We recently spoke with Blake Oliver from the Cloud Accounting Podcast about some of
You can see the Sonix Media Player below in action. Note the sandwich icon on the top right of the player. If you click that you can quickly navigate to any part of the transcript!
Lots of great insights in here. Enjoy!
Intro chat with Blake Oliver
Jamie: Hi, you’re here with Sonix and we’re talking to Blake Oliver today about his podcast and why he’s been able to double his listeners using the Sonix Media Player.
What is the Cloud Accounting Podcast about?
Blake: We are a weekly news update for accountants and bookkeepers who are interested in cloud accounting technology.
Jamie: I just got a couple of questions. The first one is how is your podcast going?
How is the Cloud Accounting Podcast going?
Blake: It’s going pretty well, I think we’re at something like 60 plus episodes now. So, in the current form, we’ve been doing it for a little over almost actually almost exactly a year. And it takes a while to get traction. Right. The first 50 episodes, I don’t know. You know, maybe a few hundred people were listening to each one of those. We’re in a niche right in the accounting world. But we just stuck with it and kept doing it and I think that’s what it takes. So, now we’re I think the last 4 episodes are a 1,000 listens each. So just onward and upward from there.
Jamie: Awesome. So what are your biggest challenges as it relates to podcasting?
What are the biggest challenges as it relates to podcasting?
Blake: So, initially it was just learning how to do it, because I do all the production. For something that wasn’t revenue generating for the first year I didn’t feel like going out and spending money on somebody to record it and produce it for me. And, you know, I’m kind of a stickler so I wanted to be able to pick which sections I’m going to cut and all that stuff.
How Blake learned how to create, produce and publish a podcast
Blake: I had to learn how to use the software–I use Adobe Audition. We use a tool called Zencaster to record the audio. You know, it took me like a solid day to figure out how to do an episode. And then I’ve got it down to a point where I can edit a 30 minute episode and post it in a couple of hours. So I just you know, we’ll do that on a Friday afternoon or evening with a beer or something like that.
Blake: Yeah. And the other challenge was figuring out the format. So we tried an interview style format and then we realized every podcast was doing that. And it got boring because if you had a bad guest, then you know the episode’s shit.
Blake: So, we decided we were gonna mix things up and do a weekly News Round-Up. And just sticking with that as our format I think has has really helped us grow the listener base because now they know what they’re going to get. And we’ve been really consistent about recording and and putting out an episode every week just trying to figure out the format and how to make it work. That was the biggest challenge. And now I think if we just keep doing it and we’re consistent with the quality, then hopefully we can grow to 10,000 thousand listeners.
Jamie: You’ve always been an entrepreneur and that’s almost like a pivot you created for your podcast. And I guess the question I have, with that, is as other podcasters look for listeners. What did you do to increase your listeners?
How did Blake grow and double his podcast listener base
Blake: Engagement is really huge. So, that’s that’s part of the reason we did the interviews in the first place. We figured, OK, if we interview somebody like Guy Pearson from Practice Ignition, who is known thought leader in the accounting world, then he’ll promote it and that’ll get us more listeners. So that that worked really well. But then we were having trouble keeping them because not every interview is going to be that good. And we were starting to run out of people to talk to.
Jamie: So you’re saying engagement was one or other things that you did to help grow your base from hundreds of listeners to thousands?
Using social media to grow the Cloud Accounting podcast listener base
Blake: Being active on a particular social media platform has been great. David and I have sort of keyed in on Twitter as being our best channel for this show, because I think the very quick rapid discourse on Twitter mirrors the way we like to handle stuff on the show. It’s very quick, like, here’s a news story that was important to accountants and we’ll talk about it for two to five minutes and then we’ll move on to the next one. So not these long, drawn out episodes that people are used to in our industry. They’re really boring.
Blake: And so then Twitter is great for that. So we will share out the stories that we talked about in every episode on Twitter throughout the week and say: “As discussed on the Cloud Accounting Podcast”, we created a handle for the podcast where people can go and link to the different services we’re streaming on. So that has been really helpful.
Engagement has been key to growing the listener base
Blake: And then engaging with different listeners. So listeners will tag us on Twitter with their thoughts as they listen to the episode and we will retweet those. We will comment on those. Even though our show isn’t live and it’s pre-recorded, we have a conversation throughout the week after the episode drops. And that gets people excited about it. They start talking about it. Our most loyal listeners, we will shout out to them on the show. That has been a really, really powerful tactic.
Jamie: Awesome. That makes a lot of sense.
Why Blake is inspired by Taylor Swift 🙂
Blake: So it’s funny because I heard a story about Taylor Swift when she was first starting out. Not that we’re ever gonna be as famous as she is. Right? But.
Jamie: You never know.
Blake: Yeah, well, maybe in the accounting world but apparently she responded to every single fan letter and engaged with everybody who was following her when she had a small following. And that built up that core loyal following that has become this massive following. So that’s what I think engagement can do.
Jamie: So you’re saying Taylor Swift is your role model?
Blake: Really? I think she’s probably everybody’s role model in a lot of ways. So.
Jamie: Right. Ok. More specific to Sonix. We know you use Sonix. Why do you transcribe your podcast?
How the Sonix media player helped doubled his podcast listener base
Blake: So this goes with getting the show out there for more people. I find that it’s hard to convince people to go into their podcast app, search for a podcast that they’ve never heard of, and then listen. It’s a big commitment. And so the idea with using Sonix was because you guys have this amazing web player. I can have every episode transcribed, clean it up, and then post it on my episode page for every episode shortly after it goes live.
Blake: And so that way, when people who aren’t subscribed to the podcast, they find it online. Not only do they see the show notes, but they see a full transcript right below the show notes and they can just click anywhere in the transcript to play that particular part.
Blake: And to give you an example on our most popular episode to date. We had a 1,092 unique listeners to the podcast who actually listened to the episode or downloaded the episode, but because we also transcribed it in Sonix, the Sonix player had 2,387 uniques. So, basically, twice as many people were reading the transcript and playing the audio on the Sonix player as were downloading in their podcast app.
How the Sonix media player has driven more loyal listeners
Blake: And I think that episode helped us get more loyal listeners. Of course, not everybody is going to go and then subscribe to the podcast. They might just come for that one particular story. But the fact that they were able to listen to us and not just read it on the episode page. My suspicion is that that’s what helped us grow our listener base.
Blake: After that we went from like 500 listeners on every episode to almost a 1,000 now.
Jamie: Sounds like the Sonix media player is helping from a discovery standpoint. So you’re saying it’s a little bit more challenging for a brand new listener to go through the regular channels of downloading your podcast through Apple or Google Play, but they can easily find you on your web site?
Attracting listeners that aren’t subscribed to a podcast app
Blake: Yeah, and I think one reason it helps in our niche is because accountants are often on their desktop computers or laptops. So like if they’re going to listen to the podcast, they’d have to go over their phone and find it. And that’s just friction right there.
Blake: Whereas if they found us through a Google search because they’re searching about Quickbooks, then they would just click play and oh, now it’s there. And they want to get straight to the Quickbooks stuff because that’s what they’re interested in. Accountants like to get straight to the point. They can just scroll through the transcript and then click on whatever they want to hear.
“The Sonix media player is awesome” 🙂
Blake: For me, the embedded web player is awesome. There’s transcription services out there, lots of them, but nobody has a web player that works as well as yours.
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