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Promoting Your Podcast – Gaining More Listeners November 19, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Advertising, Podcast Marketing, Podcast Questions.

I received the following comment on one of my posts last week:


You have been a lot of help in the past. I finally got my podcast Losing Weight After Baby.com up and running on Libsyn. So far we have 11 shows. I have registered it on every directly I know of. According to the Libsyn stats we get about 100 downloads per a week.
How would you increase the exposer the show gets?

Thanks again,

RSS Link
iTunes Link

Good question.

Post to Websites, Forums, Podcasts, and Blogs:
First, I would do what you’re doing now. You posted a comment to my blog with the link to the rss feed and the itunes link. As long as you just don’t post the links, but ask something, say something meaningful, or stroke someone’s ego (i.e. “You have been a lot of help in the past.”… you won’t get spam filtered or deleted. Also, most blogs screen out more than two links, so be cautious about adding comments with three links on a blog. Find sites, forums, podcasts, and blogs about your subject. In your case, there are plenty of pregnancy sites / blogs that you could get into where the women will think about you later, and plenty of newborn sites that you could get on. Take a week and just find all of them. Dedicate yourself to posting meaningful and helpful posts on forums about your subject. Also, exchange audio promos or links with podcasters around the same subject. Just record an intro to another persons podcast, and mail it to them. Tell them you are willing to do the same on yours. Lastly, it goes without saying to get in all the podcast directories you can find.

Create a Press Release:
Press releases are a great way to get picked up by online media. Companies like PRWeb or PRNewswire can help you out with that. They’ll even let you pick and choose markets and sites for the press release to be distributed to. After doing this, you will see a big influx of listeners. Make sure you have a good set of shows (11 is good), the last one is amazing, and your last 3 or 5 have been fairly consistent (or else you’ll lose that initial influx).

Distribute Content Everywhere:
I’m now seeing the huge benefits of distributing your content to as many places as possible. Speaking in general terms, if your podcast is video, put it on youtube, google, veoh, etc. If audio, make a 30 second video promo of your podcast (it could just be pictures, an explanation, etc… BUT… it’s better to do something useful) and put that promo out there for everyone to see. The last still frame should say something like “Learn more at http:…” and give them the link. If you can help 50 people out there on YouTube with a clip of something you talked about on your last podcast… do it. Then, drive them to your site by telling them where to get more help. There are companies like TubeMogul that will help you do this as well… you submit your video to them… and they post it all over the net.

I think these three things will get you started, and will get you a lot more listeners than you have now. Creating a press release is a one time thing, unless you change something drastically. The content distribution is just good practice and should become routine. I think the most time consuming, but maybe the most important, is the connections you can make with other sites, forums, podcasts, and blogs.

Good luck!


Hiring Someone to Train a Dragon April 23, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Questions, Podcast Transcription, Podcasting, University Podcasting.
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This question came through email from a Coordinator of Library Services for Persons with Disabilities from a well known University:

Dear Mr. Frey.  I found your blog about podcasting and I would appreciate if you can provide me with some information. We are concerned about all the new multi-media technology and how to make it accessible to people with disabilities. Is there any software/hardware available to convert speech to text? The only program that we are aware of that does anything with speech to text is a program called Dragon. But this program has serious problems of word recognition.  We are looking for something that will easily convert podcasts and the audio from videos to text. It is obvious to me that you have a lot of experience with all this new technology. Any information that you can provide to me, would be appreciated. Thank you in advance for your help.

I’ve talked about this on the blog before… basically just writing out what I’ve learned when working with projects on transcription.  The following was my response:

Audio and video accessibility is a big deal right now with these technologies and the issues haven’t all been addressed sufficiently, but I’ll tell you what I know so far.

First, I have some things up on my blog about what constitutes “accessible” for these media types, software to get the job done, and how to use Dragon to build your own transcription engine.  Read https://jdfrey.wordpress.com/tag/podcast-accessibility/ from the bottom up to get an idea of where I’m coming from.  Bottom line right now… what I’ve found is that there’s no personal way to easily or automagically create a transcript or subtitles… but we’re getting closer.

I guess I should do an update on my blog due to some new things we’ve been trying.  We’ve found that Dragon really has to be trained for a specific user, and if you have a podcast with multiple speakers or rotating speakers, it’s hard to use.

SOLUTION: Hire a student to train Dragon Naturally Speaking from Nuance, then have them listen to the talk or podcast with headphones and repeat what they hear into Dragon.  We’re paying them about $10 an hour, so it’s the cheapest transcript service that I know of.  They can tweak things along the way if needed and it usually only takes 1 to 1and 1/2 times the audio time to make the transcript (5 minute podcast -> 7.5 minutes to create the transcript, 30 minutes talk -> 45 minutes to create).  Posting that to a blog or something is easy.

What about video?  I’ve been recommending to people with budget constraints to post your video to Google video and link to it or put it up in a window on your site.  It cuts down on your storage and overhead… and the branding is minimal compared to YouTube.  Also, and THIS IS BIG, Google video will integrate transcripts with the video you upload.  So, you upload the video and the transcript with some time stamps, settings, and tweaks… and it’s done.  Very easy.

If you host your own video, you’ll want to have it captioned.  I have another company to add to the list of transcription/captioning services: AutomaticSync at http://www.automaticsync.com.  I have some friends using them and they are very impressed.  No hassle and always quality output.

I hope this helps… and let me know if you have any other questions.

Brainstorming Podcasting Ideas March 20, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Questions, Podcasting.
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If you need some help brainstorming podcasting ideas… think about this five-part question:

  1. Who gets
  2. what information and
  3. how?  Then,
  4. who gives the information?.. and finally,
  5. can that information be delivered in a podcast?

Chances are the answer is yes, but then you have to think about the consumer.  Can they get the information in a podcast form?  Some businesses aren’t set up with employees that have computers with speakers / headphones.  Some non-profits don’t have the bandwidth.  Make sure that the number 1 question above is answered and that you know they can actually get the podcast once you put it out.

Why Do You Podcast? January 26, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Jeff Frey, Podcast Questions, Podcasting.
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This week… I decided to quickly answer the 5 “W”s of me and how I podcast (who, what, where, when, and why). So… why do I podcast?

I podcast because I want people to podcast. I want them to see how easy it is, hear how it can be done, and venture out on their own to make a podcast. I don’t care if it’s a person, business, student, or whoever. I think everyone has a voice and should be sharing it. I used to help people do that with videos and CDs, but now I have podcasting that I can tell people about. What a great technology!

When Do You Podcast? and How Long Does It Take You? January 25, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Jeff Frey, Podcast Questions, Podcasting.
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This week… I’m quickly writing responses to the 5 questions that I get asked about me and how I podcast.  Yesterday was where, tomorrow will be why.

When do I podcast?

Good question.  I try to do it at night or on weekends when there isn’t any construction activity.  (There is some construction going on a few streets over from my house, and every once in while I get a construction truck back up beep, beep, beep, beep… it’s bad.)  There is also a train close by, but the city put up a little webpage to show where the train is and an approximation of when it will come and how long it will be.  I try to time my podcast recordings in between the train schedule.  At least, if I start, I know I’ll have to stop in x number of minutes and can start up again in y number of minutes.

How long does it take to do a 5 minute podcast?

Another good question.  If I don’t script the podcasts that I do, just write some notes, and don’t care about editing… a five minute podcast could take 7 or 8 minutes to record, 2 minutes to add eqs and music to, and five minutes to listen to.  A post takes a couple minutes and then I usually get a script back from a podcast transcription service in a day.  I then post that.  All in all, 15 minutes on the short end.

Who Are You? January 22, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Jeff Frey, Podcast Questions.
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This week… I’m going to quickly answer 5 questions that I get asked about me and how I podcast. Today: who… tomorrow: what.

You can read a bio about me on a few different sites, including this blog. They tend to say what I do, and not who I am. I was born on March 23, 1975. I grew up in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania (north of Pittsburgh), and moved to Ohio after graduating from Beaver County Christian School (high school). I attended Kent State University while I lived in Massillon, Ohio. I married my wonderful wife Stephanie in 1997 and we moved to New Orleans for me to take a job with an energy resource construction company. I worked my way through the ranks of a developer, to development supervisor, to manager of application development, etc. etc. etc. I owned my own business in which we helped small businesses do marketing (video, web, and print). I also owned a recording studio and helped churches, ministries, and non-profits make CDs, instructional videos, and things like that. Right now, I embrace just about any new technology that comes along for a short time until I see if it’s going to work for my clients, friends, business/churches I help. I’ve seen podcasting open a lot of doors for the people I advise about technology and I’m going to keep on this path until I see something else that I should be pushing out to them. Thanks for the question.

Average Podcast Length December 20, 2006

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Questions, Podcasting.

What is the average length of a podcast?

Usually people ask this question when what they really mean to ask is: “How long should I make my podcast?”

Just for reference, a typical podcast is 40 minutes long (+ or – 5 minutes). Many podcasts are hour long or half hour long ‘shows’ that are done, but podcast lengths range anywhere from a few seconds to a few hours. Instead of copying, following, doing what everyone else does, researching and trying to model popular podcasts… my advice is to come up with a number based on a few criteria. Here are four factors that can figure in to how long you make your podcast:

First, decide on who your audience is. You can probably come up with a range of minutes if you think about who will be watching or listening to your podcast. A travelling business woman, a stay at home dad, a high school student, etc. How long is that person going to tolerate listening to your podcast? We once specifically targeted male management consultant personnel in a podcast who we know ‘read’ books by skimming the table of contents page, flipping through and reading headings, and stopping to read the last paragraph of each chapter if we’re lucky. This person wants a 3 to 10 minute podcast.

Second, think about how and where they will be listening. How long is his or her break? Is the computer at work or home? Does he or she have a portable media player and can find time during the drive, flight, or ride? Keeping my management consultant example, he has a portable media device, but could also listen on his laptop. Travelling a lot, he syncs his laptop in the airport or when docking at a hotel, and loads up his player for the next long flight. If a topic looks interesting while in the hotel, he might listen to it on his computer. Having said all that, a 10 to 15 minute podcast may be more tolerable since nights at hotels are boring and plane rides are usually longer than 15 minutes.

Third, create the high level message of your podcast. What point are you trying to get across? What is it saying? Is it something that is a get to the point, push out information, just the facts topic… or is it more conversational, theoretical, and thoughtful. If you’ve got a topic that is a ‘just the facts’ and discuss it for a long time, the disconnect is noticeable. Flip that around, and if you have a theoretical topic where you just state what it is and not the background, application, and feeling around it… it’s hard to connect with the listener. In our example, management consultant factoids given out with their source and a tad bit of how to apply this at your clients combines the two a little and would probably take at least 8 minute to convey, and at the most 20 minutes.

Fourth, develop the content for your podcast. Now is the time to actually develop the content. Whether you’re writing a script or talking points, record yourself delivering your content and see how long it actually takes. You may be surprised. I set out to do an under 10 minute podcast once, and talked for 22 minutes. The content that I wanted to include just wouldn’t have come out in under 10 minutes. (I eventually made the decision to cut it into two 11 minute podcasts, but that’s something you think about after.) Hopefully there is not a huge discrepancy between the numbers you received in the first three exercises of this post, and you receive a number you can deal with. In our management consultant case, two factoids took 19 minutes (with some fluff) to record.

Fifth, decide on your final number. In most cases, a strait average won’t work because you may think on point is more important than the other (like content being king, or “even if I think the content dictates I make this 2 hours, no one will listen). Averaging my example: 3 to 10 minutes, 10 to 15 minutes, 8 to 20 minutes, and 22 minutes come out to somewhere around 12 minutes… and 12 minutes was the decision made. We still kept two factoids, but cleared out some of the fluff and actually did away with any type of musical or anecdotal intro (though we had music playing in the background the entire time… it makes people feel like it’s not as long as it is… but that’s content for another post).

The Why and How of Podcasting November 6, 2006

Posted by Jeff in Jeff Frey, Podcast Instruction, Podcast Questions, Podcasting, Rice University, University Podcasting.
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Thanks for the feedback on last week’s series about Podcast Captioning and Podcast Transcription. I put a lot of time into the research and compilation of those posts (as did some of my friends and colleagues), and the emails help to know it’s worth while.

This post is really just about a piece of info that some of you in the Houston area may be interested in. I will be teaching a course entitled “The Why and How of Podcasting” at the Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice University. It will be on six Monday nights, April 16th through May 21, 2007, from 6pm to 9pm at night.

Topics will include the following:

  • an overview of podcasting
  • planning your podcast and issues surrounding content, frequency, and style
  • creating audio and video for podcasting along with eq and mixing techniques
  • compressing audio, adding metadata, art work, etc.
  • publishing tools, posting, and RSS feeds
  • promoting your podcast using blogs, directories, and pr tools

Really… just “why” you would podcast and the questions surrounding getting into it… then the “how” of actually doing it. It will be part lecture, part discussion, and part hands on doing it. It has been suggested that I start a podcast as a companion leading up to the class and then podcast segments of the course after it’s over. I am in the process of getting that set up and will probably start those in January 2007.

I can’t do a post and not give you some piece of podcasting information… so here it is:

If you are in the greater Houston Texas area and want to link up with other podcasters close by, go to http://www.houstonpodcasting.org. The website isn’t updated that often, but you can create a profile there that will allow you to give them your podcast feed information. They take all the feeds of the members and combine them to make one feed: http://houstonpodcasting.org/feeds/ghpa.xml. When you publish your podcast to your own feed, it also goes to anyone subscribed to this compilation feed.

Podcasting Podcasts October 27, 2006

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Academy, Podcast and New Media Expo, Podcast Instruction, Podcast Marketing, Podcast Questions, Podcasting, Podcasting Podcasts.
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Today I’m basically going to run through my iTunes list of podcasts about podcasting and document them here. I’m always on the lookout for more podcasts for podcasters (and podcasts about podcasters), and I check in with my pod directories about once every two weeks to see if podded (popped?) up. I hope you find these as useful as I do. As always, I’m looking for more and will update this as needed… email me your suggestions.

First, the tutorials and how-to podcasts. Podfading has taken it’s toll on a number of these, and some are dated… but I still save them and use them as resources for people who ask.

Second, podcasts about podcasts. These just keep me informed about who’s doing what in the podcasting world.

Third are the tips, tricks, and other podcasting podcasts.

  • http://feeds.feedburner.com/PublishAPodcast/ – this is based on a seminar addressing questions about podcasting and the how-to’s of starting your own podcast.
  • http://www.podcastingunderground.com – Jason Van Orden’s news and tips on podcasting. Listening to this podcast could distinguish whether you’re podcast is a marketing success or failure.
  • http://www.schoolofpodcasting.com – Some people I’m met love it, and some people don’t. I’m a subscriber! I don’t have time to listen as they come out, but I do queue them up for a while and then listen to a bunch of them during a car or plane ride.
  • http://www.podcastpickle.com/casts/4/ – Today in Podcasting – I haven’t quite figured this one out yet :).
  • http://www.profitablepodcasting.com – Paul Colligan’s podcast concerning issues about the profitability and monetization of podcasting where he interviews people doing it and runs some numbers.  I’d put this on your must listen -to list, unfortunately it doesn’t come out often enough.

Fourth, and last, the must see / must listen-to podcasts that keep me going. Even if you listen for a few weeks and don’t hear anything you like… there will be that day when someone covers something that you just couldn’t have done without.

  • http://pa.gigavox.com/series/podcastacademy.html – I heard these in person, took notes as best I could, but I’ve listened to them all a once or twice since and have found new things to focus on.
  • http://www.thepodcastbrothers.com – don’t miss the podcast, and sign up for the Podcast and New Media Expo next year. The forums are already up!
  • http://geekbrief.podshow.com – this doesn’t specifically address podcasting, but there are some great behind the scenes episodes that let you into their lighting, camera, computer, and studio layout. I’m hooked! There’s also link on the website to their setup (http://geekbriefwp.podshow.com/?page_id=34), and if you’re not a fan… just subscribe and then look at the titles and show notes. Neal and Luria (Cali Lewis’ real name is Luria Petrucci) are great about naming and documenting the shows so you can find what you’re looking for!

Podcasting Education for the Population October 23, 2006

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Instruction, Podcast Questions, Podcasting.
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I’ve been attending podcasting classes at different locations recently, and I’ll give you a synopsis of the one I went to at the Apple Store tomorrow. I’m attending them because I really want to see what they consist of, I always say that there is something to learn from every experience, and I usually do pick up a tidbit of information from each one.

Now that I’ve gone to a bunch and reviewed the notes that I’m taking, I’ve realized that I’m recording people’s questions more than what the instructor is teaching. I don’t really ‘learn’ anything new, but I do gain insight into what the general population is struggling with when it comes to podcasting. Here are some recent questions that I heard at the Apple Store:

  • “You mean I don’t need an ipod to actually listen to podcasts?”
  • “I want to podcast, but I don’t think the people that want to listen use a mac.”
  • “So, how do I tell people to get my podcast if they don’t have iTunes?”
  • …there were a lot more along those same lines.

These questions bring up the issue of the general education of the population about podcasting. If you’re reading this, please comment or send me an email about a way or two that you think it best to get the word out about podcasting. I’ll compile them and use them in a subsequent blog or podcast in the future.