More than 60 Podcasting Lessons Learned – 311

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Episode Number: 311

Show notes can be found at:

http://onceuponatimepodcast.com/311

Podcasting Lessons Learned are the most important part of the process.

We all start podcasting somewhere, but I decided to share my podcasting lessons learned along my podcasting journey.

A bit of a disclaimer first, this is not a Podcasting 101 course, so some items I will mention, but not go into complete depth. I will leave that to the Podcasting Gurus; Daniel J. Lewis (The Audacity to Podcast), Dave Jackson (School of Podcasting) Ray Ortega (Podcasting Roundtable) and others to discuss those subjects in more depth.

Oh, one more disclaimer, as time marches forward, Social Media platforms will come and go, so I will try to talk more general in themes (that hopefully) will be applicable on any new platforms that we haven’t even seen at the time of this Blog post.

Last time a podcast was posted was 3/6/16

Before we begin, I want to say something important.

If you are a current podcaster, I want these points to encourage you.

If you have never been a podcaster, I want to share something with you right now.

So, to all you non-podcasters – look at your thumb. Go ahead, look at it. Your thumb-print is unique and so are you. Your life path, experiences and your point of view is different than anyone else’s, and we need to hear from you.

If you need a reason to podcast it’s this – you are unique and special. As we go through this list and you’ve never thought about podcasting, I hope you will get some more intermediate and advanced tips and ideas to help you along the way.

And now, here are my Podcasting Lessons Learned;

1. Count the Podcast Cost

A podcast takes a lot of work. Read that again. Read it one more time. Lots of popular podcasters make it look easy, but it’s not.

Now, I’m not trying to squash your podcasting dreams. I’m trying to give you the truths I learned (much later) – up front, so you know what to expect ahead of time.

You’ll thank me later.

Podcasting is a tough gig. It takes more time, energy, money, emotional investment than anything you can think of.

We’ll leave that here for now, but if you stop reading (or listening to this podcast episode) before the end, at least you’ll know this fact.

2. Solo Host or Co-Host(s)

There are lots of factors that lead to someone that listens to it consider it to be something they’d like to continue to listen to;

– Quality of the audio of the finished product,
– Quality of the speaker(s) voice,
– Editing (limiting of extraneous information, filler words, etc),
– Brevity (staying on point and limiting “rabbit trails“),
– Likability of the speaker(s)’s speech pattern,
– Speaker(s) knowledge of the subject,
and much more.

When I thought it might be fun to launch the OUAT Fan podcast, I asked my wife to join me as a co-host. There were many reasons;
1. Was that I was the sort of funny banter guy and she was the well-read, well-studied Disney, Fairy Tale, etc fan, 2. I figured the listeners would appreciate 2 different voices discussing the show, 3. She would save me when I (often) forgot a name of an actor that came up in an off-the-cuff comment (Note: Always prep well before recording. True Off-the-Cuff recording in a TV Fan Podcast can result in many edits and re-recording of clarifications, etc. Prep, Prep, Prep).

The OUAT Fan Podcast would not have been listenable without Colleen as a co-host.

Toward the end, Colleen and my schedule (and other factors) could not handle the continued production of the podcast, so we ceased production. It was a decision with lots of BTS discussions. Understand that a husband and wife co-host duo can be a strain on a marriage unless it is totally aligned. I’m not overstating anything. I’m saying that many times it was a priority to me and Colleen reminded me of a marriage takes priority over a podcast.

3. To Niche, or Not to Niche?

One of the easiest podcasts to create (I know, I’ve done a few) is to podcast about ‘whatever you want to talk about’, but unless you are a well-schooled personality about a myriad of subjects, it will be difficult to grow an audience. A niche audience is a fine-tuned, focused audience that likes one topic. Even a portion of one topic. The more precise your topic, the more niche your audience can be. I know you don’t believe me, but it’s true. Let’s keep going and you’ll see another good friend of the niche topic podcast.

4. What’s in a (Podcast) Name?

When we started our Once Upon a Time Podcast, we didn’t consider that others would do podcasts about the TV show, too, so we bought the domain http://onceuponatimepodcast.com and because of that, named our podcast the verbiage of the domain name. We were early and got, what we thought was the perfect name for Google to place as the top of the search results. Little did I know that as time went on, others would start podcasts about the topic (in this case, the TV show, “Once Upon a Time”), so I added ‘Fan’ to the name to set it apart from the others.

It was actually a great move because ABC created the “Official” Once Upon a Time podcast, so the other podcasters (hopefully) added the ‘unofficial’ to the name and/or subtitle of the OUAT podcasts.

5. Be similar, but not the same as the TV Show

It is very easy to create graphics (for Blog Posts or Itunes) that are exactly like the (in this example) TV Show you are doing a podcast for, but you shouldn’t. A podcaster I know was contacted by a lawyer for the network and asked for the podcaster to change the Itunes podcast art to differentiate it from the actual graphic for (in this case) the show.

Bonus tip: I wouldn’t use the show musical theme in your podcast (Even though I did for the first season of my podcast…).

6. Hitch up to the Promo Train

We’ll not be talking about you promoting your podcast now, but this is about using another entity’s promotion activity. Specifically, a TV network (This could be any other similar entity, as well). TV networks have money and access to a myriad of ways to promote their TV shows, stars, etc. Even though you don’t, you can use their money and promotion to send people to your podcast.

This is one of the main gifts of doing a niche podcast about a TV show, the budget of the network (or in the case of a movie, a movie studio) is a silent member of your podcast crew. The nice thing is – they work for free; posting ads on Social Media platforms, signs all over town, book the cast on talk shows and news shows, etc.

7. What is a Podcast? (Psst, it’s not just an audio file and an RSS feed

As I mentioned before, a podcast is more than an audio file syndicated through an RSS feed, it’s much more. I’ll explain. A podcast is;

– An audio file, yes. This is obvious, but that’s not all it is. A podcast is also,
– A textual representation of the audio file. What, what? You ask. I know. The name is a bit deceiving. Podcast (to most people) represents the audio portion of it, but Google (or whatever search engine that will crawl through your Blog post in the future) does NOT pull all the words out of your audio file and list it out for those searching for your great episode in the future.

You’ve got to do the hard work of typing out the textual representation of the audio portion of the podcast for Google to easily crawl as be accessible to searchers in the future. That was one of the biggest shocks to me is that I was focusing on the recording of the audio, but I came to realize the importance of the text portion of it. Not many podcasters talk about the importance and specifics of show notes (Some do, sure, but…). The mics get most of the focus from the gurus, but I promise you – the text is as or more important.

– Photos. As Social Media gets more graphical, the ways of promoting your episode should be figured in to be easily shared by Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or whatever new platform is out there in the future. Make sure to verify the size requirements of the sharing platforms you would like to be shared to. ** Be sure to link back to your show notes link on the graphic. The POWER of your shortened link! **

8. To Edit, or Not to Edit

One of the (to me) worst parts of podcasting was editing. I loathed it. So much so that I found a way to not edit unless I had to. I came to accept that the sound of me taking breaths was proof that I was alive, so I let the worry of editing of that – go. The only time I edited was if I said something completely wrong or would incite a riot with the fandom.

9. Record it Live, and thus No Editing

In my quest to not edit, I decided to record the podcast episodes “live” or add in the intros, outros, bumpers, etc. This was a game changer for us. To me, it added more of a “live TV” element to recording a podcast episode. I found a few (Yes, a few) soundboard programs (1 is Soundboard 2.4 (Now free here > http://www.xnapid.com/)) and loaded them up the intros, outros, sound effects, bumpers, etc and that was a great addition to my podcast bag of tricks. Note: I could record from all the sounds played from my sound card, but I believe that newer sound cards won’t allow that, so you may want to use Smartphone apps to play intros, outros, bumpers, sound effects, etc.

10. Mastering Control over Filler Words

There are some instances that filler words can be part of someone’s personality, but most of the time using “Um,” “Uh,” “Ya know,” etc seems like the speaker doesn’t really know what they’re saying and trying to not get to the point. I think it causes the listener to be frustrated while they listen to you, and we don’t want that, do we?

The way I had to practice not using filler words was to be okay with silence.

I think we as podcasters want to fill up all the silence with “ums,” “uhs,” and other filler words, but pauses (while we think of the next word(s) to say) actually cause the listener to connect with us and fosters an anticipation of what is the next part of what we will discuss.

Try it. It works.

* 11. You are a podcaster/blogger/Social Media and that means you are part of the Media. In other words, you are important to the success of the topic of your creation

Podcasts normally get a bad rap when discussed by conventional “PR” or “Media outlets”. The listeners/readers/likers/followers of blogs/podcasts/Social Media accounts more than likely are dwarfed by the numbers of listeners (that can be rarely verified, btw) Radio stations, or viewers TV news stations, etc, but never let the Goliaths of media make you feel like you are not important.

You are a VERY important (I would say even vital) component to spreading the word about your topic.

Whether you know it or not – or believe it or not – YOU ARE A VITAL PART OF THE MEDIA.

DO NOT let companies or entities make you feel devalued because you don’t have millions of content consumers.

You reach pockets of listeners/viewers/readers/Social Media that big Media can’t. They are using old-school methods to reach an audience – you are using new tools to reach a new audience.

True be told, most of the time, the red carpet won’t be rolled out for you and you won’t be handed Press Passes for every convention and event you want to cover for your topic.

Never forget that you are an important part of the Media. The term New Media is thrown around a lot but use it. You are in the New Media, covering a topic to a new audience. Be Bold, Be Creative, Go forth and do great things in your space.

12. Show Notes (blog posts for your podcast) are way more important that we thought

Most podcast gurus talk about the audio portion of the podcast, but the textual part – the Show Notes, are more important. The reason is that Google cannot extract text from your mp3 file.

13. For a news site, the first thing you must focus on the audience size with a blog/podcast

If you want to become a news site for a particular site, focus on building your audience, first.

I know this seems obvious, but if you want to get access to photos, press releases, and other items via the network/studio (Here is the ABC Network media contact https://www.disneyabcpress.com/abc/contacts/ (Notice the Register and Login link on the upper right corner of the page)), numbers are important to them. If you want to be known as a News site, remember as you create your site for your blog/podcast to specify that you will be covering news of the topic of your blog/podcast. Once that is done, the hard work begins.

Grow your audience. There are no quick ways to do this. Each blog post and/or podcast episode is a chapter in your story as a content creator. Learn and grow with each chapter.

14. The interest of your readers/listeners will ebb and flow

Content consumers are the lifeblood of your content, but their interest can come and go.

Not all will stick with you from the beginning to the end.

Heck, your interest may not last from the beginning to the end. Ours didn’t.

** What will you do if your interest wanes to the point of wanting to quit?

Greetings from Storybrooke (http://www.greetingsfromstorybrooke.com/) handed off the hosting from the original hosts (Bill and Anne Marie) to new hosts to finish out the show.

The fact is that the interest of the show to all parties (hosts, crew, content consumers, etc) will ebb and flow through the life of the show, for many reasons, like;
A. The direction of the show,
B. Storyline decisions,
C. Life (Real life, relationships take precedence, etc)

15. TV Networks will help you create content because they will create content for you

If you do a “whatever I want to talk about” podcast (Like I’ve done), it’s hard to keep coming up with subjects and content for upcoming podcast episodes. The beauty of creating a podcast about a TV show is that the network’s job is to create new content on a seasonal basis – which is a win-win for you. More for you to talk about!

16. What are you leaving with your Content Consumers?

You are in full control of what you send out into the world via your content. Take a minute to consider what you will leave with your content consumers;
Just information?
A feeling?
Subjects that are only applicable to that present moment (that episode, news item, etc) – or
Connected themes that are Timeless?

Make sure that part of your content is Evergreen or Timeless!

If applicable, use emotion in your content. Not necessarily anger, but positive emotion.

17. Use a Final thought or sign off phrase in your podcast (for example)

For the OUAT Fan Podcast, we used BigLove – A love that is so big, you can’t keep it all. Take what you need and pass it on.

We were doing our best to calm the fandom down.

Use your platform for the influence of good.

What is the heart of your content?

Don’t forget to include and leave the heart of your content with your content consumers.

18. The good and bad side of Fandom as far as your podcast

Initially, the fans were fans of the show, but as time went on, the fandom split into subgroups of ships (pairing up characters together (and other subgroups followed)) and then the in-fighting began.

That’s when it started to not be fun.

A fandom that loves something can be a great force of good.

A fandom that splinters and attacks each other, the cast, crew, etc is never good.

If you didn’t follow one subgroups thought or another, the fans can turn on you. The wave of disgruntled fans on Social Media can be overwhelming.

19. Should you have spots for your content on Social Media?

In the olden days, we would get spots for on content on every Social Media platform to spread the word, but with the rise of the finicky fandom, is it still worth it to keep up with all the new Social Media platforms to spread the word about your content?

The pluses;
New content consumers may learn about your content as you promote,
Content consumers have almost instant ways to give you their thoughts (good and bad) on your content,

The minuses;
As new Social Media platforms pop up, more time is required to learn and add posts to them to promote,
Similarly, the more platforms appear, possible new content consumers can move from one platform to the other, so your hard work may not be necessary to catch people’s attention,

20. What kind of skin will you need for podcasting/blogging

You need thick skin. Really, thick skin.

You can’t take opinions and feedback so personal, that it affects you.

Whatever you say – for instance, if you say, “The sky is blue,” you will invariably hear a response, “No, not to me.”

Your experience is probably not the experience of all your listeners. Maybe they’ve had a bad day, maybe they’re ill, maybe they’re in a bad living situation, etc.

I replied to a listener that lambasted me in an email, and they replied that they were sorry and was having a bad time in their life.

21. What to do with good feedback

When you get a great iTunes review, a great email with comments that make you feel good – keep it. Put them in a file, put them on your computer wallpaper or put them on your wall.

Keep and treasure the good feedback. You will need to come back to it.

There will be times that the bad feedback or bad situations will pound at you like a storm, trying to wear you down.

The collection of good feedback items will remind you that what you are doing is worth it. You WILL need to revisit that from time to time. I promise.

What to do when the waves of negative feedback come? We will cover that next.

22. What to do with negative feedback

We discussed the need for thick skin as a necessity of creating content, but now let’s take a closer look at this.

As stated before, negative feedback will come to you. Especially now with the immediacy of Social Media (and the anonymity that comes with it).

There are many ways you can take negative feedback;
A. Take all of it to yourself, obsess about it, and let it dictate and rule the production of your content – PLEASE DON’T DO THAT.

You are in full control of the DNA of your show. Remember, only you know what your content should look like at the end of the day.

B. Part I – Take the applicable items in negative feedback. There might be good points that have been brought to your attention, consider it. Notice, I never said ‘Change it immediately’, I said consider it. Remember, only you know the DNA of your content. Place the applicable parts in your short-term memory. These items are perfect to bring up with your Posse,
Part II – Sift out the emotion. As you read or listen to the feedback, you can tell the parts that are built on emotion. Emotion can fade over time, so sift that part out,
Part III – Get rid of the negative feedback. Don’t focus, obsess or revisit it (except for the applicable parts).

If you change your content based on every bit of negative feedback, you will lose your direction, get out of touch with your DNA and in time, lose the interest of the rest of your content consumers.

It’s really all about percentages, If you get around 10% negative feedback, be thankful that they took the time to actually leave an Itunes review or negative comment or negative email. It’s hard, but thank them for caring enough to share their feelings. It may sound counterproductive, but the bottom line is that these content consumers just want to be heard. All you need to say is that “We hear you and are taking it under consideration”. One of the biggest things is to try and diffuse the anger sent with the negative feedback. You don’t know the situation that the person is in that sent the negative feedback. Do your best to listen and diffuse the negative emotion. It’s tough, but if you can – you have used your content platform for good.

One more thing is that if a podcast has all 5-star reviews, that’s not reality. Based on what we said before, not everyone will love a particular podcast – or a particular season or an episode of a podcast.

Oh, one more thing – Try to not let a content consumer try and hold your content hostage for a good or modified bit of feedback. Some content consumers will say, “If you change this or that to meet my approval, then I will leave an updated (better) comment or updated (better) star rating, but guess what – they normally forget.

Remember, emotions fade and people go on with their lives. Review the steps ahead and hold on tight to your content DNA. You will know when to adjust your DNA if you need to, but not because of one negative bit of feedback.

23. The Freedom of Podcasting is great, but think about the energy you are sending out into the universe

We all feel upset or emotional about a situation, but sometimes those moments fade. You may feel that way at the moment, but it fades.

Try to sift your feelings down to the ones you want to be known for, not that you feel moment to moment.

Remember, podcasting and blogging are a legacy you are building post by post. Try to build a great legacy that will stand for all time, not just for a moment.

24. Different kinds of content consumers

Itunes centric

These ccs live entirely on Itunes (or other podcast consuming apps). They probably won’t go to your website/read your show notes/follow you on a Social Media platform.

Website centric

Believe it or not, there are some ccs that will rarely use Itunes and mainly go to your website and consume your content.

Social Media platform-centric

One more variation. Some will connect with you on Social Media platforms and consume your content via shortened links.

Obviously, some will mix those main ccs, but understand that not all ccs are created equal.

25. Podcast name differences – Radio or Show

Like it or not, podcast still has a stigma in certain areas, but adding the word ‘radio’ or ‘show’ may get you into doors the word ‘podcast’ may keep you out of.

26. Create your own fun Memes and be its sole sponsor

In my humble opinion, people love two things;
1. Games, and
2. Competition

I’ll bet you don’t have an enormous ad budget to pay for ads on all the conventions, magazines, etc in your topic area. Great, I’m talking to the right people here.

Just because you can’t put your content name, elevator pitch and url in front of many eyeballs to entice them to check it out – you can create your own ad with the idea behind it that will have people coming back day after day (If you do this daily) and actually looking forward to it.

First, what I did. I use Canva to create questions/scenarios for people to answer, like ‘Name a song with ‘night’ in the title’, then I put the name of the website I am promoting (Right now it’s http://menaredumb.org).

I change it just about every day. Depending on the question/scenario, I get a pretty good number of people participating – which means they all have had to see the url of my next project.

The key is that people love to answer questions and compete/show how smart they are – especially in public.

It’s also interesting to see certain types of people emerge in this crowd song game, like;
– Uber Players. People (even though I state ‘Name a (meaning one)…’) will name as many songs that they can think of in that scenario. These are the uber players, so that definitely helps the spread of my song game meme. Namely, the more comments, the more new people will want to participate.
– Enforcers. People who will correct others with their answers. Most of the time, people will participate for fun, but some take it very seriously and enforce the actual name of the song, etc. Within reason (I’ve almost messaged certain people to chill on this, but it hasn’t got too far out of hand), this builds the interactivity to a deeper level where people don’t just leave an answer and bail, but they read all the answers and participate further.

There are more, but I want you to see that building a song game meme can work on Facebook and build a community around psychological triggers that people react to.

AND THEN – you place your ad, on your song game meme. For free.

My belief is that this works best on Facebook (with the post set to ‘Public’, btw – to cast it out to everyone). I mean, in a scaled down way (maybe using hashtags), Twitter might work as well, but I’ve stuck with FB on this. I also encourage people to share this on FB, but I haven’t had much luck with that.

27. SEO still matters

I’m not here to suggest a way to find the best SEO terms to use, but SEO terms and the proper use of them still matter. I say that because we had a number of content consumers that found us via Search Engines.

Yoast SEO plugin

* 28. How to gather News items like the Big News websites do

Two words – Google Alerts

To be on top of the news about your particular topic, set up Google Alerts for everything surrounding your topic. For instance, if you are creating content for a TV, set up Google Alerts for;
the name of the TV show,
every cast member on the TV show (Be sure to add new cast member names as they appear on the show),
crew members (Writers and Production staff),
Your podcast/blog name,
your name, and
your website URL (This will let you know when anyone adds your URL to a blog post about your content).

*Be sure to add any new cast members as they join the show.

This is a very powerful tool to stay up with news about (in this case) the TV show you are creating contact about.

**And much more important, this tool will give you the ability to get a scoop of an item about your TV show before anyone else.**

***This will also give you a know about an event that the cast may be a part of before anyone else knows.***

29. Define and Defend the DNA of your content

I call it DNA, but it is the way you will be covering your topic. For instance, there are many blogs/contents about Disney, Star Wars, etc. If you start one that’s just about a popular topic without establishing your DNA for it, it probably won’t get noticed.

The DNA for our OUAT Fan Podcast was through a married couple’s lens, connecting to other movies, TV shows, ideas like Joseph Campbell’s ‘The Hero’s Journey’, etc. We also tried to connect with the fans and represent the fans (Thus, the podcast name) when we attend events.

The more different your DNA is, the better.

You may need to adjust your DNA as you begin, but do your best to not let bad feedback control and manipulate your DNA.

We did things like recraft new Intros, Outros, Bumpers and Itunes Album Art during some of the later OUAT seasons. I knew that it was working when someone knew us by the Pirate OUAT podcast (That was our 3rd Season recrafting).

We even created funny comedy bits that we played during our live shows (more on that later).

Cover your topic, but find a DNA that is you. Adjust if YOU need to. Defend it at all costs.

30. Branch out to multiple shows a week?

Initially, we podcasted on a night that was convenient for us, but then I remembered that Cliff Ravenscraft did an ‘instant feedback’ podcast episode for Lost and we added another weekly episode recorded directly after the West Coast airing of the OUAT episode.

Even though you might see the worth (and interest) in it, adding another episode will add more work for you (obviously), so weigh that decision carefully.

31. If you do cover a TV show with content, should you take a hiatus when the show does?

Locking into a weekly podcast can be a rough road. My suggestion is to give yourself a break and take some time off (Summer, Winter holidays, etc). If you’re up to continue on with a weekly podcast from here on out, cool, but the key for that is to plan for a year out, at least.

32. Hiatus podcast episodes?

If you are creating content about a TV show and want to create content during the hiatus, think about what you want to do during that time; News about the TV show (cast and/or crew) updates? Specific episodes about certain cast members and their lives, filmography, etc?

Do creative content that is on the edge of your topic. Since the general core of OUAT was fairy tales, some of the OUAT podcasts recreated little-known fairy tales as fan audio productions.

33. Ready to go all the way Live?

We decided to do live podcasts during the show season. Again, its another episode that needs your creativity, attention, time, etc.

Understand that when you open a chat room, you open it up to people that want to talk about what they want to talk about and it won’t stay on your topic.

If keeping adult language off the chat, you may want to appoint a moderator to police that (including banning folks, etc).

Believe me, host, moderating the chat, playing the audio intros, clips, interviewing people on the phone, keeping the topics flowing as you want them to, etc – it is a lot of work. Especially when it’s live.

34. The good and bad side of Competition

The bad side of competition is obvious. It challenges the Kumbayah hopes and makes other content on your topic your enemy. That sounds strong, but when you put your heart and soul (and time, and money…) into something – truth is – you want the ccs of other similar content creators to listen to yours.

Truth is, even without you going to the “dark side” of competition, if you do have a niche blog/podcast (with voracious listeners), people will try them all out – and stay with (in their opinion) the best ones.

There is a good side of competition. Honestly, there is. The key is always thinking about how you can give a better experience for your listeners. If your listener’s enjoyment is the center of your decisions, then that is a good use of competition.

We were the number one OUAT podcast on Itunes for a while. It felt nice until we slipped from that lofty place, that’s when I decided to go for broke and take our listeners on a trip with us – to the location where they filmed OUAT (in Vancouver, B.C.).

We got our enhanced licenses and drove up from SoCal to Vancouver and brought our listeners with us. We did the very first live podcast from the Steveston Hotel (while they were filming).

On another trip to Vancouver, we did a Facebook Live tour of the town they filmed the show in.

Those trips would never have happened if it wasn’t for the good side of competition.

35. How many Podcasting/Blogging gurus do you need?

Podcasting/Blogging gurus aren’t like a spouse, you can have more than one.

We all have one main guru that helps up jump in the podcasting/blogging water, and that’s great, but I encourage you to branch out to other gurus (not just podcasting/blogging, but Social Media, etc) representing other groups (like Mommie bloggers, for example) to learn from them.

I stumbled upon Holly Homer and her story of how she grew her Facebook friends to 1,000,000 plus. This is a great video revealing how she did it.

What I like about Holly is how she treats Social Media like a scientist.

Crystal and Kelli

Great videos, but some info may be outdated

https://learntobloghangouts.com/learn-to-blog/

36. Your graphics on your podcast/blog can help your SEO

Use your SEO term in the naming of your graphics on your podcast/blog post. Google likes to see that all of the parts of the post are linked thematically (SEO term). Plus, if you include your URL on all graphics, they all become signposts to your post and your website.

37. How to podcast with NO MONEY

It’s true (well, in a sense)! The key is finding the skill that you are the best at in terms of the topic someone else is podcasting about. Once you find that skill, start sending in emails and (if requested) information to that podcast (that you really enjoy). If you continually provide information that the podcaster benefits from, at the very least you probably will get a shout out, but they could also ask you to be a part of their podcast crew. In that situation, you probably will be included as a member of the crew on the website, show notes, and shows.

The bottom line is that;
1. you don’t want your podcast enhancing skill (gathering information) to get idle, and
2. you want to do your best to encourage (and help) a podcaster that you enjoy.

The final bit of truth here – Some podcasts will be more open to accepting and mentioning your help. Some won’t. Just being real, people.

38. How to podcast without a podcast

This is similar to the above point but expands on it. If you have a way to record your thoughts (either by phone (if the podcast has a voicemail option) or on an audio file (preferably an mp3 file)), I would think that would be appreciated by the podcaster.

We had people created fun emails and audio files that were read/played by listeners of the show. In a way, those listeners were helping to add to the show (and it wasn’t on you to create).

39. How to set up an interview if you have the audience numbers

I mentioned earlier (if you have the big audience numbers) the way to contact the network to connect. You can ask for an interview (which may or may not include access to the “interview room” in conventions like Comic-Con) during the promotion period of time for a particular show. I never got to this level, but this is great access with the blessing from the network.

40. The difference between a Press Pass and getting in the pool interview room at a Comic-Con event

Getting a Press Pass is a great bonus to attending a convention like a Comic-Con, but let me explain what it means and what it doesn’t mean.

Usually getting a Press Pass means you need to provide proof that you have an established blog or podcast that normally covers a topic or the particular event for 6 months or more. Seriously, they won’t give you a Press Pass for starting a blog or podcast a week before an event.

In a nutshell, a Press Pass is given to a person who is vetted to be a member of the press. Sometimes, you will be given access to a press seating area during some panels and you may also be given free parking and other perks.

Now, let’s talk about access to the “pool interview room”. That is totally different.

Quick story, when I got my Press Pass for WonderCon in Anaheim a number of years ago, I asked where the “pool interview room for (the show I was podcasting about) was,” and the person handing approving the Press Passes had no idea. I had a hard time believing it (That they wouldn’t have been given that kind of information), but it seems to be the case.

When the network approves you for access to the “pool interview room,” you will be notified which room at the venue that the cast/crew will be seated and made available for groups of interviewers for media (including very lucky (with high numbers or viewers/listeners/readers) bloggers/podcasters)). Keep in mind, if you get access to the “pool interview room,” it won’t be one-on-one, it will be a group that the network schedules through the time the cast/crew are available. Note: The cast/crew are on a very tight schedule during a convention (Scheduled Interviews, Autograph sessions, Panel appearances, etc).

I have never had access to the “pool interview room,” if anyone has, please leave a comment as to your experience.

So, like I said getting a Press Pass and getting access to the “pool interview room” are completely different experiences.

41. Working your way to the Big interview

I spoke to a press agent one time on how to get the big “star” interview and she gave me some good advice; start with the crew and build up your interview legacy.

Reminder: The crew members spread the word to other crew and cast members if you ask a bunch of goofy questions if you aren’t prepared, or if you waste their time, etc, you may not get further opportunities in the future.

For instance, start with the writers, producers, directors, etc. As you get more experience, it can grow into more opportunities.

42. But how to get interviews without network approval and access? I’m glad you asked. Here is the secret

Imdb pro (https://pro.imdb.com/signup/index.html?u=https%3A%2F%2Fpro.imdb.com%2F) – to get access to agents

There are other ways, but that’s what worked for me. When you pay the fee (There is even a trial period, as well), you will be provided with the agents and contact information for celebrities.

43. Important checklist for the big interview

Do your homework! Read the interviewee’s Wikipedia pages (Verify the item is the truth), twitter pages, Facebook accounts, and other interviews to learn as much as you can about the person you are going to interview.

Watch/Listen to interviews and if the person’s name has a different spelling, practice it. If you are still unsure, double check with the person before the interview starts on how to pronounce their name.

If you are recording audio or video remotely, make sure everything is charged. Check levels before the interview and make sure everything is ready to go before you start.

If you are recording at home via the phone, always let them know when you are recording. Always give them (or their press agent the opportunity for final edit approval.

Great interviewer – Drew Marshall

http://drewmarshall.ca/

44. Smaller Conventions and the possibilites

Some people think that the only time you can get lucky and get access to popular celebrity interviews are only if you can go to big cities like San Diego, Los Angeles, New York, and the like, but that really isn’t the case.

Cast/Crew members are making appearances in conventions and expos all over the US and the world.

If you do a little digging, you can find the agent assisting the cast/crew member at the expo or convention. Contact them and ask if the cast/crew members they represent will have some time for an interview during the expo/convention.

If you live in a smaller town that has an expo/convention, you probably will have a better chance than someone at a Comic Con in L.A., San Diego, or New York.

45. Support the Show’s, Cast’s, Crew’s favorite charities or projects

Google search for the cast’s favorite charities. Link hearts with the cast/crew members to charities that they feel strongly about. Promote it on your Social media platforms and in your content.

Remember to use your content “voice” to promote what the cast/crew feels strongly about.

46. When should you start a podcast about a TV show?

Start early, but not too early.

We wa for 5 OUAT episodes OUAT before we started anything. I started with blog posts to test the waters. One of my first blog posts was on page one Google for a time. I knew we had something.

47. When should you plan a meetup for the listeners of your podcast?

Strike while the iron (or show) is hot. We are fortunate enough to live near Disneyland, so holding our first meetup at Disneyland was a no-brainer. It was hotter than hell, but a great time.

* 48. One more thing you are – a promotion device

As podcasters, we are constantly looking for avenues of promotion for our content, but I think we forget too often that we are also an avenue of promotion for others.

Your content may not be a TV (or streaming) network or radio station, but you do reach an audience thay they may miss and that means your content is valuable.

Never undercut your value.

49. How to get stuff donated for free for a meetup

A friend of mine had a youtube channel and a podcast. Because of those two streams of content, he put together a free party at a tourist location.

I won’t give names, but I will say that he used his niche and audience to pitch donations of items (free or discounted) to throw a mixer in which he invited celebrities within his niche, got the room/space, got the catered food, got limo/transportation, etc.

I was there and it was amazing.

* 50. The best advice I can give you

A friend of mine gave me the best advice of my life. Ready? Here it is…

If you want something – ask for it.

One of the two answers you get is what you want.

Do your homework (Prepare to present the value you can provide the party you are asking), study up on being more persuasive. if you get a ‘No’, continue to ask further if there is anything else that can be offered – learn to negotiate better – Be ready – and ask for what you want.

51. How to get a review copy of the Blu-Ray discs of a particular TV show?

52. Build a crew for your podcast/blog

Find those listeners that are providing great content on a consistent basis and ask if they would be part of your crew.

Maybe they could review emails and condense them into bite-sized chunks for the show?
Write blog posts?
Create youtube videos?
Could they review voicemails weed out the duplicate theories/statements?

Basically, they could be gathering information for the next podcast/blog post.

53. The Deputies (Social Media)

The most fun we had is when we had listeners use a fun Twitter account for the podcast, interacting with the listeners, cast, crew, etc.

The Deputies got the DNA of the show and had fun with the persona and the Twitter account.

54. Build diversity into your crew

Like with anything else, the more diverse the backgrounds of your crew, the better. They will bring a glimpse of the topic that you will never have with people similar to you.

Also, add diversity of men and ladies, too. This may help in the contacts you will make with the cast.

55. How Google helps you get better search results

Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) (https://search.google.com)
Finding errors and issues

Google Analytics (https://analytics.google.com)
Analyzing your traffic

Organic search terms (not provided)

Deeper in Google Analytics

56. Programs and plugins (imho) that are a must for a successful blog and podcast

Grammarly
Yoast SEO
Broken Link Checker
URL shortener (I use Pretty Links)

57. What if you don’t have time to arrange a cast/crew interview

Unfortunately, we worked full-time jobs as well as podcasted, so we didn’t have much time to arrange a time for cast/crew interviews, so what did we do instead?

Remember how we discussed imdbPro to access cast and crew agents?

I thought what would be as close (as we could get) to an interview with the cast and crew members – Voicemails.

Group cast members together and email their agents here and there (Not all at once) to ask for voicemails (Provide a basic script for them, but allow them to ad-lib, as well). We were lucky enough to get many cast and crew members to leave voicemails.

Start with cast members that are guest stars, then work your way to the main cast.

58. Promote new movies and projects for cast members

You never know what doors will open up if you promote projects for cast members.

59. Don’t forget to promote charities of the cast, crew, show, etc.

Erin from OUATSpoof

OXFam (https://www.oxfamamerica.org/) event interviews;

Interview with Sean Maguire (Robin Hood from ABC TV’s “Once Upon a Time”)

Interview with Victoria Smurfit, Patrick Fischler, & Merrin Dungey (from ABC TV’s “Once Upon a Time”)

Remember as a content creator, you are a valuable part of the media. Be available to promote important charity work.

Note: Have a video and mic set up for remote interviews. You never know when the opportunities will come up.

60. Use groups to grow your reach

Producing a podcast (or group of episodes) for another group.

You facilitate their podcast.

61. How we got our very first cast member voicemail on the podcast line

Colleen asked for it on Twitter. It was magical then and still is.

62. Promote others

Use the power of groups

Regal Con
Skywalking Through Neverland
OUAT Spoof

Once Upon a Knit

* 63. The biggest key to a successful podcast – Build your Posse

Whatever venture you are going after, you need a posse (Not yes people). You need;

1. An Encourager,
2. A Creative, Out of the Box Thinker,
3. A Brutal Truth Teller,
4. A Mentor. Someone who has gone before you,
5. A Website Geek. You just always need one.

There are many times you will feel like you are all alone in your dream-filled pursuits, but your posse will help you traverse the paths in the valleys, climb the mountain and enjoy the view of the mountain top.

Thank your posse – a lot.

Please share this as much as possible with podcasters, podcast gurus or those that enjoy podcasts.

I am available for interviews on other podcasts.

feedback@onceuponatimepodcast.com

Lastly, I’m available if you need my help. If you’ve started a podcast (after visiting Dave Jackson’s The School of Podcasting) and have questions for moving forward with a entertainment based podcast, let me know. I want to help you. If you need an intro recorded, need some help with something, let me know. I may be able to help.

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