AB 003: How to Create a Podcast from Start to Finish

how-to-podcastWe have been podcasting and boy do we love it. It’s something that we should have done many years ago, but neither of us really had the confidence to just get up their and ramble on which is something you kind of need the ability to do if you want to create a podcast.

Having said that however, I can personally tell you now that you don’t have to have the confidence at the start. We definitely didn’t and if you listen to our very first podcast you will see how scripted it was. We had no idea what we were going to say and the script was the only way we were going to get through that first podcast.

By about the third or fourth podcast, we were flying though them and today, we don’t even create notes for our podcasts. We decide that we are going to create one and a few minutes before we start recording we go through what we might want to talk about and away we go.

So what I am trying to say here is don’t be deterred if you think you don’t have what it takes to record a podcast because all it takes is practice. You’ve just got to get in there and do it.

So since we enjoy podcasting and we can see the benefit of it we are starting a podcast here for this blog, so we thought we would take you through the steps we go through to create a podcast channel and get the first podcast recorded and published.

Why You Need to Podcast

vector-microphone_smallIf you have a website then one of the best things you can do is to start a podcast. Of course, it will depend on your website topic as to whether it lends itself to a podcast but just about all topics can work.

So what are the benefits of podcasting? The biggest benefit is an increase in traffic to your website. There is a whole world of people on iTunes, Stitcher and other podcasting directories who don’t know about you and your website.

Just think about it for a minute. Let’s say you have a website on dogs. Nice choice with plenty of potential but how many other people have a website on dogs? You only have to do a quick search in Google to know that there are millions of websites already doing the same thing. The competition is horrendous.

Now let’s take a look at all of the podcasts related to dogs. I can almost guarantee that you won’t find millions of podcasts on dogs. Maybe a few hundred, maybe even a thousand, could be more, but millions??…nope. So your competition is so much less, which means you can be found so much easier.

And if you choose a topic that is less competitive than the dog niche then you might even find that no one is even doing a podcast related to your niche.

So you can draw on that untapped market of people wanting to hear what you have to say about their favourite topic. And while you are doing that you can encourage them to visit your website.

You can also make money directly from your podcast by promoting your own or other people’s products. Or you can sell an app for your podcast, sell subscriptions to premium podcast episodes or include paid advertising spots in your podcast.

So starting a podcast can be of great benefit to your online business.

What You Will Need

A Microphone

blue-yetiYou are obviously going to be recording your podcasts so you need something to record them with. If you are just starting out and have limited funds you can always record using your phone. As long as it can save the recording as an MP3 it will do the job, although sound quality probably may not be that great and sound is important when it comes to podcasting.

If you want to invest in a microphone that has good sound at a bargain price, then we recommend the Blue Yeti. It’s what we use for most of our podcasts. It plugs straight into the usb on your computer (PC or Mac) and takes minimal setup to get it going. We love it.

Audio Editing Software

You are going to need some sort of software to edit the podcast recording before you publish it. We use LogicPro to edit our podcast recordings but if you want something free than you can’t go past Audacity. This is awesome software that works for both a Mac or Windows computer and is relatively easy to use. We’ll show you how to use it further below.

Podcast Hosting

You will need somewhere to upload your podcasts to. There are a few options you can go with.

  1. Upload them to your website – Not recommend because if your podcast becomes popular, it can use up a lot of bandwidth which could potentially cause your site to crash.
  2. Upload them to Amazon S3 – Amazon has a storage area that you can load unlimited files to for free. Unfortunately each time someone downloads and listens to your podcast,  Amazon charges you for it. The price is minimal until you start getting a lot of downloads which is what happened to us. We had to move our podcasts to another service as Amazon didn’t turn out to be very cost effective in the end. Amazon S3 can also be quite complicated to set up so not really recommended.
  3. Upload them to a dedicated podcasting hosting company. This is our preferred option. The two biggest companies that provide this service are Blubrry and Libsyn. The price is quite low per month for either option and that is your only cost. You don’t have to pay for downloads like you would with Amazon S3, just a set monthly fee. We debated about which one to go with but ended up going with Libsyn but from what we have read Blubrry is just as good so I think you would be happy with either choice. We’ll show you how to use Libysyn in more detail below.

A WordPress Blog

The steps in this tutorial assume that you have a WordPress blog.

Podcasting Plugin

The final thing you will need to get your podcast up and running is a free WordPress plugin called PowerPress. It was developed by Blubrry but it doesn’t matter whether you use Blubrry or Libsyn as this plugin will work for both. This plugin basically gets your podcast up on to your site and provides iTunes with a means of finding your podcast.

The Steps to Creating & Publishing Your First Podcast

Step 1: Recording & Editing Your Podcast

This can be the hardest step for many as there can be quite a lot of fear associated with public speaking. I understand this completely as in my younger days, I dreaded public speaking. All you need to remember is that none of your podcasts will be live and nobody is going to hear anything until you publish it. So you can record as much as you like to get a bit of practice in before you finally decide to upload your first podcast.

However, you have to get something up eventually so even if it isn’t that great, just accept it and publish it. You have to start somewhere, so go with it. You will get better…believe me!

The actual recording part is quite easy if you are using a microphone like the Yeti and some free software called Audacity. We’ll show you how in the video below.

And if you are lucky, you will have recorded your podcast perfectly and it won’t require any editing. However, oftentimes you may have to edit out bits and pieces of unwanted noise…the neighbours dog barking, the plane flying overhead, an unintentional cough or sneeze or just some tummy rumbling sounds.

Preferably, you should also add an intro of some sort to play at the beginning of every podcast. We purchased a short music audio clip on iStock and added a voiceover to ours.

In this video, we show you how to record and edit using a Yeti microphone with Audacity.

Step 2: Upload Your Podcast

The next step is to upload your podcast using your chosen podcast hosting option. We use Libsyn so we will be showing you how to upload your podcast to Libsyn in the next video below.

Step 3: Setting Up Your Podcast

In order for iTunes and other podcasting directories to find your podcast you need to use a plugin called Powerpress. This plugin is free and makes it super easy to get your podcast out there.

In this video, we show you how to install and set up PowerPress for your podcast.

Step 4: Submit Your Podcast to iTunes

The final step is to submit your podcast to iTunes. We’ll show you how in the video below.

You will need an Apple ID in order to do this but if you already have an iPhone, iPad, Mac or any Apple product you will most likely already have an account so you can use that one.

If you don’t have an Apple ID then you can sign up for one here – https://appleid.apple.com/account

And you can download the iTunes software here if you don’t already have it.

You can also submit your podcast to Stitcher here.

 Okay, you are done. Now when you record your next podcast, you simply need to record it, upload to Libsyn (or Blubrry), create a blog post and add the podcast URL to that post.


AB 002: Different Types of Passive Income (the ones we focus on)

passive-incomeOur second podcast is now live and in this one we talk about different types of passive income. There are a lot of different ways to make passive income online but these are the ones we focus on.

Passive income is to me, the ultimate way to make money. You do the work once and you can potentially make money forever. This is even better when it is all done on autopilot where someone buys your product and the product is sent to them digitally.

The other benefit of passive income is that the sky is the limit in the amount of income you can potentially make. In a 9 to 5 job, you work a set number of hours and are pretty much limited to a set weekly wage. With passive income, there is no set income. One product can literally make you millions.


How to Get Stuff Done Using the 15 Minute Rule

15minruleWe all know how difficult it can be working on certain tasks relating to our online business. Backlinking can be one of those tasks – most people seem to hate it. We don’t backlink much at all these days but when we did, it was one of the least popular tasks that we had to do. Any excuse would see us working on something else.

Even writing a blog post can take some motivation if you just aren’t in the mood and a project that takes a bit of work, like an ebook for instance, can often be put on the back burner, because you just never get around to working on it on a consistent basis.

So how do you find the motivation to work on stuff that you don’t really want to work on? Well, by applying the 15 Minute Rule you really don’t need the motivation and it’s so simple to do.

What You Will Need

The only thing you will need for this is a timer of some sort. Something that after a certain period of time will let you know with a pop-up or an audible alarm that your time is up.

How to Use the 15 Minute Rule

Let’s say you start out the day with really good intentions to spend an hour working on your next blog post, but when you get started that certain feeling comes over you and you realize you just can’t be bothered or you don’t have any inspiration. You  just don’t have the motivation to get started and would rather check Facebook or read your emails than get into writing more content for your site. Sound familiar? I think pretty much all of us go through this sort of thinking at certain times with our online business.

BUT, rather than toss it all in and head off to Facebook, just say to yourself that at the very least you are going to spend 15 minutes on writing that blog post. You can handle 15 minutes right?…it’s nothing really. Fifteen minutes is about all the time it takes to make a cup of tea or coffee so why not spend it writing your post? So set the timer for 15 minutes and get to work.

What you will find, is that after the timer goes off, you are on a roll and will want to continue on. If so, that’s great! That’s the whole point of this method…so just keep going.

But let’s just say that you got to the end of the 15 minutes and you really just want to quit. Before you do, have another little chat with yourself and say that you are just going to add another 5 minutes – after all, it’s only 5 minutes and you can cope with that. So set the timer again and keep going.

After the 5 minutes is done, you might even add another 5 minutes or more if you find yourself suddenly in the zone and willing to keep going. If so great!…give yourself a big pat on the back. If you find you can’t go on then give yourself a big pat on the back anyway because you just did 20 minutes working on your blog post that you weren’t even intending on doing that day.

An Alternative to the 15 Minute Rule

Another similar way of getting stuff done is to use the chunking method. Chunking involves breaking down a big task into smaller chunks that are easily achievable. It makes the task seem less overwhelming and more doable.

Whilst writing one of our previous ebooks, although I quite enjoyed doing it, some days I just wasn’t in the mood to even get started with it. So I decided that I would set myself a minimum of one paragraph a day. One paragraph is easy isn’t it? However, what actually happened is that I couldn’t just write one paragraph so it would normally end up being a couple of pages. The fact that I knew that my minimum daily requirement for that ebook was to write one paragraph made it so much easier to get in and start each day.

This can work with any part of your business, whether it be backlinking, writing blog posts or working on a major project release. Chunking simplifies things to the point where everything seems doable.

It’s amazing how either of these methods work. Let us know in the comments below if they work for you, or if you have another method of getting work done.


AB 001: How We Got Started Online & Our Initial Income

PodcastThis is our very first Affiliate Blog Online podcast….woohoo! It took a while to get this up and running only because we have been creating a guide to podcasting and had to record every step along the way. But since this blog post is up it means that we only have one more step to go and that is to submit the podcast to iTunes for approval.

In the meantime, you can listen to this podcast here as you should be able to see a media player above this blog post. Once iTunes approves the podcast it will then be available on iTunes so once you can subscribe to it there, you will be able to listen to it as often as you like.

In this podcast we provide a bit of an introduction and go through how we got into this business way back in 2003. We also reveal our income that we were earning back in those early days.

Also, we talk about the two things we did that finally skyrocketed our online business to success and how it enabled the both of us to finally give up our 9 to 5 jobs.

And finally, we discuss what we are doing now to make money online.

We hope you enjoy this Podcast as it will be the first of many in which we will discuss ways to make passive income online and enjoy yourself doing it.


How We Make Money Online Now

make-moneyWell, it’s certainly been a while hasn’t it? I keep meaning to do a post for this blog but we are so busy with other things that I just never seem to have the time to get around to it, but I wanted to provide you with an update on what we are doing and how we are making money online these days.

In a nutshell, we no longer rely on Google Search to make us money….and I have to say I love that feeling. We don’t have to sit here and worry about what Matt Cutts and his team of engineers are thinking up next and when the next algorithm change might appear that could potentially kill our income in one fell swoop. Is Matt Cutts even still in charge of that team?…we have no idea because we don’t even bother to read about the latest Google updates anymore.

In the past, our problem with our online business was twofold. Firstly, we didn’t focus on building up our followers, however, there was good reason for this. The sites we were working on were product based and it’s not as easy to get people to sign up to a newsletter, or follow you on Twitter or Facebook when your topic is simply about a product.

Our second problem was that we didn’t diversify in the right way. Most of what we were working on relied on Google Search, and even though those things we were working on were all different, we still needed Google Search to get us the traffic to make them work. This was extremely dangerous. As many of you might remember, we were hit by one of the Google updates and it took a substantial portion of our income at the time.

We went about putting in long hours trying to fix up the sites to suit Google but by this time our heart just wasn’t in it. And then there was another update and at that point we decided that we had just had enough of it all. We realised that we no longer wanted to have to rely on Google Search to make money online. There had to be other ways.

Mind you, this really wasn’t a conscious choice at the time – it didn’t suddenly hit us that we should be working on something else. It kind of just developed when we started working on things that we enjoyed doing rather than just building another website on printer ink cartridges or lawn mowers or yet another product site on something we really had no interest in.

Working on topics we already had an interest in was the key for us. What this meant was that we once again began to enjoy getting up each day and getting straight on to the computer to work. In the past, we had always enjoyed the lifestyle of working from home but not necessarily the work involved in getting that lifestyle. When your days are spent writing articles and reviews on topics you have no interest in, it can after a while, create a bit of monotony and the work day can become a little dull. We certainly don’t have that problem anymore and it shows in the quality of the information we are providing on our websites. When you enjoy something and have an interest in it, you don’t mind doing the research in order to write an article or create a video.

So what are we doing now? Well a number of things but really our focus is to create followers that are really interested in what we offer, whether that be information or a product. We have always said that you need to provide value in order to succeed online – we learnt that early on as we didn’t do this at the very start and it showed. When you provide value to your audience they will follow you and want to stay in touch. This can be via an email list, YouTube subscribers, Facebook fans, Twitter followers and so on.

So essentially this is the process we follow…at least for one part of our business. This list is not necessarily in any particular order.

  1. Find a topic that you are really interested in and you know you will enjoy working on.
  2. Ensure there are products that you can promote that relate to that topic, whether they be affiliate based products or your own product or both.
  3. Create YouTube how-to videos based around that product. These need to be done regularly ie. once a week is ideal.
  4. Build a website for this topic and add content – how-to articles, reviews for products, the videos you have uploaded to YouTube etc.
  5. Build an email list with a product of some sort to entice your customers to sign up.
  6. Link to affiliate products from your website.
  7. Link to your website from YouTube – this is where most of your traffic will come from.
  8. Create your own product that relates to your topic.
  9. Create social networking accounts.

Essentially what we are doing is creating YouTube videos that are extremely helpful for our audience and bringing those viewers to our website. You can of course make money from the ad views on YouTube but in order to make a really good income from that you need a lot of subscribers and video views and that can take a while. So the money you make comes from getting people to your website, and getting them signed up to an email list, promoting affiliate products and selling your own product/s.

This is not a quick money making scheme. This is a solid business model that can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to start coming together.  It isn’t new by any means but it feels right and we are building up followers of people who are really interested in what we have to provide. But most importantly, we are enjoying the process.

We have a few YouTube channels in the works…for two of those channels, one has over 18,000 subscribers and the other, which is relatively new, has over 3000 and they are growing daily. These are all legitimate subscribers – we didn’t pay for any – they are all there because they like what we do and the information we provide. In fact, this applies to all of our social networking accounts and email lists. Although we may have paid for followers in the long distant past, we haven’t done that for a long time now so all of our current Youtube and social network accounts have legitimate followers.

And yes, of course I know that we are relying on Google yet again for traffic here but YouTube is a little less volatile than Google Search and so much easier to rank for if you know what you are doing. Plus, you don’t have to spend hours getting backlinks and writing articles. So while YouTube is working for us, we are building up our followers and our email lists.

So essentially that is where our main focus is at the moment.

If are interested in seeing what we are doing these days then here are two of our youtube channels :-

  • www.youtube.com/user/alandacraft
  • www.youtube.com/user/asmrhq