An AI Interview – My Evolution from Hobbyist to Pro Podcaster

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Today marks a first for me. Here I am, alone in my downtown Saigon podcast studio, recording something entirely new. This isn’t your typical interview format; this time, I’m facing off against a powerful AI language model – Chat GPT. It’s my first AI Interview!

GPT will ask me questions based on its knowledge and the information I gave it before. Through my answers, I’ll be sharing about my personal experiences, the challenges I’ve encountered, and most importantly, valuable advice for anyone considering launching their own podcast.

AI Interview

What Sparked Your Interest In Podcasting, And How Did You Transition From Listener To Podcaster?

Many people asked why I started podcasting. I listened to my first podcast in the early 2000s. Back in the day, I’d be glued to my iPod (remember those?) on the bus rides to uni, constantly searching for new shows. The Ricky Gervais Show was my favorite back then. Whether I was commuting, traveling, or even hitting the gym, it didn’t matter – podcasts were what I listened to.

Because me and my wife didn’t have the same day off l had a lot of free time, and I was so bored. Then, one day, it hit me. Stuck at home in Saigon, I craved a deeper connection to the city and the lives around me.

That’s when the spark ignited – a podcast! It wasn’t just a random idea; it was a culmination of my lifelong love for podcasts and my growing curiosity about Saigon. And so, I started to interview people, and a Vietnam Podcast was born in 2019.

It was still a hobby until the last few years when I started to offer services about podcasting and now it’s my passion and my full-time job.

Can You Share A Memorable Moment Or Episode From Your Podcasting Journey?

Picking just one impactful moment from this podcasting journey is tough! But there’s one that truly stands out for me. It was an episode with Suzanne Thi Hien Hook, a survivor of the Vietnam War.

Listen to this episode here!

Suzanne’s story was unlike any I’d ever heard. Abandoned as a baby, she was half Black and half Asian, likely the child of a Vietnamese mother and an African American father.  The details of her birth were a mystery –  a loving relationship, a one-night stand, or something even more tragic? All she knew was the orphanage and then adoption by a British family.

This adoption, meant to be a happy ending, turned into a horrific childhood. Details are difficult to share, but let’s just say it wasn’t the loving home she deserved.

What resonated most with me, a phrase that’s stayed with me ever since, was Suzanne saying she “never knew what it felt like to be loved.”  Coming from a background that wasn’t wealthy, but where there was always food on the table and love from my parents. I never realized what it meant to feel truly unloved.

That interview was a turning point for me. It made me incredibly grateful for the love I had always had in my life.  For the first time ever, I choked back tears interviewing someone on the podcast. It was a powerful moment, not just for me, but I think for the audience as well. It was a stark reminder of the complexities of life and the importance of cherishing the love we have.

How Do You Choose Topics For Your Podcast, And What Factors Guide Your Content Decisions?

For A Vietnam Podcast, it was all about sharing the stories of people with Vietnamese connections. Simple as that. I wanted a diverse bunch of voices, so I strived for a 50/50 split of men and women, limited the number of Caucasians per season, and made sure to include LGBTQ+ guests and people from all over the globe (including Vietnam, of course!). The topic itself? That depended entirely on the guest’s story.

Now, for this podcast, “Smarter Podcasting” (which you’re reading about right now), yeah, I’m a bit all over the place, to be honest. I’ve been upfront about this since the beginning. Maybe it’s because I’m swamped with other podcasts, Seven Million Bikes Podcasts juggles 25 to 30 shows at any given time, and it’s only getting crazier (in a good way!).

This podcast started because I genuinely want to help other podcasters. So, the topics? They all stem from that one question: how can I make your podcasting journey better? I know this approach isn’t ideal, and I feel like this show has the potential to be much better. For that, I sincerely apologize.

What Challenges Do New Podcasters Face, And How Can They Overcome Them?

Time, that’s the Everest every new podcaster needs to climb. You may not imagine how time-consuming it is to create a podcast episode!

Creating a single one-hour episode can devour 8 to 10 hours! That’s finding your guest, coordinating the interview, editing it all together, promoting it, and finally hitting publish. Every step adds up.

Podcast Editing

The enthusiasm is real, everyone jumps in with a microphone, thinking it’ll be a blast (and it is!). But almost no one, myself included, realizes it’s basically a full day’s work per episode. I remember planning a weekly show, and after 10 episodes, I was burnt. Breaks became a necessity, sometimes lasting months before a new season. There was no real system, just pure hustle.

  • Reality Check: Before diving in, know what you’re getting into. Understand the time commitment involved.
  • Invest in Yourself (if you can): Budget permitting, consider outsourcing editing. It’s a time suck – two to four hours or more per episode. Free yourself up to promote your work and make it even better!
  • Outsources: Instead of spending a whole day editing, you can pay an editor to do it for you in just 4 hours, for example.  Spend it with loved ones, create quality content, and promote your podcast – the possibilities are endless! Think about the value of your time.

Editing service – Save Time and Frustration

My team and I will use all the tools we’ve learned over years of podcasting to help you create an exceptional podcast that your audience will love. 

We go beyond simple editing, offering a range of services including coaching, music composition, in-person recording, and more. Our goal is to help your podcast stand out and reach its full potential. Contact me now

What Strategies Do You Recommend For Standing Out In The Competitive Podcasting Landscape?

While there are many podcasts, it’s a much smaller market compared to other forms of content creation like TV shows and blogs. Podcast listenership is actually on the rise globally, so there’s more opportunity than ever.

  • Consistency is key: Show up regularly, whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Stick to your schedule to build trust with listeners.
  • Be yourself: Authenticity resonates. People connect with genuine personalities.
  • Case study: A Paranormal Chicks: This podcast with a superfan base exemplifies the power of consistency and authenticity. The hosts record episodes even from their hospital beds to avoid missing a deadline, and their audience rewards their dedication.

How Crucial Is Branding and Marketing For Podcast Success, and What Tactics Do You Find Most Effective?

I’ll be honest – that’s not exactly what I’m best at. I’m not an expert in this field, but I’m in the industry so I would know what I should and shouldn’t do. Here’s what I’ve seen work wonders for promoting podcasts, both mine and my clients:

  • Become a podcast guest star! Find shows within your niche and see if they’d love to chat with you. It’s a fantastic way to connect with a whole new audience.
  • Short and sweet social media magic: People love quick, engaging content. So learn how to promote podcasts on social media, hop on TikTok and Instagram Reels, and create some captivating snippets to draw listeners in.
  • Hang out where your listeners chill: Whether it’s Discord servers, Facebook Groups, or the latest social media platform, be present where your audience is at. But don’t just drop generic episode links!
  • Ditch the “you gotta listen!” please: Honestly, that approach makes my head spin. Every podcaster seems to do it, and nobody ever tells you why you shouldn’t miss the episode. What makes it so valuable? Why should I hit play right now? Think about it – do you ever click on those links? Exactly.
  • Focus on value, not just promotion: Be present in the online communities relevant to your show. If it’s about marketing, hit up marketing groups, Facebook discussions, and build your email list. But when you share your episode, highlight what listeners will gain from it. What problem does it solve? What knowledge will they walk away with? That’s the kind of content that builds a loyal audience.
Seven Million Bikes Podcasts on Facebook

What Are The Differences Between Podcasting As A Hobby And As A Profession, And How Do They Impact Content And Approach?

The key difference between hobby and professional podcasting is not about the content or the audience, it’s about money.

Hobby Podcasting

It’s all about the love of the game. You’re pouring money into your passion project, not the other way around. No sponsors or Patreons are dictating your content. You do it just because you love it!

Professional Podcasting

Welcome to the world of monetization! Sponsors might require ads, and Patrons might expect bonus content. This can add pressure, but it also comes with perks:

  • Better equipment
  • Improved editing
  • More time to research guests
  • Overall higher-quality production

So, in my experience, the content and approach don’t necessarily change that much between hobby and professional podcasting (unless you’re pressured by sponsors or a big network).  Professionalizing your show is more about taking something you’re passionate about and giving it the resources to truly flourish.

What Advice Do You Have For Podcasters Aiming To Monetize Their Shows, And What Strategies Work Best?

Let me tell you, it’s not a walk in the park. If you’re chasing a quick buck, this might not be the path for you. I have shared about how to make money with a podcast, read for more information.

  • Sponsorship

Don’t get me wrong, they can be great, but the reality is, the average podcast isn’t pulling in big bucks. The CPM, or cost per thousand impressions, is around $24. That means to see any real money, you need a massive audience – think top 5% of podcasts worldwide. That’s some serious dedication and hard work. So, sponsorships can be tough.

  • Patreon

Now that’s a strategy I highly recommend, especially if you’re building a community. Patreon fosters interaction, makes listeners feel like they’re part of something special.

  • Offer Service

Now, for me, the most successful “monetization strategy” wasn’t about direct revenue from my podcast. It was about leveraging my podcasting expertise. I started editing podcasts for other creators. Seven Million Bikes Podcasts Services includes hosting, recording, podcast studio (Saigon), and especially, editing.

Think about it: how many hours have you spent researching podcasting best practices online? I could share that knowledge in minutes and empower others to launch their shows faster.

So, that’s the path I took.  While merchandise and other routes exist, for me, the most successful strategy was building a niche around podcast editing.

Focus on creating a phenomenal podcast, cultivate a dedicated audience, and then explore monetization options like Patreon. Sponsorships can come later, but for most podcasters, building a loyal community is key. That, and the incredible connections you forge along the way, are what make podcasting truly rewarding.

What Future Trends Do You Anticipate In The Podcasting Industry, And How Will They Impact Podcasters And Listeners?

  • Video Integration on the Rise

You can see now most podcasts have the video version beside the audio. Listeners are craving more visual content alongside traditional audio, blurring the lines between podcasts and video broadcasts. People are demanding more visual content, and platforms like Spotify are taking notice. They’re integrating video with podcasts,  offering a more well-rounded experience. It’s a trend I can’t ignore anymore.

But I think audio remains king for consumption due to its flexibility. For example, listeners can easily engage with audio podcasts while multitasking (commuting, exercising, etc.).

Studies show significantly higher completion rates for audio podcasts (around 80%) compared to video podcasts (often below 20%).

The future of podcasting lies in effectively combining audio and video formats.

Audio will continue to be the foundation, with video serving as a valuable supplement for increased engagement.

  • Podcaster’s Burden

Creating high-quality video podcasts requires significant investment and studio setups become essential to ensure professional visuals. 

I finally invested in a studio space, something I’d been wanting for ages. Editing video takes forever compared to audio, though. Storage space becomes a whole new beast too. It’s a bigger commitment, financially and time-wise.

  • The Listener’s Perspective

Video serves as a bonus element, not a replacement for the core audio experience. Listeners like myself enjoy the option to see the host and enhance the podcast with visuals when desired. 

Audio remains king for consumption due to its flexibility:

Listeners can easily engage with audio podcasts while multitasking (commuting, exercising, etc.).

Conclusion – AI Interview

AI can be a valuable tool in your podcasting journey, from research and transcription to content analysis and today, interview! After 9 insightful questions, I hope my answers will give you useful advice and insights for your podcasting journey. 

If you have any difficulties as you just started, I offer a FREE Consultation. Don’t be afraid to explore the possibilities!

ChatGPT interviews me

Niall Mackay: [00:00:00] The biggest thing and the thing that changes everything around the world for everyone is money. So when you podcast as a hobby, you’re not doing it to make any money. And in fact, you’re spending a lot of money doing it and you’re doing it because you love it. And as soon as you start doing something for money, whether you like it or not.

It’s gonna change. Hey, it’s Niall Mackay, the podcast guy and the host of Smarter Podcasting. I’m doing something I have never done before. I’m recording an episode in my own studio here in Saigon, all by myself. I got nobody here at all. And in this episode of Smarter Podcasting, I’m going to do something that I have never done before on this podcast.

So I started podcasting back in 2019 as a hobby with my podcast. It was called a Vietnam podcast. And a couple of years ago when ChatGPT blew up, I had ChatGPT [00:01:00] ask me questions about Vietnam and then I recorded myself answering them. That was one of the biggest episodes of a Vietnam podcast and the one that I got the most feedback on there was so many people messaged me about that.

They loved it. I had taken advantage of the fact that ChatGPT had just started, so it was kind of like a thing, but it’s still a thing, right? And I’ve been meaning to do this for ages, I haven’t had the time, and I finally have some time to do it, so I’m in the studio, and I’ve asked ChatGPT, which, if anyone has used it, the more you use ChatGPT, the more it gets to know who you are, because you’re asking it lots of questions, so I can almost ask it anything about me, and it immediately will tell me that I’m a podcaster.

I’m a comedian. I was a teacher. I helped raise money. Uh, the company does this, it does that. It’s pretty crazy. It’s pretty incredible. It never forgets. So I just typed into chat GPT, ask me 10 questions about podcasting and I’m going to answer them. So let’s begin. First question.

Samantha: What initially sparked your interest in podcasting, [00:02:00] and how did you transition from being an avid listener to becoming a podcaster yourself?

Niall Mackay: Well, I’ve been listening to podcasts since the very beginning almost. Early 2000s, going to uni every day on the bus. I was addicted to the Kyle Pilkington, Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant show, which started off on The Guardian, I think, and Karl Pilkington was pretty unknown at that point, now he’s pretty famous, written books, been on many TV shows, but I was addicted to that show.

And so I started podcasting then on my iPod, which a lot of people won’t even know what the hell an iPod is, it was a tiny little device. Um, And then I was hooked from there. And then Serial came out in 2014. If anyone remembers Serial, the Adnan Syed story, it was the beginning of true crime and addicted to that, listening to that week by week as every new episode came out, talking about it with my wife and with friends.

And so, um, That was it. And then just continued from there, listening to podcasts all the time in the gym when I’m traveling. And then really from how did I go from [00:03:00] being a listener to a podcaster myself? I’ve told this story many times, but you might not have heard it before. I was doing the dishes one day on a Sunday and my wife was at work and I had to take, I was off on a Sunday.

We normally have the same days off, but for a while I was off by myself and I was bored, I didn’t have anything to do, I, really the only thing I could think to do was go drink and I didn’t want to do that without her and then by the time she finished work I’d be wasted. So I was bored, I had nothing to do all day.

And then I thought, well, why don’t I start a podcast and lived in Saigon? I really wanted to know more about people that lived here. And so I started a podcast about Saigon and then that became a podcast about Vietnam. All right. Question two.

Samantha: Could you share a memorable moment or episode from your podcasting journey that had a significant impact on you or your audience?

Niall Mackay: significant moment? There’s been so many. I think the biggest one, there’s been a few, but the biggest one I think that had an impact on me anyway, [00:04:00] was when I did an episode with Suzanne Thi Hien Huc, who had been introduced to me through someone in Saigon.

She was a survivor of the Vietnam War essentially, so she had been abandoned under a bush. She was half black, half Asian, assumed that her father was an African American G. I. and her mother was Vietnamese. She had no idea if her mother had been raped, if she had been in a relationship, if she’d been in love, or if it was a one night stand.

She just didn’t know anything about her life. She’d been found by the orphanage and then adopted by a British family and it was a big massive success story. You know, she’d been adopted to the UK and ended up having a nightmare childhood. So, and I won’t go into all the details because it was really, really horrific.

And she said something during that episode that stuck with me ever since was, um, She never knew what it felt like to be loved. And I, I’m from a relatively kind of poor upbringing, you know, there was always food on the table, but we, we, money was a thing and had parents got divorced, [00:05:00] all of that kind of stuff.

But when she said that, I realized that I never felt unloved and I had no idea. What that feeling was like and felt really lucky to have been loved my whole life. So that was a really, really profound moment on me. And I think I cried for one of the second or maybe the first time ever interviewing somebody on the podcast.

It was a pretty memorable

Samantha: How do you approach finding and selecting topics for your podcast episodes, and what factors do you consider when determining what content will resonate with your audience?

Niall Mackay: This is a terrible question to ask me. I literally fly by the seat of my pants. Well, somebody that runs a podcast production company and coaches people on podcasting for my own podcast, I’m absolutely shocking. So for a Vietnam podcast, it was all about sharing stories of people connected to Vietnam. So it’s pretty simple.

I didn’t do much research on the people because I wanted to be there in the moment and enjoy the story. So. I just wanted to make sure, one, my biggest thing was I had a diverse lineup of guests, so I focused on having almost a 50 [00:06:00] 50 split with men and women, um, limited to just one or two Caucasian people per season, which was about 10 episodes, trying to make sure I have a mix of LGBTQ as well, um, people from all over the world, people from Vietnam as well, so that for me was how I selected the guests.

And then the topic was more about what they would talk about, what their story was. With Smarter Podcasting, the one that you’re listening to right now. I’m shocking to be honest, and I’ve talked about this from the beginning. I really, partly because I am so busy with Seven Million Bikes podcast, and I’m not trying to say that as a brag, but we are working on anything from 25 to 30 podcasts at any one time.

It’s getting crazier and crazier, which is amazing. And this podcast was initially set up to help other podcasters because that’s what I want to do. And so I guess that’s what drives the topics is how can I help other podcasters? But I do probably feel quite miserably at that. And I do know that this podcast could be way, way better than it is.

And [00:07:00] I do neglect it sometimes. I’m so, so sorry.

Samantha: What are some common challenges that new podcasters face, and how do you advise them to overcome these obstacles?

Niall Mackay: I think the biggest challenge in the beginning is just time. And we’ve talked about this many, many times on this podcast and other podcasts that I’ve been interviewed on. I did a calculation a few years ago and I think to make just one one hour podcast episode Can take anywhere up to eight to ten hours, including selecting the guest, meeting the guest, interviewing them, then editing it, then promoting it, then publishing it.

All of that stuff adds up. And so I think. Everyone just like me gets into podcasting because they love it and they get a microphone and they think it’s going to be fun and it is fun. Don’t not that they think it’s going to be fun. It is fun and most people absolutely love it. But what nearly every podcaster doesn’t appreciate in the beginning, myself included, is it’s going to take you about.

a whole full day of work [00:08:00] to produce that episode. So I was like, right, I’m going to do an episode every week. And I did. And then after 10 weeks, I was like, okay, I need to take a break. And I would sometimes take a break for like two to three months. Um, before I would start the next season, there was, there was never really any rhyme or reason to it.

And so I think the time is the biggest one. So the biggest thing I would advise to people to overcome the obstacles of time is just number one, appreciate it in the beginning, understand what you’re getting into. If you do have any budget, invest in your podcast. So invest in editing. Obviously, that’s what I now do.

People come to me because it can take you two to three to four hours or more to edit a podcast. So if you can pass that time off to somebody else. And the way I try and tell people as well to look at it is whatever you would spend on an editor,

I’ve spoken to people cause I literally edit podcasts all day everyday so I’m pretty good at it and I’ve got it quite fastish, but it still takes time. There are [00:09:00] some things that you just can’t speed up. For other people who don’t do it all the time, a one hour episode might take you three, four, five hours.

If you could get that time back and then pay somebody else to do that work for you, how much time is that worth to you? Like, whether that’s you just get to spend more time with your family or your friends, or you get to spend more time promoting the podcast and making it better. So just think about how much that time costs.

Um, that’s one way to overcome the obstacles is basically outsource. All right, next question. I haven’t read these ahead of time, so I’m having to think on my feet.

Samantha: With the podcasting landscape becoming increasingly competitive, what strategies do you recommend for standing out and attracting a dedicated audience?

Niall Mackay: that’s a good question. Right, well, first off the bat, I would maybe disagree about it becoming increasingly competitive and this is something that is a mistake.

Stake or misunderstood all the time, and I just posted about this this week. There’s only something like, what is it, 500, 250,000 new podcasts a week. There’s [00:10:00] only, I think 5 million. I’m getting all the numbers wrong, but like 5 million podcasts, whereas those 600 million blogs. There’s like 87, 000 TV shows or must be more than that.

Now you think about you’ve got Netflix, Paramount Plus, Disney Plus, like all those TV shows, all that content. Then you’ve got all the YouTube channels, more and more blogs every day. There is so much content out there. And podcast is a part of that, but it’s a really, really small part of it. So I don’t see it as being so competitive.

The podcast numbers just hit an all time high in the U S in terms of podcast listening. And that’s already like a market that you might say is saturated. I think last year I read the country with the biggest growth in podcast was Chile. I’m based here in Vietnam. Podcasting is really small, but growing quickly.

There’s more and more cars here. So people are transmitting, people are commuting. There’s more and more people going to the gym, walking around, more and more opportunities to listen to podcasts. So overall, podcasts is just growing and growing, and I [00:11:00] don’t see that changing anytime soon. So Cool. I don’t really see it as competitive, more as collaborative.

And one of the phrases I love is the rising tide floats all ships. So I think if all podcasts get better, that’s just going to make it better. Overall. The next part of the question, what strategies do you recommend to stand out and attract a dedicated audience? It’s number one, you read it all the time.

Just be consistent. Just be there. It can take a long time to really gain traction. Um, but you’ve got to be there at the same time, the same, um, day same cadence, whether it’s once a week, twice a week, once a month. Now, I’m one of those people like, do what I say, not what I do, because Smarter Podcasting, again, I completely don’t do any of that, because I’m so busy advising other people what to do, and coaching other people, and working on other podcasts.

But that is the advise, I know that is the answer, I’ve seen it with my own podcast, as well. I’ve seen it with the podcast that I work on, and if you wanna build a dedicated audience, I think the biggest thing is just be yourself. The biggest [00:12:00] podcast I think I’ve worked on is A Paranormal Chicks, two ladies from Mississippi who talk about true crime and the paranormal.

And I’ve never seen a podcast with a more dedicated fan base. You’ve probably heard of like super fans. Pat Flynn talks about it, that if you miss a deadline, you’re going to have a fan messaging you going, where the hell is my episode? And I kind of thought he was full of shit, to be honest. I was like, he’s just saying that for the video.

Like I’m saying to you right now, because, because it sounds good. Literally, they missed a deadline one morning, she’d forgotten to post it, and I saw in their group people posting, where’s the episode this morning, I’m missing it, please let me know when it’s going to be ready. They have an amazing Facebook group, Patreon, they’ve just built this unbelievable community and a dedicated audience, and they’ve done it by being there, like, I know they told me before I started working with them, they were.

Recording episodes from their hospital beds. They just make sure they never miss an episode. They’re pumping them out every week to a week. And, and they’re just themselves as well. They’re not anyone else. They are 100 percent themselves. And that really helps [00:13:00] build that audience. And I think that’s what helps people will see through if you’re being fake.

Samantha: How important is branding and marketing for a podcast’s success, and what tactics have you found most effective in promoting your podcasts and those of your clients?

Niall Mackay: Branding and marketing. I mean, I always like to tell people. I like to stick to my wheelhouse. That’s not what I’m best at.

It’s not what I’m great at. It’s taken me a long time to figure out what I am good at, but what I’m good at, and what I aim to be good at and be better at is podcast editing. So anything out of podcast editing, I know a little bit because I’m in the industry. but I’m not an expert. So branding and marketing, I honestly don’t know.

I don’t know the answer. I’ll just be really honest. What tactics are the most effective in promoting your podcast? I can only share what I’ve learned and it’s being get interviewed on other people’s podcasts within your niche. That’s a great one. Um, obviously making the short form content like for reels and tick tock is great.

 uh, And then I would say as well, you know, wherever your audience is. Be present. So whether that’s on [00:14:00] Discord or Facebook or Instagram, and give value to that audience. So my biggest pet peeve is when I see somebody post their episode link and they’re like, you don’t wanna miss this episode.

Oh my God, it gives me a sore head. Because it basically, every podcaster does the same thing. And they never say why. Why don’t you want to miss this episode? What is in this episode that is so valuable that I need to listen to it? And to be honest, probably nothing. That’s why do you ever click on those links?

I never click on those links. I’m never like, oh my god, I’ve got to listen to this or I’m going to miss out. Make sure you are present where your audience lives. So there’s no point putting out a generic post. If your podcast is about marketing, be present in Facebook, marketing groups, discords, build up your email list, and then share that episode, but share what the person is going to gain from it.

What value will they get from this episode? And I think that’s going to be the best way that you can build your audience over time.

Samantha: In your experience, what are some key differences between podcasting as a hobby and podcasting [00:15:00] as a profession, and how do these distinctions impact the content and approach of the podcast?

Niall Mackay: Oh, that’s a deep question. That is a deep one. What’s the difference between podcasting as a hobby and podcasting as a profession?

The biggest thing and the thing that changes everything around the world for everyone is money. So when you podcast as a hobby, you’re not doing it to make any money. And in fact, you’re spending a lot of money doing it and you’re doing it because you love it. And as soon as you start doing something for money, whether you like it or not.

It’s gonna change. And if you have sponsors, suddenly you have to have ads in your show, which maybe you never wanted. Maybe your listeners don’t want to be honest. Most listeners don’t care, but suddenly you’ve got ads in there. You’re more beholden to what they want you to do. Maybe you have Patreon as well.

So you’ve got to start creating extra content for those podcasters as well, which creates extra pressure on you. And that extra pressure comes from because you want the money from your Patreon members. So the biggest change is, is money. Um, how does it, how do these distinctions impact [00:16:00] the content and the approach?

I think whether you’re a professional or a hobby podcaster, I don’t think the content and the approach would change that much unless you’re really put unless like undue influence is put on you by whoever sponsoring you or if you’re signed up to a massive company, I don’t know, and they want you to do something different, but I think it can only help you.

I mean, if you really scale up and you get sponsorship, it means better equipment. It means better editing means you have more time to research your guests. Maybe I don’t think there’s any downside. from becoming a hobby podcaster, professional, and probably the biggest difference is you’re going to notice an increase in quality.

And that’s what I’ve noticed as well. You know, everyone starts out like someone like me with condenser microphone in a big empty room, terrible sound, terrible audio. And you can notice over time that that gets better and better and better. So it’s definitely helpful to become [00:17:00] professional.

Samantha: What advice do you have for podcasters looking to monetize their shows, and what monetization strategies have you found to be the most successful?

Niall Mackay: Great question.

What advice would you give for monetizing the shows? My biggest piece of advice right away, and I’ve written this before in an e book I wrote and some articles that I’ve wrote. If you’re getting into podcasting to make money, then don’t. It’s not a quick and easy way to make money. And I hear that from some people that are getting into podcasting before they’ve even started.

They’re wondering, how do I monetize? It’s really difficult to monetize your podcast. So sponsorship, for example. The average CPM, which is like cost per mile, I think, or something, but basically your cost per 1, 000 listeners. So for every 1, 000 listeners, the advertising rate, which is set is about 24. So if you have a thousand listeners, a sponsor will give you 24.

Now, if you have a [00:18:00] thousand listeners, you may think, well, that’s easy. You would be in the top 5 percent of podcasts worldwide. Now, with my podcast, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten higher than the top 10%. Top 5 percent of any industry in the world means you’re doing an incredible job, but it means that 95 percent of the people aren’t there at all.

To get over 10, 000 downloads per week, click You’ll be in the top 1%. So in terms of sponsorship, it’s really difficult. There’s not much money to be made and you just need to have a really, really good, a really, really big podcast. The other strategy obviously is Patreon, and I would definitely suggest doing that quite early on as well.

If you’re really focused on building a community. And getting people interactive with your podcast and making them feel part of it. Then I would get started with Patreon and coffee. com having people send you. I did that before with a Vietnam podcast. And honestly, the coolest thing in the world, I would wake up sometimes in the morning and there’d be like, Hannah sent you a coffee from Germany and then he’d be like, can you go get a beer with this?[00:19:00]

And so I would go have a beer, take a picture of myself and send it to him. That that’s like absolutely priceless. So yeah. You may not make a lot out of it, but the feeling of doing that and be able to communicate with some random person on the other side of the world who listens to your podcast is really, really cool.

Um, what monetization strategies are the most successful? Uh, for me, it was editing other podcasts. So that’s what exactly happened. I’d done Patreon. I had tried to get sponsorship and I realized that, Even though my podcast was pretty successful and it continues to be successful to this day, it’s getting more downloads than it ever had before.

Uh, it was going to be really difficult for me to make that a full time job. And that podcast was about Vietnam. So I was like, right, well, I could look for sponsors in Vietnam that are, you know, tourism or hotel, tourism, tourism or hotels. I then looked at my audience and they were around the world. And I was like, well, my audience is around the world.

So how do I find a sponsor that caters to all of [00:20:00] them? And so I came to the decision. that I think the best way to make a career of something that I love out of my hobby is to help other people make podcasts, because at this point I was already getting approached by people to ask for help. And I got to give kudos to my wife as well.

She was kind of the one that said, you know, you know a lot about podcasting. You’ve learned so much since you started. And I was kind of like, really? It’s just seems so, you know, normally easy. And she’s like, people want to know what, you know, and if you can help them do that quicker, she’s like, how much time have you researching stuff online?

Um, and then you could help somebody know that within like a minute. So that was my most successful strategy. Uh, people do things like merchandise. I see people often do that. I think that’s a difficult one. Yeah. I think you’re not going to make much money out of that. The margins are pretty small on merchandise.

Then you’ve got to send it out to people or order it. Um, so I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t worry too much about that. But the most successful ones. Yeah. But I think just focus on building an audience, making a great podcast, and then you can look at [00:21:00] things like sponsorship. But I would definitely go for patreonandcoffee.

com first of all.

Samantha: Looking ahead, what do you see as the future trends and developments in the podcasting industry, and how do you anticipate these changes will shape the landscape for podcasters and listeners alike?

Niall Mackay: is an easy one. Video is changing everything. Uh, I mean, even last year I was sitting and planning the future of Seven Million Bikes podcast, and I literally wrote it down.

Uh, the future is video and I am a podcast purist, a fanatic. And for me, even a year ago, I was like, Podcasts are audio only. It has to be audio only. That’s how it started. Anything else is a vlog or a YouTube channel. Stop calling it a podcast. And I’ve just had to soften that stance a little bit because it is blowing up so much.

I do advise if you’re going to do video, it should be complimentary to the audio. So,  and I think many people do that as well. And I love it. Partly because you can make the short form content of it, and partly because some people like to see the host, they want to see the person. It’s now [00:22:00] integrated with Spotify, which I actually really like.

Some of the podcasts I work on do that, so you open up Spotify and you can see the video right there. There are some podcasts that I listen to. I love The rest is football podcast by Go Hangers, Gary Lineker. I’m a big football fan, so I listen to that. I’m a bit of a super fan of that.

I’m like always waiting for the next episode to come out. And there is sometimes they talk about something and I will go and look it up on YouTube because I want to see what they’re saying. And I do really like the short form content. So the future is video. Absolutely. Um, how will these changes shape the landscape for podcasters and listeners for podcasters?

It means investment in more equipment. It means, you know, I think I had to invest in creating a studio. I’d wanted to do this for quite a while and then finally pulled the plug. Pulled the plug? That sounds bad right? Finally pushed the button? I don’t know but I finally did it! Invested a little bit, created this studio, um, recording video.

It takes longer. It’s going to take me four times longer to upload this video, to edit it. Uh, I’m going to need more storage. It just [00:23:00] takes longer to do everything. You need better equipment. You need more storage. So if you are going to do video and you want to do well, it’s going to cost you more money. The difference for listeners, I think it’s just extra content, right? Like I just gave those examples. I can watch it and listen to it. So for me, podcasting is still listening.

It can be. frustrating sometimes when sometimes I work with some people and they’ll say, Oh, we’re going to make a podcast today. And they’re literally just making a two minute promo video. And I’m like, that, that’s not a podcast. Podcasts are on Apple podcasts on Spotify. That’s the number one for me. They have to be on Apple podcasts, Spotify and the rest of them.

And then everything else is extra. So how’s it going to change for listeners? They’re going to consume more video content, but I don’t think That’s gonna be a big way. I know YouTube are trying to break into the podcast market, and I know lots of people make videos, but no one’s really watching the full amount.

So from what I know on YouTube. People are going to consume less than [00:24:00] 20 percent of that video. If they consume 40%, 60%, then that is absolutely incredible. I know my listening habits, uh, from other people, I don’t really know anyone that sits and watches a full hour of someone having a conversation. Joe Rogan’s massive, but does anyone sit and watch the full thing on YouTube or do you watch the clips that he posts or do you skip through it?

Whereas with a podcast, with an audio podcast, on average, 80 percent of that podcast is going to be consumed and may not even be in one sitting. You might start it on the way to work and you’re going to finish it on the way back. So audio is still number one for me in podcasts and then video is just a nice little extra.

 All right. Thank you, ChatGPT. I hope you guys enjoyed this. As I said, I’m Niall Mackay. I’ve been podcasting since 2019 and I’m absolutely addicted to it. I ended up starting my own company, Seven Million Bikes Podcast, and we focus on helping you make the best podcast you can.

So if you want [00:25:00] help from Me and from Seven Million Bikes podcast. Go to the show notes, go to the description. There’ll be a link there to my website. Go to the website. You can book a free consultation call. I’ll be happy to help you with any questions you have and hopefully be able to work with you and make your podcast amazing.

And don’t forget. Do all that stuff that everyone’s going to tell you to do. And I just can’t help myself. I don’t even want to say it, but I’m going to say it. Rate, review, subscribe. And the biggest thing that you can do is if you enjoy this content, please tell somebody else about it. And even better, please share it as well.

All right. Thank you for listening to another episode of Smarter Podcasting. Cheers.