There's No Water, but At Least We Have Internet


There's No Water, but At Least We Have Internet

"It's an interesting and eye opening experience to find seams that cut across all of these different industries.

"It's an interesting and eye opening experience to find seams that cut across all of these different industries.

Over the years of getting to know Crunch, this isn't the first time she's found herself in a very obscure and remote part of the world to live in. She lived on an island in Panama for five months and was fed three meals a day. In exchange for this lifestyle, she taught the resort staff how to speak English so that they could better serve their foreign guests. There were only 10 people who worked and lived on the island, so I guess from that perspective she's doing slightly better socially in Thailand. When I first met her, she was living in Costa Rica, where I am also living. Even more strangely, she was originally from Singapore, just like me.

“If there's no men, where do the children come from? Space?” I said.

“Yes. They fall from the sky every morning and are sucked back into the abyss at 4pm.”

We instantly clicked because it's not everyday you find a Singaporean living in Costa Rica who eats the same amount of food you do. We both have reputations of eating the same as, if not more than, bodybuilders - and we're both half the size. When a work colleague of hers commented on the vast amount of food we were consuming during a special Indian holiday called Diwali, we both replied without a second thought, “It's a Singaporean thing.”

At the time of this writing, Crunch is located in a small Thai village teaching English to young children and working with Podfly in the evenings. When I spoke to her on Skype, I asked her how village life was and she replied candidly with, “My village is a village. We are dealing with very village-like problems, like, not having running water.” According to her, her village only has a population of 12 or so people (okay, more like 200-500, but still). Supposedly, and somewhat sarcastically, there are also no men in this village.


A Life Full of Travel

Crunch has been traveling the world since 2013 and doesn't plan to stop. She started her adventure in South America and stayed there for slightly over a year. She then lived on a boat for six months and visited roughly 10 Caribbean islands during that trip. “We almost died anyway trying to get to the Bahamas.” She says nonchalantly about her experience on the boat, “So, it was a good thing we didn't set out to Cuba. We would have just died along the way.” I later found out her co-captain had no sailing experience whatsoever, “God, I'm so surprised you didn't die.” I told her.

“I'm surprised we didn't die either. There were so many times we could have, but we somehow survived and nothing terribly awful happened, I think.” She said. Through, she's glad she did it. She says that Turks and Caicos was the most beautiful place she's ever been to. She saw nothing but clear waters and even swam with the dolphins.


After living on the boat, she got a job in Costa Rica teaching English for eight months, which is where I met her; she then went to an island in Panama. Once she got tired of island life, she traveled to India and lived there for three months. Her heritage is South Indian and she wanted to get a better understanding of her roots.

“I’m surprised we didn’t die either. There were so many times we could have, but we somehow survived and nothing terribly awful happened, I think.”

However, despite speaking the language, she quickly grew frustrated with the cultural differences. She believes foreigners who don't speak the language would have an easier time in India than she did. “I had a very strange experience in India because I look Indian and I speak one of the many languages that they speak, but I'm obviously not Indian. So, they know I'm a foreigner, but obviously some weird privileged foreigner.” She goes on to say, “They treated me like they would the other locals, but I'm just as clueless as all the other white folk who have no idea what they're doing either.” This made it very difficult trying to navigate throughout the country, so she decided it was time to move on.

And just like that, she left and settled in Thailand, which is where she's been for the last six months. However, Crunch doesn't plan on staying in Thailand for much longer. After the school year is up, she plans to stay in Cambodia for two weeks before returning home for a short stint in Singapore. From there, she has very tentative plans to head back to Latin America, where she already speaks Spanish.


How She Made It Work

Crunch worked as a teacher for a year and a half in Singapore and saved enough money to travel. Since Latin America is a lot cheaper compared to the fast-paced life of Singapore, her money was able to stretch a long way. When she was slowly running low on savings, she knew she wasn't ready to go back home just yet.

So, she got her TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) certificate while in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It was something to do while waiting for the weather to be clear for sailing. From there, she looked for jobs online and found a place hiring in Costa Rica. Since she started teaching, it's been fairly easy to get other teaching jobs all over the world. This is the perfect combo for Crunch as she's able to travel the world while still being paid.


Being a Copywriter for Podfly

Regardless of what the industry is, they all have the same concerns and the same kind of solutions for approaching these problems.

I asked Crunch what she thought about the podcasting industry since she's been at Podfly and this is what she had to say:

“I like what I do. I like podcasting in general just because I get to listen to such a variety of topics. I write show notes for different shows varying from mortgages to sales to finance or entrepreneurship. These are all very diverse topics and what's interesting for me is that I find after a while, after listening to all of these different perspectives, it gives me an idea that they're not very different. In a sense, it all comes down to human connections and relationship management.”

“It's an interesting and eye opening experience to find seams that cut across all of these different industries. Regardless of what the industry is, they all have the same concerns and the same kind of solutions for approaching these problems. I wouldn't have expected people in sales to be worried about the same kind of things that people in finance are worried about. To me, it's quite interesting.”


What Our Amazing Clients Have to Say About Crunch:

“Working with Crunch and Podfly has been a really wonderful experience. I can now rest assured knowing that my podcast will be going out on time and that the copy fully represents my brand and what I stand for.”



Podfly Picks: Nickelback Is Actually Good, Tiny Homes, and Frontier Chai Tea.


Podfly Picks: Nickelback Is Actually Good, Tiny Homes, and Frontier Chai Tea.

Once a month we'll be featuring staff picks or #guiltypleasures the Podfly team is currently into. If you're looking to expand your music, movie, or podcast tastes, then stop by to see what all of us are currently obsessed with!


Meryl Klemow, Copywriter

“I'm a 35 year old who loves Camila Cabello! She just left girl group Fifth Harmony and now is out on her own as a solo artist. I am a true #camilizer. This feels sad to admit ahaaaa.”

“I really liked the movie IT! Scary clowns 4 life.”


Kimberly Beck, Copywriter

“I live in a 224 sq. ft. 'tiny home' so I thoroughly enjoy listening to The Minimalists Podcast

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Jerry Payne, Team Leader/Audio Engineer

“My most anticipated album of the year released back at the end of August, but I can't stop listening to it. Love it when my favorite artists deliver the good stuff (Queens of the Stone Age)! Also, I'm seeing them in Colorado at Red Rocks (my first time ever going there!) in October. Can't wait!”


Stuff You Should Know Podcast - two pretty funny guys exploring weird topics.”


“One of my hobbies y'all may not know about me is that I collect vinyl. My most recent purchase is this special repressing of the classic album *Ready to Die* from the subscription service Vinyl Me, Please. Been jamming to Biggie all week long.”


Chad Newman, Audio Engineer:

“I'm a big fan of the "Tell Me Something I Don't Know Podcast". Very unique production and a whole lot of fun facts lol.”

“Also If you like Lawyer/law dramas I suggest binge watching Suits on Netflix.”


Ryan Morrison, Audio Engineer:

“I've been catching flak from every musician I know, and work with, but I can't stop jamming to the new Nickelback Album. The Avril divorce must have made Chad realize he needs to make good tunes again.”

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Corey Coates, Co-Founder

“I'm rewatching Glee. That's real.”


“I’ve totally switched from Moleskine to Rhodia notebooks. And Lamy Safari fountain pens.”


Tyler Morrisette, Audio Engineer

“This pick is pretty random, but one of my small life pleasures lately has been Chai Tea in the morning. Specifically Frontier Chai tea which you can buy a pound of for $17!”




Albie Burdge, Audio Engineer

“I'm excited about The Orville and the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery, but my two guilty pleasures are Total Divas and Dancing with the stars, and Noe, a total diva, will be on DWTS, so guilty pleasure overload.”

That's it from the staff. Do you like any of their picks? Let us know in the comments or email me at and I'll be sure to let the team know your comments and/or suggestions of things they might enjoy! We'll see you next month with some awesome picks!  


Client Feature: Jennifer Ebeling of The Still Growing Podcast


Client Feature: Jennifer Ebeling of The Still Growing Podcast

Podcasting Made Sense to Jennifer


It took Jennifer ten years to start her blog, 6ft Mama, but it took her just a week to begin podcasting. Jennifer's husband left for a one week business trip and when he came back, she had a podcast! In 2013, Jennifer discovered the Stitcher app and searched for gardening podcasts. There weren't any on there and she knew she was the lady to fill that gap. In just one week, she had her intro, already contacted potential guests, and ordered about $1,000 worth of equipment on Amazon. 

Jennifer felt comfortable diving head first into the space because, although she is an avid gardener, she does have a techie side to her (as well as a background in TV and radio).

Fast forward to today and she has over 580 podcast episodes on iTunes. What makes her unique compared to other garden podcasts in the space is her long-form show. She often goes over two hours on each episode and, guess what, her audience loves it! For those experts out there who tell you to keep your podcast at a certain length, just remember Jennifer Ebeling from the Still Growing podcast breaks those rules and is very successful at it.


Building a Strong Community of Raving Fans and Avid Gardeners

Jennifer has a very engaged Facebook group. At the time of this writing, she has a little over 700 members in the group and they're constantly posting updates and questions about their garden. One thing Jennifer has noticed over the years is that it doesn't matter whether you've been a gardener for a year or 25 years, gardeners never feel like they know 'enough'. She started the Facebook group back in October of 2016 and it has grown into a booming community, with both listeners and the podcast guests joining the group.

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Listeners have a unique opportunity by joining the group because they can ask Jennifer's guests personal questions in the community and have it actually answered by them! As Jennifer's gift to the podcast guests for joining, she lets them promote anything they want. Of course, as she says, many of her guests do not abuse this and the group is very respectful towards each other's time and advice. On her show, she also gives between 10-30 minute highlights of what has happened in the group and it's quite amazing to hear a podcast host say your name and give you shout outs! Her absolute dedication to her audience is what keeps them coming back for more.


Podcasting and Raising 4 Children


Jennifer is the mother of four teenagers and, as many parents know, that's a full time job in itself. She often drives them to school and to their respective hobbies (basketball, piano classes, etc), so it's a wonder how she works on her podcast, attends to her listener community, and gets her gardening done; which she also says is a full time job. 

In fact, Jennifer estimates she spends roughly 30 hours on her podcast each week. It's a lot of work, but she wouldn't have it any other way!

When it comes to editing her show, which admittedly takes most of her time, Jennifer listens to the raw audio file and edits it before she sends her show off to Eric, the audio engineer. Then, after she receives the edited version, she tweaks it once more. She says she wishes that the editing process was just a once-and-done event, but she simply can't let it go unless it's been listened to at least twice. Her children are used to hearing her show on their way to school and have become mini editors because of it. Whenever Jennifer 'goofs' her children write down the time stamp so that she or Eric can fix it in post.

In their car rides, Jennifer's children get to learn quite a lot about gardening, home grown food, and insects/mammals. This knowledge has developed some very interesting conversations between the family on their way to school and it has brought a better understanding, and appreciation, to what Jennifer does when she works on her garden.


Productivity: How Does She Do It?

Jennifer has become savvy with delegating and leveraging technology to help her cultivate resources for her community, her show, and her garden. When I sat down to chat with her, she was more than helpful to share her productivity tips. The top 3 things she uses to keep her community updated on garden news is Feedly, IFTTT, and Evernote.

She is subscribed to many garden-related news sources on Feedly and often tweets out interesting things her community might enjoy. Whenever she tweets, she has IFTTT (If Then Than That) connected to her Twitter and it automatically gets sent to Evernote, where she will use those resources to include in her podcast and in her garden community. Jennifer is always on social media reading and listening to garden-related news.

When it comes to managing her garden, she is partnered with her local school to have student gardeners come over and learn how to care for the plants. This helps her care for her garden and it puts her in a prime position to teach others how, and why, the garden is so important for our world. On her podcast, she even dedicates an episode to how you can make your gardening experience much more productive.



Thoughts From Eric Begay:

Eric has been the audio engineer on Jennifer's podcast since May of 2017 and one of the things he's noticed is Jennifer's speaking voice. “Jennifer is a really good speaker. I think she may script everything out, not sure.” He continues to say, “One thing I really like about her is there's no actual content editing. I don't have to fix things. Out of the whole two hours she records, what may need some editing as far as fixing some ahs and ums, pauses, and audio glitches with the call.”

When she’s doing all of the different parts of her podcast, whether it’s welcoming new members to her Facebook group or talking about news within the community that she built, she does a very good job. It sounds very professional.
— Eric Begay, Audio Producer

When I asked Eric what was challenging about editing a long-form podcast like Jennifer's, this is what he had to say. “When I get the raw files,” Eric says, “They're usually about 3 hours long total. By the time I'm done editing I take out about 30-45 minutes of just pauses in there. There's hundreds of pauses and because of it you have to make her (and her guests) sound like a continuous interview. That's the challenging part there.”

As far as the topic of the show, Eric has learned a ton about gardening and the various plants out there that exist. He says, “I always get curious about these plants she names. These different things she has in her garden. I get curious, like, one that really stood out that I never heard of was the 'Jack in the Pulpit'.” When he heard of that plant for the first time, he had to pause what he was doing and look it up. “I went to Google and Googled it and literally it does look like a Jack in a pulpit. It's pretty funny.”

Another thing Eric has noticed with Jennifer's show is the ability she has to convert it from a hobby to a business. Here's Eric discussing Jennifer's business sense, “Because she built such a huge community, I didn't know this about, I guess, the business sense when you build a podcast. How big of a community she's built and just how excited she is about it.” He continues to say, “Really, that's what excites me too is just the many different angles that she does to bring traffic to her podcast and make a business out of it.”

“You're not just learning about plants, you're also learning about her business too. If you really listen closely to how she curates information and delivers that free information and then she takes that free information to get traffic to her website. You get to learn the business sense about her and learn plants, learn how to garden, at the same time.”



Thoughts From Ayn Codina:

I've been Jennifer's copywriter for the podcast since August of 2016. Yes! It's been over a year of gardening. I remember when Jennifer first started her Facebook group. She was so consistent with it even when she had less than ten members. She always told people the benefits of why you should join during the intro of every show and she kept up with it.

I didn't join her group until a couple of months later. She had all these interesting resources that I couldn't help but check out. I am not much of a gardener, but both my parents left city life to raise farm-ish animals, like chickens and goats, and with that came a passion for gardening. Whenever I listen to her podcast, I am reminded by why my parents love to grow and also why they freaked out that one time when my dog ate their big, ripe, and juicy tomatoes they spent months pining over and loving.

Actually, when I first joined her group, I heard my name on her show thanking me for joining. It was a shock. I mean, how many times do you hear your own personal name on a show? It was a nice added touch and she does this with every member who joins the Facebook community.


Also, what's really neat about working on Jennifer's podcast is that she thanks the Podfly team towards the end of her podcast on every episode and I get to hear my name there as well! I've saved clips of it and bragged about it to my friends, who still don't think I have a real job.

There have been a lot of really great episodes from Jennifer. There are two I really, really enjoy and keep coming back to. The first is when Jennifer and guest Dawn Pape talked about educating children about bees. I really like bees and that episode was really educational on why they're important for our environment. The second one which is by far my favorite of all time is her Basil Mania episode. Oh. My. Gosh. If I could scope bucket loads of pesto into my mouth, I would die a happy death. It's on my list to try some of those pesto recipes because they sound to die for. If you love pesto or basil, then her episode is a MUST to listen to.



What Do Podcasters Need to Know About the iOS 11 Update?


What Do Podcasters Need to Know About the iOS 11 Update?

September always promises the following: back-to-school excitement/grievances, the roll-out of Starbucks’ ever-popular fall menu, and the annual announcement of Apple’s latest iOS update. This year not only marks the launch of iOS 11, but also the tenth anniversary of the device that innovated smartphone touch-screen technology, not to mention podcasts themselves—the iPhone.


Indeed, 89% of iOS users are currently updated to iOS 10, suggesting that a decent chunk of this number will install iOS 11 as it is available for update. And it isn’t just Apple users who have their eyes on how iOS 11 will change their mobile experience—it feels as if each update shifts how our social culture communicates, iPhone user or not.


A handful of iOS 11 features appear to be Apple catching up to its competitors by offering one-handed typing mode and wireless device charging—all features currently possessed by Google and Samsung devices. Apple’s innovation in this launch is moreso reflected in its brand-new Podcasting app, which has the potential to change how we consume and produce podcasts altogether.



What Do Podcasters Need to Know About the iOS 11 Update?

The update, released on September 19th, has some big changes and this will affect podcasters. Though for diehard podcast listeners, the Podcast App may still need some more work after this update, the way podcast hosts upload to iTunes is going to become a lot more organized. Here at Podfly, we're excited for the new changes as it means our clients get to leverage a whole new set of fantastic features.

Podcast creators are in for a treat with iOS 11’s streamlined guide from recording to launch. For example, any podcast’s cover art is essentially its “product packaging,” so Apple has allowed creators to upload a 3000x3000 JPEG or PNG image to brand their show—all while keeping the image under 500KB to save space. This is a huge improvement in keeping one’s podcast art clear and legible.


Submitting one’s podcast to Apple for review and approval is also a snap. All the creator needs to do is log in to the new Podcasts Connect section, copy and paste the URL of their podcast from their preferred hosting site, and voila—iOS 11 has made it that much more straight-forward to upload to their immense catalogue.


What Sort of Features Can Podcast Hosts Expect with the New iOs 11 Update?

There are four main features you need to care about:

  1. Seasons

  2. Trailers, teasers, and bonuses

  3. Podcast Analytics

  4. SEO/Tagging



Let’s start with the launch of Episodic vs. Serial podcasts, which is how podcasts will be sorted in the new iOS 11 app. Right now, when listeners subscribe to a podcast, they receive the most recent episode downloaded to their phone. With the introduction of episodic and serial seasons, this means podcast hosts will need to include new metadata in the back end of the show (more on this later) to tell iTunes how they would like their show organized.

If listening to a stand-alone episode series such as Vicky Frasier’s Business for Superheroes, its latest episode will be shown and recommended at the top of the app, and individual episodes can also be downloaded.

If listening to a stand-alone episode series such as Vicky Frasier’s Business for Superheroes, its latest episode will be shown and recommended at the top of the app, and individual episodes can also be downloaded. As for serial seasons, podcast hosts can set it in a way that the first episode in the season is what would be downloaded first. They will also be able to download the entire season in one go, and have it be played in order from oldest to newest. It’s a simple but effective tweak, similar to competitor app Overcast’s “intelligently inserted” episodes, but its categorization presents a shift in podcasting language—we won’t be surprised if all podcasting apps eventually present their episodes this way.



Trailers, Teasers, and Bonuses

Right now, when it comes to releasing teasers and bonuses for your upcoming podcast or season, it often clutters your 'true' podcast feed and this bonus episode will stay there like any regular episode would. This can look messy and disorganized. However, with the introduction of iOS 11, hosts will now be able to release bonus audio that complements the most recent episode and it would not clutter the main iTunes feed. This is great news as this means you can introduce teasers into your show without having it interfere with the overall podcast experience.

iOS 11 is also introducing three ways to label podcast episodes: full, trailer, and bonus. Full episodes are easy enough to categorize, as they are the most standard of episodes, but serial podcasts often start their seasons off with a trailer to entice listeners to subscribe to the full series.This labeling will further streamline the user experience of locating specific episodes in their Podcast library.



Podcast Analytics


The real game-changer in iOS 11 is the ability to access analytics. Yep, it’s now possible to see specs like the listener count, where they are, and how much of the podcast they are completing—all inside the Podcasts Connect section under the Podcast Analytics tab. By understanding these metrics, it can really be a game changer to how you implement ads or even how long your show should -really- be.

Good analytics play a big part for several of our clients; it's what allows them to get sponsors and push their show to new markets. Right now, if you'd like to know how many times your show has been downloaded, you will have to go into your podcasting hosting provider. However, that's as far as the analytics go. Stats is a very difficult thing to track in the podcasting world and hopefully Apple will make it easier for everyone involved to hone down on their numbers and get to know their audience a lot better.



As mentioned in the seasons part of the article, in order for you to properly organize your show, you have to go into the back end and update the metadata so that iTunes understands how you'd like your show to be classified (episodic or season). Our good friend Daniel J. Lewis wrote an excellent piece on how to use the iOS 11 podcast tags effectively, which you should definitely check out.


For those of you doing the math, yes, podcasters with over 50+ podcast episodes will be looking at quite a bit of tedious work in order to get their podcast iOS 11 ready. However, the good news is Podfly will be offering services to help take care of all that post-organizational 'blah' in your show backlog. Feel free to reach out to us if you'd like more information.


How to transition appropriately on your hosting provider: offers a handy list of hosting sites that support the app for creators to choose their best option, as well as helping creators out with marketing by offering their Identity Guide. Creators can take advantage of the Listen on Apple Podcasts badge by placing it on their podcasting website or various social media channels, linking their content immediately with just one click.


We reached out to Podbean, Bluburry, and Libsyn about how they're preparing for the new changes and this is what they had to say:



"We're excited to see the rollout of the iOS changes which seem to be podcaster (and listener) friendly. We expect they'll help podcasters better organize their content for listeners, and perhaps help with the Apple podcasts search process. It's worth every podcaster taking a look at the updates and seeing how they might want to incorporate changes into their tags, titling system, etc. Shortly after the announcement, we upgraded the Podbean platform so podcasters could begin preparing for the new feed tags. As the system rolls out and more changes come, we'll keep abreast of them to help podcasters navigate them." --David Xu, CEO, Podbean LLC

The Podbean blog has an excellent post on how podcasters can get ready for the new iOS 11 changes.





“iOS 11 will give podcasters additional ways to highlight and organize their episodes. Those running seasons or serial content have some great new ways to display their shows in the Apple Podcast App. It is evident Apple is listening to the community as a whole and this is a response to that feedback. The new Apple Podcast App statistics that they will be providing at the end of the year will also give podcasters additional data to share with prospective sponsors and give them insight on how their show is being consumed on the App by their listeners.” Todd Cochrane, CEO, Bluburry.

Bluburry has an article on how to setup your iTunes podcast settings for iOS 11.





“The key to iOS 11 and Version 3.0 of the Podcasts App is understanding the new iTunes tags and what Apple wants to see shows do and not do. They do not want to see your show’s title or an episode number in the episode title any more. To that end, they’ve created a new field called - iTunes Title."

If normally you had some initials for your show title and the episode number in your episode title (normal practice to help sight impaired users) - such as this:

‘Tii 0441 - September 12th Event - iPhone 8, 8+, X and iOS 11 Gold Master’

This can remain your main title in your feed - but for the iTunes title Apple just wants to see this:

‘September 12th Event - iPhone 8, 8+, X and iOS 11 Gold Master’

There is a new iTunes summary - which is a quick description of that episode.  Plain text - not special characters or links. If you have episode numbers - add them in as well for the new episode number field. If your show has seasons - add those in as well. And now - there is also a tag for iTunes author for that specific episode. If a show has guests - include the host and the names of all of the guests for that episode in iTunes author.  

Apple is helping producers clean up their shows so they look better in iTunes. Libsyn has added in ALL the iTunes tags, so producers can follow the advice from Apple and clean up their shows.” - Rob Walch, VP of Podcaster Relations, Libsyn.

Libsyn has a live webinar going over the latest iTunes Tags (and more) in the Libsyn publishing platform.


According to Apple Podcasts Business Team manager James Boggs, consumers get excited by podcasts that “entertain, inform, and inspire” us. Boggs predicts a 20% growth of content in their Podcast catalogue all thanks to these key iOS 11 update, and Podfly will continue to monitor how this launch affects not only Apple’s market share, but podcasting itself. We predict we’ll be wearing shades to handle such a bright future.




How to Rebrand Your Podcast with Jessica Rhodes


How to Rebrand Your Podcast with Jessica Rhodes

Last week was another reminder of how much I adore podcasting. I had the opportunity to visit the Interview Connections office and podcast studio in Warwick, RI. Jessica and her team were warm, gracious and welcoming. Taking advantage of the visit, I was invited to appear on the freshly, rebranded show Interview Connections (formerly Rhodes to Success), where Jessica and Margy help their listeners "rock both sides of the mic". 

Check it out!

Given their recent rebrand, they snagged me on mic for a quick, 30-minute show to discuss:

  • What’s the difference between a rebrand and a tune-up?

  • What does it mean to rebrand?

  • How do I rebrand my podcast?

You can find Jessica and her awesome team over at