Dear new expert,
Welcome to Placecloud! We’re delighted to have you on board. Below is the basic info on how it all works. This, along with the recording guidelines, and marketing tips, tells you everything you need to know.
If you ever need any help, or have any questions, do simply get in touch with me at [email protected]
In a nutshell, getting started goes like this:
- Read the recording guidelines and create your DIY recording studio at home
- Make a test recording exactly as you plan to do your real viewpoints. This recording can just be 30 seconds or so. Listen back to the recording using headphones. Listen out for three things:
- An echo or hollowness to your voice (solution: surround yourself more completely with soft fabrics / blankets)
- If you can hear mouth sounds (hold the mic further away from your mouth)
- If you’re speaking too quickly (speak more slowly than feels natural!)
- When you’re happy with the recording, send it to [email protected] We’ll listen and get back to you.
- Once given the green light, go ahead and record your first real viewpoint recording: on your laptop/desktop, go to your Dashboard and create your first viewpoint
- When it’s ready, press “Submit” – we will do a last check on audio quality and mark you as “vetted” if all is well
- You’re now free to continue publishing viewpoints
- Follow our marketing tips to ensure lots of people get to listen to your viewpoints
Some more detail
The guidelines tell you about recording the audio, but basically you do your audio recordings at home using your smartphone. All you need to do is find a quiet room, cover yourself with a duvet or blanket (really!), and the audio will come out crystal clear. The audio file needs to be MP3, so if you use an iPhone, the ‘voice memo’ app is fine. On Android, we recommend an app called ‘MP3 Recorder‘. You could also plug a mic into your laptop (laptop in-built mics don’t tend to be very good).
Recordings should be between 3 and 20 minutes each. We’ve kept this flexible as each expert has their own style, and the payment mechanism allows that you’ll be paid for as long as subscribers keep listening – whether that’s across many shorter viewpoints, or fewer longer ones. Some subscribers will be listening remotely, some in-situ.
You’ll also want to upload some images to your viewpoint (though you don’t have to). These may be simple photos of the building/place, or perhaps architects’ plans, or other images connected somehow to the viewpoint, e.g. historical resources.
You’ll also need the address of the building or place. If the place doesn’t have an actual address, you’ll be able to enter a nearby address, and then move the map marker to the right spot.
If you’ve published a book, you’ll also be able to add it to the viewpoint such that the front cover is displayed on the front of the viewpoint (we use Goodreads for this, so it’s worth checking if your book’s front cover is displayed correctly there).
These are the elements you’ll use to build a viewpoint using our viewpoint builder. Simply go to your dashboard and press ‘New Viewpoint’ to get going. You can keep multiple viewpoints in draft as you go, and publish them when you’re ready. Once published, you can edit everything in your viewpoint except the audio file. If you need to change the audio, simply create a new viewpoint with the new audio file, and delete the old viewpoint.
Having been approved as a Placecloud expert, you’re free to make as many viewpoints as you like, on whatever topics you like. We take a hands-off approach from an editorial standpoint. However, we do check your very first viewpoint for sound quality.
So we advise that you begin by making a single viewpoint. Once you’ve been through the process with one (it’s easy), you’ll feel confident on how it works and how to achieve great sound quality. Then you can continue with all the viewpoints you have planned.
As outlined above, first send a test recording of around 30 seconds to [email protected] When we give you the green light, create your first proper viewpoint by going to your dashboard and pressing ‘New Viewpoint’. When you’re happy with it, press ‘Submit’. We’ll listen to the viewpoint, and when we’re both happy with the audio quality, we’ll mark you as ‘vetted’ and you’ll be free to keep making more without intervention.
The subscription model we’re using is ‘freemium’. This means, simply, that visitors to the site can listen to a free quota of viewpoints every month without subscribing. This allows people to sample your wonderful viewpoints, to whet their appetite before subscribing. This also means that you can publicise your viewpoints freely knowing that people will be able to listen for free (providing they haven’t already used up their quota).
The more experts publicise their viewpoints, the more visitors will land on Placecloud. Many will want to subscribe to listen particularly to your viewpoints, and (as per below) you’ll be paid in proportion to that.
Please take a look at our marketing tips, and do as many of the tips as you can.
Rather like your use of social media platforms, you will continue to own all the content (audio, images, etc.) you publish on Placecloud. By publishing it on the platform, you’ll be granting us the licence to display it for consumption, to make it shareable to other platforms, and to charge a subscription for access to it. Do have a read of our Terms.
Placecloud will be generating monthly subscription revenue. Every month, a calculation is made. After VAT and Stripe’s payment processing fee, 70% of the income is allocated to experts. Over the month, our subscribers will have listened to a certain number of minutes of viewpoints. You, as an expert, will be paid for the proportion of those total minutes that were from your viewpoints.
This aligns payment with subscriber enjoyment. It also means that the length of the viewpoint is not as important as the quality (people will keep listening if they’re enjoying a viewpoint, and vice versa).
If you’d like to delete a published viewpoint, simply email us at [email protected] and we’ll do it for you.
If you’d like to delete your account, simply email us at [email protected], and we’ll do it for you.