Posted in podcasting, podcasts, podcasters on May 28th, 2017
Our first repeat guest is Josh Hallmark from the Our Americana, and The Karen & Ellen Letters Podcasts. We've invited him back to talk to us about his #2PodsADay campaign that has been gaining real momentum in the podcasting world. 2PodsADay brings much needed attention to indie podcasts by introducing two episodes a day from two indie podcasts from May 15th-June 13th. We also get lots of updates on his shows, and what he has learned along this fantastical podcast journey!
Podcasting Smarter Tips & Updates From Josh:
- Josh encourages podcasters to treat their podcast like a business from the beginning if your goal is to someday earn a living from it. You have to pound the pavement and not treat like a hobby, or it wil be a hobby.
- Rather than whine about the plight of indie podcasts and their challenge in getting the attention that commercial networks, celebrities, and public radio get, Josh started the 2 Pods A Day campaign. Check it out, and help keep up the momentum that Josh started!
- For better engagement, Josh recommends incorporating yoru fans into your show. It means carving out significant time to give your audience the attention it wants anddeserves.
- The Karen & Ellen Letters will start their second and final season in November. The show has been a whirlwind of surprises for him and his audience, and what he has learned in the process contradicts all of his intial theories about the four characters from the letters.
- He almost gave up his desire to do a true crime podcast because he felt the genre was getting over-saturated. Luckily, he discovered a unique approach to the genre that will allow him to produce a unique show. True Crime BullSh*t will debut in the near future.
- When his workload got too much with his most profitable show, Our Americana, he found a way to produce a different kind of episode that is easier to produce and will allow him to keep the show consistent.
- He is so excited about his upcoming podcast which compares the stories of former public access celebrities with modern YouTube stars.
- The season finale of the Karen & Ellen Letters Podcast will be performed live at DC PodFest in November!
Keep is with all of Josh's shows via the Our American Network. We can't wait to see what he accomplishes next!
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Posted in podcasting, podcasts, podcasters on Apr 24th, 2017
Today, I am chatting with John Zhu, the host and producer of the “Romance Of The Three Kingdoms Podcast”. John is on a mission with his podcast to retell the ancient Chinese novel, “Romance Of The Three Kingdoms” in a way that makes it relevant and accessible to a modern audience. With 800,000 words and nearly a thousand dramatic characters to cover, this is quite an ambitious undertaking.
"Once you get a certain number of listeners, word of mouth becomes a significant tool for promoting." --John Zhu, Host and Producer of The Romance Of The Three Kingdoms Podcast
John's Podcasting Smarter Tips:
- Being born in China, but living most of his life in the Unites States, John wanted to produce a Chinese-related podcast. After doing some research, he discovered there wasn't a show covering classic Chinese literature, and he saw an opportunity to introduce a significant piece of Chinese culture to a Western audience.
- John was influenced by master storytellers he used to hear on the radio in China. He knew he needed to use the podcast to make the novel more accessible through good storytelling.
- John takes 3-4 hours to write a script for each episode! He also provides supplemental resources for his audience like maps, and death tolls.
- John learned that his voice and energy waned after 30 minutes, so he shortened his episodes in order to improve the quality of the show.
- John listens back to his recordings closely so he can make his voice more dynamic. This means doing different takes to get the recording sounding the way he wants it to.
- John tapped into his audience with online forums. Since his podcast covers a niche subject, he was able to find people in history and Chinese forums as well as Facebook groups who were interested in his subject matter.
- John has also enjoyed spikes in downloads after being a guest on other Chinese-related podcasts.
- Although John has received donations for his podcast, he has no plans to monetize the podcast. His rewards come from the creative outlet, and the positive feedback from his audiece.
- John learned several new skills through podcasting that translate well to his career in media.
- Before you record, consider if you will still be excited about your topic or premise 6 months from now. How will you keep going after the initial excitement wears off?
- Don't rush to publish, but start recording now so you can work on getting better. Listen back and see where you need to improve. Once you are happy, publish.
John's Fantasy Podcaster: Julius Caesar
John's Hypothetical Podcast About His Life: East Meets West
Please listen and subscribe to the Romance Of The Three Kingdoms Podcast on Podbean, iTunes, and Stitcher. Follow on Twitter and Facebook too!
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Posted in podcasting, podcasts, podcasters on Mar 21st, 2017
Josh Hallmark is the podcast host and producer of not only the Our Americana Podcast, but also the podcast network of the same name. The Our Americana Podcast Network curates and creates podcasts that celebrate American storytelling, mythology, and folklore. It's also home to it's titillating new show with a quickly growing cult-like following, The Karen & Ellen Letters. The Karen & Ellen Letters are a series of real letters from the 1980s between a landlord and his two, naive and unbelievaby demanding young, female tenants. We discuss how the unique premise of this podcast has all the elements for Serial-Like success.
Josh's Podcasting Smarter Tips:
- After a six month road trip around America, Josh discovered podcasts (starting with Serial), and also discovered he had a story to tell about small town America. The yearning to stay connected to the small towns he visited, was what inspired his first podcast, Our Americana.
- Podcasts give us an opportunity to have open-minded conversations with non like-minded people. We can use this to change false perceptions about people, and communities different than ourselves.
- Josh's biggest obstacle is financial. He doesn't have the resources to record in a studio, so he doesn't have the sound quality he'd like.
- Josh uses a primitive process for recording by using his iphone earbuds in his dining room.
- Right now, he is doing all the recording, marketing, PR. editing, research, and production. He can work 100 hours a week, and it never seems to be enough.
- Josh podcasts full-time. He hopes to continue monetizing through listener support. After he passes the $1,000 a month threshold, he plans to give back to charities that support the people in the small towns he has grown to love.
- The Our Americana Network has three additional shows launching this year. Including a show that is hosted by a young trans woman, documenting her raw, non-political story of gender transition.
- Josh has the support of his boyfriend who is 110% behind what Josh is creating. Podcasting without that support would be extremely difficult.
- Josh is a bit nervous about the popularity of The Karen & Ellen Letters. Some of his listeners are rabid fans, and have done their own sleuthing to find the real identities of Karen and Ellen.
- Josh has to work on taking on too much. He is working on how to incorporate help as he monetizes.
- He doesn't think what podcasts are making in general is out of sinc with the amount of work that goes into producing a quality show.
- Josh wants to see a Hulu-like model in the future of podcasting that celebrates good, indie producers, not just the usual shows in the top 100 lists on iTunes.
Josh's Fantasy Podcaster: Carole Radziwill of the Real Housewives of NYC
Josh's Hypothetical Podcast About His Life: "It's Ok To Laugh At This"
You can listen to The Karen and Ellen letters on Podbean and iTunes. Once you get addicted to the show, join the Karen & Ellen Letters Facebook group.
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Posted in podcasting, podcasts, podcasters on Mar 3rd, 2017
We are podcasting from the Podfest Multimedia Expo on this enthusiastic episode of Podcasting Smarter! I got the honor of representing Podbean at #PME17 along with Vernon Ross, the newest member of the Podbean sales team. You may remember Vernon from Season 02 Ep. 8. Together, we got to talk to hundreds of podcasters, participate in a couple of panels, and connect with an incredible community of creators.
We hope we can convince you of the importance of attending podcasting conferences. This is where you can connect and collaborate with other podcasters. The opportunities are endless! You also have an incredible bounty of education in the form of keynote speakers with a wide breadth of knowledge, workshops, and breakout sessions that cover a variety of topics to help you be a better, smarter podcaster. PodFest Multimedia Expo had a wide range of compelling topics, and dynamic speakers. What we loved most though, was the continual message of support and community that was communicated and exercised throughout the conference.
If you get a chance to attend Podfest in 2018, or any of the other podcast conferences, please do! Here are some great ones to check out:
Podfest Multimedia Expo
Mid-Atlantic Podcast Conference
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Posted in podcasting, podcasts, podcasters on Feb 20th, 2017
We go on a real adventure with Kathy Pulkrabek, the intrepid co-host of XX Will Travel, a podcast for independent, women travelers. She is also a writer, editor, and occasional performer in Chicago. Join us as we unpack the details of her podcasting journey!
Kathy's Podcasting Smarter Tips:
- As an avid solo traveler, Kathy grew frustrated with the number of people who thought it was weird for a woman to travel alone but thought nothing of a man doing the same thing. XX Will Travel became a way to find and serve a community of women travelers.
- She is delighted with the support and collaboration she has found with other women podcasters.
- Having a mission behind the podcast is empowering, and inspired them to create a popular "How To" series for women new to traveling by themselves.
- Their first live show was a success and a failure. They drew a huge crowd, but the show failed to record. Luckily, they were able to recreate the content of the show.
- One thing she loves about podcasting is how comfortable it is to hide behind the microphone, as an introvert.
- Her goal when they started the podcast was to be able to travel for free. They are still trying to get hotels to treat them more like travel bloggers, in order to get accommodations in exchange for coverage.
- Her other goal when she started the podcast was to learn new skills, and that has been accomplished.
- Their podcasting strength is that they are experts in their subject manner. Kathy and her co-host, Inez, have traveled to more than 50 countries.
- She warns new podcasters that your show will take a lot more of your time than you estimate.
- Be prepared to spend limitless amounts of time on social media in order to connect with your audience and promote your show.
- She advises that new podcasters concentrate on quality about all else instead of downloads. If you produce quality content, the audience will come and stay.
- Finally, her best piece of advice is to choose a topic that you LOVE so you never get tired of talking about it.
Kathy's Fantasy Podcaster: Princess Diana
Kathy's Hypothetical Podcast About Her Life: A Wholesome Mid-Westerner
Please follow @XXWillTravel on Twitter, @XXWillTravel on Instagram, and on Facebook! You can subscribe and listen to the XX Will Travel on Podbean, iTunes, and Stitcher.
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Posted in podcasting, podcasts, podcasters on Jan 25th, 2017
Vernon Ross teaches podcasters, authors, coaches, and companies how to find their voice online, behind the microphone, on stage, and in any situation.
He is also the host of the Social Strategy Podcast, author of Master Your Message, social and digital strategist and inspirational speaker whose insights are based on real world experience.
I met him at Podcast Movement 2016, and I am so happy to welcome my new pod pal to the show!
Vernon's Podcasting Smarter Tips:
- Vernon started his podcast to increase his professional authority in his business.
- Through podcasting, Vernon learned self-awareness, and discovered his gift for talking to people and helping them tell their stories.
- He has collected a number of opportunities directly and indirectly from podcasting including speaking gigs, a book deal, and a college teaching job.
- Know who you are, and reflect that in your show. Knowing who you are and what you have to say will help you find sponsors that align with your message.
- Don't worry about what other people think. If you have a point of view not everyone will agree with you, or like what you have to say.
- Vernon landed A-list guests by asking when they weren't doing interviews and suggesting an original topic for them to talk about.
- Don't let your fear keep you from starting.
- If you are serious about podcasting, attend conferences! You need to surround yourself with people who understand what you are doing. You can meet Vernon at Podfest in Orlando in February, as well as me! Look for us at the Podbean table.
Vernon's Hypothetical Podcast About His Life: Holy Crap, How Did That Happen?
Vernon's Fantasy Podcasters: Jesus, Barack Obama, and the first Native Americans
Find Vernon In These Places!
Book: Master Your Message http://amzn.to/2hDvTPL
Host: The Social Strategy Podcast
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Posted in podcasting, podcasts, podcasters on Dec 31st, 2016
Do you dream of the day when you can say you've reached 200 podcast episodes? My guest this week has accomplished that podcasting milestone. Evan Harris is an improviser and actor in Greenville, SC. He is also the creator and co-host of The Bearded Ones Podcast and generously shares his perspective after reaching his 200th episode.
Evan Harris' Podcasting Smarter Tips:
- His podcast is a prime example of podcast evolution. His early episodes were burdoned with a rigid format that wasn't working, and horrible sound quality. Luckily, they made the changes needed to improve the show, but it took some time to get there. Big Lesson: Don't quit, work on getting better, and keep going!
- He and his co-host, Jason Underwood alway skeep their goal in mind: To always be entertaining and/or funny. This means aggressively editing out any pieces of the show that just aren't interesting. Big Lesson: You need to edit your show
- Don't assume that people want to hear you talk. They don't.
- Evan and Jason both prep for the show by collecting notes, stories, and video clips prior to each episode, and collaborate prior to every show. However, they are careful not to over-prep so they can react to each other's contributions in an authentic manner.
- Evan's only regret is not starting his podcast sooner. It's a struggle competing with A-D list celebrities with built-in followings who are now getting into podcasting.
- Sometimes, it's like getting water from a stine when he and Jason think a topic or bit for the show will be great, and it's not workign out the way they imagines. He's learned that by doubling down on it, they often get to some golden content, and they can edit out the junk in post production.
- There were some distinct peaks and valleys getting to their 200th episode. Two years ago they took a six month break when they got both busy and discouraged with their download numbers. And yes, it killed their download numbers until they recommitted to the show and decided to produce regular content no matter what.
- Another strategy that helped their numbers was actively joining kindred networks and using those platforms for cross promotion and exposure to new audiences.
- Evan pointed out that unlike traditional media, nobody can make you stop podcasting but you. In other words, anyone can make it to 200 episodes if they take the committment to their show seriously.
Evan's Fantasy Podcaster: Zombie Abe Lincoln
Evan's Hypothetical Podcast About His Life: "True Self Deprecation"
Good Starter Episode of The Bearded Ones Podcast: Episode 200!
You can listen to The Bearded Ones on Podbean, iTunes, and Stitcher. Find them on Facebook and Twitter too!
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Posted in podcasting, podcasts, podcasters on Dec 23rd, 2016
This week we are joined by Joe Cozzo of The Joe Cozzo Show. Joe is a comedian, podcaster, and criminal defense attorney who describes his show as a podcast about absolutely nothing and everything.
Prepare to be guilty as charged of being a smarter podcaster thanks to Joe's unique podcasting insights!
"If you aren't doing video you are doing yourself an injustice." --Joe Cozzo
Joe Cozzo's Podcasting Smarter Tips:
- Joe is always searching for people with great stories. He uses a combination of Craigs List Ads, his past criminal clients, and interesting people in his life like Crazy Robert.
- His interviewing skills are a direct result of studying Howard Stern.
- Joe is so passionate about podcasting he gets up at 5:30am to start gathering research and organizing sound bites.
- Joe preps his guests through email and texts rather than talk to them directly in order to keep the interview as fresh as possible. He instructs every guest to be as real as possible.
- Everyone is unique if you listen. The key is makign the guest comfortable so they feel good talking to you and opening up about their life.
- Joe recommends Facebook as the best tool to market your show. He has an active Facebook Page and is considering a group. He interract with everyone who comments on his page, and YouTube videos. He also invests in Facebook ads to expand the reach of his episodes.
- Although he has one advertiser on his show, he is still working on how to generate enough revenue to allow him to work on his show full-time.
- The thing that bothers him the most is that he doesn't yet have the resources to pay his regular guests, and the people who help behind the scenes. This is a big goal for the show as it continues to grow.
- Joe experienced a huge boost to his show when he started complementing his audio content with YouTube videos. He strongly believes every podcaster needs to embrace video, especially Facebook Live.
- Joe gives guests his home telephone number. He strongly believes that the key to building your audience is building real relationships.
- Joe uses a That-2 to record audio from his telephone.
- Joe doesn't like to listen to shows similar to his because he doesn't want to be over-influenced.
Joe's Fantasy Podcaster: Elvis
Joe's Hypothetic Podcast About His Life: The Life and Mess Of Joe Cozzo
Good starter Episode of The Joe Cozzo Show: The Coney Island Coin Toss
You can listen to The Joe Cozzo Show on Podbean, iTunes, and Stitcher. Please follow Joe on Twitter and Facebook too!
Thanks again for listening to Podcasting Smarter! If you are enjoying the show, please consider giving it an iTunes review. It helps!
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Posted in podcasting, podcasts, podcasters on Nov 30th, 2016
This week, I am joined by podcaster, Rebecca Duke. Rebecca is the co-host of the True Crime and Mysteries Podcast which is on a mission to bring awareness and ultimately, resolution to victims of violent crime. She and her co-host Michael give victims a voice through advocacy and real investigative journalism, using their podcast.
Rebecca's Podcasting Smarter Tips:
- Rebecca had an idea to do more than entertain with a podcast. She now uses her podcast to act as an advocate for crime victims, and actively investigates criminal cases. She podcasts with a purpose!
- As a podcaster, she has found that witnesses are more willing to open up to her as a non-traditional journalist.
- She feels that more podcasters can and should use the medium to act as journalists to help solve crimes, and complement the work of police departments because podcasters are less constrained and more agile.
- Rebecca is an academic writer, so she finds storytelling challenging, but her co-host, Mike helps keep her on track--especially when she gets emotional.
- Rebecca uses a facebook Group instead of a facebook Page to connect with her listeners, and keep them up to date on her investigation. Her Facebook group members will even jump in and help pick up court papers when she can't make the trip.
- Rebecca has a crowdfunding campaign as well as Amazon affiliate links to raise money to help cover travel expenses related to th einvestigation work.
- Eventually, Rebecca and Mike would like to buy a travel trailor and travel around the country to help bring awareness and their investigation skills to other cases in need.
- Rebecca spends 40+ hours a week on her podcast!
Rebecca's Fantasy Podcaster is Charles Darwin
Rebecca's hypothetical podcast abour her life would be called "Organized Chaos"
Please check out their investigative series on the Tiffani Streling Case. Developmens are happening through their investigative efforts that may finally bring closure to this case and justice for Tiffani!
You can listen to True Crime and Mysteries Podcast on Podbean, iTunes, and Stitcher. Please follow the show on Twitter, and join their Facebook group to stay abreast of their work.
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Posted in podcasting, podcasts, podcasters on Nov 20th, 2016
On this episode, we are shaken and stirred by Mike Stojic, the host and creator of Make It A Double--The podcast that talks booze, spirits, history, mixology, and the people and stories that make them great.
Mike mixes us up a cocktail of great advice on this episode of Podcasting Smarter.
Mike's Podcasting Smarter Tips:
- Mike invests extra time editing his podcast in order to tell a story in a creative, entertaining fashion.
- He finds all his music at freemusicarchive.org where he selects the perfect music for the mood of his show. He puts attributes for all the music on his website.
- Find your passion. Anyone can talk. but not everyone has a passion they can share that they enjoy talking about.
- The best guests are great storytellers, and the best storytellers have a passion.
- He grows his audience through his guests' networks, and by collaborating with other podcasters with sponsor spot exchanges and cross promoting.
- He uses Facebook ads to promote his episodes and sees a jump in downloads when he does.
- Mike keeps his studio simple with an ipad, 2 mics, and a 2 channel amp. He records directly into his ipad using BossJock.
- Podcasting led Mike to his partner in his soon to open bar, Revival 1869, as well as friendships with people in the spirits business that have helped him develop his bar menu.
Mike's Fantasy Podcaster(s): Quentin Tarantino & Boris Johnson
Mike's Hypothetical Podcast ABout His Life: The Wandering Whiskey Adventures
Start with Episode 1 of Make It A Double titled, Moonshine and thank me later!
You can listen and subscribe to Make It A Double on Podbean, iTunes, and Stitcher. You can also follow Make It A Double on Facebook and Instagram!
Thanks for listening, sharing, and reviewing Podcasting Smarter!
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