Reaching 200 episode is monumental! Tom and Tracy Hazzard celebrate their 200th WTFFF?! Podcast and deserve to paint the town red with their achievement. With the initial mission of helping people jump the learning curve for 3D printing, they have achieved this with the help of avid listeners. On today’s special show, they share some updates of their blog including a complete restructuring of how they deliver topics on different days of the week. With the feedback they get from listeners, they also talk about how they can improve their site and their entire show.
Listen to the podcast here:
Update on What WTFFF?! Is All About
Wow, 200 episodes of WTFFF?!. It’s crazy.
It really shows that this podcast continues to grow. I want to thank all of our listeners for listening as much as you do because you’re helping us get to this point and continue going forward. Thank you for inspiring us. I think that’s really the number one reason we keep going. Some weeks, it’s like, “We have to do five episodes this week.” But the feedback is what keeps that happening. As this podcast has been growing, we have been getting a lot more feedback and communication from you. It’s coming in from comments on blogs, emails, Twitter, and Facebook.
One of the things we have noticed is our 001, our very first episode, is one of our heaviest tracked episodes. I understand why that happens. I’m a big podcast listener, too. When you find a podcast for the first time, you download their first one and two or three more that are more recent or topics that are of interest to you. I usually give them three episodes. After three episodes, if I can’t stand it anymore, then I delete it off my subscription list. I think that’s probably why that happens.
The reality is it is so many episodes for you guys to scroll through that we are going to archive 100 episodes. That means 001 won’t be there anymore. We decided to make a new first episode. #200 is our updated new first episode. I think it’s important because some things have changed since we started this podcast almost a year ago.
If people want to listen to the first episode, even though they’re archived, aren’t they going to be able to listen to it anyway? There is this whole separate archive. There are the archived episodes, and then eventually we will archive 100-200, and they will be their own archive. We will keep creating volumes of podcasts. If someone wants to go to the first episode, and here we are in the 200’s, they go back to the first one that they can find, which is maybe Episode 200 at some point. But then they can go through a different listing within iTunes for WTFFF for the first 100 if they want to look through those subjects.
Also, on our Facebook page, there will be a direct link to those archives, so that will be easier. And of course you can also access those through our website 3dstartpoint.com. There is a way for you to get to all of our episodes.
The feedback we’ve gotten is that there are so many to scroll through that it’s overwhelming. They’re just not going back that far anymore, so we thought we’d archive most of them. Doesn’t iTunes automatically make you archive those things once you get to a certain point? Yes, they will drop off the list anyway, and we don’t want them to be lost. So we are creating a separate archive for them.
Let’s talk about our initial mission. Our initial mission was to help people jump the learning curve for 3D printing. The idea was that it’s harder than you think it’s going to be, but that is no reason to stop trying. It is very worthwhile. If we can help you jump that learning curve and figure out steps, tools, tips, people, equipment, and anything else that will help you do that, we want to bring it to you. So we have been trying to do that now, and we think we have been doing it. We get feedback from listeners saying they love the show, but they also write in with questions. That’s great. That’s the relationship we have with the listeners.
For those of you who don’t know or are new to the podcast, the structure is that there are four days a week of “Ask Us Anything” question episodes. We have restructured those as well. And we have one interview day of something we found really interesting. We try to keep the interview more like a conversation. We try not to be a commercial although we get excited about some of the things we talk about and think they’re great, too. We also have product reviews that we do periodically. Sometimes we will do those on a different day of the week, or we will do those on Thursday as well. That is the basic structure.
What we have discovered over time, and what we have modified, is a daily structure that has a different focus. We have found we have listeners who are tuning in for very specific reasons. We have people who want to create a 3D print business. So we have consistently had enough episodes that traffic high enough with good enough feedback on those business topics that we want to keep doing it. But at the same time, we have a lot of educators and students who listen, too, so it’s like mixing it up. So we decided to mix up our week.
How are we going to provide something for each of those kinds of listeners? Going forward, Mondays are about business topics or business needs. Anything more specifically related to building or running a 3D print business.
Tuesdays are going to be our Tech Tuesdays, which have been very popular. One of the reasons why I think this is is because you grow with our podcast. We want you to grow with us. This is the way for more advanced topics to be discussed and more advanced problems you will run into. This isn’t for newbies. These tech things are things you will discover along the way as you try more things with your printer and your design process.
It’s not just Tracy and me who will bring you these Tech Tuesdays. We have been talking to outside companies to be special guests on Tech Tuesday helping to answer questions or bring some questions that they get within their customer service departments. There is a limit to the amount of tech we can handle here.
I was really pleased on this past Tech Tuesday subject that a recent listener who wrote in who is very technical and was helping us understand how we could enter something in G-code and perform a certain function. He was a really technical guy. The first thing he said was that he loved the podcast and we should keep up the good work. As a highly technical person, I’m glad he really enjoys the podcast. It wasn’t always our thought or focus that we would appeal to highly technical folks. This is the case where some of our business topics are focusing on them as well as these Tech Tuesdays. We are hoping we can have that kind of appeal.
You can pick and choose. If you’re really not into Tech Tuesdays, that’s okay; skip Tuesday, and pick Wednesday and Thursday. We also know that you guys get overwhelmed, and it’s a lot to take in. I know that happens to me because I have so many podcasts that I listen to, and I know I can’t catch up on the episodes. Now you know which ones you don’t want to miss. I don’t want to miss Tech Tuesdays because that is something I am interested in.
Wednesday is our free-for-all day. We’re not nailing that one down because sometimes there might be more of an education topic, or it could be a product review if we have a good interview episode scheduled for that week but also want to put the review in there. We can do that. Or there have been some items in the 3D print industry news that are more timely. Wednesday is not going to be too confined as to what it is.
Thursdays will continue to be our interview episodes with some industry leader, thought leader, expert in the 3D printing industry of some kind. We are broadening that to bring in as many new people as possible, and we’re really excited about the future editorial calendar that is coming up.
Also, if you have people you want us to talk to, suggest some. You can serve some up. We’d be happy to reach out to them and try to get them on the podcast.
Friday is going to be a day where we talk about design or inspiration for design or projects in and around 3D printing. A lot of you guys do projects on the weekends because this isn’t necessarily your day job. Since weekends are when you want to be inspired, we give you these on Fridays.
I think this is a good way to break down the week moving forward, and it’s a good way to get others involved in the podcast and for us to bring you a variety of different things. You have some sense of what is coming on a weekly basis and when you want to look for certain things.
Upcoming now from this point forward, we will be having a sponsor. Sometime this month, the sponsors will start kicking in. There will be advertisements on our podcast. I hope that you will be patient through those because they are a necessary thing for us. We need to grow this podcast, and we need to be able to do more things with support.
This is supporting the cost of the payment. The podcast is not without its cost. I just wrote an article for Inc. about it. It’s the reality for everyone, whether you’re John Lee Dumas with Entrepreneur on Fire, or you’re us. The podcast costs about $200 an episode just to produce it, not including our time put into it. Those are the realities around the industry of the number. That’s what we’re looking for: bringing a sponsor in to help subsidize those costs so we can continue to bring this to you and create value for you and spend our efforts instead of trying to do it ourselves to subsidize that cost or keep the cost down. We can continue to have people do that for us so we can concentrate on bringing you better interviews and going out there and seeking better information.
We will make sure that our episodes have really good content that is relevant to you. The content will not be a commercial itself. Sponsors will help fund that, but the editorial content will go the way we want it to go and the way you want it to go. It’s not changing from what we have been doing and what we will do as we move forward. I would say that it seems the more this podcast grows, the more popular it becomes, the higher quality guests and interviews and content we get are higher. We are producing what is even better content going forward for you.
The other thing I want to mention is that people ask us how we started our podcast and how we do it every day. There will be some information that we will provide this month about where you can get those answers. I have seen other podcasts do an episode about podcasting. We will separate that out. That won’t happen here, but if you want to know about podcasting and about how we do it as a part of our business, we are happy to share that with you. That will be on 3dstartpoint.com.
I’m glad we are finally getting some sponsors and are able to justify it a bit more. Anyway, it’s a lot of fun. Thank you all for listening and being a part of this journey with us. Thank you for helping us hit 200.
As always, you can find us anywhere on social media @hazzdesign. You can find our show notes, blogs, and other resources on our website 3dstartpoint.com. That is the way you can get in touch with us: through the Ask Us form on the home page or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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