Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Tip For Building Your Audience

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?

This doesn’t mean that you have to read every piece of feedback on your show, if you’re a podcaster, but I would recommend at least replying to them. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy response either. A simple “thank you for the comment” will often suffice. 

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?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Reviewcast - Web Based iTunes Reviews Retriever

Earlier this week I received an email from one of the producers for Porchlight Family Media, the podcast network that I manage. He was letting me know that the Mac software, CommentCast, was shutting down. CommentCast, in case you've not heard of it, was a great little software program that enabled us to retrieve iTunes reviews for our podcasts from each of the various country-specific iTunes stores around the world all at one time. It was a fantastic little tool so I was a bit disappointed that it was going away.

But I didn't need to be disappointed because the developer has handed the software over to a new party to maintain. Steve Scott is the new developer of the software and he has transitioned it from a Mac app to a very nice web app called Reviewcast. My trials of Reviewcast over the last few days have been very successful.

Reviewcast is simple and straightforward. You simply type in the name of your podcast, choose "Podcast" from the dropdown menu and click "Search". If there are other similar show titles you will then be asked to choose the one you want and click "Continue".

Finally you will be asked for an email address for Reviewcast to send the reviews to. If it is your first time using the service you will have to complete a verification of your email address. Then the reviews just arrive in your inbox!

Go to and take Reviewcast for a test drive yourself.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Review: iRig PRE - the mic preamp for your smartphone or tablet

Have you ever been preparing for a trip and wanted to record a podcast, but didn't want to drag along your entire podcasting equipment arsenal? So have I. Well enter the iRig PRE, a great little device from IK Multimedia which allows you to record audio on the go. The iRig PRE is a microphone interface for your XLR mics which plugs directly into your smartphone or tablet. The device is compatible with iOS and Android and when used along with the iRig Recorder application for your smart device you can capture some really fantastic audio.

The iRig PRE comes equipped with a headphone jack for monitoring your audio. It also has a gain control so you can adjust the input levels. The PRE provides phantom power by one 9 volt battery so you can use it with condenser microphones as well as dynamic.

I tested the PRE with my Nexus 7 Android tablet and my Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone using the iRig Recorder application. I also ran tests with different mics, the Shure SM58 dynamic mic and the Audio-Technica AT2020 condenser mic. The following are some audio samples of my results. These files have not been processed in any way other than conversion from WAV to mp3.

1. Shure SM58 into the Nexus 7 tablet

2. Shure SM58 into the Galaxy Nexus smartphone

3. Audio-Technica AT2020 into the Galaxy Nexus smartphone

I also tested recording with the Catch Notes app and the Google Keep app to confirm that the iRig PRE does not require the iRig Recorder app. The audio quality resulting from those two apps was less than desirable, but it did work. It seems that for the best results you should use either the official iRig app or another dedicated audio recording application.

This is a great tool that is worth looking into if you'd like to be able to record a full podcast or even just interviews at an event using a professional XLR microphone. The iRig PRE runs between $35 and $40 on Amazon. The iRig Recorder app for iOS comes in two flavors; the free version which has only basic features and the $8 full version which has lots of editing features. The Android app is free but it only allows you to record; if you want editing features you can unlock those with in app purchases. For full specs on the iRig PRE you can visit IK Multimedia's website.

iRig PRE on Amazon

Screenshot of the iRig Recorder app on Nexus 7
iRig Recorder app for iOS

iRig Recorder app for Android

If you decide to try out the iRig PRE or the Recorder app, please leave your thoughts in the comments below. I'd love to hear your experience.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Two Thumbs Up Media - New Podcast Directory

Whether you are a podcast producer or a podcast consumer, you most likely know that iTunes is the most popular directory of podcasts in the world and therefore has a huge reach. As a consultant, I highly recommend producers to list their shows in iTunes for that very reason. But iTunes has its shortcomings too. It seems that since Apple does not make any monetary profit from their podcast directory it’s not a real high priority for them. Sometimes listings can take several days to be updated and support for podcasters is almost nonexistent.

Steve Lee, owner and producer at NetCast Studio, recognized these and other issues with the various podcast directories and decided to address them. His answer to this problem is Two Thumbs Up Media, a brand new podcast directory that launched this month. The great benefit of TTUM is the fact that the show listings are completely controlled by the podcast producer. If a listing needs updated, you simply log in to your account and make the necessary changes. There are various listing types offered, both free and paid. Some of the options you can include in your show listing are show promos, social media links, podcast cover art, and much more.

If you are a podcast producer, I highly recommend you take a look at Two Thumbs Up Media and get your show listed there. If you are a podcast listener, then you should also check out TTUM to find some great new shows to listen to. Steve and his team have done a great job of making it easy to sort through listings by category and keyword. So check out Two Thumbs Up Media and then share it with your friends.