Creating a Balanced Life with Guest Rhonda Cimorelli



If you’ve ever felt like you needed to transform your life or needed a little more balance, specifically if you’re a mom, this week’s PowerPress Podcast guest Rhonda Cimorelli can help you. Before Rhonda and MacKenzie chat about her show, they go over some mistakes podcasters make and, most importantly, how to avoid them. Rhonda has loads of experience and, as a certified life transformation coach, she is helping “momprenuers” and others create a more balanced work and family life. At the end of the show they talk about the new podcast, S-Town being released by the This American Life and Serial team. The team claims to have a new podcasting format, so storytellers, tune in. Thanks for listening and please subscribe!

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Show notes:

Common Podcasting Mistakes
A Balanced Life For You – Rhonda Cimorelli
Serial Creates S-Town
Blubrry Twitter
Blubrry is Hiring!!
Webinar: PowerPress Setup Wed, 2/15 7PM EST


5 Can’t-Miss Techniques For Building Your Podcast Audience



Consistency, patience, and putting out an excellent product are the foundation of a successful podcast. But it’s not always as simple as “build something great and the audience will follow.” The following five techniques can help you build your audience more quickly while leading to a great relationship with listeners.

  1. Educate your would-be listeners. If you have another platform, whether it’s a blog, social media following or YouTube channel, make sure your followers there know about your podcast and – more importantly – how, when, and where to listen. Remember that your audience may not be as tech-savvy as you. Write a blog post or email instructing them on what podcasts are and why they need to know about it. And be sure to detail exactly where to find your show and how to listen to it.
  2. Engage your audience. Your listeners love being recognized, and interacting with you will encourage them to keep the conversation going. When you have a two-way conversation going, your listeners are much more likely to take action when you ask for comments, reviews…and most importantly, shares.
  3. Be everywhere. Yes, iTunes is important, but it’s no longer the only game in town. Be sure your podcast is listed in as many apps and directories as possible.
  4. Collaborate with other podcasters. People who already listen to podcasts are more likely to listen to yours than someone who’s new to the idea. Take advantage of a built-in almost-audience by inviting other podcasters to appear on your show, and also offering to be interviewed on theirs. Promote fellow podcasters when possible and be generous with advice and tips.
  5. Look for listeners in new, but relevant, places. Consider your niche and where your would-be listeners already hang out and get their media. “One thing I’ve done is associate with a popular trade organization,” explains Barry Kantz, CFO at Blubrry and host of the Home Based Travel Agent podcast. “The trade organization helps promote my show to their members.” Spamming isn’t cool, but if there is a relevant newsletter, Facebook group, or website that relates to the audience you’re trying to reach, get in touch with an administrator and see if they’d be willing to plug you as a service of their members. Likely you can work out some kind of barter, where you cross-promote their organization, group, or site on your podcast, website, or social media.

 


5 Ways To Avoid Podcasting Burnout



Burnout: it happens to the best podcasters. But feeling exhausted, uninspired, or just plain “meh” about publishing doesn’t have to kill your podcast. Try these ideas to help you stay energized and enthused while putting out great content and

1) Take A Break (But Do It Right)

Most seasoned podcasters agree that consistent publishing is the key to success, traffic growth, and audience retention. But after a year or two of putting out new episodes on a dependable schedule, your audience should be well-established enough to allow you the occasional break. But how to do it without confusing or disappointing your loyal listeners?

  • Alert your listeners. While skipping an episode or two isn’t the end of the world and can offer you much-needed rest and time to recharge your creative juices, it’s important not to leave your listeners wondering what happened to you. “If you’re taking a break, I suggest announcing it in the last episode before your missed episode,” says Angelo Mandato, CIO of Blubrry. “Then, on your missed show date, release a short episode that just says you’ll be back on the date you’ll return. The key is communicating with your audience, and a two-minute episode that does that is better than leaving them hanging.”
  • Try something new. For example, over the Christmas holiday, Sarah Powers and Meagan Francis of The Mom Hour recorded short, daily episodes of each host reading holiday-themed essays they’d written for their blogs in the past. Since one or the other of them was reading each essay (not both at the same time) the shows were much easier to schedule and produce. “Each of us could just sit down and record quickly when we had a few minutes, rather than having to try to match up our hectic holiday schedules,” says Francis. “As a result we were actually able to publish more often over the holiday, while maximizing relaxation and time with our families. The mini-episodes also fit well with the needs of our audience of busy moms over their kids’ Christmas breaks. Plus, it was unique, and showed a different side of each of us. Our audience loved it and the episodes have done very well.”
  • Find other ways to stay in touch. Even if you aren’t publishing full-length episodes, you can stay in front of your audience via social media, blog posts, short live videos or email blasts. Choose a platform you enjoy and one you’ll be able to update without too much effort. Then, when you announce your break, tell your listeners that you’ll still be somewhat active on that platform, and remind them to check in regularly. The side benefit of this approach is that you may significantly grow your social media follows due to faithful listeners who will be eager to hear from you while you’re on a break from podcasting.

2. Go All In.

Doing too many things at once can lead to major burnout, especially if the results are only so-so. After all, what’s more energizing: putting out a so-so episode, or a great episode that’s genuinely useful and generates a ton of feedback? If you’re having a hard time keeping up with everything well enough to regularly put out quality content, it would be better to focus on one podcast at a time or publish weekly instead of several times a week. Remember that you can always increase the number of shows you produce or how often you publish later when you’re in a good rhythm and consistently feeling great about what you’re producing.

3. Invest Time In What You Love

Podcasting isn’t just about sitting down at a microphone and recording. From writing show notes to interacting with your audience to managing technical details, many aspects go into producing a successful podcast – and chances are, one or two of them stand out as particularly enjoyable for you. So if sound quality is important to you, feel free to nerd out over recording techniques and make your audio the best out there. If planning show content is your forte, put as much effort as you can into developing your ideas and format. If you love researching and writing, create the most killer show notes in the podcasting world. Or if you get a boost every time you hear from a listener, nurture those relationships by putting time into engaging via email or social media.

Unless you’re superhuman or have a whole team producing every episode, you probably can’t do a top-notch job at every podcast-related task, but doing just one or two things really well is a great way to make your show stand out while also giving you personal satisfaction.

4. Change Things Up

Boredom can also cause burnout, and in those cases you might find that trying something new is more helpful than taking a break. Changing up your show’s format and experimenting with new kinds of content can help get your show out of a rut. For example, if your show is usually you and a co-host, maybe you could try adding solo episodes or interview-based shows to the mix. You could also play with length, introduce new segments, or change up the order that you generally tackle. You don’t want to completely change your show overnight, but slowly adding in new elements or tackling topics you might not usually address will give your audience the sense that your podcast is vibrant and exciting – without confusing them or turning them off.

5. Get Help

If you’re consistently burned out, it might just be that you’re doing too much. At some point, it might be time to focus on what you do well and enjoy, and hire people to help you with the rest. No budget? Consider a barter! For example, if you’re a content genius while a podcasting buddy is a production whiz, find ways to team up so you can each do what you do best. You’ll each have a better-produced show and less reason for burnout: talk about a win-win.

Podcasters, what are your best tips for avoiding or dealing with podcasting burnout?


Podcast Equipment and Marketing with David Pollock



If you haven’t discovered David Pollock’s podcast, The 10 Minute Marketer, now is a great time to start listening. He’s this week’s guest on the PowerPress Podcast and had lots to say about Blubrry, PowerPress and some best practices for new podcasters. MacKenzie and David discuss what type of equipment a new podcaster should get – and what you shouldn’t do when buying any. After working in radio David transitioned into podcasting and realized what he was missing out on by taking control of his brand. They end the show talking about reviewing podcasts and sharing your favorite episodes with others. Thanks for listening and please subscribe!

PowerPress SEO Tip:
For example, you can make your blog post title optimized for web SEO by excluding your episode number, but on the new feed episode title allows you to expand on keywords that help with iTunes search. One thing to keep in mind is that iTunes only indexes (their search) your episode and program titles, not show notes.
In the PowerPress menu, select ‘Podcasting SEO’
Select the first option, under section ‘Episode Titles,’ select the first option, ‘Feed episode title replaces post title.’

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review!

Show notes:

How Much Should I Spend on Podcast Equipment?
Rolls Pro Switch – Couch Machine
Blues Brothers – Sold it for a microphone
The 10 Minute Marketer – David Pollock
The Pod People – Paste Magazine
10 Podcasts from the Pod People: Peace, Love, and Understanding in Our Post-Inaugural Times


Don’t Wait, Update! 3 Steps To Maintaining A Secure, Functional WordPress Site



Raise your hand if you’ve ever been guilty of letting a WordPress update go for a day or two…or a week…or a month.

Hey, we’re all busy, and it’s easy to get so caught up in your day-to-day activities that you put off those updates way too long. But not only can skipping or delaying an update prevent your site from performing optimally, it can also make your site vulnerable to attacks.

“Hackers look at updates, figure out what changed, and exploit holes in websites that aren’t updated,” explains Mike Dell, Lead Support Tech at Blubrry. “Sometimes the hackers put in links to porn or other links to make money. I saw one where the hackers added a link in the footer to a male enhancement drug.” Dell also mentions that hackers can redirect bots to another URL so that the original site can’t be indexed, which can be disastrous for SEO.

So what can you do to avoid your podcast site being compromised? Follow these three tips:

  1. Set Up A System To Remind You. When you’re in your WordPress dashboard all the time, it’s all too easy to pass right over that little reminder telling you it’s time to update. Create a weekly calendar reminder that will help you remember that it’s time to stop what you’re doing and check for new releases or other potential security issues. While it doesn’t replace regular check-ins, a free plugin like iThemes Security can provide extra peace of mind. IF your podcast site is your livelihood, you might consider a paid service like WP Always, which continuously monitors and maintains WordPress sites to protect against security issues.
  2. Don’t Wait: Update! Or rather, don’t wait too long.  “For major releases, I usually wait 2-4 days to see if there are any significant issues with the release. If not, I then update to the newest version,” explains Angelo Mandato, CIO of Blubrry. For minor releases – you can identify these because they are labeled with a third digit, i.e. v. 1.2.3 – Mandato recommends updating right away.
  3. Monitor Your Plugins. One of the best things about WordPress is how easily it can be modified and adapted via the use of plugins. But plugins can offer challenges, too. “Make sure you keep all plugins up-to-date as new releases come out,” advises Dell. If your plugin is outdated, it might not work with your newest version of WordPress, and can cause issues you might not even notice right away.

Also, be selective about which plugins you download. “I recommend only using plugins that are hosted on WordPress.org,” says Mandato. “Many paid plugins do not have hooks in place to update your dashboard when they have new or security releases,” which can cause compatibility issues.

And no matter what you do, remove plugins you’re no longer using, advises Dell. Otherwise, over time your WordPress dashboard can begin to resemble a graveyard of out-of-date and non-functional plugins. Not only can it cause problems with your site, but it’s confusing when you try to work with the plugins you really are using since many have such similar names.

Have you ever forgotten or skipped a WordPress update with disastrous – or just inconvenient – results? How do you remind yourself to keep up on this essential task? Let us know about it in the comments!

 


5 Things We’re Looking Forward To In 2017



2017 is off to a great start here at Blubrry. Here are some of the things our team is most looking forward to this year:

New Launches.

Last year we were thrilled to introduce PowerPress Sites, an all-in-one podcasting option that makes starting your podcast push-button easy. We launched with Basic, which allows users to create a FREE branded podcast website that includes an optimized theme, essential plugins, and all the tools you need to get started, including an iTunes-ready RSS feed. In 2017 we’ll be rolling out Deluxe, featuring all the options of Basic plus the ability to host on your own domain and enhanced SEO tools.

Free Training Videos for Podcasters.

We’re beefing up our educational offerings in 2017, offering training videos on a variety of topics podcasters ask for help with again and again. Blubrry University is already in session: check out our YouTube channel now!

Savvier Social.

Post to Social allows podcasters to publish two-minute podcast episodes or teasers directly to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to get listeners hooked and encourage them to listen to full-length episodes or subscribe to your show. In 2017, we’ll be adding more social sites and improving this popular service – stay tuned!  

Premium Player Performance.

The Blubrry podcast player has never looked or functioned better, and based on enthusiastic feedback from our loyal customer base, we’ll be improving it even more and adding some exciting new features.

Awesome Events.

We’ll have a presence at several premiere podcasting conferences and other events this year, including:

  • Podcast Movement. Coming to Anaheim, CA from August 23 – 25, Podcast Movement is one of our favorite events and a must-attend for veteran, newbie, and wannabe podcasters alike.
  • Podfest. Coming up soon, from February 23 – 25, 2017 in Orlando, FL, Podfest features a robust speaker schedule and an awards ceremony.
  • Proclaim17. Focused on members of the Christian media, Proclaim features educational content in radio, video, digital media, and of course, podcasting! Proclaim17 will be held in Orlando from February 27 – March 2.

Podcasters, what are you looking forward to in 2017?


Enthusiasm About Life and Podcasting With Katie Ward



Katie Ward, the host of The Enthusiasm Enthusiast joins MacKenzie on the PowerPress Podcast. Blubrry is based in Columbus, Ohio and they discuss a well-known show that also comes from the area. As they discuss Katie’s show, it becomes apparent how important particular topics are to some in the new year and you can learn more about those on her feminist, passion driven show. She was even nice enough to give her review of Blurry’s Post to Social feature. They end the show chatting about different uses of podcasts, inspired from an article that described a woman making a podcast as her thesis for her Master’s. Please subscribe to the show and thanks for listening! And as a big fan of all things spooky, MacKenzie wishes you a happy Friday the 13th.

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review!

Popular Columbus based podcast
The One You Feed
The Enthusiasm Enthusiast
She Source
Thesis as a podcast, not a paper
6Pod4 – Podcast in Columbus
Email MacKenzie
Blubrry twitter


7 New Year’s Resolutions Podcasters Should Make In 2017



Now that it’s been 2017 for a few days, you might be rocking your New Year’s Resolutions…or totally slacking. No matter: it’s never too late to resolve to have a better, more successful, and more engaging podcast! Here are 7 podcasting resolutions we think are totally worth making, starting today:

  1. Invest in better sound. The first thing your audience will notice is how your podcast sounds, and bad audio is a turnoff many would-be listeners can’t get past. You don’t have to drop a bunch of dough for a top-of-the line setup all at once, though. Remember, you can upgrade your equipment a little at a time, and often you can get better sound for free just by making some adjustments to your surroundings or editing process. Check out our tips for getting the best possible sound out of your setup. 
  2. Rethink your podcast art. Is your podcast’s cover art really doing your show justice? Use of color, symmetry, and clearness of message are all important qualities to consider when creating the image that represents your show episode after episode. Check out our podcast cover art design tips to make your show’s imagery clearer and more compelling!
  3. Be more engaging. Podcast listeners are your community, and community is a powerful thing. Interacting with your audience is essential for turning casual listeners into loyal advocates. Check out these three simple tips for increasing engagement and making your show more successful!
  4. Attend a podcasting event. One of the best ways to increase your knowhow and network with other bloggers is by attending a conference or other podcast event. Here’s our list of must-go podcasting events in 2017.
  5. Be consistent. One of the most foolproof ways to increase your podcast’s audience is by listening
  6. Get more exposure. Claim your place in the Blubrry podcast directory to make your show easier to find, to give you access to premium social tools, increase your brand awareness and make your show eligible for advertising opportunities!
  7. Increase your traffic. By making a few simple tweaks to your show, you can make it much easier for listeners to find you.

The best thing about these resolutions is that each of them will give you big results in not a ton of time. Why not pick a few off the list and resolve to have a bigger, better podcast in 2017?


Blubrry and PowerPress Updates in 2016



Happy New Year! Well, maybe a day early. MacKenzie, Todd, and Mike discuss significant changes and updates that happened in PowerPress in 2016. What features came out, changed, what was added to Blubrry, and their favorite projects to work on. A busy year ahead is coming, but MacKenzie is happy to see the year come to a close. PowerPress is going to look a much different come the next release. We’re working on that and hope to make it a smooth transition for everyone, so if you’d like to beta test when the time comes, please let us know. To get the details on all of the changes we made this year, head over to WordPress. Stick around for a new episode release on Friday, Jan 13th. Thanks for listening!

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review, here!

Show notes:

PowerPress Changes
Podcast2Radio
Post to Social
Blubrry end of the year newsletter
Email MacKenzie
Email Todd


Start Making Your 2017 Podcast Event Plans Now!



It’s hard to believe, but 2017 is just a little over a week away. By now, you’ve probably checked off most of the names on your holiday gift list – so why not give yourself the gift of knowledge, networking, and a more successful podcast by taking advantage of 2016 pricing on next year’s podcast events? Here are 5 events to consider as you’re planning your calendar for the new year:

  • Podfest Multimedia Expo: The first event on our list, PME is just around the corner from Feb 23-25, 2017 in Orlando, FL. The event includes a jam-packed schedule including hands-on workshops, keynotes, breakout sessions and a tongue-in-cheek awards ceremony. Tickets start at $319. We’ll see you there in February!
  • Mid-Atlantic Podcast Conference: Slated for September 8-9, 2017 in Philadelphia, MAPCON serves podcasters in the Northeast. It’s a more intimate event that offers plenty of opportunity for one-to-one networking as well as goodies like free professional head shots. Tickets aren’t on sale for the 2017 event yet, but to experience last year’s content, order a virtual ticket to the 2016 conference for just $100.
  • Los Angeles Podcast Festival: The mission of this grassroots podcaster’s event? “…to shove podcasters and fans together in a small enclosed space. To meet. To mingle. To love.” The event was launched on Kickstarter over 5 years ago and has amassed a loyal following since, featuring names like Wil Wheaton, TJ Miller, and Bill Hader among its 2016 guests. 2017 dates have not yet been formally announced, but watch the website for more details.
  • International Podcast Day: The only international holiday dedicated to the art and craft of podcasting! IPM is completely virtual, and it’s free to participate. Follow IPM on Twitter for information on the 2017 event.
  • Podcast Movement: To our collective mind, if you have to choose just one Podcast Movement is THE event to attend in 2017. Why? “Podcast Movement brings in the big names, but also focuses on being helpful to podcasters and companies with lower profiles,” says MacKenzie Bennett, Services and Affiliates Coordinator at Blubrry. “You’re going to find all kinds of people to share ideas with and learn from.” Podcast Movement 2017 will be held August 23 – 25 in Anaheim, CA. Currently, registration is as low as $289, but this is as low as it’s going to get and prices will certainly go up sometime in the new year. So why wait? Lock in your price now, and help yourself get off to a great start podcasting in 2017!