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Writer On The Road - Melinda Hammond
#161 Mel & Sam in Orlando: Audio Matters & What You Need to Know For Your Writing
00:00:00 00:15:11

#161 Mel & Sam in Orlando: Audio Matters & What You Need to Know For Your Writing

Podcasts are the new blogs.

And, as an author, the best way to reach your audience to promote your novels and stories is through audio.

If you’re not guesting on podcasts, it’s time to start.

Audio is king, is the key message we bring away from our Podcast Movement Conference in Orlando, Florida, as we wind up our America trip and get ready to head back to Oz.

And audio is only going to get bigger.

Think Google podcasts, Google searches, and anything else Google you want to throw in this sentence.

And Smart Speakers. One in five Americans already use one.

And a fun fact to finish, for the first time in history, nearly 40 percent of podcasters are women. Yay to us.

You can support us on Patreon here.


Read Full Transcript

[00:00:48] Hello and welcome to the final episode of our very special mini series about our trip through the United States of America. We're finishing off the mini series with an episode about Podcast Movement, the podcasting Conference where we are currently visiting in Orlando Florida. You can support our efforts over at Patreon.com/writerontheroad. [00:00:48][0.0]
[00:00:51] Sam: It's been really interesting everyone. We've got lots of statistics that I can write up for you when we get home. But one of the things that has really struck us is how very popular podcasting is and how that's going to increase definitely. [00:01:09][17.9]
[00:01:09] Mel: That's been the key message here and we've been talking about how even though we've got a sizeable chunk of listening people listening to podcasts there are still it's still an untapped space. There are only eight hundred thousand active podcasts globally so it's still a space even though it's really popular with listeners. It's not so popular created yet so lots of room to get in on the action. [00:01:28][18.3]
[00:01:28] Sam: Writer on the Road is still in the top 10 percent of podcasts which is exciting times in terms of our downloads. But there was a real divide between I think professional broadcasters and individual podcasters which was interesting. And then again another divide between non-fiction podcasters and the very exciting growth area of audio fiction which we'll talk about later in the show. It's one of my key interests, definitely. [00:01:56][27.5]
[00:02:10] Mel: I'm going to start with a session we had our own James Cridland from downtown Brisbane. I listened to a talk with James today on Google Podcasts and how that is really going to take off. [00:02:23][12.9]
[00:02:27] Mel: We went to a session the other day that shows that even though Apple Podcasts have a slow percentage growth rate they had so many to begin with that their raw growth numbers are still more than anyone else combined. But as we saw with James today Google podcasts is trying to creep into that space. [00:02:41][14.4]
[00:02:42] Sam: The exciting thing is that, as James explained it to us, is that Google is a service or Google podcast is a service that gets podcasts on to smart speakers, Google assistant in Australia. Google Smart Speakers have a sixty eight percent mark to market share in America one in five Americans have a smart speaker . [00:03:06][24.0]
[00:03:11] Mel: What's really exciting for us is Google Search. Google searches are going to bring our podcasts up so much more easily. Google is actively doing all the work for us. So the examples I gave I was talking to Sam about how this is really good for audio is it. I've Natasha Lister so anyone who is looking for an anything about Natasha Lester our podcast is going to come up right at the top of the pile. [00:03:41][29.7]
[00:03:41] Mel: So the thing that I wanted to talk about today everyone is get yourself on to podcasts to make sure your name is out there. I guess in the audio waves because Google is going to be prioritizing that as as podcasts become more popular and audio becomes more popular. [00:04:03][21.1]
[00:04:05] Mel: I definitely think we were we were going to a talk with Rob Walsh from Lypsen yesterday and he emphasized the fact that people still think that blogging is like an effective promotional strategy but the numbers he gave us were 42 percent of people read blogs monthly and 32 percent of people download podcasts there's not much of a audience difference. However there were like a thousand times more blogs and there are podcasts so it's a lot easier to get lost in the crowd with blogging whereas podcasting as we were talking about. Well it has a really large audience there aren't as many individual podcasts so it's hard if you do get lost in that crowd. And so as operational strategy going into a smaller space where there are fewer shows dominating people's attention is a more effective way for you to get your name out there especially since Google is just integrating your podcast players you can play them straight through google search they're implementing ways if you type like podcast with Natasha Lester. It'll come up in the like you can play it straight from Google and they're putting their little play on every Android phone that people get. [00:05:12][66.9]
[00:05:13] Sam: So it's really it's getting a lot easier for people to access podcasts on different devices. Apple podcasts obviously it's already pre installed in every iPhone with me gives it a lot of visibility and so it's a medium. So it's growing as people become more aware of it and numbers go up and listenership. [00:05:28][15.5]
[00:05:29] Sam: 70 per cent of phones are Android. Seventy eight percent. [00:05:34][5.0]
[00:05:40] Mel: And those Android phones these podcasts are going to be in there just through google searching. You don't even need an app anymore. So even though Apple podcasts are still providing the main downloads that is going to change and I reckon even by the time we're here next year. And the interesting thing is once you've got professional broadcasters and we've got we've seen a lot of really important people in suits wandering around here these guys are throwing lots and lots of dollars at. At the podcast medium which which is exciting. [00:06:11][31.6]
[00:06:12] Mel: We were talking people yesterday who've been hired to create branded podcasts for a lot of big brands. And so I think yeah that's right. Companies are starting to get in on the action and everyone saying no don't do it and you're just doing it because you feel like you have to. But people are starting to do it and it's starting to go hopefully with big brands and with big companies. What is interesting as well the way that it's interacting with an indie space but yeah it's definitely becoming more in the public eye. [00:06:36][24.1]
[00:06:37] Sam: And then moving on from that as well. Google podcasts. I think it's because it's on our mind today but it gives us worldwide access. [00:06:46][9.3]
[00:06:47] Mel: So sometimes in America only you can only get your word out in America or maybe England as well. Whereas I think the exciting thing is now giving worldwide access to our voices is huge plus there's going to be a native transcription service which which again gives us the written word to be able to repurpose and and use which which we do to a certain extent as well. But Google's going to be doing it all for us. We've got speech to text and I know Joanna Penn knows a lot about that. And I think Joan has been here for the last three or four days and she has I think follow up been following the whole industry thing. So she'll be really on top of all that. I was more interested in Okay what can we do for you guys in Oz how can we get your your books out our books out how can we in our neck of the woods start to spread the word internationally. And I think this whole Google podcast thing is right up there. [00:07:47][59.7]
[00:07:47] Mel: I'm lucky that I'm with podcasts websites. And the guys there I've kept my website really up to date despite me not because if I looked on my website and I've got apple podcasts and I've got Google Play so they're really looking after us. And getting word out I think. [00:08:02][15.0]
[00:08:03] Mel: And I feel like we're definitely we're so excited about all these new stats and things we're learning that we're firing them at you. So now how are we going to implement this into the future of Writer on the Road. [00:08:12][9.5]
[00:08:13] Sam: Let's talk about that when we get home Writer or on the Road will continue as normal. We'll still have our long form interviews. I want to get word out about as many of you as I can. Got a bit of a backlog of interviews to get through because I sort of knocked off before we came away. [00:08:26][13.7]
[00:08:27] Mel: And I think that long form long form interview is what people want to hear as soon as I mentioned that I was running a writing podcast and it was about books I had people giving me invitations to go on their podcast to talk about books to talk about my writers to do all this kind of thing. [00:08:44][16.7]
[00:08:45] Mel: And I thought this is where we've got a real interest point. We. I think a lot of our authors are starting to be a little bit better known in America. Yes. Which is really exciting. But the other thing that I want to do is audio fiction. [00:09:00][15.3]
[00:09:00] Mel: Yes, branching out a little bit. So we're still keeping that long form interview format branching out into developing some of our own work as well. [00:09:07][6.2]
[00:09:07] Sam: Well one of the things that's really struck me everyone and I think we should talk further about this as writers we are front and centre as content providers. [00:09:15][8.1]
[00:09:23] Sam: Well one of the one of the themes that ran through the whole four days here is how to tell a good story with a good character. And I thought hang on this is second nature to us it's what we've always done it's second nature to you guys. How about we come up with some idea where we start to get some of your fiction and we start to to read some of your stories or perform some of your stories perform our stories getting getting your name out there getting our name out there because we're writers it's what we do best. Which brings me to a little hobby or little my my latest hobby horse and it's a little production called Mama's Little Helper - big announcement. [00:10:02][39.1]
[00:10:03] Mel: You heard it here first at Writer on the Road. Well I was a little helper. [00:10:06][2.6]
[00:10:07] Sam: I need six romance authors and I need six romance older romance authors two to act doors to co write an audio drama with me and it's about half a dozen women being hooked on Valium in the 1960s and how their husbands locked them up in a mental institution. [00:10:25][18.1]
[00:10:26] Mel: It will feature murder mayhem and true crime podcast. So make sure you stay tuned. [00:10:31][5.1]
[00:10:33] Sam: And of course they all escaped from the mental institution and they all killed their husbands when the murder happened as they should. But the actual podcast takes place while the actual story drama takes place when these women are in their 90s and they've all created these ideal lives for themselves. And lo and behold it starts to unravel. [00:10:52][19.7]
[00:10:54] Mel: And these six women will do anything to protect their reputation. Definitely. And that's when the fun starts. So if you know of anyone who wants to participate in that it's it's again getting our names out there yelling getting our writing out there showcasing what what we do best as writers and that is tell a good story. [00:11:16][22.0]
[00:11:17] Sam: Yeah definitely one of the takeaways from this conference is that you can use podcasts we can use podcasts promote our work through interviews and through promotional activity we can also use it to get our own work out there because audio fiction is gaining traction and it's gaining popularity as a way to tell stories. So it's good practice for like writing your novels and that's also a good way to go get smaller more independent stories out there that you might not be able to get through the publishing world really. So yeah yeah. [00:11:44][27.5]
[00:11:45] Mel: And I think I think that's enough for now. I think there's lots of stats I'll write them up as I said Joanna's really good and doing this and I hate to pass the buck but I'm reading my notes here and it's really really interesting because we talk about downloads and we talk about the top 10 percent of of downloads per episode is only three thousand a month. Okay so. Those top 10 per cent of podcasts aren't getting the downloads by the hundreds of thousands that we keep hearing about. [00:12:18][33.4]
[00:12:19] Mel: This is median. By the way not me. No it's not just the fun little sticks texting the media and top 10 percent. Yeah. [00:12:24][5.5]
[00:12:25] Sam: Yeah. It's very easy to become I guess disillusioned when you hear broadcasters mentioning True Life podcasts and and the downloads. Yeah. As an aside I walked out of a few toy. I walked out of a true crime thing this morning because it's almost it's almost become cowboy country where a lot of these journalists are taking on the role of investigator but they're also taking on the role of I think trial judge. It was it was a little bit ugly. Oh yes we've solved this crime and yes we've got the perpetrator cornered and yes we're supporting the victim but these guys aren't trained and so it really scared me from a from a legal perspective is it going to be exploring and mother's little hope. [00:13:10][45.7]
[00:13:11] Mel: I believe we're going to have some true crime podcast is tracking down these elderly women who have escaped from a mental asylum. [00:13:16][5.7]
[00:13:17] Sam: So are so today's they go everyone it wasn't a total waste going to this true crime podcast because we will use it in our own fiction I love us all right. [00:13:26][9.1]
[00:13:27] Mel: That's the end of us for today that's the end of us for our adventures in America. We are writing a book as you know. The book will come out in paperback and e-book and then we're hitting the road this summer not only to promote the book but to talk to you guys live. Podcasting is something that we're going to get into and our first trip is down to Melbourne to see our beautiful Janine Kimberley across the sea dairy Fraser and Clare Connolly over in South Australia and then back up I think will come back up through Broken Hill. I think back up to Brisbane you rotter on the road is something that is just going to be a laugh a minute I'm sure. [00:14:03][36.1]
[00:14:03] Mel: Excellent. Yeah before we go Mel do you have one fun fact Fun anecdote or fun adventure to sum up our America trip for our listeners. [00:14:11][7.7]
[00:14:12] Sam: Yes the one fun fact that I would like to sum up is that we went go cutting last night and someone put a helmet on my head and I drive my go kart like I turn my caravan she came 40 seconds behind anyone except me. [00:14:24][12.4]
[00:14:25] Mel: Yes I came last same came second last. And Felicity came third last. So the Hammo's are on the road again... [00:14:25][0.0]