Top Things to Do this Year for Powerful Podcast Planning
The digital world has become busier and noisier and more complex. For podcasters, our goal is to make sure that the topics and the content that we create resonate with the people who want and need it the most. We want to get straight into those people when they search for answers on the internet. We want to be found by them. Tracy Hazzard gives us tips on how to be found, how to attract and how to be able to maintain what we have and get ahead. Learn how you can build your business and serve its purpose and goal for 2019 and onward.
I am so glad that you’re joining me here and we are going to do some Masterclass planning. This is for existing podcasters, podcasters who are new to this. It doesn’t matter because you have to do this at the beginning of your show, but you also should do this every year. That’s why we’re going to go over that. That’s why it’s 2019 Content Planning. I’m going to do a little bit of recap. We’re trying to focus on how we can get more. All of us have problems, issues and things that we want more of. I want more speaking engagements that are much more targeted for instance. I want to write my book. These are all things that we’re doing. Your last assignment was about focusing in on those goals and everything.
Remember, the world is so busy. We’re frustrated and overwhelmed. There are a lot of websites, there are a lot of Google searches and there are very low conversion rates. Our goal is to make sure that the topics and the content that we do resonate right with the people who want it the most. We want to get straight into those people where they’re searching, what they’re frustrated about. We want to help them like I want to help you. We’re trying to make sure that we reach above that noise level and we reach deep into the frustration and the overwhelm. By that, maybe sometimes we don’t know exactly what that is. We have to explore it and that’s what it’s all about. Finding good topics and figuring out and exploring those things.
For those of you who are joining us for the first time, this is Tom and me. I’m Tracy Hazzard. I have my partner Tom Hazzard, who’s my cohost and the Cofounder of our company, Brandcasters. These are some of our podcasts and I write a column for Inc. I wanted you to get to know us a little bit in case you’re new to us and we’re just like you. We end up finding ourselves at the bottom of the marketing rollercoaster, where you are great about doing all your marketing, making all your sales call. You’re doing all the things that you’re supposed to do from a content development standpoint. You get so many clients and you get so busy that you forget to do that great content planning, the marketing and you get yourself behind. Those of you podcasters out there who’ve already done this, you know that feeling when you go, “There’s an episode supposed to air.”
In fact, that may have happened actually. It is not because we didn’t record it, it is because Tom forgot to upload it because he got too busy. These things happen when you start to get yourself behind. For us, it always happens in December because we plan it out, but then maybe we pushed some ahead. Some guests fell through and we forgot to rebook some. That always happens to us. Luckily, it’s not as critical. You want to still be posting, but if you drop down to one when you normally do two, no one’s going to complain, so you’re probably okay. We don’t want you to hit the bottom of the marketing rollercoaster. We don’t want you to start the year badly. That’s part of why we’re sharing this with you.
Your assignment was to set your business goals. Why are you doing this? What is it you want more of? How can you get that? What’s going to achieve that? Is it speaking engagements? Is it PR? Is it getting covered by columns? What is it that’s going to get you there? Is it getting better guests? It could be any of those things, but you want to think about your business goals and the actions that which you might be able to take to achieve those. You want to benchmark your competition. You want to see what they’re doing. What did they do that you didn’t do? Did they get good returns from that? You want to check that out. That was what I had to do as well.
Figure out who your competition is and sometimes it’s not direct. Remember, sometimes it might be other people who are trying to reach the same type of entrepreneur as you are. It may not be a direct correlation between that. You want to reach this kind of entrepreneurs, but you have your little edge to it. That’s good. You wanted to consider the content types you are going to generate. Maybe you were going to do more video or you’re just going to do audio, or you’re going to add blog posts, which I highly recommend. Consider those content types and if you were going to go in new, that was something to explore. If you’ve impasse really benchmarked and knew your competition in podcasting, you want to check out the YouTubers this time.
You want to review the time spent in value. We talked about that. How much time are you spending on producing your show? How much time are you spending transcribing blog posts? Are you doing something that is of value to your business? Are you doing something that’s busy work and it shouldn’t be you? What I want you to do is spend your time in the core of your business. Do the thing that is going to make you special, that gives you the most value and adds value to your customer base. That’s where we are with that assignment and thinking about it. You don’t have to write this out if you don’t want to. I wanted you to think about these things because as we go into this topic planning, we want to screen them against these things.
We want to think about them against, “Is this going to achieve my goal? Is this hitting further into where I want to be? Is this competing so I put myself on the same level as my competition?” These are all questions you’re going to ask yourself. Strategic content competitively ranks is at the right time, in the right format and build your business. Competitively ranks, meaning it’s going to show up on Google. It’s going to show up on iTunes. It’s going to show up in all places like YouTube where people are searching for you. It’s in the right format, audio or visual or written and it’s at the right time that they’re searching. It’s available to them when they need it most. This is what the content we’re developing here and at the end of the day, it needs to build your business.Establishing unique value is a need that you want to feed. Click To Tweet
While it’s great to have a cool show that lets you interview cool people, how much fun is that at the end of the day if it’s just a vanity project. If it’s something that is making you feel good, do it, if you have the time for it. If you don’t, if your goal is to build your business, then let’s think twice about the people we have on, the topics we discuss and make sure that they’re dialed in and focused on what they want, not what we want. That’s why I call it the vanity project. Our goal is to get more status, get many articles written and find more time to maybe write our book. We want to get the VIP pass to whatever it is that we want to build our business in. Our goal is to get all of that to happen through the content.
Let’s talk a little bit about the competitive content capture. Now that you know what those competitors are, now that you know the places you’re going to search, whether it’s YouTube or iTunes or all of those things because you know what content type, we want to have a capture of content. We want to make a list basically. Where do we start doing that and how do we start doing that? That’s where I’m going to flip back and forth here. Remember your competitors. There are a lot of digital marketers out there in almost every category that has traffic. They are doing a lot of techniques, a lot of what we call keyword searches and keyword planning. They are doing these things and creating keywords silos. They’re building deep SEO into their websites and into their videos and into tagging and how they do things. They’re competing against you. It doesn’t mean they have better content and many times, they don’t have better content because they’re not deep experts and thought leaders in that. You can compete against that and all of the techniques that I’m teaching you are going to help you compete against that.
If you try to ignore and say, “I’m going to be fine and I don’t have to look at this keyword stuff. I don’t have to check out my competition. I’m going to be fine if I talk about what I want to talk about,” this is what you’re competing against and they are coming above you in search. You have to at least take a look at it. Don’t discount that. It’s important in the process. We also want to put this thing in the right order. Whether we’re starting from video or podcast, I want you to remember start from there. That’s your first starting point. You don’t have to do it. If you’re going to start from video, start on YouTube. If you’re going to start in the podcast, start on iTunes. You can also do searching in live streaming, but it’s a little harder to do it there in terms of search because the way people title things isn’t as clear. The search for live streaming is not as good as it is on YouTube. At the end of the day, live streams don’t get Google ranked. That’s why I’m recommending you to go to YouTube or go to iTunes.
I’m going to go to how to podcast on YouTube. These are the keywords I chose. I think that you want to know how to podcast. My podcast is about podcasting, so I might type into YouTube how to podcast. I’m going to get popped up Pat Flynn. I’m going to get popped up How to Launch a Podcast and Eleven Steps for Beginners. There are topics here and they are already ranking. This one has 203,000 views, but it’s nine months old. Could I do a better one? Could I do a new one? This is equipment and software. Could I get the newest software? Looking at these, I want to start making a list of the ones that I think I could go after or do a better job on. How To Start A Podcast For Free, The Complete Guide, we’ve got something new on Podetize in which you don’t have to ever even learn to audio edit. I might want to do how to start a podcast tech-free. Wouldn’t that be fun? These are some things to be thinking about.
I might go through the top 100 episodes and look at that and jot notes to myself about my version of it. If there’s one that I think, “I got to check this one out.” Podcast Hosting and Submission Made Simple, maybe I want to watch it. That’s one of the things I want you to watch. That’s where you’re going to go through and you’re going to start to build a competitive list of what other people are doing that are ranking. Because if they’re ranking, it means people are searching for it.
The next part of what I would do is I would go to iTunes. There’s a search bar up at the top and I can type in anything. I might want to type How to Podcast here too. In this case, it will come up with podcasts and all about, but it might come up with episodes as well. Let’s look at that so you can see how bad the results for the How to Podcast because it’s typing in How to Podcast so it can be anything. How to do Everything is one that shows up. When you come to the episode productions, it says The Rule Number One Podcast. These aren’t very good. These aren’t giving me what I want. I’m going to change this from How to, to Learn to Podcast. The terminology is totally different on iTunes than it was to get what I wanted and get where I was going on YouTube and it’s going to be different on Google. Keeping this in mind is we have to think like the people who are searching for shows on their iPhone and iTunes and they’re searching for something.
Maybe they want it quickly. Maybe I should type Become a Podcaster. Maybe I want to learn that. Maybe that’s going to give me what I want and I’m still not finding it. Do you see how hard this is? It’s not as easy to find a podcast on podcasters because the word podcaster shows up in everything. It makes it a lot harder here for me to do the search. What I might do is take and type in the name of people because I know what Pat Flynn came up on the other side, so typing in Pat Flynn and going to that, it’s going to show me all of these episodes. That’s going to help me dial in then and say, “Now I have to benchmark my actual competitor here in order to get what I’m looking for.”
The next thing I want to do and this is a little different than most people would recommend. I want to go to Amazon. The reason I want to go to Amazon is that Amazon is where people are plunking down money. If I type in How to Podcast to buy books or Podcast Equipment or any of things, I’m going to learn a tremendous amount of what people are buying and consuming. If I’m building a business strategy around this, this is going to give me a better indication of how to productize my content. How to make sure that it is something that people might want to commerce with me, want to exchange or want to buy from me or want to learn whether it’s a course, a book, it might be equipment or other things in the future.
Hit The Watchers, Listeners And Readers
Thinking that through, that’s one of the reasons I add Amazon into the mix because it will clearly tell you what you want to learn if there’s something here. I always think about that if something is going to want to learn something from their podcast or their videocast from listening to them, they may also consider buying a book. There are those people who buy a book. These also are the people who will read your blog posts. These are the readers of the world. Now we hit the watchers, the listeners, and the readers. That has given us a much broader view of the terminology to use, but we have to dial it in a little deeper.
We have to talk about whether or not it is attracting the audience. What is the topic? What is the interest? We know which ones searched high and we made a list when we were on YouTube. We made a list when we were in iTunes and maybe we made a list or screen capture or clippings, whatever way you prefer, thinking about it that way. However, you decide that you want to capture all that data and information and keeping this list running. Only do the ones that you care about, the ones that are relevant to you, the ones that you think you can talk about with a new angle or expertise or other things. We want to think about them now from the audience’s perspective. What are they typing into Google?
Attract The Audience
Where are their pain points? What are they thinking about? Ultimately you need to be of service to them. Are you serving enough? This is the question that I ask all the time. It needs to be something where you’re establishing unique value. You’re being found by searchers, you’re filling the gap for free and you’re putting your time in to serve and connect through your show. When you do these things, they treat that as being of service to them. It’s very human-focused. It’s being outward focused to your audience. Thinking about those things are important as we are going through that topic list and screening it and deciding what we’re going to talk about, maybe what order we’re going to talk about it.
Brainstorm Your Topics
I want you to brainstorm your topics and we’re going to drop a file for you and in that file, you will be able to write your topics. This is a topic list. We have used this topic list but it also does what I described to you. It has a little description at the top that explains to you where to look, what to think about and some questions you might want to ask yourself in the process. We want to think about it in terms of Google searchable, relevant answers. The relevant answers are extremely important. Valuable answers, relevant format. We’re going to be in the right format. We’re going to be in video or audio. If we have to show someone something like I’m showing you something, I’ve got to have a video. We’ve got to think about that format as being critical. Of these topics I’ve decided, I’m going to do a podcast and these topics are visual. They require screen shares and demos and other things. I’m going to drop them off my list. It makes sense because of the format that you’re going to be using.
Make Sure That The Topic That You’re Discussing Is On The Rise
Some of you may want to do video add-ons. They are little videos, little features you can do and in addition, you can refer to it on your podcast in the audio and say, “I’ve got a five-minute video that shows you how to do all of this.” You can do that as well. At the end of the day, you want to make sure that these things are things people are going to search for and it’s going to give them valuable answers. Explore what the world is searching. This is where I use Google Trends. When I drop into Google Trends, I want to double check and make sure that the topic that I’m discussing is on the rise, not on the decline. That’s something that I always checked.
I typed in How to Podcast. Is How to Podcast on the rise? It’s consistently rising. It’s not tremendously rising but it’s had a little spike, so I’m looking at it and going, “There’s pretty consistent interest over time for this.” When I looked down at the numbers, I was like, “There’s a lot of interest and I don’t know why.” I look at that, but it also has given me related topics to think about. The Best Podcast, that’s not what my show is about. How to Play a Podcast on Alexa, people don’t know how to do that. Maybe I should talk about that. Podcast Platforms, these are things. You can go in and do queries and topics and it will give you a bunch of different answers and different things in which you can develop more information. How to Listen to a Podcast on iPhone, how to Start a Podcast on iTunes, people care about that. How to Upload to Spotify and How to Start a Podcast for Free, that’s one of the tops. These are giving me indications of it.
The other tool I want to show you is a tool that I am absolutely a huge fan of. It’s fun and it’s visual. That’s another way to look up these words because it’s doing beyond Google. It’s also thinking about the way people ask questions and remember that a lot of people are using Google Home and Alexa. We have a voice recognition way of people asking. When we type into Google, we skip words. We say podcast education or podcast learning. We shorten our phrases and we change them up. When we ask Alexa for something, we ask it very differently. This is one of the ways that I like to use it. You type in your phrase, I type in How to Podcast in English because it does in multiple languages. It gives me a why, are, when, how, will questions, who questions, where questions and it pops up questions. Sometimes they’re relevant and sometimes they’re not and sometimes they’re useful and then they come down here. I’m a bigger fan of this one and you can download it and take a look at it. It’s How to Podcast with Skype, How to Podcast with GarageBand. It’s adding your words, but it’s adding something else. How To Tell How Popular a Podcast Is, these might be things people would like to learn and know more of.
I’m going to say I want to create content in this. I’m going to check out this phrase against this list that I’ve already created and if this is a better twist, there are a lot of podcasts on ratings and reviews, for instance. How To Tell How Popular Podcast Is, maybe that’s a better title for it. Maybe it’s better because that’s what more normal people are asking for. Those that are in the know and calls it ratings and reviews. This is where we get some of these layman’s terms. How To Record A Podcast Without A Microphone, How To Play A Podcast Without iTunes? There are 100 ways of that. There are a bunch of questions in here and they’re interesting. There are comparisons that give you or, versus, and. These are things that you can also look at as well.Be narrow, but deep in your niche content. Click To Tweet
There’s alphabetical and there are so many tools here. This is deep and rich. If you can’t figure out or if you need to do a one-on-one basis, there are a lot of basics here. We’ve done Google Trends, we’ve checked AnswerThePublic.com. There is a free version of it and I am using the paid version of it. It does allow a lot more features and it’s not that expensive. Keep that in mind that if you’re unable to get something here, ping me because I do have the paid version. We can type it in quickly and download you something. While you’re at it, I want you to make a guest list. There are people there. When you go across and you listen to these podcasts or you are on YouTube, you’re going to find experts that people have interviewed. While you’re there, make a list of the ones that interest you. If you listen to one and go, “This is an amazing guest. I totally have to have her on my show,” you want to make sure you make a note of that. Make a note of the show you heard her on because also when you contact her, let her know that you heard her there and you’d love to invite her on your show. That’s a great way to do it. Make sure you make an annotated list.
You could do this in Google Docs. You can take the format of what I did and you can pull it into Google Docs and make a spreadsheet. You can do like the topic idea you have, guest ideas, links to anything you might want to do and then you can eventually go, “Did you contact them? Did you email them?” You can go more detailed. That’s for organized people. For those of you who aren’t, write it down and make a list. We want to get through and make sure that we’re capturing it all at once so we don’t have to do it again and again. There’s also a guest planning sheet that I gave you, which is another brainstorm of all the guests that you can have.
We’re going to talk about guests next time in greater detail. I’m assigning homework to make a guest list. When you do that, we’ll screen it for criteria. Is this going to build your show? Is this going to do you what you want? That’s what we’re going to talk about next time. Part of that is this editorial planning. The guests are a part of it. The topics are a part of it, the calendar or the timing, all of that is a part of it. Let’s take a talk about what a good editorial calendar looks like. That is a magazine term, but if you’re running a show, it’s a show term. You need to get used to this idea of editorial planning and that maybe is thinking about when people are going to be looking for things the most.
There’s CES, the Consumer Electronics Show in January every year. At the top of the list of all the things is to write about tech tools. I get inundated with requests. I’m going to interview the founder of Indiegogo. They’re in one place. They’re easy to get interviews with. Their PR firms are out there trying to get them prepress and press during the event, so that’s a great time. If I didn’t plan and think about the idea that I might want to cover these kinds of people, I might miss a great opportunity to capture someone bigger than I might get otherwise. Trade shows are a great way and timing to do it. I prefer doing interviews beforehand. When you try to interview at a trade show, it gets crazy and it doesn’t always go well and the sound is bad.
If you can get the PR firm and get the contact from the event planner early on, it’s great because then you can do a pre-story on it and they push it out because they want people to show up to the event. You also get the push out that happens and they do a better job of sharing your content. That’s where we want to think about our calendar and our planning well. Remember that we want to be narrow, but deep in our niche content. We want to be deep in what we can do because we’ve got to talk about this for 52 weeks. I’ve talked about 3D printing for almost five years. If you’re in a narrow niche topic, you need to be able to go deep on all kinds of ways in which you talk about and that’s also something to consider.
For those of you who are starting up a brand-new show, make sure you’re going to be able to talk about these hours on end, day after day or week after week and not get bored. Always find a new thing that it’s not just a short-term thing unless that’s your plan. “I’m only going to do a year’s worth of episodes and then I’m going to be done.” That could be your plan too, but this is where we do it. The content gap is important and you want to be narrow but deep in that. A reminder from last time, good content, bad content. We want to talk about that again because also as you’re looking through the list, is it going to be too clickbaity? Does it only have to do with this time in the marketplace or this time in our society? Whatever that might be, you want to be thinking about that in terms of, “Is it worth doing?”
There are some times that it’s worth doing. I’ve done a ton of episodes and commentary on the tariffs because it’s such a high pain point. I had deep expertise in years when this happened before, it’s time to share it and it will happen again. While that’s not my favorite to talk about because it’s not as timeless as the everyday product launching, it’s critically important so I might change it. It’s certainly not clickbaity. I would never do anything like that with it. It’s about how to survive a tariff increase through product design or through cooperating with your suppliers. I would change it so that it was a timeless topic that you could survive a price increase basically.
These are a bunch of things also to screen by and think about your content as you’re looking down your list and you’re deciding what’s going to go where. Do they belong now and have to be done now because of timeliness or industry times and things like that? These are always that we do. The content order can matter but doesn’t always matter. It’s okay to jump around a little bit and we can talk about that further. There’s actually a whole Feed Your Brand episode on the order of it. You can change your order later. That’s why I say it’s not as critical. Get it out there and if you need to move it around later because it doesn’t belong in that order and they’ve missed something if they don’t listen to an episode prior to it, then move it around.
Podcast Titles Matter
Podcast titles matter and that’s something that we want to look at our list and we want to think about which one of these topics are engaging, educating and encouraging people the most and solving pain problems. I want to look through all of those things and I want to develop a title or a short idea of a title. Basically, the keywords that are going to surround it that are going to be the essence of what I’m going to talk about because it helps me sit down and be focused. I’m not talking about microphones. I’m talking about the best microphone that gives you the best sound for the least price. That might be a great episode. That might not be the best title. I’m sure I could structure a better one, but off the top of my head at least I know what I’m going to talk about so I’ve structured my topic.
Open loop content, this is also important and this is when you’re deciding your order of things. You do want to have things before and after that, you’re going to refer to you on the show so that I can say, “We’re going to talk about guest episodes next time. We’re going to also have a guest that is going to be talking about how to be a better interview subject.” You can think about this in terms of how to make your guest better subjects. “I think this is of interest to you. I’m going to talk about it on Friday and I’ll flip this around for you.” You’re open looping them, getting them to come and listen to Friday after they listened.
Ego Bait™ Promotion
You can also do a throwback to something past and say, “Don’t forget when you conduct a guest interview, you want to be sure to send them some Ego Bait™ promotion so that they will share and be willing to push out the content that you created with them.” We have a whole episode on that. It’s Feed Your Brand number whatever or go type in Ego Bait™ into the search. That would be a way for you to do that. Make sure that when you have it in mind, you’ve got that episode title or number ready for you. I don’t like the numbers because sometimes you move stuff around and numbers change. I like to use the title of it or the guest’s name and make sure I’ve got that written on the list. When I write my title, I write the other episodes and/or future episodes I might be referring to. I like to write them down together. That’s what we used for Open Loop Content.
The question I know you’re all going to ask is, “How often should I be podcasting? How often should I be posting?” If you haven’t started your show, the common practice is to launch with three, but we have seen that you get much better traction and much better show if you launch with 25. If your goal is to get up there at the top of the list of the ranking, you’ve got to launch with more content. I hate to break it to you. That makes it hard because you’re planning these 52 episodes and 25 of them you’re going to launch on day one. That seems crazy, but it is the way the top podcasts get to that top ranking. Don’t despair because if you can’t do it, it’s going to take you longer. You’re not losing anything in the process. You’re still going to build your audience. It’s just going to take a little longer to build it. You might as well be posting and airing it while you’re building it because while you’re recording 25 episodes of it, it takes you three months to record that or longer. No one knows who you are and no one finds you. If your goal is to start a podcast or start a YouTube channel, these are the things you’re competing against.
If you can afford the time to do two per week is ideal and that is because you can do a guest episode but you can also do a topic episode. I love to have a mix of both because it gives you the maximum benefit and the maximum view. It lets your show grow faster because you’ve got guests who are helping to share it with their audience. You’re getting their audiences and yet you’ve got topics in which you get to be brilliantly you. I’ve got a podcast that I listen to that is all about webinars. He did interviews almost 50 episodes or something. Finally, he did one that was on his own because his guest fell through and it was the best episode ever listened to. I, along with many other people, messaged him and asked him to do more solo episodes, so he started doing that in the second half of it.
It does make a difference to your audience that they get some more of you. It helps to frame to what your guests are saying. It helps to frame it in what you want to be selling them or what you want to be sharing them or the book you might be writing. It helps you get through some of those topics and generate conversation around it. The last thing I want to say is schedule and do it. Get it moving. This is my friend Ken Courtright and he tells the story that I absolutely love all the time. He was doing this podcast and he would put it out. Originally, this was a blog post. He would write this blog post and it would be all about how to build your business, grow your sales and all of these things, and he would put it out every Monday morning. He got a little busy with the holidays or something and all of a sudden, he gets this phone call into his office saying, “Where is your blog post?” It was a very irate woman who was very upset about it. He was like, “I’m sorry, we’re getting it up. We’re a little behind because of the holiday.” She was like, “I’ve got a roomful of salespeople and we spend our Monday mornings reading your blog, talking about it and training on it. I’ve got training with no content because I’ve been using yours.”
The timeliness, consistency, and constancy of posting have a benefit to your audience so make sure that you can do that. That’s part of the reason we’re building this topic plan so that you don’t get behind. That you don’t miss this opportunity of these fans and these people who are depending on you to come through for them. It also technically pays and Ken knows this better than anyone because Google gives you a boost when you are consistent, constant and posting. Not a lot of people can do this. This is hard. This is a lot of work to be able to plan and to do this and if you’re going to do it, you might as well get the good benefit from it. You definitely want to make sure that you’re consistent and constant in what you do and this editorial plan will pay off for you.It really does make a difference to your audience that they get some more of just you. Click To Tweet
We want to become bingeable, but the hope is not a strategy, so we’ve got to put in some work. Here’s our assignment. We want to listen, watch and read. We talked about that. We’re going to listen to podcasts, we’re going to watch some videos and we’re going to read some blogs or some books, whatever it might be. We’re going to check our key terms and make sure we’re doing it in the words that the people who are searching at 2:00 in the morning and in pain care about. We’re going to use our keywords both on iTunes, but we’re also going to check them more on Google than anywhere else. Google and Answer the Public are the places to mainly look for them. You’re going to make a topic and a guest list. Don’t worry about the guests, just brainstorm and write down all the guests because next time we’re going to talk about screening them, deciding who’s going to make a better guest than another.
We want to make a list and be thinking about this is how you’re going to stay ahead of that. If we do the right things in the right order with the right resources, we can get the best results and do the least amount of work. I’m a big fan of that. Our next Masterclass is Guest Interview Planning. If you need any help, I want to remind you that Podetize is here for you. We could do all of this with you. I had a strategy session and content planning session with a client. We can also help you with all this stuff you don’t understand and don’t know and don’t want to learn how to do. Here’s Podetize.com/Inquiry. We’d be happy to help you.
We have a question, “Can you talk about distribution channels?” You’re talking about syndicating out to iTunes, Stitcher and those kinds of places. That’s where we consider being the distribution. Where are the listeners? Where are they found? From there, it should be automatic. This shouldn’t be something you have to work hard at. If you’re recording and you’re using a host, they should be distributing it for you. If you’re trying to host it yourself, that’s where you start to run into problems. If you’re using somebody like Anchor or some of these ones that are offering it up for free, they’re syndicating themselves, you as them or as a part of their company. You’re not actually getting your topics and shows syndicated, although there are listeners there and you will have listeners. They are really syndicating their company and it’s a part of that.
Watch who you’re hosting with and that’s what matters the most in terms of that. We syndicate to almost a dozen places. There are ten of them. There are a lot of different syndications. iHeart screens them. They decide who should go and who shouldn’t. They make the decision. Spotify, we have it more automated. It can go instantly. There are people out there who are podcast gurus that put out this long list of directories and a lot of them have no listeners. It’s not worth your time. That’s where we’re careful about the ones that really care the most about it.
We have a question, “How do I know Ken and Kerri?” We’re one of their customers. Ken and I speak on a lot of the same stages. In fact, I’m going to see Ken and Kerri at a networking group that we belong to called Fuel. I know them well. I’ve spoken on the Digital Footprint stage multiple times. We’re family friends and also fans of the company. We’ve worked directly with them. All of their shows and podcasts are produced by us. That’s one of the links and connections to us. It’s because of us that Ken started his podcast because we goaded him into it.
We have a question, “Is Metadata related to Meet Data?” They’re saying that the topic planning worksheet link goes to a generic Google search. Metadata is in your file. It tags in your file. SEO Metadata is put into your blog post. These are technical things that we do. If you’re worried about it, you’re way too in the weeds. If we’re going to manage your show, you don’t need to worry about this. “Is Metadata related to Google AdWords?” Yes, it can be, but it’s more important to be related to the search terms. That’s where we see greater power because organic search and people finding you is more important than AdWords unless your site is going to make you money through advertisements on the site itself or on your blog post. When you’re starting up a show and it’s new, that won’t be the case. You won’t have that happen. It’s more important for you to use that Metadata and that SEO Search Engine Optimization words to use that to drive search traffic, people who are out there looking who need to find you.
“Did I hear you offer to do a free search to Answer the Public?” You can do a free search yourself, but if you’re not finding the data you’re looking for, message us and we can check it for you and that way you know. Answer the Public is not expensive so it’s certainly something you can absolutely get yourself and worth it if you’re going to do it year after year or you’re going to do a month at a time. Do that but feel free to ping us if you want something. That’s what we’re here for. We have a question, “How far arch should we plan for? Two to three months or more and how many shows a month?” If you’re doing two a week, that’s eight a month. I usually like to have a couple of spares because sometimes I’m like, “I don’t want to talk about that,” or I already did talk about that because we lumped it into another episode. I like to do ten because it’s a round number and it’s easy. If I’m going to do two a week and it’s 52 weeks a year, you might want to take a break. Don’t take a break at Christmas. I’m going to tell you that. Preplan, prerecord and make sure you’re posting through the holiday season. It is some of the best listens you’ll get. You can take a break in August. You can take a break in April, but don’t take a break in December and November. I say at minimum be three months out. You’re going to talk about 30 pieces of content. I like to do the whole year because it’s getting me going because I will forget and I will sit down.
In my podcast when we weren’t sure of what we were talking about when we were trying to structure our show and begin with things, what we did was we would do a month at a time, but we would be a month ahead. We did two months initially and when we went and did our recording days for the month, we would plan the next month. We will always be planning for the next 30 days. What I like to do because we only record a couple of days a month, we force all the interviews and we block schedule it. When we do that, we sit down and we go, “What guests do we have that responded for next one?” If we have to chase someone down, we’re 30 days ahead of that to still chase him down and get them in for the next month. That’s why at least two months ahead, I think three months it gives you that buffer room, especially if you need to take a vacation or like me, my October is crazy in travel and it can impact my ability to push content through. December would suffer for it if I weren’t ahead. That’s why I typically have a December problem.
John Livesay, one of my good friends and one of our podcasters, he is already out. He’s got his guest’s way out. It doesn’t mean you can’t move things around if you need to and bring things forward and shift them. When you’re recording way out like that, sometimes your guests don’t love it because it’s a long time before they air. Being on your topics and recording way out, maybe keeping your interviews only like a month or two ahead of time might be a better option for you. While you have a whole plan, you don’t send them all the invitations. You do them in a batch every single month.
What is the investment roughly to start a podcast show starting from scratch? You can do it yourself, Angie, and you can go in different types of DIY ways to do it. Our podcast platform, Podetize, the hosting side of it is inexpensive compared to a lot of them, but it’s also maybe a little higher cost than others, but we have an ability for you to never have to edit your show. The investment in time is usually worse. The investment in learning how to edit or doing the editing side or paying for editing might be too much for you.
The startup side of it is the difference. When you start your show up, it’s complicated. There are a lot of technical things that need to be done, needs to be set up right. Things that you want to follow through and do and it sets you up for success. Not using someone to help you set that up can be a problem because there’s a lot of old information out there. I can tell you that a lot of the gurus are doing a disservice because they haven’t updated their courses. We offer our course and you can find it. We don’t offer it anywhere.
It’s not for pay, but if you’re a Podetize customer, you can have access to it. There are lots of inexpensive ways, but for us, particularly a startup is under $4,000. It can be anywhere from three to four, depending on what you’re doing. We do as low as $99 an episode for podcasts and $119 for a video per episode to do the production side of things. Thinking in that budget, you should be around and for most production companies, if you’re going to use that, you probably will be double that rate for many production companies. You could think about that around $600 a month depending on how many episodes you’re doing. I hope that helped you.
We have a question, “What are your favorite ways to organize your content tools?” We have a couple of things that we use. We use Basecamp for a lot of our clients because it holds a lot of files and other things like that. They have a calendar in there and I love it because it’s not messing with my Google calendar. I’m not putting placeholders on my own calendar but I like to see what am I talking about? What guests do I have scheduled? I like to be able to drag and drop them and move them. It’s any kind of calendar you’d do that has that. We typically use Basecamp. You can create a Google calendar that is for your show. Use it to never make appointments, but to book your topics and plan your topics and create a Google address that’s for the show that you’re never going to use anywhere else, and type in all your topics and all your guests, and you move them around.
When a guest books, you can actually say, “They’re going to book on the first of the month. That means fifteen days later I’ll be able to make their episode go live, so I know let me move them and let me move the topic.” That’s the best way for me to organize it because I’m a visual learner. When I see it in front of me, I go, “That sounds good.” I can also block out and put out the trade shows that are happening or industry things that I want to be aware of so that I could surround those shows with better topics as well. Things that people are interested in. That’s one of my favorite ways to do it. The next thing that I do is I use something called Get Pocket. It is my absolute favorite thing to use because I read tons of articles and lots of things get sent to me. I’m sure you all get newsletters.
We have over 125 clients. There are a lot of newsletters I’m subscribed to because I wouldn’t want to be rude and unsubscribe, but I try to go through them and read them. I use a roll-up program and then I go through that roll-up, it’s called Unroll.me. I scan those newsletters. When I find something of interest, I open it up, I save it in Chrome and I save it to the pocket. Sometimes I save it and tag it like read later or this is for social media, I’m going to post this, share this. I tag these for myself in order to organize it. A lot of times I also will save it and say, “Topic idea, invite as a guest.” That will help me.
When I go through that monthly planning day, I’ll screen through the pocket and I pull up that tag and pull all those things up. Those are my favorite tools that I use to do that. I like to invite guests via LinkedIn. It’s my preferred method. It works well for my particular industry and my particular podcast type because it’s business-oriented. That may not be yours. Maybe Facebook is the best way. I have gotten invited on shows over Facebook. That can be for you as well. We keep a running Google Doc of topic ideas.
Otherwise, Tom has all kinds of little scratch papers all over the place. We’d be inundated with those and we’d never find what we’re looking for. That’s another way that we do it is we forced it in there. When you’re stumped for a topic or you’re sitting down at the mic, you can go, “Here’s what I’m going to talk about. I know it.” I also save any reference show links right in that Google Doc so that I know where it’s going to be. If I’m referencing an article and that’s what my topic is about, then I have the link to that article directly. I can reread it or I can at least pull it up and drop it in my show notes so that it will be there for everyone as well. GetPocket.com is a Chrome plugin. It looks like a pocket and it’s red. When I come to an article, I click the pocket, it drops it down and automatically puts it in the pocket and lets me pre-type tags. It’s easy to use. I hope that answered all of your questions.
I will be going over the guest side of the content planning. We’ll be talking mostly about how to screen this list of guests you made because it matters. Choosing the right guest matter the most. There are a lot of people out there getting on podcasts left and right, but it needs to serve your show and serve your audience. I want to make sure that you’re getting the most for your content generation work that you’re doing. If you’re going to have guests on and you’re going to do these interviews, let’s have the best ones that are going to help you grow your show. We’ll talk about that next time. If you have any questions in the meantime, go back to the previous episode if you’d like. You can always reach out to us at Hello@Podetize.com. Thanks for reading. It’s been a pleasure and I’ll see you next time.