Check out our apps
Join libsyn


 

Categories

Have the newest IMake.Libsyn posts delivered to Your Email. Enter your email address here:

Archives

Libsyn Podcasters Get Featured On Our Facebook Cover Page!

gamertag radio hosts their podcast on libsyn

How would you like to be featured on our Facebook Page’s cover photo like the amazing Gamertag Radio?

The podcasting community is one of the biggest strengths of podcasting.

Part of building up podcasting is reinforcing and augmenting the podcasting community.

One powerful way to do that is to at minimum, see each other and begin to know the human beings behind the microphone.

We thought, sharing your faces and your podcasts would facilitate more connection between the community and help propel podcasting to continue to grow as a collective. (Tweet This)

Are you up for it?

The only pre-requisite is that you host your podcast with Libsyn.

It is the Libsyn Facebook Page after all. :)

Here’s what we need from you. Send an email with ALL of the following information to elsie@libsyn.com:

  • Like our Facebook Page- if you have a Facebook Page for your podcast give us your link.
  • An image of you holding something that says: “we host with libsyn.” (you can get as creative as you like with the Libsyn theme.)
  • Send us the best image that you have, high resolution rocks! Remember it’s going to be the Facebook cover image!
  • Your name(s) and the name of your podcast- we will overlay this information on the cover image so everyone gets to know your podcast.
  • Your podcast artwork

We would love to see you behind the mic and showcasing your podcasting gear, in an interview session, on location….share your creative space and inspire others!

SPECIAL NOTES

**Please note that the lower left hand side of the image will be covered by the Page’s avatar, so anything of importance to you should be on another part of the image.

**Images infringing on someone else’s copyright, or going against the Facebook Pages Terms will not be used.

**Keep it clean please.

That’s it!

We look forward to hearing from you!


Are you ready to host your podcast with Libsyn? You can start here!


The Power of Audio Podcasting

We know the power of audio

Although we host audio and video podcasters, we do have a special place in our hearts for audio.

There is something about an audio podcast that is quite special - and it seems that the good people at CrazyEgg are also sharing a bit of the audio magic via this killer infographic.

Why is audio so powerful?

According to the info graphic below:

  • Audio is eyes free content- so you can keep doing what you are doing you multi-tasker you.
  • Audio is portable- your favorite content can follow you wherever you desire, no matter what you are doing.
  • 200 Million devices are now running iOS6 and are one touch away from accessing podcasts!

Is Audio The Next Big Thing In Digital Marketing? Infographic Infographic brought to you by Crazy Egg Analytics


Simple Tips To Find Out Where Your Audience Is So You Stop Wasting Your Time


This is the beginning of a series of posts aimed to demystify social media for podcasters, beginning with Facebook.


Do you often feel like Facebook is being shoved down your throat?

Seriously.

It’s everywhere, all the time…Facebook, Facebook, FACEBOOK!

And although at times it might get annoying, it really is a place that we as podcasters, as independent media creators must pay attention to, whether we like it or not.

Our job as new media pioneers is to inform ourselves and make educated choices as to how we engage with our audience, as well as refine the ways that we share our content with the world for optimal engagement and results.

We need to do it. No one else will do it for us…unless you are willing to fork out some serious cash for a killer PR person :)

The promotional lines get blurry with podcasts and podcasters

Part of the beauty of podcasting is that we are not mainstream media. We are “rebels” if you will about the way that we offer our content to the world.

We do things in a much more personal way with our audience, which includes promoting our content in the way that we want to.

I venture to say that most podcasters are not fond of hearing ads in podcasts, although at the same time we long to get some sort of sponsor…Oh the wonderful paradox!

Why I’m bringing this up is because our indie nature sometimes gets in our way of the best practices to reach our audience.

Facebook Needs To Align with Your Audience

Or any social platform for that matter.

When was the last time that you asked yourself where your audience was hanging out?

In fact, who is your audience? Have you broken it down yet?

  • male or female?
  • how old?
  • married or single?

Those are just some very easy questions to start to ask to get to know your audience better. Instead of getting caught up with To Facebook or not To Facebook, get back to your audience.

Where are they? Are they hanging out on Facebook? or maybe Twitter? or not active in social media at all.

You can create some pretty easy free surveys using Survey Monkey.

Are YOU your audience?

There are many times that as producers we feel that we know exactly what our audience is thinking.

A lot of the time this can be the case, since our audience generally is interested in the stuff that we are podcasting about.

But…

we also have to be open to the fact that this might not be the case.

Just because you personally really hate Facebook and everything that it stands for, does not mean that your audience hates it.

Just because you find Twitter so easy and accessible does not mean that your audience does as well.

As new media pioneers it is part of our job to test what works best to create some sort of results, whether it be growing your listener base, getting more comments from your audience, or even something as simple as requesting ratings or reviews in iTunes.

Test your Calls To Action

It’s rare that you, podcasting genius, do not ask your audience to do something, such as: listen to my show, review me in iTunes, subscribe to my show, or send me feedback.

Have you ever tested what works?

Try the following basic tips for a while to see where you get the most bang for your buck in social media.

  1. Use bit.ly and create different bit.ly links for each of your episodes that you are posting on social media, depending on the platform you are using ie. bit.ly/yourpodcastepisodenumber-fb, bit.ly/yourpodcastepisodenumber-twitter
  2. Create a bit.ly link for your about section in social media accounts.

In the website section in your twitter account paste a bit.ly link specific for twitter. This would mean that you create a bit.ly link for your podcast website, customize it (bit.ly.com/yourpodcastfromtwitter). You can do the same from your about page in your Facebook Page or Profile or other places like Google+ or YouTube.

Give it a go for a month and then check out the data. See how many people clicked through, and where they were coming from most consistently. This can also help you see if your social media updates are actually converting folks.

Once you see the data, it will help you clarify or completely shift your game plan, then you can begin to concentrate on the things that are working for you and letting go of all those that suck all of your time and yield no results.

Ways to gather data via your self hosted podcast website

There are quite a bit of you that have your own Wordpress installation for your podcast website. There are some really great tools you can use to check out where your audience is that are totally free!

Pretty Link (wordpress plugin): This is such a fantastic plugin to track where people are coming from, just like bit.ly but more branded for your site. You can create unique url links for almost any url that you desire that will start with your domain name.

EXAMPLES: Put in your latest episode url and create a simpler link such as http://yourgreatpodcast.com/96 or get your iTunes Podcast url and create a pretty link like http://yourgreatpodcast.com/itunes

Pretty link has great analytics which you can check from right within your WP dashboard.

Google Analytics: A great way to gather data. Totally free. Please refer to my data from Google analytics to see where my traffic comes from. It’s kinda obvious where my peeps are hanging out!

ADVANCED TIP: Create a landing page within your podcast website that is specific for people coming from social media. (You would also add this specific link to your profile in any of your social media sites)

On this page you can say things like “Hello Facebook friend! so great to have you come check out the site! Here are a few great things to do while you are here: Get to know what my podcast is about (link to your about page,) listen to my latest episode which is about xxxxxxx (link to episode) and/or subscribe to my email list where you’ll get updated whenever I publish a new episode! Thanks for coming by! “

Keep an open mind and do your podcasting marketing homework!

Are you ready to give some of this a try?

Let us know in the comments!

If you already have data, why don’t you leave us a comment and share what trends you’ve seen for your podcast.

Coming up we’ll be posting a series focusing primarily on diving deeply into Facebook promotion and offering totally simple ways to grow your audience and drive engagement…that is if your audience is hanging out there :)

Elsie Escobar


Image credit via CC The Calm After The Show by Thomas Hawk

   

Break Through Roadblocks To Increase Your Listeners

'how

What are the hardest roadblocks toward getting new listeners for your podcast?

The potential listeners that I’m referring to here, are not those that are familiar with podcasts. I’m talking about those people that you know would love your content but are not techy, nor do they include iTunes in their every day life.

They may not even own an iOS device

< silent gasp goes here >

Or if they do own an iOS device, they don’t quite know how to get the most out of it…including easily downloading the latest free podcast app from Apple.

In fact let’s move away from the Apple ecosystem altogether…just for fun ;)

The Biggest Roadblocks Toward Getting New Subscribers

Roadblock 1: Podcatchers

If you mention Podcatcher to the general population they would have no idea what you are talking about. If you defined podcatcher,

A podcatcher, or podcast client, is a computer program used to download various media via an RSS or XML feed- from Wikipidia.

they would look at you like you were crazy.

Then you would have to define RSS or XML and when was the last time you eloquently explained that to someone lately?

Of course there is iTunes. If they are familiar with iTunes, awesome! But if they are not, you are right back to where you started.

Roadblock 2: How to consume the content.

“You can download the episode through iTunes or subscribe in whatever Podcatcher or RSS reader you want, you can also stream it directly from my website, or even download it from there!”

The above statement makes perfect sense to us. We’ve heard it before, done it before and have said that same thing many times before.

When was the last time you said that to an entirely new person, that isn’t familiar with podcasts?

When was the last time you said the above statement and the person actually understood what you were saying AND went and did it?

Roadblock 3: Getting Too Comfortable Being in the In-crowd

I love podcasters and I love to podcast. I love to talk about podcasting. I work with podcasters. I know what podcasting is. I subscribe to a ton of podcasts. Podcasts are a very big part of my life.

But that’s not the case for a lot of people.

When I mention my podcast to people that engage with me in my ‘real life’ I inevitably get:

“I don’t have an iPod”

“Do you have a CD or a DVD?”

“Oh, that’s nice.”

And I feel completely at a loss as to how to share with them, how much amazing content there is out there FOR FREEEEEEEEE!

Where do you begin?

How do explain to someone how to subscribe to your podcast?

Can you do it without iTunes?

Is there somewhere else that you can send people so that they have the experience of having the content come to them, instead of them coming to you…

Meet your new prospects where they are

We are creatures of habit and it take a whole lot to get us to see beyond where we are.

At this moment in time, the place that the majority of people are engaging, connecting and participating is on Facebook.

How many times have you logged onto Facebook and clicked through to read something incredibly interesting, or discovered a new piece of music or new product because you saw it in your News Feed or Ticker?

I don’t think one can go into Facebook with a precise task to perform and only perform that task without in some way or another getting pulled into the newsfeed, even if it’s just liking a picture!

What if your podcast episodes appeared in your friends or friends of friends activity AND they could consume your content right there?

What if potential listeners were able to share, comment, like AND listen/watch your episodes easily, without having to click to another website and continue doing their stuff on Facebook?

Have you given the libsyn Facebook App a try?

You should because that is exactly what it does: makes consuming, sharing, liking and commenting on your podcasts and your episodes a breeze, directly from Facebook.

People don’t have to go anywhere else. The content is coming to them, especially when people start liking, sharing and commenting.

Once people start to consume your content, they will begin to be exposed to you, your website, ways to connect deeper with you, and of course participate.

The more they they listen/watch, they more they will learn about the medium.

And they will subscribe.

Get the libsyn Facebook App and customize it now.

How do you explain to people how to get your content?

What are the biggest excuses you get?

Share them below, so we can help each other grow this thing!

Elsie Escobar


Image credit via CC Road Block by PSP Photos

   

Your Own Customized Podcast Player Right Within Facebook!

Have you guys had a chance to add the libsyn Podcast Player to your Page on Facebook?

What in the world are you waiting for?

We’ve been working very hard to provide you and your audience much easier ways of listening to your content, without a podcatcher and even having to wait to download anything.

Just click and play.

Straight from Facebook!

You get a chance to add your own branding to the whole thing as well through personalizing your thumbnail tabs on your Page and having the libsyn Podcast Player go straight to your own podcast!

You can learn all about how to do it from this tutorial.

Check out the pics below of some of your fellow podcasters doing just that.

facebook podcast player

If you like those, check out this thread in our libsyn Page in Facebook where we had a bunch of player users share their personalized tabs!

Neat Features for Sharing Your Podcast in Facebook

We know that you guys often share your file url in social media, including on Facebook (that would be the traffic.libsyn.com link.) We’d like to show you of another way to share your episode, PLUS offer some bonus functionality.

Within the libsyn Podcast player you have the option of linking straight to one individual file and share that for easy consumption. You simply have to click on the Description of the episode.

Doing that will take you to a unique page for your episode with a unique URL that you can share anywhere you want!

the libsyn podcast player

When they get click over to the episode page your audience can simply consume your content and/or:

  • Recommend the episode
  • Share in a private message to an individual or post to a Group wall.
  • Click back to all of your own podcast page within the Player

onpublish to facebook via libsyn.com

Pretty sweet!

You can also see the stats for those that listen from Facebook from within the stats in your libsyn account Dashboard!

Waddaya Think?

We are wanting some feedback from you guys! Most especially about the libsyn podcast player experience!

Is it working for you?

What are some features that you’d like to have for the libsyn Podcast Player?

Let us have it in the comments!

If you want to get into more of the day to day conversation, go ahead and Like us on Facebook! We’ve been having some pretty awesome conversations over there!

   

Using Mylibsyn to Monetize Archived Exclusive Content: Flowdreaming with Summer McStravick

monetizing your podcast with mylibsyn

Quick summary of Mylibsyn: As a podcast producer you have the ability to offer premium content subscriptions to your audience with one login across multiple platforms.

We thought perhaps you’d like to take a look at really awesome ways that other producers are using Mylibsyn to create fantastic premium offerings for their audience and monetize their content at the same time.

We recently covered what Marc Maron was doing with Mylibsyn. In this post we’ll take at what Summer McStravick from Flowdreaming is doing with Mylibsyn.


In 2004 Summer McStravick began her live internet radio show Flowdreaming. She is still doing her show live on Tuesdays on ContactTalkRadio.com and is syndicated on SpiritQuestRadio.com and AlignRadio.com.

She’s also decided to do a little something special for her loyal fans and is using Mylibsyn to deliver it to her audience.

Summer created Flowdream Radio, and it’s available exclusively to premium subscribers.

flowdreaming with summer mcstravick premium content

You can see from the above that Summer offers quite a lot of unique and special content for those that choose to be premium subscribers. In her own words:

I think you’ll LOVE these archives that date back to my days as the Network Poducer of HayHouseRadio. They include all of my two-hour programs, hundreds of different topics, and the many special guests I interviewed on air.

She makes sure that she explains all the different benefits that subscribers get:

  • Access beyond the most recent 20 episodes to include over 300+ hours of content. Including many never before released episodes. 
  • Access to everything via her mobile apps for iOS and Android, as well as via any web browser.
  • Her sweet Mylibsyn premium page

premium flowdreaming page with mylibsyn

Summer has done a phenomenal job packaging her unique and inspiring content to expand her reach as well as continue building her community and engagement.

Mylibsyn has simply enhanced her ability to reach her audience as well as monetize her current offerings.

Do you have tons of content that you want to shift to a subscription model or transition to premium content? Check out Mylibsyn! Start HERE!

   

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

media_1310854258327.png
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.
media_1311000683494.png

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.

 
media_1311000709500.png

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
media_1310853501697.png

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.

media_1310853554560.png

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.

  media_1311010886856.png

  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 :)  

 
media_1310854225160.png
 

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.

media_13103406061961.png

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

media_13103406589921.png

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

media_13103406764401.png

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 :)  

media_13103410933861.png

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

media_13103411963701.png
Go to Edit info
media_13103412117831.png
Look over to your sidebar and click on Manage Permissions
media_13103412303051.png

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!


Revealed: The Facebook Podcast Landing Page (Facebook for Podcasters Part 2)

What is a Landing Page?

A Landing Page is a static page that your visitors arrive on when they come to your Facebook Fan Page, which has a customized message for your listeners that is meant to engage your listeners and potential listeners to choose to be a part of your community by Liking your Page.

Why would you want to have a landing page on your Facebook Podcast Page?

  • Getting the word out about your podcast: Please remember that there are many folks that are interested in your content that have not yet listened to your podcast! Some of your biggest fans would love to share what you are about, and Facebook is the perfect platform. Here is a place where you can share a bit about your podcast.

  • New listeners: Podcast fans are always wanting to share what they love. Creating a landing page with clear and simple information about your podcast is a great way for your fans to share your content. Facebook makes it crazy easy from within Facebook, as well as sharing your Facebook Page URL.

  • An invitation: We all want to be invited. You can design your page to be inviting and welcoming to all who engage with your community.

What Should You Have on Your Landing Page

  • A call to action: Within Facebook, the biggest call to action is for folks to Like your page. However you design your page, whether it be through video, text or graphics make sure that you have a clear call to action telling folks what you want them to do.

  • About your podcast: Offer a succinct and clear description of your podcast. Don't assume that your current listeners are the only ones that are ending up on your Facebook Page.

  • Expectation For Your Page: What's going to be happening on your page? Do you plan it to be a place where you share things you don't anywhere else? Is this where you want to engage with your audience more? Will it be more informational in nature? Offer at least three bullet points detailing what your fans should expect from Liking your page.

  • An Incentive (optional): "Like the cool podcast page and get an extra bonus episode found inside!" We all want a little free incentive :) Those that choose to Like your page are doing just that, choosing to participate in your community in a more engaged manner. Why not offer them something unique as a way to thank them for choosing your community?

  • Introductory Podcast (video or audio also optional): You can very easily add audio or video to your landing page. You can create a special video showcasing your podcast or maybe simply explaining what your podcast is about. You can do the same thing with and audio file adding some quick soundbites of your content into one audio file to delight your existing audience and offer a little insight to potential listeners.

Are Landing Pages for your Podcast essential?

Facebook Page Podcast Landing pages are in no way essential. You can do what you have been doing if it's working for you. If you want to enhance what you offer with your podcast or want to grow the engagement of your community then go for it!

In Facebook For Podcasters (Part 1) I mention the essential bits of information that MUST be in your Facebook Podcast page. A landing page is not one of them :)

As always, remember that the way that you choose to produce, engage and grow your audience is up to you. A Facebook Landing Page is simply another opportunity to enhance what you already have going on :)

Here are other ways that are KEY towards a successful podcast.

So what do you think?

You up for creating a Landing Page? Come on back next week for How To Create A Facebook Landing Page For Your Podcast!

- Elsie Escobar


Image above is from the The Bunker Project's Facebook Page


Best Ways To Grow Your Podcast Audience: Summer Time!

More listeners please!

The podcasters call to arms.

Although there are some tangible and tactical ways to grow your audience, there is a yet another opportunity that sometimes is left untouched by many of us podcasters...

Summer Time!

I'll focus specifically on summer time at this moment, as that's the season that we are in, but these tips also apply to other vacation time or holiday time: Spring Break, Christmas Vacation, Thanksgiving, etc.

So why is this time so important towards growing your audience?

Changing Schedules- During summer time, people's schedules and calendars completely change, including the way that they interact with their technology: some drop it completely to get some unplugged time, others engage in new ways with their devices, and still others take the time to experiment with new content and engagement because they have the time.

Added Users- Especially within families media devices are actively being used by more family members, specifically children and young adults, as they are now home and have a lot of idle time in their hands.

Travel and New Environments- I still remember clearly those long summer trips with my brothers and I in the back seat of our minivan, each one of us with either a walkman or a video game. Sad to say, I barely looked out the window! This was the time that I began to cultivate my own "tastes" in music and radio stations. I chose what I listened to. Long travel is the optimal opportunity to cultivate engaged listeners, especially younger ones.

Strategies for Wrangling Fresh Listeners

You can see from the reasons above that summer time is an optimal time to gain new listeners of all ages, and it basically boils down to publishing more.

I know it's hard, but here are some ninja tricks to get you producing when no one else is :)

  1. Summer is an Opportunity- Take Advantage: It's awesome to chill out. It's so yummy to not do anything. The thing is, if you really want to get more listeners, more subscribers, a bigger audience, etc. you have to do something about it! Begin to simply change YOUR mindset about summertime and shift it to see the great opportunity you have as a creative, independent, content producer. You are in the driver's seat. Let it rip.

  2. Plan Accordingly: Make time in your calendar to get a publishing schedule together, just for these 6-8 weeks. This schedule will include any or all of the following: regular podcast episodes, extra podcast episodes, extra blog posts (or enhanced shownotes), and email newsletters. Schedule the time (60 min tops) get down some possible dates and ideas. Seeing the long term plan will light your fire!

  3. Create Special Summer Time Episodes, Segments or Blog Posts: More folks will be looking for content, so why not make it easy for them to know what you are all about? You can make a special summer introductory episode all about your podcast and your best work. You can create a new summer intro specially aimed at new listeners, giving them the down low of your site, how to contact you, what your podcast is about, etc. In your shownotes you can also add a little paragraph at the beginning of your post sharing the same info from your intro. Help the newbies know you!

  4. Summer Time Honesty!: What do you do for summer? How do you holiday? When producing the extra content put yourself in your listeners shoes. What kind of content would you like to listen to while on holiday? Swim the middle between you and your audience. While creating new content don't try to do more than necessary or get all fancy, do YOU, be inspired by what you do and what you like, that's the sort of stuff an audience adores.

  5. Keep The Demographics In Mind: Your content may appeal to younger ears. Be aware of that and produce accordingly. Those teenagers are the next generation of podcast listeners so why not educate them about the medium and about the content? If your content is something teenagers might be interested in, welcome them. You could even consider having a segment, or simply mention possible younger ears listening in :)

So you don't have the time nor the desire to publish more? Here are some tips for leveraging what you do have and making it work for you for very little work.

  • Make sure you have an easy way for folks to search your site and go into your back catalogue.
  • Consider cleaning up your Categories for easy browsing.
  • Do a top 10 blog post with all your best/most popular podcast episodes.
  • Add a button or banner to your side bar giving easy and accessible options for subscribing.
  • Make sure your site is accessible via mobile device!
  • Create a landing page for the summer giving tips and tricks to getting your content in a variety of different ways (streaming, direct download, subscribing in iTunes, etc), maybe even making it your home page for the summer!

Get Creative and Just Do It!

Out of all the strategies and tips above you can implement just a couple, don't feel that you have to do them all.

This podcasting thing is a very personal thing, so whatever you feel comfortable doing DO IT. That's the key.

It would be so awesome to hear back from you guys, to see if any of this helped you get more listeners :) Remember to comment!

Elsie Escobar


Photograph "Family" via Flickr used through Creative Commons


3 Reasons You Should Consider A Facebook Page for Your Podcast


One way to connect to your podcast is a facebook page.  Facebook has a separate way for businesses, organizations, shows and brands to promote their content on facebook.  Profiles are for people, pages are for everyone else.

3 reasons why you should have a Facebook page for your show:

  1. People are already there.  Everyone is on Facebook - okay maybe not everyone - but lots of people check facebook many times a day, they might not come look at your website everyday - but if they are already on Facebook - then you should meet them there.
  2. The personal endorsement.  Advertising is okay, but anyone who has ever spent a dollar on advertising will tell you that a personal reccomendation from a friend is always more valuable than an advertisement.  When some one "likes" your show on Facebook - that "like" then shows up in their friends stream.  When you "like" Libsyn (if you are on Facebook - we hope you will like out page) - that shows up in stream.  "Your_name liked Libsyn"
  3. Sharing is easy.  When you add something to your show's Facebook page - your fans are just a click away from sharing that information with their friends.  No links to copy and paste.  1 click sharing makes it easy for your fans to tell your friends about the latest episode or news about your show.  

How to set up a Facebook Page:

Don't have a Facebook Page yet?  No problem - Facebook pages are free an easy to set up.  Mashable has put together a great tutorial on setting up a Facebook page here.

Also check out this post from Mashable - 5 Easy Ways to Liven Up Your Facebook Stream for some more ideas on what you can share with your fans on Facebook

Already have a Facebook Page? Check out our Facebook for Podcaster Series here.


Want More Listeners? Common Podcasting Mistakes And How To Fix Them

You got your podcast. You want more listeners? Great! Check out these simple ways to optimize your fabulous work so that folks know how awesome you are!

  • Your Podcast Description and About Page Are Your Calling Card

    You know what your podcast is about. Your audience knows your what your podcast is about. What about all those people that could potentially fall in love with your work? You have got to take the time to pimp up your podcast description and about page!

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

  • Do It Up With Your Keywords

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? ==> read more

Everybody loves pictures. I'm sure that you’ve had your attention drawn by them at some point during your day. Images are power. Images, design, color and graphics hold within them the power to convey distinct and compelling information. They have the strength to engage the viewer to step closer to the source or to push away from it.

You may already have decided what you want your artwork to look like. You may have no idea what your artwork should look like. Following will be a few guidelines and important information to both facilitate your decision making process as well as refine your choices ==> read more

ID3 tags are extra information/data contained within your audio beyond the actual audio. The general basic information that you see in the majority of your audio files that we all have seen, particularly in your music library or even simply in your computer files is: the name, author, album, genre and artwork. This makes finding particular songs within your music library a bit easier. It also helps whatever music software you are using sort your audio files in ways that are logical and easy to search.

Why are ID3 Tags Important To Podcasters? ==> read more

There are tons of podcasters that are currently using Twitter as another way to enhance relationships with existing listeners as well as to extend their reach.

Assuming you already know about Twitter and either already have a twitter account or are ready to jump on board. Here are tips specific to podcasters to best use this medium in order to enhance the work you are already doing! ==> read more

How about podcast audience engagement via Facebook as another opportunity to develop deeper relationships with your current audience and perhaps facilitate a wider reach? Let's delve into Facebook Page basics for a bit.

This in no way means that you MUST have a Facebook Page as a podcaster. This is a uniquely individual decision that matches your workflow and your existing audience engagement Up for it? ==> read more

Hope that helped a bit! How about letting us know how you are growing your audience?

Elsie Escobar


Fans In Little Italy Picture: This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License.


Podcast Clean Up: Wordpress 101 Permalink Power

What Are Permalinks?

In the podcasting world, these would be the unique url or location of each of your shownotes/posts on your blog. You can find the permalink for each and every one of your posts by looking up at the browser's address bar. According to Wikipidia:
A permalink, or permanent link, is a URL that points to a specific blog or forum entry after it has passed from the front page to the archives. Because a permalink remains unchanged indefinitely, it is less susceptible to link rot. Most modern weblogging and content-syndication software systems support such links. Other types of websites use the term permanent links, but the term permalink is most common within the blogosphere. Permalink is a portmanteau word made from permanent link. Permalinks are often simply stated so as to be human-readable.

Why Are Permalinks Important To Podcasters?

We as podcasters are constantly looking to grow our audience. As opposed to blog posts which you can scan and read easily, it's really hard for people to know our content without having to listen or view it. Permalinks are an opportunity to facilitate discoverability that is often completely overlooked.
  • You can customize your permalinks to focus on any relevant keywords within your podcast episode
  • Paying attention to your permalinks will naturally help your shownotes be indexed well by Google aka better SEO for your site which equals a potential larger audience.
NOTE: Although this article mainly focuses on configuring the permalinks on a Wordpress site some of the practices can apply to any other platform that you might be using: Blogger, TypePad, Squarespace, Posterous, libsyn, etc.

The Best Configuration of Permalinks For Podcasters

There are a handfull of options to configure your Permalinks within Wordpress. In order to configure your Permalinks please go to your Wordpress Dashboard and on the left hand side column go to Settings => Permalinks
media_1306608484212.png
The common settings are:
  • Default- This is the structure that is set on your blog right off the bat. These links have no SEO juice whatsoever. They offer the least amount of information.
  • Day and name- This is a good choice for your podcast. The date before the show episode name will offer important information to search engines.
  • Month and name- This can also be a good choice to use, especially if you have happen to produce a monthly podcast
  • Numeric - Not the best choice for your podcast shownotes
  • Custom Structure- This is my personal favorite. You can configure it almost any way you like. My favorite choice is simply the year and the post name. It allows the permalink to be shorter while providing room for optimal keyword usage.
If you want to know more of the how and why of permalink structure inside of Wordpress, please check out this article from Wordpress.org.

Configuring Individual Permalinks For Your Episodes

Not only does Wordpress allow you to set the overall structure of your permalinks, but it also gives you an option to configure individual permalinks to each of your episodes if you so desire. The permalink does not necessarily have to match your title.

   
media_1306616539160.png
 
As you see from the picture above the you can very easily rename the permalink.

Why would you want to do this?

It's a really great tool for specific episodes, or important episodes that you may be producing.

Let's say you have a really popular episode where you interview a high profile guest, instead of having your normal permalink of:

http://yourwebsite.com/2011/episode-100-interview-with-high-profile-guest

it could simply be:

http://yourwebsite.com/2011/yourhighprofileguest

With that structure you can easily share that permalink with folks that ask you about your podcast as a way to guide them to one of your best shows.You could do special permalinks as well for holiday focused episodes:

http://yourwebsite.com/2011/Christmas or http://yourwebsite.com/2011/birthday.

The most important thing to remember about permalinks is that they work best when you use keywords within them that your potential audience is looking for.

If you have an in depth tutorial all about iPhoto 11 and your episode name is The Magic of Deconstructing iPhoto 11 a simple and better permalink for this post would be:

http://yourwebsite.com/2011/iPhoto-11-Tutorial

Doing this you can still get fancy and creative with the episode title but your permalink provides a greater opportunity for those searching for what you have to offer as it employs keywords people would naturally use in search engines.

Have you configured your Permalinks? Do you have any other suggestions regarding optimizing your permalink structure? Let us know! We'd love to hear from you :)

Elsie Escobar


Twitter For Podcasters

There are tons of podcasters that are currently using Twitter as another way to enhance relationships with existing listeners as well as to extend their reach.

In this post we’ll assume that you already know about Twitter and either already have a twitter account or are ready to jump on board. The following tips are offered as specific opportunities aimed at podcasters to best use this medium in order to enhance the work you are already doing.

The Foundation

Why Are Your Podcasting?- Although this question may seem like it’s not really relevant to this Twitter post, it is truly the foundation from which you build your Twitter strategy. If you have no idea why you are podcasting and just kinda wanna play with the medium for a bit, then Twitter doesn’t really need to be a strategy.

The more value, importance and specificity you bring to your work as a podcaster, the easier it will be to build a Twitter presence and community.

If you are podcasting as a hobby, having your personal Twitter account be the account you use to post Twitter updates about your podcast is not a problem at all. If you are hoping to grow your podcast into a recognizable brand and business, having a specific twitter account for your podcast will be the best option.

One very important question to ask is: how much time are you honestly able to devote to Twitter?

Is Twitter already part of your lifestyle? Is it part of your work flow? How comfortable are you navigating through Twitter and all the Twitter clients and applications? If you aren’t comfortable, are you willing to invest time to learn?

Using Specific Twitter Account For Your Podcast

  • A great opportunity to solidify your brand online.
  • Easy way to get organic SEO for your podcast.
  • Simple way to create brand awareness through custom twitter backgrounds, links and strategic use of your twitter profile

Using Your Personal Twitter Account For Your Podcast

  • Ease of use (you only have to sustain one Twitter account)
  • Your audience gets to know YOU.
  • A great opportunity to branch out into more than ‘just’ your podcast.
  • You naturally build a personal brand- YOU

I use my personal Twitter account for my podcast. Although there have been times that I wish I had separate Twitter accounts, the answers I came up with regarding how much time I was willing to spend on Twitter clearly showed me that managing more than one account was just not going to work for me.

Twitter is very personal and it must align with your lifestyle and how much the service works for you. Consistency is key. If you have seen twitter strategies out there that call for a certain way of doing things that you can only keep up with for a few weeks or perhaps months and then they go by the wayside, it’s not going to work. Sustainability is power and honesty is the way to harness that power.

Tools For Your Podcast Twitter Strategy

Community

I would venture to say that the reason that you are on Twitter at all is to in some way connect with people. One of the most amazing attributes to podcasting is its ability to create a deeper and more responsive community than almost any other type of media out there. There is greater personal connection, communication and accessibility between the host and audience. Given those two statements, Twitter is wonderful way to strengthen those relationships.

Here are 3 tips to cultivating that conversation

1. Re-tweet

You might think that I’m about to tell you to ask your followers to re-tweet your twitter updates, but no! I’m offering that YOU re-tweet other podcasters whose work aligns with yours. If you find something interesting that your community has updated, re-tweet it. In essence simply re-tweet the things that matter to you and that which you are passionate about, specifically having to do with the subject matter of your podcast.

Why it matters: It’s not all about you. This cast light on those support your podcast. You naturally inform your community and drive relevant informative conversation.

2. Create A Twitter List For Your Podcast Listeners

I did this for my podcast and it’s the best way that I’ve found of keeping up with my listeners.

If you don’t know what twitter lists are, check out this definition and tutorial HERE.

Now, no matter how little time I have to go on twitter, even if I don’t post a twitter message myself, I can very easily scroll through the list stream to check on what’s going on with everyone in my community.

Why it matters: It’s an easy way to create a mini community within twitter- they engage with you, plus they get to know each other. It’s one of the easiest ways to auto-magically gain an engaged community that already has something in common (by simply having anyone interested add the list to their own twitter profile.)

TIPS:

  • Periodically send out a twitter message asking if there are any of your listeners following you that you don’t know about.
  • Mention the twitter list in your podcast.
  • Occasionally post to twitter information and links to the existing twitter list.

3. Answer or Comment On Your @ Replies

Basic. Self explanatory. Good manners.

Why it matters: It’s an opportunity for one on one communication. It shows that you listen and are willing to engage.

Twitterquette: If they are re-tweeting something you’ve said, offering praise, or perhaps you’ve waited a bit too long to reply, this is the time to send a DM (Direct Message). Not everyone needs to see thank you for xxxxxxx, and you still get an opportunity to connect with your audience.

Hashtags

A really great way to propagate your work further through the twitter-verse is to use Hashtags. If you don’t know about Hashtags you can learn about them HERE.

One of the best features about Hashtags is that you can subscribe to them via your Twitter client. Like the Twitter lists, they are a crazy efficient way to see what’s going on within a conversation that you are interested in.

How To Use Hashtags As A Podcaster?

  • Use general podcasting hashtags ie. #Podcast #podcasting #podcaster.
  • Create your own community podcast Hashtag. This has worked wonders for some!

Why it matters: It’s an easy way to create an intimate conversation whose subject matter is important to those involved. As much as this is about the way that you use your hashtags, the magic is in the way others use hashtags. That’s where you will begin to see the kind of sophisticated conversation you can have on twitter

Automation

I’m sure you are aware of the tons of Twitter clients that are out there to both consume and create a better workflow with Twitter: Seesmic Desktop, Hootsuite and Tweetdeck being the most widely used.

There are some Twitter applications that allow you to schedule tweet and have more than one person (teams) manage your Twitter account (s): Hootsuite, SocialOmph, FutureTweets, plus more.

You can also set up other social media platforms and CMSs to automatically send out a twitter message whenever you update them, without even having to be on Twitter: Facebook, Wordpress, etc.

This is all great for ease of workflow and time savings. As podcasters, most of us are not to the point where we do podcasting for a living and that may not even be something we strive for It’s challenging, it’s time consuming, and any little bit of extra help we can get when it comes to workflow is a god-send. Automating certain parts of your podcasting workflow can be incredibly powerful. Automating your Episode’s Blog Post or your a direct link to your newly published Episode can be awesome. It can help you to engage with the community with more personal twitter updates, as you don’t have to worry about letting folks know the basics, because the automation has taken care of that for you.

Automation gone bad: It absolutely can go bad, especially when you start to schedule twitter updates just because you can. I find that when I read twitter streams I can smell when the user is all automated. I generally don’t follow those people. I’m already overwhelmed with the Twitter stream, I don’t want robots taking part of it more than necessary ;)

Why it matters: Time saving, ease of workflow, set it and forget it.

Tracking Your Podcasting Reach

Most podcasters at some point become crazy obsessed with their stats. If you would like to dispute this little fact, I’d suggest you ask our support staff to provide you with some details of the AMOUNT of tickets that come in when the libsyn stats are having issues ;)

Maybe this little tip will guide all stat-aholics to try another lovely way to track your stats: Bit.ly.

I got myself a bit.ly account and have created a format for my bit.ly links that I use when I post new episodes or blog post links on Twitter. Each bit.ly link obviously begins with http://bit.ly.com/ but after the slash I add the episode number plus the level of the yoga class, so my bit.ly links look like this: http://bit.ly/86-level-2. I like that because my listeners know by looking most of the information that is relevant to the episode.

Why it works for me so well, is that I get to see how much traffic (if any) I get from any Twitter post. I get an opportunity to test the kind of Twitter posts that people respond to the most, I get to see if my post was re-tweeted and I also learn what doesn’t work.

Why it matters: more stats, deeper stats, powerful knowledge to use as a producer. Using the same bit.ly links helps you see the overall reach of your episode, especially if you’ve been meticulous about using the same link in more than just one social media setting.

Fundamentals of Expertise: Testimonials

Star Your Awesomeness- I can't remember where I came upon this tip but thought it was so easy and totally cool. Anytime that someone tweets about you, your podcast, your work, be it as an @ reply and RT or an original twitter post star it. This will passively build you a testimonial page of you as an expert of whatever your chosen niche.

Why it matters: All of your awesomeness is showcased in one special place. It helps solidify your expertise.

You don’t have to go very far to be able to do this. Twitter builds a fancy pants little widget box for you to post on your website showcasing all the love. You simply have to go to http://twitter.com/about/resources/widgets and you can find great resources to personalize and build widgets, both for your website and for Facebook.

Here is my LOVE widget below ;)

One More Thing...

Make sure that you are using the proper link to market your podcast episodes so that they are counted in your stats as well as avoid 404 errors. If you have any questions about that, please refer to this blog post, addressing proper link usage for libsyn.

I hope that you’ve found these podcasting Twitter tips helpful to you!

If you have any fancy Twitter tips that have been working for you as a podcaster, please share them below in the comments! There’s nothing like community to uplift us all!

-Elsie Escobar


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


Do You Tweet?


One of the things that has been incredibly helpful not only in promoting my blog and helpful for finding new things to blog about has been Twitter.  Do you have a twitter account for your podcast? 

New to Twitter? Check out this video from Common Craft here.  A really nice simple overview of Twitter.

The Craft blog had a great post before Christmas - "Crafting Your Online Presence: Twitter Tools" - while this post is written with a crafty audience in mind, I think the info here is still very useful to podcasters too.  Diane Gilleland, who produces CraftyPod - a blog and podcast about making things, has put together a great list of tools to help you do more with Twitter.

My favorite from her list is HootSuite and I am excited to check out Twitalyzer.  

What are your favorite Twitter tools? And just a reminder - you can follow Libsyn on Twitter too - http://twitter.com/libsyn

- Lindsay