My Favorite Mistake — 234: The Beer Blogger turned Podcast Maestro: Jason Cercone’s Story, Mistakes, and Lessons

Episode page with video, transcript, and more

My guest for Episode #234 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Jason Cercone, the host of “Solo Podcasting Simplified.”

With nearly a decade of experience in the podcast world, Jason has built his brand around the consumptive power of storytelling and simplifying podcast initiatives. He helps results-driven business leaders and professionals create engaging, impactful solo podcasts – hosting, producing, or guesting on more than 1000 episodes.

Jason shares his favorite mistake story about engaging too much with a Twitter troll when he had launched a craft beer blog… and why it was a mistake to start a podcast just to compete with this troll.

In this episode, Jason also shares his unique journey – from an infatuation with radio broadcasting to his emergence as a podcast consultant, intent on helping business professionals capitalize on the power of solo podcasting. The episode uncovers Jason’s first steps into the world of podcasting, characterized by critical learning experiences and a zeal that spiraled into a flourishing podcasting venture. Despite initial struggles and self-doubt, Jason’s approach to convert every misstep into a solid stepping stone is remarkably inspiring.

Venturing into the second half of our podcast, we gain a deep understanding of the holistic elements of creating a successful podcast. With lessons learned from a journey that began at the barstool of a noisy tavern, Jason emphasizes building podcasts with a purpose, concentrating on the value it delivers to listeners rather than chasing high download numbers. His unparalleled journey will certainly inspire you to consider looking beyond the vanity metrics and developing a value-driven content delivery approach in the dynamic world of podcasting.

Listeners can join Jason on his website and set up a free 30-minute Discovery Session to learn more about how he can help them create and grow an engaging, impactful solo podcast. Please visit

Questions and Topics:

  • Learning the things you’d advise people NOT to do now?
  • How many people just wing it instead of researching or even getting help?
  • Or expect overnight success?
  • Why are download numbers a “skewed vanity metric?”
  • Podcasting mistakes? Format choice?
  • Why should new, aspiring podcasters start by launching a solo podcast?
  • Kristen Carder – I Have ADHD Podcast
  • Being flexible with your format? Having some guests?
  • New podcast coming soon? Re-branding a show

Harnessing the Power of Solo Podcasting: Decoding Jason Cercone’s Journey

Podcast enthusiast Jason Cercone brings nearly a decade of experience in the burgeoning world of podcasting. Having built his personal brand around the impactful aspect of storytelling and the simplification of podcast marketing strategies, his mission as a podcast consultant is to help business leaders and other professionals harness the power of the solo podcast.

Solo podcasts offer a more personal, exclusive experience to listeners compared to guest or co-hosted formats. The value in these solo podcasts is the direct connection between the host and their audience, creating a space for deeper insights, discussions, and impact.

Cercone’s journey into podcasting began during his years as a University of Pittsburgh student in Bradford, Pennsylvania. There, he stumbled upon a love for radio broadcasting, which later became the foundation of his podcasting career. In 2015, Cercone bravely pivoted from his communications journey into the beer industry, supporting the groundswell movement of small breweries through a craft beer advocacy blog.

As an initiative to better connect beer consumers to local events, Cercone launched a mobile app, only to be met with criticism from a troll on Twitter. This adversarial interaction fueled him to step further into the podcast world, vowing to create a beer podcast superior to that of his online detractor. His first podcast attempt was held in a noisy bar during trivia night, with minimal preparation, planning or editing in place. As he admits, this was a misstep and did not immediately fulfill his objective of creating a standout podcast, yet it reignited his passion for audio content creation.

Cercone’s introduction to the podcast world was a steep learning curve, and he decided to take a break after a few episodes in order to develop his skills. With a focused goal to improve his podcasting skills, he spent a year and a half studying radio and television personalities, learning how to engage and connect with an audience effectively.

Building a Podcast with Purpose: Moving Beyond the Vanity Metrics

Upon his return to the podcasting world, Cercone was better prepared to create impactful content and help others navigate the realm of podcasting. A major factor he highlights when starting a podcast is understanding the why behind it. Rather than being lured by the allure of a high download count or focusing on swift monetization, the primary objective should be based on the value the podcast provides to its listeners.

For business owners and professionals, podcasting facilitates direct communication with their audience. The power of the podcast is not necessarily in the number of downloads but in its ability to attract potential and support existing clients. A successful podcast is one that caters to its specific audience, maintaining a consistent delivery of valuable content. This nurtures a loyal listenership and can lead to broader customer attraction and brand advocacy.

According to Cercone, there’s no specific rule set or rigid format to podcasting. A podcast can feature guests if they bring value to the audience, even in a solo podcast format. He advises thinking outside the box when devising a podcast strategy, understanding that time constraints and download numbers should not be the ultimate measure of a podcast’s success. The ultimate goal, he shares, is to focus on delivering value to the listeners and ensuring they walk away satisfied from each episode.

The Mantra of Consistency: The Key Component of Successful Podcasting

Expounding on Jason Cercone’s insights into successful podcasting, one of the most critical aspects he highlighted was the importance of consistency. A podcast, irrespective of its format, should maintain regularity in the release of its episodes; a critical expectation from its audience. Listeners tend to form a routine around their favorite shows, usually fitting in the episodes into their day-to-day activities. Consuming podcast content becomes a ritual, whether during the morning workout, the drive to work, or even on daily walks.

Cercone argues that consistency in episode release is everything, yet, it shouldn’t stress out the podcaster. Determining a release frequency that aligns with available time and resources is crucial. Weekly, biweekly, or, in some cases, monthly releases can all work to create regularity for the audience. Going beyond a monthly release cycle could risk losing audience engagement, due to lack of enough content to keep them invested.

The podcaster, according to Cercone, carries a responsibility to the audience. If they need a break, whether to revamp the content, refresh their creativity, or deal with other priorities, they should communicate this to their listeners candidly. Informing the audience about the hiatus and when they should expect new episodes helps ensure listeners continue anticipating new content. In the meantime, podcasters can encourage their listeners to explore previous unlistened episodes in the catalog.

Speaking Directly to the Listener: Building Intimacy and Growth

The power of podcasting lies in its personal and intimate approach to communication. When a podcast is streamed, it often finds its way directly to the listener’s ear, establishing an intimate connection between the content creator and the listener. This level of engagement is significant in a world marked by fleeting attention spans, with listeners dedicating a portion of their time exclusively to the content of the podcast.

Consequently, podcasters ought to understand that they communicate directly to one person- the listener. The primary focus should always be on enhancing the listener’s experience. When the content resonates with individual listeners, the chances are that the podcast will begin to attract listeners with similar interests or challenges, thereby fostering growth.

In his journey, Cercone also experienced a phase of rebranding his podcast to better align with his mission and the audience he intended to serve. This shift illustrates the need for flexibility and evolution to ensure the podcast remains valuable and relevant to a changing audience demographic or evolving mission themes.

In the end, the primary determinants of a podcast’s success go beyond download numbers or financial gains. The unique value it delivers to its audience, the intimate relationships it maintains with its listeners, and the consistency in delivering insightful content determine its ultimate success.