11 Ways to Improve Your Blog or Podcast in 2012 – TAP062

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Happy New Year! While everyone is making New Year’s Resolutions in their personal lives, think about how you can improve your blogging and podcasting passions in 2012. Here are eleven suggestions.

1. Be inspired by someone else

One of the best things I’ve done in 2011 and it carries into 2012 is to buy the Steve Jobs biography (free with an Audible trial). Although Jobs was a man with many flaws, his life and perspective have been inspirational to me.

Find someone great and consider how you can be inspired by their life and accomplishments.

2. Add a new feature, theme, or segment

Look at the content you have now. Is this a new approach you can take or some new way of looking at it? This could be as big as a series or as small as a regular segment.

3. Update your website

WordPress 3.3 was recently launched and has some great updates. But also consider giving your website a facelift or adding some new, important functionality. You could add a better commenting system, start a forum, add some more effect widgets, or make sure your email address and phone number are visible on every page.

If you need help, please contact me and I can develop a proposal to help you with your website (or podcast cover art). Daniel@DJosephDesign.com or (903) 231-2221.

4. Market yourself in more places

Are you a member of LinkedIn or Facebook groups related to your content? Market to them! Just don’t be a spammer.

Also look for other places that you can market your blog or podcast: in-person events, to friends in family, in your email signature, on Twitter, etc.

5. Ask more open-ended questions

You probably love feedback from your audience. The best way to get this is to ask questions from your audience. Open-ended questions (for example, “What do you think of … ?”) are better than yes/no questions (for example, “Do you like … ?”) or A/B questions (for example, “Do you think … or … ?”).

6. Learn something new

We can all learn something new about our passions! Read a book, watch a video, subscribe to a newsletter, or listen to another podcaster who talks about your interests. You can learn something new to share with your audience.

Or learn something new besides your topic: how to write better headlines, how to build a Twitter following, how to market better, how to be a better voice actor, or anything else that can help you better present your message.

7. Invite a guest

People read your posts or listen to your podcasts because they like you in some way. But a fresh perspective and new voice can be a big boost (especially to your numbers if you get someone famous). Find someone who can add extra value to your content or share an expert opinion.

I did this same thing when I invited Stever Robbins to share productivity tips for podcasting, and I have other special guests in mind to talk about their areas of expertise that will apply to you.

8. Host a contest or giveaway

Contests and giveaways are a lot of fun for the host and participants. For some clarification, here are the differences.

  • A contest is a competition requiring participants to perform something to stand out from the other contestants.
  • A giveaway is when something is freely given away with little or no requirements of the participants.
The item doesn’t have to be expensive (like an iPad), but should be something desirable. This could also be a great time to reach out to other businesses to consider sponsoring with some prizes.

9. Improve your grammar

Thinking about “contest” and “giveaway” reminded me of the importance of proper grammar. A great and noticeable way you can improve your grammar is to learn the differences between similar words, such as:

I highly recommend that you listen to Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing (@GrammarGirl) to improve your grammar.

10. Upgrade one piece of equipment

We’re not all wealthy podcasters (oxymoron?), but perhaps we can all try to save just a little money per week in order to afford at least one upgrade that we want:

  • better or additional microphone,
  • bigger mixer,
  • pop filter,
  • nicer mic stand,
  • comfortable headphones,
  • those adapters or cables you always need but never have when you need them,
  • faster computer,
  • newer software, or
  • a handy app.
Price-hunt with these items. I recommend Amazon.com for everything, Musician’s Friend with promo codes for audio gear that Amazon doesn’t have, and MonoPrice.com for audio cables.

11. Launch a new passion

Maybe 2012 is the year that you get to launch that new blog or podcast you’ve been thinking about. Make it happen! If you need help, especially with the website, please contact me (Daniel@DJosephDesign.com or (903) 231-2221).

In the last month of 2011, I finally decided we could launch one of our planned new podcasts and our Once Upon a Time podcast (ONCE) was born.

Don’t make a goal of how many new passions you can pursue. Just pick one for now and make it the best it can be.

What do you think of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)?

I’ll get controversial in a future episode or blog post by talking about this new bill called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Please educate yourself about this important issue and let me know what you think of it. I don’t think it’s a good idea and I would encourage you to let your state government know your thoughts.

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