CoolCastPlayer.com Beta Launch
I am so pumped up today, because I just soft-launched my new WordPress plugin. It is the prettiest podcast player on the planet, and along with celebrating its beta launch, I’m going to tell you about the biggest lessons I have learned from publishing 21 episodes of this podcast.
Let me tell you about my new podcast player plugin, and why it’s different from anything else you’ve ever seen before.
It’s called CoolCastPlayer, and you can see it in action at CoolCastPlayer.com
When I first launched my podcast back in September 2015, and wanted to publish my podcast feed and the episodes on my web site at SubscribeMe.fm, I quickly found out there’s a huge need for a really good podcast player. Most of the players I came across were downright UGLY – and that’s capital U, capital G, capital L and capital Y. UGLY as hell.
And there was just one decent looking podcast player out there, but it did not have some key features that I wanted. But the design of the player was not very good, in that, it wasn’t obvious that it was even a player. I went to the web sites of several big-name podcasters who were using that plugin, and I was actively looking to see how they were using it, and I skipped over the player many many times, because it looked like a banner ad. It did not even look like a player – just a colorful banner.
And my biggest mindset that has helped me, and also hurt me, over the years, is that when I find a plugin or tool that I want to use in my business, and I find that the best of them have glaring holes in how they’re designed or developed, then my mind starts spinning, and I start to wonder how I can create something better, and something that fits the needs of the market a lot better.
And that’s what led to me developing CoolCastPlayer. I will go into the full list of features later in this show, but for now, let me tell you that other than being optimally designed to get your web site visitor to both notice your player and click play on your podast episode, the biggest feature by far, is the “Embed” feature. I call it, “Install Once, Embed Anywhere”. And I’ll explain this in a second, as I get into my podcast myths-busted list.
3 Biggest Podcasting Myths Busted
#1. The hardest thing for a podcaster, is the marketing of your podcast and getting new people to listen to your show. If someone tells you all you need to do get some traction is to get into iTunes’ New and Noteworthy, then just laugh out loud and run away. My show stayed at the top of New & Noteworthy for my category, for an entire month. It was in the top 3 for most of the time, and moved between #5 and #10 for the remaining 8 weeks that your show gets on New & Noteworthy. It did diddly squat for me. And if you listen to the biggest podcasting veterans out there, you will hear them all say the same thing. New & Noteworthy does very, VERY little for your show. And focusing your efforts on that, is, like Dave Jackson of SchoolOfPodcasting says, trading a dollar for a dime. Complete waste of your time.
#2. Do not launch with 3 episodes. Or with 5. Or with 8. When someone subscribes to your show on their iPhone or on their desktop using iTunes, then iTunes will ONLY download the latest episode. So DO NOT be fooled into thinking that if you launch with 8 episodes, then a new subscriber will result in 8 episodes. It won’t. A new subscriber will only result in 1 download. And that is your latest episode. To hear the remaining 7 episodes, they would have to manually click on the little “Cloud” icon, and click “Download” in order to listen to your past episodes. So, when you launch with 8, you would have to make sure your 8th episode is pretty dang great, because that’s the first one they’re going to listen to. And as a new podcaster, if you launch with 8 episodes, your 8th episode is guaranteed to NOT be your best one, because guess what? You followed bad advice, and you created all episodes together, in the span of a few days, before you ever launched your show. Which means, you haven’t heard your own episodes enough, you haven’t gotten any feedback from your listeners, you haven’t gotten the momentum of having been in the game for enough time, you haven’t been able to learn from your mistakes, and you haven’t been able to tone down your mistakes and amplify the best parts. Launching with 8 episodes is like, let’s say you want to learn tennis. You can’t schedule 8 tennis lessons on the same day. Just because you play 8 times in one day doesn’t mean you’re going to get better. You need practice. You need to go out and practice serving, and volleying. You need to watch film. You need to get in a few games with other people. You can NOT speed up the process. Whether it is having an entire day’s meal all together in one sitting and starving the rest of the day, or trying to go out on 8 dates with the same girl on the same day, there are no shortcuts. When it comes to learning and honing your craft, or building relationships – which is what podcasting really is – building a relationship with your audience – you simply cannot fast forward through it like you would fast forward through a commercial.
I will be getting into all of this in a new online course that I’m putting together, and that course is actually going to be free as a launch-special bonus when you purchase CoolCastPlayer during the beta launch.
So if you shouldn’t launch with 8 episodes, then what do you do? Simple. Launch with just 1 episode. What this allows you to do, is it lets you put your best foot forward, and focus ALL of your energy, ALL of your time and effort… and marketing on getting that ONE single episode out there, and getting the maximum number of people to listen to this one episode.
Then let it sit for at a week. At least. THEN, go ahead and launch the 2nd one after a week. By this time, you would have gotten feedback about the 1st one, from your peers, from your friends… and your social network and your email list. And you get to hear your own voice and your own show multiple times. And the more you listen to it, even though you may initially hate your voice, you will get over it quickly, and you’ll get some ideas as to what’s going to work and what needs to be cut out of the show. That will help you improve your 2nd episode. Then a few days later, take the experience of producing your 1st and 2nd shows, and use THAT to produce your 3rd episode. And the biggest advantage of this staggered release of episodes, means that your show is getting better with each episode. And now, because you’re picking up new subscribers with each episode, what that means is that each time you release a new episode, iTunes will automatically download your latest episode on the phones and devices of ALL of your current subscribers. So you hit publish on your latest episode, and a couple of hours later, you can see that you’ve gotten 300 new downloads. Now THAT is super exciting and can be really invigorating and inspiring for any podcaster. So launching with more episodes does not mean more downloads at launch. Your latest episode will get the most downloads, and then from there, the drop off is really huge. Even now, when I launch a new episode, let’s say in the first few hours, my latest episodes gets 100 downloads. Then one of my older episodes – usually the previous one, will get about 20 downloads. That’s like a 80% drop. And then the next highest one will be like 7 downloads. And it usually trickles all the way to my old downloads to just 1 or 2 new downloads. That’s how big the drop-off is between the latest episode and the next highest one.
But here’s a really cool idea for you. Wait till you get to about 4 episodes in about 4 weeks. And now, you have a full month of podcasting experience behind you. You have asked for – and gotten a lot of feedback. You have learned about your own voice, the way you speak, what works, what gets your audience involved and excited, and so on.
NOW is the time to drop the hammer. Over the next 15 days, launch 5 new episodes. Never launch them all together. Launch 1 new episode every few days. And for month 2, that will help you tremendously in exponentially increasing your downloads, because remember, when you stagger the episodes, then you will get WAYY more downloads, than if you launched them all together. So the increased downloads will help your show rise in iTunes’ overall rankings, and the momentum will help you take it to the next level.
What is that next level, is entirely up to you. But this little strategy will help you 10 times more than the bad advice out there.
Finally, #3: It is a complete waste of time, money and effort if you are promoting the direct link to your show on iTunes or Stitcher. It is the biggest wasted call to action. iTunes is the hardest thing to navigate for those who are new to podcasts. The goal of promoting your podcast should be to get them to your web site and listen to your podcast episode, in the fastest way possible. I call this “2-Click Play”. The first click brings them to your web site. The 2nd click should be on your Play button. There is simply no faster or more efficient way to get someone to listen to your podcast episode, than putting a online audio player on your web site. So the first click is your audience or your friends or your social network, clicking on a link in your email, on Facebook, or on Twitter. Give a sneak-peek about the content of your episode, and they click on a link that brings them to your web site. When they arrive there, they should be greeted by a podcast player that looks really good, looks like an audio player, with a nice, large play button that is just begging to be clicked on. And the 2nd click is on that play button, and a few seconds later, they’re off and away, listening to your show. And if they like it, you tell them on the show where to go to subscribe. And of course, you have a couple of beautiful buttons right below the player that tells them where to go to subscribe to your show. THAT is how you get the fullest bang for your podcast marketing bucks, and that’s how you get more people in the door to listen to your show, so that they can decide whether or not it is for them. And that is how you grow your audience, and not by sending them directly itunes where most normal people who are not already podcast listeners, will completely get lost. 2-Click play.
I will get into more myth-busting tips about podcasting, in future episodes.
Now, let me quickly tell you a few of the awesome features included in CoolCastPlayer.com, which I’m now officially calling the Prettiest Podcast Player on the planet. To see it in action, go to CoolCastPlayer.com, and you’ll see both the episode player and the feed player demos.
Here are some of its features…
#1: It can play MP3 files hosted anywhere… like Libsyn, SoundCloud, Podbean, your own WordPress site, Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, PowerPress, BluBrry, etc.
#2 It has an “Embed” feature. This allows your guests who you interviewed, and your web site visitors, simply grab a small piece of code from your web site, and then insert the episode – or even the entire feed – on their web site. This is similar to how you can grab the embed code of a youtube video and put it on a different web site. And if you remember, youtube grew big-time because of this viral feature. So allowing others to embed your show on their web site, will give your show a viral marketing aspect.
Plus there’s a whole bunch of other features: Like it’s a WordPress plugin that is super easy to install, AND very intuitive to set up. Mobile Responsive: So it will look equally stunning on all screens.
It works with PowerPress. It has social buttons and custom buttons to put below the player, it has a download icon and speed-it-up icon right on the player. You can fully customize the player colors to match your show’s artwork or your web site colors.
Plenty more features. Check it all out at CoolCastPlayer.com .
Until the next time… if you have a podcast, don’t promote your iTunes or Stitcher links. Bring them back to your web site, because there are plenty of reasons why you should do that, and I will talk about all of them in a later episode.
All of that in today’s episode. Listen to the show via the player above.
Or if you want all of the episodes to be automatically downloaded to your device as soon as they’re available, then subscribe to the show on iTunes at SubscribeMe.fm/itunes/ , or on Stitcher at SubscribeMe.fm/stitcher/ .
– Ravi Jayagopal
PS: Yeah, the player above, is powered by CoolCastPlayer 🙂
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