School of Podcasting Going Offline Tonight

Just an FYI I will be switching hosting to Dreamhost tonight (previously WP Engine). Depending on when the Internet catches up with the domain changes it might be down until I wake up in the morning. this is one of those situations that you have on control over .

 

Thanks for your patience.
Dave

Goldilocks and the Three Podcasters: Finding the Perfectly Balanced Podcast

This article originally was published in Podertainment Magazine last year.

Over the past few months I’ve met a wide variety of people in different phases of their podcasting journeys. They represent the different phases that we see in podcasters, and I thought I would help you understand the pros and cons of each.

threebearsThe Planning to Plan, after the Planning is Done Podcaster – Too Cold

I’ve done surveys for a book I’m working on and people have stated that have been planning their podcast for YEARS. Years? Yes, Y E A R S. This is insane. At some point you have to press record. It doesn’t matter what you do, eventually you will hate your first episode. Award winning podcaster Mignon “Grammar Girl”Fogarty hated hers so much she re-recorded them. You can’t get better at something if you never start. Bottom line: we all have to start somewhere.

Keep in mind that successful podcasters such as Cali Lewis of geekbeat.tv, and the before mentioned Mignon Fogarty both quit their first podcasts. Then they started a second podcast that fit them better (and went on to achieve great success).

This “eternal planning” person is trying to get to the perfection in their head. They won’t do their podcast without spending 1000s of dollars on the top of the line equipment. They need that perfect song to be their intro. Meanwhile none of these items make any difference without the content to capture people’s attention. Yes, you need to be listenable. Your audio shouldn’t be painful to consume. Your video shouldn’t hurt my eyes. But there are a lot of successful people who started podcasting, and tweaked their show along the way.

While I appreciate this “Planning Podcaster,” they need to press record.

 

The Ready, Fire, Aim Podcaster – Too Hot

too_hotThis person is the direct opposite of the planning podcaster. They had an idea. They purchased the top of the line equipment. They sound proofed their room. They bought a DSLR camera for YourTube promotion videos. They had a logo created. They had a custom jingle written. They even bought an “On the Air” light to hand outside their door.

Now they just need to figure out what they are going to podcast about.

This type of behavior is often found in those who have heard about a few podcasters making a really good living. They see all their expenses as investments. They start to count the days when they will get to quit their day job.

All they need now is a topic…

While I love the enthusiasm of this podcaster, they have the horse WAY in front of the cart.

A different version of this podcaster is the one who fired up the laptop computer (hey it has a built in microphone!) and pressed record. They didn’t check to see if anyone else was using their name. They found some free media hosting, or (God forbid) decided to use Blog Talk Radio. They don’t understand a thing about RSS. In fact they don’t know what they don’t know and they don’t care. They just know they want to start a podcast and they are ready to go.

They make their podcast album art using Microsoft Paint (and it shows). Their first impression is so bad most new listeners barely make it through the episode without hitting stop. They spend 18 hours a day obsessing over their stats.

While I admire their courage to jump into the deep end of the pool, this is the person who later finds out their RSS feed is being held hostage, has run out of storage space and bandwidth on their media host, and will basically lose a large of their audience as they will need everyone to resubscribe to their podcast.

 

The Perfect Pace Podcaster

paceThis podcaster took a few weeks to plan their podcast. They “sharpened their axe” by determining who will be consuming their content and what content that consumer wants to hear/see. They took a few days to check some forums ( or their friendly neighborhood podcast coach) and found out that instead of thousands of dollars you might be able to start a great sounding podcast for a few hundreds bucks (or less). They have written down 10 topics for their first 10 shows (and found they do have enough material. They put out some money (but not a ton) for professional looking artwork. They had an intro and outro produced. In the end they spend about as much money as a parent purchasing an Xbox for their child’s birthday. They put out (about) $30 a month for all their website and media hosting. They realize that this is still cheaper than a 18 holes of golf with a cart.

They know that the best time to start a podcast was 2004, and the second best time is today. That podcasting is not a get rich quick game. They know that the first step is creating great content for the audience. They know that they will be talking to nobody at first, and more than likely will lose money on their podcast when they first start. They are doing it for the love of their topic. They are doing it with the hope of changing their world. They do it to add sunshine into someone’s life who might very well be on the other side of the planet. They do it to boost their business brand. They have a clear path where they want to go, and have defined what “podcast success” looks like. They are the perfect mix of passion and logic, and are on the road to podcast success.

Dave Jackson has been helping people launch successful podcasts since 2005. His podcast “The Morning Announcements” has been downloaded over 1 million times. He speaks at media events and is the author of the book “More Podcast Money” He runs the School of Podcasting (www.schoolofpodcasting.com) and wants to help you with your podcast.

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A New Microphone Will Not Grow Your Audience – Throwing Money at Your Podcast

I saw a post on forum that asked, “I am looking to upgrade my equipment and set aside 500 dollars to do Audio/Video. Any suggestions?”

To this I reply:

atr2100I feel there is no One size fits all. Also keep in mind, that if you’re audio sounds good – new equipment won’t bring you more subscribers. For example if you use something like a Audio Technica ATR2100 and you upgrade to a Heil PR40. Will it sound better? Yes. Will it sound $240 better? No. However, if you have a Blue Snowball/Yeti and you switch to a ATR2100 you will probably sound noticeably better as the ATR2100 is a dynamic microphone and all Blue microphones (that I am aware of) are condenser and pick up much more room noise.

Likewise a mixer is another piece of equipment that you may not need. If you’re doing a solo podcast, and you add your music in after the fact, you absolutely do not need a mixer. Now a mixer can help shape your voice, but you can also do that in software post-recording. If you have multiple people in the room with you, or you are mixing in music live as you record – then you NEED a mixer.

Lastly, what is the current problem? You may be obsessing over a noise that nobody hears. When I had launched my first podcast I OBSESSED over my fan noise. I added noise gates and all this stuff, and I swear I could hear it in the recording (listening to the recording sitting right next to the computer with the fan noise….) In the end if it did get on the recording, the only reason I heard it is because I had pushed my headphones so far into my head, and I was listening at 2 in the morning when nobody was awake and the house was quiet. Finally, someone wrote in and said, “Dave I have no idea what noise you are talking about (as i would mention it in my podcast – great content) I don’t hear it, and I do wish you would move on. So in the end we all freak out over our audio quality when in reality it may be something that is so small its basically silent to the average listener. I know I had an episode this year that I had bumped some knobs and I did have legitimate noise in the episode. I was listening to it while driving on route 480 going to work. I couldn’t hear it over the noise of the cars around me.

In general, I feel its hard to create a podcast that sounds so bad I wouldn’t listen to it. That typically consists of someone using a condensor microphone, sitting two feet away, and then their music is loud/soft and I’m constantly having to adjust the volume knob on my player.

If you have any questions, let me know. I’m over at the School of Podcasting, and I can help you figure out if you need new gear. If you do need new gear, then by all means please check out www.bestpodcastinggear.com as that is my Amazon store and all proceeds go do help me pay off my students loan.

 

Email Your Audience Your Show Notes Automatically: MailChimp

For those looking to have their audience receive an email when a new show is posted, here is how to set it up in MailChimp.

You can have up to 2000 people (that’s alot of subscribers), and send up to 12,000 emails in a month – for free. Check out Mailchimp.com

I get a small reward for mentioning MailChimp. You will see in the video I am a customer.

Social Media Marketing Society Registration Closing in Two Days

Social Media Marketing Society

 

Michael Stelzner the man behind Social Media Examiner is launching the Social Media Marketing Society and I just joined (see receipt above). Here is why:

1. I love Michael’s podcast and he always provides great content (they have a sample video on their website – it’s great – on Googly Analytics.

2. It’s going to save me time. Instead of doing Google Searches and hoping I find information that’s not outdated, I know Michael is always on the leading edge (Without being on the bleeding edge).

3. This is a community. So I can network with people looking to market their message (maybe potential clients, but I’m not going their to spam).

4. I’m going to bypass the hurdles. Michael teaches what WORKS. He gives you the behind the scenes info on why something worked.

5. It’s $1.33  day. Every day I spend at least $1.5 on soda. I can give up soda and drink water. It’s better for my physical health, and it’s better for the health of my business.

When you join the Society, you’ll receive three original training sessions each month that are timely, tactical and expert-led. This means that you’ll have the ongoing training you need to implement all the latest social media marketing tactics that matter. Plus, you’ll be able to network with fellow marketers just like you.

If you’re interested (and want to check out their demo lesson) click here.

They close the doors on June 30th, and won’t open until next year (so if you’re going to join, now would be a good time – don’t miss out). JOIN NOW.