Ep146: The Writing A Book Show

Ep146: The Writing A Book Show

Ep146: The Writing A Book Show

If you have ever thought about self-publishing a book on Amazon, today I am going to take you behind the scenes of my experience and the steps I took to self-publish my first eBook

Episode Summary:

How did I write my new eBook: How To Podcast on Wordrpess.com?
What tools and resources did I use?
What was the process and workflow and my overall experience?


The eBook:
How To Podcast on WordPress.com: The Step-by-Step Guide

The Story:
If you want to hear the whole story behind why I wrote an eBook on How To Podcast on WordPress.com go back and listen to Episode 142 in which I tell the whole story of me & The Professor.

The Main Tools I used to Self-Publish My First Book on Amazon.com:

Writing Tool:

Scrivener
My writing tool of choice.
I write every script for this podcast in Scrivener and it is what I used to write the entire eBook.

Scrivener: $50

Why I like Scrivener:
The organization ability. It uses a sidebar where you can create folders and keep any size project neat and tidy. This podcast has 146 episodes and all I can see is one folder that says Podcast. Love it.

It’s fast and easy to create a new document and just start writing.

Auto-save. Just like Google Docs, you just have to write and Scrivener saves everything while you work and backups up your project when you close out of the application.

Cloud Backup. Scrivener is backed up to the cloud and syncs on my iPhone and iPad, so I can write on any device.

Design & Marketing Graphics, etc:

Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop & Indesign

Logos, Fonts, Colors, Images, Graphics, Mockups, etc.

The trifecta of design tools.

Adobe Creative Cloud: $50/month

Formatting Tool:

Vellum
Vellum is a standalone application for Macs only makes formatting eBooks and print simple and actually kind of fun. Highly recommend.

Vellum is $200 for an unlimited license

Tip #1: Proofread & Edit!! Have as many people as you can proofread and help you edit your eBook as your eyes will start playing tricks on you and it is really easy to miss errors.

Tip 2: Upload to Amazon KDP first. Hold off on the others (Google, iBooks, Nook) until you fix all errors. Give it a week or so so you only have to replace in one st

KDP or Kindle Direct Publishing:

where all the magic happens in self-publishing

Link to KDP: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/

Past Episodes on Self-Publishing:
Episodes 72, 73 & 74 where I go into detail about Amazon KDP and all of the Amazon self-publishing tools.

If you plan on writing an eBook, creating an account on KDP should almost be your first step, especially if you know the title so you can make sure there is not a book with the same title and you can make sure nobody takes your title while you are writing.

KDP is free and I must say it is a giant wealth of helpful resources and tools to help you with every step of self-publishing a book and I highly recommend setting plenty of time aside to explore.

The Kindle Store is where people will buy your eBook and KDP is where you are going to upload your manuscript and cover and the print version.

I priced How To Podcast on WordPress.com at $3.99 and I make around $2 per eBook in royalties.

The paperback is $15.99 (I chose color) and I make about $1.50.

I make more profit on eBooks.

Quick Recap of the Steps:

  1. Figure out your topic
  2. Create an account on Kindle Direct Publishing or KDP and enter your Working Title and Verify the Rights so you don’t have to worry about a conflict later. This step of creating an account first is also a motivational hack as it one step closer to you self-publishing a book. It’s the taking action that feels good.
  3. Research and write your book in your writing tool of choice. I used Scrivener.
  4. Create a Cover. Go to Amazon and for inspiration for the cover design.
  5. Create a branding scheme so you can be consistent with Fonts, Colors and the marketing of your eBook.
  6. Have a headshot and author bio will also be important.
  7. Edit your book like crazy. Every word matters. Remove fluff.
  8. Use Grammarly or a tool like Hemingway to check your grammar.
  9. Format for Kindle and other devices. This step is challenging. I used an application called Vellum that was $199 and only available on Macs. It was worth every penny.
  10. Upload your book to KDP. Create an author page. Sell your book with a good description and copy. Set the price.
  11. Sit back and watch the money pile up.

My Overall Experience:

The truth: It was harder than I thought to write a 10,500 word eBook. This podcast is 2500 words, so my book was about 4 podcasts worth of content. It was also hard writing a book that had a lot of technical steps and information to cover that would be much easier to teach with videos but have to convert it into a book format. Organizing a ton of content into smaller digestible chunks took a lot of time and effort.

Book sales have been underwhelming so far and it did not generate the immediate buzz I thought could happen because this was a topic not discussed in the podcast community. There are millions of eBooks on Amazon and I’m pretty sure mine is the only one about podcasting on WordPress.com. I’m still optimistic that I’m just early to the game, and when WordPress.com starts actively promoting podcasting, my ebook and video course will be there to save the day.

In conclusion:
If you have always wanted to write a book, starting with an Ebook is a great warmup. It’s more or less the same process, only shorter number of words. I see everything as practice and training for the future.

If you have questions or need help, as always email me at mike@mikemurphy.co or hit me up on the social media channels. 

LISTEN TO PAST EPISODES

HOUSEKEEPING

Subscribe To Podcast

Leave a ratings & review (if you already did, thanks)

Buy My New eBook (How To Podcast on Wordpress.com)

Ask Mike Anything

Music: Life of Riley & Wallpaper (incompetech.com)

Ep145: The Creator Show

Ep145: The Creator Show

EP145_The Creator Show

What does it really take to create online content and to create the life you want?

Episode Summary:
What does it take to make it as a content creator?
What does it take to succeed in business?
What does it take to create the life you want?

The easy answer to all three of those questions is hard work, consistency, persistence, and patience., but I’m going to go a little deeper on what it really takes to master your craft and make a living doing what you love

Patience: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

.Episode 145 is a motivational episode, but it may also be a harsh reality check and a bit of a warning call for those looking to build a personal brand or online business.

This episode is to force you to take a step back and look in the mirror and do a real gut check and to really determine if you are doing all you can to succeed and to stop making excuses.

Content creation is no longer an option or choice for brands and businesses who want to be relevant online. It is a requirement.

It’s noisy. You have to work to get the attention of your target audience and you have to learn what and how they consume content.

Take small steps, but take them and be ready to shift and pivot as things change.
Do an audit of your online presence.
Is your website fully functional on a mobile phone?
When was the last time you updated your website or added new content to your social media channels?
Are you giving people a reason to want to do business with you? Can people reach you easily?

This episode 145 is to remind you that there is no easy button or shortcut for creating content so stop looking for it. Okay, let’s get into it.

The Backstory:

This episode was inspired by a video made this week titled ‘Why it takes 3 hours to make a 30-second video’. Based on the feedback and reactions, I think it may have hit home for some

 

The moral of the story was things are not always what they seem and hard work is required to be great at your craft and create the life you want.

Content creation, working for yourself, it’s not easy. It takes time and most of all it takes hard work and patience. And it’s not easy for anyone. Those who make it look easy are called pros and they went through exactly the same struggle only they stuck with it and have been doing it longer. It takes time and patience. For everyone.

Every article you read on blogs or Medium or LinkedIn.
Every podcast episode.
Every video on YouTube.
Every story on Instagram.
Every piece of content. Period.

We see the finished products.

We do not see the years of taking classes and tutorials, practicing, hashing out ideas, and the research time and the writing time and the prep time, the set up time of gear, cameras and lights and audio and the 20 takes it took them to do their intro and the re-shoots do to bad lighting and flickering and audio problems, etc etc.

Why People Quit

The average podcaster pod fades or quits before the 7th episode. Most daily vlogs do not make it a week.

The reason most individuals or brands and businesses quit vlogging, podcasting, blogging and insert any other craft here is that it’s really hard and takes a lot of time and practice and dedication to master.

Translation: It’s a pain in the #$! And the climb up is not a lot of fun at times, but you will get better and faster.

The other reason people quit is self-doubt caused by your friends and family and significant others.

You get embarrassed maybe that it’s taking so long or maybe they get on your case to give up and get a real job. Then you start looking at the pros and wonder what is wrong with you. If they can do it, why can’t you?

Do you really want it and are you working as hard as required?

You have to block out the negativity and do your thing if you genuinely believe in what you are doing. Be relentless.

My Content

Tech & Creativity come easy for me and creating content on a regular basis is still challenging for me.

This podcast is 15 mins long and some episodes take me several hours to write the script. The recording and editing and all the other stuff is really easy for me, but still takes a few hours when said and done.

The promo video that I make every week takes 2–4 hours to make in After Effects. The social media posting and Medium article I write for each episode adds another hour or so. One 15-minute episode could realistically take 15–20 hours per week.

My daily tutorials are under 2 minutes long and I make them very quickly usually and they still might take 4 hours from start to finish. Some days are smooth and other days my computer is struggling or Screenflow and Camtasia are buggy and crashing or any number of issues that can make a 2 minute video take 8 hours to finish.
I create daily content on Instagram which is the easiest thing I create all day because I keep it very loose and casual, but I put time and effort into it and use my creative juices.

Why do I do it? Because I am in this for the long haul and do not want to be an average creator and educator. I want to be at the top of my game and I want to to be successful which means I can make a living doing what I love from anywhere in the world. My version of success is complete lifestyle and financial freedom to do what I want on my terms. It’s taking longer than I originally hoped for, but I am confident in my trajectory and I am patient and diligent.

The Truth about Content Creation & Creating the life You Want:

It’s a grind.
It’s relentless.
It’s not always fun.
It can really suck.
It takes time and patience.

I am doing what is required to be relevant online.

Are you?

The Future

I’m doing this because I believe the world is changing fast and right before our eyes and the opportunities are limitless for those who are ready and willing to play in the big leagues and adapt and evolve and transition to the new technologies and the new ways of doing online business that is a mystery to everyone. If you are trying to build a brand or online platform and you are not preparing and practicing the basics and fundamentals which are currently social media content, podcasting, videos, writing articles and books and tomorrow it could be augmented reality or who knows. But if you are turning a blind eye because creating content or learning new tech and skills is too time consuming and hard, you are going to blink and wake up too far behind to catch up.

Start small, but start now. Start a podcast. Update your social media channels. Learn the online habits of your target audience and create for them in your voice and share your story so people can connect with you. The internet and content creation and storytelling through multiple mediums is not a passing fad and the changes are going to start coming faster and faster, so like Wayne Gretzky, you have to skate towards the puck and not where it currently is, but if you are really far behind, you need to kick it in gear.

The easy button does not exist. Remember that. Do not compare yourself to anyone online or think they must have taken a shortcut because you are smarter or more talented. Luck happens, but it is rarely the reason people achieve long-term success, which is what we ultimately want isn’t it?

Creating the life you want.
You really didn’t think it would be easy did you?
But don’t you think it’s worth the effort?

Email me anytime at mike@mikemurphy.co with questions, comments, feedback or if you need 1–1 consulting.

LISTEN TO PAST EPISODES

HOUSEKEEPING

Subscribe To Podcast

Leave a ratings & review (if you already did, thanks)

Buy My New eBook (How To Podcast on Wordpress.com)

Ask Mike Anything

Music: Life of Riley & Wallpaper (incompetech.com)

Ep144: The WordPress.com Show

Ep144: The WordPress.com Show

EP144: The WordPress.com Show

In today’s episode, I share a chapter from my new eBook How To Podcast on WordPress.com and share 14 reasons to consider using WordPress.com to launch your podcast and website.

Episode Summary:

From Chapter 1 of my new eBook:
Why Use WordPress.com as a Podcast Media Host?

What makes WordPress.com good?
Why should you consider using WordPress.com if you are launching a new podcast and website?
What are 14 benefits WordPress.com brings to the table?

My principles
My entire brand and business is around helping people figure things out. I share my knowledge and the tools and resources and guides that I use and things that I think will help you and other content creators.

By teaching and sharing my knowledge through podcasts, video, and written articles I am establishing myself as an authority and I am also building trust with people who consume my content.

People trust:
1) that I know what I’m talking about and
2) that I believe in what I’m talking about.
AKA, I am honest.

I only recommend products or services that I believe in or would use myself.

So, Here are 14 characteristics or benefits of using WordPress.com that was enough for me to write an entire eBook and guide for How to Podcast on WordPress.com,

You can find the Book on Amazon:
How To Podcast on WordPress.com: The Step-By-Step Guide

The Podcast & Website:
https://howtopodcastonwordpress.com

Note: The companion podcast and website was built using my step-by-step guide and I on the Personal Plan which is $4/month to host both my podcast and website.

14 Reasons to consider using WordPress.com to host your podcast and website.

1. Simplicity:

You pay one price for podcast and website hosting.

My current setup for this podcast is not as simple:
I have to pay Libsyn for podcast hosting,
Siteground for website hosting
Sucuri for website security as my website was hacked last year.

I like simple!

2. Trust:

WordPress, in general, is trusted and reputable because they have been around for a long time.
Wordpress has the technology infrastructure and financial resources to only get better.
30% of the websites on the internet use either WordPress.org or WordPress.com (translation: a lot).
All paid plans on WordPress.com include email & live chat support to help you, so you have help when you need it.

Trust = peace of mind

3. Affordability:

Each paid plan includes a podcast, blog, and website. And a free custom domain main. Turnkey.

Note: WordPress.com does have a Free Plan, but you cannot upload audio files on the free plan, so in order to podcast on WordPress.com you have to start with at least The Personal Plan.

Plans:

1. The Personal Plan:
which is what I use for the ebook podcast and website is $4/month for 6 GB of space to load and launch your podcast episodes. To give you an example, this is enough media storage space to create about 200 thirty minute episodes.

2. The Premium Plan:
is $8.25/month for 13 GB of space with the added benefits of premium website themes and being able to load and launch videos.

3. The Business Plan:
is $24.92/month for unlimited storage and bandwidth with the added benefits of being able to install plugins to customize your site to your heart’s content.

You get a free domain name.
Security and backups are automatic.
You get Email & Live Chat Support
You can monetize the site with eCommerce
You can upload your own WordPress.org themes like Divi which is what I use or you have access to all of the premium and advanced themes on WordPress. For free.
You can install all of your WordPress.org plugins like Powerpress by Blubrry, which is what I use.
$24.92/month.

Bottom Line:WordPress.com is an Affordable podcast solution.
View Plans: https://wordpress.com/pricing/

4. Reliability:

You don’t have to worry about your website crashing. Your podcast and website servers will work 24/7/365.

WordPress.com is known for using a reliable server system which is optimized for uptime, security, back-ups, and heavy bandwidth traffic. This means that your listeners should never have a server-based problem with streaming or downloading your episodes.

Other platforms may use shared hosting servers, and when a shared server goes down, your site could also go down vs WordPress.com which has massive redundancy in place so unless all of WordPress.com goes down, it is unlikely your site or podcast will have downtime.

WordPress.com handles backups automatically for you 24/7 for peace of mind.

WordPress.com handles the security for your website to keep your content and media safe.

Learn more: https://en.support.wordpress.com/status/

5. Customization:

Personalize your website.

Add photos, audio, video, pages, polls, contact forms, links, comment threads, menus, and more.

The Basic Plan is limited to the free themes, which are decent, but I’ll admit a little tough for someone who loves to design and tweak things, but if you go to howtopodcast.com, you can how I was able to customize the theme I recommend in the ebook to get started.

If you upgrade to the $8/month plan you open the doors to all of the Premium themes, which enables you to Choose from hundreds of responsive (mobile-friendly) themes for the look and layout of your website.

And if you go to the big-boy plan, customize all you want. I like that, but keep in mind.

If your main goal is to just get your podcast up and running and you just need a home base, the Personal Plan may be all you need in terms of customization.
Learn more: https://en.support.wordpress.com/themes/

6. Domain Name Included:

All paid WordPress.com plans come with a free custom domain name. Which means you do not need to buy one at GoDaddy and you can renew it every year through WordPress.com Back to simple.

One stop shop.

When you first sign up for Worpdress.com you will get a default domain name such as yourpodcast.wordpress.com

The free custom domain means you can replace the free default WordPress address with something shorter and more professional such as  yourpodcast.com as long as the domain name is available.

The free domain is good for a year and then you will be responsible for renewing each year and currently, the renewal price is $13/year.
FYI, you can also use your own domain name on any paid plan if you already own a domain on GoDaddy or another registrar.

Learn more: https://en.support.wordpress.com/domains/

7. Social Sharing

Automatically send new posts to Twitter, Facebook, and more, and add social tools to help readers share their favorites. Promote your podcast and website easily on social media. This is expected today, but worth noting.

With one-click, you can post a podcast episode and also send auto-notices to your social media accounts.

Because your podcast episodes are posted to your blog-roll, anyone subscribed to your blog also gets alerted to new podcast episodes via email.

Learn more: https://en.support.wordpress.com/publicize/

8. Schedule:

Publish your episodes whenever you want.
You can prep some episodes today and then schedule them to post at later dates. Perfect for when you are going to be away but still want to put out your episodes on a regular schedule.

You can also batch schedule if you are better than me and can record episodes in advance.

You can schedule as many as you want to go out week after week or whatever your publishing schedule is.
Learn more: https://en.support.wordpress.com/schedule-a-post/

9.Flexibility:

You can Make changes to pretty much anything about your podcast.
Quickly and easily change your podcast name, description, or cover art.
You can also easily change the audio, title, or show notes of any individual episode you already posted.
You can even remove an entire episode from your podcast feed.

This is particularly great when first starting out as you do not need things perfect as you can always go back and make changes.

10. Multiple Shows:

It is possible to Create multiple public podcasts and RSS feeds on your WordPress.com websites.

Each podcast can be submitted to Apple Podcasts/iTunes and other pod-catchers and will work independently of each other.

RSS feeds are generated by Adding Categories, which I show you exactly how to do in my eBook.

11. Private Podcasts:

Just like public podcasts, you can easily Create multiple private podcasts and private RSS feeds.
Private podcasts never appear in a search in Apple Podcasts/iTunes or other pod-catchers, but can be added to pod-catchers manually.
It is very easy to create as many private podcasts as you like. You just create a new podcast feed, post whatever audio content you want to it, and then share that one podcast feed directly with as many individuals as you like.
When the other individuals add that feed to any pod-catcher it will look and act just like their other podcasts.
Businesses could use private podcasts for internal communications and share information directly with stakeholders.
Schools could use private podcasts for courses, internal communications, or communications with prospective students.
Podcasters could use private podcasts to generate revenue by selling access to a bonus, archive, and extended-length episodes.

12. Monetize:

Make money with your site with Paypal integration so you can recoup the expenses of producing a podcast.
More options available on Premium & Business Plans for monetization.

Here are some monetization ideas:

E-Commerce: You can incorporate PayPal buttons to sell items or services directly from your website. Ideal for selling podcast swag or access to private podcast feeds. Make money with your podcast content and recoup any podcast-related costs.
Collect monthly payments: Similar to Patreon, you can create a PayPal Subscribe button on your site which would allow listeners to give you monthly donations.
Sell old episodes: Switch some of your older episodes from your public podcast feed to a new private podcast feed then sell access to that new private feed.
Sell bonus episodes: Post new bonus content on a new private podcast feed then sell access to that feed.
Affiliate Partnership WordPress.com has an affiliate program whereby you can generate revenue by recommending others to use the platform.

If you plan on signing up for Worpress.com, I would be very appreciative if you used my affiliate link at mikemurphy.co/wordpress.

Learn more about PayPal:  https://en.support.wordpress.com/paypal/

13. WordPress Mobile App:

The WordPress app is pretty awesome

Manage your website and podcast on the go. Includes a free mobile and desktop app (iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux).
This is not an app for your listeners, it is an app for you to manage your site from anywhere.
You can view stats about visitors to your site, approve or delete recent comments to your site, and even post text or photo content to your blog.
Learn more:https://apps.wordpress.com/
Last but not least is

14. Own Your Content:

Whatever you create on WordPress.com is yours alone. Export your content at any time — wherever life takes you, your content follows.”
That’s a big deal for me and should be for all content creators. One of the biggest benefits of hosting your content on your own site vs. A 3rd party host is you are in complete control of the content you work so hard on.

More things on the Features page that I will lump into the Final #14”

Get found: “Search engine optimized.  Make it easy for new fans to find you with built-in SEO. All you have to do is publish.”

And Finally, to really boost your confidence and increase your comfort level for using WordPress.com,
“Over 30% of the web runs on WordPress. WordPress.com is home to everyone from brand-new bloggers to Time, CNN, TechCrunch, and more.” There are over 6o million WordPress.com websites and growing. Despite the fact that many are not yet aware of the podcasting possibilities, you will be part of a large community right from the start.
Learn more: https://en.wordpress.com/features/

So that’s really way more than 14 reasons why I feel confident to recommend WordPress.com as a legitimate podcast and website hosting solutions and why you might consider using it for your next podcast or website.

So the quick recap rundown of all 14 reasons:

Simplicity. Pay one bill for podcasting and web hosting.
Trust. WordPress.com is a household name.
Affordability. $4/month is what I pay for a podcast and website for my ebook podcast and website. Say no more
Reliability. The technology of WordPress has your back.
Customization. Make your site how you want it.
Domain Name Included. As long as it is available, all paid plans include a free domain name.
Social Media Sharing. Easily share your podcast and posts via social media.
Schedule. Publish your episodes on time.
Flexibility. Make a mistake in your last episode. No worries, swap out the audio file and fix it.
Multiple Shows. You can create multiple RSS feeds under one account.
Private Shows. Want to create a VIP feed for your Patrons? Easy to do on WordPress.com
Monetization. Recover some of the costs of producing a podcast with PayPal and e-commerce solutions.
WordPress app for your mobile and desktop devices. Manage your website from all devices.
Own Your Content. Whatever you create on WordPress.com is yours alone. Export your content at any time — wherever life takes you, your content follows.”

LISTEN TO PAST EPISODES

HOUSEKEEPING

Subscribe To Podcast

Leave a ratings & review (if you already did, thanks)

Buy My New eBook (How To Podcast on Wordpress.com)

Ask Mike Anything

Music: Life of Riley & Wallpaper (incompetech.com)

Ep143: The Podcast Hosting Show

Ep143: The Podcast Hosting Show

EP143: The Podcast Hosting Show

In today’s episode, you will learn what a podcast media host is, what to look for when choosing one and how much do they cost?

Episode Summary:
What is a podcast media host?
How Does Podcast Media Hosting Work?
What should you look for when choosing a media host?
What podcast hosts do I use?
How much does podcast hosting cost?

What is a Podcast Media Host?
–A podcast media host is where you upload and store the final media files for your podcast. The most common podcast media file is an mp3 audio file, but for some could be PDFs, or video files if you are a video podcast.

–Each time you publish a new podcast episode, you upload your mp3 audio files to your podcast media host where it is stored alongside all of your other episodes. When someone opens up a podcast app on their mobile device or computer and downloads one of your podcast episodes, it is the podcast host that serves up the file to the pod-catcher app.

–Podcast media hosts are quite similar to website hosts which store all of your website files and media. Every time someone visits your site, it is your website host that serves up the necessary files to the website visitor.

–Podcast media hosts also include other podcasting services such as creating RSS feeds, statistics, podcast web pages, etc, but, for simplicity sake today, think of a podcast media host as the home or online storage for your mp3 audio file that you have recorded, edited and want to share with the world as a podcast.

How Does Podcast Media Hosting Work?

Here is the podcast 101 version:

–Every podcast has an RSS feed that you submit to Apple Podcasts/iTunes and all of the podcast directories like Spreaker, TuneIn, Google Play, Spotify, etc.

–The RSS feed is created either by your media hosting company or by a plugin on your website which is how I do it, but just know that every podcast has an RSS feed.

–Every Friday morning I publish a new episode on my website and upload an mp3 file to my media host.

–The RSS feed that magically distributes my new episode to Apple Podcasts and several other podcast directories and also sends a notification to all of my subscribers that a new episode has been released.

–When a listener opens up their Apple Podcast App or pod-catcher of choice and downloads or press play on my podcast or any podcast, the podcast media host gets the request and pulls the episode out of storage and allows you to download and/or listen.

–The podcast media host is the storage facility for all of your podcast episode mp3 files is stored and every time your podcast is downloaded from any of the many directories it is listed in or on your subscribers’ pod-catcher app, your podcast media host serves up your mp3 file so the listener can download and listen. It is the warehouse that is always on call and ready to zip out the file whenever it is requested.

What should you look for when choosing a media host?

AKA, What makes a good podcast host?

Choosing a media host is a really important decision for new and experienced podcasters and it can be a little overwhelming as there are a lot of choices and it can get confusing if you really do not know what you are looking for in a good media host.

You want a podcast host that you can trust and depend on because you work hard on your podcast and you want your listeners to have a seamless experience when they want to listen to your podcast, right?

3 big factors I think you should consider when choosing a podcast media host:

  1. Longevity & Dependability. You want a podcast host that has been around the block and has stood the test of time. You want to choose a company that has a good reputation and is financially stable. You want them to stick around for the long-haul and know that you can depend on them. There are a lot of really cool and hip podcast hosting solutions that appear out of nowhere and many are even free, but they have no proven track record and you really do not know their business model or if they will be around next year, and I would steer you away from that. It can be a real pain to switch podcast hosting companies so set your self up for success and choose a host with some skin in the game.
  2. Flexibility & Expandability. You want a podcast host that will grow with you and be there for you as your show gets popular. Back to financial stability, you want a podcast host that is invested in podcasting and dedicated to providing state of the art podcast servers can handle heavy traffic and downloads and provide unlimited bandwidth so when Tim Ferriss or Leo Laporte gives you a shout out, your podcast downloads will not miss a beat.
  3. Affordability. Price matters. You want to find a podcast hosting solution that fits within your budget so you can produce and maintain your budget for the long-haul.

What Podcast Media Hosts Do I use?

Podcast #1
Mike Murphy Unplugged, I pay Libsyn $15/month to host my podcast mp3 media files.

I also pay $15/month to Siteground to host my WordPress.org website.

I use the free plugin Powerpress by Blubrry to generate my RSS feed and publish my podcast episodes each week.

Total:
I pay $30/month podcast & website hosting

This is a very common setup for many podcasters to pay for each separately, but it is not the only option and not the most affordable option either.

Podcast #2:
For my new podcast: How To Podcast on WordPress.com which is the companion podcast to my new eBook of the same name, I am using WordPress.com, which is both a podcast host and website host combined.

I wrote this eBook was to spread awareness of WordPress.com as a podcast host because many people do not realize it is both a podcast and website host.

I am on the personal plan on WordPress.com which is $4/month which gives me a dedicated podcast host and website host with unlimited bandwidth for both, so it can handle traffic and downloads.

The $4 plan does have some limitations such as storage space limits and the themes are not as customizable, but you can upgrade at any time and for $4 more per month, you have access to all of the premium themes and double the storage space. I may upgrade eventually, but if you are just starting out, the $4/month plan is a good value.

Clarification:
WordPress.org is not a podcast host and you do not want to host your own podcast files on a WordPress.org website.

WordPress.com includes both podcasting and web hosting

Alternatives To WordPress.com:
WordPress.com is not the only game in town if you want If you like the idea of paying one price for both podcast and media host combined.

Click Here To Purchase New eBook:

6xx9 Cover

How To Podcast on WordPress.com

 

 

 

 

 

Squarespace.com is currently $18/month if paid annually to host both your podcast and website on Squarespace with unlimited storage and bandwidth which is good, but there are some limitations on the RSS feed to consider, so do your research on Squarespace podcasting before you go that route.

Podcast Media Hosts

Summary:
Here is a list of some podcast media hosts with links to their website for you to research and compare pricing and features.

  1. Anchor:
  2. Blubrry:
  3. BuzzSprout:
  4. Fireside
  5. Libsyn:
  6. Messy.fm:
  7. Pinecast
  8. Pippa.io:
  9. Podbean:
  10. PodcastWebsites.com
  11. Podomatic:
  12. SimpleCast:
  13. SoundCloud:
  14. Squarespace:
  15. Spreaker:
  16. Whooshka:
  17. WordPress.com

LISTEN TO PAST EPISODES

HOUSEKEEPING

Subscribe To Podcast

Leave a ratings & review (if you already did, thanks)

Buy My New eBook (How To Podcast on Wordpress.com)

Ask Mike Anything

Music: Life of Riley & Wallpaper (incompetech.com)

Ep142: The Why WordPress.com Show

Ep142: The Why WordPress.com Show

EP142: The Why WordPress.com Show

Today is the story of why I wrote an eBook about podcasting on WordPress.com? It all started with an email I received in the Fall of 2017.

Breakdown of Story:

The Anatomy of a Good Email
Is WordPress.com a legitimate podcast host?
What makes WordPress.com a good option for some podcasters?
What ultimately made me decide to write my first ebook on Podcasting on WordPress.com?

 


 

6xx9 Cover

The Story:

Shortly after I attended Podcast Movement 2017 in Anaheim California, I got an email from my website contact form that grabbed my attention from the very start.

What makes a good email?

The Anatomy of a Good Email

Credibility. A university professor introduced himself and proceeded to tell me he listened to all 100+ episodes of my podcast.

**Tip:** You never know who is listening to your podcast! Every listener is important. 

Flattery. The Professor (a teacher) went on to say he emailed me because I was passionate about teaching and helping people figure things out and because I had demonstrated qualities he respected: Knowledge, Motivation, Productivity and Personality. Wow, that felt good.

**Tip:** If you want to get someone’s attention, feed them compliments…no, seriously, appealing to one's ego really works!

Kindness. The Professor mentioned he was listening to an episode of mine right after I got back from Podcast Movement and something my voice sounded as if I was having trouble with something in my business and I needed help. He saw an opportunity how he thought he might be able to help me, so he reached out. Pretty cool.

**Tip:** Podcasting feels lonely and you are not ever really certain anyone is listening. But the people who are listening and show up week after week feel like the know you.  The power of podcasting.

Intrigue.The Professor told me he inadvertently discovered a resource for podcasters that no-one seemed to be promoting and wanted to know if I thought it was a valuable resource that I might want to promote and teach others about. He needed about 30 minutes on a Skype call.

**Tip:** If you want a podcasting tech nerd to say yes  to a meeting just tell them they have this super secret awesome thing that nobody is talking about but it’s a game changer and I’ll let you in on the secret if you give me 30 minutes to your time. Of course I was intrigue and replied back simply. Yes, I am interested in learning more and we scheduled a 30-minute Skype call.

Summary of a good email:
Introduce yourself as a human and make a connection with whoever you are trying to reach. Then give them a compliment or something positive and then offer them something of value or make it clear that you are not emailing a stranger and asking for a favor.
And if you want to get a meeting a conference call, make it really hard for that person to say no.

On to The 30-Minute Skype Call

Professor: I have discovered an under-the-radar podcasting resource.
Me: (I doubted it, but I kept an open mind)… Wow, that sounds great…tell me more.
Professor: The podcast resource I am referring to is Wordrpess.com, which I’m sure you’ve heard of. It is cheap and dependable all-in-one podcast and website hosting solution that I have been using for my own podcasts since 2015. There is little documentation or mention of WordPress.com for podcasting it and I have only found one small tutorial about it and that is where you come in.
Me: Dedicated Podcast Hosting on WordPress.com? Really? Cmon.
Professor: Yes, and I think you are the perfect person to help others learn about WordPress.com as a podcast hosting solution and teach them how use it.
Me: Okay, tell me more. I am interested.

Initial Reaction

The truth of the matter was I had not thought about WordPress.com for years and it was indeed off of my tech-radar, but I would play along and try to keep an open mind.

My first thought was I know the reason why nobody in the podcast community was talking about podcasting on WordPress.com and that is because WordPress.com was the ‘lite-version’ of WordPress.org.

I needed proof. And I had questions

The 30-minute Skype lasted close to 4 hours. Yeah, it got good…

Just how under-the-radar was podcasting on WordPress.com?

The Professor had been researching this topic for some time:
His response was that he listens and subscribes to every single podcast he can find that talks about podcasting and cannot ever recall anyone teach or explain WordPress.com as a platform for podcasting.

There are countless top 10 posts and listicles and articles about the best of the best hosting and WordPress.com never makes any of the lists. do a Google search for “Podcast Hosting Services”, WordPress.com is absent from almost every list.

Funny thing was right around this Skype call, this article was making the rounds through Medium and Facebook and all of the Podcast newsletters, called ‘The Ultimate List of Podcasting Hosting Services’ with 27 examples of the podcast hosting services. It had the most obscure podcast hosts, and sure enough. WordPress.com did not make this list.

Every google search about podcasting on WordPress is about the self-hosted WordPress.org and not .com.

He did find a couple of small blog posts and one small tutorial that was over 6 years old, which makes it all too crazy to me, that podcasting on WordPress.com has been around for a long time, but gets zero mentions. Including from WordPress.com.

Translation: WordPress.com as a podcast platform was a ghost.

I went back to my initial reaction of WordPress.com as being the hobbyist platform and just thought, well, maybe it’s because it’s not that good right?

I kept the interrogation going full speed ahead. I needed more substance.

What are the Benefits of using WordPress.com that podcasters should care about? Why should I care to teach podcasters about WordPress.com

Price/Value: The first thing that surfaced was price, which I never base decisions solely on, but for $4/month you can have a fully functioning a podcast, website, and blog with unlimited
bandwidth is worth investigating.

Price is a big deal since a lot of podcasters do it for a hobby. It gets to be an expensive hobby, especially when you start adding in gear. Many podcasters want to test the waters without investing a ton of money.

Longevity. WordPress has been around for a long time on the interwebs and over 30% of all websites on the internet run on WordPress.org or WordPress.com.

There are a lot of cool and hip fly-by-night solutions that sound awesome and many are free, but you want stability in a podcast host. You want them around for the long-haul. WordPress isn’t going anywhere soon.

Flexibility. You can upgrade plans at anytime, you can create multiple shows and private feeds, you can monetize and much more.

The Icing On the Cake

I needed real proof.

The Professor: I have 7 podcasts all on WordPress.com that have accumulated over 2.5 million downloads so far and I have not had one technical glitch or one complaint from a listener about not being able to access or download an episode.

Well Okay, then. That’s some proof for reliability.

More proof:
Wordpress.com has started advertising on TV and podcasts. They seem to be making a move.

Me:
Then it hit me. I remember seeing WordPress.com just a month earlier at Podcast Movement 2017 in Anaheim, CA and thought “Hmmm…what are they doing here at a podcast conference?” and didn’t give it too much thought. Off my radar. In hindsight, it almost seems as if they were sitting back in the shadows observing and patiently waiting for the right time to promote their platform as a legitimate hosting solution for podcasters.

Note: Flash Forward
While I was preparing this guide and tutorial in early 2018, I glanced at the list of sponsors for Podcast Movement 2018 and saw WordPress.com. They were not only a sponsor but a Gold Sponsor. In contrast, Blubrry, Libysn and Podbean were only Silver. The Professor was right; WordPress.com was indeed coming out of the shadows.

The Conclusion

By the end of the Skype call, I had a new friend and a new adventure that would give me the opportunity to teach, write, podcast, make tutorials and help both new and experienced podcasters. Right up my alley.

So My why for writing this eBook: How To Podcast on WordPress.com: The Step by Step Guide.
It all started with one email from The Professor in the Fall of 2017 and I’m sure grateful I responded with an open mind.

You can find the guide on Amazon or at the website: howtopodcastonwordpress.com

If you do get the book, they say reviews on Amazon really help, so if you wrote a quick review, my forever thanks.

LISTEN TO PAST EPISODES

HOUSEKEEPING

Subscribe To Podcast

Leave a ratings & review (if you already did, thanks)

Buy My New eBook (How To Podcast on Wordpress.com)

Ask Mike Anything

Music: Life of Riley & Wallpaper (incompetech.com)

Ep141: The Amazon Associates Show

Ep141: The Amazon Associates Show

EP141: The Amazon Associates Show

Today is all about The Amazon Associates Affiliate Program

Amazon Associates 101:

What is the Amazon Associates program?
How much does Amazon pay in commissions?
How do you join the affiliate program?
What are some pros of the program?
What are the things that can get you in trouble and banned from Amazon Associates?
What are some good ways to use Amazon affiliate links and start making some money?

 

What is the Amazon Associates Program?

Amazon Associates started in 1996.
The largest and most successful online affiliate program with close to a million members.
Amazon Associates is free to join and is open to anyone who owns a website or is an Amazon seller or a web developer.

Here is how it works:
Amazon provides you with specially formatted links for each product you want to promote.
You create content and posts promoting products on Amazon and try to encourage people to click on your links that will take them to Amazon.
Amazon will pay you a commission on sales generated from traffic that came from people clicking on your Amazon Associate Links.
How much does Amazon pay in commissions?
Typically anywhere from 0–10%
4–8% is about the average.

0%: on Amazon digital downloads such as music, videos, Amazon software and game downloads, eDocs, Kindle books, blogs, newsfeeds or kindle magazines, etc.

0%: Amazon Gift Cards and Wine. Sorry.

**1%: ** Video games & video consoles like Nintendo

2%: Televisions
2.5%: Computers, Computer Parts, DVDS & Blu-Ray at
3%: Toys
4%: Amazon Fire Tablets & Kindles at
4.5%: Physical Books, Health, Personal & Health care products, Automotive and Baby Products at
6%: Headphones, Beauty, Musical Instruments and Business & Industrial Supplies at
7%: Clothing, Amazon Smart TVs, Jewelry, Luggage, Shoes, Handbags, Watches and Amazon Echo & Alexa] 8% Furniture, Home & Lawn & Garden and Pets up
10%: Amazon Fashion Women, Mens & Kids Private Label, Luxury Beauty and Amazon Coins at

Everything else: 4% (Electronics, gear, cameras, video…)

Amazon Promotions: Cash payouts called ‘Bounties’

Amazon also runs special promotions and pays out flat rate dollar amounts that they call ‘Bounties’ and they could be pretty significant if you had a lot of traffic to your website or wherever you promote products.e

Sample Bounties:
Audible Trial Memberships: $5
Audible Gold Memberships: $10
Amazon Prime Referrals: $3
Amazon Fresh Groceries: $5
Kindle Memberships: $5
Twitch Prime: $3

How do you join the program?

It’s easy and free.
Fill out this application

So What are the Pros of Amazon Associates?

Passive Income Steady revenue source
No traffic restrictionsNew website owners with little traffic can join.

One side tip: If you are in the early stages of building an online presence and website, hold off to join Amazon Associates until you are up and running, because if you go too long with no activity, they could close your account, so don’t start until you have a little momentum in building content.

  1.   People Trust Amazon so it easy for people to click your affiliate links
  2. 24-hour Cookies: Affiliates will get credit for sales for 24-hours after someone clicks your link if they buy anything within that 24-hours.
  3. Amazon offers many promotional tools
  4. Motivation to create more content. Money might be the motivator at first, but over time, you start focusing on helpful content more.

POLICIES:

See Operating Agreement Here:
https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/help/operating/agreement?ac-ms-src=ac-nav

Things that could get you banned from Amazon Associates:

  1. Do not shop using your own links.
  2. Do not put affiliate links in email newsletters or PDFs
  3. Do not put affiliate links in eBooks
  4. Do not open multiple accounts. Use Tracking IDs for multiple websites.
  5. Use Disclaimers

 

Feel free to copy mine:

Amazon Associates Disclosure:
Mike Murphy LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

I may receive a commission from Amazon and other affiliate programs at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products or services that I use and love or that I think will be helpful to you.

Ways to use Amazon Affiliate Links:

What are some good ways to properly use Amazon Associates and generate some extra revenue:

  1. Create content around products and gear and tools around your niche or area of interest and expertise
  2. Gear, Tech & Product Reviews
  3. Blog Posts, Tutorials, Article
  4. Show notes of podcasts on your website
  5. Book reviews and sharing your favorite
  6. Resource Pages on your Website
  7. Kit.com: you can view my Kits of gear I use.

In Conclusion:

I love everything about Amazon Associates Program. I like teaching people about products I use and think will help them and most people feel good about using affiliate links for people they know and like. It does not cost them anything and if you provide people with useful recommendations and solutions to their problems, it feels good and it could be a steady source of passive income for you.

Just follow the rules and it’s up to you to know what they are and there is plenty of information on Amazon and online as you do not want to risk getting shut down for a simple mistake.

LISTEN TO PAST EPISODES

HOUSEKEEPING

Subscribe To Podcast

Leave a ratings & review (if you already did, thanks)

Buy My New eBook (How To Podcast on Wordpress.com)

Ask Mike Anything

Music: Life of Riley & Wallpaper (incompetech.com)