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How to Edit Your Podcast Like a Pro

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Podcasters, you’re in for a treat! Today, we have several top podcasters weighing in about a task that can be both time-consuming and frustrating: editing! The below advice comes from some of our NMX 2014 speakers who will be sharing their knowledge in the Podcasting Track and other NMX tracks.

Here are their best tips for editing your podcast:

jeremy frandsen “Hire a editor!  I used to waste 4 or more hours editing my show each week, because I was such a perfectionist.  Now, I send it to an editor.  It’s very inexpensive and you are much better off using that time to promote your podcast, schedule influential interviews, or plan future podcasts that will draw massive traffic.  There are many places you can hire an editor, but you can start by checking out elance.com” – Jeremy Frandsen, Internet Business Mastery
gary bembridge “Cut all the rambling and set up at the start of the podcast that you say when the microphone goes live. Start then from where you get into the meat of your topic. Think about radio shows and TV shows. They get into the plot or story from the start. We tend to share too much about ourselves, notices and off topic content before we start. Move that to the end. Even better, write a tight introduction or record it after you done the show.” – Gary Bembridge, Tips for Travellers and Marketing Mix Man
Chris Ducker “I record the podcast episode or video clip, dump it into Dropbox in all it’s raw, un-cut glory, and my VA’s handle the rest for me. They even upload the podcasts to my server, and the video clips to my YouTube channel, including a description, keywords, etc.” – Chris Ducker, ChrisDucker.com
john dumas “Adobe Audition is my best friend on editing days. You can assign hot keys, and my favorite hot key to assign is the marker. It allows me to press ‘m’ during the interview when I say something stupid, and go back and edit it out. I don’t have to listen to the WHOLE interview to find that one spot..I just go to the marker, edit, and move to the next one.” – John Lee Dumas, Entrepreneur on Fire
mike russell “When editing audio for your podcast, such as an interview, if the speaker repeats a word or stumbles over a phrase it’s often better to make edits in the middle of a word than it is to edit from the start or end of a sentence. Here’s a video showing exactly what I mean and how to put my tip into practice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNPclgelLB4” – Mike Russell, Music Radio Creative
kenn blanchard “My best editing tip for a podcaster or blogger is to cultivate and listen to an inner circle of “super fans” that consume all of your content as soon as you put it out and will “quickly” tell you if there is a type-o, glitch or shortcoming in your content so you can fix it.  Unlike those that just like to find fault, these fans are easy on your ego, and seek to make you better.  It is like having your mother review your blog or podcast.  That is the kind of “love” you get when you identify your niche.  One of the benefits of identifying your niche is that you can grow this garden of super fans that help you succeed.” – Rev. Kenn Blanchard, Blanchard Media Group and Black Man with a Gun
Erik Fisher “As far as editing goes, if you can help it, don’t. If you must, don’t spend too much time on it and definitely don’t break up the rhythm of the conversation or your natural speaking voice.” – Erik Fisher, Beyond the To-Do List
david jackson “Best audio editing tip is if you make a mistake, pause 10 seconds and then continue. This makes it super easy to spot in the recording and will decrease your editing time.

Also some software titles (I use Sony Sound forge) let you play the file at a faster speed. I have found I can listen at 1.78 (almost double speed) and still catch the subtle things that may need edited.” – Dave Jackson, School of Podcasting

CC Chapman “I’d say not to edit at all. Hearing your authentic voice even with the background noise and interruptions makes it more authentic. People will come to appreciate it.” – C.C. Chapman, CC-Chapman.com

What is your best podcast editing tip? Leave a comment below!

6 Steps to Becoming a Podcaster

Author:
be-a-podcaster-fi

One year and some weeks ago, I wrote an article here at Blogw—well, at the time it was Blogworld—called A Beginner’s Guide to Podcasting Basics. Thinking about what I wanted to write this week, I figured re-visiting that might be a good idea. More and more people are becoming interested in the medium all the time, after all. Does becoming a podcaster really come down to six steps? Well… not really. There’s a lot more steps once you start to break it down. Still, in the interest of not scaring people away, let’s just call it six.

Create a Show Overview

It would be cliché of me to say that if you fail to plan you plan to fail, right? So, I won’t say that. What I will say, is that planning and preparation begins long before you fire up the microphone and start making mouth noise. Start at the beginning. Open up Evernote, Word, Pages, Notepad, TextEdit—a pencil and paper will do. What I suggest is creating a document that will serve as your roadmap going forward.

  • What will your show be about? Knitting? Comedy? Baseball cards? The tragic rise and fall of the Turkish empire? Kangaroos? (It should totally be about kangaroos.)
  • Who will be hosting and/or co-hosting?
  • When will you record?
  • How long will the episodes be? Fifteen minutes? Half hour? More?
  • Who will the audience be? Where will you find them?
These questions should get you thinking broadly about the general direction of the show. You might also consider ideas for the artwork, how it will fit into your website (or if you need a new website), and how you might monetize the show (if at all).

Gear Up

You have many, many choices when it comes to podcasting equipment. Start cheap. If you’re a new podcaster and you don’t know if you’re going to enjoy it or not, there is no sense at all in spending a lot of money. Gearing up can mean simply buying a USB microphone headset if you don’t have one already, and a decent one can be found on Amazon, at Best Buy or at Walmart (to name just a few) for as little as $20-25.

Eventually, once you realize how awesome podcasting is and how much fun you’re totally having, you may want to upgrade to more professional equipment. A pro microphone, together with a mixer and a pair of pro headphones might set you back several hundred dollars, but you’ll sound like a million bucks.

Close enough.

Part of gearing up is considering your recording environment. You likely have a room you can record in. A bedroom or home office is good, but beware of room acoustics if the room is large. Too much echo, or reverb, can have an undesirable effect on your podcast. If you can’t find a room without a terrible echo… try a closet. Just remember to come out for air every now and then.

Record!

The fun part! You have your overview, you have a microphone and something to record your voice. You have Skype set up to bring in a co-host if necessary. Everything looks great, LET’S DO THIS THING! If you are hardware-based, you will likely have a dedicated digital audio recording device, but if you’re starting off with a USB headset and your computer, you’ll need software. The free Audacity app is a great choice for both PC and Mac users. Macs come with Garageband, which is also good, and if you have the budget, Adobe Audition is available for PCs and Macs.

Position your microphone correctly for best results: not too close to your mouth, not too far away. The key is to position it in such a way that you’re not breathing on it. Outside of a Star Wars podcast, nobody wants to hear Darth Vader on the mic. Test! Don’t press record for the first time and do your show for an hour—you need to test. Record a minute and play it back. See how it sounds. Once you’re happy, launch into your content.

Edit

If you want your show to sound professional, if you want to build an audience, you need to edit. This does not mean removing every second of dead air, nor does it mean removing every instance of “um” or “ah”. Aggressive editing of things like that can make your show sound stilted and unnatural. Twenty second pauses? Sure, cut those out. It’s about being reasonable.

More important though, is to take care of the most basic editing task: setting your levels. Your volume mustn’t be too loud. If it’s too low, listeners will have to crank their volume to hear you and then when they go to play a Justin Beiber song right afterward, their speakers will get blown out. And who will they blame?

His victims are innumerable, but you can’t pin this on him.

They’ll blame you for not setting your levels correctly, and then they’ll unsubscribe from your podcast. Every editor has a meter that shows you the levels. Aim for -6 dB to -1dB. That’s the range you want your levels to bounce in. Try for the sweet spot right in the middle of that and you’ll have it right.

Publish

Once you’ve recorded and edited, it’s time to give your show to the world. Although you don’t technically need your own website, you really should have one, and it really should be based on WordPress. While it is possible to be a podcaster using a different platform, it is not recommended unless you already have extensive knowledge of that platform. Podcasting support and resources for non-Wordpress platforms tends to be very thin.

Your show’s MP3 file needs a home, and it should not be on a shared web hosting environment. Shared web hosts will shut you down if you chew up too many system resources, and a popular show serving up 30-50 MB files to thousands of people is considered out-of-bounds. A dedicated media host like Libsyn or Blubrry is the way to go.

Get Feedback, Grow

Arguably the most important part of being a podcaster isn’t the equipment, isn’t the show, it’s the audience and the feedback they provide. Your show isn’t perfect. Your audience will tell you what needs fixing. If you fix it, you grow. If you don’t, you lose your audience and then it doesn’t matter that you spend $300 on a microphone because nobody is listening. Make feedback easy for them to send and for you to collect. A contact page on your site is vital. A listener call-in line (free through Google Voice) is awesome. Making yourself available on Twitter (and to a lesser extent in my opinion, Facebook) is a great idea.

That’s it, Right?

Nah, that’s not it. Like I said, there’s way more than six steps once you start breaking these things down into their components. My aim here is to outline the basics in such a way that people interested in podcasting will have a general overview of what the process is like. Thoughts? Questions? The comment section below is wide open, I’d love to hear from you.

Working with Sponsors for your Podcast [Video Series]

Author:

If you’re a podcaster, one of the ways you can make money with your content is by working with sponsors. Yet, if you simply wait for the sponsors to come to you, you might be waiting a long time! In this three-part video series, we’ll cover what sponsors are looking for, how to evaluate and work with sponsors, and how to set your prices and treat your podcast like a business.

Part One: The Three Things Every Sponsor Wants (and where to find them) – Straight from the Mouth of a Sponsor! with Mark Fuccio

Part Two: Evaluating Sponsors: The Courtship and Marriage with David Sparks

Part Three: Treating Your Podcast Like a Business and Setting Your Sponsorship Prices with Lou Mongello

If you love this video series, you can find even more information about working with sponsors for your podcast (or blog) by picking up our FREE 130-page ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Blog and Podcast Sponsorship.

Three Steps To The Art Of The Tease

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Photo Credit: Tiom

When you want your listeners to stick around and listen to what you have to say, you need to give them a compelling reason.Your listener needs to anticipate what is to come later in the show. You need to excite them. You need to tease them.

Anticipation is a key feature to storytelling. Your story should build just like a good plot builds in a movie. You need to make your audience anticipate the content that is on the way.

Your story is similar to a vacation you are planning to take. The fantastic anticipation for the trip is almost as pleasurable as the trip itself. You can’t wait for it to arrive. You want your listener to feel the same way about your story.

When your listener can’t wait for the story to arrive, you have created some great content with a powerful tease. Your listeners will get more enjoyment from your show when they get the tease payoff more often. The pleasure of the “oh wow” factor will be increased. The joy of anticipation will keep your audience coming back for more.

There are three steps to creating an effective tease.

1. Intrigue me.

When you promote content that is coming up later in the show, you must give your audience an intriguing reason to stick around. It isn’t enough to simply say, “A great story about this weekend is coming up.” Few will stick around for the payoff. The tease lacks stickiness. It doesn’t hook the listener.

A creative tease produces anticipation. Instead, use something like, “You’re never gonna believe what I found in the attic this past weekend. My world is about to take a wild turn.” With that statement, your imagination begins to work.

What could it be? A wasp nest? An antique? A structural problem with the house? Imagination is the magic of a creative tease. Stir the imagination of your audience to truly engage them with your content.

When possible, intrigue by incorporating the listeners world. “This weekend, I discovered a way to save $100 a month on my grocery bill by changing one thing in the way we shop. I’ll tell you how you can do it too.” It answers “what’s in it for me” for your listener.

2. Give them 80%.

To create an effective tease, give your listener 80% of the story while leaving out the most important 20%. It is similar to giving the setup for a joke without providing the punchline. Lead your listener right up to the line, but make them wait to step over.

The key to an effective tease is to withhold the most important 20%. Let’s use our previous example of the attic weekend. I could say, “You’re not gonna believe it, but I found a $25,000 antique painting in the attic this weekend. I’ll tell you what’s on it coming up.”

This is a perfect example of withholding the wrong 20%. Who cares who is on it. If it’s worth $25,000, it could be a painting of the sky. It wouldn’t matter to me. I’d only be asking where I could sell it.

Twenty-five thousand dollars is the most exciting piece of information in the entire story. That is the piece that I need to withhold to create some excitement. To properly tease, I need to say, “In the attic this weekend, I found an antique painting of Napoleon. You’re never gonna believe how much it is worth.” You are more likely to stick around to see if I can retire on my winnings when I set it up in this fashion.

3. Make it impossible to search online.

You want your listener to keep listening for the payoff to your set up. If I can simply search on Google for the answer to your tease, there is no reason to keep listening. I can just look it up and be done with it.

You need to get creative to make your tease unsearchable.

Let’s say I have a story about Joe Celebrity getting drunk at High Profile Bar in Las Vegas over the weekend where he got arrested for assault. I could say, “Another movie star got arrested this weekend after he got in a fight with a customer at High Profile Bar in Las Vegas. I’ll tell you who it is coming up.”

Celebrity name is part of the correct 20% I’m withholding. However, I can look this story up on Google in a heartbeat. If I search “Arrest High Profile Bar Las Vegas” the chances are good that I will find the story in the first few search results. The tease isn’t effective. It is too easy to search.

To make the tease more powerful, make it impossible to search. “Another bar fight over the weekend landed another celebrity in jail. The story is coming up.” This tease makes it much more difficult to search. If you entered “celebrity bar fight weekend” in Google, 70 million results show up. It will be much easier to wait for my payoff than to begin searching 70 million Google entries.

The three steps to powerful teases will help you begin to engage your audience on the way to building powerful relationships. Use the three steps to entice people to listen to the episode. Then, use them again during the introduction of the show to get listeners to enjoy the entire recording.

You’ve worked hard to create your content. A lot of effort has been exerted on your part while writing and recording your show. Make your content intriguing by using these three steps to intrigue your audience.

When you use the art of the tease, your listeners will spend more time with your show. The increased frequency of the tease payoffs will help your audience enjoy your content more. When your show is more entertaining, it becomes more engaging. When you truly engage your audience with your content, you can begin building powerful relationships. That’s where trust and influence with your listener begins.

Five Questions with Daniel Lewis: BlogWorld New York [Video]

Author:
Daniel Lewis
Daniel Lewis

Daniel Lewis of the Ramen Noodle Podcast answers Five Questions

Are you going to BlogWorld New Media Expo New York? Let everyone know – we will have opportunities for your voice to be heard!

In this first episode of BlogWorld TV, Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine makes the call out to the public. If you are going to BlogWorld New York, feel free to create a 10-second video (send it to jeff@blogworldexpo.com) and he’ll add it to future episodes. All you have to do is get on camera and say:

My name is ________ and I am going to BlogWorld & New Media Expo in New York June 5-7!

Also, in today’s BlogWorld TV segment, Jeffrey talks with Daniel Lewis of the Ramen Noodle Podcast. Daniel will be speaking on two BlogWorld panel sessions in New York, “Podcasting 101, Parts 1 & 2″. Today, we find out what Daniel plans to do in New York in June, if there are any social media rockstars he wants to meet, and which social network he promotes.

 

Remember That a Podcast is Just One Tool in Your Online Armoury

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During the January just past, as people look at their New Year resolutions and decided to try out some new projects, I’ve had quite a few people come up to me (okay, pinged me on IM, but you get the idea) and ask about starting a podcast. While many of them are looking for more technical details, I’ve always asked them what they’re looking to get out of the podcast.

I’m trying to figure out if a podcast is the right thing for them.

In many circumstances, people are looking to explore the podcasting space, to find out how it all works, to see how they get on with it, and have a bit of fun. There’s nothing wrong with that – one of my popular podcasts started as a few shows on my personal blog and it eventually became too big for me to not notice the traffic and “spin it out” to its own site.

But for a long time that show was just a hobby, with it’s own little corner of my website. And while I have long running shows that are nothing more than a weekly podcast posted on a basic blog, that’s a great place to start and learn the ropes. But if anyone is looking to start up a podcast with a serious goal in mind to be noticed and get coverage, I always come back to the same piece of advice.

A podcast will rarely stand alone.

And if you think about it, you would never start a new site and not have an RSS feed. You wouldn’t ignore Facebook, or Google Plus. You’d make sure to have a Twitter account. I’d argue that providing a podcast, be it audio or video, is one of those tools. It’s rare that a podcast will be the only tool you use (just as it is rare a Twitter account would be the only tool you use), but it can be an important one.

It provides a voice to your site, and a regular spot to engage directly with your readers. It allows a different type of discussion to be taken, it provides continuity and regularity if done well, and keeps your readers interested in your content. The podcast is a surgical tool, but it’s one that is easy to wield. And in my opinion there are very few circumstances where a podcast would not help improve a site.

The Power of Community in Your Podcast

Author:

Christmas is a time for giving, and that’s true for your online communities as well as family and friends in real life. Just before the holidays started I was reminded of the connection that a show can have between the listeners and the producers.

This time, I was the listener, and looking forward to the Christmas show from Radio International. It’s one of a number of sites based around the Eurovision Song Contest, and hosts a weekly podcast and radio broadcast in the Netherlands, and a few days before the festive broadcast I learned that JP, the host, wouldn’t be able to run the Christmas show – one that everyone was looking forward to.

So I volunteered.

Was it the same show that JP would have put out? I suspect not – a three hour show, with music, chat, and news has its own vibrancy derived from the host in the chair. Besides, I was sitting in the Belgian studio with JP’s music collection, but up in Edinburgh with a slightly more esoteric Scottish flavoured collection.

But with some help from many of the listeners I reached out to, a playlist was put together, guests were told of the new arrangements, and I sat down with a few spare hours and made sure that Radio International had their weekly show.

The community contributed to the show in the best way possible, and for me that was one of the best shows I have done. It also shows that everyone’s online shows are about more than a one to many broadcast – they are about personal connections, interactions, and friendships that flow in both directions.

That’s what makes new media so unique, special, and personal. And that’s what makes it an amazing space to continue to explore as we head into the new year.

Have a Million SIM cards, Will Travel

Author:

The last few weeks have seen me bouncing around Europe as I cover various bits and pieces for the Eurovision Song Contest. Running a regular podcast on that subject means that I had lots of content to post, and with the events, lots of news and social media to interact with.

Which is why my first job on landing at an airport has been to find a local SIM card for my smartphone.

Yes there are some cute options for roaming data, but let’s take Armenia as example. Using my Orange UK SIM card while in the capital city of Yerevan I could roam at £5.50 per megabyte. In the local currency that’s just shy of 4000 dram a megabyte. Or I could walk into the high street store, show my passport, and walk out with a local SIM that would charge just 5 dram a megabyte.

One of these options is going to be for “a real emergency” while another will allow me to stay connected, to reply to Twitter messages, to keep up to data on Facebook, post to my blog, moderate comments…

…and let me upload my podcasts.

Yes, there’s every chance that I can find some wi-fi or use a hotel lobby, but that’s never guaranteed, and in any case it’s still cheaper to go with a local mobile number and the data charge than it is to pay for twenty four hours of hotel wi-fi. The rise of international SIM services can help, but these are still mostly geared to voice, and not data. Those that are can rarely compete with local prices.

If all goes to plan, I’ll be bouncing round Europe for the next three months, and in my bag will be a little collection of SIM cards, each with enough credit for a weekend of “unlimited” browsing on my mobile phone (which doubles as a hotspot). It’s all well and good being able to get stories, but it’s even more important to know you can get them onto the web without relying on anyone else or breaking the bank. Because if you have a great post about a tree falling in the woods that you can’t get online, then did the tree even fall?

BlogWorld is Over, But Your Work is Not Yet Done.

Author:
blogworld keynote

Run the checklist, is your life anything like mine at the moment: Tired limbs, sore heads, great memories and a box full of business cards, notes and scrawled twitter handles…

Yes, the LA Blog World Expo is over, but that doesn’t mean you can start planning #bweny for 2012 just yet. To get the most from your conference, it’s time to do some follow-up, and make sure that the connections you made at the Convention Centre continue to work for you. Here are three easy steps to keeping the Blog World Expo moments alive for the rest of the year, and beyond.

First up, decide who you are going to reconnect with. I know the temptation is to go through all the collected business cards and say “Hi I met you at Blog World”, but I’ve always sent emails that either finish a discussion with an action point, or have some content that needs auctioned.

By all means send the personal ones out (especially if you can’t find them on Twitter or Facebook!), but there is nothing wrong in not following up with someone if there is no fit with you away from the exhibition hall floor – the exception being if you couldn’t give them details and you need to give them your details.

Go through the cards, file the ones that need to be filed, and action the rest.

Keep those first emails short and snappy – everyone is recovering from the Conference, so a quick one line reminder as to who you are, and what you’d like to do next. Be it a guest blog post, explore some licensing opportunities, or asking for a price list, make a clear action point.

Chances are, with all these follow-ups going around, you’ll have some yourself to answer. In which case answer them with the same focus, but place a deadline on it. For example, “thanks for getting back to me to ask for the pricing, here’s the PDF and I’ll be back in touch at the end of next week“.

You worked hard to get to BlogWorld (and the team putting on the conference worked even harder), but don’t stop now. Just a little bit more work and you can make sure you get the best results out of your time in LA.

How to Miss a Podcast and Make it Work For You

Author:
CaseyKasem

It was really easy for Casey Kasem when he wanted to take a week of America’s Top 100. There’s an expectation in radio (and to a certain extent on TV) that you will get the occasional guest host standing in. This has lead to some great moments the world over – John Peel taking over the BBC Radio 1 lunchtime show and continuing to play his usual late night mix of new and undiscovered bands instead of bland “popular” music is one close to my heart — but what happens on your podcast when you need to take a break?

It’s all about planning ahead, and deciding what option you’re going to do.

The easiest choice is to go dark. Depending on your style of podcast, you can prep the audience on why you are going away, when you are back, and ask them not to be too disappointed. Sometimes this is the only choice, but it goes against many of the main rules of thumb for successful podcasting, the biggest being “keep it regular”.

It’s possible, again depending on your format, to pre-record an extra show or two and have them in the can and ready to go, either by hitting publish from a mobile browser while you are away, or setting a publish date in the blogging software running the podcast to make the post and podcast live at the regular time. This is a strategy advised by many for those with text based blogs, and the same is true for podcasters.

Of course many podcasts are based around news and current events, and that makes a pre-record a bit trickier. You could always resort to a “Best Of” clip show if the cover is for a single show, otherwise you need to think of another way. If you have a group discussion podcast, it’s usually a simple matter to cover one missing pundit, but what if you’re running solo (at least to your listeners)?

Well, you’re back to Casey Kasem, it’s time to draft in a substitute. If you’ve been interacting with the community around your podcast and the area, you’ll know the people that are switched on enough to do a show. Some of them may well be other podcasters (and you’ll know this because you are listening to the competition, aren’t you?). A quick email asking if they would like to be involved and do one show, and not only are you working with your community to benefit them, you’ve an option to reach out to new listeners (the followers of your stand-in host).

That’s a win all round.

In the big game that is social media, podcasting, and the internet, there are very few problems that cannot be turned to your advantage. Going on holiday is one of them.

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