If you have the time and desire, podcasts are a great way to drum up interest in your work.
There are a lot of different types of podcasts. There are audio podcasts and video podcasts. The content structure can vary. For example, a podcast can be a straight-forward interview format or feature monologues only. You can create a call-in format or have an interview subject sit with you in person. You can do a hang-out with your colleagues on Google or Skpe. It all depends on the space and technology available.
Once you figure out the type of program, you will want to brainstorm topics. Even the most seasoned professionals occasionally run into issues with dead-air. Although these moments of silence are easily editable in the post-production process, it is important to prepare notes and potential talking points for when you start recording.
Just like with a blog, make sure your podcast has a brand and voice. If you’ve already have a brand on your blog, make sure the podcast corresponds to what you’ve already established. Your online image should flow through all of the social networks and platforms in order to help make that brand recognizable across the web.
Do your research on software options and read reviews. Just as we suggested when it comes to choosing blogging software, your colleagues often offer the best recommendations. You will want to get quality microphones and headphones to assist with the initial recording of the ‘cast. It is important to note that you may already have some of the tools required. For example, many Macs come pre-installed with programs like GarageBand (to edit the audio) and iMovie (to edit video).
Start small. Aim for a 20 minute podcast and then build up to longer recordings once you are comfortable. Preview it to some colleagues and to others about their experience.
Once you are comfortable with the finished product, use your social networks to promote the recording. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are all excellent sources of free promotion for your project.
Here are some links to browse about podcasting tips:
– Mashable’s 7 tips to launch a podcast
– Social Media Examiner published a list of 6 tips that includes suggestions by those with already successful podcasts
– Here is a list of reasons not to start a podcast, from BasicBlogTips.com
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You can also in the reply box below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to answer any individual questions or address specific topics in the future.
Google+ Hangouts On Air – What is it?
The main function of Google+ Hangouts is its free video chat service which enables group conversations of up to 10 people. It can be used via desktop computers and mobile devices.
Of more interest to you as an author, is the “Hangouts on Air” feature which broadcasts these video conversations live on the Internet. This means you have the one person who creates the conversation or ‘Hangout’ (they decide what the ‘Hangout’ will be about) and up to 10 guests who are able to participate in the video conversation. The number of people viewing (not participating in) the broadcast is unlimited.
This means you can create an on air conversation with your friends or colleagues to talk about your new book/title or anything else of interest, and then invite people to come watch it.
If you are not interested in creating or participating as a speaker of a “Hangout” you can always join a conversation. This means you can sit back and watch other people’s conversations or debates for free!
For example Rohit Bhargava, the author of ‘Likeonomics’ is having a ‘Hangout on Air’ live tomorrow called ‘Publishing & Beyond: The Future of Content.’ Check out what his ‘Hangout’ will be about here.
If you can’t attend it then no worries, video conversations are recorded and are available on Google+.
If you think of Google and just think of a search engine, you obviously haven’t been introduced to Google+. As an author, Google+ can be a multi-functional tool when building on interactions with your audience, and potential audiences.
After first becoming live in 2011 millions of users signed up, but unaware of some of Google+’s great functions, gave up and went back to the seemingly more exciting Facebook. But there are benefits to Google+ and they can benefit you as an author or contributor.
Without going into a social media overload on every last function Google+ can do, here’s a short summary of the three best reasons to use Google+, and what they can do for your work.
If the Dalai Lama is using Hang-outs to promote his work, then you should be too. In October last year the Dalai Lama had planned to visit South Africa to celebrate Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Visa restrictions prevented him entering the country so he held a Hang-Out with the Archbishop on Google+ instead. As the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu joked and chatted with each other online, they had an audience of over 2 million hanging on their every word. Although the men primarily just interacted with each other, it was a perfect opportunity to imitate a lowering of barriers and to make other social media users feel involved.
So, what does this mean for us? Good question. Authors and contributors can use Hang-Outs to do book tours from their home. It makes interviews and collaborations easier than ever and it’s a great platform to meet with critique groups, writing groups, or just a team of like-minded people. Up to nine people can interact in a Hang-Out, but the amount of people who can view it is unlimited; that could build you up quite the crowd.
What is a circle? Google + knows that we all have relations/friends/associates that fit into different social ‘groups’ so this feature allows you to clump people together by their social circle. You can separate fans, family, friends, other writers and whoever else you want; this allows you to share as much or as little with different groups of people. You can chat, hang-out, and micro-publish your content with everyone, or only certain groups; it’s up to you.
If you’ve used Facebook you’ll know that when you ‘like’ something, Facebook automatically makes these items more visible within the site. Google’s +1 does one better and rather than just boosting your content inside Google+ as a social media network, it also helps rank content on Google as a search engine. The +1 feature can make a significant impact on your SEO.
To round up, it’s no good just signing up to Google+ (or any social media site for that matter) to really get the advantages of them you’ve got to use their features, and use them regularly. Use Hang-Outs and Circles and connect with your readers, micro-publish and interact with fans. Post content and encourage +1s and you’ll increase your SEO too.