Buzzcast

Buzzcast Q&A - Fan Question Edition

October 09, 2020 Episode 36
Buzzcast
Buzzcast Q&A - Fan Question Edition
Chapters
00:00:00
Fire content
00:01:14
Which link should I use to promote my show?
00:06:46
Buzzsprout promotion tools
00:16:36
Recording phone calls
00:22:03
Interview tips
00:28:19
How to turn around declining numbers
00:36:31
How to promote your podcast
00:41:07
Use Facebook ads?
00:45:00
Email lists for podcasters
Buzzcast
Buzzcast Q&A - Fan Question Edition
Oct 09, 2020 Episode 36

In this episode, we answer listener questions gathered from the Buzzsprout Podcast Community Facebook group. (Check the Chapter Markers to jump to a specific question)

Email sales@podlp.com if you're interested in running paid ads on PodLP to promote your podcast.

Subscribe to the Buzzsprout YouTube channel to watch gear reviews, software tutorials, and podcast strategy videos.

Review Buzzcast in Podchaser to let us know what you think of the show.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode, we answer listener questions gathered from the Buzzsprout Podcast Community Facebook group. (Check the Chapter Markers to jump to a specific question)

Email sales@podlp.com if you're interested in running paid ads on PodLP to promote your podcast.

Subscribe to the Buzzsprout YouTube channel to watch gear reviews, software tutorials, and podcast strategy videos.

Review Buzzcast in Podchaser to let us know what you think of the show.

Alban:

Alright, I have now started my recording because Kevin has predicted absolute fire content was his exact words. I'm shocked you

Kevin:

said that. I was just thinking that walking in here. However, we

Alban:

all be honest if anyone ever says this is fire content, I'm like, Yeah, like a dumpster fire of content. There's no way it's

Kevin:

something doesn't matter what type of fire it is, as long as it's fire.

Alban:

I'm telling you like Sarah Canuck has never kicked off an episode of cereal like, bro, this is absolute fire content if you have to smash the subscribe button right away.

Travis:

Alban, we got a lot of really great questions from our Facebook group, the Buzzsprout podcast community about things that we should talk about on Buzzcast. What was one question that really caught your attention that you think would be good to address

Alban:

I like they were pretending as if these questions came in of their own accord,

Travis:

you said no signposting. I'm providing zero context to this episode as requested.

Kevin:

So the guy takes the garlis of how we got here, here's where we're at.

Alban:

Here's where we're at. We got a bunch of questions. Maybe Travis asked you guys if there were some questions you wanted to know about. But we've got them. And there were actually a ton of really good ones. So I've got my first question. Ready to go. Lisa dropped a great question. How do we use all the tools available on Buzzsprout? Sharing links on multiple platforms? Best way to spread the link? And so I'm hearing there is we're trying to get a lot of people to know you're trying to get your link out there. You want to share it on social you want to share newsletter? What's the best way to get that out to the world? So what do you what do you guys think?

Kevin:

Best way to share your episode link? I would go to I would share your Buzzsprout site. Yeah, for sure. That's where I'd start. Now. If you have your own website all set up, and you embed episodes and you create a blog post or a new post for every episode that you do. That is a totally fine link to share. The reality is that the majority of people probably don't have that yet. So if you're not there, and you're asking this question, what link should I send, I'm going to go ahead make the assumption that you'll have your own website. So in lieu of having your own website, I would show your Buzzsprout link, because it has a homepage for your episodes, and then an individual page for each episode, and all the subscribe buttons for all the directories that you could possibly be in. In addition to that, if you use additional tools like transcript tools, and chapter marker tools, all that stuff is available there as well. Now, one thing that a lot of people don't recognize right away when starting with Buzzsprout, is that you can customize that URL, it doesn't have to be buzzsprout.com slash a number, it can be like Michael podcast.buzzsprout.com. And the way that you do that is you log in to your account, and you click on website, and then click on Change URL, and you can customize your Buzzsprout website address.

Alban:

I think that's a really good point on, you want to have one link you share for every individual episode. So every episodes, you only get one shared link, and that link optimally is giving you link, in turn linking out to all the directories, we want to have one place that you control, you're trying to get as many people to go there. And that should either be your Buzzsprout site, or it should be your own personal homepage, if you have both share your personal homepage where all this lifts. And that's where you're going to put show notes and transcripts and links to every app. And that's the one that you should share. One thing to watch out for, do not share your admin link, we actually see this, Kevin, I think you actually built something a workaround for people. But sometimes people share the URL like when they're logged into their account. And the downside there is somebody else would have to log into your account to actually see that page so they don't see anything. And we just made it ourselves so that now we actually on the login page, have a link to your website. So we try to save those just make sure if you're sharing a link on Buzzsprout. And when you do that a little image pops up that says login. That's not the right link.

Kevin:

Yeah, test your like before you send it. That way to grab the right link to share when you're logged into Buzzsprout without having to log out is to click on your episode, and then look on the right sidebar. And then one of the last options down at the bottom where it says more options, his email link to this episode. So if you click that will show you the right link to share and there's a copy button next to it. That's the link that you want to share. We also when your episode is finished processing will also shoot you an email and that same link is in the email. So you don't have to log out of your account to get the right email or to get the right link, but you might not know where it is. So that's where it is click on your episode look in the right sidebar and it's down towards the bottom.

Travis:

And as a fun editing note, Michael podcast of buzzsprout.com is available. So if that fits with your show, log into your Buzzsprout account very quickly and claim it and then when someone goes to Michael podcast@buzzsprout.com they'll go to your podcast

Kevin:

instead of me get all the free promotion from this episode.

Travis:

Everyone will go find your episode. It will solve all of your podcast marketing and growth problems. Everything will go away and you will just ride the momentum into the into the distance into the process. I

Kevin:

will say one more thing before we move on from that topic, we talked about if you have your own website, and we talked about if you don't have your own website, and there is a middle ground, also where you can have a domain, but you don't necessarily have to then take the next step to get your own website, you can point your domain to the Buzzsprout. website. And so that is an option. Also, if you're interested in going to a domain registrar, like GoDaddy, or I think we have a discount code for hover. So if you just want to buy a domain and use that, like my cool podcast calm, then which is probably not available, but if it were, you could buy it, and then you could point that to your Buzzsprout site. Oh, I am checking right now.

Travis:

No one is gonna register this domain, Michael podcast.com is not being used. But I would have to do some more digging to see if it's actually for sale. Okay.

Alban:

Yeah, it's not a good domain. But um, anyway, you can have your own special domain. And you can point that to Buzzsprout. So that what shows up on your Buzzsprout account shows up when you go to this specific URL, that is what I would recommend very early in your podcasting journey is setting that up. Because you don't want to add all this workflow, building your own WordPress site and setting up hosting with a WordPress site as well. Just go ahead, get the domain, redirect it, and you're done. And you're not dealing with a whole bunch of other stuff.

Kevin:

Yeah, it's not a redirect, though, it's actually called a forward in most of these registered accounts like GoDaddy and stuff is called domain forwarding. That's the simplest way to point to your Buzzsprout site. There are other ways, but I like that one, because you can actually forward it to the secure version of your Buzzsprout site. So you buy the domain there, like 12 bucks, you click on the link that says forward this domain, and you type in https colon slash slash, my pool, Michael podcast buzzsprout.com. And then when anybody goes to your domain, they get redirected to a secure site. It's fantastic.

Travis:

Now, Kevin, I want to queue up this next question for you, because I feel like this is going to be right in your wheelhouse. brata, Lee was curious about some of the tools that we have for kind of fleshing out and adding some some color and some detail to their episodes. He says, I have figured out sound bites, but I don't understand the benefit, or how to add chapter markers and a transcript. So could you talk to how to add chapter markers, how they're valuable, and then also kind of dig into the transcript aspect of it as well? Absolutely.

Kevin:

So these are the three things that we encourage you to do. You know, given the amount of time that you have and effort energy you're willing to put into your podcast, but there are three top things that we recommend that you do for every episode. And they are the largest things when you click into an episode in your Buzzsprout account, their largest things in that right sidebar. So these are all things that are good, and that you can do to help promote your episode and make it better. The three that we recommend are the biggest at the top. And it's transcripts, Chapter markers, and visual sound bites. So let's just start at the top and walk down. I know it's not necessarily the order of the question. But that's the simplest way for me to think about it. So transcripts, we've talked at length about transcripts, and I think the last Buzzcast episode, we went into some detail about how we're looking to provide more and more value out of transcripts and make these available player apps. But the biggest benefits of transcripts in a nutshell is accessibility for people who have a hearing impairment. And now your content is available to them. And discoverability in terms of search engines find it a lot easier to just and index written content, instead versus audio content. So the more of your content that you can get in written form, the better chances that somebody is going to be searching for something somewhere on the internet or a podcast app and your your podcasts will be discovered as part of the solution to whatever they're looking for. So that's a good high level overview on transcripts. Again, if you want more detail, listen to our last episode. Now, Chapter markers, is something very different chapter markers does not help with discoverability. But it helps with the listening experience. So if you think about ways that you can add value to your audience members and make it a more enjoyable experience for them to be able to when they're enjoying your content, Chapter markers are a great way to do that. Just like when you listen to if you've ever listened to an audiobook and audible or something that you can jump to a chapter, to hear the content in that chapter specifically without having to listen to for hours to get there. That's what chapter markers do in a podcast. So podcasts are long form content. Some of our episodes are 20 minutes, Chapter markers might not be that important. Some of our episodes are closer to an hour or more chapter markers become more important, the longer your content is, and especially if you move from topic to topic. So again, if you're if your podcast is storytelling, jumping around in a story might not be as important as a roundtable discussion. So today, we're probably going to create chapter markers for this episode that go through maybe not every question, but at least maybe the general categories of questions. So I think like some of our categories of questions we have today might be like Buzzsprout, tools, interview techniques, podcast marketing, sorry, I'm doing a little bit signposting here,

Travis:

where we're going to tell them just tell them what they need to know.

Kevin:

But our chapters might end up looking like that. So every time you skip to a chapter, you're jumping 10 or 15 minutes through the episode. And while that might not be necessarily like from a content creators perspective, you might say hey, Don't want people jump around, I want him to listen, from start to finish, we have to recognize that that's not necessarily the the listening habits of everyone who listens to your show. And more importantly, this is how I use chapter markers all the time, is I will listen to most podcasts beginning to end. But then I will remember something later in the week that I want to go back and listen to again, or reference or send a link to somebody. And podcasts that has chapter markers allows me to find that link and do it much easier to the point where podcasts don't have chapter markers, I hardly share, or I hardly even bother going back and trying to find that segment, because it's just gonna be too difficult to scrub through the audio and find it. But I know like ATP is a show I listen to every week and they have chapter markers. And I can always find exactly what I'm looking for very quickly. So I referenced that stuff all the time. So that's chapter markers in a nutshell.

Alban:

Yeah, I actually think that's the same argument I use for transcripts. There's podcast I listened to they're really big, they just never published the transcripts. And I've actually transcribed some other episodes, so that I can like save little segments that I thought were interesting. Whereas there's a podcast, I really like Tom conversations with Tyler that has, like, actually human edited perfect transcripts on the website. And it's so nice to search for a section I liked. Take a screenshot, share it, send it to somebody and not ask them, Hey, why don't you listen to an hour and a half episode, you can just say, hey, this part was really interesting, I think you'd like it. That's the behavior you want to be encouraging. your listeners love your podcast, and now they can share segments to friends. Listen to that specific part, these two tools make that a lot easier.

Travis:

So Alvin, let me get the straight, you took it, somebody else's podcast that you listen to. And you're like, you're not creating create transcript, which is what I want. So I'm going to make a transcript for you for myself. So that way, I can remember the stuff that I want to remember,

Alban:

I did not want to re listen to like an hour and a half episode. And I wanted to find this one particular part. And because I have otter.ai transcripts or so were my it was gonna be free. So I just was like, fine, I've downloaded the episode, uploaded it to otter, got it, copied the second out and put it in my notes like this three paragraph section. But it was like that's the easiest part. There's no chapter markers. I don't know how to find it. There's no searchability. So that was my workaround. I don't think there's anybody else who's gonna do that. Yeah, like it.

Travis:

I can't think of any other anyone else that would do that. But it tickles me pink that you did that? Yeah.

Kevin:

You know, I had a couple conversations with doesn't matter who I had these conversations with. And I probably shouldn't say anyway. But in the last week, I've had conversations with people who work in podcasting about transcripts. And I can tell you that there are third party players, and companies that are doing transcripts in the background, whether you're doing them or not to help surface podcast episodes for your show. And what I was talking to them about was the fact that Buzzsprout is now providing, if you provide a podcast yourself for your content, then we are pushing that in the app, and they're like, well, that's they were very interested in that because it's a, it's a, like, it's an approved transcript of your episode, right. And because you're providing it, versus them relying on their AI to provide a transcript where they might get some words wrong. And they're not, they don't have any plans to surface these to the listeners. They're just using them so that when you search a topic and their podcast app, they can try to surface the most relevant episodes, things that are actually talking about that stuff. It's just getting more and more important to consider transcripts for your podcast, either you're gonna provide the transcript, or they're gonna do it, the benefits of you doing it is you get control over it. So you get to make sure the words or write the names or write any company names or whatever you're talking about are spelled correctly, and you get the additional benefit of them, they might surface that then for the end listener, as opposed to if they do it themselves. They're telling me anyway, they have no intention of surfacing it for the end user, because they know that they're getting some things wrong.

Travis:

I know that bronto Lee mentioned that they had figured out how to use the sound bites, but there I'm sure there are people listening to this episode that have either never created a sound bite or aren't sure how to do that. So I want to this up again to you, Kevin, because we just made a big improvement to the sound bites feature that I think people are gonna be really excited about.

Kevin:

Yes, so sound bites are they have a lot of different names. The Buzzsprout name for these guys is visual sound bite. But you might have heard these things referred to as audiograms. What else do people call them? I don't like some people just call them headliners. Some people call them waves. When I think

Travis:

of an audiogram I think of like Middle School where you would pay people like $5 to sing a song on Valentine's Day like a singing telegram. Yeah, that's what I think. erotica, gram.

Unknown:

Yeah, that's a good image. But it's not that that's not what it is. No, it's that's actually

Alban:

a really good podcast growth tool. just hire like a troubadour to go and sing your podcast to people. You will get some listens.

Kevin:

That's the ninja ninja podcast growth hack by Alvin. Okay, so a visual sound bite is one of these things. It's they're basically little video files and they take highlights from your podcast episode so that you can share them on social media sites, whether it be Facebook or YouTube or Instagram or Tiktok, her Instagram, what's the new one Instagram reels hot doing?

Travis:

What's up Instagram.

Alban:

This is what I was doing to get Gen X trying to tell you what social media to be on. There's my space, there's friendly, there's all these hearts move,

Unknown:

whatever you call these things,

Kevin:

do these things. Alright, so you take your visual soundbite, you create your clip. So we have a tool, it's super easy, you go in and you say, around 30 minutes or so I started talking about something interesting that I want to share. They can be anywhere between 15 seconds up to two minutes. And then you get a little animated waveform that flows on top of the graphic, you can switch out the graphic if you don't like it, you can use your your podcast cover art as a default, or you can type some text on the page. So they're kind of flexible. If you want more flexibility, again, we always point to tools like WAV is our number one recommendation headliners another option. And then you download the video, and you upload it to wherever you want to share it. So the social sites that I mentioned before, and you want to make sure you always include a link if you can, like on Instagram, they don't give you links unless you have 10,000 followers or so you don't get a little Swipe up to see more. But if you're at those thresholds, or you're sharing on a platform that lets you like YouTube, go ahead and put a link to your full episode. And it's a great way to get people excited and interested in your content. It's think about like people who go to a bookstore, right? If people are looking at a podcasting app, and browsing, or flipping through a social site and looking for something interesting to listen to. It's like reading the the jacket cover or something on a on the back of a book. It's a great little teaser, intro to your podcasts and a good way to find some new listeners.

Alban:

Alright, so there's another good question here. Lazar asks, I know you've talked about this before, but can you go a bit deeper on making the sound of a phone call or FaceTime call clear? That's a good question. We actually just feels like we just published a post on this. But it's from February. Wow. That was

Travis:

like two years ago. albon. February was like two years ago.

Alban:

That was back when we were expecting it's actually funny reading this. It says like, oh wondery benefit of recording not in person is that it's more likely to get the interview, it's a little bit easier. And unlike the other is that you don't get COVID. So there's multiple benefits. But yeah, we were naive back in February. Anyway, how to record phone calls for podcasts, we can leave a link, I kind of want to run through some of the pros and cons here. If you do just audio, it's a little bit easier to get people to agree to an interview. Even now, like when you probably have to be remote. Some people just don't like turning on the camera, and they feel a little more self conscious. So that's one benefit of Tim Ferriss has actually been a proponent of just doing the audio, he actually thinks it helps people feel a little bit less intimidated, but a little bit more authentic. If you're on the phone call, you know, the person you're interviewing doesn't have to be techie. They don't even know how to figure out zoom, they can just dial in. But there's definitely some real downsides. I mean, the main one is this question is in reference to how do we make it sound better? Well, the there is a massive limitation here, phone calls are compressed down to about 12 to four kilobits per second, which is something like an eighth of what your podcast should be at. And so the amount of quality in that audio is just is going to be degraded. And it's going to make all of the imperfections in the audio kind of come out a little bit more. So it's going to be pretty tough. And there's also the risk that the phone call drops out. So there are some downsides. If you want just how to do it, you know, we've got lots of ways to do it, we probably recommend using something like a zoom h6. For a hardware setup. You can also do things like record a zoom call on your phone, if you if your only restriction is really, I need to use my actual phone. So there's this whole blog post that we will give you for all of that. But zoom has gotten so much better, especially for recording interviews, I would really push anyone who wants to record on the phone, just say hey, can you download this zoom app and record it that way? Because the quality you're gonna get is a massive improvement from having them call in over a phone number.

Kevin:

We've done it both ways for the show. I don't know if you guys remember like a year ago, I was I was out of town and I tried calling into record. And we got about five minutes into it before both of you were like this is this is unacceptable. We got to try something else. And so we switched to FaceTime and you guys still recorded it, you know through zoom or whatever we're using at the time. And that was much better. So again, just switching from like actual telephone and cell phone signal quality over to like a voice over IP quality is a substantial jump. And then to make that whole process easier. The next step would be getting some hardware whether it be a zoom, h6 or the ps4 or a road caster Pro. Those are all hardware solutions. that are going to make it actually technically easier for you set it up. But if you're not ready for that investment, you can record a FaceTime call fine into zoom, you can record a zoom call directly into zoom. That's where it started.

Travis:

Yeah, and as far as making it sound as good as possible, you're really gonna want to coach your guest to be set up for success. So if you can encourage them to record in like a walk in closet, or, you know, me and Alban did this recently, we had one of our guests that we were interviewing sit on their bed with the Comforter over her head while we were recording the interview. And it sounds incredible. And because we weren't recording the video, it didn't matter what it looked like. We just had that time constraint of how long can she stay in the Comforter before she gets like sweated out right?

Kevin:

Let us know how that goes for you. If you if you ask all your podcast guests to throw a comforter over their heads before we start,

Alban:

well, she was recording using her laptop speaker. And it was like, hey, we've got to record this now. And the only mic she had was the laptop speaker. And so I remember being like, this is gonna be a rough sounding interview. She was like, Oh, this is what I've done in the past. But this help. And we're like, shocked by how much it improved the sound quality.

Travis:

Yeah, so if you can get them into a recording environments, where there's like no Echo, and there's a lot of sound dampening materials, you can get passable audio from just about any kind of microphone, even a phone microphone. But the other thing, the other little tip that I offer to podcasters is ask them if they have access to Apple earbuds, the free headphones that you get with every iPhone, because they have a directional microphone on them. That is significantly better than the microphone on the phone itself. And if they don't have one, they have a relative or a friend that has them like they're, they're everywhere. So that's what I would encourage you to do is find a way to get them in a recording environment where there's gonna be like close to zero echo. And if they can get their hands on some apple earbuds, that makes a big difference to

Alban:

Yeah, I think that's good. All right, we ready for another question?

Travis:

Yes. So Steve asked this question. And then Kate was like, Yes, please, let's talk about this. And it was just interviewing techniques, share your interviewing techniques. So Alvin, when you interview people, what is your preparation process look like? And what are the kinds of questions that you'd like to ask to get like really good conversations?

Alban:

Well, the best thing you can do is actually to do the prep. I mean, I remember when you interviewed Eric Newsome for when he launched his book on podcasting, that he said, Oh, I really appreciated the fact that you read my book. And like, right, you'd think that's table stakes, but it's not. There's plenty of people who will just be like, so podcast, what is it, I know, you wrote a book about it, I didn't read it, like, give me a good interview, it's not going to be a great interview, if you do not care about your guest. And the way you show care and respect to your guest is like, if it's going to be a 45 minute interview, I feel like you want to put two to three times that much into the prep. And that's you listening to other interviews with them trying to read if they've got a personal website or blogs, like skimming through trying to catch like, what is interesting about this person, and what in particular would be interesting to my audience, because they don't know that. And they're not directing the conversation you are. So once you do all that prep, I just sit there and I write as much as I can. I'm like, Oh, this is interesting about their life. And then you are the one keeping up questions to draw out the things you think are interesting. And now this is the real tip that I want to give is like, a great interviewer is a great listener. I've been in interviews where I'm the interviewee. And I've done it probably both ways. But I know once where I'm like, oh, what I said, I know we're gonna have a good follow up, because it's interesting to them. And I know the person interviewing me didn't hear it. And they just asked their next question. And it kind of kills any of the momentum and love him or hate him. This is actually what I think Joe Rogan is like, almost an expert at is. It doesn't even seem like he's asking questions that he's prepared. He's just listening so intently, these just following everything that's interesting in the other person's answers. And they just go down rabbit holes for hours. And they're mostly really interesting rabbit holes. So really listen carefully to what the person you're interviewing says. So that you can ask. Excellent follow up questions.

Kevin:

Yeah. So Alvin, I think that is an excellent, what you said about doing prep ahead of time. That is such a huge difference in terms of the guest experience. So I just did a podcast episode. It's called for the love of podcast and the host, Billy was not someone who I knew before we set up this interview. And so I figured that we were going to have a conversation but a lot of it would be exploratory. And we get on the call and he has done so much research on who I am as a person, what my interests are. Buzzsprout as a company are the history of our company, he'd gone back and listened to old podcast episodes that I was guest on, and asked me follow up questions from those episodes. And it was just a, it's what a fun experience. Now, obviously, it could get creepy like,

Alban:

how do you know that? So last Thursday you ate at bonefish Bar and Grill and delicious bangbang appetizer? Tell me how was that appetizer?

Kevin:

Yeah, it was not like that at all, it was just very clear that he was very interested in me as a person. And the topics that we were going to be talking about, which was Buzzsprout. And what we're doing as a podcast host and how we grew the company and what's working and what's not. And it just made for such a fun discussion. And like an episode that I was proud to promote. And so it's kind of hit or miss. When I do a lot of podcast episodes, it's kind of hit or miss the ones that I take the time to share around and share with the company and find clips that I really like and push those. And this was an episode that was really easy for me to do that on because we talked about things that weren't that were at a different level, then when conversations on how to different podcasts because of the research he did ahead of time. So I think that is a huge tip. The other thing that I would add to that is you have to define and figure out for yourself what interview style works for you. So there's a lot of great interview podcasts that you can go out and listen to, to figure it out. Like Alvin brought up Joe Rogan. That's one interview style. There's also you know, Terry Gross, she has her own style. There's also like guy Roz on how I built this, that's a totally different interview style. So listen to a bunch of different interview styles, figure out which one resonates with you, like I enjoy this type of show, and then dissect it like reverse engineer. How did they do that? How do they go from one question to the next? What type of questions are they answering? Are they trying to, you know, weave a story? Or are they trying to peck around and hop around? Are they jumping back to something I talked about the beginning of episode or they always think linear? Like just take the time to figure out what works for you and the type of show that you want to put together?

Travis:

Man, you guys are both seasons, podcast interviews, that was great. I feel like I don't even have anything to add to that

Kevin:

gold. I told you we're gonna drop gold today,

Travis:

so much gold. I will say this, the the one thing that that I think about when it comes to being a great interviewer is you have to be curious. You have to want to know what the answer is. I know when I was first getting started with podcasting, and doing interviews, I would have my list of 10 questions. And I would just literally ask question one, Question two, question three, Question four, and just go down the list. And the end is like cool. I asked all my questions, got all my answers. There's my podcast episode. But there's a difference. When you latch onto something you're like, no, I personally want to learn more about the thing that they just said. And then that becomes the gold nugget of that interview. Because now it's not just you're exchanging information backing back and forth. you're exploring something together, you're exploring something from this person. And that is what is captivating from a listeners perspective. When you feel like you're diving into something, instead of just you know, listening to a book report. Yeah, I like that. Avenue. Right? Yeah, I

Alban:

was juicy. My eyes. I was like, Yeah, I've like, tried to breed some of my coffee. So I was just coughing up.

Travis:

You is that is you're trying to get the caffeine in your system faster. Like it.

Alban:

It woke me up quickly. Got another good one, Nick asked how to turn declining download numbers around. So without knowing too much of the, you know what's going on in your particular podcast, Nick, Travis and I are actually in the process of working on a how to grow a podcast series. And this is going to be a video series will probably turn it into blog posts as well, on all the marketing techniques that we've seen work, you know, just how different podcasters have grown their podcasts. So one is to say, Help is on the way, we've got a lot more to write about this. But one thing that I feel very strongly about is not every podcast has to grow. And I know that that can be frustrating when your numbers are going down. But sometimes you're getting rid of people who just are not super fans of the podcast, and that is actually okay. You know, I often think if I had the opportunity to show up and speak to a local group about something I cared about. And even if it was only 30 people who showed up, I would do it every week, I would never drop it. And I would always show up and be excited. And if I all of a sudden saw only 27 people, it wouldn't bother me, I would actually be still really excited because people are continuing to show up. And so one thing to remember is these are real people there they actually engage. So even smaller numbers matter.

Kevin:

This is relevant to how Buzzsprout operates. So Buzzsprout is what we in the technical in the technology sector we'd call a SaaS business. So all of our customers sign up And pay us on a monthly basis. And then they can continue to pay us every month or they can cancel. And if they cancel, we call that churn. And so it's something that we track all the time. I think it's healthy to think about your podcast in the same way, somebody subscribes to your podcast or listen to one episode, are they going to come back next time and listen again? Or are they going to churn? Now, having an unhealthy level of churn means that more people are leaving than are coming in. And that sounds like the situation that you're describing, you have declining numbers, so you're churning more listeners, you know, then you're signing up every month, or every episode. And that can be a problem. But the, at least for us, and the advice that I would give you is don't focus so much on the people that are leaving, focus on the people that are staying, talk to them and figure out why. What do you like about the show? What is the best part of the show? What do you want to hear every time you tune in, what segments work, what segments are not working, find your fans, find out what they love about you and do more of that, because you have to find more of those people. And you have to find more of those people at a faster clip, then when the wrong people find you, they end up leaving, okay, so that's how you're going to produce a really great show with a bunch of super fans, is by finding out the content that's resonating with the people who do like you and give more and more of that and find more and more of those people. So that's my

Alban:

gosh, that is actually really good. Kevin. Um, I mean, this is the you kind of relating it to this SAS world. And in software, the first piece of advice I tell people who are trying to grow their software products, is, look how quickly people are leaving your product. And you have to fix that problem first, and actually make this a really, really valuable software product before people for people to stick around before you focus on getting more people to actually sign up. And it really is true for podcasting. If people are leaving, we want to figure out why did those people leave? And what are the people who stay? What are they doing? What is this podcast doing for them? What are they getting out of it? And how do I get more people like them. So once you kind of plug the the hole in the bottom of the bucket, then we focus on filling the top of the bucket a bit more, because we know every bit of marketing we do will actually lead to a lot of growth.

Travis:

And also don't take for granted that podcasting as a medium is probably one of the hardest things to grow on the internet. YouTube has built in growth mechanics that if you hit one video, you can just kind of skyrocket your subscriber numbers. blog posts are very easily shareable. They're easy to peruse, easy to scan, and so you can get more traffic more quickly with blog posts, audio content, kind of like we talked about earlier with the importance of chapter markers and transcripts, it takes a lot for someone to commit to listening to a show every week. That is valuable time. They're not watching a three minute video on your YouTube channel. They're not scanning a four minute blog post, they're spending 45 minutes listening to your voice. And so even though it is more difficult by comparison to grow a podcast, the value of those listeners is so much greater that I would trade 100 podcast listeners for 1000 YouTube subscribers every day of the week, I would choose the podcast listeners.

Alban:

Yeah, I totally agree we would actually make that trade. That's not hyperbole. I think about this all the time, the pod cast that Travis and I did on how to start a podcast is a little self referential here, but um, and the blog post we have on this, the blog post has been read something like 10 times as much as the podcast itself has downloads. And there's like 10 episodes. So it's really like 100 times as many people have read that blog post. Men have ever listened to the podcast. Yet whenever we go to a conference, it's we regularly now have people come up and say, Hey, you taught me how to podcast by all your content. I love it. And I always ask, oh, how did you encounter it? It was at the YouTube channel was at the blog was at the course. And it's it feels like it's always the podcast. And it's not that other people haven't engaged in learned. It's that the people who are willing to come up to me at conferences and go, Hey, I learned a lot from you. And it really was valuable. Those are almost always the people we built a connection with through podcasting. I do not have anybody who is impressed that we have a bunch of YouTube subscribers or people who watch the video, I think because it they just don't feel the connection the way that they do with the podcast.

Kevin:

Yeah, and I will throw in this little tidbit. And Nick, I don't presume This is where you are in your journey. But it was about two years ago, maybe a little more when Apple released these new tags for seasons and episode numbers and episode type. And from that point forward, there was a lot of podcasters who just did regular shows on a weekly or bi monthly basis or something who's decided how I'm going to do seasons now. And so what they're doing is they're building this audience and then they just get a little bit, you know, tired or they feel like they're going to slightly switch topics. or something. So they're going to take a couple months off. And then they want to come back with season two. And so this is all leading up to me saying, I don't think the idea of seasons for most podcasts are a good idea. It takes a long time to build an audience. And along that journey, we are fighting things like churn and exposure, and the types of show that we're going to do content type, all that kind of stuff. And once you have that, and you're you're building this audience, you've now become a regular part of people's lives. And we talked about the importance of being consistent all the time in podcasting. And what seasons do is they break up that consistency, and they give people an opportunity to replace you with something else. And then you win. So when you come back with season two, the idea that you're just going to pick right back up, where you left off with the same number of downloads for every episode is not what we see at all. The reality is, is that it's a huge step back. Now, if you do a show, like cereal, or something that's totally different in that people understand, like, I think cereal, well, it doesn't I was gonna say I think they release all at once. And it's not the way it happened. But like s town was a podcast episode, I think they dropped like all seven or eight at once. Rabbit Hole, I think was very similar. But these are like long term evergreen content shows you can go back and listen to that whenever you want. They're not trying to build something out of every week, the tune in to hear the latest of whatever the topic is that I'm talking about. And so that is the type of show that you're doing. Please don't, you know, say, Oh, that's the end of season one, I'll be back in three months. Because if you do that, you're going to set yourself back in terms of regular listeners.

Alban:

So I think this is a good segue into Don had a question right below, what's the best way to market your show? So we've talked about let's turn around numbers by figuring out what people really love about the podcast so that we keep them here. And now maybe we could move into Don's question, how's what's the best way to market your show? So the first thing I would say, non is, as Travis said, it's hard to build the audience for podcasting because it doesn't have these built in virality mechanisms. And if you're not transcribing your show, and you're not getting it out onto the web, it's actually hard for people to find new podcasts. This definitely is well known about the industry. So what I recommend is finding communities that are going to be naturally very interested in your podcast and engaging with them. And so I've seen people do this very well I in a big Jacksonville Jaguars fan. And so I'm, there's a forum that I like that I go to. And it's pretty regular that people are talking about something. And then they reference a podcast episode where they talked about the same thing. And that is such a good way to get listeners because you're engaging them as a person, they find what you're saying valuable. They liked your insight. And then you say, and I actually talked about this more in depth on my podcast. And so I can just go and subscribe, and listen to more of what they have to say. And if I enjoy the one episode, I'll probably continue to listen to more. And we do this for our shows that are about the podcasting industry. I've shared them on forums about podcasting. And if you're This is about horse racing, see if there's communities and Facebook groups and Cora posts about horse racing, engage, answer people's questions, like completely be the person who's insane in how well you answer a question. And then give them an episode where you went even more in depth. And people are going to appreciate that so much. And you just provide all this value, and you then in turn, get all the attention, which will lead to new listeners. So that's probably my favorite marketing strategy.

Kevin:

Yeah, I think that's a good one. I think there you always have to answer the question yourself, whenever you're talking about marketing is do I have more time? Or do I have more money? And if you have more money, then you would look at things like how can I buy ad placements? And what are the most effective places to place those ads, if you have more time, then you err more on the side of like what Alvin said, there's great marketing opportunities that are very time intensive, but very effective. At the same time, I would say the ones that take more time than money are more effective. But a lot of us don't have enough time to invest in them. So we think let's just throw some money at it and see if it can work. And the reality is that it usually ends up costing us more than we thought we would to get the type of exposure that we want to see. And so Facebook is very good at this, you'll post something on Facebook, maybe you'll create a visual soundbite from Buzzsprout. And you posted your Facebook group, and you'll see that the engagement on it was like 65 people saw this, you can boost this for 20 bucks and use 500 people will see it and you're like 10 bucks, I'll pay 10 bucks. But the reality is that getting in front of 500 people isn't much better than getting it in front of the 60 people that buzz that Facebook already gave you for free. Now, if you could get in front of 5 million people, then you're gonna start to see a return but that's not $10 anymore. It's $1,000 So that's the lure of these pay for exposure services is that they're really good at kind of, you know, boiling you slowly, they want you to give them 10 bucks, and the next time they want to give you 20 bucks and then 30 bucks. And before you know it, you spent 1000. Now spend 1000, you might get the return that you want, but again, spent a lot more to get there. I like the idea of to grow a podcast, I like being in podcasts. So I would say go be a guest on other people's show. If you're gonna buy an ad, don't buy a Facebook ad because people aren't looking for podcasts and Facebook, people are looking for, you know, they're killing time. They're just browsing, they want to get into a political argument. That's what people are doing on Facebook, if you want. If you want to grow your podcast fine, and the podcast player, look at overcast or pocket casts, I think they sell ads in both of those things. buy an ad on somebody else's show, find a friend who's podcasting about something similar that you are and say, Hey, how about I do a little 32nd promo you play it on your show? And I'll give you 20 bucks. Maybe they'll say, Oh, yeah, that's cool. I'll do that. Or maybe they'll say I'll play for free. If you play one for me do that. Like I like the idea of finding people that are already listening to podcasts and trying to figure out how I get my show in front of them. So a couple ideas for you.

Travis:

Yeah, that's a great transition, Kevin, because we actually had the yoga den podcast, specifically asked about using Facebook ads to promote your show. Have we seen people be successful doing that. And then also, jack was wondering if there are different opportunities for advertising? Alvin, I know that you have kind of run the gamut of trying these different apps. What are the apps that we have promoted our podcasts on? And what are the kind of returns that you can see on those versus doing Facebook ads, where you're really just paying for impressions?

Alban:

Yeah, so the apps that I know you can buy ads, I think Kevin said pocket casts, but overcast we've done it's a little bit more expensive, but it's pretty easy. And you know, you're gonna get another hundred subscribers or so it might cost you a few hundred dollars, though. So it's not cheap. But remember, if you can get 100 subscribers who enjoy your podcast, man, that's, uh, you just, that's you're above average already. And maybe, you know, no matter where you were, you just added a good amount of people. You can get a lot of listeners I know, on castbox. But castbox, I think their base prices are going to be like 20 $500, so that you're running a pretty big campaign. I believe player m does it. And one we tested out recently was pod LP. And we talked about this, I don't know, maybe two months ago or so. And the founder of pod LP, reached out and said, thanks for you know, talking about the podcast, hey, if you're ever interested in doing some ads with us, you know, that'd be cool. And it was very, very cheap. So I think it was like $3 a day to be highlighted in the app. And I was like, sure. And I said, you go, you know, even if this doesn't return anything to us, it doesn't really matter. We're supporting somebody who's, you know, launching a podcasting app on what's the name of the

Travis:

QoS

Alban:

QoS, which is very large in India. It's kind of like after Apple, Android. But it's, you know, millions of phones in the world are using iOS. And he was actually the first podcasting app. So I was like, Oh, we should support this. And apparently, when he hit the Kiowa store, how to start a podcast we got like, I mean, it was something like 10,000 downloads in a day. Is that

Travis:

right? Travis? It was so insane. Because if you have a podcast of Buzzsprout, you know how you get those weekly emails, giving you updates on how many people downloaded your podcast, I got the email for how to start a podcast. And I'm like, how is it possible that we had 60,000 downloads for a podcast we published two years ago.

Kevin:

Right, Travis probably filed a bug report, we

Unknown:

did something I did.

Alban:

Tom, who does runs all the stats in john, and me and he goes, guys, we're getting blown up by a bot, what's going on here. And I was like, Oh, that's not a bot, Tom. And I've actually been talking to Thomas, who developed pod LP, and they just hit the store. And those are all real downloads. Now, your podcast may not be a perfect fit for the pod LP app, because it's primarily I feel like the listenership is in India. But it depends on what your podcast is about. I mean, you know, if it was about technology, that's good. If it's about, you know, food and travel, that's gonna work. But if your podcast is about some, you know, sports team in the United States, probably not, you know, super relevant. So just make sure that you, an international audience will work for your podcast, so you're not like locally focused. Um, but let me see if I can find a link to that because I think those rates were really, really compelling. If that's a good audience. And, you know, I'd love to support like an up and coming podcast app that's really doing very well right now. So we'll try to leave a link in the description for you to be able to do that. Alright, so one last one. And this is just because this is something that is near and dear to my heart. Lonnie said email lists smiley face emoji. And man, email lists are so good. And there's so much about them that I love. So let's chat about email lists. For podcasts. What I love is, there are three ways on the internet where you get to reach your audience, and nobody gets to tell, you know, nobody gets to jump in the middle and say, we've changed the algorithm, or they change the script for you, you get to control it, those three ways are building your own website, because you can always switch your hosting somewhere else. It's building a podcast, because you can always move and nobody stops you from reaching your audience. And the third is sending email directly to your audience. And all three of these are so powerful, because you're in the driver's seat. And they are so so hard to grow. These are by far the three hardest things to grow on the internet. And yet they are the three that give you the greatest results. When you actually do you are successful. Because the downside of being successful on tik tok is Tick Tock can change. And you knows that government can ban it or something. And then like the totally hypothetical

Travis:

situation,

Alban:

yeah. All of a sudden, like, you're kind of like, what the heck, I did all this work, and now it's taken away. Whereas in podcasting, blog, and email list, that just does not happen. Um, so what we what I think with email list is the email list, besides our podcasts is probably the most valuable thing Buzzsprout has, these are all people who have said, I want to learn about podcasting. And so every week, we get to send them a nice email saying, here's what we've thought about for podcasting. If I was doing an email list for my podcast, I would probably send a weekly email with some of maybe just like the show notes, or maybe additional content about the podcast, and then a invitation for people to listen to the show. The nice thing is that that's probably already happening in the podcast app. But it's a way for people if you've already got an email list to get people onto the podcast. And that can also be shared with other people. Do you guys have like thoughts about email lists with podcasting?

Kevin:

Yeah, I love email lists. So the thing with the email list is, you can't think about it. Like, I know a lot of times people think of email lists like spam and all this junk email that I get this is something very different when we're talking about like a newsletter, or somebody who's a fan of your podcast, and then giving them a way to connect with you on another channel. And so it can be it can be exactly what Alvin said, hey, there's a new episode. And here's what I talked about. Here's all the episodes that you might not have listened to, or I'm going to highlight something else here other podcasts that I'm listening to. Here's things that are around the internet that I found interesting. Again, this is this is a way additional way for you to connect with your audience besides just your podcast, because the goal is creating superfans, and the thing about emails is that they're really easy to forward as well. So Oh, I forgot to listen to your podcast this week, I get the email, it reminds me to go listen, that podcast, I love it. Oh, I'd love this episode that you just interviewed this person. And that was a really great episode, I'm going to forward it to a friend who might like that. So a lot easier to forward an email than it is to try to explain to somebody how to get a podcast app and subscribe to this thing. So I love the idea. I think I encourage people all the time, flush all the junk email marketing ideas out of your head and think about it as How can this be another way that I can connect with my audience or provide additional value to my audience. And when you approach it from that angle, I think it's a wonderful tool to grow your show,

Alban:

man. And the the one thing that email can do that your podcast can't is it makes it really easy for people to reply. And so a lot of our emails that we send for Buzzsprout at the bottom, we say and reply to this and like a real person will talk to you. And so we send it as support. And we jump in and respond to people. And man that is so valuable for us. Because we are often sending emails and doing podcasts and putting up blogs that don't have comments. And all that's going out to the world. And we don't always know if this is resonating with people. And the emails where we say please respond and let us know what you think. Or if you have any more questions. Those are so positive when people write back. And that is really life giving when you pour yourself into something for a week. And then a couple people write back and say, Hey, this really was helpful. Thank you. And so when you send an email, make sure you put that at the bottom like I respond to I read all of these and I respond. That is a really valuable thing to put in an email because then people actually start responding. And it is just, I can't describe like how much I appreciate it when people do write back and tell us how valuable something we created was for them.

Travis:

So if you're interested in Getting an email list started, maybe you've never done any kind of email marketing before you can, what you're looking for is I believe, called CRM software. So that would be MailChimp, ConvertKit Active Campaign, those kind of services, you don't want to manage it through your personal Gmail account or a Yahoo account, you want to set up a software that will help manage your email list. And most of these software's will give you a simple web page with a link that you can share to your audience. And the way that I would encourage you to use that is to come up with some kind of resource that your listeners would find valuable. Maybe it's a guide, or a tool that you use, or an unreleased episode or behind the scenes content that you can share with them in exchange for their email address. So you can get your existing podcast audience to jump on your email list. And then now you have two different ways to interact with them. So that would be the way that I would go about getting started with email, if you've never done it before.

Alban:

Yeah, we're big fans of ConvertKit. That's what Buzzsprout uses. And now they have like a pretty nice, free plan. So you could just sign up for the free plan and kind of start building your list. But remember, podcasting, email website are all very difficult to get started. And they are things that are like, it's like compound interest in the bank, it takes a while to even see that anything is working. And you're constantly making these deposits. And it doesn't look like anything's happening, until it becomes undeniable, how quickly it's growing. And it is really valuable. But I can tell you, we spent probably three years where I felt like I banged my head against the wall trying to grow Buzzsprout through these channels. And we did not see the results that we were happy with. And then all of a sudden it started taking off, it started taking off because we put in the time we built this email list. We built our blog, and we built our podcast. And eventually there was a critical mass where people really started caring and responding to it.

Travis:

So that design was around July 2018. Somewhere in that timeframe. Yeah,

Alban:

I don't know what happened in July of 2018. Definitely, Travis was like it wasn't growing. And then I showed up and it was growing. I don't know what direction you want to draw. But there is something there's something it is tough. That's why I always like this idea of having kind of a marketing stack where you're like, Hey, I'm really active on Facebook, in my facebook group. And then I'm always encouraging people to go and check out some, some stuff on my website. And my website is where I get people into the email list. And onto the podcast, you know, and you find one social media that you really enjoy. So it could be Reddit, it could be Facebook, it could be Twitter, it could be Tick Tock or Instagram, it doesn't matter. Whichever one you personally, like spending time on, spend time on there as your podcast, and then get people to these things like the email list the podcast, the website that actually are controlled by you, so that you may build up a nice following on Instagram. But long term, what you're doing is you're building up this real following through channels that you control.

Travis:

So we hope you guys enjoyed that new kind of episode. We haven't done an episode like this before, or we just answered your questions. If you enjoyed it, then head over to the Facebook group and let us know to do more episodes like this. And if you're not yet in the Facebook group, make sure that you join

Alban:

and shout out to Mary Kay boot who said she listened to four hours of our podcasts yesterday. We appreciate it very Okay, hope you're not burned out on traps. Kevin and I

Fire content
Which link should I use to promote my show?
Buzzsprout promotion tools
Recording phone calls
Interview tips
How to turn around declining numbers
How to promote your podcast
Use Facebook ads?
Email lists for podcasters