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4 Things Your Podcast Can Learn From The Super Bowl


Watching the Super Bowl, the championship of the National Football League in America, I was reminded of a few things you can do to improve your podcast.

Your podcast can mimic a lot of the steps taken by the NFL to create a successful show. Here are four:

It’s Always Showbiz

Regardless of the topic of your show, it is always show business. It doesn’t matter if you are talking about movie reviews or mortgage reduction, it must be entertaining.

Entertaining doesn’t necessarily mean funny. To be entertaining, you need to make a connection with your listener. Find a way to stir the emotions of your audience. Emotions make it entertaining.

Think of great movies. Some make you laugh. Some make you cry. Some make you angry. Some make you think. Some make you question authority. Strong emotions make those movies great. The exceptional movies elicit multiple emotions.

Show business is about the “larger than life.” Show business makes you forget your problems and worries. Great entertainment takes you to another place and time. It stirs your imagination.

There is also a bit of amazement, sparkle and glamour in show business. Add some flash and pizzazz. Sound effects, big name guests, professional announcers, and quality production are ways you can add a touch of show business to your podcast.

The content of the Super Bowl isn’t the critical element. The two teams playing are simply the foundation of the game. Most people are not big fans of either team. They are watching to be entertained.

People watch the Super Bowl for the entertainment value. They watch for the pomp and circumstance. People want to see the half time show. They want to see the commercials. They want to have the same experience their friends have. Year-to-year, the viewing audience of the Super Bowl is roughly the same regardless of the game’s participants. It’s all about the entertainment.

If the content of the Super Bowl isn’t the critical piece, what does that say about the content of your podcast?  Your content is just your admission to the game.  You need to have more to set your show apart from others.

Create A Story

Stories help create relationships with your listener. Great stories reveal thing about the storyteller. They also engage the audience. A great story can make an average topic compelling.

The NFL puts great effort into the story of the Super Bowl. The organization works to find the stories that will captivate the imaginations of America. Then, they do all they can to spread that story.

This year, the stories included the Harbaugh brothers competing against each other, along with Ray Lewis’ final year.

Most of the headlines involved the Harbaugh siblings. It is the first time two brothers have been the head coaches of opposing Super Bowl teams. There have been many story angles. Which team color will their parents wear to the game? Have the brothers discussed the game with each other? Will they treat the game differently with a brother across the field? How will the post-game handshake play out?  The stories are endless.

The stories make the game personal. Tales create a connection between the spectators and the participants. A human feel is created about the game when personal details are revealed with great stories.

Great story lines also create interest amongst the cursory fan who would not normally be interested in the game. Fans of teams not participating in the game suddenly find themselves sucked into the drama of the stories. Those fans want to see how the stories play out.

Make Every Piece Entertaining

Every part of your show should add to the entertainment value. If you make a throwaway comment, your listener will also throw it away. Your listener should be delighted by every element of your podcast. Do not air anything on your show that doesn’t add value.

Find ways to make the generic content on your show compelling content. If you need to convey general “don’t forget” messages, find creative ways to make those announcements. In his School of Podcasting podcast, Dave Jackson has his “Morning Announcements.” It is simply a clever way to make his general messages.  It makes his information a little more captivating.

The Super Bowl does a tremendous job of creating entertainment out of every piece of their show.

Some people watch the Super Bowl just to see the commercials. In every other show broadcast on television, people sigh, groan and moan when the commercials air. During the Super Bowl, you find others in the room quieting guests so they can hear those advertisements.

The NFL also adds sizzle to other pedestrian elements of the game. The coin toss handled by an honorary coin flipper and is executed with a special coin. Intermission in play (half time) is turned into an over-the-top music performance by the biggest superstars, each year bigger than the last. They players don’t just show up on the sideline ready to play. They are introduced with an opening video piece and fireworks.

Every piece of the Super Bowl adds to the entertainment. The field is customized. The exterior of the stadium is customized. The jerseys are customized. Every detail is special.

Make every part of your podcast memorable.

Create Multiple Streams Of Income

As the saying goes, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. If you only have one income source, you leave yourself vulnerable. If that source disappears, your revenue drops to zero. Play it safe.

With multiple streams of income, your revenue isn’t greatly affected by fluctuation in any one particular source. You have some buffer room. When one stream is diminished, you have time to make adjustments any of the others to get the revenue back.

The NFL has monetized every part of the game possible. If something can be sold or sponsored in conjunction to the Super Bowl, it usually is. The NFL makes money in many, many different ways.

Sources say the average price of a 30-second commercial airing during the Super Bowl is $4 million. That revenue is received by the broadcasting network. However, the NFL is paid a hefty sum for the broadcast rights.

The pre-game show, half time show and broadcast studios are sponsored. The coin flip, game clock and replays are all sponsored. Even the NFL donations are sponsored. The Super Bowl Champion t-shirts and hats are for sale as soon as the game ends. There was even a Mercedes Benz emblem on the ceiling of the Superdome.

Revenue comes from many different streams. Create some consistency in your income by creating multiple streams of revenue.

Copy a few of these NFL Super Bowl tactics with your podcast. You will make the relationships with your audience much stronger. You will create more consistent revenue streams. Your show will also be more consistently entertaining and successful.

How to Look Stupid when Interviewing Celebrities


If you run an entertainment blog, scoring a celebrity interview is actually easier than you think – most of the time, you just have to ask. While A-listers may not respond, in almost every niche, there are moderately successful people in the entertainment industry who would love to talk to you. Writers, small-role actors, costume designers, and other people who are important to a film aren’t typically asked for an interview, while stars are inundated with requests.

This isn’t a post about getting interviews, though. That part isn’t actually hard, as long as you continually send out requests. What is hard – at least for some people – is the actual interview. Interviewing in and of itself is not difficult, but most people were never taught these skills while in school. Sadly, most people have interviewing skills that rival my snowboarding skills. That’s only a good thing if you like to fall on your face a lot.

It’s a problem, because most people don’t realize what they’re doing wrong. They have no idea that they just totally bombed. I’m guessing that many celebs walk away from interviews shaking their heads. You don’t have to necessarily work in the entertainment industry to make these mistakes, either. Here are the quickest ways to look stupid when interviewing a celebrity, whether that celebrity is a famous actress or just someone well-known in your niche:

  • Don’t do your research.

Interviews are comprised of questions and answers, but that doesn’t mean you should go into the interview without knowing a thing about the celebrity. Do some homework so that you can hold a conversation with the person and build new questions off of their original answers.

  • Try to be James Lipton.

Inside the Actors Studio has a formula that works. The host, James Lipton starts at the beginning, and allows the celebrity to talk about their past through answering questions. If you go into an interview asking questions that can easily be answered by looking at the celebrity’s wikipedia page, you’re just going to look stupid. You can ask basic questions to set the stage, but go deeper than factual information about a person’s past.

  • Don’t pretend to know everything.

Sometimes, a celebrity is going to mention a project that you haven’t read about in your research. That’s ok! Do enough to be confident in what you do know, but don’t try to pretend you know something when you don’t. The celebrity might be giving you the scoop on something, and you’ll look like an idiot if you pretend you know what’s going on. Even if it is something you could have researched before the interview, don’t pretend you know about it if you don’t. Use your lack of knowledge as a jumping off point in the interview to ask questions about the project.

  • Be late (coming or going).

It’s pretty disrespectful to show up late to an interview, but it is just as disrespectful to run over the time you’ve quoted. If you ask for a twenty-minute interview, keep it to twenty minutes. Even if you’re having a good time talking with one another, keep in mind that your guest likely has other things going on with the day. If you’re really enjoying your time, wrap up the interview at a spot where you could end, and then invite the guest to stay longer, without pressure.

What are some of the other ways you can look stupid during an interview? List your tips in the comment section below!

Allison Boyer is a writer for BWE’s blog and the owner/manager of After Graduation. She thinks James Lipton is a sexy beast.

Image: sxc.hu

Keeping Your Entertainment Blog Entertaining


Prior to my role as Managing Editor here at BlogWorld, I was a full-time entertainment blogger for b5media. I ran Prison Break Buff, Approaching Lost, The Hilton Files, 24 Headquarters, and Junior Celebs. In fact, I still run a teen celeb spin-off with my co-blogger at modOration. So I’m pretty well versed in the art of running a blog focused on music, television, movies, and celebrities.

With a niche entertainment blog, you’re stuck with a varied amount of news content and images coming your way. If your celebrity lands in jail for a month (Paris Hilton) or if your show goes off the air (Prison Break), you very quickly find yourself with a lack of new content to keep your readers engaged. Since I found myself in this situation often throughout the years, I have some tips up my sleeve for keeping your entertainment blog entertaining!

  • Create Biography Pages: This works for all genres of entertainment blogs. Create a biography page for a celebrity, their family members, their ex’s, etc. Create a biography page for the actors and characters in your television show or movie. Create bio pages for the members of your bands. Continue to expand on these, and use keyword linking to link to these pages in future posts, to increase your SEO and pagerank.
  • Create Timelines: You can easily create timelines for a vast amount of items for your niche. Whether it’s a plotline for the television show, venues where an artist has played, or the lovelife of a celebrity – you can create dynamic timelines that even link back to your older posts regarding those topics. You can even write recaps of the episodes of your show and organize them in order of their air date.
  • Create Galleries: With a lull in news and photos, it’s time to start organizing the pictures you do have! Put your image into galleries (by episode, by season, by event, by fashion season, etc). Then you can have higher level pages that drill down to these galleries, for easy finding by your readers. You can even create polls to have them choose their favorite.
  • Create Games: In order to keep your audience coming back, you need to keep them engaged and continue to post new content. One way I did this during the season breaks on my television shows, was to create games. I would conduct playoff style polls to see which character they liked the best, use quotes to have them guess which character said it and in which episode it was said, and ask trivia questions based on the show.
  • Interact With Your Community: Have your loyal readers write guest posts with differing opinions than you have on your topic. Perhaps you’ll spark some interesting conversations.

By keeping your audience engaged during your niche topic downtime, you keep them around for when news does start cropping up again. In fact, by using these ideas, you can pre-post and not always have to be on top of the latest, breaking news (which, believe me, can be very exhausting!)

What are your tips for keeping your entertainment blog entertaining?

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

Image Source: SXC

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