I did it! I made it to over 100 episodes. If you want to know what I’ve learned from recording 100 podcast episodes listen to this. My answers might surprise you.
Welcome to The Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the show. This is a special episode but before I get started with it, I wanted to speak to those people who’ve been listening to the podcast, listening religiously to learn what it takes to be a blogger, but haven’t yet started their businesses.
So, we, David, my partner and husband and I, want to help. We started a service called MiloTree Blog Start where we will set up your WordPress blog for you in a really short amount of time.
We will optimize it. We will take the technology piece away so you don’t have to worry about that. And you’ll be set up right. If you want to learn more, head to MiloTree.com/BlogStart. You can read all about it.
If you have questions, please reach out to me at Jillian@MiloTree.com. I want to put more entrepreneurs out there in the world. This is such a cool way to make a living that I feel like more people should be able to start to really kind of take their fate in their own hands.
Okay. For today’s episode, I have Paula Rollo back on the show. She is my friend. She’s the community manager of MiloTree.
We are celebrating my 100th-ish episode. This is a little after a hundred but we decided to take stock and Paula asked me questions about what the podcast means to me. Hopefully, you’ll get to hear how I think about it.
When we finished recording, one thing I said to Paula was, “Ah. The one thing I didn’t share is just how much I love this podcast.” I really do. I love connecting with my guests. I love connecting with you and hearing from you.
I love learning. I love that there’s something personal about it. So, without further delay, I bring you my 100th-ish episode with Paula Rollo. Paula, welcome back to the show.
Paula Rollo 2:20
Thank you for having me back.
Jillian Leslie 2:22
You have not been here in a while. So, I’m very excited to be talking to you. I have to just give a history of how this episode concept came about. You recognized that I was getting close to my 100th episode.
Paula Rollo 2:40
Yes. Which is so huge. Like, I remember talking to you before you started episode one.
Jillian Leslie 2:46
I know. And you were, of course, one of my first guests back when I first started. You said to me, “Okay. Well, what are you going to do for your 100th episode?” I hadn’t even given it any thought.
And then when I started to figure out what my 100th episode was going to be, it was a rebroadcast of one of my most popular episodes from the year because it was over the holidays.
But, we thought, well, let’s do something special for a 100th-ish episode. And we thought, maybe you could ask me some questions about what this journey has been like so far.
Paula Rollo 3:26
Exactly. I think that’s a lot more fun than a rebroadcast.
Jillian Leslie 3:30
Exactly. But I have to tell you that the rebroadcast does really well because somehow that content connects and it’s typically about growing your blog.
Paula Rollo 3:44
Yes. Well, because nobody wants to miss out. Usually, we look at that and like, “Ah, I missed that one. I have to go back and listen.”
Jillian Leslie 3:51
Exactly. Exactly. So yeah, so this will probably be, I don’t exactly know, probably episode 110, 108.
Paula Rollo 4:01
It’s close enough.
Jillian Leslie 4:02
It’s close enough so we’re going to call it the 100th-ish episode.
Paula Rollo 4:06
The 100th celebration.
Jillian Leslie 4:08
Totally. Yes. Yes. And I just have to say that when I started the podcast, it was actually because I went to podcast movement, and I took a course on how to start a podcast.
And I came home and I said to my daughter, who was like 11 at the time, “I’m going to start a podcast.” And she said, “No, you’re not.” And I said, “Yes, I am.”
And I had learned in my course that if you can make it to your eighth episode, you’re more apt to stick with it. So I came home and I said to my daughter, “I’m going to make it to episode eight.”
I weirdly did it as a way to prove to her that I could do it.
Paula Rollo 4:57
Yes. It worked!
Jillian Leslie 4:59
I wanted to show her. All it takes is just some hard work and you can make stuff happen.
Paula Rollo 5:07
She laid down the challenge but didn’t even know it.
Jillian Leslie 5:09
Exactly. Exactly. And I proved her wrong.
Paula Rollo 5:14
Okay. So, I guess something fun to get us started. What is your favorite part about doing this podcast?
Jillian Leslie 5:21
Oh, that’s a good one. Okay. You and I have talked about this. Am I an introvert? Am I an extrovert? When we first met I said I’m an introvert. And now though, I have to say I’ve reevaluated and I think I’m an ambivert.
I do like talking a lot to people but I definitely need to recharge. But what was so cool about starting the podcast was, I could be having what I perceive to be an intimate conversation with somebody. It just so happens that other people are listening.
But when I’m recording the episode, I’m not thinking about that. So it feels very intimate, very one on one, yet I can provide value without that added pressure of like, “Oh, I’m up on a stage or I’m presenting.” I feel like I can go deep. And I don’t feel self-conscious.
Paula Rollo 6:17
That’s interesting. Do you feel more self-conscious if you were face to face with the speaker or if knowing that thousands of people were watching you right now?
Jillian Leslie 6:28
Because I do. I go speak at conferences. In fact, I’m going to be speaking at the Snap Conference this year.
Paula Rollo 6:34
Jillian Leslie 6:34
Are you going to come? Are you coming?
Paula Rollo 6:35
I’m not going to be at that one sadly.
Jillian Leslie 6:37
Okay. So, I like presenting. I weirdly do. But I feel like I put on presenting Jill. I put on this side of me of like, “Oh, I’m standing up here and I’m talking about a certain topic.” I don’t know. It’s a different persona.
I feel like in the podcast, I don’t have that persona and I can be much more authentically me because I’m so focused on listening and hearing what the guest has to say.
And then, I do not think about the fact that thousands of people will be listening to the conversation. If I did that, it would make me incredibly self-conscious.
Paula Rollo 7:19
Yeah, it feels weird just knowing that and just mentioning that right now really. Like I’m standing in front of a thousand people individually, which is how I picture this in my head.
Jillian Leslie 7:28
Wait, say that again. How do you picture it?
Paula Rollo 7:30
Like talking to a thousand individuals versus a room full of a thousand people at one time. Because then it does feel more personal.
Jillian Leslie 7:39
Absolutely. And I do always feel… I really do. This might sound cheesy. I feel really honored to be let into people’s ears.
Paula Rollo 7:51
Yes. It’s intimate. It is.
Jillian Leslie 7:54
Yes. Okay. Another reason I started the podcast is because I listen to podcasts. It’s my jam. I listen in the car every time I’m driving. I listen when I’m picking up a carpool. I’m one of those annoying people with the earbuds in my ear in the grocery store.
I almost will go do errands. If we need to get something, I’ll be like, “I’ll go get it.” because I know I can go off by myself and listen to my podcasts. And so, I weirdly feel like I know those people.
Paula Rollo 8:29
Yes, totally. And then it’s always awkward when you find them at a conference and you’re like, “Hi.”
Jillian Leslie 8:36
Paula Rollo 8:37
And you’re like, “I don’t know you.”
Jillian Leslie 8:38
Yes. Yes. Yes. Sometimes every once in a while somebody will reach out to me and say, “Oh, my God. I listened to all your episodes.”
It was funny because a woman reached out to me and she said, “I really like the sound of your voice. I will listen to your episodes even if I’m not interested in the topic, just because I like your voice.”
Paula Rollo 9:00
Which is so nice.
Jillian Leslie 9:01
It is so nice. I was so like, “Wow!” And then I thought to myself, I wonder if people listen to this to go to sleep, which I would be super happy if that were the case.
If you do listen to this to go to sleep, let me know because I listen to podcasts where I like the person’s voice because it will help me go to sleep.
It distracts me from thinking about my day or thinking about whatever problem I’m facing. And then I will go to sleep. And so, I wonder if people use this podcast to go to sleep.
Paula Rollo 9:33
Yeah. It’s just soothing enough.
Jillian Leslie 9:35
Yeah. So anyway, I love that kind of feedback because it’s so surprising to me.
Paula Rollo 9:41
Interesting. What space do you feel The Blogger Genius Podcast is taking up in our industry? There’s a lot of podcasts that talk about blogging, marketing, and savings, but Blogger Genius is really unique. And so, I’d love to hear how you view that.
Jillian Leslie 9:59
I try to get guests who have different perspectives about building online businesses. And then, I try really hard to ask, to be really curious.
And because I’m here, and this person has agreed to show up for an interview with me, I feel like I can ask questions that people might want to know, but they don’t have the ability to push a little bit to see if we can get past the platitudes.
So for example, when I’m talking to somebody I’m going to interview, what I say is my audience is really sophisticated like you can go deep. And I do say, my audience wants to hear more than just like, “You go girl.” or “You got this.” or “It’s all mindset.”
Now, I do believe mindset is a huge part of building a business but I say if you can give me tactics, if you can give me real takeaways, that is what I want. And if you are willing to share your failures, I want to hear those too.
So I feel like there’s hopefully a realness to what I’m trying to do. I don’t want it to be about me. I really do want it to be about my guest, and about me learning along with the audience.
Paula Rollo 11:37
I think your focus on asking speakers or podcast guests to share their failures has really been interesting over the last hundred episodes, because, you know, we talked about learning from failure all the time, but it’s always helpful to kind of not just listen to a podcast where you’re like, and everything went perfectly for me. And then 10 minutes later, I was a millionaire.
Jillian Leslie 12:03
Paula Rollo 12:05
Hearing those struggles and hearing what was learned has been just fascinating.
Jillian Leslie 12:09
Yeah. And I want to debunk a lot of those myths, like, “Yeah, I just showed up and boom, everybody bought my product. And you’re right. I’m a millionaire now. And then I’m going to teach you how to do that.” I always want to talk about my struggles.
I was just doing a coaching call this morning. My coaching client was making excuses of like, “Oh, I tried to do all these things, and I didn’t get them done.” I said, “Stop. I struggle with that every day.”
And while I do certain things on a schedule, a lot of it is flying by the seat of my pants. I’m just wanting to break it down for her that she’s not alone in this. All those feelings of self-doubt or loneliness or uncertainty.
As I was sharing, I am trying to listen to a calming podcast before I go to bed because I can be up in my head and I can be worried. That is one of the downsides of having your own business is you can worry a lot about it.
Anyway, I really try to share that and not make it all about so and so was just an overnight success. And you can be too.
Paula Rollo 13:28
And to tell people it was after 10 years of hard work. And that’s, I think, what you highlight.
Jillian Leslie 13:32
Yeah, so I want it to be real. I want to show all the facets of it. Now, for me, this is the perfect job in its imperfection, you know, in its anxiety, in its frustration, in all of that stuff.
I feel like it offers me creativity. It challenges me. It enables me to work with David. It enables me to be home. It has so many benefits, but I’m very honest about the struggles and the difficulty.
Paula Rollo 14:07
Jillian Leslie 14:08
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Paula Rollo 16:10
So we’ve talked a little bit about, you know, the past hundred episodes and I am dying to know what’s coming up in the next hundred episodes of Blogger Genius.
Jillian Leslie 16:20
That is a good question. So again, part of it is I’m flying by the seat of my pants. So I am always looking for interesting guests. In fact, if any of you have guests that you think I need to interview, please reach out to me at Jillian@MiloTree.com because I’d love to hear who you want to hear from.
What I would say is one, I want to find people who are building businesses in unique ways. Paula, when we started and we were bloggers, it was a very specific way that you thought about your business.
You’re a blogger. The way you monetize your business was you put ads on your site, you worked with brands, and maybe you did some affiliate sales and kind of that was it.
What I have found is that that’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you are a blogger, and you think that’s the way to monetize, I would say, “Ooh, maybe there are ways to be more creative about it. Maybe there are ways to think beyond that.”
And so, I want to interview people who are stumbling into different solutions. So those are the kinds of guests that I am most interested in talking to, where I go, “Ooh, I hadn’t thought about that.”
And because our businesses are so, I guess, open-ended and are so, you know, you can go any way anywhere with them, I want to find those interesting paths because maybe that could work for you. So that is one thing.
The other thing that we have noticed or I have noticed, especially from people who have reached out to me is a lot of people are… I think of my audience in a variety of ways. There are those people who are bloggers who are in it, who’ve been doing this for a while.
And for those people, again, I want to introduce new ideas, new ways to make money, new ways to think about social media or email or those kinds of things, takeaways for those people.
And in fact, that’s why I told you, I tell my guests, my audience is sophisticated, you don’t have to dumb it down for them. However, there is also a cohort who are listening who are wanting to start businesses.
One thing that David and I have recognized is starting even just a WordPress blog today is challenging. You will spend a tremendous amount of time on Google trying to understand what that even means.
So for those people, what I realized is we want to help those people get off the ground. That’s why, for example, we just rolled out this program called MiloTree Blog Start. MiloTree.com/BlogStart, where we will help get your WordPress blog set up. We will optimize it.
I was telling you this offline before I pressed record that there are all these Snavely details that new bloggers wouldn’t even know. One, for example, is that WordPress will default to making your blog URLs, which is your address for a post, it will automatically put the date into that URL.
You don’t want to have dates in your URL. We know that. So if we set up your WordPress blog, we will make sure that there are no dates in your URLs. I can’t tell you how many bloggers go, “Oh my God, I’m three years in and I have all these dates in my URLs.”
The problem with that is Google sees that content as old because it’s got a date in it. You want your content to be showing up in Google. That is a very expensive and technically challenging thing to change once you’ve started blogging.
Paula Rollo 20:16
Yes. I had to do that at one point. It was not fun.
Jillian Leslie 20:19
It’s not fun. It’s not. And you need somebody who’s really technical to fix all of that. What we realized is, “Oh, there is this opportunity to help new bloggers by getting them set up right.”
I didn’t know that those were people listening to the podcast. I kind of assumed everybody knew this stuff. It’s been humbling because again, as I was telling you, Paula, back when we started, it was simpler. And things have just gotten more complicated.
And so, that is one thing that we’ve noticed and I’m also now starting a coaching group for new bloggers to get them up to speed to go through how do you monetize? What are the different ways? How do you set up your WordPress post? What is keyword research?
All the things that I talked about as if everybody knows them. And what I want to do, Dave and I are going to teach this, is how to break it down. So if you’re interested, please email me at Jillian@MiloTree.com.
I think we’re going to start at the end of February, beginning of March to get this off the ground. But I realized there’s like a bridge that I want to build for my audience for the people who don’t yet know how to do this but who are really wanting to start. I want to help them start.
Paula Rollo 21:37
That’s fun. I think that that’s what we all wish we had 10 years ago. Even though it was easier for us in a way and the market wasn’t as saturated, there was still a lot of trial and error that’s just not necessary today.
If you can get into something like group coaching like what you’re doing, that’ll really help a lot of people kind of get up with the times really quickly.
Jillian Leslie 22:02
Yeah, that’s our hope is to be like a shortcut so they don’t have to struggle learning all the stuff we had to learn and make all the mistakes that we made along the way.
Like not knowing that you have dates in your URL, and then somebody’s going, “That’s a big no-no.” It’s like, “Oh, shoot.” And therefore, people can go off and create content and do the things that are the fun part of growing your business.
Paula Rollo 22:34
Yeah, because there really are so many foundational things that are necessary in order to go do the creative things and the things that are a little bit outside the box and not the low hanging fruit.
But you still have to have this strong foundation or to make a workable business. And so it sounds like that’s going to be the space that you’re filling.
Jillian Leslie 22:55
So yeah, so in terms of podcast episodes, I don’t want to be doing these kinds of fundamental episodes. I want to do that in our coaching group so that then people can go and listen to these episodes and really just accelerate their growth and their business.
But what we did see is that there are a bunch of people who are kind of stuck. They want to start, but they don’t even know how. And I want to say, “Oh, here. I’ll help you. David and I will help you get going.”
And then you can be listening to all of these specific podcast episodes to go, “Oh, that’s how I go deeper in email marketing.” I want to explain what is email marketing. And then, you can go and listen to the episodes and go, “Oh, now it all makes sense.”
Paula Rollo 23:45
So what do you think as far as podcast listening goes, what is the biggest thing that you hope listeners are taking away from your podcast as a whole?
Jillian Leslie 23:54
Ooh, that’s a good question. I really want to help. And I want people to learn and I want you to know that I’m in there learning along with you. Yes, I’ve had more experience or, you know, we’ve been able to grow different businesses but there’s that feeling that we’re all students.
Don’t you believe this? I’m putting words in your mouth because now how are you going to say, “No, I don’t believe this Jill.”
But just the idea that in order to be successful on the internet, you have to be a continual student. You have to put on the hat of I don’t know how to do this, and I’m going to figure it out.
Paula Rollo 24:38
I think 100% you do. Everything’s changing so quickly. We just have to learn to keep up.
Jillian Leslie 24:44
And I want to say there’s a selfish piece to the podcast so that I can go reach out to somebody and go, “I’ve got this podcast, will you come on? And then, can I learn from you? Can I pick your brain?”
Last night, I went to an event here in Austin for Product Hunt, which is like a place where you can launch different products. By the way, I will tell you what I learned.
What David and I are is we are considered indie makers. The people who create apps like MiloTree, I never knew what to call us.
Are we entrepreneurs, whatever? We are indie makers. So all of you guys, you are indie makers. But anyway, that was like the cool bro kind of startup term for it.
Anyway, I’m listening to these people. I thought they were really interesting. And having a podcast, I can go up to them and go, “Hey, I have a podcast. Would you come on my podcast?”
Whereas before that, I would just be able to ask two questions and then seem really rude, or like I was prying, or I was trying to take up all of their time. But if I can get them on my show, then they’re willing to share.
So there is definitely a component of this, which is it gives me an entree to learn what are the current trends because as you say, everything is changing so quickly.
Paula Rollo 26:13
That’s me. It’s almost like an hour of coaching with whoever it might be. And then, we all get to benefit from that, which makes it really really fun.
Jillian Leslie 26:21
Absolutely. So I think that that has always been my goal, which is, can I teach without being teachery? Can I help more than teach? Can I help? And can I get you on the right path?
And because I am always in this constant dance of trying to touch myself with kindness, which is not always easy. Can I help you do that too?
Because again, I do think mindset and I do think compassion is a really big component to growing a business. Especially to be in it day in and day out and face yourself and face your own struggles.
I think there is no better way to work on yourself and your own issues then being an entrepreneur.
Paula Rollo 27:10
I love that. Okay. So to close this out, looking back over the last hundred, looking forward to another wonderful hundred, can you just give a personal message to all the listeners out there who are really trying to build something amazing right now?
Maybe they’re having a great day. Maybe they’re having an off day. I know that you have so much encouragement and almost pixie dust to share with people. And so, I’d love to just hear a message from you for all of your listeners.
Jillian Leslie 27:43
Totally. Okay. First, I would say please join my Facebook group because I’m in there all the time. If you want that daily interaction, I really try to be in there present, cheering people on.
My Facebook group is the MiloTree Mastermind group. I would love more people to join because it’s such a really wonderful community of supportive entrepreneurs.
And I guess, to close with some thoughts, I would say that it is a dance. There are days where you will show up and you will kick butt and you will feel so good about yourself.
There will be other days where you will be so low and you will think, “What am I doing?”, “Who am I to really think I can do this?”, and “I should quit right now.”
And I would say it’s probably when you are great, it’s probably not as great as you think. And when it is bad, it’s probably not as bad as you think. The goal is to have that ability to say “Ha. I’m feeling all these feelings but is there a way for me to also have perspective.”
And to know that tomorrow is another day, and that I can continue to fight the fight or be on the journey or be connecting with my visitors, or my customers, or whomever, and that I am making a difference.
Whether it be for myself, whether it be for my family, whether it be for my visitors, and my customers, all of that stuff matters so to stay in it.
If you are having a bad day, please again, reach out to me because I will hopefully be able to shine the light for you and show you the path ahead.
Paula Rollo 29:41
I love it.
Jillian Leslie 29:42
All right, awesome!
Paula Rollo 29:43
Congratulations on 100 episodes, Jill.
Jillian Leslie 29:46
And we will do this for 200.
Paula Rollo 29:50
Jillian Leslie 29:51
Awesome. Well, thank you again, Paula, for being on the show.
Paula Rollo 29:54
Thank you for having me.
Jillian Leslie 29:56
I hope you guys liked that episode. It was really fun to do. I like reflecting back on my journey and what our journey going forward will look like. It’s just a really important part of my life, this podcast.
If in fact you like this and you want to be part of my community, please head to Facebook and join my Facebook group. It’s called the MiloTree Mastermind group. I’m in there all the time.
It is such a lovely group of bloggers and entrepreneurs. It’s really fun. So again, it is the MiloTree Mastermind group on Facebook. It’s a private Facebook group. I would love to see you there. And I will be here again next week.
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