Becoming A Podcaster One Day At A Time

It’s been almost a year since I have written in this blog, but that is changing now.  I got a little sidetracked with my work on my main blog, and it has paid off – so I can gladly say that it was a good thing.  But I originally started this blog to review products and that is what I am going to do.

I am doing a breakthrough challenge for the next 45 days.  I am going to take the time between now and the end of the year to go through the course called: Smart Podcasting Skills (affiliate link) to learn how to podcast the right way.  I wanted to start a podcast this year, and I even had it in my goals for the year – but it didn’t happen.  So now I am working on creating the future I want to see for next year.  One of my goals for next year is to produce 52 podcasts.  That is one per week.  I am going to start the course and record interviews and podcasts in December but publish them in January.  So I am getting a little bit of a head start.

Let me begin by telling you about why I am going to go through the course.  I bought the course: Smart Podcasting Skills in April this year and I have not made any progress – like many of the things I have purchased and not used.  I don’t know Kelly McCausey personally – but I do listen to her podcast and I have purchased quite a few of her products.  I purchased Smart Blogging Skills as well (another one of her products) and I have not implemented it either.  But I am much better now as far as purchasing things I don’t plan to use immediately.  And this was sitting on the “virtual” shelf, and I already had a desire so here I am.  Has that ever happened to you?  Have you ever just wanted to do something then got distracted by something else?  (Bright shiny objects)

Now, I am going to review this product at the same time I am doing the challenge.  And I want to be fair to you readers – so I won’t be giving it all the fairy and fake stuff that a lot of reviews have.  Friends patting friends on the back.  Nope, I am going to implement and then tell you how it went.  If you decide to purchase – come along with me.  Let me know.  I just want to get a podcast out there.

Looking at the sales page – Kelly promises that I can use tools that even my Gramma can use.  Interesting.  I work with a lot of older people in my other blogs, and that can be a challenge.  As a matter of fact, I am concerned a little with finding an audience in my technology challenged customers.  But I am going to give this a good 52 weeks to see.  I will discuss later who I consider to be the target audience, but suffice it to say I think it’s going to work.

Kelly also promised to give me a good plan for press releases and editing my work.  I sure hope she gives me a good tutorial on editing my work because I cannot afford a VA right now to edit the media file.  Plus – I really want to learn to do it then I can let it go.  Kelly’s sales page is short and ends with her guarantee.  I’m obviously past that since I bought it a while ago, but I am confident this will work out.

Let me tell you why I want to podcast.  I want to podcast because I want to become a speaker.  I want to speak out and teach people how to be their own advocates.  To talk to their doctors without feeling intimidated.  So this will get me used to speaking.  And it helps my audience get closer to me by hearing my voice.  Everyone who talks about podcasting says it is great.  I know that I need to make it past 10 episodes to get into a groove, so I hope I will be forgiven my initial episodes someday when I am famous.

Now, onto the implementation I have done so far.  I listened to the first 2 audios and I made some decisions that she instructs me to do.  She had a checklist that kind of is an overview of the steps that you can check off as you go along.  So, I am checking off the first thing on the checklist.  I also listened to her interview with Connie Ragen Green talking about 5 ways to implement podcasting in your business.  Those were good.

Based on lesson #2, I made baseline decisions related to what she says is foundational to your podcast.  Let me just say that it’s clear that Kelly loves to produce audio, I can only hope to become as comfortable behind the microphone.  I also did some brainstorming and wrote down my thoughts on the other topics that she suggested we consider.  I must admit, at first I thought this lesson was a bit of a “fluff” but at the end – I realized the importance of taking these steps now instead of later.

She gives some tips for new podcasters, and an additional tip I will give you is that you are going to be nervous and hate the sound of your voice.  That’s why I don’t like the thought of editing – I have to listen to my own voice over and over.  But how many times do you listen to other people’s voices and think – how awful?  Never!  We are our own worst critics.

So with those steps over – I am ready to listen to audio #3, and see what the next lesson from Smart Podcasting Skills holds.


Great Video With An Explanation on How To Create A Non-Fiction Book Table Of Contents

Just quickly wanted to share a video done by Tiffany Dow about how to research and create a table of contents for a non fiction book in her blog post.  Scroll all the way to the bottom of the post, and it’s there.  Great Stuff!

-- Download Great Video With An Explanation on How To Create A Non-Fiction Book Table Of Contents as PDF --

Using Gmail’s Canned Response Feature

Today, I want to do a sidebar and tell you about an awesome feature that no one really talks about but is so great!  It’s called Canned Responses, and it’s a feature in gmail.

If you don’t use gmail, then you really should consider using it for lots of reasons.  It’s much easier to access than your webmail, you can bring in other email accounts to your gmail accounts and read and reply to them from your gmail account, and you can set up google alerts as well.  While Google is not my favorite corporate entity – they do know how to entice you with some awesome features.

So, what is a canned response?

When you turn on the setting, you can save short messages and send them repeatedly as replies with a quick mouse click so that you don’t have to keep typing the same thing over and over.

On my other websites, I get asked about what menu plan someone should buy quite often, as well as asking me how to subscribe or unsubscribe to their meal plan.  I hate having to find that information over and over again, so I have set up canned responses so that I can easily and thoroughly respond.  You can even set it up to automatically respond to certain emails with certain subjects or tags.  That’s pretty cool as well.

Let me show you how to use it!

Click on the gear bar in the upper rightFirst, log-in to your gmail account.  In the upper right corner you will see a gear box, click the drop-down and click on settings.

Once you have clicked on settings, then you get the entire settings section.  You may want to go through this area later and change some stuff.  This is also the area that you can add new accounts to be pulled into your gmail account for reading.  More about that another time.

Click on the Labs Tab in the top line of words.Gmail Labs page for canned response

You can either search for canned response in the top search bar, or scroll down.

Click on the enable button, and don’t forget to scroll all the way to the bottom and click save.

Now the next part confused me a little.  You have to create canned responses but I was thinking I could just create a bunch of them and have them saved ahead of time.  But you only have access to the canned response menu when you are typing a reply or email.  So, you need to go into your email account, open a message, and hit reply.

At the top of the message area right before the area you type in, you will see a drop down for canned response, and it asks if you want to make a new one or use a stored one.

Canned Response in gmailClick on the drop down, click new canned response (or use a stored one) and you are ready to adjust slightly and move one.

I love it when automation makes my life a little easier yet it’s not too overwhelming to figure out how to use it!

I am not telling you to reply to everyone with a canned response, but for repetitive questions like I get sometimes, it’s a big help and you can answer questions much more quickly.

I personally think that it’s a great reason to have it in gmail, because you can have access to it anywhere.  Think of all the customer service responses you can put in here and have the right information and get it to your customers quickly.  One of my biggest pet peeve’s is when someone doesn’t respond to an email, and if they do respond, the information is generic and not helpful.  Please don’t do that!

Tell me your favorite types of canned responses to use in gmail!  I hope if you did not already know about this feature that it’s a great asset to you now!

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