How I Started A Podcast Business From Home

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revenue/mo
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Q&A Selling Onlin...
from Edmonton, Alberta
started July 2017
$0
revenue/mo
1
Founders
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Employees
3.57M
alexa rank
8.95K
followers
4.88K
followers
reviews
social media
productivity
freelance

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

My name is Quin Amorim, and I started the QA Selling Online podcast in 2017.

The podcast is, just like the title says, about selling online, eCommerce in general, but with a bigger focus on selling on Amazon.

As a creator of private label brands and being an Amazon FBA seller myself, I’m very passionate about anything related to selling products over the internet.

I run this show from my home office in Canada, and often get visited by my twins, as you can see in the picture.

As of December 2018, QA Selling Online passed the 50K downloads per month!

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What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I started selling online in 1997, way before it was cool to sell online.

Not because I wanted to start an online business, but out of necessity, in order to have money to party with my friends.

I was living in Portugal, a small country in Europe with perfect weather, beautiful beaches and the 4th most peaceful country on earth!

If you are going to take action, make sure you are taking the right action, and finish the steps of that action.

Even though I had a decent 9-5 job, I still struggled to stretch my salary until the end of the month, so I always kept my eyes open to new opportunities.

One day I saw some wooden statues for sale on a window display of a store, they were hand carved statues of people and animals. I wanted to buy every single one for myself, but the reality is that I couldn't afford a single one.

Because the storefront was very hidden, I started to imagine how many other people with money would have bought all those statues if they only knew they existed.

On the drive home I started to think about that “New American website that has auctions”, and maybe I could sell them there… That new website was eBay, and that day I opened an account (that I still have 21 years later) and I found out that, I could sell things on eBay.com, since there was no eBay in Portugal.

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The next day, I took my camera to work (No smartphone yet) took pictures of all the statues in the store, when home and uploaded them all to eBay with a 100% markup, and my plan was to sell the item on my picture, collect the money, then go back to the store buy it, and ship to the customer in the USA.

What I did back in 1997, today would be called a weird form of Dropshipping, but I didn’t know the term, so I called it “Selling the Picture” because the picture was the only thing I owned at the time.

With time, I realized that selling unique, handmade products wasn’t scalable, because there was only one of each, and if someone bought the item from the store before I got there, I had to refund the purchases and risk getting bad feedback.

Years later I stumbled across a Chinese website called DHgate and started buying products in bulk, and a few years after that I started creating my own private label products, sourcing from Alibaba.

Discovering podcasts and new media

Fast forward to 2016, I discovered podcasts and audiobooks.

My mind was blown, with the amount of free information out there and I got a huge feeling of loss for not know about podcast all those years!

So, I started binge listening to podcasts for several hours every day. While driving, while working, in bed, and I even set up waterproof speakers inside the shower.

My mindset finally changed to be more “GIVE” instead of “GIVE ME” and I fell in love with the idea of helping others.

With over 20 years of experience, I didn’t need to feel impostor syndrome, and I decided to start my own podcast, and remove the things I didn't like from all the podcasts I was listening too: ** advertising!**

Until then, I was always a very private person online, because I saw social media as a gossip tool, and a way for competitors to take my ideas.

When I started my podcast, I still had my Facebook account private, my Instagram Private, had never used my Twitter account and my Linkedin didnt even have a Picture!

But after a life changing event that forced me and my family out of my home for 45 days, I developed a huge passion for helping others as they helped me, and it was such an amazing feeling.

As per that life changing event, it was just like something out of a “end of the world” movie… I was involved in the most expensive catastrophe in Canadian history!

A fire that destroyed 3200 buildings worth $3.6 Billion and burned 1.5 Million acres in the oil city of Fort McMurray.

When things got out of control, the government executed a mandatory city evacuation, and 90K people had to squeeze out of town through a single one lane highway , to the nearest city 500km away!

The mandatory evacuation lasted 45 days, and only after that was the population allowed back to see what was left.

During those 45 days, thousands of people all over the world shared their support with the habitants of Fort McMurray, and the feeling was overwhelming.

Since the only thing I had was one SUV packed with clothes, wife, kids the cat and nothing else, I had lots and lots of time to think about stuff I had never thought about. Like, the meaning of life, law of attraction, being pretty much homeless and having the best time of my life traveling the country for 45 days.

Now I love social media as a tool to spread knowledge and information that can change people’s lives just like it changed mine. And I do so by sharing both my podcasts, growing my social media followers and engaging with every single one of them, personally to answer their questions,

Take us through the process of getting started and launching.

Believe it or not, I watched a YouTube video of how to launch a podcast!

Since I already had a VPS server that I rent for about $100 a month, I just created a WordPress site with the domain qasellingonline.com downloaded a free plugin called PowerPress, downloaded the free Audacity podcasting software, and bought an $80 USB microphone.

For the first 2 months the average was 60 downloads per episode, and then something exciting started to happen. The number of listeners started to triple every week, and now it continues to grow week after week.

The one thing I didn't learn on the video, was that during your first 20 or 30 episodes, you become VERY judgemental of your own voice, and it would take me 1 hour to edit a 10-minute episode. Now I’ve stopped caring about how I sound and, on top of that, I even outsource the sound editing.

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The initial costs were pretty minimal, but as time goes by, and I create 5 episodes per week, the costs start to multiply. The MP3 size of each episode ads to disc space and the Bandwidth increases through the roof the more listeners I get, plus I have 2 part time VAs, for sound editing and sometimes for show notes.

As for the content for the show, my first episodes were reading questions that I had received from Facebook groups, and answering them on the air.

After I while I ran out of questions, and just started thinking of all the small things that I struggled with, and that now I thought were obvious.

Only after the first 100 episodes I started to receive requests to interview experts in certain fields, and it helped grow faster, so in 2019 I want to interview everyone!

Although my story may sound like it was super easy, for several weeks I was the only listener. I could double the number of downloads simply by playing my show on more than one iPhones hahaha.

For the first 2 months the average was 60 downloads per episode, and then something exciting started to happen. The number of listeners started to triple every week, and now it continues to grow week after week.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

For the launch, I thought I was going to do something that most other podcasters wouldn't do. Create Facebook Ad campaigns, sales funnels, show social proof, pixel the site visitors and retarget them after every new episode, and several other techniques that we all use in eCommerce.

Although that works in most product launches, it had minimal effect for the podcast launch, and the marketing campaign failed to generate the buzz I expected.

I couldn’t understand why that would work to sell a product, but now that I was giving something away for free, people would not download or subscribe to the podcast.

In 2017, this exact marketing technique generated 34 Million views to a product Ad campaign, and generated $118K in sales in 4 days, with an Ad spend of $57!

You can be the most experienced marketer, plumber, electrician, or even a designer, but if nobody knows you exist, nobody will ask for your services.

In order to grow my listener base, since I didn’t have 2 or 3 million followers, I simply had to offer good content, in a consistent basis and using good SEO on titles and description so I could be found by search.

One last thing I’ve done to retain the audience, is offer the content without any sales pitches or advertising. Not even to my own services!

On several podcasts I’ve listened too, some have up to 4 minutes of ads just on the intro alone. And, I understand that most podcasters have the podcast as their source of income, therefor place ads on the show, and I agree 100% with that, although as a listener I don’t like ads so I decided to make the QA Selling Online Podcast absolutely Ad free, even from my own products and services.

Some podcasts sound like webinars for a sales course, where the listener is not 100% sure if that tool, or product is being recommended because it really works, or if it’s because the host will get a kickback.

That’s another reason I don’t allow sales on the show.

What’s the business model and how you do make money?

The show doesn’t make any revenue directly, but indirectly it generates influence, partnerships and even several brands that have reached out for me to manage their Amazon seller accounts.

Even though I lose money to air the podcast every day, in the long run, it’s a very good investment for my personal brand.

Since QA Selling Online is available on all platforms, the goal for 2019, is to have more guests on the show, instead of solo episodes, and reach 1 million downloads.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

I know it sounds ridiculous, but after doing a couple hundred episodes you start to get complacent and forget to press the record button.

This applies to any business situation, I learned that it doesn't matter how much of an expert you are at something, you should always have operating procedures and a checklist.

As for a real advantage, I keep checking Google trends to see what the newest and next big thing is, then I see it that trend can fit in my niche and by bringing up the subject, I can use it in the title of the episode.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

QA Selling Online Podcast is currently available on all Podcast platforms. From iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Soundcloud, Spreaker, and even Alexa.

My favorite tools in general (not just podcast related) are:

Jungle Scout (Search Amazon for product and niche demand), Zapier (Because Automation!), Slack (Communicate with my Kitchen Cabinet Business Partners), Fiverr (you can find amazing quality work), Feedback Genius (Asks every single buyer on Amazon for Feedback and reviews), LinkedIn (lead Generation) and Podcasting :)

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

The best books in my life were:

My favorite podcasts:

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

I want to give advice that doesn't apply to everybody.

Every single day on social media we are bombarded with the same sentence from all motivational speakers, gurus, experts etc. The famous sentence “TAKE ACTION”

What happens today in most cases is that some entrepreneurs take too much action!

Or better yet, take too many actions before finishing the previous action.

I often see entrepreneurs working with 20 to 30 open tabs on a computer and they want to do every single task at the same time, even if they are not even from related projects.

What happens is that, after sitting in front of the computer for 4 or 5 or 10 hours, they can’t think of one single task they completed (besides the Facebook and Instagram comments)

Sitting in front of a computer switching through tabs is doing lots, but not getting lots done.

So, my advice is, If you are going to take action, make sure you are taking the right action, and finish the steps of that action.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!

-  
Quin Amorim,   Founder of Q&A Selling Online Podcast

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