How to Create, Publish and Distribute your Podcast

Podcast is one of the fastest growing digital marketing channel with ad spend to touch $1B by next year. This means the business of podcasting is growing exponentially with many brands and influencer and marketing agencies (Like Digital Sparx Marketing) jumping head on to create their own podcast show. But how do you get started with podcasting? What metrics should you measure? What topics should you be talking about? And so on….

In this BobCast episode, we brought one of the leading podcast experts, Carey Green to share his insights into what it takes to create a successful podcast show.

Tune in to this Podcast and learn how to:

  • Create a Podcast show that your listeners will love
  • Select the right ingredients including equipment for a successful podcast show
  • Some metrics that every host should know like engagement, subscribers, etc.
  • How to rank optimally on Apple Podcast and other podcast platforms
  • And many other insights into the world of podcasting.

How to Create, Publish and Distribute your Podcast


Our Guest Speaker for this Episode:

carey-green
Carey Green, Founder – Podcast Fast Track

Carey Green serves as Founder and Client Happiness Guy at PodcastFastTrack.com – he’s all about saving podcasters from the podcast time suck and getting would-be podcasters launched right, publishing effectively, and reaping the rewards. His personal motto: Figure it out, do it well, make a difference!


Transcript of this podcast

Bob Tripathi: All right folks welcome to Digital Sparx Marketing . And this is your host Bob Tripathi and as you guys know I like to bring in some of the leading industry practitioners and leaders to basically talk about all things digital marketing and these days there’s a big revolution I should say revolution, probably it’s an evolution that’s done and doing a revolution.

Bob Tripathi: But you know what goes around comes around and I think one of those things of the tactics is podcasting and we all grew up on radio, radio as the fullest form of communication. And according to me podcasting is some radio. But in a different format it’s an on demand radio and which gives the viewer a control. But I don’t know a lot about it. I just do some podcasts. And you’ve seen my podcast channel called BobCast that digital marketing podcast. So I thought oh I’ll invite somebody who’s been doing it for a long time was being in the trenches and who can talk a lot about the business of podcasting better than me. So I have Carey Green. Carey welcome to this episode. And you know talk about the whole business of podcasting. I know you’re the CEO of Narratively and Podcast FastTrack. But if you don’t mind if you can introduce yourself to our audience that would be great.

Carey Green: Yeah wonderful Bob thank you so much for the opportunity to bring some content to you and your guests. Yeah. I’m Carey Green. I’m actually a retired minister who became an entrepreneur about six or seven years ago and I have five kids married for over 30 years.

Carey Green: I have a dog and a cat. And we actually travel full time. We live in a great big brand new RV that we bought sold our house and just travel a lot but we’ve been in the entrepreneurial space primarily doing podcasting in various forms.

Carey Green: I’ve been podcasting myself for about six years. And shortly after that we started the first company Podcast Fast Track which serves independent podcasters and entrepreneur podcasters and then we just recently started the second company that you mentioned Narratively which is all about creating narrative interview type podcasts for bigger brands and larger companies. And so I’m happy to talk about podcasting I love it. I think it’s a great medium and in fact I think it’s one of the best mediums to use. So I’ll leave it to you to ask the questions and we’ll just have a great conversation here.

Bob Tripathi: Yeah absolutely I mean where to start right. But yeah. Thank you. Thank you for doing this. But where are we in terms of podcasts?

Bob Tripathi: You know like people have been experimenting for a few years now and you know we see that I think and marry me because the internet trends I think podcasts was one of those things I believe the total investment in terms of ad revenues is about a hundred and fourteen billion something that’s expected to grow tremendously as compared to other channels. So where are you right now.

Bob Tripathi: Yeah well podcasting began really back in 2003- 2004. It’s been around for quite a while someone we often refer to in the industry as the godfather is Adam Curry who is an MTV dj who turned to podcasting and really kind of pioneered the space. Back then you produced a podcast by knowing a lot of code how to create enclosures how to send audio files through an RSS feed all that.

Carey Green: Well it’s interesting that technology hasn’t really changed much. We still use RSS feeds but the software to make podcasting possible is a lot easier to use for the average user, so podcasting is come a long way in terms of how it’s distributed. Now we are at a place in podcasting where it’s really come on the radar of a lot more people. I think there are over 700 thousand podcasts now listed in the largest of the podcast directories which is Apple podcast or iTunes as some people know it. And that means there’s a whole lot of content out there but it’s not even close to what it can be and what it should be because there is just so much opportunity in this space for people to learn and grow and be coached through audio. And so where are we in terms of ad revenue and all that. I think ad revenue is one of the things the industry or maybe the media looks at more than it is really relevant because ad revenue happens more for larger podcasts and the majority of podcasts out there are smaller independent shows that are receiving income in a variety of ways or maybe not even at all. They’re just doing it as a hobby. And so there’s a lot we can talk about within that but in my view that’s kind of where we stand. We have this revolution going on between indie podcasters in the brands and they take very different approaches to what the system is.

Bob Tripathi: What do you think is it? Is it here to stay?

Carey Green: I mean absolutely yeah yeah absolutely. I just think that we’ve been telling stories forever as human beings in audio is the way those stories happen in podcasting is just a natural fit for that. There’s a way to consume audio that’s unlike anything else you don’t have to be reading. You don’t have to be watching a screen. You can have any earbud while you’re exercising while, you’re driving, while you’re walking your dog you can consume and grow from podcast content at any time. And there’s also some. Research that showing that audio learning is actually activating a different part of the brain than the visual and all of the other types of learning that we come up against. And so I think that podcasting is here to stay. I think it’s only going to get better. We will see some changes though, in how podcast is podcasts are formatted and how they’re used. And that’s all kind of where we are in the middle of the grand experiment. And it’s a lot of fun.

Bob Tripathi: Nice things. Yeah actually you’re right. I mean if you think about it in the grand scheme of things you mentioned seven hundred thousand podcasts but that’s across everything. Yeah. And it’s not a lot. You know it’s not like, if you compare that to say a number of videos or you know that’s out there all said a number of websites. It’s nothing it’s very miniscule so I do concur with you that that is such a huge room to grow and things like that. Right. So one of my theories behind it is I think as the whole Apple mobile ecosystem has grown you know where we are and the vegetables phase now also. I think you know as a culture has a society, we’ve become more health conscious, so we’re exercising more via on the treadmill a lot more which basically creates a lot more opportunities for people to consume podcasts.

Carey Green: But are there any other use cases that you’ve seen besides that which has helped in this revolution?

Bob Tripathi: Yeah well there definitely are people who sit in their cubicle at work with one year but in listening to podcasts all day long, there are others who you know maybe are a nightwatchman or drive a truck or whatever and they consume podcasts there.

Carey Green: But one of the interesting stats that came out which really surprised most of us in the industry came out from medicine research just in the last year was that the majority of podcasts are consumed at home. That’s really surprising. Which means smart speakers and things like that are coming to the forefront even more. And so there’s there’s not a lot of data on whether those people at home are consuming podcasts through earbuds you know with their phone in their pocket or whatever or through a smart smart speaker.

Bob Tripathi: But I would imagine it’s happening while dinner is being prepared while cars are being worked on. You know even on a Saturday just sitting on the couch instead of watching TV people are consuming podcasts.

Bob Tripathi: Now that’s a real one of the interesting things that I found I always thought video, I love video because you know that’s what we are doing right now. But even in the podcast space of what I learned was somebody who subscribes to a channel which is BobCast the digital marketing podcast, sorry a free plug I had to do that. Yeah but people who listen to one podcast they actually end up consuming at least 5-10 different episodes on a podcast which is very unlikely with other channels you know because now if you have a 20-30 minute podcasts and then people listen to you a lot. Many of those people go back and things like that. So I think that plays a huge role like the people who are consuming, are consuming a lot more of it.

Carey Green: Yeah yeah I agree. There’s a study that came out just this week from a guy named Dan Meisner who runs a content production house called Pacific Content and they researched where do people begin listening to a new podcast? As far as the series of episodes and what they found was if it’s a seasonal podcast they usually begin with episode one of the newest season. And so people are kind of going back but it’s not uncommon for them to go all the way back to the beginning of the show and start listening there and so archived episodes so to speak, can get just as much traction over time as the brand new episodes can. So podcasting is a thing that as long as the content evergreen and it’s entertaining people are going to continue consuming it.

Bob Tripathi: All right. Is it just like me watching Narcos a few weeks back. I thought in the last season and then I was like Oh my God I’m binge watching the whole thing and then now goes with Mexico and all that. So that’s great. So Carrey how do people get started with podcasts. ? You know I mean I know that is the creation part. So I think we can distribute it in three ways at least from the way I the standard is like creation. Then you got to publish it and probably you got to distribute to get a wider audience. Yeah. If you can touch let’s creation. How do you suggest people do get started with the home in the world of podcasting.

Carey Green: Yeah well I always recommend that people take the time to think through a strategy behind their podcast even if it’s just a hobby podcast, because your goal really is to serve an audience. You’re not just there to be self-serving and just kind of use it as a personal journal or diary in most cases where you’re just getting things off your chest. Most people are wanting to put a message out into the world and you know being a minister for 30 years or 20 years rather I learn You’ve got to craft messages. It takes time to figure out exactly how to deliver it in the best way and I think podcasters need to take a cue from communicators who’ve been communicating along that premise for years. They need to get more intentional about their content and so sit down with the piece paper jot down in 10 minutes the number of topics that you could speak to authoritatively or intelligently and then for the next 10 minutes. Organize and prioritize the ties those put them in a sequence that makes sense and then for the next 10 minutes create three sub points under each one and what you’re going to wind up with is 10 to 15 to 20 episodes worth of content that came right over your head in your experience that you can begin speaking on and then it comes down to just getting your equipment in place. Purchasing a media hosted account where you would publish that content those sorts of things.

Carey Green: There are plenty of resources on the Internet that can teach you how to do that, I also have a course that I’d be happy to offer to your guests for free or your listeners for free that they can use to get that kind of thing started.

Carey Green: So it’s not a hard learning curve it’s just one that you need to go about intelligently and make sure that you know what you’re doing.

Bob Tripathi: Now how much of an emphasis do you have. Like for example last week we met a coworking space who was just opening up and one of the pitches was hey we also have a podcast studio in our coworking space. So my question to you is how essential it is that you have a studio environment to do that podcast.

Carey Green: Well I think that you’ll get a variety of different opinions even from experts in the industry. I think that the podcasting. Landscape is changing such that audio quality matters more and more as time goes on. That’s because the brands are coming in and are producing these stellar quality shows. And the reason that matters for your small indie podcaster is that you’re not just competing against other podcasters in your niche or who are speaking about what you speak about. You’re competing against every form of digital content that people consume because you’re you’re vying for their time. And so if your quality is such that it hurts their ears or is unpleasant to listen to or just isn’t fun they’re going to go somewhere else no matter how interested in your topic they are. So quality does matter. Now do you need a full blown studio. No you don’t. But you do need to have a decent microphone. You need to have a relatively quiet place to record where you don’t have a lot of room echo. You need to ensure that you’re using decent software that can capture the audio well in the average person can do that for less than two hundred dollars in equipment and a little bit of foam on the wall perhaps sometimes you don’t even need that. My best podcasting studio ever was a walk in closet and I just I put my desk in the back of the closet left all the clothes where they were and it was perfect for soaking up the sound so most people have that sort of a resource nice beautiful beautiful.

Bob Tripathi: So we got strategy we got the equipment. What is the next step for someone to get started on this?

Carey Green: Yeah well you’re going to need to choose a media host which is essentially the place your media files are going to live online and then that media host will push the content out every time you publish it to all of the directories that you submit your show to. So think of the media host kind of like a library. It’s where your episode files are going to live. A lot of people say I’m a media host doesn’t matter you can do anchor you can do Lipson And you can do BuzzSprout about you can you Podbean you know I think your media host does matter because you’re media host needs to be number one reliable. It needs to be staffed by people who care about podcasting and have been in the industry for a while and people who keep up on the changes because the big dog in the podcasting space for example is Apple and Apple makes changes to their ecosphere all the time. And if you’re podcast host isn’t keeping up with those things and isn’t making changes to enable you to take advantage of the changes Apple is making then you’re gonna be left out in the cold and Apple may even exclude you from their directory which is the biggest one out there. Cause you’re not keeping up with their standards. And so I always recommend some of the big media host. There’s Lipson there’s Blueberry is another there’s a newer one called was it called Captivate.fm wonderful guys over there that are working some some magic in the podcasting space. They’re just some really good media. Host options out there.

Bob Tripathi: Nice. Great great. I think that is how you basically release it and stuff. Yeah. Have you seen. I think what would be the next step is basically getting more people to listen to your show right. Which is distribution the big airy thing. How do you go about it.

Carey Green: Yeah well the basics of distribution comes down to syndicating your podcast feed which your media host will provide out to all the directories that are appropriate for your show. There’s a number of them there’s Apple podcasts slash iTunes Stitcher. There’s Google podcasts there’s player F.M. there’s Radio Public. I mean we can go on and on and on radio. Those are all one time submissions you make to that particular platform they will approve your show and then the moment you publish on your media host it’s going to push to their platform and it’s going to be syndicated out to all of their users. Now obviously beyond that people have to subscribe to your show in order to get your content. They have to find you in some way. And that honestly Bob just comes down to good old fashioned marketing, lingo for SEO. Yeah building for SEO, promotional social media even print media. If you have the budget to promote your show via print media anything you can do, to get the word out about your show in a way that shows the value that it’s going to add to listeners is going to help because podcasting like any marketing is kind of a long game. All right build momentum over time and as your show grows listeners share it with someone else. And the ball keeps rolling. You have seen shows that started out with 20 30 40 listeners that are now up to thousands of listeners per episode just because they kept at it and they kept providing great value.

Bob Tripathi: Isn’t that the secret of life. Yeah. Do. As I mentioned earlier you know my one of my things was when I started I’m like Yeah I don’t like video more. But as I’m starting to do more of podcasts I think I love it more and then you know is the passion than the people you know. Guest speakers like you. Just so much fun to just chat and then you know not worry about the other side of things because at the end of the day you do something that you’re having fun with. Yeah. And just interact with other experts right. Absolutely. That’s what it boils down to. So I think that covers the distribution have you see some companies or your clients or something that you have done where you know like maybe five things up five best practices if you will if you can. That works really well when it comes to podcasting.

Carey Green: Yeah well I would say the first one is audio quality. Do what you can to dial it in and make sure that your content is coming across in a way that is both understandable palatable. And here I’ll add a third thing enjoyable. You want your audience to stick with your show as much as you want them to initially subscribe to your show because of that competition that’s going on between you and every other form of media. It’s just as hard to keep listeners as it is to get them in the first place so you’ve got to keep that in mind. The second thing I would say is consistency. People who are not consistent and I have to point the finger back at myself on this one because I have a show I haven’t published for probably four months because life has kind of snowballed on me and I’ve got to get back to it. But consistency is powerful because it demonstrates to people that you’re committed that you care about them as listeners that you are continuing to learn and grow and evolve in your space that the content that you produce matters to you. So consistency is huge. And then finally I think you’ve got to put on your marketing hat and you’ve got to figure out where does my audience live both online and in real life and water some outside the box ways. I can not just get their attention but provide value to them in a way that makes them aware that my podcast can be of help to them. It’s it’s not just being that guy in a Facebook group who says, hey I have a podcast did you know I have a podcast listen to my podcast this episode and you know you don’t want to be that guy. You want to figure out a way to do it where it’s truly adding value to people and sometimes it takes a long time. And that’s OK.

Bob Tripathi: Yeah I think that’s what it is right. I mean I was just talking to my team member that those days of selling where you know, buy my service buy my product is gone but how can you add value that they’re going to get interested in your service just like you don’t know what we’re trying to do right. I think one of the things the first point that you mentioned is a keep it enjoyable. Right. Engaging. What are some of the tips you can give to people. They do it and I see. I’ve heard some podcasts and I could be that too I don’t know but like people have these ice breakers in the beginning you know. Yeah. Which doesn’t go anywhere is that engaging enjoyment thing.

Carey Green: Well you know I think it’s going to depend on your listeners. But the more you can know about the Avatar you’re trying to reach the more you’ll know what they find enjoyable. So you’ve got to do a little bit of marketing type research there. But you also just need to think in commonsense terms you know is it enjoyable for someone your average listener to listen to 10 minutes of you and your co-host banter back and forth about what you did over the weekend or are they more concerned about their time than that and want to get right to the good content. You know you have to make that judgment call. I think also things like music like sound effects like you know telling a story more than just regurgitating data is always helpful. We think in terms of story we process story really well. So those narrative type interviews I mentioned are gonna become more and more predominant and more and more subscribe too because they’re just simply more enjoyable to listen to nice nice.

Bob Tripathi: Yeah. I completely agree. You know, I have seen some and then I think it’s just like anything right. Just like a movie the first few minutes are so critical and if you meet you make a judgment whether you want this into that or not. So yeah what are some of the other things you have come across which has really worked. I think one of the big things is I think I heard some podcasts are giving away some Amazon $25 for every review. His those put in. Is that a viable thing to get new reviews.

Carey Green: Yeah well you know it’s really interesting when I talk to people who listen to podcasts I ask it all these random questions occasionally I want to know if other people’s experience is the same as mine and one of the questions I ask is do you look at reviews when you’re thinking about subscribing to a podcast. Ninety five percent of the people I’ve talked to say no, we would do reviews help in getting the podcast more exposure in the ITunes ecosystem or in the different directories. No they don’t. That does not figure into their algorithms at all. So I think reviews is something. Yeah it’s great when you get it but don’t focus on reviews. If you know a little bit about how Apple in particular of how it works. The only thing that matters to Apple is the number of subscribers you’re getting so new subscribers over the last 30 days is the main metric they’re looking at as to whether they push or show higher in the search results or not. And so if you’re going to be bribing people with some kind of gift card or something like that make it about subscriptions not about reviews make it about that because that’s going to help Apple to see your show and push you up higher. I also think that as far as best practices go once you’ve got your show going. See if there’s ways you can do polling of your audience. Easy ways you can take surveys and make them real simple make them real interesting. Make them something people would want to respond to because they can give you feedback as to what they would like to see in the show and how you can change things to make it better for them. And that’s a win win for both of you.

Bob Tripathi: Yeah no that’s a great tip. That’s a great tip. Now when you talk about metrics and you measure because I saw someone presenting a big PowerPoint deck at a company the other day and they had all these streams as one of the success metrics. What are some of the metrics that you recommended when you work with companies or podcasts or that they shouldn’t be measuring with their podcast. Because I think after six months eight months one year you add a measure of you’re doing right. Just like any marketing.

Carey Green: So yeah well it’s all very difficult to be really honest with you because in podcasting because of privacy issues the only metric you really ever see is downloads. All right. A download is just a means the media file has been called from your server to someone’s device. That when you hear that downloads and streams are kind of the same thing they’re counted the same way. So you want to be looking at downloads over a 40 day period from the time of release. So if I release an episode today, 40 days from now I want to go look and see what had been the number of downloads for that episode to date. That’s going to give me a pretty average number for all my episodes of people who have subscribed to my show. That’s the assumption we make. Is that those people have subscribed. Some of them may have not but you know overall that’s generally true. Then you can go into your stats which is all in your media host account and you can look at whether that number holds true over the course of all your episodes and what you’ll begin to see is an average number of downloads per episode after 40 days. That’s going to tell you, how you’re doing in terms of reaching your audience. Now here’s the interesting thing to know, across all podcasts the median number of downloads is 140 after 40 days. Now that’s not a whole lot. I don’t think it takes much to get to 140. Now remember we’re talking about median so nationally their shows really higher than that and shows a lot lower than that but with a little effort with a little marketing with a little bit of you know encouraging your audience to share the episodes in the actual audio you can get to that number I think within 6 months very easily and then every subscriber download you get beyond that you’re moving up into the level of the higher downloaded shows and you’re on your way to success just like any network effect.

Bob Tripathi: Yeah exactly. This is great. This is great. Great tips now are there any. Like for example my one of the podcasts I love is Reid Hoffman’s Masters of Scale. Yeah and he does a beautiful job. I mean just because he’s one of the top billionaires but otherwise you’re not the whole production quality and so engaged like what.

Bob Tripathi: Other thing I’ve seen is these also ads it blends into the episode part of a narrative. Have you any other some of your favorite podcasts like Reid Hoffman’s that you really like and if you do then why.

Carey Green: Yeah yeah well most of the podcasts I enjoy them. Well let me restate that the podcasts I enjoy the most are those that are better produced like what you’re referring to with Masters of Scale. And to me that fact alone tells me something about where the industry’s going. People are understanding the entertainment value of a podcast and that if it’s not engaging and fun people are generally not going to stick around. Now are there podcasts I listen to that aren’t that format. Absolutely. And it’s usually because the content is so helpful so. So I think you’re you’re walking a fine line between powerful, helpful content And enjoyment, if you can balance those two, In your podcast in terms of entertainment value and content you’re going to be doing really well. The podcasts that I’m listening to right now that I really enjoy. There’s one called Breach that’s put out by Carbonite which is a security company. It’s just fascinating stories of some of the largest security breaches in history. It’s a great show. I I listen quite often to podcasts about podcasting. Naturally I’m trying to keep up on my industry but I also listen to a few business and sales shows and things like that and I think the common denominator in all of them, that’s really not even related to production is that the host is taking it seriously. They’re being consistent and they’re producing great content. I think that’s a winnings formula for any podcasts.

Bob Tripathi: Nice. This is beautiful. Thank you so much. And now anything I didn’t ask you that you would like to talk you know maybe.

Carey Green: Yeah well that’s a great question. There’s always things I can talk about when it comes to podcasting but I think one of the things that I would put on everybody’s radar if they are podcasting or considering a podcast is that, Differentiating yourself is going to be key in the future because of that whole dynamic of you know people only have so much time and they’re going to make choices about what they listen to. I think a great example of this is that for example in Netflix, when you first realized years back that Netflix allowed you to stream audios right to your TV or videos rather the shows that were on there were like B grade and C grade shows there were shows you never heard of but you would watch them because it’s all there was and it was free. It actually was part of your Netflix 15 bucks a month or whatever and so you’d watch them because they were there. If you go into Netflix now what do you see. We see all the a rate movies that came out in theaters about two months ago. You see a lot of very well produced Netflix series. And and you don’t even see those being secret shows, that’s going to happen in podcasting. It’s just the way it’s going to happen in those those differentiators are going to be quality of your content quality of your production all those things. Now it’s it’s easy to see that the people who have the money which is the brands are going to be able to pull off those more highly produced shows faster and with a higher degree of quality. But there are some middle of the road options out there that exist and that are going to grow. For those who are willing to invest some money but not you know don’t have the deep pockets that the brands do. So I would encourage people as you’re thinking about podcasting think about what can you do in and of your own efforts to make your show the highest quality it can. It can be. And if that means you just produce an episode once a month because you’re spending all this time making it high quality then hey once a month is better than never and once a month at high quality I think is better than four times a month at a low quality. Because you can demonstrate to your listeners that you care about them and you’re producing something valuable for them. I just heard a podcast this last week and it’s a crazy name for apologies. It’s called. Have you heard George’s podcast. And it’s this independent inner city rapper guy who’s producing this amazing show. It’s so entertaining and so many different elements to it but it’s just him. It’s a one man show and he dedicated himself to doing it. And a new episode comes out when a new episode comes out because that’s when he’s able to produce it but it’s great content and so it’s an example of how you can do both. It may take more time but you can do it yourself if you’re committed to learning the skill and putting the time into it.

Bob Tripathi: Nice. This is. This is great. Thank you so much. Now how do our listeners reach out to you, is it as a podcast fast track is that. Yeah.

Carey Green: Yeah I would say I would say just send me an email. It’s Carey@podcastfasttrack.com And if someone sends me an e-mail it mentions that they’ve heard your show. I would love to send them my How to podcast step by step course for free. It’s usually a $100 course. Just tell me that you want the course and I will send it out to you.

Bob Tripathi: Nice. This is great. Thank you folks. This is this is so great. Thank you Carey for your insights and hopefully we all learn and our listeners will learn.

Carey Green: But thank you so much for joining us and spending time on talking about all things podcasts and the business of podcast. But thank you so much. Thank you You’re welcome. Thank you Bob. All right folks. That was it. And another episode and I will talk to you guys soon. Thank you.

Bob Tripathi: All right folks welcome to Digital Sparx Marketing . And this is your host Bob Tripathi and as you guys know I like to bring in some of the leading industry practitioners and leaders to basically talk about all things digital marketing and these days there’s a big revolution I should say revolution, probably it’s an evolution that’s done and doing a revolution.

Bob Tripathi: But you know what goes around comes around and I think one of those things of the tactics is podcasting and we all grew up on radio, radio as the fullest form of communication. And according to me podcasting is some radio. But in a different format it’s an on demand radio and which gives the viewer a control. But I don’t know a lot about it. I just do some podcasts. And you’ve seen my podcast channel called BobCast that digital marketing podcast. So I thought oh I’ll invite somebody who’s been doing it for a long time was being in the trenches and who can talk a lot about the business of podcasting better than me. So I have carried green. Carey welcome to this episode. And you know talk about the whole business of podcasting. I know you’re the CEO of Narratively and Podcast FastTrack. But if you don’t mind if you can introduce yourself to our audience that would be great.

Carey Green: Yeah wonderful Bob thank you so much for the opportunity to bring some content to you and your guests. Yeah. I’m Carey Green. I’m actually a retired minister who became an entrepreneur about six or seven years ago and I have five kids married for over 30 years.

Carey Green: I have a dog and a cat. And we actually travel full time. We live in a great big brand new RV that we bought sold our house and just travel a lot but we’ve been in the entrepreneurial space primarily doing podcasting in various forms.

Carey Green: I’ve been podcasting myself for about six years. And shortly after that we started the first company Podcast Fast Track which serves independent podcasters and entrepreneur podcasters and then we just recently started the second company that you mentioned Narratively which is all about creating narrative interview type podcasts for bigger brands and larger companies. And so I’m happy to talk about podcasting I love it. I think it’s a great medium and in fact I think it’s one of the best mediums to use. So I’ll leave it to you to ask the questions and we’ll just have a great conversation here.

Bob Tripathi: Yeah absolutely I mean where to start right. But yeah. Thank you. Thank you for doing this. But where are we in terms of podcasts?

Bob Tripathi: You know like people have been experimenting for a few years now and you know we see that I think and marry me because the internet trends I think podcasts was one of those things I believe the total investment in terms of ad revenues is about a hundred and fourteen billion something that’s expected to grow tremendously as compared to other channels. So where are you right now.

Bob Tripathi: Yeah well podcasting began really back in 2003- 2004. It’s been around for quite a while someone we often refer to in the industry as the godfather is Adam Curry who is an MTV dj who turned to podcasting and really kind of pioneered the space. Back then you produced a podcast by knowing a lot of code how to create enclosures how to send audio files through an RSS feed all that.

Carey Green: Well it’s interesting that technology hasn’t really changed much. We still use RSS feeds but the software to make podcasting possible is a lot easier to use for the average user, so podcasting is come a long way in terms of how it’s distributed. Now we are at a place in podcasting where it’s really come on the radar of a lot more people. I think there are over 700 thousand podcasts now listed in the largest of the podcast directories which is Apple podcast or iTunes as some people know it. And that means there’s a whole lot of content out there but it’s not even close to what it can be and what it should be because there is just so much opportunity in this space for people to learn and grow and be coached through audio. And so where are we in terms of ad revenue and all that. I think ad revenue is one of the things the industry or maybe the media looks at more than it is really relevant because ad revenue happens more for larger podcasts and the majority of podcasts out there are smaller independent shows that are receiving income in a variety of ways or maybe not even at all. They’re just doing it as a hobby. And so there’s a lot we can talk about within that but in my view that’s kind of where we stand. We have this revolution going on between indie podcasters in the brands and they take very different approaches to what the system is.

Bob Tripathi: What do you think is it? Is it here to stay?

Carey Green: I mean absolutely yeah yeah absolutely. I just think that we’ve been telling stories forever as human beings in audio is the way those stories happen in podcasting is just a natural fit for that. There’s a way to consume audio that’s unlike anything else you don’t have to be reading. You don’t have to be watching a screen. You can have any earbud while you’re exercising while, you’re driving, while you’re walking your dog you can consume and grow from podcast content at any time. And there’s also some. Research that showing that audio learning is actually activating a different part of the brain than the visual and all of the other types of learning that we come up against. And so I think that podcasting is here to stay. I think it’s only going to get better. We will see some changes though, in how podcast is podcasts are formatted and how they’re used. And that’s all kind of where we are in the middle of the grand experiment. And it’s a lot of fun.

Bob Tripathi: Nice things. Yeah actually you’re right. I mean if you think about it in the grand scheme of things you mentioned seven hundred thousand podcasts but that’s across everything. Yeah. And it’s not a lot. You know it’s not like, if you compare that to say a number of videos or you know that’s out there all said a number of websites. It’s nothing it’s very miniscule so I do concur with you that that is such a huge room to grow and things like that. Right. So one of my theories behind it is I think as the whole Apple mobile ecosystem has grown you know where we are and the vegetables phase now also. I think you know as a culture has a society, we’ve become more health conscious, so we’re exercising more via on the treadmill a lot more which basically creates a lot more opportunities for people to consume podcasts.

Carey Green: But are there any other use cases that you’ve seen besides that which has helped in this revolution?

Bob Tripathi: Yeah well there definitely are people who sit in their cubicle at work with one year but in listening to podcasts all day long, there are others who you know maybe are a nightwatchman or drive a truck or whatever and they consume podcasts there.

Carey Green: But one of the interesting stats that came out which really surprised most of us in the industry came out from medicine research just in the last year was that the majority of podcasts are consumed at home. That’s really surprising. Which means smart speakers and things like that are coming to the forefront even more. And so there’s there’s not a lot of data on whether those people at home are consuming podcasts through earbuds you know with their phone in their pocket or whatever or through a smart smart speaker.

Bob Tripathi: But I would imagine it’s happening while dinner is being prepared while cars are being worked on. You know even on a Saturday just sitting on the couch instead of watching TV people are consuming podcasts.

Bob Tripathi: Now that’s a real one of the interesting things that I found I always thought video, I love video because you know that’s what we are doing right now. But even in the podcast space of what I learned was somebody who subscribes to a channel which is BobCast the digital marketing podcast, sorry a free plug I had to do that. Yeah but people who listen to one podcast they actually end up consuming at least 5-10 different episodes on a podcast which is very unlikely with other channels you know because now if you have a 20-30 minute podcasts and then people listen to you a lot. Many of those people go back and things like that. So I think that plays a huge role like the people who are consuming, are consuming a lot more of it.

Carey Green: Yeah yeah I agree. There’s a study that came out just this week from a guy named Dan Meisner who runs a content production house called Pacific Content and they researched where do people begin listening to a new podcast? As far as the series of episodes and what they found was if it’s a seasonal podcast they usually begin with episode one of the newest season. And so people are kind of going back but it’s not uncommon for them to go all the way back to the beginning of the show and start listening there and so archived episodes so to speak, can get just as much traction over time as the brand new episodes can. So podcasting is a thing that as long as the content evergreen and it’s entertaining people are going to continue consuming it.

Bob Tripathi: All right. Is it just like me watching Narcos a few weeks back. I thought in the last season and then I was like Oh my God I’m binge watching the whole thing and then now goes with Mexico and all that. So that’s great. So Carrey how do people get started with podcasts. ? You know I mean I know that is the creation part. So I think we can distribute it in three ways at least from the way I the standard is like creation. Then you got to publish it and probably you got to distribute to get a wider audience. Yeah. If you can touch let’s creation. How do you suggest people do get started with the home in the world of podcasting.

Carey Green: Yeah well I always recommend that people take the time to think through a strategy behind their podcast even if it’s just a hobby podcast, because your goal really is to serve an audience. You’re not just there to be self-serving and just kind of use it as a personal journal or diary in most cases where you’re just getting things off your chest. Most people are wanting to put a message out into the world and you know being a minister for 30 years or 20 years rather I learn You’ve got to craft messages. It takes time to figure out exactly how to deliver it in the best way and I think podcasters need to take a cue from communicators who’ve been communicating along that premise for years. They need to get more intentional about their content and so sit down with the piece paper jot down in 10 minutes the number of topics that you could speak to authoritatively or intelligently and then for the next 10 minutes. Organize and prioritize the ties those put them in a sequence that makes sense and then for the next 10 minutes create three sub points under each one and what you’re going to wind up with is 10 to 15 to 20 episodes worth of content that came right over your head in your experience that you can begin speaking on and then it comes down to just getting your equipment in place. Purchasing a media hosted account where you would publish that content those sorts of things.

Carey Green: There are plenty of resources on the Internet that can teach you how to do that, I also have a course that I’d be happy to offer to your guests for free or your listeners for free that they can use to get that kind of thing started.

Carey Green: So it’s not a hard learning curve it’s just one that you need to go about intelligently and make sure that you know what you’re doing.

Bob Tripathi: Now how much of an emphasis do you have. Like for example last week we met a coworking space who was just opening up and one of the pitches was hey we also have a podcast studio in our coworking space. So my question to you is how essential it is that you have a studio environment to do that podcast.

Carey Green: Well I think that you’ll get a variety of different opinions even from experts in the industry. I think that the podcasting. Landscape is changing such that audio quality matters more and more as time goes on. That’s because the brands are coming in and are producing these stellar quality shows. And the reason that matters for your small indie podcaster is that you’re not just competing against other podcasters in your niche or who are speaking about what you speak about. You’re competing against every form of digital content that people consume because you’re you’re vying for their time. And so if your quality is such that it hurts their ears or is unpleasant to listen to or just isn’t fun they’re going to go somewhere else no matter how interested in your topic they are. So quality does matter. Now do you need a full blown studio. No you don’t. But you do need to have a decent microphone. You need to have a relatively quiet place to record where you don’t have a lot of room echo. You need to ensure that you’re using decent software that can capture the audio well in the average person can do that for less than two hundred dollars in equipment and a little bit of foam on the wall perhaps sometimes you don’t even need that. My best podcasting studio ever was a walk in closet and I just I put my desk in the back of the closet left all the clothes where they were and it was perfect for soaking up the sound so most people have that sort of a resource nice beautiful beautiful.

Bob Tripathi: So we got strategy we got the equipment. What is the next step for someone to get started on this?

Carey Green: Yeah well you’re going to need to choose a media host which is essentially the place your media files are going to live online and then that media host will push the content out every time you publish it to all of the directories that you submit your show to. So think of the media host kind of like a library. It’s where your episode files are going to live. A lot of people say I’m a media host doesn’t matter you can do anchor you can do Lipson And you can do BuzzSprout about you can you Podbean you know I think your media host does matter because you’re media host needs to be number one reliable. It needs to be staffed by people who care about podcasting and have been in the industry for a while and people who keep up on the changes because the big dog in the podcasting space for example is Apple and Apple makes changes to their ecosphere all the time. And if you’re podcast host isn’t keeping up with those things and isn’t making changes to enable you to take advantage of the changes Apple is making then you’re gonna be left out in the cold and Apple may even exclude you from their directory which is the biggest one out there. Cause you’re not keeping up with their standards. And so I always recommend some of the big media host. There’s Lipson there’s Blueberry is another there’s a newer one called was it called Captivate.fm wonderful guys over there that are working some some magic in the podcasting space. They’re just some really good media. Host options out there.

Bob Tripathi: Nice. Great great. I think that is how you basically release it and stuff. Yeah. Have you seen. I think what would be the next step is basically getting more people to listen to your show right. Which is distribution the big airy thing. How do you go about it.

Carey Green: Yeah well the basics of distribution comes down to syndicating your podcast feed which your media host will provide out to all the directories that are appropriate for your show. There’s a number of them there’s Apple podcasts slash iTunes Stitcher. There’s Google podcasts there’s player F.M. there’s Radio Public. I mean we can go on and on and on radio. Those are all one time submissions you make to that particular platform they will approve your show and then the moment you publish on your media host it’s going to push to their platform and it’s going to be syndicated out to all of their users. Now obviously beyond that people have to subscribe to your show in order to get your content. They have to find you in some way. And that honestly Bob just comes down to good old fashioned marketing, lingo for SEO. Yeah building for SEO, promotional social media even print media. If you have the budget to promote your show via print media anything you can do, to get the word out about your show in a way that shows the value that it’s going to add to listeners is going to help because podcasting like any marketing is kind of a long game. All right build momentum over time and as your show grows listeners share it with someone else. And the ball keeps rolling. You have seen shows that started out with 20 30 40 listeners that are now up to thousands of listeners per episode just because they kept at it and they kept providing great value.

Bob Tripathi: Isn’t that the secret of life. Yeah. Do. As I mentioned earlier you know my one of my things was when I started I’m like Yeah I don’t like video more. But as I’m starting to do more of podcasts I think I love it more and then you know is the passion than the people you know. Guest speakers like you. Just so much fun to just chat and then you know not worry about the other side of things because at the end of the day you do something that you’re having fun with. Yeah. And just interact with other experts right. Absolutely. That’s what it boils down to. So I think that covers the distribution have you see some companies or your clients or something that you have done where you know like maybe five things up five best practices if you will if you can. That works really well when it comes to podcasting.

Carey Green: Yeah well I would say the first one is audio quality. Do what you can to dial it in and make sure that your content is coming across in a way that is both understandable palatable. And here I’ll add a third thing enjoyable. You want your audience to stick with your show as much as you want them to initially subscribe to your show because of that competition that’s going on between you and every other form of media. It’s just as hard to keep listeners as it is to get them in the first place so you’ve got to keep that in mind. The second thing I would say is consistency. People who are not consistent and I have to point the finger back at myself on this one because I have a show I haven’t published for probably four months because life has kind of snowballed on me and I’ve got to get back to it. But consistency is powerful because it demonstrates to people that you’re committed that you care about them as listeners that you are continuing to learn and grow and evolve in your space that the content that you produce matters to you. So consistency is huge. And then finally I think you’ve got to put on your marketing hat and you’ve got to figure out where does my audience live both online and in real life and water some outside the box ways. I can not just get their attention but provide value to them in a way that makes them aware that my podcast can be of help to them. It’s it’s not just being that guy in a Facebook group who says, hey I have a podcast did you know I have a podcast listen to my podcast this episode and you know you don’t want to be that guy. You want to figure out a way to do it where it’s truly adding value to people and sometimes it takes a long time. And that’s OK.

Bob Tripathi: Yeah I think that’s what it is right. I mean I was just talking to my team member that those days of selling where you know, buy my service buy my product is gone but how can you add value that they’re going to get interested in your service just like you don’t know what we’re trying to do right. I think one of the things the first point that you mentioned is a keep it enjoyable. Right. Engaging. What are some of the tips you can give to people. They do it and I see. I’ve heard some podcasts and I could be that too I don’t know but like people have these ice breakers in the beginning you know. Yeah. Which doesn’t go anywhere is that engaging enjoyment thing.

Carey Green: Well you know I think it’s going to depend on your listeners. But the more you can know about the Avatar you’re trying to reach the more you’ll know what they find enjoyable. So you’ve got to do a little bit of marketing type research there. But you also just need to think in commonsense terms you know is it enjoyable for someone your average listener to listen to 10 minutes of you and your co-host banter back and forth about what you did over the weekend or are they more concerned about their time than that and want to get right to the good content. You know you have to make that judgment call. I think also things like music like sound effects like you know telling a story more than just regurgitating data is always helpful. We think in terms of story we process story really well. So those narrative type interviews I mentioned are gonna become more and more predominant and more and more subscribe too because they’re just simply more enjoyable to listen to nice nice.

Bob Tripathi: Yeah. I completely agree. You know, I have seen some and then I think it’s just like anything right. Just like a movie the first few minutes are so critical and if you meet you make a judgment whether you want this into that or not. So yeah what are some of the other things you have come across which has really worked. I think one of the big things is I think I heard some podcasts are giving away some Amazon $25 for every review. His those put in. Is that a viable thing to get new reviews.

Carey Green: Yeah well you know it’s really interesting when I talk to people who listen to podcasts I ask it all these random questions occasionally I want to know if other people’s experience is the same as mine and one of the questions I ask is do you look at reviews when you’re thinking about subscribing to a podcast. Ninety five percent of the people I’ve talked to say no, we would do reviews help in getting the podcast more exposure in the ITunes ecosystem or in the different directories. No they don’t. That does not figure into their algorithms at all. So I think reviews is something. Yeah it’s great when you get it but don’t focus on reviews. If you know a little bit about how Apple in particular of how it works. The only thing that matters to Apple is the number of subscribers you’re getting so new subscribers over the last 30 days is the main metric they’re looking at as to whether they push or show higher in the search results or not. And so if you’re going to be bribing people with some kind of gift card or something like that make it about subscriptions not about reviews make it about that because that’s going to help Apple to see your show and push you up higher. I also think that as far as best practices go once you’ve got your show going. See if there’s ways you can do polling of your audience. Easy ways you can take surveys and make them real simple make them real interesting. Make them something people would want to respond to because they can give you feedback as to what they would like to see in the show and how you can change things to make it better for them. And that’s a win win for both of you.

Bob Tripathi: Yeah no that’s a great tip. That’s a great tip. Now when you talk about metrics and you measure because I saw someone presenting a big PowerPoint deck at a company the other day and they had all these streams as one of the success metrics. What are some of the metrics that you recommended when you work with companies or podcasts or that they shouldn’t be measuring with their podcast. Because I think after six months eight months one year you add a measure of you’re doing right. Just like any marketing.

Carey Green: So yeah well it’s all very difficult to be really honest with you because in podcasting because of privacy issues the only metric you really ever see is downloads. All right. A download is just a means the media file has been called from your server to someone’s device. That when you hear that downloads and streams are kind of the same thing they’re counted the same way. So you want to be looking at downloads over a 40 day period from the time of release. So if I release an episode today, 40 days from now I want to go look and see what had been the number of downloads for that episode to date. That’s going to give me a pretty average number for all my episodes of people who have subscribed to my show. That’s the assumption we make. Is that those people have subscribed. Some of them may have not but you know overall that’s generally true. Then you can go into your stats which is all in your media host account and you can look at whether that number holds true over the course of all your episodes and what you’ll begin to see is an average number of downloads per episode after 40 days. That’s going to tell you, how you’re doing in terms of reaching your audience. Now here’s the interesting thing to know, across all podcasts the median number of downloads is 140 after 40 days. Now that’s not a whole lot. I don’t think it takes much to get to 140. Now remember we’re talking about median so nationally their shows really higher than that and shows a lot lower than that but with a little effort with a little marketing with a little bit of you know encouraging your audience to share the episodes in the actual audio you can get to that number I think within 6 months very easily and then every subscriber download you get beyond that you’re moving up into the level of the higher downloaded shows and you’re on your way to success just like any network effect.

Bob Tripathi: Yeah exactly. This is great. This is great. Great tips now are there any. Like for example my one of the podcasts I love is Reid Hoffman’s Masters of Scale. Yeah and he does a beautiful job. I mean just because he’s one of the top billionaires but otherwise you’re not the whole production quality and so engaged like what.

Bob Tripathi: Other thing I’ve seen is these also ads it blends into the episode part of a narrative. Have you any other some of your favorite podcasts like Reid Hoffman’s that you really like and if you do then why.

Carey Green: Yeah yeah well most of the podcasts I enjoy them. Well let me restate that the podcasts I enjoy the most are those that are better produced like what you’re referring to with Masters of Scale. And to me that fact alone tells me something about where the industry’s going. People are understanding the entertainment value of a podcast and that if it’s not engaging and fun people are generally not going to stick around. Now are there podcasts I listen to that aren’t that format. Absolutely. And it’s usually because the content is so helpful so. So I think you’re you’re walking a fine line between powerful, helpful content And enjoyment, if you can balance those two, In your podcast in terms of entertainment value and content you’re going to be doing really well. The podcasts that I’m listening to right now that I really enjoy. There’s one called Breach that’s put out by Carbonite which is a security company. It’s just fascinating stories of some of the largest security breaches in history. It’s a great show. I I listen quite often to podcasts about podcasting. Naturally I’m trying to keep up on my industry but I also listen to a few business and sales shows and things like that and I think the common denominator in all of them, that’s really not even related to production is that the host is taking it seriously. They’re being consistent and they’re producing great content. I think that’s a winnings formula for any podcasts.

Bob Tripathi: Nice. This is beautiful. Thank you so much. And now anything I didn’t ask you that you would like to talk you know maybe.

Carey Green: Yeah well that’s a great question. There’s always things I can talk about when it comes to podcasting but I think one of the things that I would put on everybody’s radar if they are podcasting or considering a podcast is that, Differentiating yourself is going to be key in the future because of that whole dynamic of you know people only have so much time and they’re going to make choices about what they listen to. I think a great example of this is that for example in Netflix, when you first realized years back that Netflix allowed you to stream audios right to your TV or videos rather the shows that were on there were like B grade and C grade shows there were shows you never heard of but you would watch them because it’s all there was and it was free. It actually was part of your Netflix 15 bucks a month or whatever and so you’d watch them because they were there. If you go into Netflix now what do you see. We see all the a rate movies that came out in theaters about two months ago. You see a lot of very well produced Netflix series. And and you don’t even see those being secret shows, that’s going to happen in podcasting. It’s just the way it’s going to happen in those those differentiators are going to be quality of your content quality of your production all those things. Now it’s it’s easy to see that the people who have the money which is the brands are going to be able to pull off those more highly produced shows faster and with a higher degree of quality. But there are some middle of the road options out there that exist and that are going to grow. For those who are willing to invest some money but not you know don’t have the deep pockets that the brands do. So I would encourage people as you’re thinking about podcasting think about what can you do in and of your own efforts to make your show the highest quality it can. It can be. And if that means you just produce an episode once a month because you’re spending all this time making it high quality then hey once a month is better than never and once a month at high quality I think is better than four times a month at a low quality. Because you can demonstrate to your listeners that you care about them and you’re producing something valuable for them. I just heard a podcast this last week and it’s a crazy name for apologies. It’s called. Have you heard George’s podcast. And it’s this independent inner city rapper guy who’s producing this amazing show. It’s so entertaining and so many different elements to it but it’s just him. It’s a one man show and he dedicated himself to doing it. And a new episode comes out when a new episode comes out because that’s when he’s able to produce it but it’s great content and so it’s an example of how you can do both. It may take more time but you can do it yourself if you’re committed to learning the skill and putting the time into it.

Bob Tripathi: Nice. This is. This is great. Thank you so much. Now how do our listeners reach out to you, is it as a podcast fast track is that. Yeah.

Carey Green: Yeah I would say I would say just send me an email. It’s Carey@podcastfasttrack.com And if someone sends me an e-mail it mentions that they’ve heard your show. I would love to send them my How to podcast step by step course for free. It’s usually a $100 course. Just tell me that you want the course and I will send it out to you.

Bob Tripathi: Nice. This is great. Thank you folks. This is this is so great. Thank you Carey for your insights and hopefully we all learn and our listeners will learn.

Carey Green: But thank you so much for joining us and spending time on talking about all things podcasts and the business of podcast. But thank you so much. Thank you You’re welcome. Thank you Bob. All right folks. That was it. And another episode and I will talk to you guys soon. Thank you.

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