Almost Live Blogging from Boston's Podcamp: Leesa Barnes and Planning Killer Podcasts

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I attended Boston's Podcamp this weekend. I learned a simple way to podcast and some great tips on planning from Leesa Barnes of and Podonomics

. She works with woman small-business owners and a lot of her advice is particularly well suited for small nonprofits that do social change work.

Leesa Barnes drove all the way from Toronto to Boston to attend Podcamp, basically driving all night! She was one of the few women presenting too and later during a brief podcast interview we discussed why so few women podcasters were there.

Her session, Plan a Killer Podcast was fantastic! I was impressed that at 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon after driving all night, she could be so on! It has also made me realize that I need to do a lot more planning before more doing more podcasts.

Here's a few of my notes:

Why bother planning? You need to know who is listening!  If you don't plan, you won't be able to measure your success or improve. You won't know who your audience is or how to reach them. You won't be able to be consistent.

What type of planning do you do for your podcasts?

* Guida Stein, "It's a Purl, Man" shared that he uses an online wiki (private) with shows listed.   He has a template and starts filling in the shows.  It's online and easy to use. He plans about six shows in advance.

* Another person does an analyzes keyword searches on nichebot and then googles the keywords to see the numbers.  Then plans shows based on those topics.

* Another person looks at their blog or Web stats and sees what key words people were searching on that lead visitors to their site.

* Another person uses Podzinger to integrate clips related to topics he is planning a show on.

Leesa shared some statistics from the Canadian Podcast Listener Survey that she did.

* Podcast listeners are older than we think.  That it is just young people is a myth.  The largest group was the 35-44 age group.

* 69% want original content

Her survey matches all the results from many other surveys done elsewhere on the podcast audience.

What are the components of planning?

Triad of planning

Planning your promotional strategy - How to guide people to dialogue with you in your podcast
Image - what people will see when they come to your podcast
Content - Even if your voice sounds like crap, if you content is good - you'll be successful


Some suggestions from the podcasters in the room:
-Promos with other podcasters
-Online community - learn the community, be a part of the community, mention the podcast if it is value added community.
-Use other podcasters
-Who can have me on their podcast as a guest
-Search engine optimization skills
-Write a piece for another podcaster that makes sense for your content - a value added piece
-Be a "comment whore"

Need to be listed in the main directories:


(Note:  She'd like a developer to create script where you could submit to all these directories in one click version going to each one seperately because it is very time consuming.)

She recommended Jason Van Orden's book, "Promoting Your Podcast" (I bought a copy and it is well worth the $16)


What people see when they stumble across your podcast.  Make it attractive enough for the listener to fall in love with your podcasts.

What things attract you to subscribe?

* Person's personality
* Podcast cover
* Description
* Show name
* Art that shows up alongside your podcast
* Page where you podcast sits  - design -- not a simple flash player (wordpress has a plugin called podpress)


* passion and purpose
* who do you want to listen to your podcast
* competition
* consistency
* be you, everyone else is taken - original
* personality of the host
* audio quality

She ends with ...If you plan your podcast, your podcast will reflect your plan.

Photo from Beth Kanter's Flickr Stream

Beth Kanter also blogs at Beth's Blog and Cambodia4kids