Tag Archives: podcasting


A bad website versus no website at all

This morning I opened up an email with the subject line Audition

The email says:

Hey there, We are holding open auditions Feb13th. we want you to do any performance piece you would like. We want the actors to put their stamp on the characters so we really want to see you personality. I would love to have you come that day. The auditions will be held Sat Feb 13…..in San Francisco……Thanks for your time and I hope to see you Josephskeevy

Typos aside, When I did a quick search for the project on the actors list I suspect it came from, I couldn’t find a website or any information for the production company. It’s probably not a scam, but it looks flakey, I really don’t want to drive to San Francisco to be annoyed by some non professional BS. I think a website, even if it was bad, would increase the chances of me taking them seriously.

So what about a “good” website versus a “bad” website versus none at all.

A case study:

Joe and Margie (not their real names) are Therapists.  Margie asked me to update her business website, make it pretty and play well with cell phones and tablets. We worked on a cool new wordpress website for her so that people can contact her easily and get quick information on what she offers.

Margie also has a free blog at wordpress.com  The truth is, her blog is probably the best option for getting website traffic and we want Margie to benefit from her hard work   So, I made the free blog link to her website. It should get people to look at her other webpages. She should be spreading the word about her blog on social media. .

boringMargie tells me that her husband, Joe has his own website, which needs serious work. She and Joe want to send out a newsletter. He is resistant to fixing his website, mostly, because they live in a small community, and their “audience” is small. However, a website and a newsletter should be enriching your appeal to your customers, present and potential. If you are going to do the work, which is time consuming you should make sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck.

It’s hard to say what Joe’s website makes people think about Joe. Is Joe confusing and not up to date? maybe. I would guess people spend little time at his website. You need to get them to care.

 

So what does a website do?

A website is your public resume for your business. You do want people to get a good impression don’t you? An artist once scoffed at me and said, “I don’t need a website, nobody buys art from a website.” That’s completely true, my personal website is a portfolio only.

and then Social media….:

The more social media you do the more you can grow and maintain your business. Do Facebook if nothing else and post something to it when you can. I recommend LinkedIn if you are actively looking for work/clients. If you blog make sure you forward that to facebook and linkedin.

google_logoWhat about SEO?

Search engine optimization without interacting with social media won’t really help you get people to visit your website. Linking a blog, podcast, video or from email is what will make your website worthwhile. I am sure the only people who goes to Joes website are those who want to verify him. Joes website does not ask people to do anything. It merely gives some information that is hard to find. In fact, it doesn’t show up in google as a clinic in that small town.  AND, when I checked google I did not get his wifes website either, OOOPSS.  I had just built her website, I was falling down on the job. I jumped in and worked on that right away. I’ll have to check it frequently to see if their google improves.

I do take Google seriously, because people will look for peoples names and business names. Google is showing very well for Margies name. I discovered her business address is wrong in google and shows “closed” I will ask her to fix this, easy easy. or do it for her if she needs my help.

What about a newsletter? Email?

I think it’s a great idea, but time consuming. Margie is working on building a list for her newsletter. She should consider finding at least a few hundred solid people to send it out to initially. And work hard on growing it with QUALIFIED names. After all, we are not selling therapy to the world. She should grow her list as big as she can with the right people. Also, that email should push people to her blog and to the websites, get em hooked.

I think you can see why a good website and some sort of on-going material is useful for any business no matter how small. If you have questions let me know. I help clients build the right web presence in their budget with websites, social media, podcasts and video.

 Brooke Bradford is a broadcasting veteran who lives in Santa Cruz California. She is a multimedia consultant and an audio and video producer. She has produced hundreds of podcasts, radio shows, video programs and creates motion media and art for the web.  

fireworks at Brunign man

Can You Be Pro In A DIY World?

It's always 9:41

It’s always 9:41

Have you seen those iPhone commercials that are totally cool and the only message is shot with an iPhone?  Here’s the thing,Today’s Smart phones may actually create a look and sound like the pro’s, but yours may not come out that way, you probably don’t even expect it to. You may get that one in a million photo and having a camera phone is an invaluable tool to do this.

Getting great great audio and video is a different story and more challenging. My best suggestion is that you should create a simple studio environment to record your program . MIne is in my dining room. A great microphone package or USB set up and head phones are pretty much all you need, as well software to record on to. I do not recommend a microphone headphone (headset) combo.

Simple thing don’t cost a lot of money and improve your audio

Wear head phones while recording. even ear buds! Even for video!  It will help you become aware of the sound of the recording and your surroundings, Maybe you are popping your P’s, Do you want to wait until you all done to find out?

Poor quality sound?

Echo-y thin audio generally means you are too far away from the microphone, Is your record volume good? too low, thin audio, low loud, distortion. You need to see your levels.before

Are there are shiny surfaces?  Your kitchen and bath are not the right place. Yeah, it’s happened. “I thought it would make my voice sound better.

Check the settings for your software. For instance, Pamela software defaults to the lowest possible rate and needs to be set, Recording video for audio isn’t awful but it makes giant files at less than ideal rates. The best way to record is directly from your mic to audacity or garage band, then export to Mp3’s at least 128kbps a 44100 hertz.

It might be time for a better mic or computer, do what you can  Take your time on buying decisions. ask questions, you might get confusing answers.

Know how to do basic clean up edits with something like audacity it’s free.

Be physically ready to record: Make sure you are properly hydrated with a clean mouth, sit up straight, smile! It makes a difference even if it’s just audio. Talk from your chest not your throat.

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Susan looks sooo cool.

Snap crackle pops?

Back up from the mic just a tiny bit,
try not to put a hard enunciation on your P’s D B’s and Essses. Practice recording the rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain until it smooths out, and you learn not to pop.
Move your head around
Buy a pop shield. I use the foam type. You can even make the screen type with panty house and some coated wire. Spray it black, you’ll look cool.

Reduce the back round noise, move to better place, redo mistakes

I had a person ask me about the removing the sounds of jets taking off and landing at Heathrow. I said, it’s just too poor a recording, I can’t fix it. What I wanted to say was Why didn’t you just stop talking and wait for the noise to stop? It’s a recording! Redo’s are a fact of life, accept it.

My new rode Mic and Mtrack

My new rode Mic and Mtrack

Use the right stuff

Some one asked about using a phone and the lapel microphone for a two person interview. You could, but I don’t recommend it, it’s really the wrong mic for the job. Here’s the problem, If one person is louder than the other it’s going to sound bad. That mic is very sensitive and doesn’t want to move around much. Since you can’t wear head phones and use an external mic at the same time with your smart phone how do you know if you got it right? Recording anything without head phones gives me the heebie-jeebies.

But I’ve spent money and time on this! Can’t you just fix it?

Occasionally I am able to make audio “better”, but never great or what most people would call professional quality. It becomes a case of take away one ugly thing, make a new one!  As with everything in life, time is money and money is better spent on initial set-up rather that after the fact corrections. People have given me audio where they just keep talking while the phone rings!

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my old inexpensive mic with the Sony head phones I found at goodwill

If you bought something you’ve outgrown, sell it on eBay and buy something better. It happens, I’ve done it, it’s a real good sign!

 I was so happy to get the interview….

…...I didn’t want to say anything to my guest about the quality of the recording, what should I do? I can’t get him again.

Regardless of who you are interviewing, it’s your show, take ownership of it and direct your guests. If they keep talking while doors slam and dogs bark they probably will like it if you say “can we do that again? At some point you might have to say, “Im sorry, the quality on your end just isn’t gonna work for me, can we reschedule, try again in a quieter place?” If they refuse, you don’t want to work with them, they are a liability (and probably to themselves) anyway.

The bottom line:

The quality of your final product is 1000 percent dependent on getting a good recording in the first place. If you use the right tool for the job, and get advice when problems arise, you will have a much more satisfying results that will encourage you to stick with.your project.