December 3, 2021 Free Advice Friday Hot Topics

If you missed Free Advice Friday on November December 3rd, you can watch the replay on our YouTube channel, This week Keri sat down with podcast host and author, Holly Shannon.

December 3, 2021 Free Advice Friday: Podcasts with Holly Shannon

How did Holly get started podcasting? She stumbled into it, really. Holly started her podcast on a slim budget with no audio-production, radio or podcast experience and now has a thriving podcast. Her story is inspiring because it shows that podcast is something anyone can do!

Podcasting on a budget. Holly shared that she has inexpensive recording equipment – She spent less than $100 on Amazon! – and hosts her podcast out of her kitchen. Holly’s tip: You need a directional microphone!

Recurring expenses: You will need to decide on a podcast hosting platform to distribute your podcast out ot places like iHeartRadio and iTunes. Most podcast hosts are similar in what they offer and cost around $20-$30 dollars per month. Tip: Make sure the podcast host you choose doesn’t limit how long a podcast episode can be.

Learning resources: Holly recommends taking advantage of YouTube and Google Universities.

How do you decide what your podcast should be about? Start with something you know or you are wildly passionate – or painfully curious – about. And keep in mind that the podcast you start isn’t always the podcast you end up with. Check in on the replay video at 5:04 to listen to Holly’s story of how her podcast evolved. Take away: One of the joys of doing a podcast is that you can rebrand or evolve as you see fit.

How consistent do I need to be to gain a loyal following? Once a week is recommended to you’re your audience loyal and engaged. You will probably lose your audience if they have to wait a month between episodes.

Time saving tip for podcasters: You can batch-produce. Pick a week you have time and fit all of your interviews in to the time. Then edit and produced multiple episodes at once to schedule later.

Audio, video or both? Go to 11:58 in the replay to hear Holly and Keri discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using audio vs. video and the options available to podcasters.

How long should my podcast last? It’s really your preference. The key ingredient is engaging content. How long are you alert enough to stay fully engaged and how long can you provide relevant, engaging material to discuss? If the content is great, it is not as important how long the podcast lasts. With that said, Holly does recommend your podcast is about the same length for every episode.

How long does it take to produce a podcast episode? A seasoned podcaster can produce an episode in roughly an hour. Or, if you’ve got more money than time, you can hire someone to edit and prep the podcast for release for you.

My podcast is out there! How do I market it? Like authors, you are going to have to market your own podcast. Holly suggests choosing social media “the Marie Kondo way.” Go with the social media platform that seems natural and brings you joy. Stay in one or two places and build community and connections to better promote your podcast.

If an author has a blog, do they need a podcast? It is kind of like putting your work in reverse. You get your ideas out there on the podcast. Then, you can use the content from your podcast transcript as a blog post. You cut and paste and create a blog from each podcast transcript. You can even break one podcast into several blog posts if you have enough  content to do so. Google’s love language is long form text filled with keywords, so podcast transcripts are great way to enhance your SEO. For more on how podcasts can help with content creation, check our Holly’s guest post on the New Shelves blog.

Blogging vs. podcasts in author terms. Some people will only read a print book, others ebooks and still others will only listen to audiobooks. This is why many authors strive to offer all three options – more formats typically means you can capture a bigger audience.

Podcast for Fiction and Non-fiction Writers? While podcasting may come easier to non-fiction authors, there is room for both fiction and non-fiction authors in the podcasting world. Go to 37:30 in the replay to hear Holly and Keri brainstorming ideas for topics to discuss as an author.

Video is trending on social media: We know video is trending on social media. If you record video during your podcast, you have easy content to use on social media!

How do you get advertisers? It can be difficult. You create relationships and build community by hosting individuals who are experts. You support them, and then eventually you can ask them to support you. Mystery, true-crime, and relationship podcasts garner the most followers. It is easier to get advertisers when you have a large following.

How do you get people to say “yes” to being on your podcast? People usually love being on a podcast. It’s not uncommon to receive emails asking to be a guest on your show when you have a podcast. You can also purposefully seek out guests who would be great for your show and ask them for an interview. LinkedIn is a great place for this.

How can I become a guest on someone else’s podcast? Google “keyword + podcast” and see what comes up. Find podcasts that feel like a good fit and message the host!

Tips for pitching yourself as a podcast guest: Listen to the podcast first and make sure you resonate with the podcast host’s message and like their style. Make sure the podcast is actively producing episodes. Tell the podcast host how you will share your audience with them in your pitch. Remember, the goal is to “cross-pollinating audiences” and create a mutually beneficial partnership.

What does the ideal guest do AFTER a podcast interview? Introduce the host to his/her community! Promote the podcast organically through social media posts, newsletter feature or blogging–wherever the guest has a voice. Tip: Ask the host if they do any micro-videos to share with you, so you can share them. This provides you will great video content that you don’t have to spend time creating.

How To Be a Podcast Guest: Holly has kindly offered to discount her popular training on how to find podcasts to pitch yourself to and get yourself booked for an interview. You can learn more and grab that course here: 

Holly Shannon is a Swiss Army Knife in business and marketing. With a background in 5-star hospitality and leading teams in the event space, she has pivoted into podcasting with Culture Factor. She is the Producer and Host of this Top 2% globally ranked podcast out of over 2.7 Million podcasts. It is heard in over 88 countries. Holly is also the Author of Zero To Podcast, an easy to follow roadmap for starting a podcast.

Holly is a Speaker and Consultant for businesses and individuals that want to grow a global footprint. She believes everyone should own their own microphone and encourages women to use their voice in this medium. She is published in Thrive Global, Hubspot Marketing, CEO Medium and was featured in Podcast Magazine. She is also a repeat Speaker with Podfest, We are Podfest and recently at Penn State University. Connect with Holly online at

If you have questions you’d like answered, join us next week, Friday, December 10th at 10am EST to get your questions answered LIVE or e-mail your questions in advance to with “FREE ADVICE FRIDAYS” in the subject line.

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