How to Make a Living From Content Production

Paul Boag

This week on the Boagworld Show we are joined by Colin Gray from The Podcast Host to talk about how he makes a living from podcasting and its role within a broader content marketing.

This week’s show is sponsored by The Digital Project Manager School and Boagworks Training.


Paul Boag: This week on the Boagworld Show, we're joined by Colin Gray from The Podcast Host to talk about how he's made his living from podcasting and its role in broader content marketing. This week's show is sponsored by Boagworks Training and The Digital Project Manager School.

Hello and welcome to the Boagworld Show, the podcast about all aspects of digital design, development, and strategy. My name is Paul Boag and joining me on this week's show is Marcus Lillington and Colin Gray.

Hello, Colin.

Colin Gray: Hey, thanks for having me again.

Paul Boag: It's good to, yeah, it's been a couple of seasons, isn't it, ago that you joined us?

Colin Gray: Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I have no idea what season you're on now, because you're like in the hundreds or something, aren't you?

Paul Boag: Well, it does-

Marcus Lillington: 25,000 odd, at least.

Paul Boag: Season 23, Episode 14, and, of course, then there were the classics, the classic shows-

Marcus Lillington: The classics.

Paul Boag: … before seasons started.

Marcus Lillington: Classically bad.

Paul Boag: No, some of them … That was our heyday, Marcus Lillington. That's when-

Marcus Lillington: It's true.

Paul Boag: … when there wasn't much competition and millions of people listened to us. Well-

Marcus Lillington: Yeah.

Paul Boag: … not millions-

Marcus Lillington: We did about-

Paul Boag: … but lots.

Marcus Lillington: … 240 episodes of those, and then, since then, we probably average, say, 12 per, probably more-

Paul Boag: 14 per season.

Marcus Lillington: Is it 14 per season? Yeah, you do the maths. I can't be bothered.

Paul Boag: It's too-

Marcus Lillington: Millions.

Paul Boag: It's too early. It's too early for maths. Normally, we record this at the end of the day but because of our hectic schedules-

Marcus Lillington: Quite.

Paul Boag: … we could only do it in the morning.

Marcus Lillington: How are you, Colin? Come on, tell us your story of today.

Colin Gray: I'm good, thanks. Yeah, yeah, I was just saying, I woke up this morning to a flood of water in my kitchen, so that was joyful. I had the plumber who then phoned a joiner to take my island apart in the kitchen and then phone the plumber-

Paul Boag: Ooh.

Marcus Lillington: Oh.

Colin Gray: … again to get him back in to actually fix it, so, yeah.

Marcus Lillington: Hideous.

Paul Boag: Oh dear, and all of that was before 9:30 in the morning.

Colin Gray: Yeah, this was like 7:00 AM. It was ridiculous. Now, I'm glad tradesmen get up early, actually, because, otherwise, I wouldn't have made it here.

Paul Boag: No. No, that would have been, yeah, absolutely.

Tell us a little bit about for those who haven't heard you on the show before, tell us a little bit about what it is you do. How do you describe your job to friends and family, because it's not an easy job to describe, is it?

Colin Gray: Yeah, when people ask I generally say, "I make podcasts." But, that's like the smallest part of it I suppose. When I describe it to other people who have businesses, I suppose I say, "I help people make great podcasts," so I help anyone to make a good podcast, and we have a bunch of services and products related to that. Yeah, that's the general topic I guess.

Paul Boag: How did you come to do that? You don't grow up at school going I want to be a podcaster, or, perhaps, you do these days.

Marcus Lillington: DJ maybe.

Paul Boag: Yeah.

Marcus Lillington: Radio DJ.

Colin Gray: Yeah, DJ would be related, but I was a total shy kid. I never thought for a second that I would be broadcasting or speaking in front of people. Even if it was just a mic, but I do stages as well these days. Yeah, it's certainly not something I expected to do.

I ended up in education. I did higher education. I was a learning technologist. It was like a combination of geekiness, which is getting to play around with tech, and teaching, which was really nice actually. It was being able to apply tech to making learning better for students.

Because, I remembered how, I don't know, I was a good learner. I was good in school. But, when I went to university, I just found it really boring actually. I just didn't enjoy it a lick. Sitting in the back of the lectures for hours at a time and trying to learn, it just didn't appeal to me whatsoever.

Marcus Lillington: I dropped out halfway through my A levels. That's how boring I found it.

Colin Gray: I really enjoyed the challenge of trying to make it more interactive, more interesting, more, I don't know, just more fun to learn. That was what I did for a job for ages.

Podcasting came along at the end of that, because that was one of the technologies back then that came along that lecturers got really interested in. Because, you could create these really cool little bites of learning that people can listen on the go. They can listen on the bus. They can listen walking down the street, all those places. That's how I came across podcasting, back in education.

Paul Boag: Wow, so, yeah, no, that's make sense. That's not as weird a journey as it could have been, I'd imagine, so yeah. You say that you do, so you got a range of different things that you do. You've got some products. You've got some services. Give us the elevator pitch. What are the different things that you got going on?

Colin Gray: To outline, it is we've got our free stuff, which is the website. That's The Podcast, which is 500 plus blog posts, a few hundred podcast episodes, all on how to run a great show. That's just free there for everybody to use, and we get a good bit of traffic on that every month.

From there, we have our premium content which is the Academy, so that's our membership site. It's a community really. People join up. They get courses, resources, and they get live coaching from us onsite there too. That's just a monthly fee that people pay, subscribe, and they get access to that.

Then, on the side of that, we also have Alitu which is our web app. The web app is there to make podcasting easier which means that you can just upload your bit of audio, and then we add your music. We process it to make it sound good. We piece all the bits together, and then we can publish it automatically too.

That's the main triad of stuff. On the side of that, we do a bit of sponsorship. We do a bit of advertising. We do some client work as well, so we actually produce podcasts for people. A few other little things like a bit of speaking, a bit of consultancy and workshop, stuff like that.

Paul Boag: Great, so that is really quite an eclectic role that you've built for yourself there.

Colin Gray: Oh, you know what, everyone always says, "Focus, focus," but I'm like, "Pfft, that's boring."

Paul Boag: Well, yes, on one hand, they do say that. But, on the other hand, you are focused. You're focused on podcasting.

But, it's quite good to have multiple different revenue streams, so if one drops off, then something else can pick up the slack. If you were, everything was built into just, I don't know, say, Alitu, and Google suddenly released a tool that does the same thing for free, you would be out of business if that was all your focus. But, having a few different revenue streams I think is a healthy way to run a business.

Colin Gray: Yeah, totally, yeah.

Marcus Lillington: Absolutely.

Colin Gray: Yeah, it happened really, because the website started really as a, it was a hobby. It was back when I was working in the university. I just started writing about podcasting, because I was enjoying that. I just fell in love with the medium.

I've told you before, I was listening to Boagworld at the time, listening to, I think it was Episode 4, I first found on the cover of Web Designer magazine, I think that was it.

Paul Boag: Yup, yup, I remember.

Marcus Lillington: That might have been my first episode actually.

Colin Gray: Really?

Marcus Lillington: I was at three or four-

Colin Gray: Yeah.

Marcus Lillington: … I think was my-

Paul Boag: Yup.

Marcus Lillington: … first.

Colin Gray: Yeah, I certainly remember you being in it right from the start, Marcus Lillington, so, yeah, that would make sense. That was just as I was learning to make a podcast as well. It was a kind of coincidence there. I just started writing about it.

The website really started making money about a year or two in just through affiliate income, because I was writing about microphones and mixers and different types of software. I had been playing around just with digital marketing at that time and just putting some affiliate links in. I was just amazed when this check from Amazon turned up for like $10 or something like that.

That grew over a couple of years into a reasonably good income, maybe not full-time over that couple years, but a thousand, two thousand a month. Really, I decided I wanted to turn it into full-time income, go full-time on that. But, I knew that affiliate income, it's just not reliable enough. You

Paul Boag: No.

Colin Gray: … can't focus on it, because you can be wiped out. Your main article loses its rankings in Google. There's an algorithm change or something like that, and, suddenly, every bit of your income is gone.

That was why I started looking at client work and then started looking at the membership site and then started looking at Alitu, really to diversify out, to make it a bit more safe.

Paul Boag: Yeah, absolutely, incredibly sensible. We've just dived straight into this. I was going to-

Marcus Lillington: Oh, no.

Paul Boag: Normally, we have a little bit of waffle at the beginning of the show, and we totally failed that, because it's really interesting.

Because, you've managed to do what we've never succeeded in doing which is to make a living out of podcasting, not that we've really tried, Marcus Lillington, have we? If we're honest. We're always a bit-

Marcus Lillington: No, I just pitch up every week and go, "Right, what we talking about?" That's not totally true, Paul. The last series I did actually do some prep for, and I quite enjoyed it. It's given me lots of topics to write about. I haven't written-

Paul Boag: Yeah.

Marcus Lillington: … about them yet, but I have many topics.

Paul Boag: Well, you're going to have to do that again next season as well. We'll come up to what we're doing next season towards-

Marcus Lillington: That's cool.

Paul Boag: … the end of the show.

Let's just take a pause for a second talk about our sponsor, because I'm very conscious we've got straight into the interview, and I'm supposed to talk about the sponsor. They have been brilliant, because they've supported the whole season, as I said last week.

I'm talking about The Digital Project Manager School, and their online course, Mastering Digital Project Management, 100% online, completely time agnostic, very similar in some ways to Colin's Academy that he runs for podcasting, but this is for digital project management.

They've got 40 plus modules, 15 hours, well, over 15 hours of learning material. But, also, there are seven weekly scheduled, it's kind of a seven-week schedule of different themes each week, if that makes sense.

You get a certificate at the end of it. There are video lessons. There are assignments which, and the assignments are very practical. They're very hands-on. You also, all your assignments are peer-reviewed, so you can grade one another. You've got the option for the instructor to review your assignments as well. There are panel discussions that you can have as a community around it as well. Lots and lots of material that you can get involved with. They even provide you with templates for various aspects of project management.

But, there are limited numbers of spots available, so keep an eye out, because they don't run these continuously. They run them every few weeks. You sign up for the next one, so keep an eye out for when the next course is available.

I think you can apply for it now, so go to The Project and apply there. But, just check them out as well. They've got loads of free resources on their site which are worth having as well, so definitely worth paying attention to.

Okay, so, back to you, Colin. Sorry about that but got to pay the bills-

Marcus Lillington: Needs must.

Paul Boag: … as you know. Yeah, needs must as the devil drives, et cetera.

Colin, so, I'm quite interested, you almost touched on this a little bit that transition point. That point, you're working in higher education. You're playing with podcasting in your spare time. You've started The Podcast, and you got this affiliate income.

But, you're already aware that the affiliate income isn't necessarily the most stable thing in the world. It's maybe not enough to pay the bills completely. Then, you've got that moment of going, "Do I do this full-time? Do I strike out on my own? Is this a good idea?"

How did that happen? Because, you know what it's like, working at a university, you can't get a much more reliable, stable job these days.

Colin Gray: Forever.

Paul Boag: You know? Yeah, and you could just sit there forever, and the status quo is nice and easy, isn't it? Why rock the boat? When me and Marcus Lillington set up Headscape … There is a question at the end of this. When me and-

Marcus Lillington: The world's longest sentence.

Paul Boag: Yeah. When me and Marcus Lillington set up Headscape-

Marcus Lillington: We had to.

Paul Boag: … we were pushed into it.

Colin Gray: Yeah.

Paul Boag: We were made redundant. We had to do something. I look at other times where I've done things in my career where I've been made to do it.

In your situation, could you not have just sat happily in the university forever in the nice warm, cozy job? How did you persuade yourself to give that up?

Colin Gray: I could have, absolutely. I enjoyed the job. It's pretty easy-going, really, pretty flexible. It's interesting, so I could have quite easily sat there.

I think there's a couple of things to it. There's a lot around, or there has been a lot around in the last five years I think, I've read people saying, "You've got to commit to something. You've got to jump right in," don't you? "You have to-

Paul Boag: Yeah.

Colin Gray: … go all in on this. Otherwise, it's never going to work."

That's absolutely not how I did it. I really enjoyed doing the podcasting site. I loved running the website. It was kind of like a game to me. I didn't mind doing it on the evenings and the weekends back in the day, because it's like …

I think we talked about this another time, Paul, didn't we? Digital marketing, the whole online business-type thing, it feels like a game, because you've got all these metrics sitting there. You tweak something on a website, and you can see the metrics go up or down. It was like there's this total game-based mechanic to it, whereby you can just play around, and you can win.

Paul Boag: And, you-

Marcus Lillington: crosstalk 00:14:21.

Paul Boag: … get real money!

Colin Gray: Exactly. Yeah, it's much better than a game. I loved that. I really enjoyed doing that. That's how I managed to grow it I think during, a bit of time during the evenings or the weekends.

I don't know whether this is totally wussy or not, or whether it's sensible. I think everyone has their own path. But, I think more people should do it this way, and that I went to my work, and I just said, "Look, I love the work that I do, but I would love to be able to do a wee bit of other stuff on the side. What are the chances of being able to go down to four days a week?" They said-

Paul Boag: Ah.

Colin Gray: … "Yeah, all right then."

Paul Boag: Right.

Colin Gray: We arranged it. Basically, it was kind of a, I was honest with them and said, all that stuff, I said, "I'd quite like to stick around for a while. I really do enjoy this work because of all these projects we're working on." They saw me as valuable enough to negotiate I suppose, and I persuaded them that I would be able to still do all the work I needed to do.

I went down to four days a week. That was what happened. That was the first step of it. I had a full day every single week to work on The Podcast Host.

That went on for about, I believe that was somewhere between nine months and a year, and then I went back to them and said, "Can I make this two days?"

Paul Boag: Yeah.

Colin Gray: And, I made it two days. At that point, I was doing three days at the university and two days on my own stuff.

It was amazing. That first year, that one day a week, that made such a difference. That accelerated, the income doubled on the website that year, just because I was spending so much more time on it.

Then, the next year, the two days a week, I think it more than doubled. It was just, it was amazing. I should imagine common sense, start putting more time into something, more focus on it, makes such a difference.

Eventually, after about another year of that I think, so I had another two years at the university even while working more regularly on The Podcast Host where I still worked for them. At that point, I was making enough for a full-time living, to take on a member of staff.

See, that's where I got to. That was the real transition was when the income, I was working the two days a week on the business, and when the income became enough that I thought I could take the risk on hiring somebody else, that was when I thought … That's the jumping point. That's when I went full-time.

It didn't entirely cover my salary plus his. It ended up being a guy that I hired. It didn't cover the whole thing, but it was enough that I thought, "If I spend full-time on this and get the help of this other guy, I think we can grow it within six months to cover him, no worries."

Paul Boag: Yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense. It almost, it's a little bit reminiscent for me of how I transitioned from Headscape to Boagworks. Because, Headscape at the time was struggling. We talked, didn't we, about I went down to four days a week I think it was.

Marcus Lillington: It was all a sham, Paul, to get rid of you.

Paul Boag: You are, you absolutely are … But, yeah, so, apparently, we were struggling. That's what they told me. I went down-

Marcus Lillington: We really were.

Paul Boag: … to four-

Marcus Lillington: Horrible times, horrible, horrible times.

Paul Boag: Yeah, it was. That was a horrible bit.

Marcus Lillington: Yeah.

Paul Boag: So, I reduced my hours, and that enabled me to take less money from the business which helped the business. But, on the flip side, it allowed me to begin to build up my personal stuff as well.

Yeah, that's quite a nice way of doing it.

Colin Gray: Yeah.

Paul Boag: Did you feel … Going to them once and saying, "Can I go down to four days a week?" Yeah, right. Going back again is a bit cheeky, idn't it? Did you not feel-

Marcus Lillington: If you don't ask.

Paul Boag: … like you were taking-

Marcus Lillington: Eh, Paul?

Paul Boag: Yeah, exactly. I got to respect that.

Colin Gray: I did, yeah, absolutely. I wasn't sure they'd go for it. But, it was like a … Again, it was like you say, it was worth asking.

Also, I knew, I'd been there for five or six years at that point. I was on some big projects. I was doing some good work. I was confident enough that I was valuable enough to the team that I could say, "This is what I could do for you in three days. The alternative is that I'm not going to be as happy as I could be, as satisfied as I could be and probably not do as good work as I could, or I'm just going to leave." I think it's about just taking ownership of your own time and being honest with folk. As long as the people like and respect you, people work around what your desires are I think.

Marcus Lillington: The lesson that I've taken from that story is just talk to people, communicate. You never know. You remember when Sam Barnes was on the show? The Project Manager, Sam Barnes, his process of moving from job to job, it was little bit like my jaw dropped a bit.

Because, basically, he would go up to his managers and say, "I'm thinking about leaving. I've not set it in place yet. But, I just wanted to let you know that, that's in my mind, so I'm not going to be sneaking off for interviews and all this kind of thing," and being completely open about it.

He said that in some cases that led to them completely reviewing the relationship they had, and the job changed, and all this kind of thing. If he'd just thought, "I'm unhappy, I'm going." None of that would have happened. Yeah, basically, communicate.

Colin Gray: Yeah, for sure, and a lot of people used to say that, "Is that a tactic to get paid more, isn't it?" But, if you're … That feels a bit icky. A lot of people would rebel against that I would say. But, I think if it's honest like you say, if you actually genuinely are unhappy, then it's not leveraging some scarcity, "Oh, I'm going disappear." It's just, yeah, it's just being honest.

Marcus Lillington: My son, my son has just done the same thing. He's three years out of university, physics degree, worked for an engineering firm that he did a placement year, basically building giant magnets. He wants to set up his own business basically doing gin and vodka distilling, that kind of thing.

He went back into them and said, "Look, I don't want carry on. It's been great, but I've got the experience. Thank you very much. But, I want to go off and do my own venture."

They wanted him to stay so much, they've offered him contract work to carry on, on weekends and things like that, because he goes out to China and places to service these huge magnets in MRI machines.

Again, if it's genuine, if it's not a tactic to try and get anymore, because he genuinely does want to move and set up his own business, but they're going to pay him contract wages for months, maybe even years going on. Yeah, he's basically landed on his feet brilliantly.

Colin Gray: Yeah. I think that's going to become more and more common, isn't it? So many more-

Paul Boag: Yeah.

Colin Gray: … people want to be a lot more flexible in their work. It seems to me try to recruit folk just now that it's harder and harder to find decent people. Even more so, the decent people are the ones that need the flexibility and want to work in more interesting ways rather than just doing the same thing nine to five, Monday to Friday.

I think, yeah, if you're confident that you're valued and you do good work, then your employer is going to want to help you. It's worth asking.

Paul Boag: Sometimes, it can work out very well from an employer's point of view as well, because it reduces their overheads a little bit. They have more motivated staff. You want the kind of people that have got that kind of entrepreneurial spirit in them as well to be a part of your company. Otherwise, you just end up with people that are there to turn handles and not actually to be creative in their thinking. Yeah, I think-

Colin Gray: I actually-

Paul Boag: … it's a win-win.

Colin Gray: I just took somebody on actually, five days a week but only half-days, so four hours a day. I'm paying, the reason I did it initially was, because … The reason it came up is, because it was a US employee. A lot of our customers are in the US, probably two-thirds. We need some more support over there. We need a person over there that knows that market inside out. I know it very well, but I'm not living there, so I'm not enveloped in it.

But, hiring somebody in Silicon Valley, it's just ridiculous the wages they get over there. The living expenses are way higher, so I suppose it makes sense, but it's literally double the standard market wage of over here. I could only afford to pay him for half the wage. It was like, "Can you work half a day for the same wage I would pay for a full-timer over here?"

I rebelled against that at first. But, then, I started thinking, I was like, "Do you know, the days that I have to pick up my son early, I get just as much done," because I know I have to leave at two o'clock. I end up doing the same amount of work and just not doing half as much faffing.

I think it's going to be an interesting experiment to see how much he gets done in his four hours a day, because it's those condensed hours. He knows he has to get this stuff done, but it's short hours. I think it's going to probably get just about as much output as a full-timer anyway.

Paul Boag: It could well do. It could well do.

Marcus Lillington: Fingers crossed.

Paul Boag: Yup. Let's talk about your game, your game of monetizing your business and moving metrics. Could we talk a little bit about where your income comes from?

Colin Gray: Yeah, yeah, sure.

Paul Boag: Because, you've touched on it a little bit, but this is what I always find very fascinating about people that are running their own businesses. That there's lots of these different things going.

You've already mentioned Alitu. You've already mentioned client work. You've already mentioned the Academy and affiliate marketing. What kind of makeup of those in terms of percentages of what is what, and where's the money-

Marcus Lillington: What makes the-

Paul Boag: …coming from?

Marcus Lillington: … real money?

Paul Boag: Yeah, what-

Colin Gray: Yeah, sure, absolutely.

Paul Boag: Where's your money coming from?

Colin Gray: Yeah, yeah, totally. Well, considering I said that I branched out, because I was afraid that the affiliate income would be unreliable, wouldn't be able to grow as well, that's still over half of our full income.

Paul Boag: Wow.

Colin Gray: Half of the company's revenue comes from affiliate income still, and that's been steadily growing. It's always been reliable. It's up and down by maybe 10, 15% each month, because it's just, it depends a bit on traffic, and it depends a bit on customer trends and time of the year, that kind of stuff. We get much more at Christmas, but it's generally, relatively steady, so, yeah, about half of it from affiliate.

Then, the other half tends to be the Academy and Alitu, split. They're on about the same just now, so it's pretty much 50% affiliate, 25% membership, 25% Alitu right now.

I treat the other stuff as bonus money. Client work, we do maybe-

Paul Boag: Cream.

Colin Gray: Yeah, exactly. We only do three or four probably big client jobs a year. That's kind of bonus. We spend that on nice things for the business, that kind of stuff, and advertising and sponsorship-type stuff as well, it's similar. Yeah, the core though is those three things, and they're split that way.

Marcus Lillington: Cool.

Paul Boag: I'm fascinated by affiliate marketing, because this is always an area that-

Marcus Lillington: I think it's witchcraft, Paul.

Paul Boag: Yeah. I don't know how-

Marcus Lillington: It's not-

Paul Boag: … you-

Marcus Lillington: … real money.

Paul Boag: … can make, how you can make so much from affiliate marketing. Because, your site must have fairly substantial traffic levels to be able to support that. I don't mean to pry, but can I ask how much traffic your site is getting?

Colin Gray: Yeah, happy to share as much as you want. The site gets about 200,000 visitors a month just now.

Paul Boag: Okay.

Colin Gray: What's that? 2.5 million a year or so, so it's not massive traffic. It's decent. We're like five, what is it? Five, six, seven thousand a day or so visitors.

The thing is it doesn't all come just from that traffic. We've built a pretty loyal audience over the years. I've got a really good email list as well, for example. Because, we did a lot to get people on our newsletter.

I do a 20-day How to Start a Podcast course by email that people sign up for. They go through that. Through that course, we also have lots of affiliate links in there. In the course, they need to sign up for hosting, podcast hosting, that's a big one for us, recording software so like RINGR. You're using Zoom just now? Zoom's got an affiliate program, if you pay for it.

Paul Boag: Right.

Colin Gray: Zoom's one as well we recommend that. You've got all sorts of things in there, equipment, obviously, like mics and mixers and all that kind of stuff.

We get a good bit of affiliate through the website, just standard traffic, people searching, what is the best digital recorder? But, then, we've got our audience who follow us every week, that get the newsletter, that get the podcast pointers that I put out. All of that generates affiliate income as well.

Paul Boag: How does it work? Is it that you sit down and go, "Right, who's got a good affiliate program? I'm going to recommend that," or is it that you decide what you're going to recommend and then hope that they have an affiliate program? Honest answer, Colin.

Colin Gray: Honest answer is the first, yeah, yeah. We write about all sorts of things anyway, but, every month, I make sure that we're looking at one or two new affiliate projects. Every month, I sit down with Matthew, and I say, "Right, what's our affiliate project this month?" We think, "Right. Are there any products we can review? Anything new that's come out? What software are people using these days? Oh, does that have an affiliate program?" "Yeah." "Okay, let's go and review that."

It has, people find that a bit icky, because it's like you're reviewing something, because you're going to get something in return. But, our audience come back, because we're honest about it. I only write, we write honest reviews. It just happens to get a commission, if you choose to take advantage of this.

We have to, it's FTC guidelines in the US.

Paul Boag: Yeah, you've got to say.

Colin Gray: It's similar over here as well, you've got to say. Every time we have an affiliate link, we say at the top of the article, all that kind of stuff.

But, yeah, absolutely, I am thinking about it all the time, because it's such a big part of our income. We do write about stuff even if it doesn't have an affiliate program. But, I always make sure we've got at least a couple of them in every month.

Paul Boag: Yeah, well, that's really interesting. Have you done anything with sponsored posts or that kind of stuff, or do you focus on the affiliate instead?

Colin Gray: I have tried. I have tried to put out for that. I think, I feel like we're in a really good position to do it, because we've got, like I say, we've got-

Paul Boag: Yeah.

Colin Gray: … we've got a big audience. We've got the newsletter. We've got the podcast. We've got lots of places we could put it out, but I hope I don't get in trouble for this, but I feel like a lot of companies in the podcast industry are quite cheap.

Paul Boag: Yeah.

Colin Gray: A lot of them are nice like this is changing. There's a lot of money coming into podcasting right now, so this could change in the next year. I'm looking at it regularly to see if we can, because it could be a good income stream for us.

But, in the past, whenever I've put out and said, "Give us a few hundred pounds, we'll give you a sponsored post slot." People generally say, "Nah, inaudible 00:29:39."

Paul Boag: Now, that's really interesting. Because, from my side of things, I find it easy to get a sponsored post, but I find it quite hard to get, generated any real, substantial income from affiliate advertising. Of course, my business model is based on that kind of thing.

Colin Gray: Of course. No, I think it's maybe reflective of our core audience that we back, because I think our core audience is much more hobbyists, small and very small businesses, individuals, consultants, solo entrepreneurs. They're very much more price sensitive.

They'll buy the products. They'll buy the hosting. They'll buy a microphone. But, they'll be less likely to buy theirself bigger products, or they're less likely to be a company that will pay us for a sponsored post.

Whereas, I think you're more big business aiming, aren't you?

Paul Boag: Yeah.

Colin Gray: Maybe that makes sense in that sense. But, again, I think that's changing for us too, because I think more big businesses are coming into podcasting, so it's definitely something I want to look at again this year.

Paul Boag: Just going back, I'm throwing in a random question that wasn't in the show notes-

Marcus Lillington: Ooh.

Paul Boag: … this time, sorry. Going back to those very early days-

Marcus Lillington: Sure.

Paul Boag: … when you were working at the university, you're building up this blog post. What advice would you give to people about building an audience and blogging? This is a little bit of a tangent from what we're supposed to be talking about on the show. We're supposed to be talking about your business, but there are so many abandoned blogs, abandoned podcasts, and stuff like that. What kept you going?

Marcus Lillington: The money.

Paul Boag: Well, no, it wouldn't have been originally before-

Marcus Lillington: Yeah, true.

Paul Boag: … he built a big enough audience.

Colin Gray: Yeah. This is the kind of answer that nobody wants to hear, but I just enjoyed it. Nothing particularly kept me going in the early days, because the traffic was rubbish. I just really enjoyed playing around with this stuff.

It does take a while. It took, I always mean to look back at the stats, actually, because I get asked this a fair bit. But, I'm pretty sure the last time I looked it was something like a year before I got even over a hundred per day visitors.

But, then, once I got to that point, once I had that 100 point, I remember looking at one point and seeing that it doubles every couple of months from there, and it gets … Well, every couple of months, but it starts growing pretty fast from that point.

In terms of, you asked that question, how do you grow that audience? I think one of the biggest things that I tell people that's maybe slightly contrarian is just completely ignore all of the flash in the pan stuff. By that, I include social media, I include any kind of new technology.

I think completely go back to any … We are very reluctant to do anything that's not completely evergreen. We never do any news. We never do, rarely do much social media stuff. Everything is built around blog posts, which are timeless really, and podcast episodes which support those blog posts.

People find us by the blog more than anything else, because that's still the way, the search medium. I do tons of research around key words, around what people are searching for, the questions people are asking. Just going out and talking to the audience and finding out, what are you wondering about? What problems are you having? What barriers do you have?

Then, writing about that stuff, and then creating podcast episodes that complement that. So, when they find the blog post, they can go to the podcast, listen to the podcast, that's when they get to know you, trust you, and then follow you forever.

Similar with video, that's an upgrade as well in terms of the personality, that kind of stuff. But, it's all based around those basic, most common questions in an area. Forgetting about all the, "Oh, look, Meerkat just comes out. That looks like it's going to be huge. I'm going to do tons of Meerkat," and then it crashes after three months and doesn't come back again.

I've seen so many people spend so much time on those kind of techs that just disappear. It's just a fad really. That's the best bit of advice I have really.

Marcus Lillington: I've got-

Paul Boag: I think-

Marcus Lillington: … to go back-

Paul Boag: … that … Go on, Marcus Lillington.

Marcus Lillington: Sorry, Paul. I've got to go back to the first thing you said though. You're right. It isn't what people want to hear, but the reason why there are so many abandoned blogs and podcasts out there is, because people weren't into doing it. They felt like should do it.

Colin Gray: Yes.

Marcus Lillington: I play the guitar, as you can see behind me-

Colin Gray: Yeah, yeah.

Marcus Lillington: … for 44 years now. I had to know how to do it. It was just like absolutely myopic, especially when I was a teenager. I had to know how to play, because I loved it to pieces.

If I hadn't of felt that way, because people say to me all the time, "I want to know how to play the guitar." Well, you would have done then by now.

The same thing applies here. That's a little bit, I'm a bit guilty of this about my blog posting. I like writing, but I don't really feel, I don't like the kind of, "Oh, I want to get more people. I want to make this thing that spreads out into the world." I think that's one of the reasons why I struggle with it a little bit.

Colin Gray: Yeah.

Paul Boag: Yeah.

Marcus Lillington: I'm waffling on. You know what I'm saying.

Colin Gray: No, no.

Paul Boag: No, no, no, you're not.

Colin Gray: I totally agree. I think, I would add to that though and say that I think that's how a lot of smaller businesses start good content is when they're absolutely passionate about it, and they just do it for a year, even though they don't look at the stats. But, I do think a business who doesn't, maybe somebody who's writing like an in-house marketer or something like that, I think they can write good content around these areas just by doing the right research, by getting really into their customers, that kind of stuff.

But, the key there is to realize how long it takes, is to not even look at the stats. Just say, "We are going to throw a day a week into this for a whole year with no expectation of one thing back," not one bit of traffic, not one sale, not one lead, anything, with the view that a year's worth of content, even if it brings no traffic at the end of that year is a huge asset source. 52 blog posts, 52 podcasts, 52 videos all around the 52 most commonly asked questions, problems, failures, whatever in our industry that is going to pay off years two, years three, years four. Year five, we'll be the authority in our entire industry if we just spend a year doing that and stick to it.

Paul Boag: Yeah, absolutely. You completely nailed it, and that's where I see that all the time in my own blog. That there is a distinct difference between the posts which are evergreen that I've researched, that I've thought about, that I'm answering common questions. Those are ones that always perform.

Then, there's the posts where I'm going, "Ooh, this has just popped into my head, and I really want to rant about this." Often the rants perform well in the short term, because people like a good rant. But, they don't maintain it over the long term. Yeah, I totally agree.

I wish I was a bit more disciplined than you are. Perhaps, I would have your levels of traffic if I actually had that discipline to do it.

Colin Gray: I'll take discipline as opposed to laziness. That's good.

Paul Boag: Yeah, yeah. You've got a lot going on here, Colin. Going back to that whole thing about you're supposed to focus, which you haven't done. Well, you have in terms of subject area, but you've got lots of different things.

How do you work out what to allocate your time to when you get up in the morning? Do you do another affiliate post? Do you spend some time promoting Alitu? Do you promote the Academy? How do you decide what to do?

Colin Gray: I am a completely and utterly disorganized, flaky magpie-type person by nature. I'll get up in the morning, and I'll just go, "Oh, I quite fancy doing this." There's all these other things in the background. I know that about myself.

I think partly it's why I have built what I did in the early days, because I really enjoyed doing it, and I just did what I wanted to do. It worked out actually, because I had a gut feel about the industry.

But, nowadays, I've got a really, sort of geeky, quite strict organizational method. I do monthly board packs. I do weekly schedules. I do daily task lists with a journal around it as well, and I do annual goals and annual planning of themes and tasks and stuff around that as well.

I have a-

Paul Boag: Wow.

Colin Gray: … system that I follow through that I've learned over about the last five or six years from other people but adapted to something that I think, as far as I can tell, I've talked to other people about it, it's pretty unique, but just bits and pieces from all sorts of other places.

Paul Boag: You're thinking yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily.

Colin Gray: Daily, yes, exactly, yeah. Those four levels of it, I would say. I spend a good couple of days at the start of the year setting out those goals, those themes, and everything. Then, my monthly planning goes around those themes.

I've got, I think right now I've got about 12 themes, which include things like conversion rate. Conversion rate is a big theme for me this year, because we've got good traffic, but we're not converting enough of them into people that subscribe to Alitu or the Academy.

What's another one? Team's a big one this year as well. I've got a team theme which is including taking on new developers, taking on a marketer, that kind of thing, developing the existing team we've got.

Every month, I go through that, and I make sure I've got at least a few tasks in every theme. That means, that stops me basically going on off and just doing the bits that I enjoy. Because, I've got sales, I've got team building. I've got things like that, that I need to do, but it's not my favorite thing.

If I do my board pack for the month, and I see that one of the themes is empty, I'm like, "Oh, I'm going to … If you run away from that, I'm neglecting it." It helps me make sure my work's balanced, so that helps me in the first place.

Then, at the start of the week, every week, I look at that board pack, I look at the tasks I have in each theme for this month, and I pick out a few of them from each theme or maybe one from each theme each week and put them on my list for that week. Then, for that week, I then put it onto a spreadsheet which is I'm going to spend this morning on Tuesday doing this task. I'm going to spend Wednesday afternoon doing this task. I'm going to spend Thursday morning doing this one, and I spread it out through the week.

I love the fact that it allows me to estimate how much I can do in a week quite well. Because, that totally saves my mental well-being, because, otherwise, I'm quite prone to just putting 20 things on my task list with no thought to whether I can possibly achieve that. That just makes you feel really frustrated at the end of the week.

I really, it works for me really well, and I've done a talk on it. Actually, a couple of times, I was asked to do a talk on it in London last year, and it went down really well. I turned it into a course actually for the Academy, so I do teach people it as well.

Paul Boag: I love the idea of themes, having a theme for the year or themes, multiple. I think that's something I might steal. I like that one.

Colin Gray: Yeah, I could send over a board pack, show you an example.

Paul Boag: See, Marcus Lillington has gone very quiet on this, because he rejects any kind of organizational structure whatsoever.

Marcus Lillington: Yeah, what's wrong with having 50 tasks just floating? Hey.

Colin Gray: Like I said, I'm like that by nature. But, as soon as I, and I totally … The only reason I did it, actually, I started this was, because I was on a mentorship program. I got this a wee bit of a funding and a year's worth of mentorship about three years ago, and I had to do a monthly report for this mentorship thing. That's what started me doing it. I was like, "Ugh, this is rubbish. I don't want to do this. It's taking up my time with a complete waste."

But, after two or three months, I started to realize that I was just feeling a bit more relaxed, because I felt under control. I had everything that I needed to do down on paper. The big thing for me actually was it ties each month to the last month.

Another thing I'm guilty of is doing lots of stuff, but it's all in different directions. I'm doing this task, and then doing this task, and none of it builds on top of each other. None of it builds to grow what you're doing. It's all just in different directions.

This helps me. Every week I'm doing something to build on last week, so I'm actually making progress.

Paul Boag: That is brilliant.

Marcus Lillington: It's cool. I was going to say that I think there's a connection between what we were talking about previously, about whether you're into something makes you continue to do it. I think there's an element of that with me. I don't, I'm not into being organized. I just like getting on with it, so, therefore, I don't do it. But, equally, there's that element, what you've just said, if you stick at something long enough, it becomes a habit. Maybe I just need to do that.

But, I'm always changing how I organize my tasks, and I get bored with something, and then I'll just go back to pen and paper, or then I'll try something different. It's just not my thing, and I accept that, and I'm fine with it.

Colin Gray: Yeah,

Paul Boag: You can get … You're special in your own way, Marcus Lillington.

Marcus Lillington: Thank you, Paul.

Paul Boag: You're your own-

Marcus Lillington: As are you.

Paul Boag: … unique snowflake.

Sorry, Colin, you were going to say something sensible crosstalk 00:43:13

Colin Gray: No. I was just going to say, I feel that you can get into something as soon as you start getting reward from it, that's the thing, isn't it? The most boring thing in the world, you can get really into it and passionate about it because of the satisfaction in your head of doing a good job at it, doing a good job at it, as soon as you're good at it.

I feel like that's why I've got into organization, because I feel like I've become good at it, and I feel like I get a good reward from it. That's all.

Paul Boag: On a typical day, so you've planned out a week, and you've got various tasks that you're doing on a typical day. But, are there any kind of re-occurring things that you do on a day in terms of how you deal with email or admin or that kind of thing.

Colin Gray: Yeah, for sure. That schedule, that weekly schedule I've got the spreadsheet, it has half-day blocks, but it's got a regular task, it's got a couple regular tasks every day as well.

One day, I've got accountancy, so I spend half an hour just reconciling the last week's receipts. That's on a Wednesday afternoon I think at the moment. After I get back from lunch on a Wednesday every week, that's my job for half an hour. Then, I get going back to the main, the one-off half-day task, if that makes sense.

I've got other stuff in there. I've got participate in the community that I'm a member of once week. Then, do you know, emails are funny when you mentioned email there. I have scheduled that in the past. I hate email. I just, I do my email once a week, max.

Paul Boag: Really?

Colin Gray: I'm a terrible replier to email, because I just, I get, do you know it's going back to that evergreen stuff, isn't it? I hate doing stuff that is transient, that doesn't give me a long-term reward, and email feels like that to me. I know I'm missing out on opportunities, and I piss some people off, because I take a week to get back to them.

But, I would much rather sit for two hours on one day and just blast through a whole week's worth of email than spend much longer than that checking in two times a day. I've come to terms with that, and that's just how I do it now.

Paul Boag: That's really interesting. This thing about evergreen, because me and Colin chat quite often. One of the things I keep trying to persuade Colin to do is that he should do more training and more stuff aimed at big corporates or consultancy, that kind of stuff, because you can earn a lot of money in a very short length of time.

Colin just doesn't really, it doesn't resonate with him. It's occurred to me, "Well that's why," isn't it? Because, it's an evergreen thing. You do it once, and it's done. It's not an evergreen thing is my point. Yeah, you do it once. It's done, and then you never get value out of it again. That may be why you don't, it doesn't fit with you so well.

Colin Gray: Yeah, I think that's exactly it. I think even that, so that talk that I talked about, I did that talk I prepared for that talk last year for that organizational thing, the way I organize my year, my week, and my day and all that. Even that felt, I was frustrated the whole way through that thinking, "Oh, this is for one thing. I'm enjoying it, but it's going to be gone." That's why I ended up turning that into a course and into a book.

Paul Boag: Yeah.

Colin Gray: I've got all this stuff that I made out of it now to make it evergreen. Yeah, I don't know. It's just the way my brain works.

Paul Boag: Absolutely, you're spot on. I'm not quite as extreme as you. But, I still have that desire, and I will reuse stuff.

I think the difference with me, when I initially create it, I just create it for whatever it is I'm initially doing. But, then, I will go, after I've done it, I'll go, "Ooh, I can turn that into a blog post," or, "Ooh, I could turn that into a podcast."

That is absolutely the key certainly for things like content marketing which brings me nicely onto the fact that's what you talk a lot about, isn't it? That idea of content stacking you call it, isn't it?

Colin Gray: Yeah, that's exactly it. Yeah, that's the whole thing of rounds. One content idea, and making sure you're getting blogs, videos, and podcasts out of that one idea. You plan out the whole idea, and you do as much as you can around it. Even down to doing what you do which is breaking it out into a season.

So many people have an idea for better content, and they write a big blog post about it. Maybe they'll go as far as making a podcast or a video about it too. But, it's still just one thing.

Whereas, you can often break these things down into five, 10, 15, 20 episodes. They work really well. On a blog, podcast seasons have been around for a while. You do them, Paul and Marcus Lillington, and they work really well. But, blog series, I don't see many blog series, but they work really well for-

Paul Boag: No.

Colin Gray: … us. Because, people find that one of our blogs, one of our series, sorry, one post in a series of blog posts, and they end up clicking through all the other links, and they read the whole thing. They end up reading seven blog posts instead of just one and then going on to other blog posts and stuff. It works just as well in the blog as well.

Yeah, I think it's trying to get as much as you can out of every content idea you come up with.

Paul Boag: Yeah, and that you could take your series of blog posts and put them together into an e-book.

Colin Gray: Yeah, yup, totally.

Paul Boag: Well, last question I wanted to ask you, are you going to be doing this for the rest of your life? Do you think much about the future? Do you have any idea of where your career might go? Do you see yourself running this business forever?

Colin Gray: I think I would be happy to. I would be happy to keep running it the way it is. Well, no, no, sorry, actually, that's not entirely true.

The content side of it, I would be happy to run that forever. I love writing. I love creating blog posts, creating podcasts, creating videos, I love all that stuff. I could do that forever, if I could make a living out of that forever.

The side that I'm really enjoying, I'm really enjoying building Alitu right now, so a software product, and building a team around that. I'm really, I'm enjoying it. I'm enjoying the puzzle of it, the challenge of it.

But, there's some horrible parts to it as well. It's so much more stressful. There's so much more, it makes me far less free. My time is definitely not my own half as much as it was a couple of years ago, because I've got a bunch of staff to manage. I've got way more customers that need stuff.

Blogs are brilliant for that, aren't they? Affiliate income is dream, because somebody comes and reads it. They go off to Amazon, and they buy something. That's not your problem. If it doesn't work, they return it to Amazon. It's total hands-off income.

But, as soon as you create a software product, there's a little bug, and, suddenly, the customers are shouting at you over the support. I have to help deal with that, because we've not got a big enough team.

I'm enjoying it, but I couldn't do this forever. I couldn't do Alitu forever, unless it built to a position where I could step back from all of that stuff. But, the impression I get is that founders, CEOs, whatever you want to call them, rarely get to do that with companies, especially software as a service type companies.

I can't imagine not being around the podcast industry. But, I could imagine building Alitu to a state where either it can run itself, or it could be acquired or just merge with somebody else and me just be run the content still, run the podcast or something similar to that.

Paul Boag: In your ideal future world, you slide into retirement making money off of writing content?

Colin Gray: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, yeah, I could happily do that for the rest of my life.

Do you know what? I bet you anything, right now, I'm okay with being in the podcast industry. But, in a few years' time, maybe I will think, "Do you know? I'd love to write for someone else."

Actually, I've got a few ideas. I've got into CrossFit recently. That's my training at the moment. I've got an idea to start a podcast around that and do a bit of writing around that. You never know. Two years time that might be actually developing an affiliate income or maybe something else entirely.

Paul Boag: Yeah, yeah, just start a whole nother, yeah, because you could easily take what you've done with The Podcast Host and replicate that from an affiliate income point of view for CrossFit, cross-training, or anything else, couldn't you really? The same-

Colin Gray: I think there's a-

Paul Boag: … basic crosstalk 00:51:27

Colin Gray: Yeah, there's always, there's a big opportunity, isn't there? When you know content, when you know marketing, and you jump into a completely different industry that often, a lot of industries are completely unknowledgeable about that kind of stuff. You have such an advantage in trying to grow something.

Paul Boag: Yeah, I've got, so I recently wrote a post, a UX post on smart home stuff.

Colin Gray: Oh, okay.

Paul Boag: Because, the state of smart home UI and user experience is just appalling. It's just terrible.

In preparing for that, and, partly because, we were renovating the house, I've actually bought loads of devices, and I've been playing with loads of stuff. I thought of you, and I thought, "Blooming heck, I should be reviewing all these different bits of software-

Colin Gray: For sure.

Paul Boag: … and making affiliate income off of it-

Colin Gray: Yeah, yeah.

Paul Boag: … really." But, you got to create a mechanism for that. Posting that on Boagworld wouldn't be appropriate. You'd have to build a new site from scratch.

Colin Gray: That's a new brand.

Paul Boag: Which is-

Colin Gray: Yeah, yeah.

Paul Boag: Yeah, exactly. It's always a lot of work, creating a new crosstalk 00:52:31

Colin Gray: But, there's a big opportunity there, isn't there? Because, that's all, because Amazon makes it really easy for affiliate income. That's a great way to start with it, because it's so simple.

Paul Boag: Yeah.

Colin Gray: They've got all of that stuff. Certainly, I was searching for that. About a year ago, we were doing up our kitchen, and I did tons of searches, and there wasn't a lot of content around it. You got the chance there, Paul.

Paul Boag: Oh, no, you're making me want to do it.

Marcus Lillington: Oh, dear.

Paul Boag: Oh, no, I've got to stick with my themes. I'm not allowed to become a magpie.

Colin Gray: Don't listen to me. Don't listen to me.

Paul Boag: Okay, that's inaudible 00:53:03. Colin, I want to come back to you in just a second about, because we're going to be talking about next season, and you're going to be involved with that, well, kind of.

Marcus Lillington: In crosstalk 00:53:12.

Paul Boag: In-between.

But, before I do that I want to talk about our second sponsor. Last week, we talked about Headscape, and I did a little sponsorship section for them. So, it's only fair that we also do a little bit of sponsorship for Boagworks, right? Colin, we had a couple of slots left over this season, so we thought we'd use them for our own stuff.

Colin Gray: Take advantage.

Paul Boag: Exactly, yeah. One of the big things that I do in my business is training, so I thought I would just mention the training offering that Boagworks provides. We cover a whole range of subjects. I can say we now, because it's me and my wife. She does stuff. She's like a proper person in the business now.

Marcus Lillington: Careful, Paul-

Paul Boag: Rather than just-

Marcus Lillington: … careful, careful, you're going to say something-

Paul Boag: She doesn't-

Marcus Lillington: … you'll regret any second.

Paul Boag: She doesn't transcribe it anymore, so I can say whatever I want. She won't see it. But, thank you for the warning, Marcus Lillington. I will stop at that point.

We cover a range of topics, so I do training on user experience, service design, digital transformation, content marketing, very similar to the kind of stuff that Colin was talking about, and conversion rate optimization. Those are probably my biggest topics that I speak about.

I do everything from short, little inspirational presentations, you get me in for an hour, speak for 40 minutes, do 20 minutes Q&A just to get a bit of momentum going on stuff, all the way to multi-day workshops where we really dig into topics in more depth.

I also do a lot of remote training, which I think a lot of people don't really think about. I'll do an inspirational presentation-type thing via a webinar that obviously you can then record and distribute within your organization. But, I also do multi-part sessions, say, take a day's workshop and split it down into four sessions, one a week, each one of about an hour and a half. That seems to work quite well as well. It's even possible to do proper, full-blown workshops remotely. Then, I do some self-learning/training video-type material as well that a lot of companies use.

If any of that sounds of interest, then drop me an email at, and we'll set something up.

Enough of such things, Marcus Lillington, should we do your last joke of the season, sir?

Marcus Lillington: Well, seeing as it is the last episode of the season, and we're going on a bit of a long break, I thought I'd do three.

Paul Boag: Ooh.

Marcus Lillington: The first one is one that you posted, Paul, so I'm expecting you to remember the punchline to this.

Paul Boag: Not a chance.

Marcus Lillington: Well, I'll give you a go. What do you call an elephant that doesn't matter?

Paul Boag: Now, you told me this joke just before the show.

Marcus Lillington: Mm, I did.

Paul Boag: And, I've already forgotten the punchline.

Marcus Lillington: Shall I tell you?

Paul Boag: Yes.

Marcus Lillington: An irrelephant.

Paul Boag: Oh, yeah, that's-

Marcus Lillington: That's pretty good. Come on.

Paul Boag: That is pretty good. I can't remember where I found that, or, but, yeah, that's not too bad. Go on, next one.

Marcus Lillington: These are both from Don Livingston on the Slack channel. My wife started attending a self-help group for compulsive talkers. It's called On and On and On.

Paul Boag: Oh, that's quite good. I quite like that one.

Marcus Lillington: It's better written actually that one.

Paul Boag: Yeah, it is, yeah.

Marcus Lillington: Right. Final one, have you heard about those new corduroy pillows? They're making-

Paul Boag: No.

Marcus Lillington: … head lines.

Paul Boag: Oh. Oh, I like that one. Now, that is good. I like that one. I approve.

Marcus Lillington: That's it.

Paul Boag: Let's talk about the future. As Marcus Lillington has already said, we're actually going to be taking a longer break between seasons, because I want to, and it's my podcast, and I can do what I want so, nyah.

We're not going to be back until the 5th of September, I am sorry to say. But, we will back, and I've already planned what the next season is going to be about. It's going to be, the skills that every digital professional, no matter whether you're a designer, a developer, a marketer, a content person, whatever, skills that every single one of us should have. That's what we're going to look in the next season starting the 5th of September.

Now, I know what you're thinking, you're just thinking, "How can I possibly survive until September without a Boagworld Show?" Well, be of good cheer, because, in actual fact, you won't have to. It's all all right.

In the meantime, what we're going to do is we're going to sprinkle some stuff in between. The other thing that I do is a Digital Insights podcast, which is short, my blog posts basically turned into audio versions where I read them, but in a much more entertaining way. That makes it sound so dull, doesn't it?

Marcus Lillington: I read them-

Paul Boag: When you say it like that.

Marcus Lillington: … in a monotone voice.

Paul Boag: Yes, I do. I try and do my best text-to-speech voice. Yeah, I'm going to put a few of those in over the time.

Maybe, Marcus Lillington will even just post podcasts of jokes. You could just do one joke.

Marcus Lillington: No, Marcus Lillington is going to write at least one, I'm not going to get any more daring than that, one blog post, and I shall record it.

Paul Boag: Ah.

Marcus Lillington: Promise.

Paul Boag: I'm also thinking that I might run the occasional webinar in between. We'll take the audio from that and put it online, so make sure you follow me on Twitter or in our Slack channel or follow me on Crowdcast, which I think is We'll say it's that. You'll see anytime I do a webinar or anything. But, you'll get it in the podcast stream as well, if I do that.

But, the piece de la résistance is the fact that Colin is going to do a mini podcast season of a few episodes at some point. We haven't worked out when. Whenever he feels like it. Colin, do you want to tell us what you're going to do for us?

Colin Gray: Yeah, I'm really looking forward to this. It's related to a lot of what we were talking about there around content stacking and getting the most out of your content. I want to go through, basically, how we plan out our content, how we come up with the topics, how we structure making a blog post, a podcast, and a video out of it, and not just copy and paste repurposing, but doing a proper smart repurposing, so that you get the most out of every medium.

Then, around how you can break that out into a season of it as well to get the most from it, all the benefits of doing that approach. Then, I suppose, the final bit is I'm going back to my teaching side of things. The one thing that I always top that stuff off is how to make a good bit of content, how to put together an episode, whether it's a blog post or a podcast, and that it actually teaches people something really well and makes them have a bit of success from it. Because, that's what makes folk come back.

Yeah, that's what I want to go through. How to come up with great ideas, get the most from them, and then how to make it into a great piece of content that really delights folk.

Paul Boag: I'm really looking forward to that.

Marcus Lillington: Yes.

Paul Boag: Do you know, I might actually be in the peculiar situation of having to listen to my own podcast, which will be awesome.

Colin Gray: Well, if you're doing, I'll just, those three or four marketing episodes just extolling the virtues of everything we do, and everybody should just sign up for.

Paul Boag: You could just, yeah, you could turn it into a big advert, couldn't you? If I don't pay attention to it.

Colin Gray: Don't listen, Paul. It will be boring, don't worry.

Paul Boag: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Marcus Lillington: You won't learn anything.

Paul Boag: No, exactly. I need to keep an eye on you, I can tell that. You're too excited by moving your metrics, that's the trouble. You're too into this gamification.

Colin Gray: This is another episode in the game, yeah.

Paul Boag: Yeah, exactly. Okay, thank you very much, Colin, for joining us. It's always a pleasure to have you on the show.

Colin Gray: crosstalk 01:01:24

Paul Boag: It's nice to talk to someone who moves in the same kind of world and does the same kind of, yeah, has the same obsessions that I do. It's always pleasureful.

That's it for this season. Thank you, guys, so much for listening. I hope you found it a useful season, a little bit of a different one. But, we will be back September the 5th with our next season on the skills every digital professional should know. But, 'til then, thanks for listening and goodbye.

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