Looking to Start a Podcast? I Did 6 Months Ago! Here’s How It’s Going…

July 2, 2024



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I'm Kara - the voice behind some of the brands you know and love (I know because I love them too!). I'm results-driven and ambitious, just like YOU.

Meet Kara

It’s okay to be nosy 😉 Have you been thinking about trying to start a podcast? Six months ago, I pressed publish on mine. And it has been really fun! I can’t believe it’s already been six months, so I thought this would be a super fun episode to just talk about how things are going, what I’ve learned, answering questions I’ve been asked, etc. This is NOT like a “tips to have a podcast” episode, it’s more just me sharing behind-the-scenes being really new at something again!

One of the things that surprised me about starting a podcast is I feel like people in my personal life and online friends have the most questions about it. It’s a conversation starter. It seems like something people are curious about which is cool. Whether you’re thinking about wanting to start or a podcast or just want to peek behind the scenes, let’s get into it!

Listen on Apple | Listen on Spotify

How I Write Scripts For My Podcast

I don’t write a super formal script. I will typically do bullet points and honestly, typically it’s between half a page and two pages. Some episodes I really bullet point out, and then some I would say are more of a mix of a riff off of something else.

So for example, episode 20, when I shared 11 lessons from six-figure business owners was very detailed. For that podcast episode, it wasn’t complete sentences, but it was pretty detailed with the bullet points that I wanted to cover.

On the other hand, sometimes I just redo a blog post because I’ve been blogging since before I was podcasting. So I’ll take an old blog post, I’ll have that blog post in front of me and I’ll just kind of riff on it as I skim kind of through it, so it’s not like I’m creating a different script for it. A good example of that was episode 24 when I talked about six headline tips (which was originally a blog post that did quite well).

And then on the other end of the spectrum, I have episode 8, which was about two pages on your website that need more attention, which was a 12 minute episode I literally recorded by the pool on vacation with three bullet points on my notepad.

It really depends on my mood and the topic. And some topics I think need more cohesive thought than others.

How I Come Up With Topics

As for coming up with topics, I again would not say I have a super well-oiled strategy. I try to look at my services, so copywriting, blogging, Pinterest, and have a healthy mix of topics that are around what I do for work and have expertise in, but I try not to have anything back to back (like I won’t have four episodes on blogging in a row).

Then, I also love being able to throw business topics in the mix. I’ve been in business seven years and have a lot of business thoughts, but I have absolutely zero interest in being a business coach. So sometimes I want to be able to talk business or share my thoughts on it, but it doesn’t feel super appropriate for Instagram because it’s unrelated to what I do.

Guest Episodes

And then with guests, I really just look for things that I think would be interesting to me, or if I see someone post something on Threads or Instagram and I feel like I would love to dive further into that, I will invite them on the show. If I have clients, industry friends, or people that I’ve worked with or hired and I feel like we could have a great conversation, I invite them.

I try to aim to keep my interviews around half an hour. Usually, they fall between 35 to 45 ish minutes, and honestly, I feel like it’s a good thing that I try to keep them as half an hour because if I tried to keep them as an hour, they would get so much longer.

Most of the people listening are more experienced business owners and they’re busy. They don’t necessarily want hour-and-a-half episodes from me. That’s just not their vibe and it’s not really my vibe either. They say, “Create the content that you want”, which is very much what I feel like I do with guest episodes lol.

In a perfect world, I feel like I’d probably alternate guest episodes and solo episodes but I don’t think that will ever happen perfectly just because life happens. You might’ve noticed if you’re listening to this and you listen every week, I’ve had a lot of solo episodes in a row, and that’s partly because I got laryngitis, so I wasn’t able to interview people and I didn’t want to reschedule multiple times. Then, when my schedule did open up, I had three people need to cancel in a row. Now, I have six interviews in the next two weeks which will mean like 2 months of content, so it’s really just funny how it always works out.

How Much Time/Money I Spent to Start a Podcast

At the end of the day, I think I’m spending, I think I’m spending 200 to $400 a month, which is a huge range, but let me explain. That’s mostly on my editor, then Kaylee who creates the blog post for the episodes, and then Jessica who puts them on Pinterest (there’s a village over here and it’s fabulous).

As for hard costs, like software, I would say Buzzsprout is literally like $12 a month, and I use Riverside, which is $29 a month. You could definitely get away without Riverside if you wanted to bootstrap it, but I really feel like if you’re going to go through all the effort of creating a podcast, $29 is probably a lower monthly expense that is worth it to make your life easier.

So clearly, it doesn’t have to cost much. You could DIY the editing and you don’t have to blog or put things on Pinterest.

As for time, I personally spend one to two hours a week on the podcast. With all of us combined, I think it would be about 5-10 hours a week (literally recording the episode, outlining the episode, recording the episode, editing the episode, doing the blog posts, doing the pins, and everything that I do for each episode).

So two weeks ago I did a 12-minute episode where I literally riffed off of an Instagram post, so I barely outlined it. That episode probably took me about 20 minutes, including the recording time. The blog and editing time would be shorter too, since it was a short and sweet episode.

Interviews take a lot longer. One, there’s guests, so I’m spending more time doing guest research to come up with the questions, and communicating, and getting organized with them. Obviously the time spent recording interviews are typically longer episodes. They’re also longer to edit, and then because they’re longer episodes, they’re longer to transcribe and turn into blog posts. So I would say interviews are more expensive both in the time front and the physical cost if you’re outsourcing

Average number of downloads

I feel a little weird sharing this but I do love numbers transparency! I was getting an average of 30-ish downloads per episode at the beginning, and now I’m getting 45 to 50 ish downloads weekly. But data for podcasts is also hard because people listen to past episodes too. So new episodes still probably get about 30 downloads, but because people listen to older episodes I’m getting 15-20 downloads a week from older episodes.

If I’m just being super honest, I think I expected it to grow in numbers faster than it has, but I really am neutral about the numbers. I want to see the numbers grow, but I’m really not in a rush. I feel like whenever you invest in a long term strategy like this, a slower moving strategy, it is so important to detach yourself from the results.

I knew starting a podcast would be the long game, I don’t have a huge audience and I can’t take on a million clients. I’m not selling a $17 ebook here. This business is not a “volume” kind of business where we try to book as many people as humanly possible.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I feel like there’s sometimes so much pressure when marketing and I’m enjoying not feeling pressure right now.

One thing that has surprised me is how many people talk to me about the fact that they listen to the podcast and love the podcast. Whether that’s every week or whenever they get a chance to tune in or a topic interests them, I feel like it is such a huge honor and it’s so exciting to me. I’m so grateful every single time someone says they listen and I’m surprised at, compared to my numbers, how many people have taken the time to tell me that they listen.

My most popular episode was the one with Ellie! Episode 14: The Surprising Secrets To Standing Out: Strategic Branding For Service Providers With Ellie Brown. It was honestly such a good interview, so I’m not going to say I was surprised that it was the top performing, I just think it’s kind of cool because it’s not necessarily like she had the biggest audience of everyone that I’ve had on the show, and so it’s just kind of funny how the numbers don’t correlate as much as I would’ve maybe thought it would.

That said, I’m not surprised that the interview did well because it was such a fantastic interview and she’s so brilliant and she shared about it so much, which is another thing I love. When guests share, and the way that they share, makes a big difference in downloads, at least as far as I can see so far.

Podcast course

I took both Elizabeth McCravy’s Podcast Success Blueprint and Jenna Kutcher’s Podcast Lab! I loved them both and learned a lot, but ultimately I loved Elizabeth’s because it was geared towards business owners wanting to host a podcast FOR their business, vs just podcasting in general. Plus, it goes so far beyond just getting your show “launched”. She really goes into detail with systems, monetizing, and running your podcast to support your BUSINESS.

Do I think you need a course to launch a podcast? Probably not to get it up and into the world. I think you can probably YouTube or Google how to get your podcast on Apple Podcast or Spotify. It’s not rocket science, you are just talking into a mic lol. You don’t need to edit, you don’t need to have intro music, you don’t need all of these things.

With that said, podcasting is an investment of time and money, and you don’t know what you don’t know. Courses will teach you things that you would’ve never thought to Google. Once your podcast is launched for example, now what? How do you turn it into something that is going to give you an ROI? How do you stay organized? Decision fatigue is so real too. So overall, do you need one? No. But I’m personally very pro courses and I appreciated having someone walk me through what to do so I could feel confident I was doing everything “right” and save me hours of Googling.

Getting Clients To Book From My Podcast

Podcast ROI is SO hard to track. I have seen this behind the scenes with my clients too, and that is just because what we talked about actually with Taylor from Enji last week on the podcast: marketing is not linear. People are not going to find me on a podcast and then book me for a service that is like a thousand dollars a month immediately. Maybe some people will, but usually it’s a longer journey than that.

So, when looking at the ROI of a podcast, you need to consider that a lot of times people will not necessarily find you on your podcast, but then they’ll find you on a random Instagram post, and then they’ll listen to your podcast, and the podcast is really what helped them make the buying decision. But if you ask where they heard of you, they’d be like, from so-and-so, or on Instagram.

On the other hand, sometimes they find you through the podcast and then they start following you on Instagram and they totally forget that you have a podcast. I’m not saying that’s been my situation. I’m just saying I’ve seen this happen over and over again, which is why podcast Return on Investment is so hard to track.

So I would say directly, no, nobody has come to me and been like, “I found you through your podcast, I listen to your podcast, and I’m ready to book”.

That has not happened in the last six months. However, I have seen an uptick in inquiries, and I do feel like my inquiries are getting more ideal this year. This has been a really, really great year for me, but I have a hard time attributing that to the podcast because I’ve been improving a lot of things. I’ve been changing my packages, showing up on Instagram more, etc. So I really can’t know for sure. All I can say is that since I started my podcast, this is what I’m seeing.

At the end of the day, I feel like my podcast is doing exactly what I wanted it to do. It’s more of a nurture platform for me right now, but my website traffic has grown too. I believe that is partly because of the weekly blogging that I’m only doing because I’m podcasting. Maybe if I didn’t have a podcast, I would still be blogging weekly and I would’ve seen the same results, but I don’t know, because now I blog once a week and it’s always my podcast content.

Before, I was blogging more inconsistently. The last thing I want to do is write a blog for myself when I blog all day for everyone else.

So that’s been really great, and I have seen my traffic grow. Since my inquiries mostly come from referrals and Google, I would say that could be directly attributed. Like I said, I’ve got more inquiries and a lot of them are coming from Google.

I would also say that when I look at my ideal clients, they like that I have a podcast, even if they’re too busy to listen every week. I think it gives me a chance to appear more as an authority in my field and share what I know and my approach to doing things and stuff like that, on a level that I haven’t been able to achieve without a podcast, if that makes sense.

What I’ve Enjoyed the Most Since Starting a Podcast

The only other thing that I would say since I chose to start a podcast is that I’ve really enjoyed the more conversational element of it. You’ve probably felt it in this episode, but it’s so nice to be able to explain your answers in more than five words.

With Instagram or social media in general, it feels like you constantly have to tone down what you’re saying or ramp up what you’re trying to say. You’re either trying to say something super controversial to try and get clicks or engagement bait, whatever you want to call it, which I hate, or you have to constantly tone it down. It feels like it’s an impossible balance, and it’s hard to sometimes explain your answers in a thousand characters or less. Sometimes it’s just nice to be able to talk something out and explain what you actually mean.

I hope you can tell throughout this episode, that this is a fun thing for me to do. I’m having a lot of fun doing this, which I’m grateful for. I think it’s cool as a marketer to be a beginner again and try things, and I feel like I’m in that place. I love being able to talk about things that are not necessarily in my little marketing box.

One of my favorite episodes of all time, episode 10, was all about how “you can fire me, but you can’t hurt me and other advice when selling yourself”, because I just felt like it was something that was on my mind that I wouldn’t necessarily talk as much about on Instagram because it’s not really what I do for work, but I got a few messages from after it went live about how it was so helpful to people and I felt so grateful I had a place to share what I’ve learned as a service provider who has struggled with this.

Have questions before you start a podcast? Send me a DM! I’m happy to share more and answer any questions!

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I'm Kara - the voice behind some of the brands you know and love (I know because I love them too!). I'm results-driven and ambitious, just like YOU.

Meet Kara