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Take The Stress Out of Starting a Podcast

Career

Podcasts are trending right now because they are accessible, portable and listeners can listen to them whenever it is convenient. It's different than video because you can take them with you without being tied to the screen. People listen to podcasts in the car. You can take the podcast with you when you're working out in the gym or on subways, planes and trains. The popular concept of releasing daily snackable forms of content is catching on because they're produced as focused- topic specific content that you can grab on the go.


Have you thought of starting podcasting but don't know where to start?

The first step is to get very clear on why you want to start a podcast. Are you a business owner or an entrepreneur and you want to get your message out and grow your business? Are you an artist or an author and want to position yourself as an expert in an industry category? It is important to figure out exactly what it is that you want to talk about on your podcast and how you want your show to sound. Do you want to interview guests? Repurpose already existing blog posts into engaging audio files? You can dive in to next steps once you've flushed out the concept of your show and figured out why you want to do it.

As you evolve into the production stage of creating a podcast you need to commit to consistency. Committing to consistency means both keeping consistent on scheduling the recording of a show and releasing it on a consistent schedule. It also refers to making sure the show goes out at the same time of the day and on the same day every week.

You may only have the bandwidth to release an episode once a week or prefer to release a series of multiple episodes. The important thing is to honor the schedule you committed to because your listeners start to look forward to and can get disappointed or lose interest if you're not delivering it consistently.

Investing in quality production audio has become increasingly more important. Apple is releasing approximately 8000 new podcasts per week. There are over 550,000 podcast on iTunes right now so the quality of your audio will be a big factor in your competitive edge.

You may not be able to budget for a producer when you're first starting out so you invest in a quality microphone and make sure if you have a co-host doing the show that you both use the exact same microphone to ensure the best possible sound. Some recommended microphones for podcasting include a Blue Yeti USB Condenser Microphone. Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamics USB/XLR or Shure SM58-LC Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone. Prices range from $64-$150. Consult with an audio expert before you purchase one to really understand the differences and which is better for your recording scenario. There is no reason to overpay when you don't have to yet you want to be sure you're getting the right quality for your production experience.

One of the secrets to success to creating an engaging show is remembering the first five to eight minutes are your most important time to capture your listeners. You'll want to make sure you use those first precious minutes to bring in the listener and captivate them enough so they will want to listen through to the end of your episode.

Should a local business be starting a podcast to increase their influence?

The great thing about podcasting is your ability to use it to position yourself as an expert. Whether you're a local business or you want to reach new customers outside of your regional area you can view the podcast as originator of your marketing content. One of the things that Produce Your Podcast recommends to our clients is to start with your podcast as the hub of your marketing strategy.

You can record your episode once, transcribe it, and take that written content and use the edited version as a blog post.These transcriptions can be repurposed into social media and email newsletters and used in other kinds of digital marketing. Podcasting is very efficient as a business development tool. It gives your customers a way to get to know you. People like to do business with the people they trust. A powerful connection emerges between you and your listeners and as a result they are more likely to convert into new customers.

The best thing you can do today to launch your podcast is just get started. It's not too early. It's not too late. There's still plenty of room in the podcasting market to have a successful show. Go ahead and jump into the trend. The sooner you get ahead of it the more effective it will be for you. Find the right partner to work with you if audio production is not your thing. Seek out an expert who can help you if you want to start a podcast and you're not sure how to what to do next. Reach out on social media to ask questions or join Facebook groups with experienced podcasters who can help you get through the process. The hardest part is beginning but you'll be glad you did!

How to Learn Much More From the Books You Read

It is one thing to read and another thing to understand what you are reading. Not only do you want to understand, but also remember what you've read. Otherwise, we can safely say that if we're not gaining anything from what we read, then it's a big waste of time.

Whatever you read, there are ways to do so in a more effective manner to help you understand better. Whether you are reading by choice, for an upcoming test, or work-related material, here are a few ways to help you improve your reading skills and retain that information.

Read with a Purpose

Never has there been a shortage of great books. So, someone recommended a great cookbook for you. You start going through it, but your mind is wandering. This doesn't mean the cookbook was an awful recommendation, but it does mean it doesn't suit nor fulfill your current needs or curiosity.

Maybe your purpose is more about launching a business. Maybe you're a busy mom and can't keep office hours, but there's something you can do from home to help bring in more money, so you want information about that. At that point, you won't benefit from a cookbook, but you could gain a lot of insight and find details here on how-to books about working from home. During this unprecedented year, millions have had to make the transition to work from home, and millions more are deciding to do that. Either way, it's not a transition that comes automatically or easily, but reading about it will inform you about what working from home entails.

Pre-Read

When you pre-read it primes your brain when it's time to go over the full text. We pre-read by going over the subheadings, for instance, the table of contents, and skimming through some pages. This is especially useful when you have formal types of academic books. Pre-reading is a sort of warm-up exercise for your brain. It prepares your brain for the rest of the information that will come about and allows your brain to be better able to pick the most essential pieces of information you need from your chosen text.

Highlight

Highlighting essential sentences or paragraphs is extremely helpful for retaining information. The problem, however, with highlighting is that we wind up highlighting way too much. This happens because we tend to highlight before we begin to understand. Before your pages become a neon of colored highlights, make sure that you only highlight what is essential to improve your understanding and not highlight the whole page.

Speed Read

You might think there have been no new ways to read, but even the ancient skill of reading comes up with innovative ways; enter speed reading. The standard slow process shouldn't affect your understanding, but it does kill your enthusiasm. The average adult goes through around 200 to 250 words per minute. A college student can read around 450 words, while a professor averages about 650 words per minute, to mention a few examples. The average speed reader can manage 1,500 words; quite a difference! Of course, the argument arises between quality and quantity. For avid readers, they want both quantity and quality, which leads us to the next point.

Quality Reading

Life is too short to expect to gain knowledge from just one type of genre. Some basic outcomes of reading are to expand your mind, perceive situations and events differently, expose yourself to other viewpoints, and more. If you only stick to one author and one type of material, you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn new things.

Having said that, if there's a book you are simply not enjoying, remember that life is also too short to continue reading it. Simply, close it, put it away and maybe give it another go later on, or give it away. There is no shame or guilt in not liking a book; even if it's from a favorite author. It's pretty much clear that you won't gain anything from a book that you don't even enjoy, let alone expect to learn something from it.

Summarize

If you're able to summarize what you have read, then you have understood. When you summarize, you are bringing up all the major points that enhance your understanding. You can easily do so chapter by chapter.

Take a good look at your life and what's going on in it. Accordingly, you'll choose the material that is much more suitable for your situation and circumstances. When you read a piece of information that you find beneficial, look for a way to apply it to your life. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't all that beneficial. But the application of knowledge from a helpful book is what will help you and make your life more interesting and more meaningful.