Note: you can listen to this episode above or load it up in iTunes.

My Tips and Tools for Creating Your Own Podcast

Today’s episode is all about podcasting. We usually talk about blogging in this podcast, but to celebrate reaching the milestone of 50 podcast episodes, I thought I might share what’s worked and what hasn’t worked in my podcasting journey so far.

In just three months my podcast series has hit #1 in iTunes Australia, was in the top 10 international chart for the first weeks, and is hovering in top 10 for Business/Marketing categories for Australia and America.

I still have a lot to learn, but I’ve been getting asked a lot about how I create this podcast series, so I decided to share what I’ve learned so far (and am sharing my most listened to podcasts and the tools I use below).

What I Learned About Podcasting in my First 50 Episodes, Darren Rowse, ProBlogger

In This Episode

You can listen to today’s episode above or in iTunes or Stitcher (where we’d also LOVE to get your reviews on those platforms if you have a moment). In today’s episode I share:

  • the benefits of starting a podcast
  • how I measure my podcast’s success
  • my podcast statistics
  • what types of content have been most popular so far on my podcast series
  • the most effective ways to deliver podcast content
  • the details behind my experiment of completing 31 podcasts in 31 days
  • the tools I use to create my podcast series
  • how you can use a podcast series to build an audience
  • how to monetize a podcast

Further Reading and Resources for Tips and Tools for Creating Your Own Podcast

The most popular episodes in my podcast series so far:

The videos I used to help me in setting up my podcast, by Pat Flynn: 

The podcasting tools I use:

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view
Hello and welcome to the ProBlogger Podcast episode 50. My name is Darren Rowse and today, I’d like to talk about podcasting. We usually talk about blogging here on the ProBlogger show but to celebrate my 50th episode, I thought I talk about what I’ve learned in those first 50 episodes. You can find today’s show notes at

Well, we made it to episode 50. It was something I wasn’t sure whether I was going to make it to and I was halfway through the first 31 days because it was so much work in those early days. While I enjoyed it, it was tough going and we finally did make it to episode 50 which has been fantastic. As I’ve been wondering how to celebrate the milestone, a number of you suggested maybe I should talk about the journey so far. As I recalled this episode, it’s actually been three months to the day since I started, so 50 episodes in three months and it has been a wild ride. It’s become a bit of an obsession, something that I’ve really enjoyed, become a bit addicted to. 

Today, what I want to do is talk a little bit about some of the benefits of starting a podcast. I’ll talk a little bit about the content, what’s done well, what hasn’t done well, talk a little bit about some tips on how to deliver good content from my limited experience. I want to talk a little bit about that first 31 days, the experiment of doing 31 podcasts in 31 days. I want to talk about the tools that I’ve used because I know a lot of the questions that I get asked about podcasting are around tools. And I want to talk a little bit about building an audience and monetizing because they seemed to be the questions I get a lot of.

Let’s go back to some of the benefits of podcasting. Now, keep in mind I’m only 50 episodes in and I’m a newbie still. There‘s a lot still to learn, but I have certainly seen some benefits of podcasting already. Let’s start with statistics. I’m not a massive fan of looking at statistics, but they do give you a guide. I tend to look more at how things are trending rather than the actual raw numbers. But for those of you who do want to know what the raw numbers are and I do not see a lot of podcasters talking about their numbers, so perhaps it’s good to do.

I’ve had about 350,000 downloads of those first 49 episodes. Actually, it’s the first 48 because as I record this, 49 will go out in the next few hours, so around 350,000 downloads. The most listened episode (I think) is approaching around 20,000 of those and certainly, the earlier episodes that we’ve had, have had more views and more listens than the more recent ones. 

We hovered in the top 10 for business and marketing categories for both America and Australia. They are the two iTunes stores that I’ve been watching the most. I haven’t really found the tool that enables me to watch how I’m trending in terms of different iTunes stores around the world because they are quite siloed. Maybe there is a tool out there, but I don’t intend to pay a whole heap of attention as to how I’m ranking, although it does feed the ego.

In the first week, particularly, when we were actually number one on iTunes for all podcasts in Australia for a while and in the top 10 internationally, it was a real buzz. But as I’ve said before, stats are an ego boost. For me, it’s more important to look at other metrics, including how things are trending, whether things have been going up, plateauing, or going down. I’m more interested in the flow-on effects, the number of comments, the number of emails that I get, the leads that it generates in terms of sales of eBooks and that type of thing. Certainly, there has been a whole heap of benefits in all of those areas. 

Probably the other benefit that I’ve really noticed is that it does seem to personalize the brand. I’ve been to a few conferences since I started podcasting and it’s amazing. There are currently different reactions that you get when someone comes up to you and says, “I read your blog,” to “I listen to your podcast.” When they listen to your podcast, they speak to you in a different way. I can’t really put my finger on it, but there is something much more personal about listening to someone’s voice and that comes through in the reactions that I’m getting from people. People feel more connected in some way.

I know writing can transform people. It can have a big impact upon people but some of the stories that I’ve heard from the podcast and how it has impacted people, particularly one of the episodes that I did where I talked about my own personal health journey, it’s been quite amazing to see the profound impact that that episode and other things that I’ve done have had. I would say that podcasting is perhaps a little bit more relational.

There are some of the benefits. Obviously, there is some cost associated with podcasting as well, both in terms of setting it up, the financial cost, you need some gear, but also the amount of time that you need to put into it. I actually think the time that I’ve put into podcasting is actually similar to the time that I put into blogging. I research my podcast. I prepare my podcast in the same way that I researched and outline my blog post.

I probably spend more time actually writing the blog post than I do recording the podcast, but then, I spend more time on the podcast editing the podcast than I did on the blog post. There is a bit of pay-off there in the amount of time that it takes to do. It’s probably quite similar. I’ll talk a little bit about how my approach has changed in a few moments to particularly the editing part of the podcast though.

Let’s talk about content for a while. Most of you who are listening to this have at least listened to a few episodes. You probably have some really good feedback from me on the content and I’d love to hear that. But the ultimate lesson that I’ve learned about content and the content that does well on podcasts is that a podcast episode that brings about a change in your readers in some way is probably going to be the most popular and the most powerful content.

It’s the same with blogging. If your blog posts change someone’s life in some way, whether that be a big way or a small way, it’s going to have a lasting impact upon them. They’re going to be more likely to come back again if you’re bringing about some sort of change. They are also more likely to tell other people about it as well.

As I look at the most popular episodes here on the podcast, I actually see that a lot of them are very practical episodes and they’re things that do bring about change. I’ll talk about some of those episodes in a moment. Some of the lessons I’ve learned about the delivery of content in a podcast and this has been a bit of a steep learning curve for me. I suspect those of you who have been listening for the whole 50 episodes will have noticed a bit of a change in the way that I present and that is because I’ve actually changed how I present. 

I’m a big planner of my episodes and in the first few, I overplanned my episodes incredibly. A number of people said to me, “Were you reading those first episodes?” While I wasn’t really reading it, I did have a lot of the content sitting in front of me. I was paying a whole heap of attention to my notes in those first episodes. That was because I just really wanted to deliver as much useful content as I possibly could.

What I’ve learned is that less detail in my notes is actually better because I’m then able to speak like I talk or rather than speak like I’m trying to scan my notes and get every single point as I’ve written it. While I was not reading those early episodes, I certainly was paying a whole heap of attention to my notes. I still am but now if you see my notes you will see that I’ve got bullet points rather than long paragraphs of content that I want to get across. 

Up until this point, up until actually the last episode that you all have heard, I have produced all my podcasts as a talking head type podcast. I’ve not had a guest to this point. Having said that, the episode that you would have heard a couple of days ago did have for the first time someone else’s voice in my podcast. We used a recording from the ProBlogger conference that we ran but up until episode 49, it was all me.

I wanted to start out with the first 50 or so episodes in that way because most podcasts that I listen to are interviews. While I enjoy interviews, I personally really enjoy someone taking me through a topic, really taking me on a journey that’s thought through, that builds upon points, and that teaches me something. While interviews can certainly teach, my style of presenting is very much the way that you’ve heard in this podcast.

Now, I’ve got really good response and feedback from that style of presenting, but I do want to experiment with different ways of delivering content. The last episode, episode 49, where I played some snippets from our conference is something that I want to continue to experiment with. I’ve just lined up the first interview which will come out in the next week or so for this podcast with Beth Dunn who I heard speak at the Inbound Conference recently. I do want to mix up the type of content a little bit more and I’m really keen to hear from you as to whether you enjoy that.

I actually did a survey in the early days of this podcast with those of you who were listening and overwhelmingly, you fed back to me that you wanted a podcast with one person talking. That was the number one style of podcast that you want but a number of you did also indicate that you are open to interviews as well, so we’ll do a bit more of that.

Probably the big thing that I’ve learned most about delivering content in a podcast is that my energy levels are really important. I had a really great email from Rachel Corbett who is an Aussie podcaster and radio personality, with a lot of experience in radio, and an attendee of our conference. She actually sent me an email and it was a link to a podcast that she recorded just for me. It’s not been published anywhere else as far as I know but had some really great advice in it.

It was really beautifully worded telling me that I didn’t have as much energy as I could in the podcast that I was delivering and I already knew that. I had already listened to them and thought, “I could probably deliver these in a different way. I really appreciated her sending me that podcast with that advice and would love to feature her in a future episode as well to talk a little bit about that. She gave me some really great advice on that. It’s actually similar advice that I give to bloggers.

One of the pieces of advice that she gave me was to imagine I was talking to someone as always delivering the podcast. That’s the exact advice that I give to bloggers as they write their content, picture the person that you are writing to. So, taking that advice from Rachel and that I’ve given myself has helped me I think. It certainly is still a learning process as to delivering in an energetic way and with expression when you are standing in an empty room looking at the walls and there’s no one actually there but it’s certainly something that I’m thinking a little bit more about over the last 10 or so episodes particularly. 

I really enjoyed that a podcaster allows me to go back to old topics that I’ve covered previously on the blog. I’m able to repurpose that content and update that content. I’ve done that with a number of episodes and it’s going over quite well. The other type of episode that I’ve done is a number of my better episodes in terms of the number of people that are downloading them. Have been ones where I’ve actually turned keynote talks that I’ve done into podcast episodes as well. one of the lessons I’ve learned is just that when I put all that time into preparing a presentation for a conference, I can then use that in a different way in the podcast that has been really great. 

Probably the hardest part of creating content on this podcast has been the editing. For the first 15 or so episodes I did all the editing and production of the podcast myself and that almost killed me, 31 episodes in 31 days, when recording it, coming up with content, and then trying to edit it as well. That was a lot of work. While I’m glad I did it to learn the process, I’m also glad that I’ve outsourced that. I’ve brought on Rose Wintergreen who has been editing the podcast ever since and we’ve got a little workflow that revolves around me recording it and then putting it in a Dropbox and then her taking over from there. I’ll tell you a little bit about some of the tools that we use in that process. 

Let me talk a little bit about the most popular episodes that we have had so far. Obviously the earlier ones have had more downloads because of a lot of people when they discover your podcast goes back to the early podcast episodes. They have had higher than usual downloads. Probably the first five episodes have been very popular and that’s also partly because I started the ProBlogger podcast with 31 days to build a better blog. For the first 31 episodes, I take you through a process of different aspects of building a successful blog. But there certainly have been a few other episodes that have stood out in terms of a higher number of downloads than others in that stage.

Episode 32 is probably the one that stands out the most and that was one where I answered the question, “Can you really make money blogging?” Now, this is based upon a question that I get all the time from my readers. It is delivering the answer to a question that I know people are asking and making money is also a bit of a trigger topic I know with my audience. Any of the episodes where I’ve kind of tapped into real questions have done very well.

Episode 38 is probably another stand out one. That was where I talked about my journey with health and how I kind of let myself go. It was a little intense in my diet and exercise and talked a little bit about losing weight but also getting my act together in terms of other aspects of health as well. I think that one, in particular, did well because it was quite personal. I talked about how I messed up and I talked about how I had made some changes that had brought about a real change in May, and that is something that I think a lot of people could relate to. While this is a business podcast, to go into that personal space actually really seems to connect with a lot of people.

Other episodes that did well were episode 11 where I talked about coming out with blog post ideas, which again is a real felt need when I’m doing Q&As at conferences. That’s always a question I get asked is how do you come up with ideas.

Episode 18 was how to get people to view archives on your blog. Again, this is a felt need. A lot of people have real frustration. I’d put all this time and energy into writing content for their blog and then no one sees the archives once they have left the front page.

Episode 29 was on growing readership. Again, a big question I get asked over and over again. 

Episode 40 was about productivity, how to juggle life and blogging, and how to use your time effectively. Again, this was another felt need. This is another common question I get. What I’m trying to get across here is if you can create content that people feel they have a need with, then that’s the best place to start. If you can start in those places where there is a pain point—I don’t have readers for my blog, I don’t have enough time, or people aren’t viewing my archives—these are felt needs. These are pain points for people, so tapping into those and particularly creating content that brings about a change in those areas is really important.

Let me talk to you briefly about that first 31 days where I did create an episode every day for 31 days. I already touched on the fact that there was a stupid amount of work in that. I almost killed the podcast in some ways because I felt quite overwhelmed at times. But there were certainly some upsides of doing it. Perhaps one of the best benefits of it is that it created some momentum. So, a lot of my early readers came on and they were like, “Oh, there’s All this content.” They were touching base with me every day and hearing my voice every day. They got into the habit of listening in and touching base with the ProBlogger brand.

It certainly seems to have an impact on getting into new and noteworthy on iTunes. Perhaps not as much as I’ve thought. I still don’t quite know how iTunes works in terms of their algorithms. I was creating a lot of content, but not all of the posts were getting as much traction as I thought they might because I was new and noteworthy. A lot of people talk about you’ve got to get new and noteworthy. Yeah, I think it probably did have an impact but I’m not really sure how much. There is no real way of measuring that for me, but it certainly was a good way to build up a stock of archives there which is good for long-tail traffic.

People are searching iTunes for content, so the more episodes you’ve gone in there, the better. There were some good things about it. I think in hindsight, because my 31 episodes were all action-based episodes where I’m giving my listeners homework, perhaps it was too much for some of my listeners to be out to get through all of those 31 episodes in 31 days. Perhaps, I did lose a few listeners or people took their time with that which is totally fine. In fact, I know a number of listeners are still on episode 18 and they email me every now and again until episode 20 now and some people are still working through that.

I do think it’s actually great to have that series of episodes that people can go back and listen to and work through as well. I’m glad I did that and I may do that again. I may create a week-long series of episodes as well in the future that I can go refer people back to us and say “Listen to these seven because it will help you in this particular way.

Let’s talk about tools. I’m no expert in this area. Actually, I used a lot of the videos that Pat Flynn created. He created a great series of short simple tutorials for YouTube which I found really helpful in setting up my podcast. I used some of the tools that he recommends there and a few others as well. I used Libsyn for hosting my podcast episodes. I used (I think it’s) Blubrry PowerPress, which is a plugin for WordPress, which takes care of getting the podcast into iTunes and that integration. It’s been almost pretty seamless and particularly the way Pat described in his videos.

I used a tool called all Auphonic (and I’ll link to all of these in the show notes for today). Auphonic is really useful at getting the levels in your podcast right so if you record half of your podcast at one time and then half of your podcast at another time and they sound different to you, Auphonic kind of levels them out. It’s also good (I’m told) when you have an interview with someone and their levels might be a bit higher than yours. It kind of gets things sounding a bit more normal and it works really well. This is a paid product but has worked well. 

Another one that I’ve started using in the last day or two has been My Podcast Reviews which enables you to see the reviews that people leave in iTunes and in Stitcher from all around the world. As I mentioned earlier, iTunes is quite siloed. Here in Australia, I can view the Australian iTunes stores but it’s different from what’s happening in the American iTunes store and it’s different from the Canadian iTunes store and the Slovakiain one and the Swedish one. They are all different ones. So, if you want to see the reviews that people are leaving in all the different countries, you need to go to all the different iTunes stores and that is a pain.

I’ve been largely living in the US and Australia one and occasionally checking out Canada or in the UK, but I’ve been missing a whole heap of reviews. So, I signed up for that and again I’ll give you the link in today’s show notes. Just by clicking on that and setting that up, I discovered I think we’ve got over 150 reviews. I only have ever seen 70 of them. Reviews from Malaysia, Singapore, Switzerland and all over the world. I really do appreciate those reviews and I’ll read a few of them at the end of this podcast as well for people who have kind of made observations about this podcast.

The last tool that I’ll talk about is my microphone because I get asked about it all the time. I use a RØDE podcaster microphone. It’s been great. Although, I’ve kind of heard about all kinds of other great microphones as well. I’m sure there is some great advice out there on that particular topic.

Let me finish up this podcast by talking about two last things. Firstly building an audience and then monetization. Building an audience for your podcast. Now, again, I’ve only been at this for three months. I’m still beginning, but certainly for me, I’ve had the added advantage of already having an audience to leverage my blog, so I’ve done that. I will say that probably the biggest driver of traffic (I think) to my podcast has been the emails that I send on a weekly basis to ProBlogger readers. That certainly has helped to get things going. iTunes is the biggest source of downloads. Stitcher and a couple of other places as well, but iTunes certainly is the bulk of our listeners.

Number two has been people listening on the blog at, the player there and that has been number two. After that, it is a mix of other places. Sending people to your podcast episodes via email has been great. That’s been king for me and as a distant second has been social media and driving traffic from social media. I certainly have a little system that I use over the 24 hours after I released the podcast. I tweet about it four times I think maybe five times. It goes up on my Facebook page and those have driven a little bit of traffic but nowhere near as much as traffic as email does when I send that on a weekly basis. We get a big spike from email and then every time I release a new episode, I get a spike from people who suddenly see it on their iTunes again as well.

I’m being featured on other people’s podcasts. This has certainly driven some traffic as well. I was really fortunate to be interviewed by Amy Porterfield, James Schramko, Chris Ducker, a number of the Copyblogger podcast as well, and that certainly helped. I’ve heard from other people that’s how they found me and that is certainly one way to do that. Then, as I mentioned before having more episodes in iTunes and more episodes in Stitcher means people will start to find your content that way when there is certainly searching for content.

The last area I’ll talk about briefly is monetization. I’m still on the journey with this one and still trying to work out how to make this pay for itself, to be honest. Those of you who listened to the first 10 episodes, I started out with a sponsorship from 99 Designs who were really generous and came on for that 10 episodes series of sponsors.

We decided together not to continue with that. They decided they do want to continue at least for the next 10 episodes, they want to talk later, but I also decided around that time that it did not quite feel right. Not because of the product, I actually do believe in their product and do genuinely use it, but I just thought it was disrupting the flow of the podcast and wanted to step back from it just to see what impact doing something else would have. The things that we did start to do at around that point was starting to talk about the 31 Days to Build up a Better Blog eBook.

We had that on sale. We still have that on sale actually at 50% off with a coupon code, which again we can share in today’s show notes. By promoting that product instead of someone else’s product, we saw ourselves in that eBook quite significantly. Now, it’s not enough to say it was just a success doing that but certainly, it did show me that you can monetize a podcast with your own product. That is something I’ll look to do more in the future.

I do also know that I’ve got a number of people subscribed to our event updates. We run an event here in Australia. There are a number of people who are interested in coming to that event based upon finding us through the podcast, so that’s another income stream. I’ve had a number of speaking invitations based upon people coming across us all through the podcast. That’s when people hear you speaking that gives them a good sense of how you might talk at an event as well. 

There have been some indirect income streams that I could say have come from the podcast as well but I’m still finding my way with monetizing it as well. Ultimately, it’s building the brand of ProBlogger which we’re monetizing in different ways.

There have been my reflections on podcasting so far. I’m only at 50 episodes in and I’m committed to continuing to do it. Going forward, as I said before, I’m going to change up some of these styles of content. You are going to start hearing a few more interviews and a few more snippets of our conference recordings as well. I may even bring our team into some of our podcasts as well, to get their opinion and expertise in some of the things that we are talking about. But I’d love to hear more from you about the ProBlogger podcast and what you would like, what you don’t like, what you do like, and how you’d improve it.

I’m also tempted to increase the frequency of my podcast slightly. I’ve gone from being a daily show, going back to two shows per week and my gut feeling is that maybe three shows a week might be better. That’s partly because I really enjoyed doing it and it feels like a long time between episodes when I’m only doing two per week. Again, open to your feedback on that. We do have a survey that we have opened and I’ll include the survey link in today’s show notes. That’s just a really simple way, just a few questions of you telling us what you think of this particular podcast.

You can find today’s show notes at Before I go, I want to just give a big thank you to those of you who have left reviews; 150+ reviews so far. I’ve read every single one of them today and it really moved me to read your responses. Some of you put a lot of time into your reviews.

“I love you,” Sandra Chan from Malaysia, and she says, “Get this, I’ m not even a blogger. I’m a YouTuber.” She listens to the podcast and has got a lot out of it.

There’s Amanda Irwin from the Lilac Lounge from Australia. She said “Thank you, Darren. I love your podcasts. I spent a lot of time doing short trips in my car and find your podcast perfect for this. If I’m feeling flat your podcast motivated me. If I need ideas, you have a plethora of them, and you have a great way of communicating. That may seem sound doable for anyone wanting to give new stuff a try.”

Thank you, Amanda, for that. I’m glad to spend that time in the car with you. I’ve had all kinds of people tell me where I listen to the podcast is well which is quite amusing. There’s a number of people who fall asleep at night listening to my voice which is kind of a little bit strange but it’s nice to share that time of day with you as well. 

Hitoshi from Japan writes, “Thank you, Darren, for providing must-listen content. I’ve been listening to every episode from day one, sometimes I feel like I can’t wait for the next episode but I know it’s better to listen back and work on hard to not miss older things that you’ve shared. Huge thanks from Japan.” Thank you for your review. It’s great to hear people from all over the world listening. It’s so exciting to hear from you.

There’s Dawn Rose from Bridal Perfection, another Aussie, we have got quite a few Aussie’s listening in and she writes, “This podcast made me realize that blogging is not so scary. I still haven’t launched my blog but I’ve listened to every podcast and I’ll re-listen to the 31 days to build a better blog once I’m ready to launch.” I love that we got people who aren’t bloggers or who are thinking about starting blogging. We’ve got YouTubers, we’ve got people who are using the content here for other social media and streams as well, or just because they are interested in the space and because they read blogs and they want to understand blogging as well.

So, if you’ve got time to leave us a review on iTunes or over on Stitcher. Again, there will be links in today’s show notes is the way you can do that. I do read every single review. I can read them all now wherever you are in the world. We love to hear how you listen to it, where you are listening to it and how It’s helped you, particularly any change that is brought up in your own blogging or anything else that you do.

Thank you, everyone, for listening to our first 50 episodes here at ProBlogger. It really does energize me to do this. I hope you can sense that in this particular episode how much I’ve enjoyed this. I love hearing from you, so do keep giving us the feedback that you have for us. Thanks for listening and I’ll talk to you in episode 51 of the ProBlogger podcast.

How did you go with today’s episode?

What did you learn from today’s episode? Do you already have a podcast? Feel free to share a link. I’d love to hear what’s working for you. Or perhaps you’re thinking about starting one?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Don’t forget to share a link to your blog and your podcast if you have one.

Finally, if you have a moment we’d love to get your feedback on the ProBlogger Podcast with this short survey which will help us plan future episodes.


Enjoy this podcast? Subscribe to ProBloggerPLUS for free to get free blogging tutorials and podcasts in your inbox each week.