The one where I explain my process for creating a podcast episode.
Hello and welcome to episode 20 of the Creative Me podcast. Thank you for joining me.
Today’s show is all about how a podcast episode is made.
This show is ideal for anyone interested in getting into podcasting, but also anyone who is curious about what has to happen for an episode to go live. It’s a sneaky peek behind the scenes.
Please note, this is an approximate transcript of the episode – it’s how I speak, not how I write Thanks for understanding.
Links to equipment and resources can be found in the free downloadable workflow at the end of this post.
Every episode starts with an outline. I tend to start my basic outline in Workflowy and then move into Google Docs.
When the outline is in place I gather my recording tools:
Links to exact products are included in the free podcast workflow download at the end of this post.
I’ll then record the audio in Garageband referring to my outline on my iPad. I listen through to the audio in Garageband and edit as needed. I’m specifically listening to breaks in the audio because, in order to pause, I hit the spacebar and it tends to make a popping sound. I listen to the breaks in the audio and I edit anything necessary.
After that, I download the audio as an MP3 and name the file consistently. All of my files are named ‘episode-number.mp3’. I listen to the MP3 just to make sure everything has downloaded correctly.
This whole process would take me, on average, half an hour. So that’s the outlining, gathering tools, getting set up and recording and editing the audio. That’s based on roughly 15 minutes of audio.
After that, it’s time to make a start on the show notes and accompanying images.
Show notes are an expanded version of the outline, ideal for someone who has not listened to the audio. They read more like a blog post.
My show notes include a one sentence summary. I also include subheadings, and these are formatted <H1> which is good for SEO. I add hyperlinks.
The show notes are transferred to WordPress using a tool called Wordable (formerly Postable). Wordable is a one-click solution for transferring draft blog posts created in Google Docs to WordPress.org.
Next, it’s time to create images for the show notes. I create my images using Canva. I previously used Photoshop but Canva is web-based and easy-to-use. It has templates at the correct sizes for social media imagery so I highly recommend it.
I create images for Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook/Google+ and Twitter. The specific sizes can be found in my free podcast workflow checklist at the end of this post.
Next I need to do something with my MP3 file.
If you’re thinking about creating a podcast you need somewhere to host your files. You need somewhere for your audio files to live, so people can listen to them and download them.
If you are, for example, a WordPress.org user, you will already have a hosting solution because it’s a self hosted blogging platform. However, it’s not necessarily a good idea to host your audio files in the same place as your website.
I host my audio files with Libsyn. They are a fantastic company; all they all they do is podcast hosting. They are experts in their field.
I upload the audio file to Libsyn. I’ll also upload the square image I created for Instagram because Libsyn has a spot for a thumbnail image and the sizes work okay.
I’ll copy the show notes from WordPress across to Libsyn; I set the show to ‘clean’ (i.e. no swearing) and I’ll hit publish.
Once the show has published on Libsyn, I copy and paste the Libsyn audio player into WordPress. I use the custom audio player because I rather like the look of it and you have the opportunity to change an accent colour (I opt for #000000 black).
Now it’s time to perform some checks on the blog/podcast post.
I use a fantastic plugin for search engine optimisation call Yoast and through that plug-in I’m able to check the readability and the search engine optimisation of the show notes.
I also use a plugin called Better Click to Tweet. Using this enables me to create a little box that has a ‘Click to Tweet’ message. This allows social sharing to take place easily.
I add a feature image which is, again, the square Instagram image I created. I pop the Pinterest image to the very bottom of the show notes, centred.
Then it’s time to PUBLISH!
After publishing I like to create a redirect URL to make referring to the location of the podcast episode easy. For example, you’ll find this episode at martineellis.com/20. I do this using the plugin called Redirection.
At the time of writing I use Buffer. I have been trying out Coschedule and I’ll be in a position to feedback on that soon. But for now, Buffer is my tool of choice.
I share to Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Twitter and Instagram, pretty much in the same fashion, although for Twitter, I use the Buffer Power Scheduler, allowing Buffer to pick the times.
That’s my podcast workflow.
It’s a lot of work. To make life as easy as possible for you, I’ve created a Google Doc outlining this entire workflow, including links to all the equipment and resources I use.
If you’re a wannabe podcaster, or someone who already has a podcast and would like to review their own workflow, then this is for you. Pop your details in the form at the end of this post to get your free download.
That’s it for me on podcast the stuff, but before I go, don’t forget to check out my new book club.
I hope you’ll tune in next time; thanks for listening.
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The one where I share 5 essential tools for small business owners.
Please note, the text that follows is a transcript (virtually word for word). It’s how I speak, not how I write, so (ahem…) the English isn’t brilliant! Thanks for understanding.
Hello and welcome to episode 19 of the Creative Me podcast. You didn’t have an episode from me last week. I took a week off after the last, lengthy, but value-packed, episode. It was a pleasure to interview the fabulous Frank of WorkFlowy fame. I hope you’ve had a chance to listen to that episode. If you haven’t, I highly recommend it.
Today’s episode is also value-packed. I have 5 essential tools for small business owners to share with you. These are all tools I use so I can talk about them with a degree of authority. I highly rate all of the tools I’m sharing with you in today’s episode. Some of them will be useful even if you’re not a small business owner, so keep listening.
The first tool I’m going to share is relatively new to me, but over the past few weeks, I’ve had great success with it. The tool is called Trello.
Trello has been around for some years, and I feel slightly disloyal mentioning Trello given that it is considered to be a productivity tool and I spent quite a while in the last episode extolling the virtues of WorkFlowy! Now, can I just say, I still love Workflowy, just in case Frank’s listening. I’m not using Trello as an outlining tool, I’m using it for something completely different. Before I explain that, let me tell you what Trello is.
Trello is essentially a bunch of different boards; I’m thinking of boards in the Pinterest sense of the word. What you do is on each board, you can create lists, and each list is comprised of cards. From a productivity perspective, each board looks a bit like a Kanban board. You can do Kanban within WorkFlowy too actually.
You might have a list called “To do” and then another list called “doing” and then a third list called “done” and gradually you move tasks from left to right. Trello’s quite difficult to explain verbally. I think the best thing for you to do is check it out to get a sense of it yourself. It’s a free tool. There is a paid upgrade, but the paid upgrade doesn’t give you that much extra, so like WorkFlowy, the free option is spot-on.
I’m using Trello to handle client tasks. I create a board for each client, and I give the client access. Then, I map out all of the elements of the project I’m working on for them. I tend to have a to do, doing, done and then an important documents list. Within each card, you can have things like checklists, links, images, Google Docs, all that sort of thing. By giving my clients access to their particular Trello board, they can not only see the progress I’m making but chat with me as well on each card, on each task.
This has worked well with several clients recently. It’s a bit tricky if the client doesn’t already use Trello, but that being said, my last client didn’t use Trello but now does because she thought it was quite a fabulous tool.
One of the benefits of handling client communication via an app like Trello is you keep it out of your email inbox. You can, of course, set up notifications. There are apps for your devices for Trello as well. It’s a really interesting tool to use as a client portal.
It also has potential for content and social media scheduling.
Keeping track of your expenses and the time you spend working for clients is all really important stuff. So you need a decent accounts app to handle that for you. I have recently started using FreeAgent. Historically, I’ve always used KashFlow; it’s great, and it met my needs. They have put their prices up recently so it prompted me to look around at other products, just in case I could find something better. And I am pretty sure I did!
I do still rate KashFlow, but FreeAgent seems to do everything KashFlow did for me and more. It has a far more user-friendly, jargon-free interface. I’ve just started using it. I finished my free trial, and I’ve signed up for to pay monthly for it. It’s $10 a month. I think that increases after 6 months.
I find accounting, oh, and invoicing and all that stuff just a headache. FreeAgent seems to make it fun, and that’s saying something. If you’re looking for a small business accounts type package, I would say FreeAgent is worth a look. Do the 1-month free trial. See what you think. It’s particularly good for freelancers who need to track their time and charge that on to clients.
My next must-have tool for small business owners and freelancers would be Google Apps for Business. I’m a massive fan of using Google Docs in particular and Google Drive to share and collaborate on documents with both business partners and clients. Also, you can have an email associated with your domain, so for example, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, and that’s based on a Gmail account, but I’ve attached it to my martineellis.com domain. It just looks so much more professional for a small business owner.
On the subject of emails, my next essential tool, number 4, for small business owners is the app Inbox by Gmail.
It is a Google product, linked directly to Gmail. It’s so much easier to manage when you use Inbox by Gmail. The best feature of this app for me is the ability to snooze, or rather delay the receipt, of emails, and this means that inbox zero is easier to achieve. Inbox Zero for me is nirvana, so a big fan of Inbox by Gmail.
My fifth and final essential tool for small business owners is the email service provider ConvertKit. There are lots of different options for email marketing. MailChimp was my first, and it is a really good starting point. You start for free with MailChimp and then once you reach a certain point, you have to start paying. One of the downsides of MailChimp is that you’ve got no way to tag subscribers relating to their interests. You have to segment them. Once they’re segmented, it’s my understanding that you get charged for them all over again, and that just doesn’t make sense.
ConvertKit is intuitive and has some amazing automation that just make life a lot easier. ConvertKit is a paid service, but I very much see it as an investment in my business.
That’s it from me for today. Those are your 5 essential tools for small business owners. I hope you found that interesting. I’d love to hear what your 5 essential tools are. Are you using different apps to me? Please let me know. I would love to explore other options. Until next time, thanks for tuning in. I hope you’ll tune in next week.