Podcasts 101

"I'm new to this whole PODCAST thing.  I have no idea where to start." 

"Do I Download?  Do I Subscribe?  Ugh!"

If you're in this camp, I feel ya.  I'm not a tech-y person.  But if I can figure this out, I know you can, too!  Here's my version of Podcasts for Dummies.  And believe me, I'm the dummy.

What is a podcast, exactly?  Well, podcasts are like radio talk shows but you can listen to them whenever you like, with the ability to pause them if you need to do something else.  The same way you watch on-demand TV or Netflix, Hulu... things like that.  Only it's all audio, which is why I compare it to listening to the radio.

To clarify, a lot of people use the term "podcast" when referring both to the show itself and an individual episode.  A host or producer might say "Check out my latest podcast where I interview so-and-so" or "I've aired 10 podcasts so far."  But I think this is a little confusing.  They don't mean that the whole show, every week, is about talking to the same guest.  And they probably don't mean they're producing 10 completely different podcast shows.  They mean they've aired 10 episodes for their singular podcast.  So when I talk about the "podcast," I'm referring to "Style Matters," the show as a whole.  And then, I use the term "episode" if I'm referring to an individual....well... episode.   Know what I mean?

Where do I get them?  You're probably going to be listening to podcasts from your phone. The great thing about podcasts is that you can do something else while you're listening.  They make being stuck in traffic a whole lot better.  And sometimes you'll forget you're sweating on the treadmill when a story really grabs you.  Or maybe you're doing something like painting a room, folding laundry or pulling weeds and it's just nice to have some company in your earbuds.  

How do I listen from my phone? 

1. My favorite app for listening to podcasts is Radio Public. It’s extremely user-friendly (better than iTunes, in my opinion), and like most other podcast apps, it’s free. And it works on both Android and iPhones. You can download the app onto your phone or go here for my show in particular:

2. After you’ve downloaded the Radio Public app, click on the magnifying glass at the top right and type in “Style Matters” or whatever show you’re looking for.

3. You can choose to “follow” the show, which means your podcast feed will automatically download every episode as it becomes available. Otherwise, you’ll need to do a search for the show title every time. It doesn’t cost anything to follow a show. It just saves you time.

4. You’ll see all of the episodes below the “listen” and “follow” buttons if you want to choose a particular episode to listen to. Clicking the “listen” button will simply play the most recent. You'll see a play button and a pause button so you can stop and start as needed.

What’s the benefit to the podcast if I listen on the Radio Public app? Good question! Your phone probably came with a podcast app already installed. Or maybe you just go right to iTunes because that’s what everyone’s heard of and familiar with. HOWEVER, Radio Public is a platform created to help podcasters earn money from the content they’re creating. Yes, I do have sponsors for the show, but they basically cover my expenses. Radio Public pays me a tiny amount every time you download my show using their app. It doesn’t cost you anything but every download really adds up and help me keep creating content for you! So. That’s the benefit to me. AND to you.

What's the point of reviewing the podcast on iTunes (or any other platform)?  Ok, so I’ve just asked you to please, please, please listen to Style Matters on the Radio Public app. But iTunes still rules the world in terms of getting new people to find new shows. So if you want to help me in another way, you can listen on Radio Public but go on to iTunes and leave a review there. Why? Well, in this crazy media-rich, information overload culture of ours, ratings can mean the difference between a podcast failing or thriving.  And even if it's a great podcast, one that you absolutely love, the people who produce it might not be able to continue if they don't have enough (high) ratings.  So if you want to hear more of Style Matters, please take 30 seconds and give it your thumbs up!  We are at the mercy of mathematical statistical programs, people.  Every review counts!  THANK YOU!

How To Rate Us on iTunes

  1. Open your podcast app

  2. Search for "Style Matters" (do a NEW SEARCH, even if you've already subscribed)!

  3. Click on the podcast itself, not on an individual episode.

  4. Hit the "Reviews" tab.

  5. Click on "Write a Review"

  6. Choose the number of stars you'd like to give and write a "title."

  7. Write a short review, giving your thoughts on what you like (and/or what we could do better).

Thank you!!!

What is a "show notes" page?   For many podcasts, including "Style Matters," you'll hear the hosts refer to a "show notes" page during the episodes. These are pages on their websites where you can see photos about the episode, find clickable links to things related to the episode and generally speaking, there will be more info for further reading or exploration on the topic.

Can I search within a podcast for a particular topic the host might cover?  It's up to every podcaster to decide how they're going to share their episodes.  Most of them simply share them chronologically on their websites with a little blurb about what each episode is about.  And that's how they show up on podcast apps on your phone, too.  But I'm really excited to say that I've just created a new directory for the Style Matters podcast.  I'm now listing episodes according to what topics are covered each time.  Check out the brand new Podcast Directory and let me know if there are more topics you'd like to see covered on the show!  

If you want to listen on your computer, you can do that, too.  Like I've said, most podcasts have their own websites, or are part of a larger website, like ours.  Generally, you simply go to the podcast page and can click on individual episodes to start listening.  It's that simple! 

If you have more questions, please let me know.  I'm not a cell phone guru, but I might be able to help.  Or, you can just Google your question... The Google Knows!  

xoxo Zandra