5 Minute Mondays

Welcome to 5 Minute Mondays! On this podcast, you'll hear the best tips and tricks for building your podcast all in five minutes or less.

  • 6 minutes 57 seconds
    How To Get Your Podcast into the New and Noteworthy

    Megan from the Wild Healers podcast asks, "Is it possible for an independent podcast to make it into the Apple New and Noteworthy section?"

    Special thanks to Kris Emerson, host of the Excel Still More podcast, for sharing his experience getting into the New and Noteworthy section.

    The Apple Podcasts New and Noteworthy section is a common goal for new podcasters. The appeal is that if you can get your podcast listed there, you'll be able to grow your audience faster, build momentum, and ride that wave off into the sunset of your podcasting dreams.

    So... how exactly do you get in? In this episode, we'll share what we know and ask Kris, a fellow Buzzsprout podcaster, what he did to land in the New and Noteworthy section.

    What's the best strategy?

    The best way to get into the Apple New and Noteworthy section is to focus on getting a lot of listeners to subscribe to your show in Apple Podcasts in a short period of time. As a new podcast, your window to make this happen is typically 90 days from when you launch your first episode.

    At one point, many podcasters believed that it was the number of downloads or reviews you received that got you in the N&N section. But over time, as we've seen podcasters try and game the system, we've found that those aren't big indicators.

    Apply isn't spilling the beans on their process any time soon, but we DO know that an algorithm based on how many subscribers you get feeds possible selections to an Apple employee who ultimately determines how makes it in and who doesn't.

    Record your podcasting question at Speakpipe.com/Buzzsprout to be featured on a future episode.

    Review Podcasting Q&A in Podchaser to let us know what you think of the show.

    21 February 2024, 5:00 am
  • 3 minutes 48 seconds
    What are good stats for a new podcast?

    Letty from My Sweet Business with Letty Alvarez asks, "What kind of download stats can you expect with a new podcast?"

    Launching a new podcast is a lot of work and is something you should celebrate! It’s only natural to want as many people as possible to listen to it, but where should you place your expectations?

    In this episode, we’ll walk through 3 questions that will help you determine what your benchmark for success should be.

    1. Do you have an existing audience?

    If you’re starting from scratch, you should expect fewer downloads than someone who has 100,000 followers on Instagram.

    It’s okay if you’re just getting started, just set your expectations accordingly.

    2. How popular is your podcast subject?

    The reality is, some podcast topics have larger built-in audiences than others. As an example, True Crime podcasts are currently more popular than Home Gardening podcasts and will naturally have a larger audience.

    We would never recommend you start a podcast just to become popular, just recognize that the potential size of your audience is partially determined by how many people are interested in your subject matter.

    3. How good is your first impression?

    If you have a poor first impression, that will negatively impact your download numbers no matter how good your podcast is. You'll want to make sure you have hi-quality artwork (use a service like 99designs or Upwork to work with graphic designers), practice good mic technique for crisp audio, and use catchy episode titles to grab someone's attention.

    If you make a good first impression, and then back that up with great content, your podcast will grow.

    What's the average number of downloads?

    The average Buzzsprout podcaster gets around 50 downloads per episode. This is a great target for when you're first getting started!

    Record your podcasting question at Speakpipe.com/Buzzsprout to be featured on a future episode.

    Review Podcasting Q&A in Podchaser to let us know what you think of the show.

    20 February 2024, 2:00 pm
  • 10 minutes 1 second
    Best Podcast Recording & Editing Software

    Norman from Antifool asks, "What is the best way to record someone using a phone for a podcast interview?"

    In recent years the number of new software options for podcasters has increased quite a bit. Some of them are great for experience podcasters that want every bell and whistle imaginable. While others are focused on streamlining the process as much as possible.

    So in this episode, we'll share the pros and cons of the top five recording software options that we use and recommend at Buzzsprout to help you decide which one is best for you.

    1. Audacity

    Audacity is the most popular podcast recording and editing software in the world (and for good reason). It's free to download, it's available on Windows, MacOS, and Linux, and has the full suite of audio editing features.

    Just be aware that Audacity tends to be a bit buggy (like, won't work because Apple updates their OS kind of buggy) and does destructive editing. Destructive editing means that if you delete a portion of your audio and then save your project file, you can't get that audio back.

    2. GarageBand

    GarageBand comes pre-installed on just about every Apple device you can imagine (Macbook, iPad, iPhone, etc.). Like Audacity, it's free to use. Unlike Audacity, it's easy to learn quickly so you spend less time learning the software and more time editing your episodes.

    One thing to keep in mind is that GarageBand's export settings are severely lacking, so if Loudness Normalization or bit rate modes are important to you you'll need to pair it with some additional software.

    3. Alitu

    Alitu is an internet-based recording and editing software that makes it super easy to create episodes. You can automatically add your intro and outro to every episode, it applies mixing and mastering effects to your audio files as you upload them, and you can publish your episodes directly into podcast hosts like Buzzsprout.

    But all that efficiency and ease of use means there are fewer things to customize. So if manually setting your compression levels is important to you, look elsewhere. But if you are a busy podcaster looking for ways to speed up your workflow, Alitu is a great solution.

    4. Hindenburg Journalist Pro

    Hindenburg Journalist Pro is everything you could possibly need in a podcasting editing software. It's intuitive, easy to work with, and allows you to publish episodes directly to Buzzsprout.

    Because it's a pro-level software, Hindenburg Journalist Pro is a more sizeable investment, but if you're a Buzzsprout podcaster you can use the link in the Resources tab of your Buzzsprout account to get a 90-day free trial and test drive it for yourself before deciding if you want to invest in it longterm.

    5. Descript

    Descript takes a fresh and innovative approach to editing podcasts. Rather than generating a waveform of your audio files, Descript creates an accurate transcript of your recordings. Then to edit your podcast episode you just edit the words on the screen. How cool is that?

    Just make sure to listen back to your episode from start to finish before you export it as sometimes the algorithms aren't as precise as you'd like them to be.

    Record your podcasting question at Speakpipe.com/Buzzsprout to be featured on a future episode.

    Review Podcasting Q&A in Podchaser to let us know what you think of the show. 

    18 February 2024, 5:00 am
  • 4 minutes 34 seconds
    How to record phone calls for a podcast

    Krystal from The Proffitt Podcast asks, "What is the best way to record someone using a phone for a podcast interview?"

    It's not uncommon to have a guest interview lined up where the only microphone that person has access to is the one on their smartphone. In that case, you just want to keep things simple so your guest can focus on what they want to say and not on the tech involved.

    So in this episode, we'll share some coaching tips you can give to your guest to get better sound quality as well as several software options that allow you to record phone calls.

    Phone Call Recording Tips

    Tip #1: Make sure they are in a quiet space. Nothing ruins a recording faster than screaming children, barking dogs, our crazy amounts of echo. Help them find a quiet space with good acoustics (Heck! Tell them to go in their walk-in closet) to get a better recording.

    Tip #2: Have them use Apple Earbuds or something similar. Even if they don't own an iPhone (which comes with a free pair of headphones), chances are they know someone with a pair of Earbuds or AirPods. The directional microphone in these headphones is significantly better than the one on their phone and will help cut down on unwanted background noise.

    Tip #3: Make sure they have a solid internet connection or cell phone signal. No software can save you from a poor internet connection or cell signal, so make sure they have strong connection and you're hearing them clearly before you begin.

    Recording Software Options

    #1. Zoom.us (our favorite)

    Zoom is a really versatile platform. You can provide your guest a phone number that they can call in on or they can open up a Zoom meeting in the web browser on their phone. Plus the audio quality is significantly better than the other two options on our list.

    #2. Skype

    There's a good chance your guest is familiar with Skype and has used it in the past. Have them download the Skype app on their phone and join the interview that way. We recommend pairing Skype with audio recording software like Ecamm Call Recorder or Audio Hijack for best results.

    #3. Google Voice

    If you need something quick and easy the record a phone-to-phone interview, Google Voice is it. Just send your guest your Google Voice number (which is free to create), press 4 to start recording, then download the audio file when you're done.

    Record your podcasting question at Speakpipe.com/Buzzsprout to be featured on a future episode.

    Review Podcasting Q&A in Podchaser to let us know what you think of the show. 

    17 February 2024, 5:00 am
  • 4 minutes 35 seconds
    Podcast Marketing: Getting your guests to promote your episode

    Bill from Happy Valley Hustle asks, "How do you get your guests to consistently promote their podcast episodes?"

    Having guests on your podcast is one of our favorite marketing strategies. They have a great time sharing their expertise and, if everything goes well, they're eager to share it with their network of friends and followers. Unfortunately, guests are known to drop the ball in this area, so here are 3 tips to help your podcast guests share their episodes more consistently.

    1. Communicate early and often

    At first, you're going back and forth to schedule the interview, grab headshots for promotional graphics, and get links to their website. Don't drop the ball once the interview is over! Keep them in the loop about when their episode is coming out and reaffirm how much you appreciated them as a guest.

    2. Do all the heavy lifting

    If you want your guest to promote their episode on your podcast, you need to make things really easy for them. That means creating social media graphics they can share with their followers, writing a blurb for their email newsletter, and providing a direct link where people can listen to the episode. The more work you do for them, the more likely they are to share their episode.

    3. Sponsor an Episode of Their Podcast

    With this advanced strategy, offer to sponsor an episode of their podcast if they have one. You pay them to promote their guest appearance to their existing audience, talking all about your podcast, and a significant number will check out your podcast episode.

    Costs vary depending on the size of their podcast audience, so best practice is to ask them how much it would be to sponsor an episode or two of their podcast and then go from there.

    Special thanks to the Creating a Brand podcast for sharing their social media graphic and Visual Soundbite with us for the video version of the show!

    Record your podcasting question at Speakpipe.com/Buzzsprout to be featured on a future episode.

    Review Podcasting Q&A in Podchaser to let us know what you think of the show.

    16 February 2024, 5:00 am
  • 7 minutes 23 seconds
    Podcast Promotion: How do I get my podcast in front of more people?

    Jonathan from Halfwits & Failed Crits asks, "How do you promote a podcast?"

    One thing most podcasters don't realize is how much work it takes to grow your audience and find new listeners. Podcast marketing and promotion often take as much time as creating the podcast episodes themselves. The key to making any marketing strategy work is to find new listeners that would be interested in your podcast and telling them about it. Here are the top 3 strategies for promoting your podcast.

    1. Social Media

    Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit, Twitter, and Instagram are great places to find potential podcast listeners. Use each platform's built-in community tool, whether it's groups or hashtags, and start engaging with people. Leave helpful comments, establishing yourself as a trustworthy expert, and point people back to your podcast when prompted.

    2. Be A Podcast Guest

    Going on someone else's podcast is a great promotion strategy. The people listening to that show have already shown they're interested in the subject, so if you're able to spend 45 minutes to an hour demonstrating your expertise there's a high likelihood that good chunk of that podcast's audience will follow you to your show. Make sure the audience has a decent overlap with yours to ensure this strategy will actually work.

    3. Be Easy To Find

    Make sure your podcast is listed in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, and Stitcher. These directories make up close to 95% of all podcast listeners.

    For bonus points, use SEO keywords in your podcast name and episode titles to leverage the search function inside of each podcasting app and on Google.

    Learn more about Podcast SEO Strategy in this SEO-focused episode of Podcasting Q&A.

    Bonus. Overcast Ads

    If you have some budget and want to juice your subscriber count, run some ads on the Overcast podcast app. This puts your show in front of new audiences and tracks how many new subscribers you get as well. The ROI on Overcast ads consistently beats Facebook Ads and Google Adwords.

    Learn more about Overcast ads.

    Looking for some more promotion strategies? Check out our guide with more than 50 podcast marketing ideas.

    Record your podcasting question at Speakpipe.com/Buzzsprout to be featured on a future episode.

    Review Podcasting Q&A in Podchaser to let us know what you think of the show.

    15 February 2024, 5:00 am
  • 5 minutes 10 seconds
    Podcast Networks: Are they valuable? When should you start or join one?

    Jonathan from Halfwits & Failed Crits asks, "My question is about podcast networks. When should you start one, join one, or should you avoid them?"

    Many of today's most popular podcasts are a part of podcast networks. These networks pool together groups of shows for better access to sponsors, faster growth, and better exposure. They can be an excellent option for independent podcasters, but there are a couple of things to be aware of before signing on the dotted line.

    Pro #1: Easier access to sponsors. The truth is, unless you're getting upwards of 50,000 downloads per episode, you're not going to get much interest from sponsors. But when you bundle your show together along with a dozen others, now you can negotiate based on your collective downloads across the entire network.

    Pro #2: You may grow faster. One of the fastest ways to grow your podcast audience is by being a guest on other podcasts. Being a part of a podcast network means you'll be able to consistently land guest spots on multiple podcasts, exposing their listeners to your podcast and vice versa.

    Con #1: You will lose some creative control. When you join a podcast network, they will likely have the last word on what you can and can't discuss. If you cover explicit content or care about which sponsors you promote to your listeners, make sure you'll be a good fit for what the network is already doing.

    Con #2: You may lose ownership of your podcast. In addition to switching to your network's preferred podcast hosting platform, you may have to sign away the rights to your podcast to join the network. That means if you decide to leave the network at some point in the future, you can't take your podcast with you. Make sure to read the fine print.

    How to create your own podcast network:

    • Find a group of podcasts that appeal to similar audiences
    • Create an "informal" podcast network where you promote each other
    • Negotiate with sponsors using the collective sum of your podcast audiences

    Record your podcasting question at Speakpipe.com/Buzzsprout to be featured on a future episode.

    Review Podcasting Q&A in Podchaser to let us know what you think of the show.

    14 February 2024, 5:00 am
  • 7 minutes 8 seconds
    How to create a podcast intro your listeners will love

    Kwame from Negotiate Anything asks, "What are some things we should keep in mind when it comes to doing an introduction?"

    A well-produced podcast intro can increase the quality of your podcast, retain new listeners, and serve as a launching point for the rest of your episode. When done poorly, however, it can have the opposite effect.

    In general, there are three main things you want to communicate in your podcast intro - who you are, what your podcast is about, and why they should care. The first two are pretty self-explanatory ("Hi, my name is Travis Albritton. Podcasting Q&A dives into the tips and strategies independent podcasters need to take their show to the next level"), but the third element can really take your intro over the top.

    If you can effectively communicate the impact that your podcast will have on someone's life, you'll have new listeners subscribing at a constant rate. Will your podcast help them lose weight? Make more money? Save more money? Improve their relationships? Serve as an escape from the world? Identify how your podcast will make someone's life better and lean into it.

    The ideal length of a podcast intro is between 15 and 30 seconds. Long enough to say everything you need to say without dragging on unnecessarily.

    When looking for intro music, make sure you only look at royalty-free music. When a song or track is royalty-free, that means you can use that song in your podcast without having to pay the artist every time you use the song (and you won't be sued for copyright infringement).

    Check out our blog post with nine free royalty-free music websites to find the perfect song for your podcast.

    3x Pro-Level Royalty-Free Music Websites:

    1. Soundstripe (use the code in the Buzzsprout "Resources" tab for 15% off)
    2. Epidemic Sound
    3. Audioblocks

    Record your podcasting question at Speakpipe.com/Buzzsprout to be featured on a future episode.

    Review Podcasting Q&A in Podchaser to let us know what you think of the show.

    13 February 2024, 5:00 am
  • 4 minutes 15 seconds
    Podcast Reviews: How do I get more reviews? And how can I see them?

    Klaas from the RPG Heroes asks, "Do I need a custom website for my podcast?"

    While many podcasters are under the impression that getting more reviews in Apple Podcasts leads to a higher position on the podcast charts (or even inclusion in the New & Noteworthy section), those things are not influenced by the number of podcast reviews you have.

    So what purpose do podcast reviews serve? Podcast reviews are one way to see what your listeners think about your podcast and serve as "social proof" to encourage new podcast listeners to subscribe.

    The more 5-star reviews your podcast has, the more likely someone new is going to download an episode of your podcast and become a dedicated listener.

    The best way to track your podcast reviews is with www.MyPodcastReviews.com. There you can see all of your reviews, from every country, and every app that allows listeners to leave you a review (Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Castbox, and Podchaser).

    3x Strategies To Get More Reviews:

    1. Ask your audience at the end of each episode
    2. Read high-quality reviews in your episodes
    3. Run a review contest

    Record your podcasting question at Speakpipe.com/Buzzsprout to be featured on a future episode.

    Review Podcasting Q&A in Podchaser to let us know what you think of the show.

    12 February 2024, 5:00 am
  • 5 minutes 41 seconds
    Podcast Websites: Do I need to create one for my podcast?

    Brad from the Gay Mystery Podcast asks, "Do I need a custom website for my podcast?"

    Podcast websites have three main benefits. First, building a custom website frees you from the restrictions that the website your podcast host provides for you probably has. You can literally make it whatever you need it to be.

    Second, having a website will help you build your online brand or online business. You can use your podcast as free marketing to promote your products and turn your listeners into customers.

    Third, websites work on any internet-connected device. If you're going to confidently share a link that you know will work no matter what kind of phone, tablet, or computer someone is using, a link to your website is the one.

    That being said, most podcasters don't need a custom podcast website. If you just need a place for people to listen to your episodes and read your show notes, the website from your podcast host is just fine.

    4x Questions To Ask When Designing Your Podcast Website:

    1. What do you need your website to do?
    2. What is your budget?
    3. Are you going to hire someone to build your website?
    4. Which website building platform will you use?

    More Tips From Sarah:

    Record your podcasting question at Speakpipe.com/Buzzsprout to be featured on a future episode.

    Review Podcasting Q&A in Podchaser to let us know what you think of the show.

    11 February 2024, 5:00 am
  • 8 minutes 55 seconds
    Podcast SEO: How to grow your podcast with SEO

    Krystal from The Proffitt Podcast asks, "What's the most important information to look at when you're deciding on keywords for podcast SEO?"

    Search Engine Optimization (also known as SEO) is the practice of tailoring your online content in a way that's easy for search engines like Google to index and display in their search results. When done well, this means that more people find you without having to spend a dime on advertising.

    Podcast directories also use this kind of information when populating results in their apps. If you open up Apple Podcasts and type "Business Podcast" into the search bar, Apple combs through its entire catalog of podcasts and presents the top results based on what you searched.

    What is a keyword? It's the word or phrase that your target audience is searching in the search bar. Once you know what those words and phrases are, you can create episodes around them and separate yourself from other podcasts in your category.

    In short, podcast SEO is the key to reaching new listeners in your sleep without having to spend money on advertising.

    4x Steps To Optimize Your Podcast For SEO:

    1. Target relevant keywords and search terms
    2. Research the competition
    3. Make a complete answer
    4. Use accurate, keyword-friendly episode titles

    More Tips From Travis:

    • Use Upwork.com to outsource SEO research for your podcast by hiring an expert to come up with your list of relevant keywords to target for future episodes

    Record your podcasting question at Speakpipe.com/Buzzsprout to be featured on a future episode.

    Review Podcasting Q&A in Podchaser to let us know what you think of the show.

    10 February 2024, 5:00 am
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