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Listening To Podcasts To Improve Your Online Business

Listening to podcasts over the last two months has helped me improve this blog, our social media marketing and almost every aspect of my online business. From the improvement of our VIP List, gaining more subscribers, tweaking SEO, adding important pages, finding and writing more authoritative content… and on and on. Listening to podcasts has me more excited and motivated than I’ve been since I can remember.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spent hour after hour of driving while listening to NPR or other radio stations just hoping to hear a little something about Google, Facebook or social media. How cool would it be to have a radio show dedicated to blogging? Well, with today’s technology, there’s almost an endless supply of audio content to consume when on the go and I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to finally take full advantage of podcasts.

How My Podcast Addiction Started

Each month I set a 30 day challenge for myself and last month (August 2013) my 30 day challenge was to listen to every one of Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income Podcasts. That was 77 different episodes and many of them as long as an hour or more. This was by far one of my favorite challenges to date because I learned an incredible amount of great blogging and social media information that I’ve been able to put to use. I’ve listened to many podcasts in the past but that challenge last month really turned me into a podcast listening addict. I’ve moved onto over a dozen podcasts that I now listen to regularly.

Listening To Podcasts With Android

A lot of us think of podcasts as synonymous to iTunes. That’s not true, not at all. Android Users Can Still Listen To Podcasts. I use an Android Smartphone and a Nook HD+ Tablet which runs on the Android platform. So I do have access to iTunes on my desktop or laptop but it’s difficult on my mobile devices. IOS apps (iPhone apps) can’t run on Android but there are alternatives. Stitcher is the one I went with but now I’ve found an even better alternative.

Stitcher works well with just listening to a podcast while on the go but user control isn’t all that great and you need a solid connection to listen. Pocket Casts allows my to actually pick and download the podcast to my device and the controls are much more user friendly. Now if i’m in an area where there’s no cell service or a weak signal, I’m still in business. The Pocket Casts app is cross-platform and it’s much more than a player, it’s a way to manage your podcasts.

The Reason To Become A Podcast Listener

We, hopefully, consume content on a daily basis. We read other blogs, watch the news, listen to the radio and watch videos. Take blogging for example; bloggers from every niche might read blog posts on blogging, social media and online business, right? Sure, they want to improve their blogs and online business but which logs should they read? Mine of course. LOL Seriously though, how many blog posts have been written on how important it is to write great and original content? Crazy, right? So we find the blogs that we can relate with and get the most from and become regular readers. Now, some of the really great things we want to learn are tough to access because that value often comes with a pricetag. Bloggers and marketers recognize the profit potential and use just enough content to hook us into buying an eBook, a paid webinar, an e-course, live event, or membership. There’s nothing wrong with that and that’s often the best money you’ll ever spend.

Many podcasts are loaded with interviews with very popular experts in a variety of topics. I hear many podcasters asking the same questions I want to ask myself and that’s because they, as the interviewer, can relate to you, the listener, better than a news reporter just trying to get the facts, as an example. Having real experts pouring they’re heart out in a podcast environment just seems like the perfect fit.

Too Much Is Just Too Much

I have to say, just like everything else, we probably do better without the information overload. We want great content, especially content that will improve our business, but it’s easy to get a little overwhelmed. When I spent a month listening to 77 Pat Flynn episodes, I literally filled three notebooks worth of notes. The amount of information, tips and ideas I took form that single month could carry me for a year or more and I couldn’t possibly act on all of it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so glad I did it and would do it again but it would have been smarter to listen on a regular schedule that to catch-up by cramming two plus years into a single month. Now, a month later, I can see the same thing happening by listening to 4 or 5 hours a day. Yes, I said I’d become an addict. lol

What Podcasts To Listen To

I couldn’t possibly tell you what podcasts are best for you any more than I could tell you which blogs to read. I will give to a few of my favorites and that might help you get started but it’s very easy to find the perfect podcasts for your situation.

A Variety Of Niches

Podcasts, just like other forms of media consumption, can be used to, basically, do three things. Entertain, educate or inspire. The best podcasts, just like video, will accomplish all three. There are podcasts on almost any topic. I just search Stitcher for “knitting” and there are actually podcasts dedicated to knitting. Most news stations and radio shows now have podcasts. Search for podcasts within your niche and take advantage of that information.

My Top Five Postcasts

  1. Smart Passive Income Podcast by Pat Flynn
  2. The Learning With Leslie Podcast by Leslie Samuel (Become A Blogger)
  3. Social Media Marketing Podcast by Michael Stelzner (Social Media Examiner)
  4. Ms. Ileane Speaks Podcast by Ileane Smith
  5. Podcast Answer Man by Cliff Ravenscraft

Take Advantage Of The Show Notes

Most podcasts are associated with websites. Many bloggers will setup a dedicated post for each podcast episode. These posts generally have the show notes that will include links and key points mentioned in that show. This is a great way to follow-up on what you’ve learned without writing notes as you’re driving your car, riding your bike or running laps in the gym. All you have to know is the blog post URL.

Action Step – Start Listening, Learning, Doing…

I hope this post inspires some of you to listen to podcasts but, truthfully, it means nothing if you don’t act on what you’ve learned from those podcasts. So please, if you’re not already actively listening to podcasts, give it a try.  This post was inspired by Leslie Samuel and I can’t think of a better podcast to get you started then How To Take Full Advantage Of Podcasts. Thank You Leslie Samuel, you are truly an inspiration!

Are You A Podcast Listener?

I’d love to know what podcasts you are listening to or what tools you use. Do you have any advice for e or the other readers? I live for your comments so feel free to comment below via WordPress, Facebook or Google Plus, just click the appropriate tab.

How To Listen To A Podcast And Get The Most From It

Brian D. Hawkins Visit Website
Blogging superhero by day and internet super villain by night. Blogger, future online millionaire and all around great guy. Subscribe to our VIP List and enjoy true connection.

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50 Comments
  • Jon
    Reply

    Great little roundup of Podcasts! I already follow Pat Flynn, I’m excited to check out these other ones. I used to read Pat Flynn’s blog on the regular and then I tapered off. You just inspired me to re-bookmark and check back in with him.
    Jon recently posted..Is Spyhunter 4 Safe To Use?My Profile

  • Val
    Reply

    Hi Brian,

    I have recently discovered your blog (As in within the last few days) and am really enjoying your great content.

    No offense, I somewhat disagree with the notion that listening or watching a podcast can improve an online business.

    Although I appreciate that anyone with a microphone can create a podcast and call themselves an ‘Expert’, I have noticed that most of the podcasts are borderline self serving tactical rubbish for online marketers (Not busy business owners).

    As a business owner, I am not interested in hearing a plethora of online social media tactics – I’m interested in hearing about long term strategies that solve problems to help grow my business online. Too much time is spent talking about tactics and technical details of the ‘what’ – no real solutions to real problems. So far, I have not discovered a good podcast that delivers solution based content.

    Very little content in most popular podcasts actually contain proven, useful strategies & information that one could use to improve business. Similar to attending a 4 year university, most of the info is all just theory taught by those without concrete business experience and proof that said tactics actually work (Excluding Pat, who shares with listeners what he is doing online to make money – not so much about building a real sustainable online business).

    If podcast ‘Experts’ knew how to run an actual business, the podcast would be more specific about solving real problems that online business owners encounter. Side Note: Teaching others how to setup a blog, podcast, social media profiles, niche websites, et al is not a sustainable business (More of an activity to generate affiliate sales and consulting opportunities).

    Lastly, most podcasts are typically interview based formats in which I’m noticing the same guests are shared and recycled from show to show – with the same ‘Story’. The interviewers bring nothing new out of the interviewees, thus most of it is repetition of another podcast.

    If podcasting expects to be considered valuable as a credible form of media in the future, an overhaul is drastically needed.

    • Reply


      Twitter: HotBlogTips
      Hi Val, I really wish I hadn’t missed this comment earlier. I might have never seen it had Jon not just left a comment on this older post. For that, I apologize.

      First, I really appreciate you taking the time to leave that well thought out comment. I’m in the planning stages of a podcast myself and I just added the term “solution based content” into my plan. I think that’s a tall order but certainly worth striving for.

      I do have to take exception to the idea that blogging, podcasting or any other online business isn’t an “actual” business. There are podcasters that have incomes on the six and seven figure a month range and, more importantly, help a lot of people from every walk of life . I know many traditional business owners that would love to make those profits and that reach, especially working from home. My broke stepfather hated collage educated business people because they didn’t have “real” jobs. He was so wrong that even a 10 year old boy could tell it was simply bitterness.

      Personally, I find many of the podcasts I subscribe to very inspiring. Others are often a waste of time but I can usually tell if I need to click over to the next podcast within minutes.

      Solution based content is a gret idea but how do we teach someone how to get the perfect subscriber? More sales? What’s the best time to send an email or what should my office hours be? Should my business have a blog? Website? Helpdesk? What I’m getting at is there’s no one solution because every problem isn’t created equal. We have different business models, goals, customers, markets, etc. Just my two cents. :) BTW, I wish you had left your website link, I’d love to see it. Thanks again, Brian
      Brian D. Hawkins recently posted..List Building Technique Using Twitter And ClickToTweetMy Profile

  • Reply

    Thanks for encouraging me to listen to podcasts. I usually listen to music when working on a website. You have helped me realize that listening to podcasts would be a much more effective use of my time. I could keep up with the latest we design trends and work on my clients websites at the same time. I will be spending the next hour finding podcasts to subscribe too
    Sagar Nandwani recently posted..Effective Reseller Hosting To Begin Your Business.My Profile

  • Reply


    Twitter: krrishbhagya
    I appreciate that. :) I’ve become a podcasting addict. lol I have over 60 episodes downloaded on my Android right now and listen to at least half a dozen a day. I drive all day long and I increase the speed on most of them so I can get a lot of content in.

  • Reply


    Twitter: krrishbhagya
    Podcasts are a quick and easy way to absorb helpful information. If my connect were a bit stronger here in India I would record them myself.

    Like you said, do some research. A number of top flight bloggers run popular podcasts for their followings.

    Thanks,

    • Reply


      Twitter: HotBlogTips
      It’s easy to forget that many areas of the World may not enjoy high speed connections and cell signals Kishore. One thing I like about podcasts is, if you have the mobile storage, you can download many upfront and listen later with no connection at all.

  • Reply

    I’m a reader but there are times that my hands are full so listening to podcasts is a really good way if you want to learn something but don’t have the time to read. Nice list by the way. Have started downloading some of them and really looking forward listening to them.

    Cheers,
    Mike
    Mike recently posted..Davidson County Emergency Medical Services 10-CodesMy Profile

  • Reply

    I seriously cannottttt listen to a podcast. No patience at all for that. For entertainment, yeh. I quite like it as a go-to-bed sound, but paying attention to it? Hmm.. An Ebook might work better.
    Tim Williams recently posted..Samsung Galaxy S3 AanbiedingenMy Profile

  • Reply

    A Podcast is more than just entertainment. For businesses, this is a great learning experience. There is a lot of knowledge to be found in these Podcasts that you cannot find elsewhere.
    Alex Thompson recently posted..4 Strongest Tablets for the Business ManMy Profile

  • Reply

    Thanks for the suggestions. SocialTriggers.com is a brilliant site for internet marketing, I will have to check out Derek’s podcast.

  • Reply


    Twitter: RamChandraDash
    Hello Brian,

    Yes this idea can improve my business because i am in Education profession. My students are searching the solved answers related to their subjects. If i will post the podcasts related to their query topics then definitely they would love it. Thanks for give this beautiful idea.
    Ram Dash recently posted..Private And Home Tutors in GurgaonMy Profile

  • Reply

    Its very important and useful to listen to podcast. Why? Because its just better too do that, than watch next “funny video” at Youtube. Simple but true. Its nice to hear that You listen to Pat Flynn’s podcast, cause he’s really good at it provie best solutions and informations about income. Great content is good but You need to have time to use this “tips” in real time (practice) For me Litsen – > Do it is working. Cheers

  • Reply


    Twitter: TechWayz
    Hi Brian !
    For me,blogging related Podcasts are good source of knowledge .I listen to podcasts of a few bloggers that you’ve mentioned in your list.Listening top podcasts has helped me to gain good knowledge on marketing and blogging.One good advantage of podcasts is that we can listen them as many times we wish …isn’t it? .
    Thanks for sharing the information
    Pramod recently posted..HCL ME Champ vs Swipe Junior :Specifications,Price ComparedMy Profile

  • Reply

    Wow, podcasts are really the way to go! It is true that you can use the time spend while driving to listen to something that you are passionate about and get some real information. This is so awesome, I will try it. And definitely, spread the word.

  • Reply


    Twitter: AdrienneSmith40
    Hey Brian,

    Glad you’ve found what you enjoy listening to. I can’t get into podcasts myself because to be honest with you, who has the time. A lot of them are at least 30 minutes and I just don’t have the time to listen to them.

    I use to load podcasts up when I walk because I do that everyday for 30 minutes at least but I moved my Mom next door to me a year ago this summer so she walks with me everyday and trust me, there is no listening to anything but her.

    I can’t work and have it going in the background, I have to have total silence when I work or I can’t concentrate. By the time I get off this computer I just want to veg out. I know there are some awesome podcasts out there that we can learn so much from but I’ll just have to stick to reading blog posts for now. If I worked outside the house and was in the car more then I’d say heck yeah but that’s not the case.

    Thanks for sharing why you enjoy them though and which ones are your favorite. I’m not surprised about Pat’s and good to see Ileane on that list too.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted..HELP: When Spam Is Not SpamMy Profile

    • Reply


      Twitter: HotBlogTips
      I know you are very busy Adrienne, I see you EVERYWHERE. lol I’m the same way when I get in front of the computer, I can’t have a lot going on if I’m going to get anything else done. I think it’s great that you’re walking with your Mom and that’s far more important than podcasts. I’m stuck in that truck all day so it’s ideal for me.

  • Reply

    That is very nice to read. I mostly use Mediafly OnAir to listen podcasts on Android. It’s litle bit famalir to Stitcher. In this you can browse and stream video content with a mediafly account and once you sign up you can create your own custom channels consisting of your favourite shows too.

  • Reply


    Twitter: madlemmingz
    Thanks Brian, now you have put me on track to becoming an addict :> well maybe. I am heading off now to listen to Pat Flynns stuff. Let’s see how it goes
    Ashley Faulkes recently posted..Google Analytics Academy – Become a GuruMy Profile

  • Reply

    Thanks for the podcast list Brian. Pat Flynn is awesome but it will take time to listen to all the 82 episodes but now I know why I bought a Mp3player. This is something every blogger should take time listen to.
    Gordon recently posted..RegCure Pro ReviewMy Profile

    • Reply


      Twitter: HotBlogTips
      Actually Gordon, I wouldn’t really recommend that type of extreme listenin to start. It’s probably better to just pick it up where it’s at right now and try to listen to his show each week. Or scroll through the topics and listen to those shows with a topic you want to learn about.

  • Reply

    Hi Brian,

    With all the work and energy that goes into work, not only do listening to podcasts help me save time, but also stay focused while working. It’s a great pointer that is widely underused-and not just by bloggers.
    Amiti recently posted..Blogger RoutineMy Profile

  • Reply

    Hey Brian, thanks for sharing your experience about the Podcasts and the valuable information about it.

  • Reply


    Twitter: nancybadillo13
    Hi Brian,

    I really enjoy reading your post. I personally enjoy listing to podcast. They are easy and convenient.
    Nancy Badillo recently posted..The Online Retail Market and Why Should You Start Making Money From ItMy Profile

  • Reply

    Hello again, Brian! Your top five podcasts are just amazing. I am subscribed to all of them except Podcast Answer Man by Cliff Ravenscraft. Went right ahead and viewed some of his topics and googled reviews and I found really great stuff. Thank you so much! Nothing more to say. Great post! Keep it up!

  • Reply


    Twitter: SharonODay
    77 extra hours? Wow, talk about ambitious! I’ve been in the habit of listening to podcasts at different times, but admit I’ve moved away from it, not wanting to fill my time away from the computer with more learning. (Yes, overwhelm.) But you’re right that it’s an efficient way to learn. I just need to find a way for it to SUPPLANT some computer time, not SUPPLEMENT it. Thanks for the reminder, Brian!
    Sharon O’Day recently posted..Financial Independence: A Quick and Dirty Path to FreedomMy Profile

  • Reply

    Hey Brian,
    I’m a big podcast fan myself, but be warned , they can be very addictive, it’s because they’re easy to use and they’re on your phone that you take with you everywhere, i run my own business and they turned me into a workaholic,
    sometimes i say to myself, today i’m not gonna do anything and just relax, but i once i get a little bored, i can’t stop myself from plugin my mobile’s earphones, when i am walking the dog, or in the car , or checking Facebook and notifications …
    Many thanks and Best Regards.
    Mitch recently posted..How to Build A Professional-Looking Resume Or CV In 5 MinutesMy Profile

  • Reply

    I have a new found passion for podcasts. I love any podcast having to do with nurturing my business sense. I download them, upload them to my phone, and listen to them in the car. It’s better than talk radio because it has to do with exactly what I want to learn. Great article. Go podcasts!
    Danielle M recently posted..Social CampaignsMy Profile

  • Reply

    I used to be a huge podcast fan, way back in 2008 when podcasts were the hot new thing. Over the years, I got out of the habit.

    Thanks for the article, and the links to podcasts. I’ll be checking them out. It’ll make a change from listening to audio books. :-)
    Angela Booth recently posted..Content Marketing: WHY?My Profile

    • Reply


      Twitter: HotBlogTips
      That’s funny Angela, back in the late nineties I was big into audio books. I was an over-the-road truck driver and I listened to several books a week driving across country.

      Podcasts actually never died down, it looks like it’s grown pretty big. It’s like Tumblr blogs, if you weren’t in the mix it was easy to miss just how big they’ve grown. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. :)

  • Reply


    Twitter: Ileane
    Brian, I am just absolutely thrilled that you have started listening to podcasts now. And I was just stunned to see that my podcast is in your list of top five favorites.

    You’re so right that listening to podcasts makes you a better blogger and email marketer. Once you find a great podcast or two, you’ll learn a lot more than just reading text all the time. The message tends to stick better and it’s more easier to relate to.

    When you get a chance, take a look at the post that I will leave in my CommentLuv link if you want to find out how I listen to podcasts on Android.

    Have a great Sunday Brian!
    Ileane recently posted..Unbelievably Devoted To PodcastingMy Profile

    • Reply


      Twitter: HotBlogTips
      I’m sorry Ileane, I forgot you had that blog. I’m subscribed now. I’ll check out those podcasts you listed. I’ve known about podcasts for years but had no idea there were so many and so much information freely available. efore last month, your podcast was pretty much the only one I listened to and I just used the browser on my computer. I really hope other bloggers check it out, it’s amazing to find a whole new world of content out there.

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