What will your podcast look like in 5 years? An alternative look at download stats

I’m taking a break and checking my download stats.

I know, this is dangerous territory for a Friday afternoon. I may never get back to work 🙂

MoneyPlan SOS download stats from 2015-02-20

Back in the day…

When I started podcasting in 2010 there was no launch strategy.

I thought N&N was reserved for paid ads and only the biggest stars.

Getting 100 downloads in my first week was incredible.

Maybe it was for 2010, but now…

FFWD to today

I see incredible success stories from newbie podcasters bursting onto the scene. They share stories of six-figure downloads in the first month. Guys like Chris Cerrone from Cerrone Show: He isn’t on a mission like I am – he just wanted to talk to cool people – and he’s HUGE!

So I get a bit depressed when looking at 973 downloads of my latest episode released on Wednesday with a super-star guest, Farnoosh Torabi.

I share and promote it through the normal channels of FB, Twitter, email. Farnoosh has even shared it with her 19.3K Tweeps too.

What gives? Why am I not as big as Jeff Brown or Jared Easley?

After all, I started more than 2 years sooner than they did.

Then I look at my total downloads for the month

Remember, I’ve only received 973 for my latest episode (which I’m TOTALLY grateful for every one of them).

I usually get a max of 2,500 after a couple months.

But get this…

My show, a total of 177 episodes plus some bonus content, has over 10,000 listens this month already.

What do these statistics mean?

It means while I’m not getting huge downloads for new episodes I am getting 100-200 downloads for shows released months ago.

I can choose to look at it in two ways:

A) I keep finding hundreds of new listeners who give one or two episodes a shot – then decide to move on. (I’ve done that before, haven’t you?)
B) A handful of new subscribers are batch-listening to most of my library

Silver lining in the stats

While I could come to the conclusion that my content stinks and I’m not retaining a regular listener base (the 973 downloads in 48 hours), I can also come to the conclusion that I’ve touched the ears of thousands of people who now know who I am.

That’s both bad and good – they’ve given me a try and might come back in the future when they need me (I inspire everyday Americans to pay attention – not interest).

So I ask: Where will your podcast be in 5 years?

Will you still be reaching a new audience (ie: Possible leads in my world) or talking to the same old people?

A look at my Twitter stream and FB group tells me that I’m doing both – finding new people and engaging with a strong core audience who love the message of my show.

I’m just not doing it with huge download numbers like Pat Flynn.

Keep pressing record.

Keep offering stellar content.

Keep reaching new people while serving your faithful fans and you’ll never look at your stats the same way again.


 

Have you given my show a listen?

Click here for iTunes, here for Stitcher, or listen via my website.

The MoneyPlan SOS podcast by Steve Stewart

30 minute presentation: What Can A Podcast Do For Your Business

This was a presentation for small business owners in St. Louis. I was asked to speak about podcasting and what it does for my business. Because I know so many people in this space I was able to speak about the various ways a podcast enhances your business, whether you are trying to sell products, services, or advertising.

What’s a podcast, you ask?

In the most simplest terms: A podcast is an on-demand internet radio. It’s your own show and listeners are people who are looking for your product or service.

Playing a podcast is like operating your DVR: You can play a podcast back whenever you want, skip forward, backward, or ignore it altogether.

Anyone can listen to a podcast while they are doing something else. Many people listen while driving, working out, or doing yard work. Wouldn’t you like to be the person your potential clients listen to?

What can a podcast do for business?

  • A podcast, just like a focused blog, positions you to be the subject matter expert.
  • Listeners pre-qualify themselves as your clients
  • They learn to know, like, and trust you
  • There is less competition (there were 184 million blogs in 2008 and that number has grown to over 3 BILLION. Guess how many podcasts there are? Only 400,000).
  • Allows you to reach an entirely new set of people who don’t read blogs. They consume rich media instead of reading text
  • And there’s money to be made here

Benefits of a podcast for business

Primary ways to make money with a podcast

  • Sell advertising on your show
  • Sell affiliate products
  • New clients for your product or service

In other words: Mo Money Mo Money Mo Money!!!

Show me the podcast money

Podcast Misconceptions

  • That you need an iPod or iPhone to listen
  • That you need a mixer
  • That you need to know a bunch of code (I can set you up, the rest is your performance)
  • That you can just record and throw stuff up in your feed (make it good for your audience)
  • That it only takes an hour to record an hour show
  • Or that “If you build it, they will come” (Field of Dream)

What do you need to start a podcast

  • Computer
  • Website
  • Recording device or software (you can even use your iPhone)
  • (Recommended) Microphone (I use the ATR2100) http://SchoolOfPodcasting.com/2100
  • (Recommended) Media Hosting Use Promo code SOPFree to get 1 month free

What does a podcast cost?

Podcasting Best Practices:

  • Record in a quiet environment (soft walls)
  • Record a few episodes before launching
  • Utilize a media hosting service like libsyn or BluBrry (kind of like you use YouTube for videos)
  • Release the first few to your website before submitting your RSS feed (your radio station frequency) to iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, etc.
  • DON’T SELL TO YOUR AUDIENCE. Teach them, entertain them, lead them. They will come around

So, What Can A Podcast Do For Your Business?

A podcast allows you to reach a whole new audience that want to consume rich media while driving, working out, or doing household chores. It allows you to become THE subject matter expert in a saturated world of written blogs. It allows your listeners to pre-qualify themselves as your future clients – they already know, like and trust you from your show!

And you can make money selling advertising, affiliate products, and/or your own products and services through your small business podcast.

What is the difference between Ratings and Reviews in iTunes?

Ratings and Reviews in iTunes are not the same. This causes podcast hosts to believe they have more iTunes Reviews than they actually do. Jason Hartman of the Creating Wealth Show was under the impression that he had 94 Reviews – but he was looking at his Ratings. He actually had 59 reviews. OUCH!

There is a big difference between Ratings and Reviews in iTunes

Watch as I show an example in this 2 minute video using Advice From Olympians Podcast:

How to leave a RATING in iTunes

Ratings are left by a listener or subscriber by clicking on Ratings and Reviews – located to the right of the podcast artwork between Details and Related. Hover over "Click to rate" and you will see these options: Leave a rating in iTunes

  • 1 star "I hate it"
  • 2 stars "I don't like it"
  • 3 stars "It's OK"
  • 4 stars "It's good"
  • 5 stars "It's great"

Click on whichever star you want and that is the Rating you will leave for the podcast. You can always go back and change your Rating by clicking on the star you want.

How to leave a REVIEW in iTunes

Reviews are separate from clicking on a star. Select Ratings and Reviews, then the Write a Review button. In the new window:

  • Enter a title for your review
  • Click on a star to rate the show
  • Tell everyone how great you think the show is
  • Click on Submit

Leave a review for Creating Wealth Show It will take a few hours, maybe even a day or two, for your review to be visible in iTunes. You can always go back and edit your review, change your rating, or both – even a year later!

Review 5 podcasts today

Podcasts are very mobile. It's hard to remember to leave a review when you are walking the dog, mowing the yard, or driving (especially driving!) This is your call to action: Go leave Reviews for five podcasts right now. Show your appreciation to the podcast host – they need all the encouragement they can get. This video is part of the #Vidtember challenge by Chris Ducker to create 30 videos in 30 days. I created the screen-capture video using ScreenFlow. If you would like to learn more about how to use ScreenFlow to create awesome screen-capture videos then check out my course at http://howtousescreenflow.com How To Use ScreenFlow course

Turning podcasting into an automated process

One common message mentioned above all others during Podcast Movement Dallas was that we are suffering from a mimicry epidemic. At least we aren’t turning podcasting into an automated process. Or are we?

Read further. You’ll begin to understand later in this article.

podcasts all the sameDozens of “inspiring interviews with entrepreneurs” podcasts have been released over the past year. Many follow a similar format of the big dog, John Lee Dumas by asking the same pre-determined questions about tough times and awesome a-ha moments..

Is this wrong? Maybe.

If John Lee Dumas followed the business model of 95% of the podcasters before him then we wouldn’t have the incredible success story of a guy making $40k a month on advertisements alone due to his daily podcast.

You can’t blame those who use the tools and best practices from those who created them. I’m guilty of this myself.

However, I stumbled across a new type of podcast that grabbed my attention. Call me a jerk, or a “podcasting purist”, but what I found just makes me feel like I’m being taken advantage of.

Computer generated podcasts? 

Check this out: There is a complete library of audio podcasts in iTunes’ Health category. You may not notice it right away but if you do a search for Financial Wellness (which, BTW, don’t have anything to do with finances) and click “See All”. It will become abundantly clear – there’s something weird going on.

First of ally, you will notice 90% of the shows have very similar cover art: A blue background with colored laser lights bursting towards the image of a doctor.

What’s the problem? THEY ARE ALL THE SAME.

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 10.59.08 PMScreen Shot 2014-08-20 at 10.59.41 PM

The episodes are the same, they are read by the same guy (even the female doctor podcasts) and the only difference is the contact information shared at the end.

But that’s not the worst part! Just listen to this example:

Dr Robot podcast

Do you hear what I hear? Maybe I’m wrong here but it sounds like the voice of dictation software reading a blogpost. Either that or they hired a guy that took voice lessons from Siri.

Automatons reading 100 word blogposts to humans who are seeking medical advice? Very interesting.

The next easy way to podcast

Are these doctors cheating? Are they playing the podcasting game right? Is this a lazy way to podcast?

I’ll let you be the judge of that, but the most important question is: Does it work?

I am tempted to ask what this robotic podcast is doing for their business. For the past 20 to 30 years the way people found a new doctor was by searching a database for a physician in their company’s network or from the referrals of others.

Does this “easy way to podcast” help convince a potential client to call the office for an appointment? Does it confirm the perception a doc-shopper already had in their mind – further solidifying their decision to call or stay away?

Maybe this assembly-line type of podcast is the new way they market themselves. You know, like the State Farm solicitations that show up in the mailbox every-other day.

Promoting your business with a unique podcast

I believe everyone can create something unique. I also realize businesses need to grow.

Podcasting is a great way to give your client another reason to buy from you and to help bring more potential clients into your sales funnel.It is possible that this new computer-generated content creation idea catches fire and another wave of people enter the podcasting space.

Yours truly will be there with welcome arms while helping them create something unique that helps them stand above all the rest.

After all, even Sonny convinced Will Smith that he was not the same as all the other I Robots.

Let me help you stand out from the crowd

Automating podcasting i-robotIf you want to stand out from the rest of the crowd – and grab the attention of the vast audience looking for your product or service – then let me help you create your unique podcast.

You can contact me here.

If I can’t help you then I can direct you to the best resource for launching your unique podcast.

Maybe Podcasters’ Paradise is more suited to serve you or the one-on-one coaching from a seasoned expert like Dave Jackson from the School Of Podcasting is more your style. I belong to both and can help you decide what’s the best value for your buck.

Disclosure: Links to Podcasters’ Paradise and School Of Podcasting are affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you join one of those membership sites. As I stated above, I am a satisfied member of both groups and recommend them without reservation – even if I didn’t receive an affiliate commission.

How to Check Your Ranking in iTunes

Each category in the Podcast section of iTunes has sub-categories.

For instance:

  • Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income is in the Business/Marketing & Management category
  • The Dave Ramsey Show is in the Business/Investing category
  • Entrepreneur On Fire is in the Business/Careers category

Subcategories in iTunesThere is no shortcut to the sub-categories within the main categories of iTunes Podcast charts. So…

How do you check your ranking in iTunes?

  • Search for your podcast in the search bar
  • Click on your podcast
  • Click on the sub-category listed in the menu structure (above the artwork)
  • Click on “Select All” for either New & Noteworthy or What’s Hot

Count the number of podcasts in front of yours and that’s it!

Watch the video to make sure you are reading the page correctly. I had been doing it wrong for years until I saw this.

how to check podcast rankings in itunes

see all in itunes

Do you have to be new to be featured in New & Noteworthy?

The truth is: No.

You don’t have to be new to be featured in iTunes New & Noteworthy.

For instance: Radical Personal Finance from Joshua Sheets was released in July 2013. One year later it is #6 in the iTunes New & Noteworthy section for the Investing category.

You don’t have to be NEW to be featured in New and Noteworthy.

Watch the video to see episodes of Radical Personal Finance, a podcast ranked at #6 in iTunes New & Noteworthy on August 11, 2014, that were released in July 2013.

How to stay in the Top 20 of iTunes

This is my opinion, but hear me out: The MoneyPlan SOS podcast is normally a weekly show. However, it changed to a bi-weekly release during the summer. In fact, there was only one episode released in July, on the 21st, and the most recent episode was released on August 8th.

However, the show currently ranks as #11 in iTunes Investing category. Why?

There was only one new 5-star rating and downloads for the newest episode were average (about 1,500 in the first 72 hours). Is that all it takes to beat out Motley Fool Money and Suze Orman? 

  • Does 1,500 downloads from a guy in the midwest beat out CNBC’s Jim Kramer?
  • Did Money Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips take a long, extended vacation?
  • Did somebody at Apple make a mistake?

Nope. The only thing I can contribute to landing in this position is my audience. Good content, engaging with my listeners and having a catalogue of episodes to keep them coming back are what I believe is helping me beat out the James Altucher show this week.

Bottom line: Keep offering good content and don’t quit. As long as you have fans and/or bring value, you will stay relevant in the iTunes rankings.

And remember to take screenshots when you hit those big numbers!

MPSOS #11 iTunes Investing 2014-08-11

Three Quick Interviewing Tips for Podcasters

Even if your show isn’t an interview-only show you can benefit from having guests appear on your show ever few episodes:

  • Someone’s voice other than your own can breath new life into your show
  • A guest can expose your show to their audience with potential of growing your audience
  • Guests provide your show with social proof

For these reasons it is important to become a decent, if not excellent, interviewer.

AKG D5 microphone and windscreenHere are the three most important interviewing tips for podcasters

Prepare a list of questions

Even if you are great at having a conversation without an outline it would be helpful to have a list of questions in front of you so:

  • You can immediately jump to the next question if the conversation goes stale
  • You will be more confident before and during your recording
  • The person you are interviewing is prepared

I prepare a list of 5-10 questions and send them to my guest. He/she may never even look at them but I am confident that the show will progress better because I am more prepared.

Make sure everything is broadcast-ready

There is nothing worse than a podcast host that isn’t ready to record the second you sign on to Skype. That doesn’t mean you have to jump right into the introduction and first question – but I am suggesting that you have everything hooked up, powered on, and ready to roll.

Here are a few things I do 15 minutes before connecting with my podcast guest:

  • Close any unnecessary computer programs (notifications, scans, updates, etc)
  • Record a short piece of audio and play it back to make sure all wires are securely connected
  • PRESS RECORD just before your guest is scheduled to connect

I also do a sound-check once they sign on. I may ask them to do a quick “count down from three to zero” to check the levels, but that’s about it.

For more about preparing to record: Read “PRE-RECORDING CHECKLIST FOR PODCASTERS

Listen more than you speak

A 50/50 conversation is fine, but allowing your guest to speak for 1-2 minutes without interruption allows them to dig deeper into the subject.

Below is a screenshot of a recent interview I recorded: The top row is my guest and the bottom row is me. Notice there is a lot more going on in the top row? That’s because I’m allowing the expert (my guest) to be the expert.

Interviewing guest WAV

It would be counter-productive for me to have someone schedule an appointment, set up their gear, dial in for an interview and then command the conversation. They are the expert so I should let them talk.

Some other tips to ensure your interview goes off without a hitch:

  • Send an email reminder to your guest three days early and the day before recording (and note the time zone!)
  • Have a back-up plan in case the internet goes wonky
  • Make everyone in the house aware that you will be recording (reduces noise and interruptions)

I hope these tips are helpful. I’m still trying to perfect them!

WooHoo! I’m Editor of Podertainment Magazine

Editor of Podertainment MagazinePodertainment Magazine is THE monthly resource for people who love to read about podcasting. The periodical is made available through the iTunes Store for only $12.95 a year. It was released February 28, 2014 and featured an exclusive interview with Cliff Ravenscraft and guest article by Cynthia Sanchez.

Four issues have been released and, as of July 17th, I am officially Editor of Podertainment Magazine.

It’s Jared Easley’s fault

How in the world did I get picked to be Editor of Podertainment Magazine?

  • I don’t have any formal training or education in the art of writing
  • I prefer to speak than to write anything longer than 140 characters
  • I constantly have to refer to Grammar Girl’s 121st episode for when to use “affect” and “effect” properly

It’s Jared Easley‘s fault. He came up with an idea to have someone introduce speakers at NMX in 2013. He approached Cliff Ravenscraft to offer his service along with other friends and online acquaintances who would jump at the chance to introduce NMX speakers – and it bought him notoriety. He also offered to arrange NMX MeetUps for some of the big names like Pat Flynn and John Lee Dumas who really didn’t know where to start and would rather spend time working on their businesses.

This helped Jared score some high-profile interviewees for his show, Starve The Doubts, and he began receiving speaker requests for local MeetUps and international conferences.

Brilliant!

So I used Jared’s idea of serving to earn more exposure. I reached out to Gary Leland, creator of Podertainment Magazine and gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse. And he didn’t.

What I get out of the deal

Granted, I am not being paid a hefty sum for this work. I am being compensated with advertising space in the magazine.

Watch for a special offer for my new video course “How To Use ScreenFlow” in Issue 6.

I also have the esteemed honor of introducing myself as Editor of Podertainment Magazine (I kinda like the sound of that). That in itself brings some clout to the table.

I promise not to be a Grammar Nazi

I’ve heard too many people complain about editors forcing an author to change an entire paragraph and having to go back-and-forth before the finished product is accepted.

However, none of us like reading articles with typos. It’s inevitable – people aren’t perfect and even the greatest authors make mistakes. Even the Bible had a major typo in the 1631 King James version.

My goal is to help the author be confident that their carefully-crafted article will be clear of major typos before going to print.

I also wanted to make sure their sentences would flow and be easy to read for the everyday Joe Podcaster. That makes editing Podertainment Articles the perfect job for me because I am an everyday Joe Podcaster!

Where to buy Podertainment Magazine

Right now Podertainment Magazine is a digital magazine for IOS devices only with plans for Android and Amazon Kindle devices in the future.

You can get Podertainment Magazine on your IOS device RIGHT NOW by purchasing it through http://Podertainment.com

or help my friend Dave Jackson pay off his stupid student loans by using his affiliate link.

Regular Podertainment Magazine contributors are

Todd Cochrane from Geek News Central
Rob Greenlee from The New Media Show
Brian Ibbott from Coverville
Dave Jackson from The School of Podcasting
Daniel J. Lewis from The Audacity to Podcast
Kien Tran from Geek Beat TV
Rob Walch from libsyn and Podcast 411
Jeremy Powers from Geekazine

Now, if we can just get John Lee Dumas and Ray Ortega to start contributing then the podcast power-circle will be complete!

How to write for Podertainment Magazine

Interested in contributing an article for Podertainment? Read these six steps to see if you are a good fit.

And tell Gary that the Editor sent you. 

How to replace a file in Libsyn

How to replace a podcast episode in LibsynIf you are like me, you’ve released a podcast episode and found out later something was wrong. Maybe you:

  • announced an incorrect date or location
  • need to replace an old sponsor with a new advertiser
  • want to prepend the show with an important update!

I’ve made mistakes before and wished there was an easy way to fix it. Well you can if you host your MP3 files with Libsyn.

Recently I wanted to add an intro to my April Fools Day episode so that new subscribers wouldn’t be confused by the unusual show (I had someone else do my show as an April Fools joke).

Here’s how to replace a file in Libsyn:

Replace file in Libsyn from Steve Stewart on Vimeo.

  1. Re-record or append your podcast MP3 file
  2. Log into your Libsyn account
  3. Go to Content / Previously Published
  4. Find the episode you want to replace and click Edit (the pencil symbol)
  5. Click on Replace
  6. Upload your new file (from hard drive, FTP, URL or DropBox)
  7. Click Publish

Rename the MP3 the same filename

That’s it. You don’t have to resubmit anything to iTunes or Stitcher, you don’t have to replace any information in the original blogpost, it’s all done.

It will be as if you took a book off the shelf, removed a page or wrote something in the margins, and replaced it on the shelf. Anyone taking the book off the shelf will get the new, amended media.

If you have questions about recording or editing your podcast then contact me. I’ll be glad to help you along with the hundreds of others who have learned from my mistakes!

Watch Ray Ortega, Dave Jackson, and Daniel J. Lewis discuss reasons for modifying past episodes

PR017 – Modifying Past Episodes

Has podcasting reached a peak? Nope, it’s just getting started!

Podcasting peak?During last year’s Social Media Marketing World, Micheal Stelzner stated “Podcasting, bar nothing in our study, is the hottest thing in 2013”. We saw hundreds of new podcasts launching every week last year. So has his prediction come true? Has podcasting reached a peak? Nope, not even close. I have my own personal observations to prove that it’s just getting started.

Dropping to 91 from 19 in one day

Apple’s iTunes charts (What’s Hot category listings) have me convinced there is still the potential for huge growth in podcasting.

You see, my podcast dropped from 19 to 91 overnight. Why? My downloads are steady and I received 2 iTunes reviews early last week. Why such a disparage in my rankings?

It’s because the market isn’t big enough to hold me down or to keep me at the top, it only feels that way from where I’m sitting.

The Top 10 podcasts are cruise ships

Podcast cruise shipThe podcasts in the Top 10 hold the largest marketshare of overall downloads, new listeners, and latest reviews. They are big ships that aren’t swayed by the wind or carried by currents. They serve hundreds of people each time they sail (release a podcast episode) but there are still very few of them when compared to the number of planes, trains, or automobiles, i.e., other medium.

Look at John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur On Fire. He guarantees his sponsors at least 14,000 listeners per show. Only 14,000? Most podcasters would kill to have that many dedicated followers but in the scope of things this is a really small number.

Week after week his show is ranked in the Top 10 for Careers. If 14,000 listeners keeps a show at the top of the iTunes charts then podcasting has a long way to “grow”.

The Top 200 are boats

In this interview on Technology Advice podcast, Rob Walch from Libsyn stated the median number of downloads is between 170 – 190 per episode. Shows that get less than 1,700 downloads per episode, like mine, are not cruise ships – they’re boats.

Our shows rise and fall with each wave. Heck, even the wind can effect where we go. It doesn’t take much for podcasts with smaller audiences to get moved around in iTunes.

My 19 to 91 stats: On April 12th my podcast was ranked number 19 in Investing. My downloads were steady, not huge, and the most recent 5-star reviews were more than 48 hours old. Yet today, April 13th, my podcast ranks at 91. Did I do something wrong? Is my RSS broken? Was I being punished?

Here’s what I think happened yesterday:

  • My little boat lost some steam
  • Someone else’s boat gained a few new listeners
  • Other podcasts received 5-star reviews

While my downloads per day remained fairly steady (a difference of only 296 from Thursday to Saturday), others may have raced past me.

There aren’t many differences between their boat and mine, it’s my perception of how big the waves are that makes me think this is a big difference. I’m sure it will feel different when I have 10k downloads a day. Maybe I should just stop watching the iTunes charts, huh?

Pat Flynn says “Podcasting is just getting started”

What all this tells me is podcasting is still in its infancy. Michael Stelzner may have seen podcasting as the hottest thing in 2013 but I agree with Pat Flynn. In October 2013 I asked Pat if he thought podcasting was alive, dead, or just treading water. He said “It’s just starting out” (start watching at the 5:04 mark in the 6 minute interview).

Progress is pointing to podcasts as the next big medium. We (you and I as podcasters) know this to be true in a world where the most popular question about podcasting is still “what’s a podcast?” Technological advancements and growing trends moved people away from VCRs and into DVD players, and now DVDs are losing ground to streaming movies.

It’s the same progression for people moving from radio to podcasts. Just wait and see.

Turn your dinghy into a podcasting cruise ship

If you are frustrated with where you rank in iTunes charts then take heart: There is so much more to come. Technological advancements are coming with podcast apps being installed on smartphones and Apple’s new Car Play system bringing podcasts to the dashboard.

Here’s how to grow your little podcast into a Top 10 show in iTunes:

  • Connect with your listener (email list, social media, FB group, etc)
  • Ask them to share your show with others
  • Make sure your website is mobile friendly
  • Give each episode a creative title
  • Ask for reviews
  • Don’t quit

You are not sinking and you haven’t stalled – you’ve just need to find your wind. Pick up new passengers along the way, ones who won’t jump ship when the next shiny boat comes along side, and keep growing.

My final thought on stats

I’ll admit, I get excited when I go to look at my stats. Downloads per episode, per day, and looking to see where my podcast ranks in iTunes “What’s Hot” category is the reward for all my hard work.

However, checking my stats twice a day is like using the stars for navigation – it’s important to know where we are but making too many course corrections takes away from getting to Point A from Point B in the shortest distance possible.

I’ve decided to only check my stats every few days, with a focus on the day after an episode is released Monday morning. It didn’t take long to realize that I wasn’t missing much by checking stats less often.

The takeaway: Focus your energy on content and your listeners. We are just getting started and need more podcasters to captain the vessels in this large, vast ocean.

 

How I pulled off the biggest April Fools Day podcast joke

I’ve been extremely busy lately. Not only am I juggling a full-time job, a local Podcast MeetUp Group, and my own weekly podcast, but I’m facilitating the biggest April Fools Day podcast joke of the year.

Call me crazy, but spent days pulling off the biggest RSS heist of any single podcaster. Today, 4/1/14, I am hosting 3 podcasts that are not my own:

April Fools Day Podcast Joke 4-1-14

Starve The Doubts by Jared Easley

Cash Car Convert by James Kinson

Stacking Benjamins by Joe Saul-Sehy

You can click on any of the links above for their (or should I say “my”) shows.

Backstory

Last year I convinced another podcaster in my niche, Jon White from JW’s FinancialCoaching Podcast, to switch shows with me. It was easier than I anticipated, and some people who listen to both our shows got a laugh out of it.

Jon took my music, recited my introduction and ending script, but he was able to create his own content for the rest of the show. Once recorded, he uploaded the file to me, I converted it, and sent it up to my Libsyn account for a 4/1/13 release. (Click to listen)

I did the same for Jon using his music, his script, and his artwork. His listeners got a taste of the old MoneyPlan, which worked well because our shows are similar. Actually, I think the show I did for him was one of my best yet! (Click her to listen to me take over Jon’s show last year)

…and I pulled off the first great April Fools Day podcast joke to date.

But this year I had to go BIGGER

I couldn’t repeat the same joke this year, that would be too easy. While I am swapping shows with Stacking Benjamins today, my listeners won’t be surprised. It’s an old joke, they may be expecting it, so I had to go BIGGER!

I reached out to podcast hosts, podcast network leaders, and a couple podcast groups I belong to. My goal was to take over 5 shows. Let’s just say I’m happy only three took me up on my offer. Whew.

Each show has a completely different format

This couldn’t just be an easy project. Oh no, I had to pick three totally different types of shows to pull off this April Fools Day podcast joke. (What was I thinking?)

I had to mimic the format and outline of each show, which was both fun and exhausting.

After many re-scheduled interviews and hours of editing I can point you to the fruits of my labor:

Starve The Doubts:

Jared Easley hosts an interview show that is unlike any other. Jared researches his guests and asks pointed questions that have little to do with their latest book, project, or online business. He likes to start with “blank vs blank” and then throw in a few “Finish the sentence” questions. For instance, Jared asked Seth Godin “Moby vs John Mayer”. The answers are often hilarious if not enlightening.

I had to find a really good guest, not just some up-and-coming whipper-snapper who got lucky with a Flapping Fish app. Once selected, I had to research the guest’s background to create the pointed questions.

While the questions were sub-par (I’m no Jared Easley), the guest totally ROCKED it. Go check it out.

Cash Car Convert:

Podcast host James Kinson is on a mission to help people follow Dave Ramsey’s advice to “amputate the Tahoe and buy a beater” with tips on how to find, inspect, and pay cash for a reliable used car.

For his show I only needed to present a good topic that fit his niche. This was easy since James and I are on the same mission: To help people kick their debt habit.

James can talk about finding a solid used car, getting the most for your used car, and everything around buying a cash car. It would be hypocritical for him to speak about monthly payments – which is where I come in. While I don’t believe you should keep a car payment, I do speak to people who simply can’t buy a cash car right now.

In his show I offered suggestions on how to move towards getting out of car debt once and for all using the 2x rule. The subject matter was still within his guidelines and he got the week off. Cool deal!

Stacking Benjamins:

If I were trapped on an island and could only subscribe to one RSS feed, it would be to the Stacking Benjamins show. Host Average Joe and his co-host O.G. have an amazing chemistry – but it doesn’t stop there. Average Joe hosts three episodes a week: Friday is a 20 minute interview, Wednesday is a conversation around a blogpost one of them wrote, and Monday is the Big Show. Most of it revolves around personal finance, which is right up my alley.

I had to mimic the old Monday format. Here’s how it looks from a 30,000 foot view:

  • Introduction and light banter between Average Joe and O.G.
  • Talk about a financial news story
  • Spoken guest-post
  • Trivia question (read by Joe’s Mom’s neighbor Doug)
  • Roundtable discussion
  • Trivia answer (given by Joe’s Mom’s neighbor Doug)
  • Talk about movies
  • The End (or is it really?)

By far this was the most difficult show to take over. Juggling the times to record with my Bo-host and Wrongtablers wasn’t easy and it involved many hours of editing. I honestly don’t know how Average Joe pulls it off every week!

Why did I do it?

I think April Fools jokes are stupid. They aren’t productive and often embarrass the victims of the joke. So why did I do it?

Networking. Simple as that. I wanted to get my name/podcast in front of as many people as I could as well as promote other podcaster’s shows throughout this entire project.

Our medium is still new to many. The more visibility we can drive towards podcasting, the more ears can hear our messages. Written guest posts have prevent to help grow people’s blogs, why not the spoken word?

What did you do on your April Fools Day podcast? Comment below, maybe I’ll call you next year to take over your podcast.

🙂