Daniel M. Clark was our special guest for our most recent Facebook Chat. Daniel is the author of NMX’s new ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Podcaster. Daniel answered questions about how to get started podcasting and the best tools and resources. Check out the chat transcript below.
Daniel M. Clark I’m happy to be able to participate here today, and please don’t be shy. Anything and everything about podcasting – fire away!Daniel M. Clark Thanks, Nick. There’s nothing you can do (legally!) to force anyone to use your links, so you need to make them as enticing as possible. Repetition helps, too – but don’t overdo it. Too many ads is a turn-off, right? If you can identify a problem or concern that your listeners might have, you can try to match up a product that can solve it.Daniel M. Clark Big question, Megan. I prefer co-hosts because it gives me breathing room. I can take a moment and think of where to take the show next while my co-host is speaking. Downsides? I have to share the credit lol – I suppose the reverse is true about going it alone. The pro is that I can take all the credit. The con is that when I have a bad show, it’s all my faultDaniel M. Clark The basics to get started are pretty simple. Head to Amazon or Walmart and pick up a $25-$30 USB microphone headset. Plug it in to your computer. Open some recording software like Garageband or Audacity, and press Record. Talk for a while… then press Stop. Congrats, you’re a podcaster!Daniel M. Clark That’s the first half of course. The second half is that you need to publish it. For that, you need a media host like Blubrry.com or Libsyn.com, and preferably a website of your own to publish it to.Daniel M. Clark I say no Feedburner unless you absolutely need it – non-Wordpress users might want to use it to make their efforts easier. WordPress users have virtually no reason to use it. Plus… I personally don’t trust Google to keep it alive.Shane Ketterman Hey Daniel. A question I often hear from people is the use of live streaming online “radio shows” that can also quickly be transferred to a Podcast. What is your advice for this and do you have any favorite providers?Daniel M. Clark Judi, I think the key is to identify your audience, or your desired /potential audience, and ask yourself “what would they find interesting?” If your show is about kangaroos, find out what it is about kangaroos that people love, and then make that a central theme of your show. Of course, as a host, you need to be personable and lively, too. A dull host with a great topic won’t have much of a crowd listening. The opposite is true, too – an awesome host who talks about something nobody cares about won’t have many listeners.Daniel M. Clark Fake positive reviews… are controversial. There’s no doubt they can work – until you get caught. And you WILL get caught. It reminds me of all the search engine tricks that people have tried over the years that Google eventually caught on to – they worked at first, but when you got caught, you found yourself out of the search results. It’s not worth it, in my opinion. Word of mouth and genuine reviews, even if they aren’t perfect, work far better.Daniel M. Clark Thanks Shane! Streaming is a lot of fun, but it adds a few elements of complexity. You have to work on bringing in your audience at a certain day and time, which you don’t really worry about with a straight podcast. You have to (well, ideally) juggle doing your show and keeping one eye on the chat room (there should be one, again, ideally). Advice in this area: I like Mixlr.com. I don’t like BlogTalkRadio (poor audio quality) and I recommend recording your show locally on your equipment and then releasing *that* as a podcast, rather than using Mixlr’s (or whoever’s) recording. The quality will be better that way.Daniel M. Clark Thanks, Nick. One thing I wish I knew then… I wish I understood the potential right at the beginning. For the first… 18 months maybe? that I was podcasting, we did it just for a goof. I didn’t take it seriously, didn’t really try to build an audience, didn’t try to make any money with it… and I feel like if I knew how big it could be, I would have tried harder early on.Daniel M. Clark Mobile… not my strong suit, Dave. I have recorded things on the go, but not too often. My workflow is actually very similar to when I’m in the home studio though – I use my Tascam DR-07 to record into, and transfer the recording for upload to either my Macbook Pro or my iPad, depending on which device I have with me. If I have the MBP, I can do all the same post-production I do in the studio. If I have the iPad, I might just upload the recording as-is, because I haven’t investigated mobile apps for editing yet (since I haven’t had a need). Gooooood question, though. One that many podcasters will want to know more about. I’ll have a better answer next time I do this chat lolDaniel M. Clark Good question, Laurie. I’ve noticed that audience response depends greatly on the size of your audience. There’s probably some magic number that says “expect only x% of your audience to call, if you have an audience of a certain size”, but I couldn’t tell you what that number is. Most of my contacts are via email, from the contact form on my site. I sometimes get a voicemail, but iTunes reviews have been the toughest for me – because I don’t push them. You get what you ask for, for the most part – or at least… you won’t get what you don’t ask for. I’m not the aggressive type, so I don’t push… I should probably suck it up and do that, though lolDaniel M. Clark Thanks, Shaun. Actually, I’d say the same thing as I said to Laurie, and that’s to come out and ask – but don’t badger – your audience to do whatever it is you want them to do. If you want interaction, mention it a few times consistently. I’ve seen this work for shows that have a lot of call-ins. Have you ever noticed, especially on talk radio, whenever they come back from a commercial break, the host says his/her name and the station’s phone number? It works!Daniel M. Clark First timer mistakes… well, to me the biggest mistake I think is not being yourself and trying to put on some kind of persona. If you’re a first-timer, you *probably* don’t have the skills to pull that off. Listeners of podcasts want to hear you be yourself. Also, too much post-production can kill you. Don’t remove every single “um” and “ah” from your show. You end up with something that sounds unnatural and forced. Plus, it’s very, very time consuming – time better spent promoting your show and planning future episodes.Daniel M. Clark Oh – and legally speaking – don’t use music on your show that you down have the rights to! If you didn’t make the music, you probably don’t have the rights to it. Sources like Music Alley are great for finding good, “podsafe” music to use in your show. Commercial music, not so much.Daniel M. Clark I alluded to it a few minutes ago, but the big news is that I’ve written The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Podcaster, the latest in the Ultimate Guide series from NMX! It clocks in at, I think, about 170 pages (not sure if that changed in the final, final layout), but it’s the complete guide for podcasting basics. I cover beginner and some intermediate level topics, and anyone will be able to go from zero to podcast in no time flat!Daniel M. Clark Radio shows that have an RSS feed… sure. I think “podcasting” is broad enough to include those shows. You mean like when the morning radio show here in town says “go to the website and listen to the show again as a podcast”? Sure, I think that qualifies.Daniel M. Clark I wrote the book over a period of about 8 weeks, with the first half being about research, filling in gaps in my own knowledge, and handling the outline. The second four weeks was the bulk of the actual writing, and that was the most stressful (and fun) part. I write using an app called Scrivener, which is brilliant for writers.Daniel M. Clark Since I always spend a lot of time listening to podcasts and recording my own, I can’t say that I did any more of that specifically for the book, but it definitely helped along the way.Daniel M. Clark I guess the hour is up… thanks everyone who participated, and thanks everyone who lurked in the shadows and just read all the questions and answers Any follow-up, feel free to get in touch via the contact page at QAQN (http://qaqn.com/contact) or catch me on Twitter (@QAQN). And let me know what you think of the book, too!
Remember, podcasting is a fun and effective medium and it’s never too late to learn how to do it. Download The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Podcaster to get started! And, be sure to check out the podcasting track at NMX in January to learn even more about podcasting!