10 Podcast Resolutions You Can Make (and Keep)

It’s a new year! The best part about the new year is that you can forget what happened last year and start anew. You can change up your show to hopefully bring in a new or expanded audience. But in order to do it, you must first make the resolution to do it. But what should you change? Hopefully this article will help out. I order what I believe to be the top 10 changes you can make to inject new life in your podcast.

podcast-music

Change the music to your intro

10. Change the music

Intro and outtro music is one of the best ways to bring new life into a show. Maybe you are looking to brighten up your show a bit – a good intro can change the mood of your podcast.

Did you know you can find intro music for as little as $2 on Pond5? There are many titles to choose from and the music is yours to use for your show (check the full agreement for terms of use).

You can also get a local musician or band to provide intro music. Just ask them! Most are happy to have the publicity.

calendar

calendar

9. Setting a new schedule

Have you always recorded on Mondays but feel another day would work better? Make the plan to reschedule your show now!

Television does it all the time for shows. They find by moving the show, the target demographic could get reached. While podcasting doesn’t have a set day-time to consume, you might still get a better audience if you release shows as certain times.

For example – I moved my iPad365 show to release at 4PM on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. These are actually the best times to release a video or audio podcast. Especially on Sunday – 4 PM is a downtime for most as they get ready for the work week. It also doesn’t conflict with prime-time, which still affects anything happening on the Internet.

You never know – people may even talk about your show on Monday morning at the watercooler…

Create a Podcast Intro

Get someone to do a voice-over for you!

8. Get a voiceover to Introduce you

Just like with music, adding another voice to your show might help spruce it up. Did you know you can get someone to give you high quality voiceover scripts with Fiverr.com? For $5, they will read most anything you want. Male, female, english, british or whatever you need for your show.

Get Artwork re-done

Get Artwork re-done

7. New Artwork

When was the last time you updated your show artwork? It might even be time for a new logo altogether. Especially if you haven’t updated your artwork to the iTunes recommended 1400×1400.

Fiverr.com once again is a great resource for getting ideas. You can poll your audience and barter for link love if someone creates something for you.

In 2013, many companies switched to a “Flat” logo look. Basically two colors with no shading or gradients. They also removed the rounded corners to utilize the square logo.

Podcast

Official Podcasting Icon

6. Update Your iTunes Information

Do you have a description on iTunes that has 5-10 words and starts with “A podcast about …” ? Did you know people might be skipping your show simply because the description is lacking?

Let people know how passionate you are! For my Day in Tech History podcast, the first line in my description is “I love history.” A positive and informational description can show how dedicated you are to your podcast.

If you are not comfortable with writing a description, then fear not! Enter in Fiverr again! For $5, you can get someone to write 100-200 word description of your podcast!

review

review

5. Get Honest Reviews and Show them Off!

One thing I always hate is any podcaster that would post in the message boards: “You give me a 5 star rating in iTunes and I’ll do the same for your show.” The point of iTunes rating is to not game the system, but to get honest reviews. People that listen and like your show.

When you do get a review, mention it on your next show. Good or bad (unless the content is NSFW) — because believe it or not, bad reviews bring more people and more reviews. “Hey! I got a review from listener3432 and he says…”

It might be difficult to get a review at first, but keep asking your audience to do it. Eventually, someone will. If no one does, then you might need to re-evaluate how you do your show.

Write a Book

Write a Book

4. Read a Book, Take a Course, or Get Some Help!

No one person knows everything about podcasting. There are a lot of cogs to this machine. If you don’t like the way your microphone sounds – if you don’t know your editing software that well, if you want to add another avenue of promotion to your show – then learn how to do it through books, forums, and one-on-one support.

I always cringe when someone says they want to podcast but don’t do {insert task here}. Most of us podcasters have to put together script, record, post-produce and post our own content. Some pay people to do editing or write posts. Nonetheless, the best way to understand how things work is to get your hands dirty with the task. That way if the world turns up in chaos, you can at least get your show out.

I have two great resources for you – The Podcaster Community at Google+ and my Podcast Coach Help at Google Helpouts. Both of these have free options to ask questions and get help. If you need a book, then check out all the Podcast books at AmazonThere are many options for beginners to those who need a reference manual.

Promote your Podcast

Promote your Podcast

3. Make an Effort to Promote Your Podcast

You might have used Facebook, Twitter or Google+ to promote your show. Did you know that if you put a fun image into your show notes and post on Pinterest, you might get a new audience?

Jennifer loves Reddit — although I personally don’t get into this social network. We are working on a plan to promote my shows through Reddit so it doesn’t feel like I’m spamming the community (which can get me banned).

Earlier this year I realized how spammy my Twitter profile was, so I changed how I used it. Not only did I start personalizing my posts, I also “pruned and grew the tree”. There are still pre-programmed link posts, but this new process has been helping me gain followers that interact. In fact, the last 6 months I was able to add another 1,500 followers to my account while I got rid of all those dead or spammy Twitter accounts.

I also joined Empire Avenue. The best part about this network is people will tell your worth simply by investing in you. This isn’t a measure in your podcast, but it can promote your show to new audiences.

2. Cleanup your Website, Archive Your Shows

Geekazine.com has been in operation for 6 years. In that time, I have moved the website to a new host, added and removed plugins and created thousands of posts for the show. I have also moved my old podcast audio to Archive.org so it has a permanent home. After all – I want to preserve my shows, but how many people listen to a news show from 2008?

There are many plugins I have added and removed from my site. From SEO, to analytics and even plugins that make posting my show easier. Two plugins I use religiously, though.

1. Search and Replace – This is great, especially if you add sponsorship information to a show. I can search for specific text and replace it. If you ever had a sponsor change affiliate companies, this plugin saves a lot of time in finding the bad links. I can also have the plugin look for the old URL of my audio and change it to the new location.

2. SEO Ultimate and the 404 monitor – Broken links are not good for your website. Being able to disable those links within a few clicks saves time and improves your search performance. Especially if your show episodes contain multiple news links.

Ditch Feedburner

Ditch Feedburner

1. Get Off Feedburner

Why is this so important? My latest Helpout call pretty much summed it up. He was concerned his latest episode was not showing up in iTunes. Further, he changed the description because he was in the “New and Noteworthy” section and wanted to optimize as much as possible. However, he had his RSS go through Feedburner and his show had not updated in the last 24 hours.

We went for about 30-40 minutes and I gave him some more information about the process of his show posting. Ultimately, a Feedburner post can take 2-3x longer to post than if it was not there.

An hour after we talked, the changes finally showed up in iTunes.

I’ll tell you another secret — Feedburner is ghosting (on cruise control or whatever you want to call it). That means the site is there, but only gets changed if there is a problem or a critical update that is needed. Looking at the Feedburner website, the last fix happened on 02-2013 and the last blog was when they turned adsense off in 2012.

What that means is if the site has a major crash, you might see longer waits for updates of your podcast – or your iTunes feed get disconnected and your subscribers left out in the cold. If you have any show that runs Expirable content (usually news podcasts where time is of the essence in posting), any delay could mean the loss of hundreds, or even thousands of listeners.

There are other services if you really don’t want to control your RSS feeds. The best situation is to run directly from your self-controlled RSS feed to iTunes. Need help with it — you can always ask on the community or through my Podcast Coach options I mentioned above.

Of course, there are other resolutions you can make for your podcast. The most important thing is to pick one or two so you don’t overwhelm yourself with changes. When you are comfortable with the change, then make another resolution. It doesn’t have to be at the new year.

Here is to your success in podcasting in 2014! Let me know how your show changes this next year!

Podcast-Resolutions

Podcast-Resolutions

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