Welcome to the latest edition of The Entrepreneur’s Tech Stack. I’m your host, Simon Owens. For those who don’t know me, I write a media industry newsletter you should definitely check out.
Today’s featured entrepreneur is Melody Ma. In 2019, she co-founded Podyssey Podcasts, an online community platform for podcast enthusiasts that’s like a “Goodreads for podcasts.” In addition to its website, Podyssey operates an iOS and Android podcast app, as well as a weekly newsletter where Melody rounds up the best podcast community recommendations. Over 1.5 million people use Podyssey’s website or app every year, and there are over 21,000 enthusiastic podcast superfans subscribed to its weekly podcast recommendations newsletter.
Melody walked us through the products that are absolutely essential to her business:
We use FormPay for ad sales. I created FormPay to allow my Podyssey ad buyers to make self-service ad purchases (right here!). Before, I had to use multiple pieces of software to collect ad booking information, manually invoice people, and collect payments. With FormPay, the entire ad purchasing process is self-serve, meaning buyers provide all the information and payment in one go without needing to interact with me. It has saved me countless hours of administrative work I used to dread.
Taddy is the turkey solution that helps us pull 4+ million podcasts and 95+ million podcast episodes into Podyssey. Inspired by the tech that powers podcasts, Taddy also helps comic creators self-publish their own digital comic. Creators keep 100% of their IP rights and 100% of revenue from their comics.
Mailchimp with Podyssey’s custom Google Doc to HTML automation process
We use Mailchimp for our weekly podcast recommendation newsletter and our user onboarding emails. Despite the growing cost due to our large mailing list, we’ve stuck with Mailchimp because we’ve created an automated workflow that builds our newsletter’s HTML from a Google Doc, saving us hours from manually assembling our visually-rich recommendation emails. Mailchimp also has simple A/B testing tools and drip marketing funnels that are generally sufficient for our needs.
We rely on Canva for all our creative assets, including newsletters and app creative assets, as well as for presentations like media kits. We’ve set up several templates on Canva that we just consistently reuse. At just over $100 for a single seat annual license fee, it’s much more affordable compared to other design software. Canva does a lot of the heavy lifting for design, so we can focus on communicating our ideas effectively.
Notion is a tool that I can’t live without. It’s Podyssey’s internal wiki, and also my personal task scheduler. I use it to make sure everything is on track, from Podyssey’s newsletter production schedules to my personal to-do list. We’ve used Notion for everything from hosting job posts to providing instructions for newsletter partner swaps.
I’m a loyal Wave Accounting user. First of all, it’s completely free for its core accounting functionalities. The platform is equipped with everything necessary for basic bookkeeping and financial reporting. Plus, invoicing is seamlessly integrated into the accounting package at no additional cost. If you require bookkeeping assistance during tax season, Wave offers consultant services for a reasonable fixed price for the month. While their payroll solution does have a monthly fee, it scales with the number of employees. Wave’s user interface is also very user-friendly and continually improving.
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