In the podcasting world, be a relatable human host, not just a voice in the crowd. The winning recipe for success lies in being authentically you. In this episode, we have Gary Arndt, host of Everything Everywhere Daily, reveal the winning recipe for daily podcasts. Gary shares the power of dedication and consistency in the podcasting world. With an astonishing 1100 episodes under his belt, he explains why daily podcasting has been a game-changer for him, and how it can be for others too. He reveals the strategies he used to grow his audience to an impressive six-figure following on social media platforms. Gary also touches on investing in your podcast’s promotion. He shares how he bought a well-placed ad on a popular podcast, doubling his traffic in a single day, and how this tactic can propel your podcast’s growth. Finally, Gary ventures into the world of AI in podcasting, where he gives his candid opinion on the hype surrounding it. He explains why, despite technological advancements, human connection and authenticity still reign supreme. He discusses the value of being a relatable human host and the unique appeal it brings to your listeners. Tune in now and learn the winning recipe for daily podcasts!
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What’s The Winning Recipe For Daily Podcasts? Exploring Dedication, Diversity, And Knowledge With Gary Arndt Of Everything Everywhere Daily
I have Everything Everywhere Daily Podcast host, Gary Arndt, in this episode. How could I resist having us discuss a daily show and all that goes into it? Is this worth it? Is it a lot of work? A lot of you are daunted with even creating a weekly show, so a daily show seems overwhelming. Gary’s breaking it down really well here in this interview. You are going to be fascinated by how he does it, what he does, where he finds the power in podcasting, and how he has created so much success.
He is the host of Everything Everywhere Daily, but before launching that in July 2020, he spent thirteen years traveling around the world and writing a blog. His travels have taken him to over 200 countries and territories and all 50 states twice. His blog, Everything Everywhere, was named a Top 25 blog in the world by Time Magazine. He appeared in USA Today, New York Times, BBC, and National Geographic.
He’s one of the world’s most accomplished travel photographers. He was named Travel Photographer of the Year by the Society of American Travel Writers and by the North American Travel Journalists Association. He’s a three-time Lowell Thomas Award winner, which is considered the Pulitzer Prize for travel journalism.
We host and produce the Everything Everywhere Daily Podcast. It features stories of people, places, and things. It covers a wide variety of topics, including history, science, and geography. It has over sixteen million total downloads and averages over a million downloads per month. It’s even higher than that. He’s going to talk about that a little bit. It has appeared in the Top 25 on both Spotify and Apple charts.
In ten minutes a day, listeners can learn something new every single day on various subjects including history, science, geography, math, and technology, as well as biographies of some of the most interesting people. Gary is a polymath. I had to look that up even though I had heard the term before. He’s a dabbling expert in everything. He uses his extensive research in multiple fields and his decades of world travel to find interesting and informative topics for each and every show every day of the week. Let’s talk to Gary Arndt about Everything Everywhere Daily and how he creates an amazingly powerful daily podcast.
Gary, Everything Everywhere Daily, that’s a lot of work. You came out of the blogging world. That’s where I want to start. You were a blogger first before you were a podcaster.
I started traveling around the world in 2007 and I had a website that was associated with it. I was early in the days of travel blogging. I’m one of the OG travel bloggers. The world back then was very different. There was no social media. Social media was MySpace. Your blog was social media. People would go directly to your website every day or they would subscribe to an RSS and an RSS reader. They would read everything that you published.
It was a very different model than what blogging has become now. I would publish articles, giving my thoughts about where I was in the world. I would use puns or song lyrics as the headings of the article. SEO wasn’t a thing. We have never heard the term. It worked. It was great. It was like podcasting, what it is now. That world of blogging died slowly over time. It died when Google killed Google Reader. It died when people began using social media, Facebook and Twitter, as the means to promote their websites. Suddenly, they were reliant on some large company. Eventually, they pulled the rug out on it. Facebook, at one point, was like, “Everyone’s got to get a fan page. You got to promote your fan page.” Everyone did that, and then they killed organic reach and said, “Now you got to buy advertising for your fan page.”
Before the pandemic, I was asking around different bloggers I knew that had been around for a long time. On average, 90% of the traffic they were getting was from Google or Pinterest, some form of search engine. As such, they were adapting what they were creating to correspond to that. They were all writing the same thing, like Fifteen Things to Do in This Place. It was all keyword research and everything else. Nobody was writing for human beings. All the advice Google gives people is fundamentally a lie. It’s what they want people to do and what they want SEO to be, but everybody knows that the technical SEO experts are the ones who are killing it.
There’s one very successful travel website. I’m not even going to name it, but it gets millions of page views a month. It’s a content farm. It’s all machine-generated titles that they’ve created. I’m sure they’re even having AI do the actual articles. I realized this wasn’t the business I wanted to be in anymore. I didn’t like it. I have been doing a podcast since 2009. I had a show called This Week in Travel that I did with two other co-hosts. When the pandemic hit, everything changed. Within a span of two weeks, the entire travel and tourism industry disappeared.
We tried keeping our podcast alive, but we had nothing to talk about. Every week was, “Nothing’s happening. Everything’s closed. We can’t travel.” That podcast died. All the contracts I had lined up died. All the traffic to my website died. All the affiliate income disappeared because nobody was traveling and nobody was booking anything. The companies in the industry weren’t marketing because they had nothing to market. They had to conserve cash to stay alive.
I had problems with where the business was going even before the pandemic hit and the pandemic made it worse. I realized I needed to make a big pivot. I had this idea for a podcast in my mind that I had come up with two years earlier. I would use the name of my website, which I had developed a good brand for, Everything Everywhere, which is my travel website, but it wasn’t going to be a travel podcast. It was going to be more of a history podcast, history, science, math, and geography. It was going to be a general educational show.
I began and got the artwork done. I got theme music picked out and paid for it. I got the rights. I had everything lined up and ready to go. I began doing research for the shows and the episodes were going to be 2 to 3 hours. I realized, “This is not a sustainable format.” It was a horrible business decision, so I put it aside. There are some podcasts that can pull that off, but the odds of making it with something like that.
Along the way, I was at a conference I was speaking at. I went to a speaker’s reception. I met a guy that I knew. He is a very successful author. He ran some conferences that got 1,000 people to attend. He was quitting his conference business and everything else. I was like, “Why are you doing that?” He’s like, “I started a daily podcast. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.”
I knew a couple of other people who had successful daily podcasts. I’m sure you’re familiar with John Lee Dumas, Entrepreneur On Fire. There are several other people I know who have done it, so I came back to this idea of a daily show. It was like, “Instead of having 2 or 3-hour episodes, what if I did the opposite and made it 10 to 12-minute episodes and I did it more frequently?” I did the math on that, and the math worked out a lot better in terms of being able to monetize it.
I created a list of 100 show ideas, and on July 1st, 2020, I published episode number one. I’ve been doing it ever since then. I’ve done 1,100 shows in over 3 years. The show has grown substantially. It’s doing well over one million downloads a month. Not long ago, I had my biggest day ever. We had 59,000 downloads in a single day.
That’s so great. Honestly, we’re filming this right in the middle of the summer. Summer is the lowest download time of the whole year and you did that well. That’s amazing. That’s so good.
There have been so many benefits to the show that I didn’t even realize when I started it, the benefits of doing a shorter daily show. For starters, people tend to listen to shorter shows first. You have multiple shows in your podcast queue. If you have a 10-minute show and you have a 3-hour show, which one are you going to listen to first? The ten-minute show requires less of a commitment so you’ll probably listen to that.
Here is another benefit. People tend to have a higher completion rate. You’re more apt to listen to the entire show, which is a signal that Spotify and Apple use to determine what to promote. There are several things that go into show growth, like how long your show’s been around. One of the variables is the number of episodes. What’s the quickest way to get a ton of episodes? Do an episode every day. I have 1,100 shows that I’ve done on a wide variety of topics. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the product Voxalyze. It’s an SEO tool. My network got signed up with it and they showed me. On Apple Podcasts, I rank in the top 250 of all podcasts for visibility.What's the quickest way to get a ton of episodes? Do an episode every day. Click To Tweet
I want everybody to read this. The number one reason is 1,100 episodes that have a lot of play-throughs. That’s what Gary was telling us. He has a play-through at a higher rate than other people.
The shows that are number 1 and 2 are stuff you should know, which has been around for well over a decade.
They only do weekly, right?
That’s right, but they’ve been around for so long and have a wide variety of topics. Number two is the Tim Ferris show. It has been around for a long time and has a wide variety of topics. That was unexpected. I’ve heard people talk about, “When you make a podcast, you have to have an avatar.” Who’s the person you’re making the show for? My avatar’s me. I didn’t want to do stuff that I was interested in. I figured if I’m interested, someone else must be interested, too. They must have a wide range of interests.
I was making it for me and people like me. It turns out parents were listening with their kids. I made a decision early on that I was always going to keep the show clean. I’ve listened to history podcasts that I have listened to for a long time and they were very crude and very foul. It turned a lot of people off. I don’t think anybody tuned in because of it. There were people that it didn’t bother as much. It was a net negative. I was like, “Don’t do that. Keep it clean and you don’t bother anybody.” I never talk about current events. I never talk about politics. I never do anything that’s polarizing. I keep it to things where people can learn something new every day.
I have to say that I listened to the History of Wine. In one of your early episodes, there are a couple in the middle that interest me especially because yours is short. I can consume a few more in my research. I tried to listen to the new ones and I was like, “The history of wine? This is great.” I learned so much I had no idea about. I thought I knew quite a bit about wine because of my dad. I did not. You’re fascinating. Looking at everything is your own curiosity. That’s what drives you to build that.
You said, “They were short so I could listen to a bunch of them.” That’s the thing. If I had a 1-hour weekly show that was 60 minutes long, or let’s say 70 to make the math easy, if I put 14 ads in 1 show, that’s way too much. People wouldn’t stand for that. If I put two ads in a show but I have seven shows, it is the same amount of time but it is not nearly as onerous.
The issue is that most people are following what I’m going to call YouTube advice. You are not. You’re looking at it in the podcasting ecosystem in and of itself. In the YouTube world, they make more money if they allow more ads when they do longer content.
The world of YouTube is all about appeasing the YouTube algorithm. There’s no algorithm in podcasting. I have to appease people. I have to create something, which is interesting. One of the things you mentioned was, “It was so easy. I could listen to another one.” That was the thing. It’s like making Doritos. Nobody binges on porterhouse steak. You can eat one and that’s it. If you think of the things people binge on, it is things that there are a lot of, like potato chips, cookies, popcorn, and stuff like that. It is one after the other.
I created this thing called the Completionist Club.
I need to be a member. I’m a huge completionist. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s like if you start a book, you got to finish it no matter how bad it is. If you start a list, you got to complete your list. I’m a completionist.
Early on, people said, “I’ve listened to every episode.” I said, “If you’ve ever watched Saturday Night Live, they have this thing called the Five-Timers Club for hosts who’ve hosted the show five times.” I invented something like that for people who listened to every episode. I’m like, “Welcome to the Completionist Club. You can talk to the doorman. We have cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. You’re welcome.”
As people began doing it from other countries, I was like, “Welcome, Norway. We have a chapter in Oslo. You can go there.” I’ll mention something about some national food that they have or something like that. It’s become this thing. My network said that they do far more analytical tracking than I do. When you’re in a network, you run ads for your show and other shows and vice versa. They said that I had the highest by far of any podcast they’d ever seen of the number of episodes people listen to after they came to the show. They’ll listen to an average of ten. If you don’t like something, you can figure that out pretty quickly.
I usually say it will take 2 to 3.
If you didn’t like the show, you’d stop after 2 or 3 or something. There is something there in having these short-form shows that people enjoy. It is because of how people consume podcasting that they’re consuming it walking, consuming it on their commute, and consuming it while taking their kids to school. It’s easier to get in a 10-minute show than it is a 2-hour show. I didn’t even think of these things when I started.
I want to stop you right there. On my show, I always do my analysis of the binge factor. You have the consummate binge-able show. You’ve created it this way. You knew you were making Doritos. You knew you were making it this way, so you were intentional and purposeful about it. Here’s the key. There are a lot of people who can go out there and say they do a daily show and there are people who make a daily show that has value.
That’s the difference with your show. Everything Everywhere Daily has value in every single episode. That effort is what is truly binge-able about your show. It’s not the fact that you have a ten-minute show. The way and the format that is in it is helping it be consumed more, but I would not give it the time of day and I would not keep listening if I wasn’t getting something valuable and interesting in every single episode. You are putting in a lot of time there and doing a great job of it.
Let me tell you the flip side of it. I know there are some daily shows where the host will talk for three minutes. It’s like, “Here is my inspirational quote of the day. Never give up.”
They tell a quick story and be done.
I write a 2,000-word script every day. I woke up and wrote an episode on the history of golf. Before I started talking to you, I hit publish on it. I’m doing another show. I can take those 2,000-word episodes and publish them all as a blog post. I’m able to generate traffic from that end. I could take those in the future, edit them, mash them together, and create a series of eBooks on the Kindle store. I could create a real book. I can take these scripts since they’re written, edit them a little bit, and do YouTube videos.
There are a lot of successful educational channels where it’s a voiceover with some B-roll footage. These channels get over a million subscribers. What I’m doing naturally lends itself to that. It’s a lot of work, but it’s less work when I worked in an office. I have to show up for eight hours a day. It’s not that. People say, “That’s so much work.” I’m like, “I work less than you and I make more money at it.”
Let’s talk about monetization because that is something that podcasters struggle with, understanding the ecosystem of monetization. You’re making money off of host-read ads and programmatic ads on the show or audio ads.
The vast majority are host-red ads. Programmatic ads are, for the most part, garbage.
I agree with you, but you do have them. They’re habits.
It’s better than nothing. If you’ve listened, the reason is because I had a huge spike in traffic. I have all this excess inventory that was never sold. I hadn’t heard a programmatic ad on my show for a couple of months and suddenly, there were a lot of them. It was for that reason. It’s better than nothing, but it’s not ideal.
You have ads on your website. You’ve got web ads. You’ve got popups. You’ve got a bunch of different types of ads running on your website. I’m assuming that’s because you also knew how that worked from being a blogger before that. You’ve adapted to the new systems that are going there.
Those are a small part of what I earn. Quite frankly, display ads on websites, for the most part, are garbage. It covers my rent, but it doesn’t quite cover my rent. That plus Patreon covers my rent. At some point, I’ll probably take the ads off my website because they junk it up or at least I’ll cut back.
It gets to a tipping point of that. I agree. Do you do affiliates as well or just straight sponsors?
I tried doing affiliate stuff with podcasting the first eighteen months I did the show. In my first episodes, I put an ad in from day one so people got used to the fact that this show had ads. I didn’t have any advertisers because I started and I had no audience, so I made my own. I signed up for affiliate programs like Audible.com and various other educational products. I ran ads for those and they did not perform at all. It doesn’t work well with podcasting because there’s no link. I would have people say, “I bought that thing.” It’s like, “I never saw credit for it.” They went to the website and did it, so I was functionally giving free advertising to a bunch of companies. It served its purpose for that time and I don’t regret it.
I agree that we try a lot of things in podcasting. At the end of the day, it’s the sponsorships and the relationships that we build that do better for us and perform better for our audiences as well because we can be a little pickier about the relevance.
What I’m doing is I’m signed with a podcast network. They’re a good network. They’re good at sales. They’ve sold the show out for the most part ever since March 2023 except for the traffic spike, which is a good problem to have. The primary monetization method is CPM advertising on the show. When I talked to a lot of other podcasters, there were two endpoints that showed our ad. One is the high-traffic, high-volume show with CPM ads, which is where I’m at. On the other end of the spectrum are smaller shows where the host is probably selling a product or a service. The podcast is used as a sales vehicle for that.
You can have stuff in the middle, but those seem to be the endpoints where people see the most monetization success. You have a very niche show that is focusing on a very particular type of listener, and then you have a broad appeal show like mine or what you see on many other podcast networks where you can run generic ads.
You mentioned video. Is that what’s next for you? Are you going to be looking at more YouTube monetization? Did you put your podcast onto YouTube in the new YouTube podcast model?
The whole new YouTube podcast model is a joke. It’s gaslighting on YouTube on the part of saying, “We’re now calling the things we’ve always had on our service for years as podcasts.”
The playlists are podcasts.
That’s not a podcast. My show is there. Nobody listens to it. I have a couple of episodes that have gotten over 10,000 views. If it’s not a real video, no one’s going to watch it on YouTube. That’s the reality. All these people offering it like, “Have your podcast on YouTube.” People don’t listen to audio content on YouTube. They watch videos on YouTube. That’s the whole point of it.People don't listen to audio content on YouTube. They watch videos on YouTube. That's the whole point of it. Click To Tweet
Whatever I do on YouTube, it will probably be to drive traffic to the podcast. You have to have a lot of views on YouTube traffic to make money. The CPMs on YouTube are much worse than podcasting. It was Jordan Harbinger who said the market has spoken. You’re going to get, on average, something like $5 on YouTube and YouTube takes half of it. Even in the best niches like finance or something, you’re looking at maybe a $12 to $15 CPM. The average in the podcasting industry is around $25, and I know of CPMs that are far north of that that people are getting.
We used to do $100 in 3D printing, so it was way north of that.
With a very niche market like that, I could see it. You’re keeping a bigger percentage of it. I never would make YouTube the focus of it. If people are looking at YouTube first and foremost, especially if they have a show that could be a podcast, it’s probably because they don’t know better and YouTube is a cultural thing.
How are you driving new listeners? Where are you out seeking that? Are you using social media? I noticed that social isn’t connected to your website, but you have Instagram and you have social media out there. That’s great.
Along the list of things that I think are garbage is the promotion on social media.
It takes a lot of work with not a lot of return.
I should say I have six-figure followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I even did on Google+. The way you grow an audience on any platform is on that platform. If you want to grow a podcast audience, you do it through podcasting. For example, the reason I’ve had this big spike is I bought an ad on a really big podcast. There’s this very big show that gets 100,000 to 150,000 downloads an episode.
I noticed that they were doing a sponsorship but it was the same company over and over like it was the default thing. I contacted them. The podcast was owned by a nonprofit corporation. I said, “Can I buy a sponsorship on your show?” They were like, “Sure. It fits the theme of the show.” They quoted me a price and it was a quarter of what it was to advertise anywhere else. I’m like, “Yes, please.” I bought a $5,000 ad. It’s going to appear four times. The first time it ran, it doubled my traffic in one day.
If you look at how big podcast networks grow their show, they do it through buying ads and paid promotion. The Avengers movie, one of the biggest movies ever made, had a $200 million marketing budget. Everybody knew the movie was coming out. A lot of podcasters don’t want to spend a dime. They want to have success, but they want to invest nothing in their show. I don’t see how that works. There’s no other business I can think of that’s like, “I want a restaurant, but I’m not going to make a sign for it and I’m not going to run advertising in the local newspaper.”
My favorite is, “I would like a breakfast place, but I don’t want to get up at 5:00 AM.”
It doesn’t work. The thing is, for a show like mine at least, a daily show is a better business model, I’m able to determine the value of a subscriber to my podcast. The annual value of someone who subscribes to my show and listens to most of the episodes is well north of $10 a year and more if they listen beyond a year. I can acquire a new subscriber for somewhere around $2 to $3. I’ll buy $10 bills for $2 all day long. That’s a very easy thing to do. That’s doing it on podcast apps. You can buy ads on Overcast, Podcast Addict, Podbean, Pocket Casts, Castbox, and a whole bunch of different ones. You can then also do feed drops on different shows. That’s a powerful way of doing it.
I found that there are a lot of shows in the history niche that have decent audiences. They’re getting in the high thousands of downloads per episode, maybe even over 10,000, but they’re not well monetized. I can reach out to them and say, “I also have a history show. Do you want to make some money? Put this show in your feed. Do a 1 minute-intro for it and you can delete it after 30 days. I’ll give you this much.” They’re like, “Sure.” Promoting within podcasting is the best thing to do because 100% of the people who are going to listen to it listen to podcasts. You don’t have to worry about conversion. When you do it on social media, you’re doing it in an environment where you don’t know if anyone listens to podcasts at all.
I got to ask you this because we had a big backlash. We did a daily show when we first started our very first podcast on 3D printing. It was five days a week. It wasn’t 7 days, but it was 5 days. It made all the difference. We knew exactly what we were doing when we did that. We ran encores. That’s what you call them. We call them repeats. We got huge backlash from our audience or our subscribers. They were pissed at us for repeating episodes.
I have had zero complaints.
That has got to be because you tipped over a library that’s so big that I can’t get back to the beginning again. Do you think that’s why?
That’s a big part of it. Even if someone has listened to every episode, they’re not going to remember 1,100 episodes, so it is like a refresher. Statistically speaking, I know most people haven’t. In fact, I even do that to my intro to some of the encore episodes. I’m like, “Statistically, I know most of you have not listened to this episode, so I’m going to run it again.” I’ve had zero complaints about doing it.
I do want to clarify. What Gary’s doing, to be clear, is he is not replaying his entire episode without a new intro. He’s inserting back into his feed a new file of it if you want to think about it this way. It’s not like you changed the date of your original episode and you’ve moved it up. You are creating a new one and adding a little bit of an intro and probably new ads because you have new ads.
The other thing is my audience recognizes the work that goes into the show. I am a one-person operation. I don’t have assistants. I don’t have a VA. I don’t have a staff of writers. I am one guy putting out 2,000 words a day, 7 days a week. They know because they can’t see themselves doing it. In fact, I’ve had people say I should publish less so I don’t get burned out because they like the show.
They don’t want you to burn out because they see it happening.
I got that going for me, so it has never been a problem. Also, if you do something like 3D printing, I’m guessing there’s going to be some element of a show like that that’s going to be about news and what’s happening in the industry. My show is not a new show. It is complete evergreen content.
We never did that. To clarify, we did five days a week. One was an interview, so we had longer content and shorter content. We did that so that we could test out the model.
That’s a good strategy.
We had an interview that helped us grow our show because we were interviewing people in the industry. We weren’t connected, so we built a community that way. We had shorter shows that were all focused on education, special projects that we thought were cool, and cool materials. We had Tech Tuesdays, which was not news, but it was like, “Ask us anything technical and we’ll give you our answer to how we do it.” It worked out really well for us, but we did burn out after 650 episodes.
I was at a conference. It was one of the first conferences I hadn’t spoken at in years. I met this woman that I’ve known for quite a while. We haven’t seen each other since the pandemic because it was a travel event. She said, “What are you doing?” I sat down and explained the business to her. She’s a very business-minded woman. All the while, she’s staring at me and is like, “That is brilliant.” I go, “I know. We do this and this.” She was like, “I’m going to do this.”
Few people do. That’s the point. That’s why you’re special because so few people follow through and do it.
She’s one of the people that will, but I’m like, “If you do this, one, you’re going to be able to sell your product. You’re going to establish yourself as an authority immediately. There are all these things that are going to happen. All you have to do is have something to talk about.” She’s not even going to be doing a scripted show like me, so I’m not even worried about that. The Discovery Channel has a podcast that is similar to mine. It’s a short form. Maybe it’s a little bit longer, maybe 15 to 18 minutes. They come out with it 3 times a week and have a staff of 4 people to produce it in Midtown Manhattan.
If there are some cutbacks that happen at the Discovery Channel, that’s going to be one of the first things on the chopping block. If the ad market and podcasting go soft, it’s gone. There’s a lot of these big production things that these big networks have done. I remember on Twitter where this woman said,
“If you don’t budget at least $250,000 to produce a podcast, it’s not a real podcast.”
Are you kidding me? That’s crazy. This is why Spotify had to lay off everybody and why they kept business because that’s not sustainable.
It is something that’s not viable. All the real success I’ve seen if you’re not a celebrity has tended to come from people who are independent. You’re keeping your costs low, which means that you’re able to make something that’s profitable and sustainable. Even if there are fluctuations in the market, you’ll be able to survive it because even the low points will be enough for you to get by.
What’s next for you?
I’m going to do the next show.
I love it. What is your view on AI in the industry? You mentioned it briefly. I hear all these people like, “I’m so excited about all this stuff.” I’m thinking to myself I know from experience that when you have an AI voice, people don’t listen. They tune it out.
Do you remember Seinfeld and the episode where Elaine was talking about the birth control sponge?
She had a big thing about if a guy was sponge-worthy. I did an episode on the element titanium. In the process of making titanium and purifying it, you create what’s known as a titanium sponge, which is a hunk of titanium with holes in it. I talked about how during the Cold War, the Defense Department created a strategic reserve of titanium sponges, but they only reserved it for things that were sponge-worthy. AI is never going to come up with a line like that. I can throw in different puns and jokes and do it in a deadpan way.
When people are so excited about AI, you got to remember everyone is going to have access to the same tools. You think, “It’s going to save me so much time and energy,” and someone’s going to throw more money at it and produce more stuff. I was at a blogger conference. I’ve been telling people, “You’re all screwed because you’re talking about, ‘I’ll be able to make this many articles.’” It’s like, “So will everyone else except they’ll be able to do thousands of articles a day.”
It is going to become this gigantic avalanche of garbage that’s being produced on the internet. It’s not going to help independent contract creators. People gravitate toward other people and personalities online. In a world of AI, the way you stand out is to be a human and to have the foils of a human. My show is not perfectly edited. I’ve had someone say, “Every so often, I hear your chair squeak, but I like it because it reminds me that it’s a real person talking into the microphone.”
Every so often, because I’m using my hands, I hit the microphone. People notice that because you can’t edit that out, but I know it makes you human. It makes it real.
At the end of the day, if you’re talking about something that requires expertise, authority, or knowledge, that has to come from a human. I’m sure you know all the problems with AI and the fact that they get things factually wrong. It is a technology that can create things that sound like human speech but it doesn’t know if it’s right or it’s wrong.
Do you get that? It occurred to me as I was listening to this. I’m not fact-checking anything here, but I didn’t see any citations and stuff on your website to know whether I could look up your facts or where you got them from. I didn’t think about that. Do you get people who are like, “You got it wrong.” What do you do about it?
It has happened a couple of famous times that have become noteworthy throughout the show. One was the famous odd-numbered piston engine thing. I made a statement that there were no odd-numbered engines with an odd number of pistons. I had never heard of them. Honest to God, I had never heard of such a thing. Immediately afterward, people were saying, “There was a five-cylinder car.” It was completely news to me. I was wrong and made a correction.
I had a brain fart in one episode where I said Bill Buckner let the ball go through his legs when he was playing for the Chicago Cubs. He played for the Red Sox. The reason I said that is because I collected baseball cards growing up and I remember having a 1979 Tops Bill Buckner card when he played for the Chicago Cubs.
He did before the Red Sox.
That’s what I was thinking when I put it down. There have been a couple of other things like that where the errors are such that when they do occur can be corrected with a single word usually. It’s not, “The lost civilization of Atlantis existed back there,” or something that’s completely out of whack. It’s something like that.
The other surprising thing is I have a very broad range of people that listen to the show. I did an episode on the element thorium and did a big thing about the potential uses for thorium and nuclear reactors. It turns out there is a bunch of people at Oak Ridge National Labs who listen to my show. They loved it. I did a thing on Hyman Rickover and nuclear submarines in the history of that in the Navy. It turns out I have some people who spent their careers in the Navy as submariners who listen to the show. There are a lot of these things. I did an episode on the linguistic aspects of the Chinese language and how it’s different. I had several native Chinese speakers write and tell me, “I thought you did a good job. You covered everything well.”
No matter what I talk about, somebody is going to know more than me and I have to at least pass that litmus test. Since my shows are short, I’m only providing an introduction to things. In almost every episode, there’s somebody out there who got a PhD in the subject and spent their entire career on it. I’m trying to consolidate all that in ten minutes and that’s difficult to do. That’s all I’m trying to do. To that extent, it does make it a little bit easier.No matter what you talk about, somebody is going to know more than you. Click To Tweet
I’m so glad though that if you’re going to make a mistake, at least you can correct it. At least you can come back and say, “This is what happened. I didn’t know this and now I do.” That’s the great part about podcasting. There’s a dynamic feedback loop because people will reach out to you when they enjoy your show.
There is one where I accidentally said Anchorage was the capital of Alaska, which it’s not. It’s the largest city in Alaska. I know that because I’ve been to Juno and I’ve been to the Alaskan State House. I had one person who was like, “If you got this wrong, what else could be wrong?” I answered him like, “Anything could be wrong. I’m a human. You shouldn’t necessarily take anything I say at face value.”
It’s like we shouldn’t be taking that AI at face value either, right?
That’s right. There could be potentially some limited uses for AI. I’ve used it on a few shows where it’s like, “Give me a brief outline. Give me ten points about this.” It’s usually never interesting things, so I always have to go back and verify, especially dates, which I found gets wrong a lot. There may be an interesting tidbit that it won’t know is interesting that I often have to go find because that’s a skill you have. It is like, “That’s interesting.” It may not be important, but at least it’s interesting and quirky and is not going to be given to you by some bot. It has limited use, but all these people thinking it’s going to change everything for them, I don’t think so.
I so agree. I am so glad to have you on the show. I’m glad that you are in our podcasting ecosystem because you give podcasters such a great name and help us all have aspirations on where we might take our shows in the future. Thank you for being that. You talked about yourself being an OG blogger, but you are an OG podcaster as well.
Thank you very much. I enjoy doing it and it’s been a fun experience.
Everything Everywhere Daily, you can find it on your favorite app. If you guys have some synergies, you podcasters should talk together, band together, and promote together, especially if there are synergies between his show and yours.
I told you. With a daily show, we have so many things to unpack. Here’s the thing. Gary is right. This is the same thing I learned when I was doing all my podcasting research back in 2014 before I started our first podcast or before Tom and I started our 3D print podcast. We were looking at this and we were seeing that the power was happening from a daily show.
There were various things that we wanted to accomplish though. Our goal wasn’t to make money off of advertising. Our goal was to test out a new business model for our business. We needed to create authority and the potential for passive income at the same time because we weren’t sure which model we were going to do. It was why we still had our interview episodes and some other things. Keep in mind that you may need to be looking at a mix of models that daily might be a model for you if it’s your outcome and your goal that you’re looking for.
Gary is so right about how there’s this opposite end of the spectrum where you’re creating influence and advertisement and that’s where you’re making money in your podcast or your core business. That doesn’t mean that there’s not a hybrid model right in the middle somewhere that gives you an alternative income stream, but it’s not all the work that you’re doing. You need to be thinking about some of the great tips, ideas, and paths that Gary took that you could take as well.
Some of the things I want you to think about is what he said that’s powerful. It is making sure it’s on your website and making sure that you have a blog. Even though he doesn’t believe that blogging isn’t of great value, it’s still where his podcast ends up because the home base is something that you control. You’re not at the whim of an algorithm when it’s your home base. That’s what he valued in the old-school blogging platform, the one that I started when I wrote my first blog.
I can’t even remember. It was Blogspot or something. I can’t even remember where my first blog was located. It’s been so long ago. That was a different model. It was very human-connected. He’s finding that human connection in the podcasting world. He’s poised to take off even further in an AI world, in a place where you’re providing significant value and something that listeners want to hear about. You’re providing it in a snackable, easy-to-consume way that aligns with their view of the world.
Not everyone wants to listen to a ten-minute podcast. There are people out there who say,
“This is my downtime and I want an hour. I want to escape from the world.” It’s a different model for them. Make sure that everything that you’re doing and these pieces of advice you’re taking align with your outcomes, your goals, and who you think should be listening to it, but also staying curious and putting the work in.
At the end of the day, this is pretty easy work, creating a podcast. Gary does it in a harder way than I would even be willing to put my time and effort in and this is my day job. This is my whole business. He will still write a script for it. There are ways to really make this work for you, but you have to think, “What am I willing to invest, whether it is time, energy, and money, to make sure that I can make podcasting work out for me, my ideal outcome, and my business?” You can do what Gary does.
That was Gary Arndt of Everything Everywhere Daily. Go check it out. This is a podcast worth listening to. It’s a different style. Plus, there’s always a topic. You got 1,100 episodes to choose from. There’s always going to be a topic. You can test out, research, comp the show, and understand what makes it tick. You might even find yourself saying, “This expanded my knowledge so much that I’m going to stay a subscriber beyond those ten episodes on average.” Enjoy Gary Arndt’s show, Everything Everywhere Daily.
I’ll be back next time with another podcaster right here on the show so that I can give you different viewpoints on how you make money in podcasting, how you make it work in podcasting, how you build influence, and how you build authority. If you’d like to be on my show and you think your podcast has got a binge factor, don’t forget to go to the website, TheBingeFactor.com, and apply to be a guest on my show. I’d love to feature you. Thanks, everyone. I’ll be back next time.
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