More about podcasting

first off, if you haven’t already, and you’re thinking about podcasting, read the article on how to create a basic podcast:
This makes it very simple and easy to get started.

The second step I found, thanks to Will (Calicomonkey) was to use something like Feedburner. I have no idea what to call this thing, and I’m still learning how to use it, but this helps track your feed as well as check that it’s working right, provide widgets (not sure abou that word, either…) etc.

For setting up an Itunes feed, the .xml layout is a little different. There’s a sample and explanations at Again, this makes it easy. Set up the file, then check it with feedburner (or whatever) for errors. Also helps to have a 300x300 image for display.

then you submit to Itunes through the Itunes store, wait a day or two, and see if they accept your feed. They took mine. I’ll let you know how that works for me. I’m optimistic, but not sure what will cause people to find it at Itunes.

check it out at

Rob, best of luck with it, I’m very anxious to see how this works out for you. I am very interested in broadcasting to mobile devices once I actually have a body of work…

Also, if you come up with any creative ways to get your stuff found on searches & such, please let us know. If I think of any ideas I’ll be sure to share them as well.

A little update.

I’m still not a “featured” podcast, but I can be found through searching for biker podcasts at Itunes.

It might be from word of mouth, but I’ve managed something between five and nine subscriptions a day, with around 60% of them being from Itunes users. Who these subscribers are I have no idea, but it’s a start. I’ve noticed as well some users in my stats with PSP downloading it also.

In the few weeks I’ve been up at Itunes, I’ve moved up the ladder in search results for biker podcsts, from 21st to sixth. I’m assuming this has to do with having fresh content as well as user response.

Hopefully I can set up a monthly release featuring biker news from Shorty. I get the impression that a regular release helps your ratings at Itunes. We’ll see.

very cool, I’ll tell all my biker friends to check it out :slight_smile:
I’m nowhere near finished anything, but I can’t wait to get something on there.

I continue to follow your threads on Pod Casting with great attention. There is no doubt that you are on the cutting edge of a new frontier for distributing content. So as someone who finds this topic extremely interesting I just wanted to thank you for sharing your experiences. It is always nice to have a guide in the exploration of new territory. Thanks -JK

absolutely, I think of it like this: Newspapers have been on their way out for some time now. (unfortunate but true) What you see people getting their news, stock quotes, sports highlights & music videos on are hand-held devices. The only “section of the paper” so to speak, that they aren’t getting is the comic page. So why not? People have enjoyed getting a laugh on the way to work from the paper for years, so why not get one from their mobile? It seems like the best medium for the near term future to focus on in my eyes.

I’ve been trying to conceive ways to do this other than Ipods too, such as getting in with some of the newspapers that have made some/all of their content viewable online. If they start streaming stuff into cell phones, then toons designed for them might be something they get on board with. I don’t know if that’s realistic or not, but something along those lines… it would make it much easier to get your stuff seen if you didn’t have to promote it yourself on Itunes or Zune.

Anyway, before I hijack your thread… I’m really excited to see how all this develops for you.

Glad I’ve got something to offer and not just using space. ;D

I contacted another podcaster a few days ago. This guy has an audio podcast that covers motorcycle stuff. I was mainly curious about how he’s hitting the biker audience and how much they have Ipods and similar stuff.

He gets 60% of his traffic from Itunes. It helps that he has a good rating, which is because he updates every 7-10 days and has interesting content. This is the key for him.

He also like what he found at my site and did a phone interview with me that will be podcast sometime in the next week. We talked about cross-promoting, which is something it seems like we’re starting to do around here as well (I got some traffic from kdog’s site lately–thanks). He’s promoting me, and I plan to add a link to him on my site as well as throw a bit about the interview into a cartoon podcast.

While my basic goal is to get the work in front of more viewers, I’m also trying to figure out how to get cashola out of it. There’s a ton of content on the internet, and it’s a matter of getting good stuff out, getting it in front of the right people, getting it out regularly, and finding a way to generate cash from it.

I’ve seen a number of video podcasts that feature advertising. Joe Cartoon, for example, home of the stoned flies, has ads for on his 'toons. I’m not sure how this works, but I suspect it’s part of his syndication service.

I have to admit that I’m behind the learning curve on the business model of Itunes distribution, but I have been under the assumption that it is basically a pay per download scheme where the service, Itunes, collects the fee and splits it with the content provider. The responsibility for the creation of the content and the promotion of the content are left up to the content provider.

So the major advantages, not a small point, are that Itunes has a huge distribution base hungry for content and a mechanism for cataloging and distributing content and most importantly a funds collection mechanism that supports pay for download.

Unfortunately, the basic Internet has never produced a great model for pay per view or pay per download so web sites have never been a great revenue source for animated content. Sure there are sites that pay a small fee for eyeball traffic generation but nothing in my experience equals the returns possible from Itunes. So I am assuming that the key to Itunes success is to achieve an audience that consistently and repeatedly downloads a creator’s content.

So if these assumptions are correct then the following is a summary of the order of priorities to capitalize on this business model.

(1) Develop and produce regular content for Itunes distribution.

(2) Create and implement a marketing plan to attract Itunes viewers for your content on a regular basis.

(3) At some point in the process, add additional revenue from embedded advertising if appropriate.

(4) Promote and provide associated merchandising through a separate Internet based retail outlet. (t-shirts, toys, posters etc)

Is this in line with your understanding? -JK

You’ve got it straight, JK. The only thing I’m still out of tune with is how to get Itunes to put you in a paid category. Podcasts are provided free of charge through Itunes, so it’s essentially free advertising and content distribution for folks like me, getting the message in front of more users. Moving over to a paid video area is a different trick that I’m not sure of.

I have an uncle, David Zink, who has a couple of CDs on Itunes. I only know this because I looked for him there out of curiosity. I already own both titles he offers there, but I think I’ll ask him how he got on there. I think he’s on his own record label, so he must have had something to do with getting on there himself. Plus he’s pretty business and tech smart, so I think he’s got a clue.

That looks like a great strategy to me, & I hadn’t even thought about merchandising, but it makes perfect sense. I made way more money silk-screening T-shirts for my high school band than we ever did selling records.

Now here’s a question I have. Assuming the .99 price that I think is standard on Itunes… How long of a toon is worth .99? Would 30 second shorties cut it? Or maybe more like 2 minutes? Anything much more than that & you would need a whole lot of downloads to make it very worthwhile, plus you would have to wait longer to get fresh material up. Maybe with a 30 second - 1 min time frame (or so) you could put something new up once a week. As Rob has already said, I think the consistency of new material will have a huge impact on your customer base.

I’m very interested in what you hear from your uncle, Rob. Keep us posted & I will get in touch with a few people as well that I think have music on there.

Rob/JK, you may find this interesting… I did a google search for “how to get on itunes” & found the following:
There is a whole lot to absorb there, & I’m not sure it’s the best deal ever for small timers, but it is surely worth looking into further.

Don’t get excited too fast though, a quick search on the FAQ page yeilded this:

I can’t imagine we’re the only ones interested in this, so hopefully it’s something they will impliment soon, or maybe such a service already exists through someone else, I will do some more searching but I wanted to share this.

This post is a little more about networking (the human kind).

Last week I sent an email to an audio podcaster who is also going after the motorcyclist market to find out how he’s doing. He’s got a very consistent, regular show. I was mainly curious to see how much of our audience actually is using Ipod technology. Some of my biker friends don’t have a clue how to use an Ipod. I get 8-track jokes from them about it.

He wound up having me on his show for Episode 32. I’m about half way through the show.

In the few days since the show was posted, my Itunes subscriptions have tripled and my site traffic has doubled. It also got me thinking about working on my content in a few new ways to get a more regular posting while I work on my animations. I’ve gotten down to maybe two animation releases a year and I’m sure I’d have a more going concern if I gave folks a good reason to come back weekly, like revising the comic I never finished and posting it.

Off the pod, we talked about cross promoting, etc. Found out we both teach. I get the feeling he hits the sport bike market. Today he emails me that the magazine he writes for wants to do a profile on me, which is great, and sort of lights a fire under my feet to get some new work out and change some things around on my website.

I guess the trick to this was to find a connection out there that could help with mutual promotion. In this case I connected with someone who has more exposure than I do–much more exposure. I was mainly curious about his numbers, but I thought it might help otherwise an it did.

Very interesting information. Rob, I think you’re now the resident iTunes expert here, like it or not. :slight_smile:

Frequent and consistent releases are key to building an audience. Frederator is king at this, releasing new cartoons every week that their large fan base has submitted, along with classic animation whose copyrights have lapsed.

I wonder if there was a Toon Boom feed that we could all submit to if that would do better than all of us trying to maintain individual feeds. Just a thought.

The thought of a Boomers animation feed occurred to me as well. I think that’s something worth considering. I’m willing to host it if need be and set up a few user accounts for handling it at my site.

One of the changes is to take my long abandoned comic and rework it so it shows up on the front page of my site each week. That way I can have fresh content regularly without quitting my day job, which has great benefits. :smiley: This made me think of Mr. CalicoMonkey, the guy I consider to be our resident expert on the RSS feed. I’m planning to make it possible to click through previous releases, probably with the help of a little Flash dealio JK sent me. I have to figure out how to make that "RSS-able"

Here’s the new look I’ve got going for my site. Open to feedback.