Willow Croft on Writing and Animals – Happiness Between Tails
Click H-E-R-E & you’ll find my brand new podcast page! It’s on AnchorFM, where in addition to a teaser and a reading of Willow Croft’s post (her corresponding guest blog post is here), you’ll find my podcast’s links to subscribe, hear, and share it wherever else you prefer, from Spotify and Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts, to Pocket Casts and RadioPublic and Castbox and Stitcher, plus many more and an RSS feed. The full list of 50+ places is H-E-R-E.
Hurrah!!! Picture me jumping up and down with as much glee as panting with relief after laboring over the ins and outs of producing The Happiness Between Tails Podcast. The HBT podcast is really an experiment — a hands-on classroom where I make most of my mistakes before I serialize my novels (“Flamenco & the Sitting Cat,” and “Tango & the Sitting Cat”) into audio fiction series. For the record, the fiction shows won’t use the automated readers. I’ve already posted a bit about podcasting H-E-R-E and H-E-R-E.
My podcast dream was kicked into higher gear when WordPress announced its link with Anchor, one where WordPress bloggers can convert posts into podcasts.
It’s not your imagination that the video transcriptions below for teasers are all the same. What differentiates them is that they’re made using the free features within AnchorFM and Audiogram and Headliner. So far I’ve only made them for my YouTube channel, but they can also be to accommodate the size requirements for other social media.
Anchor did this video of my teaser that’s on my YouTube…
Audiogram did this video version at my YouTube…
Headliner produced did teaser uploaded to my YouTube…
The Backyard Horse Blog
Look how fun The Backyard Horse Blog’s Mary Lynne Carpenter’s first podcast is, which corresponds to the post on her blog HERE! (Btw, she generously guest posted at Happiness Between Tails HERE.) Regarding her experience, she emailed:
“For any bloggers out there who would like to try to use the Anchor program (I found it to be very straightforward, not complicated), I would recommend starting off with a short introduction about your blog that would help set the stage for what you are about to read. I did not do that. I even forgot to read the essay title. It would make the whole thing seem more warm and inviting. The hardest part of the experience for me was reading the essay without making any mistakes. I ended up recording about six times and finally gave up. Not really sure podcasting is my gig, but for those of you who are curious and want to give it a try, I found the Anchor program quite user friendly.”
Curious about experimenting with a podcast of your own?
Given my frazzled state, here’s some un-organized dribs and drabs about what I’ve learned to date. Feel free to add your own or point out any errors I’ve made.
Random hard-won notes regarding setting something up on Anchor:
For the sake of not risking messing up this site, I set up an alternate WordPress blog. That’s because when Anchor’s automated voices (there’s a female and a male version) “audio-ize” posts, they’re not completely tidy. For instance, they don’t read the post’s headline. Also, my posts need massaging to sound good as podcast episodes. My voice as well as both of the automated ones are used in this first full episode.
Don’t like the background on your Anchor page? Change it by typing in a different HEX code. To find codes for colors, google stuff like, “HEX code for light green.”
The tangled road to figuring things out includes how to make money. Sites such as Patreon take a percentage of one’s profits in exchange for taking some of the bother out of setting up incentives for potential sponsors. Somewhere along the way I came across “Buy Me a Coffee,” as in: Like what you hear? Buy me a coffee.
When emailing a question to Anchor, it helps to include your anchor url.
Distribution: Anchor can automatically distribute your show to a bunch of places, such as Spotify, Stitcher, etc. As for their sending it to Apple, I waited and waited and waited for Anchor or Apple to let me know I’d been added to Apple Podcasts — months of agonizing later, I checked Apple myself (duh!), and it was there! This is a h-u-g-e deal, as to get on Apple’s “New and Interesting” list, one must get a lot of listeners within the first couple of weeks.
Falalalala!!! Here’s where you can find my show on Apple Podcasts.
Anchor title pages: they need an intro paragraph and whatever links you’d like to include. They can also have a list of time stamps (a list of where on the show different things happen), and a list of what folks are missing if they don’t check out your corresponding blog post, i.e., links and photos.
Any show needs an intro, and middle, and an outro — and it’s helpful to throw in what you’d like your listener to do, i.e., subscribe to the show, tell others about it, and to visit your site.
Advertising: once 50 people have listened to your show, Anchor lets you start placing ads they submit to you and then they’ll give you some sort of a cut.
Editing: Anchor has an editing feature that isn’t too hard to learn, though it can be a bit clunky. Many podcasters edit with Audacity or Garageband. I like using iMovie, because all I need is something simple and visual.
Music and sound effects: Anchor offers a bunch, which is nice given what a headache it can be to figure out all the legalities of those.
General wisdom advises one start with several shows already in the can, so new listeners can “binge” a bit when they find you.
Also, “they” say it’s good to podcast on a regular basis, same as blogging. For now, I’m not putting that sort of pressure on myself, particularly since I’m still learning and experimenting.
Episode title: Don’t put name of show in each episode, since it automatically appears next to episodes in podcast directories.
Publicize, publicize, publicize: it you’ve blogged for more than a little while, you know the rigmarole on that…
Got an idea for a podcast? Do you listen to them?