The Profitable Podcast is Now Available for Purchase

Earlier this week, I did a paid workshop to help people build the proper foundations to make their podcast profitable. That workshop is now available for purchase and instant download. You can get it here for $78. Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • To attract the audience brands want to reach.
  • 4 paths to revenue that aren’t sponsorship.
  • How to build a content pipeline your audience can’t get enough of.
  • The fastest way to launch a podcast website

Iterating to Grow Your Podcast: Next Steps for How I Built It

I often talk about how course creation is not passive income, which I think is an increasingly less common misconception. What’s generally not a misconception is, “podcasting is passive income.” For one, podcasting is something you need to show up regularly to do well. Second, most people aren’t making money podcasting. But still, growing complicit in your podcast format and process can really stifle your podcast’s growth. You need to iterate.

With that in mind, here’s what I’m doing to continue growing my podcast, How I Built It.

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What is the Best CTA for Podcasts?

We’ve all experienced analysis paralysis. There are too many items on the menu at a restaurant and you’re not sure what to order. There are seemingly a million Apple Watch bands – which do you pick? What’s really the difference between the Honda Odyssey EX and EX-L?1

What’s the balance between offering choice and getting people to take action? That really depends on the medium. For example, you may notice podcasts have a ton of calls to action (CTAs). Maybe you do. My podcast does at times. Is that really the right route? And if not, what should your podcast’s CTA be? Let’s explore.

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5 Ways to get More Podcast Downloads

There are times in life when you have a fairly captive audience. You’re giving a lecture at a college where attendance is required. You’re the keynote speaker at a conference. You’re leading a meeting at work. You’re explaining to your wife why CSS Custom Properties are the bee’s knees1. But a podcast…and most online content…is the opposite of that. In-fact, unlike all of the examples names above, the audience might not even know your podcast exists. To get more downloads, you not only need to engage the audience. You need to find the audience.

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Why the WordPress.com / Spotify Deal is Bad for Podcasting

Imagine going to one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant. He makes you his signature dish – Beef Wellington. After eating what is sure to be the best Beef Wellington you’ve ever had, you go to the kitchen to give your compliments to the chef. You notice he has some cooked steak left over. You say, “You’ve already done the hard part. Why don’t you just serve it for lunch tomorrow?”

He’s going to explain to you that the left overs won’t be nearly as good tomorrow as it is tonight. That the steak was made for his Beef Wellington and he’d need to exert effort to create a dish fitting for lunch, for the left over steak.

While I’m no Michelin chef, I do create a lot of content. And you can’t just throw the left overs out there and expect the same quality content. So why are WordPress.com and Spotify telling us to do that?

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Do I Need Video on When I Podcast?

Until recently, I’ve been a staunch defender of “video on” when you’re doing a podcast interview, for reasons I’ll get to in a second. In fact, I haven’t heard a really good argument for not having it on…until recently. So in this post, we’ll weigh the pros and cons and determine if you should have video on when recording a podcast.

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Why Gear Matters Least When You’re Starting a Podcast

I’ll just get this out of the way now: I love me some gear. I’m an early adopter when it comes to tech, I like trying out new stuff, and A/V gear has become a bit of a hobby for me. However, when I first started my podcast, I was less concerned with the perfect mic, and more interested in a decent mic.

If you’re thinking about starting a podcast, but you’re worried you don’t sound perfect, STOP. Gear should be the least of your worries when you’re starting a podcast. Here’s why.

It’s Easier to Talk About Gear Than Almost Anything Else

You might think as you look at podcast resources, videos, and advice columns, that the pursuit for the perfect mic is tantamount to the success of your podcast. That’s because it’s easy for a lot of people to talk about gear. It’s a concrete concept – perhaps the most concrete concept when it comes to starting your show.

That content isn’t necessarily just for beginners either. I upgraded my mic 3 or 4 times1 before settling on what will be my “very long time” mic, the Shure SM7b.

Constantly recommending gear also allows content creators to make money off of affiliate links. Take it from me: I made $3,000 from Amazon affiliate links alone last year, after they reduced commission percentages. Most of that came from people buying gear I recommended. There are even affiliate links in this post.

Talking About Gear Isn’t Bad

I’ll just say right here that talking about gear isn’t bad. I do it and plan to continue doing it for some of the reasons above. It makes money, it’s fun to talk about, and honestly, it’s content that does well. People are curious to get a peek on the other side of the camera or mic.

They like to see how things are done, and I’m very willing to share. That sharing helps them get ideas, and it helps me improve. Thanks to some YouTube comments, I was able to improve my mic technique and fix a slight frame rate issue that offset the audio from the video ever-so-slightly.

BUT there’s too much of an emphasis on that for beginner podcasters.

“You Have to Sound Perfect” is Terrible Advice

Recently I was having a conversation with someone that got the impression from professional podcasters that even starting out, you need to sound perfect.

This is terrible advice.

First of all, most of us are never going to sound “perfect.” We aren’t in a sound booth, with a producer, and a team of audio engineers. But I know that’s not what people mean when they say that.

They mean you need to spend a lot of money on a mic, interface, and good recording software. You don’t. If you feel this way, you’ll never launch your podcast.

Start off Simple

Here’s what you should know about gear and sound:

  1. Don’t sound like you’re recording in a bathroom stall.
  2. Try to reduce echo and don’t use the built-in mic.
  3. Use headphones when you record so the sound from your speakers doesn’t go back into your mic.

If you absolutely need a mic recommendation, I have 2 depending on budget:

  1. The ATR-2100x if you can spend around $100
  2. The Shure SM47-LC if you’re looking for sub-$50.

These are both USB mics, so they’re the only gear you’ll need assuming you already have a pair of headphones. They are also both dynamic mics, making them more forgiving of your recording environment.

What Should You Focus On?

So if gear matters least, what matters most? Content. The perfect mic can’t make you podcast consistently just like the perfect task manager won’t make you more productive. They help you do. They don’t do.

When you’re starting a podcast, your main focus should be content. Come up with 20-30 episode ideas. Record a couple of demos. Figure out a schedule that works for you.

Fight Podfade2 by getting ahead of your schedule and having a bunch of episodes ready to go before you launch. Then batch your content so you’re not constantly struggling to keep up.

Buy a basic dynamic mic, then record your content. I mean, how upset would you be if you spent $1,000 on audio gear just to use it a few times and then give up?

Improve as You Go Along

One of the problems with “sounding perfect” right off the bat is you don’t know what perfect is for you. Sure, you know what professional podcasters sound like. But they aren’t you.

I’m no Paul O’Neill

My favorite baseball player growing up was Paul O’Neill. He was on my favorite team (The Yankees), we both played Right Field, and we both played the drums. I loved his swing. In my efforts to become a great baseball player, I wanted to perfect my home run swing. But I couldn’t just emulate his.

For one, he’s a lefty and I’m a righty. He’s tall and skinny. I’m short and portly. My perfect swing is different from his. My perfect pitch to hit is different from his.

Similarly, sounding “perfect” is something you’ll need to work at over time. Your voice is different from other voices. Your environment is different. Your content, confidence, and cadence are different.

You won’t know what to work on unless you start doing.

Done is Better Than Perfect

If you wait until your podcast is 100% perfect, you’ll never launch. So instead, launch, and then work on getting better. Focus on creating good content, have a bunch of episodes recorded in advanced.

Worry about your gear once you have a good process for being consistent under your belt.


  1. Samson, Blue Yeti, Rode Procaster, Shure SM7B ?
  2. According to AmplifiMedia, 75% of podcasts become inactive. Most don’t make it past 7 episodes. ?

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How I Built a Smart “On-Air” Light for When I’m Recording or Meeting

As a guy who makes his living mostly from recording podcasts and videos, it can be frustrating when my family, who’s mostly stuck at home due to a pandemic, comes into my office while I’m recording, or decides to make the most noise right outside my door. I don’t blame them for this. You do what you can to keep 2 small children entertained. But I also wanted to solve the problem as much as I could.

In fact, I’m sure with many now working primarily from home, a silent but noticeable signal that you’re in a meeting would also go a long way. This is a project I’ve been thinking about for a long time, and last week I finally made a smart on-air light for when I’m recording or meeting.

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No, Netflix’s New Audio-Only Mode Doesn’t Threaten Podcasting

Over on Podnews today they have a section about how Netflix is rolling out an audio-only mode on Android. They believe it could threaten podcasting because Netflix hopes you’ll stay in that app instead of listening to a podcast. I’m here to tell you this won’t even remotely threaten podcasting. Here’s why.

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