The Complete Podcast Pointers List
I’m a relentlessly researching geek when it comes to tools, tips, gear and resources. I get unfeasibly excited when I find anything that makes life just a little easier! That’s why this epic post exists. It’s a collection of my favourite finds, sent out via Podcast Pointers (our fortnightly podcasting newsletter), and collated here for your browsing pleasure!
Latest Podcast Pointers Links
Note that these are affiliate links and, if you use them, you help support what we do, and have our eternal thanks!
Black Friday Deals for 2019
- Shure MV88 iPhone microphone
- Samson Q2U USB & XLR Microphone
- Shure SM58 XLR Microphone
- Logitech C920 High def Webcam
Building a website for your Podcast:
- Bluehost Web hosting
- Siteground Web hosting
- SecondLine Themes for WordPress
- The Divi WordPress theme
- WPRocket – a caching plugin to make it lightning fast
Monetising your show:
Previous Issue Links
Here are the links from other recent newsletters:
- Rode Procaster Microphone (XLR version)
- Rode Podcaster USB Microphone (USB version)
- Yamaha MG10 Mixer
- Samtian LED Video Light - Mini
And the other resources mentioned:
- Book Like a Boss: Meeting Booking Tool
- How I set up my meeting booking system
- How to create an intro theme in just 5 minutes
- WPRocket: WordPress Caching Plugin
- Philips Hue Smart Bulbs
- Philips Hue Motion Sensor
- Echo Plus with built-in Hub (& a free bulb!)
- Our Studio Cabling Article including all product links
Here are the resource links mentioned:
- How to make a DIY Sound Panel
- Make money as a podcast course affiliate
- Using Patreon & Audiobooks to monetise your podcast
- Self adhesive cable tidies
- Hooks/Tidies Instagram Post
- The Best Podcast Hosting Services
- How to choose a good audio cable
Podcast Pointers is not the first newsletter of it’s kind, of course. The first I knew of was Weekend Favs from John Jantsch – a great collection of content marketing tips every week. Tim Ferriss, more recently, has made the format his own, with 5 Bullet Friday – some of the most random, eclectic bits of ‘cool shit’ you’ll find anywhere.
But, if you want more audio, audience and creative ‘things’, then I’m proud of what we’ve collected in Podcast Pointers over the years. That’s why I wanted to bring together the whole list, right here.
This is everything we’ve covered since the newsletter started. Yep, it contains a fair bit of our own stuff – the bits I’m most proud of. But, it contains even more brilliant things from everyone else in (and out of) the world of audio.
If you have any suggestions, I’m always willing to hear them. Get in touch and I might put them in a future ‘Pointers.’ In the meantime, have a browse below, and enjoy!
ARTICLES AND MEDIA
This includes any resources around the web – videos, podcasts, articles – that teach you something to improve your podcasting.
PODCAST: HOW TO TELL BETTER AUDIO STORIES
For anyone aspiring to make great audio, HowSound is an essential listen. Mike Rosenthal talks, every week, about storytelling, structure, presentation skills, equipment and tonnes more. His episode on the ‘e structure’ offers a brilliant story form that hooks people right away and takes them on a journey. Suitable for interviews, monologues and heavy narrative podcasts alike!
BLOG: GROWING YOUR AUDIENCE
Matthew has been doing a series on ‘Growing your Audience.’ He’s collated a lot of the best advice in this area, from us and elsewhere, and create a great guide to marketing your show. It starts with something nearly every client we work with needs – a pragmatic view on how long it takes to grow a following. It goes into average listener numbers so you can set yourself realistic goals.
BLOG: IMPROVE YOUR WRITING FOR SHOWNOTES & MORE
I’ve found some really easy ways to improve my writing, making shownotes or blog posts way more engaging and fan-building. I love Scott Adams’ take here – simplicity, brevity, activity – and Michael Hyatt adds some good tips. I know we’re talkers, but the written word is so important in how we’re found online. Refine it!
BLOG: HOW MUCH EDITING IS NEEDED?
Now, we’re always asked: “How much editing should I do on my show?” It’s something we’ve covered a few times, but here’s our latest thoughts. Have a look and see if you could make your show more sustainable, more regular, by being strategic about what you edit.
PODCAST: THE GREAT PODCASTING Q&A
Season 7 of Podcraft is live and we’re doing bi-weekly Q&A shows based on listener questions. Listen to Qs such as “How do I choose a topic?”, “What’s the best face to face interview setup?” and “How do I measure engagement?”
PODCAST: STORYTELLING COURSE
The Out on the Wire Podcast is really honing my episode design skills right now. Jessica Able takes you through a full-blown course on creating a narrative for any episode. The real-life case studies are brilliant and her explanations hit the spot – really sharpening up how create my episodes.
COURSE: CREATE A WEBSITE FOR YOUR PODCAST (OR A BLOG!)
Building a new website for a podcast, or want to improve an existing one? I just made our Podcast Websites course fully open and free. It takes you through setting up domains & hosting, setting up WordPress, customising the site and then all the tools you need to run a podcast, and to attract and grow an audience. Even if you already have a decent website for your show, this shows you a bunch of tools we use to monetise what we do.
BLOG: HOW TO GET MORE ITUNES REVIEWS
This article is the 6th in Matthew’s ‘podcast promotion’ series, and I’m proud of how it’s coming along. For some actionable tips on how to grow your audience, have a read!
BLOG: HOW TO USE MUSIC FOR MOOD
Looking to use more music in your show, but a bit baffled as to how? Robert Kelly writes how to choose & use music to set a mood.
BLOG: A FULL PODCASTING WORKFLOW – RECORD TO PUBLISH
“My Podcasting Process” outlines everything Sarah Rhea Werner does to record a show. I love to see the details! This isn’t the only way, and it’s a long one, but I like her outlining approach, the essential test phase and the care she takes around voice and mouth noises.
BLOG: HOW A KNITTING PODCAST MAKES MONEY
Jo Milmine from Shinybees Knitting. How she runs a hugely successful show, including simple setups for consistency, how to ad-lib with structure, business opportunities and growth tactics.
BLOG: PROMOTING YOUR SHOW THROUGH TRADITIONAL MEDIA.
It’s easy to stay insular when it comes to growth, aiming at those who already listen to podcasts. So, I’ve been trying to reach out and this media chasing article from Mr Ferriss has helped to win us two national newspaper features already. Next, I’m aiming to get on national radio!
BLOG: HOW TO GET LISTENERS TO DO SOMETHING!
Chapter 10 of my Content Stacking series: How to Drive Action from a Podcast, discusses how to get a listener to take action, even while listening. AND, what that action could be.
VIDEO: HOW TO BUILD HOME-MADE ACOUSTIC PANELS
Sound tiles can be expensive, and don’t exactly brighten up a kitchen with their looks! Here’s a cheap and better looking (with nice material) alternative from DIY Perks: building acoustic panels.
PODCAST: A MARKETING SHOW THAT DOESN’T MAKE MY EARS BLEED
A lot of (most!) growth shows are awful. Too salesy. Too melodramatic. I love the Growth Show for it’s lack of either. Only great tips on growing your audience.
BLOG: ATTRACTING ADVERTISERS
How to attract advertisers to your podcast. Always a hot question. Ben at Podcast Motor just answered it. In depth. Networks, brokers, pitching, stats & more. A great guide to finding your first (or next!) sponsor. Ben is one of our recommended show editors.
BLOG: WORKING OUT YOUR BUDGET
How much should I spend on Podcast Equipment? Still struggling to find kit within your budget? This covers the options – when you genuinely need another bit of kit. It’ll help you spend the least to get the best in your situation.
BLOG: TURNING AUDIO INTO VIDEO
Audiograms to Promote Your Show on YouTube. Heard of an audiogram? I hadn’t! They’re dynamic, moving visuals for a podcast so they look good on YouTube. This shows how to craft ’em.
BLOG: “8 THINGS I LEARNED RECORDING IN A PROFESSIONAL STUDIO.”
Here are Matthew’s lessons, for fiction and non-fiction alike, recently gleaned when he visited a local studio to record with a group of actors. A lot applies to recording with more than 2 hosts, even at home!
PODCAST: GETTING TO 500 EPISODES & PODCAST PROMOTION HACKS.
I talked to Paul ‘The App Guy’ Kemp on Podcraft recently. We talked about prolific consistency and some interesting ways that he’s promoting his show. Some could be considered a little dodgy, so not for everyone, but it’s good to know the options!
BLOG: HOW TO USE VIDEO TO PROMOTE YOUR SHOW
This is how to create YouTube videos that drive action and grow the audience for your podcast. That means practical tools like end screens, cards and good descriptions.
BLOG: EVER WONDERED HOW ITUNES BUILDS ITS CHARTS?
How do iTunes Rankings Work. We brought together all of the current wisdom around iTunes rankings and plonked it into one big post. Wondering how you might climb the i-ladder? Check this out.
BLOG: A GUIDE TO MICROPHONES FOR VOICE
Wanna delve into how mics work & what to look for in a good pro one? Our resident mic guru, Matthew Boudreau (XFiles, The Cleansed, Locke & Key), put together an epic guide to microphones for voice, from polar patterns, to transducers to frequency response. If you want to get right nerdy with your mic, this’ll tickle your geeky bone.
VIDEO: MAKE YOUR OWN LEATHER STUDIO DESK
Check out my new DIYed leather studio desk! Cuts reverb, reduces desk noise & looks great on video.
VIDEO: HOW TO SET UP A MIXER TO RECORD SKYPE CALLS.
We’re asked this a lot – how to do mix-minus with a mixer, digital recorder and/or a laptop. Here’s the beef. Oh, and a video too!
BLOG: IN WHAT FORMAT SHOULD I CREATE SHOWNOTES?
In what format should I do my Shownotes? Common question! Here are some ideas & examples for great shownotes pages.
BLOG: Why does my audio hiss?
Answering that age old question, and how to reduce it!
BLOG: The Best Kids Podcasts
Keep those little menaces quiet over the holidays.
BLOG: How to avoid mouth clicks in your recordings
Loved this article from Voiceover site, Gravy for the Brain. If you’ve ever cringed through editing a recording with clicks and smacks and all sorts of noises, here’s how to avoid it next time!
Blog: How to create a Trailer for your Podcast
Nope, not to tow stuff…the kind of trailer that promotes your show, draws people in and can be played on anyone else’s podcast!
Blog: How to set your recording levels
A masterclass on audio levels from Steven Cohen, incl. mic technique, software, hardware, everything – only for advanced audio geeks with higher end setups, but it’s a goodie!
Podcast: Using Patreon & Audiobooks to Monetise a Show
This is Joanna Penn’s take on how to monetise a podcast, and she’s a pro, earning a proper living from it and her other work. Some real unique takes on earning a crust here, including how to find high-value corporate sponsors.
INFORMATION & OPINION
This includes any content published around Podcasting, perhaps collections of podcasts themselves or about the industry
WEEKLY PODCAST ROUNDUPS & SUMMARIES
The Podcast Wire is a newsletter that offers 500 word summaries of startup podcasts every week. I find I can’t keep up with the entrepreneurship shows out there – the range is huge. But this helps me pick what to listen to, and still read a summary of the ones I miss. My latest find was the 20 Minute VC and a great interview with “CEO whisperer” Jerry Colonna.
BLOG: PODCASTING INNOVATIONS
8 Podcasting Innovations for 2016 – I enjoyed this list! Agree that timed playlists will be BIG, transcripts more important & that This American Life’s new tool is the next step of many in proper podcast viral sharing.
EVEN MORE TOOLS: THE BOOK!
Tim Ferriss’ new book Tools of Titans just dropped through my mailbox, and it’s as good as I hoped. It’s also a brilliant example of repurposing and monetising a podcast! Tonnes of tips relevant to podcasters and those growing a biz around it, incl. 1000 true fans, mindset and routines, books for creativity and dealing with haters. I’m loving it!
100 OUTSTANDING AUDIO STORIES
I can’t get enough of this list right now: 100 Outstanding Audio Stories. From investigative journalism, to science stories and human behavior. There’s a huge mix of narrative shows, most of which are brand new to me.
BEHIND THE SCENES OF A PRO STUDIO
Take a look inside Leo Laporte’s TWiT studio. Fascinating to see into how he manages the broadcasts, the range of tech and even the crowdsourced (and immediate!) method for naming shows.
FINDING FOCUS THROUGH MUSIC
Music to help you concentrate. I love listening to stuff – podcasts or otherwise. It’s company. But, when I work, background chatter distracts. So I loved this list of focus music from Jocelyn Glei. I put it on when I’m writing a post or planning a show. Totally keeps me from distraction!
NEW SHOW: THE 7 MINUTE MENTOR.
I’ve known Mark Asquith a few years now, and I love his approach to podcasting and to the businesses behind it. His new show, the 7 Minute Mentor, is short, sharp entrepreneurship advice every week. Loving it so far, and, with his experience, I know the gems will keep coming.
HOW TO GET KIDS INTO PODCASTING
Are you a teacher, a youth leader or just have kids that need entertaining? This article shows how one teacher got her class into Podcasting & the great results she’s seen.
Apple decides to spill the podcasting beans!
The Big-A announced they’ll be opening up listening stats within the Apple Podcast app. Cue melodrama, both positive and negative. It is a big deal, though – here’s a good summary on Digiday.
Tips to Avoid the Dreaded Podfade
Matthew put this together to help new ‘casters get past the infamous 7 episode mark. The tips will even help make the lives of veteran podcasters easier!
Find More Podcast Guesting Opportunities
I’ve gotten on some great shows recently through PodcastGuests.com, a newsletter which lists shows looking for guests every week. You can advertise for guests yourself, if you need more interviewees. Sign up, get booked, tell some stories & grow your audience!
London Event with Podcasters Galore!
I can’t wait speak at the Youpreneur Summit in November. Are you coming?! Join me, Pat Flynn, Mike Morrison, John Lee Dumas, John Jantsch, Chris Ducker, et al. It’s gonna be brilliant!
Level-Up Your Writing Skills
Great writing helps any podcast, from scripting to headlines to shownotes, and Stephen King spills the beans in ‘On Writing‘. Love the story he tells, and the tips are right up my street. The advice around brevity and focus apply just as much to speaking as writing – great read.
A Stonking Big Podcast Hosting Guide
Probably the most common Q we get – where should I host my podcast? Here’s the guide, covering all the main companies. Whether you’re launching, or looking to move, check out the pros and cons of each.
Recording multiple mics with NO mixer
You can get some great audio when you record 2 or more people on-location. The chemistry, the banter, can make for really engaging stuff. But, the quality can be rubbish if you don’t do it well and mixers are confusing. Here’s how to record 2 or more people in the same place without the complications of a mixer.
Podcasts for kids are big!
I wish I had these when I was wee – our car journeys pass 10 times quicker listening to Wow in the World or Mars Patel. The former is great even if you’re just a grown up who wants to be taught science like an 8 year old!
How many downloads does the iTunes Front Page get you?
Our new show hit the very front page of iTunes new and noteworthy last month, and stayed for 2 weeks. Curious how many downloads that got us? Find out here!
How to create a compelling podcast, from an NPR producer.
Noah Kagan paid a top NPR producer for an hour of his time, and got some brilliant advice on how to make an engaging show.
How to create a Highly Produced Podcast
The new season of Podcraft is on this very topic, from documentary style to edited interviews. How do you up your production game, and should you? What are the benefits? Find out here.
Looking for a Sponsor, or to Sponsor a Show?
If you’re looking to find a sponsor, forward this article to convince them. Or if you want to sponsor a show to market your own business/podcast/product, here why it works!
How to Start a Podcast
If you’re looking to get started, here’s a full guide – recently updated too. From show design to publish. Step by step!
Monetising through memberships
I just recorded a session for the Membership site summit on how to create great online courses. Courses, and membership communities in general, are a great way to serve your audience, and earn some pennies. Check out my session for free, and loads more membership seminars, at the link.
Our Favourite Podcasting Resources Page
I’ve added all the deals to our Resources page. For example, Discounts on the Blue Yeti for desktop recording, the PC8 for Skype calls or the Rode Videomic Me to raise your smartphone game. Bluehost have big discounts (60%), and you can learn how to set up the site in our podcast/blog websites course. Convertkit are great, and offering a rare 1 month free right now. My favourite webcam – the Logitech C920 – is 50% off.
How to do email marketing for Podcasters
Email is the best tool we’ve used to grow our audience, for a range of our podcasts AND our main blog. This is a guide to how we do it, from tools to tactics. I’ll be adding more over time to include our full process.
How to run premium podcasting content
If you’ve ever fancied monetising by offering paid podcast content, then this is a full guide to all the tools that’ll help you do it. Includes options from free to paid, and lots of different methods.
Make Money as a Podcast Course Affiliate
Reckon your audience would be interested in making their own Podcast? The affiliate programme for our Podcast Host Academy might be a good way for you to earn some money from your show. Fill in the form at the link above if you want to work with us!
KIT, GEAR & GADGETS
Any equipment, gadgets, kit or shiny things to help in your podcasting, media or general life.
THE ANTLION MODMIC 5
Turn Your Favourite Headphones into a Quality Headset. The Antlion ModMic 5 is a good quality mic that sticks onto the side of your existing headphones. Want the convenience of a headset mic (Skype interviews, quick solo shows), but the quality of your best headphones? This’ll do it.
BEST HEADPHONES FOR HEADPHONES LISTENING
What are the best headphones for podcast listening? I spend too much money on headphones… But I listen to A LOT, so I think it’s worth it. A good pair makes a huge difference to your listening pleasure – here’s some recs!
FOCUSRITE 18I8 AUDIO INTERFACE
We checked out the daddy of the Focusrite range – the Scarlett 18i8. It’s as brilliant quality as the rest, but with even more inputs. For a large podcasting team, it’s a great low-noise option. Check out the 18i8 review.
Finally, I just got myself an Amazon Echo, and I bloomin’ love it! The voice recognition is amazing and the skills are so wide ranging. I’m experimenting with Podcast listening on it too – putting on short news update shows whenever I’m making a cup of tea, for example. Anyone out there finding cool podcasting uses for the Echo?
THE MAKINGS OF A GREAT STUDIO
I love seeing behind the curtain. Good pal of mine, Mike Russell, has released a video tour of his new studio. He moved recently and built an amazing recording space. Take a look and get ready for some ‘setup envy!’
TOP QUALITY USB MICROPHONE
Looking for a great quality, easy-as-pie USB mic? We got a Shure MV5 through the post early this year, and have found ourselves using it almost daily. Small, light, mobile, crystal clear – top USB pic for me right now.
USB LAVALIER MICROPHONE
We got a look at the new Samson Stage PXD1 Presentation Kit recently – it’s a portable USB lav mic, & wireless to boot. Great for simple out-and-about recording, or for anyone who does video alongside their audio show.
COMPACT USB MICROPHONE
We reviewed the Samson Meteor and found it a good quality, light USB mic option. “Better than the Snowball and cheaper than a Yeti or a MV5.”
SMART SPEAKERS AND PODCASTING?
I think Smart Speakers are a game changer for podcasting. Click to see why & how you can prepare. Let me know if you (dis)agree!
FLEXIBLE RECORDING: PHONE STAND
I got a new flexible phone stand* from my bro-in-law for Christmas, and it’s brilliant! Frighteningly easy to set up. Great for podcast recording with a Smartlav+, or, as I’m doing, Facebook Lives to engage our community. Could even start to record video WITH your audio to get in on the stacking approach.
GOING PRO: AKG C214 MICROPHONE
Far-too-fancy Microphone. Matthew wrote about his new love last week: the AKG C214. See why he’s besotted here.
CONNECT TWO MONO MICS INTO ONE STEREO JACK
We’ve been using this cable loads – it breaks the left and right stereo channels into separate mono inputs. Eg. Plug two ATR3350s into this cable, plugged into a Zoom H1, and get separate control over each speaker in post-production. Or get 4 standalone speakers into an H5 by using this adapter in the top 3.5mm jack, and two 1/4″ connections in inputs 1 and 2.
RECORDING GREAT QUALITY VIDEO TO SUPPORT YOUR PODCAST
Recently, I’ve recorded every podcast as video first. I’m recording on Nikon D5100 DSLR and Zoom H5 + MXL990, then syncing audio/video after. I export the audio for a podcast, and cut bits from the video as YouTube promos/highlights. Video takes an extra 30 mins, but huge reach & promo benefits.
STANDING DESKS FOR PODCASTERS: WHY & WHICH ONE?
I’ve been standing at work for years, and it’s ace. Healthier, less sore necks/backs and better sounding podcasts. It’s also great for staying fresh when I’m blogging. Here’s what I use.
THE SAMSON MXP124X MIXER
The Samson MXP124x Mixer is the smaller of Samson’s Mixpad range, which they term their affordable but pro-quality mixer setup. It’s USB capable, full of options and mix-minus ready. Check the review for our thoughts & a sound sample.
QUICK & SIMPLE INTERVIEW EQUIPMENT
The Simplest Good Quality Interview Setup. We get asked about the 2-way Smartlav+ interview setup so much, that I put together an article. This is how to use 2 Smartlav+ and a SC6 adapter for great quality interviews (and Ringr capable too!).
CARRY YOUR PODCAST KIT WITHOUT BREAKING YOUR BACK
I’ve tried a LOT of bags over the years, but always come back to Wenger. My current bag is 2 years old and still like new. Hardy, big, loadsa pockets for mic/kit/laptop organisation & looks cool. It’s out of production in UK but this one’s very close.
WHY YOU NEED A THERABAND
Sore neck, back or shoulders from sitting all day? (or carrying a crappy non-wenger bag ;-)) I’ve always struggled with neck/back pain – I’m at a desk constantly, whether podcasting, writing or otherwise. The one thing that’s helped the most is this stretch using a resistance band or my trusty voodoo flosstrusty voodoo floss. Let me know if it helps!
STAY ACTIVE & SHARP WITH BREAK REMINDERS
Lot of love for the stretching tips above! Seems podcasters have to sit a lot, like me. Workrave is a free app I use to make me stand up, stretch, look away from the screen, regularly. It keeps me active, and more focussed for creating!
MULTI-PURPOSE GORRILA PODS
I recently got a ball-mount for my Gorilla Pod tripod and I now use it for everything! I’ve got the big one, so I put my DSLR camera on for video filming and the ball mount gives total flexibility on direction. I also use an adapter to convert it from camera mount (1/4″) to microphone mount (often 5/8″, but check your mic clip) and put a shotgun mic on it for filming, or a Shure SM58 for desktop recording at events. It’s a brilliant, portable tripod – I always have it with me!
Drastically cut background hiss with this new pre-amp
The SS1 preamp from the Simply Sound Company is a new competitor for the Cloudlifter and the Fethead. It sounds great, upgrading any mic! Check out samples and review above.
The Startup Mixtape
The Podcast Wire newsletter has always given me great summaries of various startup/marketing shows. Now it’s changed into a curated list of the best episodes of the week. Good way to stay on top of the sector if you struggle to curate it yourself!
Headphones always getting in the way?
This is pretty rad! How to build an amazing looking headphone stand. Get away from the digital and build something real 🙂
What’s the best looking mic in the world?
Ever fancied a mic that not only sounds good, but looks sexy as hell? Well, here they are – the world’s best looking mics!
Tools of the Trade: Equalisers (EQ)
Ever wondered how in the sweet blue hell that row of weird little faders work? Here’s the full story, from the simple 3-band on your mixer to 30-band monsters in Audition. Expert skills, engage!
Hooks! At last!
This’ll sound ridiculous, but hooks have changed my life. A set of adhesive now hang headphones & Skype headset, always to hand, and some sticky cable clips are tidying cables, ready to pull out when needed. The studio is a changed place. Here’s how I’m using them.
What makes a good audio cable
Know those people that spend $500 on a microphone and plug it into a $5 audio cable? Eejits. Cables are oft forgotten, much maligned, but arguably the most important part of your setup. Find out how to choose a good audio cable, from USB to XLR.
Tidy your cables with velcro
Remember those hooks I mentioned last time? This is even better. A few quid spent on velcro cable ties and that rats nest in my studio is gone forever! Easy cable tidying, and cheap as chips.
Best Smartphone Lavalier mics
Looking for a good on-the-go recording solution? Sticking a lavalier microphone into your phone is a great option. Adapters exist to allow for 2, as well, so you can do interviews.
Turn Your Smartphone into a Digital Recorder
We’ve just reviewed the Shure MV88 – an ace little mic that plugs onto the end of your iOS device, turning an iPhone or an iPad into a digital recorder. Find details & sound samples in the article.
Up to date list of the Best Podcast Equipment
The big A just asked me to set up an ‘influencer’ page to list our recommended kit. Love this – helps us keep our ‘best of’ list up to date. Check it out here, and get ready for Black Friday reductions!
Looking for a Low-Cost Digital Recorder?
We reviewed the ever-popular Tascam DR-05 recently. It’s great for on-the-go solo recording/interviews, or recording from a mixer. Lower cost alternatives are the Sony PX470 and the Olympus WS-853.
The Zoom H6 Digital Recorder
We got hold of the Zoom flagship recorder for a proper play. Find out, here, whether it’s worth the cash.
Full smartphone lavalier mic roundup
For a summary and sound samples of every smartphone lav mic we know, check out this roundup.
How to make a DIY Sound Panel
No-one makes a video like my most excellent pal, Ray Ortega! Here’s how he created some DIY acoustic panels to sound-treat his studio, and get it sounding brilliant. This is low complexity and low cost!
Gadgets for Disappearing your Cables!
Here’s an article on exactly how we re-organised our studio cabling. If nothing else, check out the first image for the worst ‘cable spider nest’ you’ve ever seen – that’s the before…
Movement Activated Studio & Home Gadgets
Slightly non-audio, but I love this stuff! I’ve been installing Philips Hue Bulbs, the associated motion activators and an Echo Plus hub to smartify my house, and I’m planning the same for our podcast studio. The Echo/Alexa acts as a hub, so you can voice activate the bulbs, and then the motion sensor talks to it too, to put stuff on in some areas, even before I speak! It’s as close to living on the Enterprise as I’ve got so far 🙂
SOFTWARE & TOOLS
Any software for your computer, your mobile or web apps to use anywhere.
BUILDING GOOD HABITS
I’ve been trying to build a few habits lately. Some work related (daily audio diary of our work, instagram engagement, community involvement) and some not (bike on Zwift 3 times a week, daily meditation, kettlebell workouts). I’m finding apps make a big difference, gamifying the whole thing. I don’t want to lose my streak of ticks! Favourites so far are HabitBull (android) and Momentum (iOS). Are you trying to build any habits?
A PODCAST PLAYER WITH BELLS
Simple Podcast Press, my favorite podcast player, has recently had a update, and it looks even better than before. Created by all-round-nice-guy Hani Mourra, SPP puts a great looking, conversion focussed player into any wordpress page. We use it for a whole bunch of our shows!
TIME-BASED LISTENING RECOMMENDATIONS
60db is a new listening app that offers a really interesting proposition. They want to offer audio stories that fit the time you have, from 1 or 2 mins to much longer. I think this really fits a niche. Are you thinking about shorter, more snackable versions of your show? Might be worth asking your audience.
LEVEL UP YOUR WEBCAM DELIVERY
My tool of the month is ManyCam. I’m using it for webinars & Facebook Live. It allows desktop shares, screen-in-screen, green-screen or include any video source. Then switch between it all on the fly, while live.
CREATE SHORT & EASY ON-AIR LINKS
My most used tool: Pretty Link. I use this every day. The best way to create nice short links to anything on the web, from podcast eps to affiliate/sponsor deals, and track stats along the way. It’s also free, tho I pay for the pro!
CREATE PRO-LEVEL VIDEO WITH LITTLE EFFORT!
I’ve been playing with Adobe Spark a bit lately. Now that they let you import video clips, it can do practically anything you want. I’m good with Premiere, but Spark does 90% of what you need with 10% of the bother. And it looks better than I can create myself!
TURN BLOG POSTS INTO A PODCAST
My new favourite toy – Narro! I love podcasts, but there’s tonnes of blog content I want to consume too. This turns one into the other, converting text to speech and letting you keep up with your favourite writers.
Audition vs Audacity: Battle of the DAWs!
Audacity is a fantastic app for recording/editing your show, but ever wondered if it’s worth paying for Adobe Audition? This article digs deep into the pros & cons of each. Take a read to see what would suit you!
Record Live and On-the-Go
This is one of the easiest ways I’ve found to record & publish a podcast: the Spreaker mobile app. At CMALive this year I recorded 16 interviews & published direct to a Podcast feed. Fast, easy & a lot of flexibility in bringing in tunes or FX. Brilliant app!
Still searching for good podcast hosting?
We talked to all of the best hosts on the planet, to get the pros and cons. Here’s our roundup of the best hosting services on the market.
My new podcast (& everything else!) planning tool
I’ve only just found Notion. I’m in love. It’s basically a wiki, but with brilliant collaboration and embedding tools. It fits that spot between Trello (not good for big content) and Evernote (not structured or collaborative enough) & I’m using it for planning all my podcast series now. I have a Podcraft page, with a Series 8 page in that, and an episode 8 page in that, and I can write my notes, discuss them inline with co-hosts, and embed a speakpipe player, a youTube clip or any other media page to play live on the show. It’s brilliant!
Best Podcast Hosting Services
We just updated our ‘best hosting’ recommendations. Things are changing fast here!
Tool to turn Listeners into Email Subscribers
We use Sumo to run the optin forms and popups on many of our podcast websites. It’s ace – really easy to use and can do content upgrades, auto emails & a/b testing. They’re giving away their competition plugin, Kingsumo, for free for anyone that signs up for their optin form builder today only. **We’re a Sumo partner, so would get a small commission if you sign up. But only because we use it and love it!**
Zoom.us as an Interview Recording Tool
Skype is out – I’ve replaced it with Zoom.us for nearly all my podcast interviews recently. So easy and super reliable. Plus, free of charge if it’s just two of you! And ties into loads of scheduling tools, like the one we use: Book Like a Boss (more on that in a future email!).
How to find sound effects for your show
A little goes a long way with music and sound effects, adding a big dash of polish & engagement, and helping you stand out. Here’s how to find good ones to really jazz up your show.
Test out our auto-podcast-maker tool
We’ve now got Alitu (for automatic production or assisted editing) in open beta testing, so we’d love to have you use it for your show! Check out the link for details and to see if it’s for you.
It’s not always about the work. Here are the fun things I’ve found over the years.
FROM POLITICS TO SPACE
Looking for some Audio drama to make the ‘drive home for holidays’ pass more quickly? I’m loving Terms from Spoke Media. Also, try Cargo, our entry to 11th Hour’s quick & dirty Drama competition. My 1st acting role…Matthew shouldn’t let me near the dramatic mic…
FROM SCOTLAND TO AMERICA: FICTION
I’ve been hitting the fiction podcasts, trying to wind down from work craziness. I’m enjoying Locke & Key, a Scottish Podcast (not for the easily offended!) and got back into Limetown. Great for a wee de-stress.
THE X-FILES IS BACK, AND IN PODCAST FORM (KINDA!)
The X-Files on Audio?! Yep, Audible have commissioned a new X-Files story as part of their ‘Originals’ series. Great news for podcasters, I think. It brings a BIG audience into the long-form, on-demand audio realm. Plus, it’s the X-Files, and has actual Duchovny and Anderson in it – brilliant! If you’re super-keen, you can pre-order at the link above.
THE NEW PODCASTING GENERATION
Check out this pic of our latest podcast host in the newly-leathered studio. She’s rocking those glasses… #DownWithTheKids
Podcasting: The Movie!
I met two guys – Chris & Niel – at Podcast movement in 2015 who were making a movie about podcasting. The Messengers just dropped onto iTunes, showing a really intimate view of Podcasting and the fine folks that do it, like us.
New space exploration documentary-drama: Hostile Worlds
Our new show, exploring the most crazy-dangerous places in the universe. Listen in as we head out on our ship, the Tardigrade, and proper space experts (NASA/Cornell) help us to explore Titan in the first few episodes.
Anything else you might need to grow your show.
Where to Find Great Background Music
Looking for music to perk up your show? In the last year I mostly used Jamendo, including for the new Podcraft theme. Great selection, much more unique than most, and not too costly at £35 a track.
Do you Have the Ears of an Audio Producer?
Love this quiz by NPR – test yourself against their pro producers. Also, check out the related ear training guide, to help yourself pick out common audio problems – so useful!