Jeff Bradbury listened to his first podcast in 2010. It was a tech show called Your Mac Show. During one of the podcasts Jeff actually won a $50 gift card during a contest. Over time he became good friends with the host. They even started their own podcast called Two Guys Talking About Their iPhones.
In the summer of 2011, Jeff decided he wanted to help teachers learn how to use technology in their classrooms, so he started a show of his own. That year, the TeacherCast Podcast was launched. Over the last seven years, Jeff’s podcast has taken him all over the world and allowed him to interact with educators and industry leaders. He tells PBJ in our spotlight interview that it’s been an amazing journey.
PBJ: Why are you podcasting?
Jeff Bradbury: Ever since I was a baby I have been an entertainer. I grew up on stage performing and playing music. I even have two college degrees in music performance. The day that my wife expressed her interest in starting a family was the day that I knew I had to put the stage and my conducting baton behind me and find something new to keep my creativity flowing.
This is where podcasting comes in. Every night I have the amazing opportunity to entertain and collaborate with guests from all corners of the globe and perform to an audience much bigger than any auditorium ever could hold. For me, podcasting is the ultimate, yet most intimate form of performance out there.
PBJ: What is your podcast about and how did you pick this topic?
Jeff Bradbury: From the very beginning, TeacherCast was designed to be “A Place for Teachers to Help Other Teachers.” Our shows cover an extremely wide range of topics, but I like that because it has allowed me to meet a wide range of people both from the classroom and industry. In recent years, I have created niche podcasts in the topics of Tech Coaching, Microsoft Education, and the traditional “How to create a Podcast” — topics which have helped me focus my writing and grow a more dedicated audience for each of those verticals.
PBJ: Do you have a website or app to host your podcast?
Jeff Bradbury: Over the last seven years of raising TeacherCast there have clearly been a few major milestones that have not only launched my career in certain directions, but also allowed me to reach an even bigger audience than I could have ever imagined.
The first major hurdle for me was when I made the switch, about eight months into the podcast, and moved my platform onto WordPress. This gave me the ability to not only grow at scale, but provide an even wider variety of content to my audience. The problem with moving on to the WordPress platform, as many may know, is that it is a bear to keep up with. You have plugins, themes, and of course bugs to constantly contend with. This is why I made a major decision in the fall of 2017 that I will always say was the best decision I ever made for my podcast, my brand, and my family.
In 2015 (I think) I met a guy by the name of Mark Asquith at the Mid-Atlantic Podcasting Conference. We spoke a bit about what we did and he put a bug in my ear that took a few years to actually be put in action. In 2017, I met up with Mark again and we shook hands on a new project that would see TeacherCast join the Podcast Websites family.
Since moving my massive website onto Podcast Websites, I have been able to grow my network and audience to extreme heights and also create a platform that allows me to spend more time at home with my wife and five-year-old triplets. By far, migrating to Podcast Websites was the best decision I have ever done for my podcast and website … ever.
PBJ: How are you marketing/getting the word out about your podcast?
Jeff Bradbury: Many people over the years have asked me about online marketing. The answer that I had seven years ago is the same answer that I have today: learn about SEO and learn how each social media algorithm works. Keep learning about them because they change so often. My favorite places to post content is on my various Twitter accounts and also on Youtube.
PBJ: What are your biggest challenges?
Jeff Bradbury: My biggest challenge is myself. I am constantly pushing myself to grow the network bigger, to get larger companies to appear on the show, and to find the perfect guest to be on the show. I think we all need to be our biggest cheerleaders and also our biggest challengers.
PBJ: Are you making any money? If so, how?
Jeff Bradbury: Over the last few years, I have had the privilege of almost (almost) turning TeacherCast into a full-time job that supports my family. I have leveraged TeacherCast to grow a nice coaching and consulting aspect while doing several presentations and workshops throughout the year. For more information, please visit www.JeffreyBradbury.com.
PBJ: What advice do you have for other podcasters considering s lsunch?
Jeff Bradbury: My advice covers both sides of the sword. First, ask a ton of questions. Seek out those who have done what you want to do and pick their brains as often as possible. Go out and attend conferences and make a list of who you want to be on your show and don’t stop until you check off each and everyone of them. On the other side, my best advice is don’t listen to anyone and don’t let anybody ever tell you what to do when it comes to your podcast. You have, like all of us, every right to get up and make mistakes for yourself. You need to put yourself in the position to push the wrong button on your mixer right before your biggest recording, and you have the right to set up your RSS feed however you want it. But with every stumble, you should also be putting yourself in the position to have a support group around you to ask for help when you fall. It’s podcasting … there are no rules. Just go out there, have fun, and make some great content.
PBJ: What equipment are you using?
Jeff Bradbury: This holiday season, I upgraded my studio to now include the Shure SM7B. I am completely in love with the sound upgrade and although I’m still tweaking my sound to get it just right, I am extremely encouraged by the production that I am now able to have and it’s pushing me to create even higher quality content for my listeners. When I record, I like to keep things complex yet simple. I broadcast through Telestream Wirecast and then import into Final Cut Pro X where I batch export both a video and audio track for posting. My Mac Pro helps me keep the system running as fast as possible so I can have a very quick turnaround time.