How To Create A Wildly Popular Podcast From Scratch

Out of all the content that I create and all of the businesses that I’ve built, nothing has been more fun for me than running a podcast.
It is the single task that I’ve done on again and off again that I get the most enjoyment from and gives me the most fulfillment…

There’s one main problem that I have always had with podcasting and one reason that my podcasts never seem to keep going for years and years…

That main problem is monetization.

Podcasting is one thing that I get so much enjoyment out of but never actually seem to get a good return on my time invested. It takes a lot of time to chase up guests to get them on the show, deal with back and forth scheduling, record the actual show, edit the show down, create show notes, get it live in iTunes, and then promote it to get people listening.

It’s a lot of work and takes a lot of time to do it right.

Here’s my history on podcasting.

What follows is a bit of my personal history with podcasting. I’ve been in the podcasting scene for a while with mixed results. If you’re not interested in learning what I’ve done in podcasting, feel free to skip ahead to the next session where we dive into the process.2015-11-19_15-47-46

In early 2011, I started The Business & Blogs podcast. It was a solo podcast (I had no partner on it). Half the episodes where of me giving advice and the other half were interviews with guests that I invited. I got hooked on podcasting pretty quickly, mainly because I felt it was a license to “pick the brains” of other entrepreneurs. They wanted the exposure, and I loved the great conversations and the ability to dive in with them on a topic. I could dig as deep as I wanted and extract some amazing ideas and tips from them.

I tried to monetize the Business & Blogs podcast by mentioning affiliate products with special URLs. At the time, I was running The WordPress Classroom and I was hoping the podcast would drive some traffic to that as well…

My results were horrible. I managed to drive very little traffic to the affiliate links and, to this day, I’m not sure the podcast actually earned me much income, despite getting featured in new & noteworthy and having a huge spike in downloads early on (I was getting about 700 downloads per day for the first few weeks).

I learned pretty quickly that it was difficult to drive traffic to affiliate links from a podcast because many people weren’t sitting in front of a computer while listening.

Later in 2011, I teamed up with Joe Fier to create The Online Income Podcast. The idea behind this one was that it was just two friends getting on a call and chatting about marketing. It was a “fly on the wall” type podcast where anything went. I’m pretty sure we always recorded these after a couple of beers… We had no plans to monetize, and we made them purely for fun. However, this fizzled out after three episodes because we had no real game plan and other priorities took over.

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For a couple years, I intermittently released new episodes of the Business & Blogs podcast but I had no real schedule or any real agenda with it. I phased it out completely sometime in 2013 and removed it from iTunes just a few months ago in 2015. These episodes are no longer available, but I do intend to get more use out of them (more on that shortly).

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At the beginning of 2014, Joe Fier and I had a chat and decided to team up again for another podcast. Joe and I had a service business at the time, building marketing funnels for clients. We intended to use the podcast to have fun and cool interviews but also to raise awareness for our services.

We created 15 episodes of Evergreen Wisdom (our service business was called Evergreen Profits) between April and October of 2014. The podcast was a blast and we managed to get some of the most amazing interviews from people like Amish Shah, Tim Paige, Mario Brown, and Kate Erickson. We literally used this opportunity to pick people’s brains and try to extract as much info as we could from them.

Unfortunately, we had no real system to track sales or results from this podcast and other priorities got in the way.

It was during the time of recording Evergreen Wisdom that I realized that this is what I WANT to be doing. I hadn’t figured out how to make it profitable yet, but I absolutely loved podcasting. I loved the interactions, I loved meeting cool people, I loved the lessons I was learning, I loved everything about podcasting. In some way, shape, or form, I was going to figure out how to incorporate podcasting into my business.

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In early 2015, Josh Bartlett, creator of Easy Video Suite, reached out to me. He’d been toying with the idea of starting a podcast and he wanted to know if I wanted to team up with him on a new one called Beyond The Hype. Josh is one of my best friends and someone that I consider a business mentor so, of course, I agreed to join forces with him to create an epic podcast.

Josh and I created 19 episodes of the Beyond The Hype podcast (including one that was never released). We went into this podcast with a clear gameplan…

Every episode we would drive people to an ebook that rounded up responses to a single question, “what is your biggest tip for success?”. We’d ask every person we had on the show this one question and we’d tell people to go to a link to get all of the responses. After someone opted-in, we would put an offer in front of them to purchase one of our courses.

We had an amazing run when it comes to the guests we managed to get… We had John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur on Fire, Stu McLaren from Wishlist Member, Mike Filsaime, creator of WebinarJam, Ben Adkins, Andre Chaperon, Andrew Warner, Kevin Rogers, and many more. It was an amazing list of guests that would impress most aspiring internet marketers.

Once again, this podcast fizzled out. We did not see a lot of people going to the opt-in page and the time spent editing it and promoting it was not giving us amazing returns. We loved the guests and the interviews but we just couldn’t seem to monetize it.

And that’s where I am today… I’m itching to fill that hole in me that podcasting once filled. I miss the conversations and the reach that podcasting provided and I’m ready to do it again…

Only this time, everything needs to be on purpose… There needs to be a game plan from day one with the exact strategy of how this thing will be edited, marketed, monetized, and kept alive with new guests. The whole process needs to be dialed in and clear.

So, without further ado, here’s how I plan to create a wildly popular podcast from scratch…

The System

Like I mentioned earlier, this new podcast needs to be systematized. All of the following need to be perfectly clear before I take any more steps.

  • A process for getting guests
  • A process for recording
  • A process for editing
  • A process for getting them online
  • A clear monetization strategy
  • A process for promotion

Every single piece above is crucial to the success of this podcast and I want to have a clear understanding of what my process is going to be for every single element before I even hit record on my first episode.

The information that I’m sharing here is the processes that I’ve determined are going to give me the best chance for success. They aren’t necessarily guaranteed to create success but they are the process that I’m going to follow to make sure that I’m consistent and I generate maximum revenue from this.

A Process For Getting Guests

  1. Use my Calendly account to show guests which dates and times are available for recording and allow them to pick what works best for them, within the constraints I set for when I’m available.
  2. Tap my existing contacts – Over the years I’ve built a large network of contacts. I’ve done this through going to live events and meetups, promoting people as an affiliate, reaching out to them on social media, and just trying to stay connected with people. You don’t need the most famous of people to get started. Everyone has someone in their current network who would be willing to jump on a call with you for your first episode. Tap that existing network.
  3. With every episode that I record, I will ask my guest to introduce me to one or two other people that they think would make a great guest on my podcast.
  4. Once per month, I will jump into a Facebook group related to my topic and ask if there’s anyone that wants to be a guest or if people know someone that would be a great fit. I’ve been interviewed on other people’s podcasts as a result of this method. It must work decently well.
  5. Leverage my existing content. Over the years, I’ve recorded close to 100 different interviews across all of these podcasts that I’ve created. Most of these podcasts are no longer available online. I can repurpose these old interviews during times where I am thin on new guests.
  6. As the podcast picks up some steam, I anticipate that people will begin coming to me to be interviewed on the podcast. However, I will still continue to reach out to people who I really want on the show for my own selfish ego reasons.

A Process For Recording

This is actually quite simple. I will record in one of two ways.

  1. Use Skype and Skype Call Recorder to have video chats with people and record both the video and the audio. You can set this program to record all Skype calls automatically so that you never forget to hit record. If you’re on a PC, there’s a tool called Pamela that does something similar.
  2. Get a Zoom H4N digital recorder so that I can record in high quality when meeting with people in person. When I go to events, I can bring this little recorder and a couple of microphones to record professional audio without my computer.
  3. Plan one day per month to do all of the podcast recordings. If I do a weekly podcast, I can spend one full day every single month recording 4-5 new episodes that I can release throughout the month. I will make exceptions and squeeze guests in on other dates if there are no other options but, as a rule, I will try to record once per month.

A Process For Editing

  1. All audio recordings from Skype Call Recorder will automatically go into a Dropbox folder.
  2. I will share the Dropbox folder with a virtual assistant.
  3. The virtual assistant will:
    • Edit the beginning and end to chop out additional chatting that’s not necessary to the show.
    • Add my intro and outro audio to the episode.
    • Run a couple of audio filters to improve the audio quality of the episode.
  4. Add relevant metadata to the audio file so that it shows up properly in iTunes.

There’s no need to overthink this. I’m not going to worry about editing out swearing or anything like that. What comes out in the conversation is what goes into the show.

A Process For Getting Them Online

  1. The virtual assistant will then drop the edited file into a Soundcloud account for audio hosting.
  2. I will use Zapier.com to create a connection between Soundcloud and Rev.com so that, whenever a new audio file goes on to Soundcloud, Rev.com automatically creates a transcription of the recording, charges my account for the cost, and emails me a transcription.
  3. One day per month, I will create blog posts for all of the episodes and schedule them for their release date. I will embed the Soundcloud audio player, write a short paragraph for show notes, and paste the audio transcription into the post so people can read it if they like.
  4. I will use the free Powerpress plugin to make sure that my new episodes feed into iTunes automatically.

A Clear Monetization Strategy

This part is important because this has been what has always gotten me hung up on podcasts in the past. The podcast lives and dies on this element alone. I can only do an activity that generates no revenue for so long before I am forced to move on to something that will generate a return.

  1. Earlier I mentioned that I would record a video for every podcast episode I do. The video versions of the podcast will be premium content inside of a members area. I will use the unedited videos, meaning you will see the conversations we have before and after the show so that you can get a “fly on the wall” view of the conversations we have when we’re not recording a podcast episode. There’s usually some amazing gold nuggets in these conversations that don’t make the regular episodes.
  2. In every episode, I will promote the fact that you can get the full, uncut, video session by becoming a member.
  3. I will ask guests to contribute some bonus tips and content for members only.
  4. I will test different entry price offers. The program will be $29/month with an option to get an annual membership.
  5. I’ll include other perks for becoming a member including a private Facebook community, live training sessions and office hours, and access to the other products that I sell included in the cost of being a member.
  6. Every single episode will push people to this one offer. No trying to make income from affiliate promos, sponsors, multiple products, etc. etc. It will be a clear and focused directive.

I love this model because I essentially kill two birds with one stone when I record my podcasts. I am both creating podcast episodes and creating premium members content at the same time.

A Clear Process For Promotion

  1. After each episode goes live, email the guest featured in that episode and ask them to promote it to their tribe.
  2. Mail the mailing list with each new episode that’s available.
  3. Share each new episode on Facebook and do a “boost post” to get a little extra reach.
  4. Share each new episode on Twitter. (How To Buy Twitter Followers)
  5. Copy the show notes from each episode into a LinkedIn Pulse post that links to the episode.
  6. Create a teaser video from the video footage and share it on YouTube and Facebook.

Much of the traffic will come as a result of the guest sharing the post and making my existing tribe aware of the new episode.

So that’s it. That’s the entire process that I laid out to systematize every aspect of creating a podcast. You now have a clear picture of my entire plan.

Now let’s dive into how I’m setting it all up…

The Setup

Again, this is going to be an evolving post. I recommend bookmarking it and checking back frequently because I will be updating it over time as I discover new things and see results from this process.

Naming The Podcast

To be honest, I did not put a ton of thought into the name of the podcast. This blog is called MultiplyAuthority.com and it stemmed from a term that I created called an “Authority Multiplier” so the podcast became “The Authority Multiplier Podcast”. It’s simple, and I can use the same branding from this site on the podcast.

Giving The Podcast A Theme

One thing I did not want to do was have another “me too” podcast. There are a lot of podcasts out there that are the same thing over and over again. There are so many podcasts that are just “entrepreneur” podcasts, where people interview entrepreneurs on whatever topic they feel like talking about.

There’s nothing wrong with podcasts that are general entrepreneur interview podcasts but, over time, it’s becoming harder and harder to stand out if that is your game plan. Instead, I think it’s important to have a central and more niched-down theme for a podcast. This way, I’m approaching each episode from a different angle and asking questions that tie back to the overall theme.

The theme of this blog is building authority and creating a brand. That’s what I want this blog to be known for so it makes sense that it’s the theme of the podcast as well. I can bring on any successful entrepreneur or niche celebrity that I want as long as I always tie the conversation back to how someone can grow their authority and build their brand.

This allows me to ask anything I want but always make sure that listeners have a takeaway that helps them build their brand and their authority. It helps keep the podcast on point during discussions, and it helps give listeners a clear expectation of what they will learn if they continue to listen to the show.

Do you want to make sure you become THE authority in whatever your niche is? Make sure you’re listening to this podcast and we’ll show you how…

That makes for a real easy “elevator pitch” about the podcast as well as gives guests guidance and the goal of the listeners.

Getting A Podcast Image Made

I’m keeping things simple for this podcast. I don’t want to overcomplicate it.

I went to Fiverr to get my image made.

Here’s a link to the exact designer who created my image.

Here’s the image that they made:

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I didn’t pay $5 for the image. I bought some add-ons to make it a little more premium but it was still relatively cheap, and I’m quite happy with it.

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If the podcast explodes, I may hire someone to make a new variation but I’m not even sure that will be necessary.

Getting An Intro Audio Made

Once again, I tapped Fiverr for this. I spent more than $5 on this, but I’m happy with the quality.

Here’s the guy that I used.

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Here are the two variations that I received back:

Variation 1:

Variation 2:

I’m not 100% over the moon about the intro, but it’s good enough to get started. Once I pick up some traction with the podcast, and I know it’s generating some income, I’ll circle back around and have someone like Tim Paige create a new intro for me.

Creating The First Episode

The very first episode of The Authority Multiplier Podcast will be a solo episode with just me. I want to explain quickly what the show will be about but also give my best advice on how to build authority in your niche. I’ll set the expectation of what people will learn and how the podcast will benefit them from episode one.

In episode one, I will teach several strategies for content marketing and explain why it helps build authority. I’m going to create an episode that will be so good that people feel they could have paid for that information and been happy with it.

This is the first impression, and this will set the expectation, so I’m going to make it phenomenal value.

The Next Few Episodes

I’m going to have four episodes ready to go the very first day that the podcast goes live on iTunes. The reason for this is that, when someone subscribes, it automatically downloads the podcast’s episodes. If I have four episodes in there from the get-go, every new subscriber will count as four downloads, which will help me climb the rankings on iTunes pretty quickly.

I will have my introduction solo episode and three episodes that I have already recorded. As of right now, I’ve already got content for eight weeks worth of episodes, meaning that I’ll be out in front of the schedule and have some leeway on getting more recorded.

Initial episodes will include fresh content from people like Brad Spencer on networking, Navid Moazzez on creating virtual summits, Ben Adkins on creating continuity newsletters, as well as some repurposed and newly edited and reworked episodes from people like Pat Flynn, Justin Brooke, and Mario Brown. I’ll be tapping into audio recordings both new and old to create an amazing series of episodes to help anyone build authority in their niche.

Update 11/21/15

I published the very first episode on to the website here:
https://multiplyauthority.com/how-to-get-ideas-and-create-rapid-content/

I needed to get this post up and live so that I could create the RSS feed to submit it to iTunes. Once the podcast is approved, I will be adding in the other 3 episodes that I’ve got ready.

Now that the episode is live, I have a “Podcast” category in WordPress and an rss feed specifically for my podcast. Time to get it in iTunes because you never know how long it will take for it to go live. I’ve had shows take 2 weeks before they were live and I’ve had shows that were live within 24 hours. So I have no idea when it will be officially available to subscribe to in iTunes.

Update 12/11/15

I renamed the podcast “Authority Insider”. I was trying to get too creative with all my naming. I have MultiplyAuthority.com, the premium members area is called Authority Insider, and the podcast was called The Authority Multiplier Podcast… I opted to consolidate names a little bit.

Now there’s MultiplyAuthority.com and the podcast and members area are all Authority Insider. Simple.

The Technical Stuff

I felt this blog post would not be complete if I didn’t walk through the actual technical steps to get a podcast online and in iTunes…

There are a ton of tutorials out there already that teach this stuff, but I’ll quickly walk you through my process to get podcast episodes online as inexpensively as possible.

Recording

To record the episodes, I will be using my Heil PR40 Microphone that feeds into my Xenyx mixing board and then into the line-in on my iMac.

This setup is extreme and not completely necessary to create a professional sounding podcast. Before I had this setup, I had a Blue Yeti mic and I absolutely loved it. No mixing board needed and it plugged straight into a USB on my computer…

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For the interviews, I will record with Skype and the eCamm Call Recorder for Skype. It records the audio and video on multiple tracks so I can edit the volume and any additional processing on separate tracks.

I have eCamm set to automatically record every time I get on Skype call so I don’t have to think about it. I’ve even had great conversations become podcasts without us even realizing we were making a podcast because I had the recording afterward.

After recording, I like to take the audio files that call recorder gives me and put them into Adobe Audition to adjust the volume levels and make some simple cuts. You can use a free tool called Audacity to achieve the same effect.

I then export the audio file as an MP3 and I’m ready to go.

Hosting The Audio

After I have the mp3 file, I quickly open the file in iTunes and edit the metadata. This allows me to edit the titles, add an image to the episode, and make sure there are some simple keywords added in.

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Next, I take the file and I add it to Soundcloud where I host all of my audio files…

I must mention that I do have Pro Unlimited account through Soundcloud. This allows me to upload unlimited amounts of audio for $135 per year. It’s the least expensive option that I’ve found.

You could use something like Amazon S3, which will be a lot less expensive in the beginning but, if your podcast takes off, can get costly very quickly.

Getting The Podcast On My Site

To create a properly formatted RSS feed that can be read by iTunes, you need to install a plugin called PowerPress. It’s a free plugin, and you can simply install it and follow the on-screen instructions.

I’ll eventually create a video tutorial on how to set this up because it will be difficult to explain purely through screenshots. So check back soon for a video walkthrough of this process.

In the meantime, Pat Flynn has a great little tutorial on how to get a podcast online.

PowerPress will give you an RSS feed URL that you can submit to iTunes, and you’re ready to roll…

I know this is a lot of information… I initially started this blog post to talk about the process I’d be going through to create and monetize a podcast. It was not really meant to be a complete technical tutorial. I will, however, update this podcast shortly with more in-depth technical details.

Make sure that you bookmark this page and check back often because I will be continuing to evolve this post.

Update

Here’s an updated post on starting a podcast

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