4 Podcast Services We Can’t Help Boasting About



At Blubrry, we put podcasters first. That means that behind the scenes, we’re pretty much always cooking up some way to make podcasting easier, better, and more fun for our content creators. With so much of our time going into improving our services and developing new, groundbreaking products, we don’t have a lot of time for tooting our own horns. We hope you won’t mind if we take this opportunity to boast a little and share the reasons we believe we’re the most complete and robust podcast service provider on the planet:

  1. World-Class Podcast Hosting. Blubrry’s content delivery network (CDN) is built upon the same infrastructure used by many powerhouse podcasts like Serial. Our podcast hosting is built specifically to handle traffic spikes, so your audience will always be able to access your site and listen to your show – guaranteed. Already have a show hosted on another platform? We’ll migrate your show to Blubrry for free and offer tools to update your site once it’s moved over. We also offer a 25% monthly storage overage allowance for those longer-than-anticipated episodes.
  2. Dependable, Accurate Stats. Blubrry’s podcast stats are backed up by 11 years of development history and we pride ourselves on their accuracy. Whether you’re seeking sponsors or just want to know how your show is doing, our stats help you understand and communicate your traffic numbers.
  3. A Top-Notch, FREE Podcasting Plugin. Developed by podcasters for podcasters, PowerPress is the number-one podcasting plugin for WordPress and powers over 50,000 podcasts. Its features multiple audio/video player options, subscribe to podcast tools, podcast SEO features, and more.
  4. An All-In-One Podcasting Solution. PowerPress Sites WordPress hosting is a groundbreaking new service that now makes it possible for would-be podcasters to finally get that show up and running. It’s like an “easy button” for podcasting, and best yet? A basic account is FREE.

Need more reasons to switch to Blubrry hosting? We offer free listener surveys you can use to gather information about your audience, and you may be included in advertising opportunities. With WordPress hosting included in every podcast hosting and pro stats you can’t  go wrong.

Bottom line? At Blubrry, we put you, the podcaster, first. We’ve been in this space for 11 years, and we’re all podcasters too. We’re committed to hearing your problems and creating technology solutions so that you can focus 100% on creating great content. As long as you’re out there producing podcasts, we’ll be here innovating to make podcasting easier and more fun for you. Plus, our responsive and friendly customer service techs are available to lend a helping hand every step of the way. Why not consider switching today?

 

 


Podcasting and the Big Picture, Part 2: Simple Tweaks To Increase Your Traffic



Last week, we shared Blubrry CEO Todd Cochrane’s tips for increasing podcast engagement. In part 2 of our series on using metrics to your advantage, gleaned from Todd’s presentation at Podcast Movement, you’ll find out how to use your stats to increase your audience and make your podcast even better.

Sure, you check your podcast stats every now and then, but do you really understand what they mean – or how you can use the information to make your show better, more engaging, and more widely listened-to? In his recent talk at Podcast Movement 2016, Todd Cochrane shared what he’s learned via ongoing study of podcasts and podcast websites. Some of the more surprising stats that his research has revealed:

  • 36% offered no way to play or download the podcast directly from the site
  • 27% buried the podcast feed on a secondary page, rather than the site’s home page
  • 61% of podcast sites did not mention Android or give Android users a way to listen or subscribe, and just 2% of podcast websites studied included a Google Play link
  • And 65% had show notes consisting of less than one paragraph of text.

While all audiences are different, Cochrane believes there are important lessons to be learned from these numbers…and that some simple tweaks can make a big difference in your show’s success. Some of his takeaway tips from the presentation:

  • Don’t ignore Android. Currently 17.1% of consumption as of June 2016. Blubrry’s One-click Subscribe on Android plugin makes it easy for your Android users to subscribe to your show, and can be installed on your site with a simple snippet of code. Google Play for Podcasts is still new, but will continue to grow. Don’t overlook these potential audience goldmines!
  • Consider beefing up your show notes. Cochrane credits his site’s high traffic with his in-depth show notes, which often include high-traffic timely keywords as well as long-tail search terms that lead a steady stream of new listeners to his virtual door on a daily basis.
  • Check bounce rates. If your bounce rate – the number of people who click to your podcast site, then click away in less than three seconds – is high, it’s telling you something about your site. Could your site be more easy-to-navigate? Could your podcast be more prominently featured on the main page? Or maybe your podcast site is one of the 41% that isn’t mobile-ready. Remedying these issues can lead to more engagement and more listens.
  • Put your show posts on your website’s home page. Don’t make potential listeners go on a deep-sea dive to find your podcast! Regular blog posts and podcast episodes are all part of your online presence. Give them equal exposure, and remember, more content = more traffic.
  • Make it easy for your audience to listen right from your site. A surprising number of listeners prefer to consume podcasts right in the browser window (hopefully as they spend tons of time browsing your site.) Give them a simple way to do this! Blubrry’s updated audio player is one easy, attractive and customizable option.

Which of our suggested changes can you make right now to increase your traffic and produce a better podcast?


Podcast Movement recap with Michelle Ann Owens



PPPiTunesAlbumArt300MacKenzie was joined by Michelle Ann Owens on the PowerPress Podcast to recap Podcast Movement and discuss Michelle’s show, Nothing Off Limits. The two met at Podcast Movement last week and in this episode spend time talking about the benefits of going to events such as PM and how Michelle is growing her show that she recently launched. MacKenzie and Michelle learned a lot at the show and are excited to move forward with that knowledge. They also talk about Audible – Amazon and Audible have finally stepped into podcasting. Audible customers are now able to find podcasts in their app. Pros and cons are debated about this new outlet for podcasters; do you think it’s a good thing for the podcasting community? Thanks for listening and be sure to subscribe to the show to never miss an episode.

Love PowerPress? Please leave a review here!

Show notes:

Podcast Movement

Nothing Off Limits

Michelle Ann Owens

Lady Fox Entertainment Twitter

Email MacKenzie


How To Build Your Show By Looking At The Big Picture, Part 1: Building Engagement



Blubrry spent last week at Podcast Movement 2016 in Chicago, where CEO Todd Cochrane gave a talk on overall metrics and what our recent study of where and how listeners are tuning in to podcasts tells us about our listeners, the platforms they use, and how to engage audiences in 2016 and beyond. In Part 1 of this two-part series, Todd Cochrane shares how to increase engagement to turn casual listeners into fans and keep fans coming back for more.

Most podcasters believe they are doing all they can to engage their audiences, but in most cases they simply aren’t doing enough to compel listeners to engage back, Cochrane argued in his talk at Podcast Movement. For example, via his ongoing research Cochrane has found that:

  • Only 21% of podcasters regularly shared an email address on their show.
  • Just 32% talked about social media.
  • 79% had no RSS options on their podcast’s website. Remember that without an RSS address, many of the 120 total devices that could potentially play your podcast won’t be able to!
  • And only 61% shared the web address where the podcast and associated show notes can be found.

That’s leaving a lot of potential engagement on the table! Time and time again, experienced podcasters at Blubrry and beyond have found that making an “ask” of your listeners – and making it easy for them to find you, connect with you, and talk back to you – are key to getting those ratings, reviews, comments and emails that increase traffic and let us know we’re doing a good job.

Here are some of Cochrane’s tips for increasing engagement:

  1. Tell listeners how to contact you. Make it easy, and give them options. Share your web address and an email address in the show itself, tell them where to find you on social networks, and make sure that contact information, RSS feed information, and social sharing information is in an easy-to-find place on your site. (Cochrane refers to the first page, above-the-fold spot as the most valuable real estate on your podcast site. Use it wisely!)
  2. Remind listeners what to do (and make it easy.) Near the end of your show, tell your audience to subscribe, leave ratings and reviews, share on social, and/or send email, and – here’s the key – make it easy for them to do any of those things by following tip #1! Subscribe buttons, social share buttons, and your email contact are essential components of an engagement-friendly podcast website. 
  3. Thank your audience. One of the best ways to keep your audience coming back for more is to routinely thank them – something not nearly enough podcasters do regularly, Cochrane argues. While a simple verbal “thank you” is a great start, consider getting creative and taking it a step further. Special giveaways, answering listener questions, or calling out loyal readers on-air are all great ways to raise the bar and create a stronger relationship between you and your listeners.

What are your favorite ways to engage your listeners? What do you find works best?

 


Distribute Your Podcast via Podcast2Radio



PPPiTunesAlbumArt300MacKenzie and her guest, Rae Palermo, discuss an exciting new service, Podcast2Radio, coming from Blubrry and their partner, StreamGuys. If you’re looking for more distribution for your podcast, tune in to this episode to find out just what Podcast2Radio can do for your podcast.

With Podcast2Radio Blubrry customers can easily convert their podcasts into a continuous internet radio stream. Your podcast will have additional syndication, and will be easier than ever to find for the large segment of listeners that are streaming internet radio. Our partner, StreamGuys provides the cloud-based software to deliver your podcast and once you’re set up, it’s all automatic.

We’re not changing anything about your podcast, just simply converting your RSS feed into an internet stream that millions of new listeners will have access to. It’s been a long time coming and MacKenzie and Rae are excited about the possibilities associated with all of the new distribution partners via Podcast2Radio.

Both companies will be attending Podcast Movement and would love to talk to podcasters about what this can do for your show. Check it out, we’re excited about this opportunity and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Show notes:

Podcast2Radio
StreamGuys
Podcast Movement
Email MacKenzie
Email about Podcast2Radio


Join Us At Podcast Movement 2016!



If you’re one of the some 1,500 people who will be attending the third annual Podcast Movement event next week, we at Blubrry would love a chance to connect with you! CEO Todd Cochrane and CIO Angelo Mandato will both be presenting at the conference, and Blubrry is giving a workshop on Wednesday morning, July 6, with in-depth insider information about how to grow and improve your podcast by taking advantage of Blubrry’s great suite of services.

PODCAST-MOVEMENT-43-PNG-e1443537146912Podcasters will get exclusive tips and tricks to maximize their podcasts using Blubrry, PowerPress, WordPress and the brand-new PowerPress Sites.

Some of the topics we’ll be discussing during the workshop include:  

  • How to set up & optimize PowerPress
  • Imports, migrations, and other tricky tech topics
  • Advanced functions: playlist, player placement, tags
  • How to get more listeners to subscribe to your podcast
  • Maximizing SEO 
  • Find out more about PowerPress Sites, a free all-in-one product that makes podcasting push-button easy
  • How Blubrry/PowerPress’s “podcasters first” philosophy makes it easier for our customers to grow an audience and improve their podcasts
  • Making the most of your PowerPress stats

And more! There will also be a Q&A and a prize giveaway. This three-to-four-hour workshop will be a great way to kick off Podcast Movement 2016, so you’ll definitely want to make room in your schedule to join us! Attendance is VERY limited, so sign up now. 

And good news – if you haven’t registered for the event yet, there’s still time. Use the code “Blubrry” at checkout for a $40 discount on your registration.

This event is sure to be an amazing opportunity to learn, network, and get the tools and tips you need to elevate your podcast and grow your audience! Plus, it’s a lot of fun. If you’ll be there, be sure to come say ‘hello’ to us during a workshop or at our sponsor booth. We look forward to meeting you!


Blubrry’s FREE New PowerPress Sites Makes Podcasting Push-Button Easy



Q: What’s the number-one thing that keeps would-be podcasters from getting started – or good podcasters from becoming GREAT?

A: Technology hurdles. The hassle of starting and optimizing a WordPress website, setting up a podcast feed, allowing an audience to listen and download episodes, figuring out how to encourage listeners to subscribe and share on social, and publishing show notes. It’s a lot of work and a ton of moving parts to navigate.

Wouldn’t you rather just spend your time producing great content?

Well now, with the help of the revolutionary new PowerPress Sites, you can do just that.

Blubrry’s PowerPress Sites is essentially the “easy button” for podcasting. With a free Basic account, users get a hosted WordPress website (the perfect place for publishing show notes and a streaming version of your show via the PowerPress audio player) that comes with built-in subscribe widgets, website streaming capabilities, and other essential plugins. The sites are designed with search engine optimization in mind, and can be set up in five minutes so you can get your show up and running right away.

Other PowerPress Sites features include:

  • Site caching for speed
  • The option to include Google Analytics
  • Templates specifically designed for podcasters
  • New PowerPress Player, released earlier this year exclusively for hosting customers. Unbranded and podcast-focused, the player provides multiple capabilities for listeners: sharing, subscribing, show notes and downloading.

Currently, the free Basic level is available exclusively to Blubrry hosting customers. Future releases will include Deluxe, Professional and Enterprise levels to allow podcasters to use a custom domain and access increased features, plugins, themes and capabilities.  

With the technological hurdles of getting set up removed, the would-be podcaster now has no excuse. Create! Podcast! Publish…with PowerPress Sites, there’s nothing standing in your way.

 


One Click Subscribe on Android is a Game-Changer For Podcasters



Android’s lack of a dedicated podcast app formerly made it difficult for listeners to quickly and easily subscribe right from a podcast’s website. Blubrry’s One Click, which launched April 2015, changed all that, and podcasters have quickly been recognizing the power of harnessing Android users by making subscribing as easy as iTunes.

droid bot

“We made One Click subscribe on Android protocol completely brand agnostic, and opened it up so that podcaster can easily implement it on their sites,” explains Blubrry CEO Todd Cochrane. While adopted widely by podcasters, surprisingly One Click has not been adopted at all by other leading podcast platforms who’s podcasters could most benefit from the implementation which would result in increased Android subscribers.

Just this week it was announced that LucidPod has become the 12th Android application to support One Click, so it’s concerning no other podcast companies have made it an option to customers on their websites. We developed this and gifted it to the community at large leaving aside commercial interest. This represents a huge opportunity missed, says Cochrane. “Since Android doesn’t have a dedicated app, One Click subscribe on Android is the perfect way for podcasters to grow their listener base, Android podcast app developers understand the value in implementing one-click which makes it as easy as iTunes for Android listeners to subscribe to podcasts – and inspire more loyalty in – their end users, and for podcasts to grow audiences overall.”

Fortunately, podcasters can (and in rapidly-growing numbers, do) implement One Click on their own. PowerPress users only need to activate the “subscribe” widget in their dashboard, and users of other platforms can embed a simple piece of code into their podcast website. There are no embedded ads or anything else that can distract the listener, simply an easy-to-use way to make it easier for listeners to subscribe via their favorite Android application.

To find out more about One Click or to learn how to implement One Click on your site or platform, or to encourage your favorite Android application to implement the One Click Subscribe for Android protocol, visit the One Click website: http://subscribeonandroid.com


Money in Podcasting and PowerPress Sites



PPPiTunesAlbumArt-385In this episode of the PowerPress Podcast MacKenzie talks about who has been invested in, who has been bought and more in the podcast world. She even gives you an update on the release of PowerPress Sites and ponders on recording timing in her podcasting chronicle.Some podcasters may be taking a break or cutting back during the summer, but that does not mean media companies, including Blubrry are slowing down anytime soon. While there is no guest that doesn’t mean there isn’t quality news and information packed in this episode. Next episode will be July 1st and we’ll definitely have lots to talk about concerning Podcast Movement and releases happening around that time for all different kinds of companies.

Events:
New Media Europe! June 18th-19th London, England. If you’re there, be sure to enter to win a prize from Blubrry.
Podcast Movement! July 6th – 8th Chicago, Il. Buy your ticket today using the code ‘Blubrry’ and save $40.
Elite Man Conference! August 6th-7th Plymouth, MA. Save 10% on your ticket using the code ‘Blubrry10’.
Show notes:
Twitter and SoundCloud

E.W. Scripps and Stitcher

iTunes Listing – Don’t Panic

Attend Podcast Movement Blubrry Workshop


Email MacKenzie

Podcasting On-The-Go: Tips & Tech For Taking Your Show On The Road



If you’re planning to travel this summer, you might be considering taking a break from podcasting. But why not take the show on the road instead? We consulted three Blubrry team members to get their take on the equipment and strategies that can help you keep publishing regularly, no matter where in the world you are.

zoom

Todd Cochrane, CEO 

“For portable gear, a lot of people like the Zoom H6 ($399), myself included. There are cheaper options, though, including the Tascam DR-40 ($130) and the Zoom H4nSP ($159.) While these units have built-in mics, you should only use those as a last resort.

A headset/mic combo is convenient on the road – I really love the Audio-Technica BPHS1 ($199). It has an incredible mic and the headset lets you hear your environment perfectly so as you are not in a controlled environment you can make sure you position yourself in the best place to reduce noise. If you’re on a budget, consider the Eartec Lazer Single-Ear ($70.) These headsets are all XLR and work with the above recorders.

It can be tough to get good sound quality in hotels, but a few well-placed pillows can help you reduce echo in a room. I have done interviews in cars: it can be a little awkward but they almost act as a mini sound booth and you can get really good sound.”

Barry Kantz, CFO 

“I guess I go for the low end. I use a Logitech headset and go through quite a process in Adobe Audition to correct the dull audio I get from the mic on the headset. I use Audition’s macro function to zoom through the correction process. I think it turns out very well and I’m fussy about audio.

Podcasting from our motorhome is becoming a common practice for me. It’s a challenge with dogs on board and the air conditioning turning on and off. I’ve recorded in the Jeep to avoid these challenges. I use my Zoom H4 to record in the car. As Todd said, a car is a good sound studio because of the close space and all the soft surfaces eliminating echoes.”

Brian Yuhnke, Creative Director

“For a portable studio, I recommend a Yeti mic ($130.) It has a USB port and has its own earbud input for no-delay monitoring. I recommend it to my students for their podcast projects. Other than that, you need a laptop, some earbuds/headphones and Audacity, Garage Band or Audition.”

 

What are your favorite tips and tools for taking your podcast on the road?