Why do you use it?

Have you ever explained YKYZ to someone, and they said, “But WHY do you use it?” Maybe you have answers that just roll off the tip of your tongue, but for the rest of us, here is a quick cheat sheet:

It is the friendliest site out there.
How many social media sites can say this? YKYZ is friendly. The users are engaging, supportive, and thoughtful. You do not leave the site feeling like you have just stepped on someone’s toes and you should avoid them for the foreseeable future or wonder if you somehow offended someone. (although if you did, there’s always c/apologies

You can talk it out.
Having a conversation with someone by voice chat is different from having a text conversation. You can hear the tone of their voice, which is a big plus – texts can be so hard to interpret sometimes. No need to hunt up the perfect emoji to convey your thoughts – your listener can tell if you are happy, sad, or just plain mad.

You can multi-task!
Okay, judging by the exclamation point, this is a big one for me. It is so nice to be able to both listen and reply without having to be tied down to a keyboard. Yes, you obviously must pay some attention to the site, but I can get so much more done when I do not have to type out and read every response. 

There is so much variety.
On other social media sites, you tend to follow people who are like you or have similar interests. On YKYZ, it is just one feed with every single user. No one is left out. Due to this, I have listened to, and enjoyed, microcasts on topics that I would not necessarily have thought I would be interested in. There is something here for everyone.

You do not have to spell.
Okay, this is a bit of a gag reason, but seriously – you can just talk away and not worry about how to spell a word. Unless you are not sure how to pronounce something – then you are on your own. You also do not have to worry about auto-correct changing your words to something awful – you can say what you mean, and it’s not misunderstood.

It is a community.
Granted, YKYZ is still small, and the sense of community is likely possible in a slight measure because of this. However, one thing I have noticed is that people on the site genuinely care about others. If someone is struggling or having a bad day, people go out of their way to support them. There is no negativity – just positive vibes.

It is slightly addicting.
Yes, this falls under good things. Especially when we are mostly stuck inside, it is easy to fall down rabbit holes. If you are on social media, you do not often emerge feeling better. This is why we go on YKYZ – there are so many channels and conversations that you can kill an hour on the site and not feel bad because it’s not a waste of time – you engaged in (mostly) intelligent conversation, and made a connection with real people. 

I am sure you can add more to the list, but these are just a few of the reasons why I enjoy the site. What are yours? 

Picking the Perfect Title

The title of your microcast is like the thumbnail on a video or the first line of a news article. If it doesn’t look interesting, it won’t matter how good your microcast is, people are less likely to check it out. But how do you come up with the right title? One that is interesting, but not pure clickbait, and one that summarizes up your microcast in one short phrase? Here are a few tips that might help, although I do not by any means consider myself an authority – I spend more time trying to pick a title than I do writing my scripts.

Make it catchy
First, try to make your title catch the listener’s attention. “Laundry Time” is simple and to the point, but probably won’t get much traction. Instead, try “Ways to Make Laundry Easier”, or “The Best Way to Wash”. This is helpful because it tells the listener that you have something worthwhile to say – this isn’t just a rant about laundry. If they click on it, they might learn something that will be useful to them. And it just sounds more interesting.

Ask a Question
People love to give their opinion. You know what they love even more? To be asked to give their opinion. Make your title into a question. “Do You…” “Have You Ever…” “Did You Know…” For what it’s worth, I’ve found vague questions do better. “Have you ever done this?” gets more interest than “Have You Ever Skydived?” People want to know what the “this” in the title is, and so they listen. It’s also a good idea to ask a question occasionally during your microcast episodes, even if it’s just a simple one. These are all ways to pull the listener in.

Use a Little Clickbait
Obviously, you’re not going to be lying to your listeners, or promising something you don’t deliver on. But it doesn’t hurt to bait the hook with a few extra worms sometimes. It’s fine to inflate the importance of something in your microcast, as long as you keep it interesting, and don’t shortchange your listeners. And remember, it’s your microcast. You’re excited about your topic, right? So put a little of that over the top excitement out there and convey it to your audience.

Sometimes, you have to get creative. Try asking your friends to listen to your episode, or read it if you’ve written a script, and suggest a title for it. Bonus: this gets you some more exposure! Another way to think of a title – pretend you’re playing charades, except with words. What words would you use to describe the microcast episode? Get it down to the basics, then you can enlarge your title from there.

Go for Broke
Don’t be afraid to go for something a little confrontational, or maybe unpopular. As long as you are civil and kind about something, putting a bit of zing into your title can get you more listens as well. Again, this is a tactic that draws people in. A bit of debate, a chance to give one’s opinion – all ways to entrance your listeners.

Last, make sure the title is easy on the eyes. Make sure you’re following the YKYZ protocol – all titles should look like this – 1. Episode Title.  Number, period, title. This makes the site look uniform and makes everything mesh well together. Next, try to keep your title short(ish). Yes, people can hover over the title to see the entire thing, but what if they don’t? You want to catch their attention, and the less they have to do, the better. Feel free to use an emoji here and there to make your title stand out, or fit in with something relevant to your episode. Less is more here, though, unless you’re playing c/emojisentence.

Having said all that, don’t overthink this. Write your script, record your episode, and put a title on it. If you see another microcast, or even an article or video online with a catchy title, take note. What caught your eye? What can you learn from that?  Practice makes perfect, and over time, it gets easier. At least that’s what they tell me. So keep at it, and remember to have fun!

Getting Started On YKYZ

This week’s topic was suggested by DoctorIrish – thanks for the suggestion! I know there are quite a few people just starting their microcasts, so I’ve used his ideas and hopefully gathered them all into a coherent-sounding post.

First, and most importantly, welcome to YKYZ! You’ve probably noticed we’re friendly and supportive, but it can still be overwhelming when you are just starting out with your microcast. Trust me, we’ve all been there. I don’t think any of us look back at our first microcasts with anything approaching pride, but remember, practice makes perfect! It takes time to build a good microcast, especially if this is your first rodeo. I hope the following strategies will be of some help.

When deciding on your microcast topic, make sure it’s something that you can see yourself talking about for quite some time. While you are certainly welcome to change the subject of your microcast, or start a new one, it is best for consistent listener engagement if you can stick to it over time. If you are switching up the topic of your microcast often, it may be hard to keep your users loyal. It is important to find a topic that you are passionate and/or knowledgeable about, so keep that in mind. This is essential for a couple of reasons – first, your listeners can tell if you are interested in your subject matter or not. Second, it doesn’t seem much like “work” when you can talk at length without having to do a lot of research about your subject.

One thing that may be a tad difficult at first is sticking to your topic, or fitting everything into the allotted 90 seconds. Don’t worry, you’ll adjust. It may help to make a rough outline, writing down the important points you want to mention. You can also just write out the whole microcast episode. I make a point of doing this – otherwise I wander all over creation and say “um” way too much. Remember, the famous sayings we remember from great men and women were usually part of a speech, but only one or two lines are often quoted. Think of your microcast as those lines. You aren’t writing an entire news article. This is a “just the facts, ma’am” type of situation.

That being said, there are some topics that just can’t be squeezed into one microcast episode. When you do a series of episodes, make sure they are clearly labeled, i.e. part 1, part 2, etc. That way your listeners don’t miss any information. It’s also helpful to give a short intro at the beginning of each microcast in the series, so that if someone hasn’t heard the first episode, they still have a rough idea of where you are coming from, as opposed to just jumping straight in. If nothing else, you can mention that “This microcast follows episode 13, so make sure to give that a listen first!”

Your microcast channel will evolve over time. You may add intro and/or outro music and sound effects. The way you introduce yourself and sign off may change. You may find yourself gravitating towards one aspect of your topic more than others, or you may slowly change the tune of your whole microcast. And that is perfectly fine. The important thing is to give your listeners some continuity. It’s best to make changes one at a time, so they don’t suddenly hear new music and a new introduction and a new topic, all at once. It’s also easier for you to slowly change things, as well. One thing that will help with listener engagement is to ask for feedback, or their opinion. Maybe you have a couple different intros you would like to do, and this is a great time to see what your audience would prefer.

One last thing – don’t put a ton of pressure on yourself to do everything right, and to do it right now. It’s easy to listen to microcasters that seem to have all their ducks in a row and go, “Wow. I sound terrible compared to them.” Remember, they’ve likely had experience, and they went through the same learning process you did. So don’t sweat it. Learn as you go, put forth an effort to change and grow as you see room for improvement, and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. The road to success is traveled one step at a time – or, shall we say, one microcast at a time?

How to Promote Your Microcast and YKYZ

Why should you promote your microcast? Well, there are a few reasons why. First of all, people won’t listen unless you promote them. I’ll go over ways to do that in a bit, but it can be as simple as an eye-catching title or a relevant topic that gets people talking. Second, promoting your microcast, and thus YKYZ, helps the site, which helps you because if YKYZ is successful, you have a good chance to be a success as well. It’s all intertwined – the circle of life if you will. Last, promoting your microcast is necessary because there is a ton of content out there. People aren’t likely to accidentally stumble across it. You have to shove it right in front of them so they have to stumble upon it. How do you do that? There are quite a few ways, some of which I’ll go into below.

Word of Mouth

I’ve listed this one first because it’s the easiest and the most likely to get results. If you have friends, relatives, neighbors, or work colleagues, mention your microcast in conversation. “What are you doing to stay busy these days?” “Well, I have a microcast on this site called YKYZ – let me send you the link!” Simple as that. If you haven’t already, go here  https://blog.ykyz.com/index.php/how-to/email-signatures/ to change your email signature to promote your microcast. It takes maybe five or ten minutes, and then every email you send will have a link to your microcast at the bottom.

Social Media

If you haven’t already, follow YKYZ on Facebook and Twitter. Like and share/retweet the official YKYZ posts, and any of the other YKYZ users’ posts you wish. Start your own account – you don’t have to have an account on every social media site, although that will certainly get you more exposure. However, if you only have time for one, pick a platform you will be most likely to engage with. Spend time gathering followers – this can be as simple as liking or commenting on posts, following users with similar accounts – e.g., if your microcast is about gaming, follow other gamers, etc. Make sure to post at least once a day, and ideally four to five times throughout the day. This can be done in five minutes or less – just click on the drop-down link under your episode, then select the link for either Twitter or Facebook. This eliminates the long link in your posts and makes it look more professional. Try to be engaging – grab people’s attention. Ask questions – people love to give their opinion. Another thing I would suggest is using relevant hashtags. For example, those of you who have historical/education microcasts, try using #homeschooling or #homeschool to get your microcast to parents or teachers who could use it. And, as always, make sure to tag YKYZ in your posts!


Addie from Music and Peace did a great job with this on Reddit, so I won’t go into a lot of detail. https://www.reddit.com/r/YKYZ/comments/esiqc5/linktree_for_your_instagram_and_social_media/  Basically, this allows you to combine all your links for various platforms into one spot. You can just use this link for promotion instead of trying to decide if you should post your Spotify or your iTunes link. It takes maybe 2 minutes to set up each link. Make sure this is posted in your bio/profile on social media as well – I’m not as familiar with Facebook, but I know Twitter has a website option you can put this in.

Upload your microcast to podcasting platforms

There are tutorials in the YKYZ blog on how to do this for some of the more popular sites: https://blog.ykyz.com/index.php/how-to/. Again, this takes maybe five or ten minutes – once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty much autopilot. Some sites require verification, others just let you upload and go. YKYZ automatically uploads to the sites, so once you’ve done it, that’s it. New episodes show up on iTunes or wherever you’ve uploaded every time you upload to YKYZ.

Say Hi to the new users

When you go on the YKYZ site, take the time to go to https://ykyz.com/c/intros. Go through the list of new users and say Hi. Even if that’s all you say! It can be a little intimidating to talk into the void, so to speak, and sometimes new users don’t stay for very long. If you notice a new name, try to engage with them, even if their microcast or comment isn’t something you would necessarily find relevant to you. It’s about being friendly and making them feel at home so they want to stick around. Community is a big thing here, and we want new users to feel welcomed.

Time to take action!

I know we are all busy right now, lives have been rearranged, and things are uncertain. But I’m pretty sure we can all find ten or fifteen minutes a day to promote our microcasts, and, by extension, YKYZ. Any of the action items listed above should take you five-fifteen minutes, and you’ll be surprised by how much progress you will make. It’s encouraging to see your followers grow, and to see people on the site that you know came there because of you. So here’s to YKYZ – and all of us. Let’s all pull together – promote like crazy, let people know there’s a site out there that is friendly, doesn’t censor, and is exciting and engaging – something we are all proud to be a part of. Cheers!

Editor’s Note: Originally posted on 4/1/2020. Updated on 4/13/2020, for sake of clarity.