Podcasting 101: Why You Should Have a Podcast

Podcasting 101: Why You Should Have a Podcast - letsreachsuccess.com lidiya k

I’m a big believer in side projects as a way to improve your personal brand, join a new platform and reach a different type of audience, learn new skills and add that to your expertise, and have fun at the same time. And podcasting is a great such side hustle, that pays off in the long run.

The Let’s Reach Success podcast recently reached a milestone – 50 episodes.

I started without knowing anything about podcasting, with bad quality of the first 10 or so episodes, pivoted a few weeks ago (meaning I changed the overall strategy of the show), made it to the iTunes’ New and Noteworthy, had people reach out to me that wanted to be featured on the podcast (but rejected them as it’s still a side project for me and I won’t be doing interviews any time soon), and more.

It’s been a pleasant and challenging journey. Most importantly, I stayed consistent with the weekly show. I started that in the end of November 2015, published an episode 2-3 times a week for the first few ones, then it’s been a once a week show ever since (think I missed a week this summer, though, due to traveling and stuff).

I learned how to work with audio content, and that is a pretty valuable skill in the digital world. I also started speaking a bit more confidently, had the chance to appear on iTunes and Stitcher where I can’t otherwise reach anyone, and built some discipline as an episode takes a lot more work than a blog post.

I don’t regret it and I’ll keep coming up with a new episode each week.

It’s high time I shared my experience though, and this Podcasting 101 tutorial will be a nice way for beginners to understand why podcasts matter so much, why they are still a valuable medium, and also what the first steps to take are.

Many are scared of the tech part of all that. But believe me, I was absolutely unfamiliar with anything I’m doing effortlessly about the podcast now. It takes no time to learn it, there are enough free tools out there, you’ll just get a simple USB mic, and with all the videos you can watch on YouTube about each step of getting the show ready for launching, you’re good to go.

But, of course, to truly take the decision to become a podcaster (which is a cool and respected thing to add to your portfolio and description on all your social media networks) and stay motivated long enough until you actually have listeners and recognition, you need to know the ‘why’ behind podcasting.

Why Start a Podcast?

  1. You build a stronger relationship with your audience.

Regardless of the industry you’re in, with podcasting you have the chance to connect with your readers or customers on a deeper level. Simply letting them hear your voice will make them feel like they know you better.

  1. You improve your speaking skills.

podcasting helps improve speaking skills

Over time, you become more relaxed while talking into the mic, you get more comfortable with your voice (it sounds weird the first time you listen to the recording), you fix your intonation (it won’t sound so monotonous after some time), and you become a better communicator.

Once you’ve built your social skills behind the screen, it’s a no-brainer to practice that in real life too.

  1. Branding.

A podcast would be a fantastic addition to your online presence and personal brand.

You’ll have your own show, and just like having a self-published book, that makes people take you more seriously.

  1. You grow your audience.

By appearing on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher and more platforms for audio content, you get the chance to gain new fans. Whoever likes you, is very likely to visit your site, subscribe to your newsletter, connect with you on social media, and buy a product or service of yours in the future.

  1. You offer even more value.

To make it in the digital world, you need to be giving a lot in the beginning without expecting anything in return. If you charge for everything on your website, people will simply prefer other platforms with free content.

That’s why every site – be it personal or business one – has a blog and publishes insightful and inspiring articles frequently. That’s why you’ll see freebies on every page that give you a ton of amazing information, and visitors are only asked for their email in return.

With podcasting, you give people free audio content and that makes all the difference. They’ll appreciate it. And if you find a way to stand out from the crowd, either by talking about your subject of interest very passionately, or by inviting experts to share life lessons on the show, or by doing an extensive research before each episode and thus making it full of facts and stats that will leave people speechless, you’ll gain listeners.

  1. You become more tech-savvy.

If you’re an aspiring online entrepreneur, a freelancer, or already a business owner, you need to be improving your digital skills and build new ones all the time, or you risk being left behind.

Working with audio content, using a mic, editing the file, uploading it to a platform of your choice that will distribute it to all important places online, and even extracting the show notes and creating a post about it on your blog, all that makes you more tech-savvy.

It’s one step closer to working with video in the future and create online courses, for instance.

What’s more, with audio content you feel more comfortable to do new things too. I, for instance, created 2 quick audiobooks after I had around 20-30 episodes of the Let’s Reach Success podcast released, and when I felt more comfortable using a mic.

  1. Podcasting helps you dominate your niche even more.

To be known online, you need to be considered an expert in your field (whatever it is that you write about, research all the time, are passionate about, have experience with, etc.) And talking about it on a podcast will let you take this further.

Everyone has a blog these days, but still only a few dedicate the time and effort to create a podcast and stay consistent with it.

That will differentiate you from your competitors and will give your audience yet another way to learn from you – while on the go.

Which takes me to the next reason why you should start a podcast.

  1. It’s more convenient for people.

podcasting is convenient

You’re doing your followers a huge favor by providing audio content on the topic they want to learn more about.

With a podcast on the subject, they can listen to it while in the gym, commuting, driving to work, jogging, or while doing chores at home.

Such form of multitasking is productive.

Not everyone has the time to read long, informative articles. But by simply talking about your niche, you can easily reach the busy individuals too and improve their life.

  1. Your show can become a hit.

Pat Flynn from The Smart Passive Income Podcast and Tim Ferriss from the Tim Ferriss Show didn’t know much about podcasting in the beginning either, and – which is more important – didn’t know where this venture could take them.

Today, they are 2 of the most popular business shows on iTunes and millions of people are listening to them every month. It has even become the main way for finding their sites and anything else these 2 entrepreneurs have to offer.

So, my point is, you can never know what this side project of yours will result in. But, as someone trying to build things online and live a lifestyle of freedom and independence, you must give podcasting a try.

Do you have a podcast already? Are you listening to podcasts in your niche and do you find them helpful and more convenient for learning stuff?

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How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money - Interview with R.J. Weiss from TheWaystoWealth.com

This is an interview-style post with R.J. Weiss from The Ways to Wealth.

Hey R.J. What’s your background and what do you do?

I blog about all things personal finance at The Ways to Wealth.

Before I went full-time into blogging, I spent ten years in the financial services industry. Specifically, helping families buy the right type of life insurance.

During my time with a full-time job, I’ve always had different side hustles going on. From freelance writing, Amazon FBA, conversion rate optimization, to website design — there were many projects I pursued outside of work.

How did you start your career in finance?

I got started in finance straight out of college working for my the family insurance business. As I love the financial planning side of things, I choose to specialize in life insurance planning. This led me down the path to obtaining the CFP® Certification.

What made you start blogging?

The Ways to Wealth, which I started in 2016, has been my 5th blog.

The others mostly fizzled out most due to a lack of interest. But, in 2009 I started a personal finance blog called GenYWealth.com (no longer around) that had some success.

The idea GenYwealth.com was to write about what I was learning about studying to take the CFP®. The blog was, by all means, a success. I was able to gain valuable knowledge, pass the CFP® exam, earn some extra money and build up a good community.

I then took this knowledge and started a business blog, which allowed the insurance agency I was working for to generate leads.

I started The Ways to Wealth because my passion is personal finance–from investing to travel hacking, I love the challenge of optimizing my finances.

How was The Ways to Wealth born?

I didn’t have much of a plan for starting The Ways to Wealth when I purchased the domain name.

I was actually thinking it would be a niche site, which was inspired by Pat Flynn’s niche site duel. Then, I came across the income reports of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and wisely changed direction to a more traditional blog.

This change came about 6-months after starting to blog.  I did a timeline of the site in one of my income reports.

What worked best when trying to grow the site?

I had a decent knowledge of SEO. So at first, I started growing the site with email outreach. One of the first posts I had about best investing books of all time, had about 15 links to it.

This was nice to start with but was quite slow to build up, as it can take a while to earn Google’s trust.

The big turning point came when I started to understand Pinterest. I spent a few frustrating weeks on the platform, then it finally started paying dividends.

I went from about 100 sessions a day to 1,000, which was huge for me at the time.

How did you get to 3 million monthly viewers on Pinterest?

the ways to wealth pinterest 3 million monthly views

I lay out my Pinterest strategy here. But at the core the idea is to:

1) Write high-quality content that Pinners want to click through, read, and share.

2) Pin to my own and high-quality group boards, with a keyword-rich description.

3) Continue to Pin my best pins across my own boards/group boards, ruthlessly eliminating Pins that don’t perform well.

One thing to keep in mind is impressions don’t mean much on Pinterest. What counts are clicks to your website. So, you want to design not for impressions but clicks.

What aspects of the online business are you outsourcing or automating and how?

The first thing I outsourced was Pinterest design. I’ll design about 30-40 pins a month, so this was big time saver for me.

Of course, it took some work to get going. At first, I hired 5 or so people on Fiverr. I found one decent designer but the work quality deteriorated over time.

I then went to Upwork and posted a job for a  graphic designer. I found a great team down in Argentina, who I’m very happy with.

I’m currently experimenting with working with a ghostwriter. A few of my latest posts have been transcribed from my recording, with the ghostwriter making sense of it all.

I can compile about 3 posts in 90 minutes, then take another 90 or so minutes to prepare them. Saving me around 3-4 hours per post this way.

What’s your main income stream and why do you think it works for you?

My main source of income for the blog is affiliate revenue. It works because the partners I do have are high-quality businesses, who deliver value and solve real problems. This makes it easy to naturally link to such a partner.

When did you start making more than $10K/month and what was the turning point?

My first month over $10K was in January of 2018. In December of 2017, income was around $3,000 and in July of 2017 around $500. So, it was definitely a jump.

What happened then in January?

First, personal finance is at its peak interest in January.

Second, I had multiple Pins go viral.

Third, in November I started driving traffic via Facebook to the site. So, in January I could take campaigns I’d been fine-tuning for a few weeks and scale them.

How do you balance work and family life?

I have a routine I stick to Monday through Friday.

When inside of my designated working hours, I work. When outside of these hours, I’m not.

This is a lot easier said than done. But the thing important for me is not to take work everywhere I go. This means I don’t have any apps on my phone that are work-related (email, analytics, etc..)

What are you 3 best finance tips for newbies?

  • Focus on your savings rate. How much you save is the most important decision you’ll make.
  • Small incremental improvements add up over time. My favorite example is increasing your savings rate 1% every quarter, means you’ll be saving 20% of your income in just 5 years.
  • Study happiness. Become a student on how to increase your level of happiness. The natural result is you’ll want less overtime, making the game of personal finance a lot easier to win.

What books, blogs or podcasts help you stay motivated along the way of growing an online business?

I read a fair amount to keep fresh ideas in my head.

My favorite podcast is The Tim Ferriss Show.

Two blogs I enjoy reading are:

Farnam Street
Barking up the Wrong Tree

And as far as books. I try to read one a week. A few books I would recommend to online entrepreneurs would be:

Deep Work by Cal Newport
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Pin this post if you enjoyed the interview.

Check out my interview with R.J. from TheWaystoWealth to see how he entered the finance niche, started making money blogging, began bringing traffic from Pinterest and monetizing it with affiliate marketing, and is now making $10,000/month from his online business. #blogger #interview #blogtraffic #incomeideas #income