It seems like over the last several months there has been a huge focus on iTunes New and Noteworthy. I've even heard several podcasting coaches and consultants talking about it an awful lot lately. Can I be little controversial here? I can't stand hearing about iTunes New and Noteworthy. To get your podcast into New and Noteworthy is not the be-all end-all of podcasting. I don't understand why so many people spend so much time and energy focusing on this one thing. And let me just say one thing here as a sidebar; it is not new and notable. It is New and Noteworthy. I've heard several people use the wrong terminology too.
You may have already heard that September 30th has been named as National Podcast Day. Steve Lee from netcaststudio.com and a team of other great folks are heading up this initiative. The goal behind this project is to bring more awareness to this medium. But you may be thinking, "What can I do for National Podcast Day?"
If you've been podcasting for very long, you've probably realized that you need several different variations of your cover art for different purposes. You need various sizes for your iTunes image, your .mp3 metadata, your website, social media accounts, etc. But have you ever considered podcast branded items for your show as a means of monetization? You know, coffee mugs, t-shirts and the like. If so, then carefully examine your artwork before just slapping it on any old product in Zazzle or CafePress. Not all podcast artwork looks great when used in this manner.
Are you familiar with the term "market research"? It's a pretty common phrase in the business world. It refers to the practice of checking out the target demographic for your product or service. This is an over simplification of the concept, of course, but it'll do for now. There is another component of market research that I want to hone in on today and that is competitor analysis.
I would have never believed that one small piece of gear would make such a big difference in my podcasting studio. But the Roland OP-MSA1 has made a huge positive impact on my podcasting workflow. What is the OP-MSA1, you ask? It is a microphone stand adapter (or adaptor, as the box says); a simple little device made by Roland especially for the R-05 Digital Audio Recorder. It allows me to connect my digital recorder to any standard microphone stand. In my case I have it attached to a regular three-legged floor boom stand.
Erik was asking me about the size of our email list. At the time it was pretty small in comparison to other's. When I let him know that, he asked me, "what are you calling it and how are you presenting it to your listeners?" I told him we were just asking listeners to subscribe to our newsletter or email list. And that is when Erik told me that the terminology used can greatly affect the outcome of having a listener subscribe to your list. The word subscription carries the connotation of having to pay for it. And the words "newsletter" or "email list" can come across as just being a bothersome thing or a nuisance; things are just clogging up your Inbox. He said that coming up with a creative name for your list can entice people to sign up.
Since Audio Theatre Central is all about going behind the scenes with audio dramas I gave it careful thought and decided to call our mailing list ATC Insiders. Since making that change our subscriptions have increased about 20%. So what do you think? Is it worth it to think about how you're branding your mailing list? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
Erik K. Johnson - Podcast Talent Coach
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In each episode JD will dive into one single topic regarding podcasting, blogging, new media, and online content creation. It could be about an article he's read, a piece of gear he's recently acquired or just anything that's on his mind at the time, but each episode will be under 10 minutes; quick and to the point.
This show is also an experiment for me. I'm using this show as a test of the audioBoo platform also it is a test of the short form podcast as well as I'm going to be attempting to produce as much as possible of this show from my mobile devices. It will be unedited.
I'm also a bit of a contrarian. I like to try things that are out of the norm. So I won't be talking about WordPress or MacOS. I might mention the Blogger platform, Android apps, and maybe even Linux. You can expect some outside the box thoughts on this show.
On occasion, I may also give a recommendation for a podcast that I am currently enjoying.
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I have been using the HTC One (M8) as my daily phone for two weeks now and I thought I'd share a few thoughts on this device. This is not intended to be an exhaustive review of every aspect of the phone; simply a few points that I've noted after using it for a few days. I'll address a few things I like and a few that I'm not crazy about and am trying to get used to. After having owned and used Android devices from Motorola, Samsung, Asus and a few generic brands, (both phones and tablets; Nexus and non-Nexus) I felt it was time to give HTC a try.
The first thing that got me interested in the One to begin with was the fact that it was different from everything else. I loved the look and feel of the device. The metal body is just cool and the curved back makes it look so sleek.
Another feature that stood out to me about the new HTC One was the amazing quality of the dual front speakers. I often listen to music around the house with my phone and these speakers are by far the very best I've ever heard on any smartphone. They have a crisp, clear sound and outstanding volume.
I also want to mention the really decent battery life I have been experiencing. Every day for the past two weeks, I have gone about my daily activities and intentionally have not plugged in during the day. Each day I have been able to make it through the entire day without having the battery die; or even go into the red on me. Granted, I am not sitting there playing Hay Day on it for long periods of time; I'm just using it as I normally would. I check emails, send text messages, keep up on my blog RSS feeds and maybe even read a book in the Play Books app. Also, I should point out that I don't make very many phone calls; perhaps two or three short calls in an average day.
Not So Cool Stuff
The size of the notification LED is also an annoyance for me. It is very tiny and it's not easy to notice when I have a notification since I rarely have the ringer turned on to alert me of texts or emails. I guess this is not a really big issue, but after having the big, bright light on the Galaxy Nexus and the Galaxy S3, this one just seems awfully small.
HTC has touted the motion actions that you can use on the One M8 quite a bit, but unfortunately I've found that in real-world, day-to-day use they just don't always live up to the hype. Every once in awhile they simply don't work. Of particular note is the action to quick launch the camera. When the HTC One is held in landscape, you are supposed to be able to click the volume button to immediately launch the camera for those moments when you want to grab that quick snapshot. It has probably only worked for me about 25-30 percent of the time.
So those are my thoughts on the HTC One M8 after two weeks. Overall, I really do like this device and if you are in the market for a new phone I'd say at least take a look at it. I won't say that it is the device for everyone, but HTC has really done a great job with this flagship device. And it plays Flappy Bird quite well.
If you are considering this phone and have any questions about it let me know and I do my best to answer them for you.
Whether you are a podcaster or a blogger, one of the challenges you face is the issue of building your following. It is often one of the first questions clients ask me. So what do I tell them?
One of the first steps when working to build your audience is to make certain that you are interacting with your existing listeners/readers. This may sound rather elementary, but I’m continually surprised out how often I encounter this with new podcasts and blogs.
If a listener to your show or a reader of your blog takes the time to email you or comment on your blog post then make it a priority to respond. Their time is valuable and when you acknowledge them they are more likely to share your content with their circle of influence. When you interact with their feedback it makes them feel important which is essential to building relationships. Even in this digital age, word of mouth is still one of the best ways to build community.
Although I am a podcaster myself, I still appreciate it when the host of a show that I enjoy responds to my comment or question. And when there is no response I feel unappreciated and am less likely to attempt to contribute to the conversation in the future. The key is to look at it from the point of view of the consumer of your content. If you were in their shoes would you continue to offer feedback if you were consistently ignored?
Building community with those already consuming your content will cause them to want to share. When they tell a friend, you gain another follower. That is building an audience. It doesn't just happen without any effort; it takes work, but those folks will be loyal fans of your content. In most cases, an audience does not just grow, it has to be built.
What are some other methods that you've found for building your community?