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How local businesses can benefit from a podcast with Colin Grey

In this episode Colin Grey talks about how a podcast can benefit a local business and also their Local SEO.

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How can a podcast help a Local business and its Local SEO?

Have you ever wondered if a podcast would fit into your business and your SEO?

And if you did move forward with the podcast, what would be the steps that you would take to be successful?

Today’s guest is Colin Grey, who has been podcasting professionally for 12+ years.

Colin is going to give us a 500ft view on podcasting and how it can help Local businesses and in so doing their SEO.

Colin Grey Bio

Colin is a podcaster, speaker, Ph.D., and founder of and Alitu. is a huge audio, video, and written resource on how to create a successful show. is a podcast maker tool, designed to help you create your podcast in the easiest way possible, and with full creative control, including call recording, audio cleanup, audio editing, building your episode, and hosting your show. 


Alitu (podcast maker app/editor)

The Podcast Host

YouTube –


Questions I asked Colin

  • Why should a podcast topic be niched down?
  • Why should you have passion for your podcast topic?
  • How can businesses be seen more as an authority on topics by being a guest on podcasts?
  • How do you plan out your content for podcast shows?
  • Where does podcasting fit into content marketing?
  • How would a business make money from podcasting?
  • How can links from podcast cast guest interview posts help SEO?
  • Can you tell our users about the training that you provide on podcasting?
  • Can you tell uses about Alitu?

Episode # 20 Transcript

[00:00] Matt Hepburn: Have you ever wondered if a podcast would fit into your business and your SEO? And if you did move forward with the podcast, what would be the steps that you would take to be successful? Today's guest is Colin Gray, who's been professionally podcasting for over twelve years. And Colin's going to give us a 500-foot view on podcasting for your business. You are welcome to The EMJ SEO Podcast, where it's all about you learning SEO so that you can rank in Google. Hey, it's Matt Hepburn. I'm an SEO professional with 13 years of experience working as a consultant working in large and small agencies. And for the past seven years I've been working in the enterprise sector for some of the biggest brands out there. I provide SEO tips for beginners, and I tell you straight out what's going to work and what's not going to. This episode is brought to you by Interview Bookers, the podcast booking agency that provides link building through podcast episode Show note Links. If you're looking to support Google's Eeat framework for your SEO, you can build links as an expert educating from your experience on podcast guest interviews. Let your links to your website stand out from the crowd. Visit hey there Colin, welcome to the show.

[01:30] Colin Grey: Hey, thanks for having me on. It's a pleasure.

[01:32] Matt Hepburn: So, I was hoping you could give some background about what you do and your experience and we'll lead into the questions after that.

[01:39] Colin Grey: Yeah, sure. Yeah, well, yeah, Colin, like you said, I started a site called the about twelve years ago, making myself feel old, basically writing about podcasting because I was teaching podcasting at a university at the time, helping lecturers use it to help their students actually, which was always good fun. And that site really grew into something that people really enjoyed around how to launch, how to grow, how to monetize a podcast, and how to make a podcast successful. And that kind of led to a bunch of other stuff. That's the blog as it exists today. We have nearly 1000 articles on there about how to run a show, but it branched out into a few courses. Like we have some launch courses, we have an academy where we have a whole range of different things, including things like speaking skills, how to use your equipment, all that kind of thing as well. We call that the podcast. Sorry. The podcraft academy. And podcraft is kind of our brand around that. podcraft is the name of our podcast, which is about how to podcast as well. And I suppose the final thing yeah, you mentioned there is a bit of software that we created at the end of that called Alitu. So Alitu, spelled A-L-I-T-U is a podcast maker app which really came out of all of the people that we work with that reads our site, that listen to our show, that hate editing in general. Kind of think of the daws of the olden days like Pro Tools and audition and things like that as something akin to an airplane cockpit. So, we decided to try and create something that's much more tailored to podcasters and much more simple and easy, but still gets the same level of quality and automates a whole bunch of it too. So yeah, that's where we've got two these days.

[03:22] Matt Hepburn: That's amazing. So, for an average business that's trying to figure out how they can find their audience and do something a little bit different, especially for a local business, what should they do to start? If they're starting to think about podcasting, would you suggest taking a course first or really focusing on their topic? One of the things that you've helped me with specifically is niching down into where I want to be with the podcast. Would you say that might be one of the first places they should start or start with their topic and course at the same time?

[04:03] Colin Grey: Yeah, I think that's exactly where to start. I think you did the right thing in that. A lot of people have something they're passionate about. They've got a topic, they want to talk about it because they love it and share it with the world. But often people think about the topic first and not really the listener or the person who's, who's going to consume this content. Is it worth, Matt, going through your process with it? Maybe it'll give away insight into what people did. How did you start? What was your kind of first idea around what you would talk about on your.

[04:38] Matt Hepburn: For about a year or two, I kind of vacillated back and forth whether I could even bring value and that to me was really a big concern. And really after going through the course, what I realized was that one of the best things I could do is take my experience of what I had and that was my superpower. So, my superpower already had, I already had passion around that. So, then I had said to myself after going through the course, what twist can I put out there? Because there's plenty of other people that were talking about marketing online. And so, then I had to find out what was kind of lacking in the industry for podcasting. And so, there were plenty of people that were being interviewed but there wasn't a lot of strategy and there wasn't a lot of kind of looking at what were those AHA moments and breakthroughs that those businesses had and how can people kind of avoid that? So that was kind of how I niche down. If we're using my example, then a business should really kind of look at what is their experience and their passion around that and from there, how can they make that unique and at the same time also kind of look in the marketplace and see where the competition is that just doing the same thing that they're thinking about doing. Would that be what you would yeah, love it.

[06:04] Colin Grey: Yeah. There's a bunch of things in there that we can dig into here.

[06:06] Matt Hepburn: Sure.

[06:07] Colin Grey: Your topic, you're thinking about marketing in general, so that was kind of the wider area. And you're absolutely right, that's like a minefield trying to start a podcast in something so wide ranging, competing with hundreds, if not thousands of other shows. So, you niche down, you find your own area, and a couple of ways you can do that is experience. Well, one of the ways is experience. Like, what is your experience, what's your angle on it? And that can be something like if you want to do a politics show, it's politics for 60-year-olds. So, if you're an older person, it's like politics for that certain area, or politics for people in the north of Scotland like me. So, you localize it down as well. That should kind of range around your experience, too. You can also segment as well. Sometimes you say things like, it's politics for children, or something like that. You find that little area in there that you think you can bring some of your own experience to, and it's a really nice way to go about it. I love taking that angle. That's one way to make it unique, isn't it? So, it's good. And I think once you go there, once you've found an area that you think you can bring your experience to, I think then you're getting into the audience. That's when you start thinking about your ideal listener and you start thinking about the questions that they ask. I mean, presumably part of the reason you've got a podcast, Matt, is that you want to reach more audience members, potentially grow your own business around it. So, one of the best things you can do there is think about what are the most common questions I get about this. Maybe that gives you an idea on your Niching or your angle as well. When you get clients coming to you or when you get people who you work with, what are the kind of top one or two or three questions you get asked by them?

[07:58] Matt Hepburn: Yeah, and there's so many questions that I get asked professionally, but yeah, make those and make content around that. So I think this kind of ties into the next question, which is really, how can a business be seen as an authority if you're answering those type of questions and then you are going in deeper into anything that educational information around your business, around those topics? I think that I'm answering my own question by what you're saying, but yes, but I think that would be how we would do it on the podcast. Do you have any comments on how a business could maybe make a twist on that and make it a little bit different than just say, hey, my competitor down the street might take the same idea and just make informational around the same type of topic. How did they make a twist on that?

[08:58] Colin Grey: Yeah, again, it can be around your culture and values. So that can be you've got your experience, we're talking about before, so age, location, type, all that kind of stuff. But then you can also have that's demographics, isn't it?

[09:11] Matt Hepburn: Right?

[09:11] Colin Grey: That's who you are, where you live, what you are, all that kind of stuff. But you also have the other area, which is psychographics, which is more how you think. So that could be more about it can be somebody living anywhere. It could be any age, but you're just into a certain sort of culture or a certain everyone can like a certain TV program, like, I'm going to make a podcast for people who like Star Trek or something like that. And that's more a topic, but it also suggests something around the type of things that people like as well. So, psychographics are a really nice way to go about it. One example could be if you run a food shop and you're running a podcast about eco-friendly food, for example, like organic food or low carbon offset food or something like that, where it's a psychographic. It's a thing that anyone could think, but it's a certain type of thought process. It's a certain type of culture or ethos. And that can be a really nice way to go because your competitor won't necessarily cater to that area of the customer base. It can be something you can niche in on. It can be really nice to go about it.

[10:18] Matt Hepburn: Yeah, it makes me think of like gluten free and type of stuff like that. So, like specific stores that would cater towards that, they could really niche that way. That makes perfect sense, for sure.

[10:33] Colin Grey: The other way that works really nicely as well is if you do it around, if you do it around format, it can be a really nice way to make a different podcast and there's a bunch of different ways that you can do that because your format extends to things like the length of the show. So you can make a really niche show because you're creating it a two minute show every day, which just gives like a little snippet, a little bite sized piece of information that people can go in action. Or maybe actually it's a three-hour mammoth show that you release every month which goes really, really in depth on one topic. So length can be one way to do it. You can also frequency. Frequency I just mentioned. So it could be monthly, it could be daily, something like that. That can be a format too. But equally format can be around the way that you deliver the show, whether it's a roundtable and actually you get in seven or eight people in your industry and talk about a topic once a week. Or it could be a documentary style where you actually go out and interview three or four people at an event every week and then bring those comments together and put them into a show that just sounds quite different because it's got a few different voices in it. It's not just that standard interview show as well. So, format can be a really interesting one and it can even come down to even if you've got an interview show like we're talking here, then you can make that stand out by having a few different sections. You could have like a section up front where the two people you ask the interviewer about a piece of news that came out today, the interviewee, sorry. And you do that and then you do a little bit of a story segment where you could delve into the interviewee story, but at the very end you do a rapid fire ten questions which are always the same and therefore you get to compare those questions and answers between all the different participants. So, formats are really cool one to go about as well because there's so many different ways you can delve in there and make a show that really stands out and is a little bit different.

[12:29] Matt Hepburn: That's really fascinating. And I know within the podcraft course, you also said don't feel like you are stuck in one type of format, right? So, you can vary it up and make it a little different. So, I think that's really important.

[12:48] Colin Grey: Yeah, I think that's one thing that people get hang up on. It's definitely a barrier to podcasters starting because they feel like they have to have their perfect title, artwork, format, topic, niching, all that stuff up front because it's almost like people think they're then setting out their stall and that's what they've got to stick with forever. But actually, podcasting is lovely because it's so fluid, you can actually change it every few episodes. You can decide, right, I talked about this part of the niche in the first few episodes, but actually I'm finding that this other thing is resonating with my listeners or these are the questions I'm getting. So let's respond to that and we'll change tack a little bit. The fancy word, what is it? Pivot. We'll pivot. It's not making a mistake and fixing it. It's nowadays it's pivoting, isn't it?

[13:34] Matt Hepburn: The really common word in corporate is staying agile, right? Yes, something like that. I for myself have sometimes struggled with how do I lay out a content plan for across episodes? And if you could actually talk a little bit about that, how a business could actually do that with their own experience. I know it's going to be based upon what type of show that they have, whether it's an interview or that, for example, listeners for before shows, I send off a list of questions to all my interviewees so they can approve those questions. They may want to change some questions or add some topics that I might be missing, but I try to make those questions about them and their business and relatable besides questions, we can give an interviewee. How else could we lay out a content plan for maybe just say, two or three episodes?

[14:37] Colin Grey: Yeah, I think a lot of podcasters miss a trick, actually, by not planning a little bit further ahead in that sense. As in absolutely make a little plan for the next three episodes so that they all tie together at least in a little bit. But there's the whole concept around seasons-based podcasting as well, where you might pick a topic like, for example, Matt, what would be one of your ideas for your next few topics on the episode?

[15:04] Matt Hepburn: So, it could be link building through podcasting. It could be local SEO or anything like that.

[15:10] Colin Grey: Local SEO, that's a good one. Okay, so local SEO, take that as a topic, something that you're probably asked about by your clients all the time. You could take that and say, right, this is going to be my first season or my next season, whatever it is. So, you take that and you break it down and you start thinking, what are all the elements of this? Maybe the first part is looking at the competition, then the second part is looking at what already appears in Google, something like that. You're the expert. You'd be able to break down, no doubt, seven, eight, even ten, 1112 steps that make up this and then delving into it.

[15:45] Matt Hepburn: So, make each episode about that individual one.

[15:49] Colin Grey: Yeah, so many podcasters would do the whole episode around local SEO and go talk for an hour about it, but not really do the subject justice because you could do a whole season on that. All the elements of it and the reason it works out really nicely is there's a whole bunch of benefits. Partly you can plan ahead, so you can plan, let's say, eight or twelve episodes ahead. That would be two or three months worth of content. It means that you can have that all planned ahead of time so that you could batch record if you wanted to. At least you can just turn up on a Monday morning and you've got a plan there ready to jump into. There's no ideation on the Monday morning. For the listeners, though, it's really good as well because it means that they're actually having a bit of a it's an organized learning process. It's not just jumping from one thing to the next every single episode, or an advanced thing to a beginner thing. It's funny, you wouldn't turn up to a college or a university and get taught all these random different subjects. You, you sign up and you get a course over a few months that leads from one lesson to the next to the next. And it can work really nicely in podcasting that way too, because the listener then gets something that feels consecutive. It feels like it's building episode to episode. They end up listening more often, getting a little bit more addicted, because actually all of the episodes tie together. If you miss one of them, it's actually quite a big deal because you miss a big part of this. So, they're encouraged to listen to every episode and they feel a big sense of achievement when they get to the end of the season as well because they've learned this whole topic altogether. And again, for you, there's huge benefit there too, because that addiction, that kind of habit that they build, that sense of achievement, that all builds a whole lot of loyalty that helps grow your listeners as well. And the small thing as well, at the end of the season, you can take a break, so you can take a few weeks off the podcast. Something that really gets podcasters down often is that once you get in the habit, you feel like you've got to get an episode out every single week and it's a bit of a grind and it gets you down, but seasons based gives you a break, you can take a month off.

[17:49] Matt Hepburn: I'm happy to say that I actually have over a month worth of recorded podcasts that just need to be edited.

[17:57] Colin Grey: Excellent. You're well ahead.

[17:59] Matt Hepburn: Yeah. And have, I think about another four weeks’ worth of guests. So almost eight weeks of podcast episodes are behind the current episode. Okay. Pretty cool. I recommend that because at first I was stressing about where's my next guest will be, what’s my next topic, what am I going to do? So, get a bunch in the queue for sure.

[18:26] Colin Grey: Yeah.

[18:29] Matt Hepburn: This episode is brought to you by Interview Bookers, the podcast booking agency that provides SEO benefits with each and every podcast guest. Interview, are you ready to boost your keyword rankings in local search while being seen as an expert? This is all possible when you appear as a guest on podcasts, where the audience matches your message. If you're ready to take your link building to the next level, then visit So I was hoping you might talk about how businesses might make money from podcasting. For me, one of the things that I think that a local business could tie in is actually putting in their own interest and outros to their own products. If you could kind of talk about that and what's the benefit of that, that'd be great.

[19:26] Colin Grey: Yeah, for sure. Sponsorship is one of the first ones that people think of and that can be just self-sponsoring. That's what we do with podcraft. Pretty much like our show about how to run a podcast. I pretty much just mention Ality, our podcast maker app on that every single episode. And it comes in reasonably naturally because I try and talk about it in context to some topic we're talking about. So maybe one week we're talking about how to do better quality recordings and I'll say that Alitu automatically cleans up, it does noise reduction leveling, all that kind of stuff, so it ties into it. So, if you're a company out there that's like a bakery that is talking about how to make artisanal bread or something like that, and you can easily talk about the fact that the way we make bread in our bakery, which is on blah blah, blah street, you can mention yourself very often. And it's basically like sponsoring your own show. So that can be one of the nicest ways to go about it. I mean, you can take external sponsors by all means but it does take a fair bit of listenership tends to be to get that level. As in you usually have to have 1000 or more listeners before you get any interest there and usually maybe in the 3000 per episode before you can earn a decent money there. So yeah, sponsorship is definitely one of the areas. Any others you want to dive into in terms of there's other ways that you can sell products or services of your own are some of my favorite. I could dive into some more of that. Or there's also things like Patreon charity type stuff crowdfunding we've got affiliate income I love as well. Any of them you want to go to?

[20:58] Matt Hepburn: Yeah, I was thinking more for the local business, how the local business would really because I think that's the majority of the listenership perfect really about local businesses and people who whether it's a brick and mortar or whether it's an ecommerce store, they're trying to figure out how they can market their business. They're struggling in some cases they're people that are struggling with an idea of they want to leave corporate or have a side hustle but they're not quite sure what they want to do. So, for them I gravitate towards what we were just talking about. So, if they can do self-promotion of their business, if their business has an affiliate type of where they can offer other type of links towards complementary services, whether it's Amazon or whatever it might be, then affiliate marketing might have a play in it. But if it's a mom-and-pop business that is on Main Street and they're trying to figure out how to actually podcast would work with that, then it's really more about how do they mention their business more. What I was also thinking about is like if they have offers that maybe an offer might be a mid-role or go into intro or outro, they could do that like a specific offer.

[22:19] Colin Grey: In that kind of case. It is all about the trust, the credibility building, the personality, all that kind of stuff. The play for local businesses, the play for bricks and mortar place is always almost always I should say, just building a bit of awareness around the people behind that business showing who runs that shop? Why do they run that shop? Why do they run that company? Why would you want to deal with this person as opposed to the other bakery down the street or the other plumber over the road? That kind of thing. And that is all about the person. People deal with people. So it's about telling the stories that give you that kind of idea of who this person is from a culture, an ethos, a standpoint, all that kind of thing. But also sharing the experience and the knowledge, showing how much this person cares about what they do, how much they've done, to be expert at what they do. And a lot of the stories will showcase that stuff as well. And at that point, if you have people listening, if you're growing that kind of relationship with the listener, there's almost no point, no need, I should say, even to mention your own company, because they'll seek you out. They'll say, I love this person, I want to deal with this person. And you'll mention your own company or what you do in the show, so people will find you and seek it out. But you mentioned the partnership thing. I mean, it's not something to discount either, because if you're, let's say, a bakery, then people who like really good bread will also like maybe good coffee, and there's a good coffee shop down the street. So there's partnerships where you can kind of either charge for that mentioning or just barter for services, as in they promote you on something that they do as well. That kind of thing can be really profitable and help the company too, really well.

[24:02] Matt Hepburn: Makes me think about a link on their website, link to that help me help boost my local SEO. So, a lot of people who are in business don't understand that when you are on a podcast show that you can get links from in the show notes back to the specific episode and to your website, and specific links to where you've actually given value in that show. And that really helps boost your rankings locally. In Google, can you talk about your experience with being a guest and how that's helped your show?

[24:43] Colin Grey: Yeah, for sure. There's so many benefits to being a guest in a show. The fact that you reach out to somebody else's listenership, you offer so much value, you can be in front of those people. But a big part of it is actually that kind of solid link equity, I think, especially if you find shows that's a big part of our research when we're looking for other shows to partnership with, to collab with, or to appear on is what is their online presence like? Do they have a site that the podcast appears on, that their show notes appear on? Is that a larger site? Often you'll find that a big brand has put a podcast onto their main site, which makes it even more valuable because actually that main site has real high authority, whereas other shows might have started a brand new site. Altogether, which is kind of new and a bit less authority. Doesn't mean it's not valuable, but it does mean, potentially, you might want to prioritize the one that's on the high value site, the high authority site, as opposed to the other one first, if you're on limited time. So, yeah, my experience is that that can be a really good way to build it and actually, in many ways it's sometimes something that you can repurpose as well as in. Sometimes I find people who run a podcast that don't actually have a specific website for that podcast. They'll just kind of treat itunes or whatever, Apple podcasts as the home for it, right, but they've got their own personal website elsewhere, so sometimes it maybe just takes a little bit of extra negotiation saying, yeah, I'm happy to come on. Do you mind if we write a little blog post around this or something so that appears on your main site? Or can I contribute a guest post as well? Or can we get the transcript made up and turn that into something that can go onto the site? So even if they don't have a really good quality website associated direct with the podcast, sometimes you can get something out of it in that way.

[26:34] Matt Hepburn: Yeah, that's fantastic. For a lot of people who are technically challenged, they are going to want to say, first of all, how do we get training about this? And then what type of software is reasonable that I can actually figure out how to actually edit a podcast. So I was hoping you could talk a little bit about both the coursecraft and Alitu and how people can find both of those things and reach out to you.

[27:07] Colin Grey: Yeah, sure. Well, thanks for mentioning it. I mean, if anyone wants to help, we have a course on this called Launch Essentials. We also have a Growth Essentials course, which is coming out really soon too, and you can find them all in our podcraft community, which has loads of free courses in there, free resources, a community where you can reach other podcasters. But we have some paid courses in there too, including our Launch Essentials one, which guides you through all the planning stuff, around the uniqueness, the problem, the listenership, all that kind of stuff, as well as all of the setup around the technical side. So you can find that over at podcraft That's podcraft and Alitu. Yeah, I mean, there's many ways you can do a podcast. You can edit a podcast entirely for free using an app like Audacity, which is a traditional kind of audio engineering tool. But we created Alati because like I said, audio engineering tools tend to be quite full of bells and whistles and buttons and lots of different wizards and actually podcasters don't need half that. Much. So, we automated all of the audio cleanup in Alitu. We automated adding your music, your transitions. There's a call recorder in there. You can edit out all of your mistakes with a podcast tailored interface. And we've got podcast hosting in there now as well. So, you can actually do the whole thing all inside Alitu. Yes. So, if anyone wants to try that, we'd be more than delighted to have them. And it's

[28:38] Matt Hepburn:, I'm going to give you a shout out here.

[28:44] Colin Grey: Thank you.

[28:45] Matt Hepburn: Part of my training here was for doing podcasting was actually through your courses, help me select the equipment. I was going to use everything from the focus Rate Scarlet to the high LPR 40 boom Arm to the flag type of advertising, as well as and that was great for equipment wise. It helped me sink down on that. And then the course that actually helped me, which was the launch Essentials, I believe, was really about finding my voice, niching down the business, which is key, and finding a unique twist right. And trying it to my experience. So, I would recommend that to any type of local business is stay with your experience, that you have your expertise and where your passion is and how do you make that unique and how do you tie that around. Like Colin was saying, around your business and talk around your business. So, I would definitely do that. The Altitude Tool is amazing because a lot of these other tools are just so complex and I'm not going to trash any of these tools on the show, but they're so confusing, even for somebody who's been in tech for a long time. Unless you had a lot of formal training in them, you would be looking up things on YouTube every five minutes to just try to figure out how to do a little thing. So, the Altitude Tool is very easy to figure out and you can get things produced very quickly. The other part that Colin forgot to mention is that it also does transcripts. You can generate a transcript there, throw it into Word, just double check your spelling, your grammar in there and go through it. And you have everything that you need for podcasts. So, I just wanted to thank you so much for creating the courses that you create and for the software. I myself totally appreciate it. I know the people in the community that I've talked to really created really love it while they're creating content. And I just wanted to really thank you so much for coming on the show and talking about how businesses can actually create a podcast and create value.

[31:09] Colin Grey: Well, it's been a real pleasure to come on, matt, thank you so much for saying that. It's always lovely to hear when the stuff you do actually helps folks. So yeah, I appreciate you saying that.

[31:18] Matt Hepburn: Absolutely. It's fantastic. It's good stuff. The software specifically is very intuitive to understand it's not complex, which is for most people, tech wise, is great. And the course really helps you look at yourself and make you understand that you do have something to say, and that's really key. Anyway, so thank you so much for coming on the show, and I hope to talk to you soon.

[31:54] Colin Grey: Glad to help. Cheers, Matt.

[31:55] Matt Hepburn: All right. Cheers. Are you ready to break through and accelerate? How you learn SEO. Then please don't forget to subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode. You can subscribe on the podcast platform of your choice or join our email so we can keep you up to date. This is the EMJ SEO podcast with Matt Hepburn. And we'll see you next time.

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  • Matt Hepburn

    Matt is the founder of The Focus Visibility Podcast. Matt has over 14 years of experience in search engine optimization. Matt has worked with various enterprise businesses, including formerly (White Source Software), John Hancock USA, SEMrush, Commvault, and iCIMS. Matt has also worked in large and small agency environments, including Martindale Hubble, WebROI, and Search Interactions. Additionally, Matt brings 14 years of consulting on organic traffic issues that affect businesses.

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