Podcasting Experiments

Podcasting Experiments is all about experimenting with your podcast. We explore ways you can implement and test different ideas to improve your podcast by looking at different strategies and ideas from other podcasters.
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Oct 21, 2014

Over the past 3 months, we have covered several things regarding content creation. From blogging to podcasting, websites to marketing. Further below, you'll be able see the list of the 20 sessions so far.

With that, we will be having a short break. We'll come back mid-November with the second semester.

There are a couple things I'd like to modify:

Narrowing the focus for the semester
Regular blog posts
Improved newsletter
eBook about website basics (middle of writing it now)
Homework assignments (more engagement)

Homework - What I need from you:

Help spreading the podcast via social media (links below!) and iTunes reviews
Your questions, comments, and other feedback

Please let me know what you would like to see and hear from me. I would love to have a segment where I can answer questions that you may have about content creation. Leave your thoughts below in the comment section.
Semester 1 Podcast Sessions:

1-1 I'm an impostor
1-2 You need more than a quality website; what is content creation?
1-3 Mark Sieverkropp share the benefits and struggles of content creation
1-4 5 key components for your website
1-5 Greg Hickman discusses the importance of a mobile-mindset
1-6 Jared Easley shares his researching and interviewing tips
1-7 Daniel J. Lewis shares how to overcome assumptions
1-8 Matt McWilliams talks about his principles for networking
1-9 Jim Woods talks about his process and tips for creating content
1-10 Doc Kennedy shares his experience creating videos
1-11 Dustin Hartzler help us dive deeper into WordPress
1-12 Leslie Samuel gives practical tips to take your blog to the next level
1-13 10 key things to make your website better
1-14 Online marketing tips from Joel Fortner
1-15 Podcasting tips from Dave Jackson
1-16 Dave Stachowiak shares some online leadership principles
1-17 Collaborative projects with Jim Woods and Erik J. Fisher
1-18 Joel and Dr. Pei talk to entrepreneurs about Relaunching and podcasting
1-19 Diving into eLearning and online training with Jeff Long
1-20 When to quit a creative project with Alex Barker

The post Semester 1 Wrap Up (1-21) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

Oct 7, 2014

This session features Alex Barker, host of the Leadership Dojo podcast. We first met on (I would highly recommend this great community). A few months ago, Alex made a decision to stop the podcast, despite some of the successes it was achieving. We'll dive in a little deeper into his story and what we can learn from it.

Begin with the end in mind.

- Steven Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)
After finishing school to become a pharmacist, Alex began to decide if he really wanted to be a pharmacist the rest of his life. Learning about podcasts and listening to them for 5-6 months, he decided that he wanted to start one himself. Using Pat Flynn's course of starting a podcast, he began preparing for the podcast. He also joined John Lee Dumas' Podcaster's Paradise.
What were your expectations when you launched the podcast?

Alex didn't have a plan or goals, or even what to expect.
If you choose a niche about something you don't know a lot about, it's very hard for you to create products and services for a very  eager audience and for them to buy from you.
He desired to make money from coaching and  mastermind groups.

Did your expectations change along the way? Did your expectations just not work out?

After 5 months, Alex noticed that it became a chore for him to do the podcast. The work he was putting in was exceeding the return he was expecting.
You really need to look at your expectations and what you really need to do to get there.

Exit strategy
If you're about to launch something, you need to have an exit strategy.
When will you evaluate your journey and be willing to pivot. Be specific and set a deadline.

The birth of Alex's second daughter caused him to go through another evaluation.
Know your why
Alex's why is tied to his family, and he was spending so much time away from them.
The future
Alex's idea was to have someone to take over, but he is just putting it on the back burner. He may revisit later.

He has started a new site, Pharmacy School HQ. He is taking the things he learned from launching a website and building a platform and meshing it with his training as a pharmacist.
You can't keep doing something that is not meeting your expectations or that the passion isn't there like it used to be.
Know your expectations.

The post When to quit a creative project with Alex Barker (1-20) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

Sep 30, 2014

Jeff Long joins us today to share some things that we can learn to help with eLearning and online training. He provides help with eLearning (as well as video production and web design) at True Focus Media. You can also connect with him on Twitter.
What is eLearning and training?
It's not new - it's as old as the internet. It includes engaging videos and flexible websites.

Many companies haven't even thought of this possibility! Instead of having a trainer come in or having the HR manager do the training, eLearning can benefit companies. Some


Are there any industries that would benefit more from eLearning?

Software companies
Medical training companies ( is an example)

Styles or formats for eLearning
How you present your material may be determined by your budget.

It may also depend on your audience - what works for them?

Filming a presenter
Power point slides
Quizes and Tests

First steps for eLearning preparation

What do you want to deliver?
What do you want the person to take away?
What are the three or so points to facilitate that?

Keep it simple!

Do your research - make sure you're creating what your client needs!
Resources to get started

ScreenFlow (Mac) or Camptasia Studio (Windows) for screen capture
Youtube (use unlisted and embed on a password-protected web page)
Membership plugins for Wordpress
Learning management plugins

Just get started (this theme keeps coming back!). Don't let the technology scare you.
Mark Sieverkropp was a previous guest and has provided several gifts for you as a listener and supporter of this podcast:

"Start a Conversation With Anyone, Anytime" (for sale on to you!)
4 Keys to Great "Reach Out" Emails PDF
Free Sample of my book, Project: Success
Great weekly content on how to grow your network

Get these great resources now!
In the comment section below, please share one of the following:

What is something that you can share with your business/audience in the form of eLearning?
How can I use eLearning to help meet your needs? (I'm planning to put together some tutorials and training soon - I need your input!)

The post Diving into eLearning and online training with Jeff Long (1-19) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

Sep 23, 2014

In this session, Joel and Dr. Pei from The Relaunch Show join us to share their experience with radio and podcasting.

Joel has a history with radio and television. Back in  2006, he started a radio show, Finding Your Voice. He also has a book with the same name.  The next step for them was The Relaunch Show.

As they started, they didn't know what they needed to do or have the equipment necessary. They emphasize not to let that stop you from starting. Learn as you go.

"Get it done, then get it right."
What are some tips for people just getting started (specifically for podcasting)?

Learn to respect your listener's time.
Choose the right topic - not just what you know, but something that gets you excited.
The listener has the power, so you need to speak to that listener.

Are there any great lessons that you've gleaned from the many interviews you've had on Relaunch?

Don't second guess yourself. Trust yourself. Move forward anyways.
Fail fast. Fail often.

Final Thoughts
We have a responsibility to take action as it relates to us in our careers, family, and spiritually.

Finding Your Voice book is a guidebook to help people get in touch with their inner voice.
3 Tips to Find Your Life's Message

In the interview, Joel referenced Indiana Jones. Here's a clip of that scene:

Website consultations
I am looking to expand my website consulting business, Dev By JR. I am offering 15-20 minute consultations for free. So, if you are looking to start or improve your website, go to to schedule a time to talk to me (either via Skype or phone). If you have a current website, make sure to include the link so I can check it out before we talk. Be prepared to answer at least these two questions:

What is the purpose of your website?
Who is your target audience?

The post Joel and Dr. Pei talk to entrepreneurs about relaunching and podcasting (1-18) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

Sep 16, 2014

Jim Woods and Erik J. Fisher have co-authored another book, Hit the Mark! Their first book, Ready, Aim, Fire!, was released last year. In this session, they join us to talk about the creative process they went through.

How did the collaboration process work while preparing for this book?

What were some roadblocks you encountered?

How did you overcome them?

What kind of investment did this book have?

What are the plans for the next book?

How will you approach the next book differently?

What advice would you give to someone working on a multi-author project?

The post Collaborative projects with Jim Woods and Erik J. Fisher (1-17) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

Sep 9, 2014

Dave Stachowiak, host of the Coaching for Leaders podcast, is in the Academy today to share some insight about online leadership principles. He will discuss some of the principles from that book today.

What is your definition of leadership?

Leadership: Where are you going? Looking at the strategy.
Management: How are you getting there?

Why do you love How to Win Friends and Influence People?
It's so accessible. Anyone can open it, turn to any page, and get something from it.

It has the amazing ability to challenge me, even after reading several times.
What is an example of how one of those principles challenges you?
Enthusiasm is the little secret of success.
Become genuinely interested in other people.
If we want to be effective as content creators, we need to be interested in other people and what they care about. If the content doesn't speak to that person's needs, they won't read it or come back.

Sometimes, what we think they need is different from what they actually need.
Be a good listener. Let others talk about themselves.
Two mistakes we make:

Not thinking through who your audience is going to be beforehand.
Not listening to your community as it grows.

Know who your audience is.

We need to get past the point of just having a "nice article," and give them a tool or resource that is of real value and is life-changing, that is of tremendous value to our audience.
Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.
While you are reaching a broader audience online, it is still a one-on-one interaction.

"Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone." - Andy Stanley

What are some of the other principles that you think are pertinent?

Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.

Dave's wife, Bonnie, is a University professor and has started a podcast, Teaching in Higher Ed. While it is specifically for those that are teaching on a college/university level, she shares a lot of great principles that translate to content creation.

Get your copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People on Amazon (affiliate link)!

Next session, Erik J. Fisher and Jim Woods join us to talk about the process they went through writing their latest book, Hit the Mark! This interview doesn't cover the concepts from the book (energy, time, and focus), but you can listen to the other interview I had with them on Quality Living Made Simple. I would also highly recommend this book (get it on Amazon).

The post Dave Stachowiak shares some online leadership principles (1-16) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

Sep 2, 2014

Thanks to GuyCM for leaving a reivew on iTunes! To get your iTunes reviews e-mailed directly to you go to:

Dave Jackson is from the School of Podcasting. teaches Microsoft Office. He loves to do classroom training, but also does online training. He is the bridge to get others from where they are to where they want to be.
The first thing is "Who is your audience?" and "What do they want to know?"

Really get to know who that person is

"Why am I getting into podcasting?"

Are you looking to get your message out?
Just for fun?
You need to know the why.

It's not "build it and they will come." When you start, your audience is small. It will be your "why" that will get you through.

After you figure out who your audience is, go find where they are.

Google relevant searches. For Dave's Logical Weight Loss podcast, he searched "top fitness apps" and found several forums. That's where he found his audience. He took some time to interact with them and answer questions.

How do you prepare for your podcast?

Get a system in place to capture your ideas, like Evernote or your voice recorder.
It's a 4-to-1 rule with podcasting (1 minute podcast takes 4 minutes).
Try not to do the typical interview with a person.
Be realistic about how many downloads you'll get.
Have a takeaway for your listener - summary of what was covered.

What are some steps for each individual episode

Dave uses to capture RSS feeds for different blogs.
Use Google Alerts to e-mail you results or deliver via RSS.
Use social media like Facebook and Twitter to keep current.
Create a folder on your computer to collect files and ideas for upcoming episodes.

What are some tips for effectively promote?

Make content that is WOW!
Figure our where your audience is
The key is to make friends with them
Have your profile figured out - don't leave it blank or default!
Business cards - some with basic contact information, some with specific info about the podcast
When you start out, you have to go out and tell people.
Take advantage of having a small audience.
Have some sample clips on your About page. Then have your iTunes, etc. links.

What kind of time commitment could someone expect for promotion?

Buffer - batch tweets ahead of time.
Always in promotion mode.
Maybe a good hour a day, broken up throughout the day.
Again, develop the relationships with your audience - they will eventually become your evangelists.
It sometimes takes awhile for people to follow though.

Money expectations?

If you are too strapped for money, don't get into podcasting.
There aren't too many hobbies you can do for free. On the otherhand, you don't have to spend $2,000.
There are many advantanges of this:
You'll be seen as an expert.
You'll get to know your customer better.

Go in with realistic expectations. Get started and begin reaping the rewards.
What to expect at School of Podcasting (

Everything you need in one place to start podcasting.
Equipment and software recommendations.
How to promote your podcast.
Access to Dave.
Community on Facebook

Dave also has a great show for DIY webmasters: Weekly Web Tools

The post Podcasting tips from Dave Jackson (1-15) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

Aug 26, 2014

Our guest this session is Joel Fortner. Joel works with the Poimen Group with Chris LoCurto. He has experience and a great background in online marketing. You can find Joel at and on Twitter.
Tell a little bit about how you got into marketing.
While working for the Air Force in Washington DC, He felt God calling him to do more than he was doing. He working at trying to figure out exactly what that meant. This led him to start a marketing business, Get Serve Keep.

His life purpose is not to be a marketer – it is to take his skills to help others change their lives by changing their business.
Every business has three businesses within it: Get, Serve, and Keep. Focusing on that first part, how can we get clients?
Marketing is not simple.

Getting customers is difficult, so you need to have a strategy in place.


What are some specific things that we can do to identify who our ideal client is?

Take your own experience, see what you’re already trying to solve.
If you have a way to solve a problem that you know is a major pain point for people, and you can deliver on that well, you have a business.

What are some places we can look to find potential clients?
Joel focuses on inbound marketing, which is trying to capture people doing searches (i.e. Google) and growing an e-mail list.
What are some Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices?

Create content that solves problems.
Make sure the headlines match what people search for.
Include the right keywords in your content.

Excerpts vs. Entire post
These are different thoughts about how blog posts should be presented. Each strategy works for different audiences. The only way to find out what is best for you is to test them.

[Tweet "Get very focused. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. Get a process that’s simple to follow. - @JoelFortner"]


The post Online Marketing Tips from Joel Fortner (1-14) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

Aug 19, 2014

When you decide to create a website (or have a website created for you), you would obviously want to make it the best you can. There are many simple things that you can do. Here is a list to get started.
Here are 10 ways to make your website better:

Keep your audience in mind and create copy that personally speaks to them.
Truly understand the purpose of your website – make sure that it relates back to your target customer.
Update your site content and keep it fresh and current (blogging, etc.).
Anticipate and answer your visitor’s questions.
Make sure the navigation is simple and clear – this is one of the most important elements.
Include a call-to-action on each page – what do you want them to do?
Limit the number of topics per page (ideally just one topic) – too many will confuse your visitors.
Include your contact information – make it easy to find!
Title each page to be search engine (and bookmark) friendly.
Don’t include too many colors, fonts, or font sizes that distract your visitor.

Here's a couple bonus items that can help improve your website:

Create a clear and compelling sales message (Noble Sales Purpose).
Check your site to ensure all forms and links are working properly.
Carefully check your content for spelling and grammar mistakes.
Create a privacy policy and stick to it – respect your customer.
Return all visitor inquiries promptly because you never know who they may recommend you to even if they don’t buy from you themselves.
Don’t add a “visitor count” to your site.
Don’t include graphics that fail to add importance to your site.

The post 10 Key things to make your website better (1-13) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

Aug 12, 2014

Leslie Samuel joins us today to share his journey and experience with blogging. You can connect with him on his website (Become a Blogger) or on Twitter.

Leslie started back when he was teaching high school. He started with freebie-trading, making some money, and then showing others how to do what he was doing. In August, 2008, he learned about blogging. He joined a course about blogging.

Whatever you are passionate about or building a business about, you can build a blog, create content, inspire other, and change the world.

[Tweet "You can build a blog, create content, inspire other, and change the world. - @lesliesamuel"]
Why did you decide to leave your job as a professor to pursue blogging full-time?
Because of his blog, Leslie was able to land his "dream job" as a professor. As a result, he got too busy between teaching, pursuing a PhD, and building his online business. He evaluated his situation, and realized that he could not leave his online business and the influence that he's built up.
How did you deal with people that were negative or doubters?
Leslie didn't really care about those opinions. One thing that was clear to him was that he going where God wanted him to go. He weighed the options carefully. The people that were close to him and knew him were very supportive of the decision.

If his wife or family was doubtful, this would not have happened.
What are some tips for someone trying to increase their traffic and engagement?

Have a very clear understand of who you are targeting.
Be clear on what problem you are trying to solve. Get as detailed as you can.
Start creating that content! Write down a list of 50 questions, then start writing answers to those questions.
Let people know about it.

Social media is not for just self-promotion. Work at connecting with people in a real way. Then you can share your content.
Connecting with other bloggers and grow together with them.

What kind of topics would someone cover when they start blogging?

Think of your target market. What questions would they have? They want to be educated about the process.
Look for other things that your target market is looking for.

What are some top ways people can try to monetize their blog?

Affiliate marketing
Create your own products

What kind of expectations should someone have regarding time and money as they get started blogging?
If you are trying to seriously build something, look at 10 hours a week.

When Leslie started blogging the second time, he hired out some work so he could focus on other aspects.

Financially, it depends on what you are trying to do. There are a lot of things that you can do on your own to save some money.
Become a Blogger

Become a Blogger University

You gotta take action! You'll learn from your mistakes. Keep taking consistent action and you'll be surprised where that will take you.

[Tweet "Keep taking consistent action and you'll be surprised where that will take you. - @lesliesamuel"]

The post Leslie Samuel gives practical tips to take your blog to the next level (1-12) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

Aug 5, 2014

Dustin Hartzler is the host of the podcast, Your Website Engineer, where he has taught people about WordPress for the last several years. He is also an Happiness Engineer for Automatic, the company behind He has a passion to teach people how to use WordPress. You can connect with him on his website or on Twitter.

Thanks to everyone that has left a rating and review on iTunes. Please click the button if you haven't done this yet and are enjoying this content:

Review in iTunes!

Dustin's job at Automatic is a success story as a result of his podcast. It really helped to not only show his knowledge of WordPress, but also the community that has grown around him.

WordPress is designed so that dealing with the code is not necessary (although it can be helpful).
What are some of the other Content Management System's that you have used?
Drupal and Joomla are two of the other CMS's that Dustin has used. His experience is that both of these were more complex than WordPress, especially for the user that is not a programmer. He ultimately decided to be a specialist in just one platform, so he went with WordPress.
What are some aspects of WordPress that new users should watch for?
While WordPress is generally easy, people can still get lost. For example, there are a lot of menu items, but most of them can be ignored. You mostly just need the "Pages," "Posts," and "Media Library."

There are many "undo" features built into WordPress, so there are many mistakes that can be fixed. There are some things, though, that may cause more problems, such as changing your theme.

Can you explain

With any website, there are several parts:


A general rule is to keep the actions/functions separate from the design.

There is a "functions.php" file that you can add to in order to include additional features beyond the theme. However, when you change you theme, or the theme is updated, the added code will be deleted. It would be better to keep these things in plugins.
What are a couple plugins that you would like to highlight?

Jetpack - it has a lot of different modules inside of it, giving a lot of different additional functions for your website.
iTheme Security - helps to keep your website secure.
Backup Buddy / Back WP up - helps to do a backup of your site and database in case of emergency.

Dustin has a list of 50 plugins that he highlights in a free e-book on his site.
Look into attending a WordCamp near you. A WordCamp is a place to learn more about WordPress as well as a chance to network with others. There are also different giveaways that take place.

The post Dustin Hartzler helps us dive deeper into WordPress (1-11) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

Aug 1, 2014

Doc Kennedy is a  filmmaker and fellow podcaster. He's loved film since he was a kid and was always enthralled with motion picture. He got started with video a few years ago through his church. In two years, he went from knowing almost nothing to being one of the directors. You can connect with him on his website and on Twitter.

What does someone need for just getting started with video?

Identify what you want to do
Figure out if you need to hire someone or if you can do it yourself
If you do it yourself, don't get so obsessed with equipment that you forget about the story you're wanting to tell.
Doc likes to use Canon products (he has a Canon 60D). It does video and still pictures.
Look for higher megapixels (18+)
You can use your iPhone. There are competitions that solely use iPhone. If you turn the iPhone sideways, it shoots in 1080 HD.

[Tweet "Don't get so obsessed with equipment that you forget about the story you're wanting to tell."]
What about editing?

Remember that there comes a point that good enough is good enough.
Doc uses Adobe products. They have a cloud version where you can have access to the entire Adobe suite.
iMovie could be used on a Mac.
You could also shoot the video yourself and then hire someone to do the editing for you.

[Tweet "The difference between pros and amateurs comes down to lighting and audio quality."]
Other resources:

Vimeo School
No Film School
BH Photo Video

The post Doc Kennedy shares his experience creating videos (1-10) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

Jul 29, 2014

Jim Woods is the co-author of Ready, Aim, Fire! and Hit the Mark! (with Erik J. Fisher). He is an accountant that is transitioning into writing full-time. You can connect with him on his website and on Twitter.

Describe the process you go through when writing.
Jim likes to brainstorm and get a game plan for what he's going after. If you just go on emotions, you're starting things but not going anywhere.

He's starting to study about having multiple passions.

If he's driving, he'll use Dragon Dictation to capture ideas.

As he approaches an e-book, he looks at like a bunch of blog posts, but closely connected.

Jim has tried to use Evernote, but it doesn't work well with his personality. He just e-mails the different files (audio, text, etc.) to himself, making sure to put a subject line that is descriptive.

He knows that he can't handle too many projects at once, so he does one big project and one smaller project.

Use what works for you. There is no one-size fits all.

[Tweet "It is good to also have a physical and digital way to capture ideas. - @jimwoodswrites"]
What brainstorming and research tips do you have?
Research is dangerous because you can over-research.

Use as few resources as possible. Steven Pressfield recommends 3 really good resources.

See how the research applies to you or someone else. Tell stories.

Just follow the "beginning, middle, end" format.

[Tweet "Don't overthink the brainstorming idea. Don't let it stop you from starting - just dive in. - @jimwoodswrites"]
How can we use goals with content creation?

Jim and Erik J. Fisher co-wrote the book, "Ready, Aim, Fire!" that talks about goals.

Jim recommends to buy the book, "Do the Work" by Steven Pressfield.

If you're not sure of something, join the club. Doubts are common - it's just a matter if we admit it.
Parting advice
Creating art is a hard life. We want to be accepted, but be sure to start with yourself. Make sure you really like what you're doing, and everything else will fall into place.

If you're struggling too much, it's okay to back away.
Do you have any processes or tips for creating content?
Thanks to those that left a 5-star review in iTunes: Greg Hickman, Missionary on Fire (Joe Consford), and filmmakerdoc (Doc Kennedy).

The post Jim Woods talks about his process and tips for creating content (1-9) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

Jul 25, 2014

Matt McWilliams blogs about life, leadership, and changing the world. Through the years, he has learned and used some great principles for networking. He shares some of that today. You can connect with Matt on his website or on Twitter.

Why is working on our network important?
The old saying, "It's not what you know, it's who you know." Matt takes it beyond that:

It is how well you know them.
What are some of the big outlets to try to build our  networks?
Matt has four tenets:

Quarterly reach-outs: Twice a week reach out to your network based on last name (i.e this week could be letters D and E).

Don't ask a question in the e-mail, otherwise they'll feel an obligation to respond.

Hand-written notes: thank you, congratulations,
Birthdays, holidays, life events, etc.: Birthday calls vs. birthday cards - more personal.
Being helpful: look for ways to help.

What kind of financial and time commitments could be expected?

Matt's rule is 5% of his work time looking for his next job. This includes interacting and building your network.
He suggests 2-4 hours a week. This will vary based on the size of your network.
Financially, he recommends about $1,000 to invest in networking. This could cover cards, flowers, meals, etc.

To access all the blog posts that Matt has done regarding networking, you can do that here.

[Tweet "Always have networking on your mind. - @mattmcwilliams2"]

[Tweet "It's not what you know, it's not even just who you know. It is how well you know them. - @mattmcwilliams2"]
What are your thoughts about networking?

The post Matt McWilliams talks about his principles for networking (1-8) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

Jul 23, 2014

Daniel J. Lewis is the host of the podcast "The Audacity to Podcast" and is a podcast consultant. He has also developed several great tools for podcasters. You can check out his website or connect with him on Twitter.
How did you get started with blogging and podcasting?
Blogging was always a struggle for Daniel. He started by deciding to write articles on a website, learning about how WordPress works. In 2006, he was introduced to podcasting. Having some of the skills needed for it, he decided to do a podcast. He struggled for the first two year before he decided to get serious.
What was the biggest obstacle you faced as you got started podcasting, and how did you overcome it?
The work to put out an episode. He was doing scripted episodes, and it would take him hours to write it out. Then it would take several hours to record because he was trying to get everything perfect.

He overcame the perfection tendency by listening to other podcasters that did more of a natural style. He changed to an unscripted format with a more natural flow.

To help with the consistency, Daniel decided to stream the podcast live as he recorded it. This is not something that he recommends for new podcasters.
Challenging Podcasting Assumptions: A general theme that runs throughout all of these episodes is that none of these are “necessary” to have a podcast. What is the reason you went into so much detail about each topic anyway?
There have been a lot of things that have been passed off as "rules." Daniel was striving to show how each one is a best practice, but not a "necessary" rule.

We also mentioned an episode of "The Podcasters' Round Table" where they discussed the best practices of podcasting.
What are two or three of the big takeaways that you have gotten from going through this mini-series?
How he gives links to his show notes. He used to reference the episodes by number, but is starting to use more keywords instead. There are two WordPress plug-ins to create these special links:

Pretty Link Pro
Better Links Pro

Other takeaways:

Podcast Search Engine
Social media tools
Podcast editing - he is now outsourcing some of the editing for him

[Tweet "I hate having people search for things. - @theramennoodle"]

[Tweet "The goal with editing is not to have a perfect product in the end, but a product that communicates a little bit better. - @the ramennoodle"]
What tips would you give to someone that is just getting started with creating content online?
It needs to start with a plan, but don't wait to be perfect. Even just a basic bullet-point list. Know what you want at the least the first 10 episodes to be. Keep adding to the list and refer back to it when you need help
Daniel has a lot of great things available:

Preflight checklist available on his website
Social Subscribe and Follow plug-in
Podcast Master Class

If you're thinking about making any content on the internet, think of how you can make it helpful or entertaining. If you can do both, that would be awesome, but at lease do at least one. - Daniel J. Lewis
Question: How can you overcome your assumptions about creating content?

The post Daniel J. Lewis shares how to properly deal with assumptions (1-7) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

Jul 21, 2014

Jared Easley, the host of the popular podcast "Starve the Doubts," joins us today to share his tips regarding researching and interviewing people. He shares about his show format and some of his processes. He is also one of the co-founders of the Podcast Movement. You can reach Jared on his website or on Twitter.
How did Jared starve the doubts about starting Starve the Doubts?
Talking about when he was getting ready to start his podcast, he got some feedback stating that "Starve the Doubts" (overcoming self-doubt) didn't sound like the best idea.

Don't allow doubt to hinder you from hitting record.
Listened to a bunch of podcasts, and aimed to interview the hosts.

Tips from Jared:

Start with plenty "in the can" - episodes that are ready to go in case "life happens."
Don't be afraid to ask.

[Tweet "Don't allow doubt to hinder you from hitting record. - @jaredeasley"]
What tactics did you use to reach out to people to interview?

Attend conferences (New Media Expo).
Offer to plan a meetup for the speakers at the conferences.
Find a way to help someone.
Write short e-mails.

Subject line: "I love your _________"
Body of the e-mail is really short:

Respectfully request consideration to interview you for my podcast ("Name of Podcast").
Best regards, Name
ScheduleOnce link

Don't name-drop previous guests.

How did you choose the format for your interviews?

Jared likes to make his podcasts fun and entertainment.
He likes to start with ice-breaker questions. His first question is always, "What is the best concert you have ever been to?"
He looks at the guest's social media to see what has been happening lately for them.
Only let the ice-breaker questions last a few minutes.

How do research and prepare for the interviews?
Jared uses Refresh app to search the guests social media easily.
Who is doing something that interests you?

Jared uses this to help connect deeper and find
Jared's answer: Randy Wilburn
Podcasting and Podcast Movement

Leave any questions or suggestions you may have about interviewing people below in the comment section.
If you haven't already, please consider leaving a review in iTunes!

The post Jared Easley shares his researching and interviewing tips (1-6) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

Jul 18, 2014

Greg Hickman is the host of the Mobile Mixed Marketing Podcast. He is here today to talk about the importance of putting mobile first as we create content. Greg got started in mobile in 2005, and saw that there was a great opportunity. He also has the Mobile

Check out Greg's website and podcast or connect with him on Twitter.
What are some the major aspects of mobile for people to consider?
Most social networks, podcasts, email, etc are done on mobile devices.

Even for a brick-and-mortar store, you need to realize that your customers are using mobile.
How should we approach the mobile experience as we get started creating content?
Mobile-first means to think about the mobile experience first. This way you are thinking about the limitations first and creating for that. As you move from mobile to desktop, you can expand as needed for that medium.

Mobile-first forces you to focus on the most important message to give to the customer.
What are your thoughts about responsive design vs creating a mobile-specific website?

Fully responsive - a site that displays differently based on the screen size, making it much easier to view and interact with on mobile devices.
Mobile-specific site - a second site that is just for mobile devices.
Mobile-responsive - hybrid between the two. It uses a second site that is responsive, and slowly makes the mobile-responsive into the full responsive site.

What are some SMS strategies?
Greg has written the SMS Marketing Handbook that covers a lot of great things regarding SMS and MMS marketing.

Responses with text messaging is much higher. People are much quicker to check their text messages, and may be more likely to respond.

There are still many people that don't have smart phones, but they still have SMS available.

If you are wondering if SMS could work for you, ask "what is your objective?"
What are your thoughts about QR Codes?
There are a few good ways to use them, but most don't use them correctly.

One obstacle to QR codes is that many people don't know how to use them. Those that do know, may find it a hassle to properly scan it. Many people could type in the web address faster than scanning a QR code.

Another consideration is to make sure that the address it goes to is mobile-friendly. Don't make people pinch-and-zoom!
What are some thing that we can do optimize their sites to improve the speed of their site?
Image size, the number of redirects, and server calls are the three common things that you can minimize to help the site to load faster.
Question: Have you really considered how your content is consumed by clients on mobile devices?

The post Greg Hickman Discusses the Importance of a Mobile-mindset (1-5) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

Jul 17, 2014

1.         Website Hosting
You can’t have a website without hosting it on some server. You could buy and maintain your own server, but that can take a lot of skill, time, and money. When it comes to getting a hosting service, there are a couple options:

Shared hosting
Dedicated hosting
Virtual Private Server

The host that I use and recommend is BlueHost.
2.         WordPress
You can use different methods of constructing your website, but my recommendation is to use WordPress. It is power and relatively simple to learn. To understand how WordPress works, imagine your website as a car. You basically have a frame, a body, an engine, and additional features.

WordPress is the engine. It makes everything run.
A theme is the frame and body. It is how the website looks.
Plugins are the additional features. It is how the website functions.

Regarding themes, there is a wide variety. There are thousands of free themes available in the WordPress repository. There are also a lot of themes that you can purchase, and the prices vary from tens to hundreds of dollars. What is best? Well, the one that does what you need it to. While there are many advantages to paid themes, sometimes a free theme fits the job best. I’ve experienced this while working with a few clients.

Along with themes, there are frameworks. These add extra functionality to themes. One such framework is the Genesis framework. They look great and have a lot of functionality built in. I’ve used the Genesis framework and themes for over a year, and have enjoyed working with them.
3.         About Page
One of the vital pages beyond the homepage, is your About page. Here is a bullet list from Michael Hyatt's book, "Platform:"

Write in the first person
Write in a conversational style
Start with the reader's priorities
Tell them about yourself (brief summary)
Tell them about your blog/website
Set their expectations
Invite them to subscribe
Point them to your top posts
Provide a full biography
Tell them how to contact you
Include a photo or video
Add a colophon
Consider a disclaimer

4.         Contact Page
After your About page, you need a page that tells people how they can contact and interact with you.
5.         E-mail List
They say that “the money is in the list.” So you should get an e-mail list and promote it on your website.
Question: As a website visitor/user, what things do you look for to see if you will stay longer or come back later?

The post 5 Key Components for Your Website (1-4) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

Jul 16, 2014

Mark Sieverkropp has been a friend and co-host on another podcast. He started off blogging a few years ago, with topics such as soccer, leadership, and now more on networking. He has also written the e-book, "Project:Success." He has also been the co-host of the Happen to Your Career podcast, which including doing some video as well. You can connect with him on his website or on Twitter.
How does Mark keep his determination and dedication while pursuing his dream and creating content?

One thing that is nice, is that you can do it whenever you want. Mark likes to do it early in the morning before starting his regular job.
Find and work with people that help fuel your passion. There are so many people that are creating content, that it's easier to find people that are passionate about the same things you are passionate about.

Mark shares some things about his e-book, "Project: Success"

Defining things as a project helps by having a deadline. It also helps by changing your view of it, and failure doesn't seem so bad.
For example, instead of starting a podcast with no end in sight, determine to go 15 episodes and go from there.
Mark's book was an inspiration for this site and podcast, in that I started calling this a project.
Most of our problems are mental.
Realize that things have a beginning. And they have an end.
It helps you to get past the mental road blocks.

Successes and Benefits from Mark's perspective

Mark lives in a small town, but he's been able to meet and develop relationships with people all over the country and world. These would never have been possible without creating content online.
Blogging has helped Mark to focus and crystalize his thoughts. He can now write much easier and faster. Blogging has also helped him to prepare for speeches and oral communication.
He's always wanted to be involved in business training, and online content creation has helped him to open doors in that area.

What are some of the struggles and failures that Mark has had?

Creating content online has both positives and negatives. If you're not intentional, it's easy to lose your motivation or do it alone.
It's easy to focus on yourself and your own passions. You need to focus on your audience!
Thinking that it's different than "regular" life. It's all still about relationships and developing them.

How do you find out what your audience wants?

After a while, Mark and Scott (Happen to Your Career podcast) reached out to the audience and asked them for feedback.

Final words of wisdom from Mark

Just get started.
Start small, and learn from there.

Share your takeaways below!

The post Mark Sieverkropp Shares the Benefits and Struggles of Content Creation (1-3) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

Jul 15, 2014

Have you been crawling along the Internet “Super Highway” while others are zipping by? Maybe you haven’t quite merged into the traffic yet. Or maybe you’ve had a website for years, but aren’t getting the results you’ve hoped for.
That’s to be expected. Even if your website is sporting the newest bells and whistles. Dynamic and flashy media is good, but it’s not everything.
Just having a great website isn’t enough.
In this new world of information, you need to be creating content. Not just a static page on your website, but content that is constantly fresh. Just think: if a restaurant only ordered fresh food on the first of the month, customers would stop coming pretty quickly. Who wants a sandwich from two weeks ago?
So, how do you go about creating new content online? There are several avenues to choose from, with blogging and podcasting being two great and growing options. It doesn’t stop with those, and we’ll dive in deeper to what we can do, why to do it, and how to make it happen.
I’ve been involved in offline content creation for many years. Online, I’ve been blogging for over two years and podcasting for over one year. Maybe not a long stretch compared to some others, but I’ve learned a lot over that time. I plan to share my experience and knowledge to help you in your journey. Along the way, I’ll bring on special guest experts in these different areas to bring your content creation to a new level and, hopefully, show you how to simplify the process.

A website is not enough
In Michael Hyatt's book, Platform, he emphasizes that a website isn't enough. The mentality of "build it and they will come" doesn't work. Even just having great content doesn't stand on its own.
I've tried this.
When I started seriously blogging in 2012, I had a good looking website and great content. But I didn't have an audience. Even when i tried to promote on Twitter, I had so few followers, it didn't make much of a difference.
I didn't start seeing any growth until I started interacting with others online. I found some blogs to follow and interact with both the blogger (in this case, Chris LoCurto) and the others that were commenting. I started learning better ways to utilize Twitter (it's more than just following others and hoping they follow back). Throughout 2013, I grew my Twitter following from 200 to over 600 - not impressive numbers, but it's still a 300% growth. I started to see my stats improve on my website as well. My numbers suffered when I got busy and inconsistent.
So, again, you need more than a great, quality website.
For a business owner, a website isn't enough to bring traffic. You have to do something to bring them in.
We're going to look at three main things:


This is a great way to provide fresh content to your website. With a blog, the newest post displays first and the rest show in reverse chronological order (newest to oldest). Not only will your site visitors enjoy seeing new content, Google rates sites with new, fresh content better.

Podcasting has done great things for me. I've been able to reach a much bigger audience than I did with just my blog. I've also been able to interview famous authors, and even an actor from the show 24 (I did a podcast called The 24 Podcast with a friend). It's a great way to build your reputation and expand your reach.

Video takes interaction to a new level, as you are able to convey more of your meaning and personality. You also can take advantage of YouTube, which is the second largest search engine in the world behind Google.

Social Media
Social media, if done right, can really help you increase the traffic to your website. We'll talk more about social media and networking in future sessions.


Have you started any of these?

Jul 14, 2014

Welcome to the Creative Studio Academy.

This is the podcast to help you learn and explore how you can start and improve your skills with online content creation.
My name is Joshua Rivers and will be your guide on this journey.

Impostor syndrome
I started this podcast with the sentence, "I'm an imposter."

Let me explain. This is a challenge set forth from a fellow podcaster, Cliff Ravenscraft. He is the host of many podcasts, including the Podcast Answer Man. He addresses and answers people's questions about podcasting, and he addressed the issue of the "imposter syndrome" recently.

The "imposter syndrome" is basically the idea of someone pretending to be something that they are not. For example, I am not an absolute expert with online content creation, but I would be an imposter if I was pretending that I was.

Cliff's challenge was to his listeners that were starting a new podcast to start with the phrase, "I'm an imposter."

But, like I said, I'm not really an imposter. I'm not pretending to be an expert in the area of online content creation, which is the theme of this podcast and the associated website, CreativeStudio.Academy.

What does this mean for you?

It means that you don’t have to be an expert either. You can go out and share what you know with others that are coming behind you. Yes, you still need to learn more. But you also have a lot that you can share. Even if there are others out there sharing the same thing, no one else has your exact experience and personality. You bring something fresh to the table.
Who am I?

Website consultant
Guide at the Creative Studio Academy

What is the Creative Studio Academy?

CSA is the ultimate place for those starting and growing with online content creation.
The name:

Creative – relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.
Studio – a place where an artist, photographer, sculptor, etc., works.
Academy – a place of study or training in a special field; a society or institution of distinguished scholars, artists, or scientists, that aims to promote and maintain standards in its particular field.
This is a place where you learn and experiment with creating things, specifically content, in various forms.

What can you expect?

First of all, CSA is an extension of my business, so there are going to be avenues of revenue
Podcast sessions
Expert guests
Solo shows
Expect to have sessions in semesters (seasons)
Blog posts
Membership site (possible) or closed Facebook group
Individual (self-paced and one-on-one)
E-mail newsletter
Updates for new posts and sessions
Special articles and interviews just for subscribers
Discounts on products and services

This session is brought to you by Dev By JR.

The post I’m an Impostor: Introductions (1-1) appeared first on Creative Studio Academy.

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