The Profitable Podcaster

Answering YOUR Questions About Podcasting

It’s a listener questions week! For my birthday a couple of weeks ago, I asked for your questions about launching, growing, and monetizing podcasts. I got some fantastic questions, so let’s dive into them: 

Questions

  • 01:54 How do you stay motivated?
  • 05:16 What are your top 3 tips for getting started?
  • 08:43 What platforms should you put your podcast on?
  • 10:27 Do you think BuzzSprout is the best audio host?
  • 11:25 How long should my podcast be?
  • 14:01 How many sponsor spots should you have per episode?
  • 15:25 How often should I publish?
  • 16:39 What is the best day and time to release new episodes?
  • 18:24 Should I rebrand my current podcast or start from scratch?
  • 20:35 What is your top tip for landing sponsors?
  • 22:00 What’s the most important podcast metric?
  • 23:11 Do you record with video on?

Show Notes

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My birthday was recently, and I decided on my birthday to ask my various social media channels to ask me any questions they had about podcasting. I got a lot of really great questions and I gave some answers. And I thought for today’s episode of Make Money Podcasting, which is also in video form. If you want to head on over to [youtube.com/podcastliftoff], I think that’s right. I’ll have it in the show notes. I thought I would bring forward some of those answers and questions and provide a little bit more context. So that’s what we are going to talk about today on Make Money Podcasting.

Hello, and welcome to Make Money Podcasting where I teach you how to make your first $10,000 with your podcast. On this show, you’ll learn tried and true methods to increase your revenue and turn your podcast from a money pit into a moneymaker. 

Joe Casabona: Hi, I’m your host, Joe Casabona. And my podcasts have been making money from day one without a lot of downloads. I’ll share everything I know with you here on Make Money Podcasting. 

But, again, I asked some questions on Twitter and LinkedIn or I asked four questions on Twitter and LinkedIn, and I thought I would spend this week’s episode answering those. So, let me scroll past the many Thank You or Happy Birthday comments and get to some of the questions. So let’s start over on Linkedin. 

Q: So the first question here is from Sarah. It is, how do you stay motivated to help people, especially if they’ve had a really negative experience? 

A: This is such a great question because I think it’s easy for people to really get discouraged with podcasting. You don’t see the downloads tick up the way you think, or even if you do get, you know, some number of downloads, you don’t get sponsors reaching out or even listeners reaching out. You know, I’ve had, I’ve struggled with getting people to write in to the show, in some way, shape, or form because it’s hard. There’s no comment system like you have on YouTube, for example. There’s no discovery algorithm like you have on YouTube, and so it’s really easy to get discouraged. 

My answer to Sarah was that I love experimenting and problem-solving. So, to help people who are struggling, I bring that optimism to our calls and courses. Usually,  when people get discouraged, it’s hard for them to see different solutions or want to try different things thinking like everything is futile. But I try to bring that energy and I get them to try new ideas or test something in a new way to learn what works.  And then I remind them that podcast growth and monetization is work that takes time. It could take months to gain real traction. And what you need to do is show up and be consistent.

I had a coaching client who, you know, usually my playbook for getting sponsors is to have a clear niche for your podcast. Have a clear mission statement. And then reach out to companies in your network that also serve that same audience, niche, or mission. That’s worked out really well for me in the past. And I know it’s worked out for a bunch of my coaching clients as well. 

But one of the coaching clients was in a niche where there was not a lot of advertising spending and so they were struggling. They reached out to a bunch of companies, a bunch in their networks, a bunch that had sponsored them in the past for webinars, and they were not as keen on sponsoring the podcast. And so we tried a bunch of things. We put together a custom package where they included in the webinar about their newsletter, which was pretty big.

And I also encourage them to lean into affiliate programs, right? This is not usually my first recommendation. It’s part of my SMASH Framework, but the affiliate program could work if you’re hitting the same product over and over again. And for a niche like this where they’re relying on teachers who are looking for good deals, it could work for them. 

So I try to experiment. I try to think about a bunch of different ways to help my coaching clients, my students, and my courses to try new things. And eventually, they’ll get to something that works. I’m really confident about that.  

So my,  next question. Is from (Gosh! I hope I say this right.) Does she have the pronunciation on her LinkedIn profile?  

Pro tip: LinkedIn allows you to do that. Allows you to add how you pronounce your name. They record you saying your name and you can upload it. I like to do that when I’m researching guests. I like to see if they have that pronunciation so I don’t mess it up. But I don’t see that. So I’m going to guess and say, Snezhana. 

Q: Snezhana, thanks for the birthday wishes. She says, can you list some of the most essential things one should keep in mind when starting a podcast? 

A: This is a great question because I don’t think it’s just launching. I think that If you wanna monetize, especially, or if you want to grow, then you could do these things to your show. And later we’ll get to a question about rebranding. But, here are the top three things for me. 

1. Define your mission statement. Make sure your show has a focus before it starts, or if you’ve stagnated, right? It shouldn’t just be people talking. Those are the worst kind of podcasts. And unless you’re huge, you know, unless you’re like Joe Rogan or  Pat McCaffrey. But even like Pat McCaffrey, I think has like, I mean, he focuses on sports, but it’s like dudes talking. If you’re doing a show, especially like a solo show,  you wanna have a clear mission and solve a clear problem. 

2. You will not get thousands or even hundreds of downloads when you first launch.  It takes time. And the thing that you need to do is stick to it. With my new podcast, it just recently reached a thousand downloads after about five months. So I’m still finding that audience. But I’m getting feedback now that people only know me from that show, which is amazing because my other show gets like 70,000 downloads a month. So it takes time. You gotta find your voice. You gotta find your sea legs.

I like to say,  you want to get your bearings on this new show or, the revamp of your show and it might take some time to find people. So it’s definitely a long game. And before you launch, so this works especially, well, you could take a hiatus on your current show. That’s what I did for Make Money Podcasting for this show. Before you launch is the best time to get ahead, right? So if you’re worried about staying consistent or the weekly grind record eight to 12 episodes and then schedule them like before you launch. Right now you have three months of content or more if you’re not weekly, where you don’t have to worry about that grind. 

And then as you get feedback, you can start to model your content a little bit based on what people are asking you. And then as a bonus, you can change literally anything after launch. It’s about experimenting, launching, and iterating. 

So this advice I just gave for people who should keep these things in mind before they start a podcast. If you’ve started, do them too. Like it’s fine. Make an episode saying, “Hey, I’m taking an extended hiatus while I rework the show.” That’s what I did for Make Money Podcasting. And before that, I was getting like ones of downloads. And now I get about…I get 10 times more downloads since reworking the mission and the content of the show than before. So, keep at it, and experiment.  

Q: So, the next question, (Those were the two…No. That can’t be right.) Yeah. Okay. Here we go. Trudie. Shout out to Trudie. She’s amazing. She asks two questions: What are the top five podcast directories that your show should be on? So let’s get to that one first. She also said, How old are you?

A: I’m 37 years old. I was born in 1985.  the Bowling Pursuit wrote a song about me.

What are the top five podcast directories? This is a really good question because I think a lot of people just think I need to be on Apple Podcasts, or I need to be on Spotify. There are… while Apple Podcasts is usually the feeder for most of the other smaller podcast apps, that’s definitely the case for the ones I use, which are Overcast and Pocket Casts probably.  You do need to be on more than just Apple. So I say Apple probably in the order of importance. I didn’t say this in the comment, but, in order of importance: 

1. Apple

2. Spotify

3. YouTube they are going full bore into podcasting. 35% of American adults discover new podcasts on YouTube. 35%. So you need to be on YouTube. 

4. Stitcher

5. Amazon.  

If you are trying to integrate directly with WordPress and want automatic publishing, this is just a set, like a second thing.  I think Castos is a great option for automatically publishing to YouTube.

I didn’t answer her second question. Sorry, Trudie. I think that… Yeah. I think in most cases, BuzzSprout is the best place to host your podcast. That’s where this one is hosted. And it’s because they make it really easy to get started. They have a generous free plan. They have dynamic content. So the little promo that you heard in the beginning is not one I said. Actually, if you’re watching this on YouTube, you didn’t even hear it. And it could be different from the day this episode comes out than 60 days from now. As a matter of fact, I know it will be because as I record this, I’m promoting a webinar I’m doing. And that webinar is gonna be gone after the launch date. But the dynamic content in the beginning (thanks to BuzzSprout) will still be relevant. So that’s a couple of reasons I think BuzzSprout is the best.  

So that was all of the main questions from LinkedIn. Let’s go over to Twitter after a bunch of happy birthdays and people telling me to enjoy my birthday. I’m just gonna say like, I enjoyed answering podcast questions on my birthday. Like I was working anyway. It’s not like I took the day off. So, thank you for your concern. Fine folks. But I rest assured I was doing what I enjoyed on my birthday. The biggest disappointment on my birthday was the Yankees losing to the Astros, and they ended up getting swept. So, pretty terrible all around. 

Q: Anyway. Again, I’m sorry. I’ve never said his name out loud before. So sorry, Gobinda. I hope that’s right. Gobinda asked a bunch of questions around, when is the best time? And how long, like kind of like publish schedule and length of content? So he asked a bunch. I took them one by one. 

A: The best time duration. So how long should a podcast be? I gave a very teacher answer to it. Make it as long as it needs to be. If you only need 15 minutes, make it 15 minutes. If you need an hour for whatever reason, then make it an hour. It only needs to be 15 minutes. Don’t make it an hour.  The average commute in America is 25 minutes, right? So people will say like, “Oh, make it 25 minutes.” Honestly, if your content is engaging, it could be 35 minutes. Like they’ll pick it up. They’ll pick it up later or they won’t. But they’ve listened to most of it. I’ve been advocating a lot for many podcasts because it’s less of a burden on the creator. So like an hour-long interview is a lot of work.

You need to schedule time with a guest. You need to research that guest. You need to come up with questions for that guest. Then you need to interview that guest, edit, combine the audio, and edit everything down. And that’s a lot of work. Whereas with a mini-podcast like this one, this is probably gonna go longer than 20 minutes.

But with a mini-podcast like this one, you outline or script your show, you read it, you maybe fix it up a little bit in Descript and you release it. So I advocate for a mini-podcast for the creator because it’s easier to stay consistent. But make your episodes as long as they need to be to solve the problem that episode is solving, right? That’s the big thing. It goes back to your mission statement. Your episodes should solve a specific problem. So you should have a beginning, middle, and end of the episode.  

How many slots do you suggest for sponsors? This isn’t scientific, but I usually recommend like one per 15 to 20 minutes of content. I usually have three and my episodes are about an hour long. So that’s one per 20 minutes. If you have a two-hour show, you can do four. You know, on TV they have like two minutes of ads for every seven minutes of a show or whatever. So, I think a lot of people will think that’s too much. But if your content is good, people are gonna stick around. 

You know, Jay Klaus, shout out to Jay Klaus and his community. But his podcast,  it’s like three-minute-long ad spots. In the beginning, three in the middle, and maybe three towards the end. It’s a lot of ads, but he’s got good content so he can have those. It really depends on you and your listeners. 

I’ve gotten feedback that four ads are too many especially when I’m promoting whatever my own stuff is. And so I dialed back. I thought four was too many too, but I sold four spots. So I wanted to do it right by the sponsors. You do what works best for you. But again, the rule of thumb for me is one per, let’s say 20 minutes of content. 

What is better? Daily or weekly? Daily’s a lot. Daily’s a lot but it depends on your content. Daily news naturally works better for daily. But general advice, I think weekly is better. I think some people can get away with fortnightly. If you’re gonna do monthly. I get this question a lot, can I just do monthly?  If you’re going to do monthly, then I think two things need to happen. You need to release 5-10 episodes on launch day because one per month is not enough for listeners to form a habit or a connection. So you wanna have some episodes in the tank. I think 5 is probably fine if you’re gonna do monthly. Make it super clear that you’re doing monthly. And if you’re doing monthly, then the topics need to be extremely evergreen. Because you can miss like entire news cycles for whatever industry if you’re doing monthly. So heavy caveats on monthly. I think fortnightly is good if you don’t want to do weekly, dailies.

And then what is the best time of day and day of the week to release? Not a lot of data here. (My New York accent came out a little bit there.) Not a lot of data here. But I don’t think it matters as much, as long as you’re consistent. Monday mornings are when my episode comes out. But I promote throughout the week with like a thread on Tuesday. And it goes out in my newsletter and I put it on LinkedIn at various times. 

Generally, Tuesdays are the most engaged days news-wise, like if you have good news, companies will wanna release that on Tuesday because that’s when they see the most engagement and shares. 

As a matter of fact, I read this, and on the eight days. So my webinar is on a Wednesday, eight days. So the second Tuesday before, or the Penn Ultimate Tuesday, we’ll say Before the webinar, I sent an email to my email list and I’ve gotten more signups than I ever have on a Friday, which is usually when I promote my webinars. To that end, Fridays are the least engaged. People are already checked out. That’s why companies usually release bad news on Fridays. They’re firing people. They’re gonna find out on a Friday. If their stock is down, you’re gonna find out on a Friday because people are the least engaged. So with those two pieces of data, I think, do again what works for you.

So that was all of Gobinda’s questions. Gobinda, I hope I’m saying your name right. If I’m not, let me know, okay, 

Q: So Dan Bennett, formerly the entrepreneur, but he’s changed his brand. He said it is your birthday duty to help me decide whether to keep my show the way it is or pull it into my rebrand for a video for entrepreneurs. What key things could I look at that might help me decide? 

A: Yes, this is a great question. It’s a great question. I would look at number one, what is the mission or purpose of a podcast for video for entrepreneurs? And then two, does the current show have the same or similar mission to your new brand? Will the current audience enjoy the rebrand? 

If there is overlap, do the rebrand, right? Because you have listeners subscribed to this show, you can rebrand without changing the feed. But if they are totally different, in Dan’s case, (I don’t think they are) but if they’re totally different or you wanna declare audience bankruptcy, create a new show. Make sure to drop the trailer for the new show in your current show’s feed.

And then he has a follow-up question. Should he kill previous episodes? I’d keep them out there. And either label them. With podcast feeds, you can label the episodes as normal episode, bonus episode,  or trailers. So you can label each of those episodes as a bonus, or you can label them as an old season and then make the new episodes part of a new season.

So maybe make them Season 1 and make the new episodes Season 2. If they are good, you can still reference them and it’s still good content. Don’t kill content because it doesn’t fit exactly in that box. But thanks. Those are really good questions from Dan. 

As I record this and as this episode comes out, Dan’s actually the guest on my other show, How I Built It. So if you wanna learn more about Dan,  you can head over to [howibuilt.it/290]. That’s 290.  

Stephanie Hudson asks, What’s your top tip? Landing sponsorship. 

My top tip is to make sure your podcast has a strong mission statement that is strongly aligned. (I said mission statement. That’s strongly…I didn’t say strong twice.) Has a mission statement that’s strongly aligned with the sponsor you’re reaching out to. 

So this is the main thing. I serve this audience. I help this audience solve this problem. (Talking with my hands. I hit the mic. I’m really sorry.)  I help this audience solve this problem. Then reach out to a sponsor that also helps that audience solve that problem. Strong brand alignment there because you are a trusted voice to that audience. That’s what podcasting is all about, and that sponsor should wanna leverage you as a trusted voice. So make sure that you and the sponsor are aligned in mission. And then reach out to that sponsor with a personalized pitch on how you can help them achieve their goals.

If you want more about this, check out Justin Moore, Creator Wizard. He’s amazing. He has a whole framework for all of this that is more systematized than me. Than what I do. So, definitely check out Justin.

Q: Groundhog – WordPress CRM  asks, What’s the most important metric in podcasting?

A: As always, I said it depends. I think it’s audience engagement. Honestly, 5,000 people could download but maybe only a thousand Listen. If you have a thousand engaged listeners, that’s incredible. But downloads is certainly the most common, universally understood metric, right? So if I tell someone, “Hey, I got 5,000 downloads in the first 30 days for each episode” they understand that versus, “I have, (let’s say) 100 engaged listeners.”

Q: What does engaged mean? Do they click on all your links? Do they write to you every week?  How are they open to sponsorship? That sort of thing. 

A: So downloads are definitely the most common, universally understood metric. But if it’s you measuring your impact, I look for engagement. If people are signing up for my newsletter, if they’re writing into the show, if they’re tweeting the show, that is more impactful to me personally than downloads.

Q: Taco asks, I think Taco’s the last question here. Yes. Taco Verdo. (Taco, hope I’m saying your last name right?) I’ve never said that out loud. Do you prefer to record while all participants have a video on or voice only, and why?

A: I’ve heard weirdly strong opinions on this. The folks at FM, they generally like to have a video off they say because it’s audio media, audio-only media and they want the listeners to be part of the conversation. So if you’re referencing something, you can see, but they can. It takes them out of it a little bit. 

I don’t really prescribe to that line of thinking. I can see it. But if you’re describing something visually, you got it ascribed, anyway. So, I think I like having video on unless it impedes the conversation. Meaning if the video on makes the connection choppy, I turn it off. But I like seeing my guests so that I can get visual cues, which for me helps the conversation go more smoothly. I don’t do as much editing as let’s say the guys at Relay.FM does, where I mark over-talking, For example, I only mark overtalking if it’s like pretty egregious and then my editor fixes it. But there’s generally not a lot of over-talking because I can see my guest and I can tell when they’re about to say something, or I can tell when they stop and I can jump in. So that’s why I like having videos. 

But there you go. That’s the whole kit and caboodle. Thanks to everybody who reached out and asked me a question on my birthday about podcasting. I love answering questions about podcasting. 

If you wanna ask a question or have any feedback whatsoever, you can head over to [makemoneypod.com/feedback]. It’ll also be in the show notes over [makemoneypodd.com/217]. That is for Season 2 Episode 17. 

So there you go. [makemoneypod.com/feedback] or [makemoneypod.com/217]. I suppose it’ll also be in your podcast app of choice. 

But that’s it for this episode of Make Money Podcasting. Thanks so much for listening. And until next time, I can’t wait to see what you make.

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