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Episode 114 -- Podcast Promotion and People (Comment line 218-234-CALL)

Jul 26, 2009

Had a nice long chat with Kali (aka YourGirlKali) from the "Flaws and All" show on BlogTalkRadio, and Rhonda Carpenter of the Podioracket podcast and author of "The Mark of a Druid," about podcasting, promoting podcasts, and related self-promotion.

Brief call-in from "CRC the reliever" who also has a show on BTR.

Discussed recording and swapping promos with others, leaving voice comments and blog comments.  Suggested K7.net, Snapvine, or Google Voice for a voice comment line.  I mentioned I'd recorded a comment line reminder for the Dawn & Drew Show which has worked out for me.  Noted that podcasters are generally happy to play your promo, if you're willing to promote theirs, and happy to play any voice comments (including mention of your website) that are meaningful about their content.  Mentioned producing some content for the Bloodthirsty Vegetarians podcast, with the similar  results.

Oh, and I won a book on Podioracket earlier, by Brian Rathbone, called "The Dawning of Power."  Another on-topic example, since the book giveaway was a promotional effort for Brian's book.  (I look forward to reading that.  And I like winning stuff.  Thanks, Brian!)

Brought up blogging about others' podcasts with the same idea in mind.

Talked about the usefulness of Google Alerts for keeping track of what people are saying about you, good or bad.  (Yahoo Alerts can serve a similar purpose.)

Discussed recording audiobooks for Podiobooks.com, and how doing those had helped promote my podcasts, and vice versa.  (I have five on there now, and I'm working on my sixth.)

Is there such a thing as Too Much Promotion?  Our take was that the key is to produce valuable content, make useful comments, add value to the podcasts you're appearing on or mentioned on, and that indirectly promotes your show(s) without getting too annoying.  (In my humble opinion.)  And if other podcasters do the same for you, they promote themselves without annoying your audience.

Rhonda presented author Seth Harwood's appearance on PodioRacket as an example on how to promote without being "excessively annoying" (Fidonet folks will recognize that phrase).  I brought up singer/songwriter Natalie Brown's appearance on my show as a similar example.  I also discussed playing LeVar Thomas' and City Haze's music on my show while commenting on that on Twitter.

Rhonda suggested using Ping.fm for making one post to multiple sites/accounts/outlets.  That can be important when you're doing a lot of shows -- as I am, for example.  And of course, producing a lot of content can help promotion in itself.

While I took a break, I played a tune from City Haze called "On My Way," featuring LeVar Thomas.  (See the promotion-related tie-in, right?)

Since I use Skype for my BTR shows, I can also use a utility called Callburner to do separate mono recordings of each side of the Skype call, making it easy to edit, especially to add better-quality music to the shows.  We also discussed editing for podcasting, and what Rhonda and I both use for that (as lots of podcasters do), Audacity -- free and effective for podcasting.  You can spend more, if you like, of course.  We're both happy with the latest Beta, 1.3.8, though technically 1.2.6 is the latest Stable version.

I suggested voice acting as another option, though that's certainly not for everybody.  (There's a Yahoo Group for voice actors, by the way.)

I complained about the audio quality on BTR's archive recordings for music (though they're fine for talk, I suppose).  I suggested getting a better mike.  Rhonda's suggestion was a phone headset for BTR shows.  I was thinking more of an inexpensive mike, and Rhonda's suggestion there was a Snowball USB mike, which can be gotten fairly cheaply.

Other recommendations:

"Podcasting for Dummies," by Tee Morris, Evo Terra and Chuck Tomassi.

The Yahoo Group for Podcasters

Leo LaPorte's TWiT podcasts, since Kali lives fairly near there, and some of the local podcasting groups in the area, including the one Matthew Wayne Selznick is in.

We talked video streaming, including what Phil Rossi did for the release of his novel, "Crescent."

We also discussed recording old Public Domain books as I do, and what an all-around outstanding fellow I am at doing that.  I agreed humbly. :)  But I gave much of the credit to my Samson Zoom H2 Handy Recorder, which is wonderful for a guy with a bassy voice like mine, and worth every penny my sister spent for my Christmas present.

Thanks again to Rhonda Carpenter and Kali for talking with me so long.

Lots of show notes, but it was after all a two-hour show!