Podcasting on the Quick, Cheap, and Easy – Ross From Podcast Insights



Reading Time

34 minute read


So hot right now.

Seriously though–podcast downloads, interest, and awareness are STILL in a massive early-stage growth spurt.

As more and more of you, dear Blog Tribe, start to realize this and get interested in podcasting–I can’t help but produce more podcasting content!

I’m also SUPER fired up about helping people easily create podcasts. The FREE tools are so dang good these days.

Speaking of which…

That’s why I’m kicking off a little mini-series on podcasting.

  • Today = interview with Ross from Podcast Insights!
  • Today = the Podcast Launch Checklist is live! For FREE!
  • Next week = sharing my own podcast production stack ๐Ÿ™‚


Listen to my episode with Ross from Podcast Insights

or listen on \ Apple Podcasts \ Google Podcasts //

In this episode, we chat about…

  • Tips for QUICKLY getting a podcast up and running.
  • How to get past the “I’m not entirely sure what the heck to say or do and this feels awkward phase.”
  • Producing outstanding audio on AUTOPILOT
  • Getting on Apple Podcasts and everywhere else

Resources mentioned from this episode:

Podcast hosting:

  • Podbean = our recommended podcast hosting
  • Anchor = free and easy, but not customizable
  • Buzzsprout = another good podcast hosting option.
  • Simplecast = super fancy but expensive.

Editing, mixing, exporting, etc:

  • Auphonic = pretty much does all the hard work and makes your audio file sound amazing.

Podcast Marketing

  • Headliner App = create little “audiograms” for social sharing, etc.

If you’re at ALL interested in starting a podcast, go grab my free podcast launch checklist here!

Other Resources for new podcasters:

Here’s the full transcript from the episode.

Ross, welcome to the show.

Ross 6:48
Hey, thank you, Pete. Thanks for having me.

Pete 6:50
No problem. It’s my pleasure to have you. So Ross, we’ve actually met at podcast movement, I believe, last year for the actual the one and only time we’ve met.

But I’ve seen you around on the internet, on Twitter, Facebook, and the like, pretty much everywhere. And you will have quickly become one of two or three like the podcast guy here. I mean, like I think of Steve Stewart. He’s a podcast guy. And now whenever I see your it’s actually your profile picture, by the way, that’s like your brand to me, at least. So Ross, whenever I see you with the blue shirt, the blue shirt. That’s right. So whenever I see you, I’m like this the podcast dude. But I’ve already said but three times. This is a great podcast so far. But Ross, I don’t actually know your backstory.

So why don’t we just kick it off in old school chronological format here.

The Ross Backstory – He’s a blogger!

What did you do before podcasting, before starting the blog? Give us the Ross Story.

Ross 7:46
Definitely. So I guess we can go go back. I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, and I moved to Colorado to go to school, went to the UN, University of Northern Colorado, and got a degree in Business Marketing. So somewhat in the realm of that even though I don’t work for anyone else. And then I actually got a job in in PPC, so doing Google AdWords management, and then that kind of evolved into Facebook ads and was doing kind of took over SEO and email marketing for a franchise 500 company, so kind of did everything marketing related, okay, for them.

So yeah, PPC turned into SEO and I just sort of became more interested in that I’m sort of on the technical side of taught myself, PHP and some of that stuff that applies to WordPress. So,

Pete 8:40
okay, so part of the reason I–this clicked in my head, we’ve been chatting back and forth over the internet for a while and I was like, wait, on the show, view, you are in my head, like a podcast guy now. But I just want to point out for everybody listening like you’re a, you’re a blogger, through and through, right?

I’m looking at your site, and you even told me I believe it podcast movement. You’re like UIOU podcast about blogging, I blog about podcasting. I was like, Okay, there you go. And since then, I’ve learned that you know what you’re talking about, let’s say the least when it comes to all the stuff you just mentioned, SEO, marketing, promotion, that sort of stuff.

So I just want to spoil that for the audience listening and say, like Ross was actually a superb blogger from everything I’ve seen looking at your site. So kudos to you. And thanks for coming on to share what you know. So,

Ross 9:31
yeah, oh, can I just just real quick–I am.

Before I left my, my job, I actually had a co worker who the reason I even started the site to give a little more background is he wanted to start a podcast. And, you know, yeah, he had for three or four other people who aren’t a podcast with and he asked, he asked me what he needed, because he knew I had started a podcast about AdWords previously, and I did some research, and there’s really nothing out there, they kind of laid out what you needed, what gear kind of how to get started, at least not in a clear manner for for a multiple person podcast, at least.

So that was kind of my kicking off point. And it sort of took off pretty fairly quickly. So what year was that? When you first started this 2017. Maybe march was my first article and I published about once a week, I don’t go crazy.

What do beginner podcasters need to know to start?

Pete 10:23
So let’s actually start off talking about podcasting.

I want to give like a beginner, not overview. I mean, people kind of people kind of get it at this point. And there’s tons of resources on your own site that we could actually just point people to, as far as equipment, like you literally have a whole equipment category, I’m pretty sure on your site.

But in terms of bloggers, or other creators on the internet, who are looking to, I’m just gonna say the word dabble. I don’t really like that word. But I think you get what I’m talking about people who have been thinking about podcasting, or have said, You know what, I think I can actually do that and do it fairly well. I think that could be another great medium for me, my brand, my business, my blog, etc. For those people, they know what podcasting is, they’ve, they’ve listened to some podcasts once or twice, but they’re primarily in another medium, that those are the people that I want to talk to today. And Ross, I thought I might compose a make believe blog post, like right now on three to five, like bullet points that those people need to know, in order to quick as quick as possible. And as simple and easy as possible, get into podcasting.

So Ross, if you were writing that make believe blog post right now, talking to those people trying to get them into a published recurring, “good podcast,” what would be those three to five bullet points that you think they should know? And or do?

What podcast equipment do beginners need?

Ross 11:50
Definitely, so kind of talk a little bit about what I do. But I guess first of all, you don’t need to spend a ton of money, I do recommend getting an external mic, don’t use your built in lap top mic to record because that will, they’ll turn people off pretty quickly.

But there, there are some excellent, excellent microphones for under, under $70. I would say that will sound just as good as a $400 mic, at least to the average person. Totally.

Repurpose your blog posts into podcast episodes!

So if you’re, I guess for blogging, a great a great way to get started is to actually repurpose your, your blog posts, but just talk about them, you know, use don’t just read the blog post, but you know, add your own your own, take your own words, to what you’ve written. And you actually reach a different, totally different audience because people, a lot of people like to either listen or read and there might be a little bit of overlap, but there’s not as much as I think people think that it would be.

Pete 12:46
I agree with this, by the way. 100% I actually had somebody told me last week, it’s like, oh, yeah, I’ve been following you for like a year or two. And, oh, you have a podcast. I was like, wait, yeah, I totally have a podcast. And she’s like, I don’t listen to podcasts. I’d watched it if it were repurposed on YouTube, but it was a podcast. I was like, Wait, what? Really? Is that a thing?

Ross 13:06
Yeah, and actually, I, I think of podcasting, at least as a compliment to a blog, kind of like, like a YouTube channel. Like you embed we can talk about this, but you just like you embed a YouTube video, you embed your, your podcast episode, so people can listen right on, right on the page. That’s a good idea.

Pete 13:24
So I think that’s a fantastic place for people to start, by the way, like so they don’t have to keep coming up with content ideas, or, you know, get the stuck in their head. They’re like, Oh, I gotta find interviews, how do I reach out and get these, you know, big celebrity people in my industry or niche on the podcast, they can actually just start really small, just kind of talking about their blog post.

What about podcasting software? Editing, mixing, etc?

So other than a mic, what are How can people get started with the the software but from a recording standpoint, and or post production, what would be like your total newbie beginner, keep it stupid, simple. Software recommendations?

Ross 14:01
Yeah, definitely. And for recording, we’re going to keep stick with the free option to make this as easy as possible.

So if you’re on a Mac, Garage Band comes with your computer. And it works great. But you will need we’ll talk about this in the next step a little bit, a different software to kind of process it at the end. Another one is Audacity.

And it’s available for Mac or Windows and also free and regularly updated, and tons of podcasters. Use it. But at every level, really, those are the reporting programs, I actually recommend you create a template, so maybe record an intro or have Intro music. And then maybe you have our intro. And you save that, that template.

So every time you go to create a new post, you just open that template, save it as your new episode file, and then you’re you’re ready to go, you can just record and then export it, like quickly,

Pete 14:58
totally. And as long as you can keep things consistent on the recording aspect, as well, I try to do this as much as possible for my own stuff, you can actually leave a bunch of those, like if you use plugins to reduce noise, or to level audio or to, I don’t know mix and master.

If you do any of that effects, plugins, etc, you can actually leave those on the template as well. And if you’re somewhat consistent, like you’re always just the same Mike, or you’re always in the same environment, your house or your room or whatever, you can actually just kind of like rinse and repeat that stuff as well. And it’d be like, super, super quick.

How to not feel awkward when you start talking in front of a microphone ๐Ÿ™‚

So Ross, let me get your opinion on this. Speaking of effects in plugins, or whatnot, I think this is where a bunch of people kind of get stuck in the weeds like they’re, they’re like “cool, I got a garage, fine, cool, I got audacity, I’m gonna do this,” and they can’t figure out how to hit the record button. And then they start talking…

I have two questions where you were going to come back to effects and plugins, like the minimum stuff that people need to know. But even before that, I want to get your thoughts on what to say? And specifically, how to not feel awkward and get the content done.

Does that make any sense?

I, I know that when I first started out, I would get, I would hit record. And then I just go I would like freeze. Like I’d be blank. And I start talking and it just be like utter garbage and crap. And it would take me like 70 tries, in order to get something I was even remotely happy with.

Do you have any suggestions for people who find themselves in that situation? They’re like, cool, I’m going to read my blog post. I’m gonna do this. I got audacity? How do I actually deliver on that content and not spend hours and hours and hours doing it? Does that make sense?

Ross 16:41
Yeah, no, it makes it makes sense. And actually, I remember you know, if you if you listen to Pat Flynn, he talked about how he redid his first podcast, I don’t know at least three times and then still didn’t publish it for a year. So it’s not not uncommon. Yeah. Hey, I think it’s kind of like, like, I don’t do video but you hear people say, you know, try to be over over animated, you know, more excited. And also, maybe Imagine you’re you’re talking with a friend, you know, so instead of staring at your computer, pretend you’re you’re talking with someone and having having a chat, but it it is difficult to do a podcast so I’m not gonna like sugarcoat that one.

You just something you have to kind of kind of keep doing and you’ll get kind of get familiar with it.

Pete 17:26
I think that’s great advice. And actually, Ross, you just reminded me of something that Derek silvers once said, He is always a lot of things people can go look him up on the Tim Ferriss podcast is one of my favorite episodes.

But he used to be a ringmaster for a traveling circus like a real circus. He was like the ringmaster. And when he first started, the director of elephants and said again,

Ross 17:52
I said with elephants and lions and everything?

Pete 17:54
Oh, yeah. Yeah, like a traveling the real deal. And the person who ran it. After a couple weeks, she was just like, Derek, I don’t think you’re, I think you’re delivering i think i think you’re holding back like, I think you could do more. And the insight that she shared with him was, it feels like people are judging you. And maybe they are maybe they’re not. But no one actually cares about that as much.

They’re there at the circus for a show. So give them the show. That’s what they’re there to see.

And I think the same thing about people who do YouTube and podcasting and stuff like that, who are just starting to sit down and record their own voice, it can be super awkward, they can get tripped up and etc. But I think those people need to learn, learn the same lesson.

And that is, it’s actually not about you. People are listening to your podcast, they expect you to be 110% of yourself, they expect you to be like a little bit more animated a little silly, a little bit more serious, like whatever you are times 1.1 right, like 10% more of you they kind of expect that something so you were kind of getting up just into so I like that story.

Ross 19:02
There’s just with audio to you know, people can’t see you. So a lot of your, your kind of voice tone inflection, you know, that’s all they get.

So it just makes makes that part more that much more important?

Pete 19:15
No, I like that was great. Thanks for let me take that little aside. But going back to the actual production, like the software, okay, I think I want to start reading some my blog post and just talk about it. I want to talk about these subjects. I’ve got audacity Garage Band, etc. I’m hitting record of critical I just talked for like 10 minutes, I’m actually pretty happy with it. Now what?

How do I translate that right there into something that I can get into iTunes or etc, etc, down the RSS feed, which we’ll talk about later.

But effects plugins, what’s the bare minimum that I need to do? And by the way, tell me if you use any other software you would recommend for beginners at the stage as well? How could they conquer that little step?

Ross 19:57
Yeah, I know, there’s tons of things like come oppression and loudness and leveling, I actually, just to make this as easy as possible, I recommend Auphonic. And it’s a, it’s an online based service, or they have a desktop app as well. But what it does is it adds for one ID three tags, which are basically metadata. So your title, the year publisher, things like that into your actual mp3 file.

And then it’ll also export it for you into different different formats that you need all even the output a YouTube video, or video that you can post on Facebook with little little waveform. So makes sharing easy. But the big thing that that I think is important is it does loudness, loudness normalization, which is just a, a target for how loud your audio is on on a podcast.

So TV broadcast has one level podcasts have one and rate you have another but on on podcast, it’s minus 16 LUFS.

We don’t need to get into how all that works.

But the basic thing is that this program does that for us. People don’t have to crank up the volume or turn it down when they’re listening to your show. Yes, absolutely. Just one more thing, they there’s a, they call it an adaptive leveler. And so if you have two people talking and there, there’s different volumes, or if you have music, that’s really loud, but you’re a little softer, it’ll it’ll just adjust those, those audio files and kind of push them to be the same level, which just makes your, your podcast sound 10 times better if you don’t have kind of really loud and really soft parts.

Pete 21:43
Totally. Yep. And for people who I’m going to like try and like paint this picture for those of you listening, which is 99.9% of you. It actually not only it doesn’t do all this for you, but it’s actually an incredibly easy user interface, user experience and my opinion, you’ll literally go there, you’ll sign up for an account, I believe you get like two free hours of audio a month or something like that you can pay for more, it’s three, three, okay.

But you you’ll hit like new production or something, it’ll ask you to upload an audio file, which by the way, I think you should cut first, like if you’re going to edit out silence or, or you’re going to do any of that stuff, like cut it down first, and then export that file that you’ve cut down as a WAV file. I guess the probably the easiest thing to do. I use logic protons. I do that in a garage band, same way. I’m assuming it’s probably like a one click Export to WAV file and audacity as well.

I don’t know, you can set some money on that. But it will upload that and just check like adaptive leveler. Yes, please check background noise reduction, and extra does that too. Okay, cool. Check. You’ll enter in, like some tile on defense, stuff like that. And it was an expert. And it’s like magic. It will give you a file to download that’s like, Oh, cool. You could toss that back in to audacity if you want and, you know, put your your intro before it and your intro after it and music underneath or you can do all sorts of cool stuff.

Ross 23:08
Yeah, now you can. You can do multiple files if you want or just one. It’ll actually export to a few different podcast hosting platforms automatically. They don’t support all of them. But if you’re on certain ones, Libsyn and Blubrry I think are are supported for sure.

So it just makes it super easy. And you don’t need to know all the technical way around your your audio program.

What about podcast hosting? Anchor for free? Podbean? 

Pete 23:33
By the way you spell that Auphonic–hard trying to say that right? So Ross, you just brought this up–hosting.

People don’t want to pay? Like, is there free hosting? How do I host my podcast for free? And even if they don’t do it for free? Like what would you suggest? Give me like, maybe just two, do you think beginners should choose from in terms of podcast hosting? What do you think people should go with?

Ross 24:03
Ya know, so I can talk about the there’s the big free one is anchor. And there’s not bad.

But the main kind of downside is that, well, it’s a pro and a con, they submit your your RSS feed, which is how the iTunes and Google find your podcast, they submit that for you with their email address, so you won’t have access to your podcast stats, specifically in iTunes or on speaker or on specific platforms.

And I know you might be able to like email them and transfer. But that’s just a big pain. So interesting. And their stats are kind of less than less than ideal. So you can do it for free. It’s just an option I recommend for beginners, but sprout makes it super easy.

For one, I kind of touched on it three tags, they will automatically handle that part for you. So you don’t even need to worry about it. They started at $12 a month, and you just it, you can upload it to three hours. And then they have some kind of upper upper tiers. But what I like about that pricing is it’s by hours instead of megabytes. So you don’t need to figure out kind of how long your episode is and how many megabytes that is and do all this math just kind of kind of makes it straightforward. For beginners, at least totally. Okay.

Yeah, I believe they’re the only ones who have that pricing structure, this couple other simplecast is is a popular one. And actually, with with both of those, they have a really good looking player. So when you go to embedded on your website, they just look great. You can customize the colors to match your branding. And I think that kind of adds to the overall package.

Pete 25:41
That’s actually one thing I wish I’d been my current host. I’ve actually been with them since the beginning, I haven’t really felt compelled to switch. But their their players are not like the best you can customize a little bit, but it’s not. It’s not quite as fancy. As SimpleCast for sure. So what guys look amazing, it looks really good.

Ross 25:58
Yeah, they have some really some really cool sharing features as well. So you or your listeners can actually go in and, and it’s called recast and they can like take a clip from your episode and share it and some pretty, pretty cool stuff that that other people don’t do.

But actually side note about podbean is I have an article about embed players. And they reached out to me and said, You know, they’re missing a couple of features. And they said, Hey, we added these because you you said we were missing them. So they’re they’re definitely working on it.

Pete 26:26
I like that. Oh man, now I need to like go publish an article about them to like get all the get all my fixes fixed for what I want them to be like.

No, I’m not actually gonna do that. But that’d be cool. I like that. So let’s, let’s get back into the q amp a, I think I’m gonna like title this episode q amp A. So just thinking question after question for you, Ross. And I kind of like our format so far. Yeah, later, and just a few minutes, I do want to get into promotion a little bit. And by the way, this is going to be free consulting for me, because I actually, I self identify as somebody who does not know how to grow a podcast. I don’t. My podcast has grown very, very, mostly organically. But what I really mean is, I haven’t really known what to do I know to grow it outside of blogging.

So I want to get your thoughts on that. But before we do, I thought we might wrap up with a few more questions onto Okay, I’ve got my software. I ran it through auphonic and I took it back or edit my intros in a phonic or whatever, I have an mp3 file now sweet.

And I’m going to go to bus route or pod bean or whatever, sign up for their cheapest plan. Well, I think most people should start on, by the way, unless you’re doing like 90 minute long interviews once a week. Cool. I uploaded there.

Getting into iTunes (Apple Podcasts) and other directories (Spotify!)

How on earth do I get it to iTunes? And you know what, Spotify? And you know, what, Google podcasts? And you know what, this other place overcast, etc, etc, etc?

What do we need to know about getting our pockets on those platforms?

Ross 28:02
Yeah, so we touched on the RSS feed portion, which is how you get your podcast on those platforms. And an RSS feed is basically just, it just points. So let’s say your iTunes they read the RSS feed, and they see hey, the the mp3 files actually stored over here. And here’s the title and description. So it’s just all the info about your show. They pull that in and display it in their in their directory. So each each platform has their own process.

And I have actually have a podcast directory article that links to all the all the instructions if that’s helpful for people. Yeah. But also within the podcast hosting companies, though, they’ll usually help you as well. So they’ll have instructions for for Apple podcasts and Stitcher and Google. It’s kind of automatic. But yeah, there’s different different ways. So I guess with the main one you want to be on though, is Apple podcasts. The reason is because, well, at least 60% of people listen there. But also, a lot of the podcast apps actually pull their their directory of podcasts from Apple. So you’ll automatically be listed on overcast, which is a popular podcast app and a ton of other other places. Well, that’s where I start. Okay,

Pete 29:21
totally. I use overcast By the way, and absolutely love it. It’s just such a breath of fresh air when they first came out with that, like a few years back, and then moved over from Apple podcast.

So Oh, actually, another question. Another question. I got up.

Where else should they be on? So Apple podcast is like mandatory, and people should do that first. And that pushes out to several other ones. But what other ones do you think are “mandatory?” They might not actually be mandatory, but what which are the ones if you were going to launch a new show tomorrow?

Would you go and hook your RSS up? RSS feed up to Does that make sense? Stitcher, Google podcasts? Any other ones?

Ross 29:59
Yeah, so Spotify is a big one they’ve been, they’ve been really pushing into the podcast space. they renamed their app, music and podcasts, they bought gimlet media and actually bought anchor, too. So they’re huge, and they’re only going to keep investing in podcasting.

So there’s actually two different ways to get into Spotify, though. You can have your podcast host submit for you. Or you can there’s a website on Spotify, I think it’s podcasters dot Spotify calm, and you can submit your RSS feed manually that way, just make sure you don’t do it both ways or might run into some conflicts.

Pete 30:37
Yeah, I know. Podbean, Libsyn. I think those are the only two that I have direct experience. But But those are actually pretty straightforward in their dashboards, like applying it.

I don’t know if it’s still application based or not, do you know, like, just don’t do “apply for it?” And then maybe they’ll let you enter? Maybe they reject you. It’s still like that, or is it a pretty direct hookup?

Ross 30:58
I think it’s pretty direct. I mean, I guess they could deny you if you’re using a bunch of copyrighted content or something, but I don’t know if they actually check.

Pete 31:06
Okay, back in the day, I when I did it, it was like, we just announced podcasts.

And now you can like, apply. And then literally, I didn’t hear anything for like three months. And then they got back to me and said, Oh, you’re on Spotify. Now. I was like, Okay, cool. So apparently not like that anymore. So that’s good.

Ross 31:20
Yeah, I think that was when they first first were testing I’m pretty sure you get in get in pretty easily. But in other other platforms, Google Play Music is kind of going away. But that’s another one that is is easy to get into and then stitcher and tune in, or the other top podcast directories.

Pete 31:39
I don’t even think I’m on Tunein. Thats a good one Okay, I gotta write that down.

Ross 31:43
Yeah, and there’s what else I have a list here, speaker, blueberry is a podcast host, but they also have a directory that you can submit to separately. And then I think that’s, that’s the main ones.

Initial Podcast Set-up stuff…

Pete 31:55
So Ross, before we move on to promotion, and my What else do people know? Do we miss anything? And this conversation of going from, I think, I would like to start a podcast to actually having a show online. In some of those apps.

Did we miss anything? Do you think in that conversation,

Ross 32:16
just kind of the initial setup stuff.

So you know, you want to you want to choose a name, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be the same name as your as your blog, mine’s completely different. I don’t have a good reason. I just, I just felt like having something different.

But a name maybe a format. So if you want to have a q&a segment in in your show, or you want to read testimonials or something those you know, have that be consistent in your show. I like that blank could be part of it. But I just some things to think about style, whether you want to do you know, interviews or not or, and then also kind of in the preparation stage cover arts, you’ll need to create cover art.

And there’s some specific guidelines the size that supposed to be in the in the format. But you can you can create it in something like Canada for free or use 99 designs or have a designer, whatever you want to do.

Pete 33:10
You can put somebody on Fiverr, like 10 bucks to do one. Yeah, they’re all over the place. I think that’s just about all I gots from that little stage. I can’t think of anything else at least.

Podcast Marketing – how to grow downloads!

So why don’t we talk about? Well, I think first of all, you can generally get an embed code, a little iframe or HTML or something that you can copy and paste into your blog, WordPress, just toss it in the HTML, whatever. And that’s pretty straightforward.

I feel like but other than just immediately embedding it in blog posts that you might already get traffic to or whatnot. Let’s talk a little bit more about how to grow downloads.

And right off the bat. Ross, I’m just straight up tell you. I don’t know, I don’t have the questions. I’ve got it on you to kind of break out some bullet points on how people might actually grow their downloads. So what do you got for me? I’m gonna blink here. I don’t know enough about this.

Ross 34:09
Yeah, no, I just, I just wrote an article about this and did a ton of research. So I think I might have a couple ideas. So I guess the first one is on top of embedding your episode, which allows people to play it right on, on your blog post, what I do is add a call to action below that.

So I say, want to listen while you’re browsing the site, because if you leave the page, it’ll stop playing. So I direct people to subscribe on Apple or Spotify or Google.

That way they can listen, and keep, you know, keep keep it on the on the site, but also, hopefully subscribe, and I use that specific language, subscribe on Apple so that it kind of aligns with what they’re need to do.

Pete 34:50
Gotcha. Can I ask a question about that? There’s not actually a way to have a one click link that subscribes them corrected just leads them to the show pages. Is that true? Yeah.

Ross 35:02
Yeah, that’s, that’s correct. Like, kinda like, Twitter has a link where people can go right to the follow page, or something like that.

Pete 35:12
They still have to actually hit the subscribe button and stuff like that. Okay, I’m with it.

Ross 35:16
Right. And then I think most people know this, but you know, podcasting still still sort of young, subscribing is free.

I know, there’s been some kind of debate about that word, but on YouTube subscribing is is free, but I know, not everyone realizes that. So it might be helpful to actually mention that to people.

Pete 35:34
It’s funny, you mentioned that. It’s like totally Well, duh, as free for us, but not for everybody. It’s interesting to think about, you’re right, by the way. Okay, continue.

How to ask people for reviews/ratings.

Ross 35:43
Yeah, yeah. So we already talked about submitting to podcast directories, you just want to be everywhere that people are searching for shows. So that one, that one seems fairly obvious.

And I want to I really like it kind of ties into that segment, part I was talking about earlier, is how having a segment where you, you share reviews or testimonials, and it kind of has a nice virtuous cycle, because you, you know, you ask for podcasts review, let’s say, and then you read it out loud, and people will just like to hear their their names read online, it kind of gives them a little, little high, almost, there’s something so they they’re more likely to share it and tell their friends and it kind of it’s a slow, slow growth, but it’s a nice natural way to grow.

And then, kind of at the same time, you also, you know, people are sharing on social media, you’re more likely to grow those those channels that people are sharing on as well. So I think it’s just a real easy way to get more engagement and listeners,

Pete 36:40
almost like the little you can position it as thank you just like an honest shout out. And thank you. Like, I just want to thank Ross from podcast insights.

He says, literally, Do You Even Blog makes my morning every morning. You’re literally the best podcast or ever slash hashtag Ross. And then you could ask people for a review just like that. I’ve never actually done that before. So I’m going through this in my head like, Oh, I need to actually implement something like this. That’d be smart.

Ross 37:07
Yeah, no, it’s fun.

I’m people, people like it like you did there, give people a shout out. That’s actually how I kind of encourage people to leave reviews and say, I’ll give you a shout out to to your podcast, if you leave a review. So I like that. I like it a lot.

Pete 37:22
What else we got?

Let’s let’s continue on this line of thinking. And you’re welcome. Just like pull from that post. By the way, I did pull it up about 10 minutes ago in my browser, because I knew I was gonna like, go back to here.

But what else we got share reviews and testimonial, create a website. It’s also in your post, but I think most people listening to us could probably skip that part. They already have the site there. What is an “apple smart banner?”

Ross 37:47
Yeah, so I think this was actually designed for apps, you know, like, from the App Store. But it also works with podcasts. And what it is, is a little banner that pops up on the top of your website, but the catches it only shows up on the mobile version of Safari. So it just little shows your your podcast cover are and it’s it literally says subscribe and have a podcast. And so people can click over right to the podcast app. Or if they hit the X, they’ll never see it again, it doesn’t, you know, keep showing up over and over again.

And what you do is you just add a little meta tags, just like just like you have a title tag on your website, you just had one line of code that basically tells Safari to pull up your your show when people visit.

Pete 38:30
I love that, by the way. And Wait, can you confirm? It doesn’t show on anything? But Safari? Right? Like it’ll automatically not be there?

Ross 38:39
Yep. Yeah, that’s correct. And just just mobile, mobile Safari.

Pete 38:42
Gotcha. Okay. One thing you can do for this may not apply to everybody, but will apply to most people who have a podcast, you can actually there’s a great plugin for header codes and footer codes, etc. One that I use? Well, there’s two of them.

Insert headers and footers is one that actually doesn’t give you quite as much control. There’s another one. I’m actually trying to look it up Cameron, it’s called, it’s HFCM. I don’t actually know it’s called header footer code manager maybe.

And this will allow you to only put that code for the little show in Apple podcast, or subscribe an apple podcast or whatever, it’ll allow you to only put that code on your podcast pages, if you wanted to, you could put it everywhere if you want to, I suppose.

But it’ll actually give you the option to Oh, I want to put it on these pages, pages under the podcast category or pages that have a podcast tag or something like that. So you could only insert that JavaScript code on those pages. So that’s one thing. header, footer code manager, I believe is what it’s called. So people can check that out. I like that.

Ross 39:53
I like that. Keeps it relevant to you know, people interested in, in the photo of your podcast episodes.

Pete 39:59
Okay, so two things here, Ross. I don’t want to keep you forever.

By the way. I only have like a limited time. But I have so many questions for you. Let’s talk about a launch giveaway. I feel like this is done a lot. But I’ve never, I’ve never turned off by it. Like I like it. I like when I see people like we’re launching this new show.

We’re going to build it up a little bit to our existing email list or existing followers, subscribers, etc. And then they do like a little giveaway to make this happen. Because this is something you have experienced with IC a little bit on your promotion posts. But have you ever ran a giveaway in connection with the podcast?

Ross 40:38
Yeah, when I first launched, the set sail podcast is my my podcast that goes with podcast insights, I did a giveaway, asking people to subscribe. And instead of asking for reviews, and the reason is, that’s actually how Apple podcasts ranking system works. It’s based on how many people subscribe. It’s, it’s waited for how how recently, they subscribe.

So there’s more weight to the last 24 hours and a little less week to 48 hours and kind of goes down from there. So if anyone didn’t know how that system works, that’s the that’s the trick.

Pete 41:15
I didn’t know that. So you ask them to subscribe. And then in the Do what? Like they enter the giveaway?

Ross 41:22
Yeah, no, I just asked him to take a screenshot after they subscribe. And then I could confirm that they did. Because there’s not really another way for that to happen. And just tag me on Twitter, Instagram, and then I would just really, you know, put everyone in kind of a random number generator and pick someone or pick a couple of people.

And what’s what’s cool is you can you can ask, you know, ask companies that are associated with your, your brand to give stuff away because they want to get in front of your audience and a lot of people are more than happy to give you a microphone or I actually had been sprout gave me six months of hosting the giveaway and I don’t know.

Pete 42:00
Okay, I like that’s, how did it work for you, by the way, when you launched Set Sail?

Ross 42:06
My audience was a lot smaller, but I did get a good. I don’t know, I feel like I had 2030 people subscribe or something. So it gives you a good a good boost and a good base of subscribers. And then you know, every time you come out with an episode, they will automatically download it. So it gives you a good base of listeners.

Pete 42:23
Okay, I got I got three more questions here for you, Ross. Number one, let’s talk about how to how to take advantage of sharing your episodes on social media.

Specifically, I’m thinking about, like the little videos with audio wavelength, like little animations, and then an audio people can hit play and then it shows like the the text underneath that sort of stuff. And then I’m gonna come back and ask you about getting guests.

But we’ll start with the social media thing. And you have some lyst on your blog. I can point people to that. But in your experience, what is the the best software that new folks could use to create LIKE, SHARE worthy little snippets of audio? You know what I mean? audiograms. That’s what they’re called? audiograms.

Ross 43:09
Yeah, yeah. So I mentioned SimpleCast, they have that built in sharing system. And then also, Buzz sprout has a feature where they’ll create a an audio gram for you as well, that you can then download and publish wherever. But then for standalone apps–headliner is by far the best one is really powerful. And you can kind of do anything with it. It just takes a little more time than some of those automated systems. And there’s another one called wave and I think it has like two, two V’s in it. There’s a there’s a few.

Pete 43:46
I actually didn’t know this until I landed on your, your blog post that has all this stuff in it, by the way, actually, can I just pitch that I’ll link to in the show notes, of course, but podcast insights.com slash podcast promotion, with a hyphen in there. So podcast, hyphen, promotion, podcast, com slash podcast, dash promotion, they can find all this stuff. That’s like a really good blog post, nice little format, lyrical, almost very helpful. But I didn’t realize until I landed on there, that overcast actually has a clip sharing feature built into the app, which I did not know, it’s really, really interesting. I will check that out.

After we’re done recording.

Ross 44:26
It just added that just like a few weeks ago, as we’re as we’re recording this, so it’s it’s really

Pete 44:31
interesting, I gotta go look at that. Okay, so the last two questions, very, very similar, probably conclude the desk.

I want to talk about how to best reach out to get people as guest on your show, if people want to do that, when I have guests will have interviews, as well as and you can tackle these together. Or separately, if you want to hear Ross, how to be a guest on other people show like how to actually make that happen?

Because I know that’s really good marketing as well, a lot of let’s start with some outrage how, what are some, like two or three best practices for starting to book? podcast guest on your show? If that makes any sense?

Ross 45:11
On Yeah, on your show. So I guess, well, this, this would apply to, to both being guest and having guests. But there’s, as there’s a feature in iTunes, where you can click, you know, pull up your, your podcast, and then there’s a there’s a little tab that says related and you can find shows that are related to yours. So you can you can actually pitch to be on on their shows or have, you know, reach out to have a host to be on your show.

So that’s great ways to kind of have cross promotion and and iTunes basis this based on the listeners, you know, there’s overlap. As far as reaching out and how to how to do it I I just, I don’t know, be authentic and genuine. Don’t try to, you know, lie to and say you have a giant show you don’t but right.

Pete 46:03
Yeah, no need for like a super fancy. I’ve read 17 articles on outrage on my craft this elegant pitch email. He little just be a human, every job and be like, hey, I’d love to have you on. I’m curious in what you do. I’ve read your book. I’ve read your blog. I’ve listened to your show, have watched your YouTube channel. And I love it. And Could you spare an hour? And I’ll promote you to my office or something like that.

That’s all I got. I just made that up my head, Ross.

Ross 46:26
Yeah, no, it’s I mean, it’s when when, like you if you have, you’re reaching out to people in your same industry like both of you, you kind of benefit by by doing that.

And actually, one thing I did years ago is I wrote a guest post for someone for for a blog. And they had a podcast as well. So after that was published, I reached out to them and said, Hey, can I come on the podcast and talk about something similar so that and that works out worked out great.

Pete 46:53
I like this idea. This is this is only somewhat related. By the way, I love this idea of reaching out for potential collaborations and or partnerships, or just posts for you someone think about it that way, but also offering a different format, or medium.

For example, I would love to do a guest post on your site, I’m also willing to record a short audio just for your followers. Or I’m also willing to make like a little YouTube video, just like it doesn’t have to be a long, full out like 15 minute YouTube video, it could literally just be like a, I’m more than willing to make like a two or three minute video to accompany it only for your followers or only for your audience or something like that. I haven’t done a whole lot of this yet.

But in my planning to do outreach, which I’m planning on doing a little bit more of for my recent SEO efforts. I’m actually thinking about doing a whole lot more of that. I know I appreciate it when people do that for me. And so I am hoping to utilize that in my own outreach too. So just an idea for people to think about.

Ross 47:56
Yeah, there’s a there’s a great example.

Someone someone did that HubSpot, I want to say it was like the backlink go or video for it. One of those one of those guys did a guest post and also a guest video at the same time. So maybe a cool, cool example.

Pete 48:11
Well, Ross, unless you go here in just a few minutes. But I would be remiss without asking you my little blog around question. I know you’ve heard it before, you had mentioned this to me, I think on slack the other day, but I’m gonna ask you anyways, what is one thing you think other bloggers should stop doing immediately?

Ross 48:31
Yeah, so I think people should stop learning from too many people.

So I think, you know, it’s okay, if if someone’s like a specialist, and maybe Pinterest or SEO or something, but don’t don’t try to learn from three different people that are experts in Pinterest, try to stick with one. Especially if you’re buying or investing in a course, you know, you’ll you’re gonna have a little bit different instructions and you follow 20 people, you just kind of don’t get lost. And you need to follow I think just one person system or process, get success from it.

And then when you’re when that happens, you can kind of move on to the next thing.

Pete 49:11
I would not have guessed that. Okay.

So kind of like a, I’m gonna learn this from this person and actually go try it out, go implement and see what happens. make notes, did this work to this network? What worked? What didn’t analyze a little bit and then go out? Learn from somebody different? I don’t know. I’m just trying to put two and two together.

Ross 49:30
Yeah. So I would say follow Pete for blogging and then follow someone else for I don’t know, Pinterest or something. Try not to follow too many people that are teaching the same, same things because the instructions are you know, the process or just different

Pete 49:45
insights. That’s better about Ross, you’re about insights.

Ross 49:49

Pete 49:50
all right, well, speaking of insights, that’s a good segue for a podcaster of Eros. Not really, podcastinsights.com is where people can connect with you. And set sail podcast, is that correct? And then what it’s called in?

Ross 50:06
Yeah, for now, iTunes, it’s done.

Pete 50:07
Okay, set sail, a podcast about podcasting by Ross. anywhere else on social that you would like to point people to primarily?

Ross 50:17
No, my personal accounts are @paidinsights. And that was just from my PPC days. So if you want to connect with me there,

Pete 50:29
podcasts insights paid insights, payments. com, is that right?

Ross 50:32
Yeah, I haven’t updated that in years. But you can, you can learn a little bit about AdWords there.

Pete 50:38
Alright, fair enough. Well, Ross, Thanks, buddy. Thank you for coming on and sharing some of your wisdom I especially the this will be great. Like a great refer back to resource for people looking to double, so to speak. So I appreciate your time today. And thanks for coming on.

Ross 50:54
Yeah, thank you. I hope I just hope this was was helpful to people and excited to started here.

Woo! So are you jazzed about starting a podcast?

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