for people but the fact of the matter is that show has more ALL TIME subs than you do. So if you want to pass them, you need more subs that they have. And it doesn’t matter if their current subscriber numbers (something you won’t know) are lower than yours. iTunes only cares how many subscribers they ever had.
• TPS066 – with Rob Greenlee when he worked for Microsoft and managed the Zune marketplace, remember that, Zune? If you do, then you know you’ve been around podcasting for quite awhile. Well not much of that episode still remains relevant however Rob now works with and on the Spreaker platform including hosting a show about podcasting called Spreaker live and one of the tips that came out or my conversation with him regarding getting seen on Zune, was to actually get in touch with Rob. Rob has been in the space since its birth and has deep experience working with Microsoft, PodcastOne and Spreaker and others. You should reach out to him, tweet him @robgreenlee, say hi, let him know you’re out there, ask him questions about Spreaker or if you’re considering a media host that also gives you tons of tools for production including recording software, an app for your podcast and more, check out Rob and what he’s doing at Spreaker. If you’re on that platform, then he’ll know you exist and can possibly feature your show or help you optimize it for Spreaker. But tip applies to anyone in your niche, not just Rob. Get to know the people in your space, chat with them, check out their work and have real conversations. I’m not a huge fan of the word or the process of networking but having real conversations about something you are genuinely interested in, that’s fun and often times it can lead to opportunities you wouldn’t have had otherwise.
• TPS067 – no specific tips for this episode but if you want to get into doing affiliate marketing for your podcast, this is a must listen episode. Over an hour of conversation with Daniel Clark and expert in affiliate marketing and podcaster and this is a great episode for learning all the things you need to do to start using affiliate links and making money in conjunction with your podcast. That’s episode 67
• TPS069 – SEO is important, write good titles, sufficient shownotes, include tags, setup your permalink structure so that it’s readable instead of just random letters and numbers but don’t worry about it too much. SEO is a moving target that always changes and the best advice I can give is to just write good content. Write so that people can easily read through your post, get a great idea about the main content in your episode and include keywords and SEO will take care of itself.
• TPS70 – from this episode, still relevant is my list of the top 5 places to submit your podcast to first. There are hundreds of directories to submit your show to and when you do add a new one, you inevitability add new subscribers which is a nice way to grow your audience. But when you first start your show, make sure you are in these top five when you launch your show. Check out tps.com/podcatchers to see the infographic that I put together but the top five are iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, Miro and Tune in. iTunes is obvious, for most podcasters, 70-90% of your audience will listen via Apple devices, software or apps. The remaining four aren’t in order of importance but you should be in all of them for various reasons. Stitcher is great because they are one of the more dominant, non itunes directories and until Google got back into podcasting, they were the top Android directory. They can also be found in the first generation of car dashboard apps integrations. Google Play music is a no brainer because it’s Google. This will be the native directory if Android ever has one and you even though they are not doing a good job with it currently, you usually want to be listed in whatever Google does. Miro is on the list because it is an open source option available to Linux users and beyond. And finally, Tune-in makes the list because they unique value add is that it gets you onto the Alexa. So if you’re in Tune in, people who have an Alexa device by Amazon can simply say, “Alexa, play The Podcasters’ Studio” and it will play. Again, check out tps.com/podcatchers (link in shownotes) to get directions on how to submit to all of these top directories as well as check out mypodcastplaces.com from my friend Daniel J Lewis where you can find remaining directories to submit to, something to work on after you’ve already started publishing.
• TPS071 – Matt McGlynn from recordinghacks.com, a site you want to visit if you’re ever looking for information about any microphone. He’s put together the worlds best microphone database and while those are his words, I think it’s accurate. Some great advice he gave about selecting a microphone if you ever actually go out and shop, that is test out different microphones, Matt says that comparison audio is key. That is, being able to compare your voice on one mic vs another because that helps you identify the differences between two microphones. He says when choosing a mic for podcasting, listen and compare the noise floor, sibilance and he says a lot of people listen for plosives but he doesn’t put much weight in that because he thinks plosives are more of a performance problem (in other words, work on your mic technique) and plosives can be mitigated by mic position, moving the mic slightly off axis (to the side of your mouth or slightly above your mouth pointing down) and you can use a pop filter. But sibilance is harder to fix, harder to prevent, harder to not do with your mouth. These are the S sounds. So primary things to listen for are noise floor and sibilance. And Matt urges all podcasters, especially those struggling to invest in a microphone of significant quality (i’d say $100 and above)…listen. To do this, pick a phrase that has plenty of S’s in it so you can hear that sibilance and throw in some P and B words so that you can work on your plosives and make that phrase, repeatable so that you know it well enough that you can perform it the same over and over in order to get as accurate a comparison as possible. Matt stresses, that there is NO other piece of gear, that will make a bigger difference to the sound of your podcast than the microphone. If you change the mic you will hear it. If you change your mixer or preamp, you probably won’t hear it. The microphone is everything, it’s the noise floor, the tonality, the sibilance.
•TPS072 – related to the previous episode about microphones with Matt McGlynn, in this episode I talk about the Fethead. This is an inline preamp for your microphone. And one of the recommendations that Matt made when choosing a mic, is to pay attention to the mic’s noise floor. In each case, every mic will need a different level of gain from your mixer, audio interface or preamp, all of those can be the same thing but in this case I’m referring to different products that allow you to interface your mic with your computer, whichever you use, an inline preamp like the fethead of a Cloudlifter, can help you reduce a microphone’s noise floor but adding approx. 20db of additional clean gain. This will help supplement the quality of whatever preamp you have and allow you to use less of your device’s preamp. This can be helpful because as Matt mentions, the upper 25% of your preamp is going to be it’s weak spot if it has one. This where you’ll get the most noise. So providing your mic with an additional boost of gain can help limit the amount of noise you get from the mic as a result of having to drive it harder to achieve workable audio levels. But before you go buying extra gear, it’s important to know what can cause noise. Make sure you are setting up your gain structure properly first. I have a video about how to do this with any mixer. After that, be aware of your recording environment. Are you recording in a place that has too much background noise, even HVAC, road noise, or electronic interference from lights, computers or other elements too close to the mic can cause issues. So learn how to setup the gear you already have properly then assess whether you need additional or different gear.
• TPS077 – re: Feedburner, the 512 kiloBYTES (update this to new spec) limit is a Feedburner specific limit not iTunes. So if you’re at your limit this could be one reason to move your feed to a podcast specific host like Libsyn. Or if you’re on blubrry hosting using WP then you can move it there but in both I recently moved my feeds off of WP.
• TPS079 – I talk about an alternative to Skype. I often, to this day, hear people complain about the quality of audio they get from Skype when doing interviews for their a podcast. In the last couple years there have been multiple solutions to help mitigate Skype issues such as processed audio, cutouts etc such as the ringr app on ios and android, Cast, and Zencastr, a few of my favorites that are almost perfected. These applications allow you to record a double-ender where each side of the conversation is recorded on the person own device be it a phone or computer which provides the best quality because it removes the degradation you can get from running audio through through apps over the web. These are much easier for non-podcasters to use and that is great for most of the guests you’re likely to have on your show. However, in this episode I tell you that if you’re having issues with Skype, everyone’s connection is different of course so just cause you have a great connection does not mean the next person will or even your next call on Skype, you can almost never tell. If this is you, then a good alternative is using Google Hangouts. This is what we use on Podcasters’ Roundtable and since I record the audio that is real-time, capturing the live-stream in studio to a recorder, I get the best audio quality available.
On this episode I talked about an interesting article that I found where someone did a really deep dive into the specs of a G+ Hangout and the findings, back in 2013 when this was recorded, were that the archived video file has an audio bit rate of 96kbps. This is a great rate and in fact is my favorite bit rate for final mp3 files. IMO it’s the best compromise between quality and file size. I hear no degradation in the audio and the file size is relatively small, coming in around: .75mbs for every one minute recorded. So to put that in perspective, at 128kbps, the max I would ever go, for every minute you record, you’ll use almost 1mb, a 1 to 1 ratio. So if your podcast is 30minutes long, you’re looking at almost a 30mb mp3 file. But if you cut that to 64kbps it makes sense that you cut your file size by about half. A 30 minute podcast would be approx. 15mb in size. At 96kbps, you hit the middle of those two, again a great compromise cause the file size is still small, with a 30 minute podcast episode coming in at approx 22mbs with no degradation to the audio, including music, at least to my ears or at the very least, not enough to make a difference or force you up to 128kbps because you really should consider your listeners bandwidth limitations, we are afterall a global medium and those caps even apply to a large population in the U.S. as well as consider speed. A lot of podcasts are closer to 45 minutes or longer and at those lengths, file size starts to become an issue for many.
So after that long detour, we know that a Hangout that has been recorded still gives you 96kbps audio and I know that when you hear the audio live, during the stream, it’s much better quality than that. So you’re definitely looking at very useable quality when connecting via Hangout and recording it live.
• TPS080 – ID3 artwork resolution probably doesn’t need to exceed 3000×3000 for your feed/itunes and 600×600 for ID3 artwork??? and the file size should be 200kb (kilobits) or less.
• TPS082 – do you own your own domain? One of my favorite tips regarding domains is to create an email along with it. Most shared hosts, cheap hosting where you would create your own website, comes with email. When you buy a domain name (usually with your hosting package the primary account will also come with a domain or when you are adding new websites to your current host you can get a domain at places like hover.com, that’s where I get mine, try hover.com/ray, that will work, I don’t know if I get credit for the referral anymore but the url will work, so when you have a domain and some hosting, you can create an email address that includes your website which is also hopefully the name of your podcast. These are the reasons why owning all these properties and tying them to the same brand are so cool, because then your email also becomes your website which is also your podcast. In my case, you’re listening to The Podcasters Studio which you can find at thepodcastersstudio.com and you can get in tough with me via firstname.lastname@example.org. Once people sub to your show and your brand becomes familiar to them, interacting with you..finding you on the web, is easy for a listener to remember..it’s all tied to the name of the show. And from this episode, number 82, I quoted someone who said, regarding having your email tied to your domain….with every email you send, you’re promoting your show. And it’s true. Heck I get emails all the time for many of you and when it’s tied to a website, I often will go out and check out your website and then potentially listen to the show if there is one. So it’s a pro move that doesn’t cost much, it’s great promotion for your show and having a cohesive brand gives your show that extra polish and attention to detail that I think helps set you apart.
• TPS085 & 086 – are 2.5 hours about Auphonic and Loudness Normalization. I’m going to make it really easy for you here and condense all that into a couple simple tips. #1 use Auphonic for drag and drop, dead simple, audio post production. It will automatically level your audio so that your sound is consistent throughout the entire episodes as well as the sound of anyone one else you have on your show if you have a guest whether in studio, on the phone or via Skype. It can reduce noise and hum and loudness normalize your audio to various targets, in our case, -16LUFS which is the recommendation for Podcasts. If LN is a foreign concept, don’t sweat it, it’s still fairly new,especially to podcasters. The gist of the idea is to set the level of your audio to a consistent loudness as heard by our ears. You may say, but Ray, I make sure the audio meters in my editing software or audio recorder consistently peak at -6 or -3. But, LN was created because a peak meter is only showing you the peak of your audio at any given time and peak levels have nothing to do with how our ear actually perceives the level of the audio. So LN is a measure, more closely related to how we hear audio and setting your final mp3 file to target a specific specification, will ensure that your audio is the same level from episode to episode and long story short, Auphonic will do all this for you. The good news is, Auphonic has a free version via the web at auphonic.com, you get two hours worth of processing each month so you can easily tell if you like it or not and want to upgrade, I recommend the desktop app so that you pay once and it’s easier to drag and drop right to the app instead of uploading and downloading audio or you may only produce 2 hours or less of audio a month and you can use the free version only. So if you want simple post processing, check out Auphonic. And no, they did not pay me to say any of this, I just really love the product. George, the creator of Auphonic, did however give me a version of the desktop app before I interviewed him because I asked for it in order to do a proper interview. Everyone that I turn on to Auphonic, loves it, so give it a shot.
• TPS087 – EQ with Rob Williams, if you really want to dig into how to setup and EQ for your voice, then definitely go check this one out but here’s a couple of my favorite tips from the episode:
Before you record anything, set yourself up, in your recording space, as good as possible, find the best spot to record in. He says, try to avoid the corners and the center of the room where most of your audio issues will occur such as a build up of bass in the corners. Go around your room, saying 1, 2, 1, 2 like you hear at any mic check, and listen for the flattest spot, that place where you voice sound best without any added issues like low end resonance. Then treat for reverb. blankets, mattresses etc, whatever absorbs sound but also get close to the mic, be careful of the issues that can be caused by that but uses good mic technique, sit a couple inches away and you’ll remove a lot of the reverb, that echo in the room. 27:13
When it comes to using and EQ, in general, if you want to enhance something, boost it (no more than 3db max at a time), when you want to fix something (remove a problem) cut it. Drop the EQ down. And another important tip here, is when boosting, boost wide, when cutting, cut narrow. That means when you raise an EQ, more often then not it will sound better to make that curve wide more like a bell shape, you can affect this in most plugins with the setting that’s called Q, as in the letter Q. And make your cuts a lot sharper so that you affect a lot less of the other frequencies around the cut, often times when it comes to fixing an issue using the EQ, you’ll hear it referenced as notching. You want to notch out that frequencies that is giving you an issue and there are also specific plugins called notch filters that have presets that make really refined cuts using really narrow bands on the EQ.
I love this little piece of advice that Rob gives, he said that “he has often asked himself what makes something sound professional? Especially when it comes to sound. Often it’s not so much something specific as much as it is that there is nothing that you can pick up that is wrong. When something sound unprofessional, it’s always because there is something that gives it away. When it comes to EQ, for example, when someone has put a lot of treble and it sounds very, very bright or they put a lot of compression on…that kinda gives it away and it would have been better if they had not put that on so err on the side of more subtle, especially when it comes to spoken voice, that tends to sound more professional”
Finally, for EQ, and there is a ton more in this episode which you should go listen to, it’s one of my favorites, consider your stacking order. That’s which effects you put before or on top of the other in your editing software. This will differ across audio engineers but I like Rob’s thinking here, he likes to put an EQ before the compressor so that the compressor is not having to deal with frequencies that you are going to remove. He says this gets it done most of the time but he offers an alternative to mess around with if you want to have some fun. Try using an EQ before the compressor to make your cuts, again the compressor then won’t have to deal with these frequencies, just make cuts if there are any to be made. Then after the compressor, try another EQ but this one is to boost or add back any frequencies you want to enhance.
OK, one more, that was at the very end, in my recap, to EQ or post process properly, you need a decent pair of headphones at a minimum. This is because if you are using something like cheap earbuds or computer speakers that don’t reproduce the entire frequency range, then you may be missing something because you simply can’t hear it. This doesn’t have to be expensive either, but a decent pair of over the ear headphones that reproduce the entire frequency range will be key for post processing your audio. Check out my gear page at tps.com/gear for what I use or other alternatives. And check out tps.com/87 because I also link to Rob’s very informative graphic and video walkthrough (the two things that led me to this interview) which shows you the entire frequency range and which parts to change depending on which part of your voice you want to affect.
• TPS088 – Compression with Randy Coppinger – tons here, 2.5 hours just about compression but here’s one fun tip that Randy called a next level geek out which means you should probably have a grasp on compression, not a simple concept even for dialog, before you go and experiment to this level but go ahead and mess with some sample audio so you can see how this works…he says take two compressors, that two compressor plugins and feed one into the other. The idea is to take the first compressor and set it to measure peak levels then set the threshold to something really high, so that it’s not active very often. This is obviously going to require plugins that give you realtime feedback so that you know how it’s affecting your audio, this may not work with something like Audacity based on how their plugins work but if you find some that do, let me know. So take that first compressor, set it so it barely activates, only on the loudest peaks, and the rest of the time it doesn’t touch the audio. Then, feed that into another compressor, I imagine this means stacking one on top of the other and set that one to measure RMS levels, bring its threshold lower with a low ratio and it will just gently move all the time and that combo, it’s called serial compression, you’ll get the value of both. Let me know how it goes;)
And another important note regarding loudness normalization, which I mentioned earlier, Randy brings up the fact that it’s important that your audio is mixed properly because you are measuring loudness of an entire file, you could theoretically whisper for half the episode and shout for the other half and still have your loudness hit target at -16 or whatever you set it to. But again, we see the benefit and ease of Auphonic because it performs leveling as well as loudness normalization. That said, you should take care of really drastic peaks and valleys manually if there aren’t too many to deal with.
• TPS091 – regarding ID3 images, this was from a talk by Rob Walch back at NAB/NMX 2015, when inserting your image art into the metadata of your podcast mp3 file (title, description, artwork), I have a video about how to use the iTunes software to compress to mp3 at the best settings as well as how to add ID3 tags to that file at https://thepodcastersstudio.com/mp3…when inserting your artwork, make sure that the file size is less than 100kbs. Whereas your show artwork, the main artwork that you submit to iTunes should be less than 500kb, the ID3 version which is probably the same image, should be converted to something smaller, I like 600×600 and again, should be less than 100kbs because all this metadata that lives inside your mp3 file, actually loads before the audio itself, before the audio starts playing. So the smaller the file size here, the faster your show plays when someone press play. At least that is one element, obviously there are others like the servers where you file is actually hosted etc.
• TPS092 – On this episode I talked about an idea I called Social Sponsorship, it’s nothing new but if you have a small podcast, something that gets less than a couple thousands downloads per episode which is the majority of podcasts and you want a good way to grow your show, consider pairing up with another show or product in your niche and trade a sponsorship spot on your show for some social promotion to their community. For example, I love Rode microphones and maybe this show doesn’t have the numbers or reguarity for a full paid sponsorship but it has an extremely well targeted audience who also likes a lot the things I like, in this case microphones and microphones that are not only good but budget friendly. So I tell Rode that I will talk about a particular microphone that I like or maybe even a review of a mic they send me and in trade, their part of the sponsorship is to promote my show on their facebook page and twitter feed which have a combined audience of…I actually look it up…332,000 followers. Wow, I didn’t actually realize that when I picked that example out of thin air…why am I not taking my own advice here lol. You can see how this “sponsorship” deal works out very well for both of us and the audience. If only 2% of their audience saw their social post of your show that would be 6400 new people with the potential to see your show and if only 1% of those people clicked the play button, that 66 new people who are listening to your show. That’s a large drop off from 332,000 but you’re likely to move a larger percentage towards your content and if you picked up even a few new subs every time your social sponsor promoted you, well that would be some great growth over the time of the sponsorship. So you can see there is power in other forms of sponsorship beyond direct money. This kind of sponsorship could ultimately be much more lucrative or simply provide that thing we all want…to reach those people who actually want to hear our content.
One more great tip from this episode, get people to subscribe to your show in iTunes. Even if they don’t listen in iTunes, they can sub and then unsub and go back to listening wherever the choose but subs in iTunes matter a lot. I’m not saying you should game the system by getting fake subs from people who don’t listen to your show but if you get your audience to sub to you in iTunes and even after that they unsub, it still counts for your ranking inside iTunes. Podcasters often wonder why another podcast that hasn’t put out an episode in years, still shows up higher in search results than their own show which is actively producing episodes and it’s because all-time subscribers count for a lot in iTunes. So if another shows has more subscribers all-time, even if the majority of people are no longer subbed, they will be ahead of you in ranking. So when it’s appropriate, get people to use the Podcasts app or sub via iTunes on their computer.
• TPS093 – share the love of podcasting, head over to InternationalPodcastDay.com and learn what it’s all about and how you can participate. You’ll also find a ton of great tips about how you can help podcasting grow by spreading the word or helping out your peers in podcasting.
• TPS095 – From episode 95, Here’s a tip about where to submit your podcast..first. So when you launch your show, there are at least 5 places I think you should make sure you have your podcast listed. The no-brainer choice is iTunes and if you only submitted one place this would be it because once you’re in iTunes you are actually in dozens of other apps that also use the iTunes library. After that, submit to stitcher, Google and Tune-In. You can see my infographic that lists these as well as some additional info and after you have started podcasting, when you get some extra time, a good “grow your audience tip” is to go over to PodcastPlaces.com and start submitting to all the other hundreds of directories listed there. Don’t try to do this all at once. Chose one, submit and then come back later and do a few more. Each time you submit to a new place, you’ll naturally pick up new audience members that you didn’t have before.
• TPS096 – Affordable gear and Cheap gear are not the same. I love budget friendly gear such as the ATR2100 microphone. Awesome quality that doesn’t cost much relative to other mics that sound on par with the ATR.
• TPS098 – I’ve talked more than once about getting a mix-minus into a smartphone, which is something you might want to do if you want to have guests on your podcast via phone or a specific app like Skype, Facetime etc, and only just recently, did I find the best solution for this cause it’s a newer piece of gear and that’s the iRig2. It’s not super cheap, at 40$ but if this is something you want to do regularly then it’s well worth the investment. The key to this device is that it allows you to take line level signals like the one that comes out of your mixers aux send and attenuate that level so that it matches the mic level input on your smartphone. This also provides you with additional gain controls which seems to be fairly transparent aka clean and you don’t lose ability to use headphones to monitor because it has that built in as well. Now if you want to simply input your phone into your mixer, without sending back additional audio from your mixer, in other words you just need to put a phone call into your mix, then you can accomplish that much cheaper with a basic audio cable from the headphone output to an input on your mixer. This would still leave your phones microphone active and the person on the call could still hear you through that. Kind of a janky setup but doable if that is all you need.
That’s it! Thanks again to anyone who has made it this far or listened to any of these episodes. You are the engine that drives the show and keeps putting me behind the mic. Between you and my love of podcasts, this show is certain to see many more episodes and I look forward to seeing where it takes me and who I’ll meet!
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