PODCAST

The Podcast Accelerator, Learn How to Grow Your Podcast

Mark Asquith

Welcome to The Podcast Accelerator, the show that helps busy podcasters to grow their audience in specific, actionable ways. I’m your host Mark Asquith, "That British Podcast Guy" and co-founder of https://www.captivate.fm (Captivate.fm), a podcast hosting, analytics, marketing & monetisation platform that focusses solely on helping the serious independent podcaster to grow their audience & leverage their audio influence. I've been podcasting since 2012, have produced over 1,400 episodes, built a podcasting business that helps tens of thousands of podcasters and am a regular speaker at podcasting events across the globe, including Podcast Movement, Podfest and Harvard's "Sound Education" event - in short: I live and breathe independent podcasting full-time. The Podcast Accelerator is a deep-dive podcast that releases every Monday (along with the accompanying newsletter at https://mark.live/learn) where I go into detail about growth strategies & tactics for your podcast that are based on my running & growing businesses & content platforms since 2005. During each episode I give you three specific, actionable takeaways that you can implement right away and I'm always available to answer questions on Twitter (https://mark.live/twitter). This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podcorn - https://podcorn.com/privacy Podtrac - https://analytics.podtrac.com/privacy-policy-gdrp Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy

Hiatus - Spring 2022
I'm having a little bit of a break from the podcast to focus on family and Captivate but will be back shortly! In this episode I'll talk to you about why, when I'll be back and recommend a LOT of excellent content to help you to grow your podcast while I'm away!  https://www.markasquith.com/the-podcast-accelerator/302/ (How to Get More Listener Engagement) - We all want more “engagement” on our podcasts but the word itself poses some challenges and leaves us fighting for broad strokes of interaction that we just can't scale. But we can fix it. https://www.markasquith.com/the-podcast-accelerator/303/ (A Simple Twitter Strategy for Podcast Growth) - Each social channel has its nuances, benefits and flaws. Twitter is my personal favourite for podcast growth so today I'm sharing a few simple strategies that I employ to build my podcast audience using the platform. https://www.markasquith.com/the-podcast-accelerator/304/ (Are Your Podcasting Processes Killing Your Show?) - The panacea for the busy podcaster is a robust set of processes. But are your processes devolving your podcast into a lifeless cookie cutter template? Are your processes undermining your creativity and, if so, how can you achieve the perfect balance? https://www.markasquith.com/the-podcast-accelerator/305/ (How to Get Guests to Share Your Podcast) - An interview show is touted as the way to “explode” your influence and increase your impact by the gurus who sell anything to anyone, but you've followed all of their advice and for some reason, your numbers aren't moving and your guests don't often share the interviews that they do with you. Why? https://www.markasquith.com/the-podcast-accelerator/306/ (Are YOU the Thing Stopping Your Podcast Growing?) - The truth is that you and I, we don't know everything and remaining humble is a skill and mindset that we all, as podcasters, must practice and adopt so that we don't limit the potential of our podcast by letting our ego get in the way. https://www.markasquith.com/the-podcast-accelerator/307/ (3 Actionable Dynamic Content Insertion Ideas) - Podcasting tech can seem overwhelming but it rarely is once you know how to use it. Here are three creative and actionable ways that you can instantly start to use dynamic ad and content insertion to enhance your podcast today. https://www.getrevue.co/profile/mrasquith (The Podcast Accelerator (Deep-dive newsletter format with extra content)) - I also send out a weekly newsletter version of the podcast which includes visual elements and extra content to help you. Hey, no spam around here. Get to it! Your next steps I teach podcasting a lot and for free. So, here's what I'd recommend you do next: Watch my free podcasting tutorials on YouTube: https://mark.live/youtube (YouTube (Captivate)) Ask me anything at all about podcasting over on Twitter: https://mark.live/twitter (Twitter) This episode is sponsored by AWeber, the free email marketing tool that podcasters like you can use to build meaningful, profitable relationships with listeners. https://mark.live/email (Use AWeber for free). This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podcorn - https://podcorn.com/privacy Podtrac - https://analytics.podtrac.com/privacy-policy-gdrp Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy
30-03-2022
3 mins
3 Actionable Dynamic Content Insertion Ideas
Podcasting tech can seem overwhelming but it rarely is once you know how to use it. Here are three creative and actionable ways that you can instantly start to use dynamic ad and content insertion to enhance your podcast today. Your next steps I teach podcasting a lot and for free. So, here's what I'd recommend you do next: Watch my free podcasting tutorials on YouTube: https://mark.live/youtube (YouTube (Captivate)) Ask me anything at all about podcasting over on Twitter: https://mark.live/twitter (Twitter) This episode is sponsored by AWeber, the free email marketing tool that podcasters like you can use to build meaningful, profitable relationships with listeners. https://mark.live/email (Use AWeber for free). Mentioned in this episode: Straight-talking podcast growth tutorials for the busy podcaster Every week I send out 1,000-2,000 words of completely free, tried and tested podcast education. It's totally focussed on helping you to grow and monetise your audience and has become one of the most trusted go-to places for honest podcasting education in the world. It's all free and you can get it below. https://mark.live/learn (The Podcast Accelerator deep-dive newsletter) Audio Content Painter Tool (part of AMIE) Dynamic ad and dynamic content insertion are usually thought of when creating brand new content and are typically used for inserting content at the beginning, middle and end of your podcast episodes. But what if you have content that you "baked-in" to your episode, i.e. that you literally read and recorded as you created the content, that you'd like to replace? Content such as old sponsor ad reads, out of date messages and calls to action can lead to a poor listener experience because it's rare that a new listener doesn't explore your back catalog of content. It used to be exceptionally hard to replace any out of date content, often requiring the re-recording and republishing of your podcast episode audio file which meant that it simply wouldn't get done. Using Captivate'd audio content painter tool, part of the AMIE suite of dynamic podcasting tools, makes replacing old content that was recorded during your episodes a breeze! Simply paint the audio that you'd like to replace using Captivate' s simple and highly accurate audio painter and choose a new snippet of audio to replace that segment with - it doesn't even need to be the same length! This is especially powerful when you use it in bulk across your entire back catalog and makes it easy to open up sponsorship opportunities for your podcast's whole episode inventory! https://mark.live/captivate (Try Captivate for free) This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podcorn - https://podcorn.com/privacy Podtrac - https://analytics.podtrac.com/privacy-policy-gdrp Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy
14-03-2022
29 mins
Are YOU the Thing Stopping Your Podcast Growing?
The truth is that you and I, we don't know everything and remaining humble is a skill and mindset that we all, as podcasters, must practice and adopt so that we don't limit the potential of our podcast by letting our ego get in the way. Your next steps I teach podcasting a lot and for free. So, here's what I'd recommend you do next: Watch my free podcasting tutorials on YouTube: https://mark.live/youtube (YouTube (Captivate)) Ask me anything at all about podcasting over on Twitter: https://mark.live/twitter (Twitter) This episode is sponsored by AWeber, the free email marketing tool that podcasters like you can use to build meaningful, profitable relationships with listeners. https://mark.live/email (Use AWeber for free). Mentioned in this episode: Meet Captivate's Dynamic Show Notes Builder Writing high-quality show notes is a vital part of a successful podcast but is often overlooked because, honestly, it’s a pretty cumbersome task. Captivate’s Dynamic Show Notes Builder does the heavy lifting for you by allowing you to build unlimited Show Notes Templates and set specific Templates as default for the podcast episodes that you publish. Your show notes become dynamic when you use Captivate’s advanced “Blocks” and “Shortcodes” to enhance your show notes by adding content that can be updated in one place and that, when changed, will then be updated in every single episode within which that content appears. Blocks are reusable chunks of content that can be utilised in several Templates at a time and Shortcodes are single pieces of data that are either included from your Captivate dashboard, such as your single promotional link, information on the guests that have been interviewed on your podcast using Captivate’s guest booking & interview management system, tip or donation links and your measurable attribution links plus any custom Shortcodes that you may have added to your Captivate dashboard such as custom hiatus messages or privacy messages. AMIE, Captivate’s Audio Monetisation & Integration Engine, works in a very special, highly useful way with the dynamic podcast Show Notes Builder. When uploading your own dynamic content for use in your episode pre-roll, post-roll or mid-roll, you can also include a text title, some free text and associate one of your Captivate attribution links to the piece of audio so that, when you dynamically insert the audio using AMIE, Captivate automatically includes the label, text and measurable attribution link in your show notes. Captivate will do this for every piece of dynamically inserted audio and will measure the traffic and clicks via each associated attribution link. If you remove (individually or in bulk) audio from your episodes using AMIE, the show notes will dynamically update for each episode affected. Welcome to dynamic show notes, brought to you by Captivate. https://mark.live/captivate (Try Captivate for free) Straight-talking podcast growth tutorials for the busy podcaster Every week I send out 1,000-2,000 words of completely free, tried and tested podcast education. It's totally focussed on helping you to grow and monetise your audience and has become one of the most trusted go-to places for honest podcasting education in the world. It's all free and you can get it below. https://mark.live/learn (The Podcast Accelerator deep-dive newsletter) This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podcorn - https://podcorn.com/privacy Podtrac - https://analytics.podtrac.com/privacy-policy-gdrp Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy
14-02-2022
24 mins
How to Get Guests to Share Your Podcast
An interview show is touted as the way to "explode" your influence and increase your impact by the gurus who sell anything to anyone, but you've followed all of their advice and for some reason, your numbers aren't moving and your guests don't often share the interviews that they do with you. Why? Your next steps I teach podcasting a lot and for free. So, here's what I'd recommend you do next: Watch my free podcasting tutorials on YouTube: https://mark.live/youtube (YouTube (Captivate)) Ask me anything at all about podcasting over on Twitter: https://mark.live/twitter (Twitter) This episode is sponsored by AWeber, the free email marketing tool that podcasters like you can use to build meaningful, profitable relationships with listeners. https://mark.live/email (Use AWeber for free). Mentioned in this episode: HypeFury - my Twitter growth tool I'm a huge fan of building an engaged audience on Twitter but the day-to-day of doing that isn't always easy. HypeFury is my favourite tool to help manage Twitter content because it gives me the opportunity to really analyse what's working, what's not working and helps me to spot trends in my content creation that really resonate with my audience. It's important to treat Twitter like the content platform that it is and HypeFury's toolkit is perfect for the serious creator who wants to build a meaningful audience on the platform whilst also measuring specific follower growth and engagement. The free plan from HypeFury is perfect for getting started and the team is highly responsive to feedback, feature requests and support. It's my #1 Twitter growth recommendation! https://mark.live/hypefury (Try HypeFury for free) Straight-talking podcast growth tutorials for the busy podcaster Every week I send out 1,000-2,000 words of completely free, tried and tested podcast education. It's totally focussed on helping you to grow and monetise your audience and has become one of the most trusted go-to places for honest podcasting education in the world. It's all free and you can get it below. https://mark.live/learn (The Podcast Accelerator deep-dive newsletter) This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podcorn - https://podcorn.com/privacy Podtrac - https://analytics.podtrac.com/privacy-policy-gdrp Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy
07-02-2022
32 mins
Are Your Podcasting Processes Killing Your Show?
The panacea for the busy podcaster is a robust set of processes. But are your processes devolving your podcast into a lifeless cookie cutter template? Are your processes undermining your creativity and, if so, how can you achieve the perfect balance? Welcome to The Podcast Accelerator, the thrice-weekly show that brings you podcast education, industry insights and straight-talking reactions to podcasting news. I’m your host Mark Asquith, The British Podcast Guy and MD and co-founder of http://captivate.fm/ (Captivate.fm), the world’s only growth-oriented podcast host where you can get your first month of podcast hosting for just one dollar and transfer an existing podcast in, completely free. Thank you so much for joining me on the Podcast Accelerator, remember to tell your podcasting friends that the show is available to listen to for free in any app that supports podcasts. Your next steps I teach podcasting a lot, and usually for free. So, here's what I'd recommend you do next: Watch my free podcasting tutorials on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/captivatepodcasting (https://www.youtube.com/captivatepodcasting) Learn how to launch your own podcast the right way, for free (plus a comprehensive download-and-keep crib sheet): https://www.podcastsuccessacademy.com/ (https://www.podcastsuccessacademy.com) Ask me anything at all about podcasting over on Twitter: https://mark.live/twitter (Mark.Live/Twitter) P.S. you can start engaging with your listeners using AWeber. It's free, no credit card required: https://mark.live/email (Mark.Live/Email) Mentioned in this episode: Straight-talking podcast growth tutorials for the busy podcaster Every week I send out 1,000-2,000 words of completely free, tried and tested podcast education. It's totally focussed on helping you to grow and monetise your audience and has become one of the most trusted go-to places for honest podcasting education in the world. It's all free and you can get it below. https://mark.live/learn (The Podcast Accelerator deep-dive newsletter) Descript - edit your audio like a word processor! Descript! When it comes to your podcasting processes, it’s important to find the “stack” that works for you. Whether that includes a classic digital audio workstation like Audition or Hindenburg or something more specifically tailored to the busy podcaster like my recommendation today, Descript is really down to your own technical preferences and your available budgets. Descript is an audio and video editor that works by transcribing your audio and giving you an editor that works like a word processor - edit your words and the audio will be edited to match. It’s wonderful! But, Descript does so much more than that: build beautiful, on-brand audiograms, one-click publish your episodes and transcriptions to your podcast hosting platform with Captivate’s direct integration and manage multiple podcast speakers all from within Descript’s simple interface. I highly recommend Descript if you’re looking for a quicker way to edit your podcast plus, the Descript team is a team that I’ve come to know and work with more over the years and that I know does business like I do: with the success of you, the busy podcaster, at the heart of their mission. https://mark.live/descript (Try Descript for free) This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podcorn - https://podcorn.com/privacy Podtrac - https://analytics.podtrac.com/privacy-policy-gdrp Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy
01-02-2022
21 mins
A Simple Twitter Strategy for Podcast Growth
Each social channel has its nuances, benefits and flaws. Twitter is my personal favourite for podcast growth so today I'm sharing a few simple strategies that I employ to build my podcast audience using the platform. Welcome to The Podcast Accelerator, the thrice-weekly show that brings you podcast education, industry insights and straight-talking reactions to podcasting news. I’m your host Mark Asquith, The British Podcast Guy and CEO and co-founder of Rebel Base Media, the podcast tech company that creates the Podcast Success Academy, Podcast Websites, Poductivity, Rebel Base Studios & http://captivate.fm/ (Captivate.fm), the world’s only growth-oriented podcast host where you can get your first month of podcast hosting for just one dollar and transfer an existing podcast in, completely free. Thank you so much for joining me on the Podcast Accelerator, remember to tell your podcasting friends that the show is available to listen to for free in any app that supports podcasts. Your next steps I teach podcasting a lot, and usually for free. So, here's what I'd recommend you do next: Watch my free podcasting tutorials on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/captivatepodcasting (https://www.youtube.com/captivatepodcasting) Learn how to launch your own podcast the right way, for free (plus a comprehensive download-and-keep crib sheet): https://www.podcastsuccessacademy.com/ (https://www.podcastsuccessacademy.com) Ask me anything at all about podcasting over on Twitter: https://mark.live/twitter (Mark.Live/Twitter) P.S. you can start engaging with your listeners using AWeber. It's free, no credit card required: https://mark.live/email (Mark.Live/Email) Mentioned in this episode: Captivate’s Podcast Attribution Links I talk a lot about engagement and why it’s vital to foster genuine micro interactions with your audience. But without measurement, those strategies and actions can’t be deemed to be successes or failures and right now in podcasting, there are so many disparate tools out there that are trying to solve these measurement problems. Captivate’s first-party attribution links allow you replace short link generators like Bit.ly or Pretty Links with short links that you create directly from your podcast hosting dashboard. The mega benefit with this is that you can then attach these short links to pieces of dynamic audio, automatically insert them into your show notes when you use Captivate’s AMIE (Audio Monetization & Integration Engine) tool and use them throughout your episodes as simple, memorable calls to action. Simply tell Captivate the long, real world link that you’d like to measure, link up your custom domain for free and then set a short link that Captivate will then measure traffic to. For example: mark.live/twitter takes you to https://www.twitter.com/MrAsquith AND all of the traffic to it is measured. I use this feature every single day and it’s one of the things that has really transformed my podcasting focus by giving my show accountability! https://mark.live/captivate (Try Captivate for free) Straight-talking podcast growth tutorials for the busy podcaster Every week I send out 1,000-2,000 words of completely free, tried and tested podcast education. It's totally focussed on helping you to grow and monetise your audience and has become one of the most trusted go-to places for honest podcasting education in the world. It's all free and you can get it below. https://mark.live/learn (The Podcast Accelerator deep-dive newsletter) This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podcorn - https://podcorn.com/privacy Podtrac - https://analytics.podtrac.com/privacy-policy-gdrp Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy
24-01-2022
28 mins
How to Get More Listener Engagement
We all want more "engagement" on our podcasts but the word itself poses some challenges and leaves us fighting for broad strokes of interaction that we just can't scale. But we can fix it. About The Podcast Accelerator Welcome to The Podcast Accelerator, the thrice-weekly show that brings you podcast education, industry insights and straight-talking reactions to podcasting news. I’m your host Mark Asquith, The British Podcast Guy and CEO and co-founder of Rebel Base Media, the podcast tech company that creates the Podcast Success Academy, Podcast Websites, Poductivity, Rebel Base Studios & http://captivate.fm/ (Captivate.fm), the world’s only growth-oriented podcast host where you can get your first month of podcast hosting for just one dollar and transfer an existing podcast in, completely free. Thank you so much for joining me on the Podcast Accelerator, remember to tell your podcasting friends that the show is available to listen to for free in any app that supports podcasts. Your next steps I teach podcasting a lot, and usually for free. So, here's what I'd recommend you do next: Watch my free podcasting tutorials on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/captivatepodcasting (https://www.youtube.com/captivatepodcasting) Learn how to launch your own podcast the right way, for free (plus a comprehensive download-and-keep crib sheet): https://www.podcastsuccessacademy.com/ (https://www.podcastsuccessacademy.com) Ask me anything at all about podcasting over on Twitter: https://mark.live/twitter (Mark.Live/Twitter) P.S. you can start engaging with your listeners using AWeber. It's free, no credit card required: https://mark.live/email (Mark.Live/Email) Mentioned in this episode: Straight-talking podcast growth tutorials for the busy podcaster Every week I send out 1,000-2,000 words of completely free, tried and tested podcast education. It's totally focussed on helping you to grow and monetise your audience and has become one of the most trusted go-to places for honest podcasting education in the world. It's all free and you can get it below. https://mark.live/learn (The Podcast Accelerator deep-dive newsletter) RÖDE Procaster Today I'm telling your about something that I’ve used since day ONE of podcasting back in 2013 (or 2012? I’m not sure anymore) and that is my RÖDE Procaster microphone! It’s rare that I recommend hardware because my love is more about software and the content/marketing side of podcasting but wow, this mic has served me SO well. I’ve tried ALL sorts of mics over the years and this one has never let me down. It’s an XLR mic so it’s not something that you can plug straight into a computer like you can the Samson Q2U or ATR 2100 (all amazing mics) but for the budget, this mic was the best pound-for-pound contender for me and my voice and it could be for you, too. It’s a dynamic mic so you have to be up close to it but it will keep a lot of the background noise or echo out of the recording, too. https://mark.live/gear (Recommended podcasting gear on Amazon) This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podcorn - https://podcorn.com/privacy Podtrac - https://analytics.podtrac.com/privacy-policy-gdrp Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy
17-01-2022
36 mins
An In-Depth Chat with Co-Founder Mark on Global's Acquisition of Captivate - Captivate InsiderAn Improvement to The Podcast Accelerator Format
The newly revamped weekly podcast growth newsletter and podcast is here! But... what's the point?! (Want the email version? Hit "Subscribe" at https://www.twitter.com/MrAsquith) Welcome to The Podcast Accelerator, the thrice-weekly show that brings you podcast education, industry insights and straight-talking reactions to podcasting news. I’m your host Mark Asquith, The British Podcast Guy and CEO and co-founder of Rebel Base Media, the podcast tech company that creates the Podcast Success Academy, Podcast Websites, Poductivity, Rebel Base Studios & http://captivate.fm/ (Captivate.fm), the world’s only growth-oriented podcast host where you can get your first month of podcast hosting for just one dollar and transfer an existing podcast in, completely free. Thank you so much for joining me on the Podcast Accelerator, remember to tell your podcasting friends that the show is available to listen to for free in any app that supports podcasts. Your next steps I teach podcasting a lot, and usually for free. So, here's what I'd recommend you do next: Watch my free podcasting tutorials on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/captivatepodcasting (https://www.youtube.com/captivatepodcasting) Learn how to launch your own podcast the right way, for free (plus a comprehensive download-and-keep crib sheet): https://www.podcastsuccessacademy.com/ (https://www.podcastsuccessacademy.com) Ask me anything at all about podcasting over on Twitter: https://mark.live/twitter (Mark.Live/Twitter) P.S. you can start engaging with your listeners using AWeber. It's free, no credit card required: https://mark.live/email (Mark.Live/Email) Mentioned in this episode: Straight-talking podcast growth tutorials for the busy podcaster Every week I send out 1,000-2,000 words of completely free, tried and tested podcast education. It's totally focussed on helping you to grow and monetise your audience and has become one of the most trusted go-to places for honest podcasting education in the world. It's all free and you can get it below. https://mark.live/learn (The Podcast Accelerator deep-dive newsletter) This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podcorn - https://podcorn.com/privacy Podtrac - https://analytics.podtrac.com/privacy-policy-gdrp Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy
10-01-2022
12 mins
2021 Holiday BreakBeware the Podcast Sales!
Black Friday just rolled around once more and, as ever, my inbox was flooded with sales from all sorts of people including podcast "gurus". I'm sure that you had the same emails. With January about to roll around again, the emails will just keep on coming with offers that are too good to be true, time-bound ("Act now!") and at a huge discount ("Down from $997 to $297, today only!"). It means you can save a bit of money, so what's the problem? The problem is: to succeed at anything, you have to do something. My Grandad didn't have a dog, but he bought dog food. My Grandad was a really great guy. If you've https://www.ted.com/talks/mark_asquith_choose_happiness_choose_control (seen my TEDx talk), you'll know how much he taught me about life and why that matters to https://www.captivate.fm (the business that I've created) today. My Grandad loved my dog, Pete, and every time he went shopping he bought whatever dog food was on sale at a cut-price bargain. I once asked him why and he told me it was "just in case". I really appreciated that (so did Pete), but he also told me that the other reason that he bought it was that "it was a bargain because it was on sale". The problem was that he didn't need it and he didn't use it - Pete had already been fed every time we saw Grandad but he kept buying it. Because he felt like he was saving money. That particular item was reduced, after all. But... you're only saving money if you buy something that you need and that you'll use and then you go and find a deal on it. Otherwise, you're spending money that you weren't ever going to spend in the name of "a bargain". Why podcast course sales aren't all they're purported to be. This holiday season, there are so many people in any field offering wild deals for the people looking to succeed in that field. I've talked about the language that "gurus" use a lot and how it's all geared up to make you either a) buy or b) feel bad about not buying. Much of that language hinges on "FOMPS", an acronym that I just made up and that stands for "Fear of Missing Potential Success" - aka, "If I get [this thing, from this guru], it could be the very thing that finally helps me to achieve the success that I've been struggling to find." You see it all of the time: Black Friday and early January are two prime times for the kind of "offer" that I described above and even if you're not susceptible to FOMPS (I'm liking that acronym, you know), the "gurus" have another trick up their sleeve: "WTHNIALTD". Alright, that acronym doesn't work, in fact I can't even say it, so here's what it means: "Why the heck not, it's a lifetime deal". You'll get some emails that offer a lifetime deal to a course or a membership that is simply too good to be true. For example, you'll get an offer to buy lifetime access to an annual membership that usually costs $97 per year, and the lifetime deal will be something audacious like $297 - and it'll come with language like: "This is equivalent to ONLY THREE YEARS at the usual membership rate!" It makes it feel like a no brainer... because it's almost affordable, too. So you're willing to stretch to buy it. Why does it work? Because you then think: "I'll use that one day; I don't have the time now but wow, that's a bargain so I have to get it RIGHT NOW or it'll go away forever and ever and ever." And the "gurus" know that. They even tell you things like "The price is about to go up!" or "This is the cheapest you'll ever be able to get this!" - they sound like meat salesmen on a British seaside market! But the "gurus" are savvy... They know that you were never, ever going to buy from them (because they segmented you into an email list based on your click behaviour and by potentially retargeting you via your content clicks) and that you'll probably never use the thing that you buy from...
29-11-2021
18 mins
Dynamic Ad Insertion Explained Simply
As a serious independent podcast creator, it’s important that you have a https://www.captivate.fm/features (full toolkit available to you) to help you to grow your podcast’s audience and to monetize your show(s) in diverse ways. There are so many options available to audio influencers and podcast creators that it can be hard to figure out which range of options to incorporate into your monetization strategy but, inevitably, the subject of sponsors, ads and ad partners will present itself, often sooner rather than later. In short: dynamic ad insertion, or “DAI”, is the process of recording your audio and publishing your podcast episode as normal, then marking areas within that episode where advertising will be inserted by a piece of software after the episode has been published – often with ever-changing parameters, which constitutes the “dynamic” part of the acronym. Dynamic Ad Insertions vs “Baked-In” AdsTo better understand dynamic ad insertion, we first have to look at its opposite number: “baked-in” ads. “Baked-in” refers to the practice of advertisements being read out by the podcast creator during the recording of an episode. Once published, these advertisements are ‘baked-in’ parts of the audio and removing or replacing them typically involves re-recording and/or re-editing the entire piece of content, a time-consuming process that is often too cumbersome to achieve and hinders monetization opportunities for audio creators. For example, a podcaster might secure a deal with a local or niche sponsor to partner with them on four episodes and where the podcaster sells them a “pre-roll” and a “mid-roll” ad slot per episode. The podcaster will then agree on a script and a call to action with the sponsor (usually asking the listener to go to a page on a website) and, as the podcaster records their episode, they’ll read the scripts at the relevant places whilst doing the recording. They then go ahead and publish that episode as normal and the ads are “baked-in” to the audio content. This is a really common way that serious independent podcasters make money: they’re leveraging their audio influence to close a deal and then offering a host-read advert, or multiple adverts, in their content. Dynamic ad insertion gives you the opportunity to achieve the same outcome but also opens the door to various other opportunities, too. Pre-Roll, Mid-Roll & Post-Roll Podcast Ads ExplainedAds are usually sold in “slots”. A “slot” is just a location within your episode that an ad will appear. There are three types of ad location that you might hear about in podcast advertising: Pre-roll – ads are placed before your episode content begins and before any audio from your episode is played. Mid-roll – ads are interspersed within your content. We call these “mid-roll, in-content” here at Captivate because we think it’s a little more obvious. Post-roll – ads are placed after your episode content has finished. There’s a little flexibility in these terms that you might come across, too. For example, a true pre-roll plays before any other content but for a podcaster who sells ads themselves and reads them out (either baking them in or dynamically inserting them later), they may class an ad within the first few minutes as a pre-roll because it comes before the main content of the episode. The same goes for post-roll: where true post-roll plays after all other audio has finished, a podcaster who has sold a post-roll ad to a sponsor directly may class an ad after their content, but before their outro, as a post-roll. The important thing to remember here is that there is no right or wrong or need to worry about that jargon too much, you’ll work with sponsors and ad partners to make sure that the ads are in the right place. Speaking of jargon, there is one more acronym that you need to know: CPM – this stands for “cost per mille”.
22-11-2021
26 mins
Scared to Experiment with Your Podcast?
You'd be forgiven for thinking I've been lazy over the last month. My podcast publishing has been slower than usual - dropping from once per week to once every two weeks - but, it hasn't been due to laziness. It's been due to experimentation. Honestly. Promise. But why? A few weeks ago I had a planned week off from publishing. I had a family holiday booked and, as usual, I let my audience know not to expect an episode of The Podcast Accelerator that week. Logging back into my https://www.captivate.fm (Captivate) account on my return, I spotted something interesting: the last few episodes that I'd published had seen accelerated downloads while I was away. I dug into this using Captivate's Performance Comparison analytics graph and what was happening was that my previous few episodes were receiving steadily increased traffic over a more sustained period of time.  I.e. new people discovering my podcast were downloading the more recent episodes rather than just digesting the new episode that I'd have put out on the Monday that I was away. So, I figured that I'd test that out a little: over the course of the next six weeks, I released three episodes instead of the usual six.  To my surprise, the trend continued! Each of those three episodes received 25% more downloads within the first 28 days than the episodes that I published weekly. Why? I'm doing more testing on this but I believe it's purely because new listeners are discovering my show, downloading the back catalog a little more and enjoying them rather than hopping on the latest episode and leaving. What's curious about this, too, is that I didn't do any more marketing on these episodes. Honestly, not a bean. Nothing extra. I purposely left it alone so as to not distort the results: a weekly show gets a weekly episode promotional cycle, so to spend two weeks promoting one episode would have grossly skewed the results, with each episode receiving twice the amount of promotion. But as I said, I didn't do that - I just did my usual email (like this) and a few little Tweets. The numbers still went up on an episode-by-episode basis. Why is this interesting? Well, so many podcasters focus on the number of monthly downloads as a measure of success, but that's the wrong number, in my view. Sure, it's a nice big number that makes us all feel great about our show but it's not really a measure of our audience, it's a measure of the activity across all of our catalog. That's why sponsors look at the number of downloads that an episode receives within 28-days of its release: that is a better indicator of the number of people listening to your show and a better indicator of your audience size. During this experiment, my monthly numbers dropped (because my audience wasn't receiving 6 new episodes during the period and so, my show didn't get the usual weekly spike) but my real audience size seemed to increase which, of course, is a much better success metric than those total monthly downloads. Would I have had the same audience growth without running this experiment? Honestly, I don't know - maybe. After all, the number of new people coming to the show during any given period doesn't seem to correlate to the frequency of episode releases but having said that, I can't prove that it doesn't correlate, either. I'm doing more testing on this so maybe I'll publish weekly, maybe I'll have a few weeks where I stagger it - I'm working on it, it's a live experiment. I want you to take this away from today: don't be afraid to mix things up with your podcast. Some of the best marketing results in anything come from the unexpected and spotting something unexpected is a skill unto itself. If you see something in your analytics or if you have something that you'd like to try, do it. Be bold and experiment with your podcast because, to paraphrase our friend Albert Einstein, you...
01-11-2021
11 mins
2 Actionable Podcast Brand Experience Tips
There's an old adage that every entrepreneur claims that they coined but that Jeff Bezos, he of space, is widely credited as saying first: "Your brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room." What do people say about your podcast when you're not in the room? What do they tell friends about your podcast and how, if you aren't in that proverbial room, can you have any influence over what they say? By creating an experience. Brand, at its core, is just that: the promise of an experience that becomes synonymous with a company, person, product, service or place. Or a piece of media. Just like your podcast. As podcasters, we become focussed consistently on our content. And rightly so: without great content we have nothing. But too often we create superb content and assume that's enough and that because we have put blood, sweat and tears into that content, people should come listen and if they don't, it's them that's the problem.  The hard truth, though, is that there's so much great content in the world right now that people can choose from and for us to shine and become the choice of content for our prospects, they have to know about us and feel like they're a part of what we do. That can sound really odd to a podcaster like you or me because we know our content is great and we know that we don't have lots of time to put into anything else except our content. But in order to thrive as a podcaster, you have to focus on experience. Consider any of your favourite movie, TV or literary franchises. They always have apathetic and passionate sides to their fandom. Many people consume content that they love yet don't feel strongly enough about that "world" to vocalise their opinions but some, like the Star Wars or MCU fanbases, are often vocal about their love or hate of a certain decision, storyline, character or product delivered by their beloved franchises. That passion is borne from brand: the promise of an experience and that passion overspills into noise which, in turn, attracts new fans or activates less vocal fans in becoming vocal. Once a brand reaches that level, it unlocks new "powers". Advocacy becomes natural and word-of-mouth becomes a huge factor in new people discovering what that brand has to offer. The more a brand delivers on its experiential promise, the more that flywheel spins and the bigger the brand grows. You see it often in the startup world where, suddenly, a new app or platform springs into the mass market from seemingly nowhere but actually, that platform has gone through the early adopter phase (where it ironed out its brand and product/market fit) through to the curious user stage (where more curious users buy-in, but don't identify as early adopters) and beyond to the establishment and scaling stages (which is where many of us first discover a new brand). Could we do the same for our podcast? Could we, over time, devise and refine a brand promise that targets our niche audience so specifically that we build advocacy and growth through simply doing what we promised to do? Of course! But producing content isn't enough. We have to be focussed on our brand but perhaps even more keenly, focussed on the experience that we want our brand to deliver for the long term. What do we want people to say about our brand when we aren't in the room? The challenge with brand-building is that you have to be so personally aligned to your brand that living it and embodying it doesn't feel forced - it has to feel natural and certainly not like a "job". A great example of this is how we run https://www.captivate.fm (Captivate), our podcast hosting and growth platform. Our brand experience is designed to be one that educates, supports and innovates and leads for our podcasters in a really inclusive way. If you look at the reviews that Captivate has or the reasons...
18-10-2021
19 mins
Effective vs Efficient Podcasting
I owe you an apology. Last week I didn't get my usual Monday content out because we had a crazy week with https://www.captivate.fm/blog (two Captivate mega feature releases). My bad, I thought I had time to get it done but Monday got away from me and it's my fault - I'm sorry. But, here I am this week! Last time, I talked to you about how to cope with podcasting overwhelm and gave you a rule of thumb to start implementing right away. It works, it really does (and not just for your podcast, for most 'work' things). Today, I'm going to talk about "effective versus efficient podcasting" and give you a system to use to make sure that you're being effective, not just efficient. These two concepts come from a book I wrote in 2014 (wow) called The Essential 14-Day Guide to Cutting Your Working Hours and Increasing Your Impact - https://mark.live/time (it's a free book, no email address required and you can get it instantly from here). I'd suggest that you go and download that book (I promise you, I don't ask for an email address or anything, the link is to a direct PDF that you can keep). Ordinarily, I'd write a really long piece today to talk to you about this concept of "Effective vs Efficient Podcasting" but it's all in that book. In particular, I lay out a system that I call "The Triple I" principle which is a method that I still use to this day to make sure I'm doing the right thing at the right time. As a podcaster, it's really easy to just do things and to feel really busy (sometimes that feels great, sometimes it feels awful) and if we aren't careful, a year passes us by with no real progress because we're busy with the wrong thing. "The Triple I Principle" will give you a sense of why you're busy and what you're spending your time on whilst also giving you a framework to improve your own efficacy within your podcast. https://mark.live/time (Download it now for free) (no email, I promise) and on today's podcast episode I'll talk about how it's helped me & how I continue to use it for my podcasting endeavours. Your next steps I teach podcasting a lot, and usually for free. So, here's what I'd recommend you do next: Watch my free podcasting tutorials on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/captivatepodcasting (https://www.youtube.com/captivatepodcasting) Learn how to launch your own podcast the right way, for free (plus a comprehensive download-and-keep crib sheet): https://www.podcastsuccessacademy.com/ (https://www.podcastsuccessacademy.com) Ask me anything at all about podcasting over on Twitter: https://mark.live/twitter (Mark.Live/Twitter) P.S. you can start engaging with your listeners using AWeber. It's free, no credit card required: https://mark.live/email (Mark.Live/Email) Mentioned in this episode: Straight-talking podcast growth tutorials for the busy podcaster Every week I send out 1,000-2,000 words of completely free, tried and tested podcast education. It's totally focussed on helping you to grow and monetise your audience and has become one of the most trusted go-to places for honest podcasting education in the world. It's all free and you can get it below. https://mark.live/learn (The Podcast Accelerator deep-dive newsletter) This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podcorn - https://podcorn.com/privacy Podtrac - https://analytics.podtrac.com/privacy-policy-gdrp Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy
04-10-2021
20 mins
Podcast Overwhelm Coping Tactics
The more you strive to grow your podcast, the more your plate fills up with things you need to do and eventually, you end up with more and more plates to the point that you could enter the world plate spinning championships. The point is: there are a lot of people giving you advice on how to grow your podcast and most of it is decent advice (except those dodgy LinkedIn "podcast promoters") and so when you begin to think about actually what to do about your audience growth, you can feel so overwhelmed that you do nothing because you have no idea where to start or what is the most important thing to do, and when. I have a way to fix that. Read on my wonderful friend. (Before you do, we have this https://www.captivate.fm/maker/ (free Podcast Maker Day) event this week that will give you a few hours of focus time to work on your podcast with our team. It's open to everyone.) I hate the word "coping" - I want you to experience more than that. I work best under pressure. The shorter a deadline is, the better my work is and until a few years ago I thought that was something that was a problem but that couldn't be further from the truth - it's a real power. When I owned my digital and design agency (from 2005 to 2017) I used to be the "face person" of the business - I'd produce the content and lead the vision of the agency whilst also working on the tendering and pitching for some of our biggest contracts.  Tenders, in particular, were a complete and utter pain in the proverbial, though. We would receive a request for quotation (RFQ) a few months before the tender closing date but every single time our tender documentation would be submitted just before the deadline closed - I was never ahead with it. Granted, there was a little strategy to that (look up "Primacy, Frequency and Recency" to understand that a little more) but if I'm completely honest I left things to the last minute because I knew that my work would be better with some pressure. Sure, in the early days I'd make a deep start really early and get things done way ahead of time but the work was never as good as a "rush" job and I had absolutely no idea why.  On the days that we got the heads up on a tender that closed "tomorrow", I did better work than on those tenders that we'd had months to work on and it baffled me. I mean it really baffled me. Once I noticed it I began to relish it, though. I knew my business, I knew my industry and I knew how to write good tenders; I had come to understand myself enough to know that my "quick" decisions were actually highly thought out plans and strategies that I'd been mulling over in my head for months before and it was just the getting it on paper that was done at the last minute. On the morning of a big tender deadline I knew that I usually had until 1pm to submit it, so I would get up at 4am, grab a Yorkshire Tea and get to the studio for 5am. Once I got there, I would put on some loud rock music and forget that anything else existed for the few hours that I worked on the tender. At around 12:30pm the tender would have been checked by Don and off it went, getting submitted and often, won. When I moved into public speaking, I'd do the same. I'd have a talk planned for some time way in the future and would leave the prep until the very, very last minute - I even did it with my TEDx talk! But it was the same scenario: I'd already planned the story, takeaways and the beats of the talk in my head and had been practicing it, refining it and rehearsing it for weeks prior to simply getting it down on paper. In short: I do my best work under pressure and with far too "little time" to do the job - yet it always, always gets done and it's always, always good. Parkinson's Law. This isn't something unique to me, though. In fact, there's an old adage that speaks to the phenomenon...
20-09-2021
27 mins
Test Your Podcasting Tolerances
Podcasting isn't easy. There's so much that goes into a quality podcast episode and that's before we even talk about the launch process, the marketing requirements and all of the pesky business "stuff" that goes into finding and managing sponsors, listener support and any other legal obligations you may have as you start to generate revenue. It's why Captivate creates https://www.youtube.com/captivatepodcasting (so much free educational content) - anything that will help you to navigate the challenges of being a day-to-day podcaster is worth doing. Podcasting is just podcasting, right? "Podfade" is the term that people use to describe a podcast that started producing and then faded out. First and foremost, I want to be clear that that's alright - this is podcasting, not life and death so please ignore anyone being grumpy or telling you that it's wrong to "podfade". There are some angry people out there with access to keyboards. I say that not to be flippant, but so that you know that it's ok for podcasting to not be your whole life. Maybe it's a hobby - heck, I have hobby podcasts that get about 1/3 of the effort that this one does but that I love doing - maybe it's something that you do for other reasons than making money or a business. In short: podcasting is just a *thing* that people do for different reasons and it's ok to put as much or as little into it as you want as long as the expectations of what you'll get "back" from podcasting are aligned to how much you put in. You won't earn a passive living and retire to a beach through podcasting if you spend an hour conducting templated interviews and "automating" every piece of marketing that you do for your show because some guru told you that you can podcast in one hour per week. But, you can make a really good living in the podcasting industry by treating it as a job.  Or you can have a really great time in podcasting by understanding that you don't want it to be a job - much like me with playing my bass, going out with my camera or playing golf; I love them all but understand that I don't want to make a living doing them and so, if I have a week off playing golf, that's ok - no one is going to angrily tweet me about "golfading" or tell me that because I've only played one round of golf that I should be kicked off all golfing platforms and stop contributing to the number of "dead" golfers that make up the vast majority of the industry. Doesn't it sound silly when you say it out loud? One of the challenges with podcasting and in fact, with any other hobby or career path, is that the thing you "do" doesn't always articulate the depth or detail of the things that must be "done" in order to "do" it. For example, "podcasting" is fun and easier than it has ever been but the thing that people associate with podcasting the most is sitting down to record and then seeing that recording on a podcast app for people to listen to. In reality, though, there are so many more nuanced activities that go into a podcast's production and although you might love "podcasting", you don't have to like every act that you must undertake in order to be a podcaster. Without understanding that concept you're at more risk, in my opinion, of "podfading", especially if the things that you don't like to do outweigh the things that you love to do. Test your podcasting tolerances to keep publishing and start growing. There's no point doing things that you don't like unless you simply must do them. That applies in business and in life, in my view, but in podcasting we often have more control over these things than we would if we were trying to avoid doing the laundry which of course, I never ever do. I love doing laundry. Honestly. No, really. What the heck am I talking about? Let's think about some of the things that may go into producing an episode of your podcast: Planning the episode Recording the episode Editing the episode Writing the...
06-09-2021
19 mins
A Podcast Network Business Plan to Copy
You don't need big numbers to monetise your audio influence. You just need a plan. Try this one. Last week https://www.captivate.fm/product-releases/network-features/ (Captivate launched professional podcast network features and cross-promotional feed drops) to all podcasters using the platform. It's a world-first innovation in podcasting but it's more than just a feature-set, it's part of a methodology for creating your own podcast ecosystem that can be scaled and monetised.  Podcast listeners don't do what you think. In my mind, someone who listens to my show enjoys it, tells people all about it and it's the ONLY podcast that they listen to without fail. It's a beautiful world to live in but it's not reality.  Instead, my podcast listeners might skip an episode if they're on holiday or get sick or a flat tyre or [insert inconvenience here...]. The only listeners that won't are the true fans, those who turn up every single time and for whom, I'm the favourite podcast. That is only a percentage of listeners, though. My show is enjoyed by a lot of people, but those true fans who will never, ever miss an episode number as a minority of the overall audience. Your audience is the same, too. But why is that? First, building true fans is harder than acquiring drop-in listeners. I talk about it a heck of a lot in the "Listener Acquisition Flow" talk that I give at events like Podcast Movement and the basic premise is that you have to nurture people through a "funnel" to move them from being "lurkers" into being "listeners", "subscribers" and then "fans". Inevitably, there are so many reasons that someone will move through that funnel: their own propensity to get involved in a community (if you have one, this person will stick around more), their desire to dive deep into your back catalogue of content, their own interest in the behind-the-scenes of your podcast - the list goes on. But one of the main reasons, in my view, that someone won't move through your funnel and become a true fan is if they don't always find what they want when they want it. That's not to say that your show isn't right for them, but how can one thing serve all purposes, moods or needs? It can't, we know that. Let me give you an example: I love the "Rockonteurs" podcast with Guy Pratt and Gary Kemp. I'm a big music fan, love 70s-90s rock and I'm really interested in how the music comes together, so an interview show where two highly-regarded musicians from my favourite era talk to other outstanding musicians from my favourite era is perfect. I'm a fan.  But I REALLY wish they'd release more episodes. I'd listen to them all! But probably not when they came out. I'd binge them on a drive or "catch up" when I was ready for it. But why? If I'm a fan why wouldn't I lap every piece of content the chaps put out instantly? Because of my mood.  I said I love music and as part of that, I also play music. I'm (loosely speaking) a bass player. I love it and lap up YouTube content on how to set up my Stingray, on Fender Jazz Standard basses vs American Deluxe basses and meme-style content from Davie504. I'm all over it.  But when I get in my car to make the sixty-minute drive to our podcast studio and office, I can't take that with me and so, I turn to podcasts. I may be in the mood to delve into something musical but it might be some bass guitar reviews or interviews with drummers or tear-downs of famous albums or song-writing theory breakdowns of popular songs. I don't get that from "Rockonteurs". So I look elsewhere, try to find something and if I'm lucky, I do. But I'm harsh on my decision making when I do. Nine times out of ten, when I do find a new show that I'm in the mood for I don't know the person who is creating the show and so I enter their listener acquisition funnel and start again and again and again every time I'm in the...
23-08-2021
21 mins
Introducing Cross-Promotional Feed Drops & Network Features for Every Captivate Podcaster
For the full Captivate cross-promotional feed drops and network product release notes, check out the blog post here: https://www.captivate.fm/product-releases/network-features/ (https://www.captivate.fm/product-releases/network-features/) Your next steps I teach podcasting a lot, and usually for free. So, here's what I'd recommend you do next: Watch my free podcasting tutorials on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/captivatepodcasting (https://www.youtube.com/captivatepodcasting) Learn how to launch your own podcast the right way, for free (plus a comprehensive download-and-keep crib sheet): https://www.podcastsuccessacademy.com/ (https://www.podcastsuccessacademy.com) Ask me anything at all about podcasting over on Twitter: https://mark.live/twitter (Mark.Live/Twitter) P.S. you can start engaging with your listeners using AWeber. It's free, no credit card required: https://mark.live/email (Mark.Live/Email) Mentioned in this episode: Straight-talking podcast growth tutorials for the busy podcaster Every week I send out 1,000-2,000 words of completely free, tried and tested podcast education. It's totally focussed on helping you to grow and monetise your audience and has become one of the most trusted go-to places for honest podcasting education in the world. It's all free and you can get it below. https://mark.live/learn (The Podcast Accelerator deep-dive newsletter) This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podcorn - https://podcorn.com/privacy Podtrac - https://analytics.podtrac.com/privacy-policy-gdrp Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy
19-08-2021
14 mins
New Captivate Feature Announcement Coming Up
This week is Captivate's second birthday and to celebrate we're running our annual three-hour growth summit over on our https://www.mark.live/youtube (YouTube channel). Entitled Ready, Set, Grow!, the event will feature three amazing speakers and during the summit, I'll be announcing and demo-ing a huge new range of Captivate features to help you, the indie podcast creator and audio influencer, to grow and monetize your audience. There'll be a full, deep-dive education episode of The Podcast Accelerator landing on Thursday to compliment this so for now, let me tell you about the event and what to expect. Your next steps I teach podcasting a lot, and usually for free. So, here's what I'd recommend you do next: Watch my free podcasting tutorials on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/captivatepodcasting (https://www.youtube.com/captivatepodcasting) Learn how to launch your own podcast the right way, for free (plus a comprehensive download-and-keep crib sheet): https://www.podcastsuccessacademy.com/ (https://www.podcastsuccessacademy.com) Ask me anything at all about podcasting over on Twitter: https://mark.live/twitter (Mark.Live/Twitter) P.S. you can start engaging with your listeners using AWeber. It's free, no credit card required: https://mark.live/email (Mark.Live/Email) Mentioned in this episode: Straight-talking podcast growth tutorials for the busy podcaster Every week I send out 1,000-2,000 words of completely free, tried and tested podcast education. It's totally focussed on helping you to grow and monetise your audience and has become one of the most trusted go-to places for honest podcasting education in the world. It's all free and you can get it below. https://mark.live/learn (The Podcast Accelerator deep-dive newsletter) This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podcorn - https://podcorn.com/privacy Podtrac - https://analytics.podtrac.com/privacy-policy-gdrp Chartable - https://chartable.com/privacy
16-08-2021
5 mins