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Beyond the Oscars: Podcast Style

The Oscars are this weekend!

I'm sad to say that I have not watched ONE of the nominated films for ANY category. Podcasting working Mamas of toddlers can't have it all ;)

But we do have podcasts.

In lieu of being able to go the movies, or even watch the Oscars this weekend why not share some awesome podcasts that will give you some of the best reviews and discussion about this year's nominees and more?

Filmspotting

Here is a list of the episode reviews of the nominated movies for this year's Best Picture:

These are not the only episodes that offer insight regarding Oscar nominated films. If you get sucked into FilmSpotting, you should go over their website and do a search for whatever you are looking for. You'll have plenty of material to keep you busy!

Film Talk

Here are some episodes that are Oscar focused plus a few reviews of some Best Picture Nominees:

Like Filmspotting, Film Talk has an immense catalogue that will usurp your time for years with discussion and reviews. Check them out and immerse in Film listening ;)

Comedy Film Nerds

Although I could not find direct links to the Oscar-centric episodes for this podcast, episodes 44-46 have Oscar themes. Check them out in iTunes HERE.

The /Filmcast

Are you up for fresh perspective and quality interviews? Look no further, delve into the world of The /Filmcast and you will not be disappointed :)

Doug Loves Movies

You simply have to subscribe to this one. M'kay?

Creative Screenwriter Magazine

Here are some fantastic insights, and conversation deeper into the nominated films. These are only a teeny bit of what is available at Creative Screenwriter Magazine. The wealth of information and entertainment is giant. Consider subscribing :)

Oscar Mobile Apps Anyone?

What if you want to have more than a podcast? How about getting the podcast apps for some of the shows mentioned above? That way you'll have film discussion at your whim, since I know if you listen to the above podcasts, you'll just want more, way after the Oscars have come and gone ;)

Hope you enjoy!

-Elsie


Marketing Your Podcast- Keywords

the importance of keywords for podcasters

How would you feel if you walked into your neighborhood grocery store and the isles no longer had descriptions of what was in the isles, and to make it worse, everything was randomly put on the shelves: milk with make-up, flour with vegetables, etc. How in the world would you be able to look for that box of macaroni and cheese you came in looking for? And what was that other thing you wanted? It used to be right next to the mexican condiments....?

Keywords are simply an easy way to search for the content that you are looking for, kinda like the signs above the isles in the grocery store.

The internet is basically a giant grocery store. Keywords are the guide with which to get to the content that you are searching for faster. Why not give those searching for the kind of flavor that you provide in your podcast the best way to find it?

How to find the best keywords for your podcast

 

  1. Get into your audience's head and think of how they would go about searching for your content.

    What words would they use?

    Google and Bing the search terms (try at least 2 words put together and consider making one of them podcast). When you do this you will automatically see an emerging list of other possible search terms as you type. Note the ones that you find to be most relevant to your podcast. Do this for a few different terms to see which of those search terms best fit your podcast.

    Search in iTunes Do the same search you did in the search engines in iTunes. iTunes also suggests corresponding terms for the searches. Note if any of those terms are relevant to your podcast.

    Play with the Google Keyword Tool. Use some of the keyword phrases that you discovered by searching in the search engines and iTunes. When you input the keyword phrases that you found most relevant, you'll receive a TON more ideas to play with. You can even click on each of the search term results and see the different websites that rank for those specific terms. (NOTE: Be careful once you start playing with this little tool, before you know it entire days may have gone by)

    While going through this process stay open to attuning to your audience. Remember that they are not you. The terms that you might search for may not necessary be the ones that they use.

  2. Study those that you admire

    The best teachers are those that have been doing this before you. Perhaps there is no one that has the sort of content that you are offering, but there is someone that has inspired you, or that you admire. Take time to study their work with the eye of a detective.

    What are their keywords? Can you pick up key words in their podcast title, their podcast description, or perhaps within their shownotes or blog posts?

    How do they use their keywords? Notice where and how they use their keywords. This is extremely important, as the best use of keywords are in the most organic way possible. Remember that they serve simply to guide your optimal audience to your content. You may find that you love the way that they use their keywords or perhaps the opposite is true. If you don't like the way they have used their keywords, why not? Answering this question may offer some insight as to what is the best way to approach keywords for yourself.

  3. Choose your keywords!

    After doing all that research you may be overwhelmed with a slew of keywords phrases to choose from. This is when following your gut, knowing your content and knowing your audience comes into play.

    Stay on course: Why are you publishing your content? Who is your audience?

    Choose the keyword phrases that best reflect what you are about. Write them down in a google text doc, in a mobile text/note app, or somewhere in some text file in your computer. Refer to them when you are getting ready to publish a new episode or when you are sharing your podcast with others in any social media channel. Organically insert keywords if they match up with what you are about to publish.

Never use keywords just for the sake of it. Your audience and potential audience will smell that a mile away!

Where to use keywords in your podcast

Although you can use keywords anywhere, the most important places to use keywords for your podcast are:

  • Your podcast description
  • Your podcast title
  • Your podcast shownotes and blog
  • Your podcast artwork and/or episode artwork

When I started podcasting I had no idea what keywords were nor had any idea why I would want to use them. The title that I chose was simple as was my description. I had no idea that in forgoing creativity I had naturally used powerful keywords. This has helped me in my search rankings but not as much as consistent content has over the course of 4 years.

If you happen to have chosen a title for your podcast that may not reflect easily what your podcast is about, you can always optimize your description. If you don't want to optimize your description, you still have plenty of opportunity to guide folks to your content simply incorporating your keywords and phrases within your shownotes or corresponding blog posts.

The last hidden gem for using keywords in podcasting is your artwork. At some point you have uploaded your podcast artwork or episode artwork somewhere in the cloud so that you could use it within blog posts or shownotes. Generally speaking whatever platform you are using to host your images also gives you options to add a description, a title, and most importantly alternate text aka ALT tags. Here you can add your keyword phrases that have to do with your specific episode.

Enjoy the process

Keywords are simply a guideline for others to discover your amazing content. They are one tool. Play with the discovery. In the midst of the play you may receive greater clarity as a podcast producer.

That said, as well as navigating the isles of the grocery store effectively with clear guidance, some of the best experiences in grocery stores have been when I got lost, and I find a delightful food item in some random isle that I had never gone down before.

Choose what works for you.

What do you think about keywords? Do you use them in your podcast?

Let us know in the comments!

-Elsie Escobar


Podcast Clean-Up: Optimizing Your Podcast Description And About Page

What is your podcast about?

iTunes now has hundreds of thousands podcasts available for easy consumption, and upon looking at some of the top rated and most popular podcasts, other than eye-catching artwork there is something they all share: a clear, concise and informative description.

This description is not just about iTunes but is carried over to the podcast website, where it deepens and becomes a little more elaborate without loosing it's simplicity.

Let's take a look at 4 descriptions from iTunes and pull out key factors toward creating the optimal about description for your podcast.

1. The Call To Action

The Winning Investor: Take control of your financial destiny and develop a successful investing strategy with The Winning Investor. Join Andrew Horowitz as he cuts through the sometimes confusing jargon of financial products and services to help you analyze investment opportunities and decide what's best for you.

The QDNow Podcasts have fantastic descriptions which incorporate action. As you read the first sentence of the description above it immediately tells you what action you'll take from consuming this content with strong active statements. The second sentence gives you the how this action will happen: with Andrew Horowitz guiding you to action.

2. The Leading Question

How stuff Works: in a world of limitless possibilities, who can listeners count on for up to date info on everything from oil spills to flamethrowers? Just check in with Chuck and Josh, your favority Neo-Renaissance men for more Stuff You Know from HowStuffWorks.com

Starting off with a question that incorporates your optimal audience, including a reason to subscribe, while providing a precise answer is another way to quickly communicate what your podcast is about.

In the description above you see the question stated offers 2 things: audience description (people interested info from oil spills to flamethrowers) and a reason to subscribe (up to date info). The response shares with the potential listeners that the podcast is a conversation (Chuck and Josh) and who they are (Neo-Renaissance men) plus adds where to get more (HowStuffWorks.com).

In those two sentences, you get a fantastic overview of what you can expect when you listen to this show as well as the type of people who may be drawn to listening.

3. The Power List

Back To Work: Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin on productivity, communication, work, barriers constraints, tools and more. Hosted by Dan Benjamin and Merlin Man.

This is perhaps the simplest way to get everything your podcast is about in one sentence. Have the who (the doer/subject) + on (the verb/action) + a list of your key words (object/the topic). Done.

4. The Simple Statement

Sticks & Strings Podcast: A podcast by an Australian bloke who knits. www.sticksandstrings.com.au

Did you get that? Short, simple, and done! I know what that podcast is about :)

In your iTunes podcast page you get about 50 words above the fold (anything that you immediately see without having to click ...more and scroll down) If you can make those first 2 sentences powerful you've totally got them to offer the more of your greatness!

Now, don't think that you can only describe your podcast in these 4 ways or that you have to do it with only two sentences. Those examples above are simply the tip of the iceberg. After distilling what your podcast is about so succinctly at the top of your description, you now can elaborate about what makes your podcasts unique, adding all the flash and singularity that makes it you.

If you want to deepen your description a great guideline to keep your description readable and effective is to keep it between 100-200 words. Use the same description both in iTunes as well as in your About Page on your website.

Uniformity And Consistency Yield Great Power

When you take the time to distill your description up to two sentences as well as grow your description to a couple of paragraphs, it not only clearly informs your potential audience but gives you the power to communicate what you are about in effective ways. You can now share what your podcast is about via one twitter message as well as pitching potential partnerships, marketing your podcast and strengthening your brand across many platforms through the distinct uniformity.

Have you thought about what your description or about page says about you? Do you have any tips to share? We would love to hear from you in the comments!

-Elsie Escobar

Image: From Wikipedia by Satyakamk


How To Put An Audio File On A Wordpress Site


We've already covered how to embed your audio files onto a wordpress.com blog, and doing the same on your self-hosted site is just as easy.

Given the fact that you are now self-hosted you have more choices of what audio player to use to embed your audio onto your site. The first step would be to choose what audio player you would like to use on your site. Since you are hosted at libsyn you have 2 choices:

  1. A Wordpress audio player plug-in.
  2. The Wizzard player Although initially built as a video player, it can absolutely be used for audio files

Choosing a wordpress audio player plugin

Although audio players abound, generally speaking here are the most popular WP audio player plugins:

  1. audio player
  2. Bluburry Powerpress Podcasting plugin
  3. Degradable HTML5 audio and video Plugin

Each of these players offer varying degrees of configuration and personalization. Take your time checking them out, as well as seeing what kind of support they offer, so if you get in any trouble, you'll have help.

After you've chosen, installed, activated and configured your Wordpress audio plug-in, the next steps are pretty simple:

  1. Write your blog post
  2. Head on over to your libsyn account, and assuming that you have already uploaded your file to libsyn, copy the url for that file.
  3. Input the MP3 url where it's called for within your audio player plugin of choice.
  4. Save your post and/or publish.

Using The Wizzard Player

Assuming that you have already uploaded your file to your libsyn account, here's what you have to do to get the Wizzard Player from within the Previous Post section of your libsyn account:

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1. Click on edit for the MP3 file that you would like to go into the Wizzard player.

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2. Go to Destinations

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3. Click on the checkbox next to Wizzard Player.

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4. Publish

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5. After you publish and get to the confirmation page, simply scroll down the page and find your embed code and copy it.

6. Paste that embed code onto your page/post on your self-hosted Wordpress site!

Please let us know if this tutorial was helpful in the comments as well as other tutorials you would like to see between Wordpress and libsyn.


The libsyn platform isn't solely for podcasting. Yes, that's what we do, but media as we all know can be served in so many different ways, and perhaps you don't want to do just a podcast. Check out this blog post to find out how libsyn can help support you with a ton a different ways to publish your content.


How To Put An Audio File On A Wordpress.com Blog


Wordpress.com has a sweet little flash audio player that is easily usable for embedding your audio files hosted at libsyn on your wordpress blog.

How to do it

  1. Write out your blog post or page
  2. Wherever you want to embed the audio player simply put this code: [audio ] (Make sure you switch to the html editor when you add the code)
  3. Head on over to your libsyn account, and assuming that you have already uploaded your file to libsyn, copy the url for your audio file.
  4. Go back to your blog post and add the MP3 url to the audio player code. It would look something like this [audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/scy/87Ep87_25minLevel2-3YogaClass-ImmunityasReceptiveGratitude.mp3.] note: There should be a space between audio and http
  5. Save your changes
  6. Preview your blog post and publish when ready.

Done!

You should be able to see an audio flash player where were you added the corresponding code.

Pretty easy don't you think?

Do you have any other questions regarding integration of libsyn and your wordpress.com blog? Please leave us a comment. We'd love to help out!


The libsyn platform isn't solely for podcasting. Yes, that's what we do, but media as we all know can be served in so many different ways, and perhaps you don't want to do just a podcast.

Check out this blog post to find out how libsyn can help support you with a ton a different ways to publish your content and reach an even larger audience :)


Why Host Your Audio And Video Files On libsyn?


Although there are a few hosting providers that advertise unlimited hosting space and unlimited file transfer, that isn't really the case. Most general level hosting companies out there do not want you to upload mp3s on their servers. Please take a look at this conversation regarding this very issue between Cliff Ravenscraft, Podcast Consultant and a shared hosting provider. It makes it pretty clear. NOTE: Scroll down about 3/4 of the way down the page to find the conversation.

Cliff is having a conversation specifically addressing issues that podcasters will come up against if uploading their files to their own host, but what if you don't want a podcast. What if you simply want to upload your audio or video to your host?

In all honesty, if you are doing this to simply to put it up on your site for your own sake and have no aspirations of growing your site in any way, then go for it.

If you do have dream of more people being exposed to what you produce, whether it be through the written word, audio or video, I would suggest choosing somewhere else to host your media, especially if you are passionate about what you do. If you are committed to your site be it as a hobby or as your business, if you are consistent, and are putting out great material at some point you will start to get more traction. People will share your work and your audience will grow.

If you have been offering occasional audio or video files that you happen to host on your own hosting company this extra traction may prove to be problematic.

At libsyn this is what we do. We are prepared for you to get famous ;) You upload your files to our system and you get unlimited bandwidth, which is to say that no matter whether one day you get 1 person downloading your media or 100,000 what you pay stays the same.

We are set up in such a way that we grow with you. You can start simply hosting your individual audio or video files, but if you decide to offer your audience more as time goes on, you have the option to publish a podcast, get your own mobile app, have your own Wizzard Player and have amazing stats. We even have plans that are designed for businesses and professional producers.

Our Plans

Here are some key things you need to know about how we work:

  1. Our plans are based on Monthly Storage: Monthly Storage is the amount you can upload in any 30 day window. For example A 250 MB account means you get a quota of 250 MB per 30 day period. So in any 30 day period you can upload up to 250 MB of files. Once a file is over 30 days old - it automatically moves into "Archive" - which just means it no longer counts against your upload quota.

The "Archived" file continues to download as before and the URL remains the same - nothing changes other than you have back that amount of space to upload new files into. There is NO change in download speed for the "Archived" files.

With libsyn there is never a need to pull down old files because of storage issues.

  1. There are no contracts
  2. You can easily change plans at any time

With so many internet businesses popping up everywhere, and so many people choosing to become solopreneurs, libsyn is a must to have as part of your professional tool-belt in order to grow, scale and reach the largest audience possible.

If you haven't had a chance yet, check out our cost effective plans and pricing!


Podcast Clean Up- 2 Explorations To Get More Subscribers From Your Podcast Website

iTunes Podcasting Polaroid

Do People Know How To Subscribe From Your Site?

I go to my podcast website all the time. I can navigate within it and it all looks pretty clear to me! But then, I put the thing together ;) I'm always surprised at what other people think of my site, or some of the questions that I get regarding content consumption on my site.

At times I get questions that in my mind are SOOOO clear…but alas, in reality, not so much.

During my work at libsyn, a lot of times I search for podcasts, visit podcast websites, listen to podcasts, find out what podcasts are about and I've found that I've encountered road blocks when it comes to actually consuming and even subscribing to some podcasts.

I find myself having to do a lot of searching to find out what podcasts are about, where the real podcast website is, and even where to click to consume the content, and I'm well versed in the podcast culture, so I know a lot more than the average person! I have to be absolutely honest. There are times when the podcast looks so cool but the fact that I cannot listen to it with one click or even find out more about the content to see if its what I believe it is, makes me wanna give up.

Here are 2 inquiries for podcast creators to help you from loosing potential subscribers.

Search for a podcast whose subject you've always been interested in but are not too familiar with.

One way to check yourself to see if you are providing the very best support for potential listeners is for you to do some podcast browsing yourself, specifically on something that you are totally unfamiliar with.

There has to be some subject that you've been intrigued about, that you've always wanted to know more about. I'm sure there’s a podcast about it!

Follow these steps and take notes :)

  1. Search for whatever topic you are interested in, in the iTunes Music Store. Once you get your results pick a couple of podcasts and go to their respective pages.

  2. Go to the podcast website straight from iTunes. Where does iTunes take you? What are your initial thoughts about what you find? If you find a link that doesn’t work or you land on a libsyn blog that is obviously NOT their main site, what does it take for you to get to their main site? Are you willing/interested to do it?

  3. Once on the podcast website find out what the podcast is specifically about. Is there an about page, a succinct quick explanation of what to expect when you consume the podcast? How easy is it to find this information?

  4. Listen or view the podcast from the podcast page. Can you do this easily? Are there different and clear ways offered to consume the content (ie: direct download link, player, subscribe button)?

  5. Subscribe. How easy is it for you to subscribe in the easiest way for you? Is there a way to do it via iTunes? RSS reader? Newsletter? Go through the process in the name of research and investigation. You can unsubscribe right after (or not.)

  6. Evaluate your own podcast website. Use your notes and the insight that you gained from your investigative work to optimize your own page. Can you easily find what your podcast is about? Easily play the content? Easily subscribe?

Find yourself a podcast newbie and have them subscribe from your site.

This little podcaster inquiry will work best if you get someone who is NOT holistically techsavvy but your average Social Media Facebook/Twitter everyday consumer.

  1. Have your subscriber guinea pig go to iTunes and follow steps 1-4 above.

  2. If they cannot get to your website from iTunes have them google your site (maybe they don’t even have or want to use iTunes…you never know!) Give them the name of your podcast, not the url of your site.

  3. Have them give you their observations of the process.

  4. Thank them profusely for their insight :)

Why start these inquiries off in iTunes?

Well, you see, iTunes is a given at this moment in the podcasting world and as such it’s very important.

Of course if someone wanted to subscribe or even preview your content they can do it straight from iTunes. They do not have to go through the whole process. The process is for you to learn about the efficiency and effectiveness of the information you provide. Don’t assume everyone knows how to subscribe to your podcast or what it even is. Let them know.

So what did you find out? Is what you are doing effective in getting new subscribers/fans?

Are there any insights that you learned from going through the process above? Are there any other tips you can share with fellow podcasters that you use to make the process of subscription, or even simply content consumption easy for your audience?

It would be so great to hear some of your insight! Leave a comment below :)

-Elsie Escobar


Android Market Gets a Web Based Makeover!

Yesterday Google unveiled a new web based version of the Android Marketplace with some super cool features.  Previously there was no easy way to link to Android applications on the web.  You could go to a number of third party Android App directories, but the only way to officially enter the store was on your Android device.  Well google has rectified that, and then some.  With the new Android Market, users can visit the store with their web browser, click to buy apps and those apps will automatically be delivered to their Android Device.  This happens seamlessly and more importantly... wirelessly.  There is no syncing involved, and it makes the whole process of getting apps effortless.  CNET has some video coverage on it that you might want to check out.   

So for you producers with Android Apps, be sure and update your links and descriptions around the web with your new Android Market Web URL.  Getting it is easy, just visit the Android Market.  Search for your App.  Click on it, copy the resulting page URL and put it everywhere.  You can even tweet the location of your App right from your Android Market page.  QR Codes Too!  And of course don't be shy to ask your fans to review your app.  

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