Building a subscription podcast in public w/ Jonathan Jones

Building a subscription podcast in public w/ Jonathan Jones
Building a subscription podcast in public w/ Jonathan Jones
Episode April 14, 2022 00:17:08

Hosted By

Matt Medeiros Stuart Barefoot

Show Notes

Are you curious about subscription podcasting? Do you know what a private podcast is? Are you scared about jumping into private podcasting?

On this episode of the Audience podcast, Jonathan Jones and Matt do a little experiment with subscription podcasting. Jonathan is going to build a subscription podcast (at Castos) in public, with Matt. Today they go through the initial brainstorming process as Jonathan submits his membership and audiobook ideas for his private podcast. 

Jonathan also talks about the process he went through when publishing both of his books, and he shares the story behind his latest book, Get Paid with Podcasting.

If you have any questions about this episode or want to get some of the resources we mentioned, head over to And as always, if you’re enjoying the show please share it with someone who you think would enjoy it as well. It is your continued support that will help us continue to help others. Thank you so much! Never miss another show by subscribing at

Today you’ll learn about:

  • Jonathan’s apprehensions about private podcasting
  • Uses for subscription podcasting: audiobooks and behind the scenes bonus material
  • The story behind “Get Paid with Podcasting”
  • Tips for writing and publishing a book
  • Putting stock in your own success
  • Jonathan’s initial idea for his private podcast
  • Anticipating possible challenges with memberships



Your Podcast Mentor Show: 

Breaking a podcast funk w/ Jonathan Jones: 

Get Paid with Podcasting: A Blueprint For Speakers & Coaches On How to Start, Manage and Monetize Their Message Through Products and Services by Jonathan Jones: [Type “30OFF” after you click purchase, for 30% off]

JonathanSpeaks, Twitter: 

JonathanSpeaks, Instagram: 

JonathanSpeaks, YouTube: 

Castos Academy: 

Castos, private podcast: 

Castos, website:

Castos, YouTube:  

Clubhouse video: 

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Welcome back the audience at Casto original experience broadcasting from the center of your audio universe, where creative podcasters find their Press play right here at your podcast player every week. It's look at cheat sheet for marketing, monetizing, growing, and creating your podcast. So good. You wanna share with your closest friends? Okay. Audience starts. Now Speaker 2 00:00:34 Everybody welcome back to the audience podcast. Special episode today, because what we're doing is, uh, new, new, special project. I don't even have a title for it. I was thinking about it as I was driving into the office today. I'm like creator's corner creator's cohort. I don't know what it is, but here's, here's the gist of it. I have returning audience guest, Jonathan Jones, back on the program. Jonathan's been diving deep into the podcasting space. Helping people get started with their pod comes from the public speaking circuit. If you want to go back to get the history of Jonathan Jones, I'll link up our last episode. It was fantastic. So he can listen to the Genesis of Jonathan Jones, but we're here to share with everyone. He's gonna go on a new journey. He's gonna use a subscription podcast at CAOs and we're build it in public. We're gonna put Jonathan on the spot in front of everyone. It's gonna be, it's gonna be great. Speaker 3 00:01:27 <laugh> Speaker 2 00:01:29 Jonathan's excited for it. Speaker 3 00:01:30 I am, I am. I'm really, really excited, really looking forward to it because Matt, this, this is something that I've seen the, the, the private podcast, the subscription podcast, but I was like, ah, I don't know if I wanna do that. So after we, we talked about it, here we are. So I'm, I'm looking forward to it Speaker 2 00:01:46 When you first, I mean, before even I knocked on your door, cuz I just, as I do, I just send random emails <laugh> and I'm like, I get this crazy idea, man. Uh, we've met each other once on a podcast. It was great. But what do you think about this next idea? And mm-hmm, <affirmative>, I'm glad you said yes, but when you, even before you heard from me, when you thought of subscription podcast, because subscription podcast has been in the news with like apple and Apple's been pushing it and Apple's been pushing subscription podcast, but they take 30% and it only lives in the apple ecosystem. Mm-hmm <affirmative> what other apprehensions have you had besides besides that? Speaker 3 00:02:22 Well, I mean, J J just the, just that general concept that a lot of people struggle with before starting a podcast. What do I talk about here? Just in terms of the additional content it's like, well, who is going to, who's gonna be willing to pay for this and should I even do it? Is it, is it worth the time? So tho those are just some of the thoughts that, that I've had just in terms of creating additional content. And I, I didn't, I didn't find an initial reason to say, let me, let me do it. Speaker 2 00:02:49 We, we were chatting before we hit record and I was just explaining to you, like, here's the idea? Here's the concept. And then I was showing you the technology behind, uh, subscription podcast at Casto and you were like, you know, Matt, I just launched a new book, a printed book, a book you can actually physically buy and get shipped to your house. It's called get paid with podcasting. Mm-hmm <affirmative> um, wouldn't it be cool if I did maybe an audio book? And I said, yes, that is a, that's a fantastic idea. Because a lot of people go into thinking about subscription podcasts with the same roadblocks that you had as man, what am I gonna do? Is this a whole other podcast I have to produce? And in, in my view, I love membership podcasts because one, it doesn't have to be highly produced. Mm-hmm <affirmative> unless you came to me and you said, Matt, I'm selling like a sci-fi fiction go, well, you're gonna have some challenges there. Speaker 2 00:03:41 You're gonna have to do some sound design, but if I'm gonna do an audio book, you've already got the content, you simply record it. And we add it mm-hmm <affirmative> uh, to the private podcast. Or if it's like a membership podcast, people are getting, people are buying into this sort of, this, this is probably not the best phrase, but this more raw uncut experience where you <affirmative> you as the, as the head of the membership, you just have to record whatever behind the scenes stuff somebody wants to hear and ship it to them. And in fact, that's the best kind of content. You're a little bit more at ease now with these two ideas. Speaker 3 00:04:13 Yeah. Yeah, because it's one just, just like you said, a already having the content really simplifies the says, and then it's also allowing the listener to go a level deeper, a layer deeper with, with, with me or with, with, with some of their favorite, um, creators that should be creating private podcasts. So just having that avenue to one, if the goal is to expand the reach and combat that podcast is discovery, then I should, I have to put out unique content to really drive those people in. And especially just like we're talking about with the audio book, a lot of people aren't taking the time to read physical books as much as they once were. So thinking of traveling in the car and going and working out. So now we have other opportunities to be able to get out the information in the way it's most digestible for the audience. Speaker 2 00:05:03 Speaking of the book, where, where can folks get the book today if they wanted to buy your book? Speaker 3 00:05:07 Yeah. So you, you should go to your podcast, mentor, And then by, after you click purchase, you can type in 30 off and then we'll take 30% off just, just for the audience listeners. Speaker 2 00:05:20 Fantastic. We'll when we chatted last time, which I think was January, what a terrible host I am. I should have those, that information in from me. I think it was like January-ish of this year. Was the book already in, in motion back then? Like, were you already starting to work on it? Or how did this come about? Speaker 3 00:05:38 So no, Speaker 3 00:05:42 Excuse me. So, so no, the, the, the book really came, came in play maybe like maybe, maybe more so like around like February. Cause I don't. Oh, wow. I'm, I'm a terrible author. So one, I created the program and then I said, well, if everybody's not the best fit for the program, how else can they still get this information outside of the podcast as well? So then I started writing the book February, maybe March. I'm not a hundred percent sure, but I really put my foot to the ground on it because knowing that podcast is coming up, knowing that the, the other conference that I'm speaking in, in Atlanta is also coming up. I said, I have to have books on hand. So I really put my foot to the ground and then just really started, started writing that thing. Speaker 2 00:06:27 Is this the first book that you've published or did you do one in, for your other career in public speaking? Speaker 3 00:06:32 Yeah. So this, this is the, this is the second book that, that I've actually published. Yeah. So the, the first one was more so geared towards millennials and helping them do some self development type work and this self development and encouraging type work. And with this, this project, this is focused on podcasting focused on really leveling up and focused on helping speakers, coaches and consult. That's really get in position through podcasting, Speaker 2 00:07:01 Any tips for somebody who wants to do the same thing besides don't do it the Speaker 3 00:07:04 Same thing in terms of what speaking or same thing in Speaker 2 00:07:06 Terms of writing a book in writing a book, like getting, sitting down, blocking everything out, like what, I I've always wanted to do a book and I just think of the immense amount of work <laugh> that it must take. And I'm like, nah, I'm not gonna do it. Speaker 3 00:07:21 Okay. So one, I, I, I, I would say either get like a nice little stack of money put to the side to, to have like either a ghost writer or to where you just record the content and then you just pay somebody to clean it up really well. So I, I would say put together, like around like, like in between three to 5,000, just so that you can get it edited. Right. Get it published and even have books printed on hand. Or if you're somebody who says, I just wanna rush through this and do it myself, then I would say, start with I think it is sit there. And after you've outlined like three, three things or seven things or five things, those main points, and they hit about three subpoints under each and then sit there and just record it, ship it off to somebody at five to have them edit it. And then, I mean, you can put a book out for easily less than like $500 there. So yeah. How Speaker 2 00:08:18 Do you actually get it printed? These stays. Speaker 3 00:08:21 So I, I, I got my book printed through Amazon. So what is it? K And then you can go there. You can go there and, and get 'em printed, get 'em shipped to your house. Cuz like I have, I have this and I got, what about 98 more copies? Cause I've sold a couple shipped here and it wasn't even three weeks. Wow. For him to get it here. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:08:45 What about like all the, like the cover art or the book, the book cover art, like did you have to go design that? Did they take care of that for you? How does that whole process play out? Speaker 3 00:08:54 Yeah. So, uh, just in terms of, in terms of cover art, in terms of cover art, I went with 99 design and I actually have an episode on it on my podcast, your podcast, me show. But I, I lay out three places. You can get cover art for a podcast and those same three places, which is 99 design, which is five or which is where you go on canvas and create it yourself. Those, those are the places that, that I recommend. I got this book cover, I got this one done on 99 designs. And that one, that's why I said you wanna put, put to the side, maybe like 5,003 to 5,000, because 99 design, this, the price starts at like $250. And it goes up if you, you have somebody that you want to individually work with. Yeah. So you Speaker 2 00:09:38 Get to see like everyone's portfolio. And then maybe like, I think if you, if you disperse that between like a group of people, the price goes up, but then you get all these different takes on it. Right? Speaker 3 00:09:47 Yeah. So, so luckily, luckily I wasn't looking for, I wasn't looking for a new opportunity to bring on anybody new because I have worked with somebody before on the platform and I went back and found them again on, on the platform. But I have to have to shout out my, my father, Dr. Fred Jones, because he's the one who took me through the book writing process the first time. And I, I paid him $5,000. My dad, I paid him $5,000. Speaker 2 00:10:13 There's something not, we gonna get him on the show and say you took five grand from your son. Speaker 3 00:10:17 Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I, I mean, but Matt, honestly, that was the best life lesson that I've learned up until this point. Cause even now as, as like we were talking about earlier with, with private podcast, the people who want the information are gonna sign up for the subscription and they're gonna pay for it. And that puts them, that puts a little bit of skin in the game. But if you don't put anything down, then you're not gonna get the results that you want to get because you're, you're not as you, you, you're not, you don't have as much stock in your own success. So, right. Yeah. I, I, I paid my dad and he walked me through the process, helping the book become a best seller. And then he ran me through the process again this time. So this book became a bestseller as well, so nice man. Yeah. You, you have to, you have to invest and you gotta put some skin in the game. You really do. Speaker 2 00:11:03 I have three sons, five ages, five, three and two mm-hmm <affirmative>. So I'm, I'm already thinking like, okay, they'll do this in about 15 years with, with inflation appreciation, I'm gonna make about $60,000 off of my kids. <laugh> when they, when they go to, when they go to start a podcast or write a book, all right, I'm gonna put you on you. And I have only just chatted about this through email. Today's the, like the day of the recording is that like, when you and I really got together to brainstorm this stuff and, and spitball some ideas, but putting you on the spot, what do you think you want to do with this private podcast? And again, all of this stuff can change to your list. Jonathan might have a different idea after we record this, but do you wanna do an audio book or tie this to a membership, the private podcast? What do you think you want to do with this? Speaker 3 00:11:48 So I'm, so I'm thinking of tie it more so to a more so to a membership. And the reason why I say that is because if, if I tie it to a membership, then on one side, I will create the audio book and then I can continue to funnel down additional, additional content. Like I've told you a little bit before I'm working with helping podcasters become developed, and then also transition into a speaker. So being able to provide additional know insights, or when I go onto a speaking engagement, I can just give some, some background content of, okay, I'm getting ready for the engagement tonight or what are some things that I wanna make sure that I have boom, boom, boom. And then do, do a quick episode on that. So being able to make it a membership, now this are tying it onto a membership now allows me to be able to continue to add more, more content, continue to put a, put a bug in the year about things that are, you know, changing or even as the industry is growing. Speaker 2 00:12:40 Yeah. So if you did audiobook, it would just be static, whatever 12, 16 chapters somebody buys it mm-hmm <affirmative>. But then, I mean, you could certainly add, uh, bonus episodes as you go on, but you, it would certainly be weird if somebody bought your, get paid with podcasting audio book, and then you are sending them like personalized audio messages, like every week. I mean, it'd be kind of cool, but they'd probably be like, well, did I get it? What did I get here? So I, I like the idea of splitting it off and having, uh, a membership. Hey, the good news is with Casos. You can have as many private podcasts as you want. So if you turn it into an audio, a book in the future, you could also sell the audio book and the membership side by side, different, different feeds, different access. So I won't hold you to anything, but, uh, I think it's gonna be fun and, uh, really excited to sort of check in with you. We'll do these, uh, episodes maybe once a month until things really take off for you. But we'll check in with you and see where things are. Do you have any expectations that you'd like to share? Like what do you think is going to be the biggest challenge for you and what do you think the best outcome will be as we roll through this? Speaker 3 00:13:47 Yeah, what's going to be the biggest challenge. Ooh. That's a talk about a curve ball. The, the, the biggest challenge I feel would be, Huh? Matt. That's a, that's a good one. Okay. Speaker 2 00:14:01 <laugh> you're not you don't, you don't. Well, I would say that some folks might be afraid of having to sell this idea, but you feel real. I, I mean, I know you, I know what kind of business you you've been running and I see the content you put out. I don't feel like you are afraid to sell it. Let's say sell the value and what you might do with a membership. Speaker 3 00:14:20 Yeah. So, so I I'm not. So my, my initial thought would be promoting. It would be one of the fears or, or one of the challenges, but on the other side of it, and, and, and this is one thing I, I think we have to be honest about our, we have to be honest with ourselves about in the podcasting space, you have to identify one, you have to identify all the reasons why somebody would say no. For instance, I try to sell somebody, a physical book. Somebody says, oh, you don't have it on audio book. <laugh> and then I can say, well, yes, I actually do share, share, share Casto link here. So, so being able to be in a position to differentiate or diversify opportunities for people to get more access or to get products or get services, that's what I'm most excited, excited about. Speaker 3 00:15:11 I just feel the biggest challenge initially, what will be some of the promotion, just, just taking time and coming up with creative ways too. But other than that, I'm not seeing any challenges. I'm seeing more benefits. And I've seen a lot more benefits as, as me. And you talked about this concept and this idea, so I'm not really fearful, but I am grateful that you have as much experience as doing the game. And just talking with you about this idea and you reaching out to me about the idea. Then I said, well, I guess I should do it. So here we are. So thanks here we are. Speaker 2 00:15:40 Here we are. You're gonna start a membership podcast. I'm gonna write a book. That's <laugh> that's Speaker 3 00:15:45 What's Speaker 2 00:15:45 Gonna that's what's gonna happen at the end of this Jonathan Jones, everybody. Where can folks go to say thanks. So that's they can connect with you online. Speaker 3 00:15:53 Yeah, you can go to, you can go to your podcast, mentor and they have the little microphone. So you can send me a voicemail there, or you can just comment or, or follow me on, on the socials there. But Jonathan Jones, well, oh, your podcast, mentor, Jonathan Jones speaks are all my handles on any everything Speaker 2 00:16:12 Case. My producer listens to this. Who is a raving UNC fan. Were you UNC or duke, or did you, were you happy Kansas or did you want somebody else? Speaker 3 00:16:23 So I've I haven't been watching as much basketball lately. I've been more so watching a lot of like interviews lately for like, you know, write down typical podcaster. Yeah. Typical podcast. I watch a lot of interviews. However, I do know a gentleman I'm connected with him on Instagram and he's, he's a plays for Kansas. So congrat congrats to Mr. Jaylen. There you, so yeah, go, go, go. J Hawks, rock talk. J haw. Speaker 2 00:16:49 There you go. Uh, few. Want to start? Hey, membership podcast or a subscription podcast, just like Jonathan and I were talking about today. Go to You can always email me. Happy to hop on a call to chat with you about starting your next subscription podcast. We'll see you in the next episode.

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