How serious are you about improving and growing your podcast? In this miniseries, I'll explore the different labels used to describe podcasters. The labels “amateur” and “skilled” do indicate quality. So while it's okay to stay in one group and own it with pride, I do encourage you to seek to move into the “skilled” group. What are amateur podcasters? The late Steve Jobs once referred to podcasts as “amateur hour” in one of his last Apple keynotes. But don't let the term “amateur” be demeaning. Instead, consider it a way to describe where you might be now, but not where you're staying. 1. Amateur podcasters accept where they are They may not be content with where their podcasts are, but they often don't consider how they need to improve and grow themselves. 2. Amateur podcasters have vague or no goals If an amateur podcaster has goals, they're often rather vague, such as growing or monetizing. Vague goals look for vague successes. For example, if an amateur podcaster says merely, “I want to grow my audience.” Then if they get even one more person listening, then they accomplished their goal. But did they really want only one additional listener? Or if they say merely, “I want to monetize my podcast,” and they make 3¢. Then they monetized their podcast. 3. Amateur podcasters ask broad questions I often see the same overly broad questions asked in online podcasting groups. For example, “How do I grow my podcast?” “What's the best microphone?” “Who is the best podcast host?” 4. Amateur podcasters say “good enough” There are big differences between being resourceful under limitations and quitting when something seems “good enough.” When something is “good enough,” it probably actually isn't. 5. Amateur podcasters want free options Yes, there are many budget constraints on podcasters of all types. There's nothing wrong with using free options. But I think looking for only free options can indicate commitment levels. For example, Anchor currently hosts almost half of all valid podcast feeds in Apple Podcasts, but more than half of those shows have 3 or fewer episodes. And there are more 1-episode shows on Anchor than the total number of shows any other podcast-hosting provider hosts. [Private data via My Podcast Reviews.] The first time I revealed this data in “What New Data Suggests about Podcast-Hosting Customers” from December 2018, I suggested that the tool itself is not creating dead shows, but the extremely low barriers to entry (and with very little education) was probably making it easier for low-commitment people to start podcasts. Does simply paying for something help you be more committed? Perhaps. Or maybe more-committed people are already willing to pay for stuff. 6. Amateur podcasters are jealous of others' success Spotify has been making some big moves in the podcasting industry. They started getting disruptive with the recent announcement that The Joe Rogan Experience will soon become exclusive to Spotify—not simply be on Spotify, but be only on Spotify and nowhere else: not Apple Podcast...
May 26, 2020
Who has the final say for your podcast? In this miniseries, I'll explore the different labels used to describe podcasters and encourage you to own your label with pride! An aside before diving in, I never liked the term “procasters” because it made it seem like indie podcasters couldn't be professionals at what they do. How are independent and corporate podcasters similar Independent (or “indie”) podcasters and corporate podcasters share the same similarities I shared in my previous episode about hobbyist vs. professional podcasters. Here's that list for your convenience. * Both can have excellence* Both can have passion* Both can have audiences of any size* Both can “PROFIT” So let's jump to what sets them apart! What are indie podcasters? 1. Indie podcasters make their own decisions “The buck stops here” for an indie podcaster! They make their own decisions, big and small. They might involve their cohosts, community, or other collaborators. But everything about their podcast is their own to choose. 2. Indie podcasters are agile On a whim, indie podcasters can change technology, launch a donation system, create a new product, redesign their branding, and much more. There's no approval process and usually the only delays are in how much time it takes to implement something, or how long it takes for that delivery to arrive. 3. Indie podcasters made the podcasting industry Don't let anyone mislead you! No broadcast company or executive invented podcasting—it was indies: Dave Winer (who created RSS) and Adam Curry. And the foundations of podcasting are very much “pirate radio.” 4. Indie podcasters are resourceful Indie podcasters are used to working with what they have or very limited resources. They're well-acquainted with recording in a closet or under a blanket, using pantyhose for a pop filter, or hacking things together. 5. Indie podcasters are the majority Of the nearly 1.1 million podcasts at this time, I estimate there are only a couple or few thousand podcasts (under 1%) are hosted by corporate podcasters. The rest are the indies! 6. Indie podcasters reach the niches There's almost no niche too small! You can find a podcast on almost anything and usually hosted by people passionate about and highly experienced in those topics. 7. Indie podcasters want (and deserve) to be involved in the podcasting industry No matter the direction the industry goes, I think no one cares more about it than the independent podcasters. Sometimes, it even seems like podcasting is a way of life to an indie. If you're an independent podcaster, please get involved in The Podcast Academy to ensure the indie majority is represented. What are corporate podcasters? 1. Corporate podcasters are subject to external oversight “Design by committee” is a phrase that makes almost any designer cringe. Corporate podcasters have committees, executives, corporate interests, sponsors, and even legal regulations often dictating what can and can't be done. 2. Corporate podcasters move slowly and deliberately
May 19, 2020
Do you podcast for the fun or art of it, or to build a business? In this miniseries, I'll explore the different labels used to describe podcasters and encourage you to own your label with pride! How are hobbyist and professional podcasters similar? 1. Hobbyists and professionals can have excellence Neither label indicates quality levels. It's possible for hobbyists to rival “professional quality,” and it's also possible for professionals to sound like “amateur hour.” 2. Hobbyists and professionals can have passion No one has exclusivity on passion in podcasting. Pardon the pun, but anyone can be “on fire” for anything. 3. Hobbyists and professionals can have audiences of any size Whether a narrow niche or a broad topic, there are no upper or lower limits for hobbyists or professionals. 4. Hobbyists and professionals can “PROFIT” Podcasting PROFIT™ is popularity, relationships, opportunities, fun, income, and tangibles. These are all attainable for hobbyists and professionals. Neither has a monopoly on success. What is a hobbyist podcaster? 1. A hobbyist podcaster focuses on the experience Satisfaction is often the main goal of a hobbyist podcaster, regardless of their topic. That satisfaction could come from laughing, talking about your favorite subjects, inspiring people, and more. 2. A hobbyist podcaster has few pressures Hobbyists are often not burdened by many deadlines, expectations, bills, and such. 3. A hobbyist podcaster reserves podcasting for “nights and weekends” Like most other hobbies, podcasting for a hobbyist is probably something they do when the more important things are done. Podcasting comes after the job, after family time, and after household responsibilities. 4. A hobbyist podcaster spends for bills or pleasure Usually, a hobbyist is spending money on the necessities of podcasting, or simply enjoying any kind of extra income they get. What is a professional podcaster? 1. A professional podcaster focuses on the outcome For a professional, podcasting needs a return on their investment; it needs to grow a business or market something. 2. A professional podcaster is running a business Like other parts of running a business, podcasting income and expenses will be tracked, reported, and deducted for budgeting and taxes. 3. A professional podcaster integrates podcasting into their strategy Podcasting is part of the “day job” for a professional podcaster. 4. A professional podcaster invests in returns When a professional podcaster PROFITs, they reinvest that into the business. That could be investing in people or resources to make podcasting easier or better. It could be investing into marketing to grow the podcast or business. What are you? Are you a hobbyist podcaster, or a professional podcaster? Need podcasting help? If you are past episode one, then please join me and other podcasters in Podcasters' Society where we help you improve the quality and success of your podcast through an encouraging community, inspirational training, and expert support!
May 12, 2020
Even though podcasting is usually an audio-only experience, attractive images can enhance your podcast branding and help you promote your podcast better! Here are suggestions to consider for podcast-level and episode-level images. How images help your podcast Establishing and reinforcing visual branding Are Disney's movies Frozen and Frozen II related to Pixar's movie Onward? Many of the 5by5 podcast network's cover art shares the same style, making the relationship obvious. Marketing your episodes Artwork makes your podcast look a lot better when shared in social networks like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Having images, especially for each episode, can help enable you to promote your podcast in visual-only platforms, like Pinterest and Instagram. Engaging your audience Look at No Agenda‘s art generator. Communicating without words “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” 1. Square image for podcast apps and Instagram 2. Crop-friendly wide image for video and social * 16:9 for video* 1,200 × 628 for Facebook and Twitter 3. Crop-friendly tall image for Pinterest * 2:3 for Pinterest* 9:16 for video stories 4. Thumbnail image for your website I suggest you design for a square crop but with margin for different ratios. Here's what square episode images look like on The Audacity to Podcast's homepage. 5. Background image for creativity What I love being able to use background images in SecondLine Themes as my WordPress theme! You can easily add a color overlay, style effects, and even blur your images. Ensure it doesn't conflict with text over it. How this episode's background image looks, thanks to Tusant from SecondLine Themes. 6. “Open” image for audiograms Headliner and Wavve are great tools for making audiograms. 7. Show images for profile branding Visit Sprout Social's guide to social-media image sizes. How to make these images Hire a professional * Mark Des Cotes from Podcast Branding* DesignCrowd* <a href="https://theaudacitytopodcast.com/99designs" title="Logo Design,
May 5, 2020
On Friday, April 17, 2020, Apple Podcasts surpassed 1 million valid podcasts in their catalog. So have we reached “peak podcast”? Is it too late to start a podcast? Will your podcast only be lost in the sea of over 1 million other podcasts? Short answer: NO! Here's why. 1. Saturation is a matter of perspective Listen to “There Are Now More than 800,000 Podcasts and More Industry Stats” for more information behind my Podcast Industry Statistics site. According to the top results in Google searches: * There are more than 31 million YouTube channels* There are more than 97 million songs* There are more than 140 million books* There are more than 600 million blogs 2. Not all podcasts are active 3. Not all podcasts are consistent 4. Your niche is much smaller 5. Your podcast could do what others don't, can't, or won't 6. There will always be ways to innovate
Apr 28, 2020
Did you know I once directed a podcast network? I retired it in spring 2019, and here are some lesson I hope can help you. The network's history I founded Noodle Mix Network (originally called “Noodle.mx Network,” but always pronounced the same) with the launch of The Audacity to Podcast in June 2010. My goal was to bring together like-minded podcasters with high-quality shows to grow together through synergy, community, support, crosspromotion, and sponsorship. Noodle Mix Network combined my pre-existing shows, the Ramen Noodle and Are You Just Watching, with a brand new show called The Audacity to Podcast. It since grew to host a wide variety of shows: * the Ramen Noodle* Are You Just Watching* The Audacity to Podcast* Beyond the To-Do List* The Productive Woman* Christian Meets World* The Sci-Phi Show* ONCE* Welcome to Level Seven* WONDERLAND* Under the Dome Radio* Resurrection Revealed* Podcasting Videos by The Audacity to Podcast* Inside the Podcasting Business What the network did well * Quality* Branding* Rally for awards* Sponsorships What the network did poorly * Audience-relevant common theme* Cross-promotion* Cross-integration* Full and consistent community Why I retired the network * Allow me to focus on fewer things* Give each podcaster more room to expand Read my announcement post. Should you start or join a network? * If run like a business* If an obvious audience-relevant benefit* Not if it's only a club For more information, I highly recommend Dave Jackson's episode of School of Podcasting (in which I'm a guest), “How to Start a Podcast Network: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” Need podcasting help? If you are past episode one, then please join me and other podcasters in Podcasters' Society where we help you improve the quality and success of your podcast through an encouraging community, inspirational training, and expert support! If you need one-on-one help, or you haven't launched your podcast, yet, click here to request a personal coaching and consulting session and we'll connect you with a podcasting expert we trust! Ask your questions or share your feedback * Comment on the show notes* Leave a voicemail at (903) 231-2221* Email feedback@TheAudacitytoPodcast.com (audio files welcome) Connect with me * Subscribe to The Audacity to Podcast Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, other Android apps, or in your favorite podcast app.
Apr 21, 2020
The RØDECaster Pro is my new favorite piece of podcasting gear! I'll have a thorough review soon. In the meantime, here are some tips to help with one of the biggest complaints I've heard about the RØDECaster Pro. Why the RØDECaster Pro transfers files so slowly The RØDECaster Pro (RCP) can read and write to a variety of microSD cards, including extremely high-speed cards. But its transfer speed is limited because the interface with your computer is only USB 2.0! USB 2.0's maximum transfer speed is 480 megabits per second (or 60 MB/s because there are 8 bits in 1 byte). But USB 3.0's maximum transfer speed is 5 gigabits per second, so it's about 10 times faster than USB 2.0. Thus, not matter how fast your computer or the microSD card are, the RØDECaster Pro has a bottleneck transfer speed. In my real-world testing, this came out to be about 8.1 MB per second. How to speed up file transfers (and workflow) 1. Update the app and firmware The RØDECaster Pro Companion app version 2.0.4 performed so horribly in my tests that I stopped trying to measure transfer times when a stereo file was taking more time to transfer than the recording itself! I realized this could be from one or both of my following conditions: * macOS Catalina—this was most likely the cause* Encrypted hard drive In this scenario, the app was spiking my CPU and taking hours to transfer files, even if I used a USB 3.0 reader! But simply using version 2.1 of the app fixed the CPU spike and dramatically improved transfer speeds. If you're facing similar unreasonably slow performance, make sure you update the app and firmware! 2. Record in stereo instead of multitrack 3. Use the RØDECaster Pro companion app for multitrack recordings 4. Use a separate microSD reader … 5. … And upgrade to a faster microSD My SanDisk Extreme Pro microSDXC UHS-II was more than 2.1× faster than my SanDisk Ultra microSDHC UHS-I, and about 23× faster than the RCP's USB 2.0. But remember that because of the RCP's USB 2.0 bottleneck, you will see these performance benefits only if you use a separate and faster microSD reader. Performance results * SanDisk Ultra RCP 2.1, via app* 1-hour, stereo, 1.04 GB: 2:05* 1-hour, multitrack, 7.28 GB (9 files): 14:29* SanDisk Ultra via USB 3.0 microSD card reader and RCP app* 1-hour, stereo, 1.04 GB: 0:12* 1-hour, multitrack, 7.28 GB (9 files): 1:24* SanDisk Extreme PRO via USB 3.0 microSD card reader and RCP app* 1-hour, stereo, 1.04 GB: 0:06* 1-hour, multitrack, 7.28 GB (9 files): 0:37 Need podcasting help? If you are past episode one, then please join me and other podcasters in Podcasters' Society where we help you improve the quality and success of your podcast through an encouraging community, inspirational training,
Apr 14, 2020
I have a confession: I'm a perfectionist, at least to some level. (That I want to define my level of perfectionism—or “professionalism,” as I prefer to call it—only confirms I am, indeed, in the perfectionist spectrum.) As might be obvious, this gets meta because I know I can't title this episode “How to Overcome Perfectionism” since I haven't overcome it myself! If you've been following The Audacity to Podcast for a while, then you've witnessed perfectionism—both its benefits and its disadvantages. So instead of seeking to teach you how to overcome a personal struggle like this, I want to share what I'm learning, doing, and reminding myself. I hope this will help you in your own podcasting journey, too. Your audience needs you People like you “I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”“Stuart Smalley” Perfectionism is not inherently bad You can't make “perfect” But you can still make “excellent” “Published” is better than “eternal draft” Would you rather sacrifice, or starve? The “bar” can be changed Perfectionism kills momentum Momentum is greater than stagnation There is no shame in doing the right thing Your audience would rather hear from you than not Delaying allows others to take over Don't “fake it till you make it” Train it till you retain it! Need podcasting help? If you are past episode one, then please join me and other podcasters in Podcasters' Society where we help you improve the quality and success of your podcast through an encouraging community, inspirational training, and expert support! If you need one-on-one help, or you haven't launched your podcast, yet, click here to request a personal coaching and consulting session and we'll connect you with a podcasting expert we trust! Ask your questions or share your feedback * Comment on the show notes* Leave a voicemail at (903) 231-2221* Email feedback@TheAudacitytoPodcast.com (audio files welcome) Connect with me * Subscribe to The Audacity to Podcast Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, other Android apps, or in your favorite podcast app.* Join the Facebook Page* Subscribe on YouTube for Podcasting Videos by The Audacity to Podcast* Follow @theDanielJLewis Disclosure This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship. I may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't rec...
Apr 7, 2020
On December 10, 2019, Apple Podcasts surpassed 800,000 valid podcasts! Here's some more information and statistics on the podcast industry, with data from My Podcast Reviews.
Dec 17, 2019
Switching to the Gutenberg Editor was probably the most controversial change in WordPress's history. I'll help you decide whether you should start using Gutenberg for your podcast's WordPress website. What is the Gutenberg Editor? Gutenberg's benefits 1 - Make repeatable content and templates with reusable blocks 2 - Unlock more content-formatting options 3 - Replace many separate plugins with Gutenberg features 4 - Use high-quality themes and plugins to get more Gutenberg blocks and options 5 - Paste formatted text without so many worries 6 - Edit faster and without page-refreshes 7 - Navigate your post quickly with an outline 8 - Access advanced options more easily 9 - Edit a block in HTML for advanced needs Gutenberg's disadvantages 1 - It's a drastic change 2 - There are still some compatibility issues with other plugins 3 - It may slow down some editing functionality 4 - Managing reusable blocks is a little weird right now 5 - Many features may be more simplistic than you want Tips for using Gutenberg 1 - Install the plugin version if you want the latest version 2 - Install the "Classic Editor" plugin 3 - Don't worry about your past content
Nov 5, 2019