The Audacity to Podcast show

The Audacity to Podcast

Summary: I believe anyone can share a message to change the world, and podcasting is the BEST way to spread that message! I'm Daniel J. Lewis and this is where I give you the guts and teach you the tools to launch or improve your own podcast for sharing your passions and finding success! I cover all things podcasting: audio gear, video equipment, editing software, WordPress and plugins, social media promotion tools, marketing, and more with understandable in-depth information and easy-to-follow steps. If you want to know how to podcast or grow the show you already have, this show is for you! Have a podcasting question or suggestion? Email or call (903) 231-2221. Please subscribe and I will give you THE AUDACITY to podcast!

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 Labeling Podcasters: Amateur vs. Skilled | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 31:55

How serious are you about improving and growing your podcast? In this miniseries, I'll explore the different labels used to describe podcasters. The labels “amateur” and “skilled” do indicate quality. So while it's okay to stay in one group and own it with pride, I do encourage you to seek to move into the “skilled” group. What are amateur podcasters? The late Steve Jobs once referred to podcasts as “amateur hour” in one of his last Apple keynotes. But don't let the term “amateur” be demeaning. Instead, consider it a way to describe where you might be now, but not where you're staying. 1. Amateur podcasters accept where they are They may not be content with where their podcasts are, but they often don't consider how they need to improve and grow themselves. 2. Amateur podcasters have vague or no goals If an amateur podcaster has goals, they're often rather vague, such as growing or monetizing. Vague goals look for vague successes. For example, if an amateur podcaster says merely, “I want to grow my audience.” Then if they get even one more person listening, then they accomplished their goal. But did they really want only one additional listener? Or if they say merely, “I want to monetize my podcast,” and they make 3¢. Then they monetized their podcast. 3. Amateur podcasters ask broad questions I often see the same overly broad questions asked in online podcasting groups. For example, “How do I grow my podcast?” “What's the best microphone?” “Who is the best podcast host?” 4. Amateur podcasters say “good enough” There are big differences between being resourceful under limitations and quitting when something seems “good enough.” When something is “good enough,” it probably actually isn't. 5. Amateur podcasters want free options Yes, there are many budget constraints on podcasters of all types. There's nothing wrong with using free options. But I think looking for only free options can indicate commitment levels. For example, Anchor currently hosts almost half of all valid podcast feeds in Apple Podcasts, but more than half of those shows have 3 or fewer episodes. And there are more 1-episode shows on Anchor than the total number of shows any other podcast-hosting provider hosts. [Private data via My Podcast Reviews.] The first time I revealed this data in “What New Data Suggests about Podcast-Hosting Customers” from December 2018, I suggested that the tool itself is not creating dead shows, but the extremely low barriers to entry (and with very little education) was probably making it easier for low-commitment people to start podcasts. Does simply paying for something help you be more committed? Perhaps. Or maybe more-committed people are already willing to pay for stuff. 6. Amateur podcasters are jealous of others' success Spotify has been making some big moves in the podcasting industry. They started getting disruptive with the recent announcement that The Joe Rogan Experience will soon become exclusive to Spotify—not simply be on Spotify, but be only on Spotify and nowhere else: not Apple Podcast...

 Labeling Podcasters: Independent vs. Corporate | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 29:54

Who has the final say for your podcast? In this miniseries, I'll explore the different labels used to describe podcasters and encourage you to own your label with pride! An aside before diving in, I never liked the term “procasters” because it made it seem like indie podcasters couldn't be professionals at what they do. How are independent and corporate podcasters similar Independent (or “indie”) podcasters and corporate podcasters share the same similarities I shared in my previous episode about hobbyist vs. professional podcasters. Here's that list for your convenience. * Both can have excellence* Both can have passion* Both can have audiences of any size* Both can “PROFIT” So let's jump to what sets them apart! What are indie podcasters? 1. Indie podcasters make their own decisions “The buck stops here” for an indie podcaster! They make their own decisions, big and small. They might involve their cohosts, community, or other collaborators. But everything about their podcast is their own to choose. 2. Indie podcasters are agile On a whim, indie podcasters can change technology, launch a donation system, create a new product, redesign their branding, and much more. There's no approval process and usually the only delays are in how much time it takes to implement something, or how long it takes for that delivery to arrive. 3. Indie podcasters made the podcasting industry Don't let anyone mislead you! No broadcast company or executive invented podcasting—it was indies: Dave Winer (who created RSS) and Adam Curry. And the foundations of podcasting are very much “pirate radio.” 4. Indie podcasters are resourceful Indie podcasters are used to working with what they have or very limited resources. They're well-acquainted with recording in a closet or under a blanket, using pantyhose for a pop filter, or hacking things together. 5. Indie podcasters are the majority Of the nearly 1.1 million podcasts at this time, I estimate there are only a couple or few thousand podcasts (under 1%) are hosted by corporate podcasters. The rest are the indies! 6. Indie podcasters reach the niches There's almost no niche too small! You can find a podcast on almost anything and usually hosted by people passionate about and highly experienced in those topics. 7. Indie podcasters want (and deserve) to be involved in the podcasting industry No matter the direction the industry goes, I think no one cares more about it than the independent podcasters. Sometimes, it even seems like podcasting is a way of life to an indie. If you're an independent podcaster, please get involved in The Podcast Academy to ensure the indie majority is represented. What are corporate podcasters? 1. Corporate podcasters are subject to external oversight “Design by committee” is a phrase that makes almost any designer cringe. Corporate podcasters have committees, executives, corporate interests, sponsors, and even legal regulations often dictating what can and can't be done. 2. Corporate podcasters move slowly and deliberately

 Labeling Podcasters: Hobbyist vs. Professional | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 26:53

Do you podcast for the fun or art of it, or to build a business? In this miniseries, I'll explore the different labels used to describe podcasters and encourage you to own your label with pride! How are hobbyist and professional podcasters similar? 1. Hobbyists and professionals can have excellence Neither label indicates quality levels. It's possible for hobbyists to rival “professional quality,” and it's also possible for professionals to sound like “amateur hour.” 2. Hobbyists and professionals can have passion No one has exclusivity on passion in podcasting. Pardon the pun, but anyone can be “on fire” for anything. 3. Hobbyists and professionals can have audiences of any size Whether a narrow niche or a broad topic, there are no upper or lower limits for hobbyists or professionals. 4. Hobbyists and professionals can “PROFIT” Podcasting PROFIT™ is popularity, relationships, opportunities, fun, income, and tangibles. These are all attainable for hobbyists and professionals. Neither has a monopoly on success. What is a hobbyist podcaster? 1. A hobbyist podcaster focuses on the experience Satisfaction is often the main goal of a hobbyist podcaster, regardless of their topic. That satisfaction could come from laughing, talking about your favorite subjects, inspiring people, and more. 2. A hobbyist podcaster has few pressures Hobbyists are often not burdened by many deadlines, expectations, bills, and such. 3. A hobbyist podcaster reserves podcasting for “nights and weekends” Like most other hobbies, podcasting for a hobbyist is probably something they do when the more important things are done. Podcasting comes after the job, after family time, and after household responsibilities. 4. A hobbyist podcaster spends for bills or pleasure Usually, a hobbyist is spending money on the necessities of podcasting, or simply enjoying any kind of extra income they get. What is a professional podcaster? 1. A professional podcaster focuses on the outcome For a professional, podcasting needs a return on their investment; it needs to grow a business or market something. 2. A professional podcaster is running a business Like other parts of running a business, podcasting income and expenses will be tracked, reported, and deducted for budgeting and taxes. 3. A professional podcaster integrates podcasting into their strategy Podcasting is part of the “day job” for a professional podcaster. 4. A professional podcaster invests in returns When a professional podcaster PROFITs, they reinvest that into the business. That could be investing in people or resources to make podcasting easier or better. It could be investing into marketing to grow the podcast or business. What are you? Are you a hobbyist podcaster, or a professional podcaster? Need podcasting help? If you are past episode one, then please join me and other podcasters in Podcasters' Society where we help you improve the quality and success of your podcast through an encouraging community, inspirational training, and expert support!

 7 Kinds of Podcast Images for Marketing and Branding | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 41:48

Even though podcasting is usually an audio-only experience, attractive images can enhance your podcast branding and help you promote your podcast better! Here are suggestions to consider for podcast-level and episode-level images. How images help your podcast Establishing and reinforcing visual branding Are Disney's movies Frozen and Frozen II related to Pixar's movie Onward? Many of the 5by5 podcast network's cover art shares the same style, making the relationship obvious. Marketing your episodes Artwork makes your podcast look a lot better when shared in social networks like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Having images, especially for each episode, can help enable you to promote your podcast in visual-only platforms, like Pinterest and Instagram. Engaging your audience Look at No Agenda‘s art generator. Communicating without words “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” 1. Square image for podcast apps and Instagram 2. Crop-friendly wide image for video and social * 16:9 for video* 1,200 × 628 for Facebook and Twitter 3. Crop-friendly tall image for Pinterest * 2:3 for Pinterest* 9:16 for video stories 4. Thumbnail image for your website I suggest you design for a square crop but with margin for different ratios. Here's what square episode images look like on The Audacity to Podcast's homepage. 5. Background image for creativity What I love being able to use background images in SecondLine Themes as my WordPress theme! You can easily add a color overlay, style effects, and even blur your images. Ensure it doesn't conflict with text over it. How this episode's background image looks, thanks to Tusant from SecondLine Themes. 6. “Open” image for audiograms Headliner and Wavve are great tools for making audiograms. 7. Show images for profile branding Visit Sprout Social's guide to social-media image sizes. How to make these images Hire a professional * Mark Des Cotes from Podcast Branding* DesignCrowd*

 Are There Too Many Podcasts? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 30:38

On Friday, April 17, 2020, Apple Podcasts surpassed 1 million valid podcasts in their catalog. So have we reached “peak podcast”? Is it too late to start a podcast? Will your podcast only be lost in the sea of over 1 million other podcasts? Short answer: NO! Here's why. 1. Saturation is a matter of perspective Listen to “There Are Now More than 800,000 Podcasts and More Industry Stats” for more information behind my Podcast Industry Statistics site. According to the top results in Google searches: * There are more than 31 million YouTube channels* There are more than 97 million songs* There are more than 140 million books* There are more than 600 million blogs 2. Not all podcasts are active 3. Not all podcasts are consistent 4. Your niche is much smaller 5. Your podcast could do what others don't, can't, or won't 6. There will always be ways to innovate

 Why We Retired Our Podcast Network | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 38:10

Did you know I once directed a podcast network? I retired it in spring 2019, and here are some lesson I hope can help you. The network's history I founded Noodle Mix Network (originally called “ Network,” but always pronounced the same) with the launch of The Audacity to Podcast in June 2010. My goal was to bring together like-minded podcasters with high-quality shows to grow together through synergy, community, support, crosspromotion, and sponsorship. Noodle Mix Network combined my pre-existing shows, the Ramen Noodle and Are You Just Watching, with a brand new show called The Audacity to Podcast. It since grew to host a wide variety of shows: * the Ramen Noodle* Are You Just Watching* The Audacity to Podcast* Beyond the To-Do List* The Productive Woman* Christian Meets World* The Sci-Phi Show* ONCE* Welcome to Level Seven* WONDERLAND* Under the Dome Radio* Resurrection Revealed* Podcasting Videos by The Audacity to Podcast* Inside the Podcasting Business What the network did well * Quality* Branding* Rally for awards* Sponsorships What the network did poorly * Audience-relevant common theme* Cross-promotion* Cross-integration* Full and consistent community Why I retired the network * Allow me to focus on fewer things* Give each podcaster more room to expand Read my announcement post. Should you start or join a network? * If run like a business* If an obvious audience-relevant benefit* Not if it's only a club For more information, I highly recommend Dave Jackson's episode of School of Podcasting (in which I'm a guest), “How to Start a Podcast Network: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” Need podcasting help? If you are past episode one, then please join me and other podcasters in Podcasters' Society where we help you improve the quality and success of your podcast through an encouraging community, inspirational training, and expert support! If you need one-on-one help, or you haven't launched your podcast, yet, click here to request a personal coaching and consulting session and we'll connect you with a podcasting expert we trust! Ask your questions or share your feedback * Comment on the show notes* Leave a voicemail at (903) 231-2221* Email (audio files welcome) Connect with me * Subscribe to The Audacity to Podcast Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, other Android apps,

 How to Transfer Recordings Faster from the RØDECaster Pro | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 23:29

The RØDECaster Pro is my new favorite piece of podcasting gear! I'll have a thorough review soon. In the meantime, here are some tips to help with one of the biggest complaints I've heard about the RØDECaster Pro. Why the RØDECaster Pro transfers files so slowly The RØDECaster Pro (RCP) can read and write to a variety of microSD cards, including extremely high-speed cards. But its transfer speed is limited because the interface with your computer is only USB 2.0! USB 2.0's maximum transfer speed is 480 megabits per second (or 60 MB/s because there are 8 bits in 1 byte). But USB 3.0's maximum transfer speed is 5 gigabits per second, so it's about 10 times faster than USB 2.0. Thus, not matter how fast your computer or the microSD card are, the RØDECaster Pro has a bottleneck transfer speed. In my real-world testing, this came out to be about 8.1 MB per second. How to speed up file transfers (and workflow) 1. Update the app and firmware The RØDECaster Pro Companion app version 2.0.4 performed so horribly in my tests that I stopped trying to measure transfer times when a stereo file was taking more time to transfer than the recording itself! I realized this could be from one or both of my following conditions: * macOS Catalina—this was most likely the cause* Encrypted hard drive In this scenario, the app was spiking my CPU and taking hours to transfer files, even if I used a USB 3.0 reader! But simply using version 2.1 of the app fixed the CPU spike and dramatically improved transfer speeds. If you're facing similar unreasonably slow performance, make sure you update the app and firmware! 2. Record in stereo instead of multitrack 3. Use the RØDECaster Pro companion app for multitrack recordings 4. Use a separate microSD reader … 5. … And upgrade to a faster microSD My SanDisk Extreme Pro microSDXC UHS-II was more than 2.1× faster than my SanDisk Ultra microSDHC UHS-I, and about 23× faster than the RCP's USB 2.0. But remember that because of the RCP's USB 2.0 bottleneck, you will see these performance benefits only if you use a separate and faster microSD reader. Performance results * SanDisk Ultra RCP 2.1, via app* 1-hour, stereo, 1.04 GB: 2:05* 1-hour, multitrack, 7.28 GB (9 files): 14:29* SanDisk Ultra via USB 3.0 microSD card reader and RCP app* 1-hour, stereo, 1.04 GB: 0:12* 1-hour, multitrack, 7.28 GB (9 files): 1:24* SanDisk Extreme PRO via USB 3.0 microSD card reader and RCP app* 1-hour, stereo, 1.04 GB: 0:06* 1-hour, multitrack, 7.28 GB (9 files): 0:37 Need podcasting help? If you are past episode one, then please join me and other podcasters in Podcasters' Society where we help you improve the quality and success of your podcast through an encouraging community, inspirational training,

 Overcoming Perfectionism in Podcasting | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 45:23

I have a confession: I'm a perfectionist, at least to some level. (That I want to define my level of perfectionism—or “professionalism,” as I prefer to call it—only confirms I am, indeed, in the perfectionist spectrum.) As might be obvious, this gets meta because I know I can't title this episode “How to Overcome Perfectionism” since I haven't overcome it myself! If you've been following The Audacity to Podcast for a while, then you've witnessed perfectionism—both its benefits and its disadvantages. So instead of seeking to teach you how to overcome a personal struggle like this, I want to share what I'm learning, doing, and reminding myself. I hope this will help you in your own podcasting journey, too. Your audience needs you People like you “I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”“Stuart Smalley” Perfectionism is not inherently bad You can't make “perfect” But you can still make “excellent” “Published” is better than “eternal draft” Would you rather sacrifice, or starve? The “bar” can be changed Perfectionism kills momentum Momentum is greater than stagnation There is no shame in doing the right thing Your audience would rather hear from you than not Delaying allows others to take over Don't “fake it till you make it” Train it till you retain it! Need podcasting help? If you are past episode one, then please join me and other podcasters in Podcasters' Society where we help you improve the quality and success of your podcast through an encouraging community, inspirational training, and expert support! If you need one-on-one help, or you haven't launched your podcast, yet, click here to request a personal coaching and consulting session and we'll connect you with a podcasting expert we trust! Ask your questions or share your feedback * Comment on the show notes* Leave a voicemail at (903) 231-2221* Email (audio files welcome) Connect with me * Subscribe to The Audacity to Podcast Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, other Android apps, or in your favorite podcast app.* Join the Facebook Page* Subscribe on YouTube for Podcasting Videos by The Audacity to Podcast* Follow @theDanielJLewis Disclosure This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship. I may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.

 Start your podcast with my 1-day Podcast Master Class | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 8:06

If you’re eager to start your podcast but feel overwhelmed, afraid, or paralyzed, I want to equip and educate you to finally take action and launch your podcast! I’m doing that through a 1-day intensive, live, online, interactive training I call Podcast Master Class on January 31, 2020. Click here to learn more and register!

 There Are Now More than 800,000 Podcasts, and More Industry Stats – TAP339 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 39:56

On December 10, 2019, Apple Podcasts surpassed 800,000 valid podcasts! Here's some more information and statistics on the podcast industry, with data from My Podcast Reviews.

 Should You Use the Gutenberg Editor on Your WordPress Website? – TAP338 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 44:28

Switching to the Gutenberg Editor was probably the most controversial change in WordPress's history. I'll help you decide whether you should start using Gutenberg for your podcast's WordPress website. What is the Gutenberg Editor? Gutenberg's benefits 1 - Make repeatable content and templates with reusable blocks 2 - Unlock more content-formatting options 3 - Replace many separate plugins with Gutenberg features 4 - Use high-quality themes and plugins to get more Gutenberg blocks and options 5 - Paste formatted text without so many worries 6 - Edit faster and without page-refreshes 7 - Navigate your post quickly with an outline 8 - Access advanced options more easily 9 - Edit a block in HTML for advanced needs Gutenberg's disadvantages 1 - It's a drastic change 2 - There are still some compatibility issues with other plugins 3 - It may slow down some editing functionality 4 - Managing reusable blocks is a little weird right now 5 - Many features may be more simplistic than you want Tips for using Gutenberg 1 - Install the plugin version if you want the latest version 2 - Install the "Classic Editor" plugin 3 - Don't worry about your past content

 How to Conquer Your WordPress Design with a Page-Builder – TAP337 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 49:57

If you're frustrated by your WordPress theme's limitations, you don't know to or don't want to write custom code, or you want a lot more flexibility in your website, you might want to consider a page-builder plugin for WordPress. 1. You don’t have to know HTML, CSS, PHP, or JavaScript to design your own webpages 2. A page-builder makes web-design fast with WYSIWYG drag-and-drop editing 3. A good page-builder can be used anywhere on your site 4. A page-builder lets you build sections and pages “in your own image” 5. Page-builders will probably someday integrate directly into the Gutenberg editor Tips for using a WordPress page-builder 1. Ensure your theme is compatible 2. Use a page-builder only when you need more than Gutenberg can offer 3. Avoid page-builders for full post content 4. Use global styles over single styles whenever possible 5. Look for free or premium add-ons to extend your chosen builder Our favorite WordPress page-builders 1. Elementor Pro 2. Divi Builder 3. Beaver Builder 4. Themify Builder

 These Are the New Best WordPress Themes for Podcasters – TAP336 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 30:59

Podcasters need a WordPress theme designed with features and flexibility to support podcasting. Here's why I think SecondLine Themes are your new best choice! 1. Integration with PowerPress 2. Support for other podcasting plugins for WordPress 3. A versatile embed field for more player options 4. Beautiful design 5. Podcast-focused features 6. Easy setup 7. Friendly Elementor page builder 8. Extensive customization options 9. Fantastic support and updates 10. Plus: free podcast-importer plugin 11. For me, Tusant already did about 90% of what I wanted! Links and show notes at Get everything you need after episode 1 to make your podcast amazing! Join Podcasters' Society today! See and share all your international podcast reviews from Apple Podcasts and Stitcher automatically! FEEDBACK Call (903) 231-2221 Email Send a voice message from MAILING ADDRESS The Audacity to Podcast PO Box 739 Burlington, KY 41005

 The Audacity to Podcast Will Return on October 22! | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1:27

After a nearly two-year hiatus, it’s time to bring back The Audacity to Podcast! The format and production will be a little different from before, but I will continue with what has always been my goal: to give you the guts and teach you the tools to start and grow your own podcast for passion or profit. My next few episodes will be about some great new and updated podcasting tools I think you should try, such as the much-hyped RØDECaster Pro, SecondLine Themes for WordPress, Captivate’s new podcast hosting, and more! So watch and your podcast app for new episodes of The Audacity to Podcast on Tuesday mornings! While you wait, please check out my videos from Podcast Movement 2019 where I interviewed 18 exhibitors to share new podcasting resources with you. And I hope you’ll join me, Daniel J. Lewis, for the return of The Audacity to Podcast on October 22! Thanks for listening, and from the bottom of my heart, thank you for the support and encouragement! Stay subscribed! Stay podcasting! And you’ll hear from me again soon!

 Who Offers the Fastest Podcast Hosting? – TAP335 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 51:16

Podcast media (whether audio or video) must live somewhere on the Internet so it can be downloaded via RSS feeds. This hosting needs to be powerful enough to deliver the media files quickly and handle the load of hundreds or thousands of simultaneous downloads when new episodes are released. Here are the performance results from the most popular podcast hosting companies. Does podcast hosting speed even matter? The short answer is yes, but only to a point. I started this project curious about feed-hosting performance between separate web hosting providers (shared, managed, and VPS), different caching options, and mirroring tools (FeedBurner and Podcast Mirror). Aside from two specific exceptions (more on that below), feed performance from numerous providers was acceptably fast. While one host might be faster than another, it was faster by less than a second on feeds that were already loading in under 1 second. So as long as a feed loads within 1 or 2 seconds, exact speeds become a moot point. If, however, a feed takes several seconds or longer to load, that increases the possibility of timeouts, which can result in a podcast app's failure to refresh podcast RSS feeds to even see what new episodes are available to download. I've seen this happen before where one podcast app could download all the episode, but another app wouldn't refresh the feed. And then, I realized my test could be easily adapted to measure and compare file-hosting speeds. So I turned my attention to media files, which were easier to compare and possibly more important to measure. But as with feeds, media hosting across most of the providers was fast enough that it wouldn't cause any noticeable difference. A feed and media host is fast enough when someone can press a button and start listening with little to no delay. (Podcasters can make the mistake of attaching large images to ID3 tags, which can cause playback delays because the ID3 information must download before audio data.) It's also important to remember most podcast apps will check feeds and download new episodes automatically in the background. So even if it took five minutes for an episode to download, most of the audience might not be affected because the episode will be there waiting for them when they open their podcast app. This audience-helping benefit is a big reason we need to keep downloading possible in podcasting, instead of catering to money-focused advertisers who want to kill the download and switch to streaming. But that's a different discussion. Testing methodology You're free to skip this part if you don't want the technical details. I wrote a program in Node to measure the time it takes to download a feed or media file from a given URL. I included options to test feeds with Gzip compression or HTTP/2. You can view my Podcast Speed Test source code and try it on your own computer or server. Each feed or media URL was tested 10 consecutive times and then combined into average and median results. If there was a significantly different average from median, I would re-run the test, except in the case of Podiant. Every first one or two tests of Podiant resulted in very slow download times. I suspect Podiant doesn't propagate a media file to local servers until it is first requested from that location, and thus the first download is slow. Because this was predictable and repeatable, I left the data in (reflected on averages) and I think it's concerning for that poor ...


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