A Real Honest Talk About What It’s Like To Make Content For A Living (FS199)

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Episode 199: A Real Honest Talk About What It’s Like To Make Content For A Living (FS199)

This is episode 199 (one hundred and ninety-nine!) of the Fizzle show.

That’s one podcast a week for three and a half years.

For many of you listening running a blog or podcast for a living is a dream. For others, it’s a nightmare, or a necessary step to creating an audience you can serve for over time.

On this incredibly honest episode you’ll hear about what it’s like behind the scenes of a large blog and podcast.

We get into:

  • Why we started the Fizzle Show in the first place. What our strategies and goals were.
  • How to reframe the way you think about your relationship with your audience so you can have fresh insights about what to make.
  • How we pivot and get the content strategy back on track when it starts to feel too cumbersome.
  • What we’ve learned about the “long slog” of content creation over several years.

Thank you for listening to the show. We’ve got a whole slew of good stuff planned for the next 200 episodes 🙂 … but we wouldn’t have any fun doing this if you didn’t let us know it mattered to you. For all of you who listen, however much you do so, thank you for your hearts, your time and your attention.

Now, please be our guest and enjoy episode 199 of the Fizzle Show:


Chase: This is episode 199 of the Fizzle Show. One – Nine – Nine. That’s one podcast a week for three and a half years. For many of you listening, running a blog, or podcast for a living is a dream. For others, it’s a nightmare, or at least a necessary step to creating an audience you can serve over time. On this incredibly honest episode of the show you’ll hear about what it’s like behind the scenes of a large blog and podcast. I think you’ll really like it. And hey, thank you for listening to the show. We’ve got a whole slew of good stuff planned for the next 200 episodes, but we wouldn’t have any fun doing this if it didn’t matter to you. For all of you who listen, however much you do so, thank you for your heart, for your time, and for your attention. Now please be our guest and enjoy episode 199 of the Fizzle Show.

Hello and welcome to the Fizzle Show. Hey, you need to do a little warm up every time. This is the Fizzle Show where every Friday we publish another honest conversation for people running and creating businesses. To live life on their own terms. We know it’s possible, we’ve done it and we’re doing it but we also know it’s difficult. It’s possible, it’s amazing when you do it, and it’s difficult, and that’s why we do the Fizzle Show.

Now, if you want to go deeper than just a podcast episode, if you want to pursue more in depth guidance to create your business, or maybe make your existing business fun again, or just get a creative project off the ground with a chance that it can actually earn you some extra money. We’ve created something just for you. It’s not what you think, it’s not a course, it’s a bunch of courses on all the things you need to know. The courses are really enjoyable and it’s not what you think, you don’t do it alone, you do it in community. There are a ton of us and we motivate, encourage, and support each other, because what we know at Fizzle is it is possible, it’s amazing when you do it, and it’s difficult. It will require a great deal from you. If you do it alone, it will definitely take you longer, definitely, but your chances of burning out are also way higher, like danger zone high. It’s difficult but it’s amazing to live life on your own terms.

We believe in Fizzle and we want you to try it for free for five weeks. It’s only $35.00 a month when it does click over and you start paying so it’s not going to break the bank but five weeks for free, come on that’s the longest freebie in history of ever. To learn more and start your free five weeks right now go to fizzle.co/tryfive don’t fizzle out, don’t burn out, instead make steady progress toward life on your terms. Fizzle.co/tryfive

All right follow along at home at fizzleshow.co/199 I’ll be back after this conversation to fill in any gaps.

Chase: Guys it’s episode 199 of the Fizzle show. 199. I love it, I love it, I love it, I love it that we’ve been doing this show for over, I don’t know how many years that is. I’m a reader not a mather but I think it’s…

Corbett: It’s three and a half years.

Chase: Three and a half years?

Corbett: Yeah.

Chase: That’s, and we have over, let me see what’s iTunes. Fizzle, what is, how many iTunes reviews do we have just in the US right now? 502 we broke through, you see. It is amazing, it’s like, it’s awesome. I know a lot of bigger big business shows that have like bigger listenership than us that don’t have as many reviews as us and I love that about this crew. I just want to say thank you guys, each and every one of you for leaving a review on iTunes because we do, kind of, we think it helps the show. I’m not sure if it does, I don’t really know. I don’t really know.

Corbett: It makes us feel good so that’s all that counts.

Chase: It does, it does. It makes us feel good reading them. Okay so what do you think Steph? Ask us a few questions about the Fizzle Show because you are the new girl in town, even though you’ve been here for as long as, it feels like you’ve been here forever.

Steph: Yeah, I just looked, I just looked for fun and I’ve been here for about 90 episodes. That’s not too bad. That kind of seems like a lot.

Chase: Not too bad at all. 90 episodes is a long time.

Steph: Yeah so you guys have been doing this for double the time, I just, okay I am in a unique position too because I just started my own podcast or Fizzle, Courage and Clarity right, and I’ve produced three weeks, at the time of this recording, I’ve done three weeks which is six episodes and I am sitting here saying I cannot imagine having done 200 it’s like such an extreme accomplishment. I know a lot of people who listen are starting their own podcasts or maybe they are early in the podcasting journey so one thing, I feel like I think when we were recording recently, one of you guys said that when you first started the Fizzle show you really would have never guessed that you would be here at episode 200. I’m curious about why that was and maybe even just when you started it, what were your hopes for it? Were you just kinda looking around saying well everyone else is podcasting maybe we outta do this thing. Or did you guys have any goals for it? Or what was your vision in the beginning?

Chase: Corbett do you remember?

Corbett: Well I remember very distinctly that you and Caleb, so when we started this show it was Chase, Caleb, and myself, and I remember that you and Caleb were really into podcasts, you were just into the whole medium, the format, and listening to them and just the idea of producing them. I know that you had produced a number of episodes and different formats for other shows that you know, some were just side projects, and for fun and what not. And you guys really brought the idea forward and pushed it.

I think from a business stand point we recognized that it was a marketing opportunity, we also recognized that it was just a great opportunity for us to spend time talking to each other about big picture ideas that hopefully would lead to, you know, other opportunities and strategies and things. It just kinda seemed like something that would be fun to do, we didn’t know necessarily if it would lead to signing up members, necessarily, but at the time we were aware of a few shows that had pretty significant listenerships, in the thousands or tens of thousands of listeners per episode and that seemed like it would make a difference for us business wise if we mass an audience like that. We didn’t have any specific goals, I don’t know that I was, for me I’m a little, I’m proud that we have made an episode every week for 200 weeks.

I’m a little surprised, to be honest, that we haven’t stopped for a while for some reason just because it’s a lot of work to put a podcast together every week and also just to show up. But it’s just has really become part of our heartbeat and our weekly calendar and, it’s funny, sometimes we will record an episode and really we won’t talk to each other at all during the day and then sure enough, whatever time it is that we’re recording that afternoon, I go on Skype and you know there you are, you guys ready, yep I’m ready, even though, you know we didn’t talk about it. It’s just one of the things that we don’t miss every week. Whereas if we had just thrown some meeting on the calendar for this week I’d be worried, are we all going to make it or not? So, I don’t know, it’s no specific outcomes were desired except that I wanted to have a good time and you guys were really excited about just seeing what a podcast could do.

Chase: Yeah, yeah. I don’t remember. I remember early on feeling like holy crap I was made to do this. I really had that feeling and that doesn’t, don’t hear me saying like I think I’m really good at it, I’m just, I like doing this more than I like doing other things.

Corbett: Yeah.

Chase: Like I was made to do this. I hope I can find a way to make it work. You know, cause I just loved it. Talking extemporaneously is just something I can do and I mean obviously different iTunes reviews would have you believe different things about my capabilities therein but that’s fine with me, that’s fine. I totally understand that’s not the flavor, it’s a curry. It’s loud. It’s a loud curry, my mom always hated curry. I don’t know what that says about our relationship but anyways, I remember early on feeling good about doing the podcast because it felt very much like I liked applying my effort in this direction. It felt like, and still to this day, I mean right now I’ve been wracking my brain over how we’re going to plan our content for the blog and the podcast for the next three months. Right?

I wanna, because we have this profound opportunity, for any of you who have an email list, think about it this way, you have two or two hundred or in our case sixty something thousand people who have decided I want to hear from you when you have something to say. Now I do not know in what spirit they said that. I don’t know if they’re like yeah just, I’ll look at every few of them, we’ll see, I don’t know I got a bunch of these things, so just whatever, send it, I don’t really care much about my inbox anyways. I don’t know if they’re saying that or if they’re saying like you guys are like a lifeline to my own motivation.

When I’m motivated, I get my project done. That’s where I want us to be, that’s my goal really, is that we would be a lifeline to people’s own intuition, motivation, diligence, the diligence of the heart, is like, is this the phrase that’s like come to mean everything to me. The diligence of the heart, because there is nothing more amazing than when you can pursue your own, sorta, interest, I’ll use passion as long as you’ll allow that I say cold passion.

Right, there’s hot passion, that just kind of turns on and off whenever it wants to. There’s cold passion, which is like a thing that like you, to me it’s what care is. I care about this. No matter what situation I’m in, I care about this. When you can pursue that, your interest, your personal interest and care to a point where, it’s like, you can do something to support yourself independently is like, I mean this is what I want. I want life on my own terms, you know, and so when I’ve been thinking about what can I, this is what I personally want. So when I’m thinking about what we should do on the podcast, what should we do on the blog for the next three months, I’m just like, I don’t know, I just want to connect. I just want it to count, I want it to really matter. If you think writing about email templates on how to email influencers is a thing that matters to you then okay, let’s get into it. I guess.

Corbett: I guess.

Chase: I guess, I guess, you know, but I would, like I’m so much more interested in, like you do not need that template when you’re into a thing. Like you just don’t, at all. You know what I mean like you, when I’m into, recently we did, actually we’re recording this before this journaling webinar, so I don’t even know how it’s going to go. Steph I hope we do great.

Steph: I think it went great.

Chase: I think it went, I think it went awesome. I think it was like a real, like, awesome time. But I, in prep for that, I emailed a bunch of our friends who have big blogs and I kinda petered out half way through cause it didn’t turn into a big project, I just was like, emailing people really naturally like Pat Flynn, he’s got a huge audience, just emailing him really naturally. I didn’t need any help with any of this stuff because I know he cares about things that I care about, right. And so I didn’t need that thing, and I’m like let’s talk about what we care about instead of an email template, right, so as I’m thinking about the next three months of blog and podcast content I’m just wanting connection.

I’m wanting us to be a lifeline to your own intuition, your own personal drivers. I would love for a Fizzle email to mean oh good, I’m going to get motivated again. Good they’re going to remind me what I’m doing this for, right. Oh good they’re going to help me with something that actually matters. Do you know what I mean? That’s what I want. That’s what I want. And so, that’s how I think about our email list. That’s how I think about our blog posts, and our podcasts, and that’s what I dream about for this podcast. Now I know that most of the episodes, as I look back, it’s me or someone else, we’re just, non stop we’re trying to come up with content ideas that are going to like get people to listen to the show, do you know what I mean.

We’re just trying to come up with stuff that’s like gonna work, we don’t know what’s gonna work. It has, think about what the life of a content maker is, it’s gotta be something that people need and they’re not currently getting, or they’re not currently getting it in a way that they want. Right? And so what in the business world do people need, you guys, the principles of business haven’t changed in like 2000 years or maybe 8000 years. You know what I mean, make something that people want.

Steph: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Chase: It’s so simple.

Steph: Yeah.

Chase: Right and I don’t know what were you going to say.

Steph: I was just going to say I think that I love what you and Corbett said in combination. I think there is something really great there which was that, you know, I’m thinking of we have thousands of members inside Fizzle who are, a lot of people are kinda towards the end of their journey because I think naturally there is probably more aspiring entrepreneurs than there are people that are further because people drop out.

And the question that we get so often, that I think is really interesting and I completely understand where it comes from, but a lot of people will say things like what should I do, what should I create to be successful. And they sort of want to see the end result. You know, and it’s kind of like, what I’m seeing is that it’s sort of asking the wrong questions. How do I get successful, how do I come up with the thing that’s going to be a hit. And what I’m hearing from you guys is this really interesting combination. Corbett basically said we thought it would be fun and Chase you’re saying we want to connect with people. So to me when you can put those two things together that’s such a better approach, to do something that’s personally interesting to you. Like if blogging, [inaudible 00: 15: 25] people I always find interesting people are like I know I need to have a blog but I hate blogging. It’s like, well don’t have a blog, you know. I think there is an element of find something that’s fun to you that you can get into, but is also going to provide value and give you connection, and mean something to somebody. So those two things together, I think I would guess, have probably contributed to the longevity of this show.

Chase: But how difficult to do that right?

Steph: Totally.

Chase: To find something that both you have personal interest, I’ve been playing around with this idea like all successful, you know modern, the role of successful modern business especially on a smaller scale in the entrepreneur thing, it needs to look like this. You need to find an audience that actually exists. A group of people that actually exists, in a meaningful way but they’re underserved. I think of, anyway, that are underserved, and that group of people, not only are they not going away, they’re growing over the next decade, hopefully for forever.

This one term in this book like Zeitgeist, you wanna look for something that’s like Zeitgeist like right now it’s a shift that’s going to stay shifted. And I think of minimalist baker as a great example of this, of some, of like them going like veganism, so imagine the ven diagram. Veganism, minimalism, and then baking, which they’ve gone beyond baking now, right? But like this was a thing for them personally that they were interested in taking control of their own life and eating a certain way for health reasons and those are three circles, or at least the first two, the group of people that are interested in that have, has only grown over the last ten years, right. And there’s no end in sight to that, right?

And so when you happen to be lucky enough to be noticing a Zeitgeist as it’s beginning to turn in it’s early days, I guess, you know, you can, and if that is a thing that fires you up, cause that’s the other thing, this personal interest thing is your jet fuel, that’s your unrefined jet fuel and then when you can, that’s your heart right, and then if you can be diligent about your heart and there has to be a Zeitgeist opening up for you in the world then it’s like, this is the dream, right. I don’t know, I don’t know if people can gain the system the way that we use to be able to online. I’m not saying at all that it’s over, I’m just saying the saturation, the fact that everybody has a website, the fact that entrepreneurship for a lot of us can just be a lifestyle piece.

You don’t actually have to be successful, you can just be trying to be successful and that’s enough cause it’s just the side hustle anyways and it’s kind of a hobby. I think that’s awesome by the way. I love, I’m all for the trend of people going like, I have a day job that I’m actually kinda into, I do customer support for Air B&B and it’s kinda awesome and on the side, I’m making comics. Do you know what I mean? And I am kinda pursuing that as a business, but it is a side hustle and I’m not planning on quitting my job anytime soon but I’m doing this because it’s an outlet for me. I like to do it, or I make these bracelets our of forks and stuff, or whatever right. I love that, I love that so much because the energy around that is so different from like Buck who walks in he’s like all right I’m ready to get successful.

Steph: Yeah.

Chase: I want to do it, I’m ready to do it. So what do I gotta do email list? You got it pal, I got an email list. What should I write in my emails … duh. Do you know what I mean, it’s just like, hold on buddy, hold on buddy, what are you, you got, you’re going to have to get there at some point. Like in order for you to be like truly, to feel successful, you know, you’re going to have to get there at some point that’s like Trump. Like what’s going to be enough for Trump? Like when’s it going to be enough? When is he, when is Trump going to have enough? He can’t. He doesn’t know how to have enough, that’s his whole thing. The thing he wants to feel from success, he can only feel from having enough. And you can have that feeling of enough with nothing but your breath, do you know what I mean, if you’re good at it.

Steph: Yeah

Chase: I don’t know.

Steph: Let me as you guys this because, all right, so I want to play with this idea a little bit more. So this combination of thinking it would be fun to have this podcast and connecting with people providing value. So, I have to imagine, and in fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve been here, been with you guys when we’ve been, just like anything these sort of peaks and valleys that you have with your content, with your business, anything. What have you guys, what has your approach been when, in those moments when it’s not fun anymore or you don’t feel like you’re connecting. You know, have you, I guess first of all have there been those moments, I’m sure in these past 200 episodes where your kind of like this isn’t really feeling like it’s fun as it could and we also don’t feel like we’re connecting with people. And if you have felt that way can you think of anything that you guys did or that we did to get the show back on track, or make a pivot or make an adjustment to keep going.

Chase: Cort I’m curious for your take on this.

Corbett: Yeah, so I think you just said the exact right words there Steph, you said pivot, or get the show back on track. I think that we’ve experienced that, that feeling that it’s just not quite as, you know, energetic or fun as it could be a few times. Three or four times, something like that.

And in every case I’d say, we have changed the format and usually this comes from Chase, he’s the one that notices it and a lot of that’s because he’s the host of the show and he also is the editor of the show, the producer of the show, and the publisher of the show, and all that. So he spends a lot of time with it and so I think if we’re not having a blast with it, it weighs on him first. He’s kinda the canary in the cole mine and so Chase usually says hey, you know I feel like the show has gotten a little stale, we’ve been doing the same kind of shows, we’re not putting enough into it, or we’re not providing enough interesting value for our listeners so I have an idea why don’t we try this for a while. And usually that changes our direction, we’re always, I fell like Steph and I are usually up for trying anything on the show as long we get the show out every week and so we’ve changed quite a few times.

In fact, we have a little surprise for people with episode 200 we’re going to make a little tweak. Don’t worry the show will still be coming out every week but there’s a little tweak to the format and I think, you know, the last time I remember doing that, there was a stretch when we were doing, we were answering a lot of questions from readers or listeners and also from members in the forums and that was fun, for a while, we were getting some really juicy stuff but after a while I think the format just, it felt like, maybe we can breath some more life into the thing and that’s when we last transitioned I think.

Chase: Yeah, that’s, I like the way that you, the canary in the cole mine is definitely, yeah, this show is really on my shoulders in some ways even though I try to be very active inside of it to like just be, make it an opportunity to hear from you two especially because, like I have plenty of fun in just the intro and the outtro. I just love it, I love it. But I really do, I want this show to so badly be a thing of connection and of groundedness, of inspiration, that is like intelligence. Like intelligent inspiration for people that isn’t just blowing smoke up your spirits. I don’t know am I allowed to say that, is that like a Texas thing that I like, I probably shouldn’t say, smoke up you, up your anything.

Corbett: Say whatever you want buddy.

Chase: Okay pal. But you know, so that’s my dream, and yet business advise is such a, you can go anywhere you want for business advise right now, right, and why wouldn’t you go to a book instead of a podcast, if you want to, if you want to really know what to do. Why wouldn’t you go to our courses instead of a podcast if you really want someone to guide you through every step, I mean, our roadmap really is that good. And our coaching, like you can literally, people are just literally, they just send me a message and I answer their question. You know, or they jump on a group call and Corbett gives them advise. This stuff is available so why are people listening to podcasts too.

I look at my own life and I, right now, I don’t know, right now I don’t want any teaching. Anytime something comes on that’s like, like about to teach me something, I’m like not interested. All I want is someone, heart to heart, like real connection, or real conversations rather with artists, and comedians, and thinkers, and writers, and architects, and builders, and just people who like, are involved, or engaged in their life. Do you know what I mean, it’s enough. This is amazing.

So I’m always curious why people would listen to our show, even as I’m, I don’t really have a lot of depth to really answer that question myself. Cause even when someone says it to me, oh I’m listening because of this, that and, the other. I’m still kinda like, I don’t know how to give you what you need though. Like every week I’m like I still don’t know what we should do. You know what I mean.

I love Corbett, where you bring up that season where we were answering questions for so long, which to me was like a done deal, like this is amazing. They have questions, we have answers. It’s like community driven, this is awesome. But then over time the show just turned into us, like kinda pandering, not pandering, but it felt like, kinda like pandering. And I was like wait, I want to do, and we started doing, every once in a while we would do a show that was just like current events. Kinda like how this show is right now, where we’re just like, I don’t know, I just want to like talk, can we talk about stuff that matters to us, instead of like, email list stuff, like that’s the reason why we have any success at all is because we started an email list.

But at the same time, like, that’s just not, that’s just what we do now, that’s not what we talk about. You know, and I don’t know, I remember going, just going like, we need more of us in these podcasts. We need more of us because I just do think that people do follow our personalities because we’re doing the, I’m the same way with comedians, I would love to have been a comedian, and I just love these people who are so like living on bagels and receipts from the comedy club just because they’re like, I love my words so much that I want to get up in front of an audience and do the thing and I’m like, you have so much more, you have so much more courage than I do pal. But I love them talking about their adventures and what they think about stuff because they’re investing everything in what they think about stuff. So I don’t know, I’m really curious how to make this show what I’d love it to be for people because I have these desires I’d want it to be for them.

Corbett: Like what, like what?

Chase: Like I was just saying before just that like, and that’s it, that’s it right, I should have started with like, cause it is, it’s already that. It’s, you can read any of our iTunes reviews and it’s already the thing. It is inspiring, it is grounding, it is people soaking in a sort of like, a cocktail of entrepreneurship. That’s one of the things I love. I love that in our cancellation emails for a long time, we have a survey that when people cancel at Fizzle, it’s like hey, what can we do better, what do you think, yeah-da-da, and for so many, like there was a real common trend, people were like, you have forever changed the way I look at business I just, I’m going to do something different now or I just can’t afford to, or for some reason I don’t have the time now to do it, but you’ve changed how I look at business and I think this podcast does do that.

That’s one thing that I want, I want to humanize business. I want it to feel like humans connecting, and it does that. So you’re right Corbett, to ask that because it’s already doing it, it is grounding, it is inspirational, it is helping people get in touch with what they really want with stuff, you know, vs like what they think they should want, you know.

Steph: Yeah, I think what you’re saying Chase ties really well to what we talked about.

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Steph: I think what you’re saying Chase ties really well to what we talked about last week when you talked, you kinda gave us that, you laid out your talk for success, and how, we talked about sort of the balance between finding success internally and kinda like, listening to, I don’t know if intuition is the right word exactly but sort of, letting the desired outcome flow from yourself vs. external judgements. Not to say that we don’t look at things like the iTunes reviews and the download numbers, I think those things are healthy benchmark.

But all the things you’re saying right now that are interesting to me, in terms of what success means on this show, the heart of this show is, you know, I’m like asking myself how do we measure this stuff? And I think we do kind of have to take it on feeling a little bit. Do we feel like we’re bringing the human element to business. Do we fell like ourselves on the microphone? Do we feel like people resinate with that? And it’s interesting that that’s like a very, I think that’s a very self-contained goal for the show, and actually something we can control, which I think is interesting and maybe, I think it’s interesting for people to think about outside, cause I think, you know, I’m in this right now.

I have a new podcast and I can’t help but refresh my stupid analytics all the time, and see if I have another iTunes review, and there’s like this crack element to it, but what I have to come back to is like, am I doing the thing that Courage and Clarity is suppose to do and as long as I have that, then I think that is that, you said it was jet fuel. I do think that it’s jet fuel to keep going, which is really interesting I think.

Chase: Yeah, no totally. That unrefined jet fuel of like, of defining what is going to make this a success to you. And by the way I’ve got a lot of good feedback from that from people reaching out.

Steph: Yeah people loved it.

Chase: That’s cool, that makes me really happy. Cause that one, that was like a hard podcast to do. Just cause it’s like, it’s one thing to deliver that in front of an audience. It’s a whole other thing to just do it into a microphone, by yourself, in a room, where apparently two other people are dialed in through Skype.

Steph: Yeah it was good. I think people really got something good from it. Okay I think I have one more question for you guys that I can think of and we’ll see if anything else comes out but, I’m wondering, so here we are 200 episodes in, three and a half years, it’s just a, so much content, and one thing by the way, just a side note for people, one thing I love, and sitting at my seat at Fizzle where I’m dealing with a lot of members, one thing that’s really cool about this, what we have in this show is we now have this sort of Rolodex of topics that I can point people to. Which is really really helpful because we don’t have a course in Fizzle for absolutely everything. We have a course on lots of stuff, but there’s a lot of like super specific things that now I can point people to and these episodes are really helpful, so I think that’s one of my favorite parts about having so many episodes.

But now that you guys are three and a half years into this, what have you learned, sort of like, this log slog of content creation that people might want to know about. People who are just starting a podcast now, like myself, just starting Courage and Clarity, what would you say in terms of what you’ve learned and what you think people should know?

Chase: That’s a good question. Corbett what do you think? You start pal.

Corbett: Okay so, I feel like one of the things that we always have, or we use to have, I don’t know if we still have, but and this is something that came a lot from you Chase was this feeling that there must be some perfect way to come up with content ideas. There must be some, like massive puzzle that we’re not seeing where the content that we put out on the podcast flows from the bog, flows from the forums, into courses that we’re making, and they’re all interconnected somehow, and there’s this master calendar and you know I think, probably that happens somewhere for the most organized of media organizations with enough people involved to make that happen, but on the other end of the spectrum is just, hey you know, let’s five minutes before we record, figure out a topic and shoot from the hip. We kind of have vas elated between that.

We have, you know, I’d say on average our preparation is something like, you know the day before we brainstorm some topic ideas. Chase says okay let me run with those and I’ll get back to you with something and then he says okay guys how about this and he lists out, you know, a topic idea and generally that’s, that topic idea is something like what the headline will be for the show and then he says, please bring with you x, y, and z to prepare for the show and it’s usually half hour worth of work for us to go and kinda brainstorm these things and do a little research.

Maybe there’s something we need to listen to or read or whatever and that works out pretty well. I’d say that having a, an idea of what your audience wants from you, in the bigger picture, is a good idea, like we at various times have made a list of content ideas, of things that we think people are interested in, things that we’ve read, you know in our forums or in comments that people say they’re interested in and we pull from that occasionally but that well runs dry or we get tired of it and it kind of falls apart.

I think what you have to do is realize that you don’t want to be on either side of that pendulum probably, you know, you don’t want to just shoot from the hip and it’s probably impossible to have everything perfectly lined up. So you want to do the best you can with preparation, and you’re going to have to just spend time brainstorming and walking a mile in your listeners shoes occasionally, and maybe surveying people, and talking with people on the phone, and doing customer interviews, like we talk about so often. And digging through, you know, various place, like maybe you go read some forums, maybe you have your own forums, maybe you see what people are talking about on Twitter, or you go read the comments on some other blog. You’re going to have to dig deep to come up with content ideas if you want to keep a show going for 200 episodes, it’s definitely not easy to do and I think that’s the part that we struggle with.

It’s also not just a matter of what our listeners want to hear but it’s also, again to bring it back to, what’s fun for us, we have to, you know have some enthusiasm for this topic and I think after a while, after you’ve covered, if you look back in the archives of this show, you’ve probably seen that we’ve covered, email, you know a bunch of times. And I think it feels different when you’re behind the microphone vs when you’re listening to the show. If you’re listening to the show you probably go, oh yeah, I think they said something about that before but it’s good to hear it again, you know to hear that repetition. Whereas when you’re the speaker or when you’re the host sometimes it can feel a little repetitive. You know, coming up with content is a struggle. Talking about struggle I mean, we’ve done 200 episodes of this show, but we’ve done, I don’t know how many hundreds maybe a thousand blog posts over the years.

Steph: I was just thinking about that.

Corbett: And that, that feels like more of a chore, for all of us, to come up with blog ideas that it does to come up with podcast ideas and that’s partly what is, the reasoning behind the little change we are going to make starting next week.

Chase: And one of the only other things that makes that a challenge for me is that like, well more than writing a blog post or making a podcast, or making a course, I want people to have transformation in their lives. I want it to like, work. I want it to be a thing that works. And I’m, once I get you paying me like $35 a month, you have a little bit of your butt on the line to actually you’ve said like I’m ready to show up, like I want to do something, I want to take these dreams seriously, I want to do it. And so I’m kinda like, well I’m going to make you courses then, I want to make you courses. And then you spend half your time or more though, just making blog posts and podcasts for people who haven’t yet made that leap potentially.

You know, and I really love when I get to talk to someone who’s like, I’m terrified. I’m terrified but I’m going to do it anyways. I’m hopeful, but I’m afraid. I keep writing that in my journal, everyday is about, I really love that I get to work at Fizzle.

It’s such an amazing expression of the things that I’m interested in because you have these real hearts, what I call real hearts. People who really hope, like they have a hope, what if, what if, maybe I, oh could it be, what if, right. You have this hope, then you have this fear like no, no, don’t be stupid. Don’t be stupid, you know, it’s gonna hurt, it’s gonna hurt. There’s no certainty. You’re not guaranteed anything. You know you have this real fear, and in the middle of that you’re trying to navigate a course that can get you to something that you truly want. You know, and you got to be diligent, and you’ve gotta have heart, and you gotta have discipline, and intelligence, and you gotta, you know what I mean.

And all of this is so possible and I just love that I get to work with people [inaudible 00: 38: 32] cause to me it’s kind of like a spiritual thing, it’s like, if you can figure out how to live independently you can decide how you want to spend your days. If you can decide how you want to spend your days then you might realize that all those things you thought you wanted actually is like, I get bored of those things I thought I wanted so what do I really want. You start wanting deeper and truer things or you finally get to have time to investigate the deeper, truer things you always did want in the first place. So to me I love that I get to, to make stuff for people to really transform their life. That’s it, that’s what I’m getting at. I love that, I love talking to people like what you’re going to hear in episode 200.

I love talking to people where they’re, something real is happening and they have to be courageous and intelligent, and diligent, and vulnerable. Do you know what I mean? There’s a different thing when you do a vulnerable thing than when you do a strong thing. The strength of vulnerability is different than the strength of like, I just knew this would work and so I just did it, what do you mean, why would I be afraid? Like you’re Trumping it. You know what I mean, it’s like, I’ve very good at this, I’m one of the best, I’ve never failed before, you know what I mean, it’s all of this stuff that maybe you can get there with that, that’s fine. But then you’re not going to feel the thing you want from that thing. Or that’s just like a fun little do-job for you.

I love talking to people who it’s like this is everything to me, not making this business but to do life on my terms. It would mean, would be like living like a king. Even if I only got to go out to Bagels once every month, it would still feel like I’m living like a king. Which to me, I don’t know you guys, but going for bagels feels like the richest thing in the world. Not only is it super high in calories, but it’s like three dollars for a piece of bread with white cheese on it and you’re like why did I pay three dollars for this, shouldn’t this be like .69 cents. I don’t know.

Steph: I have a pregnant only rule about that. That’s something I can only do while pregnant.

Corbett: You can only have bagels when pregnant?

Steph: Yeah.

Corbett: That’s a lot of work just to get a bagel Steph.

Steph: I know. Maybe I should re-evaluate my priorities here.

Chase: Corbett what a great punchline. So I says to her, that’s a lot of work just to get a bagel. Oh that’s good. I love how she like, you leaned into the microphone a little bit Steph, or just like yeah, no I have a pregnant only rule about bagels. Like just no, just like honesty.

Steph: It’s true. I took advantage of that, when I was pregnant. Let me just put that out there.

Chase: Oh I love that. Yeah, I’m taking advantage of that in my life now. It’s starting to show a little too much signs, but I love it. You know there’s nothing like a bagel.

Corbett: I have a similar rule, I only get to eat those Magnum ice cream bars when I’m in Mexico. Unfortunately I’m here for three months every year.

Steph: Those are good.

Chase: How many midnight Magnums have we shared Corbett, walking through the streets …

Corbett: So many. So many.

Chase: Of some lonely Mexican town, so many. It’s so delicious and my wife loves those too. But, you know, I love talking to real people about real stuff for them, not just like, oh yeah I’m really into knitting but like, the big thing of life, and to me it’s so amazing that we’re, we’re teaching, we’re quote, I’m putting in air quotes here, we’re teaching business, right. But no, we’re talking about people’s, their lives. My business is my life, I get to do what I want. Do you know what I mean, that’s everything. I want this experience for every being, let alone every human. And it’s possible, it’s possible. It means you have to let go of things like, I want a boat, or let go of all these things you think you want but you don’t actually want. And you get to the thing that you really do want.

So when I think of content, I mean when I think of my life, that’s where I want to be, is working on things that do that. And so that’s what I try to do with content, and that’s why I kinda burn out on it every six months or so. You know, you get a little energy cause it’s like oh good we’re doing, but it’s like what I’m lacking is like a sense that eventually I start lacking too much the sense that this is, it’s capable that this thing I’m making is worth while on that level for people, you know. So for me it’s not that just that we have to make blog posts, and podcasts, but we also have this whole course world where we can make profoundly useful courses.

The Customer Conversations Course in Fizzle has revolutionized countless businesses already, like just the people who jump on Fizzle Friday, or who mention it in the forums, or who tweeted us, or write us emails just going like, I can’t even believe I didn’t even think about that myself, this changed everything for my business. You know, and it was a, it was a course that Steph put together, I flew to Chicago with my video camera, we rented some lights, and filmed it in her living room, you know.

Steph: Yup.

Chase: Like your husband had to take the dog for walks to get Rooty out of the camera and stop being, yapping at stuff because Rooty’s skiddish. She does not trust you until she trusts you.

Corbett: Especially with equipment.

Steph: She’s quirky.

Chase: She’s quirky. And I got to watch Antique Roadshow with Steph and John. I was just like this is amazing. This is what you guys hang with, unbelievable.

Steph: Yeah you got a real glimpse into how we do, here in Chicago.

Chase: Yeah, I liked that. So when I think of making, anyways coming up with podcast ideas, I think of that, I think of, that’s when I burn out is when I don’t feel like this is contributing, I think there is another place where I burn out where it’s like I’m not, I’m obviously not being myself in this, like I have to do, I have to be somebody else to do this really well. I don’t like that feeling. You know and that made me feel like I’m afraid of work. I’m not really afraid of work so much as I am just like, committed to like, to my voice. Like I’m here to do my thing, I don’t want to do Pat Flynn’s thing. That’s Pat doing that thing and if he’s satisfied doing that he should do that.

I’m going to do what my thing is that I feel satisfied doing. So that’s where it’s, like it’s actually fun and this question about coming up with content ideas, that where you have to go, you have to be a blogger, like my wife’s trying to put together a podcast and I’m like what the length of your first season, how many episodes, she’s like well we’re just going to air it every week. I’m like hahahahaha. Like you don’t even know what that means. Because I’m 200 episodes into a thing and going like I’ll tell you exactly what this means, you don’t like it, okay kid. I don’t know why I go into that guys voice but then I kinda coach her like, what’s your, go with a season, just like we did with Courage and Clarity. Twelve episodes, so awesome, so awesome. Cause then there’s an end date, and even if we only take a day off before starting season two, we just put together a volume of work. You know, and now that gets to sit on a shelf and then we get to work on the next one.

I don’t know, when you look at things, like I’m trying to do right now with months of the content, so for, we have three months of content, let’s do three things, you know there’s January, February, March, or there’s February, March, and April right, so these are three volumes of four pieces of content each, right. Like let’s, why not, let’s do it that way. So March can be this month, and February can be that month. A novel idea, I know, some of you are going like, wait you don’t already do that. No we haven’t, we literally come up with new ideas every week. I like it, you know I like this conversation a lot though.

Steph: Yeah, I think it’s really helpful, I mean, you know, I think it’s not a common thing to have produced, you know, I think it’s amazing the way Cobett put it, it was very simple, was that we’ve produced an episode of this show every week for three and a half years, like that in itself is just, is just crazy. I’m sure a lot of people are just like whoa. But I also think it’s really important to focus, I mean, I think there’s, we just live in this world of wanting instant results.

I can definitely speak to this like I said, I started my own podcast and I would love to be, for it to be further ahead than it is but it just, it does go to show, that there is a bit of a long game that you’re playing with content and it doesn’t get, it doesn’t take, it’s not an overnight thing to get something like the Fizzle Show to the point where it is now.

So I think it’s helpful for people to refocus on that and also to hear you guys, being 200 episodes in, just sharing what has worked and I’m actually very pleasantly surprised, just to let everybody know, we literally did no planning for this episode, I was just like I’m going to ask you guys some questions about, and I’m really pleased with what’s come out of it because the advise is really simple and I think, super refreshing. So I hope that people listening had the same reaction I did which was like, hey you know, enjoy this, connect with people, and just stick with it. That’s what I’m getting from this conversation and I don’t mean to over simplify it but sometimes I think we can really over complicate things with like, oh we have to use these SEO, you know all this stuff, and it’s like, that stuff is all well and good, it has it’s place, but at the heart of it, I love thinking of content as little more than what we’ve discussed here.

Chase: Yeah, totally. And it makes me go immediately go like okay so do this every week now.

Steph: Oh God.

Chase: You know what I mean, like okay try to do this every week. Because you have to do three years of podcasts to have this conversation.

Steph: Yeah.

Chase: You know what I mean.

Steph: Yup.

Chase: And I think that’s really awesome. But that’s also, that’s three years of not doing exactly what we are doing right now, necessarily which is having, you know, like a real, open ended, for instance, my favorite podcast probably of all time ever is called Roderick on the Line. It’s this guy John Roderick with this other guy Merlin Mann. John Roderick just basically ends up telling stories where they talk about just whatever, and every once in a while it’s really profound but most of it is just like, light and fun. They do no prep at all and it’s a really big podcast and it, it’s awesome. I always look at that and go like awe man, wouldn’t that be the thing, you just show up and go like, hey Corbett, I don’t know what are you thinking about, which is kinda what they do. But we have committed ourselves to an audience of people who wants to create an independent living doing something that they care about and I actually feeling really good about limiting myself in this show to those, to things that are interesting to those kinds of people. Because I resinate with the mission of it, I resinate with how important it is, like just how wonderful it is to be able to do that, for anybody to be able to do that. Let alone even just to pursue it.

I can say it’s very difficult to come up with podcast ideas or, blog post ideas, or something like this. But at the same time, it’s like, don’t get me wrong, I’m choosing this every single day, I prefer, I choose this. Because I do get a sense that this is mattering for some people and obviously sometimes the feedback is few and far between or it’s just, iTunes reviews and we’re all very, as content creators, we’re all very disconnected in a lot of ways of the actual transformation with our, like you can imagine if you’re a life coach or a therapist and the person is sitting across the table from you, or like in the couch across the room from you, right there, you’re with them in their moments of transformation so you’re seeing, you’re experiencing yourself the fruit of your labor, the results for this person. We don’t get that even one little bit.

The closest thing I have to that is when we do Fizzle Fridays, and like what happened recently with Fizzler Lindsay who came on and she just bared her soul. It was amazing to be able to be someone who could receive that and push her back a little bit, and give a little bit of advice and kind of give her stuff that she could use without totally steamrolling her. Do you know what I mean? This is, these are really the only moments we get, everything else is filtered through text, and email, and you have to try to feel it when it comes in. So it’s hard to be a content creator in that sense, that’s one of the reasons why I like doing, speaking at events so much because you are like right there in the room. And you get to see what these people are like as you are doing the thing but I think you did great Steph, for no prep at all, I think you nailed it. Thanks for asking such great questions.

Steph: Thanks. Hey, I hope we get to do two more episodes guys, what do you say?

Chase: I think so.

Corbett: I think we’ll make it.

Chase: If you don’t have anything else to add, I have been Chase Wordman Reeves.

Corbett: I’ve been Corbett Barr.

Chase: I have been Steph Crowder.

Speaker 5: And we’ll see you there, or we’ll see you on another time.

Chase: By the way, where did that get started?

Corbett: A long time ago.

Chase: So there you have it. All right. FizzleShow.co/199 is where you can go to leave a comment about this episode, where you can chat with other Fizzlers, where you can get on our email list, and you can get one of our free guides about defining your audience, about naming your business. Do you know we have a huge guide on naming your business, it’s super helpful. Anyways, FizzleShow.co/199. Here’s an iTunes review from Jake in the U S of A who says, I love all the great info from you three, you do a top notch job at breaking down issues that we deal with, if there’s one critique it’s that Chase says, know what I mean, at least a million times per episode. I play a drinking game where every time Chase says his catch phrase, I take a drink. I ended up in the emergency room for alcohol poisoning last weekend, but because the show is so good, I will continue to listen.

An oral text from Canada says, I don’t know how I accidentally stumbled across this podcast, and I wish I did now so I could thank them as this has been the best unexpected discovery of a podcast. Great entertainment, lots of solid content and inspiration that actually gets you up and moving. I’ve been dreaming about creating my own business for years and after listening to a handful of these podcasts, I’ve registered my business name, finally dusted off my dormant domain name after renewing it for 18 years, and I’ve started on my business plan after joining the Fizzle.co. Wow that’s awesome oral, oral text from Canada.

Here’s another one from Todd in the U S of A who says I’ve really enjoyed the Fizzle because of the energy the gang brings, they also provide very good details to help start a business which I’ve done partially because of this teams encouragement.

Keep it coming Fizzle people. You keep it coming Todd and oral text, and Jake and all of you people, you lovely people who have listened to the show and you left us an iTunes review because it helps other people to find the show. If you haven’t done that dear listener. Give it a shot, see if you’re good at it, who knows, I’d certainly love to read yours out on the air, but I’m just grateful that you’re here listening. That’s enough, that’s enough, you’ve already blown my mind, but if you did feel like leaving us an iTunes review, I really won’t fight you on that one.

Anyways, so that’s it guys that’s episode 199. Here’s that Steve Jobs quote again, If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed, the vision pulls you. The vision pulls you. Our webinar by the way, I’m recording this outtro after we did the webinar on the journal thing, which was all about your vision, how do you find your vision. Wooo doggy, it was good, it was deep, but it was was good. If you want that head over to Fizzle.co, go to Fizzle.co/199 and sign up for the email list because we are going to be sending that out to everyone pretty soon. FizzleShow.co/199. Find care, take care, serve hard, and dig in yall. Thanks and I’ll talk to you next Fizzle Friday.


Earn a living doing something you love.

Grow an audience and get paid for your work as an independent creator. Fizzle is where creators come to learn, share and make progress toward their online dreams.

I’ve taken a lot of courses and been involved in several paid communities since I started my business, but I’ve never ever felt like anyone CARED as much about seeing my reach my goals as the Fizzle Team. They show up for me as much as I show up for myself. Thank you SO much, you guys!

Claire Pelletreau

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