Content Stacking: The Resources and Next Steps

Now that we’ve covered the stacking process, in the episode, I want to cover some extra resources that’ll help you. That includes equipment, software, and much more. I also want to give you some next steps, so you can get started on this right away. By the end of this episode you’ll be fully armed to start building your own stack!

Transcript

Colin Gray: Hey, there. Welcome back to this series on content stacking, which is all about being a prolific content creator, getting the most you possibly can from every topic you cover. I'm Colin Gray, runner of the podcast host and hour to the podcast maker app. As you know, I've been covering for Paul over his summer break and if you haven't listened to the rest of the season, certainly going back four episodes and listen to episode one of the season to find out a bit more about how content stacking works, how you can get blog posts, videos and podcasts all out on a regular basis, more than just one each week as much as possible.

And a really easy way, which is all intended to grow your audience, create really big fans of your brand, which obviously leads to all the important things like sales and leads, and all that kind of stuff. Which I think content really, really helps with. So that's what content stacking is all about. Now you'll know that on the first episode we covered what the stack is, how I believe that the content all works together. So how text supports audio supports video and how it all comes together to really drive people up that engagement stack from casual browsers into huge fans of what you do.

So go back and listen to that if you want an idea of how all works together. Then episode two, of course, was about how to create it, so how you can go about creating, covering one topic, so how you plan it at topic. How do you then cover that topic in text, audio and video all together in a way that doesn't take up all the time you have in your week and a way that leverages the text medium, the video medium, the podcast medium, for the pros and cons that they have. Each of those mediums have their own strengths and you need to create the content in a way that leverages them. In episode two, I showed you how to do that whole thing and make it really effective for your listeners. Then episode three went into seasons, so pop back and listen to this season's episode if you haven't already.

Find out what the benefits are of creating a blog series, a podcast season, video series, why that creates better content, makes things easier and better for you. Why it makes actually more effective and more addictive for your listeners, as well as some of the kind of level two seasons stuff that can really get even better content out. Even better repurposing your content, like eBooks and audio books, and courses and all that good stuff. But now that we've covered the stack and process, in this episode I want to tie up. This is the final one of the series. I want to tie it with some extra resources. I'll help you get all done. So that includes equipment, includes software and a bunch more. I want to give you some next steps so that you can get started on this right away. And by the end of this episode you'll be fully armed to start building your own stack.

So before we get into it, I just want to say if you want to pop over to the following link, you'll find all the resources linked up. So I'm going to talk about the one this episode, but if you want fill links to them all, summaries of what exactly they are again, you want to go back and revise the list. Go to thepodcasthost.com/boage, B-O-A-G-E. Our wonderful host, Paul inaudible 00:03:40. Thepodcasthost.com/boage and you'll find all the resources link there. Right. Let's get into the resources for this. So planning, planning is the first stage. I'm going to go through resources for planning, for recording, for editing, and then for publishing. Now, planning is really about finding the topics. I just want to go through a couple of tools that I use. So more often than not, our topics come from our listeners, from our readers, from our video channel watchers.

We'll get questions from them every day and that'll be the basis of our content. So do pay attention to that. Think about the questions that you're asked to most by your clients, by your customers, by whoever it is you interact with on a daily basis around your topic. But if you need a bit more help, and I often do at many times, there's a few places I go. So the first one is answer the public. Answerthepublic.com. Go over there. Type in your topic. If I go there and type in podcast or podcasting, I just get screeds and screeds of questions that people are asking about podcasting. It's basically commonly asked questions or our most frequently searched questions on Google for whatever topic you take pen. So type that in and you'll get it broken down into why questions, what questions, how questions. It's an absolute treasure trove of stuff for you to cover in your contents.

You'll never be lacking for ideas for a future season or a future episode. If you just check out answer the public. And another place to look is the good old Quora. So Quora, Q-U-O-R-A, that old question and answer site. Go on there and search your topics. So if I go on there again, type in podcast or podcasting, I'll get lots of real questions people have typed in about podcasting. This tends to go a bit deeper. So a bit more specific. So let's get lead to some quite specific, quite kind of, sometimes there's a Terrick questions but often at least a really good content I find. So it's worth searching on there for your subject. Again, that's quora.com. And the final one, and this is a slightly different type of sake, but Buzz Sumo, buzzsumo.com. And this site is more about figuring out what's popular.

So if you type in your topic again, you'll see articles from other websites, from other resources that have been shared most often. So it basically ranks content in an area by how often it's shared or how often it's engaged with. So it's a way of really seeing what areas, what topics, what little areas within your subject are being most covered right now, or most popular, are on trends. Pop in there, type in your topic and you'll see what stuff has been shared most often. So it's as a measure of what your audience are really thinking right now. And it can often come up with some good ideas. It can often actually confirm or deny the ideas you take from answer the public or Quora. I'll often use it as I can as a confirmation or a measure of how popular that is right there.

Okay, so that's the topics. In terms of actual planning, there's a couple of tools I use for actually creating my plans for my podcast.One of these was introduced to me by Paul, actually. So when I was working with Paul a while back a couple of years ago, he introduced me to notion, notion.us. That's N-O-T-I-O-N dot US. And it's basically a Wiki, it's nothing more than a wiki really, but a really well made Wiki with a great interface that's really easy to use and I have all no plans in there now. So every time I plan a new season for the podcast or a blog post series, I'll just open up a page in a notion underneath my main pod craft page or blog page, and then I can create sub pages for each episode with bullet point plans in there.

You can embed stuff in there. I love the fact that it can take, speak point messages or audio messages that I've got from listeners and pop them onto the page, and I can actually play them directly from the page. So you end up creating this interactive plan that you can play stuff from into your podcast. And it's usually good. So it really good tool I use for just about all of my planning and all of my logging these days. And really that was moved over from previously Evernote. I still use Evernote though for some stuff. If it's one off, if it's just really a place to take some notes that doesn't really link to anything else, I'll do that in Evernote. So, notion.us and Evernote are my two big planning resources. Now for recording, so let's get into the actual creating of the content.

So if you want to record that video and that audio, I mentioned in episode two, you want to record the audio in a really good quality, but with a video as well. Now who do we do this? So there's a few ways I do it. One way, the most simple way I believe is with a screen capture. So this is a kind of entry level, I suppose. It's not ideal because in some ways it doesn't get yourself across there that much cause you just have a little, you'll have maybe yourself in the bottom corner with a web cam, maybe not top quality, but you can't deny it's simple. It's easy. And actually it's pretty, it's a pretty standard method online these days. Nobody's gonna look down on you for creating a Screencast. For creating that Screencast, I use a tool called Camtasia, so Camtasia.

I think it's from, what they called again, Tech Smith, I believe. But a Mac version is Screenflow. So Screenflow does the same thing as well. And both of those tools, you can record your screen, your desktops, you could record some slides or you could record a wee demo that website. Or you could demonstrate how to do something. But you can also have your webcam bottom corner. So you can also have your face on there. So you're still getting a bit of personality in there. The webcam I use these days is a Logitech C-90 Pro. So the Logitech C-90 Pro is a great wee webcam, because it's HD, good quality, good lighting, good controls. It's definitely a step above your average 20 quid webcam. But then it does cost 60, 70 pounds. So it's a wee bit more expensive, but definitely worth the quality upgrade.

I would've said. Now, if you want to step it up a little bit, get yourself more face to camera. My preferred option would be, or the easiest option, certainly, I'll go into what I use these days. But the easiest and cheapest option is just use your smartphone. Now, upgrade it with a Lavalier mic, okay. Because smartphones are great for video. So the video quality will be perfect. Well good. But the audio one, so smartphones can't capture good audio on their own, but all you need is a smart Lavalier mic. So a Lavalier mic is one of those tie clip mics that you see stuck to people's shirts when you're watching the telly or an interview on a TV or something like that. So little kind of black mic that disappears into their shirt and comes out the back. And there's generally a wee transmission pack, but those Lavalier mics, those tie clip mics, you can get one called a Rode Smart Lav Plus.

So, Rode, spelled R-O-D-E, great audio company. R-O-D-E, Rode, Smart Lav Plus. Now, they're about 50 pounds. You plug it into the bottom of your smart phone, plugs into the headphone socket in the bottom of your smartphone, and then it just clips onto your shirt. You set up your phone on a standard smartphone stand. The kind of selfie stick stands. I've got a wee selfie stick that has a tripod in the bottom of it. So you stick the phone into the clamp on the top, just like a normal selfie stick. You've got the stick that was down but then that goes into a wee tripod and I have that. I got that on Amazon. I'll link it on the resources page of the podcasthosts.com/boage, for an example, but you'll get them just about anywhere. Just search smart phone tripod or selfie stick and you'll find selfie sticks with tripods quite often.

So I'll have that sitting on the desk in front of me, maybe a meter to two meters in front of me. I'll be facing a window, if I can, because lighting makes a big difference to the quality. Facing our window is perfect because that natural light will make you look great, but if you do have some soft boxes, some LED lights, some good lighting, by all means do that and just try and make sure it's shining on your face as opposed to down, which is often what you get with a standard room lighting. It creates some really weird shadows with like year cheek shadowed and nose shadowed, and stuff like that. Try and get it facing on you, which is why a window is great because the window just casts light straight onto you. Face that window. Smartphone in front of you, plug in your smart lav, plug it onto, clip it onto your shirt and just hit record, and actually going.

You just speak to the camera for five or 10 minutes, create your content and that is what you're going to turn into both your video segments and your full podcast, because you've recorded it in good quality through that Lavalier mic. That can turn into a podcast on its own. We talked again on episode two about re-purposing that video into audio, but I'll come on to a couple of tools next around editing that can help you do that repurposing, so we'll go into that a little bit in a second. Final option, oh no, this isn't an option actually, this is related. I should have mentioned this during the screen capture one, because you need a microphone obviously to capture your voice while you're doing that screen capture. And the easiest mic options are ones that just record straight into your computer. So a USB mic. The USB mics I recommend these days are Samsung Q2U, a good bottom level, not bottom.

That's not the right way to describe it. The Samsung QTU is a great quality microphone. It's about 50 to 60 pounds. It's bottom level of the budget is what I meant to say. So it's a great mic, the Samsung Q2U. A benefit being it's USB and XLR so you can plug it into mixers or recorders as well, but it's a great USB mic on its own too. So you plug that into your computer, put it on a wee stand, a boom arm stand, like the Rode NT1 is great at, no PSA1. That's what I meant to say there. The the road PSE1 boom stand is a great stand, the one that's holding the mic that I'm speaking into right now. And then you can just speak away. You can be really flexible in how you record. So you're speaking into that mic into the Logitech C-90 Pro camera and then screen casting on your computer. Or you can actually record even in that set up, you could just record directly into your webcam with no Screencast at all.

So the C-90 Pro, the benefit of that is that because it's HD, because it's higher quality with a bit of good lighting. So if you're facing the window, again, or you just have a decent little flat box late behind your monitor or behind where the web cam is, you can record a decent face to camera video with that Webcam and just have the microphone showing in the side. You've got the make sitting there. It's a show a bit of tech, it's all good.

You can record a decent face to camera video that way too. Okay, so that's the two options. Face to camera, use the smart phone, the smart lav, or use a USB mic and the Webcam. Just a quick mention, the way I do my videos these days, I record with a DSLR. So I record with my Nikon 5,100 and my podcast mic into a Zoom H-5 recorder, and that's kind of like the, I suppose the more pro level setup. It's more complicated because then you have to join the audio to the video and you get time limits on a DSLR and the DSLR is pretty expensive.

All that stuff, so there's more complications to that. But if you want to invest in the gear that is kind of a higher level setup and you can actually set up so that the audio goes straight into the DSLR, and there's less of that linking up so as possible. Certainly if you were interested in that sector, I won't go into it in depth here because it's way beyond the level most people would need, but if you are interested, do get in touch. I've mentioned my contact details a few times over these podcasts but tweet me on the podcast host on Twitter and I'm happy to talk through that set up. Right, editing. Let's get into editing.

In terms of then going to editing. I mentioned Camtasia as the capture tool. Camtasia is actually a pretty decent video editor as well. It's not perfect, but for the price it's decent, and you can certainly cut your video, your full recording up into the four segments that we talked about and episode two really easily using Camtasia. It's also got a bit of audio work in there so you can do a wee bit of noise reduction.

You can do a bit of volume leveling, so it's decent. It is a good option for most people. Because I know the audience, because I know you're in Paul's audience, you might well be in an agency, a larger company. You might well have access to Adobe Creative Cloud or Creative Suite and I use Premier for all mine. Premier Pro is what I use for all my video editing and it's obviously it's a harder tool to learn. There's a bit more in there, but once you've got it, it's just quick, easy. It's quite simple. So certainly Premiere Pro can do this too. And Premiere can export the audio track for your podcast too. Camtasia can as well.

So Camtasia can save out an MP3 as well, so that it can save out the videos, standard video files. But you can also save about the whole thing as an MP3 for your podcast episode. Now, if you want an easier way of making your podcast episode and make it sound great, obviously our tool Alitu can do that as well. A-L-I-T-U dot com. Alitu.com, it's a podcast and maker app. You can upload any raw bit of audio. So if you've exported it from Premier or from Camtasia, or you can upload a video as well actually to Alitu and we'll turn it into audio. But you upload that. We'll then do the leveling, make sure the volumes are all good, we'll do noise reduction, hum reduction. We'll Polish up that audio to sound great. Well then add your music regularly. So if you have a regular theme tune starting in, we can add that one automatically.

We can let your record directly in just a wee intro if you need to, and then we'll help you publish it as well. So we tie into a big set of podcast publishing platforms, the podcast hosting platforms that you can publish to, too. So yeah, by all means, I'd love it if you check to Alitu. It's got a seven day free trial. If you go over to alitu.com. Final one I'll mention here for editing is a tool called Headliner. Now, this is a really simple way of making quite cool looking trailers or quotables with tapes of quotables that we mentioned on episode two. Again, Headliner can take a video or an audio track. If it's a video track, it'll add the subtitles in, it'll let you chop out a certain section, maybe add some effects to it, make it a really nice little 30 second or one minute video, or you can upload a bit of audio and it'll actually add a video to it that will create a picture..

Well, you upload a picture, it'll put that in the background and it'll create a little moving sound wave to make it a bit more dynamic. So something like Headliner can help you create those little quotables in a really easy way. That's editing. Now, writing. Nothing fancy here, really. I write all my stuff probably directly into WordPress or sometimes into Notion and then transfer it to WordPress. The one thing I wanted to mention here though is a tool called, I'm sure I've heard Paul mention this before, but Hemingway app. So if you were to, I think it's Hemingwayapp.com, I'll link that from the resources page. Again, thepodcasthost.com/boage. Hemingway app though is one of those tools that you've put your texts in, and it'll just go through and it'll tell you, this sentence is a bit long, this is a wee bit dense.

You're using some bad grammar here. It's not just spelling and grammar. It shows you how to make your content easier to read. And I liked, I don't throw everything through this, but every three or four posts I write, I put it in there just as a wee remainder, just to check how my writing is. And then finally we get to publishing. So publishing, we've got a few of the standard ones. I mean, WordPress, obviously most blogs are on WordPress these days. If you're not on WordPress, you'll know what you're using. So I don't need to advise you that way. So that's where the text goes. Your text article, it literally just goes right onto your blog, on there, add a few pictures, that kind of stuff. Make it look nice. From there we've got YouTube. So the video just goes onto YouTube.

I get asked these days, do I recommend publishing video elsewhere? And to be honest, no. I mean, YouTube really is the monopoly in terms of video distribution. The only time I ever put a video elsewhere is if I wanted to be non YouTube branded, more professional. And really that's if it's going to be in a course. So if I'm creating a course, I don't tend to embed YouTube video into a course, because you get a bit less control. People can click from, click the YouTube link and pop off to YouTube, or maybe there's some end screens that like say related videos or something like that. So I tend to use the Vimeo. Vimeo, V-I-M-E-O dot come for my more kind of course related videos. So that's the only time I don't publish on YouTube. But YouTube really is the place to put your video episodes.

You'll be uploading your four, your three segments there and your quotables to YouTube. And then you'll publish a lot of the quotables to the standard social channels too. Obviously, there's plenty of tools out there that can help you do that. From things like Smarter Q to Hoot Suites, to MeetEdgar to Agora Pulse, will all help you publish video and text to Twitter, to Facebook, to Pinterest, to Linkedin, to Instagram. We're getting a lot of success with Instagram actually these days. Putting things into doing a longer video on Instagram TV and then promoting that with a shorter clip on Instagram stories, and a shorter clip on the main feed. And then people end up seeing those shorter clips. Go into the Instagram TV, seeing the longer clip, and then going to our blog or our podcast, or our YouTube channel from there.

So Instagram's offering some really good ways to promote your content right now if you're creating video, you have to be creating video for it though, because that's really, I mean, Instagram's a visual medium, so you need to be putting visual stuff on there. And then for the podcast, where do we publish the podcast? There are a ton of podcast hosting platforms out there. The ones that I generally recommend these days are one of two. So Buzz Sprout, B-U-Z-Z, sprout, brussel sprout, buzzsprout.com are the main one that I recommend. You can find, well, if you don't mind, I'll mention it if you don't mind. Using our affiliate link, we do have an affiliate deal with Buzzsprout. It's thepodcasthost.com/Buzzsprout. but I do recommend them because I do believe they're the best. We use them for pod craft as well.

You can get a link to that, as well. Again, over in the resources page. They're the best mix of features and simplicity for me. Some of the old guard podcasting platforms these days have become a bit bloated. They've just got too much stuff in there. They're a wee bit outdated in terms of their interface, but Buzzsprout have a really nice clean, well designed interface with everything you need and no more. None of that kind of power features that podcast networks might need or that kind of stuff. So yeah, Buzzsprout is great. The only reason I would say not to use Buzzsprout and to use something else is if you have more than one show, or say you want to experiment with two or three or four. You want to do a couple of internal podcasts for your company too, and in that case pop over to transistor.fm or thepodcasthost.com/transistor, if you don't mind using our affiliate link, they are similar, really good platform.

Well made. Not quite as prettily designed as Buzzsprout, I would argue. Maybe not quite as slick but the benefit of transistor is that you can run as many podcasts as you like from transistor for the one fee. So if you run a few team podcasts, plus your external one, plus you want to mess around with a couple of hobby podcasts, you can do that all on transistor. So that's a good one for publishing. So that ties it up. That is all the tools and resources I recommend using to implement the content stacking approach. There's no doubt, a bunch of extra little things in there. And by all means, this is stuff I love talking about. I get really geeky about the tools and the resources, and the gear. So by all means, if you have any questions about this at all, please do get in touch at the podcast host on Twitter.

Just send me a tweet and I'm happy to chat about it. All right, so let's tie up the season by bringing forward the challenges. I want to just sum up all of the challenges from the other episodes. So, first one is, just the idea of more media means more engagement. So first we looked at engagement in that first episode, we looked at the idea of turning your text into video and then turning that video into audio, and getting yourself out there and more personality. People want to see the people behind your brand. They want to hear more about you. And that is what grows the engagement text just for reach. They'll find you via those text articles, they are necessary. They're essential, they work well. But it's the media where people engage with you. Where they get to know you, to trust you, where you differentiate yourself from the rest of the world.

So start creating more video, start creating more podcasts and do it in the content stacking format that we talked about earlier because that's what makes it easier. That's what makes it fit into your daily life. Okay. Second, thinking about constraints, constraining your way to freedom. We looked at structure in that second episode. It was about bringing in a structured method for creating your content. It's, I mean, there's the tangible benefits in that I belief that that structure then leads to much more easy ways to create that content. It makes it take less time, less effort, less stress. That structure then helps you turn the text into four videos, three videos, maybe a few extra videos for quotables, into a podcast, into a couple of blog posts. You can get so much more from your topics if you use the structure. But, using the structure even just from a mental state is constraints.

Bring with them just a huge amount of freedom. You use a structure, it means you're stressing less about what you have to do. You're working within these constraints and it brings you freedom to think, to create, freedom to engage with your customers, freedom from too much work, because it's just so much easier to repurpose in a smart way, this way. So use that structure and just gain yourself a whole bunch of freedom on time and mental stress.

Then episode three, I hoped I invited you to stop thinking small. So the challenge for the last section is to stop thinking small and start thinking seasons. Stop doing one off content. Stop short changing your audience, stop confusing them by jumping around so much from topic to topic, to level to level. Instead, think much more linear. Think bigger and create seasons of content that entertain them, that educate them, that addict them from episode to episode and to really inspire your listeners.

I mean that simply means planning ahead, thinking more like a teacher. That will motivate you when you do that. Like I said in episode three and it will motivate your listeners, both you and they will succeed as a result. And finally, it's the equipment which we just covered. So I hope you've got a good idea of what you want to get to actually deliver this whole thing. I'll tie up again just by mentioning quickly the stuff that we do. Thank you very much for listening through. If you want to hear more about podcasting, if you're thinking about starting a podcast in more video or you want to do stacking, go over to thepodcasthost.com, that's our main site for where we teach people how to podcast. We also have our podcast host academy as well, which is our paid membership site where we have a whole bunch of courses in there on how to run a great podcast.

We do live coaching every couple of weeks where you can have your personal answers, your personal questions answered even. And we've got our really active forum in there too, where the community of supports each other as well. Bunch of resources, tools, everything you need for podcasting. And of course we've got Alitu as well. Alitu is our a podcast maker app where it helps you to create a podcast. You just upload your raw bit of audio or video, and we then turn that into a polished bit of audio. We do the noise reduction, the leveling, all that stuff. We'll add your music so we add your branding every single time. You can edit in our custom podcast editor in there, so you can cut out some mistakes, if you like. You can add in all the sections. If you want to add some effects, if you want to add some adverts, you want to add some extra introductions, some outros, that kind of stuff.

You can put it all in there. Then we stitch it all together into a finished podcast episode with all your ID3 tags included and we'll help you publish it to your podcast host as well. So do check out Alitu. A-L-I-T-U dot com if you want to make your podcast publishing easier. Thank you for bearing with me through that. Thank you for listening to the entire season. Thank you again to Paul for having me on the Boage world podcast. I hope you've had, got lots of tips and lots of ideas around how to do more with your content, how to start stacking your content to create much bigger fans of your brand. So this is Colin Gray from the podcast host dot com, signing off.,

Please do send any questions to the podcast host on Twitter. Probably the best way to reach me. Otherwise, have fun in the future. I look forward to seeing all the content that comes out of this. And I'll talk to you soon.

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