In this episode of The Business Gay Podcast, host Calan Breckon speaks with the CEO and founder of Castos, Craig Hewitt.
Castos is a highly-rated podcast hosting platform built and designed for creators. Castos makes it easy to build, grow, and monetize your show, whether you’re a seasoned podcaster, or are just getting started. Calan has been hosting podcasts on Castos since 2020 and in today’s episode, he and Craig are going to dive into all the reasons why that is.
Craig is also a husband to an amazing wife, and the father to 2 wonderful children. When not growing Castos he’s spending time with his kids, or out for a run in the woods.
► Today’s Sponsor is Castos. Premium Podcast Publishing For Growing Brands.
Get a FREE Website SEO Audit from Calan: CalanBreckon.com/audit
Links mentioned in this episode:
Key Takeaways for quick navigation:
- [00:42] Podcasting industry market size is over $23 billion, with 464.7 million global podcast listeners.
- [01:52] Content had a surge due to COVID, but companies are now reevaluating spending, leading to changes in the podcasting landscape.
- [08:07] Owning the podcast feed is crucial for control and SEO; it’s a long-term asset compared to hosted services.
- [14:55] Transcripts are essential for SEO, but also enable platforms to provide more intelligent support, insights, and strategic content planning for creators.
- [18:27] The future vision includes using AI to leverage transcript data for more intelligent content creation support.
- [20:48] Transcription and SEO: Podcasts benefit from transcription and integration with SEO meta tags, enhancing searchability and discoverability.
- [22:52] Success Story: Hosting a podcast on a website boosted organic growth, increased Google discoverability, and improved domain rating without extensive SEO efforts.
- [23:21] YouTube Integration: Adding video content to podcasts enhances SEO, making content more searchable and appealing to a broader audience, especially on YouTube.
- [26:20] Content Repurposing: Repurposing podcast content into shorter clips for YouTube (mids) and optimizing them for SEO provides multiple chances for discoverability.
- [32:47] Getting Started: Starting a podcast is accessible and doesn’t require advanced equipment. Initial episodes may not be perfect, but improvement comes with practice.
- [41:18] Podcasting reaches broader audiences compared to regular blogs, making it an effective way to be in front of more people.
- [41:59] SEO is crucial for podcast success; social media can enhance promotion, but it’s optional.
- [42:27] Networking with other shows through feed swaps can expand your podcast’s reach.
- [43:38] Being a guest on other podcasts is a great way to gain experience before starting your own.
- [44:47] Start with an interview or co-host format, be consistent, and ask for listener feedback for podcast improvement.
[00:00:00] Calan Breckon: Today’s episode is sponsored by Castos. Castos is a podcast hosting platform trusted by thousands of brands. With Castos, you can create as many podcasts and episodes as you want, no matter which plan you choose. Full disclosure the podcast you’re listening to right now is actually hosted on Castos, and I can say with 100% confidence that Castos is the best option. Castos has their seriously simple podcasting plugin for WordPress, making it easy to run your show through your own website. This is a must have, especially if you’re looking to grow your business and audience through SEO driven content. I’ve been using Castos for over three years, and the team has always been super friendly, quick to respond, and has supported my podcasting journey since day one. You can find out more by visiting calanbreckon.com/castos or just clicking the link in the show notes. Now, let’s get into today’s episode.
Welcome to The Business Gay Podcast, where we talk about all things business, marketing, and entrepreneurship. I’m your host, Calan Breckon, and on today’s episode, I have the CEO and founder of Castos, Craig Hewitt. Castos is a highly rated podcast hosting platform built and designed for creators. Castos makes it easy to build, grow, and monetize your show, whether you’re a seasoned professional, like me, or you’re just getting started. I’ve been hosting podcasts on Castos since 2020, and on today’s episode, Craig and I are going to be going on a deep dive as to all the reasons why Castos is a great choice for hosting your next podcast. Craig is also a husband to an amazing wife and the father of two wonderful children. When he’s not growing Castos, he’s spending time with his kids or out in the woods running. I’m really excited to dive into today’s episode with Craig and to talk about all things podcasting. So let’s jump in.
[00:01:51] Calan Breckon: Thank you so much for joining me, Craig. I really appreciate it. I’m really excited to dive into some podcasting stuff with you. So let’s start off with how are you doing? How’s your day?
[00:02:01] Craig Hewitt: Doing great. Doing great. How about yourself?
[00:02:03] Calan Breckon: Awesome. Doing really good. Recorded a podcast earlier today, and now we’re doing another one. So obviously love podcasting.
[00:02:11] Craig Hewitt: What a deal.
[00:02:12] Calan Breckon: I know, right? So, before we jump in, I just wanted to read off some really interesting facts, because today is all about podcasts and podcasting. So these facts come to you by I found them on Demandsage.com. They’re going to be in the show notes for you, so you can go and check them out. But some interesting facts are one third of the US. Population listens to a podcast regularly. The podcasting industry market size is just over 23 billion with a B. There are 464.7 million podcast listeners globally, and there are 5 million podcasts globally, like hosted podcasts. So with all of that, I’m really curious, what’s your take on some of these stats, Craig?
[00:02:59] Craig Hewitt: Yeah, I think that I was having a chat with our team earlier and we do a quarterly catch up and I kind of said, guys, here’s the deal. We as an industry had had tailwinds for a long time, right? We had the second coming of age of podcasting, I think, right? We had as bad as COVID was, it was really great for podcasting. A lot of people started podcasting then because there wasn’t anything else to do, right? And then from a business perspective, we had like a zero interest rate environment for a really long time where companies could spend on whatever they want. And now actually that one kind of goes both ways because companies are saying like, hey, I don’t want to pay Zuckerberg and Google for my customers, I want to own the conversation with them. And so some are coming into podcasting, but some are just saying, like, we got to cut somewhere. And content sometimes is that thing. So that one goes a little bit both ways, but it certainly has changed a lot in the last 18 months. But I think that all the statistics that you have here and in the article support the fact that content has probably never been more popular. I think the reason it’s popular is a little different now, like in the last twelve months, than it was kind of ever before.
Yeah. And I think it’s super encouraging and supportive for content in general, especially non written content. And that gets into the last six months, which is like AI and the kind of degradation of written content in terms of quality and opportunity, I think.
[00:04:30] Calan Breckon: Yes, 100%. That’s definitely one of the reasons why promote podcasting. And why I love podcasting myself is because when you speak the nuances of a human language spoken out, if you can transcribe that is going to come across way better than here’s. This typical AI article that’s very bland and blase, which you could edit, but it’s not the same. There’s not that fun kind of back and forth that you can have when you do a podcast.
What are some of the major benefits that you’ve seen in your life coming into the world of podcasting?
[00:05:07] Craig Hewitt: Yeah. So my journey coming into podcasting was maybe like yours, kind of, right? Like, I was a big fan, I’d listened to a ton of podcasts. I was in a field based sales role and it kind of sucked and I didn’t want to do it anymore. I was like, I want to do something else. So I started listening to Pat Flynn and Tropical MBA and all these kind of OGS of the podcasting world startups for the rest of us, Rob Walling. And I was like, I just want to do this too. So I started my own podcast and it was just like me talking to other people that are doing online business. And that’s really where I got into the business, was by being a participant in the space. And I think it’s like a huge opportunity for anybody that’s like, hey, I want to get into running gyms. Go work at a gym if you want to health and beauty, go work in that industry and you’ll find the opportunities and the weak spots and stuff like that. But that’s kind of how I got into it.
And I think that I totally lost your question.
I’ll start the whole thing over. I’m sorry.
[00:06:10] Calan Breckon: It’s all good. How did you get into podcasting? And then let’s take it this way, after those benefits of you getting into podcasting, why did you then start Castos?
[00:06:20] Craig Hewitt: Yeah, okay. I’ll give you the shorter version of that again, because that was embarrassing.
[00:06:25] Calan Breckon: Word of advice, I don’t edit my show.
I forgot to tell you, I actually love the authenticness of non edited podcasts because I think when people see other people get messy and messed up, it shows them that we are human beings, we are real people, and that there’s no such thing as perfection. And it gives other people that opportunity to go, oh, I can do that. It’s okay to mess up. You don’t have to put out this perfect, polished podcast in order for it to be popular. And case in point, the podcast I originally started with my ex business partners, The Game and Going Deeper podcast. It is hugely popular, gets tons of downloads, and there is zero editing. And I think it’s because people kind of like that authentic messiness.
[00:07:11] Craig Hewitt: Fair enough. Okay, well, I was kind of like most of the way home on my story there, but yet how and why I started Castos was I started like a product I service where we still do done for you editing and production. You would be a bad customer because you don’t want your show to be edited, but a lot of folks do. They don’t want to have to worry about it.
A customer of ours in that service sent me an email, was like, hey, a friend of mine in the WordPress space has this plugin that he started and he wants to sell it because he’s going to work at Automatic. And the plugin is called seriously? Simple podcasting. Are you interested? I don’t know. Sure. Okay. We bought the plugin and then we built Castos to integrate with the plugin. And the original version of Castos as a podcast hosting platform only worked with WordPress. And today about a third of our new customers use WordPress like yourself, and the rest use Castus as a standalone platform. If they don’t have a WordPress site or they don’t care about SEO and owning the turf that their content is on, whatever, that’s cool.
It’s not my fight to fight, but yeah, that’s how we got started and it’s kind of evolved from there where today we do a ton of stuff. Free transcription, a handful of ways to monetize shows, multiple podcasts, unlimited everything, basically continuing with our WordPress integration and we continue with our done for you service. So we’re a bit of a hybrid.
[00:08:34] Calan Breckon: So I’m really excited you touched upon something there. So let’s dive into seriously simple podcasting a little bit more. That’s how I do this podcast. I run it through my WordPress website and that’s how I advocate everybody do it. And we’re going to jump into that. So if somebody wanted to do that, why is that important for SEO? Can we unpack that a little bit? Why would somebody actually want to run it through their website?
[00:08:59] Craig Hewitt: Yeah, so there’s a handful of reasons, I think. One is especially as you get into, I don’t want to say darker, but the obsessed side of WordPress and people even outside of WordPress like podcasting, 2.0 people who are like, I want to own my feed and control it and hand code it if I want to.
You’re a Castos customer or you’re a simple cast or a lipsync customer. You don’t own your feed, you can pay them, but when you stop paying them, that feed goes away.
As long as you pay us at Castos, your feed is there and your podcast is alive. But with seriously someone podcasting, it’s a plugin for WordPress that allows you to manage your podcast within WordPress. And the feed for your podcast is MySite.com feed. Podcast, you own that entirely and no one can ever take that away from you. Like, absolute worst thing to happen is you just self host your files and you lose your analytics, but your feed is still there and you control that entirely. So I think that’s the first of all, and just like, take a half a step back. Like, the feed is really the thing that makes a podcast a podcast. It’s this link that you submit to Apple podcasts and Spotify and Amazon and now YouTube to tell those places like, hey, this is the name of my show. This is the description. This is me as the author. This is the image, right? All the meta kind of stuff. And then every episode is just an extra line in that page, in that link, if you will. So, like, owning your feed is really important. I think there’s probably some SEO benefits just to your feed URL being on your website, right? Because think about, like, Apple podcasts, a big old huge search directory, YouTube, big old, huge second biggest search directory in the world, next to Google itself.
They’re saying like, hey, where is the source of this podcast? Oh, it’s on callan’s website. Oh, that website must be important, right? So I think from a feed level, that’s like the very, very beginnings of it. But then think about what you do in this show every time is like, hey, to get show notes and to find out more and connect with me, go to my website, right? And it’s not like, go to myshow castos.com, right? Which is like, if you didn’t have a WordPress site. But it’s like the goal for all content is to begin a conversation with someone and then let them continue it somewhere else. Typically, right, it’s podcast, it’s YouTube, it’s social media. All those things just funnel they should to your website. And on your website, people do things. And ideally, we think they should sign up for an email.
That just because people get to your website and find out more about you and love it and want to take that next step in that first level of engagement with you. And so those are really the five pillars we think of a successful media brand is like social media on top, just awareness, right? Engagement at the podcast level. So YouTube and podcasting and then the website and email finally is like the kind of steps that you want somebody to go through, but it’s got to go back to your website because it’s a place that you own. It’s a place where people can engage with you. You can customize the heck out of it. WordPress is like the OG, like no code tool and you can just literally do anything you want with WordPress.
We’re huge fans. Automatic itself is one of our investors. We’re just huge fans of open source and of WordPress. And I think that anyone who takes their content and their podcast really seriously should own where it’s distributed from. And you can have tools like Castos that sit on top of that to manage the file delivery and stuff. Just like you would have a vimeo account for video hosting. You’re not going to host your files on your WordPress server. It’s almost the same analogy.
But you 100% should own where your content lives. Otherwise you’re at risk of the crazy stuff we see with X and Twitter right now, right? Like Elon Musk just rips all these handles away from people. And what are you going to do? You’re literally going to do nothing. I mean, the few things that you own entirely in this world are your email list, your domain, and your feed, your podcast feed, right? No one is ever going to take my podcast feed away from me because it is roguestarups.com, just like yours is.
I think that there’s always like a little bit of extra work and we got to update WordPress and we got to pay SiteGround for hosting or whatever. But it is such a no brainer for people that want control and ownership over their content 100%. Your question was about SEO, but I think that it starts with control and ownership. Because without it, all this other stuff we do is for not right, because someone calan just come tomorrow and go take this away. I mean, SEO, you can install rank, math or Yoast or whatever it is, right? To optimize your post for SEO. You can embed trendscripts, which is something we do.
You can optimize posts and meta and things like that images.
I consider the podcast websites we make at Castas pretty good, like right out of the box, but they’re not anywhere near what you can do in a WordPress site. So I think it’s just like the depth and intentionality of SEO that you can do with your content.
[00:14:13] Calan Breckon: Yes. Okay, so you just preached my whole thing.
I’ve always drilling this home with clients and with people of being like, you only own your domain and your website. You only own your email list and you only own that feed. And so do you really want to give that power away to other companies or organizations and build their SEO juice? Because taking it back to kind of the beginning of that is all these big platforms, if you’re hosting it through your feed, they’re pointing in that direction that’s telling Google, hey, this website’s important. Over time, all of those links from those websites are eventually going to feed into yours. And they have good domain ratings. They probably have high domain ratings, which is going to build your personal domain rating. We’re getting really nerdy in the weeds here, but that’s kind of like how Google rates your website, your trust. Are you trustworthy? And you’re going to get all of that sent back to your website and that’s going to help build your business and you’re going to own that. Whereas if you’re doing that on a different platform and you’re not pointing that into the direction of your website, you’re building somebody else’s dreams. I mean, they’re still yours, but they will own that power. Just like you were talking about X and Elon Musk and all this, if they want to turn it off or shut it off or go out of business or whatever, what have you. You got to start from scratch again or you got to scramble really fast.
So I’m so glad you brought up all that stuff because it just lights up my inner nerd. Like there’s no job.
[00:15:45] Craig Hewitt: I’ll give you an interesting kind of meta example here. Our domain rating is super high. We do a bunch of content and a bunch of SEO for Castos as a business and as a brand. But a lot of our link juice comes from customers not owning their website and pointing things at myshow castos.com, which doesn’t give us quite as know, link juice and authority as just the root domain. But we have some amazing links to subdomains of our site, which we wouldn’t be, I don’t think, anywhere near where we are without that. And so it’s kind of an example of what you’re talking about is like we get link benefit or SEO benefit from other people’s content that host with us, which is kind of intended, but pretty interesting, right?
[00:16:37] Calan Breckon: You touched upon transcripts a little bit, and this goes in with the SEO conversation. So can we talk a little bit more about transcripts and what you’ve been doing over at Castos with that.
[00:16:46] Craig Hewitt: Yeah. SEO. We’ve had transcripts for a long time, two or three years.
[00:16:54] Calan Breckon: Are you vibrating?
[00:16:55] Craig Hewitt: Embarrassing. No. Okay, this is great. Aside, in the US today, the entire country just got an SOS alert. So people will know when this is. October 4 at like 220 in the afternoon. The entire country just got like a test of this emergency broadcast thing on their phones.
[00:17:16] Calan Breckon: Okay, my bad. No, it’s all good. Hey, like I said, this is a live show. We like to spice things up here, things fresh.
[00:17:24] Craig Hewitt: That was really and my phone is silenced, so I don’t even know how that happened. But transcripts. We’ve had transcripts for like two or three years. They’re amazing because we believe so much in SEO. Kind of like we’ve been publishing to YouTube for two or three years. The whole concept of like, the highest leverage that you have as a podcaster is you and I will have this conversation and you’ll get video, you’ll get audio, you’ll get transcript. You’ll turn that into a blog post, put the transcript on the blog post, you’ll cut this up into social clips and put them on social media and YouTube and all that kind of stuff for an hour’s worth of work, right? It’s amazing. No one else can do this, right?
But you got to have transcripts, and you don’t want to be like, okay, I’m going to download my thing here, and I’ll upload it to rev over here, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So anyways, we built in transcripts, and we were charging for it for a while because it just costs a lot of money for us to do that. Turns out AI is amazing and way better at transcribing than historical transcription services to where now we offer it entirely for free for all of our customers. And it’s way more accurate than it ever has been. We have things like custom dictionaries where you can put in your first name, which I’m sure got spelled wrong all the time.
[00:18:33] Calan Breckon: All the time. Every single time.
[00:18:38] Craig Hewitt: Yeah, our company name got spelled wrong all the time.
And we support 19 languages out of the box. And so not just people speaking English, but all the romance languages, russian, Ukrainian, Chinese, Japanese, right?
Yeah. And because we firmly believe that the biggest potential kind of power in podcasting is this redistribution of content to help people find you in other ways, like SEO. But also the transcript unlocks a lot of things for you as a creator and then kind of selfishly for us as a platform. Right. Because you can imagine fast forward six months, how much information we’ll have if 80% of the episodes on our platform are transcribed. What can we do to help you to say, hey, Callan, I see you’ve talked about this, this and this. We haven’t talked about this yet. Maybe that’s an episode or these have been your last 20 guests. You probably should reach out to these ten people because I think they’d be a good fit for your show.
So it’s a little bit of us wanting to help you, but it’s a little bit of now and a little bit in the future, us having more information and more knowledge to do some pretty cool LLM stuff to say. Not just repurposing content, which I would put in the kind of basic bucket, but how can we more intelligently help you create content and plan and be strategic about it?
[00:20:00] Calan Breckon: Wow. Okay. So you just kind of blew my mind because I never even had thought about it like, you know, the creator point of view. I looked at it as the more to break down search engine optimization for people who might be listening, who don’t really know what it really means. It’s like, think of it as like, dating Google. And if you want Google to recommend you a lot, you need to date Google a lot. And the only way to do that is by putting out textual context for Google to understand. So the more text you put out, the more Google understands who you are and what you’re talking about. Each blog post is like a date with Google. The more you put out a blog post, you go on more dates. The more Google likes you, the more Google recommends you. And so with transcripts, the reason I always make sure that they’re uploaded into the blog post that is the podcast episode is so that all of that text information can be read by Google, and Google can find out more specifically what I talk about, who I am, and what my website represents. And that helps feed your SEO juice. I never even got to the point of being like, and then I want the AI to read all of this and be like, oh, this person’s in this world, you should reach out to them. That is a whole other is that stuff you have coming down the line that you’re just, like, dropping bombs here?
[00:21:15] Craig Hewitt: Yeah, it’s definitely in our pipeline. It’s definitely on our roadmap, because transcripts themselves are just not that they have a use. Right. And you described what they are, but they also just unlock a ton of other stuff for us as a platform to help you. And that’s really, I think, way more opportunity than SEO is really important. You take SEO way more seriously than most podcasters. And so I’d say our average customer kind of doesn’t care as much about that.
It’s funny, I think a lot of podcasters, it’s obvious that less than half of our customers use WordPress because they just don’t take the web presence of their content that seriously. They’re like, hey, cool, your websites are perfectly fine, and they’re really great. They’re super beautiful. They’re much better than a lot of beginning points for WordPress sites, but they don’t have a lot of upward mobility from there. And that’s kind of like by design. We say, hey, this is like, if you need a basic solution, this is it. But if you really want to take it seriously, we have a better thing over here that requires a little bit of elbow grease. And you kind of know what you’re the other I think you kind of hinted at this, but currently Google doesn’t understand audio. It’s one of the few things it doesn’t understand, right? It understands video. If it’s on YouTube, it understands it really well because it transcribes it, but that’s the only reason it understands video. And so, yeah, it crawls the internet to understand written stuff on your site and meta tags and h ones and all that kind of stuff. But if you just have the podcast player there, it might know that there’s a podcast there, maybe depending on how the schema you have set up, but certainly doesn’t understand that I’m the guest on this episode and I’m associated with Castos and that my Twitter is this.
And I think that’s where really good transcription and integrating the transcript with other kind of meta like SEO meta things on your site is so valuable.
[00:23:18] Calan Breckon: Yeah, and the reason I saw this is because with the first podcast I launched with my business partners, I just did this because in my head I was like, well, I want to own the property or I want my business and business partners, I want us to own this property. And we didn’t put out any other blog posts. We didn’t do anything. And I wasn’t building that website for that business. We were all solo entrepreneurs and we came together collectively, so we all had our own things. And I was like, okay, well, let’s just host this on the website just to make sure that we own it and that kind of a thing. And it was through that process and like the two years of building that podcast that I saw our numbers just continuously grow. Our natural Google people were just finding us on Google like crazy. And our domain rating, I think it grew to like 34 in less than like a year or two years. I didn’t really time it, but somewhere in that, which is so huge considering we did literally zero SEO work on it, all we did was run it through our website and that built all these natural links and all these things back. And then we got discovered. And now that I think they’re getting about 40, 50,000 downloads a month, which is amazing for them. And I don’t know if that same amount of success would have happened had we not had all those extra factors building into the searchability of the podcast, which is absolutely huge.
And one of those huge things is also adding YouTube in, so making sure know we’re recording the video right now. If you’re going to do this hour’s worth of work, why not get the video and audio and utilize that as well. So what are you doing over at Casto? So what have you noticed in regards to YouTube and SEO and how this all plays and works?
[00:25:02] Craig Hewitt: SEO. I think there are probably smarter SEO people than me that can talk about YouTube SEO to website SEO, because I think even working with our SEO person that’s a fuzzy or a dotted line, I think it just makes sense, right? If you have our content, for example, we have a YouTube video about Podcast Topics that should live on the Podcast Topics blog post and be embedded there. And then they think Google sees that blog post and it’s like, wow, kind of like we’re talking about it’s got the blog post and it’s got a YouTube video that’s about the same thing. They must really know what they’re talking about.
And the same is true for a podcast episode, right? A podcast episode. It gets the audio player, it gets the show notes. So a page of summary, it gets the YouTube video and it gets the transcript all in the same think. I think the opportunity for YouTube is definitely there with SEO because it’s a big search engine. And me talking about demographics, my kids, I have an eleven and almost 13 year old, literally all they do is sit on YouTube all day.
And I think as getting to middle age for you and definitely middle age for me, people are like, hey, how am I going to continue to talk to the target audience that want like, you got to go where they are. And it is TikTok and YouTube right now. And so I think if you’re not and I don’t think that’s dating this content too much because I like stuff to be evergreen, but I would take a bet with anyone that YouTube is not a much bigger presence in all of our lives in two years.
I think we’re just at the beginning of it, really. Right? And so as us, as content creators who search ability and discoverability of our content, which is all that SEO, it’s just SEO is helping these algorithms find your stuff better if you’re not present on what arguably is probably going to be the most important platform for discoverability in the future. The hell? Excuse me, what the heck are you doing?
[00:27:06] Calan Breckon: We can swear on this podcast.
[00:27:09] Craig Hewitt: What the hell are you doing wasting your time to create really, it’s a waste. Just audio content because you can’t put it on YouTube, you can’t create short clips for social.
It’s just such a missed opportunity. I’ll tell you the bit of a hack that I don’t know, it’s just a hack, but we’re just really kind of coming around to it. And somebody has been doing this very well for a long time is Joe Rogan. Not a big Joe Rogan fan, but he’s been doing it really well for a long time. Is he has these three hour podcast episodes and then he cuts them up into a dozen 20 minutes clips. And this is the thing for YouTube, I think for podcasters is like, you and I’ll talk for 30, 45 minutes, and then what you probably will do is take the whole thing and upload it to YouTube, which is like where we all start. And then maybe you do some short clips for Instagram and TikTok and stuff like that or YouTube shorts and that’s cool too. But then I think, like next level stuff is taking kind of each segment of this because we’ll have five or six segments and make it its own regular landscape clip. I call these mids because people want an answer to a very specific thing or they want to see a very specific thing on YouTube. It’s not like a podcast where they want to listen to the whole story of me starting this and that and the other and kind of my whole journey. They just want like the blurb, right? But a lot of times the blurb is longer than 60 seconds, which is what a YouTube short can be. And so it needs to be 25, 10, 20 minutes. And this is where if I was coaching someone on YouTube strategy, I would say, first of all, record video, right? Use Zoom or use Riverside or whatever. Record video, put the whole thing up there. And that’s cool for overall discoverability and everything. But what happens a lot there is that very few people are going to watch a 45 minutes episode. And one of YouTube’s big kind of algorithm things is completion percentage. How much of the entire thing does somebody watch? And that’s probably going to be pretty low to the point where we did an experiment last year and we took our podcast off YouTube because we’re like, hey, is it detrimental to us to publish this long thing that nobody’s going to watch? Turns out it didn’t really matter. I think this is an evolution. So I would kind of keep an eye on it. But then I would publish the short segments. I won’t call it clips, the mids, the two to five to 1020 minutes clips and give them an SEO, optimize those, right? Because then you have five chances for SEO for this conversation, not just one.
And pretty good chance that I’m going to watch a two or a five minute clip, but there’s almost zero chance I’m going to watch a 45 minutes whole episode on YouTube. That’s me. But then I think you have your bases covered either way. And unlike conventional Google for written content, like if you took a blog post and chopped it up into ten pieces, google would not be happy, right? But YouTube loves it because it really is a different piece of content than the original the. This is the big opportunity for taking content repurposing and putting on steroids for yeah, definitely.
[00:30:16] Calan Breckon: And it is true, I do have some curiosities around it because YouTube’s always changing the algorithm. What I do currently is I think it’s called Harpa. Have you heard of Harpa? It’s an AI tool. And so when I upload my episodes, I let know go through and do its own transcriptions and then I open up Harpa and what I’ll do is it’ll do like short synopsis. And so it’ll do timestamp synopsis and I’ll ask for a short one, it’ll shoot out ten and then that’s my automatic chapters and it picks kind of the pivotal moments or the things we’ve talked about where it’s like, okay, this was an overarching theme, let’s pick that as a point. And so that chapters out everything for me automatically. And I find that that really helps. The people who just want those things, they have the chapters that they can go and look up those specific things within the episode and also have like a summary of the episode. Because I’m a one person show right now. I’m not cutting up everything, doing the edit. It’s like that’s already enough. My curiosity around YouTube is I like long form content. I like watching the long form content. I, more regularly than not am recommended long form content to watch on YouTube. The average length of episode on my YouTube that is recommended to me is usually minimum, like 15 minutes minimum.
[00:31:33] Craig Hewitt: Interesting.
[00:31:34] Calan Breckon: And I also get like hour, two, three hour long things recommended to me on a regular basis. So my curiosity is, does the system know I like to watch long form content? So it’ll send me long form content because the previous podcast, I had all of its long form content. I think they’re around 10,000 subscribers now.
But those listeners like the long form content in that platform and so it keeps building on top of itself and finding other people who like long form content. So I’m curious, is it like if you’re in one camp, you’re long form, that’s who’s going to get recommended to you? You can still build a good audience? Or is the short form the way to go? Because everybody can do the short form, but I don’t want to say the add of it all, but the non attention span, that’s not my audience, that’s not who I want to target. So do I want to invest in that space to do that? Because they aren’t even my actual target audience that I know will watch the whole way through, will go through. The commercials eventually add to more clicks for me than the short form. Very curious about that.
[00:32:44] Craig Hewitt: Yeah, I think that what you’re saying is right on that. Certainly the algorithm suggests length videos that you would likely watch. I think that’s pretty fair to assume. I think that for me with the mids is you can have your cake and eat it too. You can publish the long form stuff and it will suggest the long form stuff to long form folks, and then people who like two to five minute videos, it will suggest those because it answers a subset. Also, what you said, though, is totally fair, which is like even using a tool like Harpa to auto chapter. And then you could throw this the whole thing in Descript and edit it pretty easily in Descript. That’s another hour of your work. Plus then you got to optimize all five of those segments.
But I think that I don’t know, we’re already at such an advantage from being so efficient with we’ll create this 1 hour conversation, especially if we’re not editing it, then there’s no extra time afterwards. That as opposed to writing long form content. Like, you got to research and you got to write it, and you got to edit it, and you got to SEO. If you don’t have to do that stuff, then maybe the time that you have saved by video podcasting as a medium, you calan make up by creating more versions of it.
[00:34:03] Calan Breckon: Yeah, I think if somebody’s starting or wanting to start a podcast that just starting and getting the basics done first is a great place. Go through your website, put out your stuff, and then as your team builds or as you grow and build a team, you can do all that fun stuff. You can do the cutting up and making it smaller and creating all that short form and doing all that social I don’t do it because I hate social media and I that stuff. But eventually I realize as my business grows, that’s going to be there. It’s just it’s going to be somebody else’s job to do all that. And right now, I think of like, okay, what’s the most important things that’s going to drive the business the furthest right now? And it’s getting the content out there. And in saying this, do you think it’s too late for somebody to jump into podcasting or to start podcasting if they wanted?
[00:34:55] Craig Hewitt: Probably no.
I mean, it’s just like anything else, right? Like, the best time to start was yesterday. The second best time to start is today.
I have chats with our Castos productions service customers, where we do done for you kind of editing and production service all the time. And they’re like, I’ve been looking at doing this for a while, but I know now is the right time because I have this opportunity in my business. I’m going to publish a book or I want to start my own business or whatever. And it’s just not that hard. Like you said, it’s just not that hard. We’re on zoom right now. You get $100 microphone like this. You don’t have to have the fancy lights or anything.
[00:35:35] Calan Breckon: $100 microphone?
[00:35:36] Craig Hewitt: Yeah, this is an $80 microphone. My first one was $100. And I’ve been doing this for eight years and have thousands of episodes. It just doesn’t have to be that hard.
You can and probably should get more sophisticated as you go, like you’re saying, I’m sure if we talk in a year, you’re going to be like, Craig, I have this crazy YouTube strategy that’s going on, and it’s interlinking and metadata back to my website. And that’s how it should go because you’ll get started, you’ll get some initial traction and data, which is like, oh, I met this interesting person like you and I met, right? Super interesting. I’m really glad we got to meet, which we wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for your show. And I think that’s, like, I mean, this whole business was from me starting a podcast. How crazy is that? That multimillion dollar business and investors and employees and all this kind of stuff just from starting a podcast.
And literally every day I talk to customers, and it’s the same story. I started a podcast and this thing that happened and I got hired over here for my dream job or I met my partner or whatever, got this great opportunity.
There’s zero chance it will happen if you don’t start. So just start. And here’s the thing, man, it is going to be terrible, right? Like, your first ten episodes are going to be horrendous.
[00:36:53] Calan Breckon: 20, 30, 40.
[00:36:55] Craig Hewitt: You’re not going to know how to talk. You’re not going to know how to interview. You’re not going to know any of that stuff. And so just kind of chalk it up to learning curve. And the thing that a lot of folks don’t realize is there’s no rule that the first episode you record has to be the first one you publish. And SEO, it might be that you record five episodes and none of them see the lie today, but you get a lot better at it through that kind of applicable practice. And then you get pretty good to where you’re like, hey, this is good enough. I’d be willing to publish this. Or you just publish it anyhow and know that literally no one’s going to listen. And one day you’ll be proud of like, I started here and now I’m up here.
[00:37:34] Calan Breckon: And that’s so the you know what, and I love that, and I hope people do that because I saw Amy Porterfield. She was the first guest on the show. She’s an entrepreneur. She just released a video on her Instagram about where she started versus where she is today. And so many people follow her, and she’s very inspirational, and they’re like, oh, I could never be that. But then you watch this video of her original starting off like her husband videotaping her. You can see him in the mirror, in the background, like all these janky things, and you’re like, oh, wow. Seeing that makes me realize, yes, I can go where you are. It just takes time to get there. But you’re never going to get there if you don’t start it’s. Like Wayne Grecksky says, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, so just take the shot. If you want to start a podcast, it doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult. It calan be super streamlined and easy. I do recommend that you try to figure out how to route it through your website, which I’m sure if you reach out to Castos and Craig, they will help you figure it.
Have like do you have a service for if people want to either migrate their podcast from where it is and they take the advice on this podcast and they want to change over and route it through their website. Do you have systems set up to help people kind of do that or to start their podcast?
[00:38:55] Craig Hewitt: We do, yeah. Just an anecdote on the getting started. We were watching oh, this is embarrassing. Either The Voice or American Idol. And they had Ed Sheeran on. Do you know he wasn’t a singer until he was like twelve or 13 and his first recording was horrendous, just terrible. Couldn’t carry a tune, all this stuff. And he played it on national TV and it was just absolutely terrible. He’s like, it was terrible. But I knew this is what I want to do and so I just got a little bit better every day and now whatever. Amazing.
Anyways, yes, we do migrations entirely for free, entirely automated, either into your WordPress site or into Castos. So I will say this is can be a very complicated thing if you don’t know what you’re doing. But essentially it’s kind of like when you move house, right? You move from Cincinnati to Washington DC. You got to tell the postal service, hey, don’t deliver my mail over here in Cincinnati anymore. Deliver my mail over here. Very simplified version, but you pick your stuff up here, put it over here in Castos or on your WordPress site, and then you got to tell Apple podcasts and Spotify, hey, don’t look for my show back over here. If you’re watching on video, that’s my left hand. Look over here on my right hand.
And that’s the gist of it. We have tools in both platforms and our support team will 100% hop in and help you with anything you need because we do it all the time and it’s a bit tedious. So if you don’t know what you’re doing, reach out.
[00:40:25] Calan Breckon: Yeah, it’s like your forwarding address. I remember I did it myself. And actually, this is why I became such a Castos fan is because when I first migrated, the podcast originally was on my Squarespace website. And then we had to move it and I did all my research and I was like, I found Castos. And I was like, well, we’re going to route it through our website, not my personal website. And that whole process was so obnoxious.
But I’m so glad I did it because of the results that came from the SEO and growing the business and growing the website. And everything that it’s like, yes, it can be obnoxious and an arduous process, but I definitely would reach out to the Castle team because you all over there really helped me. I came across things. I was like, what’s going on? Why is this wrong? What’s not happening? Please help. And it wasn’t even just part of a package or anything. It was just like, oh, here you go. Here’s the advice, here’s the information. And you were so fast that that created me being like, okay, I’m going to be loyal over here. And it’s just continuously gotten better and better and better.
Not to continuously plug Castos, but honestly, thank you.
[00:41:34] Craig Hewitt: We try very hard, so thank you.
[00:41:35] Calan Breckon: Yeah, there’s not a lot of other platforms I found out there because I’m a nerd. I do my research, as you probably can tell, and there really wasn’t a lot of other options to do what I wanted it to do, so I’m really glad that I found it. Do you have any fun, innovative or unique ideas you found from other podcasters that you’ve come across that help promote shows or to build an audience for people? Any advice in that direction?
[00:42:01] Craig Hewitt: Yeah, I think I just wanted to add one thing to what you were saying is the threshold to get started is the opportunity. In podcasting, just like with video, right? It’s daunting. You got to have a nice camera and good lights and all this stuff. And that’s the reason why you won’t even get started, right? It’s easy to get a freaking Instagram account and put a bunch of crap out there, but that means there’s a whole bunch of jokers doing it, right? If you take podcasting seriously and get the $100 mic and a decent camera, you’re already at this level that so few people are at that the competition is way less. I saw a quote from Neil Patel that was like, one in 100 websites have a podcast or something like that. So it’s just like, that’s the rarefied air that you’re already in just by default.
[00:42:49] Calan Breckon: I actually saw Neil Patel give a talk in Toronto at the Collision Technology Conference, and he was talking about podcasting and the stats between blogs. It’s like one blog for every six people, and it was like one podcast for every couple thousand or something like that. And I was just like, yeah. So if you want to be in front of audiences, podcasting clearly makes more sense because there’s so many more people to the one podcast know, just a regular blog. But yeah. Love Neil Patel.
[00:43:19] Craig Hewitt: Good people. Yeah. Yeah. So sorry, a bit of a tangent, but your question about innovative things to grow an audience, I think the SEO is very important in kind of table stakes and something you should just do and do it automatically. It should be the part of the process of publishing a show. I think then the two things that I think you can layer on top are social media, especially if you’re doing things like video clips. If you don’t like social media I don’t like social media. You don’t like social media, then just don’t do it, right? There’s no rule that says you have to do it, but then the opportunity is like, networking with other shows and doing things like feed swaps.
If you see podcast networks like Five X Five or NPR, they’re always plugging the other shows within the network. And you don’t have to be part of a network to do this. Just reach out to similar but non competitive shows in your space and be like, hey, we just had this really great episode. Do you all want to have a clip from it or drop the whole episode into your feed and we’ll do the same for you? Because think about the way that you start listening to a new podcast is you hear somebody that you know like and trust recommend it. And a lot of times those are podcasts. You already listen to our people on social media. And so it’s just generally like that’s. The framework that I go from is like SEO, people trust Google, right? So if you’re searching for something and you find it, you’d Google, okay, sure, I’m going to go with that. But then I think about content marketing outside of Google being social a little bit. And then the medium that you’re already in, which is podcasting in this, are really good.
[00:44:57] Calan Breckon: That’s really good advice. And also the having the podcast episodes drop on different places. I’ve heard one of my favorite podcasts is Pivot with Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway, and they’ve had a couple of episodes that drop from other things they’ve done and whatever. And it’s so true. You’re just like, oh, this is really interesting. I really like this podcast. And then you go over to that podcast. So that’s great advice. But also, yeah, being a guest, if you’re afraid to start your own, but you have something to say or something to share, being a guest on other people’s podcasts will get your feet wet and you’ll kind of figure out, okay, this is how it rolls. And then that way when you go to do it yourself, you’re like not as nervous, not as nervous to kind of jump into it.
All right, do you have any last tips or words of advice for anybody embarking on their podcasting?
[00:45:47] Craig Hewitt: I mean, I think that if you’re just getting started, don’t overthink it too much. We have a ton of content on our YouTube channel and our blog where you can learn everything you need to know, but really get a microphone, start recording something. An interview is the easiest way to get started because on this conversation, you only have to speak half the time and we have energy that’s bouncing back and forth, whereas the most difficult thing is a monologue where I turn the camera on and I stare at that thing for 20 minutes and talk. I’ve been doing this eight years and that is super hard and I just won’t do it because it’s just so much more fun and easy to hop on a call with a friend like this and chat. So start with an interview based show or a co host. Probably even better because then you only have to work out the schedule once and say, hey, 02:00 on Tuesdays we’re going to record. But in terms of format, pick one of those two, either interview or co host and just start talking. Get you a trello board with a bunch of ideas and drop them in there and be consistent. I think it’s just the most important thing is, like, have the format publish when you say you’re going to publish. And it doesn’t have to be every week. I think every other week is okay. Once a month is too infrequent. And I just wouldn’t start until you feel like you can get to every other week and then learn and ask for feedback because you do a really good job of this is a really genuine show right there’s. All the warts and my phone buzzing and all this stuff. But I think something that you probably also do is say, like, hey, I’m learning along the way here and I want to hear from you listener, about what you like and what you don’t like because you’re doing this for them, you’re not doing this for you. And so to ask for feedback is totally appropriate and just like how we should be doing it. Because that’s the whole point is like, we do this to start a conversation like we were talking about the website before, so that we can then continue that conversation off air.
[00:47:41] Calan Breckon: Yeah. Awesome. That’s great. Words of wisdom for people looking to start their podcast. Where can people find out more information about you? Or what podcasts do you host?
[00:47:52] Craig Hewitt: Yeah, so if you want to find out about Castos, so we’re at Castos.com, castos on social media. The best place for me is probably LinkedIn. Just search Craig Hewitt there.
And I have a personal podcast called Rogue Startups. It’s how I got started in all this. And it talks just about kind of my entrepreneurial journey as a business owner, as a founder. I had six and a half years with a co-host, and earlier this year he decided to take a step back. So we’re kind of finding our way still there. That’s a pretty big transition to have a show go like this for so long and then be like, OK, we’re going to do something different here.
[00:48:29] Calan Breckon: Oh, yeah, I was there kind of.
[00:48:31] Craig Hewitt: Finding my way there.
[00:48:32] Calan Breckon: Nice. Cool. Awesome. I’ll make sure all that stuff is in the show notes for everybody if they’d like to find out more. Craig, thank you so much for your wisdom and for coming on the show. I really appreciate you and all the things that you and your team are doing over at Castos. Keep up the amazing work.
[00:48:48] Craig Hewitt: My pleasure. Thanks so much.
[00:48:50] Calan Breckon: Holy smokes, what an amazing episode. I could have literally talked to Craig for hours about podcasting because clearly I’m a giant nerd and we both like a lot of the same things in regards to podcasting. I really liked what he had to say about how you can take one podcast and just use it in so many different ways from just doing 1 hour of work and then it just transcribes over to all these different other places. It’s a really powerful tool that you should seriously consider using in your business. Thanks again today for tuning in. Don’t forget to hit that subscribe button. And if you really like today’s episode, I would love a star rating from you. The Business Gay Podcast is written, produced, and edited by me, Calan Breckon. And if you’re looking to start your own podcast us, maybe you can give me a shout. Or if you want to get an SEO website audit for free, you can head on over to Calanbreckon.com/audit and I would be happy to do that for you. So, thanks again for today. I hope you have the most magical day.
Peace. Love. Rainbows.