pablo-15Here is the latest Coffee & Pearls Podcast:

Scroll down to read it as a blog post!

Today I want to do something a little different. I want to talk about all the technology I use for my website, my podcast and for self-publishing. I get a lot of questions about these topics and I thought it’d be great to have all the resources listed in one place.

I genuinely believe that blogging, podcasting, and self-publishing are much easier than people think. They’re also incredibly satisfying, especially for stay-at-home moms who want a really part-time hobby that they can do on their own terms.

Not only have I made genuine friends from blogging and podcasting but it has also pushed me to be a better person. There is a built-in sense of accountability when you tell the world you’re going to do something. It has helped me stretch and grow socially and spiritually.

If I leave anything out, shoot me a quick message and I’ll make sure to answer your question!

Blogging

Hosting – I use www.eperfect.net.  They’re a few dollars more per month than other companies but their support staff speaks English and lives in the United States. I get the same person every time and man, that’s worth a few dollars a month to me! I also buy my domain names from them as well.

Platform – All my websites are built on a www.wordpress.org platform. Don’t confuse that with www.wordpress.com. You don’t want to use that site because then your website will be sitename.wordpress.com. You want your own website at your own URL (website address).

Templates – I’m a big fan of www.elegantthemes.com although I think you need to have a lot of time and tech savvy to implement their templates if you’re picky. If you’re not picky, their DIVI theme can make your website look modern and is pretty easy to setup.  I also like themes from http://restored316designs.com/. They’re more money but sometimes they have exactly what I want.

Pictures – I use www.picmonkey.com, www.canva.com, or www.pablo.buffer.com to make the pictures with the title on top. I also use pictures at www.unsplash.com.

Podcasting

Microphone – Here is the microphone I use. There are plenty of nicer ones and I might invest in a nicer one next year but this works just fine for me right now.

Microphone Holder – Here is the holder I use. This allows the microphone to sit on my desk so I can speak hands-free while I’m recording.

Pop filter – This is a pop filter.  It makes sure that if you smack your lips or make funny noises while breathing, it doesn’t get picked up by the microphone. It also filters out kids sometimes when they bust into the room 😉

Editing program (It’s FREE!) –  This program is really easy to use. I’ve had no problems with it. It’s pretty self-explanatory but if you’re having a hard time, there are also lots of YouTube videos explaining how to use it.

Opening Song – Free Music Archive has free songs. This is what I used to find the song for Coffee & Pearls, which I love! I did have my dad edit the file so it fades in and out. You can find other people to do this for you one time for a minimal amount of money!

Hosting – www.libsyn.com $15 per month – I started out using SoundCloud but I could not figure out how to upload it to iTunes. I kept getting error messages and SoundCloud wouldn’t help me. I did this for a few weeks (!) before throwing in the towel. I switched to Libsyn and had no problems at all!

Mixer – Because my podcast doesn’t have guests, I do the whole thing in one shot using Audacity and I don’t need a mixer. I don’t have to edit in audio clips, advertisements or other speakers. For people who have more complex shows, they usually need a mixing board. Here’s a good article explaining them https://www.thepodcasthost.com/equipment/podcast-mixers/

Self-Publishing

Book Cover – I used www.Canva.com which has book templates or Photoshop to design an original book cover. I let my friends and readers choose which one they liked best.

Editor – I had my book edited by Jeannie Ewing from http://fromgrief2grace.com/.  I can’t tell you how much it would be to edit any book.  My book was rather lengthy and due to my poor education (or poor studying skills), I need a lot of grammar clean-up after the first draft! Based on your word count and how clean your grammar is, I imagine you’ll be looking at $200-$600 no matter who you work with.

ISBN and Barcode – An expensive part of self-publishing is buying your ISBN number. You need this if you want to sell your book in bookstores and it really legitimizes your book.  Unfortunately, only one company has the ability to sell them https://www.myidentifiers.com/. It’s expensive whether you buy one or 100. I did purchase a barcode through them as well but I think all their other up-sales are bogus and not worth it.

KDP Select – I used Amazon’s KDP Select program to publish the kindle version of my book. Some people hire this out but I didn’t find it that hard to figure out so I did it myself. It allows you to upload your book, then immediately download a kindle version. I used that to make formatting changes and then I uploaded it again.

CreateSpace – I used Amazon’s CreateSpace program to publish the physical version of my book. It was also very easy to use and I formatted this myself. What was hard was finding guidelines for fonts and page setup. The internet has a lot of conflicting opinions about that!  Eventually, I pulled a few books off the shelf that I liked

There ya go!

If you have any questions about websites, podcasting or self-publishing, I would love to chat with you or help you if I can. I’m not extremely technical but I’ve spent a lot of hours getting things wrong so I do know more than I did five years ago!

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