Some Podcasting Basics Are Worth Repeating

In today's episode, we talk about how I often revisit some concepts about podcasting. Today I get an email from a listener that points out that I repeat myself over and over. Looking back, I see his point, but I also know that new podcasters make the same mistakes over and over and over (hence causing me to repeat myself). Here are some basic podcasting truths that will never go out of style:

1. Build your website using a Web hosting company (use the coupon podcastcoach at Host Gator to save).

2. Put your media on a media host like or (use the coupon sopfree to get a free month at both places).

3. Have a great looking album artwork.

4. Don't use another platform (blog Talk Radio, Tumblr, etc) as your “main” website

5. There is a huge difference between a $8 microphone and a $99 microphone. There is NOT a huge difference between a $99 microphone and a $300 microphone (in my opinion).

6. When in doubt ask your audience.

7. Don't get into podcasting to make some quick cash

8. When you connect with your audience, they will download your back catalog.

9. Podcasting takes time. A 15 minute audio podcast takes about an hour from start to finish to create (roughly speaking).

10. Some times you get what you pay for when the prices is free.

Because of My Podcast – I Exchanged e-Mails With Jay Mohr [2:00]

Brainstorm from the Cannabis Community Project explained how he got free tickets from Jay Mohr by just reaching out to the comedian/movie actors/radio host and to his surprise he got a direct response from Jay himself. Now he can truthfully say that Jay Mohr has been involved with his podcast. 

Does Dave Repeat Himself Too Much? [6:15]

In response to the listener who emailed and said I repeat myself too much, thank you so much for the feedback. I will try not to do that in the future. There are some topics I will repeat (see the list above for a short list) but I will try to not stretch 15-minute topics into 45 minutes. I was unaware of this. I would love any additional constructive feedback in the comments (below) or just send them directly to me.

What I've done in the past and will continue doing in the future is I find other people to share their experience that reinforces the opinions and facts that I share in each episode.

I Have An Idea – The Next Step of Podcasting [13:50]

I had a caller on the Ask the Podcast Coach show who was very excited about starting a podcast (we've all been there) but couldn't really say WHAT his podcast was going to be about. Many of us have been in Michael's shoes and we focus on the tools of podcasting. We ask about microphones and wordpress themes. We ask about promotional tools like twitter and facebook. The problem is we don't have a podcast yet. We have nothing to record. We have nothing to upload.Podcasting starts with content. So if you are in this boat ( I want to podcast, but I'm not sure about what). I would recommend listening to the episode where I talk about getting your podcast in sync with your goals and then write down 10 topics for 10 episodes. This will help you identify if you are really ready to start a podcast.

Don't get distracted by the tools. The tools you will use to distribute your content. They are worthless without the content. Make the content first, then start working toward how to distribute the podcast. Don't look at distribution, and then figure out what you're going to create.

Join Now - Start a Podcast<

Podcast Rewind [21:10]

I appeared on the Timelines of Success Podcast with Bill Conrad.

Podcasters Roundtable – Best Practices


Why You Don't Use Your Web Host as a Media Host [30:00]

The SDR ShowI have been saying how it's a bad idea to use your web host (a website that provides a service to build a WEBSITE on) as a MEDIA HOST (a service designed to deliver and track the delivery of audio or video). I was contacted by Ralph Sutton of The SDR Show (Sex, Drugs, & Rock and Roll) because Ralph was using Dreamhost as his website host, and as his media host. He even asked them if it was ok, and they said “Sure.” One month later and his DreamHost had turned into a nightmare. He was getting thousands of downloads per episode and his server was taking a beating. Consequently, his host wanted him to upgrade. The upgrade would be $150 a month to be on a private server because he was getting too much traffic.

Luckily, Ralph contacted me and a representative from Libsyn and we switched his media to a media server and now instead of spending $150 a month, Ralph is spending $20. Had this continued, there is a good chance his website company would shut him down. At that point, you've developed a nice audience only to have your reputation tarnished by trying to save a few bucks.

Ralph Did The Work of Podcast Promotion

Ralph didn't look for the giant switch that would turn on one thousand listeners. He flipped those switches that turned on one new listener one thousand times. He crafted an email message and then customized it and sent it to everyone he knew on Facebook. He then asked his friends who work in the rock industry if they would tell their audience about the show.

Stating the Obvious: Ralph has a radio background and a syndicated show across the US. he also has access to guests who are/were famous. This helps, but none the less these people would now have known if Ralph had not told them about his podcast. He did it in a personal way and utilized the relationship he had built up over years of being in radio.

Ralph had some stickers printed up and went to places where his target audience hangs out and passed out stickers. He went to where his audience was, made some contacts, and told them about his podcast. He used to have someone paint his logo on her back. He used this image to announce t-shirts.

Advice to Doing Podcast Interviews

Ralph does not write out questions, but topic he wants to know about. He wants to avoid the interview being an interrogation. He wants it to be a conversion. He plans how he will start the podcast, and from there he tries to have a conversation.

Be Ready For Traffic

Ralph switch to for his media and his problems went away. (use the coupon sopfree to get a free month at Libsyn). He then hired Dave to move his feed from one website to another.

Check out the SDR podcast in iTunes

Speaking of Rock and Roll Here is Dave in 1982-ish. This is from the High School Yearbook. We did have color photography back then, but not in the yearbook and also in the local paper (I played the Ellet High School Alma Mater ala Jimi Hendrix).  Remember all great rock stars where their watch on stage.


What Caused the Problem With the School of Podcasting Website Last Week

Just because you can add domain after domain after domain on your shared web host doesn't mean you should. It is OK to do this as long as you don't use up more than 25% of the server's resources. I had 18 add-on domains, and I was taking up 87% of the server's resources and consequently, my media host emailed me that they were shutting me down and before I could upgrade it was too late. Does this mean every podcaster should NOT use shared hosting? No. Shared hosting should be fine for 95% of the podcasting community. When you do see yourself getting close to exceeding your resources, don't wait to upgrade.

In the end, I took a huge hit for two days as my websites were down. What did I save? $50-ish

Mentioned in this Episode

Weekly Web Tools

Ask the Podcast Coach

Podcast Talent Coach

Podcast Review Show

Daily Podcast Tips

Daily Podcast Tips! Put Your Inbox to Work

About the Author
Owner of the School of Podcasting. Also produces the "Ask the Podcast Coach." He is also the author of the book "More Podcast Money" and is a regular speaker at podcasting and media conventions.
8 comments on “How Many Downloads Does it Take to Get You Booted off Your Web Host?
  1. Thanks Dave!

    You were a life saver on the podcast!

    It was great doing your show…


  2. Hey Dave,

    Regarding hosting, I’m curious what your costs would be if you went with someone like WP Engine, Flywheel, PressLabs, etc. (i.e. managed hosting). You often talk about ‘doing it right’ and spending a reasonable amount to do so when it comes to podcast hosting. Why not do the same with web hosting?

    Disclaimer: I do website design and host (my sites and client sites) with WP Engine… and believe I make a pretty good case for doing so. But, I’m also possibly not dealing with as much traffic as you (and some other podcasters) do with your sites. So, I’m curious how that factored into the decisions you’ve made.

    Just like you warn folks about the impending doom of what happens when your podcast gets popular, I’m typically saying the same about web sites. Yet, just about every podcast-tutor type person I listen to always recommends fairly cheap hosting solutions. It kind of leaves me scratching my head. 🙂


  3. For me wpegine would be $99 a month. I’m not familiar with the other hosts.

  4. So, you’re saving like $30-40/mo by doing it yourself? I guess the question is how much time do you spend on site-admin stuff that WP Engine (or others) would take care of or make easier… and how much risk (i.e.: being hacked) are you taking on with a VPS or dedicated server?

    I’m just asking as a kind of feedback on the discussion, as I went through all of this (other than excessive traffic) myself as well. I started my site and business on a friend’s server, so my cost was zero other than my time (I kind of payed by helping with server admin). I had pretty much true unlimited as well, as he’s on a pretty fast connection and the server is a monster box that isn’t heavily loaded at all. But, I also spent several weekends at times when things when wrong or we got hacked (despite my best efforts learning about security… which took many more hours, etc.).

    In the end, I gave up and decided to spend my time on web-design rather than hardware, web-server, and security expertise (which I was already reasonable knowledgeable about, coming from an IT background).

    Just food for thought. Again, thanks for all you do!

  5. This is why people use Media hosts and website hosts. The money you save is not worth the effort.

  6. Sorry Dave, maybe my point isn’t coming across.

    I’m trying to compare web hosting in the form of VPS or dedicated server, to *managed WordPress hosting* like WP Engine or others. If it’s worth it to spend the money getting from do-it-yourself, free, or incredibly cheap hosting to a decent VPS or dedicated server, why stop there and not spend the extra to get to managed hosting?

    Was this something you considered and just felt too much $ for the gain or risk/reward?

  7. I have two Vps accounts now. One for the back end and one for the front. WPEngine does not support my membership site. I moved to a VPS on my current server for ease of use. I may not stay here. In the end I will have on VPS account . Why not go full managed? At this point its the $$. If traffic continues to improve I will move much quicker this time.

  8. Got it… thanks for the responses.

    Fortunately, I haven’t run into a high-enough-traffic client yet without the budget, but I’ve thought about that, as I offer a pretty good rate to non-profits. But, a high-traffic non-profit, or really, a high-traffic anyone could have a cost problem on managed hosting for sure. Not sure if I should have a ‘plan B’ or if I just decide that isn’t the right client for me. When I send the massive payment for hosting, it hurts, but then I’m pretty happy with not having to deal with all the server management stuff all year. 🙂

    I’ve talked to a few people who moved off managed hosting because while they loved it, their popularity, in terms of traffic, out-ran what they were willing to budget for hosting. This is especially a problem for sites that don’t monetize. But, IMO, if you’re willing to monetize, I’d think it would be a worthwhile tradeoff. All the best!

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