Category Archives: Tips

And The Winner Is… – Your Podcast 015



Congratulations to all of the Podcast Awards winners, awarded live on International Podcast Day. Media companies are always changing and recently Vimeo, known for recorded video acquired Livestream giving them access to live streaming capabilities as well. Todd tried out Apple’s AirPods and was pleasantly surprised. Given the current political climate, there has been an influx of podcasts on politics – Joe Biden is the most recent to come out with one. Lastly, Todd and Mike suggest that podcasts insert ads in their podcast so prospective advertisers can hear what your ad reads sound like, like a trial run.

Thanks for listening to the show and please subscribe at PowerPressPodcast.com.

We love our PowerPress users, please leave us a review.

News:

Congratulations to all the People’s Choice Podcast Award winners!

Topic:

  • Why podcasters should consider doing a demo for their podcast. The benefits of being advertiser ready.

Tech Support:

“I posted an episode and it’s not in Apple Podcasts yet. What did I do wrong? PLEASE HELP.”

We get this question A LOT!

The iTunes/Apple store listing and what appears in your feed are two different things. People that subscribe to your feed in iTunes will get the new episodes as you post them but the listing at iTunes can lag by a day or so behind your feed. This is normal. Again, remember to tell people to subscribe.

People get the wrong impression that your RSS feed PUSHES to iTunes: it does not. iTunes (when it sees fit) PULLS your feed. It asks for your feed when it gets around to it and PULLS your feed to update the listing. Your subscribers (even in iTunes) subscribe to your feed and after that never really touch iTunes (the service) again. They are just subscribed to your feed directly in the iTunes software. Subscribe to your own show, so that you can be reassured when you publish new episodes that all is well. It works the same as every other directory or app.

There is nothing we or you can do to make that faster. It takes whatever time it takes and if you want it to go faster you have to go to iTunes and refresh your feed manually.

Here is a checklist of things we do to make sure all is working fine.

  • Know what your feed address is.
  • Check your feed whenever you post. One way to check is a simple check in the Firefox browser. Load your RSS feed and check that the title is correct, the media file is indeed attached and that the feed loads without errors.
  • Check your feed in a validator. Podba.se or castfeedvalidator.com are up to date. Feedvalidator.org or W3 Validator are seriously out of date for podcast feeds.
  • Subscribe to your own podcast in your podcast app of choice. You should get the episode within a few minutes of publishing. Regardless if it’s in the store for that app, you will get it and your subscribers will too.

To ask questions or to comment on the show, contact Todd and Mike here: yourpodcast@blubrry.com

Please follow and like us:

PowerPress Podcast In Reverse and an Important Blubrry Release



Meredith Adler, a podcaster from North Carolina was MacKenzie’s guest for episode 45. This week they went with a different tactic – Meredith interviewing MacKenzie about Blubrry, PowerPress and podcasting. They briefly discuss a potential new podcasting event, PowerPress Sites (Deluxe is finally out!), as well as Meredith’s show that she started in the fall of 2016. Check out links below for more details and thanks for listening.

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review, here!

Show notes:

What is PodCon?
PodCon Indiegogo Campaign – Donate!

Blubrry Forum
PowerPress Webinar Video
PowerPress Sites
Local Hearted – Meredith Adler show

Please follow and like us:

‘Infinite’ insights and ‘Your Podcast’



Mike Dell of the Blubrry team joins MacKenzie on the PowerPress Podcast to discuss the 2017 Infinite Dial Report, an annual study released by Edison Research and Triton Digital that shows the latest information on digital media consumer behavior. Mike and MacKenzie chat about a certain statistic that stands out this year that you’ll for sure want to know about.

They also discuss the new Blubrry show, Your Podcast featuring Mike and Todd Cochrane, RawVoice and Blubrry CEO. The show focuses on how your podcast should be in your control — tune in to learn more.

Lastly, CIO Angelo Mandato stopped by to talk about the difference between web and podcasting SEO, specifically in PowerPress.

Quick note — We will be changing our release day after this episode to Mondays. Look for PowerPress Podcast episode 42 on Monday, April 10.

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review, here!

Show notes:

Please follow and like us:

Considerations Before Starting Your Podcast



PPPiTunesAlbumArt300New podcasters are full of questions and uncertainties and Todd Cochrane answers some of those questions and considerations. Todd joined MacKenzie on the PowerPress Podcast to give an educated and experienced opinion on what you should think about before you start your show. And speaking of beginners, there is a new app for podcasting, Bumpers.fm. The app was developed by two formers Twitter engineers and focuses on making recording, editing and publishing your episode easily. If you’re interested to hear what Blubrry has going on with new releases, make sure to listen to the beginning of the episode when MacKenzie and Todd discuss the upcoming social media sharing tools. Thanks for listening and please subscribe to the show!

Fan of PowerPress? Leave us a review, here!

Show notes:

Bumpers.fm

Email MacKenzie

Blubrry Twitter

Please follow and like us:

The Holidays are Here! Here’s How to Prepare



The holiday season is in full swing and that means days off from work, and yes that includes the folks at Apple and iTunes. While you might be hoping to use some of your days off to get your podcast up and running or work on some changes, keep in mind there might be a delay on their end.

Take a look at their schedule (provided by iTunes) and plan accordingly:

Winter Content Submission Schedules

Podcast Launch                Date Submission Deadline

Dec. 5 – 11                        Nov. 28 (Oops! You might already be behind)

Dec. 12 – 18                      Dec. 5

Dec. 19 – 25                      Dec. 12

Dec. 26 – Jan 1                 Dec. 12

Jan. 2 – 8                          Dec. 12

Jan. 9 – 15                        Jan. 2

And since we’re on the topic, please keep in mind that while Blubrry is a large podcasting community, there are only 12 of us that work for Blubrry. We’ll be looking at emails and checking in as often as possible, but we hope you will be patient if there are delays in response. Check out our schedule below:

Half days – cannot guarantee we will get back to you that day

Friday, Dec. 23

Friday, Dec. 30

Out of office days – probably won’t hear back on these days

Monday, Dec. 26

Tuesday, Jan. 2

People love to listen to multiple episodes during the holidays since they’ve got some extra time around the house or on a long drive. From Christmas to the middle of January is the No. 1 on-boarding time for new listeners as well, so the end of December is not the time to put your show on break. Prepare now so you don’t have to worry about trying posting a show right before your day off. Enjoy the holiday season and happy podcasting!

Please follow and like us:

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?

Please follow and like us:

4 Ways To Promote Your Podcast (Beyond iTunes!)



Of course you already know that submitting your podcast to directories like iTunesGoogle Play Music Podcast Portal, and the Blubrry Podcast Directory are the first steps in getting your show out to the wider world. But in today’s noisy internet ecosphere, just listing your show and hoping people will find you usually isn’t enough! Instead of relying on any one directory or list to elevate your podcast in the ranks, focus on a long-term strategy that incorporates audience development, consistency and a few clever promotional techniques. Here are some ideas for elevating your promotion strategy and getting more people to tune into your show: Continue reading 4 Ways To Promote Your Podcast (Beyond iTunes!)

Please follow and like us:

6 Ways To Take A Break From Podcasting Without Losing Your Audience



sunset

With summer just around the corner, many podcasters are asking whether or not it’s OK to take some time off from recording and publishing to make more time for vacations and leisure. While it’s tempting to think “hey, how much can it really hurt to take a few weeks off?” that “short” break can easily confuse listeners, stall momentum, or become a slippery slope into “podfading” (when a podcast becomes published less and less frequently, until it eventually just fades away.)

While members of the Blubrry team have experimented with taking time off from podcasting, most of us recommend against taking an extended vacation. However, here are some tips that can make occasional breaks less disruptive to your usual schedule and make it more likely that listeners will stick around until you get back.

  1. Consider your podcast’s age and following. An older, more established podcast with a solid and loyal audience may be able to get away with occasional breaks, but take a vacation when you’re just a few months into podcasting and you may find that your audience forgets about you while you’re gone. “I have created 1120 shows over 11+ years, and my audience has literally built me and my show into their lives,” explains Todd Cochrane, CEO of Blubrry. “While we all need to take breaks from time to time, my first break was 4-5 years into doing my show and then only 1 or 2 episodes at a time.”
  2. Keep breaks short and schedules consistent. A week off here and there (particularly if you give plenty of notice) isn’t likely to cause your audience to disappear, but 2-3 weeks can easily lead them to give up on you and go looking for new content. The biggest trick is to be consistent and deliver on expectations. For example, if you plan on going from daily to weekly episodes during the month of July, be sure you really follow through on whatever you’ve promised your audience. If they eagerly open up their podcast app on Tuesday expecting your episode and it isn’t there, you may lose them for good.
  3. Give your listeners plenty of advance notice. Communicating your plan to your listeners will help them understand what to expect and also help keep you accountable and organized during a break or reduced podcasting schedule. If you’ve promised your listeners you’ll be back every other Thursday over summer break, it’ll be that much harder to slack off on that day you’d really rather be at the beach.
  4. Keep communicating with your audience. Blog posts, social media, and utilizing your email lists are all great ways to stay in touch with your listeners when you aren’t actively publishing. Make sure to stay in front of them in a variety of different ways: after all, if you’re in “vacation mode” chances are so are they, and you’ll need to work harder to stay front of mind.
  5. Take your podcast on the road. Vacations don’t have to completely disrupt your podcasting schedule! Take a portable studio when you travel so you don’t have to miss a publishing date. It’s OK to keep this simple! “I used to take a massive packout,” explains Cochrane. “I now carry a headset and a zoom for shows I record on the road – it’s no more than 2-3 pounds and packs up in a shaving kit.” If you worry about sound quality, explain to your audience up front that you’re on the road so you might sound a little different than usual. Loyal listeners will just be happy to hear from you, even if the quality is a touch less than usual. If it fits your show topic, you may even be able to incorporate your vacation location into your show!
  6. Change up your format. Switching to shorter episodes while you’re on vacation or during a time of year that your audience is less engaged may be a welcome way to stay in touch with listeners without spending hours in a recording studio each week (or requiring them to log as much listening time to stay current.) You can also consider bringing in guest hosts, or switching to a less time-intensive recording format (i.e. quick off-the-cuff breakdowns of trending topics rather than lengthy interviews) during times when you’d rather be out flying a kite than inside recording.

Podcasters, how do you stay relevant and front-of-mind while traveling or vacationing?

 

Please follow and like us:

5 Things Podcasters Need To Know About Taxes



April 15 is almost upon us, and if you’re like many podcasters and other content creators, you might be procrastinating on getting those taxes filed. Even if you aren’t making a lot of money yet, confusing tax laws and, let’s face it, less-than-stellar bookkeeping often make something that should be pretty simple seem complicated. But don’t procrastinate too long! If you earn income – any income – from your podcast, it needs to be reported correctly.

Here are some tips for getting your tax return done right:

IRS

  1. Decide whether you’re filing as a business or a hobby. If you aren’t making much or any money yet, this can be tricky to figure out. “The difference is in the podcaster’s motive – does he or she wish to make a profit or not,” explains Carol Topp, CPA and host of the Dollars and Sense Show. The IRS does offer nine factors they use to differentiate between businesses and hobbies, but they can be a bit vague – for example, “whether you carry on the activity in a businesslike manner.” One thing to keep in mind, warn tax professionals, is that filing as a hobby isn’t necessarily going to be the cheaper route. There’s a risk that you could trigger an audit if you file a valid business as a hobby, and if you declare your podcast a hobby, you are also limited to deducting expenses up to the amount of income it’s produced – you can’t take a loss on a hobby.
  2. Start as soon as you have expenses. “That’s sooner then most podcasters think about taxes!” says Topp. You should start tracking and reporting your podcast as soon as you have expenses instead of waiting until you have income.
  3. Know what counts as income and deductible expense. Equipment (your mic and software, for example,) fees associated with services like podcast hosting and statistics, travel and entry fees to industry conferences and events, business-related meals, classes or podcast consulting services, studio/recording space or a home office, and graphic design and website setup fees are just some of the things you may be able to write off as an expense related to your podcast. Income can include free products, exchanges from bartering, and of course, any monetary payment you receive whether it’s via check, direct deposit, Paypal, cash or some other format. If you aren’t sure if something counts as a taxable income or deductible expense, consult a tax professional.
  4. Keep household and podcasting finances separate. If you haven’t been keeping track of your finances – or keeping your podcasting expenses and income separate from your household finances – you’re probably realizing right about now how big a mess that can create. “Separating business income from your personal income makes tax preparation easier, but it also allows the podcaster to have a better idea if the business is profitable,” advises Topp. “If business and personal are all mixed into one checking account, it requires more bookkeeping to see how the business is doing.”
  5. Record everything. As for assuming you’ll remember how much you spent on that trip to Podcast Movement? Nuh-uh. “Using a spreadsheet or accounting software is best – track of all you income and all your expenses. Also track your meals and mileage. Do not rely on memory!”

Great advice, but nobody’s perfect. If you are getting organized a little late this year, you aren’t alone! Just commit to making life easier for yourself when it comes to file 2016’s taxes by getting informed, separating out podcast and household finances out, and keeping good records…starting now. Topp offers a free downloadable business income/expense spreadsheet you can use to keep track of your podcast finances. While Topp’s site is aimed at writers, there are many parallels between podcasters and writers when it comes to taxes, so visit TaxesForWriters.com for more great tips and resources while you prepare your taxes.

A note: we at Blubrry are experts in podcasting, but not necessarily tax preparation! To make sure you’re protecting yourself and your podcast, be sure to consult IRS resources and/or speak to a tax professional if you have any questions.

Considering joining Blubrry at the Podcast Movement in Chicago this July?
Use the code “Blubrry” at checkout for a $40 discount!

Be A Better Podcaster with our FREE Email Series!

* indicates required


Email Format

Please follow and like us:

New iTunes Podcast Directory Recommendations: What Podcasters Need To Know Now



The higher your podcast ranks in iTunes, the easier it is to grow your audience – so it’s crucial to keep up on and follow their recommendations.

This month, iTunes made a number of changes to the iTunes Store podcast directory that could have a direct impact on the success of your podcast.

Here’s what you need to know (and do) to comply with the new iTunes Podcast
Directory Recommendations:

iTunes Podcast Image Recommendation Change

Apple now recommends using a 3000 x 3000 pixel JPG or PNG in the RGB color space in a compressed format. Saving your image as a JPG with your favorite image editing software should automatically compress your image to optimize for mobile devices.

If you are saving your image as a PNG, please be aware that your image must be saved in the RGB color space. If the image is saved as a CMYK color space (used for printing), it will not be accepted by iTunes. (See our guide to logos, branding and theme for more information on color spaces and other crucial things to keep in mind while designing your cover art.)

The minimum size of 1400 x 1400 may continue to be used and will look acceptable on a tablet or phone – but while it’s not an urgent change, the larger 3000 x 3000 size will look best when viewed in the Apple TV podcasts app.New iTunes Podcast Directory Recommendations February 2016

iTunes Podcast Explicit Setting Change

Apple has changed the iTunes explicit setting. You must now select “clean” or “explicit” – the ‘no’ option is no longer available.

The “explicit” setting previously allowed for a 3rd option referred to as “no” (also referred to as “none” by some services). Nothing was displayed next to your podcast on iTunes if neither “clean” or “explicit” were set. With this change, there is no longer a neutral option.

If you don’t set your podcast as either “clean” or “explicit,” it appears that Apple will now make that determination for you. To guarantee that your content is marked correctly, please update your explicit setting as soon as possible.

The explicit setting is available both at the program/show level as well as the episode level. If all of your episodes are explicit or clean, you will only need to set this attribute at the program/show level.

We are still waiting on a response from Apple staff how to handle the situation with mixed explicit and clean episodes. We assume the previous behavior still applies:

  • If your program is marked “explicit,” then all episodes within that show are also considered explicit. A “clean” episode for an explicit show/program is not applicable.
  • If your program is marked “clean,” then all episodes are considered clean unless otherwise marked explicit.

The explicit setting is very important to maximize your distribution on iTunes. Some territories and countries such as India do not allow explicit content.

iTunes does enforce its explicit settings. Do not assume you can mark content as clean even though it includes explicit content – many podcasters have learned the hard way that mis-labeling your show will lead to being removed from the iTunes podcast directory.

Managing Podcast Submissions to iTunes has Changed

Podcast submissions to the iTunes podcast directory are now managed by the new Podcast Connect website. The new website allows you to submit new podcasts, as well as refresh, hide and delete your current podcast listings.

iTunes Podcast Connect

In February, 2011 Apple dropped the update listing protocol, leaving podcasters with no way to refresh their podcast listings on iTunes. The new Podcast Connect website includes a Refresh Feed option, we applaud and appreciate the addition.

Check back here at the PowerPress Podcast blog weekly for important updates and information that can help you improve your podcast’s chances for success!

Please follow and like us: