“How to Become the Center of Influence Through Podcasting with Your Bestie” with Grace Atwood and Becca Freeman of the Bad on Paper Podcast

“How to Become the Center of Influence Through Podcasting with Your Bestie” with Grace Atwood and Becca Freeman of the Bad on Paper Podcast


As part of my series of interviews about “How to Become the Center of Influence Through Podcasting”, I had the pleasure of interviewing your new internet besties give you a weekly dose of books, banter, and folks you should be following on the Bad on Paper Podcast. Join 30-something reading enthusiasts and real-life besties Grace Atwood and Becca Freeman every month for a book club featuring a read they promise you won’t be able to put down. In between, they’re joined by guests for conversations on careers, dating, fashion, and more.

About Grace Atwood: Grace Atwood is the founder of The Stripe (est. January 2010), a lifestyle blog for stylish bookworms. She grew up on Cape Cod, which she credits for her love of nautical stripes. Prior to running her site full-time, Grace was the Director of Social Media for BaubleBar. Outside of work, Grace’s passions include food, wine, art, yoga, reading, and her Persian cat Tyrion.

About Becca Freeman: Becca is a freelance marketing consultant in New York City. Previously, she was the Head of Marketing at LOLA. When not working, reading, or podcasting, Becca loves plane tickets, red wine, and 30 Rock reruns and has never met a dog in a costume she hasn’t liked.

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Can you tell us the “backstory” about why or how you got started as a podcaster?

Grace: We knew that podcasts were kind of the next big thing, but honestly, we didn’t know much else! As a blogger + Instagrammer it’s really important to stay up to date on what’s going on in the space. I asked Becca if she’d do it with me and she said yes!

Becca: Grace caught me a “New Year, New Me” themed mantra and I’d committed to saying yes more. When I originally agreed to do it, I was thinking about the podcast as a fun hobby, not necessarily a new career!

Can you share a story about the most interesting thing that has happened to you since you started podcasting?

Grace: It’s amazing who has had said yes to us. We just had Graham Norton on, and Cindy Crawford will be joining us on 10/23.

Becca: Also doing live shows! We definitely didn’t foresee the way that the podcast would evolve offline. We’re currently in the midst of a 6-city tour of live shows!

Can you share a story about the biggest or funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Grace: The audio issues have definitely been interesting. At one point, we had one of our voices going into one ear of a pair of headphones, and the other going into the other. We got a lot of complaints and had to scramble to figure out the solution. Luckily, there are YouTube tutorials out there for pretty much every issue you can imagine!

How long have you been podcasting and how many shows have you aired?

We’ve been podcasting since March of 2018 and have done 79 episodes. We also did 6 live shows last Spring. This Fall, we have another 6 on the books (we kicked off the tour 10/2 in San Francisco!)

What are the main takeaways or lessons you want your listeners to walk away with?

Grace: It really varies by episode, but the biggest takeaway that we want our listeners to have is that “you are not alone.” We share the highs and lows, successes and struggles, because we want our audience to know they’re not alone in those things! But it definitely depends on the episode.

Becca: We try to walk a fine line between being an escape for our listeners and talking about fun things like books and beauty and also talking about more serious topics like money and politics. My favorite responses have been from listeners telling us how they used the advice in our money episode to get a raise!

Check out the full interview in Tracy Hazzard’s Authority Magazine article about Grace Atwood and Becca Freeman!

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Podcaster Influencers, Grace Atwood and Becca Freeman of the Bad on Paper Podcast share the best ways to:

1) Book Great Guests. Just ask! As we mentioned above, we have been shocked by who has said agreed to be interviewed. You never know, so why not ask! The worst they can do is ignore your message or say no. We’ve found DMing potential guests via Instagram has been effective. Once we make contact, we’ll follow up with a lengthier email explaining who we are and what we do!

2) Increase Listeners. One of the best ways to increase your listenership is to be a guest on other podcasts that have similar audience demos. I was interviewed on the Ali on the Run Show this summer and still get DM’s from new listeners that found our podcast from that episode. The same goes for Be there in Five and The JTrain Podcast. We will say that the best way to start a relationship is to ask someone to guest on your podcast — not the other way around. Start a relationship, and maybe they’ll invite you to come on their show!

3) Encourage Engagement. Be really consistent. I’ve seen a lot of other podcasts fail and it isn’t because they don’t have great content; it’s because they get tired or frustrated. For the first year, commit to posting once a week at the same day and time. Our audience now expects a new episode every Wednesday morning (we publish at 12:01am on the dot!) If we don’t have a new episode up, something is very wrong! But similar to any social media form (blogging, Instagram, etc.) you have to stick with it and create the expectation (and excitement) that you’ll be posting on X day at X time every week. Your audience will come to expect it and know to check in and look for a new episode!

4) Produce in a Professional Way. You don’t need to start with the fanciest equipment or a recording studio. We kept things very low budget at first; buying mics and an entry level recorder on Amazon. We later upgraded to a nicer recorder. I think people think you have to start with amazing equipment. There’s also so much information on YouTube to help you get started even if you’re a total audio novice (we were)

5) Monetize. Focus on the content quality and audience growth and the money will follow. Most podcast advertising is on a CPM basis, so the money you earn is completely dependent on audience size. Also, think about building direct brand relationships (in addition to working with agencies). The ad relationships we have with brands directly tend to be deeper and longer-term which ultimately benefits both parties.

What makes your podcast binge-listenable? What do you think makes your podcast unique from the others in your category? What do you think is special about you as a host, your guests, or the content itself?

Check out the full interview in Tracy Hazzard’s Authority Magazine article about Grace Atwood and Becca Freeman!

Picture of Tracy Hazzard

Tracy Hazzard

Tracy Hazzard is a former Authority Magazine and Inc. Magazine Columnist on disruptive innovation, and host of 5 top-ranked podcasts including: The Binge Factor and Feed Your Brand–one of CIO’s Top 26 Entrepreneur Podcasts. She is the co-founder of Podetize, the largest podcast post-production company in the U.S. As a content, product, and influence strategist for networks, corporations, marketing agencies, entrepreneurs, publications, speakers, authors & experts, Tracy influences and casts branded content with $2 Billion worth of innovation around the world. Her marketing methods and AI-integrated platform, provides businesses of all sizes a system to spread their authentic voices from video to podcast to blog, growing an engaged audience and growing valuable digital authority.
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