by Joseph T. Sinclair
Podcasts are a great means of marketing for authors and publishers. Up-to-date digital recording equipment is inexpensive and easy to use. Publishing podcasts on the Internet is free. It’s the production of a podcast that poses the biggest challenge. One has to be a skilled entertainer or instructor to make a podcast that doesn’t put listeners to sleep. And very few people have the skills to make it work alone.
Most successful podcasts have two people involved whether they are partners, interviewer/interviewee, or host/guest. The interaction between people, regardless of the topic, adds enough human interest to keep listeners awake without a high degree of entertainment. That puts podcasting out of the picture for many authors who otherwise would use this effective marketing technique; it’s tough to find a reliable partner.
Nonetheless, modern digital authoring technology enables you to embed sound bites in webpages and other digital documents. It’s natural for writers to have a blog, as a blog consists of primarily text. Blogs are also very effective marketing techniques for authors. So why not enhance your blog with soundbites?
Many authors and publishers use WordPress to produce blogs. WordPress enables the easy embedding of soundbites. In addition, HTML5 also makes embedding soundbites easy for those who create webpages outside of WordPress. Consequently, if you can make a recording, you can use it to enhance your blog—to enhance your marketing.
The combination of a blog plus soundbites gives you some of the advantages of having a podcast without the disadvantages. First, if you include soundbites in your blog, you don’t have to include long sound bites for every post. Second, you can develop strategies for using one-person sound bites. Third, you can use almost any soundbite involving two or more people without worries about putting listeners to sleep; such soundbites can be long. Fourth, the soundbites don’t have to be voice. They can be other audio assets such as music, sound effects, stock audio bites, etc.
A soundbite has to enhance or add additional information to your blog. The human voice is very complex and carries with it a wide range of emotion and information. On the other hand, text is almost sterile in comparison. It takes a highly skilled author—such as a novelist—to write in a way that elicits the same emotions that a voice can. Hence the human voice can add emotion and informational content that can be a worthwhile enhancement to your writing.
For example, suppose you use a voice soundbite to introduce each separate section of your blog which normally has four or five sections. In each soundbite you instruct the reader as to what’s important to get out of the blog section that he or she is about to read. In a soundbite you can easily convey enthusiasm and excitement about ideas and information that would otherwise be difficult to do in your writing. That’s just one idea out of thousands for those recording solo soundbites.
Without the high level entertainment or instructional ingredients, you need to keep your soundbites short. Under one minute is good rule of thumb. However, embedding soundbites into text is a new frontier, and experimentation is the rule.
For those soundbites that include two people, the normal human interaction greatly enhances the presentation of any topic. For instance, you could include an hour-long soundbite of an interview relevant to your blog, which would be a real benefit to your readers. In addition, you could have guest podcasts with other podcasters. You appear on their podcasts to promote your writing, and you accommodate them by having them appear in a one-session podcast with you embedded in your blog.
The ideas for using soundbites and your blog are limited only by your imagination. Do it! Experiment! Help build the publishing world of tomorrow!
A good word for a blog plus a substantial soundbite combination might be blogcasting.
What does it take to record sound? Today you can record professional sound (voice) with a low-cost voice recorder and its internal mics, a feat not possible just five years ago. Indeed, your recording with such inexpensive equipment will be higher quality—and need less editing perhaps—than it would with recording equipment from five years ago.
If you need a more sophisticated approach to accomplish your purposes, you can always use a voice talent. A voice talent is simply somebody who is accomplished in doing voiceovers, creating audio books, and doing any kind of recorded voice production. Voice talents typically have professional recording equipment of their own which they use in their home or office to work their audio magic. Naturally, you’ll find voice talents very easily on the Web, and they can be a thousands miles from your home and still provide you with the soundbites that you need. However, there are voice talents everywhere, and you can almost certainly find one in your own community.
All in all, soundbites provide you with an opportunity to enhance your blog and thereby enhance your marketing effort. Soundbites are now easy and inexpensive to produce with professional sound, and that leaves you to concentrate on producing a good performance without worrying about sound quality.
The author of this article, Joseph T. Sinclair, is the author of twenty How To books published by national publishers.
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©2014 Joseph T. Sinclair. All rights reserved.