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SOP for Publishing my Daily, Mini Podcast

I like to imagine that when Thomas Jefferson finished writing the Declaration of Independence, he sat back in the swivel chair he invented, smiled, and sighed a big sign of relieve.

The same thing goes for when Walter Cronkite finished his first TV broadcast, JK Rowling finished Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and Simone Biles stuck the landing in her last Olympic gold medal performance.

Not that anything I’ve done is anywhere close to the same level of any of those things…but I’ve finally done it. I hit the proverbial “publish” button on my new daily podcast.

I’ve been sitting on it for a while, saying that it’s not as good as I’d like it to be. That I don’t have as many episodes banked as I’d like. That I don’t have a rock solid process in place.

All of those are poor excuses though. I so I finally hit publish.

It starts Monday, October 2nd, a week where I’ll be away at a conference called CaboPress.

…not that it matters much, because I have a whole process in place that I’m going to share with you — how I started, and where I’ll go from here.

I also have some announcements about the membership at the end!

This rest of this post is for members-only. Sign up here for access


Creating a Solo Episode – Recording and Editing

I’m working on a longer form series on how I create solo episodes, which will likely go on Medium. But I’d like to publish the parts here, as I write them.

As the baseball season winds down (for Yankee fans, anyway), I find myself thinking about the process of the sport as it relates to publishing my podcast.

Like many things in life, both have a number of moving parts and contexts in which you want to change your approach.

For example, in baseball, you have pitching coaches and hitting coaching. More granularly, they also have infield coaches and outfield coaches.

You don’t want your pitcher to take the same throwing approach as your right fielder.

The same thing goes for podcasting — I usually publish interviews for How I Built It. But once a month or so, I’ll do a solo episode, and the process is quite a bit different.

For one, I’m not scheduling with anyone, so I don’t need to find a set time to record. I’m also not doing a pre-interview…but that research is replaced with topic research.

Finally, I don’t usually send solo episodes out for edit.

I’ll cover every aspect of the solo show here eventually, but today I want to talk about recording and editing. 

Descript: My Solo Episode Workhorse

Unlike my guest interviews, I record my solo shows directly into Descript. I find it much easier to work directly in there, instead of importing audio recorded from somewhere else. 

I record in Descript because I also edit in Descript. I have a simple template with my intro and opening music, as well as the settings for leveling and ducking music. 

Because I’ve spent a bunch of time on the hardware for audio input, I generally don’t need to clean up my own input beyond the Descript presets. 

So the real reason I use Descript is because I edit a ton for content. I’ll get into planning and organizing in a different article, but I usually don’t fully script these solo shows.

So if I mess up a point, or forget something, I like to delete the text and pick-up where I left off. 

Descript lends itself very well to editing content this way, as you’re just deleting text…though sometimes it does get confused about where to place the cursor when I pick up — a minor thing that I notice almost immediately.

I will also add some audio ducking for background music, and possibly some sound effects, depending on how deep I want to go (though I do that more with the Podcast Workflows podcast that’s coming soon).

The last thing I’ll do, which leverages dynamic ad insertion, is create a gap between talking points (usually “Act 1” and “Act 2” and write down the timestamp so I can insert sponsor spots later.

Once the episode is recorded and edited, Descript also gives me some options: I can export it into a folder for my VA to upload, so I can upload directly to Transistor.fm, my audio host. 

It’s usually the former – but it’s nice to have the latter as an option, especially for members-only episodes. 


Using a Mac mini as an Automation Server

A warm welcome to Sheryl and Scott, our newest members!

One of my biggest frustrations as an automator is reconciling iOS — my preferred mobile platform — with web apps. I wrote about it at the beginning of the month.

Since then, I learned that Pushcuts, an iOS/iPadOS app that deftly bridges this gap, but requires you to have an always on device, has a macOS version in beta…and I got access.

Hot Dog.

So I decided to make a new purchase: a refurbished, base model Mac mini for the low, low price of $500. It will be mostly headless (that is no peripherals attached to it), and act as a task server for me.

Here’s how I plan on making it work.

This rest of this post is for members-only. Sign up here


What I’m Working on (September 2023)

I thought I’d switch things up this week and tell you what I’m working on, since we’re at the halfway point of the month.

If you like this sort of format, let me know!

First up, it’s iPhone pre-order day! I got the iPhone 15 Pro Max in Titanium Blue, the Ocean Blue Ultra watch band, and…a Mac Mini! That’s a story for another newsletter.

This rest of this post is for members-only. I discuss the advice I got from Jay Clouse regarding the direction of my membership, a new podcast I’m working on, and how I’m integrating more storytelling into my content. Sign up here for just $10/mo


Automating Lead Tracking with Calendly and Notion

Since writing to you about me not using Notion, I’ve been using Notion.

A lot.

Something weird clicked for me a couple of weeks into using it, and I “get” how it works a little better (shout out to my friend Cat Mulvihill for her help there).

So I’ve been using it for Cashflow tracking, products, family stuff (where I invited my wife as a guest to that page/database), and my sales funnel.

I’ve never been much of CRM guy, so this feels like a game changer.

Here’s how it works.

This rest of this post is for members-only. I discuss my Notion-bases CRM, how I connect it to Calendly, and what’s next.. Sign up here for just $10/mo

People Who Say You Don’t Need a Set Schedule for Your Podcast are Wrong

Imagine you’re waiting for the train or a bus. Maybe you’re even waiting at a red light in your car. The beauty of any of these is that (even if there’s a delay of a few minutes), they run on a predictable schedule. You know that if you need to be at your destination by…

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Reconciling Beautiful iOS Tools with Automation

Something I go back and forth on a lot is what apps I want to use.

A task manager is the perfect example.

I was all-in on Omnifocus for a while. Like all-in. In fact, just writing the word Omnifocus made me download the app again.

But then I started getting the itch to do better automations than just throw it into the inbox and process it later.

This rest of this post is for members-only. I discuss various apps and their automation support, primarily web automations (Zapier, Make) vs. Shortcuts. Sign up here for just $10/mo

Does Podcasting Have a Discoverability Problem or a Quality Problem?

In the pantheon of classic commercials, very few have had the staying power to be quoted years after it aired. There was Budwiser’s “Wasssuuppp” commercial. Old Navy’s Performance Fleece. Where’s the Beef?! But for my wife and me, nothing has been more quotable than Old El Paso’s Why not both? commercial. It’s so applicable in…

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Thinking About Podcast Process Audits

I spent last weekend (Sat-Mon) in Scranton for an in-person mastermind with some friends and it was great.

One of the exercises we did was a Customer Journey Map, where we mapped out a customer’s pain points.

We’d get feedback, make sure we have the pain points right, and then come up with new products to address those pain points. It was really well done.

I think the most helpful part for me (aside from actually seeing on paper I have a good understanding of my customer’s journey) was the feedback we got on those new products.

It confirmed that I should have a Podcast Process Audit to go along with my Podcast Growth Audit.

The process audit falls much more in line with my coaching services, and the places where I can help my customers most.

This rest of this post is for members-only. I discuss why the type of service I’m offering here, my goal for the podcaster, and potential pricing. Sign up here for just $10/mo

Using AI to Generate a Podcast Promotion Schedule, then Importing it to Notion

One of the forcing functions for me to try new and interesting things is the fact that I’m a LinkedIn Learning instructor.

For example, I just finished writing the scripts for my next course all about generative AI for podcasters. We’re covering a wide range of use cases for podcasters to leverage AI to make their lives easier.

Earlier this week, I wrote about using Chat GPT to create listener avatars. But yesterday, I did something incredibly cool using Chat-GPT and my former nemesis, Notion.

This rest of this post is for members-only. I give a full breakdown of the prompts I used to generate a production schedule, and how I converted it to a calendar in Notion. Sign up here for just $10/mo