30 Lessons I Learned From Publishing for a Year: Part 2
I started the Monetization Nation podcast nearly one year ago and when I did, I made a commitment to publish content every single day for the year. As we’re finishing up, me and my team came up with 30 lessons we learned from publishing for a year.
In the last episode, I shared the first 15 lessons we’ve learned and in this episode, I’m going to share with you the final 15 lessons that we’ve learned from publishing everyday for a year.
Here are the key takeaways from this episode:
- Sound really matters.
- Because live streaming is so new on many platforms, they’re preferencing that type of content in their algorithm. We should run live streams on our show.
- The show creators that focus on looking into the camera are a lot more engaging than show creators who don’t.
- We should hook our listeners faster.
- If our show introduction is too long, we will likely lose the interest of our listeners.
- A project management system helps save you time and money in your production.
- Schedule times to batch your episodes.
- Get ahead and stay ahead on your production schedule.
- Having emergency content can save you a lot of stress if something unexpected happens.
- Set up a quality assurance system.
- If we want to impact our listeners, we should tell stories.
- We can repurpose content to expand our reach.
- We should use mid roll ads sooner than later.
- Use credible sources.
- Be patient with the process.
16. Sound Really Matters
So continuing from the last lesson, lesson number 16 is that sound really matters. It matters a lot more than I thought it did when I started. In the beginning, I couldn’t really hear the difference in different sound qualities.
I first started off with a Blue Yeti and I learned very quickly that it picked up way too much unwanted sound. I’m in a room that’s above a garage and every time the garage opened, that Blue Yeti mic picked it up. It did not produce a great listening experience. So I went through multiple mics until I finally found the one that I currently have, Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB Cardioid Dynamic microphone. It made a huge difference in reducing that unwanted noise.
From my experience, I’d highly recommend getting a similar mic. You want to find one with a cardioid polar pattern as it reduces the pickup of unwanted sounds from the sides and from the rear. It also improves isolation of desired sound sources.
As you set up your sound system, also make sure you have the right sound source selected on your computer. I made the mistake of recording through my laptop mic for a couple episodes and I had no idea until one of my guests helped me get the microphone set up correctly. Before every episode, I’d highly recommend testing your sound quality and double check that everything is set up correctly.
17. There is a Power to Live Streaming
The 17th lesson we learned is the power of live streaming. This was a powerful lesson we learned much more towards the end of the year. Many of the platforms we repurpose content on have changed their algorithms to prefer live stream content. In other words, there’s a mathematical formula that determines which content shows up higher and how many people see that content. And because live streaming is so new on so many of these platforms, they’re preferencing that type of content in their algorithm.
This presents a great opportunity for show creators that we should seize. We should focus on creating more live stream content. I encourage each of us to produce at least one live stream per week and get it out there. You’ll probably find that it’s promoted to more people than your pre-recorded episodes.
18. Look at the Camera When Recording
The 18th lesson that we’ve learned is to look at the camera when you’re speaking and avoid reading from a script. This is something I’ve had a really hard time with. While it is easy for me to look at the camera when I’m doing an interview and I can look at the person and have a conversation, I’ve had a much harder time with longer episodes that I do on my own, such as the faith episodes I have been doing each sunday.
A mentor that’s been working with me taught me that I should write bullet points as notes for the episode. I should never write out an entire script. This way I can glance down at my notes to remind me what I want to talk about, and then look back up and continue speaking.
This is one of the biggest areas where I’m still struggling, but it’s an area where I’m doing a lot better. And it’s an area where I’m focused on improving. I think show creators that focus on looking into the camera are a lot more engaging than show creators who don’t.
19. Hook Your Listeners Faster
The 19th lesson we learned is to hook our listeners faster. Early on in running my show, I received bios from guests that were sometimes very long. And I read way too much of those bios as part of my early interviews. But as my show has progressed over the last year, I have given shorter and shorter bios to introduce my guests. I have only been including the key points that establish the credibility of the author.
The point here is that if I read a really long bio, I find that my audience gets bored and they leave. If I want my audience to listen to that guest longer, I’ve got to make the bio shorter and I’ve got to hook them faster. I’ve got to tell my listeners what’s in it for them and hook them and engage them much sooner.
20. Have a Short Introduction
The 20th lesson that we learned from doing the show every day for a year is to have a much shorter intro. At the beginning of our show, I thought I wanted to tell my listeners all about the show in the intro every time. But I realized that this causes people to drop off the show. I realized that the intro needs to be much shorter, less than 10 seconds so that we can hook the listeners faster. If we do long intros, we’re going to have a lot of people drop off and bounce.
21. Use a Project Management Software
The 21st lesson we learned is to use project management software and to systematize the process so that things don’t slip through the cracks. By doing this, we can become more efficient at getting things done.
I encourage show creators to plan out every step of the process and identify who’s responsible for every step of the process of their show. Who writes the show notes? Who edits the video? Who creates the social media posts? We can use a project management software to keep track of where every episode is in that process.
If you have a daily show where you have 60 or 90 episodes that have been recorded but haven’t been published yet, it’s so much easier to keep track of it all when you have a project management system. A project management system helps you save time and money in your production. It helps you present yourself much more professionally to your guests and your audience.
22. Schedule a Time to Batch Episodes
The 22nd lesson that we learned is to schedule times to batch your episodes. I learned this lesson from John Lee Dumas. He’ll record all his episodes for the week in one day, or he will record another element of his show all in one day. It works kind of like an assembly line where we focus on doing one thing over and over again in one sitting. This can help us be much more effective and efficient.
As we switch from one thing to the next, we can lose focus and concentration in that process. If we allow ourselves to focus on one thing at a time, we can likely get more done. We can get into a grove. Tonight, I’m recording a whole bunch of episodes all together in a row. When I do this, I end up getting a lot more done than if I do one episode here and one episode there.
23. Get Ahead and Stay Ahead on Your Production Schedule
The 23rd lesson we learned, and learned the hard way, is to get ahead and stay ahead on your production schedule. Early on in my show, I remember times where we were publishing at 11:55 p.m. This is obviously not a good way to do it as you feel rushed and stressed. I recommend that you get a month ahead before you even launch your first show. Plan ahead. This just gives you a lot more flexibility so your show doesn’t control you if you get sick for a week or something comes up.
My father-in-law passed away this year and we went down to Arizona and spent time with him and with family. By being ahead on the show, it gave me time to deal with this experience and spend time with family. If I was producing on a day to day basis I wouldn’t have had the flexibility to do things that may have been more important in my life. To reduce your stress level and have a lot more fun, get ahead by at least a month.
24. Have Emergency Content Ready
The 24th lesson that we learned from publishing this show is to have emergency content ready. Write a few blog posts or record a few extra episodes that you don’t put in your schedule. Keep this extra content in a folder somewhere for when an emergency happens. You never know when, at the last minute, a guest asks you for edits that you can’t get done in time. Or they ask you to pull their show. Having emergency content can save you a lot of stress if something unexpected happens.
25. Set up a Quality Assurance System
The 25th lesson that we’ve learned from doing our show every day for a year is the importance of quality assurance. We’ve learned this lesson the hard way. Early on in our show, we made some mistakes and let some things slip through the cracks. This wasn’t fair to the guests and it was kind of embarrassing for us.
I’ve learned that we need to have two sets of eyes looking at everything. You can have your editor look at your content and then you have your producer look at it before it goes live.
26. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Stories
The 26th lesson we learned is the power of stories. If we want to say something that’s going to be engaging, that people are going to remember, that’s going to have an impact and cause change, it will probably be in story form.
I encourage you to teach through stories. Whatever principle you’re going to teach, go find a great story for it. It will probably be internalized a lot more and remembered for a lot longer by your target audience. Personal stories are better whenever possible.
27. Repurpose Content
The 27th lesson that we learned from doing our show every day for a year is the power of repurposing content. Some people say that you should just start off publishing your content in one place to keep it simple, but I don’t agree with that. It takes so much effort to put together a show and it doesn’t take that much more effort to repurpose it and publish it in a few more places.
For example, instead of just recording the audio, we can record our episodes with video and then publish them on YouTube or use short clips to post on Instagram. We can also get someone to create a blog post for each episode and publish that on the different text appropriate platforms.
Like I said earlier, a lot of the different forms of content have different benefits to you. For example, if you just publish a podcast, you lose the benefit of getting in search engines that you could get if you published a blog as well. Or if you don’t publish a video, you lose the power of being in YouTube, which is the number two search engine. If you really want to grow your show, I highly encourage you to consider repurposing your content.
28. Use Mid Roll Ads
The 28th thing we learned is the power of mid roll ads. Now, I personally have not done mid roll ads because I haven’t had a product to sell. But I’ve heard from multiple show creators and other other guests that we should use mid roll ads. Some of my guests that have taken my survey said one of the biggest mistakes they made in their show was not implementing mid roll ads sooner. As soon as we get our products launched and rolled out, we will definitely implement mid roll ads next year to help promote those products.
29. Use Credible Sources
The 29th lesson we learned is the importance of credible sources. If you want to share a thought, before you record that episode, go find a statistic, case study, or quote that backs up your idea from another credible source. Instead of it just being your idea, if you can bring the credible source in, it lends a lot more credibility to the message you’re sharing. You’d be surprised how easy those credible sources are to find.
30. Be Patient with the Process
And finally, the 30th lesson we learned from doing this podcast every day for a year is to be patient with the process. It takes more time than you think. It’s going to take time to get your show going.
I’ve heard of some podcasters who don’t even look at their statistics for the first year. They just focus on publishing their show because they know their stats are going to be low and they don’t want to get discouraged. Then, there are some show creators who obsess over their statistics and look at them every day. It’s not uncommon for those show creators to quit, to get discouraged, and give up.
If you’re going to create a show, understand that we need to be slow and steady. We need to remember that it was the tortoise that was slow and steady that won the race and not the hare. The race is won by the show creator that is slow and steady and consistent. Consistently do a good job. Consistently promote the show. You can still look at your stats every once in a while, but don’t obsess over them. Let your show episodes build upon themselves. Let your show get stronger and better each month that you’re producing it.
So that’s it. That’s the 30 lessons that we’ve learned from publishing our show everyday for a year. In the next episode, I’m going to talk about what comes next for Monetization Nation. What are our plans for the future?
Thank you so much for joining me for this episode. Thank you so much for joining me for the past year. I’ve been grateful to have you as an audience and I wish you success in your future ventures and your show.