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ProBlogger Podcast: Blog Tips to Help You Make Money Blogging

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Blog Tips to Help You Make Money Blogging

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Blog Tips to Help You Make Money Blogging

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344 Ratings
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Entertaining, insightful and actionable! 🔥

By JoshCrist - May 14 2020
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Whether you’re well established as a blogger, or just getting started carving out a profitable niche that’s ready to grow - this is a must-listen podcast for you! Darren does an incredible job leading conversations that cover a huge breadth of topics related to the ins and outs of building a thriving online business, and life you can be proud of as a blogger - from leaders who’ve actually experienced success themselves. Highly recommend listening and subscribing!

Wealth of info

By Kentucky twin mama - Feb 26 2020
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This podcast is a wealth of information. I really enjoy it

iTunes Ratings

344 Ratings
Average Ratings
304
17
11
2
10

Entertaining, insightful and actionable! 🔥

By JoshCrist - May 14 2020
Read more
Whether you’re well established as a blogger, or just getting started carving out a profitable niche that’s ready to grow - this is a must-listen podcast for you! Darren does an incredible job leading conversations that cover a huge breadth of topics related to the ins and outs of building a thriving online business, and life you can be proud of as a blogger - from leaders who’ve actually experienced success themselves. Highly recommend listening and subscribing!

Wealth of info

By Kentucky twin mama - Feb 26 2020
Read more
This podcast is a wealth of information. I really enjoy it
Cover image of ProBlogger Podcast: Blog Tips to Help You Make Money Blogging

ProBlogger Podcast: Blog Tips to Help You Make Money Blogging

Latest release on Mar 24, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail about 1 month ago

Rank #1: 210: Launching a Blog: How Many Posts Do You Need?

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How Many Live Posts Do You Need When You Launch Your Blog
Today, I want to answer a question almost every blogger asks when they start blogging: How many posts should I have live before I launch my blog?
It's a common question I get, and while I’ve mentioned a few approaches in other episodes today I'm tackling the topic specifically.

So if you’re starting a blog for the first time, or thinking of starting a second blog, this podcast is for you.

Links and Resources

Vanessa’s blog
Digital Photography School
Dallas Event
Facebook Group
Facebook Live on me using Adobe Spark
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Hi there. Welcome to episode 210 of the ProBlogger Podcast. My name is Darren Rowse. I’m the blogger behind problogger.com – a blog, podcast, event, job board and a series of ebooks all designed to help you as a blogger to grow your blog, to start that blog, to grow it and to create content that’s going to help your audience. And then, hopefully to monetize that as well. You can learn more about ProBlogger and all we do over at problogger.com

In today’s episode, I want to talk about a question that I get asked quite regularly from readers of ProBlogger. In fact, it’s a question that all of us, bloggers, at one point or another ask ourselves, particularly when we’re starting our blog. The questions is this: “How many posts should I have live before I launch?” This is one of those common questions I get asked, and I have mentioned a few different approaches to this in previous episodes. Today I want to tackle that specifically as an episode. My view on this has changed slightly over the years, maybe slightly different from what you heard me talk about in the past. I’ll tell you a little bit more about why I’ve changed that as the show goes on.

If you’re starting a blog for the first time, or if you’re thinking of starting a second one, today’s episode is for you. You can find today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/210. Before I get into today’s teaching, two things I want to mention very briefly. Firstly, if you haven’t already joined our Facebook group, head over to problogger.com/group where there is almost 9,000 bloggers who are coming together every day to talk about their challenges, the wins that they’re having, the things that they’re learning and to ask questions as well. If you’ve got tips to share, or if you’ve got questions to ask, head over to problogger.com/group and answer the questions that we ask you to answer as you apply. That helps us to approve you faster.

The second thing I’ll mention just briefly is that I will be in Dallas co-hosting a special event for ProBlogger readers and listeners on the 24th and 25th of October. The event is called Success Incubator. It’s going to be a day and a half which we are packing, literally we’re packing every minute of this day, particularly on the first day and then the second half day. We’re teaching for bloggers and for online entrepreneurs. We’ve got speakers like myself, Pat Flynn, Kim Garst, Rachel Miller who you heard in the last episode about Facebook, Andrea Vahl, Steve Chou, Kim Sorgius and many more speakers as well. You’ll hear some of those speakers in upcoming episodes of this podcast as well.

If you want to grab a ticket for that event, they are limited. Head over to problogger.com/success. That’s an event that I’m co-hosting in Dallas on the 24th and 25th of October and I would love to see you there. Again, show notes today at problogger.com/podcast/210 and I hope you enjoy what I’ve got for you today.

The question of the day is, "How many posts should I have live before I launch my blog?" There are a few different thoughts that I want to run through today. The first one is that there is no right or wrong answer here, as is the case with many of the topics that we cover here...

Sep 11 2017

24mins

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Rank #2: PB002: Write and Publish a List Post [Day 2 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog]

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Today your challenge is to create a 'list post' for your blog
Since I started blogging back in 2002 the 'list post' has always been a popular type of post for bloggers. While you may not want every post on your blog to have this format there's no doubt there are some definite advantages of using them from time to time.

As I look at my most popular posts over the years on my blogs many of them would fit quite well into this category.

So today I want you to create one. Here's what to do:

Listen to today's episode (either here on the site or in iTunes or Stitcher)
create and publish your list post on your blog
please share a link to your newly published list post in comments below so we can see what you've done today
check out some of the links other share, comment on and share the ones you enjoy the most

In This Episode
Here's what I cover in todays episode:

8 Reasons Why List Posts Work
A Warning on List Posts
3 Types of List Posts to Try Writing on Your Blog
Examples of List posts that I’ve written that might give you some ideas

Examples of List Posts Mentioned in this Episode
All of these examples come from my blog at Digital Photography School but please submit your own new list posts below and check out the examples others leave to see them applied in different niches/topics.

21 Settings, Techniques and Rules All New Camera Owners Should Know
10 Ways to Take Stunning Portraits (and the follow up '10 more tips...' post)
11 Surefire Landscape Photography Tips
How to Make An Inexpensive Light Tent – DIY
Posing Guide: 21 Sample Poses to Get You Started with Photographing Women (and the followup series)
How to Photograph Fireworks Displays
DIY Lighting Hacks for Digital Photographers
The 30 Most Popular DSLR Lenses with our Readers
10 Photography Quotes that You Should Know
100 Things I’ve Learned About Photography

Also mentioned in this episode as a tool to check was Buzz Sumo.

Welcome to ProBlogger podcast, episode 2 and day 2 of our 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge. Today, I'll be talking to you about creating a list to post for your blog. But first, a quick word from our sponsor, 99designs, the best place for new businesses and bloggers to build their brands.

If you're launching a new business or even a project off the side of your blog, 99designs is a great choice for quality design at an affordable price. Start your next design project at 99designs.com/problogger and get a $99 upgrade for free.
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Hi, this is Darren from ProBlogger. Welcome to day 2 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog where each day, I'll be sharing with you some tips on how to improve your blog and then challenge you to do something based upon those tips. Today, we're talking about list posts. List posts, as I look back on my blog, have been probably the best thing that I've ever done in terms of types of content.

In fact, I just spent 15 minutes looking back over Digital Photography School's top posts, going right back to 2009 when I started and listed posts featured in the top 100 or so posts that I've written in terms of their traffic and very heavily. In fact, probably over half of the posts that I've written that feature that, that most-read post list would be list posts. I'll share some of them as examples with you in a moment.

I just want to touch on why I think list posts are so important. There's a whole heap of them. Firstly, they're scannable. As you probably know, people are much more likely, when they're reading online, to scan content than to read it, or at least they'll scan through it first to see whether it's relevant to them. They might go back and read it or they might stop at different points to read, but they rarely just start reading and then get right through to the end.

Jul 01 2015

21mins

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Rank #3: PB053: How I made over $500,000 with the Amazon Affiliate Program

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Note: you can listen to this episode above or load it up in iTunes.
How to Make Money With the Amazon Affiliate Program
Today's episode is all about making money with the Amazon Affiliate Program.

In episode 51 I introduced the topic making money through affiliate marketing and gave some practical tips on how to do it.

Amazon's Associates Program is the first affiliate program I started making money from and I continue to earn money from it today. I share my experience and top tips that you can use to generate your own income from the Amazon Affiliate Program.
In This Episode
You can listen to today's episode above or in iTunes or Stitcher (where we'd also LOVE to get your reviews on those platforms if you have a moment). In today's episode:

My start with using Amazon's Affiliate Program
Why many people don't use the Amazon Affiliate Program (and why I do)
20 Practical Tips to Make Money with the Amazon Affiliate Program
10 More Tips on Using the Amazon Affiliate Program

Further Reading and Resources for How to Make Money With the Amazon Affiliate Program

Episode 51: How to Make Money As a Blogger Through Affiliate Marketing
The Ultimate Guide to Making Money with the Amazon Affiliate Program
Google’s AdSense program and Amazon’s Affiliate program
9 Reasons Why I AM An Amazon Affiliate

Also here are a couple of the charts I mentioned in the show:

The first is my annual income from the program for the first ten years.
The second shows the income on a quarterly basis so you can see the spikes around the holidays.
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Hi. This is Darren from ProBlogger and welcome to the ProBlogger Podcast episode 53, where today, I want to talk about making money with the Amazon Affiliate Program. You can find today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/53.

In episode 51 of the ProBlogger podcast, I talked about making money through affiliate marketing. In that episode, I talked a little (in passing) about the Amazon Associates Program which was the first type of affiliate marketing that I did. It was back in April of 2003 that I first heard about Amazon’s Affiliate Program. I’ve been blogging for about six months at that point and realized that this hobby of mine was growing to the point where it was starting to cost me because I had to pay for servers, I wanted to get my blog redesigned, and I really want to get off the dial-up internet which I was still on at that point. I wanted to upgrade my computer and the list went on.

Because I was newly married at the time and we were on a bit of a tight budget because I was working a number of part-time jobs and my wife was a young lawyer who was just starting out and wasn’t being paid a whole heap. We realized that if I was going to keep blogging it needed to pay for itself. I began to experiment with a couple of different ways of making money from my blogs. This is back in 2003 and no one was really talking about monetizing blogs at the time. I started to do searches online for how people were monetizing other types of sites and came across two methods.

Firstly, it was Google’s AdSense program which had only been out for a few months (I think) at that point. It was pretty simple and pretty basic. I put some code on my site one night and the next morning woke up and it made a few cents. The other one was Amazon’s Affiliate Program which I did see a few other bloggers using. It was a program that I saw mainly bloggers promoting books from Amazon because back then, Amazon was pretty much a bookstore, it wasn’t what it is today.

I occasionally wrote on my personal blog about books, so when I mentioned those books I decided to link to Amazon’s Affiliate Program. Of those two methods (Google AdSense and Amazon), AdSense certainly was the biggest earner and to this day it c...

Oct 15 2015

33mins

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Rank #4: 235: How to Build Authority, Influence and Trust When Nobody Knows Who You Are

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How to Build Authority and Influence with Your Audience
In today’s episode, I want to talk about building authority and influence.

This topic came about from talking to a number of bloggers who've just completed our Start a Blog course. They're starting from scratch (as we all did), and want not only to be found, but also to make an impression on those who arrive at their blog.
How can you be seen as a trusted authority on your topic, and a credible source of information, people don’t yet know who you are?

Getting traffic is one thing, but how do you build influence?

In this episode, I want to share 13 things that I’ve noticed good influencers do to build authority and credibility with their audience.
Resources for How to Build Authority, Influence and Trust When Nobody Knows Who You Are

New Blog Honor Roll
Facebook group

Courses

ProBlogger’s ultimate guide to start a blog
31 Days to Build a better blog

Further Reading

Demian Farmworth - CopyBlogger - 10 ways to build authority as an author
Shane Snow - some writing he did on the level that great writers write at
This Surprising Reading Level Analysis Will Change the Way You Write
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Hi there. Welcome to episode 235 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name is Darren Rowse. I’m the blogger behind problogger.com, a blog, podcast, event, job board, series of ebooks, and courses all designed to help you to start an amazing blog, to create content for that blog that’s going to change the world, that’s going to change your reader’s lives, to grow traffic to your blog, and to build profit around your blog as well. You can learn more about what we do at problogger.com. In particular, check out our brand new course How to Start a Blog, our ultimate guide to starting a blog. Check out our new course which is coming in the next few weeks, 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, which is perfect for new bloggers and intermediate bloggers who want to give their blog a kickstart. You can find our How to Start a Blog course at problogger.com/startablog and 31 Days to Build a Better Blog at problogger.com/31days or just over on ProBlogger, look for the courses tab and you’ll find them all.

In today’s episode, I want to talk about building authority and influence with your audience. This topic came up as I was talking to a number of the bloggers who just completed our Start a Blog course. We just graduated 103 bloggers. They’ve just started their brand new blogs. We posted links to all of them on our site. If you want to check them out, head over to ProBlogger. Today I’ll actually link to them in our show notes as well.

These 103 bloggers, just like all bloggers starting out, they’re starting from scratch. They’ve got a number of challenges. One, they need to create content. Two, they need to build traffic. But also more important than building traffic, they need to actually build influence, they need to build authority, they need to build credibility. This is one of the things that a number of new bloggers have talked to me about in the last few weeks. They can see the traffic coming in but how do they actually become someone with authority on their topic? How do they become someone who is trusted as a credible source of information? How do you build this when the traffic that’s coming in has no idea who you are? It’s one thing to get traffic but how do you build influence?

In this episode I want to share 13 things that I’ve noticed good influencers do to build this authority and credibility with their audience. You can find today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/235.

Today we’re talking about how do you build authority, how do you build influence, how do you take this traffic from giving you their attention to actually beginning to feel connected to you on this deeper lev...

Feb 12 2018

40mins

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Rank #5: 246: 9 Ways to Accelerate the Growth of Your Blog

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9 Things I Wish I Knew About Blogging That Will Accelerate the Growth of YOUR Blog
In today’s episode I want to share my keynote at this year’s Social Media Marketing World – 9 Things I Wish I Knew About Blogging that Will Accelerate the Growth of YOUR Blog.
Here are the slides from my talk:

9 Things I Wish I Knew About Blogging that Will Accelerate the Growth of Your Blog from Darren Rowse
Keep focusing on the pillars of pro blogging:

Profitable blogs are built on great content
Take the initiative to drive traffic to your blog
Take ownership of building engagement with your readers
Monetization.

Don’t skip over these pillars or take shortcuts.

And here are 9 accelerators to grow your blog faster:

Understand and engage with your audience. Know your readers’ needs.
Transform your readers’ lives. Great content leaves a mark on your readers.
Focus less on the number of eyeballs, and more on engaging the hearts of the right readers.
Create a design based on what you know about your readers. Customize their experience.
Teach and engage readers through challenges using various mediums.
Collaborate with others to:

exchange services
generate content
drive traffic
create revenue streams.
Focus on creating evergreen content that maintains relevance and doesn't date as fast as other content.
Maintain your archives, or they depreciate. Archives are an income-generating asset.
Be careful about where you go all-in on.. Where should you spend your time?

Quotes of the Week:

“Speed is only useful if you are running in the right direction.” – Joel Barker, Future Edge

“Everyone wants to live at the top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” – Andy Rooney

“Growth is a spiral process, doubling back on itself, reassessing, and regrouping.” – Julia Margaret Cameron
Links and Resources for 9 Ways to Accelerate the Growth of Your Blog:

Success Incubator
New Members Area
Social Media Marketing World
Social Media Marketing World last year’s virtual pass
Further Listening:

Strategies to Help Convert First Time Visitors Into Interested Readers of Your Blog
How Collaborations Can Accelerate Your Blog’s Growth
The Ultimate Guide to Creating Evergreen Content for Your Blog
7 Types of Evergreen Content You Can Create on Your Blog
More Evergreen Content Ideas for Your Blog
How to get More Traffic By Updating Your Archives
Trends in Social Media - Where Should You Focus Your Energy?

Courses

Starting a Blog
ProBlogger Pro – 31 Days to Build a Better Blog

Join our Facebook group
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Darren: Good morning and welcome to episode 246 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name is Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind problogger.com. A blog, podcast, event, job board, series of ebooks, and courses, all designed to help you to start an amazing blog to grow the audience on their blog, to create great content, and to build some profit around that blog as well. You can learn more about what we do at ProBlogger at problogger.com.

In today's episode, I want to share with you a recording of a talk I gave this year at Social Media Marketing World. A great event run by Mike Stelzner and his team from Social Media Examiner. This talk is one that I got a lot of positive feedback on. In fact, I don't think I've have so much positive feedback on a talk at Social Media Marketing World as I've received both at the event this year and since the event. I've got permission from Mike and his team, who've kindly allowed me to republish it here on the podcast in its entirety.

The title of the talk is Nine Things I knew About Blogging that will Accelerate the Growth of your Blog. It's nine things that really–today,

May 07 2018

53mins

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Rank #6: 275: How One Blogger Quit Her Job and Started a Lifestyle Blog

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How One Blogger Took Action, Left Her Job, and Began a Lifestyle Blog

Today marks the end of our series featuring stories from new bloggers. We really hope you’ve enjoyed them.

Jackie Baker recently started a lifestyle blog that celebrates the beauty in everyday life. She considered blogging as a business because she needed a career change that would both challenge her and leave time for a vacation once in a while.

But what would she write about? Jackie narrowed her blog’s focus to a few topics that bring joy, peace, and happiness to both her readers and herself. Hence the title of her blog: Pretty Things, Yummy Food.

What Jackie has learned from blogging:

  • Take action and keep pushing forward when you feel stuck or scared
  • Create a plan to prioritize tasks you need to get done
  • Sign up for courses that show you how to start/launch a blog
  • Connect with other bloggers who understand your excitement and frustration
  • Embrace social media to find readers and build a community
  • Use Canva to design graphics
  • Don’t stress about what others think about you or your blog

Want to start a blog? Do it and don’t doubt yourself. Follow your gut, get into a blogging mindset, and find your message to discover you have plenty to offer the world.

Sign up for ProBlogger’s free Start a Blog course and participate in its International Start a Blog Day on February 7.

Links and Resources for How One Blogger Quit Her Job and Started a Lifestyle Blog:

Courses

Join our Facebook group


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Darren: Hey there and welcome to episode 275 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name is Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind problogger.com, which is a site for you as a blogger or someone about to start a blog, that will help you grow that blog, create great content, and monetize it as well. You can learn more about what we do at ProBlogger and check out our two courses at problogger.com.

Speaking of our courses, today we’re finishing up our series of podcasts from stories who did our free Start A Blog course. We’re going to hear today from Jackie Baker from Pretty Things, Yummy Food, which sounds like the kind of blog I need to check out, particularly the yummy food part of it.

This series really is all about hearing from new bloggers, bloggers who haven’t been going for too long yet, to find out what they’ve learnt in their first year of blogging. I have loved the feedback we’ve had on this series. It seems that a lot of you have enjoyed hearing from new voices, people that they’ve never heard of before, rather than just hearing from experts or gurus or people who have been blogging for 10 years. The new bloggers have been sharing some of their journey as well.

We’re doing this really to highlight that people are continuing to start blogs these days and that there is a simple way to do it. That’s through our Start A Blog course, which you can find over at problogger.com/startablog. It’s completely free and it’s set out in seven simple steps that will walk you through the process.

Today, we’ve got Jackie Baker from Pretty Things, Yummy Food. It’s a lifestyle blog and it’s only been going for six months. Jackie started her blog as a result of going through our course and you’re going to hear her talk a little bit about that in today’s story. She recommends a great tool for those of you who are starting out and want to create some cool social graphics and gives you a few good tips as well. I’ll come back at the end of Jackie’s story to wrap things up and to pull out a few of the things that I love about her story.

Jackie: Hi everyone. I’m Jackie, the creator of Pretty Things, Yummy Food. Pretty Things, Yummy Food is a lifestyle blog designed to celebrate the beauty in everyday life and was officially launched on July 6, 2018. You can find the blog at prettythingsyummyfood.com.

I began thinking of blogging as a business back in January of 2018 and at the time when I felt like I needed a career change. The job I had at the time was a good job but I wanted something that would challenge me. I also hadn’t been on vacation in a while so I was also hoping to find something that might make it a little easier to make it to the beach. But more seriously, I’ve always wanted to own my own business and I felt this year could be a good year to strike out on my own. But doing what? I wanted to use my skills as a photographer and writer but I also knew that I wanted to get away from doing the freelance work that I had been doing.

While I was trying to think through my options, I received an email completely out of the blue from someone who just knew that I was looking to make a change but not what I was looking for specifically. Quite honestly, I didn’t even know what I was looking for, specifically. The email just had a link to a podcast episode about blogging full time. After listening to the episode, I started researching blogging and felt like it could actually be something I might enjoy and maybe a viable business option. So I decided to just go for it.

I left my job which was a really tough decision to make. But I decided to dive in and have the attitude that if this experiment failed, it failed. At least I would have tried it and wouldn’t be wondering ‘what if’ all my life. The only problem was that I had no idea what I would write about. I’m somebody who loves learning about everything and doesn’t really specialize in one specific thing. The thought of choosing one topic and sticking with it was a little terrifying to me.

I decided that I should probably choose a theme or an idea that could cross niches. As I thought of what that would be, I kept coming back to the fact that I love pretty things and yummy food. Pretty things don’t just have to be things, though they certainly can be. They can be a well-decorated room or a vacation with friends or just a comforting cup of tea. The main requirement for it to be a pretty thing is if it brings joy, peace, and happiness to you in a world that so often seems to take these things away instead of give them.

My goal for Pretty Things, Yummy Food is that it’s a place where readers feel encouraged to follow their dreams, whether they’re small like trying to make crème brûlée or big like traveling the world. When people ask me what Pretty Things, Yummy Food is about, I tell them it’s a little bit of everything. There are recipes of my favorite cookies, posts on the Mediterranean trip I took was friends, and my tips for traveling there yourself, plus DIY projects that can help brighten up your home.

Although it’s only been about a year since I even started the process of starting a blog, it feels like so much longer ago because I’m grown so much since then. I’ve learned that I have way more ideas when I ever knew I had and that I possess more boldness and tenacity to follow my dreams than I ever gave myself credit for. That’s why I would encourage anyone who’s thinking of starting a blog to do it. You may feel like you don’t have anything to say or that you might not be creative enough, but I really believe that once you get into that blogging mindset and find your message, you’ll find out that you have plenty to offer the world.

Over the past year, I’ve learned that so much of the time when you’re feeling stuck or scared, the best thing to do is to take some sort of action. The longer you stand still, the harder it is to get going. But if you just keep pushing forward, even doing small pieces at a time, the momentum will pick up and you’ll slowly start chipping away at your to-do list.

Creating a plan, even just for the day that prioritizes what needs to get done—and it actually possible to get done before you go to bed that night—is so helpful in sorting the truly important things from the things that are just cluttering up your head and making you nervous. I’m not an actual plan maker but I found that prioritizing tasks for each day helped a lot in actually accomplishing these tasks. If you feel like there are just so many things that need to get done that you can even start to sort them out, take advantage of some of the free resources out there from bloggers who have been where you are and want to help you push through and get your blog started.

When I was finally to the stage where I felt like I could actually start a blog but had no clue where to start, I signed up for ProBlogger’s Ultimate Guide To Starting A Blog course and I found some stuffs that got me past my analysis paralysis. Having a list of what needed to be done and how to actually get it done was instrumental in me actually launching Pretty Things, Yummy Food. Getting advice from someone who’s farther down the road than you in general is so helpful in getting through the rough patches. Connecting with people who or where you are also helps.

When I first started, I was a little bashful about admitting that I had started a blog because what if people actually looked at it and didn’t like it? But I forced myself to tell people and in the process, I found out that one of my close friends was also thinking about starting a blog and we hadn’t even thought to mention it to each other. But having someone else who understands the excitement and the stress of starting a blog has been a huge encouragement for me in my first year of blogging.

Don’t be like me and try to do everything on your own. There are so many incredible resources out there that can make starting a blog easier. For example, I’ve always approach the social media like someone from the 1920s, which is to say that I really didn’t approach it at all. When I started the blog, I avoided Instagram like the plague. But eventually, I saw the ways that it could be so helpful in building a community around the blog. I finally got on Instagram and I’m so glad that I did.

Instagram’s a great starting place for new bloggers in finding readers because these readers are already on Instagram. You just have to go out and find them. Reaching potential readers by finding them on Instagram is a much faster and more efficiently way to connect with them, than just hoping that they’ll find you by stumbling onto your brand new blog buried somewhere in the internet.

I also cannot say enough good things about Canva, which is a free website that helps you design graphics for your blog. When I started out, I made all my pins, my logo, and other blog graphics using Photoshop. Big mistake. What took me hours on Photoshop takes me minutes on Canva, which simplifies so much of the blogging process.

Finally, I just want to encourage you to remember that the only opinion that really matters is yours. What I mean is that if you truly feel like you found what you’re called to do, then do it. Ignore your previous opinions on the subject and ignore all the things you’re imagining people are saying about you, which honestly they probably aren’t because they’re too busy trying to figure out what they’re going to do next to really think about anyone else’s life decisions. Just follow your gut and work towards making your dream a reality. Don’t worry if it feels like it’s taking a long time. Things that are truly worth doing rarely happen quickly. Full disclosure, I’m still working another job while I continue to build my business. Your dreams are worth the effort so I say this year’s the year. Go out and make them happen.

Darren: Hey there and thanks, Jackie, for sharing your story. You can check our Jackie’s blog at prettythingsyummyfood.com. I’ll link to it in today’s show notes as well, where there will be a full transcript of today’s show. I’ll also link to her recommendation of Canva and might pop in a couple of further listening recommendations as well.

I love this story and I thought it was a great one to finish up this series that we’re doing because it touches on a few of the things that I know many bloggers or prebloggers, particularly, would be feeling as I get into this process of starting a blog. Firstly, she talked about being stuck and being scared. Very common feelings for people who are going through this process. Even though we’ve outlined the process in seven relatively easy steps, it can feel overwhelming at times. I really would encourage you to take the advice that Jackie gave of taking action, even small steps that take you towards your goal, will help to build some momentum and also help you to overcome that feeling of stuckness because you are moving.

Also, I find personally that when I take action when I’m scared, it kind of put the fear in its place. The fear for me doesn’t tend to disappear completely but it kind of lessens as I move forward, as I learn new skills, as I can gain confidence by taking small steps. She talked about creating a plan as well. That is great advice and it’s something that I do as well everyday. I start my day by putting aside a few minutes to come up with a to-do list for that day. I tend to prioritize that list to the most important things first and then work through the list over time.

Having a friend to go on a journey with is another great thing and I would encourage you, if you don’t know anyone who’s starting a blog at the moment, check out our Facebook group. There’s always new bloggers starting out in our Facebook group. You will find people there who can help you through that process. I’ll link to the group in and the show notes today but you can also find it by searching for ProBlogger Community on Facebook. It’s a place where you can ask any question you like about blogging and there’s plenty of experienced bloggers in there as well as new bloggers in there who can help you through that process.

Also love that recommendation on starting on Instagram is a great place to start for social media. It will probably depend a little bit upon your niche and with it you’ve got a visual element for you’re niche. But particularly if you’re starting a lifestyle blog, a blog about food or pretty things, then Instagram is a super smart place to start. That idea of actually going in finding your readers rather than hoping they will find you, that is so key and we teach that over on ProBlogger, particularly on our 31 Days To Build A Better Blog course. Get off your blog and begin to take action in the places where your potential readers are hanging out as well.

Anyway, great story there from Jackie. I can’t wait to see where that particular blog goes. I think you hear in Jackie’s voice that she’s someone who is thinking really smart about this. She’s taking a bit of a risk by quitting her job and starting a blog. I’m glad to hear right at the end there that she’s also got another blog to keep her going through that, because it take time to build a blog. I wouldn’t recommend you just quit your job to start a blog unless you’ve got something else to feed you, pay your mortgage, and support your family through that process as well. So it sounds like Jackie’s doing the right thing there. Props to her for taking that big step in action and I can’t wait to see what happens as a result of that.

Again you can check out Jackie’s blog at prettythingsyummyfood.com. Check out the show notes today at problogger.com/podcast/275. You can always find our show notes. If you just go to problogger.com and look for the podcast tab at the top, it will take you to where the latest podcasts are.

If you’ve got a moment today at the end of the series, I would love it if you would share some of the podcasts that we’ve been doing with a friend. Someone who you think should start a blog. Send them to any of the last six or so episodes or just straight over to the Start A Blog course at problogger.com/startablog. Give them the gift of having their own blog, a place to express themselves and share what they know and love with the world.

Thanks so much for listening to this little series. We’re going to go back to once-a-week podcasts now after we’re done with this little intense burst of six. I can’t wait to see the blogs that will be launched as a result of the stories being shared.

I should finish up by saying thanks so much to those of you who submitted stories that we weren’t able to use. We got a lot of stories submitted and we just couldn’t use them all but we do hope to use some of them in the future and continue to use the podcast to highlight what other people are learning about blogging. Bloggers at all stages of the journey.

If you want something else to listen to, dig back in to the archives, head over to iTunes, and check out some of the 274 other episodes that we’ve got. There’s tons in there on all aspects of blogging. But until next week, have a great week of blogging.

How did you go with today’s episode?

Enjoy this podcast? Sign up to our ProBloggerPLUS newsletter to get notified of all new tutorials and podcasts.

Feb 01 2019

16mins

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Rank #7: 201: The Secret to Building a Blog with Big Traffic and Profit

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How to Build Traffic and Profit into Your Blog
On today’s episode I want to talk about a key to creating a blog with lots of traffic and profit.
The topic comes from a conversation I had this morning with a new blogger who was asking me about how to create content that would go viral and as I look back at the growth of my own blogs I think it’s an important lesson to my own business’s growth.

Links and Resources on The Secret to Building a Blog with Big Traffic and Profit

Facebook group
ProBlogger Success Incubator
ProBlogger Event
4 Techniques to Get More Eyeballs on Your Blog
31 Days to Build a Better Blog
10 Things You Can Do Today that Will Pay Off On Your Blog Forever
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Hey there, my name is Darren Rowse. I’m the blogger behind problogger.com, a blog, podcast, events, job board, and a series of ebooks, all designed to help you as a blogger to grow a profitable blog. You can learn more about ProBlogger and all we do over at problogger.com.

Today’s episode is episode 201. In it, I want to talk about a key to creating a blog with lots of traffic and profit. It comes from a conversation I had this morning with a new blogger who was asking me about how to create content that will go viral. As I look back on the growth of my own blog, I think it’s a really important lesson for bloggers of all stages, good reminders on how to grow a business around your blog and traffic to your blog.

You can find today’s show notes with some further listening at the end at problogger.com/podcast/201. Also, join our Facebook group at problogger.com/group. Just wanted to let you know, a bit of a reminder of our events that we’ve got coming up. If you are in Australia, we do have a limited number of tickets left for our events that are happening at the end of July and the start of August in Melbourne and Brisbane. You can get more information on those events at problogger.com/events.

If you’re in America and can get to Dallas, Texas, in October, we’ve got a great event coming up there. You can find out more information on that event at problogger.com/success. All of those events, Pat Flynn will be joining me and we’ve got a raft of other amazing speakers happening at all of those events as well. I’ll link to each of those pages in our show notes as well.

Let’s get into talking about traffic and profit and how to build those things into your blog. This morning, I had a conversation with a new blogger who asked me a question that I do get from time to time. They ask me, “How do you get viral traffic with a blog post?” It’s not the first time I’ve been asked it. I suspect it’s not going to be the last time that I’ll be asked it. Every time I am asked this question, I find myself wondering whether I should give the answer that the blogger wants to hear or whether I should give them the one that they need to hear.

In this case, I told them the one they needed to hear. But the answer that they really want with that question is for me to reveal some secret to writing highly shareable content. Now, of course there are many techniques that you can use to increase the shareability of your content. I’m going to suggest some further listening on that topic at the end of this podcast. There’s nothing at all wrong with writing shareable content and hoping for it to get viral. I actually think you should write some of that type of content but it’s not the answer to building a sustainable full time blog with big traffic.

In fact, when you become obsessed with writing just that type of content, it can hurt your blog. The answer that the blogger I talked to today needed to hear is that in most cases, the reason a blog grows into a sustainable business is that they don’t have viral content. It’s actually not the viral content that helps them to grow tha...

Jul 10 2017

23mins

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Rank #8: 198: 6 First Income Streams Recommended for Bloggers

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6 Recommendations to Monetize Your Blog
In today’s episode I want to talk about making money blogging.

More specifically, I want to tackle a question from a reader who has been blogging for a while without monetizing but is wondering which income stream she should try  first.
I’ll suggest 6 income streams that I see bloggers often starting with and at the end nominate my favorite one that I think can be a good place to start for many bloggers.

So if you’ve been wanting to start monetize your blog - whether you’re a new blogger or an established one - or even if you’ve been monetizing but want to add another income stream - this episode is for you.
Links and Resources on 6 Recommended First Income Streams for Bloggers

Facebook group
ProBlogger Event Dallas, TX  Coupon code SUCCESS17 you’ll get $50 off
Is it Really Possible to Make Money From Your Blog?
My Tips for Making Money As a Blogger Through Affiliate Marketing
How to Make Money With the Amazon Affiliate Program
How to Develop a Product to Sell on Your Blog
Nikki Parkinson from Styling You, Shares How She Built a Business Around Her Blog
Amazon Associates Program
Commission Junction
ShareASale
LinkShare/Rakuten
Commission Factory
AdSense
Mediavine
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Good morning and welcome to episode 198 of the ProBlogger Podcast. My name is Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind problogger.com, a blog, podcast, event, job board, and a series of ebooks, all designed to help you as a blogger to grow your audience, to create amazing content that’s going to change your audience’s life in some way and to build profit around your blog.

In today’s episode, in episode 198, I want to talk to you about that topic of making money from your blog, building a profitable blog. Most specifically, I want to tackle a question from one of our readers from the Facebook group who’s been blogging for a while now without monetizing. She has actually built up a bit of an audience, some archives of content, but is wondering which income stream she should try to add to her blog first.

In today’s episode, I want to share with you six different income streams that might be a possibility for this particular blogger. These are six income streams that I see bloggers often starting with. At the end of presenting the six, I want to nominate my favorite one that I think could be a good place to start for many bloggers. If you’ve been wanting to start to monetize your blog whether you’re a new blogger, or an established one, or maybe you’ve been monetizing for a while and want to add another income stream, this episode is for you.

You can find today’s show notes where I will be listing some further reading and listening over at problgger.com/podcast/198. Also, you can join our Facebook group and connect with other bloggers on this same journey of monetizing their blogs. The Facebook group is over at problogger.com/group.

Lastly, if you are in America, in the US, check out our upcoming Dallas event which I will be co-hosting. We’ve got a great lineup of speakers including Kim Garst, Pat Flynn, myself as well as a range of other bloggers and online entrepreneurs. You can get the details of this event which is happening in October, I think it’s the 24th and 25th of October. You can get those details at problogger.com/success.

If you use the coupon code SUCCESS17, you’ll get $50 off over the next couple of weeks but don’t wait too long on that because that discount won’t last long. All those details will be on the show notes today. I think it’s time we go into today’s episode.

I got a message from Danielle who’s one of our Facebook group members this morning. She said in her message and she gave me permission to share this, “I saw your recent Facebook Live on how to make money blogging....

Jun 19 2017

38mins

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Rank #9: 213: Blogging and Content Marketing: 10 Things To Know

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10 Things I Wish I Knew About Blogging and Content Marketing When I Started
Today, I want to share the audio of a keynote I gave at a conference early last year about 10 things I wish I’d known about blogging and creating content for content marketing when I started.
In episodes 204 and 205 I shared some recordings of keynotes I’ve given, and the response from many of you was that you wanted to hear more of that style of podcast. So today I dug out a talk I gave at the Super Fast Business conference, which is run by James Schramko here in Australia.s

James, who puts on a great event, asked me to share some of my story and give some practical tips on content creation.

I talk about defining what your blog is about, the three phases of creating great content, how to mix up the different types of content you feature on your blog, idea generation, creating ‘content events’ on your blog, and how to differentiate yourself in your content.   

I loved doing this talk, and I hope you enjoy it too.

Don’t forget to join the Facebook group
Slides from the Talk
For those of you who would like to follow along with the slides - here they are.
10 THINGS I WISH I KNEW ABOUT CONTENT MARKETING WHEN I STARTED from Darren Rowse
Further Listening on 10 Things I Wish I Knew About Blogging (and Content Marketing) When I Started

059: What Should I Blog About? 15 Questions to Ask to Help Identify Your Blogging Niche or Focus
033: 2 Questions to Ask to Help You Find Readers for Your Blog
011: Create 10 Blog Post Ideas for your Blog [Day 11 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog]
084: How to Come Up With Fresh Ideas to Write About On Your Blog
086: How to Get into the Flow of Creating Great Content for Your Blog
087: 9 Questions You Should Ask Before Hitting Publish On Your Next Blog Post
152: How to Use Embedded Content on Your Blog [Challenge]
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Hi there and welcome to episode 213 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name is Darren Rowse, and I’m the blogger behind problogger.com, a blog, podcast, event, job board, and a series of ebooks, all designed to help you as a blogger to grow your audience. You can find more about ProBlogger over at problogger.com.

In today’s episode, I want to share with you an audio from a keynote I gave at a conference early last year. The topic was '10 things I wish I had known about blogging and creating content for content marketing when I started'. A bit of a mouthful, but you get the idea. Back in episode 204, 205, just a few episodes ago, I shared a couple of recordings from keynotes I’ve given at my ProBlogger events and I had so much positive response from that. People really enjoyed that format, a presentation, a talk. Longer form and also the slides from those talks as well.

I wanted to do it again because many of you wanted more of that style of podcast. We’re not going to do it every week by any account. I don’t give that many talks. But I did find this one from the Superfast Business Conference. It’s a conference that is run by James Schramko. Many of you will know here in Australia. It’s run in Sydney and it was a great event. I really enjoyed getting to that particular event.

James puts on a really good event, and he asked me at the event last year to share some of my story but also give some practical tips on content creation. Really, that’s what the focus of this talk is about. In it, I’ve given a few tips on defining what your blog is about but then we get a lot into content creation itself. I talk about three different phases of creating content. I talk about how to mix up the different types of content that you might want to feature on your blog. I talk about idea generation, some tips on creating content, finishing content, running content events and challenges on your blog and also how to diff...

Oct 02 2017

1hr 8mins

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Rank #10: PB052: 10 Writing Tips to Help You Sound More Human

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Note: you can listen to this episode above or load it up in iTunes.
How to Use Your Writing to Build Relationships and Build Your Brand
Today's episode is all about using your writing to build relationships and your brand. It's a special interview with Beth Dunn, Product Editor-in-Chief at HubSpot. In today's podcast episode, Beth shares really practical tips and strategies you can use for helping you sound more human in the way you write your blog content.

In This Episode
You can listen to today's episode above or in iTunes or Stitcher (where we'd also LOVE to get your reviews on those platforms if you have a moment). In today's episode:

Why every word you choose affects how you are perceived by others
10 things you can do to make sure your writing portrays exactly what you want it to say
How to write to show that you are human
How to write to show that you are honest and trustworthy
How to make your readers excited
How to approach acronyms and formal language
How to make sure mistakes don't slip through
Why a style guide can be so powerful in improving your writing
How to find an editor
How to tap into the power of pronouns
The power of imagining your reader in a really bad mood
How to convey humour without accidentally coming across as snarky or sarcastic

Further Reading and Resources for How to Use Your Writing to Build Relationships and Build Your Brand
How to be a writing god:

https://youtu.be/S8Q3vnPM6kk

How to fix your writing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzkXcZcayA0

More writing tips and resources from Beth:

Conversational Contractions
Lay Off The Exclamation Marks, Buddy
Hubspot’s style guide
The User Is The Hero

You can connect with Beth and more of her writing at:

bethdunn.com twitter.com/bethdunn instagram.com/therealbethdunn
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Darren: Hi there. This is Darren Rowse. Welcome to episode 52 of the ProBlogger Podcast. Today, I'm conducting my very first interview of the ProBlogger Podcast, an interview with Beth Dunn, who's the Product Editor-In-Chief at HubSpot. 

I came across Beth recently at the Inbound Conference at Boston where she gave a fantastic talk. The talk was titled Use Your Words. The idea of the talk, in short, was the words we use in our content really have the potential to grow or pull-down and destroy our brand. She gives you 10 tips during this particular podcast interview to help you come across in a way that builds your brand. We just talked in an episode recently on Building Your Brand. While a lot of us know a brand we want to build, we still don't achieve building that brand through the words that we use. 

Hopefully, in today's podcast, you'll get some really practical tips that you can go away and apply, both in the creation of new content of your blog but also looking at the last post that you've written. You may actually want to go back and do some editing on some of those posts once you've listened to this particular episode. There are some really great practical takeaways for you.

You can find today's show notes at problogger.com/podcast/52 where there is a whole heap of links and further reading based upon some of the stuff that Beth talks about in today's interview.

Thanks for joining us, Beth. It's so nice to finally be talking to you. 

Beth: Delighted. Thank you for inviting me. 

Darren: No problem. I think I first came across you earlier this year when I was invited to speak at the Inbound Conference which was run by HubSpot. I ran across a video from you speaking at HubSpot. Two videos, actually. One was called How to be a Writing God which grabbed my attention. The other one was How to Fix Your Writing, both of which grabbed my attention because I think I can do some fixing.

Oct 12 2015

45mins

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Rank #11: 184: 2 Blog Monetization Strategies that Have Increased My Blogs Earnings by over 40%

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Strategies to Increase Your Blog Earnings
In today’s lesson, I want to talk about two things I’ve been doing on my main blog to increase the profitability of the blog - both have been working really well!
I’m going to talk about 3 income streams in particular - AdSense Ad network (although this will be relevant to other networks too), Affiliate promotions and selling our own products.

So if you want to increase the profitability of your blog - this show is for you.
Further Resources on 2 Blog Monetization Strategies that Have Increased My Blogs Earnings by over 40%

AdSense New Ad Placement Guidelines
Facebook Group

UPDATE: it's been a couple of weeks since I made some of the changes mentioned in this episode and we've now completed some of the extra AdSense tweaks to ads shown to those on desktops. The results have been better than expected. While I talk in this episode about 40-50% increases in earnings my AdSense earnings are over 100% higher than last month.

In fact here's a graph of my weekly AdSense earnings over the last 12 months. You can see there's natural variation week to week but since making the changes we've seen two great weeks of increased earnings.
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Hi there! It’s Darren from ProBlogger here. Welcome to episode 184 of the Problogger Podcast.

My name is Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind problogger.com, which is a blog, a podcast, an event, a job board, a series of ebooks and numerous other things all designed to help you as a blogger to start a blog, to create great content that’s going to change the world in some way and make your audience’s lives better and build that audience to the point where you are able to make a profit from your blog.

You can learn more about ProBlogger over at Problogger.com.

In today’s lesson, I want to get a little bit personal. I want to talk about some other things I’ve been doing over the last month or so to increase my blog’s income. To increase the profitability, particularly of my main blog, Digital Photography School. In particular, I want to share with you two different strategies that I’ve been working on with my team there that have worked well.

I am actually going to talk a little bit about three different income streams. One of them is AdSense, the Google’s Advertising Network. Although what I’ll share will probably be relevant for other advertising networks too.

I want to talk a little bit about affiliate promotions and also selling our own products. If you monetize your blog in any of those ways, today’s episode will be relevant for you.

“What are you doing on your blog this year that you’ve never done before?” That was the question that I asked in the ProBlogger podcast listener’s group on Facebook this week. The responses that you, as a community, shared with me were fascinating. The reason I asked that question is that I’ve become more and more convinced lately that many of us as bloggers fall into patterns and habits as bloggers that can limit what we achieve.

One of the things I strongly believe and I’ve always believed this but I need to relearn it again recently, is that if we want success with our blogs, we need to be willing to do new things, to experiment. If we want to increase traffic on our blogs, we need to promote our blogs in new ways. We need to let that evolve. If we want to build income on our blogs, we need to constantly be trying new things in that area too.

You’ve probably heard the definition of insanity that often gets attributed to Albert Einstein. He was said to have said the definition of insanity is, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I’ve heard that quote attributed to numerous people but whoever said it, smart person because there’s truth there. If you want to experience new,

Mar 13 2017

25mins

Play

Rank #12: 276: How to Start a Successful Podcast

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Learn How to Start a Successful Podcast

Do you already have a blog, and want to expand into another medium? Then why not start a podcast?

A lot of our Facegroup members have asked questions about starting a podcast, especially about gear, content, engagement, hosting, launching and monetization.

And to help me answer all those questions I called on an expert.

Craig Hewitt is the founder of Podcast Motor and Castos. When Craig started his own podcast, he quickly discovered that audio editing and producing a podcast was a pain. So he started Podcast Motor to help others.

The technicalities of podcasting almost stopped me from starting the ProBlogger podcast. That’s why I turned to Craig and his team to handle them.

Craig shares the nuts and bolts of podcasting:

  • Reach existing audience in a different way, or reach an entirely new audience.
  • Establish a dedicated hosting platform to store and distribute your media files.
  • Differentiate yourself to develop a brand and identity (i.e. your accent).
  • Start a podcast with everything you need for less than $100.
  • Be comfortable with speaking, and assemble enough content to talk about.
  • Identify and prepare guests to be on your podcast.
  • Create an intro by recording it yourself or outsourcing it to a voiceover artist.
  • Find a room without flat walls and hard spaces to eliminates echoes. (Try a closet).
  • Edit audio to match your style (buttoned-up, conversational, etc.)
  • Put your podcast on Android and Apple platforms, including Apple Podcast (formerly iTunes), Google Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, and YouTube.
  • Get and grow your audience by getting your podcast listed in search engines. Ask listeners to subscribe, submit a rating/review, and share with others.
  • Record five episodes before launching. Then launch with two episodes, plus or minus an Episode 0 that offers a description of what listeners can expect from your podcast.
  • Engage your listeners by using a call to action through a link in the podcast audio, or continue a podcast discussion and connect with audience via a Facebook group.
  • Metrics don’t really matter. Instead, review popularity, downloads and listening duration.

We covered a lot in this episode, but to get all the details you need to successfully start a podcast sign up for Craig’s free course, Launch In A Week:

  1. Podcasting Microphone and Gear
  2. Audio Recording and Editing
  3. Your Ideal Listener and Podcast Personas
  4. The Perfect Podcast Recipe
  5. Media Host and Website Setup
  6. Getting Your Show Ready to Launch
  7. Launch Planning and Growing Your Audience

Links and Resources for How to Start a Successful Podcast:

Examples of How to Start a Successful Podcast:

Courses

Join our Facebook group.


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Darren: Hey hey there, ProBlogger listeners. It’s Darren Rowse here from ProBlogger. Welcome to episode 276 of the show. For those of you who are new to the show, ProBlogger is a site for bloggers and prebloggers designed to help them to start blogs, to grow those blogs, and to monetize those blogs. You can check out more of what we do over at ProBlogger. Particularly, look out for our courses. Our Start A Blog course which is free, will help you get up and running, and our 31 Days To Build A Better Blog course which is ideal for anyone with a blog who wants to take it up a notch, to have a 31 day intense burst of blogging to grow your blog. Check out the courses tab on problogger.com.

Today, we do something a little bit different on the show. The last six or so shows we’ve been featuring stories from new bloggers as part of our International Start A Blog Day which was last week. We had hundreds of blogs start on the day. It was so exciting to see them. You can check out some of those blogs that were started over on the ProBlogger blog. I’ll put on a link in the show notes today to that.

But many of you already have a blog. That little series we ran, you’re patient with us, and I know many of you enjoyed hearing those stories, but I know some of you have been wondering if you should start something else, some other kind of medium in 2019. So today, I’ve invited Craig Hewitt onto the show to talk about starting a podcast.

While Craig’s name may not be familiar to some of you, you have all heard his work and the work of his team. Every single one of you have heard it because right now, you are listening to something that Craig and his team has been a part of. Craig is the founder of PodcastMotor, the company that edits every episode of this podcast, apart from the first few episodes.

I’ve been working with Craig and his team for a few years now and they have been fantastic at helping us to get this show to you each week. All I do is record it, pop it in a Dropbox, put a few notes into a Google Doc, they take it, they edit it, they put all the little breakers and the musical bits into it, they put the show notes together for us, they put it into a WordPress installation, and they even schedule it for us. They create a social graphic for the show as well. They do everything behind the scenes apart from record it themselves. They’ve really helped a lot to help get this show up and running.

Craig has also started a new service more recently called Castos. I’ll link to them in the show notes today. I so wished this service was around when I started the podcast because it’s a service that hosts your podcast, integrates it with WordPress, and basically does everything you need behind the scenes to put your podcast onto the web. It’s really affordable as well.

When the number of listeners started asking questions about podcasting recently in our Facebook group, Craig was the obvious person to come on to the show. He also tells me that he’s put together a free step-by-step email course to help you launch a podcast as well and we talk about that in the show today. If you do want to check that out, it’s a seven-day or seven-step email sequence that you’ll get. You can sign-up for that at castos.com/problogger. I’ve seen it, it’s really a very helpful guide and something I wish I had when I started this podcast because I had to hack together this podcast using information from all over the place and to have it all into one spot will be fantastic.

In today’s interview, we cover a lot of ground. I basically put up a thread in our Facebook group asking members of our group what they want to know about podcasting and I was amazed how many questions came in. I was inundated with questions and I basically took all those questions and put them to Craig in today’s show. We talk about the why of podcasting, the benefits of it, who should podcast, who shouldn’t. We talk about gear, software that you need to start. We talk about creating the content, recording the content, promoting the content, leveraging your podcast to take readers to take action, to monetize it, and launching a podcast a well.

There’s a lot in today’s show. I’m sure you’ll find it useful. Some of you might want to check out the transcript as well because there’s a lot of information in it. You can find the show notes today and that transcript at problogger.com/podcast/276. Again, you can get Craig’s free email course at castos.com/problogger. That’s a seven-day course. I’ll talk a little bit more about that after the interview.

Lastly, if you know someone who you think should start a podcast, please tell them about this episode. Not only it will help to grow the ProBlogger podcast but could also end up changing their life as well as they discover this medium for themselves. I’m going to get back into the interview now. This is a fun one for me to record because I hadn’t really spoken to Craig a lot even though we’ve been working for years. It was great to hear his voice and he had a lot of really great things to share as well.

Hey, Craig. Good to have you with us today. Welcome to the ProBlogger podcast.

Craig: Hey, how are you doing? Thanks so much for having me.

Darren: It’s good to have you and we’ve obviously enjoyed having you work with us on the ProBlogger podcast for a while and you seem like an ideal person to get on. Many of our listeners at this time of year are thinking about new types of content for the year ahead and I know we get a lot of questions around podcasting. I thought you’d be ideal to talk to us about how to start a podcast and any tips for the early days of podcasting. What I thought I might do before we get into our reader’s questions is to get you to introduce your backstory and how did you end up in the podcasting space.

Craig: I think it’s always funny. Everybody has their kind of secret story of how they got to where they are now. Mine was coming around the long way into podcasting when I started getting into online business and entrepreneurship. I wanted to start a podcast because I listen to ones like yours and Pat Flynn. I can just at least document what I’m doing and share along the way what’s working and what’s not. I started my own podcast four years ago now—I can’t believe it’s been that long—and really quickly saw that audio editing and producing a podcast is frankly a pain. It’s really difficult and I think that if you talk to anybody who started podcast, they say, “This is the reason that it took us so long to get into this. This is by far the biggest pain point we have.” It’s not like spinning up a blog where you just go and you sign up for a SiteGround hosting, install WordPress and you start typing, you can do a bit of it on your phone. With podcasting, you at least need a little bit of equipment, some software a little bit of skills around how to edit, what an RSS feed is, and all these things.

I said, “I bet some people who are really busy would pay for this if I could take care of all of this stuff for them.” So, we started PodcastMotor almost four years ago now, here at the end of 2018. What PodcastMotor is aimed at is taking all of the backend podcast editing and production work off of people’s hands, like yourself, who are busy professionals, entrepreneurs, startups, businesses. They have a lot better things to do with their time than to learn how to be a semi pro audio editor.

Darren: And it’s a dream come true for me. I have to say that the first months of me starting a podcast, I did it all myself. Then I hired someone to do it for me and it’s still was quite a bit of to-and-froing with that person to try and to map them to get it just the way I wanted. When we started working with you guys, it was amazing to be able to just record the podcast—the part that I enjoy the most—then to put it into Dropbox, and the next thing I knew, it’s live on the site with the show notes, with the featured image, transcript, and all those things. That’s a great service to have.

You also got another product as well which might be probably more interesting to some of our listeners as well. Maybe just talk about that right out front and then we’ll get into the questions because I think it will be something that listeners might enjoy.

Craig: About two years ago now, I had the opportunity to get into the product space a little bit in podcasting and purchased a WordPress plugin called Seriously Simple Podcasting. From them, we’ve built the Castos hosting platform. I will probably talk about the nuts and bolts of podcasting a little but later in the episode but you really want a dedicated hosting platform to store and distribute all the media files for your podcast. You don’t want that living in the same server where your WordPress site lives. So we’ve built the Castos platform that integrated with WordPress really tightly. That’s another product we have in the podcasting space.

For people who are getting started with podcasting, we’ve built a really cool getting started email and video course called Launch In A Week. The idea is to take you from, “Hey I want to start a podcast,” to the podcast actually being live with episodes and in iTunes and all that stuff in just a week. If you have folks who want to check that out, they can go go to castos.com/problogger. I’m sure we’ll have link in the show notes.

Darren: We shall. This isn’t about selling to our listeners. I just wanted to get that upfront because you bring a lot of credibility to this topic and a lot of experience, particularly in that area of editing and helping podcasts to get up and running with the hosting side of things, the technicalities of podcasting which, to be honest, almost killed me and almost stopped my podcast before I even started. That’s the perspective we’re coming to this interview today.

Now I asked our Facebook group listeners to ask any questions that they had about podcasting and I was amazed how many questions came in. I was going to prepare a whole lot of questions but I think our listeners probably are the best ones to ask the questions. I’m going to throw the podcast over to them and I ordered them in a way that I hope makes sense. A lot of the questions that I want to start off with are around the why of podcasting. I said it at the start of the show, this is the time of year where we see a lot of readers starting new blogs but also new podcast or new YouTube channel. For those listening, who are wondering is a podcast right for me, why do you love podcasting? Why do you think it’s a medium our listeners should be considering?

Craig: Anybody that is creating content, and that typically means they’re blogging already but like you said, they could have a YouTube channel or big social media following already, I think podcasting is a natural extension to that, in that it’s an additive type of content addition to what they’re doing instead of saying, “I’m in a podcast. Instead of blogging or instead of doing a YouTube channel, I’m going to start a podcast,” because we always say you can do two different things with a podcast than you can say a blog and it is to reach the existing audience in a little bit different way or reach an entirely new audience that might not just a blog reader.

What it looks like in the first aspect is, the reaching your existing audience in a different way is having usually different types of conversations or covering different topics around your main area of focus that is just more appropriate for an audio medium. You and I having this conversation in a blog would be really weird. But having this conversation, having really a dialogue, having your Facebook group members to have questions, and things like that is really natural in this audio medium.

People looking to start a podcast that already have some other type of content say to themselves, maybe, “What am I covering in my blog that’s great and what can I cover in an audio medium that could be different and additive?” Things like interviews, case studies, and things like that tend to lend themselves to the audio medium much better than written.

In reaching a new audience, there’s a lot of people that don’t have time to read blog posts. I’m one of those people. When I was working in corporate, I would have hours a day in the car that I just listen to podcasts. I could never spend hours a day reading a blog. So, you kind of think about people maybe in those situations.

Darren: That’s so true and then as to my experience really is by starting this podcast, I grew my audience, so there were certainly new people who came into the audience, but I really like what you said about reaching your current audience in a different way as well because it seem to deepen that relationship with old-time readers or reignite the spark with those readers as well.

I actually had a question from Liso which I think build on what you’re saying. Liso said, “I’m an artist and have a blog which is about art, which is very visual. I’m wondering if I should do a podcast? How could I do a podcast with such a visual topic?” Any thoughts on that for Liso?

Craig: I interviewed a fellow for our podcast at Castos who was an artist. He’s an Irish fellow that has one of our most popular podcast that we host at Castos. I can see that just by download numbers he gets 20,000 or 30,000 downloads per episode. I asked him this exact question. I said, “This is a really visual medium that you live in. This goes back to why would you podcast instead of have a blog or something?” He says, “Yeah, but I can tell the story of the artist so much better in a podcast than I ever could in a blog.” He blogs as well, obviously.

I think for her to say, “Could you get the artist on and talk about just the artist themselves, their story, their journey, challenges they’re having, and things they’re up to?” Talk about the art, of course, but even in a medium like art where everything is so visual, telling the story of the artist and people themselves is really unique. Very few people probably are doing that and it would be a way for her to send out and tell a different story of the art world to their audience.

Darren: Yeah and I think you can then drive people back to your blog post which might show the art of the artist in the show notes or in a separate blog post. That ought to be a good combination.

Tula asked an interesting question. She said, “Would you suggest a person with a foreign accent do a podcast?” She’s got a popular YouTube channel in spite of the accent that she has, but she’s wondering because podcast is purely audio and not visual, would it be a challenge for her?

Craig: Absolutely. I think that it gives you a chance to differentiate yourself from everyone else that’s American or British. If you look at the high-level podcast statistics, it’s really dominated by the North American, at least, and some of the European demographics. If you’re Australian, or Irish, or Latin American, or whatever, I think it gives you a chance to really show who you are and stand out like that. I don’t know, Darren. Have you seen being Australian that people are surprised or have different reactions to your accent? Some are really surprised that you’re Australian, right?

Darren: I do. It’s amazing how many long-time readers of the blog said, “I never knew that you were an Aussie,” even though I talked about Australia quite a bit. Certainly my Twitter account’s most active during Australian hours. It’s a surprise to some people. It’s also been attractive to other people and that it’s interesting. I get a lot of comments from people saying, “My kids love your podcast because they love the accent and the crazy words that you use that you don’t even know you’re using.” Yeah, I actually get it’s part of the branding, I guess as well.

I guess it really probably depends on how different your accent is and if you find that people do struggle to understand your English. Maybe if your English is a second language, maybe it could be a challenge, but I actually think, like you it’s a good thing, too.

Craig: And I think a bit of a higher level thing is, is having a brand and an identity. Your accent and being Australian is part of your brand and identity. For her as well, if she’s comfortable with it, she’s got to get comfortable with hearing her voice. That’s a really weird thing. The first time you hear yourself recorded, you’re like, “Oh my gosh, I sound like an idiot,” or, “I never knew my voice was like this.” Once you get comfortable with it and have confidence in it, which honestly is a hard thing for a lot of people, you’re going to embrace it, love it, and go with it. That’s part of the brand of your podcast.

Darren: Yeah, so go for it, Tula. Before we move on to some of the logistics of starting a podcast, do you have any examples that come to mind of bloggers that you’ve worked with, that have launched the podcast in addition to their blog? I would be interested to hear of any examples that you’ve gotten and things that you say that they’ve done well.

Craig: One of the shining examples of this for us at PodcastMotor, we’ve been working with CoSchedule. CoSchedule is a marketing automation tool for WordPress and we’ve been working with them for a long time now, a couple of years. We’ve asked them, “Hey, you guys write such amazing blog content.” If you’ve never checked out the CoSchedule blog, go check it out. You’ll be blown away at the depth of articles that they write. So, they came back to us and said, “Yeah, we can write really great in-depth blog post, but what we can’t do is hear the story of these people and have organic, natural conversations with them about what’s going on in their business, why they’re doing this, how, and get the story behind it.”

What they’ve found is that the podcast now is the main—in marketing terms—top of the funnel area where new people find their brand, then come in and they link back to the website—like all good podcasters should is link back to your home base, wherever that is, business, personal brand, website, or whatever—but a lot of people are finding CoSchedule through their podcast now and not through their blog. Then they go, see the blog, and say, “Holy cow.” Their blog content is so great, this company really knows what they’re doing, and then ultimately become customers.

That’s kind of the flow I think that a lot of podcasters that are in business or have a brand of whatever type, that they want to get peeled back to their site. To learn more about them is to knock people’s socks off with the quality, depth, and authenticity of their podcast content, then get them back to their site to find out more, and hopefully engage with them there. But yeah, CoSchedule’s had a really positive experience with podcasting the last couple of years.

Darren: And are they telling stories or the thing that you mentioned earlier in a podcast, is that what it’s all about for them?

Craig: They’re doing case studies and a fair amount of nitty-gritty how-to stuff because that’s their MO. But just doing it in an audio medium, I think, tells the story, if you will, better they can than a blog.

Darren: That’s great and I think their content on the blog would lend itself to repurpose to the podcast as well and to be able to link their content together in that way would work. I’m not sure whether they’re doing that but that’s certainly something that works well on ProBlogger because we do the how-to content to be able to tackle the same topic in a slightly different way, or to bring on a guest is something that our listeners seem to enjoy, too.

Craig: Yup. Very smart.

Darren: A lot of the questions we’ve got were around a gear, microphones, the most commonly thing that people ask. Stewart, I’ll take for example, says, “What microphones and other recording equipment do you recommend for those starting out?” A lot of the questions were around on a budget, what’s the first one you should get that doesn’t break the bank. If you’ve got any advice on what microphone to get, I’m sure that would be appreciated.

Craig: This is by far the top question. To go back just a little bit to our Launch In A Week email and videos course, the goal we put together with it is to say, “There are a million ways to do this and there are 872 blog post about the best podcasting mic out there,” and you really can. Unfortunately, a lot of folks do say, “I’m going to do all the research and spend a month doing this,” and then they never get started because they just get overwhelmed with all of the stuff out there, conflicting opinions, and all this stuff about how you should start a podcast. We try to say, “Forget it. We’re going to tell you one or two ways to do this.” You can just go and follow the Launch In A Week course and say, “Okay, this is great. Craig is taking all of the questions out of my head and keeping me from doing this so that I can actually start the podcast.”

But all that preamble to say, I have two recommendations when it comes to podcasting mics. One is the one using right now and I’ve been using for 3½ years, is the Audio-Technica ATR2100. It is a USB mic that plugs right into my MacBook. I record usually on Skype, like we are doing now or on Zoom, both of which are basically free. If you want to go up one notch from there, The Shure SM7B is a really high-quality mic. It cost about $300-$400.

You need another piece of equipment called a preamp to go in-between that and your computer. We like the Scarlett Focusrite, which is about another $100. It gives you a little more depth of vocal quality. I think the Audio-Technica mic, which is $60-$70 on Amazon, is great. It’s great for a lot of people. I know Tim Ferriss uses this or used it at some point for all his interviews. If it’s good enough for him, I think it’s good enough for pretty much everybody. But don’t let microphones hang you up and keep you from getting started.

Darren: That’s right. We’ll compile a list of links to all these microphones and gear in the show notes as well. Similar question, what software do you recommend? You just mentioned Skype and Zoom. I presume that’s more for interviewing guests?

Craig: Yeah.

Darren: Do you have any other software that people should try, particularly if maybe they’re maybe doing a talking head podcast?

Craig: Yeah. For remote interviews like this, Skype or Zoom. There’s an add-on for Skype called Call Recorder if you’re on a Mac. That gets the remote interviews done. If you’re just recording it locally, there’s a free open source cross-platform tool that works on Windows or Mac called Audacity. Again, it is perfectly good. It’s the tool I use still all the time when I need to edit stuff. It’s really high-quality and being open source, it’s free. So, audacity.org I think it is, for recording locally and for editing. You can do both on the same tool there and it’s wonderful.

Darren: I just used GarageBand because it was on my Mac, but Audacity is certainly one that most of my friends seem to be using these days as well.

Frank asked for some advice on hosting. Now we have to disclaim that you actually offer that sort of service, so maybe go check out Castos would be a good way to go. But I guess maybe if you could talk to what you mentioned earlier about not using your blog hosting. Maybe if you could just expand on that a little as to why that might be.

Craig: I think having a dedicated media hosting platform is a good idea. Say you release your podcast episodes every Tuesday morning. If you’re hosting your podcast media files on the same server that your website is served from, and you have, hopefully, thousands of listeners every Tuesday that subscribe to your podcast, new episode comes out of iTunes, they’re all downloading your episode at eight o’clock on Tuesday morning. If you have a bunch of people on your website as well, your website is going to crash maybe, perform really slowly. Those files might not download because they’re all getting sucked out of the same server. If you can separate those two resources onto different platforms, then your website will perform much better and consistently, and your podcast listeners will be able to stream and download your episodes much more smoothly. So separating these two resources onto different platforms is just the best practice really in podcasting.

When it comes to podcast hosting platforms, I’m of course biased, I think Castos is great especially if using WordPress because it lets you do everything in one place. If you’re not or you want to check other things out, I really like what the folks at Simplecast are doing these days. simplecast.com is a really great platform. The tool that a lot of people have heard of probably is Libsyn. They’ve been around probably the longest and they’re probably the biggest player in the industry. So, maybe check out Libsyn as well.

Darren: And it’s not that expensive really. Monte actually asked how much does it cost to get into podcasting. Maybe you could speak to that. There’s hosting, obviously your microphone, what else do people need to be considering?

Craig: Hosting, a good microphone because it is worth spending the $60-$70 that the Audio-Technica might cost. If that’s too much, I know a lot of people that use their Apple earbuds that come with an iPhone or Android phone. Just something so that you have some microphone close to your mouth is really important. I think that’s the one thing you have to have is some kind of microphone. A hosting plan cost $10-$20 a month. You can go all-in for less than $100 to start with. These hosting platforms are all on a monthly basis just like your WordPress hosting platform would be.

There’s some other things that are nice to have when it comes to Audio gear. If you’re using a microphone like the Shure SM7B or the Audio-Technica, having a pop filter which is a little screen that sits between your mouth and the microphone, cuts down all what’s called ‘plosives,’ these really harsh P and T sounds. If you don’t have this, every time you say, “Can I please go take…” these words that start with P and T, they’re really harsh and sound really bad in your recording. The pop filter mechanically filters those out, so it’s really a nice thing.

Another thing that I really like is having a boom arm which is this articulating arm that attaches to your desk or table and then holds the mic up at the vertical level of your mouth so that you can sit comfortably and talk into the mic without stooping down or holding the mic in your hand and having all sorts of uncomfortable ergonomics for podcasting. Your voice actually sounds different if you’re talking down or talking up so having it right at level with your mouth is really nice. Those two pieces together will cost you another $30-$40. Again, you’re right at $100 getting started.

Darren: That’s great. The boom mic also allows you to stand up, which is what I like to do when I’m podcasting because it seems to give bit more energy to what you’re doing as well.

Let’s talk a little bit about content. Let’s start with Florence’s question. Is it best to have a script for your podcast or to go with bullet points or just ad lib? What’s your preference? What do you do?

Craig: This will change as your journey as a podcaster evolves. As you’re just getting started, it is much easier to have a little more content prepared and a little better idea of what you’re trying to do. As you evolve, there are a lot of podcasters that I know that say, “Let’s just hit record and see where this goes.” That’s perfectly fine when you as interviewer have some more confidence and skills. But as you’re just getting started, at least having an outline of, “Okay, I’m going to interview Craig today, I’m going to ask him these six or seven questions generally,” so that if there’s a dead point or weird transition in the interview, you can say, “Okay, I’m going to go next to this one because it’s next on my list.”

I think for most people, scripting out an entire monologue or series of questions is really difficult. For me and for a lot of people, the hardest thing in podcasting is to just talk for 5 or 10 or 30 minutes by yourself, reading something, and having it sound natural. For you and me to sit down and have this conversation for an hour is no problem and for most people it probably isn’t.

This is not the question but I would say, in terms of format of podcast, I think if people are considering having a solo show where they are the only one talking, I would make sure that you’re very comfortable speaking because it’s just hard. It’s just hard as opposed to having a co-host doing an interview-type show.

Darren: Yeah and a few people did ask what are the pros and cons of having a co-host. As someone who predominantly does just talking head, me alone in a room, it is an awkward, strange thing to do to just sit there and talk.

I don’t have a script for mine, but I certainly have fairly comprehensive bullet points, so that I know I can fill up 20 minutes. I couldn’t just adlib for 20 or 30 minutes. Someone like Gary V. probably could, but I need to have thought about the journey that I’m going to take my readers on. A script really doesn’t work for me. I think some of the early podcast, if we go back and listen to the first few, I didn’t read them, but I almost was and it comes across in the style I guess of the podcast. Any tips on finding a co-host should you find someone that compliments your personality? Any tips on that? I’ve never had one, so I don’t know what I’d be looking for.

Craig: My personal podcast that I started four years ago started as a solo show where I was planning on interviewing people. I think my third or fourth interview, I interviewed a fellow, Dave Rodenbaugh, who’s now my co-host. We started down one path and went to another after he came on the show. He compliments my style, experience, and personality quite a bit. Not so much that it’s awkward, or confrontational, or anything like that. I think that’s important because it’s not quite like running a business together or getting married.

I think you and your co-host are going to be spending a lot of time together and talking about a lot of things that hopefully are really important to you and your audience. I would say, if you’re considering having a co-host and you don’t have somebody in mind for it already, look around at your world that you live in, and people that you find interesting and have complimentary but similar perspectives to you. Time zone is an important one. Dave lives in Colorado and I live in France now. I’m American but I’ve been living in France for the last two years. We’re eight hours apart and that’s challenging. We start the podcast at 9:00 at night. It’s definitely something to think about.

Darren: Yeah. The one thing I’d add in having talked to a few of my friends is that, some point of tension can actually be a good thing. I think you want to have similar values, but having different perspective or life experiences sometimes can make for an interesting discussion. I’m thinking of one podcast host that I know of, she’s quiet straight, she’s quite matter-of-fact, and the other one is all over the place and disorganized, and I think that makes for an interesting discussion.

I think something along those lines can sometimes work, too. It just adds a little bit of tension. You never quite know where it’s going to go. Ollie asks about finding guests for your podcast. If you are going to do an interview, (1) how do you find a guest, and (2) what’s your approach in preparing the guest for the interview?

Craig: Most people find when they start out, finding guests is not that hard. You have a dream team list of the top 10 or 20 people that you want to have on the show. Getting through that first couple of months is typically pretty easy for folks. All the people in your industry you really look up to, or have worked with in the past or something, a really high quality candidate for your podcast.

Coincidentally, for people that are more on the business-to-business side of content in the worlds that they live in, one of the things that very few people realize I think in this hidden gem of podcasting is the networking opportunity. If you’re a business you’re saying, “Why would I start a podcast? There’s going to be 30 people that listen to my podcast.” Don’t discount the fact that if you go and ask all the leaders in your industry if they want to come on your podcast, you’re going to instantly become an authority in your space, and you’re going to have whatever 30 or 100 people that you’ve spent an hour talking to that you very likely couldn’t have had that hour to talk with them in another manner.

I mean, just to be able to say, “Darren, would you like to come on my podcast? I’d love to talk to you about blogging and how it can grow your brand, all this kind of stuff,” and you’d be like, “Wow, that’s great. I’m going to get to go on a podcast and talk about this thing that I love, that I’m an authority on, and that Craig and all of his readers and listeners are going to think that I know what I’m talking about,” If you’re looking at getting into podcasting from the B2B space, I would definitely consider it as the biggest opportunity is just for networking. Audience-building for sure, but networking is huge.

As far as preparing your guest, I think having a quick call before the podcast, it can be the day, or a couple of days before, or a week before is really helpful. It could just be 10 or 15 minutes, “Hey, we’re going to talk about these few things. Do you have any questions? Do you have gear?” That’s really important. “Do you have a mic? Do you at least have ear buds that you can put in?” because one of the biggest challenges from an audio perspective is, you as the podcast hosts are going to have your gear, your setup, and your recording figured out, but are you going to be able to prepare your guest so that they can record high quality audio too?

Figuring out a way and a system to do that every time is really important. Otherwise, you’re going to have a great sounding audio and your guest are going to sound like they’re in a trash can, and that’s horrible for your listeners. Then using scheduling tools like Calendly, or many others that are available out there that just let you say, “Hey, I’d love to have you on the podcast. Click here to grab a time on my calendar,” it takes all of the back and forth, time zone guessing, and all of this stuff out of the equation.

Darren: Great tips. Ahmed asks, where should you get an intro or outro made for your podcast? I guess he’s talking about the music or the intro that goes at the start that introduces you. Any places that you would look?

Craig: I think when it comes to intros, you have two choices really, you can record it yourself which is perfectly fine and a lot of people do this, and you don’t have to go and get it outsourced to a voiceover artist. If you do for whatever reason, either you do you want some kind of vocal diversity in your podcast, or you don’t like the sound of your voice, so you want somebody else to bring you in, we actually had really good luck with some folks on Fiverr, so fiverr.com.

Typically with these type of marketplace, if you search for the top level providers there, they’re pretty solid. It would cost between $5, and $20, or $30 for a voiceover, and it’s done in a couple of days. Just send them a script and they record it and send it back to you.

Darren: Kathy is asking about making the audio less echoey in her room. She says she can’t alter her room too much because it’s her living room the rest of the time, but any tips on helping to deaden that echo?

Craig: Looking at your microphone very well may be the answer. There are some mics out there that are really popular, that are frankly just not ideal for podcasting. The Blue Yeti is one of those. It’s a really great high quality mic if you’re in a sound booth. It works beautifully there. If you’re not and you’re in your living room, or in a conference room, or something with a bunch of flat walls and hard spaces, the echo is going to be really bad, and a really sensitive mic like that is going to pick all that up.

For Kathy I would say, if she can move, that would probably be the best thing. As strange as it sounds, a lot of people record podcasts in their closets. It sounds really bizarre, but trust me, some of the best broadcasters you know podcast in their closet and it’s because it’s a small space with a lot of soft stuff, all your clothes, shoes, bags, and stuff, and you can isolate yourself in a really sound-dampened environment. If you’re able to move to somewhere like that, then do it. I podcast in my office which is the top floor of our house and has wood paneling and angled ceilings. It’s a really good room for podcasting. Things like a conference room with just this giant glass table is just the worst.

Darren: Hard surfaces aren’t great, are they?

Craig: Yeah.

Darren: I find the best room in my house is my 12-year-olds bedroom because it’s just a complete mess. There’s stuff everywhere. I’ve gone in there a couple of times and I may do so more often because our next door neighbors have just demolished their house and are about to start building. I suspect it’s going to get noisy around here, unfortunately. Sorry to our listeners for that upcoming. It might give the editors of this podcast a little bit more of a challenge. Which leads me to my next question from Ron. How much editing is too much?

Craig: This should match the style that you have overall. If you are really buttoned up and want everything to flow really quickly and sequentially, and have a really tight podcast, then spending more time removing all the ums and uhs, slight pauses, misspeakings, and things like that is going to be consistent with yourself and your brand. If you want to have a show that is more conversational, Darren and I are just having a conversation, it sounds like two of your friends talking about something you enjoy, then it’s perfectly fine. Honestly, you don’t need to spend a lot of time at all, editing.

I know a lot of people that edit their podcast while they’re doing email, or spending time on Twitter, and stuff like that, and only make a half a dozen maybe small edits to the podcast, and trimming off the top and the bottom, and adding music, and things like that. Editing doesn’t have to be that hard. I think there definitely is a point to the spirit of the question where too much editing makes it sound artificial and not like a conversation. I think you want to clean it up a little bit, make it sound professional, but if you do it too much, it’s going to sound unnatural. Nobody has conversations without pauses and saying um. It’s okay to say um every once in awhile, but just don’t overdo it. Don’t take out all the spirit of the conversation.

Daren: I was talking to a few friends about this the other day. Most of my friends listen to podcasts on 1.5 speed, or 1.3 speed, or double speed, and it doesn’t sound natural that way. I don’t think too many people are really worried about the ums and the uhs, and the slight gaps in the conversation.

Craig: I think the other part of this that again, people are getting held up with getting in the podcasting is, you are not Gimlet Media, you’re not NPR, no offense, none of us are probably going to be award-winning podcasters, we want to do this for our hobby or for our business and an additional thing to our blog, but don’t be afraid to just do it and get started. If it’s not perfect, or it doesn’t sound like the Gimlet guys, it’s great, it’s fine, it’s you. It doesn’t matter. That’s not the end-game.

Darren: They’re spending a fortune on it. I heard one, I can’t remember whether it was Radiolab maybe did an episode, and they talked about how one of their episodes cost $100,000. That’s just one of their episodes, and I do weekly shows. Don’t compare yourselves to them because you’re not on a par at all.

Launching your podcast. Where should you be submitting your podcast? You’ve got it up on your hosting now, Apple is the obvious one, Paul asks, “Is Spotify worth it? Should you be putting it into all the different networks? Is there an easy way to do that?”

Craig: Yes. I think there’s four places now where you really need to have your podcast and maybe five. Apple Podcast formerly known as iTunes is still the biggest one and will be forever maybe. Google Podcast, Google Play for strictly Android users is a big one. And folks in the US who say, “Android users. Nobody uses Android.” Android is much more popular on a global basis than the Apple platform.

Don’t discount giving your Android friends a chance to listen to your podcast. Stitcher is a cross podcasting platform. People on Apple and on Android can listen on Stitcher, and has some cool streaming features. The fourth I would say is Spotify. It is definitely worth it. Some data that we’ve heard in the industry is that it’s constituting 10%+ of listeners for a lot of popular shows. It’s definitely worth getting your show on Spotify.

You can submit to them independently if you want, most of the time, it’s done through an integration in your hosting platform. If you’re on Castos, or Libsyn, or Simplecast, it’s just a click of a button. Once you’ve created your feed and published your first podcast, just click a button and it goes to Spotify automatically. The fifth one I would say maybe is YouTube. A lot of people don’t consider repurposing their audio content into video to YouTube, but I think it’s definitely something to consider.

It goes back to how people consume content in different ways. It might be that the people that you want to reach love being on YouTube and watching stuff, and they could find your podcast on YouTube instead of in Apple Podcast or on your blog. There are some tools out there that let you do this automatically. We do it automatically at Castos to repurpose your audio content into video and publish it to YouTube for you automatically. It’s definitely something to consider.

Darren: Putting it on YouTube is really smart, because it is such a massive search engine, and people will find you for the first time there. They may not listen to all of your podcast there, but they may discover you for the first time. Paul and Muthani both asked how to get found as a podcast. Obviously, putting yourself into the search engines can get you some new readers, but any other tips on growing that audience?

Craig: Yeah, I would love to hear some of your experience on this. I’ll give my take on it as well, but starting with your existing audiences is a natural and an obvious place to start. Go to your tribe and ask for two things, “Could you subscribe?” so they get every episode automatically, and then, “Leave a rating and review,” which gives you some of that social proof. I think it probably helps the iTunes or Apple Podcast algorithm a little bit too, but subscribe leave a rating or review to give that social proof that 30 other people think that this is a good show. I should probably check it out too if new people are finding you organically.

I think the best and biggest opportunity for growing your audience with podcasts is to ask your existing listeners to share it with somebody else and that’s a call-to-action that we’re finding more and more popular is not in the show itself to say, “Hey, go subscribe, or leave a rating, or a review on iTunes,” but, “Hey, if you’re enjoying this podcast, share it with somebody else from our world that you think might enjoy it. It helps spread the word,” That’s kind of the new twist I would have on that, but I’d love hear, Darren, what have you found particularly effective to spreading the word about your podcast?

Darren: I did all of those things, I’ve promoted it to a network, email their list, promoted it on social media, all that works to some degree, but probably the thing that’s brought the biggest bumps in new downloads and listeners has been appearing on other people’s podcasts. If you want to find podcast listeners, it’s better to be on a podcast than to be on a guest blog. I think you want to go into the that medium in some ways. That can be a challenge when you’re just starting out, maybe no one else knows you, but interviewing other podcasters on your podcast sometimes gets you an invitation back to be on theirs, particularly if you are an interesting, engaging interviewer. I think that’s probably something I’ll be aiming for.

It’s amazing when I go into conference, people will often say to me, “ I heard you on Amy Porterfield’s podcast,” or, “I heard you on this interview that you did with someone that you can’t even remember doing an interview with,” but that’s actually what made the big impression for people.

One last question on launching, how many episodes should you record before you launch? I know you’ve got a bit of an answer on this on your course, because I took a look at that today, but have you got any advice for people?

Craig: There’s two answers. The question was, “How many should you record?” and I think that is something like five episodes and you want to have all those done so that when it’s time to launch, you don’t have to worry about going in creating more content. If you can go in and get five episodes, interviews or monologues or with your co-host done, then you know, “Okay, all of the content I need to really launch my show for the first month, give or take, is done. I don’t want to worry about that anymore, I can worry just about launching, promoting, and connecting with my audience,” and things like that.

When it comes to the mechanics of launching, what we really like to do is to launch with two episode, typically, and then plus or minus, what’s called an episode zero. A lot of shows will have just a quick five or ten-minute, just you or you and your co-host talking about what the show is about on a meta-level, so it gives people an opportunity to hear, “Okay, the show is going to come up every week, or every other week, on Thursdays and it’s going to be about this, this, and this, and we’re going to interview this type of people,” or whatever the format is going to be.

You’re maybe talking about video games, you’re maybe talking about gardening, or whatever it is, and why people should listen and what they can expect, and things like that. An episode zero is a really nice way to set your listeners up for what’s coming on the podcast. Two episodes is a nice balance of two areas of these approaches, you want to give more than one episode so that your audience has a chance to connect with you in a little bit different way. The first two episodes should be slightly different in format, maybe one is a monologue and one is like an interview. Or if you have a co-host, maybe you guys talk about really different subtopics within your main world that you’re living in, so that if somebody listens to both episodes, they may hate the first one and love the second one, but if they’re exactly the same you don’t have that opportunity.

Within the same theme that you have for your podcast as a whole, having a slightly different twist on the first two episodes is really good. I think if you have an interview-style podcast, having one of those episodes where you’re real, kind of gangbuster, out of the gates high caliber guest, is probably a good move because it’s that first impression.

Darren: That’s great and also I think having more than one gives people something to binge on a little bit. There’s nothing worse than finding something that you just love and then you’ve got a wait for another week, so hooking people in with you know two or even three, we did 31 in 31 Days, that’s probably overkill, but it enabled you to build a bit of momentum as well. I think sometimes going hard or up front, and then pulling back a little bit can work, too.

Craig: Yeah. Just to add to that, I think the balance of creating a bunch of content once is if you’re able to, I think more content is almost always better, so Darren, you and your team are capable of creating a lot of content and for you that was really easy. What we coach our customers on is if creating content is difficult for you, or you’re busy, or you have interviews, schedules to work on stuff like that, don’t put too much out at first because a lot of people would want to listen to a couple of podcasts but almost nobody is going to listen to 10 podcast in a day.

People will say, “I’m going to launch with 10 podcasts on the first day.” Unfortunately, they’re throwing away eight of those podcasts or they could just save them and release them later. That’s the balance that we want to strike, is how able are you to create podcast content and how much do you think your audience really can consume at a time, so 31 in 31 Days is perfect. Probably 31 episodes on day one would not have been as effective.

Darren: No, it wouldn’t. It’s also one of things I wish I’ve known it’s how popular those first episodes can be. I guess take your time with them because the number one episode I’ve ever done is the number one podcast I’ve ever recorded. A lot of people go back and listen to that first one. I worked through it again, which I cringe at a little bit because it was good, but I’m kind of on the other hand really glad that I did those 31 because they built on each other as well. Those who do go back, get to go on that journey with you from one episode into another, into another as well. Don’t just think that no one will ever listen to you, only once I do.

A couple of last questions that I want to key on in. Selfishly, these are questions that I’ve got as well. I know a lot of podcasters really struggle with is how do you actually turn your podcast listeners into more engaged customers, or subscribers, or visitors to your blog? I think the big challenge a lot of podcasters have is that anyone listening to a podcast is usually doing something else. They’re on their phone, on a walk, they’re doing their dishes, or they’re doing the ironing while they’re in the car driving somewhere. They’re not always in a position to go and buy your product, or go and click on a link and download something. Do you have any advice on how to turn those listeners into a more engaged audience?

Craig: This is the tough one. Doing this and measuring this is really tough. I think a lot of savvy marketer say, “I’m going to do a podcast, but I want to make sure I get good ROI on my podcast.” Again, we’re good at having our thing that is like the call-to-action here. The best thing I’ve heard is actually from the folks at CoSchedule. What they do is—this goes back to attribution a little bit—they have a link in the podcast, in the audio itself that is not in the show notes that is usually really easy for people to be able to follow.

For a particular episode, they’ll build a page where they can say, “Okay, if you want to find out more about how we scheduled this Instagram scheduling tool, go to coschedule.com/instagramscheduling.” That’s a way that they know that anybody who comes to that page was a listener to the podcast. It’s not linked in the show notes, it’s not anywhere else. It’s a way that people listening to the podcast can go find this resource that they talked about in the podcast. For them as a business, they know, we had 100, or 100,000, or whatever it is, visits to this page. It absolutely only has to be coming from the podcast. It’s not coming from somewhere else organically on the blog. I think that’s a really savvy way to do it.

The other thing is kind of on a high level. The goal really I think of connecting with your audience in between podcast episodes is to continue the discussion that you started in the podcast. Darren, I know you have a Facebook group. We have one as well, and they’re absolutely fantastic. If you don’t have a Facebook group already, start one today. Say what you will about Facebook, and privacy, and things like that, I won’t get into that here today, but just a community.

Whether it’s Facebook or somewhere else, a community where you can go and have a dialogue with your podcast listeners, your audience members, in between episodes, or in between blog posts, a way to continue that discussion, and for them to have discussions themselves. You don’t have to be the only one starting it. It’s really transformative in the ability and depth of conversation that you can have with folks in your audience. It’s like email but really 2-way and multi-way, because they start talking with each other. Everybody participates all at once. If you don’t have a community of some sort, it’s really worth looking into.

Darren: I agree with that. I think for us, that has actually turned out to be the place that we do connect with our audience the most is in our group. With live video in between episodes, polls, discussions, chats, and those types of things, the more engagement you get there, the better. I don’t tend to hard-sell on the backend of my podcast, because I know people aren’t going to take too much action, but I do you say the podcast is a place to build a good first impression to showcase my personality, and then all of that then drives people towards the community, which then enables you to do other things there. I think that’s a great advice for people.

Maybe one last one is from Patrice. What metrics should we be paying attention to? Maybe you can talk about what you offer with your service as well in terms of metrics.

Craig: This is right behind what microphone should I use. This is a really popular question. I hate to say, “It doesn’t really matter,” but it doesn’t really matter. You should be looking at things like total downloads. That should be going up over time, every episode should be getting a little more popular, but I say that it doesn’t really matter because everybody’s podcast is different. They’re doing it for different reasons, and it fits into the rest of their business or brand and world a little bit differently.

I absolutely wouldn’t get hung up on metrics to say that, “Darren gets 30,000 downloads per episode, I only get 500, but my podcast is in the B2B space talking about CNC machines,” or something. In those 500 people that listen to that podcast, frankly are really valuable, maybe more valuable than 30,000 listeners that Darren gets. You want to keep an eye on your metrics. Total downloads is probably a really good one. Some kind of surrogate of subscribers. You might say downloads for an episode in the first 72 hours after it comes out is like a good gauge of the number of subscribers you have.

The one that Apple Podcast has introduced recently in their platform and we have at Castos is listening duration. How long are people listening is an interesting thing to look at. It’s a little bit segmented, so Apple Podcast only gives you that data for the people that listen to your podcast in iTunes, or in the Apple Podcast app. At Castos, we’re only able to give that data on plays that happen in the browser with our player. It’s never going to be a total comprehensive view of how long people are listening to your podcast, but I think generally when it comes to analytics—people love analytics and it’s a way to measure ourselves versus everybody else—it’s apples. It’s totally apples and oranges. Don’t get hung up on it for yourself. Just say, “Yup, I’m doing better than I was last month. That’s great.” We should always strive for that but don’t compare yourself to other people. It’s just not a fair comparison.

Darren: That’s right. That’s a great advice Craig, and really, we could have gone for a lot longer this time, any more questions that I could have gotten to, but I think we will wrap it up at that. I do want to really emphasize people should sign up for that course Launch In A Week at castos.com/problogger which will really walk you through that process. I love the idea of Launch In A Week because a lot of people do have these goal of doing something one day, and then they’ve actually put an end date on it. Whether it does take you a week, or whether it takes you nine days, having that process lined out for you is great. As I said before, I’ve come and gone through the course, and looked at it myself, and it does answer all the key questions. Congratulations on putting that together.

Craig: Cool. It’s my pleasure. Thanks for having me on there, I appreciate it.

Darren: Yeah, no problem. We’ll certainly link to that and the other things that you do at PodcastMotor in the show notes as well. We’ll chat with you soon.

Craig: Okay, thanks Darren.

Darren: Thanks so much to Craig Hewitt for sharing with us for that interview today. You can check out his 7-step course to launching a podcast at castos.com/problogger. Check out today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/276. There’s a full transcript there and you can also see the links to the things that he mentioned during the show today as well. Just we’ll mention briefly the outline of that 7-step course. It’s arranged in seven days, but you can take longer to go through it if you like.

Day one is about podcasting microphones and gear. Day two is audio recording and editing. Number three is your ideal listener and podcast persona, something we didn’t really touch on in great depth in the interview today. Day four is the perfect podcast recipe which is a great lesson. I actually got a few things out of that myself. Day five is media host and website set up, so you’re getting into more of the technicalities of getting your podcast up on the internet. Day six is getting your show ready to launch. Day seven is launch planning and growing your audience.

We did touch on some of those things, but if you do want something that’s organized in a way that will take you through the process, just head over to castos.com/problogger. We’ll have a link to that and to the other things that Craig does at PodcastMotor in the show notes as well.

Thanks so much for listening today. It’s been a long one, but I hope you got some value out of it. Again, if you think there’s someone in your network that you think would benefit from hearing today’s show, please do share it with them. Send them a link to our show notes at problogger.com/podcast/276. Thanks for listening. Chat with you next week on the ProBlogger Podcast.

How did you go with today’s episode?

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Feb 18 2019

1hr

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Rank #13: PB003: Promote Your Blog [Day 3 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog]

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Find New Readers for Your Blog with Todays Blogging Challenge
Today is day 3 in our 31 Day Challenge and today your task is to promote your blog by sharing one of your previously published blog posts (perhaps even your list post from yesterday)!

This is an activity that bloggers really need to be focusing regular attention on so I hope that some of the tips I share in todays episode will become a regular part of your daily blogging workflow.
In this Episode
Building readership for your blog is a question I'm asked about every day and there's a lot to say about it so I start off talking in slightly more general terms but then give you some specific ways to promote your blog. Here's what I cover.

Why a 'build it and they will come' mentality doesn't work
6 phases of growing readership for your blog
11 ways to promote your blog post

Here's a graphic of the 6 phases from a talk I gave recently to help you visualise it.
But as I say - today is very much about phase 4 of the process.
Your Challenge for Today
Choose one (or more) of the 11 ways mentioned in todays episode to promote your blog (or try another that wasn't mentioned) and get off your blog and put some of your recently written pieces of content out there.

Note: Please go a little beyond what you normally do. If you normally push your posts out onto social media - do something a little extra and see what happens.

Tell Us What You Do! - Once you've promoted your post please let us know what you did in comments below these notes so we can learn from you. Also let us know what impact your actions have.
Other Links and Resources Mentioned In Todays Episode
I mention a couple of resources in todays episode that would make great further reading (and listening) on this important topic.

Finding Readers Webinar
Building a Reader Profile for Your Blog

I've also included a few other relevant articles to the topic for you to check out if you want to dig deeper.

5 Basics to Having Your Post go Viral (on creating shareable content)
How to Promote Your Blog Without Letting The Rest of Your Blogging Slide
How to Socialize Your Posts for Maximum Effect
How to Build an Efficient Social Media Workflow to Increase your Traffic
11 Ways I Diversified Traffic Sources for My Blogs to Become Less Reliant Upon Google [With a Surprising Twist]
How to Promote a Blog with Social Media
The Ultimate Guide to Leaving Comments on Blogs
How to Get Media Coverage for Your Blog
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Welcome to the ProBlogger Podcast episode 3 and day 3 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. Today, I’ll challenge you to promote your blog and give you some tips on how to get some traffic to your blog. First, a quick word from our sponsor, 99designs, the best place for new businesses to build their brand. 99designs makes it easy to get your project off the ground with quality, affordable design. To get your logo, business card, mobile app, blog template or more, visit 99designs.com/problogger and get a $99 upgrade for free.

Hi, this is Darren Rowse from ProBlogger. Welcome to day 3 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. Each day of this series—for a whole month—I’ll be sharing with you some tips on an important aspect of growing your blog, and then challenge you to go away and do something based upon that teaching. Today, we’re going to talk about promoting your blog. Actually getting off your blog, not just focusing upon creating content, and the design, and all the things to think about when it comes to your blog, but to get off it, and go hunting for some readers. Go promote something on your blog to someone else. 

This is really important. I actually see a lot of bloggers who have this mentality that if they build a good-enough blog, readers will just magically show up to it. For 99.9% of us,

Jul 02 2015

21mins

Play

Rank #14: 236: 5 Areas to Focus on to Grow Your Blogging Income

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Growing Your Blog's Income
In today's episode, I want to talk about growing your blogging income, particularly when you’ve already started building some traffic and income streams on your blog.
This one will be most relevant if you're at an intermediate to more advanced level. If you're just starting out you'll learn things that may not be relevant for you today, but will be good to know going forward.
Series on Growing Traffic to Your Blog:

2 Questions to Ask to Help You Find Readers for Your Blog
2 Types of Content that Help You to Find Readers for Your Blog
Turn Surfers into Blog Readers by Building a Sticky Blog
Find Readers for Your Blog Through Commenting and Relationships
Grow Traffic to Your Blog Through Guest Posting and Creating Content for Other Blogs, Forums, Media and Events

Podcast on Autoresponders:

How to Drive Traffic and Profit in your Blogging with Autoresponders

Check out our two courses - ProBlogger’s ultimate guide to start a blog and the soon to be released 31 Days to Build a better blog:

Ultimate Guide to Starting a Blog
ProBlogger Pro – 31 Days to Build a Better Blog

Join our Facebook Group
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Hi there and welcome to episode 236 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name is Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind problogger.com, a blog, podcast, events, job board, series of ebooks, and courses, all designed to help you as a blogger to grow your blog and to build profit around your blog which is exactly what we’re talking today in today’s episode. You can learn more about ProBlogger at problogger.com. Also, check out our two new courses, How to Start a Blog course for those of you who are wanting to start a blog. You can get it at problogger.com/startablog or 31 Days to Build a Better Blog which will be launching in March which is more relevant for those of you who’ve already got a blog whether it’s a relatively new one or you’re at that intermediate stage. You can find that at problogger.com/31days.

In today’s episode, I wanna talk to you about growing your blog’s income, particularly those of you who’ve already got a bit of a start with building some traffic and income streams to your blog. This episode will be much relevant for those of you are perhaps at more of an intermediate level, maybe more of an advanced level. You’ve got a start but you’re not satisfied with the level of your income. Those of you who are just starting out, you’re probably gonna hear some things that may not be relevant to you today but you might also find them useful to have in the back of your mind as you go forward.

Today’s show notes and full transcript of the show are at problogger.com/podcast/236.

Today’s show is inspired by a conversation I had this week with a blogger who had been blogging for a couple of years now. She built some traffic up to her blog. She’d already started to experiment with selling sponsored content on her blog. She was in sort of a style, fashion, beauty type niche and had been selling sponsored posts on the site but was not satisfied with the level that she was at. She’s been blogging for two or three years and when she started out had hoped she’d be full time by this point. Whilst she had some success so far with building the income on her blog, she came to me asking, “How do I double what I’m doing?” She really needed to double what she was doing to get to a full time level.

On one hand, it was great, getting to a half time level with your blog is something that many bloggers dream of but she also had this thirst for more because she wanted to be able to give up other par- time work, children were going to school now and she had a little bit more time on her hands and so she wanted to really sink herself into her blogging, and to justify being able to do that full time rather than ...

Feb 19 2018

41mins

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Rank #15: 257: 3 Writing Tips That Helped Kelly Grow Her Readership by 500%

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How One Blogger Grew Her Readership by 500% with Help from Three Practical Writing Tips
In this episode we continue our Blogging Breakthroughs series, this time with a story from my friend Kelly Exeter.

Kelly is a regular speaker at our events, has contributed ProBlogger content as a guest writer, and has been a guest on this podcast several times.
Today, the story Kelly shares is a great companion piece to the “How to Become a Prolific Content Creator” episode.

Her blogging breakthrough is about going from someone who is a good and proficient but bland writer with a plateauing audience to someone who writes with more personality and in a way that's magnetic to readers. A lot of readers.

To get to that point, Kelly was willing to find someone to critique her writing. We all know it can be difficult to accept criticism, but it’s well worth doing.

Sometimes you write something that has good information and is well written, but doesn’t connect with people. It’s too vanilla. It isn’t read, commented on, or shared.

The problems Kelly experienced are probably things many bloggers can relate to.
Kelly describes three practical tips to improve your content:

Messy drafts: Hand-write random ideas, previous stories, and tangents (some may not make it into a post). Form core idea with developed personality
Don’t sit on the fence: You don’t need to be confrontational or controversial. But you do need to define your stance. Just be you
Write the way you talk: Have faith in your voice, and let your personality shine. Use quirks, funny words and expressions you use when you talk in your content

By improving her writing, Kelly increased her reader traffic from 2,500 to 15,000 a month – a 500% increase. It also helped her make about $100,000 in off-blog income.
Links and Resources for PB 257: 3 Writing Tips That Helped Kelly Grow Her Readership by 500%:

Kelly Exeter
Success Incubator
FinCon

Further Listening

How to Become a Prolific Content Creator (an Interview with Kelly Exeter)
My Mid-Life Crisis and the Power of Being Vulnerable on a Blog

Courses

Starting a Blog
ProBlogger Pro – 31 Days to Build a Better Blog

Join our Facebook group
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Darren: Hey there and welcome to episode 257 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name is Darren Rowse, I'm the blogger behind problogger.com. A site dedicated to help you to create a great blog and to build profit around your blog. You can find at problogger.com where you'll also our eBooks and more importantly probably our courses, our starter blog course for those of you who haven’t yet started, but also our 31-Days To Build A Better Blog course which is ideal for those of you who are early in the blogging or even intermediate, and advanced bloggers that need a bit of a kick start for your blog. Just look for the courses tab at problogger.com.

Today, we're going to continue our blogger breakthrough series of podcast with a story from my friend, Kelly Exeter. Kelly is going to be familiar to many of you because she has regularly spoken at our events here in Australia. She has contributed guest content on the ProBlogger, the blog but also has been on this podcast a number of times.

I interviewed her back in episode 193 on how to be a prolific content creator. That was a hugely popular episode, one of the more popular interviews that I've done. You can find a link to that in today's show notes. Today she's going to share a story that I think it's a great companion piece to that interview that I did. I do encourage you to listen to both if you haven't listened to the previous one or if you want to relisten to it, too.

Today, Kelly is going to share a story about how she went from being a good proficient, but a bit bland writer whose audience had plateaued,

Aug 20 2018

18mins

Play

Rank #16: PB067: Why You Should Create a Product to Sell On Your Blog (and Tips on How to Do It)

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How to Develop a Product to Sell on Your Blog
Today's episode is the second of the new 'Today, Not Someday' series of podcasts that will take us up to the end of the year about what you can do to make your blog ready for success in 2016. The focus is your 'someday' list, the things you've always wanted to do to improve your blog but have struggled to make happen. For details about how the series works, check out episode one here.

The focus of today's episode is about why having something to sell is so important, and tips about how you can develop a product to sell on your blog.
In This Episode
You can listen to today's episode above or in iTunes or Stitcher (where we'd also LOVE to get your reviews on those platforms if you have a moment). In today's episode:

Why having something of your own to sell is so important
9 ways you're losing opportunities if you don't offer products on your blog
How I made my first product - the mistakes I made and the lessons I learned
8 steps to follow to create your first product

Update: you might also like to check out this followup episode on how to create more time to create your first product.
Further Reading and Resources for How to Develop a Product to Sell on Your Blog
Other episodes in the Today, Not Someday Series:

Part 1: Introducing New 'Today, Not Someday' Series

The 'creating products' series on the ProBlogger blog
This is the series of blog posts I mention about ‘creating products’ that Shayne Tilley and I shared on the ProBlogger blog:

Creating Product Week: How to Create and Sell Products On Your Blog
Creating Products Week: Before You Even Think About Creating Products, Think About This
Creating Products Week: Which Product Should I Create?
Creating Products Week: How to Create Products for Your Blog
Creating Products Week: The Launch Countdown
Creating Products Week: Making Products Happen – Getting Your Ideas off the Ground

Meet my new friend, Edgar
I’d like to welcome a new sponsor to the ProBlogger podcast for the duration of this 10 part series, my friend ‘Edgar'.

Edgar is a tool I’ve been using since January of this year that does exactly what this series is about. It enables you to make the work you do on social media keep paying off for the long term. You put a little work into Edgar today by adding social media updates highlighting the great content in your blog’s archives and Edgar goes to work to share them to your followers not just once but by queuing your updates to keep delivering to into the future.

The team at Edgar have put together a special deal for ProBlogger readers which gives you a free one month trial. Sign up for it at meetedgar.com/problogger.
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Hi there, and welcome to Episode 67 of the ProBlogger Podcast. My name is Darren Rowse, and today, we’re continuing our series of podcasts on things that you can do today that will help to improve your blog forever. 

These are all things that have been, and are currently on my ‘someday’ list, things that we often put off as bloggers that we really should do today because they have so much potential to bring our blog alive. For the next 10 episodes, I’m going to give you 10 different things you can do today to improve your blog. 

You can find today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/67. You can listen to the introduction to this series in the last episode, Episode 66. 

This episode is sponsored by Edgar, a tool that I’ve been using since January of this year, that does pretty much what this whole series is about; help you to improve your blog by doing something today that’s going to pay off forever. Edgar allows you to create social updates for your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn accounts that will continue to be able to be used forever and it cues them up automatically for y...

Dec 02 2015

27mins

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Rank #17: 202: Advice from a Veteran Blogger (Chris Garrett) on How to Build a Successful Blog

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Veteran Blogger Chris Garrett on How to Build a Successful Blog
Today’s episode is #202 and in it I have my good friend and co-author of the ProBlogger book - Chris Garrett on the show to talk about the changes in blogging since we wrote the book.
Chris and I wrote the first edition of the book in 2008 and it went through 3 versions - the last one being 5 years ago in 2012 - so I thought it might be interesting to get Chris on to talk - among other things - about how we’d update the book if we were to do another version.

The book still holds up pretty well and continues to be available on Amazon but a lot has happened in 5 years!
Chris and I cover a lot of other ground too:

Chris tells his story of starting blogging in 1996 and describes how he first monetized what he was doing - in many ways it was ‘content marketing’ years before anyone used that term.
We talk about the two main reasons bloggers start blogging - because they want to express themselves and because they want to make money - and try to work out which is best
We talk about the biggest challenges facing bloggers today
We talk about staying motivated over the long haul with your blogging
We talk about how to balance creating great content for your blog while also trying to develop products to sell
And much more.

Today Chris has his own newish blog called Maker Hacks which we talk about in this episode but he is also the Chief Digital Officer at Rainmaker Digital - the company behind CopyBlogger and StudioPress (the most popular WP theme collection on the web today) so we also talk a little about that at the end of the episode too.
Links and Resources for Advice from a Veteran Blogger (Chris Garrett) on How to Build a Successful Blog

Our Facebook Group
Our Dallas Event
Our Australian Event
Chris’s Maker Hacks Blog
StudioPress (affiliate link)
ProBlogger Book on Amazon (affiliate link)
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Darren: My name is Darren Rowse, and I’m the blogger behind ProBlogger.com - a blog, podcast, event, job board, and a series of eBooks designed to help you as a blogger to grow your blog, to increase your audience, to write amazing content, and to build some profit around your blog.

You can learn more about ProBlogger and all that we do to help you as a blogger over at ProBlogger.com.

Now, today’s episode is number 202, and in it, I have my good friend and co-author of the ProBlogger book, Chris Garrett, on the show to talk about the changes in blogging since we wrote the ProBlogger book. Chris and I first wrote that book – the first edition of that book in 2008, so coming up on a 10-year anniversary. It’s gone through a few different versions. A third edition is currently up, but that was published in 2012, so it’s been five years since we wrote the last edition of the book. I thought it might be interesting to get Chris on to talk about, amongst other things, how we would update that book, if we were to do another version – not that we’re planning on doing that.

The book, I think, still holds up pretty well at its core, but there are some things that have obviously come about in the last five years, that we would add to that. If you’ve read that book in the past or if you want to read it, this is a good companion episode, I guess, for that. We cover a lot of other ground as well.

Chris tells his story of starting blogging in 1996 – not that it was called “blogging” back then, but essentially that’s what he was doing. He also talks about how effectively he monetized that blogging through what we would now call “content marketing,” years before that term was invented. We also talk about the main reasons that we see bloggers starting to blog, either because they want to express themselves very organically, as Chris and myself did,

Jul 17 2017

1hr 17mins

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Rank #18: PB032: Can you really make money blogging?

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Note: you can listen to this podcast above or load it up on your device on iTunes here.
Is it Really Possible to Make Money From Your Blog?
Today's episode is about whether it is really possible to make money from your blog. We take a close look at how many bloggers make money, the methods you can use, and the realities of earning money as a blogger.
Money text on euro bills by Dani Rönneberg on 500px
In this Episode
You can listen to today's episode above or in iTunes or Stitcher (where we'd also LOVE to get your reviews on those platforms if you have a moment). Today we talk about:

How much money bloggers make
37 different ways to make money blogging
How I make money blogging
11 examples of bloggers who make money blogging
The 4 things it takes to build a profitable blog

Further Resources
37 Ways to Make Money Blogging

How much money ProBlogger readers make from blogging
Not all of our readers try to make money from blogging. This is how much money our readers who DO try to make money from blogging say they make (based on results from a survey we ran recently):

4% of bloggers who try to make money blogging make over $10,000 a month
9% of bloggers who try to make money blogging make $1,000 - $9,000 a month
7% of bloggers who try to make money blogging make $500 - $999 a month
17% of bloggers who try to make money blogging make $100 - $499 a month
25% of bloggers who try to make money blogging make $10 - $99
28% of bloggers who try to make money blogging make made under $10 a month
10% of bloggers who try to make money blogging say they don’t make anything

Examples of bloggers making money blogging

Nikki Parkinson - stylingyou.com (style and fashion)
Tsh Oxenreider - theartofsimple.net (simple living)
Chris Hunter - bikeexif.com (motorbikes)
Christie Burnett - childhood101.com (parenting)
Gavin Aung Than - zenpencils.com (cartoons)
Lucy Feagins - thedesignfiles.net (design)
Caz and Craig Makepeace - ytravelblog.com (travel)
Brooke Schoenman - herpackinglist.com (packing/travel)
Christina Butcher - hairromance.com (hair)
Jadah Sellner - simplegreensmoothies.com (smoothies)
Michaela Clark - tradiesva.com.au (tradies, va’s)

Further Reading

Can You Really Make Money Blogging? 7 Things I know about Making Money Online
Ways to Make Money on Your Blog: The Money Map
Theme Week: Make Money on Your Blog by Partnering with Brands
Partnering with Brands: Advertising 101
Partnering with Brands: Ways to Collaborate and Earn an Income
Partnering with Brands: The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Media Kit
Partnering with Brands: Marketing Yourself
Partnering with Brands: Putting it All Together and Getting Started
The Full Blog Monetization Menu: 60+ Ways to Make Money with Your Blog
Creating Product Week: How to Create and Sell Products on Your Blog
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Hi there. It’s Darren Rowse from ProBlogger here. Welcome to episode 32 of the ProBlogger podcast. Today, we’re answering one of the most frequently asked questions that I get about blogging. The question, can you really make money blogging? It’s a question I get a lot and it’s one where there’s a lot of misinformation going around the blogosphere. I want to clear that up and give you a realistic answer to it. You can find today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/32.

Hi. My name is Darren Rowse and today, we’re answering the question, can you really make money blogging? This is an important question and I want to answer right up front in this podcast series because there are a lot of misconceptions out there. I see a lot of bloggers coming into blogging with expectations that I just don’t think are realistic, so I want to give you a realistic answer to the question.

Aug 03 2015

28mins

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Rank #19: 250: 9 Types of Killer Filler Content that are Easy to Create

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How to Create Killer Filler Content for Your Blog
This week I’m sharing a list of content filler types you can use for your blog. And they don’t take a lot of effort or time to create.
If you’re struggling to create thoughtful, original long-form content, these will help fill some of the gaps.

Here’s how to create killer filler content and add value to both your blog and your readers.

Reader Discussions: Ask a question to generate a debate/community workshop
Polls: Increase reader engagement and start a good discussion with a question
Homework/Challenges: Specify a topic, and give readers an assignment
Link Posts: Link to another blog/article (or include a list of links) to build relationships and find out what others are thinking
Best Of/Archive Posts: Post useful posts new readers have never seen
Guest Posts/Regular Contributors: Include posts written by others, or find a regular writer to do a semi-regular post
Embeddable Content: Use photos, cartoons, or go to YouTube; search keywords related to your blog topic, and find a high-value video that helps your readers
Interviews: Find interesting experts, and ask them questions to help your readers
Answer Question: Address questions from readers and beginners (but make the answers short and sweet)

These posts are a little less labor intensive to create, but still serve a purpose for your readers.
The key is to experiment. Which get positive reactions? Evolve them into something you can add on a regular basis to your blog.

But remember, don’t publish ‘filler content’ just for the sake of posting.
Quote of the Week: “If you treat every situation as a life-and-death matter, you’ll die a lot of times.” – Dean Smith
Links and Resources for 9 Types of Killer Filler Content that are Easy to Create:

Pat Flynn: AskPat podcast

Further Listening

Deadlines - Are They Good or Bad for Your Blogging?
6 Places to Find Writers to Hire for Your Blog
How to Use Embedded Content on Your Blog

Examples of 9 Types of Killer Filler Content that are Easy to Create

Are You a Binge Photographer or a Snack Photographer?
Help this Locationally Challenged Photographer Improve Her Portraiture
What Mode Do You Shoot in Most?
Photographer in the Picture
18 [+7] Great Photography Links from Around the Web
One Year Ago on Lifehacker
How to Create Impossible Images

Courses

Starting a Blog
ProBlogger Pro – 31 Days to Build a Better Blog

Join our Facebook group
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Hello. It’s Darren from ProBlogger here. Welcome to episode 250. My name is Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind problogger.com, a blog, podcast, event, job board, series of ebooks, and courses all designed to help you as a blogger to grow your blog, to build that audience, to create great content, and to build profit around your blog. You can learn more about what we do at problogger.com.

In today’s episode, I want to suggest to you a list of types of content that you can use on your blog and potentially in other mediums as well that don’t take a massive amount of time to create. This episode does build upon what I talked about in the last episode– episode 249–where I was talking about deadlines, schedules, and editorial calendars.

In that episode, we heard a question from a blogger who was finding it difficult to keep up with the schedule. That actually found having a deadline each week, having that schedule was limiting and they decided to slow down and only post when they had something to say, which I agreed with on some levels, but I did mention that there was a danger associated with that.

One of the dangers is that you can slow down so much that you don’t publish anything at all. I suggested last episode that there might be some ways of creating content that...

Jun 04 2018

33mins

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Rank #20: 193: How to Become a Prolific Content Creator (an Interview with Kelly Exeter)

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Prolific Content Creation With Kelly Exeter
In today’s episode, I want to explore the topic of prolific content creation by interviewing  one of my favorite online buddies - Kelly Exeter about her experience of creating content online.
Many of you will be familiar with Kelly because she’s been a regular contributor on the ProBlogger Blog where she writes about blog design and creating content, she’s presented an episode of this podcast back in episode 119 where she talked about how to choose a WP theme and she’s presented numerous times at our ProBlogger events.

I first came across Kelly when she was wearing her hat as a blog designer (she designed Vanessa’s blog) but since that time, I have watched her put on many other hats. Kelly blogs regularly and is a great writer. She co-hosts two podcasts, and edits the FlyingSolo website while still being able to write 3 books in the last 3 years.

So today, I sat down with Kelly to explore a few aspects of her journey. We start off tackling a question I get asked a lot - how personal should you get on a blog? Kelly used to get very personal but lately has changed her approach.

We then talk about Kelly’s writing process where she talks about another change she’s made - moving from being very structured to learning how to use ‘free writing’ techniques.

My favorite quote from this section - let yourself write crappy words

We touch on editorial calendars, what to do when you start second guessing yourself in the writing process and how she goes about researching her posts.

Then we talk about her experience of writing books and how to go about writing those longer writing projects.

We also talk about podcasts - why she started, what that workflow looks like and how it’s different and compliments blogging.

And lastly we talk about how to be a prolific content creator. Kelly reflects upon some of her systems and routines and techniques for getting so much done. We talk burnout, personality types and how to become a more disciplined person.

If you think that sounds like a lot of ground to cover - you’re right! I originally thought about splitting this episode into 3 shorter episodes as we do shift from one topic to another a little but the more we talked the more I realised how some central themes wove through all of the topics.

So settle in - this episode is perfect for those of you who like me take have a long walk each day - or maybe a long commute. There’s a lot of value here!
Further Resources on How to Become a Prolific Content Creator (an Interview with Kelly Exeter)

Kelly Exeter
So you want to write for Flying Solo
Take your writing from good to great in 6 steps
Kelly’s Posts on ProBlogger
How to Decide on a WordPress Theme for Your Blog
Facebook Group
ProBlogger Event
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Darren: Hi there and welcome to episode 193 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name is Darren Rowse. I’m the blogger behind ProBlogger.com, a blog, podcast, event, job board, and a series of ebooks, all designed to help you to create an amazing blog, a profitable blog. You can learn more about ProBlogger at problogger.com.

                    In today’s episode, I want to explore the topic of being a prolific content creator by interviewing one of my favourite online buddies, Kelly Exeter, about her experience of creating content online. Many of you will be familiar with Kelly because she’s been a regular writer on the ProBlogger blog for a year or two now where she writes on blog design and creating content.

She’s also presented an episode of this podcast, you might remember back in episode 119, I let her take over the show for the day. She talked about how to choose WordPress theme that is going to be effective for you. She’s also presented a number of times at our Australian ProBlogger even...

May 15 2017

1hr 18mins

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