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Podfly Academy - Lesson 10 of 10 - Sharing Your Podcast

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Podfly Academy - Lesson 10 of 10 - Sharing Your Podcast

Sharing Your Podcast

Today we're taking a look at different ways of sharing your podcast after it's been uploaded to your server. Just putting your show out on iTunes or on Stitcher, or having it available on the internet, definitely does not draw attention to your podcast. The next step is to get listeners to know your show is live. 

Let’s look at social media techniques, ways of putting an HTML web player on your website, and a more. Let’s dive in!

 

Make It User Friendly

When sharing your podcast with either current or new listeners, we always want to keep in mind the easiest way for them to play it and listen to it. Asking people to go through a series of stages in order to acquire your show is often too much, especially in the day of social media, Twitter, Google+, and more. 

We really wanna just click on a button and hear the episode. If they like what they hear, they will go to iTunes or Stitcher and subscribe, but in the short term we want to find some way for people to just click play, listen, and be aware of what you released. 

Let's take a look at some of the web players we can put on our website to get that going. 

 

Embed a Web Player

In previous lessons we have recommend that you use Libsyn as your hosting service. One of the big reasons is that they have a great social media sharing service. Login to my Libsyn dashboard, I can go to 'Destinations', and see some of the social media options that I have here. Clicking on 'Add New', you can see I can automatically plug in LinkedIn, YouTube, Blogger, and more. 

This is a great way to automatically push out to your followers that your show has been published, but let's take a look at the web player they have available for you. 

Here I can choose a series of different web players, different sizes, and then publish it to my website. This is a great way for people to go to your site, click on play, and be able to hear your episode. The default configuration provides me with everything I need to share my podcast and have my people subscribe, listen, and more. 

The menu options that are provided here are fantastic. It makes it easy for people who are listening to your show to share it to some of their friends as well. All I need to do is go to my Dashboard, under content, go to previously published episodes, and you'll see here I'm provided with a series of menu items to share my show. Opening the link section you see that I have a direct download URL and at the button a preview for the embed code. You can highlight this HTML code and paste it into your website. 

Now people can go to your web page and play your show. 

 

Alternative Hosting Services

Remember that Libsyn is not the only hosting service available. Having chosen your hosting service, many of them offer very similar services. PodBean is another great service that offers you options to share your media, have mobile players and more. So look into the market and consider what's going to be the best hosting service for you and consider what's going to be the best in your work flow for sharing media.

 

Built-In Players - Squarespace

Another option rather than using the embed code that's provided by your hosting service, you can have this audio play directly off your web page. The downside would be that it's not collecting and arrogating your statistics. Using, for example, the Libsyn web player, you can count each and every play and download. However, some people want a little more control over their audio and how people are going to experience it. As an example, I'm in the back-end of Squarespace right now. Putting audio on Squarespace for people to play couldn't be simpler. 

Clicking on 'Audio', I simply find the file to upload, put the track title and author, and it will appear on my web page. 

While I'm waiting for this file to upload, I would like to remind you that you do have an option of using Squarespace for podcasts. This can create that RSS feed that is readable by iTunes and other service directories. 

For more information on the service, simply go back to the podcast posting lesson and take a look at how this can be done with Squarespace. But for now, we're simply going to have a player embed on our website. Now I can save my changes and view the page. 

I don't have any text or images or anything fancy at the moment. All I'm really showing you is how easy it is to get your podcast here.

 

Built-In Players - Wordpress

For those of us that use Wordpress, it's just as easy to put media on our site. By going to 'Media' and 'Add New', we can upload new media files to our library. We then can take that media file and embed it on the page and have it play right off our website. Again, remember the downside to this is you're not collecting statistics that you would by using an embed code that is provided by your hosting service. 

 

Using Direct Links as Web Players

Pushing people to our website is a great way to get our statistics up and also make people more aware of our brand. However as I mentioned earlier, sometimes we want to eliminate as many stages in the process of getting a listener to play our show as possible. One great way is to take a web player and simply embed it in our social media. Let's take a look at how we can use a link within Twitter or Facebook or any social media site in order to get people to just immediately listen to our show. 

Regardless of the hosting service you've chosen for your podcast, with each and every episode you will be provided with the direct download link. These download links are great because they will also play live in a web browser. Let's take a look at an example here in Libsyn. 

If I go back to my 'Content' and 'Previously Published', and then click on the links tab, you'll see that I have a direct download link. I can copy this link and paste it into a new web browser and the podcast will play directly in the web player. Now the value of this is when I go back and look at that link, I can use it in my social media. Taking this link and popping it in Twitter will make a shorten bit.ly link that people can click on and play immediately in their web browser. 

The same goes for social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. So when sharing your podcast, consider using this direct download link so people can instantly hear your show.

Having looked at a couple quick play options for your podcast so that people can immediately begin listening to your show, you might be wondering how do I get people now to become a subscriber or visit my website. We find at Podfly one of the best ways to do it is to immediately mention right at the top of your show where you can be found.  Whether it be a web address or ask people to look for you at iTunes and Stitcher, they will hear it in that quick play within that first 30 seconds of your show. If they like what they hear, they're going to go and subscribe. 

 

Create a Call to Action Intro

Let's open up Audacity and cut a really quick intro to direct people towards our website and our subscriptions. 

“Hi, this is Corey from my new podcast, don't forget you can find us on iTunes and on Stitcher, simply go to www.myshow.net.”

Once I’m happy with my intro read, let's put a little bit of music underneath it and make this the introduction to our show. 

 

Ask Your Guests for Help

If you have a compelling guest or interview or someone that you mentioned during your podcast, getting them involved in your social media sharing can be really effective. In a lot of cases what I recommend we do is actually send them something to tweet. We can mention them in our Twitter feed, we can mention them on Facebook and Google+, and more, but a lot of people love if they can share something original when it's easy for them to do. 

After having a guest on one of my programs, I love to send them a follow up sheet. This follow up sheet has tweets, Facebook messages that they're free to share and use if they wish. Composing these after the program and sending these out to your guests and your audience is a great way to get them to share the show for you. 

 

Start a Conversation

Using social media effectively is tricky. Simply going on Twitter or Facebook and saying your podcast is available is not nearly enough. We want to find a way to engage that social audience. Having them click on it, retweet, reply, and share is ultimately the way to get you up in the rankings in these social media sites. Engaging your audience on this level will get them involved and interested in what you have to say. 

So composing tweets simply once a week with a little hashtag that says 'Podcast' is not nearly enough. Let's take a look at a couple of the social media managers that are available, so that even if I only post a weekly show, I can tweet every single day about my episode.

 

Social Media Managers - Hootsuite.com

There are a wide variety of social media management services available today. One such service is Hootsuite. This is a great way to plug into one hub all of your social media sites. The power of Hootsuite is that in one session, I can go ahead and create tweets, Facebook posts, and more and schedule when these are going to be released. 

It's great with a podcast when you've record one to not only let people know on the day that your podcast is out, but engage people socially on the course of the week on that episode. This is a great program and for as low as $10 a month you can manage multiple social media accounts. Making this part of your social media work flow means you can minimize the amount of time and focus on targeting people that you want to reach. 

 

TweetDeck

Podcasting and Twitter go hand in hand. This is an amazing way to engage their audience and directly communicate with them. The days of email and contact forms are long gone. People much prefer to directly reply to people and send messages via Twitter. A great free program out there that can manage your Twitter feeds is TweetDeck. Here you can also time out when your tweets are going to go, which service you're going to use, and an image, and more. 

This is a super way to engage your audience and let people know what's going with your show. 

 

Make it Easy

The takeaway from today's lesson is to make your podcast as easy from people to listen to as possible. Even though, for example, my mother has an iPad and an iPhone, she still does not to this day know how to subscribe to my podcasts. She loves to go to my web page and just simply click the play button. And she, to her mind, thinks that's what a podcast is.  

Educating the podcasting audience will take time and you will get there, but remember when sharing with social media and putting web players on your page, you're making it as easy as possible for as many people as possible to listen to your show. 

 

Conclusion

Sharing your podcast has to be part of your work flow. Understanding how to book your guests, record your show, release it and more is already enough work, but we begin to understand how social media can play a big role in the success of your programing. However, don't spend too much time on social media. Content is still king. If you were to look at a ratio, I'd recommend that you spend about 80% of your time on getting your content really good and maybe 20% of your time on social media. 

Ultimately good content is what's going to generate listeners. The better your content, the more people are naturally going to talk about you and share it on their own. However, getting that information out to a larger audience still needs to be done.

 

 

 

 

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Should You Have a Website for Your Podcast?

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Should You Have a Website for Your Podcast?

To kick off the start of April, we're going to dive into whether having a website for your podcast is worth it. This is actually a question we receive quite often from people who are just starting out their podcast journeys. For the most part, many of our clients already have established websites. And so, they just want to tag their podcast on as another marketing funnel or extra media their dedicated audience can consume. If that sounds like you, then this article wouldn't apply to your already established brand.

However, if you're swimming in a big ocean full of fish, dangerous and gnarly-looking fish, and are not sure where to start, then  this article can help and  guide  you.

 

So, do you need a website for your podcast?

The quick and dirty answer is that it depends. I know, anticlimactic. Boo.

But seriously, let me first ask you, how much do you care about your podcast? Because if you don't care and it's just some hobbyist podcast you're creating in your step-uncle's weird and this-was-once-a-meth-lab basement, then you don't need a website because, well, you don't care.

I mean, I already know you don't care because you're trying to record in a dirty and echoey basement. Get it together - you can do better!

 

Okay. Let's calm down.

Before I go further, I want to disclose that I am a web developer by trade. I learned how to code at a young age, so there may be a slight bias in this article. But I promise I won't let my personal agenda mess with your vibes.

 

First of All, You Don't Need to Do or Have Anything

If you don't want a podcast website, then don't create one. I'm not going to convince you to create a podcast website if you're just going to abandon it. Many podcasters get by without having a website at all. I mean, just check out different podcasts on iTunes and you'll find them. So don't feel this strange obligation to make a podcast website, just because all the cool cats have one. Maybe you're the type of person who finds innovative ways to promote your podcast without a website. Either way, this is your podcast. You can do whatever you want with it!

 

Vet Your Podcast First before Investing Big

If you want to test the waters, then you don't need to get a full blown website from the get go. There are many free alternatives. You're lucky it's 2016, because long gone are the days where you have to sell your liver for good hosting. If you're not sure how serious this is going to be, then get a free podcast website like Wordpress or equivalent. Then work from there.

Let me pick at your brain a little bit here. Do you like where your podcast is going? Would you like to increase traffic?, Do you want to see user engagement? Then I suggest you reconsider your options. It's easy to transfer your website over, from one platform to. another That’s unless you go for some horribly cheap and awful website-making service. Otherwise you are not going to be stuck to one platform for eternity.

 

When to Get Serious?

I personally recommend you go serious, aka pay for the website, pay for better graphics, etc. when your podcast has a loyal audience that cares about you; and if you eventually want to sponsor your podcast. Sure, you can get sponsors just for your podcast. But if you have a great standalone website in and of itself, then you can arrange for different sponsor packages that include the website and/or newsletter. A website creates an extra layer to your marketability, which sponsors love + allows you to monetize your podcast.

 

In Summary

You don't need a podcast website if you don't want one. If you want one, then go small until you have the social proof. Once you have the social proof, go big and make it great. Then you can also become marketable on multiple levels. A small podcast can indeed grow into a big business. So just climb the broken escalator until you've reached a level that is right for you.

In the next article, we'll do a brief overview on some of the viable website options for podcasters - which themes and platforms  make sense to use and which don't.

 


About Podfly:

We are a podcast production house that offers audio editing and podcast show notes services. We also have beginner packages to help you get started on recording your first podcast. Feel free to contact us or if you have any questions email me at Ayn@Podfly.net and we'll be more than happy to help you out.

Until next time, Ayn.

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The cure for podfade? Short run podcasting.

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The cure for podfade? Short run podcasting.

 

We all have heard of it. Someone, perhaps even you, starts a podcast. It’s exciting. It’s going to be chart-topping, have a massive impact, and dominate the niche. You get all the right equipment, you take the best advice, and start laying down the audio adventure you always dreamed of - golden nuggets of soundbites and storytelling that just might change the world.

“I didn’t have that many listeners anyway”. “I really don’t have time for another passion project”.

The first 3 episodes are uploaded, you got the form letter from Apple saying you’ve been “accepted”. The show dances around the New & Noteworthy section for a week or so. Then, you start seeing a handful of positive reviews come in and it’s time to start cutting the next couple of episodes.

Then it happens. Rather, it doesn’t... You decide to skip a week. Your guest cancels, you’re behind on work, and you're just too tired. Heck, you don’t want to spend another 3 hours in post-production. No matter - you skip a week. And then the next. Suddenly, you start to Podfade.

It gets so far gone that little justifications for not continuing begin to creep into your inner dialogue... “I didn’t have that many listeners anyway”. “I really don’t have time for another passion project”. “The podcasting space is still to small”. “There’s no money to be made”.

So can something be done? Are there preventative measures? Is there a cure to Podfade? Yes, yes, and yes!  Let me introduce The Podfly Cure for Podfade, as we call it, “short-run podcasting”. 

 

Why does a podcast have to go on and on in the first place?

Well, it doesn’t! There’s a still misnomer floating about that a podcast is an online radio show that has to happen every week. Further to this, a lot of folks will tell you that in order to grow your audience, you need to have consistent releases. False, and false!

...don’t release shows because people in a Facebook group said John Lee Dumas does it that way.

Not only have Serial and StartUp both proved this to be incorrect, but the podcast hosting companies who will back up that many of their most popular shows have tremendous followings of listeners, and truly inconsistent release schedules. (Check out Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History release schedule!) They don’t release shows because it’s Tuesday. They don’t release shows because people in a Facebook group said John Lee Dumas does it that way. They release shows because they are ready.

By extension, it’s fair to consider that not only you do not have to release your show every week, you don’t even have to consider podcasting as an indefinite activity.

 

Once you start, you don’t know how to stop.

Starting a podcast is starting a relationship. You’re entering into a spoken contract with your listeners that you intend to stick with it. This often begins with the best of intentions, but can slowly disintegrate into a diminishing return. How so? Well, we can become consumed with our commitment and fail to step back and examine whether the podcast remains aligned with its initial goals. This can lead to focusing on quantity and consistency, rather than on quality.

OK to pivot. It’s OK to move on to something else.

In many cases, the best choice for a podcaster is to simply stop. It’s OK to pivot. It’s OK to move on to something else. Your listeners will forgive you. Sunk cost is indeed a fallacy. They’ll miss you for a few weeks, but they’ll find something else to fill the gap. Record your final show, thank listeners for their loyalty, and share with them in the most authentic and clearest way possible that you are moving on to new projects.

Now that we’ve got that pesky show of yours out of the way, let’s consider releasing short runs of episodes.

 

The short-run approach.

You don’t write a book and release endless chapters, right? Well, perhaps if you’re writing Game of Thrones. But those of us with worldly responsibilities aren’t able to commit to an open-ended project schedule that podcasting tends to demand. So why not approach a podcast as an encapsulated experience? Set a specific number of episodes, schedule the pre- and post-production in batches, and set a clear marketing strategy for a finished project.


This method has numerous advantages. Let’s outline just a handful:

Is it still a podcast?

Yes. It’s media delivered by RSS feed over the Internet that users can subscribe to. Podcasts are not defined by release schedules. Is House of Cards still a T.V. series even though it comes out all at once? You betcha. (Season 4, March 4th #justsayin)

What’s the marketing advantage?

You can employ tried and true marketing techniques that you would use for the release of any short- or long-form media. The big difference being you can have a total project budget for marketing, rather than ongoing monthly expenses.

What’s the evergreen advantage?

It will sit there, forever. After you’ve released your show, a hosting account for as little as $5/month can keep your RSS feed active and your content available. Listeners can discover your show for years to come. Led Zeppelin stopped making records years ago (sadly), but the back catalogue continues to garner sales. Your podcast is now another part of your body of work for folks to discover when the time is right.

What are the benefits to the listener?

Having a set amount of material that an audience can consider for consumption demonstrates that you value their time. It can be a tough sell asking someone to commit to a weekly show, for ‘who knows’ how long. However, seeing 5 or 6 episodes that are a tight 40 minutes each in iTunes is an edible elephant.

But how can I get all my awesome info into a short-run podcast?

Constraints spark creative solutions. Setting parameters for yourself results in a more focused approach. Though attribution for the quote is debated, it nevertheless rings true, “always leave them wanting more”.

Most of us strive for listeners to visit our website, sign up for our services, or buy our products - not stick around and just listen to our podcast forever and ever. If you give them just enough to be interested, they’ll find their way to your brand online. If you concentrate on one topic for the release, it exhibits your expertise in a narrow discourse. Either way, it’s always good to save some for later.


Summary

Everyone knows where they stand. Expectations are set and met. Perhaps this isn’t a miracle cure for a systemic issue in podcasting. But it can be an effective strategy to deliver your message to a broader audience, and not spend too much of your most valuable resource - TIME.




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