15 – Starting a podcast AND evergreen emails

Thanks for sharing

After finishing and making the most of my Business Idea Blitz I could choose what to do next – and I decided to start BOTH the ideas

First, I started this podcast. As you can see, I’ve stuck at it 🥳

Second, I also started an evergreen email sequence so that every new subscriber gets a really looong series of useful emails once per week.

I talk about what I did for each of these ideas, and how long it took.

I also talk about WHY I’m starting a podcast and my evergreen email sequence – what’s the point of them? Why aren’t I doing the ‘normal’ thing of social media, instead?

Which leads into a bit of a rant about social media as a marketing method, but I’m sure you’re getting used to that by now 😉😂

Listen to the episode right here

And subscribe with your favourite podcast app

If you enjoy it, please give it a 5⭐ rating and review in Spotify and Apple Podcasts – it really does make a difference. Thanks so much!

Resources mentioned

I mention the following resources in this episode.

Some of these links are affiliate links, meaning I will receive a commission if you purchase via that link (thanks!) – see my disclosure here.

Feels Like Home podcast – my very short-lived homeschooling podcast, that was valuable learning when I started this one.

How to start a podcast post – want to start a podcast, but feel overwhelmed by the REALLY COMPLICATED instructions? My guide simplifies it all and makes it absolutely doable, even if it’s just you in your bedroom.

MailerLite – I use it for ALL my emails, including my evergreen sequence. It’s perfect to set and forget, while it runs in the background 24/7.

Liz Wilcox’s Email Marketing Membership – a fantastic resource for emails in general, and I’ve found it really useful for writing evergreen emails.

Transcript

Hello, I’m Kelly Kotanidis, and welcome to Online Business From Scratch, where I’m taking you behind the scenes as I build my new online business from scratch to a full-time income while making sure it’s a great fit for my traveling homeschooling life. I’ll be walking you through everything I do and why so that you can follow along and build your own flexible online business quickly and efficiently.

This is the update for day 99 of my new online business. It’s 14 days on from my last update, and the thing I’m most excited about is that I did my stats on the first of the month, like I always do, and I realized that I actually made $600 last month. That was for my third month in business, so I’m pretty impressed with that, especially as I’m focusing more on putting down the foundation while we’re traveling, not so much on earning as soon as possible. Most of that was a big affiliate commission for software, and I also did two business idea reviews. It was really good to see that sort of positive result so early on; it shows me that I’m on the right track.

Now, you might not see any results that early on, and that is perfectly normal too. I’m looking at last month as a bit of a fluke month, to be honest, and I’m not expecting that to be my new minimum benchmark or anything. I’m quite a while off reliable income, so I’m viewing it as a nice bonus and a bit of validation, but I’m not stressing myself out about maintaining it.

Okay, so I mentioned in the last episode that I was maybe going to have a bit of a relaxed next stage, but then I kind of did a lot of things over the past two weeks, probably because I saw the income and got excited. It’s always a good bit of motivation. I had a couple of big things I’ve been wanting to do since the start, so I just decided to do them both.

First up, I launched this podcast. The way this podcast works is that I’ve been keeping track of what I’m doing in a doc every week or two. I write down what I’ve been doing, all the tasks I’ve done to start up and grow my business, with the intent of turning it into an over-the-shoulder type podcast for you all to follow along with.

So, I decided it was time to actually do it.

I drafted and recorded a welcome and a bit of backstory, plus I recorded what I’d already noted about my first online business steps. Then I did the whole podcast setup work. I came up with a name, made a cover, filled in all the details, got it syndicated to all the platforms and apps, made a podcast page on my site—all those background tasks needed to start a podcast. It actually all only took me two part-days to get all of that done, and then another half day to get the blog posts written with transcripts, YouTube videos made, all the bonus stuff. So, I’m pleased with that.

A week later, I have 16 followers just on Spotify, I’ve had 33 listens, and the only promo I’ve done is a quick email to my list of 216 people. 138 of them opened it, which is a good open rate, but it is good to note that you will never ever have every single person on your list open your emails. So, if you get over 50% with a small list, you are doing pretty well.

Now I’ve launched this thing, I just have to keep going, and that is a hard part for me. I love starting new things, but consistency is not always my strong point. I did start a podcast for my previous business. I did a whole three episodes, and then it just all got too hard, and I never made another one. I have learned from that, though, so I’m fixing the problems that stopped me from doing the last one. I’m keeping the episodes short, only around 10 minutes. I’ve also worked out how to transcribe them quickly with AI because transcription was a bit of a nightmare last time, and I’ve got absolutely everything templated.

You will also note that I don’t have a fancy intro or any music. I just wanted to get it off the ground ASAP, and that’s really the sort of stuff that I find doesn’t add that much to the actual episode in terms of quality or listenability, but it takes forever to organize. I figure I can always add it in the future.

Now, at the time of me publishing this episode, I have written a blog post on how to start a podcast quickly with lots of tips and ideas to make the most of it without it being a whole lot of extra work, like my YouTube video hack, which I am quite proud of coming up with. As well as the current stats at the time I published this episode, it will all be linked in the show notes. So, if you’ve ever thought of starting a podcast, which is a great way to really connect with your audience, then check out that post. It is not as scary as most people make it out to be if you don’t want it to be.

Now, my other big thing is that I kicked off my evergreen email sequence. So, you’ve probably heard that you need to email your list regularly, and that’s typically weekly. It feels like a weekly chore, right? Writing emails is really intimidating at the start, and looking at the blank page every week will probably make you want to cry because you have no idea what to write. I get asked that by people all the time: “Great, I need to send people emails, but what do I put in them?” I came across the idea of evergreen emails a few years ago and was very intrigued, but this is the first time I’ve actually set it up.

So, basically, I’m writing a series of emails that won’t date, and I’m putting them in an automation in MailerLite, where they go out every Tuesday morning. If you sign up for my free Business Idea Blitz course, for example, you will get the emails related to the course, and once you finish those emails, you’ll automatically be added to the evergreen list. On the next Tuesday morning (Australia time), you’ll get the first evergreen email and then one per week after that. So, even if I don’t write a specific email that week, you will still get an email. I just need to stay at least a week ahead of the people who started the automation first.

My eventual goal is to build this up to about two years of content. So, imagine if you knew that every person who joined your list got two years of relevant, useful emails from you without you needing to do anything more. For me, that just feels like a huge task off my shoulders. I don’t need to keep churning out emails week after week and worry that people who have signed up for my list in the last couple of weeks are just not going to hear from me for ages. I know they’re going to hear from me all the time.

You might wonder about time-critical emails, but it is quite easy to pause it. If I want to do a launch or promotion or send something that needs to be done at a certain time, I just pause the automation, which takes me a single click. Then I can send all my other emails manually and start the automation up again when I’m done. So, it’s pretty easy and very flexible. I’m definitely going to do a blog post for this—probably actually a course because it is such a great idea, and I already love it so much. The main reason really is that it looks after new people so well.

The first email is an intro to me with a bit of my business backstory and the option to listen to the longer backstory on the podcast here. I even included one of those GIFs of me I mentioned making last week. That one also sets expectations, like I’ll email you once a week with a quick business tip or idea. The next email asks if they need anything right now. It’s really short, and it encourages replies. Since I’ve set it up, I’ve already had great questions, which I’ve answered directly.

But I’ve also added these questions to my business problems doc. In this doc, I cut and paste the problems and questions people have, so when I want to write something like an evergreen email or a blog post, I have this ready-made resource of problems that people actually want solved. I can pick one and solve it, and I can also see the trends and get a much clearer picture of what my audience wants and needs. So, you can see from that it’s a win-win, really. People are getting good, reliable content and help, but I’m also learning and staying in contact with people. So, it’s good all around for everyone. I am a really, really big fan of it already, so look out for a future course or similar. I will come back and link it in the show notes when I finally get around to it.

Alright, so if you take the big picture view of this, you may be wondering why I’m doing all of this now. Like, why am I setting up evergreen emails and the podcast? What’s the rationale behind all of that? I looked at everything and said, “Well, I’ve got a good freebie, it’s converting fairly well, I have a few articles up on the site now for people to read, all of the foundation is there. So, now I need to increase traffic and visibility because it’s no good having all of these things if no one actually sees any of it.”

Many people would think that this would mean social media and the typical influencer thing of sharing inspirational stuff or making TikTok videos, or the most horrific-sounding thing to me would be trying to make my life look totally awesome on social media and hoping that it will make people feel inadequate so they want to buy my blueprint so they can fix their inadequate life and they too can have a life as awesome as mine.

Maybe that is a little cynical, but from what I see of social media and particular platforms in general, I don’t think so. And that is really not me. I really don’t do that sort of faux inspirational stuff, which is actually shaming in reality. That seems to be the norm right now, and I have no interest in building a social media following. I mean, I’ve done it before; it didn’t work that well then, so I’m not going back to it.

For me, my version of marketing is all about being genuinely and consistently helpful. And yeah, you can do that on social media, but I will talk about the problem with that in a minute. A podcast is great. I can show people exactly what was involved in building this business, and if they want to take that info and hack it together themselves, great, go for it. And it’s the same with my emails and blog posts. If the sort of stuff I include means people feel confident enough to strike out on their own, then best of luck to them. I wish them all the best, and I really hope they succeed. And that’s how I got started—all free resources. It can definitely be done. But I know that some people want some more help and guidance, and if they read and listen to my stuff and they like my style, and then decide that I’m the one they want to pay to help them, that’s also awesome. That makes it an educated decision based on what they’ll actually get from working with me, rather than me selling a lifestyle or vanity metrics like a huge follower number, which may not really translate into income or a sustainable business.

The biggest reason that I prioritize this sort of content way higher than social media is that the podcast and emails and blog posts—all that stuff—they’ll continue working for me and paying back my effort for years to come. It’s building up a huge content library for people to find and refer to and hopefully impress them way into the future.

But social media prioritizes new, new, new, new, new all the time. It’s like this insatiable beast you have to keep feeding more and more every single day while keeping up with algorithm changes and the latest best practice for Reels and Threads and whatever else is out there. I don’t even know, and I’m not interested at all in that treadmill.

I’m not interested in spending time making a great big pile of 10-second videos that will most likely never be seen again in a week’s time, and I’m definitely not interested in coming up with content to please a platform and increase my reach on that platform over pleasing my actual followers. I just don’t like the whole social media game, the whole way it’s set up, so I am not playing it.

And that’s why I’m establishing the podcast and the evergreen emails and writing long-form blog posts. It is my marketing. It is my way of showing who I am and what I do, and it’s also your way of seeing if who I am and what I do is going to be helpful to you before you actually buy anything. I really want anyone who buys from me to make that decision in a clear-headed way, not because I’ve shamed them or made them feel inadequate or like they need to buy from me to be a success because that is really just gross. I want anyone who buys from me to feel great when they hit the buy now button.

Anyway, that’s my rant for the day. It’s probably a little off-topic, but as you may have guessed, it’s something I feel rather strongly about. I’ll probably do a dedicated episode to social media in the future. I can rant some more, and you can also feel really, really relieved that you don’t have to jump on that content treadmill or do silly dances or do any of the things that people tell you that you have to do because, really, you don’t have to do them. I didn’t do them in my last business. I am not going to do them in this business, and I’m still going to have a successful business, and I really need to leave it at that. So, for now, I am signing off.

Thank you so much for listening. I really appreciate you taking the time to listen all the way to the end. Thanks so much for the compliment if you’re still here, and I will be back next week. Chat to you then!

Thanks for listening!

Got any questions? Feel free to to drop them in the comments below.

Pin it for later

Thanks for sharing

If you liked this post, can you please share it?

Here’s the truth: every single share us small businesses get makes a HUGE difference.

So please pin it, share it to your favourite Facebook group, or message it to a friend. Here are the buttons to make it quick and easy for you.

Thanks so much!

More good stuff…

My business ISN’T growing fast enough! So…it’s freak-out time

My business ISN’T growing fast enough! So…it’s freak-out time

I just did my monthly stats and…not much has changed 😭
So how do I deal with progress that’s not as fast as I’d like? After listening to this, you won’t feel alone, AND you’ll have strategies to deal with your inevitable business stress. Because we all get a little irrational sometimes, right?!

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *