AMY PORTERFIELD: Hi there. Welcome back to another episode of The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield, and today we are talking all things podcasting.
This is a very meta episode because we’re podcasting about podcasting. But before we get there I want to do a listener review spotlight. This one is from iTunes. A big shout out to Dina Cataldo. Dina said:
“Amy, gives so much free training in her podcasts that I can’t overstate the value she brings.. I started listening to her about three years ago (yeah, this review is long overdue), and I listen to her religiously. Every Thursday, I listen to her no matter the topic because I know I’m going to learn something actionable. Her dedication to her listeners and bringing them what they want is admirable too. If you’re not listening to her already, hit that subscribe button!”
Dina, thank you so very much! I’m just so honored and I’m glad that you’ve been a faithful listener for all of these years because that just means the world to me. You are right, it’s never too late to leave a review.
If you’ve been listening for a long time, like Dina, and you’ve never hit that subscribe button, you’ve never given me a review, please do so. I would love to hear from you and I might just give you a shout out like I did today for Dina.
Moving on to today’s episode. This one is a long time coming. I get asked a lot about how I podcast. I get questions about equipment and software and the topics I choose and which guests I feature.
I’m asked about how I record and edit and publish and everything in between. Today is the day, my friends, we are going to talk podcasting.
This podcasting episode is going to be full of information, tips, and my favorite resources. I’m also going to tell you, not only how I do it now with the support of a team, but also how I did it in the beginning when it was just me and a VA.
I absolutely love podcasting and don’t think there is any other vehicle to connect with your listener in such an intimate way, especially if you’re creating consistent content on a weekly basis, podcasting is the way to go.
When I go to live events the number one thing I hear is, “I love your podcast,” or, “I listen to your podcast all the time.” It’s the way I connect with so many of you every single week.
Like I said, I love the intimacy of it. You hear my voice. You can sense my emotion and passion behind the topics, you get to hear from my guests. I just think there is nothing better if you want to create original content.
Another thing I love about podcasting is that you reach an audience you would never normally have access to. I get hundreds of thousands of downloads from people that I would not have reached just with social media. To me that is a game changer in my business.
With this episode, take what you want and leave the rest. My hope is that the process I’ve cultivated over the years will help you to be more efficient and productive in your podcasting journey whether you are already on it or you are thinking about starting podcasting sometime soon.
By the way, for the purpose of this episode I’m going to assume you already know who your ideal listener is and have validated your podcast idea. If you don’t know who your ideal customer avatar is, essentially your ideal podcast listener, then I think you will love Episode #235.
In just two weeks I’m doing an episode all about really honing in on your ideal customer avatar. If you’re struggling with that I think you will love that episode. That’s just a little sneak peek to let you know what’s coming down the pipeline.
Here’s the deal. I don’t have a typical sponsor for this episode because I was so torn about who to promote in this episode. The reason for that is that I have two dear friends that I have been friends with for years and years and years. I love them both and they both have amazing podcast programs.
I thought I would give them both a shout out. Pat Flynn has a podcasting program called Power Up Podcasting. It is excellent. I have a lot of friends who have taken this program. It’s podcasting A-to-Z and I highly recommend it. Go to https://www.amyporterfield.com/poweruppodcasting.
Pat also has a free mini training if you just want to dip your toe in the water with podcasting at https://www.amyporterfield.com/freepodcastingcourse. Both of those links are in the show notes. However, I’m not done.
I also have a dear friend, Mr. J. L. D., John Lee Dumas. He has an excellent podcasting course called Podcaster’s Paradise. It is excellent. Again, I have tons of my students who have gone through Podcaster’s Paradise. They love it. I equally recommend it so you can go to https://www.amyporterfield.com/freepodcast and check out John’s webinar to get a feel for what he offers in Podcaster’s Paradise.
This is weird. I’ve never done this before but there was no way I was going to be able to choose one or the other to recommend. I think both programs are stellar. But I will say that if you are going to start a podcast, by all means, invest in a podcasting course. There is so much that you don’t know.
You know the saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know”? That’s podcasting, for sure. Beyond the software you can get and all of the techy stuff, what’s more important to me is how you launch it and market it and how you choose your guests and organize it all.
You will be in it for the long haul. I want you podcasting every single week rain or shine and I want you in it for the long haul so that your podcast becomes a list builder for you. Your podcast becomes a revenue generator for you.
I generate so much revenue from my podcast because I promote my webinars on my podcast, which is a list builder, and then from my webinars I sell my courses. Without my podcast I wouldn’t actually have much of the revenue I have today in my business.
It’s a list builder, a revenue generator, and it allows me to connect with my audience in a way, like I said, I would never be able to without it. Yes, I am biased. But I do believe that podcasting is a perfect way to create consistent content on a weekly basis.
If you’re going to do it, do it right with either Podcaster’s Paradise or Power Up Podcasting. Check out both of the programs and then decide which one is best for you. But they both have free getting-started programs so check those out as well. All of the links are in my show notes at https://www.amyporterfield.com/233.
Now that we’ve got all of that out of the way you know where we are going with this episode, you know it’s going to be meaty, you are already very aware this is a meaty episode, so get ready because we are diving in.
I’ve broken my podcasting process into the following ten categories. Let me quickly run through them. Then I’m going to give you some details about each of them to make it really simple for you to follow.
1) Show format.
2) Set up the show.
3) Deciding on topics and guests.
4) Outlining podcast episodes.
8) Publishing your podcast.
9) Promoting your podcast.
10) Tracking your analytics.
Let’s begin with Step 1, deciding on your podcast format. Before you record a thing on your podcast you will want to decide on the format of the show. Will you do solo shows or interviews or a mix of both?
Will you do short episodes like 10-15 minute quick and to the point episodes or will you do more of what I do, which is around 30-60 minute episodes?
Think about your ideal audience when you decide on this. Are they listening while getting ready in the morning, commuting to work, while at the gym? Or will they need to sit down and take notes?
It’s a really good idea to understand how your ideal listener best likes to consume your content.
Once you’ve decided on your format I want you to stick to it for a while. Nothing is set in stone. That’s the beauty of podcasting. You can change things up easily. But you want to give your format a little bit of time to see if it resonates with your audience and to really figure out what feels good for you.
Both matter…what your audience wants and what you really enjoy doing on your podcast. You want a satisfied listener but you also want to enjoy the process.
As you know, I do a mix of both solo shows and interviews. To be quite honest, I enjoy the solo shows more and the reason for that is because, if I’m being really honest, I can just control the content more. I know where it’s going. I know the examples I want to use. I just really like the flow better of my solo episodes.
Plus, I’m not the most natural interviewer. I can hold my own. No big deal there, but it doesn’t really feel comfortable for me all the time. I just feel more in my zone with a solo show.
The great news is my audience likes both and I do both so I’m good there. You’ve got to kind of play around with that. I know some people that never interview anyone. Brooke Castillo, I think I’ve heard maybe two or three interviews on her entire show where she has tons of shows. She might be in the 200s now.
Because of that it just works for her. Another thing about Brooke’s podcast that is different from mine, her episodes are a lot shorter.You can ask your audience on social media or do a survey. You can get on the phone with your ideal customer avatar. Listen more than you talk to see what they really want from you. That will help immensely. Then you’ve got to ask yourself if that feels right.
Let’s move on to Step 2.
SET UP THE SHOW
I’m going to cover four areas of your setup:
2) Project management system.
CALENDAR – First things first, if you are going to accomplish anything you will need to set aside time in your calendar to do the work. That’s like anything in your business, right?
For this podcast, do not leave this to, ”I’ll work on my podcast later this week,” that approach is death to a podcast. How do I know? Because I was there. I tell the story a million times. You’ve heard it.
In the beginning I was sporadic. I put nothing in the calendar and I was lucky if I got one episode out a month, maybe two once in a while. I just did not make it a priority and I struggled to get the downloads. I also struggled to get my listenership up.
Once I started to do an episode a week everything changed. How did I move to an episode a week? I had to mark it in my calendar. I wasn’t batching at the time. I didn’t start batching until about a year or so ago. But back then at least I would put it in my calendar when I would work on the podcast.
Block out chunks on your calendar to produce your podcast episodes. I say “produce” because speaking of Brooke Castillo, in Episode #217 when I interviewed Brooke, one of my favorite things she said was that when you sit down to do anything in your business don’t just sit down to “work on it”, sit down to “produce” something.
If you don’t set that intention and put some perimeters around when you start and when you’ll finish you’ll end up spending way too much time than what is truly reasonable to get the job done.
I personally batch all of the different parts of my podcast process. I block out time in my calendar to make sure I get it done. I’ll mention how I batch throughout this episode and I’ll let you know specifically when and how much time I set aside for each part of the process.
As you all know I did a podcast episode about this (I’ll link to it in my show notes). I batch six episodes at a time and now when I sit down I sit down to produce. Just that little mindset shift changes everything.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM – Once you’ve got the time set in your calendar it’s time to put all of the tasks associated with planning and execution of your podcast in a project or task management system.
You all know I use Asana. Use whatever feels right for you but you’ve got to use a project management system to manage the time and effort of the actual action items that go into producing one full podcast episode.
You might want to refine this as you get going but give it a shot. One of the things that has helped me immensely lately, I’ve been doing a lot of creation from scratch, which I don’t typically do. I’m lucky that I get to update a lot of stuff because I produce so much content.
But I have produced from scratch a little bit lately and I hate that overwhelming feeling of starting from scratch. What I have noticed if I tell myself, “For the next 20 minutes (I give myself a time limit) you just have to start.” Put it on paper, vomit whatever you need to vomit up in terms of just getting your ideas out of your head and onto paper for a new project.
Once something is in there I am a master at tweaking, changing, refining. You might feel the same way so just get past the initial setup in your project management tool. Put the categories together. I’m giving you ten categories today so start with those ten categories and then put the action items under each category in your project management system and then you just make this better as you go.
As you start doing it you’ll see the areas that you want to fix in your project plan. So that’s my suggestion for you.
EQUIPMENT AND SOFTWARE – We talked about the calendar. We talked about the project management system. Now let’s talk about equipment and software. This tends to be one of the questions I get asked the most and I’m telling you, it’s not that big of a deal.
You’re putting way too much time and effort and worry (a lot of people worry if they are using the right equipment for this) the number one thing you want to think about is if the audio sounds good, not okay.
It needs to sound good. We’re not going for exceptional stellar. I recently had somebody who was an audio editor, a big-time Hollywood audio editor, reach out to me and tell me my audio is not good enough on my podcast.
I told them, “Listen, you’re a Hollywood audio editor. Of course it’s not good enough for you.” It is definitely good enough for me and my listeners. So let’s keep this in perspective.
Your number one goal is that your audio needs to sound good so no scratchiness, no muffleness, no weirdness in your audio. You just want it crisp. Good? Okay. I think I need to stop with this topic. You get it.
For equipment and software, here’s what I use: I use a MacBook Pro. When I do a solo show I use GarageBand on my Mac. When I interview somebody I use Skype and then I use Call Recorder to record them on Skype.
My microphone is a Heil mic and I’ll link to everything in the show notes. I use audio panels in the office where I record this. I have wood floors so I’ve got some really cool audio panels on the wall. I use an audio mixer, the name is Scarlet, it’s a tiny little thing at $150.
I use Libsyn in order to upload my podcast and that’s where I’m getting all of my analytics. Then I use Pat Flynn’s Smart Podcast Player. If you go to my show notes for this episode at https://www.amyporterfield.com/233, across the top of the blog at the very top you will see an audio player.
That’s Smart Podcast Player. It plays the audio of my podcast right there in my blog. If you’re not listening to it via iTunes or the app on your phone or Spotify or wherever else you might listen you can listen to it directly from my blog post.
Those are the main players in terms of equipment and software. A while back I recorded a behind-the-scenes tour of my podcast equipment. I was in my video studio so you’ll get a look at that as well. The video was a while back but I still use the exact same thing.
I don’t switch out equipment a lot so if you want to see what I use I will link you to a video in my show notes that shows you the mixer I use, the microphone I use, and I talk about the panels as well. If you’re curious to kind of see how it all looks, definitely go check out the video on my show notes.
Let’s talk some realness here. I’ve seen some amazing marketers in their closet, because it’s carpeted, on the floor with the door closed recording podcast episodes. Sometimes that’s just what you’ve got to do.
I’ve used a fancy microphone from the get go. I started podcasting about 2ó years into my business. After the two-year mark in my business I was making some consistent revenue so I had some money to invest in my microphone.
At the time I had a really big mixer. I don’t have that anymore, thank God, I have this little box. I invested in podcast equipment. Cliff Ravenscraft, a friend of mine who also teaches podcasting, suggested the equipment many years ago.
I invested in it. He showed me how to get it all up and running and so I have always had good equipment for my podcast. But it’s not necessary. That’s why I wanted to bring it up. You can get a simple microphone and still have good audio.
You can get this really cool small mixer for $150 and you, my friend, are good to go. You don’t need expensive audio panels. You can go in your closet and record. So get scrappy if you need to.
Don’t think you’ve got to go fancy. If the equipment is slowing you down from publishing your podcast you are going about this the wrong way. You don’t have to spend tons of money in order to get a really well done nice sounding podcast up and running.
Don’t fool yourself, my friend, you can get scrappy here, for sure.
DECIDING ON TOPICS AND GUESTS
Moving on to Step 3, I tell all of my listeners and students that I want them creating original, consistent content on a weekly basis. How do I decide on what topics to cover on my show and which guests to feature?
That’s a good question. Because I do a mix of solo and guest-featured episodes and because I batch six podcast episodes at a time my content manager, Jill, also batches the topic and guest research for me.
You may not have a content manager. Remember, I’m going on ten years soon and I just hired my content manager not even six months ago. Before that, remember I talked about Gina on the show a bunch?
She was a contractor. Gina helped me with the content. You could have a VA do some of the research for you. Keep it simple until you want to get fancy. You don’t get fancy until you have the funds to reinvest. Deal?
The topic and guest research process can take anywhere from two hours to several hours depending on what that batch’s intention or theme or promotional calendar looks like.
We also rely heavily on the FAQs from my audience. We talk about topics that might have been carried forward from old episodes that we want to expand on. I have a private Facebook group for my podcast. If you’re not part of that it’s called Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast Community and anybody who is a fan of my podcast can join.
We ask questions in the Facebook group. We get feedback from all of you. Many of you send in emails with great ideas for podcast episodes. We take all of that into consideration.
Because I’m only one person with not tons of bandwidth right now Jill is the one that pours over all of that. We do a one-hour batch topic meeting. We have that every six weeks and Jill, my content manager, will come to the table with six to eight semifleshed out topic ideas and maybe two or four guest ideas that we’re going to review together.
We go over list and typically decide on four solo topics and two guests per batch. It doesn’t always work out that way but in an ideal situation that’s what I want. We have four solo topics and two guest topics.
With each and every topic we decide on we articulate in that topics meeting what the intention for that episode is going to be. I got this from Oprah. When she was creating her own show every time they came up with a topic Oprah would ask, “What’s our intention here?”
I stole that from Oprah and we use it all the time. If the intention doesn’t inspire us or get us excited we decide it’s a bad topic or we just aren’t zeroing in on the right intention so we always go back to the drawing board.
We also decide on what content upgrades or freebies we’ll have during each episode if we are actually going to include one. Back in the day, over a year ago, I was creating almost a freebie per episode. I did this for a few good years.
It grew my list so it was very valuable. But it was a lot of work. So I’ve decided I’m not going to do a freebie for every episode but maybe two out of six in a batch. We’ll find two episodes where we will ask what kind of freebie we could create.
My guests are also generous. They will tell me they will create a freebie for the episode. I have a rule that I get the leads. I used to not do it this way but I work way too hard on this podcast to give all of my leads away.
Let’s say I invite a guest to be on my show and she wants to create a one-page worksheet based on what she’s going to teach on the episode. I’ll say, “Great as long as you’re cool that I get the leads, I’m putting it on my own LeadPage. You can put a
link to your website at the bottom. You can do a little about section,” because that person is creating the content.
It goes on my website and everyone I’ve ever talked to said it wasn’t a problem at all, they just want to add more value. Come on, how lucky am I, right? That’s basically how we manage that.
Speaking of guests and guests creating content, let’s move on to guest selection. If you decide to have an interview component to your podcast you’ll want to narrow down the best guests for your listeners based on what is relevant to your niche and most helpful to your listeners.
Obviously, when you are new to podcasting you may find it a little bit tougher to pull in bigger guest names for your show. But just take it all in stride. As your show gets bigger and bigger you’ll have some really awesome people that will want to be on your show.
Hey, even if you’re still a small fry and you’re out there just getting going it doesn’t hurt to ask so go ahead and ask. When I first got started I was very focused on Facebook so I brought on people that would add value to that topic for my listeners.
Because I networked quite a bit back in the day (2009 to about 2013) I was out there at events, speaking on stage a lot more than I need to do so now, so I made a lot of really good contacts and connections.
I used those connections to get really cool people on my show. That’s something to think about.
Now that I have a higher ranking podcast guests tend to seek me out and ask if they can be on my show. That’s always a cool thing, especially when you’re wanting to know who wants to be on your show. That is a huge “yes”.
I love those moments. We still go after some people and then we get requests from others. How do we decide who we want on the show? We definitely make sure their content is actionable. We make sure they are willing to do a little back and forth with us.
We prepare questions in advance so there is a nice flow for my interviews. We ask for a little bit more time and attention to the outline with a guest than maybe the average podcast show.
As long as someone’s willing to work with us that way then we are golden. Jill will often get on the phone with whoever I’m going to interview and will do a preliminary interview with them. If they are a really big name and just don’t have time for that she’ll go back and forth with a Google.doc with them or ask them to send information that can be put into a loose outline.
We don’t beat it down in terms of needing two hours in order for them to be on my show. We don’t do anything like that but we do request some valuable time before the interview.
Then, Jill is able to give me an outline for my solo shows and my interview shows, and that’s where we’re going next.
OUTLINING PODCAST EPISODES
From the topics meeting we create our outlines. Back in the day I would usually create a bulleted outline with some keynotes and record from that. Remember, if you are doing this all on your own, or hopefully you at least have a little help from a VA, you’re just writing some loose notes or a loose outline before you start to record.
I think that’s the best way to go. I don’t think you should ever show up off the cuff. I know a lot of people do that and they find pride in the fact they can go off the cuff. I tend to notice when people aren’t prepared so I would rather you even sit down for 20 to 30 minutes and just get your thoughts for that episode onto a Google.doc or in your notebook or whatever just so you show up a little bit more prepared.
People’s time is valuable and if you seem like you don’t have things together they’re not showing up for your next episode. It’s something to think about.
Because I have a content manager we moved away from loose bulleted outlines and she gives me something a little heavier. I can do that because she’s full time in my business and she has the bandwidth to do so.
In an outline she will give me an intro of how we want to set this up. Sometimes she gives me a script so I can just read the intro. I always tweak it. I review everything before I record. I will make sure it feels right and in my own words.
She also gives me information about who our sponsor is and then she gives me a listener shout out. That’s something new we’ve been doing. I’ll have that right there on the first page of my outline so I can give a shout out to somebody who left me a cool review.
All of that is in there and then, of course, the main content. Sometimes she’ll script out the main content a little bit more. Other times she’ll put it in a pretty solid outline. Jill has done a lot of work before I get here and that never happened before about six months ago, not even six months ago.
I’m telling you what it looks like now but before my podcast was just as popular and I had really loose outlines and I would do the research myself. Remember, you’ve got this friend. But, when you have the money to invest in a bigger team why not get some help for it?
You’ve got to figure out what feels good to you. If you like a little bit more of the freeflow style, by all means, go for it. But I would have some friends listen to a few episodes and get some honest feedback. As if they feel it is valuable. Do they feel it has a flow? Am I on point? Am I all over the place? Do you see some really good alignment with the topics I’m talking about and the stories I’m telling? Does it all come together or feel really messy?
Get some feedback. If you’re going to go free-flow style just make sure it sounds as good as you think it does in your head. I know, I’m biased about that but I’m an organized kind of prepper. Not that kind of prepper, the prepper that thinks the apocalypse is coming.
That’s my husband Hobie. We’ve talked about that, right? If you follow me on Instagram, about a year ago you saw all of his goods that he started collecting in big bins in the garage because he thinks we’re going to be attacked or something. I had to do an intervention and say, “Babe, you’ve become a prepper in a really creepy way. I think we need to stop.”
We have a rule, no more prepper stuff because it got crazy and it was secret. I didn’t know he had this prepper in him. I’m not that prepper but I am the kind that loves a good, organized, well-bulleted, and well-bolded Google.doc. So I say play a bigger game, get a little bit more organized before you start to record.
Now that you’ve got your outline ready, it’s time to record. I mentioned the equipment I use in Step 2, which is the setup category, so basically I make sure all of my equipment is ready to record and I make sure I’m in a quiet location and that my dog, Scout, is not in danger of a barking frenzy.
When little Gus, my cocker spaniel, was still alive, he was a crazy barker and I could never bring him in my studio. Scout is the most precious, easy dog in the whole world so he is literally in his bed right now sitting next to me.
I feel calm when my dog is near me and I love him in here. If he starts to bark I either go with it or edit it out. Whatever works for you. I like my dog in my studio just to make me feel good.
With that, I take a deep breath and hit the record button on GarageBand. I learned the whole idea of using GarageBand from Pat Flynn. I’m going to guess he talks about it in his free training. I’m not positive but it may be one component he discusses. I know he talks about it in his paid program.
Let me give you some top tips for recording.
TIP 1 – CREATE A PRE-RECORDED INTRO IN YOUR OWN VOICE. If you are a dedicated podcast listener to my show, right now you are saying, “Whoa, whoa, whoa! You don’t do that!”
I don’t. I have a voiceover and I am so ready to change that out. I’ve had it for years and the guy who did it was great. I just think that the podcasts that have the intro in the podcaster’s voice are more personal and it feels better to me.
A lot of my friends are doing their own voice in the intro and I think that’s the way to go and that’s what I’m going to suggest to you. I’m definitely going to change over to that, hopefully in the new year, I kind of want to give my podcast a new look and feel so I’ll do the intro myself.
If you prerecord it or if you get a voiceover, whatever you want to do, you will have that done so your editor, or you (whoever is editing your podcast), can then just drop that in every single week.
If you’re going to use any music make sure it is royalty-free music. That’s so important.
TIP 2 – MESSING UP DURING A RECORDING ON A PODCAST. This is where my vulnerable has to come out and I’ve got to be really honest with all of you even though I kind of want to pretend that I’m cooler than I am.
I like a nicely edited show. This is from back in my Tony Robbins days. I can’t help myself. I learned from the master. That was a corporation and he was a much bigger deal than I am.
We were creating audio programs that we were selling and he didn’t have a podcast back in the day when I was there. I wasn’t used to leaving mistakes in any audio I worked on. I worked on a lot of audio of Tony’s.
We would never leave in mess ups and quirks and dogs barking or whatever. Because that’s only what I knew in my most impressionable times of learning how to do business it is very hard for me to leave in the hiccups and mess ups in anything I do.
However, I know people love to see the realness. I do too. When someone messes up or they laugh I think it’s cool and I feel like I get to be sitting next to them and seeing the realness of what they are doing.
I say to leave in some of those hiccups and mess ups. I’ve been trying to do more of that. When something doesn’t make sense though, you stop, you pause…and then you pick back up.
That pause will tell my editor, or if you’re editing yourself you can go right to the pauses knowing you have to edit something out there. I do pauses with my courses and with my podcasts. They allow the editor to know I made a mistake and I want them to clean it up.
That’s exactly what I do. I’ve also tried to be a little bit more lax on perfectly polished. If you listen to #50-100 of my podcast episodes they are way more polished than the last 100 that I’ve done, especially the last 50.
TIP 3 – BATCHING. The last thing I’ll say, and I’ve already mentioned this, is batching. I did an entire episode on mega batching. I’m actually speaking, by the time this comes out I will have already done this, I’m speaking about batching on stage at Michael Hyatt’s event, Achieve (in Nashville). It’s actually happening next week.
I really thing batching changes everything in terms of your productivity. I do six at a time. I’ve talked about the fact that some of my friends do 20 at a time. I do not know how they do that. Six feels right for me and that way I’m not always working on the podcast. It doesn’t always feel like groundhog day because now I batch and that’s why I do it.
Moving on to Step 6, Editing. We have actually already talked about but let me give you a few more tips in this area.
I think it’s worth your time and money to hire somebody to edit your podcast for you. In my early days I hired a contractor, Will (he doesn’t even do it anymore). Will was like a virtual assistant that had the skill of editing. He must have gotten it from other jobs he had done in the past.
He edited my podcast and put in the intro that I had prerecorded. He put in the music. He smoothed everything out. He took my big mistakes out. Done.
When Will moved on to do other stuff I hired a team to do my podcast editing. I use Pro Podcast Solutions. They are fantastic. I have talked about them on the show before. I’ll link to them in the show notes. They do all of my editing.
I’m not techy. I’m not really good at audio editing. I don’t have a special ear for it. I would rather work on areas of my business where I excel and I’m really good. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on editing to have somebody do a really good job.
I’d like to see you spend some of your funds on getting your show edited so you don’t waste your time there. If you do minimal edits, like I talked about with leaving in the bits that you might mess up but they make the podcast more real, then you will have minimal edits and you will make it really easy for your editor and it won’t be expensive.
Let’s move on to Step 7 all about the graphics and getting the graphics created. This is one area that a lot of podcasters will skip. Really, when I talk about graphics I am talking about getting something created so you can visually show your latest podcast episode in an email or on social media.
Social media tends to be the biggest place you will use your graphics. It’s a promo graphic that might have the title of your podcast episode. If you have a guest it will have a picture of the guest and anything else you might want to include.
This is an important piece of the puzzle. On a tight budget you can use an app like Canva or hire a designer on 99Designs or Fiver or something else like that. But getting individual images created for your blog and for social and to put in an email when you go out to promote your podcast is really important.
I get those created at the same time I’m getting all of the other pieces pulled together so I just wanted to put it out there that I think this is one step you don’t want to skip.
We have a template designed for Facebook, one with a static image and one with audio. We use this cool thing called Wavve.co and Wavve allows us to create an image with the little squiggly lines moving that show you audio is playing. Then we can put an audio clip in there as well. Wavve is one of the graphics we create and put on social.
We have a general social media image that is a template so that we can change out the title and image. We have one for Instagram Stories as well. When you start to do this and start to get graphics created for your podcast get some templates created.
I like the idea of hiring a good designer, having them create templates for you that you or your team can change out and manipulate in terms of the title and image but they all look really good. It’s something to think about.
PUBLISHING YOUR PODCAST
We are moving on to Step 8, Publishing. Once you have recorded your episode and it’s been edited and you’ve got some graphics created so that you are ready to promote it, it’s time to publish your podcast.
First you will want to upload your podcast audio to your podcast post. I began with Libsyn from the very beginning and I still use them today. Most podcast hosts will generate a podcast-ready RSS feed so that you can then submit your podcast to the various podcast directories where people listen (iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play). Wherever you can get that podcast, get it!
It is so very important that you don’t just stick to iTunes. I would say to go beyond that, for sure. Remember, the reason I love podcasting so much is because you will reach audiences you would never normally have access to. People just find you and that’s the coolest thing ever.
It’s better than social media, if you ask me, and that’s saying a lot. So make sure to try to get yourself on multiple platforms. At the time of this recording we’re still having problems with Spotify. We get a lot of messages saying, “Amy, why aren’t you on Spotify?”
Spotify is, for some reason, not pulling in our episodes correctly. We’ve been in touch with them so many times it’s ridiculous. We’ll get there. Anyway, that is one that I’ve recently been trying to get on and I am just having a lot of issues with it.
I guess I feel like I needed to say that because my loyal listeners will write in and say, “You say to be on multiple platforms but you’re not on Spotify.” I am trying, I promise.
PROMOTING YOUR PODCAST
Step 9, you have published and now it’s time to promote. This is where you will use the graphics you designed from Step 7 to get the word out about your podcast through your social media channels and through email.
This is one thing I do that is very different than a lot of podcasters. Every single week I email my list and let them know I have a brand new podcast. I write an email for them. I entice them with little hints about what they are going to learn in the podcast and I link to my show notes.
That’s another thing. Show notes are a very big part of publishing and promoting. You all know what show notes are but I’ll just tell you anyway. Basically, you are summarizing what’s in the podcast episode.
I’ve done a few different things with show notes. I’ve made them very long and extensive and we did that because we thought we were getting some really good SEO play. Until you listen to the episode I did with Neil Patel. Have you heard that one?
I’ll link to it in the show notes. It’s all about SEO. It’s really good. Neil informed me that Google is too smart and just because I’m writing elaborate, detailed show note with lots of key words from my podcast it’s not helping my SEO.
What? Are you kidding me? We are spending so many hours on those show notes! Now we do a very abbreviated version just kind of giving you the highlights so that you can decide if you want to listen or not.
Show notes are part of the promotion because I send all of my email traffic to the show notes to listen. Remember, I’ve got that special player that Pat Flynn and his team created at the top of my blog so that people can listen right there.
It gets counted as a download so that’s important. As you have a podcast you will be very obsessed with downloads and your numbers. Or, you should be when we get to Step 10 in just a minute, all about tracking and numbers. I watch my downloads, for sure.
My goal is to always increase my downloads every single month. That’s our internal goal in the business.
Back to promoting. Let’s say you did an interview with somebody. Reaching out to the person you did an interview with and making it really easy for them to share the podcast episode is a great idea.
Here’s a link to the episode, here’s some copy you can use if you want to post it on social, here’s a picture you can use. The more you make it easy for somebody to share, the better. They don’t have to share though.
I’m on a lot of people’s podcasts so I can’t possibly share every time I’m on somebody else’s podcast so we do it once in a while but we don’t do it a lot. That is kind of unfortunate but if we do it for one person I feel like we need to be doing it for everyone so I’m a little bit gun shy about that. But if someone will share it with you that is very important. You want to at least give it a try.
Overall, with promoting your podcast, I say to put a plan together. Inside your project management system have a category for promoting, one of the categories right now, so just follow the categories I’m giving you.
Do the same thing every week. That’s what makes the easy and doable and consistent. Every week we post on Facebook. We always post an InstaStory in the morning. We always post something in the afternoon on Instagram. We have a plan for how we are posting.
We send an email every Thursday morning. Get that consistency and it will make it a whole lot easier.
TRACKING YOUR ANALYTICS
And last but definitely not least, Step 10, tracking. Don’t forget to track how your podcast is doing. Like I said, this should come natural to you, I’m guessing, in terms of wanting to know your numbers.
I remember when James Wedmore came out with a podcast. I had been podcasting for a long time but he would tell me his numbers. He would be totally laser focused on the fact that “we got this many downloads today and this many the day before,” and I didn’t know how many I had gotten that day or the day before.
It got me excited because in the early days when you first start podcasting every day matters. I’m sure he doesn’t check daily now but in the beginning you will care how many people are listening every single day.
Now I check on a monthly basis because I’ve been at it a while. Hopefully that’s a big deal to you because it should be. That means people are paying attention and those numbers will tell you if you’re on the right track or if you possibly need to change things up. That’s really important.
There are four places that we pay attention to:
GOOGLE ANALYTICS – This is where I can see if my website, where my show notes are housed for each podcast episode, is getting more visitors and traffic every month.
GOOGLE CONSOLE – While Google Analytics show your traffic numbers Google Console will show you the keywords that brought that traffic in. You can learn more about this in my episode with Neil that I mentioned (https://www.amyporterfield.com/221). It is really valuable.
LIBSYN – My podcast host of choice is Libsyn. This is where you can track your downloads per episode. It’s a great way to see if your topic is resonating with your audience. That’s where I’m looking for my downloads, inside of Libsyn.
SOCIAL MEDIA – Of course, social media, I want to watch my social channels and see what’s like the most, what episode is getting the most comments when I post about it. So I check social as well.
Out of all four ways to track I definitely pay close attention to Libsyn and the number of downloads and I want that number to increase every single month.
There you have it. Wow! I just covered a lot. Like I said in the beginning, take what you find valuable and leave the rest. The goal is not to overwhelm but really help you understand all of the most important components for a successful podcast. I hope you’re walking away with just that.
Remember, if you are serious about creating a stellar podcast from the get go check out Pat Flynn’s Power Up Podcasting or John Lee Dumas’ Podcaster’s Paradise. Both are excellent courses and both of these guys offer free resources to get started.
Go to https://www.amyporterfield.com/233 where I have listed all of the free resources and the paid resources for podcasting.
There you have it. Thank you so very much for tuning in. I cannot wait to hear all about your podcast. If you are thinking about starting one hopefully this will give you the boost you need. Go out there. Get it done. I’m telling you it is a business changer, for sure.
Thanks so much for tuning in. I’ll see you here same time, same place next week. Bye for now.