Archive for the 'podcasting' Category



On this episode of Podcasting Smarter, Vernon and Jen record in the hallways immediately following the end of Podcast Movement. Admittedly, the background noise makes the sound quality on this one a bit sub par, but the Samson Go mic and the Podbean App pick up our voices just fine. Hope you stick with us! :)  

Episode Highlights: 

  • Podbean and Samson partner to give away a podcast studio set up every month. Enter HERE
  • Podbean announces the addition of dynamic ad insertion.
  • Choose sponsors for your show that are a good fit for your audience. 
  • New podcasters are approaching their shows with a plan, thanks to events like Podcast Movement


Here are the Samson Mics mentioned in this episode!  







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It's time for our monthly "Spill the Podbeans" episode!  Jen and Vernon from the Podbean Team, share podcasting news and updates from Podbean with our Podbean Family. Podbean has rolled out more new features and improvements to make your podcasting experience even more rich and productive. Soundcloud is also in trouble, and we discuss what that means for podcasters. 

You can also find news and announcements from Podbean on Facebook and Twitter, We hope you enjoy this episode! If you did, we would appreciate a review on iTunes and Stitcher

We want to hear from you! Do you have a podcasting question? Send us your questions, and we will answer it on the podcast and mention your show! email: 


Podbeans Spilled: 


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Arnie Calvalho began podcasting in 2005 when he started the very first podcast about dedicated to Star Wars collecting, the award-winning Star Wars Action News.  Fast forward to today, and he now now running a successful network of shows under the umbrella of Venganza Media which includes the following podcasts: Now Playing Podcast, Books and Nachos, and Marvelicious Toys. Now, Arnie, and his team are leading a multi-media dynasty that includes audio and video content, a blog, and now even a book called Underrated Movies We Recommend derived from the Now Playing Podcast, and now available for pre-order! 

Arnie's Podcasting Smarter Tips: 

  • Arnie gained traction with his first podcast, Star Wars Action News, by reaching out to Star Wars collector web sites, and other Star Wars podcasts. Those relationships led to a fan base, as well as feedback on how to make their show better. 
  • This first podcast led them to doing live shows, and hosting events for Star Wars fans. By getting out of the studio, they got to know their listeners. 
  • Arnie turns down a lot of sponsorship opportunities because he doesn't want to endorse a product he doesn't personally believe in. 
  • He has experienced monetization success with a premium content model combined with listener support through crowdfunding. 
  • Listener engagement keeps everything excitign and rewarding, and his team ensures that the listeners are always responded to, and consitently runed to for feedback. 
  • Growing a community around each of his network shows has played a critical part of their success. 
  • Producing consistent content is paramount for podcast success. Your audience should look forward to your podcast like a T.V. show. Arnie hasn't missed producing a Tuesday episode of Now Playing in over 300 weeks. Wow, that is dedication! 
  • Care enough about your show to edit it. Your listeners should always have a pleasant listening experience. 
  • Arnie couldn't do it without a stellar team that works hard to produce quality shows, promote, and engage with their audiences. 
  • Early on, Arnie took his podcast production seriously, and treated it like a business which set the foundation for his future success. 
  • Podcasting takes you to unexpected places. Arnie is publishing his first book based on the Now Playing Podcast. 


Arnie's hypothetical podcast about his life: "4 Shot Mocha, No Sleep" 

Arnies Fantasy Podcaster: Mark Twain


Subscribe to the Now Playing Podcast on Podbean and iTunes. Find and subscribe to all of the shows on Venganza Media




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Jennifer and Vernon at PodFest MultiMedia Expo


This week on Podcasting Smarter, Jen and Vernon from the Podbean Team, share news and updates from Podbean with our Podbean Family. Podbean has rolled out a lot of new features and improvements to make your podcasting experience even more rich and productive.

Although we share announcements on Facebook and Twitter, we thought it would be nice to tell you a little bit more about these things. We look forward to bringing you a monthly "Spill The Podbeans" episodes to keep everyone up to date on everything going on here at Podbean! We hope you enjoy this episode! 


Podbeans Spilled: 


You can also listen to Podcasting Smarter on iTunes and Stitcher! Questions for Jen and Vernon? Send them to and we will answer them on the show! :)  


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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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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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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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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

Podcast Movement

DC PodFest

Mid-Atlantic Podcast Conference


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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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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! 

BookMaster Your Message   
Host: The Social Strategy Podcast
Twitter: @rosspr


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