Don’t Be a BUT Head

I got this email today from the Martin Rushe who is the  CEO at

notcoolSome of you may have read about the problems at our competitor Gumroad who announced they are laying most of their staff.

It would be easy and a little predictable for us to feel some schadenfreude about this. But we truthfully don't. We always questioned the sustainability of Gumroad's business model but we also admired them as an innovative competitor. The service we provide, which allows our brilliant creators and entrepreneurs to sell direct to their customers without paying away their hard-earned margins to marketplaces, is fast-growing and we see the loss of good operators as a net loss to the industry as a whole.

We also wanted to reassure you in case you had any concerns about the stability of Selz. I'm pleased to tell you that Selz goes from strength to strength. Our community of great customers, our team of committed staff, our feature-set and our unstinting dedication to giving you the tools to sell more online is growing by the day.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out. Your business is our business and we're here to help.”

For me (who wasn't worried how his business is doing) I thought this was kind of a douche bag kind of thing to do. Realize when you say BUT it negates everything you said before it. I think you're a great person BUT… I don't need the money BUT… it was a great movie BUT….

Hey Martin, don't build your business by stepping on the face of others. If you want to grow Selz, how about not charging me to use PaypPal?

Why Feedburner is a Bad Idea

I got a voicemail from Greg Whitaker and he asked, “Why is it bad to use Feedburner and how do I leave?'

FeedburnerLet's go back in time a bit. Feedburner was a great idea when iTunes first came on the scene because we needed an iTunes compliant feed, and well, there was hand coding your feed, or feedburner (there were other, but just a few options). So we all jumped on board, and later Feedburner was purchased by Google. All was good. The other benefit was if you needed to change your feed, you could just update Feedburner and it was SUPER easy. That was 2005 and things have changed.

While previously there were few options, today many hosting companies like Libsyn, Spreaker, the Powerpress plugin from Blubrry provide iTunes compliant feeds (stay away from Soundcloud – you've been told).  These services are up to date. Also all of these service make is easy to redirect your feed (which was one of feedburner's biggest features).

Feedburner stalls a fair amount of time. This means they quick checking your feed. iTunes is watching feedburner, but it has stopped watching your feed. The end result? iTunes (and any other service looking at Feedburner) doesn't get updated. For me, when there are better solutions, this becomes a deal breaker.

Feedburner's Smartcast (iTunes settings) or is it the smart feed (one of the two) have been known to cause conflicts and render your feed invalid.

In summary, much like the 8-track tape it had its purpose until something better came along.

I'll answer “how to leave feedburner” in a future post with lots of screenshots.



Get More Traffic and Sales Without Being Salesy

There are certain phrases like “Used Car Salesmen” and “Internet Marketer” that have negative side effects when you hear them. When you go to certain websites that really seem to push you to buy something. It just feels wrong.

Ray Edwards Copywriting AcademyThen there is Ray Edwards. I have loved Ray since the first time I heard his podcast. I bought his book Writing Riches, and I took his course on how to write a book quickly (great stuff), and when it was in beta I joined his copywrighting academy. Ray takes you under the hood of how to get your audience to engage in your content (this could be buying a product, joining a list, etc). The thing I love about it is you don't have to adopt the “SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!” heavy sales effect. You simply identify your audience, their issues, then explain how you can help them. You enhance the feelings they already have and it moves them to action. Instead of applying outside pressure to buy, you stoke the fire of emotions within. It's a very cool approach.

He makes me think, he makes me laugh, and he oozes integrity.Like I said, I love Ray Edwards.

Well right now Ray has lost his mind and is giving away tons of free stuff as he gets ready to launch his copywriting course to the world.

So here is the fun part. I dare you to go over and watch his video (you will need to give him your email, but he's not a spammer). If Ray is as good as I say he is, you're going see it, and feel Ray stoking your passions inside you. You might end up buying his course when it's launched, and that might lead to you writing better copy on your site (which might lead to more success for you). If he stinks, his videos and sales free gifts and handouts will bore you, and you will know not to buy his course. I'm just here to tell you, Ray is good. He's very good (he's help write copy that is responsibly for milllions upon millions of sales).

CLICK HERE to  check out Rays Free Training before it disappears.

Jerry Seinfeld – Half the Time Nobody Got His Show

Jerry Seinfeld was talking about his show coming to

He explains how his show was not connecting with the audience for the first four years. Podcasters are trying to reproduce the Seinfeld model.

  1. You do a show for yourself because its fun.
  2. You tweak it a little
  3. Your audience finds you
  4. You gain their trust
  5. They tell their friends
  6. You capitalize on the relationship between you and your audience.

The audience has a bit of an echo, but it's got some good insight.

Podcasts App Breaks in iOs 9 – Podcasts App Alternatives?

If you haven't updated your iOs device to iOs 9, and you're an avid Podcast listener using the native Apple Podcasts app, don't upgrade your operating system to iOs 9 (mine apparently did it automatically). They changed some things in the program, and some people are not too happy (they removed the tile view) This doesn't effect everybody (its works on an iPad, and it may work better on newer phones) but it may leave you asking:

What Other Podcast Apps Are There Besides Podcasts From Apple?

The one I'm playing with this morning (and loving) is Overcast What I like about this is:

60 second skip ahead

adjustable speeds and a feature that actually cuts out long pauses

Ability to sync across different devices. You can even listen on the web and then pick up right where you left off.

What My Friends Like

When I asked Ray Ortega from Podcaster's Rountable, he said he loved Pocket Casts as did Mike Dell from Podcast Help Desk.

Elsie Escobar from She Podcasts loves Castro .


Power Rant: The Pros and Cons of Podcast Deadlines

I feel bad for people who set unrealistic deadlines and then

  • Stress themselves out because they are unrealistic
  • Make bad decisions because they are operating in “Panic Mode”

Here is an important question to ask:

  1. The world has waited 10 years for your show. Why can't it wait two more weeks?

I don't want you to operate in crisis mode, and make decisions that you will regret. With this in mind, I provide you with a “Power Rant.”

No You Can’t Play That Music

I am not a lawyer, and if you want an official answer you might consider checking with a lawyer. This is only my opinion

I'm not sure what is going on lately, but I am getting bombarded with questions (legal questions I might add) about playing music in your podcast. The quick answer in 99.9% of the cases is NO you can't play ANY part (5 seconds, 10 seconds, etc) in your podcast. Here is what I've been told:

  1. You need permission of the songwriter
  2. You need permission of the performer
  3. You need permission from the rights holder.

So if you wanted to play the song Yesterday, you would need permission from Paul McCartney and John Lennon, the performer (Yesterday has been performed by a zillion people) and the rights holder (Michael Jackson?). With this in mind, have fun getting permission.

We talked about this on the Podcasters Roundtable a while back with lawyer Gordon Firemark (who will also say to contact a lawyer in your area).

Now does this suck? Yes. I do wish the music industry would come up with a license for podcasters to pay and allows us to play music.

Do people still play music in their podcast? Yes. Do people still drive over the speed limit? Yes. This doesn't mean it's legal. Playing unlicensed music in your show might get you booted from iTunes (if you create a music show, you should put in the description that you have permission).

There are those who have gone through 9 months of negotiating (Dan Miller of the 48 days to the work you love) and attempted to go through the hurdles of being legal (Coverville). Brian from Coverville will be the first to tell you the music industry doesn't know what to do with podcasting. Someone in that industry should figure it out.

One more point, this also applies to TV, Movies, etc. You need permission.


What About Fair Use?

Fair use is a gray area (only recognized in the US) where if you comment on the music that it might be deemed “Fair use.” Keep in mind, if you get sued you have to pay for legal fees and hope you win your case to prove you had fair use privileges.

Podcasting Legal Guide

A podcast legal guide (written by lawyers who will say contact a lawyer) is available here

Here is another great article from Aplifi Media

What is a Podcast?

Today I created a quick video for those who are asking, “What is a podcast?” I provide an overview. The way this works, is you make a podcast, get listed in “Podcasting Phone Books” like iTunes, and people search for you, subscribe to you, and enjoy your content. You develop a relationship as they know, like, and trust you, and what you do with that relationship is up to you. This is a quick video that just explains what it is, and the power of subscriptions.

Maybe Your Podcast Just Sucks

On a recent article on the Podcast Report from Paul Colligan Paul stated the truth. Nobody listens to podcasts that suck.

I was reading a very long (ever so slightly disguised link bate) article that had a section where the author stated:

Brock PArty“Podcasts are pointless. Anyone who tells you otherwise is the literal devil. No one is going to get rich or famous or gain any level of following from this medium ever again, because it is hilariously dead. Your idea to share caustic observations about an ongoing TV show? Pointless. Your idea to interview interesting people? Laughably misguided. Your idea to discuss each individual episode of a decade-old CW show? Well… shockingly successful.”

There are people listening to Brock's show. Around 125 downloads per episode (13,767 downloads divided by 110 episodes). If you were a teacher, that would be 5 classrooms of 20.

So I went over to listen to his the Brock Party. I'm three minutes into it, and I am now finally getting into the content. You played a song with no teaser. You are hoping that people sit through some song hoping that they make it to the content. As a first time listener, I have no idea who you are, or your guests.

Your audio is right on the edge of distracting. I get it. One microphone with four people, you're going to get room noise. I'll let it slide.

At 5 minutes you finally introduce your guests. Nobody waits for 5 minutes for someone to get to the point. You then had one of your guests introduce themselves. It's your show, but it just sounded like you decided to have this person on the show an hour ago. Oh wait, you just admitted that's what happened.

97% of the time improv blows.

98% of stats are made up.

Not that it matters, but you have no ID3 tags in your mp3 file. That wouldn't bring you any more listeners, but for those who download your show and listen on Windows Media player you look like a giant hack.

Congratulations on typing a whopping 32 words for Google to find to help bring your traffic.

Nothing screams “great content” like four people talking over each other. Who am I to judge, it works for THE VIEW.

In the article you say, “two years ago we started setting aside Thursday nights to have fun people get drunk around microphones in my living room.” It sounds like you've achieved your goal.

The one thing that really confused me, is Brock has a great looking website, but instead of adding the podcast to YOUR WEBSITE, you send people to a bad Podbean site that looks like a throw back to bad MySpace page.

The 15 Minute Test.

For me, I had to bail at the 15 minute mark. You are all over the place, and while I get to be a voyer and listen in to a conversations between friends, it's a pretty boring conversation. While I'm happy to say you were not talking about the Kardashians, the choice to talk about Tonya Harding seemed so 1991. Can you make it past the 15 minute mark? Here is the episode.

What I Would Do

Pick some topics to talk about and let me (the audience) know what to expect before I waste 10 minutes of my life trying to figure it out

Lose the music. People are busy. They tune into hear you, and your content.

Get some microphones and a mixer (not sure this is an option). Again, your sound quality was not 100% annoying. It has lots of room for improvement.

Newspapers, Magazines, and Movies all have editors. If you don't put time into your show, why do you expect your audience to give up theirs?

Put this podcast on your website. As you can see, it's super easy to embed audio on any website. The traffic from your website will drive downloads. For those that like your show, they might tell their friends, review you in iTunes, etc. and help you grow your audience.

Put (at least) an iTunes button on your ugly Podbean site.

Put a link back to your website on your ugly Podbean site.

Lastly congrats on turning 30. Your website shows a completely different guy than the podbean  version does. You have an impressive resume.

Why You Need a Podcast Consultant and Coach

I'm not even going to link to the pooh that was the article that inspired this “Rant.” Go in with your eyes open.