Joe Casabona is a web developer, podcaster, author, and online educator who loves teaching and sharing his knowledge. He started podcasting and creating online courses after moving away from his teaching job at The University of Scranton.
He works as a Content Creator and Evangelist at RSS.com, where he shows podcasters the value of the platform. We hope you will love this interview!
Devrims: Joe, you’ve had an impressive career journey, transitioning from freelance web development to becoming a podcasting and course development expert. Can you share the story of what led you to discover your passion for podcasting and course creation?
Joe: From helping my clients with their websites, to teaching in the classroom, I’ve always loved teaching. When I moved away from Scranton, PA (where I taught at The University of Scranton) I wanted a way to fill the void – so I decided to start a podcast and launch my online course site.
Devrims: As the author of four books, including HTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide, can you provide insights into what inspired you to write these books and what readers can gain from them?
Joe: I learned nearly everything I know from web development books. Some, like PHP and MySQL for the Absolute Beginner and Bulletproof Web Design, had a profound impact on my career. I wanted to pay that forward by creating easy to understand books on complex topics.
Devrims: In your various roles, from helping podcasters become business owners to creating online courses and hosting How I Built It, how do you balance your time and efforts across these activities, and what do you enjoy most about each?
Joe: I constantly tell my family and friends I’m unemployable. I’m lucky enough to have made my own job out of the things I’m passionate about. I’m also a bit of a Type-A personality who enjoys the planning aspect of business. So it’s mostly about proper time management and prioritizing – but it helps that I love what I do 🙂
Devrims: Joe, you’ve had a long history with web development and WordPress. In your experience, how do you see managed WordPress hosting services benefiting website owners or online businesses compared to traditional web hosting solutions?
Joe: I have 2 confessions before I answer this question: admittedly since leaving the WordPress space, I’m not entirely up on the latest developments, and a mainstream brand, which offers managed WordPress hosting, is one of my podcast sponsors. With that out of the way, I got into WordPress in 2004 – before it supported pages. Using WordPress, even with the “world famous 5 minute install,” was not something anyone could do. You still needed to FTP the files to a server, create a database, and run the installer. As easy installers evolved and made WordPress more accessible, there was still the question of backups, security, and maintenance. Managed WordPress hosting handles that and gives you the power of flexibility of WordPress, and the security and updates of a SaaS like Squarespace.
Devrims: Some lighthearted rapid-fire questions:
|Coffee or tea when working on a new project?
|Coffee. I’m Italian, so I love a good cup of espresso too.
|Ideal podcast length for listener engagement?
|As long as it needs to be – it depends on the topic and focus.
|Android or iOS?
|Beach vacation or mountain?
Devrims: As a Content Creator and Evangelist at RSS.com, could you share your responsibilities and how you support podcasters and content creators through this role?
Joe: It’s mostly about showing podcasters all the great things that RSS.com can do for podcasters. I’ve tried so many different podcast management platforms, and RSS.com offers the best value for most podcasters. So it’s about showing them everything they can achieve by using RSS.com.
Devrims: You’ve been a Podcast Producer and Coach at Podcast Liftoff. What are some common challenges podcasters face, and how do you guide them to overcome these challenges?
Joe: Launching, growing, and monetizing are the 3 big areas that podcasters identify – but I believe there’s a root problem that can solve all 3 of these: having the best possible podcast process/workflows. Understanding your podcast process allows you to optimize for your time and talents, then spend the rest of the time working on growing you show, helping you reach the right audience, and working out monetization strategies. The best thing podcasters can do at the start is define their mission statement. This will be their guiding light for both growth, and monetization. So once we have your processes airtight, you can use the mission statement to figure out the rest.
Devrims: Could you kindly share a photo of your workspace, where you create and manage your podcasts, courses, and other projects?
Joe: Sure thing! I also maintain an archive of my design through the years here: https://casabona.org/desk
Devrims: What future projects or goals are you excited about, and how do they align with your expertise and interests?
Joe: A much stronger focus on Podcast Workflows, and a clearly defined mission statement for my membership. I’m excited to help people with Podcast Automation – I feel it’s a pretty underserved area right now.
Devrims: Finally, Joe, is there someone in the podcasting, web development, or online education space whom you admire?
Joe: Lindsay Graham of Airship/Wondery. History Daily, American History Tellers, and American Elections: Wicked Game are some of my favorite podcasts. He (and his team) do an incredible job of storytelling, which is something I don’t think enough podcasters do.