2019 was an exciting year for us.
The business and podcast saw some amazing growth.
We relaunched the much-loved Evergreen Profits Letter in May, quickly quadrupling our old subscriber numbers with the new concept.
We also went “all in” on the podcast, cutting out distractions and aspects of our business that no longer made sense (although we did add more “distractions” back in as the year went on).
We chose to focus on the podcast, the newsletter, affiliate marketing, and adding some courses back into the mix.
Interestingly enough, we never intended to sell courses anymore. It was our goal to just focus on the podcast, newsletter, and affiliate offers. However, the demand was just way too strong. We were getting emails and direct messages from people constantly asking for courses from us on things like traffic, affiliate marketing, and podcasting…
So we abided and made the courses that people basically begged us to make.
Was it the right decision? Time will tell…
However, we do plan to get even more focused in 2020, taking the focus, once again, off of selling our own courses.
We are fans of providing as much value for free as possible, earning our income through advertisers, affiliate promos, and working closely with a small group of people that we can really make an impact for.
May was also a breakthrough month for us with the podcast. We saw our biggest growth in May, passing 2,000 downloads per day on the show.
I’ll break down some of the bigger accomplishments as well as more plans for 2020 later in this post.
Before I do, let’s break down the top podcast episodes, by downloads, of 2020.
The Top 10 Podcast Episodes of 2019:
We really feel like we took the show to a whole new level this year. The guests were amazing and we were literally chatting with people who, a couple years ago, we thought we’d never have access to… A true testament to the awesomeness that is podcasting…
Going beyond the Top 10…
There are a few episodes that didn’t make the most downloaded list but I feel really should have…
Joe and I discussed and we decided on 3 more episodes that we absolutely loved but that didn’t make the list.
Here’s a list of a few “sleeper” episodes that really blew us and our listeners away:
- Mike Dillard – Overcoming Struggles To Create 8-Figure Businesses
- James Altucher – Reverse Engineering How Much Income You Actually Need
- Dave Asprey – Time Is NOT Your Most Valuable Resource
This year was a crazy hectic year for us. There were a lot of exciting things as well as a lot of really emotional rough patches as well. Over the years, we’ve listened to your feedback and we’ve ramped up the amount of “Therapy Session” episodes that we recorded. These are episodes where we don’t bring on a guest. Instead, Joe and I chat about what’s working now, what we’re excited about, the struggles we’re having, and even the things that are popping up in our personal lives.
Here are a couple notable Therapy Sessions from 2019:
- Analyzing What Makes Us Tick
- The Stuff Entrepreneurs Are Scared To Talk About
- Finding The Lessons In Tragedy And Birth
As you know, we earn most of our income by promoting affiliate products…
Here are our top 5 product promotions of 2019:
- Thrivecart – Our favorite cart platform
- Designrr – Easily create PDFs
- EasyWebinar – A simple webinar platform
- ConvertBox – Our favorite opt-in plugin
- Clickfunnels – A great page builder
Alright… Wrapping up, here are some things we accomplished and are extremely proud of from 2019:
- We spoke on stage at Podfest in Orlando.
- We spoke on stage at the War Room Mastermind.
- We spoke at the Speak Easy event in San Diego.
- We were featured as Icons of Influence at The New Media Summit.
- We hosted a party during T&C at a brewery in San Diego with over 300 people in attendance (and we brewed the beer)
- We relaunched the, very popular, Evergreen Profits Letter and grew it to almost 500 subscribers.
- We updated and relaunched The Evergreen Traffic Playbook with new strategies and tactics for 2019 and 2020.
- We landed our first handful of podcast sponsors with Ahrefs, Intercom, EasyWebinar, and Podcast Magazine.
- We launched a 2nd podcast called Hustle & Flowshorts, with short, daily, episodes.
- We generated over 7-figures through promoting affiliate products for the 2nd year in a row.
- We created and launched a course around podcasting, called The Podhacker Masterclass.
- We had the opportunity to work behind the scenes on same amazing podcasts, helping them better monetize and grow their shows.
- We were featured on 37 different podcasts, including the Growth To Freedom Podcast, Business Lunch With Roland Frasier, The Making Bank Podcast, The Digital Marketer Podcast, Wealthfit, SuperFastBusiness, Optimal Business Daily, and many many more. (Our goal was to get on 20)
- We managed to interview even more of our entrepreneurial heroes on the podcast… People like Mike Dillard, James Altucher, Dave Asprey, Perry Marshall, Ryan Deiss, Neil Patel, JJ Virgin, Mike Koenigs, Chris Voss, Jordan Harbinger, and many many more amazing people.
- The Hustle & Flowchart Podcast was featured on 14 different “top podcast” lists around the web (and those are just the lists we know about).
- Had a Top 10 ranked podcast in the marketing category on iTunes
- Received over 150 5-star reviews on the show
Here are a few of the areas where we feel that we fell short:
- We felt like we got a bit unfocused this year. We tried to be too many things to too many people. Selling services, selling courses, running a podcast, creating a newsletter, promoting affiliate offers, offering consulting, etc. Without a major focus on a single big “rock,” we didn’t achieve our potential with any of the pursuits.
- The podcast plateaued a bit in the second half of the year. Last year, we grew month over month. This year we had massive growth in the first half of the year but then sort of stayed steady beyond that. I think this is a symptom of our focus being spread too thin.
- We took our eyes off the ball with our main revenue driver – Affiliate marketing. In the past 4 years, our biggest income generator was our promotion of affiliate products. In 2019, it was still a focus but, since we spread ourselves thin, it declined a bit from the previous year. It’s probably the thing that we’re the best at, when it comes to generating revenue. However, we decided to prioritize other pursuits over what was actually working. We won’t make that mistake again in 2020.
- We had talked about launching a software multiple times. We even set it as one of our 2019 goals. We just never made it happen. We flip-flopped a ton on the concept for the software and never really settled in on exactly what the software would do. We’ve since dialed in, what we think is, a great concept and will be pushing forward with it in 2020.
Some of things that we plan on focusing on in 2020:
This list is smaller than last year’s on purpose…
- Grow our email list beyond 100,000 subscribers (we were there once but basically started over with our list growth due to really poor response rates)
- Grow the podcast to 100,000+ downloads per month (we’re about 1/2 way there now)
- Grow the EPIC membership / EGP Letter to 2,000 subscribers (we’re at roughly 500 now)
- Create at least one new “Affiliate Marketing System” per month – This basically means creating a landing page, some content, some ads, and an email followup sequence to promote an affiliate offer. We’d like to create one new “automated” system per month. This is something we’ve gotten really good at but basically stopped doing for most of 2019.
- Launch an MVP of our software concept – The software will be in the podcasting space to help podcasters get better data and analytics from their show as well as help them grow the show by making smarter, data-based, growth decisions. More details on that in the coming weeks and months. We expect an MVP around Q3 or Q4 but will be shooting for much sooner.
- Work less – We set a goal to work 3-days per week at a computer last year. Most of the year we did not do this. We still worked 5+ days per week. This year, our focus is on systems to accomplish the above items, while spending less time at a computer.
And that’s really it…
You got a recap of what people loved from the show, what we loved from the show, what went well, what didn’t go well, and what we plan on focusing on this year.
We’re excited to see how it all plays out.
Now, as one last cool little bonus, our amazing note-taker, Sue, actually rounded up a list of every book that’s been mentioned on the podcast in 2019…
Here’s to an amazing 2020!