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No. 020 Why Podcasting is a Crappy Hobby, but a Great Job (Or is it?)
12th August 2015 • The Showrunner • Rainmaker Digital LLC
00:00:00 00:31:07

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And now for something slightly different. This episode was recorded backwards and worked surprisingly well (or did it?).

This episode was inspired by a statement made by Roman Mars during his keynote presentation at Podcast Movement 2015.

As you will hear, both Jerod and I have strong and opposing opinions about Roman’s choice of words. In the end, we both realized that Jon’s opinions on this matter are better articulated, contradictory of his original points, and plain funnier.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Is podcasting really a shit hobby, but a great job ?
  • The importance of taking your audience 100% seriously
  • Why you have to treat your podcast like a job before it can ever become one
  • Jonny explains his decision to become Mr. Contradiction

Our listener question this week is brought to you by The Showrunner Podcasting Course. The course is open for the next two days of this being published. As of today, you get everything, forever. In the future, there will be a recurring price to maintain access to the community and ongoing education. Right now, it s all included.

Go and check it out (we’ll wait here):

And this week’s listener question comes to us from Sally J. Fox (via iTunes). Could you two open up to what kind of resources you use on the backside for post-production or support for the podcast?

Jerod and I provide our resources, contractors, and thoughts on hiring people to help with your show.

And finally, this week’s podcast recommendation.

The Show Notes:

Listen, learn, enjoy …

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The Transcript

No. 020 Why Podcasting Is a Crappy Hobby, but a Great Job (or Is It?)

Voiceover: Rainmaker.FM is brought to you by The Showrunner Podcasting Course, your step-by-step guide to developing, launching, and running a remarkable show. Registration for the course is open August 3rd through the 14th, 2015. Go to to learn more.

Jerod Morris: Welcome to The Showrunner, where we have one goal: teach you how to develop, launch, and run a remarkable show. Ready?

Should we just put a note? Should I just record a quick note at the beginning? “Part of what we’re talking about today is a quote from Roman Mars.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, I would.

Jerod Morris: He used the ‘sh’ word.

Jonny Nastor: I would do that, yeah. We use it to quote him only, and that’s it. You could even use that as a tiny lesson, if you will. That’s kind of how I think of it, and probably you, it’s our own show. We can do what we want, but we also have to respect our audience. But it’s not really respecting my show if I’m going to bleep it all out or cut it all up, you know?

Jerod Morris: Yeah. Though I don’t feel we used it gratuitously, either.

Jonny Nastor: No, we didn’t. We only used it in the “Sh*t hobby, great job?” That’s exactly the verbatim quote.

Jerod Morris: All right. I’ll record a real quick thing at the beginning. Wait, why don’t we just record it right now together?

Jonny Nastor: I’m still recording.

Jerod Morris: I am, too. Can we use the explanation that we just had?

Jonny Nastor: I think we probably can. It’s funny. Everything we’ve done today has just been like, “Can we just use what we just had rather than re-do it because we’re still recording?”

Jerod Morris: Well, it’s real. I guess we could go back and make it formal. “Hey, everybody. This is Jerod. I just want to let you know that in the middle of this episode … ” I think it’s better. We just explained it in a real way. I bet we can find a way to chop that up.

Jonny Nastor: I think so. I think we can, too. It is a good lesson. It is your show. You should be able to do what you want, but at the same time, you got to respect your audience.

Jerod Morris: Sweetness.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, if they’re driving around in the car with kids because they always know that our shows are clean, then we should warn them. I’ve actually heard that. I think I heard that once on Pat’s show because Pat’s usually really clean. Well, he is. But his guest once, and he just said that at the beginning.

Jerod Morris: Okay.

Welcome back everybody to episode no. 20 of The Showrunner podcast. I’m your host Jerod Morris, VP of Rainmaker.FM. I’m joined, as always by Jonny Nastor, defender of humanity and hypothetical host of ‘Smack the Entrepreneur.’ Jonny, it’s wonderful to have you here.

Jonny Nastor: Thanks. Thanks so much for allowing me to come on the show. It’s going to be fun.

Jerod Morris: This is a very interesting opening that we’re doing. We’re actually recording the opening after recording the entire episode. I wanted to give folks a little peek behind the curtain as to why.

For a while, you and I, as soon as we would get on Skype, we would start hitting record just so that during our pre-show process when we’re planning it out, if we had a really good conversation, we would have it recorded. We stopped doing that for a few weeks. This time, as soon as both of us got on Skype, unbeknownst to the other, we both hit record. We have these four topics that we were going to choose from for this episode. While we were going over that, we kind of spontaneously just jumped into one of them and just decided to roll from there.

That became the episode. We rolled into the listener question, the podcast recommendation. That wouldn’t have really happened if we hadn’t been recording. I guess what I want to point out with this opening is you can’t always do this with a guest, although I think it’s a good idea if you do, if you can. Certainly, I think, when you have co-hosts, a lot of times we get on here, and some of the best conversations come when we’re relaxed at the beginning or at the end.

Roll that tape the whole time if you end up getting into something spontaneously without really planning it. That way you have it. We’ve had times where that’s happened, and then we tried to recreate it later when recording the ‘episode.’ It never comes out the same. I just wanted to point out that it was totally spontaneous today. We didn’t plan on that happening, but sometimes you get those little bits of audio gold, or conversation gold. You wouldn’t have had them if you weren’t recording.

Jonny Nastor: Now, people are going to be let down when they get to the conversation. They’re like, “Well, I don’t know if I call this gold.”

Jerod Morris: Yeah, I know. “It sounds like these guys just started talking randomly.”

Jonny Nastor: “And neither of them knew that they were recording.” Wow. But you know what’s really great now is that there is this outro done of this episode. It is really gold. You’re going to be really excited when you get there. I wouldn’t have known this if we hadn’t done this in this backwards way, but Jerod just did the greatest outro to one of our episodes I think we’ve ever done.

Jerod Morris: Okay, now if we let them down with the main topic at least we can redeem it with the outro. All right. So start recording from the beginning. That’s the main idea.

Jonny Nastor: See, this would be a great hobby, but it’s also a really good job.

Jerod Morris: It’s both. It is. It’s both. It really is. All right, speaking of which, let’s go on to today’s main topic.

Jonny Nastor: They are going to take us off the air one of these days.

Jerod Morris: Yes, they are. Just get in as many good episodes as we can before that happens.

All right, so we get to record an episode. I like all the ideas that you have here for episodes. I think each one could be its own episode.

Is Podcasting Really a ‘Sh*t Hobby, but a Great Job’?

Jonny Nastor: Yeah. Well, I wasn’t sure if you would accept them all. They’re from my giant list. It was weird. I don’t know why. I have that notes app on my phone, and every time somebody told me of a show of theirs that I wanted to hear, something I wanted to remember, or somebody said something on stage, I just wrote down. I don’t know who said all of them, but it was like going through.

Jerod Morris: Yeah. I don’t know that I agree with the whole “podcasting is a sh*t hobby, but a great job,” but that would be a great discussion. I think it can be a great hobby that turns into a phenomenal job. It depends on if you love it.

Jonny Nastor: See, I agree with him in the sense that, I’m doing three or four episodes a week now between the two shows. That would be a sh*tty hobby. You know what I mean? If I kept Hack the Entrepreneur at one episode, I don’t think I could have turned it into a job, and it would have been a good hobby.

Jerod Morris: That’s interesting.

Jonny Nastor: There was a point around week six where I was told, “This might be the chance where you can either just go all in on this, Jon, and it could work out really well. Or else you can just keep moseying along, and it probably will just sort of stay where it is.” I went to three episodes, and it turned it into a job. That would have sucked as a hobby. It’s a lot of work, man.

Jerod Morris: Well, okay, you’re right. It would have sucked as a hobby if you then had another job. Where I think about that, where I contrast with it I guess, is The Assembly Call, which is still basically a hobby. Hopefully, this year it turns into something that generates revenue, but during the season, that’s doing three, four episodes a week. But it is a hobby. I guess it is sh*t in the sense that it’s a lot of work and late nights, and I think about quitting it after every season.

Jonny Nastor: You do, yes.

Jerod Morris: But I stay with it because I love it, which makes it an awesome hobby. I do love it and have gotten a lot out of it. I don’t quit because I love it so much. It’s a hobby that’s really more than a hobby, but hasn’t ever quite been a job, but maybe could be. I guess that’s part of why it’s been successful. I’ve treated it like more than a hobby even though that’s what it’s been.

Jonny Nastor: That’s interesting. You’re right. If I had a job, it would have been a sh*t hobby, but I also didn’t have a job. I couldn’t just keep it as a sh*t hobby — for only so long and putting so much effort into it. At some point, I had to turn it into a job or else I had to create something else. It’s just how the nature of what I do is.

Jerod Morris: Okay, but how do we reconcile this? We always talk about how people need to love their topic. It should be something that they would talk about for hours at a bar. That’s kind of what a hobby is, so I have trouble calling it a sh*t hobby when you’re also saying it should be something that you do not just for the money, but that you love. How do you kind of reconcile those?

The Importance of Taking Your Audience 100% Seriously

Jonny Nastor: You’re not doing it just for the money. That’s wrong. I don’t think that’s the discussion point. To me, the whole basis of what Roman said was that you have to absolutely value and take your audience 100 percent serious. He was discussing this in the idea of ads and creating ads that are only going to super value your audience. You’re creating the ads to make them as good as the content and that your audience is going to get as much from the ads as they are from the content.

The reason why is because you need more ads because it’s a sh*t hobby. You know what I mean? That was his whole thing. It was all about the audience. I think sometimes when you are just thinking of it as a hobby, you don’t take it serious enough. Therefore, you don’t take your audience serious enough. That stops it from ever possibly being a job.

Jerod Morris: I agree with that. I do agree with that. I’m still not sure I like the descriptor of a sh*t hobby, but I agree with what you’re saying there.

Jonny Nastor: It’s just a catchy thing he said. He said so many really impressive things through that whole thing, and that’s all I wrote down. I was just like, “Man, that’s awesome.” I wasn’t sitting there analyzing like, “Hmm, is this totally right on all sides?” No. It was a great sound bite. It was awesome. I would actually rather do the first one first if you could.

Jerod Morris: I’ve been recording.

Jonny Nastor: I’ve been recording, too, actually.

Jerod Morris: Have you really? I thought we were going to tell each other when we were recording?

Jonny Nastor: Apparently not, Mr. Smack the Entrepreneur.

Jerod Morris: That’s true. We never said that. We’re allowed to record at any time.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, you clarified that yesterday. “No. We’re always recording.”

Why You Have to Treat Your Podcast Like a Job Before It Can Ever Become One

Jerod Morris: Yeah. Always recording. All right. I guess I see that. I definitely agree with the whole idea that you’ve got to take your audience seriously. Even if it is a hobby, “because it’s not your job, and you’re not making money from it, and you still have a full-time job.” If you actually want it to grow, then you’ve got to treat it like a job in the sense of taking your schedule seriously, taking your audience seriously. It’s like act as if, right?

If you ever want to quit your job to have this podcast, at some point, you’re going to have to treat your podcast like a job before it is your job.

Jonny Nastor: Horse before the cart, yeah. You have to treat it like a job before it’s a job or else it won’t ever become a job. Everybody that we saw give keynotes and stuff, they went all in. Either they had the ability because they didn’t have jobs at the time and they were in between stuff, like Marc Maron. You know what I mean? Those kind of things.

He had years of experience of hard work and then just thought, “Oh, I can do this, and turn this maybe.” Even without knowing it could turn into a job, but taking it super serious. As serious as you would if a boss was watching over you, telling you that this isn’t good enough. “This shouldn’t go out. That doesn’t sound well when it’s edited. That art work looks terrible. That show notes are bad. That ad should not be in your show.” It’s like you have producers and stuff.

You need to treat it like this. Otherwise, it’ll never happen like that. A producer doesn’t step in and be like, “Oh, I want to work with this crappy show.” No. They step in because they want to work with an amazing show that seems like it already has a producer.

Jerod Morris: And because your audience will take it as seriously as you take it.

Jonny Nastor: Yes.

Jerod Morris: Legitimately.

Jonny Nastor: They can’t take it more serious than you. They just can’t.

Jerod Morris: That’s a big problem, especially if you set a precedent of taking it very seriously and then it starts to fall off, but people have been led to believe that you’re taking it at a certain level of seriousness. They expect more from you.

Jonny Nastor: You know what’s...