30 Lessons I Learned From Publishing for a Year: Part 1
On February 5, 2021, when I started the Monetization Nation podcast, I made a commitment to publish content every single day for a year. As we’re finishing that year up, I have spent some time reflecting on my experience. In many ways, it has been much more time consuming than I expected, but I have also received a lot more out of it than I expected.
As I was thinking about what I have learned, I sent an email out to the team members that have helped me produce this show and I asked them, “What are the top lessons you’ve learned from publishing everyday for a year?”
Together, we made a list of 30 different things we learned from publishing content every day for 365 days. In today’s episode, we’re going to review 15 of these lessons and then we’ll review the last 15 in tomorrow’s episode.
Here are the key takeaways from this episode:
- Learn from the guests on your show.
- An online show is the best networking tool.
- Focus on building long term relationships with guests.
- Authors and show creators may give you the highest quality and reciprocal promotion of any of the guests you could invite on your show.
- Shows help build your authority and credibility.
- Be sure to niche it down.
- Pay attention to the value spiral and focus on providing value to your audience in every episode.
- Promote your show.
- One of the best ways to promote your show is by getting on other shows.
- Having a show is the best way to get on other shows.
- Consider shorter episodes.
- Consider running less episodes per week.
- Try to get great lead magnets before you launch your show.
- Make sure you have something to sell before you launch your show.
- Surround yourself with supporters and get the help you need.
15 Lessons From One Year of Publishing
Over this past year, we have had more than 200,000 video views and our podcast episodes have been downloaded more than 100,000 times. I know there are a lot of podcasts out there that have a lot more traffic than that, but we’re pretty happy with our progress. This first year has become our springboard to launch us forward.
As we finish this year, we’ve reflected on all that we learned. Here are 15 of our top lessons:
1. The Value of Learning From Guests
After publishing for a year, we learned the value of learning from our guests. I have loved learning from successful entrepreneurs and brilliant experts in this business marketing niche. How else could I get some of the leading experts to give me an hour of their time, one on one, for free? I really underestimated the value of this when I started my podcast a year ago.
When I do these one on one interviews, I can ask whatever questions I want from people that are so much smarter than me in their areas of expertise. I feel like I’ve learned so much by doing this for a year. It has felt almost like my online show MBA.
2. An Online Show is the Best Networking Tool
The second lesson we’ve learned from the past year is that doing an online show is the best networking tool on the planet.
Think about any niche you want to be in. How do we normally reach out to the people we want to sell to or the key business leaders in that niche? We usually reach out via cold call and we try to sell them. But how many of us like talking to salespeople? Likely not many of us. In fact, most of us try to do everything we can to avoid talking to salespeople. So, instead of approaching these people as a salesperson, there’s a better way. The better way is to have an online show.
We can invite these key influencers, these key business leaders, and these key potential clients as guests on our show. You would be shocked at the percentage of people that will accept to be on an industry specific show because it gives them exposure.
So instead of first approaching people by trying to sell something, let’s first approach them by giving them value, inviting them on our show, and promoting them. We can help them get them to know us, like us, and trust us.
Then there’s the law of reciprocity. After we’ve given value to them first, many of them will be much more open to listen to us and what we’re doing. In many cases, we’ll have established strong relationships with those people and be able to more effectively do business with them.
3. Focus on Long-Term Guest Relationships
The third lesson that we’ve learned is to focus on building long term relationships with the guests. In fact, I believe that those long term relationships with the guests are one of the greatest assets that I’ve received from this last year doing the show.
I’m just in awe that I’ve been able to meet some of the people that I have and built relationships with them. I don’t think there’s any other way I could have done that. Going forward, I plan to take good care of those relationships so it can be a long term, win-win relationship for both of us.
After recording an episode, a podcaster can email the guest and send them a t- shirt, a gift basket, or something to say thank you and establish that relationship. We shouldn’t look at it as a one-time interview; we should look at it as a long term relationship.
4. Invite Authors and Show Creators as Guests
The fourth thing I learned is to invite authors and show creators as guests on my show. I’ve learned that authors and show creators have had to think through their message to create their content. Because of that, they’ve refined their message and can communicate much more effectively. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but many of the guests that we’ve had on the Monetization Nation show have been authors and show hosts.
Another key benefit of having authors and show hosts on our show is that most of them have substantial reach. If I do a good job producing that show, many of them will share the episode that we’ve created with their audiences.They in turn promote my show.
Interviewing authors and show creators is a great way to increase the quality of the show and to increase the promotion.
5. A Show Builds Authority and Credibility
The fifth point that we’ve learned this year is that shows build authority and credibility. A lot of new show creators are concerned because they don’t feel like they’re an industry leading expert in the niche and that’s probably true for almost every show creator when they start. However, if you interview leading guests for a year, if you study and prepare for shows for a year, if you read books and blogs and prepare on topics for a year, by the end of the year you will likely be one of the industry leading experts in that niche.
When you create a show, people start to notice that you’re focused on your niche. People start to notice that you are talking to the most credible and authoritative people in the niche. Their credibility and authority will flow through to you. Your listeners will see your focus and they will see you as an authority and credible expert.
6. Focus on a Niche Topic
The sixth lesson is to focus on a niche topic, something I learned through a mistake I made. When I started my show, I focused on digital monetization as my niche and I thought that was niching it down enough. But really, almost every business needs digital monetization. So in theory, I’m producing a show for all entrepreneurs. I eventually realized that this is way too broad.
When you have a niche that targets everybody, it’s hard for people to feel they belong. It’s harder to engage people. I have learned that I need to niche down my topic. In one of the next couple episodes, I’m going to talk a little bit more about how we’re going to do that for the second year of the show.
Instead of being broad and shallow, the successful shows go much more niche, much more narrow and deeper within that niche.
7. An Online Show Creates a Value Spiral
The seventh lesson that we learned from doing a show every day is the value spiral. Essentially, before we try to sell anything, we need to provide value to our audience. Doing an online show is a great way to provide that value.
When we create a show, we are giving away free content, and hopefully that content is very valuable to our listeners. Our ideal customers choose to invest their time by consuming our content and if our content is low quality, the value spiral goes down and it decreases. When this happens, our customers lose trust in us. But if we give away something and it was a good return on their investment, the value spiral grows up. As the spiral goes up, trust increases and our customers will be more likely to invest more time and money with us.
8. Promote Your Show
The eighth lesson that we learned from publishing our show is to promote the show. I know that seems really basic but sometimes people think, as was made famous by the movie Field of Dreams, that if you build it they will come. But that is very rarely true.
We can’t just create content and hope that people will read it. We have to promote it. And there’s a lot of different ways we can promote it. We can syndicate our content in lots of different places. We can repurpose our content in many different formats such as video and blogs. The blogs are so important because they allow the content to show up in search engines. Video is so important because YouTube has become the second most used search engine. If we’re creating educational content and we get the videos on YouTube, that’s a great way to promote the show.
9. One of the Best Way to Promote Your Show is by Getting on Other Shows
The ninth thing that we learned relates really well to that eighth point. It is that one of the best ways to promote a show is by getting on other shows. Currently, there’s not a great search engine for podcasts as big as Google or YouTube. So, it’s very important to promote your podcast to people who already consume podcasts, and the best way to do that is to get on other people’s shows.
10. Having a Show is One of the Best Ways to Get on Other Shows
The 10th lesson that we learned is that having your own show is one of the best ways to get on other shows. So many business owners have contacted me and want to be on my show, but they don’t have a show of their own. Meaning, they don’t have reach in the medium I work in. They don’t have a following and there’s not a lot of value I received from them being on my show other than the content. But if I invite someone who has a show on my show, then as they promote that episode, it builds the traffic of my show.
If you want to get on other shows, the best way to do it is to have a show of your own. Then you can identify the people who have shows where you want to promote yourself and invite them on your show.
11. Create Shorter Episodes
The 11th lesson we learned is to do shorter episodes. At the beginning, we were doing about half hour episodes. SInce then, we’ve shortened those down to a little over 20 minutes. Even then, I believe that is still a little bit too long.
Neil Patel says the sweet spot for a show is about 10 minutes. We found that our average listen time to our episodes is about seven to nine minutes. That doesn’t mean my interviews should only be 10 minutes long. That may not give me enough time to go into the depth I want with those guests. I can still do longer interviews, but then I can just break them up into shorter segments, into 10 minute episodes.
12. Consider Creating Fewer Episodes a Week
The 12th lesson we learned is to consider running fewer episodes per week. I’ve published every day for a year and I don’t think that was necessary, especially for my audience of entrepreneurs and CEOs. I think three or four days a week might have been extremely sufficient. It would also take a lot less time and energy.
I’d encourage you to ask the question, “What is the right frequency for my show?” Don’t just do a daily show because someone tells you to. Pick the right frequency for your target audience. Pick the right frequency for you and your time.
13. Create Great Lead Magnets
The 13th lesson that we learned is to have great lead magnets so that we can own our audience. When we build a show, we’re building an audience on other platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Apple podcasts. But that’s just leased land. We don’t own those platforms and the owner could change the rules at any time.
Russell Brunson talks about we don’t have a business until we have a list and Pedro Adao takes that a step further. He says that until we have a list that knows, likes, and trusts us, we don’t have a business. I agree with that. I think that’s so true. That email list is like the land we own. We need to own our audience and own our own platform.
The first way we can do that is by building an email list. And to build an effective email list from a show, we must have really good lead magnets. Lead magnets are something that we give away for free in exchange for the contact information of our customers. These could be case studies, cheat sheets, video courses, a book, an assessment, etc. There’s lots of different ways to do that.
I encourage each new show owner to do two or three lead magnets and I encourage you to not launch a show until you have a great lead magnet in place. Because that’s the way that you’re going to pull people from these other platforms that you’re leasing onto the platform you own.
14. Have Something to Sell Before You Start Your Show
The 14th lesson is to have something to sell before you start the show. Many entrepreneurs already have this but if you’re starting a new business and you think that you’re going to build your audience before you sell anything, you may lose the opportunity to monetize your list as you’re building it.
In my situation, because of some of the other commitments that I have, the show took the vast majority of the extra time I had. So as I was running the show, I didn’t have the time to do the product development. I’d encourage you to not make the mistake that I did. Take the time to develop your course, or your membership site, or your book, before you launch your show.
15. Surround Yourself with Supporters
The 15th lesson that we learned is to surround yourself with supporters and get help when you need it. In the beginning of my show, I tried to do way too much of this by myself. I felt that I had to do a lot of it on my own. Thankfully, I was blessed with the help of an amazing team. There’s no way I could have done it without a very supportive team, and especially my wife.
I also encourage you to outsource websites such as Upwork and find great contractors. You might find that they can do the work for a fraction of the cost. You might find that they can do it a lot faster than you. You might even find that they can do it a lot better than you. Maybe you can find someone who can help you with the writing. Maybe find someone who can help you post the content. Finding support like this was immensely helpful for me to be able to get through the year of publishing every day even with my other commitments.
Thank you so much for joining me for this episode. In the next episode, I’m going to tell you 15 more things that we learned from publishing content every day for a year.