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Podcasting on a Budget

by Jamie Sanford on June 14, 2013

This is one in a series of posts pulled from Chris Brogan’s “100 blog topics I hope YOU write.” (#96)

My current setup for podcast recording.

I started officially podcasting with The Jamie and David Show (completely NSFW) in 2009. We fell off the wagon for quite a while but have been doing shows about once a month for a while now. We’ve been through a few different methods of recording, but this is the current setup. I am not making any money from the show, so this is my budget version of podcasting.

To create the podcast, you will need the following:

1. Computer. I am assuming that everyone has access to a computer and the Internet. (Here’s some info on recording podcasts with a mobile device if you’re into that – I haven’t worked that out just yet.)

2. Software. I have always used Audacity to edit and assemble my podcasts. It’s free and really user friendly. Here’s a list of some other pieces of software for podcasting. I also use MP3 Skype Recorder (also free), since David and I do not currently live in the same place so Skype is a necessity. It’s also been great for recording interviews for the show.

3. Hardware. Other than the computer, there are some things you need, at the very least a microphone and headphones. If your computer has an onboard mic, feel free to start with that. However, if you’re going to be using Skype or another program to record with more than one person, a set of headphones is  necessary to avoid feedback issues. Even earbuds will be fine for this.

My version:

I started out in podcasting with the earbuds I had with the attached mic from my iPhone.  This was a workable solution but the sound left something to be desired. I did some research and purchased a Blue Yeti microphone (currently $79.99 on Amazon). An even less expensive option is the Blue Snowball ($58.68 for the white version on Amazon), which I had also used successfully at my previous workplace. I admit to choosing the Yeti in part because it just looks amazing. (Warning though – if you have this in your carry-on when flying, you are SO getting searched, because it definitely looks like an incendiary device in the x-ray machine. I speak from experience.)

After doing some reading about sound issues, I also purchased this Nady Pop Filter ($17.56 on Amazon), which has been an amazing improvement for the money. I cannot listen to our old episodes now without feeling like I’m being tortured. I’m thrilled with the results that have some from spending less than $100 to improve the sound. I don’t imagine I will ever need to replace these items.

To share the podcast, you will need the following:

1. Hosting Location. You need somewhere to host the file you’ve created, and a good place to start would be Blogger. You can get a free blog, and easily post files and have an RSS Feed created for you. Tumblr + Dropbox would also work, as described here by Adam Wilcox.

2. RSS Feed. Feedburner will let you enter in the RSS feed info and it will convert it to work as a podcast feed. In my opinion, everyone should be using Feedburner for their podcast feed, because the stats are good, and if you ever change hosting locations, you will not lose subscribers when you update the information.

3. iTunes Submission. It is free to submit your podcast to iTunes, so why not? Here’s a great instructional page from the fine people at iTunes on creating and submitting your show.

My version:

I started out our show at Mevio, but that went downhill and we lost all of our data and subscribers. I learned the hard way about not using Feedburner. After some Twitter chat, I moved our show hosting to Libsyn, and started hosting our show notes on a Tumblr blog. I chose Tumblr for this particular show because of the existing audience for our content and ease in sharing.

Libsyn is not free. The cheapest plan is $5 a month for 50MB of file adding. I currently have the slightly higher $15 version as our shows are rarely under 50MB. Libsyn really did all of the work with creating our new show feed, and that was the clincher in choosing to move our show there. It’s super simple to add episodes and so I will stick with them for now. However, the free methods are totally fine as well.

Extras:

1. Music. Some podcasts have music constantly playing in the background, which isn’t for everyone. Some, like mine, have music at the beginning and the end. You can certainly Google “royalty-free music” to try and find something to use, but I highly recommend Jamendo. Searching for what you want is very easy, and there are a lot of free options for downloadable tracks. Remember to give credit to the artist in your show notes!

That’s my guide for podcasting on a budget. Please leave your own ideas and tips in the comments!

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Holiday Wreath Selection from Etsy

by Jamie Sanford on November 18, 2010

Wreaths are one of the classic holiday decorations, and I love that wreaths are created for almost any holiday or season nowadays. I found this great treasury collection on Etsy called “a wreath on the front door,” and so I figured I would keep it short and share the image and link. Get ready to find a fabulous wreath for yourself or as a great gift for someone else.


I really like the peacock feather version – it is still a holiday wreath without being too traditional.

Call for Guest Bloggers!

I am working on collecting blog posts for a series on the site called “My Holiday Wishlist.”  I’ve had a few people confirm so far and would love to get other people involved.  Please send an email or leave a comment if you’re interested in contributing a post with some of the items you would like to receive during the upcoming holiday season.

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Guest Post: Custom Engraved Leatherman Tools.

by Jamie Sanford on October 12, 2010

Today’s guest blogger is my husband William.  Here is one of my favorite pictures of him, taken quite a while back. He didn’t know why I was photographing him at the time, which is why he’s looking at me like that.

DSC03070
I like tools, and taking things apart, and MacGyvering things. I occasionally fix bits of equipment at the research lab I work in, but I don’t get to tinker much otherwise, so I end up having to live vicariously through other people’s tinkering by visiting sites such as instructables.com and MAKE magazine.

MAKE has a store that sells all sorts of cool things, and I have my eye on some custom-engraved Leatherman tools.

They are each $36.00 and share the following tools:

  • 420HC Clip Point Knife
  • Spring-action Needlenose Pliers
  • Wire Cutters
  • Wood/Metal File
  • Medium Screwdriver
  • Scissors
  • Flat/Phillips Screwdriver
  • Bottle Opener

In addition, the Warranty Voider includes regular pliers, and both the Bomb Defuser and the Circuit Breaker include a wire stripper for various wire gauges.

The engraved versions are only available for a limited time, but these babies would be nice even without the writing.

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Unsubscriber’s Guilt.

by Jamie Sanford on October 6, 2010


Lots of things going on around me.

I am subscribed to a LOT of blogs. At least 350 in Google Reader.  They range from marketing and business content to style blogs to blogs that are directly related to my job to shopping blogs that help me develop content for The Daily Wishlist.

I end up subscribing to things a lot when I stumble across a blog that was linked to on another blog that I read, which seems to be the most natural way to find things. Sometimes I end up finding out that the content over at this new place isn’t really for me.  I unsubscribe and move on.

However, I find myself feeling what I’m calling “unsubscriber’s guilt” when I realize that a certain blog has 50 unread items in Google Reader because the content there has lost its luster.  I honestly feel bad when I hit the dropdown and choose to unsubscribe.  I have something like 15 subscribers, so they are precious to me.  I would hate to lose any of them, and I would really hate to lose someone because my content went downhill.

Thanks to the Sunday Link Parties and the now-defunct Curious Tuesdays, I have been writing here more than I had been before.  I think my content is getting better, and I believe that the portion of the content that is personal in nature is turning this blog into a real representation of who I am – I like to be silly and have fun,  and at the same time, I am serious about my field and my career.

My friend Renae wrote recently about making objectives for life much like you would do for your job.  I have done this in the past, but in a sort of haphazard way, where I write things down and then find the list 6 months later, with maybe one of those items completed.  I even wrote a short list of blog goals on the blog, but it wasn’t too in depth and so that faded as well.

My unsubscriber’s guilt might be the best motivator yet.

Do you have unsubscriber’s guilt when you stop reading a blog? Do you give chances before you unsubscribe

How quickly will you choose to subscribe to a blog after being exposed to it?

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