Hi everyone! Thanks for having me here. My name is Eric and I'm a full-time personal finance and business freelance writer, and I'm the founder of Personal Profitability, where I host both a blog and podcast. I had a unique path to this point, and didn't start my career looking to write. I had higher hopes in corporate America, and spent most of my career there.
After getting a finance degree, my first job was as a bank manager where I learned the ins and outs of everything related to banking, and I was the guy who decided if new mortgage, credit card, and line of credit applications from my branch were approved. When I left that job, I was reading a few personal finance blogs, and many were stories of fixing big mistakes with debt and credit cards. I started thinking... I have never made big money mistakes. I used to run a bank. I should have a personal finance blog!
That was back in October 2008. In April 2016, 8 years later, my blog had grown to a point and led to enough freelance opportunities from fans of my blog that I was able to quit my job as a Senior Financial Analyst. I now make $10,000+ online each month working from home for a small handful of amazing clients while also running the Personal Profitability blog and podcast, which both focus on helping people fix their finances and start their own side hustle business.
I started the Personal Profitability Podcast the first week of January 2015. It started as a bi-weekly, 45 minute podcast. In July 2017, I switched things up and made it a weekly podcast around 25 minutes long. I already had the Personal Profitability blog, so the podcast was a natural, audio extension of the existing website and community. I'm nearing the big 100 episode milestone!
My big goal with the podcast was to build my audience, but over time I found that it also helped potential freelance clients find me through a different channel online. I definitely don't have any complaints about that, as freelancing is my primary income source.
I love that podcasts give a more personal way to connect with audiences. I listen to a lot of podcasts myself, and actually got into podcasts through music podcasts. My longest subscribed show it Tiesto's Club Life, but these days I listen to a variety of shows.
I found time to podcast the best way, I stopped watching so much TV! Many Americans watch 5 hours of TV every day. If you cut just an hour a day, you have enough time to podcast. If you cut it completely, you can build a business! I cut my cable back in 2011, and found my business (and social life) instantly improved.
Podcasting is a relatively inexpensive hobby/business, but there are some costs. Because it was part of my existing website, I just added the podcast hosting and microphone as new business expenses. Even if the podcast didn't work out in the long run, at least I was going to get a tax break!
I have some sponsorships on my show, but the revenue has not been all that meaningful so far. What has been meaningful, however, is the opportunity to connect with new people and build new relationships. For example, podcasting led me to attend the conference Podcast Movement in 2016, and in 2017 I was on stage twice at Podcast Movement. As a blogger, building an audience and getting my name out there is a huge benefit.
It is also another possible route for paid freelance clients to discover me. Of course, they want me to write so are more likely to find me as a writer. But this is just one more route. And those relationships can be quite valuable.
Great question! I find guests through a variety of channels, and when someone seems like a good fit I share my Calendly link with them. That gives them options to book podcast times on a Wednesday where my calendar is free. The automatic confirmation emails contain important information for the guest to know for the podcast.
I call them on Skype at podcast time, and use eCamm recorder to capture each conversation. I also have a Zoom H6, which acts as both a recorder if I choose and a sound board for my Shure SM7B microphone. I have a list of my most important podcasting tools and recommendations on my Amazon Influencer page here. The gear I use to record today cost me about $1,000 all-in. When I started, however, I just used a Blue Yeti Microphone, which cost me about $85 with a deal.
I'm always marketing Personal Profitability to new audiences, and one of the most important methods for the podcast is joining other podcasts as a guest. I am a premium member of PodcastGuests.com, which gives me extra exposure to podcasters looking for guests. I also use social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube, to help grow my audience.
I know some people love to read and some love to listen, so having both a blog and a podcast gives a wider audience of potential community members a way to connect to my site in a way they will enjoy.
I know I could do a heck of a lot more! My co-host at my second podcast, Oh No We Didn't, shared with me that Facebook ads have been doing a great job of building her subscriber base at a low cost.
My biggest advice is to just start! It is so easy to get stuck in analysis paralysis making tons of choices about your new podcast. Instead, don't worry about the little details in the beginning. Just get a microphone and get started. You will learn SO MUCH as you go along that you wouldn't understand from reading about it before you try it. Look at what the shows you love most do and try to emulate the same style as those shows, while still being original and not ripping them off. (Imitation is a form of flattery, stealing ideas and designs is not.)
If you want to learn everything you need to know to get started, my favorite resource is Pat Flynn's free podcast tutorial available here.
The best places to find me are Personal Profitability and EricRosenberg.com. I'm also busy on Twitter if you want to connect and say hi! I mostly work on helping people fix their money and their business, and I have a free giveaway for you if that sounds helpful! Check out my free, week-long Personal Profitability Bootcamp for a series of 10 minute videos designed to help you get on your path to Personal Profitability.