No. 015 Darren Rowse Opens Up About the Strategy Behind His New Show

People have been trying to get Darren Rowse to podcast for years. How can the founder of Problogger not have a podcast … right? Now he does. And he joins us for an inside look at the launch strategy behind his long-awaited show.

To start, we take you behind our strategy for conducting a 2-on-1 interview. It can be tricky and often requires planning and organization to do well. (By the way, here’s the exact Google Doc we used to plan this episode and make notes to each other during the interview.)

Then Darren joins us all the way from Melbourne, Australia to let us inside his mind during the week of his podcast launch.

We ask him a number of questions, including:

  • Why did he finally decide to start a podcast?
  • What have been Darren’s two biggest challenge in launching a podcast — despite all of his experience and the size of his audience?
  • How is he managing the production and publishing process for his 31-episodes-in-31-days launch strategy?
  • Why did Darren design his podcast launch around repurposed content?
  • How did his show’s current sponsorship come about? (And was he always planning on having a sponsor?)
  • Would Darren have fully sponsored his own show (like Rainmaker.FM does) if he had not secured a sponsor?
  • What advice would he share with fellow showrunners who want to follow his model of launching a podcast that has intrinsic, direct, and indirect profitability from the start?
  • And … once the initial daily launch is over, what will the regular schedule be?

As you’d expect, Darren provides thorough and insightful answers.

We thoroughly enjoyed the experience of interviewing one of our role models when it comes to content creation and online business strategy. We hope you enjoy it too.

After the interview, we spend a few minutes assessing how well we executed our plan for the 2-on-1 interview. Then it’s time for the listener question, which comes from Daniel Bowling and deals with managing files and memory on your computer so that you have room to record without running into untimely errors. (We’ve all been there, and we never want to be there again!)

And this episode’s podcast recommendation should be pretty obvious. 🙂

Connect with Darren if you have not already, and learn a lot from one of the pioneers of the industry:

Listen, learn, enjoy …

No. 015 Darren Rowse Opens up about the Strategy behind His New Podcast

Jerod Morris: This is Rainmaker.FM, the digital marketing podcast network. It’s built on the Rainmaker Platform, which empowers you to build your own digital marketing and sales platform. Start your free 14-day trial at

Welcome to The Showrunner, where we have one goal: teach you how to develop, launch, and run a remarkable show. Ready?

Welcome back to The Showrunner. This is episode number 15. I am your host, Jerod Morris, VP of Rainmaker.FM for Copyblogger Media, and I am joined as always by my co-host, defender of humanity and host of Hack the Entrepreneur, Jonny Nastor. We have a very, very special show, a special guest on today’s episode of The Showrunner, and it’s actually the beginning of a series that we’re going to do.

To introduce this guest, I just want to share a quick anecdote that, to me, sums this guy up, sums up who he is, why he’s successful. At our first Authority event, Authority Intensive last year, this guy was one of the keynote speakers. If you go to conferences, you know that a lot of times — not always, but a lot of times — keynote speakers will come, show up for their presentation, and leave shortly thereafter, or they’re off doing whatever and aren’t necessarily taking part in the rest of the conference.

I get it. There are lots of reasons for that, and these people are busy. I don’t say this to denigrate them. But this guy sat in the audience and listened to every single presentation, taking notes, being attentive, and really looking like he was learning and getting something from all the presentations.

When I say his name, you’re going to think, “Well, what could this guy have been learning at a conference like Authority Intensive?” Granted, there were obviously lots of great presentations, but this guy is among the best of the best. What could he be learning? What it showed me about him is his immense humility and this idea of always trying to learn, trying to get better, trying to find that next little nugget and then actually being present at the conference and connecting with people. It was an incredible lessons that I now try to put into practice as much as I can.

I’ll just reveal who it is. It’s Darren Rowse, of ProBlogger, who everybody knows, and that’s just always stuck with me because I can’t remember another keynote speaker at any conference that I’ve been to who was like that and showed such immense humility at a conference like Darren. So I’ve always been impressed, been a big fan, and that’s why it’s a huge joy and honor to have him on this episode of The Showrunner. Do you have an introductory comment about Darren, Jonny?

Jonny Nastor: No, I love the intro, though. It makes me want to talk to him even more now. I’ve always known ProBlogger, obviously, and Darren as a blogger, but not as a person. I’ve never had the chance of meeting him yet, but now I want to even more, so that’s a great intro.

How to Handle an Interview with Two Hosts and One Guest

Jerod Morris: So here’s the thing. We’re about to talk with him, in about eight minutes, actually. You and I got on the phone a little bit early here because we wanted to plan out this interview, because every other episode of The Showrunner that we’ve done, it’s just been you and me, and that’s pretty easy. We go back and forth. It’s very simple. When you add a third person into an interview scenario, especially when it’s two hosts and one person interviewing, it’s a little bit tricky.

Have you done an interview like that before, where it’s two interviewers, one guest?

Jonny Nastor: No, no, I haven’t at all, and I was thinking about it today. I was like, “Are we going to totally map it out? Like “Okay, this question’s yours,” but then how do you do follow-ups?

Jerod Morris: Right, see, and you hit the nail on the head right there, because we’ve done this with Podcast on the Brink, one of the other shows that I host. We’ve done this a few times, where it’s two hosts and one guest, and that’s what happens. There ends up being a lot of crashes. You ask a question. The next person’s not sure if they should jump in with a question, but what if there’s a great follow-up? And what’s the best part about an interview? It’s when you get those great opportunities for follow-up questions.

You can’t plan everything, obviously, because you need to need to be able to let the interview live and breathe and allow for the fact that you may stumble over each other a little bit, whatever. But you do want to have a game plan. I figured we can spend a few minutes here and just let people listen in as we game plan this interview, which I feel like should consist of us figuring out a couple key points we want to hit, a couple key questions, so that we know. Then, how we want to handle giving each person a little bit of space for a follow-up. I know you mentioned earlier, before we started recording, a question you want to ask which was …

Jonny Nastor: The why.

Jerod Morris: The why?

Jonny Nastor: The why. First of all, why is Darren on The Showrunner because he doesn’t podcast, or does he?

Jerod Morris: He is now.

Jonny Nastor: He is now.

Jerod Morris: I didn’t say that yet, did I?

Jonny Nastor: No, you didn’t. I kind of had inside knowledge.

Jerod Morris: Yeah, he is. He’s launching a podcast, and that’s why we’re having him on here. We’re basically following his beginning journey as a podcaster, so this episode is actually being recorded the day that, I think, his very first episode went live. It’ll be published about a week after that, but we’re talking to him when that launch is still fresh in his mind, and we’re going to do a couple more episodes with him to see how this initial launch is going.

You’ll hear he’s got a unique way he’s doing this initial launch, and then we’ll talk with him after that, too, and just see how it’s going. You want to start out with the why, which to me seems like a great question to kick things off. So do you want me to do a quick intro – “Hello, how you doing?” — and then you’ll jump in with that question?

Jonny Nastor: Sure.

Jerod Morris: Okay. The next question that I want to ask him is the biggest challenge he faced in putting the podcast together, because I feel people like him and Brian Clark, they have built-in audiences. They launch a podcast, and people think it’s all easy and pie-in-the-sky and perfect, but we know that’s not the case. So I’m curious about the biggest challenge, particularly if it was a surprising challenge, so that could be a good follow-up to that.

How do you want to do it? You ask this ‘why’ question, what if you have a follow-up? What I’ve done in the past is had a little chat window open with the guy I’m co-hosting with and just alerted and say, “Hey, I have a follow-up,” so that I know to give him space or vice versa. We’ve got this Google Doc, so do you just want to type in real quick, “Hey, I’ve got a follow-up,” and I’ll just keep it open, so I know?

Jonny Nastor: Sure, but my concern here is that we are doing a three-part series. We want to do pre-launch with Darren, and we want to do mid-launch, and then we want to do the end of his launch. To me, I don’t really want say a 40-minute, or a 50-minute, or an hour-long interview, so follow-ups, I think, are going to have to be really tight, if done at all. You know what I mean?

We already each have questions, so I don’t think it’s going be as free-flowing as it would be in a regular one-off interview. If we were just interviewing Darren once, we would try and encompass everything, but we need to keep it tight, I think. I might not need a follow-up, and although there might be one there, we have to make that decision. There’s two of us. There’s only so much time, very limited, 20 minutes, I think, would be tops. Fifteen would be great if we can do that. We also have to play off that. You have three questions that you want to ask already.

Jerod Morris: I don’t necessarily need to ask those. Do you want to take one of those questions, or is there a different one that you want besides the ones I have listed?

Jonny Nastor: I could take one of those.

Jerod Morris: Why don’t you ask him about the sponsorship question, because you can relate with him on that because you’ve worked with a sponsor.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, so he has an initial sponsor?

Jerod Morris: Yeah, there is a sponsor. It’s 99designs.

Jonny Nastor: Oh.

Jerod Morris: Because what I wondered about is if someone like him, I’m sure people have been coming to him asking him to start a podcast, saying, “We’d love to sponsor a podcast.” So I wonder if that happened first or if he made the decision and then found a sponsor. I’m just curious. His experience, obviously, isn’t going to be relatable to everybody because he’s already got such a big platform, but I still think it’s interesting.

Jonny Nastor: I think it’s really interesting, too, and I really want to hear the answer to your first question with him.

Jerod Morris: Okay, so let’s do this, then. This would be the way to make it easy. You ask the first question, and if you do have a follow-up, just alert me in the Google Doc. And if you don’t type anything, then I’ll hop in after that. I will ask my two questions, so that way there’s this little spot where I’ve got the floor, where there’s no crash landings that can happen. Then after that, you take it, and close it out. That way, there are fewer opportunities for us to talk over each other or have a lot happen. Does that sound good?

Jonny Nastor: Yeah. I do the first question. You do the second question.

Jerod Morris: You do the first question. I’ll do the second and third, then you come in with that last question about sponsorship, and then let that carry through to the end of the interview.

Jonny Nastor: All right.

Jerod Morris: Then close it out.

Jonny Nastor: Sorry. I clued out a bit. I was trying to message you on the Google Doc.

Jerod Morris: Yeah, there you go. Yeah, put it right there. Exactly.

Jonny Nastor: Because see we discussed it now, but we were on a call before with multiple people. There were five of us I think, you and I, and the guys from Self-Publishing Podcast.

Jerod Morris: Yeah.

Jonny Nastor: Remember that? I said something. I said somebody’s name, somebody messaged it back, and I just read it out. They were like, “What are you doing? Don’t read our notes.” I was like, “I’ve never done this with more than one person.” This makes sense, and if you’re listening there, and you were doing the same thing, and you screw up, you know what? This is what happens, but then you learn.

Jerod Morris: Exactly. All right, so I guess we can grab Darren. This is kind of untimely. My dog is whining at me. Can you hear my dog through the microphone? Is he audible?

Jonny Nastor: No.

Jerod Morris: No?

Jonny Nastor: Not to me.

Jerod Morris: All right.

Jonny Nastor: Cranked full blast, no.

Jerod Morris: Here, do you want to do an interpretive dance to entertain people while I go open the door for two seconds, then we’ll add Darren?

Jonny Nastor: All right. Here I go.

Darren Rowse: Good morning.

Jerod Morris: Darren, how are you doing?

Darren Rowse: Well. How are you guys?

Jerod Morris: We’re doing very well. This is Jerod and Jonny Nastor from The Showrunner.

Darren Rowse: It’s great to speak with you both.

Jerod Morris: Yes. Now, I should let you know that we are already rolling.

Darren Rowse: No problem. Hopefully the coffee’s kicked in already then.

Jerod Morris: Yeah, this is just like when I interviewed Christina Canters. She’s from Melbourne. We’ve got the big time difference here, so this seems like the sweet spot. Six, seven o’clock our time here in Dallas, morning for you. It seems like a pretty good time to do these interviews.

Darren Rowse: Yeah, the only problem with it is that every morning this week, 9 a.m., I’ve got a call, and they run out really quickly, this slot.

Jonny Nastor: Are you launching a podcast this week by any chance?

Darren Rowse: My calendar’s just in meltdown.

Jerod Morris: I can imagine.

Darren Rowse: Yeah, that’s good.

Jonny Nastor: All right, so we are rolling at this point.

Jerod Morris: We are.

Darren Rowse: Okay.

Jonny Nastor: Let’s just jump straight into it. You want to, guys?

Jerod Morris: Let’s do it.

Darren Rowse: Yeah, let’s hit it.

Why Did Darren Finally Decide to Start a Podcast?

Jonny Nastor: All right, Darren, I want to know, first off, the ‘why’ of podcasting. In your career at this point, and podcasting now, for the past couple years, has been getting big. I want to know why you’ve decided now to start a podcast?

Darren Rowse: I feel I’m really late to it, but I had that same feeling when I started blogging in 2002 because all these people had already started blogging. I looked around and thought, “Oh, there’s all these established people. It’s too late.” In hindsight, 2002 was pretty early, and I suspect it’s probably the same with podcasting. I guess, for me, there’s been three factors. One, I’ve been nagged into it by a lot of friends. Every time I meet someone at a conference, they’re like, “Why aren’t you podcasting?” There’s that.

I think the main thing, for me, is that — this sounds a bit dramatic and over the top — but my life’s been changed by podcasts over the last six or so months. I’ve been on a bit of a health kick. I’ve had a wake-up call in terms of health, and I’ve started walking and trying to get my diet under control. While I’ve been walking, I’ve been filling that time with podcasts, and those podcasts that I’ve been listening to, a lot of them have been around health and well-being.

I’ve learned so much by that half an hour a day that I’m spending with a podcast in my ears. It’s impacted my life in lots of ways, so as I’ve listened to them, I’ve thought to myself, “You know, these podcasts are such a personal way of communicating.” You’re very focused when you’re listening to a podcast, or at least I am. When I’m walking, I’m not doing anything else but just focusing on the words in my ears, and it’s brought about quite profound change in my life. That’s what I’m on about.

I think I spoke at Authority last year about how I want to impact people. I’m not in this to make money. That’s nice, but I’m building this presence online because I’d really like to bring about people living to their potential and seeing change in their life. I guess I’ve been doing that on blogs for a long time, but I wanted to experiment with podcasting because I see it as a really unique and personal way of having an impact on people. That’s probably the main reason.

The other factor for me is that I really love speaking. Probably my first love in communication was public speaking, and I haven’t been able to do that as much as I’d like because I’m in Melbourne, Australia, and most of the invitations are in Denver, or Boston, or New York. There’s a limit to how much you can travel and speak, so podcasting opens up a daily opportunity, if I want to take it on a daily basis, to speak and exercise those skills and passions for communication.

Jerod Morris: Darren, we mentioned in the intro that we’re doing this series with you, and we really appreciate you agreeing to do this series and letting us walk through this launch journey with you of your first podcasting experience. I should say, when this episode goes live, I believe you’ll be seven or eight episodes in, because you’ll be doing this 31-day launch. I actually listened to the first two episodes earlier today and loved them. They were great.

Darren Rowse: Thank you.

Jerod Morris: The quality was great. You sounded great, and it lead me to think, people like you, people like Brian Clark, guys that have been around for a while, you have obvious advantages when you launch a podcast. You’ve got a big audience built. You have a lot of experience already creating content, structuring content, even if not necessarily behind a microphone. I think sometimes, people look at it and think it’s just all easy, and it’s all just simple, and a bed of roses and a walk in the park. But I know of the struggles that Brian had when he first started.

I’m curious: for you, what was the biggest challenge of this whole process for you, especially if it was a challenge that maybe surprised you, that you weren’t expecting, as you went through the development and launch process for the podcast?

What Have Been Darren’s Two Biggest Challenges in Launching a Podcast — Despite All of His Experience and the Size of His Audience?

Darren Rowse: Yeah, how long have you got?

Jerod Morris: All day.

Darren Rowse: Look, two big ones come to mind. Firstly, fear, and I think that comes from a number of points. One, “I’ve got an audience. What if this doesn’t work? I’m going to look like an idiot. All these people are looking. What if I sound bad? What if no one listens? What if I don’t rank?” All these what-if scenarios go through my mind late at night as I’ve been preparing for this. Sometimes, I think when you do have an audience, that even plays a bigger part because you feel people are watching, and there’s this expectation that it has to be perfect when I’m struggling and trying to work out how to make this sound good.

Fear was a big part of that. And I’ve had that same feeling every time I’ve started anything, whether it was the blog in 2002, whether it’s jumping on Twitter, or getting onto Facebook, or yesterday I jumped on Periscope for the first time accidentally. I was just checking out the app, and then suddenly I was live and 100 people were watching. I was like, “Agh!” so I got off pretty quick. Fear’s a big part.

The other part is just the technicalities of it. I know I could probably have outsourced a lot of the editing and production of it, and I probably should have, but I wanted to understand it so that I could actually help others to do that and so that I could develop a system to then outsource.

I have made so many technical mistakes. Yesterday, I was just about to push day one of the challenge live, and I realized halfway through it that my jingle started, and it was all ready to go, and it was already on the server, so I had to quickly edit and re-upload. Those sort of technical challenges are big, but there’s so many great resources out there. You guys have produced some great training as well, and there’s heaps of others out there. So I feel there’s been a heap of help along the way.

How Is Darren Managing the Production and Publishing Process for His 31-Episodes-in-31-Days Launch Strategy?

Jerod Morris: Your strategy for launching — you’re doing these 31 straight episodes, and it’s great. Frankly, it fits in a lot with what we talk about with the launch of building that momentum early, really maximizing that early time, and New and Noteworthy, where iTunes really seems to give some extra special love to new shows.

I’m curious as to what the production process was like for that. Have you batch recorded all of those, like they’re ready? Are you doing them all the night before? What was the whole process for putting that together and now as you’re rolling them out?

Darren Rowse: So I set myself this goal of 31 episodes in 31 days. In fact, it’s 32 in 32 days because I had a welcome one. For me, I started out doing them one at a time. So I recorded the first day, so the one that went live today, Day 1 of the challenge, is by itself. Then I went and edited it. Then I sat down to do the next one, and I thought, “No, this is too bitsy.” So I then started to batch. I recorded 31 episodes in four days, in terms of the main part of the content, so that wasn’t with the introductions, or the jingles, or the sponsor mentions, or anything like that.

Part of that was because I didn’t have the sponsor lined up until the day before it launched, so I had to hold off on putting a lot of that intro stuff into it. It was very much batched, and I found that part of it quite easy, partly because I had a lot of the content already written, in terms of the ebook that I’d already produced. So it’s just a matter of looking at each chapter in the ebook and re-updating it a bit and thinking about how to communicate that.

The preparation for each episode was only 15 or 20 minutes, and then I had a policy of a one-take shot. I only recorded one of them twice. If there’s a couple of mistakes in each episode that I bumble over, I hope people forgive me for that, but most of the podcasts I listen to are that way. They’re not scripted, and I quite appreciate hearing those little bumbles.

Why Did Darren Design His Podcast Launch around Repurposed Content?

Jerod Morris: I like your style. I thought it sounded very natural. It came across really well.

The other reason why I really like your launch strategy is because you’re not reinventing the wheel here with what you’re doing. You’re taking content that you’ve already published, that you know is successful, that has been workshopped. You’ve gotten feedback from audience members, and now you’re putting it in a different format. A lot of people, I think, sometimes feel it has to be all net-new, like their podcast stuff has to be all new.

Was that a pretty easy decision for you to make, to repurpose the same content? And are you expecting it to reach a much different audience, to reach a lot of the same people but in a new way? Do you have any kind of expectation for that, in terms of who it will reach?

Darren Rowse: I’m not sure who it’s going to reach. So far, the feedback I’m getting is that people who already had purchased the ebook are now doing it again, which is the way that I designed the ebook to be, for people to go back to it. I’ve designed this podcast in a way that you don’t need the ebook to do it, but we’ve got a 50 percent off for people who do want to have that as well, but the podcast stands alone, by itself.

I think it took me a little while to come to the idea of doing it, because I’d spent a few weeks brainstorming, “What could I do with this podcast?” I just kept getting stuck until I came up with this idea. Really, the idea came from the realization that when I’d done this series on the blog two times in the past, they had been our biggest months of traffic. So once the idea came, it was a bit of a no-brainer to run it again as the podcast.

What happens after the 31 days is the question in my mind, and I’m not really sure on that. I’ve got a few ideas, but I’d really like to see how people react to this 31 days first.

Jonny Nastor: Darren, I want to go back if we can.

Darren Rowse: Sure.

How Did Darren’s Show’s Current Sponsorship Come About? (and Was He Always Planning on Having a Sponsor?)

Jonny Nastor: You said the sponsorship mention, a day before launch, you still didn’t have a sponsor, and now you do, right?

Darren Rowse: Yep.

Jonny Nastor: You have 99designs as your sponsor, so I’m wondering, were you actively looking for sponsors from day one for the show? Or because of the position that you have and the platform you already have, were sponsors already reaching out to you?

Darren Rowse: We hadn’t been approached by anyone. I kind of have a relationship with 99designs through a couple of people that I’ve worked with previously, and I knew that they sponsored other podcasts, so it was an easy conversation to open up. I guess in the back of my mind, I also knew that it wasn’t essential to launch with one. In some ways, it probably would’ve been easier to do it without one because it was less technical things to insert into each episode.

Part of me is thinking is it better to start with pure content, which gets people in? But I guess I like to always monetize from the start, and I’ve always tried to do that on my blogs because I want the expectation there with listeners and readers that yes, it’s to help people, but it’s also got to be sustainable for me. So I wrestled with that a little bit.

The other aspect of it that I was mentioning my ebook through it as well. I’m not doing a hard sell at all, but it does get mentioned throughout the podcast. We’ve already seen sales come in from that, and I suspect the first 31 days, we’ll probably make more from ebook sales then we will from the podcast itself. I knew it would probably sustain itself just from ebook sales if I didn’t have a sponsor.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, and 99designs is a perfect fit. For one thing, you had a previous relationship with them, and they sponsor a ton of podcasts right now. So maybe you didn’t have to actually go thought this thought process, but I like the way you say you monetize from the beginning because it sets that precedent there.

Would Darren Have Fully Sponsored His Own Show (Like Rainmaker.FM Does) If He Had Not Secured a Sponsor?

Jonny Nastor: Do you think maybe if you hadn’t been able to work out an agreement because you have no track record podcasting, would you have just fully sponsored your own show, like Rainmaker.FM does of the Rainmaker shows? Put the ad spots in there so people are used to them, but totally just fully sponsor it with, say, ProBlogger or with your own products?

Darren Rowse: Yeah, that’s exactly what I would’ve done. I’d actually recorded a short 45-second spot that would have been inserted into the podcast. I’m not sure exactly where, but it was going to promote the ebook itself. In some ways, I’m happier to have someone else in there, in that slot, because it’s not about me, me, me all the time.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, excellent.

What Advice Would Darren Share with Fellow Showrunners Who Want to Follow His Model of Launching a Podcast That Has Intrinsic, Direct, and Indirect Profitability from the Start?

Jerod Morris: I just want to thank you for using the word ‘sustainable’ twice, because it’s one of the four pillars of our curriculum in our Showrunner Podcasting Course. We talk about the four central elements, which are authenticity, usefulness, sustainability, and profitability. The model that you described is basically a combination of a direct and an indirect model for monetization, which is a great example for people out there. Because at some point, it’s got to be a profitable experience, and if the intrinsic profitability doesn’t carry you enough …

I think that’s what interesting about you is you talk about that, how you’re not in this to make money, but to make a difference, and yet somehow you found a way to make a show that’s intrinsically, directly, and indirectly profitable. Is that just something that you learned from experience and how this stuff works? Is there any advice you could give to someone who aspires to have that kind of model for their own show?

Darren Rowse: Yeah, and this is exactly what I learned through 13 years of blogging really. My blogs work best when I’m genuinely excited about my topic and genuinely trying to change people’s life in some way, but they also work best when I’m able to pay my mortgage and dedicate as much time as possible to what I’m doing. So you’ve got to find that balance in what you do. Everything I try and start now, I’m always looking for a way to build some sort of profitability into it, whether it be a direct or indirect thing.

I’m kind of unique in some ways with my blogs in that I’ve always done indirect and direct. I’ve always sold ebooks — well, not always, but in the last 8 years, we’ve been trying to sell products as well as doing advertising as well. I know a lot of people think that I need to choose one or the other, but I’m a big believer that in many niches, you can do both if you find brands to work with that you genuinely want to work with and can genuinely recommend. That’s certainly the case with me with 99designs. I use their services, so it was a no-brainer to work with them as well.

Once the Initial Daily Launch Is Over, What Will the Regular Schedule Be?

Jerod Morris: Darren, this has been great. We appreciate your time, and if you’re still willing, we’d love to have you on again, maybe three or four weeks from now, and get your thoughts on how the launch is going. Then maybe even talk a little bit after that, too, because I’m really curious to see where you go after the 31 days. Do you have any idea what your final rhythm is going to be, like once a week? Do you have any conception at all of what you expect for that?

Darren Rowse: Yeah, I think once a week as a minimum. I definitely don’t want to go daily. I’m two days in, and I’m very tired. We also have a major launch going on my photography site starting tonight, and I’m very hands-on with that launch because I’ve got a staff member away. And it’s school holiday, so it’s just like the perfect storm.

The next time I talk to you, I may say I’m never going to podcast again, but I suspect it’ll be weekly, maybe twice a week. I’ve kind of got an idea that maybe I do two types of shows each week, one where I teach and one where I maybe interview someone. That’s the starting point for what I’m thinking about, but I’m actually keen for you guys to give me some critique along the way, too, so maybe you can tell me what you think of the launch in three weeks.

Podcast Recommendation of the Week

Jerod Morris: Absolutely. No, yeah, that would be great, and we usually, on this show, have a section toward the end called Podcast Recommendations, and we’re just going to move that to right now. Both of our recommendations for this week is to check out your podcast, and is where people can get it. It’s on iTunes, and that’s the best way to connect. Is there any other place people should go? What’s the address for the ebook again?

Darren Rowse: It’s a bit of a long one, but if you go to the address you just gave, it’s linked there in the first few show notes. It’s also just gone on to Stitcher last night. They’re a bit slower to approve things, but we’re on Stitcher, too, now.

Jerod Morris: They are. Cool, Darren. This was great, and good luck with the rest of the launch. We’re really looking forward to talking to you again and hearing how everything goes.

Darren Rowse: Thanks guys, good to chat.

Jerod Morris: Yep. Thank you.

Jonny Nastor: You too, hang in there.

Jerod Morris: All right. That was cool.

Jonny Nastor: That was cool.

Jerod Morris: That was very cool.

Jonny Nastor: He’s good.

Jerod Morris: He is good. His show’s good, man. It’s really good.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, I can just imagine. I’m going to listen to it. Mostly it’s awesome because it’s The 31-Day Blogging Challenge, and I’m really struggling with writing right now, so it’ll be good.

Jerod Morris: Yeah, that is good.

Jonny Nastor: What was I going to say? I loved his answer to your first question.

Jerod Morris: Yeah, and his first episode he goes through all of that in actually more detail.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, except it’s so true, because everybody listening is going to be, “Well, it’s the guy who owns ProBlogger. It’s easy for him to launch a podcast.” “It is, but.”

I responded to somebody yesterday. They were telling me about a podcast they’re starting. They’re emailing me, and I was like, “This is the time. You have nobody watching. Don’t use that to stop you. Use that to … who cares? If no one’s listening, you can just screw up now.” It would be hard if you had massive amounts of people instantly, and that’s your first go. It’s like you’re … I can’t remember who they were, but the people who had to launch with Rainmaker.FM and had never podcasted before. It would be really hard because you’re instantly in front of a whole bunch of people.

Jerod Morris: Yeah, I know.

Jonny Nastor: Unlike me, when nobody listened to me for the first year and a half.

Jerod Morris: Yeah, I got to screw up in private.

Jonny Nastor: Exactly.

Jerod Morris: Yeah.

Jonny Nastor: That was cool.

Jerod Morris: Okay, so in terms of how the interview went, I think it was good that we planned it out. We did use the Google Doc.

Jonny Nastor: We did, and it totally makes sense.

Jerod Morris: Isn’t that helpful?

Jonny Nastor: It is.

Jerod Morris: It’s helpful, because that way you knew there was a follow-up I wanted to ask. You knew. We organized who closed it, and I think it makes for a better experience for the person who’s being interviewed, which I think obviously helps the audience. We did have that awkward moment at the start where I kind of left you hanging.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, but that’s kind of my fault. I was starstruck by Darren. I was. I was like, “Jesus, Darren Rowse.” It’s like, “Holy sh*t. This is awesome.”

Jerod Morris: His Skype picture popped up, and you were like a little girl at a Justin Bieber concert.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, I guess so. You know what I mean?

Jerod Morris: No, I know.

Jonny Nastor: I’ve been reading the guy’s blog for 10 years now or something. It’s ridiculous. You know what I mean?

Jerod Morris: No, I know.

Jonny Nastor: Just like, “There it is, and now he’s on our show about podcasting.” It was weird. I was like, “Agh.”

Jerod Morris: I know. That how I felt the first time I saw him at Authority Intensive, and then, of course, it’s Darren Rowse, and he’s the nicest guy in the world.

Jonny Nastor: I know. Exactly, and he totally is, so it makes it easy, but at the same time I was like, “Agh.” I don’t know, man. I’m really good, I think, at interviews when I exactly know what I’m doing. When I’ve done it 100 times in the same structure, I can be comfortable. I could have interviewed him in that and have been comfortable. I did Brian Clark, who I was more starstruck with, but I knew what I was doing. I was just like, “Here we go.”

Jerod Morris: Yeah.

Jonny Nastor: This is so free, it’s like, “Agh, I don’t know what to do.”

Jerod Morris: You did a great job. It worked out, and hopefully the audience enjoys it.

Jonny Nastor: They seem to. I don’t know.

Jerod Morris: Hopefully. Okay, so podcast recommendations is already done.

Jonny Nastor: It’s done.

Jerod Morris: Podcast recommendation: That’s both of our recommendations.

Jonny Nastor: Yes.

Listener Question: How Do You Manage and Store Large Audio Files?

Jerod Morris: We don’t have a listener question per se, but we do have … let’s call it a listener-suggested topic, which you will introduce here in a moment. Our listener-suggested topic is sponsored by The Showrunner listener question. So every single episode, we answer a listener question in this spot, and right now, we are putting out a call for new listener questions. Help us refill the queue, and the best way to do that is by leaving us a review on iTunes.

Actually if you go Showrunner.FM/iTunes, it will take you to our iTunes page. You can go there, leave a review with your question. Questions that are placed there will get priority, and obviously put your name in the question so that we know who it is. Then you can have your question answered here, just like Jon is about to do.

Jonny Nastor: So this is not a question, per se. It was statement made at me, but it should be discussed on the show by a gentleman named Daniel Bowling, who is coming out with a new podcast that doesn’t have a name, doesn’t have anything, but I was interviewed on it last week.

He interviewed me late in the afternoon, and then he did, I think, two more or three more interviews that evening. The next morning, I woke up to a Facebook message, said, “You might want to discuss this on The Showrunner: managing files and memory space.” So he had interviewed me, and then he interviewed a couple more people, and through his last one, about halfway through, he ran out of storage on his laptop, and he lost most of the interview.

His thing is managing files and memory space. He’s about to get an external hard drive and also use Dropbox, but he doesn’t exactly understand the best practices, and he knows he needs to do this immediately because he just lost half or most of an interview. It doesn’t matter if you lose even the last 15 minutes, it’s basically wasted.

So he’s wondering what the best practices are for people who do lots of interviewing because even if you don’t do three a week like I do, he’s probably going to release one show a week, but we still tend to sometimes batch them together, maybe do two interviews in an afternoon, or three, just what you’re in the mood for. These things get big. They take up a lot of space, and you can run out of space.

To form it as a question, Jerod, do you have any best practices or a process that you go through to ensure that you do not run out of space during one of these recordings?

Jerod Morris: Two things that I will mention. Number one, GarageBand files are huge, so if you just have three or four episodes, those will really start to add up. So I have my template that I keep, but I will then offload the other project files onto an external drive because I want to keep them just in case. I don’t do this for all of them, but certainly any one that I think I might want to change at some point, or use a snippet of it, or something. I will keep that project file on an external hard drive so I can always access it, but that way it’s not taking up massive amounts of space on my hard drive.

The other thing is immediately after the interview, upload the file to Dropbox, so just in case something gets corrupted, or your computer crashes, or whatever, you’ve got that file saved in another place. Putting it on a hard drive is great, too, but just make sure that you duplicate it somewhere so that in the worst-case scenario you’ve got that backed up. Those are my two big tips.

Jonny Nastor: Those are excellent tips. I am super-opposed to external hard drives, mostly because they’re moving objects. Usually they’re not flash drives at this point, I don’t think, and I like just being able to have my laptop, so I’m all about cloud storage.

The GarageBand files are massive, and you probably know this, but I didn’t know this for the first, I’m going to say, 40 episodes. I had a new laptop with 500 gigs or something of storage — so lots of storage. It was empty, so I didn’t notice how big they were and that they were building up because I had all this storage. I was uploading them to Dropbox immediately after I hang up Skype with my guest, I immediately ‘save file as’ — because it’s a template, I save as the guest name — and it goes straight to Dropbox.

Then it’s not on my computer, but Dropbox is weird. Dropbox actually keeps it on your computer and puts it in Dropbox, unless you go into settings in Dropbox, so all of a sudden, my computer was completely full. I was like, “It’s all … I don’t have anything on my computer,” but I did. Then you go into settings in Dropbox, and there’s something called selective sync, and you can un-check any folders, so I unchecked my Hack the Entrepreneur GarageBand files from selective sync, and it takes it completely off my computer and goes completely into the cloud. It was instantly 400 gigabytes freed up, and it was weird.

It’s weird. I had no idea that’s how Dropbox worked, and I’ve seen somebody do that before. They thought they were storing it all, and they were, but it was also clogging up their computer, and then they ran into this problem. If you are using Dropbox, which I recommend, because for $100 a year or something, you get a terabyte of storage, and it’s fully redundant and backed up by them. It’s there. If it’s there, it’s going to be there no matter what happens, which is a really good feeling.

Jerod Morris: Knock on wood somewhere, please.

Jonny Nastor: I did. But this selective sync. You can just Google ‘selective sync Dropbox,’ and it’ll show you exactly how to do it. Otherwise, it’s not really doing you any good at all, except that it’s still in the cloud, but it’s completely clogging up your computer.

You think that you have all this room, but you do, say two or three recordings into GarageBand, and you’ve used up almost 100 gigs, and you ran out halfway through your third one. It’s definitely something you need to figure out. Some people like external. Some people like Dropbox. But it’s a process, I think, you have to figure out yourself, which one works best for you.

I travel, and I don’t want to be hauling more stuff. I already haul a microphone, a mixer, and a laptop. I can’t start like, “Okay, external hard drives, and a new comfy chair.” I can’t bring my office with me, so I need to use these storage services that are available in the cloud. They can work really well, and you do need them because for one thing, it’s really unprofessional, obviously, to have to redo a thing because you ran out. You probably won’t be able to relive the magic of that first conversation.

So sort it out, Daniel. Sort it out.

Jerod Morris: Did you hear my dog barking there for a moment?

Jonny Nastor: Uh-uh.

Jerod Morris: Oh, I have no idea if that’s going to come up on the recording. I guess we’ll find out. That’ll be a surprise when we edit, but pro tip: if you ever want to be clever and say ‘knock on wood,’ don’t actually knock on wood in the middle of recording, because your dog will think it’s somebody knocking at the front door and start going crazy.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, because you said, “Did you knock on wood?” I said, “Yes,” but I actually didn’t.

Jerod Morris: See, I did. It’s a good thing I did, because it saved everybody from Dropbox collapse. You’re going jinx us all, Jonny.

Jonny Nastor: It’s funny though. It’s one of those things that seems like, “Oh, well, it’s just hard drive space,” but everybody runs into this issue. I know because Daniel has made fun of me before when it happened to me, and now it’s happened to him. Even though he was aware of it, he still didn’t have a system in place to deal with it. I hope this helps.

Jerod Morris: Great advice. And we already did our podcast recommendation, so it’s time to close up another episode of The Showrunner. We will simply reiterate our call to action from earlier, which is to help us replenish that queue of listener questions by leaving us a rating, a review, on iTunes, and hopefully you include what you like, even what you don’t like, about the show. Give us some honest feedback, but then also include a question, any question that you want us to cover. Include your name so that we can give you the proper credit. We will start to work on those questions as soon as next week’s episode.

Jonny Nastor: I have a question.

Jerod Morris: Oh, just leave a review.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, but this is the problem I’m running into, and I’m wondering if other people are. I’ve already left you, for your wonderful Showrunner show, a review on iTunes. And I have a question now, and I didn’t ask one at that time in my review, but I can’t leave you another review. How can I ask my question now, Jerod?

Jerod Morris: That is an excellent question. In that case, I would say send us a Tweet @ShowrunnerFM. You can also send us an email to Showrunner@Rainmaker.FM. Either one of those will work, and if you do that, just let us know that you already submitted an iTunes review so that we know that you get credit for that, and your question still gets bumped to the front of the queue with all of the other iTunes reviewers.

Jonny Nastor: Excellent, because we would still love to answer your question. We really would.

Jerod Morris: Yes, we would. We love answering questions.

Jonny Nastor: We do.

Jerod Morris: We do. Excellent. Jonny, this has been fun, and I look forward to our next episode for sure, but then obviously the next episode with Darren, which will be three or four weeks, something like that.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, I’m looking forward to getting into his show, so I recommend it again to everyone. Go check it out, and we’ll be back with Darren in another couple weeks.

Jerod Morris: Yes, we will, and we’ll be back with you next week on another brand new episode of The Showrunner. Thank you all for listening.