My first article on this topic was in August of 2007. I updated that article in December of that year. In May 2008 I wrote a new article on how I podcasted when both hosts were in the same room. Finally in June 2009 I wrote one more (How I Podcast: 2009) because of new equipment, different online tools and a simpler process. A lot has changed since then. It’s time to update you on my podcasting methods.
You must have a lot of free time…
How do you get it all done?
These are just a couple examples of the questions and comments that I get here and there throughout the average week. I thought I’d take a moment and address it and tell you a little about how I do 5 podcasts, a webcomic and blog nearly every day and still hold down a job, be a husband and super-involved father of two.
It doesn’t take up as much time as you think.
I do 5 podcasts… and that sounds like it must take forever… but not as much as you might think. From the very beginning I created the shows to be easy to produce and over the years I’ve worked very hard to simplify and streamline the entire process.
I created shows that require very little pre-show prep. The show with the most prep required is Nobody’s Listening and that’s only because there are a ton of email and voicemails that have to be read and added to the show notes. Geek Loves Nerd is super easy as we just pick a topic during the week and just sit and record. Children’s Ministry Monthly is similar in that I just choose a topic and write a few notes of my experiences with the subject and that’s about it. The Gospel of Kennison is recorded in the car on the way to somewhere with a portable audio recorder. I Like Genius’s pre-show prep is all done via emails randomly through the week as I try to get interviews with interesting and creative people.
As for recording, all of the shows, with the exception of GOK, are between 45-60 mins. Add about 15 minutes to that and the front and the back for setup and such and we’re at an hour and a half per show.
Post-production used to take me forever. I once recorded each voice on different tracks and remixed them… it took hours. Now it’s super simple. Everything is recorded in real time down to a single stereo track. Live to hard drive as they say. After we’re done recording I typically only have to trim and dead air off the front and end of the show, Hard Limit and Normalize it, encode it to MP3, upload it and post it. The whole process maybe takes 30 minutes these days.
I do most of it early and late.
I blog in the early morning during breakfast. I record podcasts late at night. Nobody cares what I do with my spare time after the kids are in bed at 9pm. So from 9:30 to 12… it’s my time. Jenn and I record GLN on Monday nights. Tuesday nights are NLCast. I Like Genius are done randomly throughout the week… but typically on Thursday or Friday evenings. GOK is whenever I’m in the car. CMMonthly is once a month on a Sunday evening. No time has been taken away from my family, chores or other responsibilities. The webcomic is done on Sunday evenings… takes about an hour.
So the tricks and tips? The KISS principal comes into play. If you going to do a lot of podcasting and blogging… Keep It Simple Stupid!
I was asked today by one of the kids in my children’s ministry, “How do you make a website?” It gave me the idea of putting together a post with the details of what makes nlcast.com tick.
I use WordPress for the website itself. WordPress is an excellent, free and easy to learn blogging platform that allows you to install themes that change the look and feel of your site instantly without changing the content itself. GoDaddy hosting makes installing WordPress simple by doing it for you.
I use a lot of plug-ins for WordPress. Plug-ins are free and easy to install. They add additional features to your WordPress blog that do not exist in the base platform. Here’s a list of what I use:
- Akismet – Checks comments for spam.
- All in One SEO Pack – Search Engine Optimization plug-in.
- Audio Player – Mp3 Player.
- Blubrry PowerPress – Adds excellent podcasting support to WordPress.
- Contact Form 7 – A contact form plugin. Simple and flexible.
- Google XML Sitemaps – Generates a sitemaps.org compatible sitemap of the blog.
- IntenseDebate – Comment enhancement plugin.
- Lightbox 2 – Overlays linked to images in the current page rather than loading in a new page.
- Mail From – Changes the default address that WordPress uses to send automated emails.
- Redirection – Manages 301 redirects.
- Shockingly Simple Favicon – Simple way to add a favicon to your site.
- Simple:Press Forum – An excellent WordPress forum plugin.
- Simple Feed Copyright – Adds a copyright notice at the end of full text articles in your feed.
- To Do List – Adds a to-do list to your WP dashboard.
- WordPress.com Stats – Tracks views, post/page views, etc.
- WordPress Mobile Edition – Redirects mobile visitors to a mobile phone friendly version of the site.
- WP-Optimize – Keeps the database clean.
- WP-PageNavi – Adds an advanced paging navigation structure.
- WP-Polls – Adds an AJAX polling system to WP.
- WP Greet Box – Shows a different message to visitors depending on which site they came in from.
- WP Post Thumbnail – Enables you to crop and save thumbnail images without manually adding custom fields.
- Yet Another Related Posts Plugin – Adds a list of related posts to the end of a blog entry.
Do you have any great WordPress themes or plugins to share? Post them in the comments!
10. Hosts who read their iTunes reviews as a segment… or even better, to start off their whole show.
9. Jokes that only the hosts get… not even regular listeners.
8. Um… (dead air) um… ah. Ummmm.
7. Hosts talking about technical glitches forever.
6. Hosts that talk like they’re bored out of their mind. Why should I care if you don’t?
5. Shows with no discernable format between episodes.
4. Shows that go on for over an hour, but have the content of a 15-30 minute show.
3. Hosts that talk to people off mic that aren’t in the show. It’s so fun hearing one side of a conversation!
2. When the host sounds like he’s recording in the middle of a echo chamber standing about 10 feet from the mic.
1. Heavy breathing and mouth noises… like smacking. *shiver*
One of the tricks of the broadcasting trade is to smile while talking. It makes your voice sound happy. If you are podcasting and have a naturally monotone or lower sounding voice, putting a smile on your face can really cheer up your sound.
That’s all I got.
I’ve been hinting about a new project for a little while now… and today’s the day to let the world know!
CleanCasts is a directory dedicated to listing clean podcasts (G and PG)… and that’s about it.
If you’re a listener, head over and check out the growing list of shows and be sure to tell your favorite clean podcast so they can get listed.
If you’re a podcaster with a G or PG rated show, head over and add your site today!
HUGE THANKS go out to Philip M. Hofer (Frumph) from WebComicPlanet.com for his amazing coding skill and willingness to give.
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and something they say reminds you of a similar story from your own life? We all have. But what about when everything they say reminds you of something else and you feel the need to share every thing, every time? At what point have you stopped swapping stories and started to hijack the conversation to make it all about you? This can be a common thing, especially when trading funny life stories.
You can’t be a good storyteller without being ready to listen to someone else’s story. Here are some tips to help you be a better listener… and storyteller.
1. Pay Attention
The attention you pay will be the attention you are repaid. (You can quote me on that if you want) It’s a spin-off of the Golden Rule. Listen to others the way you would have them listen to you. Do you want someone texting while you’re sharing? Do you want them nodding like a moron the whole time you’re talking because they’re waiting for a pause so they can interrupt? No! Then be the listener you want them to be.
2. Keep Your Responses Relevant
Does your input compete with the situation shared by the other party or does it enhance it? To often we share our version because it’s “better” or “worse” than theirs (ie: “You thought that was bad? Listen to what happened to me last summer!”) or we’re trying to prove that we’re even funnier. This is passive-aggressive at its root and not the foundation for a comfortable conversation.
Your responses should be just that, responses. This person is sharing something with you that they care about. They’re not trying to out-do you or brag. People typically share things because it was exciting to them and they want to share that feeling with their listeners. If you will go into each conversation with this assumption, it will make it easier for you to be a listener and a participant without being a topic derailer.
3. Ask Questions Instead Of Relating
The typical thing to do after someone shares a story is to come back with a similar happening in our own world. It’s our attempt at relating but it waters down the conversation and steals the thunder of the storyteller. When we don’t have a way to relate, commonly we will respond with a statement, “That sounds awesome,” or simply, “Wow”. This hands the ball back to the storyteller… but gives them nowhere to go. The best response is to start asking questions. Pull more of the story out of them. You’ll see their face light up at your interest, and as an added bonus, you don’t have to think of a way to relate!
4. Bait Your Hook
When the storyteller is done, then it’s your turn. Do yourself a favor though, give them just a title and tagline before you read the entire article. Put just a bit of your story out and see if there’s any interest before you waste their and your time. It may sound something like this:
“You know, one time I fell down a cliff too. It’s the tumble that nearly killed me.”
See how that pulls you in? I just made that up but even I want to hear the rest of that story.
What tips would you have for our readers? What do you hate about folks who can’t listen? Share your thoughts in the comments!
There are approximately 20 million podcasts available for download across the world. Most of them are probably crap. For many, that’s okay. They just want the experience of doing a podcast, they don’t really care about the listener. But for many of us, though we don’t have the greatest equipment and resources, we want to sound like we do. Since we’re poor and ill-equipped we have to find more creative ways (read: cheaper) to pull off that professional air we’re going for. Here are a few tips that I give when someone asks me how to help their podcast stand out from the crowd. [click to continue…]