Podcasters: study what the successful shows are doing


Copycats, thieves, and podcasters

Here it is, part six of my six-part series for creating a better podcast to compete with the really popular shows.

Tip number six: study the great podcasts.

This one is pretty simple and obvious. But, how many of us take the time and effort to really study what the successful podcasters are doing?

Don’t just listen – take notes. Try and analyze how these shows are written, structured, and edited. Think about how you can use these same techniques in your show.

I realize many of the popular podcasts utilize a production team, but that doesn’t mean you can’t figure out ways to bring the same production values to your show.

I mentioned this earlier, but one way to improve your show is to change your show frequency. Once you aren’t shackled to the tyranny of a weekly show, you’ll have time to make each episode better.

You can study shows that are ranked at the top of the iTunes chart to get started. And, don’t forget to study shows you like to listen to.

I started doing this a couple of weeks ago. I’ve only gotten through about eight shows, but I’ve already learned a lot. Not only that, I’ve come up with a lot of great ideas I can incorporate into my new show.

And, I can’t recommend the following advice enough:

“Good artists copy, great artists steal.” – somebody famous probably

This brings us to the end of this six-part series.

If you have a podcast or plan to launch one, here’s a simple plan for success:

  1. Figure out who you want to serve
  2. Figure out how you’ll serve them with your show
  3. Make an amazing show


Do you have your own podcast or online business?

Send me an email –  [email protected]

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How to pay contributors for your podcast


Payment is due – what do you do?

This is part four of my six-part series for creating a better podcast to compete with the really popular shows.

In a previous episode, I talked about finding content creators to help you make your show better.

Tip number four is how to “pay” those content creators.

Obviously, if you can afford it, you can simply pay them for their contribution to the show. I’m guessing this isn’t possible for most of us.

So, assuming you don’t have the cash, it’s time to get creative.

Since these content creators are probably thought leaders in their space (or would like to be), they could probably use some help promoting what they’re doing. Just as you need a larger podcast audience, they need more followers.

You can certainly credit them on the podcast episode they contribute to and you should. Be generous with credits. And don’t forget to give out their contact information on the podcast and provide links to their website in your show notes.

Be sure to promote them on your social media, too. And do this more than once. If you have a mailing list, you have another opportunity to promote them.

Finally, see if there is something you can offer in trade for their contribution. Maybe they’re starting their own podcast and could use some assistance. Perhaps you can help them with an email campaign.

Don’t be afraid to ask them what would make it worth their time and effort.

Ultimately, you’re looking for the proverbial “win-win” here. Just be upfront and honest about what you can offer in “payment” when you ask for their help on your show.

And don’t be surprised if they offer to contribute for free.

Tomorrow, tip number five.


Do you have your own podcast or online business?

Send me an email –  [email protected]

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A podcast is a magazine for the ears


Just call me the podcast editor-in-chief

Do you want to create an awesome podcast? We’ll, you’re in luck.

This is part three of a six-part series about how to make great podcast episodes that find an audience.

Here is tip number three: think of your podcast as a magazine… that people listen to.

Think about it:

  • You can publish a magazine – you can publish podcast episodes
  • People subscribe to magazines and podcasts
  • Magazines and podcasts both cater to specific interests

Once you start thinking about your podcast as a magazine for the ears, you should start seeing some exciting new possibilities for your show.

You are no longer just a podcaster or podcast producer – you’re an editor, a contributor, and a curator.

Think about it – each podcast episode can be made up of stories and features (like a magazine) that you and others create for your subscribers.

It’s going to take more work, more time, and more people, but the results could be game-changing for your show.

Your podcast episodes should contain so much great content and be so compelling that your listeners can’t wait for the next show.

I hear from a lot of podcasts who ask how they can grow their podcast audience. Sure, posting about your show on social media can help, but you know what it really takes – a better show.

That means well-produced, curated, and edited stories or segments that inform and entertain. It’s the future of podcasting.

Think like an editor.


Do you have your own podcast or online business?

Send me an email –  [email protected]

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Seeking content creators to make better podcasts

content creators

Content creators wanted

Yesterday, I gave you my first tip toward creating a better podcast.

Today, I’m revealing tip number two (out of six) to help you compete with the popular podcasts.

And here it is: bring in other voices or content creators. This will go a LONG way toward making your show more interesting and engaging for your audience.

Now, there are successful podcasts out there with a single host – one voice. But, most of the time, bringing in other people can really open up your show and give it more energy.

For example, a good co-host gives you someone to bounce ideas off of and they can have engaging discussions with you about your topic or niche.

You can also interview experts or thought leaders in your niche. And they don’t have to a agree with you. Sometimes, the best guests are people who challenge your thinking.

You might also consider a call-in show. You can do live shows and take phone calls or use a tool like SpeakPipe so people can record their questions or comments for your show.

Remember, podcasting can be a lonely business. But it doesn’t have to be.

In any event, other people can bring fresh ideas and unique perspectives to your show you wouldn’t come up with on your own.

So, go out there and find some collaborators. Your audience will thank you for it.


Do you have your own podcast or online business?

Send me an email –  [email protected]

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Podcasters: How to compete with the big names


What’s the frequency, Kenneth?

Hello, podcasters!

Yesterday, I promised to reveal how you can compete with the popular, big-name podcasts.

I have six simple techniques I’m going to share with you over the next six shows.

Today, I’ll begin with a simple and free method you can use to make your podcast episodes a lot better.

Tip number one: frequency.

Spend a LOT more time on each show.

You don’t have to release a show once a week or even once a month.

This is podcasting. There are no rules.

You have my permission to take as long as you need for each show.

Dan Carlin sometimes spends months creating one episode of his top-rated show: Hardcore History. He also works on his show seven days a week.

A really great show takes a lot of work and that takes time. So, give yourself that time.

Does it make more sense to put out one fantastic show every month or four so-so shows once a week? If you want to compete with the big boys, you have to put out a great show.

So, pick a realistic schedule, tell your audience what that schedule is and keep to it.

For example, my new podcast will probably be a monthly show. Once I put the first show together, I’ll know if that’s realistic.

Don’t be a slave to a podcast schedule that makes you compromise on show quality.

Because it’s really simple: if you want an audience, you have to give them an amazing show! And that takes time.

Tomorrow, tip number two.


Do you have your own podcast or online business?

Send me an email –  [email protected]

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Podcasters: It’s time to step up your game!


The podcasting times, they are a-changin’

Yesterday, I asked if podcasting is right for your business. That’s because it can be just as difficult to find an audience for your podcast as it is to find customers for your business.

Let’s look at how podcasters are building their audience. I found a good resource – How to Grow Your Podcast Audience from 100’s to 1000’s. It’s a YouTube video and audio podcast with some great show notes. There are so many useful tips and strategies in this that I won’t even summarize them. You just need to check it out.

For many podcasters, following the techniques described in this resource will get them to the audience levels they’re looking for.

But, what if you’ve tried these techniques and your audience just hasn’t grown large enough?

Let’s see what we can do to get your audience levels to the, uh… next level.

Podcasting today

First, we need to look at the state of podcast episodes today.

Many podcasts are solo shows: the host speaks by himself or herself. Maybe there’s a fancy intro and outro and, perhaps, some music and sound effects thrown in to underscore a story or transition.

Next up are podcasts with more than one host. Similar to the solo show, but the hosts can interact with each other. If there’s good chemistry, this can really add some good energy and entertainment value to the show.

Interview-based podcasts are very popular. Usually, this type of show has one host and an interview subject. I’ve noticed most shows include some kind of intro and outro for the interview. However, most of the interviews are lightly edited if they are edited at all.

Next, we’ve got podcasts with higher production values such as NPR-type shows and some fiction shows. These shows take a lot more time, effort, and expense. But, if you look at the iTunes charts, these are the shows with the largest audiences.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about what the solo, co-hosted, or interview-based podcaster can do to compete with these more popular shows.

You don’t want to miss it. It just might be the future of podcasting.


Do you have your own podcast or online business?

Send me an email –  [email protected]

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Does a podcast make sense for your business?


Five years ago in podcasting: those were the days

If you’re listening to my voice right now, chances are you’re a regular podcast listener.

Some of you may be podcasters yourselves or, maybe, you’re thinking about starting one.

And, if you have a business – online or brick-and-mortar – a podcast is supposed to be a great way to market your business. This is something I’ve talked about on the show.

The way it’s supposed to work is this: you produce a podcast about the industry you’re in or a topic your customers are interested in.  You build an audience and these people become fans of your show and, hopefully, visit your online or real life store.

Some entrepreneurs have been wildly successful using their podcast to market their business. Many don’t even advertise – they rely on the podcast alone for their marketing.

But, the problem with this model is one of attention. You’re trying to use your podcast to get attention for your business.

Okay, all well and good. So, now the question is: how do you find an audience for your podcast? Think about it – you’re really just shifting the problem from finding an “audience” for your business to finding an audience for your show.

A few years ago, you could start a podcast about some interest or niche and find an audience without too much trouble.

Those days are gone. Today, it might be harder to find an audience for your podcast than finding customers for your business.

Let me repeat – it might be harder to find an audience for your podcast than finding customers for your business. Many times, it IS harder.

So, does a podcast make sense for your business?

Stay tuned for my next episode.


Do you have your own podcast or online business?

Send me an email –  [email protected]

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Create If Writing: Authentic platform building minus the smarm

Kirstin Oliphant Create If Writing podcast and blog

Non-smarmy platform building for writers and bloggers

Do you enjoy the creative stuff like writing or blogging but hate hearing about promotion and “building a platform”?

Kirstin Oliphant of the Create If Writing blog and podcast hears you loud and clear.

Her goal, as she states on her website is to “help writers, bloggers, and creatives like YOU turn readers into raving fans and learn to make a living doing what you love…without being smarmy.”

I met Kirstin at Podcast Movement this year. She was sitting off by herself working at her computer when I caught up with her.

I seem to have a good sense about people and I can usually spot the thought leaders and achievers.

It turns out, she was presenting at the event this year.

After I got home, I checked out her podcast and website. I found a wealth of information for people who want to make a living doing what they love without having to sell out to the man.

Does that describe you? I’ll bet it describes many of us.

You really need to check out the Create If Writing website. She’s got some great resources to help you build your email list, grow your blog, write and publish your book, and – writer nerd alert – she loves the Oxford comma.

Even if you don’t see yourself as the creative type, you owe it to yourself to go to her website – createifwriting.com, sign up for her emails, and start learning how to build that platform… without being smarmy.


Do you have your own platform? Tell me about it.

Send me an email –  [email protected]

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Podcast Movement: Find your tribe

Podcast Movement

Your tribe is out there

I just got back from Podcast Movement 2017 in Anaheim.

I had a wonderful time and met podcasters from all over the world.

There were a lot of amazing podcasters in attendance. I’ll be featuring many of them on the show over the next few days.

One of the reasons I enjoyed the conference so much is most attendees are part of my tribe: podcasters.

If you’re finding it challenging to stay motivated as you pursue your dreams, you might need to find your tribe.

Meeting like-minded people can really help you keep those motivation batteries charged.

If you’re looking for your tribe, a great starting place might be Meetup. You can find a lot of entrepreneurs in the following Meetup groups:

  • WordPress
  • Internet marketing
  • Social media
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Ebay and Amazon sellers
  • Facebook ads
  • Local entrepreneurs

Spending time with and getting to know others in your tribe pays a lot of dividends. You can find mentors who can help you when you get stuck or lost in the weeds.

Chasing your dreams can get isolating and a little lonely sometimes. So, get out there, find your tribe, and get re-energized!


Have you found your tribe?

Send me an email –  [email protected]

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Promoting Merch by Amazon shirts: the journey begins


You need ideas for promoting your shirts

I’ve been trying to sell shirts on Merch by Amazon for a couple of weeks.

No sales so far, so it’s time to start promoting.

I started researching (Googling) how to market your shirts on Merch and found some promising ideas:

  • Pinterest – create a board (or boards) for your shirts or niche
  • Instagram – use hashtags with your niche keywords
  • Facebook – create Facebook pages and groups for your niche or shirt company and use Facebook ads to promote dark posts
  • Amazon giveaway – hold a sweepstakes where the winner gets one of your shirts
  • Pinterest ads – looks promising

With so many promotional options, it’s easy to get overwhelmed on this step. And I’ve just started creating this list of promotional ideas.

My action plan

Instead of adding more ideas to this list, I’m just picking one – Pinterest ads – and focusing my efforts there.

I’ve never tried Pinterest ads and don’t know much about them. That means I’ve got a little research to do first.

And, as I mentioned on the last show, I only have two designs on Merch so far.

My time is limited right now. I’m leaving for Podcast Movement in a couple of days and have a lot of work to do to get ready for that.

But, I’ll make the time to create a couple more designs and upload them. Hopefully, I’ll also have time to learn a bit about Pinterest ads and try that out.

One of the cool things about Merch and other print-on-demand platforms is they handle your orders for you. Even though I’ll be out of town, if I get any orders, Amazon will handle them for me.

That’s about as passive as income gets.

Even though I haven’t gotten any income… yet.


Have you tried selling on Merch or another print-on-demand platform?

Send me an email –  [email protected]

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