This is part one of a two part series called Ask Me a Podcast Question. Man, I've done a lot of podcasts. There's five hundred and fifteen of my own here, and I don't know how many hundreds of others I've done recently on other people's podcasts, so I know a little bit about podcasting.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 515
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See Tom's Stuff – https://linktr.ee/antionandassociates[00:23] Tom's introduction to Ask Me a Podcast Question Part 1 [04:34] Podcasts are very popular [08:43] How to start a podcast [15:35] Intros, outros, show notes and transcripts [17:24] Equipment you need to do a great podcast
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Episode 515 – Ask Me A Podcast Question Part 1
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey everybody, it's Tom here with episode five hundred and fifteen of Screw the Commute podcast. This is part one of a two part series called Ask Me a Podcast Question. Man, I've done a lot of podcasts. There's five hundred and fifteen of my own here, and I don't know how many hundreds of others I've done recently on other people's podcasts, so I know a little bit about podcasting. We have a course on it too that can also get you featured on Screw the Commute here. So how do you like that? I also did another series, or I'm in the midst of a three part series on Pinterest. Oh my goodness, I went from 500 monthly views because I haven't paid any attention to it for years to twenty four thousand. So yesterday was twenty six thousand five hundred views per month in less than two weeks. By doing a little bit of stuff that I learned on a webinar with Daniel Hall and John Cramer. You got to listen to that thing. So anyway, next Monday. So I did beginner on two Mondays ago. Last Monday, I did an intermediate and I'll do advanced on this Monday, this coming Monday. And then on episode 513 and 512, I did a little series on speaking the business of speaking on one of the days and how to be great on stage on another one of the days, because if you're not great on stage, you can forget about the business of speaking.
[00:01:54] It won't get very far because word will spread that you suck and and I always have to throw this in. I get these people all the time. Tell me how great they are on stage and they just want the business end of it. And then I look at their their videos and I'm and I say this every time, folks, if you've heard this before, I'm sorry, but I say you're great on stage compared to what, you know, a lame donkey. You got to be professional level great and be able to handle anything that comes up and know what to do. And you know, you just can't get pats on the back at Toastmasters or church and and think that you're a professional. I mean, that's just stupid. All right. Make sure you get a copy of our automation e-book. It saves me tons of keystrokes and it knocks my workload down and just allows me to grab customers faster than my competitors because I'm fast. So grab a copy of that book at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. And while you're at it, pick up a copy of our podcast app at screwthecommute.com/app, and you can put us on your cell phone and tablet and take us with you on the road. All right, we're still going strong with our pilot program to help persons with disabilities get trained in digital and internet marketing. And then we're going to get them hired and or start their own business. And then I took a grant writing course. I'm going to roll it out really big to to get big companies and foundations and stuff to kick in money, to train lots of people with disabilities. So I'm trying to prove the concept right now, and it's going beautifully. So we'd love to have your help on this. We have a Go Fund Me campaign and you'll be really inspired when you see these people. Two of the three people enrolled so far are blind and so and they're making progress in an internet marketing school. Amazing and inspirational. And you can help these people out. And also, we're going to use some of the Go Fund Me money to hire people with disabilities to help run the program. So check it out at my school website. You know it's the Internet Marketing Training Center, Internet Marketing Training Center of Virginia, but it's distance learning so you can be anywhere. So it's IMTCVA.org/disabilities. It'll be in the show notes, but go over there and kick in whatever you can afford. And if you're really flush with cash, you can sponsor a person yourself. And that would make it really proud and you'd be the talk of the town.
[00:04:35] All right, let's get to the main event, the Ask Me a podcast question part one, so so Tom. Why are podcasts so popular? Well, here's the thing I think mine's been going almost three years now. And about three years ago, they started being able to put a paper, play podcasts. Out of the dashboard of new cars and for free. So this means hundreds and hundreds of millions more people have easy access to podcasts, so that was one thing that occurred. In fact, the listenership exceeded XM radio, which is a paid thing. All right. So that was one thing that kind of got me into it. And that'll pay off for you. The other thing is, is all these in-home devices like Amazon's Alexa and the Google in-home thing, I don't know what who's running that. Hey, Google, I think you say, Hey, Google or something. So there's another half a billion at the last. I checked those devices in there that you can just say, Hey Alexa, play Screw the Mute podcast and my podcast will start playing. So when I saw those kinds of markets opening up, I thought, This is great. And of course, all these things work for you and they're getting better all the time. And then an overriding principle on audio stuff is that.
[00:06:04] It's the only medium where you can learn or be entertained while doing something else. So people are doing these in the car, they're doing them while they exercise, while they walk the dog, you know, all that kind of stuff. So that's kind of why they're becoming so popular. Now, from your point of view, it makes you the expert, you can have product sales and speaking and consulting engagements, and you can get sponsors if you if you're so inclined. Now I don't want any sponsors. I'm a sponsor. I have so many products and services. I'm my own sponsor for every episode that's worth a lot more. See if you get a sponsor. They pay anywhere from 12 to twenty five dollars per thousand downloads per episode. Well, it's hard to get a thousand dollars per episode. You could be a year before you do that. I mean, you could get lucky and hit it off real quick. But then you got no revenue coming in if you had your own products and services, especially digital ones, which we teach you to do and my mentor program and my book mastermind and so forth. Then you can have money coming in from the first episode. So that's what we teach is that if you really want to monetize this thing or podcast, then you want to be your own sponsor. You can promote live events either in person or online events.
[00:07:33] And the other thing why it's popular is it's super cheap to get started. And you might, and there's over two million, two point two or two point three million podcasts out there. But you know, most of the people never make it to 10 episodes. We've done what is it's five hundred and fifteen today. All right, so. So with a little bit of persistence and doing it correctly in the beginning, so you don't get, I think they call it pod fade or pod exhaustion or something. You don't want to be too aggressive with this in the beginning, because until you get your act together where you can crank them out really fast and inexpensively. And you might already have the equipment you need, you might have a decent microphone and a decent computer and whatever you do, buy for this, if you buy a nice microphone, if you don't abuse it, it's probably going to last you years and years and years. So the payback is enormous and and you can make audio products too out of it. You don't have to just only use it for podcasting, saying. Ok, so that's why some they're so popular. All right, next question pretty general Tom, how do you start a podcast? Ok, all right. Let's get into it. Well, you've got to have a topic that somebody wants to hear about. That's first thing. And you need to come up with a title.
[00:09:02] Now there's lots of catchy, cute titles out there in podcast land. And that's great. If it's just catchy and cute, but if it doesn't tell people what it's about, you're going to have a harder time or it's going to cost you more to promote your podcast. Because people won't know what it is in a big list of other podcasts. Now if you can be cute and tell what it is like mine, screw the commute. If you have half a, you know, an IQ, half your shoe size, you can tell this is about quitting your job and becoming an entrepreneur. And it's cute and catchy, and it has a cute and catchy logo with a little screwy guy punching down on all the cars in in traffic, you know, so, so great. If you can be cute and clear, that's best. But if you had to only pick one or if you could only come up with one, it better be clear. What is this about? Now, the other the next thing is you have to come up with some graphics for this and and it's the the way you do it is very exacting. Now, I had at the time a guy working for me that was professional Photoshop level worked for big catalog companies for years. Twenty five years, experience with Photoshop and created all our magalong covers is just gorgeous work. Ok.
[00:10:35] It took us three tries to get accepted by. Apple Podcasts, I think it was called iTunes at the time. Because it's so exacting. But once we did it once. I mean, you could hire that out on five or something and make them guarantee it gets accepted before you pay him and all that. But that's really critical because it has to look good on most of the time, it's going to look good on cell phones, but you use the graphics on other things like your website and so forth, so you've got to come up with graphics to match your title. Then you have to decide, OK, how many episodes per week now? See, I had a staff and I have the skill of editing audio, which, by the way, anybody out there could get with just a little bit of effort. So you could totally do your podcast for free without paying for editing. But how many per week can you actually fit in? So I wanted maximum penetration and distribution. And I have a team to back me up and I have the skill to to edit, and I have enormous amounts of great guests because of my connection with the National Speakers Association. I have all kinds of topics. They got people that are really great, you know, and so forth. So. So I went to three episodes a week now. Would I suggest that for most people listening this? Absolutely not, because I got Larry as a back to backs up and does all the show notes.
[00:12:12] And after I sent him the the edited file, you know, he does all the manipulations to get it out there in the world. Now you'd have to do that yourself unless you pay somebody to do it. So I would start out with once a week, and I got to tell you even some of the biggest, baddest podcast on Earth, I won't name them right now have backed off on their number of episodes per week because it's just a lot of work. All right, so. So I would say one per week is perfectly fine to start with. A lot of places never do more than that and they achieve their goals. All right, so that's what you got to think about. Then you got to think about, am I going to do interviews or is it just going to be me talking or am I going to have a host or a co-host? Well, if that's the case, you better have a lot of coordination, because are they going to do it from their house while you're doing it from your house or you're going to be together in the same room? These are all things you've got to consider and the changes, the technology and the equipment and all that stuff, and then how you're going to monetize it. I just mentioned earlier that I'm my own sponsor because I have a bunch of products.
[00:13:24] Now you don't have to have a bunch of products. You could promote affiliate products and still make more than you would by trying to get a sponsor that doesn't even want you because you're too new. But you've got to think, how am I going to bring money in from this or I mean, if it's just a hobby, great, good. You don't have to worry about those kinds of things, but you'll get sick of it really fast. When you see the work involved to do it. Now, next thing is, where will you host it now? We use a company called Lipson Libs y n. It's the granddaddy of all podcast hosts. You definitely don't want to put these big audio files on your website, your cheap shared hosting because they'll stutter. They won't play right. You'll you'll lose subscribers instantly. Nobody will. Nobody will subscribe because it won't work well because the files are large. So it's so cheap. I mean, you can literally start for five dollars a month that Lipson and have the the highest quality delivery of your podcast, and it automatically sends your podcast out to all the podcast sites. I think we send it to 20 30 different places. Just by hitting one button, they so so you can't do that if you're just trying to hobble along on your own. Now we end up paying $20 a month so that we get I get up to four hundred megabytes of storage with.
[00:14:54] If you make three files, that's plenty for my 12 episodes. Once in a while, I go over and they charge me a little bit extra. I get full analytics. I see how many people and where they're from, you know, all that stuff. I don't get the exact people that are listening, but I see what countries and and how many downloads and all that stuff. And the and you have to understand that it's not exactly exact numbers because they're listening off your website. I mean, there's all play, you know, kind of it's just I can't even explain it, but I don't really care because it's working for me. But but the the download numbers are not going to be exact. All right. Ok, let's see what else we want to talk about here. Oh, you got to consider intros and outros. Are you going to have a voiceover or you're just going to start talking for each episode or you're going to have music? It has to be royalty free music copyright free. You've got to figure that through your website. Are you going to have a website to match it? If so, before you pick the name of it, you better make sure you can get the domain name and the social media that's involved in it. So this might sound daunting, but I mean, you do a lot of this stuff once and you're done with it, all right, if you get an intro and outro made.
[00:16:15] I got mine from Mike Stewart, the internet audio guy. I got the voiceover from Fiber. Put them together. And I was one time, three years ago, and it's the same one every time. So which you want to be consistent? And so it's recognition. If people hear that noise, they pretty much know it's my podcast. Then you've got to consider show notes, see, because people are listening on the run. It's hard for them, you know, to click links and do stuff while if they're doing something else. So you want to have everything you talk about available in the show notes and then you can have the full transcript available. But here's a trick you can make them have to opt in for that and that build your email list. Say. And then another thing, a podcast player on your site, so the one we have. Does cool things, you can fast forward it, you can go back 15 seconds or forward 30 seconds or whatever. All these little things that'll do. And you can download it if you don't want to listen on the site. That's where I'm saying that the download numbers at Lipson don't always match what's happening, you know, overall with your number of listens. Ok, so next question is is, well, what kind of equipment do I need? Tom from the cheapest to the greatest.
[00:17:38] Well, you need a dynamic microphone and dynamic, I'm not just not using it as an adjective that that says that it sounds really great and, you know, upbeat, no dynamic is is the type of microphone as opposed to a condenser microphone. And I did the first 300 episodes with a condenser, a high quality condenser microphone I had. But I got to tell you, I really learned my lesson because I had to spend enormous amounts of extra time editing out breaths and stuff that every little noise on Earth it would pick up because it's super sensitive a condenser mic. So unless you're in a highly controlled actual studio with soundproofing and all that stuff, you don't want that for a home studio podcast. You want to condenser, excuse me, you want a dynamic microphone and it sounds great, but the it just doesn't pick up all the little little crap that you don't really want in your thing. So. And from cheapest, you'd want to get a USB one so it plugs right into your computer and you don't have to get a whole bunch of extra equipment because the question was from the least expensive to the greatest. Now I happen to be using a a four hundred dollar dynamic microphone that's got professional connections, so it has to go through a computer interface. That's another thing that then hooks to the computer because the connection these three prong things, sometimes called cannon, sometimes called XLR, won't plug directly into the computer.
[00:19:28] So it has to go into this interface that takes those professional connections and takes them into USB to go into the computer. Now, speaking of computers. All right. I originally had thought I was going to learn Windows 10 by just buying a Windows 10 laptop. And using it exclusively for the podcast, and then I'd learn Windows 10, which, you know, I'd have to eventually move to because of my Windows seven computer. That I work on all day. Oh, man, it was this is the mistake of all mistakes and. I'll tell you now, if you were just recording one thing, just you into a Windows 10 laptop, you could probably get away with it, but I've had people tell me the audio. There's so many different audio settings and they change on you for no apparent reason that even even that simple method with a USB mic plugged into the laptop. People had trouble. They just it wouldn't recognise the microphone. You couldn't hear anything. You know, it was just trouble, trouble, trouble. So I went down to the Mac place and I said if I was going to shoot a Windows 10 laptop, should I use a shotgun or a pistol? They said both. So I bought a used Mac, a 2011 iMac three years ago, so it was already eight or nine years old for nine hundred dollars.
[00:21:08] And it's worked perfectly, not one glitch in three years and five hundred and fifteen episodes perfect. Ok, so I'm going to suggest that you buy a refurbish or used Mac if you're on a tight budget or get a new one. And also when we talk about computers, we have to address. The software for editing. So if you have a Mac, you already have GarageBand, which is very good, high quality audio editor. It's a little more complicated because it's designed for bands and it has, you know, for horn section and strings and all this stuff you don't need for the spoken voice, other ones. Free software is audacity. Lots of people use audacity. Free. Totally free. Some paid ones or sound forge. I happen to use Adobe Audition and Pro Tools. A lot of people in movies, you know, use high quality audio for that. But you've got to have that microphone is the start to start the whole thing off. And you know what, none of this matters if you don't have a good recording environment. In other words, a quiet place to do it and where sound isn't bouncing off the walls and everything, so I'm going to address that in Part two Friday, along with the marketing of your podcast and all those those kinds of things. But anyway, back to equipment. So you've got to have the dynamic microphone and you have to have a thing to hold it.
[00:22:47] You don't want to hold it in your hand. So we have a scissors. Boom is handy because you can clamp it to your desk. You just look, look at these in Amazon. I think the scissors boom, my guy costs 20 bucks and and it came with a pop screen, which is one of those circle things that keep you from when you say the word P. If you hold your hand in front of your mouth, I'm doing right now pee. I can feel the air hitting my hand. That's like a sledgehammer hitting the the pickup thing on the microphone, so the pop screen helps stop that. And also some technique you can talk at an angle across the mic instead of talking directly into it. That also helps keep the pops down because you can't really edit those out very well. You got to really be slick to do it, and sometimes you just can't. So it's better to not have them in the first place. Anyway, you need something to hold the microphone. And you could have a regular mic stand, but if it's just a regular straight up and down mic stand like you'd see a stand up comic or something like that. Well, it's right in between your legs and you're going to have notes in front of you and handling the computer and stuff. So it's best to get a boom, which is a horizontal section that goes on top of the mic stand.
[00:24:08] And then that the mic stand is off to the side and the boom just sticks in front of your mouth. Now you probably should wait down the mic stand so it doesn't tip over on you. But all that you know you get a bag of gravel and put it on there. Ok, so if you want to up your ante a little bit. Next piece of equipment you could use is a compressor limiter noise gate. Now this can be done in software, you just have to learn how to do it, but it's it's I happen to have a piece of equipment cost about one hundred and fifty bucks compressor limiter noise gate. Ok, so let me explain what those items are. I'll do the easy ones. First limiter just means if you talk real loud, it doesn't distort the audio, so it gives a certain amount. If the volume is too high, it's going to cut it off so it doesn't distort your audio. The noise gate is the other end. It's I can turn a little, not a dial or knob. And listen in my headphones, and it'll cut out all the really low end noise in my room. So if a fan, if the air conditioning was on or there's just a natural low noise level in your room. You can just cut it out, so annoy.
[00:25:31] It's a gate, in other words, something has to be louder than a certain amount before it lets it through at all. That's a noise gate. And then the compressor. All right, this is the one you got to kind of picture in your mind as I explain this. So the compressor? Is pretend or hold your hand out your right hand out with your palm facing up and pretend there's a balloon sitting on it and then take your left hand with your palm facing down on top of the balloon and press it together a little bit. Picture that in your mind. Well, that's what a compressor does. It compresses the high end and the low end of your signal into the middle, more into the middle. Well, why would you want to do this? Well, because the way people listen to these things are on a lot of times little earbuds, and they're on noisy environments like trains and planes and automobiles and things like that. And so if everything is pushed into the middle range, it's easier for them to hear it clearly if you didn't do this. The highs and the lows, they'd have trouble hearing them and then they're probably going to unsubscribe because if they can't hear a podcast, guess what? They're going to unsubscribe. So that's a compressor limiter noise gate. Again, you can do it with software. You just have to learn how to do it.
[00:26:59] Or you can buy a piece of equipment that just does it for you automatically. The next thing you could upgrade to is a mixing board with effects. Now I kind of. Almost wish I wouldn't have bought such a fancy one, I have a Yamaha IMG 12 X2 and one of the things I wanted was a FedEx, so I could, I don't know, there's a whole. There's a whole bunch of things where I can, you know, make a gong go off, you know, like kind of like a fancy radio show. I never used them once in five hundred and fifteen episodes. You know, I killed myself to get this fancy mixing board, just so in part, to have those effects. Didn't need it. Don't use them. Maybe you might, but I don't. Now, what is a mixing board, well, any time you have more than one microphone involved. So if you have a. You know, two or three people in a studio or in your home studio. All on microphones, they have their own microphone, but they have, you know, one person might be real loud, one person might be soft, one person is in the middle. Well, you can adjust the volume separately when they go into the mixing board and then put out one signal into the recording. But if if you didn't have that, your recording would be loud and soft and people have to turn their volume up and down and they think you're an idiot, so.
[00:28:28] So that sort of mixing board does. So that's how you get a podcast started. Basic equipment and you have to think about all those things, their name and how you're going to edit it, or if you're going to learn to do it yourself, what software you're going to use. But again, all these decisions made one time pretty much. And yeah, it's a little bit of a hassle, but great. You know, three years later, I've got five hundred and fifteen episodes that have brought me enormous amounts of money in various ways. And. We got me. Hey, I forgot to tell you about this, I got me invited to the White House by one of the tips. I'm going to give you next on Friday on the marketing, and I got invited to the White House and I got a speaking engagement at a place where I had no business getting invited and it went beautifully. And it's met a lot of business say so. So anyway, we'll tell you about that on Friday. That's my story. And I'm sticking to it. Please visit IMTCVA.org/disabilities, kick in something for our Go Fund Me campaign and help these folks out and watch their videos. Amazingly inspirational in their blind making these videos. So that's my story, and I'm sticking to it. I'll talk to you Friday about part two of Ask Me a podcast question. See you later.