Podcasting Smarter

The podcast for podcasters, by podcasters. Real life stories from podcasters: how they got started, podcasting challenges and tips. Inspiration and advice from the wonderful world of podcasting.


Josh Hallmark is the podcast host and producer of not only the Our Americana Podcast, but also the podcast network of the same name. The Our Americana Podcast Network curates and creates podcasts that celebrate American storytelling, mythology, and folklore. It's also home to it's titillating new show with a quickly growing cult-like following, The Karen & Ellen Letters. The Karen & Ellen Letters are a series of real letters from the 1980s between a landlord and his two, naive and unbelievaby demanding young, female tenants. We discuss how the unique premise of this podcast has all the elements for Serial-Like success. 


Josh's Podcasting Smarter Tips: 

  • After a six month road trip around America, Josh discovered podcasts (starting with Serial), and also discovered he had a story to tell about small town America. The yearning to stay connected to the small towns he visited, was what inspired his first podcast, Our Americana. 
  • Podcasts give us an opportunity to have open-minded conversations with non like-minded people. We can use this to change false perceptions about people, and communities different than ourselves. 
  • Josh's biggest obstacle is financial. He doesn't have the resources to record in a studio, so he doesn't have the sound quality he'd like. 
  • Josh uses a primitive process for recording by using his iphone earbuds in his dining room. 
  • Right now, he is doing all the recording, marketing, PR. editing, research, and production. He can work 100 hours a week, and it never seems to be enough. 
  • Josh podcasts full-time. He hopes to continue monetizing through listener support. After he passes the $1,000 a month threshold, he plans to give back to charities that support the people in the small towns he has grown to love. 
  • The Our Americana Network has three additional shows launching this year. Including a show that is hosted by a young trans woman, documenting her raw, non-political story of gender transition. 
  • Josh has the support of his boyfriend who is 110% behind what Josh is creating. Podcasting without that support would be extremely difficult. 
  • Josh is a bit nervous about the popularity of The Karen & Ellen Letters. Some of his listeners are rabid fans, and have done their own sleuthing to find the real identities of Karen and Ellen. 
  • Josh has to work on taking on too much. He is working on how to incorporate help as he monetizes. 
  • He doesn't think what podcasts are making in general is out of sinc with the amount of work that goes into producing a quality show. 
  • Josh wants to see a Hulu-like model in the future of podcasting that celebrates good, indie producers, not just the usual shows in the top 100 lists on iTunes. 


Josh's Fantasy Podcaster: Carole Radziwill of the Real Housewives of NYC

Josh's Hypothetical Podcast About His Life: "It's Ok To Laugh At This

You can listen to The Karen and Ellen letters on Podbean and iTunes. Once you get addicted to the show, join the Karen & Ellen Letters Facebook group





We are podcasting from the Podfest Multimedia Expo on this enthusiastic episode of Podcasting Smarter! I got the honor of representing Podbean at #PME17 along with Vernon Ross, the newest member of the Podbean sales team. You may remember Vernon from Season 02 Ep. 8. Together, we got to talk to hundreds of podcasters, participate in a couple of panels, and connect with an incredible community of creators. 

We hope we can convince you of the importance of attending podcasting conferences. This is where you can connect and collaborate with other podcasters. The opportunities are endless! You also have an incredible bounty of education in the form of keynote speakers with a wide breadth of knowledge, workshops, and breakout sessions that cover a variety of topics to help you be a better, smarter podcaster. PodFest Multimedia Expo had a wide range of compelling topics, and dynamic speakers. What we loved most though, was the continual message of support and community that was communicated and exercised throughout the conference. 

If you get a chance to attend Podfest in 2018, or any of the other podcast conferences, please do! Here are some great ones to check out: 

Podfest Multimedia Expo

Podcast Movement

DC PodFest

Mid-Atlantic Podcast Conference




We go on a real adventure with Kathy Pulkrabek, the intrepid co-host of XX Will Travel, a podcast for independent, women travelers. She is also a writer, editor, and occasional performer in Chicago. Join us as we unpack the details of her podcasting journey! 


Kathy's Podcasting Smarter Tips: 


  • As an avid solo traveler, Kathy grew frustrated with the number of people who thought it was weird for a woman to travel alone but thought nothing of a man doing the same thing. XX Will Travel became a way to find and serve a community of women travelers. 
  • She is delighted with the support and collaboration she has found with other women podcasters. 
  • Having a mission behind the podcast is empowering, and inspired them to create a popular "How To" series for women new to traveling by themselves. 
  • Their first live show was a success and a failure. They drew a huge crowd, but the show failed to record. Luckily, they were able to recreate the content of the show. 
  • One thing she loves about podcasting is how comfortable it is to hide behind the microphone, as an introvert. 
  • Her goal when they started the podcast was to be able to travel for free. They are still trying to get hotels to treat them more like travel bloggers, in order to get accommodations in exchange for coverage. 
  • Her other goal when she started the podcast was to learn new skills, and that has been accomplished. 
  • Their podcasting strength is that they are experts in their subject manner. Kathy and her co-host, Inez, have traveled to more than 50 countries.
  • She warns new podcasters that your show will take a lot more of your time than you estimate.
  • Be prepared to spend limitless amounts of time on social media in order to connect with your audience and promote your show.
  • She advises that new podcasters concentrate on quality about all else instead of downloads. If you produce quality content, the audience will come and stay. 
  • Finally, her best piece of advice is to choose a topic that you LOVE so you never get tired of talking about it. 


Kathy's Fantasy Podcaster: Princess Diana

Kathy's Hypothetical Podcast About Her Life: A Wholesome Mid-Westerner


Please follow @XXWillTravel on Twitter, @XXWillTravel on Instagram, and on Facebook!  You can subscribe and listen to the XX Will Travel on Podbean, iTunes, and Stitcher




Vernon Ross teaches podcasters, authors, coaches, and companies how to find their voice online, behind the microphone, on stage, and in any situation.

He is also the host of the Social Strategy Podcast, author of Master Your Message, social and digital strategist and inspirational speaker whose insights are based on real world experience.  

I met him at Podcast Movement 2016, and I am so happy to welcome my new pod pal to the show!


Vernon's Podcasting Smarter Tips: 

  • Vernon started his podcast to increase his professional authority in his business. 
  • Through podcasting, Vernon learned self-awareness, and discovered his gift for talking to people and helping them tell their stories. 
  • He has collected a number of opportunities directly and indirectly from podcasting including speaking gigs, a book deal, and a college teaching job. 
  • Know who you are, and reflect that in your show. Knowing who you are and what you have to say will help you find sponsors that align with your message. 
  • Don't worry about what other people think. If you have a point of view not everyone will agree with you, or like what you have to say. 
  • Vernon landed A-list guests by asking when they weren't doing interviews and suggesting an original topic for them to talk about. 
  • Don't let your fear keep you from starting. 
  • If you are serious about podcasting, attend conferences! You need to surround yourself with people who understand what you are doing. You can meet Vernon at Podfest in Orlando in February, as well as me! Look for us at the Podbean table. :)  


Vernon's Hypothetical Podcast About His Life: Holy Crap, How Did That Happen? 

Vernon's Fantasy Podcasters: Jesus, Barack Obama, and the first Native Americans


Find Vernon In These Places! 

BookMaster Your Message   
Host: The Social Strategy Podcast
Twitter: @rosspr




Do you dream of the day when you can say you've reached 200 podcast episodes?  My guest this week has accomplished that podcasting milestone. Evan Harris is an improviser and actor in Greenville, SC. He is also the creator and co-host of The Bearded Ones Podcast and generously shares his perspective after reaching his 200th episode.


Evan Harris' Podcasting Smarter Tips:

  • His podcast is a prime example of podcast evolution. His early episodes were burdoned with a rigid format that wasn't working, and horrible sound quality. Luckily, they made the changes needed to improve the show, but it took some time to get there. Big Lesson: Don't quit, work on getting better, and keep going!
  • He and his co-host, Jason Underwood alway skeep their goal in mind: To always be entertaining and/or funny.  This means aggressively editing out any pieces of the show that just aren't interesting. Big Lesson: You need to edit your show
  • Don't assume that people want to hear you talk. They don't.
  • Evan and Jason both prep for the show by collecting notes, stories, and video clips prior to each episode, and collaborate prior to every show. However, they are careful not to over-prep so they can react to each other's contributions in an authentic manner.
  • Evan's only regret is not starting his podcast sooner. It's a struggle competing with A-D list celebrities with built-in followings who are now getting into podcasting.
  • Sometimes, it's like getting water from a stine when he and Jason think a topic or bit for the show will be great, and it's not workign out the way they imagines. He's learned that by doubling down on it, they often get to some golden content, and they can edit out the junk in post production.
  • There were some distinct peaks and valleys getting to their 200th episode. Two years ago they took a six month break when they got both busy and discouraged with their download numbers. And yes, it killed their download numbers until they recommitted to the show and decided to produce regular content no matter what.
  • Another strategy that helped their numbers was actively joining kindred networks and using those platforms for cross promotion and exposure to new audiences.
  • Evan pointed out that unlike traditional media, nobody can make you stop podcasting but you. In other words, anyone can make it to 200 episodes if they take the committment to their show seriously.


Evan's Fantasy Podcaster: Zombie Abe Lincoln

Evan's Hypothetical Podcast About His Life: "True Self Deprecation"

Good Starter Episode of The Bearded Ones Podcast: Episode 200!


You can listen to The Bearded Ones on Podbean, iTunes, and Stitcher.  Find them on Facebook and Twitter too!





This week we are joined by Joe Cozzo of The Joe Cozzo Show. Joe is a comedian, podcaster, and criminal defense attorney who describes his show as a podcast about absolutely nothing and everything.


Prepare to be guilty as charged of being a smarter podcaster thanks to Joe's unique podcasting insights!


"If you aren't doing video you are doing yourself an injustice." --Joe Cozzo


 Joe Cozzo's Podcasting Smarter Tips:

  • Joe is always searching for people with great stories. He uses a combination of Craigs List Ads, his past criminal clients, and interesting people in his life like Crazy Robert.
  • His interviewing skills are a direct result of studying Howard Stern.
  • Joe is so passionate about podcasting he gets up at 5:30am to start gathering research and organizing sound bites.
  • Joe preps his guests through email and texts rather than talk to them directly in order to keep the interview as fresh as possible. He instructs every guest to be as real as possible.
  • Everyone is unique if you listen. The key is makign the guest comfortable so they feel good talking to you and opening up about their life.
  • Joe recommends Facebook as the best tool to market your show. He has an active Facebook Page and is considering a group. He interract with everyone who comments on his page, and YouTube videos. He also invests in Facebook ads to expand the reach of his episodes.
  • Although he has one advertiser on his show, he is still working on how to generate enough revenue to allow him to work on his show full-time.
  • The thing that bothers him the most is that he doesn't yet have the resources to pay his regular guests, and the people who help behind the scenes. This is a big goal for the show as it continues to grow.
  • Joe experienced a huge boost to his show when he started complementing his audio content with YouTube videos. He strongly believes every podcaster needs to embrace video, especially Facebook Live.
  • Joe gives guests his home telephone number. He strongly believes that the key to building your audience is building real relationships. 
  • Joe uses a That-2 to record audio from his telephone.
  • Joe doesn't like to listen to shows similar to his because he doesn't want to be over-influenced.


Joe's Fantasy Podcaster: Elvis

Joe's Hypothetic Podcast About His LifeThe Life and Mess Of Joe Cozzo


Good starter Episode of The Joe Cozzo Show: The Coney Island Coin Toss


You can listen to The Joe Cozzo Show on Podbean, iTunes, and Stitcher. Please follow Joe on Twitter and Facebook too!


Thanks again for listening to Podcasting Smarter! If you are enjoying the show, please consider giving it an iTunes review. It helps! :)






This week, I am joined by podcaster, Rebecca Duke. Rebecca is the co-host of the True Crime and Mysteries Podcast which is on a mission to bring awareness and ultimately, resolution to victims of violent crime. She and her co-host Michael give victims a voice through advocacy and real investigative journalism, using their podcast.


Rebecca's Podcasting Smarter Tips:

  • Rebecca had an idea to do more than entertain with a podcast. She now uses her podcast to act as an advocate for crime victims, and actively investigates criminal cases. She podcasts with a purpose!
  • As a podcaster, she has found that witnesses are more willing to open up to her as a non-traditional journalist.
  • She feels that more podcasters can and should use the medium to act as journalists to help solve crimes, and complement the work of police departments because podcasters are less constrained and more agile.
  • Rebecca is an academic writer, so she finds storytelling challenging, but her co-host, Mike helps keep her on track--especially when she gets emotional.
  • Rebecca uses a facebook Group instead of a facebook Page to connect with her listeners, and keep them up to date on her investigation. Her Facebook group members will even jump in and help pick up court papers when she can't make the trip.
  • Rebecca has a crowdfunding campaign as well as Amazon affiliate links to raise money to help cover travel expenses related to th einvestigation work.
  • Eventually, Rebecca and Mike would like to buy a travel trailor and travel around the country to help bring awareness and their investigation skills to other cases in need.
  • Rebecca spends 40+ hours a week on her podcast!


Rebecca's Fantasy Podcaster is Charles Darwin

Rebecca's hypothetical podcast abour her life would be called "Organized Chaos"

Please check out their investigative series on the Tiffani Streling Case. Developmens are happening through their investigative efforts that may finally bring closure to this case and justice for Tiffani!

You can listen to True Crime and Mysteries Podcast on Podbean, iTunes, and Stitcher. Please follow the show on Twitter, and join their Facebook group to stay abreast of their work.






On this episode, we are shaken and stirred by Mike Stojic, the host and creator of Make It A Double--The podcast that talks booze, spirits, history, mixology, and the people and stories that make them great.

Mike mixes us up a cocktail of great advice on this episode of Podcasting Smarter.


Mike's Podcasting Smarter Tips:

  • Mike invests extra time editing his podcast in order to tell a story in a creative, entertaining fashion.
  • He finds all his music at where he selects the perfect music for the mood of his show. He puts attributes for all the music on his website.
  • Find your passion. Anyone can talk. but not everyone has a passion they can share that they enjoy talking about.
  • The best guests are great storytellers, and the best storytellers have a passion.
  • He grows his audience through his guests' networks, and by collaborating with other podcasters with sponsor spot exchanges and cross promoting.
  • He uses Facebook ads to promote his episodes and sees a jump in downloads when he does.
  • Mike keeps his studio simple with an ipad, 2 mics, and a 2 channel amp. He records directly into his ipad using BossJock.
  • Podcasting led Mike to his partner in his soon to open bar, Revival 1869, as well as friendships with people in the spirits business that have helped him develop his bar menu.


Mike's Fantasy Podcaster(s): Quentin Tarantino & Boris Johnson

Mike's Hypothetical Podcast ABout His Life: The Wandering Whiskey Adventures 

Start with Episode 1 of Make It A Double titled, Moonshine and thank me later! :)

You can listen and subscribe to Make It A Double on Podbean, iTunes, and Stitcher. You can also follow Make It A Double on Facebook and Instagram!

Thanks for listening, sharing, and reviewing Podcasting Smarter!



This week I am joined by Scott Wagaman, the co-host of Watch Talk Wrestling. Scott is apodcaster who has taken his extreme passion for wrestling and transformed itinto a unique podcast.

Scott shares what it's like wrestling with a podcast, and let's us know what he learned along the way to 100 episodes. 


Scott's Podcasting Smarter Tips:

  • Scott found a way to differentiate himself in the crowded genre of wrestling podcasts. To do this, he had to take his time launching the podcast until he figured out an angle to make his show unique.
  • The best money he has ever spent on his podcast was for better microphones. They now use Shure SM58 mics and pop filters for better sound quality.
  • They keep their podcast entertaining by adopting characters grounded in themselves while staying true to a wrestling theme.
  • They primarily use Twitter for social media. Follow them!
  • Outside of social media marketing, they print and handout fliers as people leave local music shows, and wrestling events.
  • They will also trade 30 second spots with other podcasts to tap into new audiences.
  • They are coordinating with other wrestling podcasts in their area for a regular round table to cross promote each other's shows.
  • He uses the ios app, Logo Creator that allows him to create logos and visuals from his phone.
  • They hit a rocky patch around episode 40, but decided that they should keep going, and now they are having even more fun than when they just started.
  • If Your numbers dip, don't get discouraged, because they will fluctuate.
  • Don't depend too heavily on iTunes, most of their downloads come from other listening platforms.

Scott's Fantasy Podcaster: Eddie Guerrero

Scott's Hypothetical Podcast About His Life: Farts and Boogers

Best Starter episode of Watch Talk Wrestling: WTW Ep. 73: The Monday Night Wars


On this episode of Podcasting Smarter, I am joined by Dave Bullis who is a
screenwriter, director, producer, and podcaster in the Philadelphia area. He is just one person, and his show, the Dave Bullis Podcast was voted one of the best filmmaking podcasts by Mentorless, the Indie Film Academy. And Podbean.

Dave Bullis' Podcasting Smarter Tips:

  • Don't underestimate the value of creating. Podcasting reignited Dave's creativite spark and got him writing again.
  • Podcasting will expand your network by giving you a reason to connect with interesting and influential people by inviting them on your podcast.
  • Everyone has a unique story based on their journey. Even when they come from the same background or industry.
  • Instead of looking at podcast production as a ton of work, be happy that you get to do it and reap all its benefits.
  • Find guests by having a contact form on your website, getting previous guest recommendations, and scouring social media.
  • Make it easy for guests to share their episode by emailing them with links to the show. Also tag them on social media with a photo, and use their name as a hashtag.
  • Dave monetized his show by a combination of crowdfunding, and Amazon as well as Audible Affiliate links.
  • Dave's favorite productivity tool is Evernote.
  • Have a specialized angle. The barriers to entry are so low, you are now in a war for eyeballs and ears. You need to stand out.

Dave' fantasy podcaster: Mel Brooks

Dave's hypothetical podcast about his life: WTF with Dave Bullis, a comedy show.

Best starter episode of the Dave Bullis Podcast: Episode 131-Joseph Poliquin

You can find the Dave Bullis Podcast on Podbean, iTunes, and Stitcher.  Don't forget to follow him on Twitter and Facebook too!


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