What I Learned About Podcasting in my First 50 Episodes

What I Learned About Podcasting in my First 50 Episodes on

We made it to episode 50 of the ProBlogger Podcast!

To be honest, when I was about halfway through the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog podcast series, I didn’t think I would make this that far. Podcasting in the early days is tough going!

In this episode, I discuss all the things I’ve learned so far about podcasting in terms of content, delivery, tools, monetization, building an audience and what I think are the benefits to taking a different road with your blog and interacting more personally with your readers.

It’s been interesting to see which episodes have been the most popular – it appears that the more personal and relatable the topic, the more it is downloaded and shared. Quite similar to blogging, but of course in such a different format and with a whole new audience as well. Storytelling and humanism really does draw people in regardless of the vehicle by which you do it. Being useful too, has massive benefits – five out of the top 10 podcasts have filled a gap or met a need for listeners, or even directly answered their questions.

If you are thinking of starting a podcast, I am sure you will find this mix of personal experience and practical tools and tips helpful to you on your journey.

You can find episode 50 of the ProBlogger podcast What I Learned About Podcasting in my First 50 Episodes here, along with show notes and links to the tools mentioned. I’d love to hear your feedback – what has been your favourite episode? What has helped you? You can leave a comment here, on the episode page, or you can fill in a short survey here.

Thanks for listening!

We Have Smart Homes and Smart Phones – What About Smart Blogs?

We Have Smart Homes and Smart Phones – What About Smart Blogs?

This is a guest contribution from Larry Alton.

Automation has become such a pervasive feature in our day-to-day lives that we hardly even notice it anymore, and in fact, we even rely on it. From simple things like automatic doors at the grocery store to the elaborate functions on our phones, automation makes life as we know it possible. Still, there are certain facets of our lives where we still expect to have to do much of the work, such as on our blogs.

As it turns out, many tools exist that can help you automate your blogging life and transform your plain old blog into a smart blog. Employing these new tools can help make you a more efficient blogger, increasing your productivity and helping you to use your time wisely. It’s time to get out of the past and embrace the technology of the future. As a blogger at points out, “We’re at the cusp of a decade where the impossible is starting to look very possible.” What an exciting moment in our technological evolution!

RSS Feeds and Creative Curating

RSS technology is a blog automation tool that may be more familiar than most. Many of us have personal RSS feeds that show us what’s new on our favorite sites and allow us to access this new content. But on the other side, as a blogger, how can RSS technology help you?

One way to employ RSS technology as a blogger is to create an automated RSS-to-email system. You can set up this system so that it sends updates to subscribers about new blog posts. To keep this from becoming overwhelming, one option is to set up this email so it shares monthly updates linking to your most popular posts. Readers opt in to the email and can then choose what content to read, and you don’t have to lift a finger.

Email Without the Effort

For many bloggers there are specific emailing tasks that have the potential to take up a lot of time. This is particularly true if you run a popular service-oriented blog or offer a submission feature. Whenever the content at hand can be reduced to a form letter, try setting up an autoresponder feature.

Autoresponder services work by sending preset email responses to particular addresses or because a message came from a pre-established site function, such as through your submit button. James McAllister from Help Start My Site uses autoresponders to effectively run his 7-day traffic building course. Because the course is always the same, he can preset the seven days of emails and have an autoresponder send those emails at the appropriate intervals, even setting follow-up emails for the next several weeks and months.

Managing Social Media Overload

If you’re a blogger, odds are good that you are also using a wide range of other social media sites, or at least you should be. In fact, well run social media profiles are absolutely vital, but as these sites proliferate, they can start to feel unwieldy. This is where Hootsuite Pro comes in.

What is Hootsuite Pro? Hootsuite Pro is a multi-function tool for managing all of your social media profiles from one place. Rather than having to move between sites and scroll through pages of updates, Hootsuite Pro brings your Facebook feed and Twitter posts and mentions, as well as any other social media sites you may use, all onto the same page. Even more than that, it allows you to schedule posts and messages in advance. This alone will save you hours of work trying to make your social media pages look appropriately active.

Set Up Submissions

One of the important ways bloggers publicize their content is by submitting posts to other sites that reprint or redirect to this material, such as Storify and Stumbleupon. Since this kind of syndication and submission should be a regular activity, automating this can be a valuable timesaver.

You’ll need some simple tools to do this kind of automating, such as IFTTT or Zapier. IFTTT stands for If This, Then That and it allows you to create a kind of recipe for your blog activities. By creating these recipes, your blog is able to carry out basic operations for you.

IFTTT not only handles submissions, but it can manage some of the same social media tasks that Hootsuite Pro manages. For example, IFTTT can be set up to change your profile picture across all social media sites.

These tools are just the start of an automated blogging future. It’s time to move beyond smart phones, and even smart houses, and embrace smart blog technology.

Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week /

A big hello from ProBlogger HQ on Grand Final Day! So much footy to be had today (and tomorrow, for NRL fans!) and so much food to be eaten whilst watching. Ok, that’s probably just me (for the record, I’m making this).

A Quick Guide to Building a a Thriving Social Media Community // Social Media Today

Because without them, your blog isn’t likely to be read.

Twitter Will Reportedly Nix the 140 Character Limit with a New Product // Engadget

I’ve heard the rumours, but now it seems like it’s true: and I’m not sure how I feel about it! I definitely enjoyed the restriction of the limit, it not only made me think through better tweets, but also kept it easy to read through my feed. Details are slim at the moment, but the new product will help you expand your communiques on the platform.

IFTTT Recipes for Social Media Marketing // Social Media Examiner

For all y’all who are into shortcuts (you know I am!) you really should be using If This, Then That – this post has got great ideas about seeing what others are doing on the platform and creating similar recipes for your own success.

How Often Should I Post on Social Media? // Buffer

It’s a fine line between not enough and so much that people unfollow… have you found that line?

17 of the best WordPress Plugins for Marketers // Hubspot

Number 5! I totally need to do that. I’ve never done it once in five and a half years of blogging on my own blog.

Why Effective SEO Isn’t Simply About Creating Great Content // Search Engine Watch

“Build it and they will come?” – not in blogging! While great content is the foundation of anything you want to do online it isn’t enough to grab all the search engine traffic you could be.

Good Social Media Boosts SEO Even Though Nobody Understands How // Entrepreneur

Following straight on from being told content isn’t everything, this post was super interesting in seeing how else we can drive traffic to our blogs outside of creating great stuff. The bottom line: don’t separate social and SEO.

How to Drive Traffic with Instagram // Social Media Examiner

Some obvious stuff (put a link in bio, etc), but definitely a couple I hadn’t thought of.

Google Confirms the Real Time Penguin Algorithm is Coming Soon // Search Engine Land

The update that will refresh data in real time has inched further to being a reality – by the end of next year perhaps? I wonder how this will change things for bloggers and Google traffic…

Sorry, You’re Addicted to the Internet. Here’s Why // Mashable

A little explanation about how social media and the web in general are changing the way we think and act offline. Are you happy to be addicted? I know a few who are!

Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

How to Define Your Blog’s Brand


In today’s episode of the ProBlogger podcast, I want to talk to you about blog branding, and how it shapes the relationship between you and your reader.

It’s something I think everybody should take seriously, and put thought into, rather than just muddle along and see what happens – it really makes such a difference not only to how you are perceived, but also in growing your presence.

Today’s episode is super-practical, and includes lifestyle blogger Claire Hillier from Checks and Spots giving her top tips for building a brand. She spoke at the recent ProBlogger event about blogging for beginners and mentioned these incredibly important points about personal branding, your blog mission, and how these things tie together. These ultimately have a flow-on effect for other parts of your blog and presence online.

Grab a notepad and jot down the notes as they come – also feel free to stop the podcast and answer the questions she raises – and really engage with the content and concept of building your own blog brand, whether it’s commercial or as a hobby.

Claire discusses:

  • What is a brand?
  • What is the essence of a blog?
  • What is the audience?
  • Where is my blog useful?
  • Brand values

You can find episode 49 of the ProBlogger podcast How to Define Your Blog’s Brand here, as well as the show notes.

Further Reading:

Five Apps to Help You Manage Your Blog

Five Apps to Help You Manage Your Blog on

This is a guest contribution from Cassie Phillips.

If you’re here at ProBlogger, I’m betting you already know writing a blog can be a useful endeavor for a number of different reasons. A blog can help you journal your life or collect ideas from other people’s blogs that will be useful in your life. It can be a powerful tool in helping you keep in touch with friends and family, or you can use it to meet and interact with strangers. It can be something personal to you or something used for your business. Whatever your reasons are, though, you might find it’s a bit tricky trying to keep on top of things and churn out relevant and interesting content to keep your readers satisfied. Never fear, though: there are plenty of apps out there to help you keep organized and on track with your personal goals on the go. Here are five apps you’ll want to remember to have:

1. The Platform App

Of course, the first app you’re going to want to have is the app for your platform, be it WordPress, TypePad, Tumblr, or whatever else. Even if you don’t plan to do most of your blogging from your phone or tablet, seeing your app there on your device can be a useful reminder to either get to work on the next blog or get it posted. On top of that, most better-known blog platforms have pretty great apps these days, making it easy to post from wherever you are, whenever you have a few minutes to kill.

2. The Taskmaster App

I don’t know about you, but for me, remembering when I should be blogging gets difficult sometimes. We have so many obligations in our day-to-day lives that remembering to write things up and post them can sometimes be a challenge. Even if you feel like you’re on top of everything and there will be no problem, it never hurts to have an app to set reminders for when you need to have things finished by. Wunderlist will allow you to make task lists for yourself, set reminders for when things need to be done, and generally just keep on top of everything you have to do, all in a clean, user-friendly design.

3. The Social Media App

If you’re trying to direct people to your blog—even if you’re just trying to get your mom’s attention and let her know, hey, there’s a new post!—you’ll likely want to turn to social media. The thing about blogging is, people aren’t always going to remember to check back to each of the dozens of blogs that they follow. But people often check in on what’s going on on social media sites. It can be a pain to update your status and tweet and go on Google+, etc. each time you post an update. But Buffer will allow you to post the same thing to multiple accounts at once. You can even schedule posts to go out at a later time and track interest in that post. This means it frees up some of your social media time and allows you to do more of the fun stuff of blogging.

4. The Web-Traffic App

Even if you’re not running your site for the purpose of creating revenue through clicks, it can be nice to know how many people are looking at your site. If nothing else, it’s a bit of an ego-boost, right—people actually want to see your site! But if you’re creating a revenue-producing website, it’s important to see how many people click on your site and where they’re coming from. Dashboard for Google Analytics does this in an especially sleek way, and it’s pretty cheap as well.

5. The VPN App

If you’re blogging on the go, you’re likely connecting to public Wi-Fi, whether at a coffee shop, on the bus, in downtown, or somewhere else—oh, the joys of modern technology! Grab the Wi-Fi Finder app to help you out with locating the nearest hotspots. But don’t forget to grab a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to protect your information and make sure you’re safe from potential hackers. Actually, there are a lot of things you should be thinking about when you’re connecting to public Wi-Fi. A good VPN will give you a more secure connection that better ensures that what you do stays private.

Although managing your blog may sometimes feel a bit overwhelming, given the right apps, you’ll find that you have no problem balancing your blog and the rest of your life. Whatever you’re using your blog for, you’ll find that these apps will integrate neatly into your workflow, allowing you to keep doing what you’re doing, in a more productive way.

Cassie is a technology and internet security enthusiast.

How to Make $30,000 a year Blogging

How to Make $30,000 a year Blogging - ProBlogger Darren Rowse gives his best tips.

If you’re anything like the overwhelmed blogger I spoke to a few years ago, who thought making a full time living from her blog was basically impossible, then this episode of the ProBlogger podcast is for you.

The truth is, making a full-time living from blogging means different things to different people – what is a full time income to you might not be enough for the next person, and vice versa. The first thing to do is figure out how much you need to live on (or indeed if you are only looking for a part time income, etc), and work toward earning that amount. The firmer the figure you have, the better chance you have of making it happen. Pie-in-the-sky ideas and vague language like “full-time income” aren’t as helpful.

This particular blogger I spoke to said $30,000 USD would be enough to allow them to quit their current job, but also had never made a dollar from her blog and had almost convinced herself it was impossible.

It’s not impossible, but nor is it a cakewalk. In today’s episode I give three pieces of advice for those of you wanting to change career directions and make a living blogging instead of traditional work. I also provide some of the ways I decided how much I wanted to make, and how I went about achieving those sums. I’ll give the income stream options I had, the ones I tried, and ultimately the ones I ended up using consistently.

I also break down the income models of three different types of blogs: fashion, photography, and food.

When I first reached my target of $50,000 AUD per year, I broke down my income into what percentage came from which income stream (which may very well be different to yours, and is actually different to my income streams as they are currently). I hope you find it useful.

You can listen to Episode 48 of the ProBlogger Podcast How to Make $30,000 a year Blogging here.

Further Reading:

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week /

The sun is shining, the birds are singing – I think spring has finally hit Melbourne!

With that, I will leave you with this week’s links to ponder…

Instagram Images: How to Stand out on Instagram // Social Media Examiner

This podcast was interesting – I’ve definitely seen the trend for very similar images being used on IG, particularly for specific niches. I’ve experimented with a lot, and I found the opposite of what I often expected. For example, an image set out similarly to one I admired ended up getting the least amount of likes. So how do you stand out when it seems everyone is homogenous? And how do you stay true to your own aesthetic in the process?

Facebook Turns Notes into a Blogging Platform with a Revamped Interface // TNW News

Everyone’s talking about the revamped Notes section on Facebook – it looks and functions much more like a user-friendly blogging platform. Perhaps a way to get around the Facebook page (dismal) algorithm to get your content seen?

How to Hack the Amplification Process (Whiteboard Friday) // Moz

Have you been looking in the wrong places for your audience?

The 5 Biggest Social Media Trends of 2015 (Infographic) // Social Media Today

Number 3 I already knew, but Line? What on Earth is Line?!

What it takes to Make Fashion Blogging Look Effortless // The Atlantic

It’s not all front row seats and fancy lipstick.

3 Resources to Help you Become a Professional Content Marketer // Copyblogger

I see a lot of bloggers turn pro by instead becoming professional content marketers. If that’s something you’re interested in, Stefanie Flaxman gives a great overview of getting started.

How This Blogger Made $1 Million in 3 Years and Is Visiting Every Country on Earth // Forbes

I’m always fascinated about how bloggers make a living from travelling, but this guy earns $1000 a day: something I was EXTRA fascinated with! What a lot to learn.

3 Things all Great Digital Marketers Know // Business2Community

Ah yes… we all forget number 2!

Facebook Audience Insights: 5 Groups You Should Analyze // Jon Loomer

Have I convinced you to come around to Facebook Ads yet? Jon really makes it easy to figure out the best method for maximum results.

How to Use Snapchat for Business // Social Media Examiner

A few weeks ago I linked to an article stating we were missing out on reaching the youth of today if we weren’t implementing Snapchat. Afterwards, I reinstated my account but I guess I’m still missing the point of it. I like the idea in this article of creating a tutorial – I’m seeing a lot of people doing that on Periscope lately.

So what have you read lately? Are you earning $1000 a day?!

Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

Writing Challenge: Write a ‘How I Do It’ Blog Post

Bookshelf filled with colorful books

Today’s podcast episode is a little bit different – a throwback of sorts to one of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Podcast challenges.

I think it’s important to offer challenges like this, as it’s very easy to read or listen to what to do, but actually doing it is a totally different thing all together. In fact, absorbing knowledge without putting it into practise is one of the 21 mistakes I see new bloggers make fairly consistently.

So today the challenge to you is to write a “How I do it” blog post. Something about how you do whatever it is you’re good at, to share with your audience. It might be a very simple topic idea, but it is in fact a very valuable way to drive traffic to your blog, and in turn, grow your readership.

In the podcast I discuss the differences between the style of posts you could create, and examples for each – from styling a bed to making $72,000 in eBook sales – and also tips for brainstorming and writing.

You can listen to episode 47 of the ProBlogger podcast: Writing Challenge: Write a ‘How I Do It’ Blog Post here, and access the examples above in the show notes.

You are also welcome to link to the post you’ve written in the comments below.

Further Reading:

Do You Recognize These 21 Blogging Mistakes?


While the pathway to blogging is different for everybody, and you could argue there’s no “wrong” way, in today’s ProBlogger podcast I discuss some of the mistakes I made when first starting out, and the most typical mistakes I see newer bloggers making. I wonder if any of you recognize yourselves in these behaviours that could very well hold you back?

I talk about everything from before people even start their blogs, to they way they market them, how they drive traffic, how they monetise, site design, and even the chosen niche. But all is not lost if you do find yourself taking these wrong turns – I also give options about how to avoid the pitfalls I see so many falling into.

You can find episode 46 of the ProBlogger podcast: Do You Recognize These 21 Blogging Mistakes? here, along with the show notes.

I’d love to hear of the mistakes you made or the ones you see others making – which ones were the hardest to overcome?

Further Reading: