On today’s show it is my complete honour to be discussing podcast monetization with one of the very first people I ever started following online - the Internet marketing expert, online entrepreneur, coach, blogger and podcaster, Yaro Starak - author of the Blog Profits Blueprint and founder of the superb blog Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.
Yaro began blogging over 12 years ago initially as a hobby, but as his income from blogging surpassed $10,000 a month, he decided his future lay in this new publishing medium. Since then, Yaro has used his blog as a platform to sell over $2 million dollars of ebooks, online courses and memberships.
Listen To Yaro's Show
Today, Yaro is a mentor to thousands of experts, authors, coaches, consultants, speakers and trainers - teaching how to turn knowledge into a profitable online business. He specializes in helping people to set up their own 'Blog Sales Funnel' - a system that combines blogging with email marketing to build a platform selling digital training products on autopilot.
Yaro has a proven track record of results, with his 'graduate bloggers' going on to make thousands of dollars – sometimes even millions – in such diverse niches as book design, ADHD counseling, acne treatment, BMX bikes, skiing and cars - plus sports news, speed reading, real estate, television production and fat loss.
In short, Yaro Starak is THE man when it comes to learning about online entreprenuership and monetizing your podcast - so let's dive in...
[Podcast] How To Make Money Podcasting With Yaro Starak #contentmarketing #podcasting
Read the transcript
EPISODE 69: How To Make Money Podcasting With Yaro Starak
[0:00:09.0] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to the Content Champion Podcast. We provide the training and tools to help you become a content marketing champion in your online business. Introducing your host, the content champion himself, Loz James.
[0:00:28.7] LJ: Hi guys welcome to the Content Champion Podcast. Thanks as ever for listening, I really appreciate you being here. Now on the show this time, it is my complete honor to be discussing podcast monetization with one of the very first people I’ve ever started following online, the internet marketing expert, online entrepreneur, coach, blogger and podcaster, Yaro Starak, founder of entrepreneursjourney.com. I remember reading Yaro’s blog way back in 2005 and I’ve learned so much from him in the 12 years since so it is a genuine pleasure to host such an internet marketing pioneer on the show.
With all that said, let’s dive in.
[0:01:14.3] LJ: Thanks for coming on Yaro.
[0:01:15.3] YS: Thanks for having me Loz.
[0:01:17.2] LJ: Now before we drill down into making money from our podcast, can you tell us how your journey into online marketing began please?
[0:01:25.2] YS: Yeah, it’s a long story so I’ll give you the short version so we have time to talk about podcasting still. I started online in ’98 that was my first online business. It was as you could imagine for the time a fairly amateur website but it grew and it was dedicated to a card game I played in university called Magic the Gathering. It’s a collectable card game, it’s competitive, there’s tournaments, there’s a trading card scene so I was totally into that game as a teenager and that was my first website.
It was actually my first business. I had a little card store there, made some money from advertising and really got a lot of basic training and how to grow traffic and grow a business online and then I graduated from university and went all in on another company. I call it my first real business which was an essay editing service for university students usually coming from English as a second language background and I had a team of editors who did the essay and thesis editing for them.
That was my business for a good five years while I was at university and really seriously after graduating and paid my living. It was a real laptop lifestyle business, I had a lot of free time, was systematized and eventually I had other people running it for me and it was because of that business that I got into blogging. So the connection there was blogging was becoming a thing in 2004 roughly, 2003-2004. I didn’t really know what a blog was.
I just had static websites up to that point and I had to basically install one to figure out what makes a blog different from another normal website and I learned about blogging. I attempted to start a blog about editing for the editing business which didn’t last very long. It was about three months in 2004 but I did want to explore writing more. So in 2005 I started The Entrepreneur’s Journey blog which was meant to be a hobby and just a place to share stories from my previous entrepreneurial projects, everything I told you about there.
And it took off and because blogging was booming, I was actually one of the first people to start making money from blogging and I think one of the first people to start teaching how to make money from blogging too. It was only a handful of other people around at the time. So I had one of the first courses on this subject and I also launched a podcast so that’s where this connects. I actually got in on podcasting really early.
It was the first year of my blogging in 2005. Within six months, I started podcasting as well and to cut the last 12 years short, I’ve been basically doing the same thing since then. I am running the blog, running the podcast and teaching people the art and craft of selling digital products online through blogging, email marketing and podcasting.
[0:04:11.5] LJ: Well this is one of those for me, one of those star struck moments because I’ve been online since I don’t know, my first episode is about 2000 when I started as a copywriter and I was looking around for people for advice online and there was Brian Clark, Copy Blogger, there was Pat Flynn, Smart Passive Income and then yourself and I could remember starting a newsletter in 2005 as a copywriter after reading a post on your blog and downloading your ebooks.
That was about 12 years ago so to have you on the show now for me on my podcast is amazing and I could hardly talk properly. So tell us about, you mentioned podcasting then, tell us about your podcasting backstory because I know as you’ve mentioned it’s formed an important part of your business so what are the benefits of podcasting in this context?
[0:05:04.8] YS: Yeah, well podcasting for me was again an experiment. You have to put it into context for the time. There were no examples, you couldn’t look at Lewis Howes or Pat Flynn or John Lee Dumas and that’s just in my industry, our industry, as these really huge podcasts getting global exposure and millions of downloads. There was no iTunes, there was no iPod, it had just come out and that is why it was called a podcast. As far as I was concerned, it just looked like audio blogging.
You put out a blog post with audio content instead of written content so for me, it was an experiment to see what it was like to do that. It was a bit of a combination of luck as well because I had purchased an iRiver MP3 player which was a competitor to the iPod at the time in 2005 and it had a microphone jack on it which the iPod didn’t. So I was able to hit a record button on this portable MP3 player and talk into it and it created a WAV file which was still a little tricky to convert into an MP3.
But I found some software to do that and upload it to my blog and my first three or four episodes were me talking just for 15 minutes about something I was interested in, in regards to entrepreneurship in marketing and business and that was it. It was really simple. There was no networks of distribution. I think Odio which eventually would turn in Twitter was around at the time or just getting started. So it really was just because I had a blog, I decided to have audio content as well.
Then I think one of the biggest changes for me which will seem so ridiculously simple now but for me it was a switch, I started interviewing people. I actually invited a friend of mine who had a small business where I was from in Brisbane, Australia about internet marketing and we had a conversation which I recorded. I think that was probably the first Skype recording, here we are still actually using it which is pretty impressive, to create a podcast interview and that really got a lot more interest I think than me just doing these short solo episodes.
So I started seeking out more entrepreneurs and it was a little bit add hoc like I was all over the place just through my networks and people I was meeting and getting introduced to because of blogging. I would often say, “Hey do you want to jump on my podcast?” and start doing interviews and that’s how it happened to begin with. It was very sporadic, I always saw myself as a writer before an audio person.
So blogging was second and podcasting was second, sorry, and because of that I published very randomly. You know one month I have an episode and then the next month I’d have two and maybe I’d skip two months and that’s why I never sort of amassed these 500 episodes so quickly like John Lee Dumas did in more recent years doing an episode a day but it still was incredibly effective and I really noticed the effectiveness.
This is where I guess my strategy came from, the effectiveness of doing interviews for two reasons. One was simply to hear my voice and hear my expertise come through even if I was the one not getting interviewed just guiding the interview and two, interviewing people who were doing things similar to what I was doing and eventually what I was teaching and that really became the foundation of my strategy certainly in the last three or four years more than ever.
I guided my podcast to, not only guided but narrowed it in my niche focus to be more about the kind of people who are an example of what I teach which is how to make money from blogging, email marketing and selling your own digital product. So I started to really, I wouldn’t say ignore all other types of entrepreneurship but really we look for people who are doing that and making a full-time income maybe traveling around the world.
So they have an expertise like the last podcast I published as I am talking to you was Graham Cochrane and he’s a mixer of music and he teaches people through video and content on his blog how to mix and produce music and he’s got half a million dollar a year business doing that with teaching products. So he is a perfect example of the kind of person I tend to focus on now and to even extend that principle further, I did interview graduates of my main course. That was another kind of story I could share with you, how that came about, unless you want to go in a different direction because it really was a shift in my business when that happened.
[0:09:21.0] LJ: No let’s go down that route because it all ties in with monetizing the podcasting model and I know that is something that you’ve had a lot of success with.
[0:09:28.2] YS: Yeah, it was an interesting time for me because, I should clarify there was a period around 2011 to 2013 where I had a startup and I didn’t quit blogging but all my courses were taken off the market because they were dated and I wasn’t really making money in the way I had been previously. I kept my blog going, I kept my podcast going but I had a startup and I was focusing with my partners on that, spending most of the business time I had on that and during that time, I discovered that — I guess I should say I re-fell in love with the kind of business I had before the startup.
I was a little burned out from creating courses by 2011 but after two years of running the startup, I realized how much better it is to be running this kind of business where you are running an email list, you are writing articles, you don’t have to put 12 hour days in like these start up guys do and try and get funding and just hustle so much. I just prefer what they call laptop lifestyle.
You know that more causal lifestyle driven business so I went back to it in 2013 but for me that was a bit of a challenge because by that stage, the market had really shifted especially, I had a really big run, huge success in 2008, 2009, 2010 that I was disappearing for three years. No products, no launches and so on and I come back and there was a lot of more competition. That’s when Pat Flynn did well and surely became well-known and it was all of these I would say hundreds of women teaching women how to do business as well.
Like Marie Forleo, one of my students Natalie MacNeil, so many different people teaching business and it just magnified so I felt like I needed to figure out where I fit in that space and I almost gave up my topic. I literally was about to start another blog and go from scratch but before I did that, I did something that I really am glad I did. I had sent an email to all my past customers of my main course, Blog Mastermind and I said I want to do podcast interviews with anyone who’s had success.
Who has basically at least made a full-time income from their blog and my course was somehow part of their journey and I had a bunch of people. It was like 10 or 20 people who said, “Listen I took your course in 2007 or 2008 and now I am running a six figured blog” or even Natalie MacNeil was doing over a million dollars a year already. So it was this wakeup call that there were all these case studies within my database of past customers.
So I spent a month which was probably one of the best months in my life interviewing people who said nice things about me and my course and then talking about how much money they made because of me or somewhat because of me. I recommend that to anyone who’s teaching, if you get a chance to do it, it’s a lot of fun and I’ve created all of these case studies and they weren’t sales pitches. They were still following my format with my podcast.
Which very much represents my blog, it’s Entrepreneur’s Journey. I’d tell a story as I interviewed the person. I make them go back in time and talk about what they did before they had business success so we get their chronology is very much my main podcasting strategy now. So I did those interviews with these people and I realized this is really powerful content. It’s amazing proof for my business, I’m going to re-launch a new version of my course.
I’m going to put these people first and say, “Listen, look at the amazing success stories” and to this day I think I would say almost half or maybe even more of my customers, my new customers that have come through in the last three and four years since I did those case studies will sight those case studies even if it was just one of them that they listen to and they said, “I want to be like that person” and I love their story and it made it accessible and I want to follow your methodology so I bought your course.
So it’s been a huge part of as you said my podcasting monetization strategy which is a little bit left field. It is not direct monetization, it’s indirect monetization but I’m happy to talk more about that.
[0:13:24.5] LJ: Well that’s the fascinating thing about the models you used for podcasting which we are going to go and talk about later in the show but you touched upon something else in that answer and it was the technical stuff involved in podcasting because this is often over estimated by people who want to start a podcast. I mean I started as a broadcast journalist. We set these things called Uers which had tapes inside, you have to cut mark with a china graph pencil and then stick them all together.
So editing was fantastically hard. Now the softwares and the solutions you could use like Skype and Audacity and things make podcasting from a technical point of view that much easier, don’t they?
[0:14:03.2] YS: Yeah, I guess even with my first podcast using the microphone on a portable MP3 player is a bit ghetto, a bit hacked together but it did the job. The harder part I think was just uploading or making the MP3 from, uploading it and then as time progressed, microphones came out, podcasting became a thing so there’s way more support, way more software. When I first launched my podcast there was no Libsyn or Amazon S3 for example for hosting the MP3 file itself.
You just stuck it in your web server which wouldn’t work well today for a lot of lower priced web servers. They just couldn’t handle that kind of traffic but it is really easy like I am literally talking to you right now just with my built in MacBook Pro microphone because I have been traveling I didn’t pack a mic onto these, minimalist as I could to get my weight down in the suitcases and I got a new MacBook Pro and I felt the mic it’s not perfect, it’s not going to be studio quality but you can hear me and we’re having a conversation.
Like you said, we are recording it on Skype and that’s kind of been my story, like my technical story of podcasting almost from the beginning. I am still using Skype like we are now. I’m usually using a microphone. That is the one difference I’ve had like The Snowball by Blue and I had the Rode Podcaster microphone but like I said right now it’s me plugged into headphones talking to you and I think it’s good enough to get started.
In terms of software, I think that’s been the trickier part because I don’t see myself as an editor. I am not strong in that area. I do some video editing for some of my products but even that I try to minimize and I’ve used ScreenFlow and in fact I am now using ScreenFlow even though it is a video editing product for editing together podcasts I do as well because you can pretty much produce the same kind of quality and it is so easy for me to use the tool.
I did use Audacity like you said in the past. For a while I used Garage Band that came with Mac computers as an entry level product. Then they made some changes to it and became less easy to use for podcasting. It’s not hard and I think what’s become especially good about it is the support services that are available. Not only, you can find countless people who could do all the editing, the balancing of volume, the removing of any hiss or background noise and send you back an MP3.
Or even upload it for you, you can outsource the entire production part and all you have to do is show up, do the interview and then put the raw file off to a team who will then do everything and get everything ready and that’s amazing support. So it’s actually in a lot of ways easier than blogging is because you still need a WordPress blog so you have to worry about writing and adding pictures and adding potentially so much more content than just having a conversation with someone like we’re doing now, right?
So it depends on your strong point if you like audio versus writing but it’s certainly accessible. Podcasting is very accessible.
[0:16:59.4] LJ: And I guess the editing of the show after the fact is made easier if you have a structure and moving into monetization strategies as well, you talk about telling your guests stories and I guess that’s to do with the flow of the conversation as well isn’t it? If you create a great story behind each guest, that helps you to really produce a quality interview that can then feed into the monetization process as well.
[0:17:27.0] YS: Yeah, I mean storytelling, I find this interesting because most podcasts I listen to even in our industry don’t really do storytelling like as the main or entire podcast basically like I do. If you have listened to pretty much every single podcast I’ve done or maybe 95% of them, it will be a beginning and end journey. I literally will ask the person to go back and tell me what they did even in university and high school and where they grow up in the city and whether they were entrepreneurial then.
Or could have become later, do they build or take a degree in university and we move forward to the point where they might have some failed projects so we learn about those and what they learn from failing. Then how they got their initial project going, we really dive deep into traffic or what their product or service was and how they’ve built their team if they have one and then you get to the end of the podcast and you feel like you’ve actually experienced the whole process they went through.
Even my guests feel similar, they go, “Wow this is almost cathartic for me. That was a therapy session to go back over my history and see what I have achieved over the last 10 years” or five years or whatever and I think because it’s delivered in a narrative, this is really key, a narrative is way more engaging than a lot of the podcast where you have to find someone just jump from one point to a next and say, “Tell me about that” and then they’ll say, “Tell me about that”.
It doesn’t really make a story. It’s just bullet points of how people solve problems of what they were thinking or something like that. So it’s difficult to really feel a strong connection with a chronology. I remember, this is so funny but listening to some of the best podcasts, which people consider the best podcast now in my space, I will listen to, then during their early days people like Andrew Warner from Mixergy and even Tim Farris with his podcast.
You listen to that first podcast and they’re just terrible. Andrew I remember was really struggling to not talk about himself a lot on the podcast and I could tell that he was still trying to come up with his own style, there’s a learning curve there and I have to say even with my journey process, I had to figure that out as well. It worked for me because I was introverted. I didn’t want to talk about myself so just being curious about someone else’s journey.
But before that I had to do the whole solo episode thing and try and talk by myself and that’s where I had like what Andrew had. You struggle to figure out what is your strength and where you’re going. So it is something that takes a bit of time but I still teach and this is what I recommend everyone in all my training around podcasting is get storytelling in it, ideally for the whole episode if you can. I don’t know how much storytelling, we start with a bit of my story.
So that’s what gets the engagement and creates the connection in the brain, there is actually science behind this. You can look at some MRI’s of brainwaves and telling the story will activate parts of the brain that not telling a story won’t. So whether you are writing content or doing audio content it makes a huge difference and then to connect that to monetization, if you have a more engaged listener with a podcast, they’re more likely to stay through the whole episode.
My episodes are long, it’s usually an hour sometimes over an hour. I am not talking your 15 minute drive in the car interview. It’s a journey, it’s an hour so if you get someone to go through that whole process, that is a lot of time spent with just you and your listener and your interviewed guest. So that is pretty powerful for creating a connection and it’s very likely to lead to a more likely customer, a purchase if they’re in the market for what you sell because they will think of you as, “Oh yeah I really liked that interview. That person knows what they are talking about”.
I’ve heard so many interviews now of this example of working in terms of a course and they go and buy your course. So I think it is a very effective way to make money from a podcast.
[0:21:48.0] LJ: Talk to me about the structure there, I sent you some questions in advance. I try to do that with all my guests and then kind of have a central theme running through that we return to. So there is a kind of thematic story running through that keeps us on track and then the stories go in and out of that as well and I guess without trying to make an attempt to create that engagement, you’re never going to get the audience size that you want and that brings us into monetization.
Because I guess for most people, they’re not going to get the audience ever that is large enough to justify an advertising model or to make that successful. So is that a bit of a fallacy to start your podcast and just think, “Okay I’m going to get a huge audience like John Lee Dumas and then I could just sell advertising on it” for most people that’s not going to work is it?
[0:22:40.2] YS: No and this is the advice I give to everyone. Bloggers, podcasters, anyone who’s looking to monetize content, it’s very difficult especially today to go with the advertising route because how much you get paid per advertisement display has dropped. You do require an incredible amount of page views or for talking podcast, downloads of your episode even 10,000 per episode just as the basic entry point to start making good money and that’s not easy.
That’s okay because some people are happy to just push hard and go after the big numbers and they’ll just market like crazy but you have to be in it for that game. You’ve got to go, “You know what? I’m all about that, I’m going to try to be huge, huge downloads and therefore make good money from advertising” but 99% of the people won’t do that or won’t even want to commit to that process and I actually like the small niche target audience who really love what you do and then buy your stuff as a result of consuming your content including your podcast.
That’s what you can do well with 500 downloads an episode, a 1,000 downloads an episode because those thousand people, I really think in my own podcast I probably have a thousand hard core listeners. That’s it, I’m sure I’ve had over a million downloads over the course of my podcast but I really think there’s only a thousand people there who actually listen to every episode from start to finish and those are the ones who will buy my product if I’m the right person for them at the right time.
When they are ready to take a course based on what I teach then they’ll choose me and that’s partially because of the podcast but it’s not a huge amount of people. It’s just a very targeted group of people. Now advertising is something that I have considered in the past because you do sort of see the numbers that some people will get like Tim Farris’s ridiculous, 30,000 an episode for these little intros and outros.
[0:24:31.2] LJ: I can’t even wrap my head around that many podcast listeners.
[0:24:34.4] YS: Yeah, it’s ridiculous but he’s such an outliner. He’s a super famous author now he’s a mainstream celebrity almost so that’s an advantage. His podcast becomes famous because he’s famous. So you don’t want to get this in the wrong order. It’s not like the podcast made Tim famous, Tim was famous which helped the podcast became famous and also helped with his connection for guests. Most of us are going to start and we’re going be struggling to get certain guests.
We’re going to try and get a level of expert and then level up and get someone more famous and hopefully that will get us more traction but if we are striving for those kinds of numbers for advertising, it’s pretty easy to get depressed and disappointed by your lack of results and that’s what kills almost all podcasts and blogs. It’s not the percent of things failing, it’s just the person producing the content feels like it’s failing, feels like it is not going anywhere.
So if you have a strategy that really sets yourself up for success, you only need even a hundred downloads and you can get to a hundred in a month and you’re like, “Wow, this is working” and then you get your first sale from those hundred people, you’re like, “I just need to 10-X this and I am making a full-time income” that’s realistic. That is a thousand downloads not 10,000 or a 100,000. So that to me is to set yourself up to success by managing expectations and choosing a smarter monetization model at the end of the day.
That’s all we’re doing here is choosing to make money from products that you can make $1,000 from selling one course as oppose to making 10 cents for one listener listening to an ad or something like that or even two cents or one cent or something like that. So the numbers work out a lot better that way too.
[0:26:14.3] LJ: Aside from the fact just personally that it is an absolute thrill to get to talk to people of your standing in a podcast, I’d love podcasting just as a fact. If we park that over there for a minute, the other side of it is that I’ve only done 68 podcasts in about two and a half years and it’s probably generated me tens of thousands of pounds worth of business from selling services without really having to try that hard and it’s because it helps people.
As you say get that core listenership and people trust you and they trust your authority and it can really help you even though it’s a niche audience and it is not that big to promote your own business. So that dovetails neatly to the monetization sort of methods that you recommended, you talk about promoting existing products and services and also selling access to podcasts themselves as products. So walk us through these if you would please.
[0:27:12.2] YS: Yeah, sure. That is a little unusual, you don’t hear a lot of people charging money for a podcast content and to be fair, it’s not really. I mean these are just labels so you can call it podcast, you can call it an audio course, you could call it interviews. I just remember when I had this thought it was actually back when I rebooted my business in 2013-ish, 2012-2013. I was like, “I get all these feedback from people enjoying the podcast, why don’t I have a next level product?”
And really to put it into bigger context, the core idea I was rebuilding my business around is what’s called the Sales Funnel and I’m sure you know all about it Loz with I was having a next level product that people can buy so you know there might be an entry level — Well there is a free something first and then the free thing might sell a lower price product under $50 and you have your $500 course or your $300 course and then all the way up to your flagship course which might be a thousand, 2,000 to even bigger things like conferences, boot camps.
It might be 3,000 or $5,000 and private coaching which could be 10,000, 20,000 a year and that is a teaching model that a lot of experts use online and even offline and I was keen to build that out. I never really built that out. I only ever just had these $500 courses before so I was restructuring my business. I’m thinking I don’t have a next step for our podcast listener. I don’t have a course on podcasting which I now do. I don’t have a, “If you enjoy these interviews and you want to buy more of them, here’s something you could buy”.
So for the hard core fans of the interview I decided to put it together and to create a program around that. So it wasn’t that complicated. It was simply the same format, doing interviews but more targeted. So we can take any kind of example of a person listening to this episode. Let’s say you have a podcast on maybe skateboarding and you talk about skateboarding and you want to create a product around the same subject using podcasting or audio content.
You might go, “You know what? I am going to create a podcast that only interviews the very best people about the subject of competitive skateboarding” so it is going to be my competitive skateboarding product that happens to be all interviews with pro skateboarders. Now it can look very similar to your free podcast that you give away for free every week or month or whatever but the difference is you tie it around an audience need.
So becoming a professional skateboarder is probably a very clear need to that audience. So if you have this product where you could say “get interviews with the best people about this subject on it” plus maybe a little bit extra something like I did action plans to go with the episode. So I recorded interviews with entrepreneurs and then established, I took out what I thought were the highest leverage points from their interviews and created action plans.
It ended up being a six months to 12 months subscription service that was two interviews a month with entrepreneurs plus one action plan each month and that’s what I built. So the key there was pretty simple. I would say, “Here is my free podcast. If you want more of my free podcast make sure you subscribe to my email newsletter for a free podcast and here’s my product which is a subscription service and for $29 a month, you will get a premium interview every month or every two weeks plus a handout.”
I had a proper sales page for it, you know all about it and copyrighting and I sold this product. In fact it was the very first product when I rebooted the business I created because it was going to be also my upsell for all my other products. It was very much a strategy that whenever a person would buy, for example in the future I wrote ebooks, I’d offer the opportunity to have a one month free trial of this podcasting product to tag on with the purchase.
And if they didn’t cancel it, they’d get ongoing podcast at $29 a month. So the next two years, I literary built my business around ebooks and this audio podcasting product and I know it’s definitely not my bestselling product. It is a low price product but it brought in a lot of new customers and I love the fact that I had something I could say to people, “Hey if you love my podcast, here’s more of the same. Go subscribe for $30 a month” or there was a onetime payment option as well.
If they wanted everything upfront and it was responsible for a big chunk of my income during the first two years of the reboot plus I love the fact that it was an upsell to other products. I was really keen on that funnel process of being able to create bundles and packages. It just gives you options so I really enjoyed that. That was one way I monetized podcasting. The other way we already talked about which was using it as a tool to promote what you do.
So whether like it’s yourself Loz when you are selling services, whether it’s consulting or copyrighting, coaching, software development, whatever it is you do a podcast is a fantastic marketing tool to promote what you do especially with case studies. I love the idea of finding your past clients, interview them to explain how what you did helped them get an amazing result. That is great teaching content, it is also a great marketing content.
So I love that, those are the main two tools I have used to monetize podcast content. I do promote that odd affiliate thing but it’s not my main strategy. It just makes sense sometimes to mention that, “Oh I use AWeber as my email list provider” or “Blue Host is my hosting” or something like that but predominantly it’s been my own products or turning audio content into a product itself.
[0:32:44.4] LJ: Okay and the key to this as well even if you are a small business listening to this, you might be a physio or a plumber or whatever you do and you’re thinking about podcasting in your content marketing mix, it’s not about the size of the audience. It’s about the quality of the audience and you can have that very niche audience and be very successful. So when you are promoting your podcast, you’ve got to bear that in mind, haven’t you?
[0:33:09.2] YS: Oh yeah and you are a great example I think Loz with this because you copyrighters, what’s one client worth to you? I would say similar to real estate agents, what’s one selling sale listing worth to you, right? So it is way different to try to sell maybe a $10 ebook where you do need volume. I think if that is your only product for sale and you’re hoping a podcast is going to make you rich, you’re going to have the same issue of needing a larger audience.
Because you just need to sell thousands of copies ongoing of this book and it’s been done but it is making it harder for the numbers but if you are in a space where one or two or three or four or five or 10 or 20 new clients or new customers is actually really valuable like if I get 10 new course customer, that’s $10,000. So if I have a thousand listeners to a podcast episode and 10 of them eventually buy, the numbers there aren’t difficult to fathom as realistic.
One percent conversion rate, right? So that could convert to a good amount of money so if you are a chiropractor and you can get two or three new clients a month coming in from a podcast, I think you could probably say that’s worth it. So yeah, you’ve got to look at your numbers obviously but the idea is as you said, a small high quality very targeted, very interested, very engaged audience who are either about to make a purchase or it just then lead up process where they are doing the research to get ready to make a purchase and you will be the person they think of when they are ready to buy. It’s another tool we have in our marketing tool kit.
[0:34:37.8] LJ: And in terms of promotion, I know we could do a whole call on this and you’ve been very generous with your time but in terms of promotion, it’s simply then going to where that niche audience is online or offline and drawing their attention to your show isn’t it?
[0:34:53.2] YS: Yeah and there’s a few things to this. The one thing and not an advantage for me and maybe not you but if you’re listening to this and you’ve got perhaps a subject matter that’s not super popular on the internet in terms of podcasts like I don’t know how many chiropractors are doing the “how to fix a bad back podcast” right? So chances are if you get out there and take it seriously and create a podcast of consisting content doesn’t have to be every day maybe once a week or every two weeks.
But you put in the effort to create a good show, I love to think about a podcast show especially a new one as a sequence of content as well. It’s almost like you are creating a mini course because you could do each episode as a subject towards solving a problem. With a bad back you can look at all the different angles of a bad back as a chiropractor and you’re not going to face a ton of competition. So simply being in iTunes is going to be a good start and from a promotion standpoint, if you go out there and try and say, “get interviewed on,” — whatever.
Some kind of blog, it could be an online magazine, it could be an offline magazine or newspaper. It could be a radio show whatever the case maybe, saying that you are a chiropractor who podcasts in itself is kind of like, news. So you have a story, an angle, a hook there. Not all of us could do that because I’m one of many people who blog about making money and have a podcast about business and entrepreneurship. So saying I podcast about that subject is not enough of a story to get me through the doors.
But if you can find that hook, that angle, that claim to fame somewhere within your story that’s what you need to start getting the traffic. Like I always say this to all my students whether it is podcast or blogging, before you go out there and put in all these effort to knock on doors whether it’s like I said approaching for guest writing or interviews on podcasts or it’s even simple things like posting in Facebook groups, forums, getting in touch with anyone who you want to make a connection with who might be a potential guest or audience exposure point for you, even just a great contact, you want to get clear on your angle.
It’s often called like a differentiation point that I really think it’s bigger than that though. It’s like the message behind your brand, what you stand for that’s unique and interesting but I like the idea of a phrase big idea. What’s your big idea that if you said to people, “You know I do this” and that they’d go, “Wow that’s interesting, I want to know more about it”.
And you have to massage that idea for a while. It can be a bit difficult, often to some people it is challenging to figure out because you feel like you have lots of big ideas. I feel like myself I have this challenge because I go, “I want to go out there and say I love podcasting, I love blogging, I love selling information products, I love courses, I love ebooks, I love creating audio content” or all these different angles you can go out there with but you have to find that door opening hook that you can take which usually going back to what we had talked about earlier is wrapped up in a story.
It’s the chiropractor who became a chiropractor after having some sort of experience working in Africa and helping and who knows? Doing surgeries on backs there and then just creating a story around that, it could be a story from a client, it could be your own story but it’s what gets interest from media and that I think is the strongest free source of traffic.
We haven’t talked about paid traffic like Facebook ads, Google ads, email ads, those sorts of things but if we are talking about content marketing it only works on the strength of your story so everyone should spend some time thinking about that first and then you go out there and start knocking on doors and you do it every day. If you want to grow a podcast and you really want to get that sort of initial core traction that core audience, like you said you have to go where your audience already is.
You have to have your unique story so that if I said to like going back to how you and I started, if I’ve came across Loz and say, “Hey Loz, I’ve love to come on your show. I’ve got a unique way of making money from podcasting. I don’t think any one’s ever talked about on your show that’s got to do with actually charging money for your audio content. Something that I have been doing for five years now” and you go, “Oh that’s interesting. I want to share that” right?
So I need to lead with that angle first before people would say “yes” and we are doing an interview because of it, something like that. So that’s what you are looking to do in your industry, find that unique angle.
[0:39:15.5] LJ: And as an aside to that as well to the UK audience listening, podcasting is growing in the UK so if you’re positioned with a great brand story and you have that unique message that you can share with your audience, podcasting, getting on the band wagon with podcasting in the UK now is a very good thing to do I should think. So okay, it’s been a great conversation. I could literally talk to you all day. It’s amazing hearing your voice coming through Skype.
Having listened to you for 10 years and followed your podcast and all your work. So just before the PS question, there’s a great course, Power Podcasting which I own and recommend, fantastic, a lot of the subject matter that we have been talking about is in there. So can you remind us where we can find you online Yaro and tell us about all your courses and information.
[0:40:02.0] YS: Yeah, the simplest way is just to Google my name, Yaro, you’ll find me usually first or second page and you will find the Entrepreneur’s Journey blog there. That is the easiest to spell, easiest to remember, if you’re looking for the podcast you will find it there on my blog as well and you can dive in and take a look at all my training content but that’s all you need to remember, Yaro.
[0:40:23.5] LJ: Fantastic.
[0:40:28.5] ANNOUNCER: Wait for it listeners, here comes the PS Question.
[0:40:42.0] LJ: Okay this is what I called the PS Question. Could you please share one advance podcast related content marketing tactic that we can use right after the show?
[0:40:51.8] YS: Sure, well since we were talking about podcasting and I think interviewing is barely come through as sort of a standard practice for podcasting, good quality podcasting, what I recommend people do, well two things I’ll say have a go at the storytelling formula. I think you know what Loz because you went through my course and I talk heavily as a whole module on just the storytelling interview formula so try and focus on that in your episodes if you’re interviewing people.
And there’s a reason why I am recommending that is because what you want to do is get your guest feeling like they have just given something really special on your episode in particular. This is important because and this is the simple truth, one of the best sources of traffic, quick traffic and really high quality traffic is have the person you just interviewed heavily promote the episode that you just did with them.
Now for some people, that’s less likely if they’re interviewed on a podcast every day or very frequently, they are not going to send an entire email to promote just your episode because they’d have to do that once a day for every episode they’re involved with them and then their audience would be, “Stop sending me only interviews with you. It’s getting over the top right?” but you can be strategic about this. So you produce a great interview and you go after a guest who perhaps is not super exposed in the podcast format.
Then you can just ask them at the end, what can you do to help get your story out to more people and if they really love that interview because of the storytelling formula, they’ll email it to their newsletter if that’s their strongest platform. Maybe their YouTube channels are their strongest platform and they’ll say, “Go listen to this episode” whatever their platform is that has the most audience. Maybe they have a radio show in the real world or a TV show or they write an article for a big magazine or newspaper.
Usually it’s an email newsletter, I don’t know many examples where that’s anything better than that. So you can say would you now share this with your audience through email and that will bring you the most new subscribers to your show and the most downloads. It doesn’t happen frequently in my space because it’s just such a crowded space now that now people don’t email out their interviews as much as they used to.
But going back to our original sort of topic there, if you are a new UK podcaster and you are interviewing people who are just not overly saturated, do a great interview, ask them to share it on their email newsletter and they’ll probably say yes and that can be if you get two or three or four people to do that, suddenly you’ve got a thousand subscribers and away you go. So it can work really well, really quickly.
[0:43:21.6] LJ: That’s a fantastic answer to the PS Question, great interview and yeah, it’s been an absolute honor to talk to you Yaro. As I’ve said I have been following your journey for 10 years and I’ll continue to do so. It means a lot to me that you’ve come on the show and I just like to wish you every success with everything in the future.
[0:43:39.9] YS: Thank you Loz, it’s been a lot of fun and it’s great to speak to someone who took my course. I didn’t realized you had to that, that’s awesome and good luck everyone listening with your own podcast. It can really change your life.
[0:43:51.0] ANNOUNCER: You’ve been listening to The Content Champion Podcast, available at contentchampion.com and on iTunes.
Until next time, thanks for listening.