Episode 12 – Full transcript
- Tagify (hashtags app)
- Gimlet Academy podcast
- The guest appeal tweet
- The “How Not to Get Old and Boring” logo
(Automated) Full transcript
welcome back. If this is your first time listening to this podcast there, let me just very quickly get you up to speed. The whole thing started off looking at pod fade and apathy. Basically the idea of not giving up on podcasting and to try just one last time to make a hit show. Then I looked at the secret behind the top hit podcast and had a look at how they do it. Then I try to work out how to find the time to actually do something like this. Then I looked at the kind of topic that I would.
Need to do to turn into a hit podcast by looking, especially at a series called the Gimlet Academy podcast, where they look at what makes NPR and this American life and shows like that. So successful. So then I worked out what kind of guests I would need in order to deliver a head podcast. The next step though, was to get those guests on board. And that’s what I’ve been trying to do this week.
But it didn’t exactly all go to plan.
This is a story then of an attempt to make a hit podcast documented in real time. By me, Richard, Mitson a former news editor and journalist and disillusioned podcaster. The internet claims. It’s still possible to make a hit show from your home, but easy, actually true. Can someone with little time, no budget and a full time job actually still make a hit show on a home computer. I’m documenting this all in real time on social media and rounding out the whole sequence of events and everything else in this weekly Cast.
So one question remains. Is it possible to make a hit show?
Hello. And welcome back to the series. I wanted to start with something that I had forgotten this week, and it’s a phrase and the phrase is a script is not a script, but a memory aid to help you tell a story. Now, this is something I used to share with journalists all the time. It is 10 years over 10 years since I was a news editor and a broadcaster myself. And it’s amazing how much you forget at that time. And when people would come in and they’d start reading news stories often, they’d be really wouldn’t because they’d be reading it word for word.
Off the page. And this was the phrase that you used to use with them. So a script is not a script. It’s not something that you should read, literally. As you rise, go over it. It should simply act as a memory aid to help you tell a story. Because it’s only by letting those words get translated through you and your own personality and your own emotions, that that story will come to life.
So I remembered that this week should have remembered it before. And hopefully now my delivery on this podcast is going to be a little bit better. Than I apologized for a couple of weeks ago. Right. Let’s get started. It was a Wednesday this week, actually that I finally scheduled a tweet to go out at 1:22 PM in the afternoon to start appealing for guests.
Now that time was supposedly a sweet spot for sending out tweets and Instagram messages. So I really wanted it to go out. Then this would then kickstart at search for the perfect guest that would turn into a hit podcast because they’d have such great stories. I used a social media scheduling tool, but did it work? Well, the answer. Well, it’s a little bit complicated
truth be told. I wasn’t convinced that the general treat was actually going to reach anyone. Anyway, I put out a social media update earlier in the week on my feed saying, so. But I really want to test things here with this show and not go with my gut because as I said before, I’ve done what five podcasts and they’ve all petered out and not being successful. So my gut is clearly not worth listening to, I need to test things.
There were a lot of ways that the Gimlet Academy podcast we’re suggesting you should reach out to get good guests. So for example, you should reach out to associations. You should go to meetings and stuff like this. But as an independent podcast that I can’t afford to go to somewhere on the off chance of getting a guest.
So the first thing I had to do was to reach out how to reach these people, right? As a journalist, you kind of work on this principle of the six degrees of separation. If you don’t know this, but logic says that everyone in the world is connected within six people of each other. And if you can find that right thread, that line through people, you can ultimately reach anyone. So in theory, the perfect guest.
Is just within six people away from me right now as I sit here. And the same for you. But I’m not going to find an astronaut on a fear of flying Facebook group.
So the first thing I did was I actually wrote the tweet and I needed to leave enough space, enough characters that I would be able to get in some hashtags. so this is what I wrote. And remember, if you haven’t heard about what this show’s gonna be about, just have a listen back to some of the previous episodes. So this is what I wrote 40 plus, and refusing to get old and boring, or know someone question I
had a midlife moment and took up a new hobby or lifestyle comment slash email. So that was the words. Now what about the hashtags? Well, the first thing I thought, okay. I went from my gut and I thought, well, guest request or hashtag guest request would be the thing, but I started looking at this and there was like one reference to guest requests per month on Twitter and half of these.
Well, not to do with podcasts, but to do with hotels. So that was completely wrong. Scrubbed that one then PR requests. So hashtag P art request, I was in public relations request. I knew it was good. And I actually had a look at that on Twitter, and I could see that there were four references is pretty much going at every hour, all the time.
So did some more research around there. And I started looking at what other hashtags people were using when they mentioned hashtag PR requests within their tweet. And the first two I found where hashtag journo request and hashtag journo requests with an S on the end. Right. I also started defined services being mentioned, like there was one called press hunt who aggregate requests that appear on Twitter. So in theory, I guess if I put my tweet out, it should be going out places like this as well.
Then I found another one called press plugs.co.uk. Although that looks to be geared up more to the traditional press, but there clearly are some of these services out there to try and connect you with guests. Another hashtag I found was hashtag bloggers wanted, which sounded like that could be a good one. If I can target it into a specific age group and I can find people who aren’t just writers.
But can talk as well. So there were quite a few sort of general ones out there. So I started to look more for niches and the first thought that went through my head was okay. How about hashtag over 40?
That’s still pretty general, but at least it would home in more than just saying bloggers wanted. So I started to look for a way of finding good hashtags. And the problem was that I couldn’t see how often these hashtags were being used. So I started looking around for tools and I found one called hashtag defy, which I’d actually used in the past. And it used to be free, but it doesn’t look like it is anymore. I found quite a few other tools out there as well. All of them quite pricey. And I think great if you’re in full time marketing or you’ve got a business, but as an independent podcaster, It just doesn’t make sense to be paying a lot of money to get good hashtags.
No. I still actually had an app on my phone called Tagify, by the way, I’m going to link to all these in the show notes. And this app is completely free. It does show an ad, which is slightly frustrating at the moment. It shows it, but it is free. So why not?
I started searching for hashtag over 40 isn’t. It came up with like,
Over 40 style over 40 and fit over 40 and fabulous midlife crisis as a good one. Um, another one, which is quite interesting and I didn’t actually use in the end was hashtag vices and virtues. Not quite sure what that’s directly targeted app. And then for the over 50s, if you think about it, it’s pretty much the same. So you’ve got hashtag over forties, hashtag over 50s, hashtag over 40. Plus hashtag over 50 plus over 50 and happy over 40 and happy. So there was a lot of relationship between them, but I came up with. What is it about 10 hashtags that I thought would help to target me into the kind of people that I want. So I want people who are going to be inspirational. So people who are going to be excited about the fact they’re over 40 or over 50. So like over 50 influencer or over 50 lifestyle suggests immediately someone who is embracing the age and getting excited about it.
But there wasn’t enough space to include all these hashtags. So these are the ones I went for. Hashtag PR requests, hashtag journo request, journo requests, midlife crisis. Mid-life over 50 and over 40.
And then I added the video promo, which I linked onto the tree and on Instagram, which I was talking about in the last episode. So was it ready to go? We’re not quite, there was still one thing missing.
I’ve got the words I got the video, but when you searched your podcast app or scroll through Spotify or iTunes, what do you notice? First? The logo, right? And I didn’t have one yet. So how could I put across a credible show without some sort of logo? But this presents a problem because how do you create one? If you’re not an artist, I’m certainly not an artist. You notice there’s a theme there it’s about overcoming one issue after another, as we try and make this show.
So when looking for some copyright free stuff, and I found a great, a little cartoon a, of a board looking chap with a yo-yo standing there, sort of looking nonchalant. So bouncing as yo-yo up and down. And I found this on a site called openclipart.org. And it says on there.
That is public domain, public domain, theoretically means that you can use it without any attribution. You can use it commercially. You can edit it. Do whatever you like without being concerned about, um, having to pay some big licensing fee or anything like that. I think the logo looks great. I’m not sure what you think. I put it on social media as well.
But it did raise one other question here. And it’s this public domain thing. I’ve always been a little bit cautious about public domain and about licensing. I had a YouTube channel a few years ago, and at the time there was this stuff called pod safe music and pod safe music is meant to mean that you can use it without any problems. Copyright free. You just credit the author and all that. Well, I actually got a claim against me after I’d used some of this music several years later, when the band who had been performing that music was now registered with a record label. so what, what was I going to do? Was I going to find some lawyers and some money to actually fight that? So all I could do was turn off the magnetization of that video that I’d spent a huge amount of time doing. And I had in all good faith added that music too.
So in short, please do be super cautious and nervous about using that image. You know, it says public domain and commercial use with no attributions, but since the law is so often simply one by people who have time and resources to fight a case rather than what he’s right.
Let’s be honest here. It’s a bit of a tough one, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that that site was being honest about this.
So I got the treat. I got the hashtags. I got my logo and I got my video. The next thing to do then was to get it out there.
And I’m guessing you’re wondering, did the tweet work well? Hang on just a second. As I was saying earlier, I shattered it up to go out Wednesday, lunchtime after work on Wednesday evening, I went to see the responses and there was none. Not a single one. I’ve checked the social update and it hadn’t even gone out. It said it had been sent, but it’s simply hadn’t done it. . I had set this up on a social media scheduling tool and it’s simply, hadn’t gone out. The problem is what I found with social media. And certainly when you do some reading around this is that they’re a sweet spots. For when you need to put out a tweet to have the best chance of people responding to it. I certainly find that if I put something out early in the morning, I get virtually no response at all. If I put it out in the evening, it gets a medium response. If I put it out a lunchtime, it gets a far better response. And particularly Monday to Thursday, Saturdays, quiet, Sundays, pretty quiet as well. You only have to Google for the best times to tweet or to put stuff out on Instagram and you will find entire graphs and charts was telly. When there should be.
So the problem now on Wednesday evening was I had missed this opportunity. I’d miss the sweet spot. And if I put it out now, it’d be wasting my time.
This did teach me quite an important and hard lesson. And that is as an independent. You are never going to have the time and resources of a full time production company. You simply are not going to be able to, because if I had been working at full time production company, I’ll have to check that Twitter had gone out. And when it didn’t, I would have then gone to manually sent it out on Instagram as well.
Indeed. I actually watched an interview on YouTube that very evening with Alex Blumberg from Gimlet media. And he was talking about the problems that you have as a solo podcaster. You know, he was saying that you can only Mark it so much. You can only audition guests so much. He made it very clear. He said that with this particular podcast, he was talking about that some of her guests have been pretty dry.
But when they took on that show, they could then make sure that every guest was going to be good. So the fat isn’t it as an independent, we’re always going to be playing catch up, but it also means we’ve got to find ways and tricks to be more effective. Uh, more efficient. The other problem as well with being an independent, having a full time job is that however much we love had jobs. We’re going to have tough times and tough weeks. so like me this way, I got to an evening where I just didn’t want to do any podcasting. I just wanted to flop. and I think we have no choice, but to try and mix that into the way that we make this podcast is another reason why I’m making a series rather than a weekly show, so that I can take my time. I make a great series rather than an also ran weekly program.
So I scheduled the tweet again for thirsty and I checked on Thursday evening. And guess how many people had responded this time? None. Cause it hadn’t gone out again. I sat down, had a look at what was going wrong. And in fact, I found the video was 59.8 seconds long, and I think it was just too long for Twitter. And for Instagram, the proportions were wrong in it as well. If you’re interested in the full technical sides.
Then just leave a message on my social media and I will explain it all.
But because again, it was Thursday evening now I’d miss a sweet spot. I also like getting in the way, had a personal training session that evening as well. I couldn’t even get it out at that point then. So I decided to schedule it in stead for the next sweet spot, which would be Saturday. And I thought, right, I can’t be doing, we’re just waiting for this one tweet to go out. It’s time to start moving on to other methods.
So what was the other thing I did? Well, I reached out to my Facebook friends. And I created a message, which started off by talking about the fact that I got a podcast. Now, with this particular podcast you listened to, which is gaining a bit of traction. And then I said, have you got any ideas for guests for this other podcast?
But the problem was he got a bunch of likes and one jokey comment, but that was it. And I think the problem with it was the fact that people saw the picture of me sitting in my garden. Podcasting saw the bit about the fact that I got a podcast, which seemed to be picking up now, I’m working. And I just clicked like.
And no one saw that bit below because I can think of a few people I know that could potentially be really good guests on this. So Facebook friends could be successful. And I think it really depends on who your friends are, who your contacts are, but I would say the big lesson I learned from that this week was don’t have two messages.
simply say, can anyone help me with a guest for this podcast? And this is what I need. I’m going to put. Again next week. Cause I don’t want to go spamming my friends. I will let you know whether that works too. The other thing I dried as a final attempt this week. Was a guest connection group. and there’s a few of these out there. And basically they are places where you can put on there. The kind of guests you are looking for. And then other people who are following that group can come back and say, yeah, I would be a great guest for that. Or I know someone who would bet. So I put together a post, which was slightly longer than the original Twitter post. And I added the video in I
posted it and then waited for the admins to approve it. And a few seconds later, a little bit to my surprise, they approved it and it went straight away, live on there. And I stood by for a few moments. And waited for a wall of silence. I think I saw one, like on it, nothing happened. And then I left.
But that wasn’t the last of that one.
. Overall this week has been a long and tiring week and it hasn’t felt particularly successful, but let me give you the results of all those things. So the tweet went out this morning. As I recall this, now the Instagram went out as well. My Facebook friends post has had a bit of time to gather some more reaction. And also my podcast guests connection, Facebook group posts has also had a few days as well. So.
Has any of it? Worked. Well, after five hours, since that tweet and Instagram post went out, the tweet for starters has reached 229 people, not a huge number of people, but 34 people viewed the video. But it’s had zero responses, not even a single, like, By the way on the plus side, I’ve had a few new followers on Twitter, but no guests.
So let’s have a look at Instagram. Well, that’s been seen by 128 people. It’s been what’s 37 times got four likes one profile visit, but zero comments or no emails or response. So. That’s completely flopped as well. Let’s have a look at the friends group. And there’s no change there at all. So plenty of likes people happy that I’ve got a podcast and I’m enjoying it, but, but no guest offers.
And let’s have a look at the Facebook group for the podcast guest connection.
Well, there are 14 written responses here. In fact 14 potential guests looking like some really good guests in there as well. Oh, that’s interesting. So there was nothing at first, but in fact, the last offer came in two hours ago. And that’s been on there for a couple of days now. So it’s still picking up people who are interested in a podcast. Well, , as data goes, there’s your answer? Uh, straightforward tweet and Instagram didn’t work at all. Reaching out to my friends probably would have done if I’d written a better message, but reaching out to a podcast guest connection group has certainly. Created some reaction.
So overall it’s been a pretty frustrating week, but a fruitful one. In fact, looking at the reaction now from that Facebook guest connection group, which is absolutely fantastic.
So. I’ve got some interests. I’ve got people who fit the general category. But as Gimlet Academy podcast was saying, are these the people who are going to be able to tell a story that is going to resonate so well with my target audience, that it’s going to make this into a hit show. That is a next thing that I’ve got to actively do. I can’t just gamble. And it’s that, that I’m going to document.
Over the next week on social media. And of course, Roundup in the next podcast. The question is who out there at the moment that I’ve never met before and even spoken to before, could be about to tell a story. The, when I add into my podcast,
Could make a kit, something that resonates so well that the podcast truly does become a hit. I’ve got live updates most days, one to two observations on Twitter and on Instagram. The username is at hit podcast. 2020 that’s at hit podcast, 2020, all the show notes and everything else on the email@example.com? It’s all one word. Can I make a hit podcast.com and I’m going to finish with my standard line. because I really think this sums up the whole essence of what I’m trying to do here. There is a lot of advice out there saying you can still make a hit podcast in the 2020s. If that’s right, then you and I could be making one by the end of this year.
There’s a lot to do next week. I speak to you next weekend.