Google has recently released Google Podcasts Manager, which makes it easier than ever to submit your podcast to Google Podcasts. Once your podcast has been indexed by Google and is viewable in Google Podcasts, you can monitor and analyze your listener data on Google Podcasts Manager.
If you have a podcast and website (which you automatically do if you’re hosted with Podbean!), you can likely already be found there. Podbean’s sites are optimized so they meet Google’s requirements. Thus, any podcast using the combination of podcast hosting and website from Podbean will automatically fit all the Google specifications. However, it is still not viewable in Google Podcasts, Google Podcasts Manager makes it easy for you to verify ownership of your podcast and have your podcast indexed by Google.
Here’s how to use Google Podcasts Manager to index your podcast.
Enter your podcast’s RSS feed, then click Next Step. If you’re hosted with Podbean, you can find your RSS feed by logging into your account and navigating to Settings – Feed. Also note that your podcast must have at least one published episode in order to proceed.
Google will show you a preview of your RSS feed.
In order to verify your ownership, a verification code will be sent to the email address that’s associated with your podcast. You should receive an email with a verification code. Type in this code in Google Podcasts Manager to proceed. If you logged in using the email address that’s already associated with your podcast, Google will not need to send a validation code.
Your ownership of your podcast has now been verified. You should also see a message from Google stating “We’ve submitted your show to Google’s Podcast Index”. This is how to submit your podcast to Google Podcasts. Please note that Google states that the indexing process should take up to five days or longer.
When it comes to your classroom, communication is key. You want to ensure that you are properly reaching your students – and only your students. No matter the day and age, you want a tool that will ensure that no one but your students will have access to your material and curriculum, and Podbean Livestream’s unlisted feature is the ideal tool for the job.
Host Your Classes Online
Podbean Livestream allows you to deliver an audio only livestream to a large volume of listeners. You can ensure that your students can listen no matter their circumstances. With the unlisted feature, you can make sure that your students are the only ones that can access the livestream.
Podbean Livestream features a live chat feature that allows students to chat with you directly in the interface. You can also enable or disable the call-in feature for your students, thus allowing a classroom-like setting without worrying about everyone being in the same location at the same time. And if for any reason someone attempts to crash your livestream, there is a block button readily available.
No matter a student’s circumstances, they should still be able to get the educational materials and get the chance to interact with their peers. Podbean Livestream’s unlisted feature provides the opportunity for both students and teachers to keep up classroom interactions.
Give Students Extra Time for Review and Study Halls
Your students could have outside situations that impede their ability to come to a class scheduled during normal school hours. They may need extra help or extra time with you to get the material. With Podbean Livestream’s ability to schedule a livestream at any time, it gives you the maneuverability to host them at any time, for any reason.
With Podbean Livestream’s unlisted feature, you can host livestreams at any time with the focus being on reviews, study halls, or general office hour-esque questions. Students can ask questions that are then answered for the benefit of everyone in the livestream (or even for the benefit of those that could be listening later if you upload your livestream post-broadcast).
You can also hold livestreams for review and study hall sessions. These can offer your students chances for collaboration and conversation surrounding the material. They can receive help from each other during the stream, as well as getting their questions answered by you.
You can also give your students the opportunity to teach the material through the call in feature. Whether it’s to one fellow student or the entire livestream class, they can demonstrate their knowledge to you while cementing their own knowledge of the material.
One of the best ways to accommodate a wide variety of issues is to offer a mobile option for their learning. With Podbean Livestream, they can easily tune in to listen, chat, or call in from their mobile device no matter where they’re located.
Podbean Livestreams are accessible from an iOS or Android device using the Podbean App. By marking your livestream as unlisted, you get the added benefit of security, knowing that the only people in your livestream are the students you’ve invited.
This mobility gives your students flexibility with how they learn, from giving them the option to attend while they’re traveling or commuting to letting them multitask while they listen to a lecture. The mobility of audio-only livestreaming allows your students to find the best way for them to learn and engage with the material.
Remotely Record Your Content
Podbean Livestream’s unlisted feature serves both as a tool to connect with your students, and a tool to remotely record content to push as a podcast episode. Simply launch an unlisted stream, record your content, and then download it after the stream has ended to edit as you see fit, or publish directly into your Podbean feed.
Podbean Livestream allows you to create a recording on either your desktop and mobile device. With this method, you are able to record without worrying about the lack of intricate recording equipment becoming a roadblock between your students and your content.
Education and the paths it takes are forever expanding as students and teachers alike encounter new situations and learning styles. Podbean unlisted livestreaming aims to assist teachers as they look for new ways to reach and help students as they encounter new methods for learning.
For May, our top three live stream hosts will receive prizes by way of Golden Beans, Podbean’s virtual currency, that can be cashed out via PayPal. We will also be highlighting our top ten livestreamers via our social media channels. The prizes will be:
Virtual yacht (Golden Beans value – 24000)
Double virtual diamond (Golden Beans value – 5000 x2)
You put a lot of effort and time into your podcast, crafting it to be the best it can be. However, sometimes you find that your engagement might not be where you want it to be, or that your audience is more stagnant than you would like. We’ve identified three common pitfalls for the modern podcaster, and what you can do to avoid them so that your podcast can flourish.
1. How Active Is Your Audience?
Challenge: While you are creating and publishing content, your audience is passive and doesn’t do much beyond just listen to the episode – no reviews, nothing on social media, etc.
Solution: Activate your community.
While your podcast exists to inform and entertain, you can also make it a conversation. Actively invite your listeners to answer questions or submit things they’d like to hear about on your podcast, and make a point of mentioning their questions or topics in your next shows. By responding to them in your podcast, they’ll see that you’re really listening, and looking to make your podcast more collaborative.
Think about the “why” behind your podcast and how this relates to building a community. Create reasons why listeners would want to engage and be part of the community as active participants. Make it easy for them to do, for example taking comments various ways and even having a podcast voice mail where they can leave messages or occasional live streams where they can chat or call.
The same thing goes for your social media channels. While having these accounts allows you to spread the word about your new episodes and content, they also allow you to connect with your listeners and fellow podcasters. Post fun pictures, jokes, questions, or other pieces of content that invite interaction. Social media feeds in which you post nothing but updates about your latest episodes create the atmosphere of an account that’s strictly for updates and nothing more. By posting content that asks questions or invites interactions from other users, you show that you are a podcaster that truly wants engagement and a good experience for the listeners.
We’ve spoken of this before in one of our articles giving tips on podcast promotion, but keep in mind that first impressions are crucial. Your social media channels make you the public face for your podcast, so how you handle interactions and conversations on these platforms will color how potential listeners think of your content.
2. Where Is Your Audience Located Online?
Challenge: You’re spending more time than you’d like on crafting posts for social media, which is detrimental to your content. You may not be spending enough time on your actual content: your podcast
Solution: Consider what your personal bandwidth is and where your listeners engage most online. This is different for different podcast audiences. There comes a point in which you need to take a step back and take into consideration what social media accounts you prefer working with, which ones can be automated, and how you might need to adjust your posting schedule to balance efforts.
Previously, we’ve published content regarding the best times to publish on the top social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) and the amount of times you should be posting per day. While keeping these things in mind, we definitely recommend post-scheduling tools like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite for Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms. These tools allow you to schedule posts so you can prep your podcast’s social media for the week (or even the month) and not worry about having to go in and type out new posts every morning. Some will even automate repurposing content for you.
Podbean also has built-in social share tools that automatically push posts to various social media platforms, and other sites like WordPress offer similar automatic sharing tools. Explore your chosen platforms, and investigate the settings to see where you can automatically cross-post and push to other platforms when you post to your main ones.
In cutting down your social media channels (or converting where you can to automatic posting), do ensure that you still take the time to check interactions on your main platforms. By focusing efforts, you can actually free up more time for meaningful interactions where you get the best results.
3. How Do You Organize Your Content?
Challenge: Your audience varies; this week’s episode gets hundreds of views while last week’s only delivered a dozen or so. You try to change topics to drive more people to your content, you’re not sure what method works the best.
Solution: Consistency can be what your listeners are looking for. This doesn’t mean that you need to rehash the same episode topic for the next batch of episodes, but it does mean that you need some sort of regularity within your show. It helps listeners know what to expect and to gain a sense of familiarity with your podcast.
Figure out your main areas that you cover, and turn them into segments that your listeners can come to depend on appearing in the show. If you do a sports podcast, cover news in relation to the sports, then cover your opinions on what’s happening. If you do a book podcast, cover new releases, industry news, and reviews. Some podcasters even name these segments (clever names that almost make listeners feel like they’re “inside your circle” can be fun) and use transitions to distinguish them and build a flow.
By segmenting your podcast episodes, you’re giving your audience a roadmap by which they can navigate your content, and creating a level of dependability. Your listeners will know that you’ll have a segment on news and a segment on you and your cohosts’s opinions, for example. Some podcasters even name these segments (clever names that almost make listeners feel like they’re “inside your circle” can be fun) and use transitions to distinguish them and build a flow.
This will also help streamline your show when you record and edit it – it gives direction for you to write your shownotes, and keeps you on track if you happen to lose concentration while you’re recording. Rather than being restrictive, episode uniformity can help you stay creative within a formula that works for you and your listeners.
Podcasting is a wild and varied form of media, with room for all sorts of podcasters and podcasting content. What works for one podcaster might not work for another. However, these pitfalls are something that any and every podcaster can be on the lookout for, and the solutions are methods that can be implemented by all content creators, regardless of experience or content genre. By taking advantage of these solutions, you can ensure that your podcast takes as smooth a path as possible to your podcasting goals.
When it comes to your patrons, there are a wide variety of backer rewards that you can offer. There are specific rewards that patrons will seek out, or join your specific patron program to gain access to. We’ve listed off 5 of the most popular patron rewards that fans look for, and what you can do to implement them in your own patron program.
With a patron-only livestream, you ensure that only those who support you and your patron program have access to these streams! By simply setting your livestream as ‘unlisted’ in Podbean Live, no one can access the stream unless they have a link directly from you. The livestream is not listed in the app, nor will anyone be able to enter it unless they do so through the link you send them.
The exclusivity of such an encounter – being that they are interacting directly with you via the live-chat and the call-in feature – means that more people would subscribe and donate to your patron program in order to gain access to you and your streamed content.
Whether it be a sticker on a water bottle, a shirt to wear to your favorite comic-con, a keychain to hang off your backpack, or a pin to stick to your lanyard, people love to rep their favorite sources of entertainment. (Or even their favorite company – Podbean loves making stickers and folks love having them, so those are a win-win in our books!)
If your listeners are subscribing to your patron account, that means that they’re willing to put money towards you and your content – meaning that they would love to rep your work outside of the internet. Take your patron program as a way to test out merch designs, as well as get feedback and run votes for what sort of merch they’d like to see. You can also create patron-exclusive merch.
This is also an opportunity to give out things like discount codes for your online shop, so that those who may not have received a free item from you on their tier can still have access to the wonders of your podcast merch.
3. Homemade Swag
Patrons, by and large, subscribe to you because they like you and your content, and want to help you make more. This means that they’d appreciate any gift from you, no matter how big or small. If you find yourself as more crafty and homebrew with your patron rewards, your backers will surely love to open mail from you containing homemade gifts.
Some things we’ve seen program-runners make and send out:
Clay pieces (small figures to coffee cups)
4. Services/One-On-One Time
Your patrons join your patron program because they care for you and your content. Your patrons want to hear more from you! They may also see you and your success as a sign that you are capable of teaching them to replicate your journey to success.
Offering services or one-on-one time with your patrons will reach to your patrons who want to learn and know more about what you do. Providing these extra services will foster deeper relationships with your patrons.
Examples of some services to offer:
Voice-over tidbits (IE giving a character/word amount for your patrons to send you that you then record yourself reading for them)
Lessons/feedback on a patron’s work
One-on-one question sessions
5. Exclusive “Behind the Scenes” Content
Exclusive content is one of the main reasons your patrons will join your patron program. By including this content in your patron program, you give the followers more of what they already love: your content. These rewards work for any tier, and can be used alongside any other gift as a way to underline the nature of your patron program.
Things to consider:
Early access to your content before it’s published
Extended cuts/deleted scenes from your episodes
Commentary on past episodes/fan-favorite episodes
When it comes to you and your patrons, we know you want to give them the best experience possible with the best tools at hand. Thanks to thing’s like Podbean Live’s unlisted mode and merchandise sites, it’s easier than ever to give back to the patrons who give so much to you. Let us know what methods you implement over on Twitter!
Have you signed up for our Patron program yet? Learn more about it here!
Curious about our new unlisted mode for Podbean Live? Check out how to get it started here!
For April, our top three live stream hosts will receive prizes by way of Golden Beans, Podbean’s virtual currency, that can be cashed out via PayPal. We will also be highlighting our top ten livestreamers via our social media channels. The prizes will be:
Virtual yacht (Golden Beans value – 24000)
Double virtual diamond (Golden Beans value – 5000 x2)
We’ve broken down your employee podcast into four main steps: storytelling, recording your episode, releasing your podcast, and tracking engagement. By breaking down your podcast into smaller tasks, it becomes easier to manage and produce.
Your content is the heart of your internal communications podcast – without it, your podcast could not function. However, if your content comes off as disjointed, your employees may have a hard time giving it the attention it needs.
Develop a roadmap for your internal materials. If you’re developing training content, consider your start and end points. What prerequisite knowledge will your new employees need to know before progressing to the next step? When you come up with your script or write your show notes, keep in mind that even if this is a factual, informative piece, there should be some element of storytelling. Your episode, no matter the length, needs a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Use a segmented approach to keep your content uniform across all of your episodes, and to assist your employees in compartmentalizing what instructions or information is for what task. This allows you to target specific actions that need to be taken, but also gives your employees an outline of sorts to your internal communications podcast.
2. Recording Your Episode
With modern technology, recording your episode is easier than ever. Whether you’ve got a desktop computer with a designated microphone, or you utilize the Podbean app’s remote recording feature, there are fewer and fewer steps between you and a finished piece.
No matter where you’re recording, there are a few key things to keep in mind to make sure that your audio is the best it can be. First, make sure that you do a few test recordings in the same way that you will actually record (i.e., if you want to record at your standing desk or at your kitchen table, create some test recordings in these environments with your current tools). Not only will this familiarize you with your hardware and the process, it ensures that nothing in your environment is negatively impacting your audio.
Second, don’t be afraid to troubleshoot your audio by moving yourself and things in the room around. Sometimes issues with sound quality can be improved or fixed entirely by maneuvering things around. For example:
Is there an echo in your audio? Try recording in a smaller space, or in a place with more things hanging on the wall. Echo happens because unencumbered walls and hard surfaces will bounce your sound back at you, so try hanging extra curtains or blankets up, or relocating to a space that’s a bit more cluttered, carpeted, etc.
Is your audio too quiet? Don’t be afraid to get closer to your mic, whether you’re recording from a desktop microphone or your phone’s internal microphone. If you’re worried about rises and dips in the sound, make sure that your device is on a stable surface and find a way to sit that is both comfortable and close enough to your mic for you to sit still for the length of your recording.
Podbean offers recording in both its app and its website using Podbean Live to facilitate recording without having to worry about extraneous software or hardware. The Podbean app has a built-in recorder with tools for editing, allowing you to record, edit, and post to your internal communications podcast straight from your mobile device.
When you want to record with others remotely, users can utilize Podbean Live in its unlisted mode to record audio that they can then directly upload into their feed. No one can access the livestream without the link, allowing you to record solo or with others who you invite. This is an ideal way to invite a cohost or a guest to your internal communications podcast, as it can allow you to speak over the platform and you can then upload the audio afterwards as one of your episodes.
3. Releasing Your Content
Once your content has been recorded, the next step is uploading it to your host site so it can be pushed out to your team members and employees. Whether your content is daily, weekly, or monthly, the process largely stays the same.
Uploading your content is as simple as selecting a file to upload and deciding between publishing now, scheduling publication for a future date, or saving it as a draft to later come back and adjust.
The scheduling tool is important in that you can schedule as many episodes ahead of time as you want. If you know that you’re releasing a daily episode at 10AM every day, you can batch record a few episodes ahead of time and schedule them out during the week. This then allows you to make sure your content is going out at the proper time, and gives you the ability to make the most of each time you sit to record.
4. Tracking Engagement
Your user engagement tools are some of the most important podcasting tools at your disposal. These tools not only let you see how often your content has been played, it can further break down who is listening to your internal comms. podcast – and who isn’t. These analytical tools will also give you an idea if there’s any of your content that’s not as engaging as it could be, so you can make adjustments on future episodes.
Your internal communications podcast is a key tool in remote communication within your company. Not only does it offer you a new way to reach your employees, it gives you a way to track how your employees interact and engage with your content. Click here to learn more about Podbean’s private podcasting tools.
When should you publish your podcast? Did you know that the times that you post can affect the visibility of your posts? Or that by even adjusting the time you post your podcast can change how your listeners interact with it? There are many minute tweaks that you can do to increase visibility on your content. One of the main things we recommend is using your various analytic tools in order to discover the best posting times for your audience.
When should you publish your podcast?
Pay attention to your analytics page. Scrolling to the bottom of your statistics page on the left of Podbean’s analytics. The Downloads By Time Of Day (GMT) chart reflects your downloads by time of day, week day. The squares highlighted in the darkest shades of green are the days and times that you see the most interaction. You can adjust the scope of this chart by using the date selector at the top left of your analytics page.
By reviewing this activity, you can take advantage of interaction peak times and days. So if you see that you tend to get the most plays on Friday nights, but not so much on the weekends, you should adjust your schedule to post more on Fridays and generally avoid uploading new episodes on Saturdays and Sundays. The times listed on this chart are in GMT (which is also stated on the chart) so just be sure to make adjustments for your own time zone.
“The top five time slots that have the most downloads/streams on the Podbean app are:
Wed 7 pm EST
Mon 8 am EST
Mon 9 am EST
Tue 9 am EST
Mon 10 am EST
Overall, the most important time period for podcasts is Monday to Wednesday in the morning (Eastern time). Consider this when scheduling episode releases, to make sure you take advantage of having fresh podcast content available during these prime listening times. If you’re hosted with Podbean, you can check your podcast’s peak listening time slots. Your podcast might have different peak listening periods than the averages.”
We’ve also put together a variety of resources to help you get your podcast in front of as many ears as possible. Check out the following links for more resources and to register for our upcoming Promote Your Podcast webinar:
First and foremost, we here at Podbean send our best wishes to our Podbean family across the globe in light of the coronavirus. All of us wish for the speediest of recoveries for everyone who has been affected and only the safest of passages through this pandemic for everyone.
Best Practices For Cleaning and Sanitizing Your Audio Gear
It is important to have a plan for maintaining your gear and taking good care of your recording space. Many of us spend hours, days, and months (even years!) using our gear to record and produce our podcasts (some of us even record and produce for fellow podcasters). We’re all more focused on cleanliness right now, but it is always important to keep your gear sanitary and in tip-top shape.
We have reached out to our friends at audio gear companies such as Apogee and Focusrite to bring you expert advice for best practices in cleaning, maintaining, and sanitizing your audio gear from microphones to headphones and everything in between!
Cody Cloe Apple Channel Manager at Apogee Electronics
With the seriousness of COVID-19, we are all doing our best to stay healthy. We’ve heard countless recommended best health practices such as frequently washing our hands, avoiding large gatherings and regularly disinfecting items we come in contact with.
Over the coming weeks, if you find yourself at home with more time than normal, you may decide to spend that time creating content for your podcast. If so, here are some tips on cleaning your audio gear.
A quick google search will provide you with a slew of different practices, some of which can be quite damaging to your product. Since audio equipment can be made up of many different types of material, it’s always best to check with the original manufacturer to avoid causing any damage to your gear.
If you’re using an Apogee product like Hype MiC, here’s how we recommend you clean it.
Before you begin, disconnect all cables from your Hype MiC. If it’s warm after being disconnected, let it reach room temperature before attempting to clean. This general practice is applicable to all audio products.
Now that your Hype MiC is disconnected and at room temperature, let’s discuss what type of cleaner to use. We recommend you avoid the often recommended hot, soapy water approach. Instead, go with a 70% solution of Isopropyl. Make sure the bottle states that it’s a 70% solution. Any higher and it can cause damage and any lower may not actually prove beneficial.
It’s very important that you never spray anything (including compressed air) on your Hype MiC. Instead, apply a small amount of Isopropyl onto a lint free cloth (avoid micro-fiber) and apply a light, gentle, quick coat to you Hype MiC and then wipe with a dry rag. It’s worth noting, soft touch paint or foam can be damaged with prolonged exposure and pushing too hard during application can easily remove UV coating.
After cleaning, let your Hype MiC sit uncovered for a short period of time. This will allow any excess moisture missed while drying to evaporate.
After completing the above steps, you’re all set and can get back to your epic content creation session!
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to our support team!
Daniel Hughley Marketing Manager Focusrite
I would suggest wiping down all of the surfaces of your audio interface with disinfecting wipes. But check with the CDC and World Health Organization for suggested brands. Don’t forget your headphones!