Your website is a key integral part of your podcast. It should be the central hub of information for your audience, and you want to be driving them there all the time. In this episode, Tom and Tracy Hazzard share the different ways people can do website maintenance for their shows. Website maintenance may start with simply updating cover photos and links, to advanced technical maintenance. Tom and Tracy also provided specific real-life examples of website maintenance and how it has benefited them and their clients. Don’t miss this episode to ensure that your website is working perfectly as your show grows.
We want to talk primarily about website maintenance as the major subject because although we’re a podcasting company, as most of you, if not all of you know, your website is a key integral part of your podcast. It should be the central hub of information for your audience and you want to be driving them there all the time because iTunes doesn’t tell you who is subscribed to your show. We thought we’d talk about website maintenance. It’s a subject we haven’t covered in depth. Some of this is stuff that you need to do, some of it is stuff that web developers need to help you with. The list of things that I’ve compiled and I have a list, are all things that we get lots of requests for.
If you’re not aware of this, that we create websites for some of our clients and in doing so the number one requested thing was, “How are we going to maintain this? Will you maintain it for us?” We have a web maintenance program that went in place last year. Many of these things are the top requested things that come through our monthly web maintenance program. Just so you know how it works, our monthly web maintenance, people put requests in for things that they want to update. If it’s too big a project, we tell them and we push it out over multiple months.
They basically have the opportunity to put in help tickets and request these types of things that they need to do. What I want to say is that for most of you, you may not realize this, but 60% of your podcast listens on average are happening over your website. Your website is critically important. If it’s not happening, it’s because you aren’t using your website. We have DIY customers who are on this call. 60% of the listens that happen on your podcast will happen over the website. That’s the average statistics from many shows. We did a survey. You would be looking at listens and you don’t know where they’re coming from.
Most often the ones that are coming straight from Google, not Google Podcast, which is different, but straight from Google are coming straight into your website and coming over your website to listen. These are ones that we want to try. That’s why your websites are critically important. Last month, we talked about publicity. This is the other reason I want to tie this in. When a media person goes to look at your website, someone who’s considering a TV producer or a writer for an article and they are considering writing about you or your show, they don’t just check the blog or the podcast and see that you’ve posted. They check your website, your bio and they check a whole bunch of information over your website. If it’s out of date, that’s not helping you.
These are some of the top things that we have put together a list for. The number one thing on the list is to make sure your bio is updated. I update mine twice a year at least or maybe even once every quarter. I think we should all be looking at our bios on our websites once a quarter. There are so many things that I know for us changed. They change all the time. I start a new show, I got featured in something. You want to have your bios updated about that. I updated the bios. I haven’t gone through and done it on the websites, but I rewrote it. Now, I will push it through and have it updated on the website. That’s going to happen.
That’s something you should do regularly. That’s on you because you’ve got to write that. You’ve got to make sure that’s updated but you also have to make sure somebody updates the website, whether that’s you or your assistant or web developer, whatever that might be. Make sure that it happens. Photos, your profile photos many of you put them up on your website and if your website’s a decade old, then your photo is a decade old. We were with our good friend, Ken Rochon and Andrea Miller. If you’ve ever been at an event and they had sent a Keep Smiling card and you would know who they are. One of the things that they reminded us is that so often we don’t take pictures.
As I’ve been doing a lot of Center of Influence podcast interviews, some of these top podcasters have some amazing photos of them podcasting or having the mics in their hand or great colorful photos that express what their show is about and they’re amazing and they look so good. They go beyond just having a profile photo. As you grow your show and as you get more publicity, you’ll want to have some of these photos because I wouldn’t write an article if I couldn’t include three to four photos of them in that. That’s something that you want to consider also is maybe having some photos taken in. We’d love to run an event at the end of this year in September or October with all of you and have you guys come. We’d like to give you an opportunity to have that done so they are real professional-looking.Your website is a key integral part of your podcast. It should be the central hub of information for your audience. Click To Tweet
Many of you podcast wherever you are so you don’t have a studio to take it in. It’s not professional and maybe you’d like to have some cool colorful photos. We’re talking about creating an opportunity for that to happen for people. That’s something to definitely update on your site. Make sure you keep those photos updated. If you’ve got a banner photo at your homepage, you might want to change it out every year at least. You may want to do it more often than that. It helps to give the site a feeling of newness for people who come back regularly. That’s always a good one to do.
Social links, sometimes you forget that you just added Instagram and you haven’t updated your site. We added Instagram and especially now that Instagram has Instagram TV and it’s doing a lot of videos and you can put audiograms of your podcast if you’re into that up there. We had to add Instagram. You have to add your social links. Keep that updated. Sometimes the links change, you need to correct that. I had that issue with The New Trust Economy. I was able to get the YouTube my vanity URL that says New Trust Economy so I updated the original link that was a weird number character, set of things to the new URL because that’s what you want to have. It would have still gone to the same place but you want to have it so that if people were clicking through it, they would see that new URL. You want that happening.
I’m going to say these four items are all legally important to your site and I think often forgotten. If we’re doing your blog posts for you, we’ve probably gone through and at least looked at it. If we built your website, we definitely did that. The copyright lines on the bottom of your websites, some of them are outdated. I’ve checked them out. Some of them are 2018 but some of them are outdated. We want to make sure you’ve got to keep your copyright updated or you’re not alerting people to the fact that this copy, the text is owned by you. They are yours. That copyright line is critically important. If someone starts reposting your content somewhere else and you don’t have your copyright in place, you may not have a take-down opportunity. You may not have as much legs to stand on it as you do.
If any of you were on the call from the very beginning, we talked about an attack on our site and we’ll cover that again towards the end for anybody that missed it. We’re finding a lot of WordPress websites are getting spammed with bogus comments on blogs. If you have comments turned on, on your WordPress blog, people can submit comments. It doesn’t mean they go live on your site without your permission, you have to review them and approve them. It’s brute force attacking your comments field with a bot. What happened to us on one of our sites that has over 550 blog posts, we ended up with 27,000 pending comments that were all bogus, that were all spam. That’s cumbersome to your site. It’s attacking your site.
In some ways it’s a Trojan Horse if you start clicking through and approve it or have them on auto approve, that would be horrible on your site, but for us, it was because of the number of posts we had. I can tell everyone how to turn off the comments in 30 seconds and I definitely want you to turn the comments off. That’s what we’ve discovered. This is my recommendation. It is not the recommendation of many bloggers out there, but they may be operating under some old school models but here’s what we’ve seen. The comments are all spam nowadays. We have less than, I would say 0.25% of useful comments that happen over our website. All the comments are happening on social right now. There is no reason to keep the comments open.
On your WordPress website, there’s settings field and in the setting you have general, sharing, you have all of these different subheadings, options. You go onto the one that is the quick edit on every post. Mitch was mentioning quick edit on every post. When you have 450 posts, you won’t want to do that. If you go under your general settings, there’s a whole section under commenting. It’s simple. There’s a global setting where you can turn comments off on any post older than a day. That’s the way to get it to automatically turn off all the ones that existed already and you’d get them gone because they’re older than a day. From that point forward, you set them so that they would never show. You have no comments posting on any single one. You can on your most recent. If you don’t have a lot, you can go into quick edit on your posts in your blog section and you can click turn off and it’s super simple. You can check a box and it goes off. That is an easy way, if you don’t have a lot but we have 500, so I wasn’t going to do it that way.
The other couple of things that I want to mention to you are, I’m not going to say they’re important to operations of your site or anything like that. These are important to your business and important to publicity and important to closing sales and all of that. That is your testimonials and your press page. If you don’t have a press page, you probably should have a section on your About Us page or About You page. You can have it there, you can have it below or above all your bio and information and it should be places where you’ve been featured in the press. What I find is a lot of you forget that being featured on other people’s podcasts, as many of you are doing this quid pro quo, I go on your show, you come on my show, but being featured on their show is press, so you need to put that into your website.
We send ego bait to your guests for a reason with the embed code because we want them to do this so you should do the same thing. You don’t have to create a fancy graphic or anything like that. As long as you have the links to the show and some information about that, it’s great that you are putting that into your press page. Keep your press page updated. It’s the number one thing that I find people don’t do on a regular basis. Try to do it on a monthly basis. If you have an events page, keep that updated too because when you don’t update it, it looks bad. If you’re not going to update it, get rid of it. It’s not worth having if you’re not going to update that. Testimonials are the other big thing that you’re not updating enough.
I find testimonies to be a very valuable part of our business and assisting sales. It’s almost a referral without a direct referral. Sometimes someone mentioned us at an event and they come to our site and they see some either written or video testimonials and it greases the wheels for people to decide to go ahead and work with us. I think testimonials are very important. Let’s say you only show three testimonials on your homepage because you have one of these rotating bars that have three show up or whatever. That’s okay but change them out now and again. If you’ve got that change them out and change out to a different set of three and have a page that links to with all of them on there. It’s very useful for people because one of the things that we forget is that maybe we want to see on our site and people wants to see that there’s a show like theirs. There are hosts that have the same message, the same mission or the same reason for doing a show. If we’re not rotating, we may not be capturing all of that information.
For someone who’s critically important to have social proof, they want to be able to easily click that and then see it, “There are a hundred of different testimonials here.” Build them over time, add them in every month, be reaching out to your customers and getting them. That is important for you to be doing on an ongoing basis because it also helps you touch base with your clients to understand why are they choosing you? Why are they doing business with you? It may be reasons that you didn’t even think about, but someone reading it will go, “That really resonated me. That’s exactly my problem. I want to sign up.” If you haven’t noticed in our particular case, we’re always checking in with you. When we do interviews with you for articles that we’re writing, we’re surveying you and finding out why you like us and why things are working. We’re also surveying you for what’s not working too so we can add services and make improvements.
Survey your clients, do that and ask them if you can use that as a testimonial. You can be doing that on a regular basis. Those are a couple of things that are important to your business that I wanted to bring up. The other thing is that a lot of you have started the video. There is a big increase in podcasters recording video and having us produce and put their video on their YouTube channel for them, but not everybody. I would say 30% maybe. I think it’s been growing. It’s been the most requested thing and we’ve been adding that a lot. We had so many of you are capturing the video already, you’re either doing it on live stream or you’re doing it in Zoom like we are. You’re capturing the video, but then you’re throwing it away and using the audio. All of you are thinking to yourselves, “Why am I not using it? I have it,” and you are wondering if you should.
We have a program that we do that for. We use that and we put them into YouTube and we make sure that you have videocasts as well as podcasts. If you did add that, if you have added a video show, you want to update your website to have a video player section. You can do a playlist straight out of YouTube and you can add a slider with that in there. You can add thumbnails of all of that, but that’s something you would want to add to your homepage because people are looking for that, “I’m a video watcher. I want to go straight to the videos and then I’ll be able to link over to YouTube and subscribe.” That’s a place where you can do that. If you were interested in doing, you could do an Instagram slider, so you can do that from Instagram as well. You are thinking about how you might want to use that in the future. Those are things if you’ve added them, make sure they’re in your site.Testimonies are a very valuable part of your business in assisting sales. Click To Tweet
I want to mention something and this is going to be specific to the WordPress websites again, which most of you have, are plugins. WordPress is a wonderful platform. We recommend it. We prefer it for many reasons. I’m not going to go into all that detail, but if you have a WordPress website and you don’t have somebody maintaining this for you, you want to check your plugins and make sure they’re up-to-date. A lot of website performance problems and glitches can come from plugins that have not been updated. WordPress also had a major update of its own software late last year, the WordPress 5.0. That was a big change and a lot of plugins needed to be updated as a result of it.
Many of you may not even know this, if we’re doing your done-for-you production services, we’re in your blog all the time. Our team regularly updates plugins that relate to the operation of the blog. Late last year when that WordPress change happened, we had our team on 24 hours a day at the last week of the year making sure that they were updating your site with the plugins because we knew it was going to take down your blog come January 1. Mitch has a great suggestion. A free way to update all your sites is through ManageWP.com, but keeping that in mind, sometimes you update and it crashes your site. You have to be careful. Try not to do all of them globally at once. We like to go one at a time and try not to do something that is irreversible. Make sure you backed your site up. Use BackupBuddy.
That’s the way you do that. Hopefully, everybody’s website is being backed up once a day. We install backup plugins. If you didn’t have it on every site where we’re during your work for you, if you’re a do-it-yourselfer then obviously we’re not doing that. One of the thing about plugins I want to mention, as important as it is to make sure your plugins are up-to-date and everything’s compatible and working well. If you have plugins installed on your site that is old, something you no longer use or no longer need, you want to deactivate them and/or remove them because the more plugins you have installed on your site, think of it as the more overhead your website has. Every time a page on your website is loaded, WordPress loads not just that page, but all the plugins of the entire site. It’s more processing time that it takes and power that takes and it makes your site run inefficiently. As important it is to update the plugins you’re using, make sure you’re deactivating and getting rid of and uninstalling unnecessary plugins.
This other thing that I’ve got on the list is related to that, themes, forms and plugins that were paid, you have to pay attention to your subscription and renew them. I know that sounds basic here, but we find it happens very often. We forget about them or you think it’s a spam email from some company that you only do business with once a year so you don’t think about that email that you’ve received. What happens is a lot of you have a company who does your site and then you no longer have a relationship with them after it’s built and a year later, subscriptions start rolling in and you don’t know what they are, where they came from. You would think that they’re spam and you don’t renew them and your site goes down.
This is important to make sure that when you’ve hired someone to build your website, that you are very clear on the subscriptions. You get the emails and it’s all registered with you so that you understand that this is something I’m going to have to do every year when the renewal date comes up. Make sure you’re renewing those things, otherwise your site is not going to look the way it’s supposed to look. I want to make one little note to our DIY-ers, to the ones who are doing it yourself. If you are using PowerPress, we want you to send an email to Help@Podetize.com. You do not need to be using PowerPress because you are using Podetize. PowerPress has some issues that we keep coming up against for those of you who have been using it. There are RSS feeds and information about how it reads iTunes that is always getting messed up because that information is always changing. If you’re not on top of it and you’re not resetting the settings properly, this one is incredibly difficult to maintain as a plugin.
We want to make sure that you’re not using it. You don’t need it because you have Podetize. You can send an email to Help@Podetize.com if you are still using PowerPress and you know that you’re still using it because you’re DIY-ing it yourself. You would know that you’re opting into that. You guys will all be getting an email about this and you have some options and some choices which are exciting. We use a podcast player for all the done-for-you productions. DIY-ers, this doesn’t apply to you unless you have this yourself. We use the Smart Podcast Player. It’s part of your package.
The Smart Podcast Player has three new features they’ve added, which is exciting. We just updated and we’ve tested it. The first update that’s simple and easy, it’s going to automatically happen to everyone who has a player because our team will do it. You can add your Spotify and FM player. You can have an auto-subscribe to all of those places. We’ll be adding them for you as we update sites and work into your player on fixing these things. We’ll get that part for you. You don’t have to find your links, you don’t have to give us that or anything. The choice things that you have though is they’ve now created a button which can go to a landing page or go to an email capture form. It’s a button straight on the player itself.
If you don’t know that, it’s a big window player and it has all your episodes listed in it. This is not on the single-track player. We’re talking about the big player. It’s usually on your homepage or on your podcast page and you have an option of where you want that to go. Do you want it to go to an email capture? Do you want it to go to a landing page for something you’re selling, a course or a free download or something like that? You get to choose. When we send the email out, we’ll be asking you what you want that to be linked to. The other choice you have is a sticky player, which we’ve modeled. You guys can go to FeedYourBrand.co and you can see the sticky player.
What this does is on any page of your website at the very bottom, it’s a bar on the bottom. It can be colored in your brand coloring and it’s like a track player that you can set it to play your most recent episodes. Anytime anybody goes to your website, no matter what page they go on, that sticky player is on the bottom with your newest episode. That’s the choice you have. You have a choice to put it on a specific page. You can put it on your podcast page or your homepage or you can put it on all your pages. It’s totally up to you what you want to do. That’s a choice you have to make. You can also choose whether you want it to play your latest episode, your first episode or a specific episode. Maybe you have an episode that’s all about your services and what you do. You may want to do that. On Product Launch Hazzards, that’s probably what I’m going to do. I’m going to do our seven processes as my sticky player option because it’s my number one episode. It’s the episode that’s most critically important if you’re coming to the site for the first time.
In general on our other shows, I like the idea of having the most recent episode. That one’s just a little bit different. You’ll get an email. Alexandra is going to go through the alphabet so based on your show title, not your name. She’ll be going through that and sending you personal emails about it, giving you your options and what you need to do. Because you guys are on the call, she told me that if you want in, all you have to do is say, “I want in, Alexandra. Do mine first.” You can send her an email at Alexandra@Podetize.com and she’ll take care of it.
That covers what we wanted to talk now. I have one more thing. We decided we were going to move to more coaching calls. I wanted to give you a heads up on the dates. We will email them but I wanted to give you a heads up. We’re going to go to weekly calls. We have so many clients now. We have a lot of people onboarding and coming in. We have a lot of questions and so we’re going to go to weekly calls. We’re going into more frequent webinar calls like this that if you’re available, you can put it on your calendar and feel free to join and getting into some different subject areas too, which should be great.
Let me go to the other thing. Any of you that have experienced slow page load times on Podetize.com when you’re going into the dashboard to upload your episode requests or to look at your stats or do anything, it’s been horribly slow. We were the victim of a brute force attack that happened between Wednesday night to Thursday morning. It’s one of those things where servers in other countries kept trying to log in to our website. They don’t have any login credentials. They didn’t have any information to get into anything. They’re entering any old information in the username and the password fields and then hit submit. They didn’t get in but when they do it hundreds of thousands of times repeatedly, it eats up all your server bandwidth. It was terrible and ridiculous.
It took about 36 hours to get through that. It is resolved and now the website is operating fast. If any of you that had trouble uploading any episode requests and gave up on it, which I wouldn’t blame you for at all, you can go back and do it now and everything’s in great shape. This also caused us to look at our whole IT server infrastructure and we’re making other major improvements but we accelerated some of them. Just understand that and if you have any trouble we apologize, it was completely unexpected.
In these changes, we’ve protected ourselves against a similar attack happening in the future. It’s random. It’s not like anybody specifically wanted to take us down. It’s a malicious attack. I can’t believe how many people have enough time in their day or in their lives to make trouble because there was no financial gain. It’s probably an algorithm somewhere and it randomly picks servers. It happens all the time. I apologize, but the dates didn’t feed through to my phone. They didn’t push through to my phone. I don’t have the dates for you on our new coaching calls but we will email you. We are still going to do this on the last Friday of every month.The more plugins you have installed on your site, the more overhead your website has. Click To Tweet
Understand that most of those coaching calls will be Q and A, not as much of what we do teaching here. There will be a lot more starter people on those calls. If you have a burning question and you happen to be available, you want to get on and you want to talk about it, absolutely. The first one is about strategies and things like that. It might be about launching. The second week of the month is always going to be about tech. If you’ve got tech questions, you’ve got your new microphone and you like to test it out with us, we’re here to test you out. We’ve got an hour covered for that. The third week is more of general questions, covering things that you might need to know in setting up your shows or keeping maintenance and things you might want to do. Publicity will be a significant part of that or whatever your biggest challenge will be at that time. It’s a challenging one. On the last Friday of the month, we’ll be doing our typical where we bring you a topic and then from there we open it up to questions. With that, we’re ready to open up the questions. If anybody would like to ask a question, let us know and we’ll be happy to address any questions, concerns and comments you may have. Agnes, how are you?
I have some basic questions. I’m not doing any podcasts. I’m not sure what you mean by podcasts because my idea was not to interview people but to record by doing some talk.
That’s the same thing. It doesn’t matter because you and I talked about that before. You’re still on our strategy phase and we need to have a call about that to make sure that we’ve got that situated for you, to make sure that we’ve got it in line with what you want to do. She’s from Wendy’s event. What you want to do is making that topic list so we can have a chat about that because that’s the next step. There would be solocast, is what we call them. You’d be recording whatever subjects that you all come up with and discuss and take a deep dive of sharing your knowledge and wisdom with your audience. You’re going to do it through examples of some telling stories that help communicate it. There are a number of ways to do it. Agnes, send me an email and we’ll get you on the calendar. I think that’s the best way for us to approach you. We have Carolyn. How are you?
Good. How are you?
We are good.
I was having a little bit of trouble hearing the thing about Alexandra, if we want in, what do we just tell you? Can you give me the two-second version of that?
It’s the Smart Podcast Player. She is going to send you an email immediately. You would have gotten it anyway because we’re still setting up some things on your website. You would’ve had some configuration options on how you want this player to read. The player is already on your website but it hasn’t been updated to the newer version yet. Yours will be updated to the newer version and then you’ll have some options about, “Do you want the button to go to an email opt-in,” which is what I highly recommend for you. I think that makes a lot of sense.
Some people might want to go to their book download or something like that, but for you, I think an email opt-in makes sense because you’re at the stage where you’re trying to drive traffic in and getting to know who your listeners are. That’s a good choice for you. You have this player that’s going to be able to follow people around essentially and it will stay at the very bottom of their page, but when they scroll, it will be there. It’s important for mobile because otherwise they have to find it to turn it on and off so there are issues, but deciding whether you want that on your homepage, on the podcast page or on every page, it’s a choice for you to make.
You can play with it on FeedYourBrand.co. You can see what ours is and you can play with it and say, “What choices would I like?” As we do it, if you don’t love it, you say, “I now want it on this page.” You send us back an email and we’ll fix that for you. It’s a choice you get to make there and you can decide, do you want a specific episode to play or do you want your latest one? That’s an option for you as well. There are a couple of choices you get to make. These things can be changed in the future. Any of these decisions that you make now, you try it out for a month or two. If you don’t like it, make a change.
The other thing is and this is more my issue, but none of my shows are being uploaded to any of the iTunes or iHeart anymore.
It’s because of the change with Spreaker. Alexandra’s hearing this. She’s made a note of it. She’s going to look into it. We’ll catch up on this and get it together. We’ll make sure we get all your recent episodes. I think one of the issues, Carolyn, is because your episodes are done by that radio show, how are they delivering those to you or where can we get them?
I talked to them about that and they’re going to create a place for us to download the shows so that we then have the capability of moving forward.
This is a common problem with radio shows. Carolyn has been a radio host for a while. When you transition over, they are not always cooperative and there are some calls you have to make and it’s not obvious how to shift and how to move. They’re trying to lock you right back in that contract, but it’s doable and it just means a few more phone calls and a little more handholding to make it happen. Most of it is onboarding issues. It’s one-time setup issues to transition from doing this as a radio show, which is all too often, unfortunately done in a way that’s in the best interest to the radio show and not you, the podcast host. What we’re doing with Carolyn is helping her get the greatest value out of her show for her best interests. She’s completing her radio show contract. Alexandra will touch base with you and make sure that you’re updated on where it is now and how everything’s moving forward.
It’s perfect. Thank you.Authenticity is what listeners want, so be yourself. Click To Tweet
Does anyone else have anything? We’re testing out Instagram TV and more Instagram Stories. As we try these things and when we find something that’s working, we will be sharing them with you. One of the things we’ve been Instagramming a lot about is our puppy who’s in the office all the time. One of our marketing consultants said, “You’ve got to put some Instagram stuff out about Podetize and the puppy.” I’m like, “Really?” “Definitely.” There are a few reasons why, but I’ll tell you what, these puppy posts on Instagram are getting ridiculous engagement. We did some shots where we took a microphone with the Podetize logo on its mic block and had her biting the microphone like she’s talking into it and it’s getting crazy engagement. It’s @Feed_Your_Brand on Instagram, for any of you who wants to check that out. It’s our podcast name.
Can we steal some of that? I have a dog.
You should. Model it. Do it. The other thing is I know Carolyn knows her. We were talking about when you left it in there with Agnes. I was mentioning this to Hal and to Wendy and they were like, “You have to put her on your website.” They were like, “You do that and it’s a tax write-off.” All your dog expenses can be apparently legally written up if they’re on your business website. She needs to be registered as an emotional support dog and a workplace support dog. I was like, “That’s hilarious,” but leave it to Hal and Wendy to do that. Puppy pictures evidently kill it. Podcast puppy pictures even more so, go for it if you’re doing it. We do have a couple of podcasters whose dogs regularly bark in their podcast and if you wanted us to leave it in for some reason, you have to let us know because our team will cut that out. If you wanted us to leave it in because it humanizes you, go ahead and let us know. We’ll leave it in only if you request it. Ours doesn’t bark much.
What usually happens is you hear in the background of a few of ours because the team has been having an easy time. She has a squeak toy because she’s still a puppy and you’ll hear, “squeak, squeak, squeak,” in the background of our podcast. We have her in the office and where we record. Usually she’s quiet, but we’ve had that occasionally. We’ve been testing out some things. Instagram is one of them and we’ve had some engagement there. What else have we been doing that we’re testing out? I’ve been testing out some new ways to do articles, places to feed them so things that we’ve been trying there. We’ve been doing it with the Center of Influence. If you get on Feed Your Brand Podcast, if you regularly listen to us, I’m doing some interesting things with other podcasters there. It’s called Feed Your Brand Center of Influence podcasts. It’s all a part of it, but it’s a subset of it. There are certain episodes and we have the icon changed so you’ll know it’s a Center of Influence and usually the title says in it.
On Center of Influence, I’m interviewing top podcasters across the country and getting tips from them on five different things. How they get great guests, how they increase engagement, how they monetize their show and how they produce professionally. I’ve been asking them the same five questions and each of them gives great tips. We created infographics for each one of those tips. The benefit of that also is that we expect that BuzzFeed is going to pick up a series of tips. It might be five different podcasters who all say these five things about how to get great guests. That’s something that’s going to be rolling up into BuzzFeed, the more of them I do. I’ve only done five interviews I think and articles are coming out in Authority Magazine and then these rolls up and wounds up in BuzzFeed eventually.
It’s all happening together but I’ve been trying this model out of it and then when we hit 25 shows, we’re going to spin it off into its own podcast. This is something you guys can do as well. Take some of these tips. I’m trying it, we’re seeing how it works so when we get some success stories and we realize what’s going on with it, we’ll share exactly how we do it with you so you can try it as well. If you want to explore maybe a specific topic area, we have a couple of podcasters who do that. Robert Kandell did the Six Vulnerable Conversations Between a Man and a Woman and he spun it off a small series and then he put him in his regular feed and then he spun it off into its own little show entities. You could listen to them all in a row and not have them mixed up between his regular episodes. That’s a nice little way to do something like that. If you want to create content that is a series of things but you don’t want to do it all at once and then roll it out as a big thing, you can roll it out over time and then move them out of your main feed and into their own.
This is going to be unique to those people that are hosted on Podetize but on Podetize you get up to five shows for your one monthly hosting subscription. If you’re on another service like Libsyn or somebody, if you want to do that, unfortunately you have to pay a whole other monthly subscription for that additional show identity on iTunes. It’s not as cheap for you to do, but it might still be worth it even for the additional expense because you get more exposure. If you make your show descriptions similar and contain a lot of the same keywords between your first show and then this new spinoff, when people search on those terms on iTunes, you’re going to have two shows that come up in the search results instead of one.
We have some people like Scott Carson has four, at least I think different show identities and a fifth one is coming. When you search on anything regarding distressed note investing, one of his main show will come up. You get about eight or ten, depending on if you’re using the app or the desktop app of iTunes or whatever service you subscribe to. Four of those search results are his shows. From a marketing perspective, you get a lot more exposure and, “This guy has got all these different shows. I want to give him a try and forget these other ones. What are they?” It makes a lot of sense. If any of you take a hiatus because spring break happened and summer’s coming. That’s something else I want to mention to you is that we have found that because of some of the bandwidth issues of our phones and how the players are working, that if you go more than 30 days without posting, many of them stop feeding to your subscribers.
We’ve seen people who then all of a sudden have a dip off and they were like, “I took a month off.” You took one day too many off before you posted again. Keeping that in mind that you don’t want to dip into that, plan that ahead for your holidays. If you’re going to take a summer vacation and you want to take your summer season off, plan to have a couple of periodic shows that are going to come out every two weeks or so or every three weeks. Make sure that you’re keeping your feet active so that that doesn’t happen to you. We’ve covered this in a Feed Your Brand episode, but just in case you didn’t listen to it, do not do replays, it will annoy your subscribers.
It’s not received very well by most listeners to rerun episodes. The only exception to that is if you do a compilation episode. We have a podcaster, Dustin Mathews with Get WealthFit podcast doing his 100th episode. He’s doing a compilation of clips from his top ten episodes or something like that. That’s an exception. That’s a different approach. It’s a highlight, best of and that can be a good thing as you’re going from episode 101 to 200 that people finding your show later might start there with that episode 100 and get a good cross-section of what your episodes are about.
We should mention this because Carolyn’s on, but the advice I had given to Dustin was to do his 101st episode, do it as if it was a number one episode all over again because eventually he’s doing so many shows so fast, he’s going to max out and hit over the 300-episode threshold that iTunes allows. I recommended it to him because he may want to take that first 100 now that he’s capped it with this compilation and when he hits the next 100 he may want to take them and spin them off at that time just to get people used to the fact that you’ll have a hundred series and because he can, he could have a second volume.
Going ahead and making your 101 an intro episode again, but for Carolyn, because you’re moving over from the radio into your own entity, it might be a great idea to treat it like a new introduction. Letting people know where you are, why you’re doing it and giving you that one episode. It may not be as long as the other ones, but giving that interim. It might be a great idea for you and for anyone who’s coming up on 101. It’s not a bad idea to do it and then when you roll it out, you don’t have to worry about, “What’s in this place and why is it cut? It’s weird that 100 episodes are over in here in volume one and so many weird episodes are in volume two.”
In Carolyn’s, you’re going to do 50, 52 or something like that. Being in 150 whatever, it doesn’t matter. Whatever your number is, for you it makes sense though. There’s going to be this transition of the format of the show that is going to change in a new way because you’re going to want to do it differently. You won’t be stopping every fifteen minutes for commercial as you do on the radio show. You might as well take advantage of that.
One last question, what is the best time limit for podcasts?Don't compromise the integrity of your show. Click To Tweet
It’s the most often asked question and there’s no absolute right or wrong answer for that unfortunately. Some of our clients do swear by the under-ten-minute thing, do these short little things but those ones do better if they do daily. If they’re doing many in a row, because then what I believe happens is that their listeners wait until the beginning of the week or the weekend and then they binge listen to all five of them in a row. It makes more sense that way because now it’s long enough to consume and worth it for them.
What we find is that it’s okay to mix it up. Let’s say you live stream on a Monday and you do ten minutes, use that episode. On Wednesday you’re doing your own topic show. Topic one is where it’s you talking 25, 30 minutes right around there is the good timeline. It was such an urgent, important thing and if you needed to go longer, then go longer. That’s okay. Do not cut yourself off, but also don’t go on and on when you know you shouldn’t be. Just say, “I hit these points and I’m good here.” What I tell people is when the subject feels complete and the episode. Don’t end it prematurely just because you want to keep it less than twenty minutes and don’t stretch it to 45 minutes. If you’ve felt it gets complete in 30. Make the episode as long as it needs to be until you feel that you’ve covered the topic. If it’s an interview episode, it’s the same way. If you feel you’ve covered it, you don’t have any more questions for the guests, end the interview. It’s the same situation.
For interviews though, we find typically interviews around 30 minutes is good. You’ve tended to cover it well in 30 minutes and you should have a few minutes or five minutes of you doing an introduction on the beginning and you should definitely have a little post discussion after you thank them and end. Your takeaways and final thoughts after the interview without your guests there. In that format we recommend you record the interview first, say goodbye to your guest on Zoom or whatever you’re recording them on, then immediately while it’s fresh in your mind, record that intro and record those final thoughts and then our team cuts it together in the right order into a complete episode.
What I do is treat it like you’re doing that middle section, that interview section, you do the live stream. Still record a separate intro and outro after Zoom ends. Start a new Zoom and do that and tell the team to cut the chitchat at the very beginning or don’t and just repeat it anyway. That way you don’t feel like you have to do a long introduction on someone. You can do a short one that way. I did that with Kevin Harrington and I was like, “If you don’t know who Kevin Harrington is, you don’t deserve to be in the product launching world. You’re not paying attention.”
He laughed about it, but I knew I was going to do a real intro separately. I knew I was going to hit on all of the things that make it important and we did do it in the interview anyway. We talked about his experience. You can do it that way and where they feel like they were introduced enough but when you’re going to do your episode, there will be a more formal interview. The reason we also like doing the intro after is that people give you bios and then while you’re in the call, you find out something so relevant and so important in the interview that you wished you had said at the beginning because maybe somebody would’ve tuned in and stayed tuned in because of that. You have the energy and excitement from having just finished the interview and you have a little more information or context as to what in their bio is important.
It may not be important that they went to this college, but this part might be even more relevant than you thought it was going to be. That’s always a good way to go about doing it. That way you’re not citing a resume every single time. That total ends you up around 40 to 45 minutes and that’s a good length for an interview. I had an interview with Lillian Walker and we went for an hour, but she was fascinating and I could not ask cool questions about her. I think that’s the longest one I’ve done in a long time. I don’t think I’ve done one that long, but it needed to happen. She was so good.
Here’s the thing, I wouldn’t worry about the length. First of all, when we produce an episode, it’s flat-rate pricing. Whether you’re doing it twenty minutes or doing it an hour, it doesn’t cost any different so keep that in mind. The reality is if people only have a half an hour to listen because that’s their commute, they’re driving to work, they’ll only listen half in the morning and half on the way home or they’ll listen at double speed and get it all in an hour or half-hour and they do it. It sounds fairly normal. It doesn’t sound that much different when somebody listens to you on double speed. If you think I’m wrong, try it. Most apps like your Apple Podcast app, they have a 2x option when you’re listening and hit it. You can hear how it sounds for other shows. Especially if you talk slow like me, Tracy speaks much faster words per minute than I do. With me, I think people like to listen to me at double speed just so I sound normal.
Anyway, those are just some tips about length. I don’t want people stressing about it. We have all types on our platform and there’s so much variety of what’s successful and what’s not. It is not a hard-and-fast rule. Authenticity is what listeners want, so be yourself. If you’re not yourself, they’re going to know. That’s why if you’re stretching it to fill time, they’re going to know. They’re probably going to email you and say, “You’re beating a dead horse with this one. You could have ended that one ten minutes early.” They will tell you and hopefully mostly positive and constructive emails than unhappy ones.
That’s what happened to us in the early days. When we did our first show, we were advised to do twenty minutes because that was a commute time, 20 to 25 minutes. That was the average commute time and we were told that. We did that in the very beginning and the first thing people said was, “We want more.” We were doing five days a week. They wanted longer and so that’s what we did. Most of those were the interview episodes where they wanted deeper dives. That’s what we started to do and that’s what we’ve found from most people are the most success stories that we hear that that’s what it is. They’re not as programmatic about it. I would say those though that take ads, those are an hour-long because of ads.
That’s because that’s what the advertising company wants. If you go into one of these programs like Castbox or one of these places where they’re going to place ads on your show at that top level. Most shows don’t qualify in the early days, but when you do that, they tell you, you have to be an hour. That’s where some people believe that monetization is an hour. It’s because radio shows, all of these places in order for them to squeeze in enough ads over time and not have them be too close together, that’s what they do.
We never found that and we’ve monetized our first show. We monetized it with ads and we would do two ads in every show and that’s it. One early on that’s fifteen seconds and one in the middle that was 30 seconds and it didn’t matter how long the episode was. It depends on your approach to it. Tracy was talking about a serious media buying company that has criteria that they’ve promised to an advertiser and then you deliver, that’s a little different. Maybe there will be some opportunities to do that for many of you and that would be great. Maybe you’ll have to consider whatever those requirements are at the time, but hopefully not. I would always say don’t compromise the integrity of your show. If they want to advertise, it’s because they want to reach your audience that is within a certain niche and they’ll accept advertising on your show, whatever you’re willing to let them do.
There is also one other thing I should mention where we’re working with a network that’s coming on the platform and they are looking for shows in a very specific type. As your shows get started or if you’re new to the platform, I’m monitoring them all the time and I’m going to be suggesting you into the network. There’s nothing that changes about how your show operates. It’s just that you’d be required to put an ad in for another podcast. It’s like a cooperative. You would advertise for another podcast or one show per week and one ad spot. You would be advertising for somebody else’s podcast.
At the same time though, your show would also be promoted on others on that network. The reason why I’m cautious about all of you is I want to make sure you’re going to benefit from it. The last thing you want is a health and wellness podcast on something that’s all about hacking a code or something. It doesn’t make sense. The profile of people is not the same. Let’s also be very clear. This podcast network is in its infancy. It doesn’t exist yet. This is a business plan this company wants to do and if they achieve their goals, which is still an if, then there may be an opportunity.
We certainly, as it applies and makes sense for any of you that have worked with us, are going to ask you if you’d like to participate and if so, then serve you up to that network. It would be another promotional outlet for you. We’re always testing these things and want to bring them to you. As always, if you have questions, it’s Hello@Podetize.com. I’m sure you know how to reach out to us and if not, that one. We will be getting emails about the schedule, those other webinars we’re doing if you’re interested. This was fun. Thank you, Carolyn, for jumping in and participating. Thank you, Agnes and Mitch and everybody else. Thanks so much. We’ll see you next time. Take care.
- The New Trust Economy
- Smart Podcast Player
- Product Launch Hazzards
- @Feed_Your_Brand – Feed Your Brand Instagram
- Feed Your Brand
- Authority Magazine
- Get WealthFit
- Lillian Walker – Past episode