Michael Stelzner is the founder of Social Media Examiner, author of the books Launch and Writing White Papers and the man behind large events, such as Social Media Marketing World and Social Media Success Summit. He is also host of the Social Media Marketing podcast show.

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Here are just a few highlights from my talk with Michael. 

Earning money from your online presence might involve offline channels (09:30): "We don't sell anything on [SocialMediaExaminer.com]. We do sell a little bit of advertising into the e-mail newsletter distribution... but that's not really where we make our money... We make our money doing physical events and online events, and it makes enough to basically power the entire ship. Because, at the end of the day, we know we need only a [fraction] of people to come to our conferences to make more than enough money to fund the editorial team that it takes to keep something like Social Media Examiner continuing to grow."

If you're thinking about podcasting, now's the time to start (14:16): "I believe that we are in an inflection point with podcasting... We surveyed 3,000 marketers earlier this year, and only 5% of them are doing podcasting but 24% are planning on doing podcasting this year. Of all the things... that was the single biggest spike in growth—that's like a 5x growth rate. The reason[s] why podcasting is exploding right now:

  1. Smartphone penetration has finally reached almost saturation point. Most people have a smartphone in their pocket, which essentially is a receiver that allows them to actually listen to podcasts anywhere, where in the past it was much more complicated. 
  2. The data-transfer rates... make it very easy for people to listen to on-demand podcasts.
  3. Apple is putting its arms around podcasting in a major way... One billion podcasts subscriptions are now in the iTunes library, which probably is about 200 million people.
  4. [Podcasting] is working its way into cars. Ford and BMW both announced integration of podcasting into new vehicles via Stitcher radio. The future is that podcasting will be augmenting or replacing radio in the same way that blogs are replacing print." 

Younger and older generations alike can benefit from unplugging to pursue offline adventures (21:20): "My kids are addicted to their devices, just like we are. They've got their little Nintendo DSs and their iPads and stuff. My challenge was that I was seeing my kids retreating from mom and dad, and having their own little adventures, and I wanted to let them see that they could have fun without electronics. I'm not anti-electronics... but a lot of times they have way more fun. They just need to be introduced to the ideas: things you and I did when we were kids... That's the fun stuff."  

For more information, visit MyKidsAdventures.com or SocialMediaExaminer.com, or follow Michael on Twitter: @Mike_Stelzner.

We talked about much more, so be sure to listen to the entire show featuring Michael, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode! 

Music credit: Noam Weinstein.

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