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Own Your Voice and Grow Your Podcast with Liza Miller, Host of Motorcycles & Misfits

Watch the Podcast on YouTube and see inside Liza’s Studio!

Get to know the genius behind the successful podcast, Motorcycles & Misfits. Liza Miller started this podcast back in 2013 in the co-op motorcycle garage she runs in Santa Cruz, California, the Re-Cycle Garage. What started as a passionate conversation with a few misfits after turning a wrench on a Sunday afternoon has become a popular podcast that will clear its 500th episode and over 3 million listens this year.

Motorcycles & Misfits is an inclusive haven for passionate motorcyclists of every stripe, age, and walk of life. You’ll hear about Liza, Miss Emma, Bagel, Stumpy John, and other Re-cycle Garage Misfits. You’ll learn how she grew her podcast through attending events, recording on location, selling merch, and getting excellent guests on her show. From stunt riders like Gary Davis who jumped his motorcycle more successfully than Evel Knievel himself, to Hollywood celebrities like Norman Reedus of Walking Dead and Boondock Saints. Norman Reedus even included their band of misfits on the first episode of his motorcycle focused TV show, Ride with Norman Reedus.

00:00 Introducing Liza Miller and Re-Cycle Garage in Santa Cruz, CA

03:20 Julie’s secret…

04:50 Liza on keeping her podcast fresh as she nears 500 episodes

06:00 Engaging audience through contests and more

07:43 The history of recording Motorcycles & Misfits in the Re-Cycle Garage, and moving into their studio (with a visual tour on YouTube version of this podcast)

11:00 On getting better sound in your home recording space

13:30 On choosing her band of misfits, cohosts, and regular guests on the show

19:10 Liza’s minimalistic approach to editing

27:40 Liza’s portable recording studio: Zoom H6

28:45 Leading with purpose first, monetizing second (advertisers + Patreon)

32:20 Using t-shirt rewards as an incentive for members to join the Patreon community of Misfits

34:30 Liza’s advice to new podcasters or those that have stagnated

To get a taste of Motorcycles & Misfits, you can check out last week’s Podtease!

We featured their interview with motorcycling legend, Gary Davis. It was an episode that was almost lost due to technical difficulties, offering Liza and her crew a few lessons about using new, untested technology for an important recording. You’ll fall in love with the show, and really want to add their podcast to your queue.

About Re-cycle Garage and Motorcycles & Misfits:

The mission of Re-Cycle Garage in Santa Cruz is to get old motorcycles back on the road and to teach people how to wrench on them. Over the years we have built up an amazing community through our free-to-all motorcycle garage. Our podcast consists of a rotating cast of characters sharing their stories, knowledge and experiences, as well as special guest interviews.


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Own Your Voice and Grow Your Podcast with Liza Miller, Host of Motorcycles & Misfits

The Motorcycles & Misfits Podcast Logo

Jules. Wow, well we’re here this day has been coming for a while. I’ve, had to move mountains to get both you and me on this particular call on a Saturday with someone I immensely just love and respect in the world of podcasting. So Jules, I’m gonna introduce you today to the infamous Liza Miller of Motorcycles & Misfits. She might be a misfit. She’s amazing, I’m a misfit too.

We’re we’re podcasting misfits for sure. Oh, that is, that’s a good idea. Yes we are. So I, I wanna tell you a little bit about her before I bring her up to stage, but, um, her name’s Liza Miller. I’ve known her for at least 15 years, cuz we met before I. Married, my husband, and I think we’ve been married holy cow, 10 years, this summer cow, anyhow, she’s nuts for everything related to motorcycles.

And, and what I think is one of those healthy obsession ways. So I think you’re gonna love that. Well, find out we’re gonna find out healthy. Yeah, healthy, unhealthy. I think it’s healthy, but she runs this, um, motorcycle garage in Santa Cruz, which has become a co-op. And it’s like this space for people to come to get advice about riding safely, get the gear that they need work on their motorcycles, just really collaborate and have a healthy community around all things motorcycling.

And they’re really indiscriminate about what type of rider you might be, whether you. Scooters or, you know, something more and if you are into Harley’s or sports bikes, and so that kind of agnostic love for just all things, two wheels, which I just have immense respect for I’m, you know, somebody personally who, I mean, I’ve raced cars on tracks and I’m a car junkie.

One of my favorite podcasts or radio shows ever is car talk. And so I think. I’m introducing myself to Eliza’s show has felt a little bit like kind of stepping through that memory door into the days when every Sunday I would listen to car, talk myself and with my dad. And I just, I really love it even though I’m not a motorcycle girl.

So I love that. I will say without further ado, we’re gonna bring Liza up and we’re gonna hear from her about all things podcasting. Since 2013, she’s been doing this thing called podcasting. Let’s rev those motors. There she is.

Hey, the one at me. Woo. Hey Corinna, you nailed that intro by the way!

Well, I have been thinking about it for a while.

We had to delay this a couple weeks. I got COVID going to a conference among other things. And, the chaos of our lives, Jules is in, the Chicago area and she has four boys. And they’re all home for summer. So, if we hear the rowdy intrusiosn now, and then that’s what it is beyond the bird chirping and, and all the beautiful weather that she’s having right now.

Yes. I love that. But the one thing you did not tell her, and I don’t even know Corrina is that we have a har we have two motorcycles in our garage right now, a Harley road king, and I don’t know what the other one is, but I was gonna run down. What color is it? It’s like maroon. And it has the handlebar like this, the upper handlebar, you know? Yeah. What do they call those?

Ape hangers.

That’s right. I was gonna say monkey bars. I knew that wasn’t right. I’m just a passenger though. On the motorcycle. Yeah. Yeah. I had one for a while, but you know, you’re braver than me. It wasn’t my thing.

I can’t ride on the back. Yeah,

I’ve been kind of relegated to just stay at home with the kids now, because I I’m always on the back screaming, slow down, slow down.

You’re going too fast. I’m a fun, I’m I’m a fun one.

Well, I always like to say when I take a passenger and I wanna earn their trust and I say, if I’m going too, too fast, just tap me twice on the shoulder. And if I’m going too slow and you want me to go faster? Tap me twice on the shoulder.

So Liza yeah, you’re, you’re a ride or die podcaster, I guess.

So. Yeah, I’ve been doing it a long time.

And when I was talking to Corinna earlier, I said, I wanna ask her. Has she gotten bored of podcasting almost 500 episodes. And how do you keep it fresh?

That amazes me myself. Mm-hmm um, you know, I don’t know. I just, I, I have fun doing it and I am always able to come up with new stuff, but more so I don’t record it by myself.

I have a whole. Crew with me. Um, in fact, it’s been referred to as a constantly rotating cast of characters. Uh, the studio I’m in right now is set up with 12 mics and 12 chairs. Wow. Um, so we have, I mean, a group of people that come in and so it’s always been a different, um, you know, it rotates and you get different energy, different stories coming in, and that makes.

Easier cuz everyone’s got a story to tell from the, you know, very experienced writer who has a lot of information to hand down to the brand new writer who wants to share like all like the fears and anxiety that they’re pushing through and, and in learning. So everyone’s got a story and it’s just getting those stories out of them, you know?

Well, and I think that you do a few things really creatively. I have just been really entertained by personally. So this is something that happened. I think this spring, you ran a contest at the recycled garage where people, it was, whoever was on their motorcycle. The last man on the motorcycle mm-hmm would win a thousand dollars cash prize.

Yeah. Called the numb nuts challenge. Because you gotta be a numb nut to do that.

And you might get numb nuts, right? you might get numb. I knew Karina was gonna say that, like, I’m, I’m just waiting for her to say that, but literally, I mean, it was entertaining and she just kept giving updates on social. But this is just one of the, I think, genius ways that you’ve connected with your community.

And we had a burlesque show in the parking lot.

Oh, that is so cool.

Yeah. We hired burlesque crew to come and, uh, Just just did bur parking lot. Burlesque should be a thing. I’m just saying fire, dancing among other things. Right.

Wow. Wow.

That was pretty fun.

That’s amazing. And I, what I, what comes to me first and foremost is that you’re doing everything you love to do.


You, you are not living a life that is beige.

No, no. Multicolor, just like all the toys I’m surrounded by. I am seeing that. It’s fascinating. Yeah. These go, um, around the room. Wait, what? It’s it’s four walls. Oh, yeah, it’s pretty crazy. Yeah.

So, for those who are listening, she’s got shelves behind her and then circling the garage that have all sorts of motorcycle, um, small motorcycle figures and stuff like that.

Not in the garage. I’m in my studio. We used to record in the garage for we’re many years.

You’re a girl who loves toys. I’m just saying…

Yeah, I have all these toys, all these Motorcycles that was its own thing is we used to, so I run. Recycle garage. It’s a co-op garage space. And every Sunday people come over and work on bikes. And then by the end of the day, we’d put all the tools away and we’d unpack all the sound equipment and set it up in the garage.

And I had up to 16 people sitting in the garage mic’ed up and then we’d have to put it all back at the end of the night. So finally, after many years I got. A space, uh, that was vacated, uh, that my dad was using for his toy trains, which is why this room is, is full of shelves. And I was able to put the studio in here and all my toys as well.

So now we can leave all the equipment set up, but yeah, for many years that was a lot of work setting up and breaking down all the equipment.

Even just taking one microphone with my little zoom pod track P four. Yeah. Which is, I know you have a whole mixing board, but I’ve seen the pictures of that and everything.

Oh yeah. But I’ve not been to your studio sound board. Yep. That’s you know, a lot more than a road caster. That’s more like what I used when I was in college doing technical directing and audio work, but like, uh, I mean, you’ve got the whole setup and when you go. Packed down a single microphone, an external recruiting device, maybe a boom arm.

That’s enough work in itself. Now you’re talking about doing that time 17, and that’s just,

We’re talking about, um, Mike stands, mics, pop filters. Headphones all cabled up all around the garage from the soundboard. Yeah. Yeah. That’s just a lot.

Well, I commend you for doing it as long as you did the way you did.

I mean, I think there’s something to that authenticity of recording in your garage that probably captured the imaginations of your audience as well.

Yeah. But now we have the studio and I was able to make it, uh, if I’ll show you there, if I soundproof the ceiling and then actually all these shelves full of toy motorcycles.

Act as soundproofing, uh, to get better sound cuz that’s something that’s always been important to me is good sound quality. Yeah. And in fact, I started out, uh, in a past life. I used to be a live sound engineer for music. Hmm. So that’s why when we started doing this podcast, I’m like, well, I know how to do sound.

And that’s why I have, uh, analog. Sound board and equipment, because that’s what I know. That’s what I trust. And so I, I was able to, um, yeah, wire everything up and, and run a board rather than, uh, you know, I just don’t like the sound as much of the like USB digital mics. Mm-hmm if you’re just doing one, that’s great.

But when you have a room full of people, Yeah, and I wanna have more control and I, and again, um, I have a sound engineer’s, you know, ear, so I hear everything. And so, um, I wanted to have good sound. I thought that that was very important. Yeah.

Well even just spending a little bit of time in college in that world.

Also lended that to me. So I have sound paneling all over here. Mm-hmm and even though I’m in the same room with our server, which makes this room have a constant. A little bit of a buzz because of the fans that are on the server, I’ve managed to reduce that to almost nothing and then can correct a lot of the rest and post.

But I even put the green screen I have here is two layer and because it’s two layer, it actually, um, It makes a room smaller. And so everything just sounds warmer, curtains, all those little things that you can do to make the room softer. And, um, that’s something I’m passionate about too, but the microphone helped too.

When I switched to shore from the last iteration well, I must drive you crazy with my, the birds chirping the windows open, open, no sound paneling.

Uh, you don’t drive me crazy, but, um, for, for me personally, mm-hmm, in my show. And as much as I can control, I wanna have good sound. Mm-hmm yeah, I think that again, I think that that is important and sets.

Yourself, uh, apart, one of the things that drives me crazy is when you get a lot of podcasts where they just have the room mic, and they’re talking in a room like, and they’ll do it in their kitchen or something, mm-hmm , and it’s got all this ambient sound and, and reverberation, and it’s just kind of a hollow sound to me.

Mm-hmm um, yeah, that I don’t like, cuz like you can, you’re not making a much effort. You.

It sounds like you’re in a tin can.

Yeah. And you don’t have to have expensive mics. Um, the mic that I’m on right now, um, I think these are like, I don’t know, 50 bucks, 40 bucks. They’re not expensive. The point is you don’t have to spend a lot of money if you spend the time and control the environment and your, your mic technique,

Learning the craft. That’s the critical point. So I’d like to get into talking a little bit about your co-hosts. Um, I call them co-host because they’re the most constant that I hear, which is probably miss Emma and the bagel or bagel you call ’em bagel and bagel. And I used to have another friend who had that nickname.

So I was like, It’s not him. It can’t be him.

It’s Bagel, and we call him the bageler. we get, everyone gets, most, everyone gets nicknames here. Stumpy John. Naked Jim, Award-Winning Mike. Because we have so many people coming through it helps everyone know which one it is.

Well, how did you choose them? How did you end up working so much with, Miss Emma as an example?

Liza Miller on her motorcycle, with Miss Emma, hands on hips in the background at the Re-Cycle Garage in Santa Cruz, CA.

Well, Emma, we stole her, um, we found her when we were doing a, a field trip as we do, sometimes we go and explore and she was, uh, working at a motorcycle museum down in Monterey. And we came in like a storm, just, you know, we’re having fun, got to know her and said, Hey, well, you know, come up and join us sometime.

and she did and, and then ended up loving it and staying, and then we stole her from the museum. So now she comes up every Sunday. , she’s actually a master mechanic as well. Yeah. With her own mechanic shop, she does four living through the week, fixing people’s bikes and then on Sundays comes and donates her time to help people fix their motorcycles and her depth of knowledge.

Extreme. Incredible. Just incredible. So she’s a great asset, but she comes because she loves it and, and is another perfect example of what the misfit are and we’re all inclusive. It doesn’t matter how old you are, where you’re from. I mean, and there nothing matters. Your love for motorcycles is. That’s yeah, that’s the common thread and we have people.

I mean, Emma’s, I think, uh, let’s just say she’s a few she’s few years older than me and I’m in my fifties, we got people in their forties, thirties, twenties, and then sometimes we have teenagers hanging out. Mm-hmm . Yeah.

Well, what I’ll say is I’ve been really impressed with her depth of knowledge. Yeah. And again, like having that, when she goes on her rants about, you know, existing technologies and different motorcycles, or when you’re getting deep into what the differences are between one bike and another, and one technology or another, I feel like I’m back in that, you know, like we’re in this coffee shop culture of just sitting there and, and shooting the breeze about everything mechanical.

Isn’t even in the cars that I might love. So I found myself resonating with that, even though I’m not a motorcycle chick. I mean, I tried for a little bit, I had a band at 400, which I promptly crashed and, you know, wanted to get back on, but the clutch channel was broken off. And so was one of the pegs. And like, it couldn’t literally ride at home at my current skill level.

So Matt got on the beast and like was able to. Pull the clutch and do the whole thing to get home. Um, but yeah, it’s, it ended rather up abruptly that day because it took a long time to fix. And by the time it was fixed, I had just said, you know, maybe it’s just a horse thing. I’m into horses and I’ll stick with that.

Yeah. It’s not, not for everyone.

All these different connections you’re making and the growth of your podcast. I’m quite certain it has to do with this community. You’re building around you. Um, I mean, it, it, and cause you’re awesome.

Um, consistency and quality mm-hmm are very important.

It’s been very important to me to put out a show every week. I think we’ve missed it twice. Twice there. I think there were two times for whatever reason I was traveling or whatever reason I just couldn’t do it. And I hadn’t banked one. So consistency, I think is very important. Um, I said quality and having good sound.

I remember when we started doing it, the first one was just a single mic sitting in between three of us talking and nobody knew what we were doing. And there’s people walking around us slamming drawers as, or getting tools out. And we were just, you know, trying it out. Mm-hmm um, And I said, you know what?

I think by episode 10, we’ll have this whole thing figured out

I remember listening to that first episode and I think you, you weren’t even sure what you were calling it yet. Yeah.

Yeah. We hadn’t even didn’t even have our name straight

I was like, is this misfits and motorcycles?

What are we? yeah. Motorcycles and mechanics. We were trying it all out. Yeah. I mean, it was literally, um, the, the way the podcast came out is, um, so we sit around the garage and we. Tell stories and we, we talk about stuff and theorize and, and, and talk about history and just, um, we just, you know, sit around, shoot the shit. It’s a very you know, community.

And I said, it would be really cool if we could bottle this and share it with the world, these kind of conversations we’re having. And that’s when it was like, oh, we can, we can do a podcast. So. We just started doing it just for ourselves, just for our own enjoyment and putting it out there. And I kept kind of getting more and more equipment and, you know, oh, we’re gonna need more than one mic.

So I bought a little four channel mixer and four mics, you know, and then more people started going, oh, what are you guys doing in here? And they wanted to join us. And I. Bought another four channel mixer and I just ran them in tandem so now I had seven channels and then say more and more people were getting in to wanna come.

I bought another bigger mixer. I mean, it just kind of, and more mic stands and more, more stuff and more headphones, headphones, splitters. So everyone could have different controls. I just kept investing in more and more equipment, um, to get better and better sound.

Yeah, well, and that just makes the editing that much more complicated.

How much time do you actually spend in editing? Because I understand you still edit your own shows.

Yeah. You’re not gonna like my answer.. So, I believe in, in getting the sound, um, as good as you can, uh, here in the studio so that, um, when I go and edit it’s, it’s pretty quick. Uh, two weeks ago we recorded the podcast and I had one hour to get it edited, posted and eat my dinner before I had to drive to the airport and catch a flight. And I got there early. Wow. Yeah, I’ve got it. So streamlined. Now the process that I can do it very, very quickly.

So I love that answer because we’ll be like that one day.

Well, she said, well, I mean, she’s essentially said that she’s optimized everything to the point where it doesn’t require that much. Mm-hmm and so it’s not taking her all that much time. She’s not going through like some maniac, like me and, you know, taking each of the little sections and going, oh, well, there was.

Background noise here. I might be able to eliminate or whatever and just take it off of somebody’s.

So I do, I do that. Mm-hmm I do some editing, but I’m doing it as we’re recording and talking, I hear something or I make a note to myself, like I need to change that. Or there are a lot of times there may be, um, a technical error, you know, and then I write down, I look over the soundboard, um, and I write down the.

Hm, so that I have this list brilliant times. And then when I go sit down, I don’t have to listen to the whole thing because I’ve been making notes as I’m hearing everything we’re doing. And I go in there and I edit or remove.

I’ve got to start doing that myself.

Well, most people can’t, most people can’t listen and participate at the same.

But this is something that, because I was a sound engineer and I got my ear trained, I can do that. I’m listening and participating and running the conversation. And I’m doing that with my little notepad. So I’m running it very loosely, but that’s the trick is being able to listen and then write down those times and go back and immediately do that.

Let’s talk about your show format for a minute, because yours is different than many out there. Namely in that it’s long, it tends to go a little long. And I think when you and I talked about this offline, you had said something like it takes you the first 19 minute, uh, first half hour to get the conversation going the next 60 to really dig into a subject.

And then you have to spend the next. Half hour to an hour kind of winding it down or something.

Pump like that. Pumping the breaks.

So that most of your episodes are close to two hours

Two is the target. Uh, and when I’m not here and I’ll let some of the other people run it they’re like hour. Sounds good. um, no two hours just cuz we have so much to talk about. I usually, so I, in my head, I have it in segments and that’s what that list I was showing you.

Even though it just looks like a bunch of things scribble down in my mind. I know I’m doing like, all right, the first 15 minutes, I wanted to talk about what we are working on in the garage. Then I’m gonna run, then I might have my ad and then I might do, let’s do, uh, a game and then that’ll last for probably 10, 15 minutes.

And then we’re gonna do a half hour with the guests talking about whatever, then, you know, I, I kind of in my head have it in 15 minute chunks and know what I wanna do, but you know, sometimes. You don’t know, um, when you have people on, you don’t know if they’re good storytellers or not, right. Or even when it’s just us sitting around the room, I’m the only one who does any prep.

Everyone else just shows up. And, um, Emma gladly can talk about anything at length as if she just studied it, but she just knows everything. Um, but you just, you never know how long a conversation or topic might go. So I actually have extra topics written down. so that if it I’m coming up short, then I can like add in some.

Hey, did you see in the news about this new thing, or what do you think about this? Uh, on the same token, sometimes I’m cutting stuff on the fly. If something is going long, then I just am crossing it out and making it. Oh, we’ll talk about that another time. So, um, I don’t know ahead of time. Exactly. How long each conversation or each thing will go, but I have a goal and I’m able to cut or add on the fly.

So you would describe it as kind of a loose framework. It sounds like, like you’ve got your basic structure laid up.

Yeah, exactly. Um, and the, the frightening thing is there are times that. I don’t know what we’re gonna do. 30 minutes before we’re gonna start recording there, there are. Sometimes I’ve done a lot of prep books.

Somebody weeks in advance done the research. And then there are times where I’m like, oh, okay. We’re we record in 30 minutes. I gotta figure this out.

Are you ever like, who’s my guest. I have no idea who my guest.

This week? No, I’m the only one who books guests. So I always know who guests are and I am always prepared for guests.

I think that that is disrespectful to not be prepared. Mm-hmm uh, for who your guest is mm-hmm so I always do that. Yeah. Well,

I agree. I think it’s important to know who you’re talking to.

But in fact, um, I just booked a guest next month and it’s somebody that I don’t know anything about and they are an author with a book and, uh, I don’t like to read.

So I was like, how do I, how do I do this? But there’s, um, a listener of our show. Who’s a frequent, um, guest. He, he, he joins us all the time. I said, tell you what, this is your chance to be a misfit and you get to interview them because you read the book smart. And so this is your chance to step up and lead that segment of the interview.

And that’s the thing. It, who comes into this room can take that role. They can offer up an idea or run a, an interview. It’s not my show, it’s our show. I just kind of produce it and give it the structure and the, the support and the backbone.

Well, in a recent episode, you had. The bagel give, uh, the 10 reasons that a scooter is better than a motorcycle. And I think I’ve heard a few where he’s done similar things earlier on in your podcasting, um, journey here. So, I mean, Even that segment was really interesting because you got to showcase for instance, um, miss Emma’s deep knowledge of everything motorcycles and yeah. And it was just a really fun interchange because there is so much kind of inborn rivalry in some cases between the scooter world and the motorcycle world.

Yeah. And that’s another thing as, uh, for us being all inclusive and we have. Scooters, you know, on our, on our crew. And so I always like to give him some platforms to show off and, and highlight. And it’s, it’s not always warmly accepted in the motorcycle community, which I love controversy. So I just kind of try and drive it home.

You know, the controversy comes scooting in on a Vespa and everyone’s up in arms.

Oh, he’s a hard. Scooters like, wow. I didn’t know. There was such a thing. Oh yeah.

Like he’s ready to ride distance runs too, right?

Oh yeah. So he entered to do a Cannonball run from Alaska down to new Orleans. It was all scooters, but he had to ride from here to Alaska nonstop to start.

On a scooter.

On a scooter. Yeah.

So let’s talk for a minute about what you do when you go on location.  I know you just got back from Americade motorcycle rally and you obviously brought equipment there, cuz I think you just showcased an interview that you did at Americade with somebody that was physically there.

What do you bring? I’m trying to look at it. What is this tech? It looks like it’s a, is that a zoom product? Yeah, it is. It’s not the Podtrak P4 it’s is it the, which is it? H6, Zoom H6. Okay.

So yeah, the Zoom H6 is a recording studio, portable recording studio. It’s really great. Perfect.

That’s really nice. And you’ve been just doing this for so long.

You know, everything there is to know. I mean, you don’t know everything, but I think a lot of people are interested in understanding because I did hear you say that you are reading ads. How are you monetizing this? Like this bad, Larry, how are you doing?

So, uh, how do I monetize my show? Well, first of all, um, the reason that we do the podcast is to share our passion for motorcycles.

It has never been the goal or objective to make money. Um, This is just expanding our community, um, globally. And we have misfits all over the world and we’ve created a thing where people feel like they’re sitting in the room with us as part of the conversation. I love that so much that said, because we have grown, um, we do get advertisers or come to us.

I’ve never pursued them. They do reach out and, um, I have even turned some down, like, you know, like, uh, online casino. I’m like it doesn’t drive. I’m not doing it for the money. Yeah. If it is a product that I, um, that I respect, appreciate use love, I’ll do it. But advertising has not been, um, the, the main objective or income mm-hmm , uh, Patreon has been that for me.

Mm. So we have patron subscribers who give monthly and that’s been great. And again, I know a lot of people who expected it to, I mean, with anything, getting into podcasting, they expect to get listeners right away. It doesn’t happen like that drop your expectations. It’s not gonna happen. I know people who’ve not gotten past 300 listeners in, in years and years and years of doing it and they still do it because they’re doing it for themselves.

So the first thing is do it for yourself. Not. For listeners, if you truly come from a place that you’re, you’re passionate about something, be it knitting or kittens or whatever, then other people who share that passion will enjoy it too.

That’s right. I encountered a podcast called, um, the Pez dispenser podcast, which is all about pests, dispensers.

Yeah. And people who collect them. She spoke at, She Podcast Live about her community and it was something that she was passionate about and the listeners are crazy for. So. There’s I had no idea, but there’s apparently PE conferences where people come together with all their collectible PEs items and connect, but it’s that same sort of thing.

You’re building a community.

Mm-hmm yeah. So doing it for that. Um, and then through Patreon again, not expecting anything when we started, yeah. We’re gonna do a patron of people wanna donate to us. I’m like, Hey, if we can buy. Some paper towels for the garage each month. Like that’s great. You know, mm-hmm and slowly, slowly, it started building and more and more people, um, come on there and I’ll be honest.

I’m not good at, at, I don’t create a lot of content for it. I’m not, I’m not that good at really, um, utilizing it. But what I do is I trust my patron. and I, I say that because what I started doing is if you give $5 a month, I’ll send you a t-shirt mm-hmm . Now that I sell that t-shirt for 25 bucks, right? Uh, it doesn’t cost me 25 bucks, but still, um, a lot of people say, you know, um, once after a year we’ll give you a t-shirt.

Now, once you’ve given us $60, we’ll give you a $25. T-shirt no, I. Sign up now give me $5 your first month, I will send you a t-shirt and I will trust that you’re not gonna then just delete your account. Mm-hmm and get a t-shirt for five bucks. One person ever did that. That’s it. mm-hmm and so right up front, I do that.

And it’s now gotten every year when it’s the beginning of the year. Usually I do it in the spring. I’m spending a couple months of my Patreon income just to pay for the t-shirts and the shipping that I to send out the t-shirts, but it has paid off so much cuz so many people have signed. I think because of that, because mm-hmm , um, I, it’s a good, it’s a good reward, you know?

Well, and I saw on your site, it’s pretty transparent. You can see how many patrons you have, how much money you’re getting on a monthly revolving basis. It’s not like you’re, you know, able to supplant your day job income by any means, but it helps you really keep all the gear that you might need. Keep motivated to keep strolling along.

And then also you’re, you’re just engaging with this community in a different way. You’re giving them something of the garage and you’ve even commented on your show that you’re running into them at events and they’re wearing your t-shirt, which is just incredible. Then you identify automatically, this is one of my misfits.

You can meet them in person. You can have a real conversation with. Yeah, I love that. I just think it’s important. You’re that you’re keeping it real, that you’re staying connected to your community with love and celebrating this world of motorcycles through the podcast. It’s just stayed so true to its intention in the beginning.

That, I mean, Liza, I’m proud of you. You’ve done amazing.

Oh, Thanks! Yeah. And, there’s a never-ending flow of guests and topics. Mm-hmm there really isn’t when you love something so much and deep dive into it and, but are also so inclusive, cuz there’s so many podcasts that just in the motorcycle world talk about.

Okay, there are a racing podcast or there are a motocros podcast or there’re a long distance writer podcast, or they’re a BMW podcast. Mm-hmm so ours is. Everything, everything goes. So we’re able to really get into like the one thing I haven’t gotten into, I wanna talk about ice, um, ice racing. You know, like there’s so many different, weird little factions, you know.

You know, one of the things I was hoping we could do is really just talk about the tips that you would give to someone who’s starting out and podcasting or somebody who’s been doing it for a while, but is struggling getting the traction that they’re really hoping to achieve.

Like maybe they’ve hit that 300 listeners and aren’t able to really push past that. What would you say to them about what they could do to gain a little more success? Tell us wise one.

One of the things that I did that helped me, was collaborating. You know, go on someone else’s podcast and have them on yours. Uh, or I’ve done this where I reached out to other podcasts and said, Hey, let’s have a common topic.

And then we can refer to each other, like part one and part two in our, our shows. And that’s, uh, you know, I don’t wanna just like use somebody to get their listeners I, you want it’s give and take. Right. Um, I, my answer is I say yes to everyth. Any any time somebody wants me to participate in something say yes, because every little bit counts it’s it’s not about getting a lot of listeners.

It’s getting a few listeners a lot of times. Um, I love that consistency, sound quality, anything you can do to improve sound quality. You don’t have to have a thousand dollars mic, but you have to have good presence on the mic and, and have some, some equipment so that you can control an EQ it for that space.

Content, just make sure you’re, you’re passionate about it. And, uh, that’s what comes through. Also, I tell everyone, bring something different. What are you bringing to the table that someone else isn’t there’s so many people starting podcasts because they think that they’re, they have something to offer.

They haven’t listened to everyone. Else’s I listen to every motorcycle podcast I can. And so they can see what they’re doing, how they’re doing it and make sure that I. Doing something different, but it’s amazing how many of them have never even heard of me. And I’m one of the top motorcycle shows in the world because they’re not, they just don’t come in.

Just thinking you have something that everyone’s gonna love. You don’t know if someone else is already doing it. So figure out. What you’re gonna do differently. And the first way you do that is you have to listen to everybody else’s shows. And, uh, the last thing I always tell everyone is do it for yourself.

Don’t be driven by the goal of trying to get monetize it there, it becomes very, um, see through, there are other shows I know of that. It’s all ads, you know, you know, you got a motorcycle podcast, so you gotta have the loud Grandy music. I welcome to the motorcycle show. You know, don’t emulate what you think people want to hear, just cuz that’s, what’s always been done.

Be original.

Well, Liza we ask every guest as they leave the show to say two words before they part it’s kick it.

Yo, kick it.

That was so good. I love it.


  • Liza Miller

    Liza hosts the wildly successful podcast, Motorcycles & Misfits with a cohort of misfits including Miss Emma and Bagel. The mission of Re-Cycle Garage in Santa Cruz is to get old motorcycles back on the road and to teach people how to wrench on them. Over the years we have built up an amazing community through our free-to-all motorcycle garage. Our podcast consists of a rotating cast of characters sharing their stories, knowledge and experiences, as well as special guest interviews.

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Uniting & supporting silence-breakers through the pen, podcast, and public speaking.