200 episodes! What a journey it's been to create and publish 200 episodes on my podcast. From the nerves of getting started, to excitement of interviewing guests I admire, to finding the systems that work for me, it's been quite a wild ride in the past few years. And I'm sharing it all in this article: my podcasting journey, lesson's learned, and the future of the podcast.
**This was also a podcast episode (episode #200. Use the player below if you'd prefer to listen to this message.
My Podcasting Journey
2017: Started a written Blog to start with the least resistance
2018: Added YouTube videos to blog posts and learned more about what people were searching for
2019: Started the Podcast
2022: Changed content structure (pillars)
2023: Changed the name of the Podcast
"I think everyone's podcast journey will be a twisty-road and not a straight line. Changes will happen and it's a good thing as that means you're learning and adjusting to what you want and what your listeners want." - Amanda McKinney
My Podcasting Celebrations:
200 episodes released
150,000 unique downloads (*update this!)
2,285% increase in monthly downloads from July 2019 to July 2023
95 Interviews (some repeat guest) = 47% guest interviews / 52% solo episodes
1 audio editor hired and it was the best decision!
"To look back and see all that I've been able to accomplish in 200 episodes was a great exercise because so often we are going through the motions and forget to celebrate our accomplishments." - Amanda McKinney
Podcasting Lesson's Learned:
Start Now & Learn As You Go
It's impossible to know what systems will work for you before you try different things and this is especially the case with creating content. The best thing you can do is just start and learn along the way. Give things time to find your groove and know that it's also okay to realize something isn't working and you can let it go.
Change Will Happen & It's A Good Thing
Just like it's impossible to know what systems and processes work for you, it's also impossible to have everything else figured out at first too. Your content will change over time and you can even change the name of your podcast along the way too. As long as you aren't always changing, it's okay to change things along the way.
Consistency & Commitment Matters
When it comes to creating content, commitment to the process and being consistent matters. The reality is that no one will be listening at first but the only way you'll grow the number of people listening is if you keep going. I highly recommend committing to a specific amount of time when you start a podcast or any type of content (ex: 3 months or a season). You can absolutely stop your podcast if you realize you hate it but stopping after 5 episodes isn't giving it enough of a chance.
Another lesson I learned on the topic of consistency is that when you switch up your rhythm after being consistent for a long time it feels pretty 'bumpy' for everyone. I tried using the idea of series on my podcast for a while and the concept worked well but I choose to have a week break in between the series and that didn't work well. This confused my listeners and they thought they had missed something so I went back to every week.
Guest Interview Lessons:
When I first started the podcast it was a solo show because I didn't have credibility as a host and interviewer yet. I slowly started asking people I knew to be on the show to help me get a feel for interviewing others and that worked well. Start with who you know, who trusts you already and then branch out.
The popularity of the guest doesn't matter as much as the willingness of them to share. Of course there are exceptions to this lesson but when a guest shares the interview with their audience multiple times, this is when the numbers actually go up. It's not simply the name, it's the marketing.
On that same note, it's AMAZING when a guest will re-share their episode 2, 6, etc. months after it airs. It's common for the guest to share it during the week it's live but less common that people share it later but it's incredible when it happens. It gives the host another chance to share it too when they are tagged on social media or know about it.
I love interviewing people! Once I found my groove with this I realized how much I really enjoy it. At this time the episodes are almost 50/50 with solo and guest interviews which I like but if I'm not careful, it would easily be 100% interviews because I enjoy them so much.
The answer is no if you don't ask and a 'no' isn't a no forever. When it comes to asking for people to be a guest, you have to ask and often have to ask multiple times. Don't get discouraged when someone says no to being a guest at first, ask again at a later date when you have more experience as a podcast host.
Titles of Episodes Matter A Lot:
The 20 - 45 minute content matters but it only matters if the title gets people to listen. It's imperative to do keyword research for your podcast titles and not just wing it. I was winging it at the beginning but I've learned to spend time doing keyword research and it pays off in the end.
It's also important to note that you can change the title of a podcast episode after it's published so you're not doomed if you didn't do this well. Go back to your previous episodes, find the ones you think could have a better title, do the research and then change it.
Not All Show Notes Are Created Equal:
All podcast hosts do this differently and I don't believe there is a right or wrong way but rather it matters what your goal is. For me I want my podcast to drive traffic to my website as well as my podcast so my show notes are treated as blogs on my website.
Each episode has an in-depth blog post that is connected to the episode and is optimized for SEO so that it can drive traffic to my website as well. Often times the blog title is a different title than the podcast as the keyword research produces different results for these different locations. It's worth the time to do the research for both so one piece of content is serving you in multiple ways.
Creating Audio Content Is Fun For Me:
This is a lesson about me rather than podcasting in general but I love creating audio content. Between the fact that I enjoy interviewing people and I don't mind turning on the microphone by myself and recording, it's a win-win.
I've tried blogging and YouTube and podcasting is by far my favorite form of content. However, this doesn't mean I don't do the others as I actually use my podcast episode to create blogs and content for YouTube but the primary piece of content is the one I enjoy the most and then I pull from that to create other content.
Find what works best for you and it can help you create more content if you'd like that but the key is to understand what you really enjoy. Because if you don't enjoy it, you won't be consistent with it.
Podcasting Helps Me Grow My Business:
This is what most people hope for when it comes to creating content and I've found that in the long run, podcasting has helped me grow my business the most. It didn't happen overnight but as I was consistent and learning from my audience, the podcast became the #1 driver of new email subscribers and new clients.
How this works is primarily through building trust. Through producing free, valuable content I was able to build trust with people on the other side of the podcast who were listening in. That trust allows them to then want to learn more and work with me and leads to revenue in the business.
Tactically, I do this is by:
promoting my freebie in episodes
promoting my offerings in episodes
By understanding what topics are resonating, that helps create offerings
The Future For My Podcast:
After 200 episodes I'm ready for more! There's no end in sight for my podcasting days as I love it and I can't wait to produce more episodes, interview more guests and help more people through this free content.
My goal is to inspire motivate you to pursue what you want in your entrepreneurial journey. I love that we are on this journey to being Unapologetic Entrepreneur's together and I'm excited to see what's next as I move forward with the podcast.
If you'd like to share ideas for episode topics and guests with me, there is a place to do this on my website. Go to amandamckinney.com/podcast and you'll see the button to share your thoughts and ideas. I would absolutely love to hear from you!
And if you've enjoyed even just one of the 200 episodes so far, the best gift you can give me is to leave a review for the podcast. It helps me reach more people and I read each and every word of the reviews. Thank you in advance for taking the time to share your review.
Until next time give yourself permission to start because you'll learn along the way. I'll talk to you soon.
Define Success Free Resource: https://www.amandamckinney.com/success
All podcast episodes: https://pod.link/1473751874
Amanda's Coaching Options: https://www.amandamckinney.com/coaching
Amanda's Book: https://www.amandamckinney.com/book
"I've learned a lot after publishing 200 episodes on the podcast but the #1 lesson is that I'm glad I pushed through the nerves and fear to published the first episode."
- Amanda McKinney
Unapologetically Pursue The Business Of Your Dreams
Why Not You my friend? You have a dream and a desire to build a business that integrates into your life instead of taking it over.
And it's time to make it happen!
If you'd like to explore this concept even more, my book Why Not You? An Accidental Entrepreneur's Guide To Success is waiting for you.
In this book I help you create your Y.O.U. Promise that becomes your guide to unapologetically pursuing success for you.