Launch your podcast: What you need to know 🎤

And what you should read this week.

What you’ll find in this newsletter:

1) Tips & thoughts on podcasting and the newsletter business

2) What to read this week

Arielle Nissenblatt runs EarBuds Podcast Collective, a newsletter featuring 5 podcast episodes curated by a different person each week. Arielle also hosts and produces two podcasts of her own.

She was kind enough to share pieces of advice on how to run and grow both a newsletter and a podcast.

Do you have a tip for podcasters looking to build/grow an audience?

Yes! One of the untapped resources for growth that I like to share with podcasters is that they should be working with podcast apps. Apple, Spotify, Castbox, Sounder, Pocket Casts, and more -- all of these platforms have programs in place where podcasters can either apply to be featured or pitch themselves in some way. I encourage podcasters to look into these options: Put together a pitch deck for your podcast, set yourself measurable goals, and reach out to in-app curators. More info on this method here

What strategy did you use to grow your newsletter? 

I started my newsletter, EarBuds Podcast Collective, in 2017, almost on a whim, and with no prior knowledge of the newsletter space. It started on gmail and was not very aesthetically pleasing. After an incident where I cc’d everyone instead of bcc’ing, I decided it was time for Mailchimp. I’ve since become pretty well-versed in email marketing. I’m a big fan of experimenting with slight variations of color, button size, and image placements in order to find the best formula for my audience.

In terms of growth, EarBuds has seen the largest upticks in subscribers when we’re either mentioned on Twitter, on a podcast, or when we buy ads on newsletters of similar topics. Joining Swapstack, a platform that connects newsletter writers and newsletter advertisers, has also brought some growth to EarBuds.

What's one of your favorite failures?

I’ve been running EarBuds since 2017, and when I started, I didn’t have any rules in place for what each curator’s podcast picks should look like or represent. As a result, some of the lists that were curated and sent to me for publication featured all-white male-hosted podcasts. At first, I didn’t know how to, or even if I should counter that. Should I go in and editorialize a curator’s picks? Early on, someone curated a list called “Mancasts: podcasts for and by men.” I wasn’t into it but I let it slide. Because I didn’t have that many subscribers at the time, no one pushed back. But I wish they had. A year later, in mid-2018, someone curated a list called “Best Podcast Interview Shows.” The list featured all white men interviewing other men. For whatever reason (I had two full-time jobs at the time), I wasn’t able to replace any of the episode choices and I ended up publishing the list knowing only too well that there’d be pushback. And of course, there was.

Someone replied immediately saying, “Surely, not ALL of the best interview shows are by men featuring men.” I agreed. I apologized. I called my mentor, Jay Connor, who told me that as a newsletter publisher, I am essentially signing off on the contents of each publication when I hit send, and I need to be proud of what’s going out there. From that point on, I create a “golden rule” for curators: three of each week’s podcast picks need to be hosted by women, people of color, or nonbinary folks. This specification has ensured that each list is something that I’m proud to put out there and that the stories we’re recommending are representative of a larger swath of the world. 

According to you, what is THE quality entrepreneurs must possess to be successful and why?

Entrepreneurs must be willing to “yes, and” their own ideas. Letting those shower thoughts run until they form a cohesive idea is critical to getting things done and moving forward. The idea may be ridiculous when said aloud in its first few iterations. But entrepreneurs must be willing to continue building on it, ideating with trusted friends or partners. 

What is the best advice you've ever received? 

“If it’s not a fuck yes, it’s a fuck no.” If you’re not receiving that raw, unbridled enthusiasm from someone, it’s a no. This applies to absolutely everything; dating, job interviews, pitch meetings, and more. 

Can you share one of your favorite podcasts?

The first one is Mobituaries. Mo Rocca produces this show, which is “an irreverent but deeply researched appreciation of the people (and things) of the past who have long intrigued him—from an unsung Founding Father to the first Chinese-American superstar, from Neanderthals to the station wagon.” I recommend starting with the episode on Neanderthals.

Reading List

I just started The Art of Making Memories by Meik Wiking, an interesting book on how memory works and how you can deliberately create more happy memories. Wiking also highlights the impact of technology on our memory, and why we forget things and remember others. Highly recommend it!

Netflix Targets Net-Zero Carbon Footprint by End of 2022 - Variety

5 Routines That Helped Me Build a $1,000 a Month Subscription Business With a Small Audience - Medium

What is your company’s ‘Bridgerton’? - PRDaily

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