040: How to Monetize a Podcast from Day 1 with Allison & Suzy from the Food Heals Podcast

Welcome to episode 40 of the Food Blogger Pro podcast! In this episode, Bjork interviews a couple podcasters about… podcasting!

Last week, Bjork had Lindsay on the show to talk about online jealousy. Jealousy is something that we all deal with from time to time, and if not kept in check it can really get the best of us. Lindsay recently wrote a blog post with 12 tips to help overcome online jealousy, and in this episode Lindsay talked a little more in depth about each of those things. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.

How to Monetize a Podcast from Day 1

Most of the time when we talk about food media, we immediately think of food blogging. We are Food Blogger Pro, after all! However, there definitely are other mediums out there that are just as effective at reaching your potential audience, and one of these is podcasting.

Allison & Suzy started their Food Heals podcast less than a year ago and are already helping people, reaching their ideal audience, and finding huge success in the podcasting arena. They’re also making money at it. In fact, Allison & Suzy started to monetize their podcast from day one. Listen in on this episode to learn how they’ve created such great success and made podcasting a part of their business.

In this episode, Allison and Suzy talk about:

  • Their top tips for getting healthier today
  • How they made their passion into a podcast
  • What tools and software they use
  • How many episodes you should have ready to go before you launch
  • When they do their recordings during the week
  • What you need to know about licensing music for a podcast
  • How to determine rates for sponsorships
  • What steps they took to start monetizing right away

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If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for interviews, be sure to email them to [email protected].

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If you’d like to jump to the comments section, click here.


Bjork Ostrom: Welcome to episode number 40 of the food blogger pro podcast. Hey there everybody, this is Bjork Ostrom you’re listening to the Food Blogger Pro podcast and this is episode number 40. This is kind of a meta episode because it is a podcast episode about podcast episodes. We’re going to be talking to Allison Melody and Suzy Hardy of the Food Heals podcast. They’re going to be talking about the process that they’ve gone through over the last year to build a successful podcast and not only a successful podcast but a podcast about food.

One of the reasons I’m so excited to share this episode with you is because there are so many people that come out the content creation side of things from just blogging. They’re thinking I have to take photos or I have to write and maybe don’t like doing that. There’s lots of other avenues that you can go down in order to create content about food.

I can’t imagine a better pair than Allison and Suzy to talk about what that’s been like to go down this journey of content creation when it comes to podcast. They’re going to be sharing not only their story and why they’re passionate about the things that they’re passionate about and why they started this podcast but they’re also going to be sharing some really incredible tips, tricks and actionable items that you can implement if podcasting is something that you think that you want to do. Without further ado Allison and Suzy welcome to the podcast.

Allison Melody: Thank you, we’re glad to be here.

Suzy Hardy: Thank you so much.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, for sure. As I was preparing for this, I have to be honest, I was a little bit nervous because it’s the first time that I’ve done a podcast with people that do a podcast and do a really good podcast. Just before we get into it just promise not to judge, okay?

Allison Melody: No judgment here, we really feel the same way.

Suzy Hardy: We feel the same way.

Bjork Ostrom: Okay good, it’s mutual. I’m curious to know before we get into talking about podcasts which I’m really excited about and we can talk about some of the reasons why I’m excited about that but before we get into talking about some of the logistics behind the scenes stuff with the pod cast, I’m really curious to hear your story. For those that aren’t familiar can you talk a little bit about the Food Heals podcast, why you started that and then interested to know how you guys got connected as well.

Allison Melody: Sure. We’ll try to keep it brief because I feel like we could go on forever talking about this.

Bjork Ostrom: It could be a complete episode, is it?

Suzy Hardy: We really could.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, and you do have, I’ll point this out and willing to. You do have an episode where you dive deep into explaining hey, what’s the reason for this but I’d love to do the spark notes version of that for listeners.

Allison Melody: Sure. It’s really interesting because Suzy and I do have 2 very different backgrounds that we came from that make us kind of the perfect combination in my opinion.

Suzy Hardy: I like to think so.

Allison Melody: My background is I didn’t grow up in a healthy household. Not that I grew up in the worst most terrible household but we just didn’t have any awareness of health and so we ate fast food once in a while. It wasn’t like, “Oh don’t eat this, don’t eat that.” It was kind of like eat what you want no big deal. I think my parents tried to eat healthy but the things that we thought were healthy at the time I now know are not healthy and so it was like they did their best but we didn’t have this knowledge and awareness of nutrition that obviously Suzy and I do now. What I went through is having no awareness of nutrition and not caring about nutrition. Like I remember my friend was taking a nutrition class and I was like, “That’s so boring.”

Bjork Ostrom: Well, and it’s interesting even the food pyramid right? Like there was something that was such a big deal like the idea of you have these grains on the bottom and that’s the most important and then it builds up but all of that stuff changes as we become more educated about it which is interesting.

Allison Melody: Absolutely, yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: You’re at this point where you don’t necessarily have a background with, it’s not like you grew up in a super clean eating household.

Allison Melody: Right. Unfortunately my mom was very sick and first she had multiple sclerosis and then later in life she was diagnosed with cancer. This was my first any kind of experience with disease. I had never really seen anyone suffer with disease. I had grandparents who just got older and a little bit forgetful but never really suffered from anything chronic or debilitating and so to watch my mom go through that was heartbreaking because there was nothing we could do and the doctors just prescribed drug after drug after drug.

I watched her just disintegrate mentally and physically quickly and it was heartbreaking like I said and eventually unfortunately she passed away of cancer. I was maybe 20 at this time, I can’t remember my age, I always forget but I’m, and so lost her. Then I started to have an inkling that maybe food matters, maybe nutrition is important. This was before Google and Youtube videos and all the information that’s at our fingertips today. I don’t really have anywhere to look. I’m living in North Carolina which is a small town. There aren’t Yoga studios and holistic healers on every corner like they are now these days especially where we live in LA which is like aah you know.

Bjork Ostrom: Not as many in Minnesota but they’re here.

Allison Melody: Right. I was in a small town, I just didn’t have access to information but I picked up a book and I started reading and all over a sudden everything started to make sense. What you put in your body creates your tomorrow and that really started to shift for me. I became a little bit obsessed with how a nutrition and what I put in my body and I realized first, oh my God I have to eat organic. I have to get my dad off all the drugs that he’s on because he was on a bunch of drugs after my mom died. You know high blood pressure and all these medications that you get on once you’re 55 and older.

I started pushing my nutrition on him, started trying to change his mind but he wasn’t hearing it. He was then again unfortunately diagnosed with cancer and so I had to go through it twice. Watching 2 my most beloved people, I don’t have sisters and brothers so these were the people in my life, both wither away and die because of cancer and because of cancer treatments I realized there had to be another way and I’ve dedicated my life to finding another way because I’m never going to get cancer, I’m never going to go through that, my children will not have to watch me wither and die because I know that if I maintain a plant based diet and I juice and I treat myself well and I love myself and I love my food that I’m going to be healthy.

Cancer doesn’t just happen to people. Like people aren’t struck by lightning with cancer or heart disease. These are developmental diseases that happen because of the food that we’re putting in the body, the things we’re telling ourselves and just our lifestyles in general. That’s what made me shift. Suzy has a completely different story which is why we’re a great combination.

Suzy Hardy: That is true. I grew up in a very different house where nutrition and juicing and supplements were part of our lifestyle. It wasn’t a … I didn’t get a choice at dinner about whether or not I didn’t have to eat my vegetables. If it was on my plate, if my mom made it, I had to eat it and it was and … I see a lot of children nowadays they get a choice and there’s all these the kids menu of unhealthy food, using macaroni cheese or grilled cheese or fried chicken. I didn’t have any of that. We were not allowed to have the sugary cereals. I think we were allowed at once a year at Halloween, we were allowed 1 box. I remember eating ground up minerals put into yogurt before I could swallow pills, before I could swallow supplements. My mom started juicing for us when I was a baby. That was part of our life.

Bjork Ostrom: It’s interesting because that was before a time when juicing was the thing. I feel like it’s people are aware of it now and the idea of greens and juicing or blended vegetables and things like that but that’s pretty early.

Suzy Hardy: Well, it was big in the 70s and I was born in 77. My mom, actually my mom was exposed to information about nutrition when she was 16 half and the reason was that my grandfather who is an immigrant worked in New York City as a security guard in this tall sky rise and one of the floors was occupied by Solgar Vitamins. They would give free boxes to my grandfather when things were almost about to expire and he would bring them home.

Bjork Ostrom: Twenty four hours quick.

Suzy Hardy: That’s right. He would bring them home. This was right around the time that my mom also an immigrant discovered Coca-Cola and started … They ate pretty well in terms of they ate what my grandmother made. They didn’t have fast food in the 50s but my mom loved Coca-Cola and was drinking it nonstop and noticed that she was a new teenager. Her skin was breaking out and she didn’t know what to do. She was distressed and she would talk to my grandfather about it and he’s like, “Try these vitamins, maybe they’ll help” because he had boxes of them.

She did, and he also said, “Stop drinking the Coca-Cola.” She did both of those things, her skin cleared up. Right then and there my mom had a very early lesson that what you put into your body matters. Then once she had children she knew the same and she was begin to juicing in the 70s anyway. That was the thing then. It’s now resurging of course.

Bjork Ostrom: Like any fashion right?

Suzy Hardy: Yes. That was my background and I was always very aware of it. I took vitamins all throughout my life supplements. New fruits and vegetables was the way to go and later became a massage therapist and got into the healing industry in Southern California which just expanded my knowledge of self healing, of how you treat your body matters and that’s my story.

Bjork Ostrom: I think it’s so …

Suzy Hardy: In a nutshell.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. It’s so important and I think that it’s one of those things where for people that maybe aren’t as familiar with it or aren’t as close to it which should be me as well that when you think about it really makes sense that literally and it’s so cliche but you are what you eat. If you’re intentional about eating really well that can have a really big impact on your body which I think is awesome and important for people to hear even though this is a podcast about blogging and this one specifically is a podcast about podcast which is kind of a meta.

I wanted to get some context around your story but also I think it’s important to share that and for people to think about that. As kind of a quick tip for those that aren’t familiar, the first thing they can do is go on and subscribe to your podcast. After that, what is something that people can do, a simple thing, 1 thing that people can change with their lifestyle that would introduce more of a holistic element in the way that they eat.

Allison Melody: I mean, number 1 Bjork is really just adding more plants and taking less animals off of your plate. The reason for that is that plants are at the healing power of nature, plants heal your body. Veg fruits and vegetables are the most powerful form of anti-oxidants of anti-cancer agents of things that we can put in, Juicing, if you make a green juice every day and put a little apple in it so it doesn’t taste too green if this is new for you, you’re going to get so much more nutrition than you’ll ever get from the meals that you’re cooking even if you’re eating healthfully. Because the thing about juicing is, you can put a lot, there’s no way I would eat the amount of fruits and vegetables that you can get into a juice or a smoothie if you want to blend. You can blend or juice. My number 1 tip is eat more plants. What’s yours?

Suzy Hardy: Mine would be even I would say, I know I seem more simple but I would say this, if you’re going to do one thing today that you can stop and you could really and everybody knows this already, the one thing you can do today is just stop drinking soda. Soda … I just told the story about my mom with Coca-Cola. I love the taste of Coca-Cola who doesn’t. People love soda and there’s a reason for that.

It’s filled with sugar and our bodies evolutionary in terms of evolutionary biology are geared toward sugary foods. That’s where they’re high in nature. That’s where the highest nutrients and calories are. However, and so to form it doesn’t really do anything for us and it really does a number on your body, on your teeth and not even if we take the sugar part of it out of it, it’s very acidic to your body that disrupts the … We’re healthiest when we’re alkaline and I could talk about that forever. That’s my tip is just give up the soda.

Bjork Ostrom: That’s great. In one of the podcasts I was listening to and I can’t remember her name you going to remember is I think the most recent one but she was talking about this idea of balancing the idea of getting rid of something with also introducing something. Like that you try and drink lots of green smoothies to help replace soda which I thought was such a great idea. That it’s not necessarily that you’re just cutting it out then you’re like, “Well, what do I do now?” It’s you’re intentionally introducing something else so then the bad stuff doesn’t have space that you’re just the good stuff is taking up all the space on your plate or in your cup what you’re drinking which I think is such a great philosophy and idea. What was her name? You should give us you recently had her on your podcast.

Suzy Hardy: Magda?

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Which I think that was so cool. We have the contacts, we have the background and eventually you come together and you say, “We both have unique stories and they both in some way shape or form have to do with food and eating holistically and eating well.” At what point do you say, “And now, let’s do a podcast.”

Allison Melody: Well for me it was the fact that I was running this video production company for almost 10 years now and I love filmmaking and I love making films and videos but it takes a long time and a lot of people to really create that. I was working on this film, I felt I’m still currently in production on called Food Heals and I’m so passionate about it but I’m just like, “God, when is this going to come out, when am I going to be done?” It’s going to take a lot more time.

Bjork Ostrom: It’s a long process.

Allison Melody: Exactly. I was like, “What can I do right now?” I’m one of the rare people that listen to podcasts before cereal came out so …

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, you need both. People are like, “What’s the podcast” and now people are like, “Oh cereal.” I know that.

Allison Melody: Exactly, exactly. I always had an inkling in my head that the only thing I wanted to do but I didn’t really have a clear idea of what it would look like and so I started to just develop this idea of having a podcast that would be complimentary to the film. Then now of course is taking a life on of its own and has nothing to do with the film except for the name is food heals. I decided to do a podcast and I thought at first I started practicing by myself and doing one offs but I’m not good like you Bjork. When you do your single episodes, the one you just did, they’re great. When I do them …

Bjork Ostrom: They’re hard. It’s, so I don’t know. Yeah, I so look forward to do ones like this because for me it’s not only do I learn and it’s entertaining but it’s like my brain can go at 70% instead of 98%. I feel like when I’m doing a solo podcast there’s always a little bit of like steam coming out of my ears from my brain working so hard.

Allison Melody: I hear you, I agree, I think it’s hard now. I think you do a great job but for me.

Bjork Ostrom: Thanks.

Allison Melody: You’re welcome. I just wasn’t feeling it and I was like I need the back and forth. My friends always tell me when I get into talking about the stuff I’m vibrant, I’m alive, I’m passionate but I like the back and forth. I like someone to either say agree with me or tell me I’m wrong, I don’t care but to have that conversation. I started reaching out through my network, through Facebook and placing ads and just searching for that right person who could be a podcast host and Suzy answered the ad and she was the only person I interviewed because once we met it was like all right.

Bjork Ostrom: It’s meant to be.

Allison Melody: Yeah.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, so you guys didn’t know each other before starting this?

Suzy Hardy: No, and it’s so funny because people think we’ve known each other for years and we’ve known each other for less than a year now. Our anniversary is coming up.

Allison Melody: Our anniversary, I’d love to celebrate.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, right, exactly. It seems like by your dynamic that it’s like childhood friends. Like you know each other and understand each other and …

Suzy Hardy: We’re definitely soul sisters and I think we connected first through our own stories and our passion for healing and care and health and well-being but then we’ve just, we also have a lot in common, so we’re just kind of meant to be.

Allison Melody: A glass of wine I have to add. She came over for the interview and I was like, “I’m going to have some wine, do you want some?” She was like, “Yes.”

Bjork Ostrom: Then that’s when, that was actually part of the interview process was seeing how she answered that question.

Allison Melody: That is true. If she had said no I would have been like, “You know what, I don’t think this is going to work.”

Bjork Ostrom: The door’s right here you can leave. You get to this point where you said okay, I know this is something that I want to do. I don’t necessarily want to do it by myself, so you start the process of putting feelers out there and maybe some ads and trying to recruit somebody to do it alongside you and then you find that. What’s the next step? How do you go from idea to releasing your first podcast? What happens in between that time?

Allison Melody: It was probably about a month of putting the studio together. I wanted Suzy to come in as an expert to help me decide like what microphone should we buy and how are we going to record the Skype, and how are we going to do this through pro tools and what software and all that kind of stuff and so I really …

Bjork Ostrom: Can you talk about that a little bit. I’m curious to know and maybe this is putting you on the spot for like gear questions but what are those things that you use?

Suzy Hardy: No, not at all. I’m happy to talk about it. I’m actually a voiceover artist as well. I have been since I was a kid and an actress. Is always something that was really fun for me to act while not having to care about what I look like.

I had a little voiceover studio in my house where I sit, I do auditions, I do jobs, I’ve done 60 audio books. I had already, I was coming in … We were both coming in from sort of a production. I was coming in from the audio production standpoint of already having that background and Allison was coming in from her video production background.

We had a leg up that way but I already had a fair working on the pro tools which is kind of a complicated software for a novice to learn. It’s a little bit more. I always say for a voiceover it’s kind of like using a jet fan for what you need a house, I’m sorry jet engine for what you need a house fan for. I already knew about …

Bjork Ostrom: You put it on really, really soft when you had a podcast.

Suzy Hardy: I came in with that working knowledge and I also knew a little bit about audacity and GarageBand and I already knew what microphones I liked. I had researched a lot of them. We use audiotechnica mics and we use Pro Tools software but we have these GarageBand in a pinch if we have any kind of and we still get technical snuffles even with what we know. It happens. What else?

Allison Melody: I just want to point out that Suzy and I went a little big. If someone is just …

Suzy Hardy: Yes we did.

Allison Melody: I have a back house and so I’m fortunate enough to have been able to build a little studio. If someone is just starting out in their home, you can do this with a laptop and a microphone that you plug in directly to Skype and just have to download a program like Audacity or audition or something like that. We did go there and we bought the expensive mics, we painted. We have a nice big table, podcasting table.

You don’t have to do it the way we did it. We did it because I really wanted this to forge forward my career and so I’m also able to use it with my film production clients. We’ve had multiple shoots in here and so it was an investment into my business. I just want to point that out. You don’t have to go big to start a podcast. You can literally start with a couple of a hundred bucks and have everything you need.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah for sure.

Suzy Hardy: That’s true. All you need is a laptop or a computer, a USB mic which can run you about a 100 dollars and then figuring out any one of the free software. I mean, you can start that small.

Bjork Ostrom: The one that, in case people are curious, that one that we use is Heil PR 40 and then there’s like a little pop screen in front of it which for a long time we were in the Philippines, my wife Lindsey and I lived in the Philippines for a year and I couldn’t get a pop screen there so I just took shipping form and I cut it out super crummy and then dark taped it around the mic.

Suzy Hardy: That’s awesome.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, when I was recording videos at that point. I think this mic it’s like the higher end of the lower end, if that makes sense. It’s like a 300 dollar mic maybe and then we …

Suzy Hardy: Can always …

Bjork Ostrom: Go ahead.

Suzy Hardy: Sorry to interrupt. I was going to say with the pop screen you can also use a sock which is that in the air not glamorous but we do that in the voiceover world.

Bjork Ostrom: If you’re really desperate you can just use the one you’re wearing and then put it back on, so you can, it’s a wearable sock as well it’s a microphone sock.

Allison Melody: I don’t want to be breathing in my foot swell all day sock.

Bjork Ostrom: I’ll put well, highlight that as like a tweetable quote in case people want to know. Then we record with 2 layers, we do screenflow and then we have this thing called call recorder for Skype just like as a backup in case people are curious. I think you’re right in saying that you don’t need anything complicated to start.

One of the things that is hard to do is and I think sometimes what can happen is people can, maybe they do spend a lot of money and they do take a lot of time and they get everything right and then they don’t do it. Like the hard part is actually doing it and you guys have been consistent in doing 1 to 2 episodes a week. It’s oftentimes 2 right? What is your strategy and approach in staying consistent with content because I think that’s one of the things that’s so important for people and it’s not an easy thing to do.

Allison Melody: It is hard. We started out with 3 a week, cut back to 2 a week and now are consistently doing 2 a week Tuesday and Saturday releases. Now one of our biggest mistakes was we didn’t batch enough episodes before we launched. What do I mean by that?

Bjork Ostrom: Great, I was going to ask about that.

Allison Melody: We had, I don’t remember let’s say 5 to 10 episodes recorded but not edited when we launched. We launched with like 3 and then it was like, “Oh my God, we have so much to edit and we have to get these out because we have to make our deadlines.” Because one of the points of the first 2 months of launching a podcast, one of your goals is to get on new and noteworthy. New and noteworthy loves consistency. You want to be consistent, you want to be getting new ratings and reviews and if you’re not consistent then people fall off. One of our biggest mistakes was not … I wish we had batched with like 30 episodes.

At the same time we didn’t know what the reaction would be. What if we recorded 30 episodes, edited 30 episodes, spent all that time and money editing those and the no one listen. It was kind of good that we got immediate feedback like, “Oh, people are listening, people are emailing us, people are downloading, people are into this, they’re writing reviews.” That really actually helped us record more episodes. I would say, get a good amount. Don’t do too many that you’re going to be disappointed if your podcast doesn’t fly but if you’re passionate about your subject your podcast is going to do well and that’s the bottom line.

Bjork Ostrom: It’s something that we often talk to about people that are thinking about starting their blog and they say, “Well, I want to have maybe 50 post on when people, so when people come they see other content there.” I think it’s exactly like what you said where part of the process is feeling motivated by getting stuff out there and having interactions and even if it’s only 10 people coming to your site in a day or it’s your initial 50 downloads on a podcast, that stuff can be motivating and help you to continue to create content. I think that’s a great point. What I hear you saying is somewhere in between where maybe more than 5 but less than 30, so maybe having like 15, 20 episodes in the queue ready to go. There’s not as much pressure to continually create that content.

Allison Melody: Yes I would agree. Then now, we just record about once a week. We do about 2 to 3 episodes once a week and that’s been working for us. Whereas originally we were just doing it whenever the guest would have time. We would be like “Okay, do you want to come over Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and hear us sometimes.”

That was completely unsustainable because then you’re always rushing around, you’re always having to schedule your life around it and so Suzy and I really quickly realized it wasn’t a sustainable way to work. Now we record every Tuesday. Once in a while we record on off Tuesdays. Like today is on Monday, we’re recording with you.

Bjork Ostrom: Thank you, I appreciate it.

Allison Melody: Of course, yes. A lot of times we try to stick to that consistent schedule because then you know what you’re doing every week. Like, “Okay, on Tuesday we’re recording.” On Wednesday we know we can do our yoga or a massage therapy. Suzy is a massage therapist so whatever else we need to do.

Bjork Ostrom: Lyndsey has started to do that with her content where she’ll batch on a day. She’ll do recipes and then she’ll shoot 1 day and she’s found that to be really helpful to get into some type of rhythm so it’s just not completely chaotic. Like you said you’re running around and you’re adjusting schedules and 1 day you have a time where you exercise at that time but then that’s when somebody’s schedule said it can get to be chaotic. That’s interesting to hear. When you put out your first 3 episodes, how many did you, do you remember that you had when you first launched? It was 5 you said or.

Allison Melody: We had probably 5 or 10 but not fully edited. We probably launched with like 3 or 4 fully edited and then I’m an editor, Suzy is an editor so we’re like, “Oh, this will be easy.” Well, it’s not as easy as you think.

Bjork Ostrom: We’ll just fix it and post. That’s like every other editor’s worst nightmare.

Allison Melody: I come from video, so I’m like, “Well there’s no B-roll, there’s no video to fix.” I have to fix this audio, this is easy. Then I forgot that I’m a little bit perfectionist and I cut out every single mess up whatever. I’ve stopped doing that now because I had to let some of that perfectionism go.

Bjork Ostrom: That’s for, you guys know this because before we started this podcast one of the things I said is I said, “Hey we can go back and we can cut out any times if you want to go back and redo something or like for me I’m recording at home and our dog sage is here.” If it was earlier and the mailman comes or UPS guy comes show flipper lead for a little bit and I’ll be like, “I’m sorry guys, we got to go back and redo that.” We’ll take the same approach where generally it’s all the way through unless there’s a time when we have to go back and cut something big out.

Can you talk to me a little bit about the editing process. For a food blogger pro podcast we have a little intro song that we play and we licensed that from a place called music bed and I do a little intro and then we do an outro. You guys also have these kind of cool little audio, what would you call them?

Allison Melody: Interstitial or something?

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, I was going to say those are really are a technical term. I was going to say like audio jingles or like or like audio, I was going to say widgets which is totally not the right term. It’s such a tech term but it’s really cool. Can you tell me how you go about putting those together and what that looks like in the editing process?

Allison Melody: Sure. We actually did that at the beginning. That’s 1 thing we did get out of the way which I highly recommend and we’re really, really proud of our intro.

Suzy Hardy: That all goes, that credit goes to Allison. She wrote those. We found some people to work with in terms of making. We chose male voices because we’re women to kind of bookend us and she just wrote these really funny intros and outros.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, they’re great. Talk about tender yeah, for sure. Where do you find, where would somebody find somebody like that to do a professional intro for them or to have that professional voice over that they would do.

Allison Melody: You can get this really, really cheaply done on fiverr.com. They have a lot of amazing voice over artist and the thing about Fiverr is it’s everything is 5 dollars. The truth is once you add all the extras that you want then it ends up being 25, 35, 45 up to a 100 depending on how much you get but there are so many talented people on there. The music did not come from there, the music came from stock music site. I subscribed to a couple because I do video production for clients so I have to. There’s one of the cheaper ones is called audioblocks.com. One of the more expensive ones is called apmmusic.com. There are so many out there.

Suzy Hardy: There’s also audio jungle which I’ve used which also ties to those. It’s sort of, it’s an umbrella site. Audio jungle I’ve forgot the name, that total the umbrella name but they also have …

Bjork Ostrom: Envato?

Suzy Hardy: Yes, yes, there we go. Then they have graphics and they have clipboard and they have video and that’s a great resource.

Bjork Ostrom: The interesting thing with audios, I don’t know exactly how this works maybe you guys do but there was a time when you could use audio but then you’d have to pay like a license for it or royalties when you would use it but these are all under the umbrella of royalty free which doesn’t mean that you don’t pay for them, it just means that you pay for them one time and then you can use it, is that right? Is that how that works?

Suzy Hardy: Yeah that’s totally right. What’s really interesting to know and we knew some of this and we discovered it along the way is that all of these things are really accessible for whatever level you can afford for wherever you’re at. You just have to search for it but until you know that, why would you search for it? Those are great resources.

Bjork Ostrom: Cool, that’s great.

Allison Melody: I need to point out one thing just to clarify about fiverr.com. You do have to license the voice over from the voiceover irs on fiverr but listen, it’s about 20 to 25 dollars. That is worth it. Do you know how much we pay professional voiceover artists?

Suzy Hardy: Yeah, that’s very cheap actually. I have been, I don’t know if you know this but I have been a voiceover artist on fiverr and that was a new thing that they added where you can pay. It used to be a lot less money and then they’ve added all these extras but it is as a professional voiceover artists. Yes, it’s very cheap compared to what artists get paid in the studio for say a Volkswagen commercial.

Bjork Ostrom: Right. Can you explain that real quick. You said you license it meaning you pay for the continued use of it or what do you mean by licensing?

Suzy Hardy: Right. You pay the voice over artists for their time and everybody’s different there’s a lot of newbies on there versus the seasoned professionals which might charge more but then you pay them so that you have the rights to use it.

Allison Melody: A blanket licence.

Suzy Hardy: A blanket licence on top of their time for whatever it took to create or whatever they charge because everybody charges different rates.

Bjork Ostrom: This is probably an inefficient use of funds for us but we’re at with the little intro music that we have, we actually pay like per use for that. It was a song that I found and I liked and we put it in there and we’re like, “Okay, this works” but it wasn’t like a one time blanket thing. We pay each time for that, so it’s a little bit different.

Allison Melody: You can even go on fiverr, take whatever kind of music you like, find the composer and say make me something like this but different and then buy it out.

Bjork Ostrom: Right, yeah, which is we should probably do that but we’re like, “Oh, it just works, let’s keep going.”

Suzy Hardy: I know, I really like our intro music.

Bjork Ostrom: Oh good, okay, we’ll stick with it for a little bit longer. That’s helpful and I think all of these things help to put the pieces together of what it looks like to create a podcast. What gets me really excited about talking about podcasting even though this is called the food blogger pro podcast is that some people don’t like blogging and they don’t like the process of writing or maybe they don’t like the process of shooting photos and they love food and they love the idea of talking about a specific niche of food whether that’s holistic living or maybe it’s somebody that’s really in the gardening or somebody that really loves the Paleo diet for instance.

I think sometimes people can get stuck into the mindset of thinking I have to do something like this because I see other people doing this when in actuality there are all these other avenues that people can explore that will open up possibilities for them. One of the things that you had said in your very first podcast the intro podcast is, you said that you’re interested in talking about empowering people to carve their own path essentially. Whether that be with their health or their family or their business. I think that’s a great example of what you guys are doing at the podcast. What does that look like? How do you take a podcast and turn it into something that supports you as a business?

Allison Melody: I have so much to say about this. This is one of my favorite things to talk about, so you need to cut me off if I don’t stop okay.

Bjork Ostrom: Okay, great, it sounds good.

Allison Melody: Let me back up. In terms of what the first part of your question about blogging and videoing and all this stuff I have to tell you that I have been doing all of these for years. I was blogging on a website called holisticvoice.org but I’m a perfectionist about my writing so it’s never good enough so then I wouldn’t post.

I’m also a photographer and I’m really good at it but I was always judging the photos saying you’re not good enough. Then I’d be in WordPress trying to add things and like I’m not a technical WordPress genius, I’m always having to figure things out and it was just not fulfilling or sustaining. It wasn’t making any money and it wasn’t satisfying me because I didn’t feel like my thoughts and views and opinions and stories I wanted to share were getting out there.

Podcasting has changed everything. Podcasting brought it to a new level because podcasting is conversations and it’s sharing stories of people in their own voice. What makes people make changes is stories. Stories from other people. Sharing your story can change the world and I really truly believe that. We want to share all the stories that we can. When you’re making a blog post it takes me longer to share someone’s story on a blog post and less people will see it.

In video production it is more expensive and takes longer to edit that video to perfection with the B-roll, with their story and everything and put it online. With a podcast it’s faster and you get more listeners then you get views. Here is why. Podcasting is still way newer than not and I’m sure old timey podcasters will say this is not true but what I mean is Youtube is already over saturated. Whatever you want to do on Youtube there are 20,000 people already doing it. On iTunes or whatever platform you choose to listen to podcasts on or you choose to put your podcast on, you have a less competition, so your voice is more likely to be heard.

I’ve read this and I’ve experienced this. When we put out a food heals podcast of course there are other podcasts about food but ours is very unique. There’s no one else out there doing exactly what we’re doing. Two co-hosts interviewing people about nutrition, about living your passion which we’re going to get to that you’re also alluded to. We’re able to stand out. Here I am blogging, making videos, I’m on Youtube, I’m on WordPress and I’m getting a little, I have some followers, I get some emails, I’m making a small difference. I’m not making any money at it, so it felt like I’m pouring my passion into these things that aren’t doing anything because no one is seeing them.

The whole reason that Suzy and I are doing this is because we want to help people change. We want to help people empower themselves and know that their health is in their hands. That they are in control of their life and that they can do anything that they want to do. Podcasting brought the whole brand, everything to the next level. We get daily emails, Facebook messages, Twitter messages even Snapchats. Like people Snap chat me and ask me for advice.

The reason this is because the podcast was able to reach so many more people that the blog wasn’t reaching, that the videos weren’t reaching and so that’s been amazing. If you are out there right now and you have a blog, you’re starting a blog, you have a Youtube channel, you’re starting a Youtube channel and you’re just like, “Oh, like I’m not getting enough followers, people aren’t listening to me, I’m not able to share my message.” Start a podcast, do it well, the people will come and you’ll be amazed at the results. Then you can point them to your blog, you can point them to your Youtube, whatever it is and I’m sure that they’re going to love what you’re doing because if you’re passionate then they’ll go.

Bjork Ostrom: That’s one other things that we found is it’s and I think you spoke to this when you said stories but it’s such an incredible way to connect with people and I think it’s because you’re connecting in a more intimate way potentially. I think we all process content differently and some people process the written word and really connect with that and are really good at delivering that and other people maybe gravitate towards video. The idea of plugging in headphones and hearing somebody talk, I feel like you really start to understand who that person is and understand what that person cares about and you can understand voice inflection and all of those things.

It’s really hard to do that stuff in other mediums and the fact that it’s … A lot of times it can be an hour of doing that and it would be so rare for somebody to watch an hour long Youtube video or to stay on a website for an hour but because of the medium of podcasting, it allows you to connect more which I hear you saying.

Suzy Hardy: Absolutely. It’s very intimate. I would add up to say it’s way more intimate than watching a video or reading even if you do connect to those mediums. It’s very much like I said I did all these audio books, it’s very much like plugging into an audio book except now it’s private radio pot, a radio. When people would ask me, what is a podcast when they didn’t. People still do actually. My family back of this goes like, “What is a podcast?” Is it like a radio show? I’m like, “Yes, it’s like a private radio show usually around a specific topic.” I find that they’re way more intimate and that’s my …

Bjork Ostrom: It’s interesting as more devices become internet connected this is going to be me standing on my nerd podium preaching technology. Cars will have podcasting app integrated on it or a few have an iPhone you can literally can’t delete the podcast app, it on there. Lindsey and I recently got an Amazon echo and my parents got an Amazon echo and so they’ll listen to this podcast via the echo and it’s become, I think in some ways it’s becoming a radio.

Like you had said before it allows you to tap into a niche and serve an audience because people are able to access this in all different places. My question is that I’m curious to know is how do you get discovered? How does that process happen? I know that even within the 3 months, 1st 3 months that you guys had a lot of success with your podcast. Were there strategies that you used to connect with people? How did you build that initial following and how do you keep people engaged and listening to the podcast?

Allison Melody: Yes, absolutely. We did have some strategies. Some we started with and some we developed as we went. I think our strategy is more unique. I actually love sharing them because I want to empower people that anyone can do all of these strategies for free without spending a dime and then I have one strategy that you do pay for if you want to put some money into it but we did so much for free.

When you start a podcast, one of the goals that everyone talks about and there are mixed feelings on this but most people are of the camp of you want to get on new and noteworthy on iTunes because iTunes is such a huge platform that they will do something that no other platform does. Facebook doesn’t do this. Youtube doesn’t do this, only iTunes do this.

This is where for the first 2 months it’s usually about 8 weeks they say, they will put the top brand new podcast on this list called new and noteworthy and expose you to all these people that are on iTunes looking for podcast. If I go on youtube, there’s nothing that says, “Oh my gosh, you should check out the new and noteworthy selected picks by Youtube.”

Facebook doesn’t do this. You have to pay to promote on Facebook. ITunes you cannot pay to promote, it’s all organic and it’s all decided by their secret algorithms which I have some insight into too. You want to get on new and noteworthy so that you’re exposed to this new audience. How do you get on new and noteworthy?

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, you’re okay, you beat me, okay great.

Allison Melody: Good to go. It’s all about your last 24 hours ratings and reviews. I’m sure there’s more to it but this is what I understand and I’ve been to all these podcasting conferences with the experts, there’s been people from iTunes there, there’s been people from Libsyn there, the podcast host and so they give you all these secrets. I’m just repeating what I’ve learned from there. I obviously have no connection on iTunes. The past 24 hours ratings and reviews. How do you get ratings and reviews?

Well, you get them organically because people want to rate you and review you. People that like, these are the people that go on Yelp and they review every restaurant and they just love doing that. There’s also a lot of people that are never going to take the time to do that and so you have to incentivize people to rate and review you. One concept that we came up with which was wildly successful was we decided and this also was successful in other ways but I’ll get into all that.

We reached out to brands and companies that were in alignment with our mission. For example we reached out to the Global Healing Center and said, “We want to talk about your products for free, we’re going to give you all this free promotion if you send us these products.” We asked for some and they sent some more and so we got these really beautiful, this face cream and this, sorry.

Suzy Hardy: Cece Frey.

Allison Melody: Cece Frey refreshing spray, their detox tablets. We reached out to them, we reached out to other brands that we thought were in alignment with our mission and we said we’re going to do a swag bag contest, we want to feature your products in the swag bag and we’re going to give you all this free promotion. This was a great way to connect with brands without asking them for money or for sponsorship because we’ll get to that later because that’s important too but just to connect with them and build a relationship with them. Then moving on to how we raise to new and noteworthy on iTunes is …

Bjork Ostrom: It’s real quick with those connections. Was that their email. Do you send that person an email say a quick introduction and here’s what we’re doing and then start the conversation that way?

Allison Melody: Yes. I don’t remember the exact numbers but let’s say we reached out to 20 brands and like 15 responded. We had a higher response rate because people love to get free promotion and all they had to do was send us a few free products. We did 10 swag bags, we asked for 10 products samples. Some people sent full size, some people sent samples. Either way 10 new people are going to try this and you’re going to get all this free promotion on a brand new podcast called Food Heals which is in alignment with your mission.

Bjork Ostrom: I think it’s a great way to start that conversation as opposed to trying to pitch somebody right away and saying, here’s why you should whatever pay me or. It’s a very natural first interaction with somebody which I think is great.

Suzy Hardy: Well, it’s all about offering value. If you’re going to, and this is something that I have learned by being partnered with Allison because she’s really good at that. She had a lot of these strategies already set ready to go. It’s really about like, “Here’s what I can do for you.” Not asking from people things that you want but offering them something that you can do for them. That goes a long way as opposed to asking for something that would just benefit you.

Bjork Ostrom: Right. You’ve gathered these swag bags with products that line up really well with the things that you’re talking about and then what do you do once you have all that stuff?

Allison Melody: Sure. On the podcast we would announce that we’re doing a swag bag competition and we would say 10 lucky listeners are going to be entered to win, oh no, 10 lucky listeners are going to win these swag bags. The way that you enter to win is you leave us an honest review on iTunes and you tell us what you think of the show and our favorite reviews will win these 10 swag bags. The reviews poured in, it was crazy.

People wanted the swag bags and it gave them a way to tell us what they liked and what they didn’t like about the podcast. We were getting instant feedback about, oh I love it when Allison and Suzy talk about food. I love it when you talk about entrepreneurship. Here’s what some people said, here’s some things that didn’t resonate with me like I think some of the feedback was I heard them say amazing 10 times in one episode or something like that which is true. We were still finding …

Suzy Hardy: It’s so amazing.

Allison Melody: We were still finding …

Bjork Ostrom: Which is amazing feedback because that what you said in response to it.

Allison Melody: Thank you for your amazing feedback.

Bjork Ostrom: That’s great. I think one of the things that I’m starting to realize as we get more and more into these things that we do whether it’s membership site with food blogger pro or creating content on Pinch of Yum is marketers and people that are marketing their content meaning trying to build awareness and get their content in front of people are really intentional about doing stuff like that.

It’s not crossing your fingers and hoping it happens but saying really intentionally what are some things that I can do and steps that I can take in order to help move in this certain direction whether that be reviews or sign ups or things like that. I think that’s a great little tip and a good reminder for people that are maybe just hoping those reviews come in or sign ups or whatever it would be. That oftentimes it takes a little bit more of a boost and to think creatively about what that could be.

Allison Melody: Yeah absolutely.

Bjork Ostrom: Did that help you move up onto new and noteworthy? Was that a successful campaign in terms of the long term run about outcome of what you wanted to happen?

Allison Melody: Yeah absolutely. It was only, it was less than a week before we were dominating new and noteworthy and we stayed in the top 5 for 2 months straight. I think that really helped us grow because then we were getting listeners from the get go and new and noteworthy is powerful and there’s so much debate on this online about how important it is. For us I feel like it was really important because I don’t know how people would have found the show without it.

Bjork Ostrom: The other thing that I’m interested in to hear and I just I want to before we get too far away from this, I want to call this out because I know that you guys would be humble about this not to say it but you’re able to get past 100,000 downloads in 3 months, is that right?

Allison Melody: Yes, in under …

Bjork Ostrom: Which is amazing.

Allison Melody: It’s amazing.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, it’s amazing.

Allison Melody: How many times can we say this?

Suzy Hardy: We won’t say it any more.

Bjork Ostrom: You’ve cut it out completely.

Suzy Hardy: That’s right, over used it.

Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, you just say awesome now. You’ve replaced it with awesome.

Allison Melody: Yeah, now we’re back in the 90s. Awesome.

Bjork Ostrom: Just real quick, I want to say congratulations on that. I think it’s really cool and it’s proof of concept. It’s not like you’re just saying the strategy. I think that’s important for people to hear. One of the things that you had mentioned was connecting with brands and then starting to give this product or to give it away in swag bags and to incentivize people to leave your views.

The other thing that I’m interested in when you say brands, is this idea of sponsorships? Can you talk about, as a podcast how does … If somebody wanted to start a podcast, how are the ways that you turn that into a business? What is that look like for people that say, “Hey I think I want to try and build my thing, my own little ‘radio show’?” Is it possible to create an income from that and if so how?

Allison Melody: Yes. I am so passionate about this as well so please stop me everyone if I don’t stop. My whole thing and it’s been like this my whole life I don’t know where I got it from, it’s just ingrained in me. It’s like I’m not a 9 to 5 hour, I never have and I never will be and I don’t have a trust fund or anything like that. I’ve been scared but I’ve been freelance my whole life and I truly believe in building a business that you are passionate about and I don’t like having a boss, I don’t like having a full time job, I don’t like having people tell me what to do. I like creating my own path and that’s for me.

It’s not for everyone because you have to find your health insurance and you have to pay for. I pay for production insurance and all this stuff. I know it’s not for everyone but I just want to say, if you want to build a business, if you want to start a podcast, yes you can and yes you can monetize it. Now, I’m not sitting here, I’m not going to tell you that Suzy and I are millionaires off the podcast yet.

Suzy Hardy: Not yet.

Allison Melody: Not yet. Yes we’re fully monetized and that happened quickly. I’m going to tell you how it happened and what we did and how to get brands to even start reaching out to you. The first thing we did to be sponsored from day 1 before the swag bag contest is we reached out to a couple of people that we knew or brands that we wanted to be in contact with and we said we would like to offer you a free ad. We’re going to give you something free again like Suzy said, what can we offer them a value rather than going, “Hey did you want to sponsor my show, we’re great, here’s the work.”

We reached out to these particular brands or people in certain cases that we thought would want to sponsor with something that they had opt to offer such as an e-book. We said we’re going to give you a free ad, if it performs well, if you want to keep going, then you can buy an ad. We did that and we offered all these free ads and about 70% came back and bought an ad. We were small at the time so it’s only a couple of 100 bucks. It’s not money to treat your kids with or anything but it was a start.

You can be monetized from day 1. Reach out to brands that are in your niche, that have something to do with what your podcast has to do with and offer them something for free and most likely they will come back for more. You can set up these pages where they can track how many clicks they get that came from your link or you can have a, we do the food heals discount code. Everything’s .com/food heals. There’s many ways that the advertiser can track it and so then we were able to get paying sponsors right out of the get go that way.

Then what happens is once you’re on new and noteworthy brands start reaching out to you because they’re like, “Oh, I like their artwork, I like what they’re doing” because brands go on iTunes. They listen to podcasts. One of the new things that people are doing are finding out or that brands are doing are finding out how effective podcast advertising is because as we were talking about earlier it’s this intimate conversation and the hosts are trusted voices to their audience. Our audience trust us. Our listeners listen to what we have to say, they love us. We have fans and we love them too. We’re so grateful for them.

Bjork Ostrom: It’s such a, I was going to say, it’s such an interesting forum of advertising and I think advertising is shifting towards this, is real alignment of the voice which is each of you individually within together talking about food. It’s not like this plug where suddenly it’s like a commercial. It’s you naturally transitioning into talking about something that you know and that you love and that you use and it’s similar to native advertising on a blog post where it’s like sponsored content or something comparable to that. I think it’s such an effective way for brands to reach people and that’s what you see more and more with podcast, so it’s interesting to hear you talk about that.

Suzy Hardy: Absolutely. It’s sort of the reverse of what radio advertising used to be or still is whereas you have a host but then they’re sponsored by somebody versus we are ourselves. We are not perfect on our podcast. I cast up a blue streak sometimes but I’m honest. I am me, I don’t have a need to be anything other than me and I’m passionate about what we talk about and we find the people that want to hear that and then thereby attract the sponsors and the brands that say, “Yeah that’s in our will house.”

Allison Melody: We only work with brands with products that we believe in. We reach out to people with … Like I’m like, “Oh I use this face cream.” I’m reaching out to this company or if they reach out to us, we have to read their book, we have to try their product, we have to make sure that it is something in alignment with our brand. It has to be big and it has to be no animals harmed in the making of it, those types of things so that our audience is not getting sold some crazy healing tonic that’s made out of I don’t know.

Suzy Hardy: New ties.

Bjork Ostrom: A few questions that I have that I would imagine people listening might have, one of the questions is you had talked about a way of tracking and you talked about kind of like the backslash food heals. Is that done on the advertiser side or is that something that you guys are using to track?

Allison Melody: It is done on the advertising side. Most advertisers will set you up a landing page specific to your brand. It’ll be their brand .com/food heals. You get to make up whatever code that is that has to do, yours will be food blogger pro. It just depends on what you want it to be. Then some brands do it differently where instead of setting up a landing page they just do a coupon code so when they check out at checkout they put in that coupon code and that’s been our experience this far. We haven’t really had to set anything up ourselves because usually the brands we reach out to already have those things in place.

Bjork Ostrom: Everything in-house that they use to track. One of the questions that I had as well and I think this is kind of the big question across the board is what does that look like in terms of rates? How do you set a rate? Is it per listens, is it per product purchased on the brand side and do you negotiate that or do you have a set rate and for a podcaster that’s wanting to start, what would be potentially a range not in terms of how much can you make in a month but whatever the metric is, what is that range for the metric? Does that make sense?

Allison Melody: Yes, absolutely. The metric is your amount of downloads and there is a really good training on this by John Lee Dumas. It’s free, it’s on his website and it tells you exactly what the standard rates are. Another place to look is on Midroll. They have the exact same standard rate. Those are the universal rates that most brands are using. What we did to calculate our rates is we took our number of listeners multiplied it by the amounts that a standard in the industry and then added 20%. Why did we add 20%? Because we have high production value, okay.

Suzy Hardy: And there’s 2 of us.

Allison Melody: There’s 2 of us. We added that 20% because really we do such a good job. We don’t just read an ad, we really put our personalities into it and then we put one in the middle with music and it’s highly produced and everything like that. Most brands will pay us what we’ve have asked for. We’ve only had one brand that said we wont do the 20% mark up and we said, “Okay, we’re still going to do it with you because we like what you’re doing.”

It is a negotiation. They said, “You know what, we have to go by the exact numbers and we can’t pay the extra.” That was our decision to say yes or no. Well, we said yes because of course this is a great brand that we want to be in business with and we want to move into the future together and as we grow then their business will grow.

Then after you do the initial, some people buy 1 month some people buy 3 months, you do a re-evaluation and the brand will say, “Well, you know you’re not doing so well, so we’re going to have to reduce this” which hasn’t happened thank goodness. Then the brand can come back and say, “All right, now we’re going to pay you your full rate.” The brand I’m talking about right now we’re not done with our 3 months so we don’t know if they’re going to say, “Okay, now we’re willing to give you this or not.” That’s kind of been our experience.

Bjork Ostrom: Got it. Do you do you do that individually or is there are other agencies that people work with or what is that process look like?

Allison Melody: We’ve had both. Sometimes an agency will have a bunch of brands that may or may not work with your podcast so they’ll say, “Here’s the ones we think would work for you” and then you say, “Here’s the ones we actually like.” Like a brand give us 3 options. One of them was about food but was very, it was meat centric and that’s not what we are all about and so we said, “No, thank you to that one.” We worked with the agency to negotiate rates on 2 of those. Then, all the other cases it was just brand to brand. Like just talking to the representative from the brand and in 2 of the cases it was talking to the CEO which is cool. Then in other cases it’s talking to their representatives.

Bjork Ostrom: I just, I pulled up that site, it was actually the one on Midroll and I was just looking at it real quick and the ideas you put in like you said the number of downloads you have and how many ads you’d be willing to do and it says, well on average if you do that many podcasts a week and you have this many downloads, here’s potentially how much you could earn which is fun to play around with and fun to look at getting an idea for potentially what they could make from a podcast.

We’re coming to the end here. I feel like this would make sense that 3 people get in a room or virtually get in a room that do podcasting and you feel like you could talk about it for 3 hours because you’re all podcasters. One of the questions that I want to be sure to ask and then I would love to hear if you guys have any other ideas that you would want to share before we get to the end.

One of the things that I wanted to ask was, if you were to go back and do it again, start from the very beginning, what will be some of the things that you’ll do a little bit differently when you’re starting. I know you had mentioned maybe building up a little bit of a longer queue but are there other things that you would say, “Hey I wish I would have done this.”

Allison Melody: I wish I would have started in 2000 and …

Suzy Hardy: Eight.

Bjork Ostrom: For sure. Yeah, given the early jump on it. We hear that so often with people with blogging too. It’s like, “Oh if only, I would have started 3 years earlier.”

Allison Melody: Yeah, because then we’d be millionaires right now, right Suzy?

Suzy Hardy: That’s right. I would have to say for me Allison really took the helm in terms of reaching out and I followed on her coattails about because I’m not a sales person perse. It’s not really something that I’m used to and you have to believe. If this is something that people are wanting to do, you have to believe that you, and this is where I’m going to get a little woo woo, talk about intuition but this is your intuition talking to you. This is like your heart’s desire talking to you and you have to follow it.

You also have to know that people are probably going to want to listen. Not everybody wants to do a podcast but people that want to have something to say especially if you’re doing it. I mean every podcast is about something or you turn yourself into a personality where you’re kind of like Tim Ferriss where he goes all over the place but it’s always about something. It’s always about business or health or something specific and that is valuable.

There will be a learning curve. You do have to discover a lot whether that be on the technical side or the marketing side or the Facebook social media side but you just got jump in, you got to jump in with both feet and take the plunge and figure it out as you go along. I for myself now have more confidence in seeing that people do like to listen to us talk about health and well-being and I wish I had that confidence at the beginning. That sometimes goes along with experiencing success. I wish I had had just taken more of that confident or had been able to have that confidence at the beginning.

Bjork Ostrom: I remember the first time that I ever recorded a video and it was like a screen cast tech tutorial, I’m using WordPress and I had to restart like 5 different times and I remember breathing heavy because I was so nervous. I was like, “What the heck, I’m in a room by myself.” Doing the same thing too when starting a podcast where it’s like you call up the first person that you’re interviewing and you press record and it’s like, “Okay, here we go.” What I hear you saying that I think is so valuable is you don’t necessarily have that confidence and then you start. You start and then build that confidence. I think that applies to multiple industries but I think it’s really important for people to hear.

Allison Melody: Start before you’re ready.

Suzy Hardy: I used to have an acting teacher that would say go before you’re ready.

Bjork Ostrom: I think that’s so valuable on a good note to end on. Before we officially end, I want to open up and say if there’s anything else that you guys want to share would love to hear that and then if not where can people find you and follow along with what you guys are doing. Obviously the podcast but where else can people follow along with what you’re doing?

Allison Melody: Sure. One thing that I said I would talk about earlier that I never got to is the strategy that we did that did cost a little money but I also feel like was very effective.

Bjork Ostrom: Lets do that. This will be the PS on the podcast.

Allison Melody: Okay, this is perfect.

Bjork Ostrom: Oh, and PS there’s one more thing, can you share a little bit about that?

Allison Melody: Yes. PS, here is 1 strategy that we did to really promote the podcast and market the podcast that did cost a little bit of money but was totally worth the investment and that is to advertise online. Now, usually when people advertise they do Facebook ads or Google ads, Youtube ads and that’s well and good and that’s great and they’re very effective but with podcasting someone might be on Youtube and see your Youtube ad for your podcast but they don’t necessarily know what a podcast is. Instead of advertising on these traditional models, we did something a little backwards is we went to Midroll. Midroll is the place where podcasters go to get sponsors.

As a podcaster normally I would go in and I would go, “Midroll, I want you to help me find sponsors.” We went to Midroll as an advertiser and we said, “Yeah, we want to advertise our podcast on these very specific podcasts that you represent that have to do with what we’re talking about.” That was an investment but it was hugely successful because all these people were like, “Oh, I heard about you on this podcast, oh I heard about you on that podcast.”

That’s the only thing that we put money into but wow I mean people were sending us reviews, they were sending us emails. That really spiked our downloads really quickly. I highly recommend if you have a little bit of money to put in to find a higher ranked podcast than your own with a message and something that you believe in that you would listen to yourself that you think if listeners listen to this then they’re going to like mine too.

Bjork Ostrom: That’s great, and what you’re doing is reaching people in the medium that they’re already familiar with. Like you said it’s like if they’re listening to your podcast they know how to listen to a podcast.

Allison Melody: Exactly, and that is the difference between doing the Facebook ads and the Google ads and the Youtube ads.

Bjork Ostrom: That’s great. For that do you write out a little script or talking points that podcast presenter would or that podcast would then talk about on their podcast and then essentially promote yours.

Allison Melody: Exactly. We sent them talking points, they got to choose what resonated with them to promote ours and it was hugely successful and I want to do it again because it’s been a while.

Bjork Ostrom: Cool, that’s so great. I’m glad that you remembered that and called that out that. That’s the first time we’ve ever done a podcast PS at the end which I think is a great. We should have that as a tradition, so thanks for calling that out. Where can people find you and follow along with what you’re doing?

Allison Melody: We’re at Food Heals Nation on most social media networks. Twitter, Instagram at food heals nation, Facebook.com/food heals nation and of course our website is foodhealsnation.com and you can find us on iTunes by searching the food heals podcast.

Bjork Ostrom: That’s awesome. Allison and Suzy, thanks so much for coming on today. I really, really enjoyed it and I know people will as well.

Suzy Hardy: Thank you so much.

Allison Melody: It’s been a blast and we love your show too yeeh.

Bjork Ostrom: Thanks. That’s a wrap for episode number 40. Thanks so much for listening. I’m going to do a quick plug here and we don’t have any swag bags but that’s something that we should do and we will do sometime down the line. As we talked about in the interview, ratings, reviews all of those things are really important for a podcast.

If you have a minute, we’d really appreciate it if you jump on to iTunes or wherever you’re listening to this podcast and leave a review that adds fuel to our virtual fire and helps us to continue creating content and like we talked about show up higher in iTunes and all the different places where podcasts are aggregated. We would really, really appreciate that. That’s a wrap for episode number 40, make it a great week guys, thanks.

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  1. I was SO excited to see your guests on today’s episode! I love, love, love the Food Heals Podcast & Alison & Suzy! I obviously also love this podcast, and it was great to hear the two worlds collide!

    I was shocked to hear about your intro jingle because I’ve never heard of paying per use for audio like that! I adore your jingle in a big way, and kind of don’t want you to ever change it BUT…if you do decide to get something that it completely 100% yours and no one else can have, I have a recommendation for you, and a fun story.

    A while back I decided I wanted an intro song even though I have nothing yet to use it for. I went onto Fiverr and found Ed Melendez who is a composer. I actually sent him a link to the Food Blogger Pro Podcast and just said that I want something like this! He did such an incredible job that I got another one from him. If you’re interested I posted his songs to my YouTube Channels. And this is NOT a push to subscribe to my channels because his intros are the only videos I currently have up, hahaha. But I HIGHLY recommend him and he composes and records the songs just for you. 100% unique! His link http://www.fiverr.com/edmelendez


    1. Really appreciate this Monique! I’ll be sure to check him out. I’m sure others will find that little tip/referral help as well. 🙂