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Podcasting & Radio

Choose Your Weapon: Podcasting Tools

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When it comes to setting up your tools for podcasting, it is entirely possible to spend $35,000! You can choose a $10,000 mixer, two or three microphones at $1000 each and a Mac Pro to tie it all together for the low price of $20,000 (seriously, customize it at apple.com to see what twenty grand gets you). Headphones, cabling, software and accessories… sure, you can easily spend $35,000 or more.

It is also entirely possible to spend $300 on a netbook or small laptop and call it done.

Somewhere in the middle is where you really want to be. Podcasting neither needs to cost more than a college eduction nor be so cheap that overall quality suffers. Fortunately, there are some really great podcasting tools in the middle. In fact, there’s gear in the middle that can make it sound—to your average listener—like you’re talking on a crazy-expensive rig.

The Basics

I won’t assume you have a computer for this exercise. You could very well be reading this in your local library or maybe you’ve just got an iPad. It’s possible. So first, you need a computer. PC or Mac, doesn’t matter. If you’re budget-conscious, stick with PC. Off the shelf, they are far less expensive. If you have a bit of money to invest, consider a Mac. Though pricier, they tend to be more reliable for average users. Let’s not have a giant flame-war here, okay? I said consider, right? Any computer manufactured in the last decade will suffice as far as horsepower and capability, so find your ideal price range and pick a computer.

Your next choice (or your first since you probably have the computer covered) is whether or not you want a hardware or software recording solution. Going with software is cheaper but requires more work with results that can vary wildly. Going with hardware gives professional-level results but is more expensive.

If you choose to go the software route, you’ll need recording and editing software at a minimum, but please throw in a USB headset. Recording into your computer’s built-in microphone nearly always sounds terrible. For the PC, try out Audacity, Adobe Audition, Sony SoundForge or Google for alternatives to these applications. I’m a Mac user so I have no personal recommendation, but I’ve used both Audacity and Audition on the Mac side and am very pleased with both. GarageBand on the Mac is also a solid recommendation. That’s really all there is to the software route. Recording/editing software and a web browser are all you really need to publish.

The list of necessary items grows when you get into hardware. In addition to your computer, you’ll need a mixer, a microphone, headphones and cabling to hook it all up at a minimum. I’ve recently added a boom arm (love it) and I’ll be adding a rack-mounted audio processor (a compressor/limiter/gate) in the near future. A nice 8-channel mixer will support a couple of microphones and other assorted input sources – like a computer, tablet or phone. Your microphone can be dynamic or condenser. Your headphones should be comfortable and produce good sound. Your mixer will output to either your computer for recording (via your computer’s audio input jack or USB) or to a dedicated audio recorder (like the Tascam unit that I use, for example). Podcasting equipment needn’t be super-expensive; you can budget for $1000 and set up your own studio in an hour or two.

So, which will it be? Will you be doing your show with a software solution or will you be trying out a hardware set-up?

Podcasting on a Schedule

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The last article I wrote for BlogWorld was posted nearly a month ago. I’m supposed to be writing bi-weekly, but with BlogWorld NY happening two weeks ago, during my normally scheduled time, I skipped. I could have sent an article anyway – in fact, I had intended to. I figured I’d send the article and if they had time to post it during the hectic time, they would.

But then…

Life bit me on the butt. We moved into a new house that needed a bit of renovating and we had to get settled. My daughter was ending her Kindergarten school year. I had obligations to… well, let’s just say that I put off writing that article for BlogWorld until my regularly scheduled time had passed. I missed my opportunity to keep to the schedule that readers expect, and that’s a big deal whether you’re blogging, podcasting or producing any other content on a schedule.

I’m new around here, and I’ve rationalized to myself that being late this early in my tenure here probably isn’t a huge deal – it’s not like I have tens of thousands of readers waiting for Tuesdays to roll around so they can read my stuff, right? But it’s still a rationalization. Ten or ten thousand, one of the keys to success as a content producer is regularity: setting up and meeting audience expectations.

We podcasters have, in my opinion, an even tougher situation when it comes to scheduling. A blogger can often use quantity to overcome regularity. Posting five times a week can mean it’s okay to post on five random days each week, but many (most, I suspect) podcasters only do one show per week. We’ve been trained by decades of radio and television to expect audio and video content at a set day and time – look at any TV show that got canceled after being moved to a new time slot. If your show is posted on Fridays, you’ll lose listeners the week you post three days late. Or the week you skip altogether.

Sometimes life will bite you on the butt. Times like that, you need a plan. You can suck it up and record the next show, or you can do something a little more… elaborate. For example, I recently turned unintended downtime of a week or two into a six-week long hiatus for all but one of my shows. I’m building a podcasting studio in my new house, and I’m going to debut that along with a reboot of all my shows all at once. It will be a great jumping-on point for new listeners and hopefully generate some buzz as well.

Whether you go simple and just jump back into your groove or go elaborate and come up with a big plan, you’ve got to stick to the schedule you set for yourself. Your listeners expect nothing less.

P.S. Are you a podcaster? Did you attend BlogWorld Expo? I couldn’t attend this one (for what should be obvious reasons after reading this article!) so I’m curious what your take on it was. I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments!

The Streaming Garage Story – Not The Usual Suspects In Talk Show

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Session Title: The Streaming Garage Story – Not The Usual Suspects In Talk Show – AND – The GSPN Story – Building A Community That Pays The Bills
Speaker: Cliff Ravenscraft
Date: Thursday, May 26
Time: 9:00 AM
Location: Jacob Javits Center 1A12

Hi there, my name is Cliff Ravenscraft and the video below is my invitation for you to come check out my BlogWorld session. If you have any questions before or after the session, you can reach me via email at Cliff@PodcastAnswerMan.com or via Twitter @GSPN. Please check out this video and make plans to attend my session. Look forward to seeing you there!

 

In December of 2005, Cliff Ravenscraft started a hobby that, over time, had radically changed his life. He and his wife began podcasting about their favorite television show, Lost. One thing led to another, and before they knew it, they had created an entire network of podcasts. Prior to podcasting, Cliff had been an extremely successful independent insurance agent licensed to sell property, casualty, life, and health insurance.

In January 2008, Cliff left his career in insurance, after 11 years, to pursue his passion in podcasting full-time. Today, Cliff makes a decent living as a podcast producer, consultant, and coach. Cliff and his wife Stephanie have produced well over 2,000 individual podcast episodes of more than 20 different shows, and are effectively sharing their lives and ministering to tens of thousands of people around the world on a daily basis. You can follow him on Twitter @GSPN or on Facebook and LinkedIn.

5 Reasons I’m a Podcaster

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I’ve done a lot of things online—blogging, forums, Twitter, Facebook and much more—but what I’ve loved the most is podcasting. When I tell people that I meet that I’m a podcaster, I invariably get two questions. The first is usually “what is podcasting?” The second is almost always “why do you do that?”

  1. Podcasting is the most portable form of information dissemination there is. If you’re looking to consume information, nothing beats podcasting for consumption anywhere. With television, you need a screen to look at. Same with websites and books. Try doing any of those three things while driving a car. But you can listen to a podcast anytime, anywhere. With an iPod, a Zune or a similar device, you can consume that content in the car, at the gym, on a train – heck, you can listen to a podcast while skiing down a mountain. Podcasting even beats radio, as anyone who travels through a tunnel on their way to work can attest.
  2. It’s completely unregulated and open. Remember that movie Pump Up the Volume? These days, Harry would be a podcaster. Why bother with pirate radio that only reaches the people in your town when you can podcast and reach nearly everyone on the planet? The government isn’t going to come down on you; you can use any profanities you like, talk about any topics you want, and not worry about getting fined or arrested. The only thing that movie had that’s missing here is Samantha Mathis.
  3. Not everyone is doing it. Unlike blogging, which feels like everyone and their dog is doing, podcasting is undertaken by a relatively small number of people. I’d never suggest that it’s easy to dominate the top spots in the various directories and search engines for your topic, but where there might be 100,000 blogs about marketing and how to make money online, there’s probably only 99,999 podcasts about… wait, that’s a bad example. Don’t let the number of podcast producers fool you into thinking that nobody is listening, though. Billions of episodes are downloaded yearly—and that’s just the stats from one service. Podcasting has fans.
  4. It’s inexpensive to do on your own. For a beginner, a computer and a headset are all that are required for a decent-sounding show. For those that want to make more of an effort, some good equipment can be had for under $200. Want something a little more Pro? You can get into some excellent gear for under $1000. That’s it. Compare that to producing high-quality video: a camera or two, lighting, sound, set elements and editing software can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. Yes, you can do video on the cheap, realtively speaking, but on the whole, DIY podcasting is far easier, financially, to get into.
  5. People don’t expect something from you daily. This is an important one for me, despite my desire to put out four or five shows a week. The common wisdom with blogging is that you should write something every day (or several times a week at least) in order to build an audience. That was always a problem for me; I found that I hated trying to come with something worthy of being read every day. Podcasts though, are expected weekly for the most part. If you’re putting out a new 30 minute episode once a week, you’re doing great! If you’re doing multiple shows, you’re downright prolific.

At the risk of ruining my third point, I do encourage people to podcast! Why not see if you can work it into your existing online efforts? Try producing a 20-30 minute show once a week for six weeks and see what happens; you might be pleasantly surprised at the results.

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Andrew Zarian (Guys From Queens Network) Says: ‘Be Consistent’

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I recently had the chance to chat with Andrew Zarian – founder of Guys From Queens Network, a web based television network covering a range of topics – from Technology to Entertainment and more. Andrew was willing to divulge his advice about finding sponsors for your show, and his key piece of advice (which works for anyone generating content) is to “Be Consistent”!  Here’s what else we talked about:

What was your initial goal for starting Guys From Queens Network?

My initial goal was to keep me busy! I had just recently gotten laid off from my IT job. I was about a month into looking for a new job and I was just trying to keep busy. It was a hobby. I’d never tried podcasting before, I didn’t know much about it. I was a big fan of radio growing up, so I decided I was going to start doing a podcast with one of my friends. It kind of spun into a full time job within 6 or 7 months. It became a real thing and a year and a half later, we started making some money. It kind of spun into what it is now. I had never gone into it with the goal of, “I’m going to create this network and I’m going to make a lot of money.”

I see you started off in podcasting, what made you switch to video?
I did a couple audio podcasts and I kind of wanted to get some feedback from the audience. We discovered Ustream, Justin.tv, and Stickam so we kind of moved it into a video-themed show. It’s pretty much always been a video-based show, we just have a podcast format because we release it in audio and video.

I kind of wanted that connection with that audience. It’s totally different when you’re in a room with a person and talking with them, or when you’re broadcasting and you see 5,000 or 6,000 people. You see their comments and it’s kind of a connection because you change the way you do the show, because they’re interacting with the show.

What is your main content focus and has that shifted at all over the past two years?
We started off, it was a variety show. The network is pretty broad, we try to have something for everybody. We have a comedy aspect, we have a shock-jock type show, we have a tech show, we have a men’s call-in show. We try to base our network for everybody. That’s our goal. We want to attract as many people as possible.

The core has always been technology. That’s something we can’t ever eliminate. So we try to cater to them a little more than anything else.

What shows did you launch with?
The first show was the Andrew Zarian show.

And how did you choose to add shows after that? Were you going for more variety?
We started off with that and then one of the viewers wanted to do a technology show. He reached out to me and we tried it a couple times. It worked great. We have a couple viewers who became part of the network. A couple people I knew that wanted to get into this field ended up coming on board. So, it’s just here and there we added shows and it grew.

You say it took some time to start making money with the site. Did you search for sponsors initially or did you wait until you grew your audience? How did you go about monetizing the show?
I never wanted to reach out to sponsors without having the audience. I know a lot of people want to monetize, and you need to monetize if you plan on doing this long term. But you need to realize you need an audience and a certain type of demo that’s going to attract advertisers. I really waited, about a year, until I started looking for an advertiser. We reached out to a number of companies early on, but we didn’t hear back because we didn’t have any press or any name-recognition, but we started off with GoDaddy, Audible and some affiliate stuff. About 8 or 9 months ago Hover reached out to us. They’re big supporters of the network, they really push the network. They’re long-term sponsors of us.

I would advise everyone, it’s always great to look for sponsors, but many times they’ll reach out to you. I was told by somebody that’s really involved with this, that there’s more companies looking to spend money than there are looking to accept the money. So you’d be surprised!

What types of marketing do you implement to drive readers to the site and shows?
I’m always a big fan of providing good content. If you do good content, people will come. I really haven’t pushed online. Facebook and Twitter are a huge huge help. If you tweet on something interesting, people will find you based on that.

So, How much time does the network spend on social media?
We have interns constantly on Facebook and Twitter, monitoring what people are saying, and will Tweet about it, we’ll reply. Pretty much all day we’re on!

Now, what about your blog? How does that work tie in with the shows?
We just started doing some blogs, about six months ago, so we’re taking it slow. We’re looking to add more that tie into what we talk about each week. The blog has been kind of separate but we’re bringing it all together so the blog is an extension of what we do on the shows.

If you could offer one bit of advice for someone new to podcasting or video blogging, what would it be?
Try to get through 22 shows. If you can get through 22 shows, you know that you have something good. I notice a lot of people give up after a couple weeks because they realize it’s not working out the way they’re doing it, it’s not what they expected. I would tell people to stick to it for at least 22 weeks because you’ve got to craft and fine-tune what you’re doing.

It’s a funny question, because I have a hard time explaining to someone that there are no shortcuts. People think that there’s some switch you turn on and you get an audience. It’s a combination of things. You really have to keep doing it and be consistent. If you’re consistent, you’ll grab a couple of people. But don’t be discouraged if you only have ten or twenty people watching.

If you’re reaching out to 50 people, and those 50 people are going to tell somebody, you’re going to grow what you’re doing. That 50 could easily turn into 1000. If you’re consistently putting out a decent product. The worst thing you could ever do is say, “Ah, I’m not going to do it this week.”

If you’re not there for a week, they’re going to forget about you. There’s so much good content on the Internet. What are you doing that’s so different from anybody else? If they feel that you’re not into it and giving it 110%, they’re not going to stick around.

So pretty much, be consistent. If you’re consistent you can grow your brand.

Thanks Andrew! You can find Guys From Queens Network live blogging at BlogWorld NY and Andrew is speaking for the Digital Broadcasting track.

12 Days of Blogging 2010: 4 Podcast Hosts

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Written content isn’t your only option if you want to be a successful blogger. In fact, those who are taking the initiative to work with other forms of media have a much greater opportunity for success in many cases, since there are fewer people doing podcasts and video content. For today’s 12 Days of Blogging 2010 post, I wanted to feature four people who are awesome podcasters – and some of the advice they have for others interested in this form of blogging.

1. Brilliant Marketing Tactics: Podcasts and Interviews by Srinivas Rao at The Skool of Life

Srini, along with Sid Savara, runs BlogcastFM, and it’s no secret that I love this site. BlogcastFM posts multiple podcasts every week with awesome bloggers who have something to teach us about making more money, finding more traffic, and so on. Who better to speak on podcasting than someone who’s done dozens of them with some of the most respected bloggers in the industry? Writes Srini:

People always ask me how I come up with so many ideas  and I guess it would be appropriate to say  “I don’t. These are just combinations of hundreds of people’s ideas that I’m putting together.”  I learn something from every single person I interview whether they are big, small, have 100 subscribers or 1000.

Head to The Skool of Life to read more advantages to podcasting, as well as find links to useful resources on getting started. You can also follow Srini on Twitter @skooloflife.

2. How To Conduct A Quality Podcast Interview by Yaro Starak at Entrepreneurs-Journey.com

Yaro’s done countless interviews with industry professionals, and since he first started podcasting, he’s learned a lot about what works and what does not – at least for him. In this post, he talks about how he does interviews with guests for his podcast and why these techniques work. From the post:

To this day I still listen to podcasts, and especially love interviews with experts (and music of course too), however I’ve noticed that many podcast interviews are just not well done. While I don’t consider myself the best of the best when it comes to podcasts, I’ve done over 60 of them in the last five years and I thought it was about time I wrote something on how exactly to conduct a quality podcast interview.

You can read more from Yaro at Entrepreneurs-Journey.com and follow him on Twitter @yarostarak.

3. The Selfish Art of Podcasting by Mitch Joel at Six Pixels of Separation

Mitch has done over 200 podcast episodes over the past few years, and in this post he reflects on the reasons why he loves this medium for blogging. Writes Mitch:

While it’s humbling to know that people like (and listen) to the show, it really is a very selfish act. I use the platform of a Podcast as a gateway to meet people who are smarter than me and people who I want to learn from. I use the platform of a Podcast as a gateway to connect and learn from some of the brightest minds in Marketing and business. The bonus of all of this, is that I can publish these podcasts for anyone and everyone to listen to, but I don’t do it for the listeners or the community. I do it because I can get people like Seth Godin, Don Tapscott, David Weinberger, Sally Hogshead, Charlene Li, Steve Wozniak and many others all to myself for a brief moment in time.

It’s an interesting benefit to podcasting that you may not have considered in the past. I love that it opens up a discussion too – why do you podcast? To read more (and listen to his podcast of course), head to Six Pixels of Separation. You can follow Mitch on Twitter @mitchjoel.

4. A Voice For Your Vision: How to Make Podcasting Work for Your Business by Doug Heacock – guest post for Freelance Switch

What I like about this post on Freelance Switch is that it goes over both the advances and disadvantages of podcasting. While podcasting can be beneficial for many bloggers, it certainly isn’t right for everyone. From the post:

If you’re passionate about what you do, you have already fulfilled one of the first prerequisites for podcasting: you have something to say. Like good blogging, good podcasting is all about the content. If you have quality content to share, and if you can learn how to produce, distribute and promote your podcast effectively, people who are interested in what you have to say will essentially give you permission to speak right into their ear(bud)s, and that’s a privilege you should take seriously. If the content is lame, they might listen for a while, but sooner or later they’ll move on.

Head to Freelance Switch to read more, and follow the blog at @freelancesw. Doug’s blog is found at Underpants Office.

Have you written about podcasting? Do you have a podcast on your blog? What tips do you have for new podcasters? Leave a comment below with links and your best advice!

Check out the rest of the 12 Days of Blogging:

12 Writers Writing
11 Tweeters Tweeting
10 Guests a-Posting
9 SEOers Optimizing
8 Affiliates Selling
7 Facebook Users Updating
6 Launchers Launching
5 Golden Rules
4 Podcasting Hosts
3 Ebook Tips
2 Ethics Debates
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree (ebook coming soon!)

Why You Should Come To BlogWorld If You Are A Content Creator

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Chris Brogan is a person I greatly admire and respect and I am proud to call a friend. This morning he wrote a post titled 9 Ways to Rock BlogWorld Expo and said some very nice things about our event and our team.  Thank you Chris.

I was in the middle of writing this very long comment on his post expanding on some of his points and realized Chris had actually inspired me to write a post two posts of my own on why you should come to BlogWorld. This one is for Content Creators. Another will follow for Brands.

Let’s start with why you shouldn’t. This line from his post resonated with me:

it’s great to get out and socialize. It’s less useful to get out and get blotto so that you can barely attend the next day

Everyone should come and have fun. That is definitely a part of it and fun often times involves an alcoholic beverage or two, but BlogWorld is not about getting trashed.

Dave and I and truly amazing team of people including @newmediapatti @debng @jenjenholder @nikki_blogworld @allison_boyer all of our track leaders, all of our speakers, the Hanley Wood team and everyone else involved in organizing BlogWorld work extremely hard on this event all year long to help you make the most out of your content.  Please don’t come to BlogWorld to party in Vegas. You can do that another weekend.

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Tag You're It! – Why Tagging Your Content Is Important

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Tag You're It

If I have said it once I have said it a thousand times, “We live in a Google world.”  It is true, we don’t order Chinese food, find directions to the store, or stalk old girlfriends without using Google.  Being findable in this world is important if you are trying to be found.  Businesses especially must pay attention to how their customers can find them.  Keywords and key phrases are how that is accomplished through the use of meta tags or just tags.

Tags are a keyword associated with content attached to it.  If you want people to read your latest blog post on how to wash a cat, you have to determine how they would look for that content and attach that key word or phrase to it.

The same rule applies to your content as a publisher whether it be a blog, a podcast, video or even your photos.  We often put pictures into our posts that we find which we feel are relevant to our content, the title or completely off the wall for that matter.  We find those pictures at places like flickr, istockphoto, and yes, Google image search.  We enter a keyword into the search function of those sites to find a picture for the content.

In addition to being searchable or findable, it also has the effect of increasing traffic to your content and makes the content watched, seen and readable.  One of the things that I do on a regular basis is to search out and find anyone that mentions BlogWorld & New Media Expo.  You can imagine all the different variations of that and the number of tags used to describe our event.  This is also why we like people that use a common tag.  The most used tag last year was of course “BWE09” and this year we are urging everyone to use “BWE10”.  This allows us a quick reference to your blog post, your picture on your photo sharing site, your podcast and your YouTube (owned of course by Google) or other videos. A YouTube search with “blog world” returns 234,000 results.  We all know it may be difficult for me to look at that many videos.  Using a tag like BWE10 focuses the searcher into your content. A similar search with BWE09 allows me the benefit of watching less that 150 videos.

If your content is well done and is something we need to share with our community, we find and share it.  This in turn increases the readers, listeners, or viewers of your content.  We are still pouring over the content generated as a result of the 2009 event in October, I am finding new content daily and still trying to read all of it.  As we grow and get bigger and have more content generated it is going to be tougher to find your content and thereby making it even more important for you to tag appropriately.

For the upcoming show in 2010 we are asking everyone to tag your content “BWE10”  If you Tweet that hashtag, put that in your post, attach it to your videos, photos and podcasts, I’ll be there to say hello.  If it is something that needs to be shared with the thousands of people in our community, we’ll do so and increase your traffic and readership.  If I miss something because I couldn’t find it, your content may never get discovered and broadcast further.  We are listening and we are paying attention to what is being said. Tag your content!

Photo Via SD_Kirk

Blogworld Speaker Interview: Deborah Micek

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Q: In two sentences, highlight your background and professional experience to date. One bonus sentence: how’d you get started blogging?

A: My background began with a quick rise to the top of my field as a social worker with a degree in Psychology. Ok well, it was actually to the #2 spot in my field, but I realized I’d have to wait another 30+ years to get the president’s position as she was fairly young with no plans to go anywhere. That’s when I started exploring other ways to challenge myself. After spending a decade as a behavior analyst, overseeing managers and motivating the unmotivated, I decided it was time for a change. A BIG Change!

As a result, I changed everything about my life. I started a coaching & consulting business in the NY/NJ area, I quit my “secure” job, and I sold my house and all my belongings (except my shoes) and moved 5,000 away from my home state to live and work in the state of Hawaii.

Once I realized how time consuming in-person networking was, and how costly advertising was for a small business owner, I began the quest to find another way to get the word out about my boutique coaching firm. That’s when I discovered the power of blogging.

Deborah Micek, aka CoachDeb

Deborah Micek, aka "CoachDeb"

I started blogging after participating in a coaching club with Stephen Pierce where he talked about blogging as a way to get traffic for all the articles we wrote for Hawaii’s daily newspaper The Star Bulletin and magazines back in 2002. Having my own Coach was just the kind of accountability I needed.

After that, my blogging efforts took a life of its own. My business partner and I started seeing additional benefits for our blogging platforms, and took it to the next level, writing the first book on new media marketing tools and strategies. But instead of calling the book “blogging secrets” we wanted the book to be full of timeless strategies, and instead titled it, “Secrets of Online Persuasion” taking the topic beyond blogs and Podcasts, which were all trend setting topics at the time, and the book was released way before its time in regards to the blogging bandwagon that followed.

The book covers what’s most important when you’re using any communication platform – which is your influence and ability to persuade with your words via your blog. And to me, that’s more important than just the mechanics of blogging.

Q: How often do you blog?  What platform do you use?  Why?

I blog often. I guess I could say daily, now that I use Twitter as my micro-blogging platform, but as far as article blogging, it’s several times weekly on a variety of the blogs we run.

I started using WordPress, but found there were so many plug-ins to install, and with the updates they issue to fix bugs, etc. it became incredibly time-consuming.

The platform we use is BLOGi360.com.

Why do I use this platform? Simple = Because we created it.

Ok, well that’s the short answer, but on the serious note, we developed it to take care of an unmet need for busy business owners who didn’t have the time to do all the things necessary for their blog to work for them. We hired a team of programmers to create software that works automatically for the busy business owner (starting with me).

The system took a ton of tech time off my shoulders so I was able to focus on writing & uploading content, videos, etc instead of worrying about the techie stuff. All the installation and plug-ins along with proprietary software that goes far beyond WordPress are all done for me on any blog I create with this software. Now with the BLOGi360 system working for me, I can get busy doing the things I love – like tweeting on Twitter and connecting with other influencers.

We originally created the system to use for ourselves (selfishly) and then shared it with our private coaching clients. Recently we decided it was time to share the technology with the world of small business owners. Thus began another journey.

Q: Point us to a recent postings on your blog that you think are superb, and tell us a bit about your writing process. How long did it take for you to come up with the topic?  How long to write?

http://tribalseduction.com/blog/womenrule is a recent post that was uber fun to create & share with my subscribers. The topic generated 30 comments almost immediately and continues to get a lot of hits to this day.

People often tweet me mentioning how they laughed when watching the video on this post, and then share whether they agree or disagree with what the gentleman in the video shared.  The blog post posed a question (instead of a statement) “Do women rule on Twitter? (What Men Think)” and shared a few paragraphs about the making of the video that was shared in the post. The video itself was created while at a friend’s place, and editing less than 5 minutes because we kept it “reality style”.

This topic on my personal blog was a continuation of a column written for Entrepreneur magazine where I posed a controversial topic that people couldn’t help but comment and tweet about. 72 comments came in from my Twitter following who were not afraid to get engaged in a controversial dialogue.

My writing process is to not fear controversy. I even posed the thought for my readers, “Does this make me sexist?” and allowed readers to decide for themselves. In a politically correct world, people are tired of only saying what they’re “supposed to say” so anytime you go against the norm and try something different, it’ll have a certain shock value where people will enjoy participating in. And that’s what the blogosphere is all about – isn’t it? To get people engaged, entertained and sharing their two cents about matters important to them.

Q: How often do you leave comments on other people’s blogs?  How do you find their entries in the first place?

I comment anytime I come across a topic that interests me. I often find the blog posts from the people I follow on Twitter. I love knowing the moment a blog post goes up and have some bloggers who regularly DM me about 10 minutes before their post goes live to give me a chance to read and comment first, and then tweet my following so they can do the same.

Q: Tell us a bit about your talk at Blogworld Expo. Topic, key points you’ll cover, etc?

I’ll cover the issues of how to use controversy and creating shock value in my Tribal Seduction presentation at Blog World Expo on the Entrepreneur track.

Once you understand how people are tribal by nature, you’ll be able to gather a tribe yourself of raving fans.
Most people are afraid of “rocking the boat” yet that’s the precise way of generating a flood of traffic, fans and clients.

New Media has introduced a more authentic, transparent world, and when people try to disguise their views or true identity, it backfires, or worse, gets them no results as though they don’t exist.
We’ll talk about how to brand their voice and develop their story in order to be known in the marketplace of ideas.

I’ll also reveal an amazingly effective process that’s a 180° turn from all you’ve been told about marketing in the 20th Century. Most people do it backwards. That’s why I’ll discuss how business owners can solve the problems that most entrepreneurs encounter when developing their marketing strategy.

Q: How do you recommend new folks best experience a major conference and expo like Blogworld Expo?

I’d recommend new attendees going to Blog World Expo for the first time begin their experience by tracking the hashtag #BWE08 on their mobile phones and the internet using Search.Twitter.com in order to follow the conversations happening in all of the different rooms.

This is another great way to find and connect with people who are at the conference that you might not otherwise have the chance to meet in person due to the overwhelming number of people attending this conference.

Q: Easy ones: Mac or PC?  Ipod or Zune?  Iphone or Blackberry?

I go both ways. I use a PC for all my business needs with corporate clients so all documents transfer easily. And I use a Mac for my iPhone connection and think of it as my portable Mac computer, since I use it mostly for internet connection, checking email, etc. all the things people buy a Macbook AIR for.

Then I carry around my Blackberry in order to use the phone reliably and not hang up on people when my cheek hits the touch pad on the iPhone. I also have it as my backup for when my iPhone battery dies. I can never go a full day without recharging. So – I find going both ways works best.

As for iPod, I use the Creative Zen to download from my Napster account and listen to tunes and Podcasts on my long flight from Honolulu to Vegas.

Thanks for sharing all of this, Deb!  If you don’t, you should consider following @CoachDeb on Twitter too, though be warned, she’s as prolific a Twitterer as I am. But then again, perhaps you can just follow both of us (I’m @DaveTaylor) and add Rick Calvert, host of Blogworld (@blogworld) and fill your dance card quickly. 🙂


Interview by Blogworld Expo co-host Dave Taylor, of Ask Dave Taylor.com and Intuitive.com.  He’ll see ya in Vegas in just a few days!

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