Are you looking to get started with podcasting but don’t know where to start? Want to grow an audience using audio media but don’t know how? I had the same questions and concerns until I found Cliff Ravenscraft Podcasting A to Z course. I will share with you my experience and lessons learned. Here is my complete Podcasting A to Z review. You can also Get $500 off when you use promo code “access”
What is Podcasting A to Z?
So you’re probably wondering what exactly is this course is about. The name of the course really sums it up. It’s a complete podcast training course from beginning to end. However, this course was much different from online courses that I have purchased in the past because it was more like a virtual classroom versus an online digital product course.
Other courses I have purchased were just pre-recorded video tutorials that you would watch at your own pace. But, this is a 4-week course that has a limited availability of 28 spots per session. Thus, if the course gets filled up you would have to wait until the next class becomes available.
Cliff Ravenscraft is an actual live instructor who is available for questions throughout your 4 weeks of training. This is a unique platform because just like an online class that you take from a University you can email the instructor and they provide a timely response. There is definitely more to this course, which I cover more in detail below.
Why I Decided to Join This Training Program
Just like you, I wanted to learn the basics of podcasting. I didn’t have any technical knowledge about audio equipment and how to set it up. I tried to research some stuff online, but honestly it was all very overwhelming.
I wanted to create a podcast show to help promote my website and connect with my audience. I also knew that the podcast could help me build some valuable relationships with other marketers in my industry.
I had a lofty goal of launching my online business in 4 months which included a website, membership area and a podcast show. Thus, I didn’t have a lot of time to waste to figure out everything I needed to know regarding podcasting.
I had first learned about Cliff Ravenscraft, “The Podcast Answer Man” from Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income. I have been listening to Cliff’s show for the past year and I noticed that his audio quality and production sound was top-notch.
Audio quality was an important criteria that I had for my business model because not only was I planning on creating a Podcast Show, but I was also going to be recording videos screenshots for my tutorials. I knew that bad sound quality could deter people from listening to my podcast and watching my video tutorials.
What Was I Expecting to Get Out of This
My initial expectations were very high because of how expensive the course was. However, I had a mindset shift and thought to myself that this is not an “expense” but rather an “investment” in my business and education. Once I realized that this course was an investment and a necessity to build my online business, there was no question that I had made the right decision.
I was definitely expecting to learn the technical side of podcasting, from equipment setup, and how to use the software that is required. I knew that the course would require a lot of my attention because I would be watching some video tutorials and trying to digest all this new information.
But, what I actually learned from this course far exceeded my expectations. Let me explain…
What I Learned From This Training
How to Choose a Podcast Topic – Cliff began this course by helping me think about my podcast and business in detail. He asked some really tough questions that had me really deep dive into my business model.
How to Choose the Right Podcast Name – A name is one of the first things that people notice when searching for a podcast show to listen to. Cliff critiqued my podcast name and offered suggestions to help me select the right one.
Guidance on Length of Time and Frequency of Delivery – This topic had me thinking a lot because I wasn’t sure if I should create a daily show, or a show once a week. I didn’t know how long my show should be as well. 30 minutes? 45-minutes? 1-hour? Cliff offered his opinion and gave me some pros and cons of each situation.
How to Choose the Best Show Format – There are different ways to host a Podcast Show. Some shows are in solo format where the recording is one person narrating. You can also have an interview format, or co-host format. There are a lot of different ways you can format your show. Cliff explains how to produce and record on each of these formats. I decided to do an interview show for my podcast.
Record Live versus Pre-Recorded Shows – Cliff shares his insight on having a live show versus a pre-recorded show production. I decided to do a pre-recorded show format just in case I needed to edit some mistakes out.
How to Choose the Right Podcasting Equipment – I learned a great deal from this tutorial because there are a lot of different equipment options available. I learned about all the different microphones, mixers, digital recording devices, audio cables, headphones, etc. I had a lot of options to choose from. Cliff provided some examples of inexpensive equipment to more premium ones. This was helpful because I learned that I could podcast on a budget.
How to Setup Audio Equipment – These tutorials were super valuable because Cliff explains all the technical details in a language that was easy for me to understand. I was able to watch the step-by-step tutorials and finish setting up my equipment in only 1 day.
Podcasting Editing Software – I learned about all the various editing software that is available in the marketplace. Cliff shared some options of free tools, to paid ones. I was able to select the best software that was available for my Apple computer platform.
Podcast Mp3 Hosting Solutions – If I didn’t take this course, I wouldn’t have known that I needed to host my audio files on another server. I learned what hosting site to use and how to set it all up.
How to Integrate and Configure an Audio Player on a Website – This course was also very valuable because I wanted to share my Podcast episodes on my blog so that I can post my show notes. I learned what WordPress plugin to use and how to set it up.
How to Submit Podcast to iTunes, Zune, Blackberry, and Stitcher Directories – This process was explained step-by-step so that I could get maximum exposure of my show on multiple platforms.
Tips on How to Record a Podcast Show – Cliff shared a checklist of things to do to make sure I had a good podcast show. This information saved me a lot of time and headache.
How to Add Sound Clips – I really enjoyed learning how to do this because adding sound clips can provide entertainment for my podcast show. I also learned how to integrate sound clips while recording and edit them in post-production.
Complete Production Workflow – Cliff has recorded over 3,000 podcast shows and he provided his exact blueprint of his production workflow. This was truly valuable and priceless.
How to Promote A Show – Just like in online media you need traffic. I learned some tips and tactics on how to build an audience and spread the word about my show.
What I Liked About Podcasting A to Z
I wanted to share with you some things that I really enjoyed about this course.
Podcasting Business Plan – Before I started the course, Cliff sent me an email with the subject line “Before You Record Your First Episode Business Plan” In this business plan he asked me to answer 12 Questions. For example, “Why do you want to podcast? What purpose will this podcast serve?” As mentioned before, I believe this really helped me re-evaluate my “WHY” and understand how I plan to serve my audience. Without this critical question I wouldn’t have had a clear direction on what I wanted to achieve with my podcast.
Business and Marketing Strategy – Cliff doesn’t just talk about just the technical side of podcasting. He offered strategic advise on how to identify my target audience. I expected that this would be a technical course, but I didn’t expect that this course would teach me business and marketing strategies.
Course Curriculum Setup – I really liked how this class was divided up. The first week I got a “Foundation” training. I learned about equipment, artwork, music options, etc. The 2nd week I learned about Equipment setup. The 3rd week I learned about Production. The 4th week I learned about Promotion. I also liked the fact that I only received one week’s worth of information at a time. This helped me stay focused and not get overwhelmed.
Basecamp Discussion Forum – The Podcasting A to Z course is hosted on the Basecamp platform. Basecamp was easy to navigate and it kept a log of all the discussion threads for each student. This was neat because I could read other students questions and answers. I was also able join in on their discussions and provide my feedback. Students asked the class for feedback about logo designs, music selection, and show format ideas. I downloaded the Basecamp mobile App to my iPhone so I was able to participate in the classroom discussions even when I was away from my computer.
Personal Questions Answered – I had some trouble with setting up my audio equipment. Cliff sent me pictures and diagrams with clear instructions to help with my particular problem. He also took the time to record step-by-step videos to help me troubleshoot. I was truly amazed at the level of attention that I received. What is truly remarkable is he did this for all his students.
Live Tapings of Podcast Answer Man – As a student I was able to watch a live streaming show of Podcast Answer Man. I got a special invitation to watch him in his home studio and literally click, talk, record, edit, etc. I must say he makes it look very easy.
Downloadable Training Material – Throughout the course there were PDF, and audio files available for me to download. This proved helpful because sometimes I wanted to just access one diagram. Instead of me watching the video training, I was able to download the slides and find the exact picture diagram that I needed reference to.
Access to other Digital Tutorials – At the end of the course I got access to the entire library of video tutorials offered at PodcastAnswerMan.com. Here is an example of some of them:
- Overview of Podcasting
- Audio Mixer Basics
- WordPress for Podcasters
- Adobe Audition 101
- Social Media 101
- Evaluating Your Podcast Checklist
- Passive income strategies for Podcasting
- MDX 4600 Compressor/Limiter/Gate Tutorial
Network With Other Entrepreneurs – One of the things that I really enjoyed about this course was the ability to meet and connect with like-minded individuals. I made some great friendships with other classmates. Some of which I still speak to on a weekly basis even after the course ended.
Unlimited Access for 30 Days with Cliff – I was able to email Cliff directly and he responded to all my questions. Even though it was a Podcasting Course, I was able to ask some questions regarding social media, blogging, and marketing and Cliff would provide his professional opinion and insight.
Course Material Was Updated and Current – All the training videos were current and constantly being updated. Online Media is constantly changing and some of the training videos were outdated. Cliff made sure all videos were current and recorded new tutorials and uploaded them while I was taking the course.
Podcasting A to Z Private Facebook Group for Alumni – After the course ended I was invited to join a private community of past A to Z alumni. There are currently 135 members and growing each month. There is a wealth of knowledge in this community.
Unlimited Access to Material After Course – When the course ended I was still able to access all the training material. To this day, I still reference a lot of the training videos and discussion threads.
Cliff Supports His Students and Alumni – One of the things I really liked about this course is the continued support that Cliff provides to his students and Alumni. I often times see Facebook postings from Cliff announcing about his A to Z student new shows.
What I Disliked About This Course
Like any good review you have to share some things that you did not like.
The Course Ended After 4 Weeks – “All good things must come to an end” I really enjoyed the class and was truly sad when it ended. The classroom synergy was great and I had learned a lot from Cliff and my other classmates. I wish that the class was longer for my own selfish reasons.
More Time to Participate with Other Students – The 4 week course went by really fast. I wanted to be more involved in the discussion threads with my classmates, but I simply ran out of time. There was a lot to do because I was busy watching video tutorials and trying to setup my own podcast show.
Advice for New Students
Make Time for this Course – Make sure you are ready to devote some serious time into this course. I would block out 4 weeks of any distractions or obligations. For the 4 weeks while I was in A to Z, I explained to my family that I wanted to take full advantage of the learning experience so I didn’t make any plans on the weekends so that I could review the material.
Build Relationships with Other Classmates – Make every opportunity to connect with other classmates. As mentioned before, I have met some amazing entrepreneurs like “Dwayne Brown” who I mastermind with on a weekly basis and have collaborated with on some special projects. This is truly priceless.
Don’t Buy Equipment Before Class – I made the mistake of purchasing my equipment before class started because I was so eager to start. I would suggest waiting to buy any equipment until you watch the tutorials about various equipment options. I have some equipment that far exceed my requirements and thus I could have saved some money
Do Research Before Buying Equipment – I spent a lot of time driving back forth to Guitar Center because I purchased the wrong audio cables, or microphone jacks. Like I mentioned, I suggest waiting to buy equipment until you learn more about it through the A to Z course.
Suggest Having An Existing Website – I started Podcasting A to Z course before I had a website created. If I could have done it over again I would have created my website first so that I could launch my podcast at the end of the course. In my opinion its pointless to create a podcast show if you have no website to direct them to. As a result, I had to wait until my website was finished before I could launch my show.
How to Get Started
You can get $500 off when you use promo code “access”
To learn more about Podcasting A to Z click on the links below:
Check for the next available registration date. Sign up quickly because there are only a limited amount of seats per session.