In November of 2014, I started a podcast. I never imagined or even THOUGHT about that I would get to 500 episodes. I was just taking them one at a time. I had visions of grandeur (more bluntly put – fame and fortune) that never were realized (well, sort of). I am not disappointed that my original vision never lived up to my own internal hype, but I gained much more than I ever imagined… knowledge and lifelong friendships!
Let me start with the number 5. Episode 500 was completed after 250 weeks. Just 10 weeks (2×5) short of 5 years to accomplish. I do two podcasts per week. A monocast (just me speaking) on Mondays. The topics for those normally piggyback upon the guest expert interviews that I pre-recorded for the week. Those are released on Wednesdays.
“The number 5 usually indicates someone who is full of energy (but unable to channel it responsibly).” I humbly disagree with that last point.
“This number brings adaptability, independence of thought and action, and an unwillingness to (completely) conform. The number 5 can be used to increase versatility and independence, but people must guard against an overwhelming desire for change (so as to not be consumed by variation and, thus, unable to maintain happiness without it).”
Next let's examine the number 9. The 500th podcast serendipitously fell on 9-9-19.
“9 is wisdom and responsibility, and the ultimate goal of the number 9 is to serve humanity. … Number 9 learns selflessness and compassion. People with the 9 energy work without motive and their purpose is for the greatest good of all. They have a protective energy and they have great power and love in their soul.
I think the numbers 5 and 9 are really a representation of the almost 200 guest experts who unselfishly graced us with their time, insights and wisdom. It also applies to you, my avid reader and/or podcast listener!
What I Have Learned?
I said earlier that I gained knowledge and lifelong friendships! That's not what I started out to do. After coming from a conference, I heard that people were making thousands and even millions (my guess is that was over inflated) from affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is an online sales tactic that lets a product owner increase sales by allowing others targeting the same audience — “affiliates” — to earn a commission by recommending the product to others.
I thought by interviewing experts who had products and services to sell, I could ride the Cash Train by introducing them to my audience.
There were two fatal flaws with that theory. People who listen to podcasts, rarely take action to buy something on the spot, because they are listening in their car, at the gym, or walking their dog (or cat if you sway that way). Secondly, I didn't have an audience yet. I had heard of people having hundreds or even thousands of downloads a day. When I started out, I was lucky to get hundreds per MONTH!
So It Was A Failure… Right?
It was a complete failure when it comes to affiliate marketing. I can't remember if I ever made $1 off affiliate sales, but I can tell you that the Cash Train was parked at the depot and never materialized.
I realized the real value was to me and my audience, and it was better than cash. It was knowledge, experience and friendships! I was asking experts who wanted exposure the questions I wanted answered for my business. It was like I was getting free coaching sessions, and I was allowing my closest 1000 friends to sit in and listen.
I knew I was getting the interview process down to a fine art when guest after guest said in the middle of the interview, “That's a good question!” I was not asking them their favorite color, or what spirit animal they thought they were… something that REALLY happens on canned and formulaic podcasts that others were doing. Heck… one guy made millions showing others how to podcast like him doing just that.
I started treating it like we were having a one-on-one at a Starbucks (and I did not even have to buy them coffee). Although, starting in 2019, I started sending my guests personalized coffee mugs as a thank you! That turned out to be another great unexpected win. The guests were taking selfies with their mugs (which was helping them to promote their episodes and my podcast better than ever before).
The Queen Rules The King
I have been doing a caption contest every night at 5pm CT on Facebook for almost 10 years. People will message me when I am at a conference or just plain forget and ask, “Are you OK?” They have come to expect it and some people tell me in person that they may not comment, but really enjoy it. “Those captions really crack me up!”
I started a similar thing over two years ago, and that's a motivational quote every day. The hashtag #quote or #quotes has over 160 million posts on instagram (#love is the most popular with 1.6 billion). This often gets more likes and shares than the caption contents (but the caption contest has more comments hands down… well “duh”). 😝
Although I don't have one of the top podcasts on iTunes as far as numbers go, it's the consistency of listeners that makes it all worthwhile. The other benefit is that I have a library of content that I can share to new clients or potential clients in email and private messages.
Also, I have created a platform that creates content, assets, credibility, and frankly, it's damn fun to do the interviews.
Many of the guest experts have become great friends over the years and we often look each other up when we show up in their town. Being a podcast host levels the playing field, and also helps me get interviewed on other people's shows. That helps me expose my content to new audiences in ways that are much better than advertising, because it comes with a certain credibility you can't buy (the host's endorsement)!
The final number I want to explore is the number 1. No numerology here… YOU… that one reader or listener is the reason I keep doing this. I hear time and again how this blog or that podcast has helped and that is the #1 reason I do this, IT IS ABOUT YOU and… I appreciate your time, attention, and support over the last 10 years for the blog and 5 years for the podcast… more than you will ever know!
My 500th Episode is a compilation of the 21 past guests who reached out to share their thoughts, stories and congratulations. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did recording and editing it together!
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about showing the concepts presented. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?
To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit our podcast website at http://www.baconpodcast.com/podcasts/