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Podcasting Luminaries: Polymer Clay

Ilysa and Kira have been podcasting for over 4 years, and in that amount of time have created an incredible community and business all flowering from their awesome podcast Polymer Clay. Make sure you SUBSCRIBE!


Have you found that social media has expanded your listener base/reach?

Social media has made a huge impact on our business, up until this past year or so we hadn't even spent $100 on advertising and most of our customers have come from our online efforts.

We found that YouTube brings many customers our way, its been a great marketing tool for us, it has helped to let people around the world know what we are doing and what is upcoming on our shows. We also love to share on Facebook and Twitter and get customers from there as well.

How has podcasting helped create opportunities for you?

Podcasting has given us a name in our niche market, we have been able to attend trade shows, retreats and other events as press, we have received products from companies which has given us topics for the show and a way to share them with our audience who might not have ever known they exist and who are unable to attend the events we cover.

We are getting ready to launch a new show called Things Crafty next month and will be expanding to all crafts so we expect even more opportunities to come our way.

What advise would you give a new podcaster so that they keep going!

You have to love what you do or your show will not work, people respond to your passion and can tell if you are just in it for the money.

Do things on your show that are fun to you and your audience will respond. If its not fun then there is a better chance you won't want to continue and will end up podfading.

We are always thinking of ways to move forward, if we see a product or book we like we contact the company about reviewing it on the show, this helps to make it fun. We love trying to new things!

Has podcasting helped you grow your business.

Our shows Polymer Clay Podcast & Polymer Clay TV have been instrumental in growing our business.

The shows are what bring people to our website to see more of what we have to offer. They bring us the most exposure and also have helped people in our industry to view us as "experts" in our field, which creates trust.

If people don't trust you they will never buy from you, the show helps to bring trust and show our audience that we are real people with the same issues that they have.

If you charge for access to your podcasts or premium, how did your audience react when you started doing this? How did you handle this?

Our podcasts are free but we also have premium content. We now produce instructional DVD's and have premium paid downloadable videos and subscriptions.

We have found that if they like what you are doing on your show then they want to learn more and will pay to learn how to complete projects or techniques.

We will never charge for our podcasts, they are too valuable of a marketing tool for us and don't cost much to produce and the payoff is worth the effort.


If you want to be a part of the Polymer Clay community you can subscribe to the podcast, email them polymerclaypodcast (at) yahoo (dot) com or leave them some voice mail feedback (386) 935-2058.

Remember these ladies are launching a whole new show called Things Crafty where they will share their passion for all crafts, have contributing artists for a number of craft categories and will be having free live online video events, more downloadable media and DVDs.

The ladies also have a new DVD called Kaleidoscope Caning Ilysa's Way


Wanna podcast? Join the libsyn team, here's your first step.


Have Your Facebook Page Always Play Your Latest Podcast Episode (Facebook for Podcasters Part 4)

Wanna have your latest podcast episode always ready for consumption on your Podcast Facebook Page?

There have been many requests on our libsyn Facebook Page as well as on Twitter for an audio player that can be used on your podcast's Facebook Page.

Although this isn't a solution that involves using your Page's wall and a streaming player, it is another option to showcase your latest episode!

Here's how to do it using the Web Player on your libsyn account.

Within your libsyn account you can create your own Web Player to automatically play all your episodes as you publish them on your website without having to change the embed code. 

You configure your player one time, set it and forget it.

You can see an example of the player in action on the Today in iOS Website on the top right hand side column.

Here's how to do it!

Creating and Configuring Your Web Player

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Go to DESTINATIONS

Choose Wizzard Player

You will see a list of all of your Destinations on the left hand side of the screen. From this list select the Wizzard Player.
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Once you do select your Wizzard Player you will get a screen that looks like the one below. The larger portion above is simply for previewing your player. The lower portion is where you will do all your configuring.

 
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Configuring Your Wizzard Player as an Audio Player

BEHAVIOR

The specific size of your audio player is up to you. I really like the smaller size for an audio player, and these settings have worked best for me.

1. Player Size = > Aspect Ration: Choose custom

2. Player Size: 300 x 135

3. Player Mode: From the drop down menu choose AUDIO PLAYER!

4. Controls:

  • Enable end of episode "next up" feature
  • Play episodes from newest to oldest
  • iPhone compatibility mode (The choice in Controls is again, purely personal, you do not have to choose any of the above to have your player work. Those are the ones that work for me)

Make sure you Save!!!

The Save button is located both at the top right hand side as well as the bottom left hand side
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BUTTONS

When configuring for an audio player you do not need to click any of the buttons that you see in the Buttons tab. They are for the video player.

I have found that configuring these for an audio player may at times give you trouble when it comes to getting your embed code, so simply leave the settings as they are. Don't mess with them!

Please refer to the screenshot to see what your configuration should look like.

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Once you have configured your Wizzard Player, any time that you publish and episode and publish it to your Wizzard Player it will automatically be the first episode availabe wherever you paste your embed code, which can be easily found right after your Publish your latest episode OR you can go to Previous Posts and click on embed to get your embed code for that episode.

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  If you have configured your Player correctly it should look like the image below. Whatever artwork you have used for your ID3 tags will show up :)  

 
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How To Add Your Wizzard Player To A Landing Page In Facebook

The first thing you have to do is to add the Static HTML: iFrames Tabs App to your Facebook Page. Simply search within Facebook to the Apps, or here is the direct link.

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Once you have gone to the App you will be able to choose the Page that you would like to add this application to.

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Once you have chosen the Page, go ahead and click Add Static HTML: iframe tabs

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Go back to your Page and now you will be able to see a Welcome option with the little star icon next to it.

Anytime that you would like to configure your Static HTML pages, this is where you go to edit.

This specific application can also be used to create a landing page for people that have not Liked your page as of yet.

In this tutorial I'm simply offering how to configure your Landing Page for your existing fans, so the only people that will be able to see the landing page with the Wizzard Player will be those that have already liked your page :)

Please click onto the Welcome tab on the side bar to edit :)

What you see in the screenshot below are two areas to edit two different kinds of Pages.

1. This is where you would add your content for people that have not yet liked your page, such as information about your podcast or even direct links to subscribe in iTunes

2. This is where you would add your content for your existing fans.Go back to your libsyn account and get the embed code for your Wizzard Player and paste it in the bottom box, the one that is only for your current fans.

You can add any other information that you would like below or above your player such as your shownotes, or any relevant information that you want your fans to know about the episode :)  

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Click Save.

After you hit Save, you will be able to preview what you have just created. It's not enough to just have that have created the landing page, now you have to configure it so that whenever your fans go to http://facebook.com/yourpodcastpage they land on where you want them to land!

How To Have Your Fans Land on Your Latest Podcast Episode

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Go to Edit info
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Look over to your sidebar and click on Manage Permissions
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Once you are in Manage Permissions go to Default Landing Tab.

Click to open the drop down menu and choose Welcome.

That's it! Now your non-fans will get your fancy new landing page for your existing fans!

Please let us know if this was helpful or if you have any questions :) How about coming back here to give us a link to your landing page?

We'd love to like the Podcast Pages of our podcasters!


Featuring Podcasting Luminaries: Phedippidations with Steve Runner


Steve Runner from Pheddipidations (“Fed-hip-id-ay-shuns”) has been podcasting since July 4, 2005. A true and steady podcasting pioneer, steady, inspiring, determined and an all around lovely man. Check out what's kept him going and as always SUBSCRIBE!


Fun, Fame or Profit? Why are you podcasting?

I produce Phedippidations both for fun and because I feel that that podcasting can make the world a better place.

I first laced up my shoes in the winter of 1998, and after finishing my first marathon in the Autumn of 1999, I came to believe that the act of running is one of the ways that human beings can achieve and maintain both health and happiness.

I started out as a Blogger, writing essays and articles on the topic of running under the title “Phedippidations”. This a title I created to pay homage to “Pheidippides” the Athenian herald who legend says ran the from the fields of Marathon to Athens, Greece with news that the outnumbered Athenian army had conquered the Persians.

“PHEDIPPIDations” is a series of conversATIONS about running, living your life to the top of your game. It’s about contemplating the philosophical questions that the ancient Greek Philosophers first posed, as it relates to the sport.

Have you found that social media has expanded your listener base/reach?

Social media has not helped to increase my audience very much, if at all. The libsyn statistics are incredibly accurate, and show no correlation between the number of my social media followers and those who download (and listen) to Phedippidations.

I have significantly more runners subscribed to my podcast than those who follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

I feel that social media has its place in helping me to engage with my audience. I use Twitter, Facebook and other services to get immediate feedback from my listeners and to update them on what I’m doing with the show. As my audience is mostly comprised of runners, we share our daily running experiences with each other as a way to inspire and motivate each other to get our miles in!

What Is Your Workflow?

I almost always get my ideas for show topics while I’m out on a “long run” (when I have plenty of time to think). Typically I’ll begin research for an episode, and creating a script outline roughly eight weeks prior to publication.

I generally produce several different episode formats, for example:

  • My running of a road race, such as a marathon (Every year, for example, I record my own running of the Boston Marathon, and produce an episode with the sounds of my 26.2 mile run from Hopkinton Massachusetts all the way to downtown Boston).

  • A narrative presentation of a “Running Legend” in our sport.

  • Special shows such as episodes 55, 111, 147, 198 and 242 recorded from the Allagash Wilderness in the northern Maine Woods), and episodes dedicated to the “Word Wide Festival of Races” (a global virtual run that I’ve helped to organize annually for the past six years), as well as running meet-ups (which we call “Mojo Loco” events) where fellow runners get together to go for a run, in person!

I still use my old “iRiver 800 series” MP3 player/recorder for the “running” sequence of each episode: where I walk out of my squeaky front door and begin the days “long run”. I use a “Giant Squid” lapel microphone with a small lapel “wind sock” from Radio Shack for this segment.

For narration, I typically record in my studio (two ElectroVoice RE-20 microphones going into a Comp16 PreSonus compressor which feeds into a Eurorack UB1240FX-Pro 8 channel mixer). I feed an analog signal to my H2 Handy Recorder (which I also use for on-location recording) and take the MP3 output files for editing on my Windows based laptop.

When I have all of the raw tracks recorded, I edit them using Audacity. I save the completed audio file in .WAV format and use either The Conversations Networks “Levelator” or iTunes to even out the audio levels.

I edit the MP3 tags using Florian Heidenreich’s MP3Tag application and post to libsyn typically a week in advance (which gives me time to record some video bonus content for those who purchase my “Virtual Running Partner” iPhone and Android App).

Do download numbers matter matter to you? or is audience engagement key?

Not really; although as the number of listeners to Phedippidations has increased I have made more of an effort to improve the quality of my podcast.

A friend (and mentor) by the name of Christopher Penn recently taught me that having a larger, ever-increasing audience is a serious responsibility that I must not take for granted. Listeners to Phedippidations dedicate an hour of their time to listening to me run and talk with them, and I owe them something back.

For me, audience engagement is far more important than the number of fellow (and new) runners who listen to Phedippidations. I produce the show as a way of inspiring and motivating others to run by having a conversation and asking them to contemplate why this lifestyle is important. I want to help to create and celebrate a real (not virtual) running community.

Anyone who is listening to Phedippidations is going for a run with me, and as I’m the only one who has the microphone during our time together: I have an obligation to entertain, educate and (at the very least) keep my fellow runners company while we’re out on the road.

I can see that the number of listeners to Phedippidations is increasing, but it’s the engagement with my audience (and encouraging them to engage with each other) that motivates me to go out for a run with them and record a new episode.

What advise would you give a new podcaster so that they keep going!

I agree with all of the usual advice that veteran podcasters give to new podcasters (be consistent, keep the duration short, discard your first few attempts until your satisfied with the quality of your show, etc.) but I would add a few other bits of advice to help encourage new podcasters to keep going:

Podcast Your True Passion

It’s not enough to get behind a microphone (or camera) and speak about things that interest you, or that you enjoy talking about. You have to speak from deep within your soul! You have to send the inaudible message that this topic matters: it’s more important than life itself! You have to be willing to embarrass yourself, to let your emotions spill out and always speak from a perspective of true belief. Visualize, in your mind, a single person who you’re trying to reach: and speak to that person as if it is the most important conversation you’ll ever have. When you have that kind of a connection with your audience: you will savor the time you get to speak to them, and podcasting will allow you to keep that conversation going.

Embrace Evolution

One of my favorite people in the world (and someone who has been podcasting for much longer than I have), Adam Tinkoff (aka The Zen Runner), has redefined his podcasting projects on an almost annual basis. From “Tinkoff Radio” to “Burning Twenty” all the way to his latest podcast “The Slow Runners Club”, Adam has always kept his interest in podcasting fresh and alive by changing formats, programs and mission statements.

With Phedippidations I’ve made subtle changes as well, taking my show from it’s stated “Thoughts, Opinions, Observations and Rambling Diatribes composed during Distance Long Runs” to the current iteration of “Inspirations, motivations, contemplations and conversations for and about runners”.

Podcasting can be a journey not just for your listeners, but for yourself: and you have to be willing to change and evolve what you create; just as you will change as you produce your show.

Push The Boundries and Put Yourself Out There

On the surface, Phedippidations is a podcast about running: but at another (less revealed) level: it’s about living a good life. With that in mind, I sometimes will produce an episode that doesn’t seem to have much to do with running at all.

In episode 235 I took a stand against the Nike Corporation by interviewing the controversial theologian, activist, educator and founder of Educating for Justice, Inc, Jim Keady, who has made it his life’s mission to show how Nike enslaves their workers in third world countries, forcing them to work in sweatshops so that Nike can make billions in profits from their unfair labor practices.

That episode angered a lot of my listeners (many of whom are fans of Nike products) but it also made them think.

Sometimes you have to get a little outrageous and step out of format to make a statement worth hearing. When you ignore the artificial boundaries that you’ve created, your interest in what you’re doing behind the microphone (or camera) will be refreshed and renewed.

Put yourself out there, get angry, scream, cry, laugh, beat your fists: but don’t perform such acts for the purpose of being controversial: BE HONEST and your audience will feel the same fire that you feel. This collective passion will make you eager to speak with your listeners again and again.

That is the magic of podcasting.


If you want to be a part of the Phedippidations community you can follow Steve on Twitter, his Facebook Podcast Page, his website, subscribe to his podcast, or get his podcast app!

Wanna be a part of the incredible runner's community that he has built? Check out the 6th Annual World Wide Festival of Races – A virtual run with fellow runners all over the country that he first started in October of 2005. It’s free, fun and you can run any distance you’re comfortable with! Go to WWFOR.com for more information!


Who Says Podcasting Has Lost Steam?

There was a recent article on podcasting that alluded to the fact that perhaps no one is really listening to podcasts anymore.

Well, we here at libsyn beg the differ.

In order to celebrate podcasting, podcasters and all their work, we will be showcasing some of our longest running podcasts, like from waaaaay back in 2005 or so. The producers themselves will answer some questions primarily focused on what's kept them going consistently for so long!

We hope you find this entertaining, useful but most of all inspiring.

Come on back tomorrow! We're posting our first interview our first interview :)


Creating A Landing Page For Your Podcast's Facebook Page (Facebook For Podcaster Part 3)

In last week's post we addressed creating a landing page on your podcast's Facebook Page and as promised here is a little tutorial to help you create said Facebook Landing Page if you so choose.

Landing Page Content and Size Guidelines

Before we address anything within Facebook itself you have to get your ingredients ready for the recipe :) Getting your content ready before doing anything else in Facebook is very helpful and effective. If you prepare, you won't have to be running around looking for stuff and get stuck in the middle of your project. You are going to need to have access to an HTML editor, an image editor, and somewhere to post your media online (including images), whether it be YouTube for videos, Flickr for photos or libsyn. When I mention an HTML editor it could be as easily as editing/writing everything in your blog and then copying the HTML. I personally use a free Mac App called Notational Velocity Alt. I write in Markdown within the app and when I preview my text, it gives me the HTML. Sizes:
  • The entire landing page layout is limited to 520px wide and 800px high.
  • The most effective landing page layout would be 520px wide and 560px/600px high, that way when folks land on the page they don't scroll down anywhere (everything is above the fold) and all the content is right there, although Facebook does have the capability of scrolling down the page.
Layout:
  • Having the text/image right at the top of the page in a banner style with arrows pointing up for a call to action makes it clear you want folks to "Like" the page.
  • Having your media (audio or video) or any other fun branding image would be best right below the text.
Of course these are simple guidelines, you can end up doing what you want :) The banner used in the example is 520px by 240px The image is 520px by 320px Content for your landing page.Get your Landing Page text content all figured out. Here are some ideas:
  • About your podcast (one or two sentences). You can refer to this blog post for the best About Page.
  • Expectations for your page (direct access to your podcast, community events, special info regarding your niche, a place to build community via feedback, pictures, videos)
This can be done in a very simple way. Less is more! The most important thing is to get folks to LIKE your page ;) Go ahead and create your page layout, include whatever you have come up with, get all the HTML and simply paste the code onto the simple text editor of your choice. Following you will se an example of what I chose to do with my first attempt at a landing page.
Landing Page Example

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This is an example of what I came up with the first time around for my own podcast page. The quick and dirty landing page is simply two images one on top of each other. 1. Is a simple text image that I edited in Pixelmator and then uploaded to my WP website. I got the HTML code for the image. 2. Was an existing image that I had. I found a Facebook Like graphic and laid it on top via Pixelmator. I uploaded the image to my WP website. I got the HTML code for the image. Once I got the HTML code for both of those images, I simply pasted it to my text editor and kept it handy for when I needed it.
 

Content Landing Page Ideas For Existing Fans

This is absolutely optional, BUT great tool for podcasters. Next week I'll be giving you a detailed tutorial incorporating the Wizzard Player to play your latest episodefor your existing fans. Below are some ideas to mull over. You can use this Fan Landing Page as a call to action to:
  • Have your listeners leave an iTunes review
  • Subscribe to your newsletter
  • Announce special news or meetups for your community
  • Offer inside information that only your fans can get
  • Run a special FB promotion or work with advertisers/sponsors
As you can see so much is possible and you can change this as often as you like! As in the landing page for your non-fans, get your text or whatever other media you want to showcase all set up before you get into Facebook.
 

Landing Page For Existing Fans Example (totally optional and not necessary at all!)

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As you can see from the image above, I used the Fans Landing page as an opportunity to share news about my pregnancy as well as begin the process of marketing an online teacher training that I'm going to be a part of. 1. The top part is all text. I edited the whole thing in an HTML editor, nothing fancy. Facebook automatically fits your text to fit within their boundaries. 2. I used the Wizzard Player to share a personal video that has not been released anywhere else and is accesible only for those that "Like" my page. Get all this material together, all your HTML code and paste it in a text file so you have it handy! Are you ready to put all your work onto your Facebook Page????
 

Get the Static HTML App for your Page

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You can do a search for Static HTML: iframe tabs. The app has a little star as it's icon. Go to the App When you do that you will get to the screen above. If you happen to be an admin for various Facebook pages you can see them all via the little drop down menu. If you only have one page you will only see that one. Choose you page
 
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Once you choose the Page you want to add the Static HTML app to, you will get a confirmation screen. Click Add Static HTML: iframe tabs
 

On your Page...

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Once you have added the app, when you go to Edit your page you will see on the sidebar another little tab. It has a little star icon and it says welcome. Click on that
 

Editing the Content

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You will now go to a screen that looks just like the one above. Right at the top you see an empty rectangle. Go to your text file that has all the HTML for your original Landing Page. Copy the text and paste it into the rectangle. Click: Save and view tab ***If you do want to add a landing page for your fans, right below the rectange you see another rectangle whose title says: [Optional] Fans-only content. You can copy the HTML from the text file that you have with your non-fan info onto that rectangle. REMEMBER ANOTHER TUTORIAL COMING NEXT WEEK SHOWING YOU HOW TO PLAY YOUR LATEST PODCAST EPISODE FOR YOUR CURRENT FANS!
 

Viewing your stuff

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You will go to this screen after you Save and view tab. Here you can do exactly what the screen says.
  • Back to editor (if you want to continue working, maybe on your fan landing page)
  • View your tab as a non-fan (THIS IS WHAT YOU JUST WORKED ON!)
  • View your tab as a fan.
When you do click to view your tab, you'll be able to see all that you have already done! Of course you can always go back and edit, simply by going back to that Welcome tab. REPEAT THE SAME STEPS FOR YOUR FAN LANDING PAGE
 

Have Your Landing Page Show Up As Your Landing Page!!!!

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This is a very important step. You have to do this, if not no-one will actually 'land' on your landing page! Right underneath your Page's name from the editing tab you will see an Edit Info Click on it.
 
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Once you click on it go to the sidebar and click on Manage Permissions
 
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Once you are in Manage Permissions go to Default Landing Tab. Click to open the drop down menu and choose Welcome. That's it! Now your non-fans will get your fancy new landing page whenever they happen upon your Facebook Page. I hope you found this helpful! If you do happen to get all creative with this, and get your landing page all done, why don't you come on back here and share a link to your Facebook Page? We'd love to check it out, and I'm sure a ton of other podcasters would as well!

Elsie Escobar


Want more info about Facebook for Podcasters? Check out these posts