Podcasts: How I grew my podcast in 20 minutes a week to over 100k downloads

Podcasts are an incredible way to build an audience,  ignite your influence, and to offer valuable content to your clients and tribe.

Click the video below to listen to how I do it in 20 minutes a week, which has so far got us to over 100,000 downloads.



Links + Resources

My podcast on iTunes and here on the blog.



1. I gather questions and content ideas from throughout the week. Facebook groups are great for this.
(I screenshot things are they appear in Facebook and save ideas to Evernote).

2. Record audio (10 – 15 mins)

3. I send the file to Slack for team.(2 mins)

My part is now done! (and this is why outsourcing is great).

4. Team Diva then send file to the shared Dropbox folder with our transcriptionist.
(or you could have this done on Fiverr)

5. Catherine sends us back the transcript 2 days later.

6. Team Diva design an image.
(alternatively, you can do this in Canva or have it done for you on Fiverr).

7. Team Diva format the blog post for me, add the image and Podbean player, and schedule the podcast and post. (if you don’t have a team yet, you can do this part yourself).


Getting Started With Audio

If you want to start playing with audio, a great thing to do is to narrate your blog posts in Soundcloud, and include the audio as part of your newsletter or blog post, like I have done here.


Episode prompts:

Not sure how to get going and what to start talking about?

Here are some prompts for you:

1. Notice some questions being asked in Facebook groups that you know the answer to.
Record your answer, with your point of view and give examples.

2. Tell your story!
Sit down with the microphone and tell us how you got started in your business, what led you here?

3. Who (or what) has inspired you recently?
Share with us the story.

4. Have you read a book or blog recently that rocked your world?
Tell us about it!

5. Have you had a super happy client recently?
Tell us about them, their work, and how you helped them.



Snowball Microphone
Catherine Poole (our transcriptionist  – tell her Jo sent you!)


Useful Links:

Pat Flynn’s super useful podcast tutorial – Pat Flynn runs two of my favourite podcasts – Ask Pat and Smart Passive Income – so for an indepth tutorial, he is your man.

iTunes information on getting started with a podcast.



Grow and keep your raving fans
Brilliance Ignition masterclass
Blog Challenge

Grab your spot on Bootcamp right here to learn more about not only podcasting, but how to create kickass content for your business in way less time than you thought, while you pump up your profits and grow your influence online.

Blogging for Business Bootcamp is here.


Pin this post for later.

Have you tried podcasting yet?
Which are your favourite podcasts to listen to?

Share the love, and let us all know in the comments below!


Stay Brilliant,

jo gifford

Blogging for Business: 8 Ways to Create Original Imagery

blogging for business


Visual content is HUGE (did you know we communicate more visually than we do verbally?)

Creating original imagery for your site is a super important way to hook in your readers, communicate on different levels, and  – frankly – look amazing when blogging for business.

Remember too, that imagery makes an article shareable on social media, and a little bit of social media traction is no bad thing for those stats and for growing your audience.
Read more

Blogging for Business Bootcamp: Want To Watch My Re-Launch?

As a small business owner, I find watching and reading the “behind the scenes” stuff to be immensely useful.

I love knowing which tools my peers are using, how they go about their daily work and rituals; what works and, just as importantly, what doesn’t.

So, I am doing a mini re-launch of one of my programmes, and will be sharing the journey.


Blogging for Business Bootcamp is a programme I put together back in June 2014. It ran live for 2 rounds, and then I made it evergreen.

The feedback from it has always been fabulous – people really re-connect with their content ideas, understand how to work smarter, how to get “unstuck” with their business blogs, and how to have a wealth of ideas at their fingertips for content.


This October, I am adding a new live round, with new materials, workshops and bonusses.


In the 15 months since Bootcamp first ran, new tools and new social platforms have arrived, I have changed immensely as a solopreneur in terms of business growth, ideas, and how I work, and it was time to refresh this classic programme.

So, I am providing 6 weeks of brand new workshops, one every week in the group.

The new stuff will be covering the Big Things I keep being asked:
– how to successfully pitch and get published on big sites
– how to re-purpose content far and wide
– how to use Periscope & podcasting to grow an audience;
– how to design as a non-designers
– how to get super influential online
….and more.

The whole experience is underpinned by my Brilliance Ignition Process, a way of working which infuses creative thinking with business DNA with incredible results for my clients.

So, Bootcamp has evolved.

Current ‘campers will have access to this new material and future pop-up workshops, as will newbies joining us.

How do I plan to spread the word about Bootcamp Live: The Brilliance Sessions?

I will be sharing the news with my tribe, and everyone on my list, of course.

  • I plan to re-run some Facebook ads for a free 10 day Blog Challenge I have used in the past as a lead magnet/opt-in.
  • I will be working with the affiliates for Bootcamp, providing them with a swipe file of copy and images to help them to promote it to their networks.
  • I will be promoting via the Facebook group communities I am in, working with my colleagues and key influencers to share the word.
  • I plan to promote via social media, and to focus on the new Bootcamp round during the next few weeks on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Linked In.
  • I will be periscoping about commonly asked blog questions, and building my content around the new Bootcamp sessions here on my blog, on my podcast, in newsletters, and on my Periscopes.

So, stay with me as I start to set the word rolling, and let’s see step by step what works (and what doesn’t!).




EDIT: 24th September 2015

Behind the scenes as I talk about my Blog Challenge + working with affiliates on a Periscope chat.

I am a Miracle Morning Convert


I am a Miracle Morning convert. Here’s why:

Finding space in the day for myself as an entrepreneur and mum of two? Nah. Not happening.

Or, I might schedule in a walk, some meditation, some reading time etc and do them, but then feel stressed that I only have an hour left to get stuff done on my business before the kids come home from school (I don’t like to work late often – circadian rhythms gooooone, baby).

So, thanks to Yo Pal Hal, I have been setting my alarm for 6am, and starting my day on my own. Heaven.

Yup, I would also have also conceded prior to this that I am not a morning person, but I actually wake up excited to have this time ALL TO MYSELF.

I meditate for a few minutes, look at my vision board, read a blog post from someone who challenges and inspires me, or read a few pages of a personal development book; I do some yoga stretches, journal in my 5 minute journal, then free write on 750words.com.

The results so far after 10 days are astounding.

  • I am more focussed (making the choice to do this for myself each day is a parallel of the choices we make daily to progress or not in our growth.
  • I am more inspired – dedicated time to read materials I love has just rocked up.
  • I feel more grounded. Starting the day with some inner work and mediation, gratitudes and journalling does that for you.
  • I am nicer to my kids and my partner in the morning. When I have spent time by myself, FOR myself, I feel ready and able to do the breakfast chaos, to be present with the Minis and to hang out with them mindfully. I am noticeably less grumpy, and find I haven’t shouted my usual “yes, yes, I am coming – can I JUST make a cup of tea first, PLEASE” mantra for a long while now.
  • I am generating some content gems. When you write 750 words a day some nuggets rock up. As I talk about in Brilliance Ignition, creating daily content gives clarity in your mind, and free writing as per our amazing Julia Cameron really does work magic.
  • I feel more like the person I am becoming, or want to be when I grow up. Yep, this week I found myself doing yoga outside on the balcony in the South of France as the sun came up, having had my smoothie and done my journalling. Ohhhhh, I am THAT person. That’s what successful people do!

I know now why successful people create habits and stick to them. This practise of my time for myself is making huge shifts, in just one hour a day.

7 hours a week all to myself makes a huge difference. I am reading, meditating, rocking my asanas (I plan to get back to Shawn and T25 soon), writing, inspiring myself, and all sorts.

It’s a Small Price to Pay

Yes, I DO go to bed super early to get up early, but my early nights are part of my CFS management routine anyway. Also, I would much, MUCH rather have an early night and feel amazing about what I have accomplished and how I feel than spend an evening watching TV or losing brain cells on Buzzfeed. Just sayin’…

I have learned to be super quiet on my tippy toes as I make my way downstairs to start my routine – small people have been known to join me when they hear me get up. We have had SO MANY squeaky doors that, it turns out; WD40 has been a huge part of my Miracle Morning routine too.

And, I’m Passing on This Habit

One of my Minis, Eva, really respects what she calls “mummy’s quiet time”. On the occasions she has woken up as I snuck downstairs and got up with me, she has been more than happy to sit with me quietly and do some drawing, or colouring in her mandalas while I do my yoga postures or journalling. I love that she will see a habit that may benefit her as she gets older, too. Teaching Eva to respect my quiet time has been a really sweet little contract between us, and I make sure I respect my new carved out time as well.

So, I am a nicer, more inspired, grounded and successful person. I am more patient, creative, and happier all round.

Miracle morning, indeed.

Extra Reading

Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

5 Minute Journal

Brilliance Ignition

Julia Cameron Artist’s Way

Business Writing Tips From Udemy


As you guys know, I am an avid content creator. My angle is all about ideas for content creation, how to ignite your brilliance and sound like you (because you ARE you!), and how to inspire and connect with your audience.

The folks over at Udemy (an amazing place for online courses), shared with us some super handy business writing tips from the Business Writing Course: “Writing With Flair: How To Become An Exceptional Writer” (Instructor Shani Raja), which I know you will all love.

This stuff is about adding power to the way we communicate in business, with simple advice that’s easy to follow.


1. Avoid Reversing Into Sentences

Poorly structured sentences often lead with a weaker (subordinate or dependent) clause, and end on an “active” (independent) clause- blunting their impact.

Take the example below:

“In order to aid victims of the earthquake, the organization donated $500,000”.

If this sentence is restructured to lead with the stronger “active” clause, it reads much more naturally: “The organization donated $500,000 in order to aid victims of the earthquake.”

Additionally, this new structure allows the writer to be more concise by removing an unnecessary phrase (“in order to”):

“The organization donated $500,000 to aid victims of the earthquake.”


2. Use Crisp Distinctions To Heighten Contrasts Between Opposing Ideas

Drawing effective comparisons is an essential element of any writer’s toolbox.

To maximise the impact of a comparison, make sure that distinctions are clearly structured, specific and as analogous as possible.

This might mean using very specific language: don’t compare Q1 2015 profits with those of “previous quarters”, compare them with last quarter’s profits, or Q1 2014 profits.

Sentence structure and appropriate punctuation also play an important role in heightening distinctions, and guiding users through complex comparisons that bring in multiple details.

Take the following sentence as a negative example: “Candidates for the position include A, a former startup CEO with technical and managerial skills; and a Colorado based contractor, B, who would need to relocate and has four years of industry experience.”

Although all the information in the sentence is relevant to the hiring decision, the structure and punctuation confuses the comparison- since the information about Candidate B’s relocation is not relevant to the comparison of the two candidates’ experience.

Using double dashes to frame that detail as an aside helps reinforce the comparison. “Candidates for the position include A, a former startup CEO with technical and managerial skills, and B — who is based on Colorado and would need to relocate — a contractor with four years of industry experience.”


3. Avoid Over-Stretching Your Thoughts

While great writers often use long and complex sentences elegantly, excessively  long strings of sub-clauses can often burden the reader and obscure your point.

The sentence below attempts to squeeze in too many sub-clauses, and it is a challenge for the reader to follow it to conclusion.

“Michael recently moved from China, where he taught English to students in “Solar Valley”, a community that has enjoyed enormous investment from the Himin Solar Energy Group in solar technology, to New York, where he’ll be utilising some of his Chinese contacts to start his own solar energy business.”

With so many clauses and sub-clauses, the meaning of this sentence is lost and the impact blunted.

Tearing it up into two sentences allows the reader to digest the  information in manageable pieces.

Within the first sentence, the use of a colon instead of a third comma also serves to emphasise the final and most important clause of the sentence (which connects it to the next sentence).

“Michael recently returned from China, where he taught English in “Solar Valley”: a community that has enjoyed enormous investment from the Himin Solar Energy Group in solar technology. In New York, he’ll be utilizing some of his Chinese contacts to start his own solar energy business.”



4. Redundant Word Echoes Make Your Writing Fall Flat

One of the biggest challenges in writing is the necessity of avoiding redundancy.

The lines below illustrate the downside of word repetition:

“The submarine industry is on the upswing; but life in a submarine is notoriously cramped and unpleasant (with many submarine operators churning out of the industry on a regular basis). Nonetheless, submarine enthusiasts and investors in marine extraction industries continue to fill submarine order lists.”

If you have to refer regularly to a word for which there aren’t many direct synonyms (for example, while writing an article about submarines) you might have to get creative.


Here are few options:

– a non-direct synonym (vessel, craft) – a metaphor (refer to “life under water” rather than “life in a submarine”) – a generic term (instead of “submarine operator” just “operator”)


For those of you who want to learn more, Udemy are giving the first 50 folks using free access to this course (worth $297) with the code DEXTEROUSDIVA.

Click here, and enter the code!

Stay Super,

jo gifford

5 Idea Ignition Shortcuts For Storytelling + Content Creation

content creation

We have all been there.

Despite your best efforts to find your flow, get into the zone and produce amazing content, some days it’s just not happening.

Never fear, help is at hand.

Here are 5 ways to ignite your ideas, kickstart your storytelling, and get your content creation back on track:


1. Use prompts.

Sometimes all you need is a prompt to re-start the grey matter:

I have SO many great tips on how to___________________.

I have THE funniest story about that one time I ___________________.

I know a TON about ___________________.

I really want to be known as an expert on ___________________.

I really want to be known as someone with a fresh twist on ___________________.

(these are by the amazing Alexandra Franzen – make sure you bookmark + Evernote this page for future ref.)


2. Get random

Random word association is a tool I often use in creative thinking and brainstorming.

This random word generator can get you started.

For example, “ignition” came up for me which sparked this post idea.


3. Give an A to a Q

What was the last question someone asked you?

Can you answer it in a piece of content that adds value?


4. Use your own story and evoke a feeling

Storytelling is so powerful in content creation because it evokes a feeling and emotional response.

Consider points in your personal life and career that have been significant for you. How did you feel? Can you bring back that feeling again? What were you doing?

What were you wearing? What sights, sounds and smells were there? What did you learn from that experience, and what can you tell us about it?


5. Pastiche

A far cry from plagiarism, a pastiche post or piece of work  takes inspiration from the work of others.

In the same way that you might learn about how the masters created artwork by layering the colours yourself and following suit, pastiche content creation.



Stay Super,

jo gifford




5 Ways Storytelling Brings Sales + Staying Power


Storytelling for solopreneurs is an essential component of connecting with clients.

We tell stories through social media, through our newsletters, our visuals, and our blog content.

Making that connection with clients, both past, present, and future, is at the heart of making sales.

Creating value, establishing authority and increasing visibility, are all part of the picture.

So, what is it about storytelling that brings in the sales?


1) Connection

Content creation, when done well, allows the reader to connect with what you offer as a business owner.

Use language that resonates with your ideal client and addresses key points they are seeking to solve.

How do you know what that language is? Read your blog comments, watch how they interact on Facebook, send ’em a survey. Watch, listen, observe.

2) Engagement

Invite engagement with your content to allow potential clients to join in a conversation.

Invite debates and discussion by:
– Telling stories about your clients and results;
– Posing questions;
– Asking for comments and opinions.

Allow your online presence to engage with your audience by allowing a conversation to take place.

Inviting interaction makes it easier to feel approachable, to find out the needs your audience have, and to create products that solve their problems.

It’s like giving them what they already told you they need….boom!

3) Authority

Storytelling online is an essential part of establishing authority in your work and your niche

Showcase your expertise by creating posts that tease your future clients.

By allowing an insight to how you work, inevitable sales come from wanting more.

4) Value

Create content to provide value to your audience and clients.

Posts that help us to learn, improve, and solve problems empower your followers to want more; after all, they already know how you work and have bought into your approach.

5) Trust

Trust is a powerful part of making the decision to invest in a product or programme, and creating that trust online takes the legwork out of relationship building.

Share stories of behind the scenes insights, your client results and how you work.

Building authority and showcasing value helps your audience to trust you implicitly and reach for the “Add to cart” button.


 Storytelling, sales + staying power with @dexdiva 

Want to know more about using language and content creation for sales?

Bootcamp is for you!

Stay Super,


This post originally appeared on the awesome Rebecca T Dickson’s site.

Why Blog Comments Are Essential For Business

blog comments

Blog comments are SUCH an important part of your business (and probably not for the reasons you think).

Over in Bootcamp and my free Blog Challenge, I teach some tips and tricks about rockin’ the blog comment love.

So, aside from showings signs of life in your own site and community, why are blog comments important?

Clue: it’s not just YOUR blog we are talking about here.


1) Reading the signposts

Blog comments (both on your posts and the posts of people you admire/stalk/read) are like little breadcrumbs trails of clues.
Within the words you can see what people are struggling with, what their needs are, and how your work can address that need.


2) Language

Again, as if by magic, blog comments provide you with so much information on how your ideal clients communicate.

Look out for language that you can use in your own posts to communicate effectively and to have extra impact with your ideal audience.

**tip – keep a swipe file in Evernote of words/phrases that you can use in your posts that relate to what your peeps need **


3) Finding new peeps

I love to hang out in blog comments to add value in a discussion, and also to discover some fabulous new folks who are also commenting. I have stumbled upon some amazing people who I have ended up hiring and working with in this way (oh and guess what, it works both ways!).

Pin this post for later.

So do you want to test drive this theory for your own biz?

I have some work for you to do!

Task 1:

Visit your last few comments, and take note of key questions that have arisen.

Could you answer any queries in a blog post on your own site?

Which key phrases will you re-use in your post from the comments to resonate with your audience?

Task 2:
Hop on over to one of your favourite business blogs (or, of course stay here!).

Can you add value to a discussion and show us your expertise? (in a non-cheesy, non spammy way, of course).

Task 3:
Again, over on a site that you luuurve, delve into the blog comments and check out some of the websites of one or two people hanging out there.

Have you found someone new to learn from/read/jam with?

Task 4:
Let me know below how you got on in the comments below!

I am digging the blog comments for biz with @dexdiva

Stay Super,



Why It’s Ok To Blow Your Own Trumpet Online (And How To Avoid The Cringe Factor)

blow your own trumpet

Do you cringe when you see an entrepreneur sharing a testimonial online?


Does your skin crawl when yet another business owner screen shots an email of thanks and shares it all over Facebook?


This is the cringe factor. And I have got some news for you – it’s not about them, it’s YOU.


I love to share quotes and stories of my clients who have increased their followers on Pinterest and found a new channel for sales; I share feedback from clients who are thrilled they bought a blog boost and are relieved that their content is now planned out for a year; I am always keen to share how a Bootcamper has boosted their business by working on their blog.


In fact I do more than that.


I create images of the quotes and testimonials.

I pin them to boards and share them to my social media.

I use them on my sales pages.

I use them in Facebook groups to promote my products.


So hell yes, I am all about the horn tootin’, self pimpin’ vibe.


But, what about telling everyone how great you are? Isn’t that, icky? Tacky? Narcissistic?


Well, no.

“Sharing testimonials and results of clients is part of marketing and providing tangible results”

When this topic of discussion came up in the Divas and Dudes community, I not only saw this as a great blog post subject (always on the lookout, *winks*), but it reminded me how far I have come.


It’s only recently that I have felt really comfortable sharing the results people thank me for.


I now feel absolutely fine about it, and make it a strong part of my marketing.


However, I haven’t always been this way.


The subject of being visible and vulnerable online is something all of us online entrepreneurs tackle at some point in our journey of growth.


As your audience grows, your name is known and your raving fans do what they do best, it becomes harder and harder to hide.

“Dealing with the mindset of being visible is a major part of your personal AND business development.”

For me, I rarely think about how visible I am. However, from time to time the fear can strike (no-one is totally infallible!), and I step into the feeling to deal with it head on.


As my confidence has grown, as my results for clients have got bigger and better, over time that confidence blossomed.


So. If you feel icky about seeing some self promo? It’s not them. It’s you.


What do you feel about self promo? Do you cringe? Are you happy about blowing your own trumpet online? Share with us below!

It’s not them, it’s you. Non cringy promo with @dexdiva

Blogging For Business Case Study: How I Launched A New Business With My Blog

There is nothing I love more than hearing from Blogging for Business Bootcampers who are continuing to reap the rewards of working through the course. Gretchen has a great story, so I will hand over to her for this one.

blogging for business

When I realised that going live with a new online business meant I needed to have it populated with content, even before I hit “Launch” I saw the need to get organised with a blog content strategy.

Truth be told, I am not a novice blogger.

I have managed many blogs over the past 8 years.  Most notably, I launched and was Editor of Parsons, The School of Fashion blog and all social media accounts for 5 years. The directive on that site was clear, cover notable awards, events, and student and faculty stories within the New York City based university.

I also launched and managed my own professional blog, Gretchen Harnick, for roughly the same amount of time. I share my academic research, musings on social media marketing, and white papers on new platforms such as Snapchat.

But when it came to creating a new business, with an aim to serve a new audience of fashion entrepreneurs for Pattern to Plan, I had to create a brand voice and social strategy.  Enter – Jo Gifford’s Blogging for Business Bootcamp June 2014.


I learned more in that month in June, by keeping up with the daily tasks, readings, and podcasts than I could have ever imagined.

The workload is so thorough as I found myself engaging creatively like never before. I could have never accomplished this kind of focused brainstorming and creating on my own.

Here’s how the course changed the game for Pattern to Plan:

  1. I developed my blogging personality. This meant in headlines, imagery as well as topic focus.

  2. Uncovered only the best hacks that Jo can inspire, to see how clever and crafty blog inspiration can be. It is not always about writing a lengthy essay which is what I got used to over in academia.

  3. I was prepared at launch of Pattern to Plan with 6 articles as a result. My aim was to have more than one page, so the “NEXT” button actually worked in my blog roll!

The learning and practice is never over.  Early in the Autumn, I compiled multiple lists of blog ideas onto 4 wipe boards at school. I had about 40 different concepts I kept jotting down in random locations over the course of a few months.


With the continued guidance and support of the Bootcamp community in our private FB group, I took photos of these lists, put them in an excel file and after another few months, just now finally organised those ideas into content buckets.

BONUS: I have my blog calendar scheduled out weekly until May of this year. Hallelujah!

So if you’re on the fence, have a ton of ideas and need some sorting. Sign up.

If you are launching a new business with a blog, better have that thing populated and in your brand voice. Sign up.

If you want to learn from a very creative, inspiring and motivating creative professional, Jo’s your woman. I am honoured to have been in her class and I’ll say it again, Sign up!!  

Can’t wait to hear about your experiences and growth.


Join Bootcamp with this special offer until 31st January when the price will go up to $549.00.


Pin this post for later. 




Stay Super,

jo gifford

Jo Gifford

My work is about helping people work in smarter, creative ways + getting their message out to the world via killer content—blogs, copy, images + social. I am a designer, writer, blogger, mentor, author, creativity addict + prolific geek. You could call it a portfolio career of multi-potential multi-passions. I call it being me.
Work with me, Shop with me, and Chat with me!