Category Archives: Tools

Creating a Podcast Network on your WordPress Website



Starting a podcast network just got a bunch easier with Blubrry’s Podcast Network Plugin, free to our Professional Hosting customers. These high-level customers can start their own podcast network website today with the help of our new WordPress plugin. 

The Podcast Network Plugin allows you to create and share a network with other podcasts inside and outside of the Blubrry hosting domain. Podcasts using Blubrry hosting can be added for free — up to 500 shows — and podcasts outside can as well for a monthly fee starting at $50 for up to 30 shows, both with the show-host’s approval.

If you’re not yet a Professional Hosting customer, there has never been a better time to upgrade. We will work with you to determine your specific needs and pricing, starting at about $100 a month. 

This is revolutionary! For the first time, any podcaster can build and manage a podcast network using a plugin designed by the Blubrry team. When used in tandem with our PowerPress Podcasting Plugin you can grow your show organically on your site while partnering with shows that may or may not host at Blubrry.

The plugin creates show pages for you with a click of a mouse. It offers organized lists you can display on your network to your liking using any template you desire and so very much more.

Let’s break it down:

  • Want to add shows that aren’t in your account but using Blubrry hosting? No problem.
  • Not sure how to create a website with multiple shows on it? Taken care of.
  • Save your time, money and a potential headache with our simple, yet powerful plugin. All the benefits of PowerPress, scaling capabilities, and flexibility for your fellow creators.

Are you excited? We are. If you’re not yet using our Professional Hosting, contact us and we’ll get you going. Arrange a demonstration of all the features of the Blubrry Podcast Network Plugin the most powerful audience building tool to be introduced in the past decade.

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Deezer The Podcasts You’re Looking For



Blubrry Podcasts Now Distribute to DeezerSorry, we couldn’t resist the obvious pun + sci-fi reference. We also couldn’t resist making it easier than ever for podcasters to distribute your podcasts to even more listeners. Which is why, for the past year, we’ve been quietly working with Deezer behind the scenes. The result? Next week you’ll be able to submit your podcast to Deezer and their 14 million monthly active users through Blubrry, one of the most flexible and powerful podcasting platforms on the market.

How do I get my podcast on Deezer?

It’s actually pretty easy. All you have to do is use your Blubrry account–even a free one– and claim your podcast listing in the Blubrry Podcast Directory if you havent already and then submit your show through the Podcaster Dashboard. We’re putting the final touches on everything, and will have this new distribution location ready to go live next week, so make sure to check back.

Why Blubrry & Deezer?

Deezer is huge. As of January, 2019, “Deezer had 56 million licensed tracks in its library, with over 30,000 radio channels, 14 million monthly active users, and 7 million paid subscribers.” And–like about every other streaming audio platform–Deezer wants in on the growing podcast market. Which is where Blubrry comes in. “We touch in excess of 75,000 shows and have 150 million downloads a month across all of our customers” says Todd Cochrane, Blubrry’s CEO. “So, we could bring 75,000 shows to Deezer.” Even better? If you’re a hosting customer, Blubrry’s IAB  certified podcast stats platform will still give you the most reliable, accurate data available on the market today.

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Podcast Platform Updates, August 2019



In an effort to continue making it easier than ever for you to produce and grow your podcast, Blubrry is constantly tweaking, developing, and redeveloping our industry-leading podcasting platform: from Podcast Hosting, to IAB Certified Podcast Statistics, to PowerPress. Going forward, we’ll post periodic updates about our progress, and some of the major releases we think you might find interesting & helpful. Read on for some bright shiny podcast platform release from Blubrry for August 5, 2019.

Cast Feed Validator, Revitalized!

There’s always more you could do to produce and promote your podcast. Beyond curating and creating killer content, you have to actually publish your podcast and make sure it’s out there and accessible to your listeners–all listeners. You can breathe a little easier today, though. Blubrry has made that last part easier for you with our free service, Cast Feed Validator.

Cast Feed Validator checks to see if your podcast RSS feed is working properly. It’s really that simple. And it’s really free, too. All podcast directories have to read and play your podcast; and some of them–including Apple–will accept a feed that isn’t actually working the way you want it to.

Run your feed through our Cast Feed Validator and we’ll tell you what needs improvement and what is flat out broken; quick results for podcast necessities. Fast, free, and reliable assessment for your podcast feed.

We thought it was such a great service that we acquired it in 2017. We also knew it needed a bit of TLC and some updating which we’re excited to announce today. Some of the new goodness is listed below:

  • Mapping of Apple’s old and new categories. Learn more about that here.
  • SSL certificate tests
  • More in-depth tests on server behavior and metadata
  • Feed tests that look for hard-to-find bugs

But wait, there’s more! This isn’t just limited to Blubrry users, any podcaster can check their feed. We are keeping it free because a properly working directory is better for the entire podcasting community. Take a look at the new site and test your feed here

Play and Partial Download Reporting Now Fully Available

Earlier this year, we released Play and Partial Download Reporting as part of our IAB Certified Podcast Statistics platform for our Advanced Stats customers. It’s been great seeing more and more podcasters use this valuable service during our free trial period. Today, that service is still available, and it’s only $5 additional per month. Make sure to double check yours if you want to retain access to partial download reporting in your Advanced Stats.

More podcast platform updates coming soon

Every couple weeks or so, we’ll post another update, detailing some of the things we’ve been hard at work on, trying to make it easier for you to podcast.

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New Monetization Partner: Stagepass



What is Stagepass?

Stagepass is a marketplace for creatives to auction experiences to their audience. Creatives are podcasts hosts, and also include, but are not limited to: speakers, artists, authors, YouTubers, and thought leaders. Each host is verified by Stagepass to let audiences know that experiences with that person will be authentic. Once a host is verified they can link their bank account with Stripe and immediately begin auctioning experiences. Hosts can post as many experiences that they wish and provide pictures and videos to provide more content for bidders on that auction.

Experiences can be in any format – in person, online, over the phone, or over any other medium. The key is that the experience is what the host makes it, and what their audience wants. For audiences, experiences satisfy an emotional need for deeper connection with hosts they have listened to for months and years. Podcast consumption is the most intimate medium, and listeners crave more than just one-directional flow of information – they want to get to know hosts better, tell hem what they like about the show, and experience something more meaningful and visceral than simply listening. Hosts have full control over the pricing structure and can set a starting and reserve price they are comfortable with.

Stagepass was built so that hosts can focus on their craft full-time, by providing value to the people that love them most – their audience. This gives hosts the ability to spend all of their time thinking about their audience, rather than what sponsors want to see in their craft.

Why Use Stagepass?

Flexibility: A tool for hosts to make additional revenue when needed (or wanted). Auctions can be conducted over any period of time, which gives hosts an easy way to throttle income when necessary. If a host needs to make income quickly they can conduct a 24-hour auction. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if a host wants to create anticipation and build interest over time, they can create longer auction periods.

Plays Well With Others: Stagepass is complimentary to other methods of income, including Patreon and sponsor support. Auctioning experiences does not take away from the value that Patreon supporters and sponsors derive from their relationship with the host. Patrons donate due to their appreciation of the art that the hosts create, and sponsorship value stems from the resonance that its products have on target audiences. Hosts can use all services simultaneously and satisfy the value experience of all of their monetization supporters. That said, Stagepass offers more value to audiences and supporters. With podcasting being the most intimate medium, listeners develop a sense of deep connection with hosts of shows, and desire to experience more with those people, in ways outside of the original medium. They crave connection beyond the show, hence the name Stagepass.

Timing: Jump in early, it’s the right time to begin monetizing through experience. Over recent years the demand for unique experience has soared. In a recent study, Millennials, who are now the largest consumer segment of the market, have reported that 72% would spend money on experiences over anything else (Inc.). Listeners are wanting more than one-directional engagement and are looking for experience.

Additional Benefits

  1. Hosts do not have to create additional content like Patreon.
  2. Users can create experiences that provide no preparation or follow-up.
  3. Experiences provide exponential returns with the auction system.
  4. Hosts can create as many auctions that they like.
  5. Users can avoid appealing to sponsors and focus on adding value to listeners.

Read more here to learn about Stagepass and get started in the Make Money section of Blubrry’s Podcaster Dashboard.

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4 Reasons to Host Your Podcast With Blubrry



There are a plethora of podcast hosting companies out there today. Which, honestly, gets us excited. It means that there are more and more people getting into podcasting as a way to share their unique stories and perspectives with the world. It also excites us because—even as new entrants pop up—our podcast hosting platform continues to be second to none. Sure, there are some who offer everything for “free” and some who put their branding all over your hard work. Not Blubrry Podcasting. We believe you should own your brand, which is why we’ve built one of the most robust, flexible podcasting platforms available. With that in mind, here are 4 reasons to host your podcast with Blubrry:

  1. No-Fault Overage. Files too big, and might push you over your limit for the month? No worries with Blubrry’s exclusive No-Fault Overage for our podcast hosting customer. Sometimes, those files are just too big because the stories inside are so big. Ok. We know that’s not technically how it works, but we believe your stories are worth sharing. Which is why we created no-fault overage. Let’s say you just recorded an amazing episode and you upload your files. Even if they’re too big for your monthly quota (and you haven’t gone over yet this month), you can still publish. We’ll just let you know you’ve exceeded your limit and give you the option of upgrading for the future. It’s that easy.
  2. Video Podcast or Audio Podcast? Both! Honestly, storage space is storage space, and bandwidth is bandwidth, regardless of the file format. So, with Blubrry Podcast Hosting, you don’t need to decide ahead of time if you want to do audio podcasting, video podcasting, or a little of each. You can just focus on sharing your views with your audience in whichever format, at whatever time you feel is right. Video this week, audio next? Cool. And, as always, if you have any questions, our support team is only an email, phone call, or video chat away.
  3. Know your audience better than any other podcasting platform. Blubrry is the first and only podcast hosting company to have an IAB Tech Lab certified podcast stats platform. It’s really kind of a big deal, because it means that your stats are on a platform that is certified to the highest standards in the industry. Which means you can trust the numbers and your advertisers can trust the numbers. Even better? Blubrry now also offers partial download reporting to help you better understand how much of your content your audience is consuming, and if or when they tune out in an episode.
  4. A free podcast website. Yeah. Actually free, actually yours. With PowerPress Sites, you get the power of one of the most widely used podcasting plugins for WordPress. For free. PowerPress Sites makes it ridiculously easy to customize your website to make sure it’s on-brand for your podcast, plus it has all the robust functionality for publishing and syndicating that has made it the go-to for podcasters for more than a decade.

Well, there you have it: 4 reasons to host your podcast with Blubrry Podcast Hosting. Granted, there are about a bazillion other reasons, but who has time to read all that? You’ve got a podcast to produce.

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Blubrry Launches Post to Social For Twitter, YouTube and Facebook



Your latest podcast episode is brilliant! Just like the ones before it. Now it’s time to push it out to your fan base and prospective new audiences. Everyone shares their new podcast episode on their social media accounts, right? If not, well, they should. That’s why we’re proud to introduce Post to Social, which enables Blubrry hosting podcasters to easily share their episodes on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook (with more options in the works).

Post to Social for Twitter, YouTube and Facebook makes it easy to publish two-minute podcast clips of episodes or episode teasers to your social media accounts. By automatically publishing your episodes with P2S you’re giving listeners a short sample of your episode with an outro that encourages listeners to check out the full episode.

The new feature provides you the capability to almost instantly post your entire show to Twitter because it enlists a Twitter audio card. And YouTube and Facebook will post the first two minutes of the episode: content creators can record an outro, driving listeners to the full episode on their own site.

Studies show that YouTube and Facebook users are more likely to listen to a short audio segment versus a full audio segment, which is why we’ve created the podcast teasers with your outro. Your outro can be something such as, “Head over to [your podcast location] to hear the rest of this episode, and be sure to subscribe while you’re there.” This is a great way to drive traffic to your website or whatever destination you want your listeners to visit.

Blubrry hosting users can use Post to Social now — instructions are posted on the Blubrry website. If you’re not yet hosting with us, sign up here to get the added benefit of Post to Social for your podcast.

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Getting Wise About Podcasting



PPPiTunesAlbumArt300Ken Wise recently celebrated his 1 year podcasting anniversary and is the guest on episode 31 of the PowerPress Podcast. MacKenzie and Ken talk about his show, Wise About Texas, that focuses on all kinds of history that pertains to the great state of Texas. As for recent news, well, there’s another podcasting studio available to the public. If you’re in the St. Louis area and looking for an easy podcast recording solution, check this out. Check out the link below for more details. And for those of you out there that are interested in transcripts for your show, there’s another tool coming your way! It’s in beta now, but autoEdit will be available in the future. Those of you looking to test, be aware, it’s open source. MacKenzie caught up on her podcast chronicle – check out the picture below of the new studio setup. Thanks for listening and hit one of the many subscribe buttons to the show!

PowerPress fan? Leave us a review, here!

newblubrrystudio

Show notes:

Wise About Texas
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

2GuysTalking Podcast Studio

autoEdit – Open source tool for transcripts

Email MacKenzie
Blubrry Twitter

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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?

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6 Great Productivity Tools For Podcasters



As any podcaster knows, creating a great show requires a lot more than just showing up and recording. Between collaborating, planning and organizing your time, it helps to have access to great tools to help. Here are some favorites among podcasters we know:

Scheduling:

While Google Calendar is great for keeping track of your overall schedule, it can be great to give guests an easy way to sign up for an available recording time. Here are two options podcasters love:

  • “I use SetMore for scheduling – It’s free and it integrates with google calendar! It’s awesome to just send guests a link for scheduling and have this tool take care of the rest. – Bryn from The Birth Hour podcast.
  • “I use Calendly as my scheduler. It’s so easy to use, and I love the clean interface. I love not having to email back and forth, and being able to set automatic reminders is so helpful.” Heather from the Happiness Mama podcast.

Collaboration: 

Even if you’re a one-person show, chances are good you’ll need to collaborate with others at some point, whether that be sponsors or special guests. These options are popular with podcasts we know:

  • “I love DropBox for sharing files and making them accessible anywhere.” – Kelsey Wharton, the Girl Next Door Podcast. 
  • “Initially my co-host and I were were winging it with scheduling content from week to week, but now we look a month out on a shared Google calendar and can build episodes into each week and see what makes the most sense to come next. We also had a meeting to talk about our personal goals and visions for the show and how best to use each other’s strengths, whether that be editing, writing outlines, show notes promotion and social media. We feel this can be such a useful tool for shows with multiple hosts- otherwise you’ll end up tripping over each other trying to do everything at once which makes it more complicated, and less productive.” – Rachel Cassinatt, The Table Chat Show.

Communication:

  • Here at Blubrry, we use Slack for almost all internal communications. With an interface that acts like a messaging platform plus the ability to upload files from documents to graphics and great searchability, it’s the best of all worlds for teams that like to communicate quickly on the fly and share short bursts of information throughout the day.
  • If a separate messaging platform is overkill for your podcast, you might consider using Google Hangouts as a scaled-back way to communicate with guests and co-hosts without ever leaving your Gmail inbox.
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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!

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