If there is one thing I’ve learned being a freelancer, it’s that you can’t stop learning. Being in business for yourself means there won’t be anyone around to tell you what to do and how to do it — it’s up to you to stay up to speed with the latest trends.
One way I have done that is to listen to regular podcasts. Currently, I drive my kids a long way to and from school and the time sitting in the car just kills me when I have a lot to do. Listening to podcasts not only results in a productive drive, it sparks ideas before I begin the day.
Over the past 2-3 months, I have tested a number of podcasts to help me as a freelance writer and marketing professional. The five I list here are a diverse group of resources that help me in a number of key areas.
Darren Rowse is a fantastic resource as a blogger. He touches on everything from content generation when you’re in the midst of a “blogger block” to monetization. I have been blogging for a long time, but only recently transitioned to making it my business. Darren offers a number of suggestions for making that leap, and publishes multiple episodes per week.
His podcast series “Today not Someday” is what caught my attention recently. He listed the things he had on his “someday list” that he could never seemed to get to, and talked about dedicating himself to moving those things onto his “today list.” He challenged his listeners to do the same for things such as adding a product to your blog, becoming an affiliate marketer, and building your newsletter list.
High-Income Business Writing
Ed Gandia is the host of this bi-weekly podcast that focuses on business writing and copywriting. The biggest thing this podcast provides me is a way to manage my overall business: communication with clients, pricing my work, setting the right expectations, and more. Ed sometimes hosts these podcasts solo, but more often than not interviews a guest with a specific area of expertise.
Recently, I took a lot out of an episode about managing money as a freelancer. Having worked a salary job for nearly a decade, budgeting with sporadic income has been stressful at best. Ed interviewed Dianna Huff, a business-to-business marketing professional. Dianna spoke about her challenges managing money as a freelancer, which opened my eyes to a better way to do what I’d been failing miserably at!
The Art of Paid Traffic
Rick Mulready is the host of “The Art of Paid Traffic” podcast, which highlights best practices for generating and converting ad campaigns. This is a podcast helpful to me in terms of marketing my clients as well as marketing my own business. It is probably the most tangible teaching podcast I’ve discovered thus far. Think about it: creating effective ad units is something you would learn in a college course, but being able to keep up to date with the latest trends on Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon, and more makes it easy.
What Rick does that I really love is highlight real-life case studies from both novice and professional advertisers. Recently he hosted Amanda Greville, an entrepreneur with a wedding invitation business. Amanda recently had a 5,000-percent return on investment with a Facebook ad campaign! I learned a lot from the episode, and that’s just one example of what Rick provides.
Your Website Engineer
I don’t know the percentage of business websites hosted on WordPress these days, but I know it’s up there. Dustin Hartzler helps all of us who don’t have an engineering degree navigate our way through our WordPress.org sites. While I may know HTML and CSS, my skill set definitely leans toward the creative side rather than the programming side, so Dustin’s expertise is a must for me.
When I first began using WordPress.org, it didn’t take me long to grow frustrated trying to “speak the language” of the interface, not knowing where to find anything or how to edit so I could get the most out of my website. Now I host a number of websites for others and am growing increasingly comfortable with the back-end of Wordpress, thanks in large part to Dustin.
The only downside for listening to his Podcasts in the car is that I can’t look through my websites while he’s talking!
The Productivity Podcast
I told you this list would span across all areas of my business! We’ve touched on blogging, business writing, ad campaigns, and WordPress … but what about putting that all together into a productive day?
I don’t know about you, but that’s one of my biggest struggles as a new freelancer. When you work for someone else in an office, your day can ebb and flow and you’ll still get paid the same amount at the end of the day. When you work for yourself, though, your paycheck ebbs and flows based on how good you are at managing your time.
I turn to this podcast when I’m in a rut and need a swift kick in the rear. Paul Minors is the host of this relatively new show, and he has touched on everything from procrastination to getting started as a part-time entrepreneur. I don’t struggle with a lack of motivation as much as I burn myself out by thinking about everything I have to do. Paul has given me invaluable strategies for coping with that!
Do you know of any great podcasts that I missed? Please comment and let me know!