Tools and Tips For Podcasting With WordPress

Our WP-Tonic round table show this week revolves around our main topic, “Tools and Tips For Podcasting With WordPress.”

Part of our discussion on podcasting with WordPress: what you need to know to get started, what podcasting tools are to help you, and tips from our panel members on how to launch a new podcast.

We went over what podcasting equipment you’ll need, the best podcasting microphone to get started with, useful podcasting software and storage services, and the best podcasting themes and plugins for WordPress.

This Weeks Round-Table Expert WordPress Panel

Sallie Goetsch: from WP Fangirl

Jackie D’Elia: from Jackie D’Elia Design

John Locke: from Lockedown Design

Jonathan Denwood: from WP-Tonic.com

Brian Jackson: from Woorkup

This Week’s Round-Table WordPress Discussion Stories

1 – Goodbye WordPress

http://jamesdalman.com/goodbye-wordpress/

Editors Note: James Dalman wanted us to mention he is starting a new venture, Freelance Camp, which is a new kind of Freelancing Community. We look forward to seeing people sign up for this.

2 – GoDaddy Gets WordPress Theme Approved On WordPress.org In Same Day?

http://wpin.me/godaddy-wordpress-theme-approved-same-day

3 – The Days of Creating Child Themes for Simple CSS Changes May Soon Be Over

https://wptavern.com/the-days-of-creating-child-themes-for-simple-css-changes-may-soon-be-over

Main Discussion Topic

Tools and Tips For Podcasting With WordPress

1 – Why Are You Going Down This Road?

2 – Podcasting Equipment /Editing Software

Microphone

Software for Recording Your Podcast

A – YouTube Live (formally Google Hangouts on Air) Free

B – Skype /Call Recorder Free/ mac only $29.99

C – Zoom.us Free (45 minutes of recording time)

Podcast Editing Tools

A – Audacity: Free

B – Adobe Audition $19.99 per month

Live Video Software

OBS (Open Broadcaster Software), Free for PC or Mac

https://obsproject.com/

——————————–

Livestream Go Live, Free for PC or Mac

http://livestream.com/producer/software

——————————–

vMix $60, for PC only

http://www.vmix.com/software/download.aspx

——————————–

Telestream Wirecast $495, for PC or Mac

http://telestream.net/wirecast/overview.htm

——————————–

3 – WordPress Theme & Plugin Choices

Plugins

A – Libsyn Podcast Plugin

B – Blubrry PowerPress

C – Seriously Simple Podcasting

D – Smart Podcast Player

Themes

A – ThemeForest podcasting themes

B – Appendipity Themes

C – Podcaster theme by Themestation

4 – Weekly Mechanics of Running a podcast (how much time is going to take?)

A – Recording 30 minutes to 1 hour

B – Emails/ calls 1 to 2 hours

C – Audio editing 1 to 2 hours

D – Website 1 to 2 hours

E – Promotion 2 to 4 hours per week

Weekly total roughly 5 to 10 hours per week!

5 – General Tips & Tricks

A – Get a co-host that’s clearly committed to the show objectives.

B – Sound quality, the last 10 to 20% takes a lot more investment in equipment and editing time.

C – It will probably take 12 to 18 months to build an audience for the show.

D – Try and get an industry sponsor as quickly as possible.

E – Try outsourcing the audio editing as soon as possible.

F – Remember video is becoming an important part of podcasting.

G – Live video broadcasting is also becoming important.

Full Transcript of Episode 134

Transcript for Episode 134

Jackie:

Oh, dear.

 

John:

Welcome to WP-Tonic, episode 134. Today we’re talking, podcasting with WordPress, tips, tools, and tricks to get you from 0 to 60 with podcasting with WordPress. Today, we’ve got a really great panel. I want to let them introduce themselves. We’ll start with Brian Lee Jackson.

 

Brian:

Hi. Some of you might know me. I blog over at woorkup.com. Then, I’m also the Director of Inbound Marketing at Kinsta, where we do manage WordPress hosting. Right now, I’m pretty knee deep in WordPress, always blogging WordPress, always writing about WordPress, always trying to sell WordPress. That’s pretty much it for me.

 

John:

Very good. Sallie Goetsch, introduce yourself.

 

Sallie:

Certainly, my name is Sallie Goetsch. My business is WP Fangirl. I do WordPress consulting. I’m also the organizer at the East Bay WordPress Meetup in Oakland, California.

 

John:

Very good. Jackie, introduce yourself.

 

Jackie:

I’m Jackie D’Elia with Jackie D’Elia Design. I’m based in Charlotte, North Carolina. I’m a web designer and developer. I focus mostly on content marketing and content strategy.

 

John:

Nice. Jonathan, tell people who you are.

 

Jonathan:

Thanks, John. I’m the founder of WP-Tonic. We’re a maintenance, service, small job company for WordPress. If you’re a business owner, membership website owner, WooCommerce, and you’re looking for a consistent regular partner to keep that site up, we’re here to help.

 

John:

Very good. I’m John Locke. I run a WordPress consultancy in Sacramento, California that specializes in WooCommerce stores and local SEO. You can find me at LockedownDesign.com.

 

Now, before we get into today’s main topic, podcasting, we have a couple WordPress news stories that I want to ask the panel about. The first story that we’re covering is, GoDaddy had a WordPress theme, approved in the same day on WordPress.org. For people who don’t know, the theme repo, it’s on the WordPress.org site. You can find free themes there. There’s a theme review team. Usually, there’s a long wait. GoDaddy got approved very quickly. Brian, what were your thoughts on this news story.

 

Brian:

I think it blew up a little bit fast. People didn’t read all the details. I know the guy over at wpin.me. I’ve chatted with him a couple times, actually. He’s a pretty good writer. I like his stuff. He did a long article about it, too, and then it hit ManageWP.org. Then, it blew up from there, and the comments went crazy. I don’t like that it happened. If you read all the fine details, it’s not as big as people think it was, but it still happened. This happens everywhere in the world, so I didn’t think that much of it, to be honest. Every niche, this is going to happen to big people like that, will always get stuff pushed or favored more than other people sometimes. I thought it blew up out of proportion a little more than it probably should have.

 

John:

Yeah, probably. Sallie, what were your thoughts on this.

 

Sallie:

You could have predicted that there would be a storm of response to it. Possibly, they did predict that. I don’t know, but they didn’t go particularly out of their way to try to prevent it happening, or lead with an explanation of why and how it went that way. I thought that the WP Tavern article, at least, tried to focus on the fact that this highlights, here are the issues with trying to get a theme into the repo and the bottlenecks. Here are some of the things that the theme review team is doing to try to make the process quicker for everybody, and weed through the backlog, and automate some stuff. It’s a fairly small group of volunteers. Remember, this is all volunteers.

 

 

You’re going to run into trouble when you have an organization that relies on volunteers, because they have to put whatever earns them money first. We all do, or we’re going to be homeless. If you really have a problem with how slow the process is, you could volunteer to join the theme review team and help out. I do think that better processes are part of what’s needed, not just more people. If you have more people and you don’t have a way to distribute the work efficiently, and onboard them, and so on, it’s actually going to slow it down rather than speeding it up. Did this demonstrate some favoritism to GoDaddy? Sure. You’re probably going to expect that to happen. It’s going to happen anywhere. Don’t get your knickers in a twist.

 

John:

I love how you put that. Don’t get things twisted. Don’t get it twisted. Jonathan, what were your thoughts on this article? I know you have thoughts.

 

Jonathan:

I forgot his name again, John.

 

John:

Justin Tadlock.

 

Jonathan:

It’s just hilarious. He’s such a nice guy. I’ve met him. When he was talking about all this, he said, “I don’t even know what’s going on.” I thought to myself, “If you don’t know what’s going on …” It was typical WordPress, wasn’t it? I agree with Brian. They cough up enormous amount of sponsorship, so they are going to be valued for it. It was so blatant. If you’re some poor geezer trying to get your theme, I’ve been told water torture is better to take than trying to get a theme for your process at the present moment. It must be galling to see GoDaddy, just every hurdles to suddenly be removed. I just love them as people, don’t I John?

 

John:

Yes, very much so.

 

Jonathan:

I made some public statements. They’re never going to sponsor the show, are they John?

 

John:

No, they are not.

 

Sallie:

They’re a lot of really great people working at GoDaddy, but their hosting still sucks.

 

Jonathan:

I don’t care how great their people are. It’s their management team in there who’s still on their board of directors that I care about, Sallie. They could be as nice as they like.

 

John:

Elephant killer.

 

Jonathan:

Yeah, as far as I’m concerned.

 

Sallie:

Is he still there?

 

Jonathan:

He’s there.

 

Sallie:

That was when I moved all my domains to Namecheap.

 

Jonathan:

It’s still on the board of directors. He’s still there. He’s a charming little man.

 

John:

I can totally understand why this would be a controversy in the world of WordPress. Whether this was an honest mistake, whether it was just one person just saying, “Here’s a theme by GoDaddy. It looks fine. We’ll just approve it.” Whether it was an innocent mistake like that, which seems likely, or whether it was a plan, people are going to be upset. Look, a couple of years ago, they bought Media Temple. People lost their minds. They bought ManageWP just a couple weeks ago, and people just, they were rioting in the streets. The fact of the matter is, big companies acquire smaller companies. GoDaddy, they are trying to get in with the WordPress community. They are sponsoring a lot of WordCamps. They are sponsoring a lot of events. They’re throwing a lot of money into, maybe, rectifying the awful image that they have portrayed in the past.

 

Jonathan:

Sorry, John. I just will not do business with that man.

 

John:

No, I feel you. I feel you. A lot of people feel the same way.

 

Jonathan:

He will not get my wallet open until they get rid of him. Then, I might consider it. As long as he’s on the board of directors in any shape or form, I will not do business with that company, end of story.

 

John:

Yep. I guess the way that I look at all these stories is, GoDaddy jumped the line with the theme repo. GoDaddy bought ManageWP. Focus on what you’re doing. What they’re doing shouldn’t have any effect on what you’re doing. Just focus on what you’re doing. Don’t get distracted by noise. Anyway, there’s a second news story here.

 

Jonathan:

On to the next cheerful story, John.

 

John:

On to the next story.

 

Sallie:

In a way, the previous one sets this up.

 

John:

Do we want to talk about this one?

 

Sallie:

Right. Well, I don’t know. Do we or don’t we?

 

John:

Do we or don’t we? Let’s decide. Are we talking about this? Yes or no.

 

Jonathan:

You’ve lost me, John. I thought we were going on to the next.

 

John:

Anyway, I would say this. Let’s approach it like this. Over this past weekend, there was a trio of articles that were written. I will just say, let’s address it as a trio. There was an article by James Dalman called Goodbye WordPress. There was an article by Jonathan Perez that basically said, “WordPress community, stop being a fan and start doing.” Then, there was an article by our own Sallie Goetsch. It basically said, “What does all this stuff got to do with the WordPress community anyway?” Let’s just start with Sallie. Sallie, jump the line.

 

Sallie:

All right, well obviously, I had an opinion about this. I really feel for anybody who is going through depression. I had to deal with that when I was in graduate school. I ended up suicidally depressed and in a treatment center. What I discovered after I had gotten help, and gotten out, and pulled myself together …

 

Jonathan:

Sallie, I’m sorry to interrupt. I’m surprised. I would have thought that would have been the six years you lived in the UK would have done that.

 

Sallie:

No, four years in the UK, and I loved it. Although academia is a really dysfunctional environment, and graduate school especially … I had a friend who had been in the Navy before graduate school. She said, “Your first year in graduate school is much worse than boot camp.” What I found out was that the real problem was me. It was my stuff that was the reason that I went crazy, and the other people in my class, although they were unhappy, didn’t. I got thinking about that. Then, I got thinking about, we see people doing stupid things in the WordPress community. It’s annoying. Partly, we hope that people in WordPress are better than that because of open source values. People are never better than that. People are people. People will do stupid things.

 

 

In any group of people, you’re going to have folks who are assholes. You’re going to have people who have too much influence. You’re going to have clicks. You’re going to have people who are biased. You’re going to have creepers who put moves on you at conferences. These things are all out there. We shouldn’t put up with them. We should do whatever we can to create an environment that’s safe and welcoming. The foundation has guidelines for doing that at events if you’re organizing a WordCamp, or if you run a meetup, that kind of thing. You also shouldn’t think that you’re going to get away from that kind of behavior by going from WordPress to a different platform, a different community, a totally different industry. Human behavior is going to follow you wherever you are. You have to find some way to live with the way people treat each other. Take care of yourself. Then, do what you can to try to make your immediate environment more supportive.

 

John:

Well said. Brian, do you have thoughts on this? You do a lot of entrepreneurial stuff. What are the real pressures like?

 

Brian:

I probably have a different perspective than you’re probably thinking I’m going to take it from. I used to work in the health industry, too. I would say the politics there are way worse than anywhere in WordPress. All the stuff happening at WordPress, it’s like kids playing almost compared to some other environments that I’ve worked in. It doesn’t really bother me that much. Also, being an entrepreneur, most people know this because I run a gluten free website. My name’s out there everywhere, so I don’t care I’m mentioning it or sharing it. Three years ago, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. It was the hardest part of my life.

 

 

People have died from ulcerative colitis. I was in the hospital, tried medicines, probably went through 15 different doctors. It was very, very rough. I’ve been in remission. I’m even drinking coffee right now thanks to a gluten free diet. I’m 100% gluten free. That’s what did it for me. I left doctors, figured out how to fix it myself. Ever since that moment, things like this, I’ve just always brushed off. They don’t matter at all, I guess you could say. I feel, people in the WordPress community take life for granted sometimes. All these little issues are not important in the long scheme of things at all. That’s my personal opinion on it.

 

John:

No, that’s well-grounded in reality. Jackie, what are your thoughts, just overall?

 

Jackie:

Overall, I think there’s a lot of communities within the WordPress community. I can’t remember which post I read that on. Maybe it was on Jonathan’s.

 

Sallie:

I think it’s Jonathan.

 

Jackie:

Yeah. That’s a great point to remember. Everybody can get all caught up in that there’s only one community. You’re either in or you’re out. Getting in is all important. I think focusing on your work and focusing on your business is great, and to remember that WordPress is a tool. It’s not anything more than that. The community’s great. There’s lots of little communities within that community that you can be part of, and share, and do things with. I think that’s helpful to just remember that. Sallie’s post was awesome. It just basically reminded everybody that there isn’t anything unique about this situation., that it only applies to the WordPress community, that it’s everywhere. By thinking that it isn’t, I think, gives more people more distress about it than is really worth it.

 

 

I think focusing on your business, if you enjoy going to WordCamps and you get something out of them, or you enjoy contributing and giving back to the community in that regards, do it. I saw Kim Doyle had a comment on Jonathan’s page where she says that’s why she stopped going to WordPress to WordCamps. For her, if that works for her, well said, great. If that’s how you feel and you can contribute in other ways, fine. I think everybody just needs to remember that it’s just not one thing, and not to consider it just a click, and that you’re either in or you’re out. I think that’s part of it.

 

John:

I have thoughts on that, which I will get to in just a second. I want to hear from the man, Jonathan.

 

Jonathan:

I just have such mixed feelings about it. Obviously, I did ask James. I want to point out some of this. I invited James on this podcast. We had a small exchange of emails. For obvious reasons, he politely declined. I have offered to him, when the show notes go up, that if he wants to contribute those or say anything, that he’s most welcome. I’ve given to him my assurance that they would be put on the website. I just wanted to say that to folks, because everything, I try and be as ethical as I can as a human being. I had real thoughts about even discussing this article.

 

 

I thought there are some people in the WordPress community that utilize intimidation and fear, basically. They intimidate people. They use their position to intimidate. I’m not going to go in details. I had somebody try it on with me a few weeks ago. They said some slanderous remarks about me. It was sorted out. I think they’ve got the message. Hopefully, they’ve got the message that they don’t want to mess around with me. They’re going to come off worse, basically. Weaker people probably put up with their crap. I think James was in a bad place and linked to what Sallie said. He was in a dark place. It happens to everybody, doesn’t it John?

 

John:

It absolutely does. There’s a couple things I want to point out. Depression is a real thing. It’s not a weakness, and especially in the web industry. It’s not just in the web industry. Definitely, it is not a sign of weakness to admit that you’re having clinical depression, or if you’re struggling with whatever it is, whether it’s bipolar, whatever type of mental illness or stuff like that. There are a lot of people that suffer with mental illness that never say anything. It’s not a sign of weakness to look for help. Within our own WordPress community, we’ve seen Cory Miller talk out a lot this last year about mental health, talking about the iceberg of what you show people and then what’s underneath. I think it has encouraged a lot of people to share their own stories. I’ve also seen a Medium post by Mike Monteiro of Mule Studios in San Francisco, a very successful studio, share about his own struggle with clinical depression. I think this happens a lot with agency owners.

 

 

I think it happens a lot with entrepreneurs, but it happens to a lot of regular people too. I will say this, in my own story … The WordPress community, I want to point out something on Sallie’s article. She says that you can’t leave any community and expect to rid yourself of people who discriminate, people who receive special treatment, people that just make you unhappy because they’re more successful than you. There’s just a whole laundry list. I encourage people to go read that article and look at that list. This is the world that we live in. Before I came to web development, I had a whole corporate life. There was politics there. I was awesome. I was on my way to getting promoted way up in the company, until I wasn’t. Sometimes, it takes just one person just having an issue with you to derail stuff.

 

 

In web development, it’s a little different, or at least as independent business owners. We have the ability to craft our own path. We don’t have one boss. You can have several clients or customers. You’re not locked into one person dictating, or one group of people dictating your destiny. You have the power to create your own destiny. There are always going to be cliques. High school doesn’t end when you enter the adult world. There are still people that carry on like that. Here’s the thing to know. If you’re not in with the A-listers in whatever field you’re in, whether it’s web development, Hollywood, corporate lifestyle, whatever it is … If you’re not in with the A-listers, or whatever, and whatever clique it is that you want to get into they don’t want to let you in, go form your own clique. Make your own posse. That’s what this is. We’re making our own posse right here. It’s easier to build up with people who are closer to your level sometimes. Then, you get respect eventually anyway.

 

Jonathan:

It’s just like Morten, or Brian, or anybody on this panel come to me, I will talk to anybody. I will try and help them. If I haven’t got the bandwidth, I just say, “Look, I can’t help you. I’m too busy.” Brian’s the same, or Sallie. I’m just too busy. I’d love to help you, but I’m busy. It doesn’t act out, just you accept it. I get the impression from everybody on this panel, if you’ve got the time and it’s not a ridiculous thing that they’re asking, you’re quite open to helping. I do not stab people in the back. There’s great people in the WordPress, and it’s just the same as the outside. There’s great people, and there’s not such great people. Good luck to them. They enjoy stabbing people in the back and saying nasty stuff behind them. If you’ve got anything to say about me, folks, just call me and have a conversation with me. I’m quite up for, if you think I’ve done something that doesn’t make you happy, give me a call. Man up, for Christ’s sake.

 

John:

Yeah. That is everywhere, Jonathan. That is the thing, too. In the words of the immortal poet, Melvin Glover [correct poet is Keith Wiggins], “People can talk behind your back, but never to your face, but they’ll make a clear path when you walk in the place.” It’s just one of those things that you have to realize. You have to get in where you fit in. You don’t need to fit in everywhere. You can still make your way. That’s it. We always have to do what’s best for our own personal mental, emotional, physical health. Sometimes, that means putting people …

 

Jonathan:

The other fact of it is, it’s a little bit different to the rest of the panel. We’re on 134 of WP-Tonic. I’ve met a lot of people in the WordPress community. I’ve outreached a lot of people. I’ve had chats. You’d be amazed at, how to put this, there’s some people that have a public persona, but their personal persona have no linkage to their public persona. I would hope the panel, or anybody who’s met me, is what you see is, in general, what you get with me. There isn’t two Jonathans. There are some people who are a bit different. What they publicly espouse and their public persona doesn’t really mean what they really are, which you see when you’re interviewing them.

 

John:

I think that is present in any community, not just WordPress community. There are people that put on a façade, which is fine. I want to circle back to something that Morten said last week when he talked about people going to WordCamps. This could apply to anything at all, not just WordCamps, not just conferences, but anything where you meet somebody that you know from a distance. He said the like, a lot of people think he was stern and gruff, and they found out he just had a different sense of humor. He was really a nice guy. I think he’s one of the nicest guys in WordPress, and in the overall web community. I think we’re really lucky to have him.

 

 

Some people, you think are your heroes, and then you meet them up close and they’re different. That’s the thing about putting people on a pedestal in whatever it is, whether it’s music, movies, web development, fame, whatever it is, internet famous. What they put out there could match what they are, or it could not. When you meet people up close, sometimes it’s different. You just move on, but it doesn’t change who you are. You always have to stay centered to who you are and stay true to you. I think that’s the most important thing.

 

Jonathan:

To be quite frank, business is rough. I’ve had partners. I’ve been in business for 30 years, John, and it’s tough when you’re an entrepreneur or a business owner. You mustn’t let it totally make you cynical. I’m English, and I’m saying that, John. I can’t believe it.

 

John:

Let’s move on to our last story, for real. We have a story where they’re talking about going away from child themes and putting this into WordPress Core, where you would have basically, essentially, CSS changes in the Customizer. This was covered on the WP Tavern. What is the panel’s thoughts on this? I want to start with Brian.

 

Brian:

I was just reading through the comments, actually, on that article on WP Tavern. Comments on there are always entertaining to read. I agree, actually, with Ryan Heller. I think he made the disable emojis plugins. I think a lot of people know him for that. I agree with what he was saying on there. I really think this is more of a plugin territory. I saw Sallie’s comment, too. People that are doing child themes, they’re still going to do child themes. This is really for those beginners that are just needing to put some custom CSS in there, which in my case, I would actually tell someone to install a plugin separately. I’ve never been a fan of the Customzier myself. I don’t use it. I’ve never used it. I hate it.

 

 

I don’t see with these changes, I don’t see myself ever going to use it again still. As far as how I use WordPress and tell other people to use WordPress, is that nothing’s changing for me, I guess you could say. It might be good for beginners, is what I could say, because they don’t always know about these custom CSS plugins you can do and child themes. Having a place where they can go hit customize in the appearance editor and just change it in there might be helpful. Other than that, I’m not sure why they’re focusing on adding this to Core, I could think of some better things they could add to Core than this. I guess that’s my take on it.

 

John:

Definitely. Definitely. Sallie, do you see this as being beneficial? Is this just another winding path that we’re going to go down and then change our minds on?

 

Sallie:

Well, I don’t know that there’s anything particularly harmful about putting it in there. My point was, the headline was click bait. Almost nobody I’m aware of would actually create a child theme, because they wanted to change one or two things in CSS. That’s what those custom CSS plugins are for. People who are creating child themes are usually doing a lot more than just changing CSS. They’re also the people like Brian and me, who don’t use the customizer if we can possibly help it. I do think there’s a certain logic. If people are trying to push, and that seems to be the direction Core is moving is to consolidate everything appearance related in the customizer. There’s a certain logic to accessing custom CSS through the customizer, because you’re using it to customize.

 

 

As other people pointed out, you’re going to get this eensy-teensy little window that’s hard to write CSS in, and probably not nearly so good a user experience as a custom CSS plugin. Not only are there several independent ones, but there’s custom CSS in Jetpack, which is a plugin that is, again, aimed at beginners who need a lot of different kinds of things and who want an experience similar to what they get with WordPress.com. I don’t see an overpowering need for it. I can understand the argument of grading it. I personally wouldn’t use it. I’d like to see some actual user data. They apparently have a feature like this in WordPress.com, and who is using it, and how many. Is that beneficial enough, or is anything where you’re starting to actually write code something that really should be left to plugins or to people who are able to do their own stuff?

 

John:

Yeah, maybe it’s a little bit of overkill. Jackie, do you see this as a useful direction for integrating this into Core, or no?

 

Jackie:

The only way that I see it as useful is if you’re appealing to beginners that are trying to learn how to use CSS and are wanting an easy way to see it live in the preview for the changes they’re making. For most, if you’re purchasing a child theme or you’re building child themes, I really can’t see using that at all. I agree. I don’t use the customizer for any of my work, but I can see that there’s a definite do it yourself group that would find that very handy to work in. I truly think that’s where it’s all going to go in the end. It’ll be more drag and drop, and more visual editing is what that needs. I think it’s almost as if WordPress would need to split at some point, where you’re going to have a traditional development route where you’re building child themes. You’re coding. You’re doing your Sass and CSS, and you’re coding there. Then, you’re doing some kind of visual editor, which is a totally different thing.

 

 

I also just wonder, if you’re fluent in CSS enough to go and put that in there, then that’s probably really not the place that you’d want to be working anyway. I just think that they’re trying to make it where you can make simple changes and visually see those changes live. I think that’s the goal. I think, at some point, everything diverges. At some point down the road, you’ve got to make a decision. In the customizer, yes, your style sheet’s being loaded. You can see things now. They’re working on some plugins that could be put in Core, which I think is helpful. I don’t think we’re there yet. I think it just adds more issues. I think, definitely, if somebody doesn’t want to have to go through the trouble of creating a child theme to put four lines of CSS in, then that is great. There’s plugins, like Sallie said, and I agree totally. That’s probably where that needs to be. If you are already in the mindset that you want to tinker with your design and make changes, then probably installing a plugin to do that makes sense. That’s just my opinion

 

John:

No, I agree with you. There are plugins to do it. I don’t think you would be doing a child theme for just four lines of CSS. I want to ask Jonathan, is this similar to a couple years ago when they were introducing … I can’t remember what they called it. Basically, they were trying to compete with Tumblr.

 

Sallie:

Post Formats.

 

John:

Thank you. It’s this similar to that, or are they trying to compete with, maybe, Squarespace or something like that?

 

Jonathan:

Who knows? It’s just bonkers, isn’t it? It’s WordPress bonkers stuff.

 

Sallie:

Right. Of course, they’re trying to compete with Squarespace. They were always trying to compete with Squarespace.

 

Jonathan:

I agree with everything the panel says. Brian had it spot on. I just hate the Customizer. It’s a dog, isn’t it, a dog that should have been put down a long time ago. Somebody at WordPress loves it. Some people do love it.

 

Sallie:

If Morten were here, he would defend it.

 

Jonathan:

He would defend it strongly, wouldn’t he? He wouldn’t be happy with my comment.

 

Jackie:

That’s the direction it’s going. That is the direction. We just have to accept that.

 

John:

Can’t fight City Hall.

 

Jonathan:

You need to see the light, folks.

 

Jackie:

That’s where it’s all going to be in the end. That’s how you’ll be building out your site. Look at the popularity of Beaver Builder and things like that. That’s where it’s going.

 

Jonathan:

I think it was really key to what you said, Jackie, a few episodes ago. I think there’s a minority that want to build their own website with Beaver Builder, but the majority of people just want to do very sane changes to their page layout. To have that editor that lets them do things that you would want to do. Unfortunately, the present editor is an embarrassment and very frustrating.

 

Jackie:

Horrible. I never use the visual editor ever. I never even turn it on. I’m always in the text editor.

 

Jonathan:

You’re kind, Jackie. Aren’t you, Jackie?

 

Jackie:

I’m just saying, the challenge is you have clients who are not comfortable writing HTML. That means they’re working in the visual editor. The visual editor doesn’t always show you the way things are really going to render. It’s confusing for a user when you’ve got an image that’s got a left align and a right align, and they’re completely skewed off, and the paragraph is all funky. That’s not the way it’s going to render when you preview the page.

 

Sallie:

You have to create an editor style sheet.

 

Jackie:

Yes, you do.

 

Sallie:

Even then, it’s not going to be a perfect rendition.

 

Jackie:

All of that is a lot of extra work to do, that for a typical build-out for a client, if that’s what they want, then you’ve got to make sure that you’re loading all of that stuff in there. It’s not easy.

 

Jonathan:

It’s a nightmare, isn’t it Jackie? It’s a nightmare, and yet they use resources for something like this rather than doing the obvious. It’s easy for me to say, so what do I know, Jackie? It just seems to me, just like Brian said, I hate the Customzier with passion. Morten would just have a cow at me.

 

Sallie:

The customizer wasn’t made for you and me, or any of us.

 

Jackie:

That’s right. It’s not suited.

 

Sallie:

It’s not made for the developer types. It’s not made for the people who’ve been with WordPress since the very early days. It’s made for the new people. They do seem to use it.

 

Jonathan:

True.

 

John:

Brian, did you have a thought?

 

Brian:

Also, I was reading, I had missed this in the article actually earlier, that the lead developer of the simple custom CSS plugin is actually the lead developer on adding this new feature. Actually, in my opinion, that makes it a little better. I’ve used that plugin on sites before. I think I use a different one now, but it’s a good plugin. It works really good. Knowing that he’s in charge of adding this feature, I think it will be better than I had originally thought.

 

Jonathan:

John, Brian does what I don’t do. He actually reads the whole article.

 

Sallie:

I read the whole article and the comments. The one thing I was really aware of reading the comments was there were a lot of strong opinions. At least everything that got published was expressed politely. It was, I don’t think this will work. Here’s why, here’s what I’d rather see instead. It wasn’t, “Oh, my God. These people are stupid, evil, and conspiring against us,” which you do sometimes hear folks in the WordPress community say.

 

Jackie:

I’ve got a question. I’m pretty sure, doesn’t the simple CSS plugin, is that stored in the database?

 

Sallie:

Yeah. That’s one of the problems.

 

Jackie:

I’ve got a client that has 3,000 lines of custom CSS they’ve put in. Now, all of that’s in the database, when really, it should be in a file that’s called in. That’s where things, maybe there should be a limit or something on there. I was very surprised to find out that that’s there, and it’s loading, and I don’t have any control over it now because it’s not part of the project that I wrote.

 

Jonathan:

Jackie, I feel for you.

 

Sallie:

You can’t track it. I tend to use it mostly for temporary stuff that I’m testing in the project I’m working on where somebody else is doing the main front end work. I’ll put my preliminary CSS there, and he’ll remove it and incorporate it into the main style sheet. You’ve got a couple of tiny changes they’re not going to put a particularly heavy load on the database. Yes, the database is not really where that stuff belongs. It’s going to be in there whether you have this in Core or whether you’re using a plugin.

 

Jonathan:

I’m sorry.

 

Jackie:

I know. I know.

 

John:

Okay. We are way up against our break.

 

Jonathan:

We are, aren’t we, John?

 

John:

Yes, we are.

 

Jonathan:

We need to get moving, don’t we?

 

John:

All right, we’re going to go to our break. When we come back, we’re going to be talking our main topic, which is podcasting with WordPress, what tools, what things you need to get going with it, and all the ins and out of that. We’ll be back after the break.

 

 

 

 

John:

We’re coming back from the break, and we’re talking tools and tips for podcasting with WordPress. And I think most of the panel here today, they either have their own podcast or appear on a podcast. But I want to start with Brian.

 

If you were a person just starting, say you’ve got a WordPress site, and you’re thinking, “Hmm, I want to start a podcast”, what sorts of tools, what sorts of things would you recommend starting with?

 

Brian:

Actually, this is one area that I do not know a lot about. I’ll be completely honest. You guys have me on this one for sure.

 

John:

Okay.

 

Brian:

I think, and even just looking at –

 

Sallie:

That’s what makes you a good test case. So you don’t know a lot about podcasting, but you know what podcasts are, where would you start looking?

 

Brian:

Yeah, so this is who I would start looking. If I had to go look right now, I would be a completely fresh, brand new person. Just looking at you guys, I can tell you all have a mic, and I’ve done a lot of reviews on mics, so a mic is something I would definitely purchase. I’m always using these cheap headsets because I don’t podcast, and so a mic is something I would invest in.

 

I’m sure there’s hundreds of reviews out there, and most of you got yours on Amazon or something, so I’m sure there are good mics out there. That would probably be the first thing I would get.

 

The second thing I would do is figure out where I’m going to host my podcast. I would probably go to my favorite podcasters and see what they’re using. That’s the first thing I would do. There’s probably a good twenty or thirty podcasters I listen to on a regular basis. A lot of them are in the WordPress niche, and the rest are in the marketing niche. I like –

 

Jonathan:

Actually, Brian, can I ask you a quick question?

 

Brian:

Sure.

 

Jonathan:

As a professional online marketer, a very experienced online marketer, what do you see as the value, in business terms, of podcasting? Do you think it does really influence the listeners or engage them? How do you broaden your attitude in connected to your online marketing experience?

 

Brian:

It’s tough, because I’ve never marketed a podcast as far as a business goes. You know, trying to see if it actually affects revenue, from that side of things. So I can’t speak for that. But I myself love podcasts, and I listen to them all the time. But you have to know how many people out there are doing the exact same thing. I’m a writer, so I love content. So if I had to choose between writing an article and listening to a podcast – I mean, publishing a podcast, I would always say, write and article.

 

It’s just because I’m always trying to get on Google and get those keywords. But then you have, I think, there’s this dictation software now, it will spit out the words for the podcast for you. So then, there’s other areas where you could take advantage of some of that, but it will never be as good as just a written article.

 

So it’s an interesting thought, I can’t speak much for myself, because I’ve never marketed myself [as a podcaster]. But I know there’s a lot of guys doing really well with it out there. So, I know it does work.

 

John:

So, I want to ask the panel what mic do you use? What’s a good mic to start with [for podcasting]?

I know that I started with the – I know that Bill actually told me what mic to get. It’s the Audio Technica 2100, I think.

 

What are your thoughts? What mics are everyone else using? Let’s start with Sallie.

 

Sallie:

Sure. I had this terrible case of microphone envy for Jackie, so I got the same as her, which is the Rode Podcaster. I would say until you know that you’re going to keep podcasting, don’t spend a lot of money on a microphone. This one is expensive. Including the enormous heavy arm that I have it on, so that I can clamp it behind my chez lounge here, and the shock mount and everything, it added up to about 400 bucks. That’s not a small investment.

 

Podcasting is hard to do. It takes the time that you’re recording it, but it also takes the time you’re prepping for it, the time you’re doing the show notes, the time you’re doing any post-production (which if you’re cleaning up audio, it’s about a three to one ratio of the length of [time of] the file. If you’re doing video, an actually editing it, it’s about a ten to one ratio. Video is much harder to edit. You know, your show notes, your comment management, your promotion – so there’s a lot of work involved in podcasting.

 

One good place to start if you’re thinking about it is to participate in someone else’s podcast. Get on a panel like this, where someone else doing the hard work, and you get to participate and share it with people, and let people know you’re there.

 

So, you can start with an inexpensive headset, as long as you’ve got not a ton of noise that your machine itself is making, and so on. Try recording a few episodes. Get one of those nice little portable recorders that record to WAV files, if you’re just doing audio, because those are a 100 to 150 bucks. They are cheaper than a good microphone. Record a few episodes, see whether you can keep it up. Then once you’ve decided that you’re committed to it, you can make the investment in a microphone.

 

It takes time for any content marketing to pay off. And some people quit too soon because they’re not getting immediate results. It takes time to build up listenership or viewership for a podcast, and you’re usually not going to get an instantaneous result in terms of boosting your marketing in any way, or whatever your business purpose may be for it. But just see whether you can keep doing it before you spend the money.

 

John:

That’s excellent advice. Jackie, what are all the things that you’ve learned from launching Rethink.fm, which everyone should subscribe to, by the way.

 

Jackie:

Thank you, John. It’s been a great experience learning about this. The mic, number one, yes, I did get a Rode Podcaster, because I saw Carrie [Dils] was using hers on Office Hours. I had a Blue Yeti when I first started, but when I came to decide to get the shock mount and the arm and everything, there were more little contraptions I had to buy to get it to work with the Blue Yeti and everything, and I ended up just deciding to sell the Blue Yeti, and go with the Rode Podcaster.

 

I thought it would be simple. I’m real happy with it. It’s working just fine. I use it lot now, for even just client communication, and just Hangout videos that I’m on, it’s just part of the everyday thing now. That’s been a great thing, and it’s good for the podcasting part as well.

 

What I’ve learned is, it’s a lot more work than you think it will be. That’s #1. If you think, “oh yeah, I’m just going to do a thirty-minute podcast every other week, or a forty-five-minute podcast, so maybe it’s going to take an hour of my time”, it’s totally not true at all. It’s going to take quite a bit of time to actually do it to where you are happy with it.

 

I started out with Google Hangouts, for the podcast, I was doing the audio and the video. But I’m switching now to just audio only. It’s just easier to work with for me, and the value’s there. I think the number of people watching the video versus listening to it – the numbers were much better on the audio side.

 

I decided to host the audio on Libsyn, after doing a bunch of research. There’s quite a few options. I’m using the Blubrry PowerPress plugin. I do like the way that it works, though they have a service that will host [podcast files] too. But so far, I like the Libsyn combination. But just if you’re thinking about how much time you’re going to need to spend to set this all up, to build out the website, and then get all of the integration wok done for the podcast, it took a lot more time than I thought it would take. Because there’s information all over, but a lot of it is scattered. And your best bet is to just, like Brian said, just reach out to some people who are doing that [podcasting] and see how are they doing it.

 

So that part is just finding guests, and topics to talk about. You know, you were my first guest, for episode 1, you were my guest John, on Rethink.fm. And we chatted a lot about what we were going to talk about, we recorded the episode. It’s one of the most watched episodes so far, and I’m on episode nine. So it’s a popular episode. It’s all about content-first strategy, which is a great topic, but because a lot of people, that’s maybe a new concept to them.

 

Sallie followed up and did a great one on content auditing. That was another good episode as well. I think finding the topics, and putting the time in to make sure it sounds good. So I know Joe Casabona is a developer who’s in my mastermind group. He recently started a podcast right around the same time called How I Built It. And he’s doing audio only, and he’s done a great job of getting his podcast off the ground as well.

 

So talking to other people, and learning from each other has been helpful for me. But hands down, it’s going to take you a lot longer than you think it is. Joe’s got it now to where he uses somebody on Fiverr who will process the audio for them and make it sound really professional – pretty inexpensively, too. So that’s another option to look at.

 

Then the other final thing I would mention is – and I’m thinking about doing this now – is getting transcripts done for your podcast, because I think that will help with your SEO, and it will also help make it more accessible.

 

Sallie:

Whoops. Jackie froze.

 

Jonathan:

Yeah, she’s frozen.

 

John:

I did want to add that, and Jonathan we’re going to ask you as well. Are you back Jackie?

 

Jackie:

Yes.

 

John:

Go ahead, continue.

 

Jackie:

I’m done. Transcripts is where I left off, and that kind of rounds off my experience so far.

 

John:

So, we’re using – when we do provide transcripts – we’re using Rev.com. Those come back rally fast. And I’ll just tell you how I do those, the workflow for those. If we’re just doing a straight YouTube video with no edits, I’ll download that, and upload that to them [Rev]. You can also just give them the URL. Then I get a transcription, and that’s formatted in a Word file. And it’s formatted in table format – like the speaker name [to the left], and then here’s what they said [to the right].

 

And what I’ll do is open that in Word and I’ll do a Tables to Text command so I can put it in the actual WP-Tonic page. You might not want to do that, but you can definitely do that [if you want]. I check it for typos before I do all that. Then I will upload it to YouTube [as a TXT file]. You can upload a file as a closed-caption. YouTube does do an automatic transcription, but it’s not that accurate usually. So it’s good to use a service like Rev.

 

Jonathan, I wanted to ask you, a lot of the things that Jackie was talking about were just how long it take to put together a podcast. And Sallie was talking about that. Using someone to clean up the audio files and I wanted to get your insight. Obviously, you started this with Bill, and you’ve been doing this for quite a while. So I just wanted your insights on, just all the steps of doing the podcast.

 

Jonathan:

Well. It is a big subject. Actually, what Jackie said about resources, I would go to my old co-host’s website, Timelines of Success [Editor’s Note: click the Podcasting Resources link in the sidebar]. He’s actually got a resource there, which he asks for your email, but then he give you some very good downloads with the sorts of things you might want [to get started in podcasting]. I would suggest this, if you are interested in podcasting, go to my old partner in crime.

 

I think the number one thing is, before you look at all this is, why are you doing this? And I broke my own rule, because Bill initially persuaded me, and I just went with the flow. I had no coherent reason why I was doing it, at the time. I just thought, he turned up, he suggested it, and I had been thinking about doing it for a while, but for various reasons, hadn’t got around to it. And I thought, you know – people tend to turn up in one’s life for a reason, I’ve found. So I just went for it.

 

So really think why you’re doing it, because it’s going to take a lot more work and a lot more effort [than you realize]. And it’s going to take a lot longer than you think to anything from doing it. So if you don’t have a really clear, coherent reason why you’re doing it, probably you’re going to burn out very quick. Because there wasn’t any clear reason why you were doing it in the first place. Did that make any sense, John?

 

John:

It did make some sense. I want to ask you really quick, too – what is the reason you would want to use a service like Libsyn to host your audio files as opposed to just hosting them on your WordPress site?

 

Jonathan:

I definitely would not do that, because of all the analytical data that you get [with Libsyn]. Also, the files can get – especially the way we talk, John – the files get rather large. They have really god backups, and it’s all the analytical data that you get. It starts at five dollars a month, but you might have to quickly go up to the ten-dollar a month account. I personally feel that they are still the best. There have been some free services [for podcast hosting], but they are in financial trouble. From what I understand. Of what I have tried, I would recommend Libsyn highly.

 

It’s not the most intuitive interface, to say the least, but they do have some good tutorial videos and documentation. But you do need to read it to start making any sense of the interface, because it is not intuitive, John.

 

John:

One last question, and then I’m going to ask Brian something.

 

Jonathan:

But can I just quickly say something?

 

John:

Oh yeah, go ahead.

 

Jonathan:

I think one of the real great plusses of podcasting is from its tradition. Just like the web. The web, a lot of its traditions came from print. And a lot of the traditions of podcasting come from radio. And one of the strengths of radio is that if you can build an audience, they are normally extremely loyal, and they become [your] champions, and they feel very personally connected to the presenters in a way, that in some ways, is even more powerful than television, I feel. There’s something about the connection between the people you’re listening to that you cannot get from print. And I think a lot of sponsors and people really don’t understand the power of that relationship that the hosts have with their audience. And they tend to downplay that. But it has a lot more influence than a lot of other mediums.

 

John:

I think that there is an influence that happens with audio or even video. You can look at YouTube as another phenomenon, how they built their own – how there were stars that emerged from that platform. You could look at – definitely there are stars in podcasting, in general. People like Merlin Mann, you know, Dan Benjamin. People like on Relay.fm network, like Marco Arment, people like that, they have tremendous sway over their audiences. And within our own space, there are people that we follow, and we trust what they say.

 

One thing that I want to ask Brian, is, and you said that you don’t produce a podcast, but when you look at podcasts, maybe in iTunes, what are the thing that you feel are most important in deciding whether you’re going to listen to a podcast or subscribe to a podcast? Would it be cover art? Is it recommendations [or reviews]? What sorts of things make you interested in listening to a podcast?

 

Brian:

Actually, one of the first things I look at is frequency of how often they publish. For me, that’s important, just because when I find people I like, I like to know that next week, while I’m working, I can go throw their podcast on. I like to have that consistency with the podcasters. If I know they’re doing one a month, I probably wouldn’t even bother, because it’s not worth my time really, although it sounds like they’re spending a lot of time making it, I guess, from what it sounds like.

 

I guess consistency in podcasters is one thing I really look at. I think the artwork for me is not a big thing. I’m not an Apple person either, so I’m probably in the minority. I like people that are on Soundcloud, myself. It seems like Soundcloud, I don’t know, it might be dying, I don’t know – but I still have a lot of people on Soundcloud that I listen to. And I appreciate podcasters that push it there as well. So pushing it everywhere is a good thing, because you have people like me, who might only subscribe to you on Soundcloud, whereas I don’t have iTunes and I don’t have an iPhone.

 

John:

Ooh, that’s definitely something to put on the list then. I need to look into that.

 

Jonathan:

It’s very true, Brian. That’s something we have to look at. But I wouldn’t recommend them for the hosting of your files, because there have been things said that they are in financial trouble. How true that is, I don’t really know. Yeah, consistency, I would agree with Brian. I would also say, get a really good co-host. It really does help.

 

John:

No need for that. [laughs]

 

Jonathan:

But, it’s a two-edged sword like any partnership in life. Your co-host’s problems become your problems as well. But if you can find a co-host that has the same attitude to you, and wants the same business objectives, it really does become easier to run a show totally on your own with the consistency that Brian has pointed out.

 

It’s a major undertaking, and having a quality co-host makes a big difference. Would you agree with that John, or are you still looking for that good quality co-host?

 

John:

[laughs] No, I would say that there is a lot of work involved in producing a podcast. I’ve know that from my friends Tim Smith and Chris Enns on the GoodStuff.fm network, for sure, they used to tell me about this. Being knee deep in it, you definitely see how much work there actually is involved. It is rather a lot. And I see why people take off seasons – or like a TV season, they have a season, then they come back after a break.

 

Doing it week after week, it’s a lot of work, and I think sharing the load definitely is a way to do it. Like Brian said, in any type of thing, whether you’re doing video, audio, or any type of episodic show, having consistency is one of the most important factors, I would agree with that.

 

Sallie, I wanted to ask you, you put a link in the chat for the School of Podcasting, and I wanted you to elaborate on this.

 

Sallie:

Right, so I’ve been around the podcasting world since 2005, which is a long time. I remember the phase in 2007 where everyone thought that podcasting was going to be a get-rich quick technique, and it’s not. Even [for] those people who make money from their podcast, it’s more of a get rich slow. And in most cases, it’s more like, “Well, we now have some sponsors who will pay for our hosting.” You tend to get more indirect benefits in terms of marketing your business, establishing your credibility, etc.

 

But Dave Jackson and the School of Podcasting, he has a regular podcast, which is all tips for podcasters. He used to have a membership site, where he had a whole bunch of tutorials on mostly the technical side of podcasting, but also some of the marketing side. So it’s an opportunity for that, or go check out Bill’s [Bill Conrad] info on that.

 

There are places to learn about podcasting, there are books about podcasting, some of them written by friends of mine. This is where I find most of my podcasts – either I know the people who are making them, I’ve heard them recommended by a friend in real life, or I’ve heard them recommended by another podcaster. I don’t go looking for podcasts.

 

I also am a PC user – so iTunes on Windows is just appalling. Don’t go there if you don’t absolutely have to. I have an elderly Sansa Clip audio mP3 player. I use Sony’s Media Go to subscribe to podcasts and transfer the over to my player, it works just fine. But I do recommend for people who are podcasting, Soundcloud is one good option. It gives you and other people the easy ability to embed your podcast, although that’s now possible with Blubrry PowerPress as well. You can turn on a thing where people can, in addition to it saying, “Download” “Play” “Play in a New Window”, there’s an embed button and you can embed a podcast. You can use somebody else’s podcast on your own site if you want.

 

Jonathan:

Oh, we’ve got two Brians now.

 

John:

Seeing double.

 

Sallie:

Yeah.

 

Jackie:

Another Brian has joined the podcast.

 

Jonathan: It’s because he’s frozen.

 

John:

It’s like that Michael Keaton film, Multiplicity.

 

Sallie:

And I would suggest putting your podcast on Stitcher, which is a streaming service.

 

Jonathan:

I hope you’re writing all this out, John. Because you’re going to be doing this.

 

Sallie:

For cell phone streaming, and there are a couple of other directories. A place that’s got some fairly recent collections of lists of where to go and submit your podcast and so on is The Audacity to Podcast.

Which is partly about technical stuff to do with Audacity, but also stuff to do as a podcaster.

 

Jonathan:

That’s a good resource. I would say also Sallie, a lot of people get very hung up about – especially if they go to some of the resources that you’ve pointed out, because they do heavily – a lot of the people that get into podcasting, those folks are really about the sound quality. And it is important, but the one thing I would point out is that I directly input through a USB mic, and I think most of the panel are, and you can get a – I’ve just forgotten myself –

 

Sallie:

A mixer?

 

Jonathan:

A mixer, thank you Sallie. But the only point I would say to you is sound quality is important, but the last 10% to 20% is going to cost you a lot of time and money and resource. Especially getting the last 5% to 10%, you’re probably looking in the thousands and quite a considerable amount of time in editing if you’re doing it yourself. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth it. I don’t think in commercial terms you get the benefit to try and get a podcast that is up to a commercial radio audio engineer’s standard.

 

Sallie:

I’m not sure people want it. Because that sense of direct connection with a real human being is part of the appeal of podcasting. You need to make sure that your audio is clear enough [to hear] that when someone is in a noisy environment, like listening in the car, that they can still hear it. You want to make sure that you manage your levels so you don’t have part of it being very loud – if you have two speakers, one is very loud and one who is very quiet. If you have intro music, that shouldn’t be a ton louder than the rest of your audio. You don’t want to take people’s ears out.

 

But once you avoid some of the big pitfalls, then don’t get hung up in production quality, or you’ll never actually produce it. Having the show appear regularly is much more important than having ti super polished.

 

Jonathan:

And I just wanted to add – I do have an audio engineer that basically edits the podcast after production. His name is Ram. He does listen to the show as well. So Ram, thank you so much for your contribution to the team. You’re in the background, but you are a key part, Ram. I’m always nice to you. He is a wizard; he gets the job done. And he’s a fantastic part of the team as well, isn’t he John?

 

John:

Yup, most definitely. I want to ask Jackie as well, when you came to putting together Rethink.fm, what were some of the themes and plugins that you looked at? Or did you just build a custom theme? And how did you make those decisions, those choices on how to put together that site?

 

Jackie:

That site was just a custom build off of my starter theme. I kind of went out on a limb and just did something completely different than I normally do. It was a fun project, because it was totally creative to do. The plugin I used was Blubrry PowerPress plugin for the podcasting. Some of the challenges with just going through that is just making sure you get all the mechanics set up correctly, like with Categories, and are you going to mix your feed with your blog? If you going to have one [blog RSS] on your podcast site. So there’s going to be actually going to be two separate ones – one for your blog and one for your podcast. So there were some considerations to getting all that worked out.

 

I decided later that I would want to have a blog, but I didn’t want that included in my podcast feed. So I had to make sure that I set that up correctly. So those were some of the challenges from that. But just from the perspective of what other plugins I’ve used, I think the Blubrry PowerPress was what was driving the functionality from the website there. So that solved that problem for me.

 

I’ve got a quick question for Brian, I wanted to ask him. He said he listens to a lot of podcasts, and I’m just curious – what about the length of a podcast? Does that affect your decision on whether or not you want to listen to it?

 

Let’s say you have a weekly podcast that’s an hour long versus one that’s thirty minutes long. I know that StudioPress recently started a podcast. Brian Gardner and Lauren Mancke did – they’re keeping it to about 29 or 30 minutes. I was just curious what the metrics are on that, if that results in more consistent listening because they’re shorter episodes versus longer?

 

Brian:

I mean, for what I personally listen to, it’s hard because I work from home, so I just sit here all day. I tend to like the longer podcasts myself. I guess my sweet spot, If I had to pick one would be the hour mark, is what I personally like. I actually work while I listen to podcasts. That’s how I use them. I don’t do podcasts in the car or on the go. I always do them while I’m working. So I think for me, the one-hour mark is what I really like.

 

I think if you do any shorter than that – depending on what you’re talking about, I think you sometimes can’t get into as much substance, or you really can’t dive into the topic as much as you could if it was shorter.

 

Jackie:

That’s a really good point. I think on the StudioPress one [podcast], they are basically just introducing people of the community to the StudioPress audience. In that case, a thirty-minute podcast probably makes a lot of sense – for a length like that. But to talk about an in-depth topic – the reason I started Rethink is it goes back to what Jonathan was saying – what your reason for doing it was?

 

I’m all about constantly figuring out how to be more efficient, to be more effective with how I’m building out sites, how I’m designing them, how I’m working with content. So I’m always looking for improving it all and rethinking how I’m approaching things. So that was the reason why I wanted to start a podcast, was to explore all of that and see what other people in our community are doing in regards to their workflow.

 

Brian:

Yeah, and I know that all of my friends that are listening to similar podcasts that I am – I do chat with them – they’re all doing it while they work as well. That’s where they listen to it. There’s a lot of people that listen to podcasts while they work, it’s just an interesting thing.

 

So it’s almost like opera, where you – I listen to classical music while I work too, because it helps me to your write.

 

Jonathan:

He’s a writing machine.

 

Brian:

But I actually like more like Jim Brickman, which is more piano stuff. But podcasts for some reason stimulate my brain, and it’s not like pop music, where they’re singing lyrics, but podcasts somehow – I think it stimulates people’s brains. So I have a lot of colleagues that do the same thing. They’re at home, they’re working, they throw up a podcast and listen to it. I think there’s a big community like that out there.

 

Sallie:

I’m just amazed you can listen to anything and work. I can’t even have music without lyrics if I’m working.

 

Brian:

Oh really? Man.

 

Jackie:

I can’t do it either. I have to have complete silence.

 

Jonathan:

I suppose I’m used to the BBC, you know Radio 4. I’ve actually got to have something in the background. I’m very [much] like Brian. Having some chatter in the background is essential.

 

I think the other factor that’s regenerated podcasting in general is the smart phone – the iPhone and Android. The ability of people to listen to podcasting on those two smart phone platforms. It’s totally change podcasting and regenerated it into a growing audience. Because if you do look at the statistics of available podcasting and podcasting consumption, it’s still increasing quite rapidly, especially between younger generations between 18 and 35. There are some statistics that I’ve found that back that up. It’s still a growing platform.

 

But combined, we must spend over ten hours a week on this [podcast], must we John? Together?

 

John:

Ohhh yeah. Definitely. [both laugh]

 

Jackie:

Jonathan, you had said one other thing that I just wanted to follow up on – not hosting your audio or your videos on your own WordPress site. And the other thing to consider with that is your bandwidth, because you’ll be serving –

 

Because if you decide that you just want to [self-host], “I don’t want to pay anything; I’ll just put it on my own site” – that’s the first thing you need to consider, that you can easily cause problems with your bandwidth.

 

Jonathan:

Well, unless you’re hosted with Brian’s crew [Kinsta], and they don’t mind. They don’t mind because they’re such nice people.

 

Jackie:

There’s considerations there with that, too. It’s better – and definitely for the metrics, because you’re getting all the data about the number of downloads, where they’re coming from. Libsyn, if you upgrade your plan (which I haven’t done yet) gives you even more information about what parts of the country it’s coming from, and just all kinds of analytics.

 

Jonathan:

It’s a very strange situation, folks, and it’s a bit confusing, because the Libsyn player has been in eta for almost forever, and it’s not very good. But the Blubrry is a much better player, but I wouldn’t recommend the Blubrry hosting service.

 

Jackie:

Correct.

 

Jonathan:

The Libsyn is better – but on the other hand, even when you log in, even their plan structure is not clear what [with] the different analytical structure. It’s interesting, isn’t it?

 

The other player that works with WordPress that is rather popular is the Smart Podcast Player.

 

John:

By Pat Flynn.

 

Jonathan:

By good old Pat Flynn. He did say he would come on the series, but his assistant –

 

John:

We’ll hit him up again. That’s cool.

 

Jonathan:

We’ll have to hit him up again. I do like Pat, actually. He’s very like what you hear [on his show] actually. He’s all about business. What you hear is what you get, with Pat, unlike some people. But he’s got his partnership, and they’ve got this plugin. I haven’t used it, but it looks quite good. It is reasonably expensive.

 

John:

It’s $96 a year if you buy it annually, and $12 a month if you pay month to month. You probably have seen this plugin on several sites. It’s just a nicer looking plugin.

 

Sallie:

For $96 a year, I would like to do more than look pretty.

 

John:

Hmm. (affirmative)

 

Jonathan:

My last girlfriend said that to me, Sallie. [laughs]

 

Sallie:

Yuk yuk. I’ve never had an issue with the Blubrry player, but one of the main things with PowerPress, which was created to replace PodPress when that was abandoned, lo these many years ago, which was about 2006, is that it will talk to iTunes and the other people for you. You sign up with iTunes, you put your iTunes ID in there, it makes sure everything gets pushed to iTunes. There are other places to manage your various things in there. It interfaces with things very nicely.

 

Jonathan:

Oh thank you so much, Sallie, for pointing that out.

 

Sallie:

It doesn’t care where you’re hosting your files, just tell it where the file is. It has [features including] video player, audio player, do you want to have category casting? You can use a custom taxonomy for your podcast or whatever. I used it to create a podcast network. Each podcast is a different category, and so it has its own podcast feed. I used a different plugin to where each show host can only post to their category, and some other stuff. So it’s very versatile. It’s not a small plugin. It involves a lot of stuff. But there’s much more going on there than the player people see. You can set up a subscribe page very easily, where you “Subscribe on iTunes”, “Subscribe on Android”, “Subscribe by Email”. They just added a new one – I can’t remember what it was.

 

Jackie:

Stitcher? I think Stitcher is on there too now.

 

Sallie:

That might be. It offers you a lot of stuff in addition to just a player. And if I were going to pay for something, it would need to replace all that functionality.

 

Jonathan:

Well thank Sallie. I forgot to point that out, folks. That’s the other main reason you want to use something like Libsyn, is they deal with the insane requirements of iTunes when it comes to the feed. They are fussy, and dealing with iTunes is a bit of an eye opener. I actually used to joke with my old co-host that I think there’s just one intern in the Apple headquarters that deals with where your podcast is going to turn up. I think it’s probably just one intern that’s given the job. They don’t even know what they’re listening to half the time. But that’s my fantasy.

 

John:

I want to list some themes and some plugins that we haven’t mentioned before we close out –

 

Jonathan:

We need to close out, don’t we John?

 

John:

Yeah, we need to close out, but anyway, I want to mention these ones too.

Another plugin that we haven’t mentioned is Seriously Simple Podcasting. I don’t know if anyone [here] has used that –

 

Sallie:

I used it on one site. It creates a custom post type for your podcasts. It doesn’t do as much stuff as Blubrry, so it depends on what you need. But it is pretty straightforward.

 

John:

Very good. Has anyone used the Libsyn WordPress Plugin?

 

Sallie:

Yes. The thing about the Libsyn WordPress plugin is that it is designed to pull your podcast in from Libsyn, so that you can go and publish it on your Libsyn site, and it will automatically bring it into your WordPress site. So for peope who have already been podcasting on Libsyn, and they don’t want to have to do something like, “I have to add all of my back episodes, etc.” It does that synchronization thing pretty quickly. It’s not much use if you don’t have your podcast on Libsyn.

 

John:

Yeah. [laughs] It goes without saying. A couple of themes that I wanted to mention – there’s a theme shop that seems to specialize just in podcast themes, called Appendipity. Has anyone used that?

 

Sallie:

I think I used some of their stuff ages ago, but the thing is, you can use any themes for a podcast. It doesn’t [matter]. So what are these themes doing? Are they building in a lot of function that ought to be in plugins, and locking you in? That seems to be the issue with specialist themes of many kinds.

 

John:

Could be.

 

Sallie:

Or is it that they all have a certain kind of layout that helps with, “Here’s your ad placement”? And you may want to certainly think about a theme that can fit ads into if you’re looking at that as a means of supporting your podcast. I would advise against something where you can hardly find the content for the ads. But it depends a lot on your niche and your market.

 

John:

The last two themes I want to mention are the Giza theme which seems to be highly recommended, and the Podcaster theme which was recommended to Jonathan by Pippin. That’s what he uses for Apply Filters.

 

Jonathan:

Yeah, go there, Jonathan. That’s what I thought. If it’s good enough for Pippin Williamson, it’s good enough for Jonathan Denwood.

 

John:

So we will include all those in the show notes both in the podcast feed and on the site. And with that, we’re going to close the regular part of the show.

 

Brian, how do people get a hold of you? Where can we find you?

 

Brian:

You can find me – I pretty much live on Twitter, it’s just @brianleejackson, and then you can find me on Woorkup dot com. I blog on there about marketing, WordPress, all sorts of stuff, and on Kinsta.com, you can find me on the blog there too.

 

John:

Very good. Sallie, how do we find you?

 

Sallie:

You can find me at WPFangirl.com, I’m @salliegoetsch on Twitter. If you can spell my name, you can find me everywhere. There’s only one of me on Google.

 

John:

Jackie, how do we find you?

 

Jackie:

You can find me at JackieDelia.com or on Twitter @jdelia.

 

John:

Jonathan, how do we get a hold of you?

 

Jonathan:

Oh, I’m like a rash. I’m all over the internet. You can find me @jonathandenwood on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, email me. I’m one of these people that still reply to their email every second day. And also Skype, when I’ve got it on. I’m a bit like Brian, I will talk to people if I’ve got a spare moment, but if I’m busy, you won’t get a reply from me. I’m like Brian in ways. But I’m all over the place, aren’t I John?

 

John:

Yes, you are.

[crosstalk]

 

And you can find me at LockedownDesign.com, that’s my website. And you can also find me on Twitter, @Lockedown_.

 

And with that, I want to remind everyone next week, me and Sallie, and Kim Shivler, and Anca, we’re all going to be –

 

Sallie:

And Jonathan!

 

John:

Yeah, don’t forget Jonathan, he’s actually talking. But we’re all going to be at WordCamp Sacramento, so we’re going to have a special episode. It probably won’t be on Saturday, since we’ll be at WordCamp. We’re looking at probably Monday. But we’ll see what we turn up, we’ll let you know. Tune in for our next episode. On the next episode, we’re going to have Beka Rice for an interview from SkyVerge. And we will see you then. Singing out. Ok cool.

 

Sallie:

You need to turn off the Live button.

 

John:

Okay.

 

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