My Tog Blog About Awesome Content Creation

Get Off the Content Treadmill! A Conversation with Misbah Haque.

July 18, 2022 Misbah Haque (guest) Season 1 Episode 2
My Tog Blog About Awesome Content Creation
Get Off the Content Treadmill! A Conversation with Misbah Haque.
Show Notes Transcript

Do you ever feel like you're on a content production treadmill? Well, you're not alone. Most of us have felt like this as content creators at one time or another.  

The key to getting off that treadmill is being strategic with the time invested in your content production. In this episode, that's the topic of my conversation with Misbah Haque, an experienced podcaster and the owner of Podmahal, which is a great resource for beginner and experienced podcasters alike. 

We talk about Misbah's experience as a podcaster and how long-form content production, such as a podcast, can help create a digital asset that can lead to other opportunities, deepen the connection with your audience, and drive content ideas and production for your other platforms.

It's a discussion that I hope can help you think about different ways you can maximize the time you spend producing content, so you can get the most from the efforts you're putting in. 

Music and effects are licensed under StoryBlocks.  Closing track: Reaping Havoc, by Humans Win (formerly Lance Conrad). 

Thanks for listening! Have a comment or question about a topic or episode? I'd love to hear that. Feel free to connect with me via Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Also, check out the store link on my website for resources and merch for content creators.

[00:00:00] Tim: Do you ever feel like you're on a bit of a treadmill as a content creator?

[00:00:07] Tim: You're posting content consistently on channels like Instagram and Twitter, maybe you're even growing an audience a little, but the organic traffic isn't there. So at the end of the day, it just feels like you've created a slightly larger audience that now needs to be sustained with even more content.

[00:00:23] Tim: What if I told you there was a way to gain organic traffic that -over time- could generate impressions on its own through search and recommendations. And not only that, these long-form pieces of content could give you multiple pieces of short-form content that could be used to support your content production for platforms such as Instagram and Twitter.

[00:00:44] Tim: That's the topic of my conversation today with Misbah Haque. He is an experienced podcaster from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, owner of Podmahal, which is a great resource for podcasters about how to be successful in podcasting. And today we're gonna be talking about how podcasting can help you to get off the content treadmill as a content creator.

[00:01:04] Tim: Misbah, welcome to the show. We're gonna get talking about today's topic shortly. But I was wondering if as a way of getting started, you could talk a little bit about who you are and how you got into this podcasting game. 

[00:01:18] Misbah: Oh, yeah. Well, first of all, thank you so much for having me. Um, I really loved your Instagram and what you're kind of doing on there.

[00:01:25] Tim: Thank you. 

[00:01:26] Misbah: So I always love coming on and listening to people's longer form conversations when you love kind of what they do on Instagram, cuz it's often very different, and has more context, and all that good stuff. So yeah, anyways, to kind of give you a little bit of background on me, I came from the fitness industry. Ever since I was like 15, I knew I kind of wanted to be in that world.

[00:01:48] Misbah: And that really just stemmed from being a really skinny Indian kid. I wrestled, wasn't very good at it until towards the end, where I started some resistance training. And that rabbit hole really kind of led me down like 10 years, where I kind of tried to find different niches and really learned about content creation through that journey. Just outta necessity. Because I always felt like, okay, I'm a younger dude, especially at that time. I wanted to be taken seriously. I was trying to coach people online that was kind of my dream.

[00:02:21] Misbah: Um, and I was doing a lot of in person. I was on the real-life treadmill, right. With, uh, coaching classes and, you know, all boot camps, all that good stuff. It was really fun, but I was working three different jobs. And then also I was like, okay, it's time to build something that's like an asset. And I just realized I love podcasts and I loved writing.

[00:02:45] Misbah: Um, mm-hmm and so it started off as a blog originally. I was like, it was a safer way for me to kind of, you know, go into it and then. You know, six months later I talked to this podcast, I, I really admired. He was like one of the top, and still is I think in that fitness world, um, games, competitor, stuff like that. And you know, he just had kind of a, his validation on like, dude, you should do this, taking the time to talk to me for 30 minutes on the phone, when he didn't have to. 

[00:03:16] Misbah: It really like, Tim, I can't tell you the fire that it lit under me. Like it was August 1st or second where I had that conversation and by August 29th, like I had three episodes with like pretty, you know, renowned people in the fitness world that I really like had admired. And it was out. I released it and was kind of in the habit. I just put myself out there, even though I was so scared to death. 

[00:03:43] Misbah: So that was, you know, now six years ago. With the podcasting starting out with it and then back on labor day of 2020 , you know, I was writing about 150 to 300 workouts a week for clients all over the world.

[00:03:57] Misbah: Podcasting helped me kind of land my dream gig. My dream internship. And so, you know, then I kind of decided to go all in. I was like, I want something. More creative. I want something where I, you know, I, I really enjoyed what I'm doing in fitness, but, uh, doing it at that level, I just realized doing a lot of things, just like all the time, full time, is not my cup of tea. 

[00:04:20] Misbah: It's like, how do you spend time in your zone of genius? In the side hustle, you want to do painting furniture, rebuilding or flipping stuff might not be your full-time thing, but you might get a lot of fulfillment out of it. And that's kind of like the core of it for me first. And then I think it's like the money part is really a necessity thing to figure out, to fund all the art you kind of wanna make, you know. 

[00:04:43] Tim: Yeah. That's what allows you to devote more time to it is, is , the financial part. But you're right. I think it has to be at first a labor of love, because there's so much that goes into creating content: coming up with ideas, researching, producing it, distributing it. And that's where it does become a bit of a mill if you're, especially if you're doing short-term, short-form content repetitively. 

[00:05:08] Tim: And I think, you know, one of the interesting differences about longer form content like YouTube and podcasting is the, you know, creation of those kinds of assets. And I guess one question would be what platforms did you start on before you got into podcasting? And how has your relationship with those platforms changed over time? 

[00:05:28] Misbah: Oh, yeah, cuz it's evolved. And I made a lot of mistakes, Tim. So let me fill you in here. So I started off with a WordPress site that I probably shouldn't have at the time. It should have been Wix or Squarespace because like simplicity and all that stuff.

[00:05:42] Misbah: But I invested way too much money into letting this guy build my site. And it was something, I just, it was good. It allowed me to build something up and I did get that blog, where it was really like posting my podcast and stuff on there as well. But I got it to maybe a couple of thousand visits or something per month.

[00:06:02] Misbah: And then at the same time, I was six months later. Like I said, once that blog started, I started the podcast. So I was on Apple and Spotify. I wasn't doing video, at the time, which I really wish I did because like, even if I didn't publish, I wish I had just the visual with the amount of guests that I had, because like I did have some really cool guests on that show which it almost feels like unless you go back and find it, or I really push it to you, you don't see it. You know, like Noah Kagan and Ben Greenfield and Dr. Andy, like some of these people who are on like Joe Rogan and Tim Ferris, um, getting them on, like before that c urve. And just that, that, for me, it was validating. Cause I felt like these people would never want to talk to me. And so I wish just for myself, I had done video, but I didn't.

[00:06:52] Misbah: And you know, then I would say, I started my second podcast with my boss that my first podcast got me that job.  And he was a professional athlete. He had a lot of assets built already. So I got to watch what it was like under, when you start a show from scratch, how, you know, we were doing a lot of downloads compared to mine, even though mine was like, okay, for starting from scratch. 

[00:07:17] Misbah: But we started experimenting with video there. So I got to see, oh, how does even for somebody who's really kind of famous. How does video do for them? I mean, he had a lot of people on Instagram as well, and I started doing Instagram too. That was another thing was I started documenting.

[00:07:34] Misbah: The program that I was like a fitness program that I got from my boss And that was one of our connection points, cuz I was really passionate about what he was doing. I was one of the first people to ask him to come on the show. And so Instagram became kind of a way for me to do short form like workout content. So I was already kind of doing that. 

[00:07:55] Misbah: For blogs, I was writing, I was doing a lot of guest blogging as well. Um, cuz I thought that was kind of the thing to do at the time. And um, So the Instagram thing, I actually saw, like, I got that to a place where I was 7,000 or something, 7,500 people and a lot of videos that were like, okay they're getting like 130 saves or shares - things that for me were impressive, being kind of like a nobody. So that was the extent of it. And it has dropped you know, since I stopped doing a lot of fitness stuff, like I've seen the decline in all that stuff, but it was really kind of all the content I make.

[00:08:30] Tim: That's the strategic decision I think you have to make is like, where are you gonna invest your time in terms of priority platforms? Mm-hmm and so what makes podcasting a good priority platform to invest your time in? 

[00:08:43] Misbah: Comedians, for example, look at Twitter sometimes as like their gym, you know what I mean? They're like, okay. I'm gonna try, I'm gonna throw ideas out here. I'm gonna see kind of like what sticks and whatever it does. I'm gonna kind of try it on stage and try to develop around that premise and stuff like that. So for podcasting, I see that like, that's actually evolving to where for comedians, podcasting is becoming that because they are talkers.

[00:09:12] Misbah: They can control that distribution and purely from a sake of like connecting with fans. It's also impressive when you learn from that area where it's like, oh, people are selling out thousands and thousands of tickets. Like, you know, how much work it is to get a babysitter, go out for a night in the town to watch somebody who might not do well to get two drinks. The whole thing that takes a lot of like, love. Connection. And that is all through content. You know, I felt that myself with a lot. 

[00:09:45] Misbah: And so podcasting has this weird intimate thing that it can build with people. But at the same time, from a creator standpoint, it is, it is your gym. It is where you spar. It's where you learn how to speak better. Like there's so many people that I work with who are like, Dude, I'm noticing myself on like day to day conversation. Like, I'm just like, there's a beat, like I'm listening a little bit better. I'm not using as many filler words. You become aware of that stuff. And for me, that's kind of worth it, right?

[00:10:19] Misbah: Like improving, like mining for ideas in this conversation. For example, Yeah, I'm gonna get a couple of ideas for Reels. I'm gonna get a couple of ideas for a newsletter. Um, I'm gonna figure out how we can collaborate with this on YouTube, right? There are so many things that I wanna help you out with too, because it helps me with my content and it's just kind of realizing like look at your own behavior with content and, uh, you might not consume podcasts, right?

[00:10:45] Misbah: I think 64% of the US, at least at this point, listens to podcasts or has listened. That leaves a lot of people that still haven't figured out what it is, how to go. , listen. Whatever. So what you have to do as a podcaster is to create content on different platforms that you enjoy.

[00:11:06] Misbah: The truth is you would have to do that anyway. Even if you didn't do a podcast, you have to figure out how, how are you gonna get yourself out there? Whether it's DMing people or you make content, right? And hopefully that attracts people to you. 

[00:11:18] Misbah: So if you wanna succeed on Instagram, which let's be honest, we all kind of want. All right. Let's hit the hundred K 10 K get the check mark. So if you do want that, how do you, instead of resisting it, cause I did that and still do that sometimes. How do you lean into it? How do you figure out how this podcast can help you come up with two to three reels a day?

[00:11:39] Misbah: Like, it's not physically possible if you're doing it from scratch and then also doing you know, a newsletter for scratch. Like you gotta use the ideas as jumping-off points for wherever you want to create. And the truth is, if you're a content creator or business owner in the online world now, that's the networking and marketing really,  uh, is. 

[00:12:01] Misbah: So the, in the beginning, like first two years, your, your problem is volume. How do I get volume right out the door? You have to get through the bad reps. You have to do a lot of that. And it's tough i f you're only doing something once a week, once a month or whatever. So podcasting is that tool that helps accelerate everything else. And it gives connective tissue to a lot of your ideas.

[00:12:23] Tim: Yeah. I like a lot of what you're saying there. Um, there's the connection aspect. And for me, it's really helped with a thematic approach to the content. So you're doing that deeper research to produce those longer form pieces, which as you say, then you can distribute down as pieces into those distribution platforms like Instagram, Twitter. It's kind of like the, the king content, if you will, that sits at the top of your content pyramid, and then you can cascade bits of it down into the other platforms. 

[00:12:55] Tim: And one really supports the other too. Like I'm finding, I'm getting ideas from Instagram that feed into my podcast or YouTube. And, similarly, you know, I'm, I'm producing these thematic pieces that feed Instagram and Twitter. So it's not like it's, um, four streams of content deployed four places. The idea is to get to one stream of content deployed four places. 

[00:13:19] Misbah: You, you worded that so beautifully. You know, and when I was coaching a roster of fitness people who would feel like the podcast gave them like they wouldn't listen to the whole thing sometimes, maybe on our Apple or whatever. Yeah. But on Instagram I would put up a, I GTV two-minute, three-minute thing. And even though it wasn't a crazy amount of views on it or whatever, that client would hear, see it, and go, ah, that's awesome. Like I don't listen to the full thing, but I can always watch a two-minute clip or three-minute clip. And these are words from somebody who you want to listen. Right. So it's like, this is actual R and D feedback. 

[00:13:56] Misbah: I was like, okay. You know, maybe, maybe there's something to this. It might take a little more work, but there are these stages you might appreciate. This is, uh, I learned this from an SEO expert, by the way, not mine. Um, but, she was like, look you have to crawl, then you have to walk, and then you have to run. 

[00:14:14] Misbah: Okay. So first there are things on a checklist in terms of crawling that you personally wanna figure out what that is for you. It's different for everybody, cuz we all have different starting points. Okay. Then what's the walking look like. Okay. And then what's the running. So the running might be that, okay, you've got the clip from the podcast, right? 

[00:14:34] Misbah: Instead of just the landscape version and putting it up because time efficiency and posting, it was the thing you're like, all right. I'll turn this into a long portrait vertical thing. Right. And you know what, I'm gonna also add B-roll I'm gonna add some stuff on top of it. Cause we know Instagram is very dynamic and about visually stimulating and overloading us like . Okay. If that's the game, play it a little bit, but that know that that is the running version of what you're doing. You don't have to start there. 

[00:15:04] Tim: What would you see as one of the biggest challenges in getting started as podcaster? 

[00:15:11] Misbah: I think, um, overcomplicating it and whether that's in the form of equipment or mentally. So for a lot of people, I'm talking people who have thousands and tens of thousands of followers, and have successful businesses already, like, they're kind of, let's say influencers in their world, but all of a sudden when you go, hey, let's like, Podcast. They get nervous. They get like, oh, I don't know if people wanna listen to me. It's like, it has this aura of, I am somebody if I'm doing a podcast. 

[00:15:40] Misbah: And I think that it's, we're removing that stigma over time. It's the same thing. If you look back at blogging or YouTube, back in the day, it was like, oh, you're a somebody, if you have a blog, but then it became a business. And everybody started be using it. And for different purposes, it's not just for the vlogger anymore. YouTube. Right? It's for just information, just live streams, workout videos, like right. Whatever you wanna, you know, use it for. Um, So, uh, sorry. I got, I, I, I, I went on a rant there. What, what was the original?

[00:16:13] Tim: No, I think those are definitely challenges. Um, and I think it's for every platform, you know, you can overcomplicate it or you can, uh, whether it's with equipment or just like, as you say, mentally, sometimes you just have to start and start with what you have. 

[00:16:27] Misbah: I would say this: speed of implementation. Like, if you can master that and that's the hardest part because most of us are perfectionists and you know, there's a lot of emotional involvement with putting something out there with your name on it. It's different than, you know, growing. Like I got to grow, you know, that account. I also got to be a social media manager at that gig. I got, yeah. And I grew from 3000 to like 21 K. But I had, didn't have this connection and fear to it, like, oh, how many likes, how many comments is it getting? Oh, nobody liked this one.

[00:16:56] Misbah: I mean, I cared of course. Right. But it's not this emotional thing. Like it's my ego. So it's really getting over some of that stuff. However, you can to the point where volume, and steady volume, is your thing -whether that's a couple times a week or once a week, just regularly, cause that's what builds the catalog. And you need a catalog to have that effect of like people finding you and opportunities come in and comments or whatever. 

[00:17:23] Tim: Yeah, exactly. Well, thank you for that. And then my, my last question, they, they say it, when you're doing a podcast, you should have like a signature question. So I'm, I'm into technology tools, so maybe this will be my signature question: do you have a favorite technology tool that use for podcasting? 

[00:17:39] Misbah: Oh, I love this question. And is this like a physical product? 

[00:17:42] Tim: Could be software, could be, could be a piece of physical gear, I'll be glad to hear about either one.

[00:17:47] Misbah: Okay. Okay. And for specifically for podcasting, I mean, I wanna say that this mic. Like I started with a $60 - $30 Audio Technica mic that lasted me years and years and years and went through a lot of beatings. And eventually when I was like, okay, I have a little bit of cash to invest in this,. like I'm doing a couple shows, and I got it because it made me feel, like it's cheesy, but it made me feel like professional. You know, it made me feel like, oh, okay. I'm, I'm, I'm a serious now. And it's the identity thing. Right. I saw the identity. It's it like, good marketing. You see the mic? You're like, all right, this is my identity. This is who I'm gonna be with the mic. 

[00:18:33] Misbah: What's funny is there are still periods of time that like, when I got this, it became tough to record, right? Like the mic didn't solve the problem of making the time and saying something interesting. It was just still a tool, but it was a tool that motivated me. It, it showed me like, oh, I've invested a lot in this. I wanna, I wanna use it. And it is top of the line, you know, musicians and podcasters, radio hosts, they all, a lot of 'em use this microphone. 

[00:19:01] Misbah: And I live in the city in center city here in Philadelphia, and it's very noisy. Just ambulances and people yelling and live music going on. And so even with windows closed and everything like that. So, um, this microphone. To make my job easier. And anybody like for you, hopefully, um, it cuts out a lot of the background noise to where your editing is so much easier.

[00:19:28] Misbah: And that's where when you do invest in equipment, you have a form of leverage, which is like capital, right. You're investing in something here. And the return is it's so high quality that you're editing and your post-production might be a breeze cuz there's not all this crazy stuff going on.

[00:19:45] Misbah: So for me, I really feel like it's worth it, because I'm never getting rid of this thing. I've had it three four years now. So SM7B, favorite purchase for podcasting. 

[00:19:57] Tim: That's great. Well, thank you for that. And thank you for being on the show. I really appreciate it. Could just tell us a little bit about how you help podcasters?

[00:20:07] Misbah: Totally. Well, one, thanks for having me because like some of the services that we offer is done for your production. We have different tiers of that and we make it so people can just show up and record, um, that anxiety of listening to yourself is also what is a challenge and holds people back, cuz they've recorded it, but they're not putting it out cuz they don't feel like listening or editing, or it's too much to deal with. So yeah, we make it so you can keep posting, you just show up and record and focus on that stuff. Um, even clips and reels and if that's something you want that we have packages for that. 

[00:20:38] Misbah: And then the next thing we have is done for you. I mean, um, it's more of a, like a podcast launch in a day where it's like a workshop done with you type of thing. Uh, I spend six hours with you. It's a kind of an intense day, but like we. Do everything you need to kinda get your first three episodes out the door. Remove the overcomplicating narrowing on who it's gonna be for. We have kind of a whole curriculum, obviously, that we try to cover in that time. 

[00:21:03] Tim: I could see that being really valuable because it does take that time, uh, to get set up properly, especially if you don't have the experience. And so, benefiting from somebody who has been through it before, would be really valuable. 

[00:21:15] Tim: And, uh, I just edited my first episode yesterday. And I can tell you, it takes time for sure. You could save a considerable amount of time as a content creator to outsource some of that stuff, especially if you're not expert in, uh, production.

[00:21:30] Misbah: Yeah. And even if you aren't, there's so many free resources that I make for people who are like, you know, just where I was when I first started, where you're like, that's how I learned editing and all that stuff, I didn't know, or really want to, but like, okay. I had a big issue to deal with from an episode. And now I have to figure it out. Somebody can't turn it around or I don't have the budget to pay for it. So I'm like, okay, so you, so you learn it and instead of you having to look around for it everywhere. I try to really distill it down to what I would've wanted to know. Um, so I put out a lot of that stuff on my YouTube channel for Podmahal and on my website, there's a lot of free downloads like checklists and planners and stuff like that to hopefully make that process easier.

[00:22:13] Tim: That's great. Well, thank you very much. Misbah. I appreciate you being here today and uh, I hope you have a great day, 

[00:22:20] Misbah: Tim. Thank you. It's been a blast. 

[00:22:22] Tim: So there you have it. Episode two down. 

[00:22:24] Tim: The key thing I wanna highlight from our discussion is how podcasting can help to generate content ideas and content for short-form platforms, such as Instagram and Twitter or vice versa. And once you get going on thematic research and content production, there's a snowball effect that can start to happen where one platform starts to support the other. 

[00:22:47]  Tim: Just as an example, let's talk about the natural overlap that exists between a podcast and YouTube, which makes it easier to create content for both. You can create a podcast episode, film it, and then repost parts of that as YouTube videos or shorts, referring people back to your podcast. You can also take one of your YouTube videos and repurpose the content you've created there as a podcast, referring people back to your YouTube channel. 

[00:23:09]  Tim: I think the key to making this work is that you're not always reposting the exact same thing, but rather leveraging the research and segments of the content you've already produced to create something new that focuses on a particular aspect of the topic, or maybe provides some wider context for it.. You can also produce a bit of original content for each platform so that people have a reason to stick around and join your audience there too. 

[00:23:34]  Tim: The other thing to remember about podcasts and YouTube is that these platforms have much more searchability on Google and that people are more likely to be using the search functions within podcast platforms and on YouTube to find the type of content they're looking for.

[00:23:48] Tim: And when people do that kind of search, the results that come back are not going to be Instagram or Twitter posts. It's gonna be blog content, YouTube videos, and podcasts. It's by being findable here, that you're gonna be able to generate long-term organic traffic for your social profiles, digital products or whatever else you're looking to drive traffic to.

[00:24:08]  Tim: So one of the key questions you'll need to ask yourself is where do you wanna drive your traffic and why? But that's a big question for another episode. If you found this episode helpful, a positive rating review or comment would mean a lot. Thanks for listening. And I hope you have a great day!