Nov 28, 2018
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Welcome to episode 200 of Pep Talks for Side Hustlers.
Yep, I said 200 – can’t even believe that I have created and produced 200 episodes of this podcast – and in this episode, I’m going to break down for you why I started it, how I market it, how I monetize it, and give you all the stats plus what’s going to happen in the future.
If you’re brand new to the podcast – welcome!! There are 199 past episodes that share strategies and tactics to help you market yourself and grow your business online, and that share my story, all the mistakes I’ve made and successes I’ve had along the way so that you can learn from my journey.
I’m a web designer by trade, and I teach solopreneurs and entrepreneurs how to build their own websites so that they are empowered to either do it themselves, or know what they are outsourcing so that they can make sure they have a website that helps their business grow instead of being a source of pain and frustration that holds them back.
That business is called WP+BFF, and it stands for WordPress BFF, and it has it’s own blog and Facebook group where I answer people’s website questions.
And I’m super passionate about that, don’t get me wrong, but I’m equally as passionate about marketing, growing a business, and just showing people that have the same dream that I had – to leave my soul-sucking corporate job and be my own boss – that it is absolutely possible.
I needed a creative outlet for that story and mission – and that’s why 200 episodes ago, I started this podcast.
And there’s some good, good stuff in those episodes, like:
Episode 27 – A Tried and True Strategy to Help You Build Your Email List from Scratch
32 – What to do when you feel like quitting
151 – How to Quit Your Day Job by 2020
187 – Four Things I wish I would have known before quitting my day job
And my monthly income reports where I share with you how much money I make, how I make it and my expenses.
So if you’re new to this podcast, I’d love for you to check those out and then hit the subscribe button so that you don’t miss what I’ve got coming up for you next!
But Pep Talks for Side Hustlers really wasn’t even intended to be a podcast. Back in episode 22 I share how this podcast was supposed to be just an Alexa Flash Briefing – you know, like when you say “Hey Alexa, What’s the news?” and any flash briefings you’ve added via the Alexa app will get played.
Flash briefings are published daily, and ideally kept to under 10 minutes – you know, because people have limited time and they want to listen to all of their news and updates – and I think you can only listen to whatever has been published that day. Like you can’t go back in time and listen to old flash briefings.
And if you want to learn step by step how to create a flash briefing, I actually have one on my YouTube channel – I’ll link up to it in the show notes at peptalksforsidehustlers.com/200
So I wanted to create these short audio snippets for the Alexa… and that’s what I started out doing… but then…
I thought… why am I putting all of this effort into creating daily content that’s available for just one day and then goes away? Like, that’s why I really never could get into Snapchat…
But anyway, I decide to also add each episode to iTunes and iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher, Google and basically anywhere you can listen to podcasts.
So in the beginning, I’m able to record, edit, produce and schedule all the episodes for the week in just one afternoon.
I did it on Thursdays, no big deal.
And then my episodes started getting longer. And longer. And longer.
Apparently I have a lot to say about side hustling and what it’s really like to be self employed…
So basically I turned what was supposed to be a daily short snippet, like ideally 2-3 minutes even, into a 30 minute episode.
Oops. Sorry Alexa Flash Briefing Listeners… I have plans to add the podcast to the Alexa podcast app and shorten those flash briefings down to 2-3 minutes so that you have time to listen to more content from other people…
And as the episodes got longer and I started to bring guests on, it started to take one whole day to produce the podcast – because I’m doing it all myself. Sometimes it would take a day and a half a week – totally a labor of love, but completely unsustainable without a team.
So I published 7 days a week from April to September, then moved down to 3 a week in September, and this episode, number 200 is the first of weekly episodes going forward! I’m really excited about scheduling one day a month to produce and record podcasts so that I can focus more of my time promoting it rather than producing it.
Which brings me to how I market the podcast. Just like anything else, just because you publish a podcast or a flash briefing it doesn’t mean you are guaranteed listeners. It doesn’t mean that people are going to just automatically find you.
You have to go out and find your people online and put the content in front of them, and you also have to optimize your content to be found.
So with this podcast, I marketed it a few ways:
First, I emailed my existing WordPress BFFs email list to let them know about it and invite them to subscribe, and shared the podcast in my Facebook Group.
I put a link to the podcast in the main navigation of my website, and a graphic with a link in the sidebar of my blog.
I updated all my social media profiles to say that I’m the creator of the Pep Talks for Side Hustlers podcast, and I set up a little tool called LinkTree that lets you set up several links to things you want people to find when they click on the link in your social media profile – so for example, the link in my Facebook profile – when people click that it used to just take them straight to my WP+BFFs website to sign up for my free 5 day website challenge, but with LinkTree I can take them to a page that shows the 5 Day Challenge, the Podcast, and webinar’s I’ve got going on, my latest blog post, whatever I want to promote. So I added a link to the podcast on iTunes and the Alexa Flash Briefing to LinkTree, and then I started sharing all the episodes on my social media accounts, with a call to action to click on my link in the profile to subscriber.
I also ran Facebook ads targeting people who like Amazon Alexa, and also people who like entrepreneurs that serve the same audience I do, so like Marie Forleo and Pat Flynn and Amy Porterfield. I was paying about 13 cents per conversion – which is the cheapest cost per conversion I have ever had, and totally worth it. So if you found this podcast from an ad – welcome and thank you for clicking on it!
I marketed the podcast on Instagram – I’d post a daily graphic with the title and description – and I used a tool called planoly to schedule those out in advance. I wasn’t seeing much engagement with how I was doing that – so I stopped with instagram BUT I’m going to try out some new tactics in 2019 and I’ll report back.
And finally I created a Pinterest graphic for every episode, pinned them to a Pinterest board just for the podcast, and then shared them into Tailwind tribes and Pinterest group boards.
So with all of that, let me share with you some stats:
At the time I’m recording Episode 200, Pep Talks for Side Hustlers has had 17,132 downloads. I honestly have no idea if that’s “good” or “bad” compared to other podcasters because most people aren’t sharing their stats publicly, but personally? When I think about my podcast episodes being downloaded and listened to 17,132 times, it blows my mind.
Here’s how that breaks down:
April – 652
May – 1479
June – 1773
July – 2485
August – 3448
September – 3418
October – 2453 – that’s when I went from 7 a week to 3 a week.
November – 1419 at the time of this recording, about halfway through the month.
A couple of things to note – it’s been a daily podcast, so I have more opportunity for downloads and when I reduced my output, the downloads went down and now I’m reducing my output to just one a week… BUT, my goal is to grow the downloads beyond my peak at 3448 in August by putting that time into getting into more earbuds through promoting the podcast even more strategically in 2019. And there will be over 200 episodes right there waiting for all the new listeners to work their way through – which if you’re anything like me, you absolutely love to start at the beginning of a new podcast and binge listen to current day.
So that’s downloads, but what about the website I built for the podcast? In episode 125 I share how to build a website for your podcast and break down everything you need to optimize your website for a podcast.
PepTalksforSideHustlers.com has had 2396 unique people visit the site and 5463 page views from April to November.
I didn’t really set any goals or expectations for page views when I started the podcast, but again, if I could imagine 2396 people in a room hearing my message about following your dreams, it totally blows my mind! And I love having benchmarks so I can measure my next wave of efforts to grow the podcast audience against.
One thing I haven’t been so great at or consistent with is asking YOU, my listeners to share this podcast, and to subscribe. So I’m going to take a moment to do that – if you could just hop on to your favorite social media and share the link “peptalksforsidehustlers.com/itunes or even peptalksforsidehustlers.com/50 or whatever the number is of your favorite episode, that helps me reach and empower even more people.
And, when you subscribe, that tells iTunes that this is a great podcast and it helps me get featured and ranked so that I can reach even more people.
Asking for that makes me uncomfortable, but… I gotta get over it. Just like I talk about in Episode 44, how to overcome the fear of putting yourself out there – I gotta overcome the fear of putting people out by asking for their help!
So I shared how it started, how I market it, and all the stats, now let’s talk about how I monetize the podcast, meaning, how I make money from it.
And the short answer is, I don’t.
Not directly, anyway.
I don’t have sponsors because I haven’t pitched any sponsors to say hey, I have this awesome podcast, these are the types of people that listen, here are all my stats, would you like to pay me X dollars for me to promote and recommend your product to them?
I haven’t done that. Yet. I haven’t ruled it out by any means, it’s just that it wasn’t part of my master plan.
For everything that I create, all roads lead to my email list. Either to my free 5 day website challenge or a webinar or some other freebie that I’m giving away. And then from my email list that’s where I invite people to purchase my products.
All roads lead to my email list, and then I take it from there.
But in 2019 as I shift my efforts from production to promotion, I’m open to any and all possibilities that come from Pep Talks for Side Hustlers.
And thank you for listening while you’re driving, working out, walking the dog, cleaning, wherever it is that you listen – and I’d love to hear your side hustle stories – just head on over to www.peptalksforsidehustlers.com/200 and leave me a comment – I’d love to hear all about your side hustle!!
And we’re moving to one episode per week, on Wednesday, so I’ll see you right here next week!