Monetizing is one of the hardest things to do when you start a podcast, but it is not impossible. You can sell ad space on your podcast, create merch to sell, have special events with special guests and charge a fee for access, create a patreon account and create special content for listeners that support, look for sponsors that align with your message or content.
As part of my series of interviews about “5 things you need to know to create a very successful podcast”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Keisha Nicole Bent.
Keisha Nicole is the host and producer of The Oh Hell No Podcast and Side Talk. Keisha has been podcasting for over several years and she uses her platform as a podcaster to engage, empower and educate her listeners by sharing stories of purpose, passion, and struggle.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit of your “personal backstory? What is your background and what eventually brought you to this particular career path?
I am an IT professional and five years ago I was feeling burnt out and frustrated and I started to wonder about my purpose and what God has planned for my life. During this time I had discovered podcasts and as I was bingeing on some of my favorite podcasts, I realized that this was a medium open to me as well. I decided to start a podcast discussing Life, Love & Reality TV. After a couple episodes I realized this wasn’t helping me in pursuit of my purpose, so I started to interview people who were living their dreams doing the things that made them happy and the rest is history.
Can you share a story about the most interesting thing that has happened to you since you started podcasting?
Since I started podcasting, I have been repeatedly invited to a publicity summit as media where I am amongst people who have been working in media for many years and some of whom work for major publications and TV morning shows as producers. That is so exciting to me because it reminds me that I am doing something that serves a purpose and has meaning and that I deserve a seat at that table.
Can you share a story about the biggest or funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson or takeaways you learned from that?
I have learned so many lessons since podcasting but one of my biggest was when I did an entire interview and the file got corrupted. I had to contact my guest and ask them to redo the interview because it was such a great interview. That taught me that I needed to learn more about the program I was using and that I should always back up my work, and that people are more understanding and accommodating than we think.
How long have you been podcasting and how many shows have you aired?
October will be my five-year anniversary and I have done 210 episodes of The Oh Hell No Podcast and 20 episodes on my new podcast Side Talk. I plan on starting a Reality TV Wrap-up podcast because I do love some reality TV.
What are the main takeaways, lessons or messages that you want your listeners to walk away with after listening to your show?
I want my listeners to connect with my guests in whatever way they can and learn that life is unpredictable, most of us are redeemable and resilient, and we can do and achieve whatever we desire as long as we are willing to do the work and follow the signs to get to our purpose work which will lead us to that purpose driven life we are all looking for…and age doesn’t matter.
In your opinion what makes your podcast binge-listenable? What do you think makes your podcast unique from the others in your category? What do you think is special about you as a host, your guests, or your content?
As a host I am very personable, and I always want my guests to feel that they are in a safe space. I am very careful with how I ask my questions because these people are sharing sensitive information about their real lives. What’s special about my guests and content is I interview everyday people; the lady next door could be a guest on my podcast, but the thing I love the most is you would never guess that the lady next door spent four years in prison and then started a mobile spa and is now helping women who have been incarcerated or just struggling internally find their happily ever after. My guests are so relatable because they live the same life that we all do but somehow, they have found that thing in life that excites them and they candidly share how they found that happy place, the struggles that they fought through, the work they are doing to stay there, and how they are helping others.
Doing something on a consistent basis is not easy. Podcasting every work-day, or even every week can be monotonous. What would you recommend to others about how to maintain discipline and consistency? What would you recommend to others about how to avoid burnout?
The only way to maintain discipline and consistency is to be doing something that you are passionate about. There are days where I am so tired, and I complain all the way to my microphone until I hit the record button and start the process. I get so lost in my guests and their stories that I forget how tired I am. I really love podcasting and sharing the stories that I share on my podcast. Another thing I would say is to make a schedule for yourself. Schedule a day to record, a day to edit and a day to book guests and put it in your calendar and make sure you include time to rest and don’t overcommit yourself. If you know you are not going to be able to put out a podcast every week, do every two weeks or once a month. Commit to something you can stand by; people just want consistency, and they will take it once a week, once a month or however you promise it.
What resources do you get your inspiration for materials from?
I am very lucky where people are always reaching out to come on my podcast, but I look for inspiration in everyday life. If I meet someone who has an interesting career, I want to know everything. The other day I was getting my nails done and I noticed that the owner of the shop was the only one who actually did the nail work and I started to talk to her about owning a nail salon and how hard it must be and it was such an intriguing conversation to me, that definitely sparked an idea for an episode.
Ok fantastic. Let’s now shift to the main questions of our discussion. Is there someone in the podcasting world who you think is a great model for how to run a really fantastic podcast?
I listen to a lot of podcasts, and I love a lot of different shows but Blessed + Bossed Up with Tatum Temia is a great podcast model.
What are the ingredients that make that podcast so successful? If you could break that down into a blueprint, what would that blueprint look like?
Tatum is consistent she posts an episode every Monday and if she doesn’t she is so transparent about why. Every episode is intentional, and you leave with a purposeful message. She is genuine and authentic in the way that she hosts her podcast. You can tell she is not trying to be anyone but herself. These things keep me listening and I think it is a great blueprint for a successful podcast.
You are a very successful podcaster yourself. Can you share with our readers the five things you need to know to create an extremely successful podcast? (Please share a story or example for each, if you can.)
1) Have a goal (what is the overall reason you are starting a podcast)
2) Be unique and true to yourself (create something different and be yourself)
3) Share your story (don’t be afraid to be honest and vulnerable with your audience)
4) Create a podcast brand statement and live that (I strive to educate, empower, and encourage)
5) Be consistent
Can you share some insight from your experience about the best ways to: 1) book great guests; 2) increase listeners; 3) produce it in a professional way; 4) encourage engagement; and 5) the best way to monetize it? (Please share a story or example for each, if you can.)
1) Make sure that the person you are booking aligns with the message you are trying to convey with your podcast
2) Increasing listeners is not easy and it will not happen overnight, but you must stay consistent. Talk about your podcast whenever the opportunity presents itself and encourage your guests to share the episodes that they appear on. Also, repurpose your content whenever possible and collaborate.
3) If having an editor is not in your budget you can produce a professional podcast all on your own. Make sure you listen to your episodes before you publish them and edit out as much background noise and silence as possible.
4) To encourage engagement, create content around your episodes to keep the conversations going after the episode has been posted and repost old episodes as much as possible. The great thing about podcasts is that the content is always being discovered by new listeners.
5) Monetizing is one of the hardest things to do when you start a podcast, but it is not impossible. You can sell ad space on your podcast, create merch to sell, have special events with special guests and charge a fee for access, create a patreon account and create special content for listeners that support, look for sponsors that align with your message or content.
For someone looking to start their own podcast, which equipment would you recommend that they start with? Podcasting equipment is vast and constantly changing so it really depends on your technical expertise and your show setup, but you can literally use a computer and zoom. I use my Mac, Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3), and Zoom and it works great.
Ok. We are almost done. 🙂 Because of your position and work, you are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would love to create a movement that would encourage people to follow their dreams and make the changes they need to make to do what they truly desire. I want to help young people realize that some of the things that they are good at can be applied to amazing careers. I think that people take their skills for granted and if they really looked closely at what it takes to be good at certain careers, they would realize they are already halfway there.
How can our readers follow you online?
Follow me on Instagram @theohhellnopodcast and check out my podcast by visiting www.ohhellnopodcast.com or subscribing to my podcast The Oh Hell No Podcast & Side Talk wherever you listen to your podcast
Thank you so much for sharing your time and your excellent insights! We wish you continued success.