Introduction to Extras
As I’ve forged ahead with publishing article after article, podcast episode after podcast episode, a few small items of interest to slots enthusiasts didn’t make their way into any particular episode. These extras are, succinctly, Alexa skill, merch, books, emails, hotline, ask!
I haven’t previously used them, or stated them as clearly as I might otherwise have done, because these important tidbits haven’t quite fit in with any of my prior articles and episodes on winning strategies, casino safety, slots manufacturers, leveraging payout returns, and all the rest.
So, I’ve been collecting them for their own article. And, now is the time to share them. Therefore, this article has the following sections:
- Alexa Skill as a Podcast Destination
- “Merch” for Community Building
- Books on Learning to Win
- Email Updates for Slots Enthusiasts
- Voicemail Hotline for Show Questions
- Ask Questions for Professor Slots Podcast Office Hours
Keep Reading … or Listen Instead!
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Extras: Alexa Skill as a Podcast Destination
The first of six extras from Six Extras: Alexa Skill, Merch, Books, Emails, Hotline, Ask! is a podcast technical innovation for which I was able to jump on the bandwagon as part of the first group of podcasters to do so. It’s called an Alexa Skill.
But, first, a little background. There’s a bit of technical work that goes into maintaining a website as well as podcasting. It’s doesn’t take much to be a podcaster. All you really need is a microphone, a computer, a $5 per month host account, and something to talk about. And, the last two of those are often optional – although dropping them may not result in a “good” podcast.
It’s the podcast host account that’s important here. Right now, you are listening to an audio file. That audio had to have been uploaded somewhere, and that somewhere is the host. For example, iTunes or Apple Podcasts is not a host. Rather, it’s a distribution network.
So, there is a technical side to my Professor Slots podcast as well as a content side to it, which you are listening to. I have tried to be good at both. On the technical side, I have tried to set up my host account to make my podcast available at as many destinations as possible.
I want to be able to say, “Listen to Professor Slots wherever podcasts are available.” I don’t want to have to say, “Listen to Professor Slots at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, SoundCloud, RSS, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Downcast, iCatcher, Pod Wrangler, Podbean, and more.
What I’m trying to explain is that there is background work going on to make my Professor Slots podcast available to as many podcast destinations as possible. This early decision led me to originally choose a podcast host with a currently thorough yet actively growing list of podcast destinations.
This original research for a podcast host resulted in my choosing Liberated Syndications, also known as Libsyn. I won’t get into all aspects of how diligent they are. But, because of that diligence, I now have an Alexa Skill.
However, getting into the first group of podcasters to get a Alexa Skill required a relatively easy commitment: Basically, I had to promise my podcast host to tell you when I got it.
So, if you would, let me tell you about Alexa and my Alexa Skill. Alexa is Amazon’s voice service connected to the Echo family of devices, like Echo Show and Echo Spot. Alexa provides capabilities, or Skills, that enable customers to create a more personalized experience.
Essentially, Libsyn has set up a service with Amazon so that podcasts which Libsyn hosts can, if the podcaster requests it, receive their very own Alexa Skill. This is something Libsyn has been in development with Amazon for several years.
Each month, Libsyn submits a small group of interested podcasters to Amazon to get their Alexa Skill. I applied as soon as it was announced, and was added to the first regular group of podcasters, right after the alpha- and beta-testers.
All that being said, perhaps you’d be interested in using Alexa to listen to the Professor Slots podcast show. Note that you do need, naturally enough, an Alexa device to do so. Also keep in mind that Amazon has plans to eventually put the Alexa device into cars. The future is coming, my friends, and her name is Alexa.
So, if you have an Alexa device, and wish to add Professor Slots, there are several easy ways to do so. You can go to your online Amazon account, select Alexa Skills from the search menu, then type in Professor Slots into the search menu. Or, simply visit Professor Slots Alexa Skills directly.
Either way, you’ll be taken to the same Amazon page for the Professor Slots Alexa Skill. From there, just click the Enable Professor Slots button. You may need to sign into your Amazon account first, of course.
Another way to enable the Professor Slots skill on Alexa is to simply say, “Alexa, enable Professor Slots.”
Here are a few quick tips when navigating the Professor Slots podcast skill. First thing to note, when opening the skill you’ll be offered the latest episode, but if that’s not what you’re looking for, you can always find something more specific.
This skill allows you to skip forward and backward by entire episodes, and you can also fast forward and rewind within episodes themselves. In addition, you can ask the skill to play the newest or oldest episodes released; or if you want to get specific, play a specific episode by saying the episode number.
If you happen to have an Alexa device, try some of these commands:
- Skip Entire Episodes
- [While Episode Is Playing] = “Alexa skip” or “Alexa tell Professor Slots to skip ahead 5 episodes”
- Fast Forward/Back Within Episode
- [While Episode Is Playing] = “Alexa, tell Professor Slots to fast forward 2 minutes”
- [While Episode Is Playing] = “Alexa, tell Professor Slots to rewind 45 seconds”
- Select Newest Episode
- “Alexa, tell Professor Slots to play the newest episode”
So, for your listening convenience, that is my Alexa Skill for the Professor Slots podcast. Please provide a rating and review of the Professor Slots Alexa Skill to Amazon on the webpage just provided.
Extras: “Merch” for Community Building
The second of six extras from Six Extras: Alexa Skill, Merch, Books, Emails, Hotline, Ask! is about growing our community of slots enthusiasts. As usual, I start with some background. I think we would both benefit from having a larger community. I’m doing everything I can, as fast as I can, to do so online.
But, there’s this other thing out there. Perhaps you have heard of it. It’s not virtual reality but rather the real world. You and I, we should meet. And you and you and you over there should meet.
Interestingly enough, this is not altogether unreasonable. A lot of podcast audiences will never meet, except for special once a year events where one of them travels to the other. But, that’s not us. We, this community of slots enthusiasts including myself, we visit casinos.
It is possible that you might recognize me at a casino from a photograph I’ve shared. But, I won’t recognize you to be able to simple say hello. How could I? But, that’s the exact right question. How can I recognize you? How can you recognize each other? It’s simple: buy some Professor Slots ‘merch”.
Merch is what all the cool kids call merchandise these days. That’s right: Professor Slots has merchandise. Don’t you think wearing a shirt having “Professor Slots” will help you spot one another, if you happen to pass by each other in a casino? I think you will.
If you are interested, here’s a link to my Professor Slots merchandise. It is my online CafePress shop, where you’ll find many sizes and colors of men’s and women’s shirts and hoodies with the Professor Slots logo.
Now, I need to mention money. First, I get an abysmally small amount for each shirt sold. If I could make it zero, I would, just to reduce the cost for you.
Second, the costs you see at the CafePress shop are partly due to their providing quality clothing. They didn’t always. They once ruined their reputation by having poor clothing quality. But, now they have good to excellent clothing quality. That’s the first reason for the cost that you see.
The second reason is because we are slots players. While having the logo on the front of the shirt helps you spot each other at a casino when walking by one another, walking around isn’t what we do at a casino.
When we are at a casino, as you very well know, we are playing a slot machine. And, when we play a slot machine, we are generally facing the slot machine with our back toward the rest of the casino. So, a portion of the extra cost of these shirts is due to adding a large Professor Slots logo to the back of the shirt. It’s really the only way to truly be effective.
One last thing I want to say about the cost. If I could give each one of you a free shirt, I would. However, despite how often they are actually done by others, raffles and other such giveaways are subject to state gaming regulations. I wish I could just give each and every one of you a Professor Slots shirt. But, I cannot. My internet lawyer has strongly advised against having giveaways. Not just strongly, but rather adamantly, I might add.
Again, remember you can find Professor Slots merch at my CafePress shop. I also have mugs, stickers, and a few other items, if you are interested.
Extras: Books on Learning to Win
The third extra from Six Extras: Alexa Skill, Merch, Books, Emails, Hotline, Ask! is something I rarely mention. I have books available, all self-published. This is just one of those topics I keep not mentioning. Basically, there are there for people who wish to know more about what is coming next.
One book, more of a pamphlet since it’s less than 30 pages, is the How-To Guide to Winning at Casino Slots: What Everyone Should Know Before Playing Slot Machines. Nearly word-for-word, it’s the content provided in the first segments of episodes 2 thru 5 of the Professor Slots podcast.
The How-To Guide to Winning at Casino Slots is only available as an e-book. It is as cheap as Amazon Kindle will allow me to make it, which is 99-cents before taxes if you buy it or free if you participate in Amazon kindle unlimited program.
The other book, Learning to Win: How to Make a Profit at Slot Machine Gambling, is available from Amazon as both a Kindle e-book as well as a soft cover. It took me a couple of years to write this 200+ page book, then only sold it on my website for more than a year.
Before 2018, the price for Learning to Win on my professorslots.com website was typically between $77.77 and $100. In February of 2018 I decided to pivot, as they say, and make all of the content from this book much more available.
I am not trying to make a significant amount of money at it, but it is helping to pay a portion of my monthly costs of having a website and podcast. If you are interesting in it, Learning to Win is available in three ways.
First, I have it available on my website as a downloadable PDF file. This digital file is a format automatically readable on most computers and smart devices. As it happens, any purchase of it from my website goes only to me.
So, if you want this book, a PDF file works for you, and if you don’t want Amazon to get 70% of the price you paid, then you’re looking for the downloadable PDF file from my Professor Slots website.
If you would prefer the Amazon Kindle e-book version, it is the same cost to you as the PDF version on my website. If you prefer the Amazon Kindle soft cover version, it is available for slightly more than the e-book to partially cover the additional cost of Amazon’s print-on-demand service.
One final note about Learning to Win is simply this. I am constantly creating and updating new content. Each week, I learn and discover more which I share with you on the website and podcast. However, it is nearly easy or straight forward to do the same with a published book.
So, while the 200+ page book Learning To Win contains all of my original ideas, it is becoming due for an update with my last thoughts and discoveries. A good example of this is my recent doubling of what I had previously understood about Progressive Slot Machines, as presented in last week’s podcast episode #25.
Extras: Email Updates for Slots Enthusiasts
The fourth extra from Six Extras: Alexa Skill, Merch, Books, Emails, Hotline, Ask! is effectively my current business model. My current business model is to grow my audience. To do that, I have fully aligned all aspects of my Professor Slots business to ask for one thing and one thing only: Your email address.
When I ask for your email address, I work hard to immediately provide something in return. Primarily, this has been to provide you with …
By going to the above link I provide so often, you immediately get a one-page, tightly packed list of my top 7 online resources along with what I find valuable about them.
To get them, I request your email. Not your full name. Not your address. Just your first name and email address. Once provided, you are taken directly to the free report.
But, you will get added to my email list. With it, you get a short daily sequence of emails, basically an crash course introduction to get you fully up to speed with the guidance I provide.
Then, there are weekly emails with links and short descriptions to anything I’ve recently provided on my website and podcast, along with a few other tidbits I think you might find both useful and interesting.
I think it is a good sign that many people sign up and few people unsubscribe which, as it happens, I make very easy to do.
The point here is that my only ask, the only thing I regularly and consistently ask for is your email address. It is likely to be the only thing I will ask for in 2018, and quite possibly 2019 as well.
My business goal is to grow my audience. It is not my business goal to make money – that will come later, likely years from now. What my business needs is an audience in the form of a list of email addresses. Your email addresses. To get them, I make every attempt to provide good weekly value in return.
To switch over from my current goal of growing my audience, I need a certain number of email subscribers who are slots enthusiasts. I believe this number is 2,000. At the time of this recording, I have passed the 10% mark of reaching my goal.
What happens, you ask, when I reach my goal of 2,000 subscribers? Well, that’s simple. I will send them an email survey, asking them what they want. Is it another book? Or, a webinar? An online course or courses? Is it a presentation to them and their friends, perhaps at a casino local to them?
Frankly, I don’t know. Any of these tasks are fine by me, but what I really want to know is what you want. And, I don’t yet know what that is. I can guess, but I don’t really know.
Whatever it ends up being, there has to be enough of you for it to be worthwhile doing. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be expensive for me to create, and I want to keep the price as low as possible.
So, what does all this mean? It means that audiences grow by word of mouth. That’s it. If you like the podcast, tell somebody else that also likes slots. If you like the book, ditto. If you buy a Professor Slots shirt, walk through a casino wearing it.
Whatever you like about Professor Slots, what I want from you is to simply tell someone. I’ll take care of the rest, by asking for their email address on the podcast, all over the website, in the book, and even with the Professor Slots merch.
Again, you tell somebody what you like about Professor Slots, and I’ll do the rest. Then, after a while, I’ll have enough email subscribers to create a product that will improve your slots gambling performance using exactly the method that works best for all of us.
Extras: Voicemail Hotline for Show Questions
The fifth extra from Six Extras: Alexa Skill, Merch, Books, Emails, Hotline, Ask! is a trend that is starting within the podcast community. At least, it is what all the podcasters are talking about and setting up themselves. Basically, the idea is this: Listeners want to be on the show, however briefly.
So, do you want to be on the show? Well, then, why not? Do you have a question about slots? Or, did something interesting happen with a slot machine when you were at the casino? Yes? Great!
All you need to do is call my voicemail hotline at 702-90-SLOTS, and ask your slots question or tell me about your slots experience. Everything may not make it into a podcast episode, especially if it’s not slots related, but we shall see.
I look forward to hearing your slots questions and stories! This phone number will also be available at the bottom of every page on my Professor Slots website.
If you are reading this on a smart phone, you should be able to simply just click on 702-90-SLOTS to call and leave me a message on the Professor Slots Voicemail Hotline.
Listen to the Professor Slots podcast for answers to your questions or, otherwise, provide another way for me to respond if you don’t want to be on the podcast.
Extras: Ask Questions for Professor Slots Podcast Office Hours!
This sixth and final extra from Six Extras: Alexa Skill, Merch, Books, Emails, Hotline, Ask! was a suggestion made by a fan, a professor of geology. As a fellow professor, I appreciated his suggestion.
Like a professor, why don’t I have a segment of the podcast where I answer questions from listeners. Put another way, why not have Professor Slots Office Hours inserted into the show?
So, going forward, I’ll work on adding a new segment of the show, probably inserted as a middle segment between the primary topic in the first segment and before each episode’s last segment on whichever U.S. state, territory, or federal district is scheduled next.
Summary of Six Extras: Alexa Skill, Merch, Books, Emails, Hotline, Ask!
In summary, a few small items of interest to slots enthusiasts didn’t make their way into any particular episode. At least, not until now. I’ve gone over six extras for slots players I have been collecting for some time. In individual detail, these are:
- Alexa Skill as a Podcast Destination, where those of you with an Amazon Alexa device can now say “Alexa Enable Professor Slots”. Oops, sorry about that. Say, “Alexa, stop!” Remember to leave a rating and review with Amazon.
- “Merch” for Community Building, where I explained that men’s and women’s merchandise with the Professor Slots logo is now available from the Professor Slots CafePress Shop.
- Books on Learning to Win, for those that want to read ahead, including a downloadable pdf version on my website as well as an Amazon Kindle e-book and soft cover available on Amazon.
- Email Updates for Slots Enthusiasts, in which I discussed my current business model and the reasons for it:
- My primary focus is to collect enough email addresses by offering something free and of immediate value, to someday, years from now, be able to invest and offer something much more valuable than I already am to our community of slots enthusiasts. For example …
- My Free Report Reveals … The Top 7 Online Resources for Improving Your Gambling Performance (Including the One I’ve Used as a Top-Tier Slot Machine Casino Gambler).
- Voicemail Hotline for Show Questions, which is just like it sounds. For slots questions and anecdotes about slots experiences at the casino, leave a voicemail at 702-90-SLOTS to possibly be heard on the podcast.
- Ask Questions for Professor Slots Podcast Office Hours, where a listener suggested I add an Office Hours segment to the show, where I answer your slots-related questions. Just call the show’s voicemail hotline at 702-90-SLOTS or look towards the bottom of this webpage for my contact information.
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