Frequently asked questions
Who uses this site more - guests or hosts?
This site was initially built based on years of feedback from leading podcasters and bloggers. They've shared with us what they've found makes for a truly compelling, refreshing and awesome guest - and so every single part of a guest profile in the AwesomeGuests™ system is based on requests from these hosts. So this site was built to save leading podcasters and bloggers an insane amount of time and hassles to keep producing exciting and original content.
With that being said, the reason so many content creators actively use this site is because they're looking for new and fascinating guest experts all the time. And now this smart and simple system makes finding and being found by the right match so much easier for both sides.
This is why AwesomeGuests™ has grown to become the best place to find what you're looking for - both as a guest or a host.
In many ways, this question is similar to "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" in that AwesomeGuests™ works best when both guests and hosts come to appreciate the incredible amount of time and hassles saved by using this site.
With that being said, obviously not much happens in terms of actual exposure for a guest until a host decides to respond to pitches and/or searches for a guest. This is precisely why there are so many robust tools built for hosts and why they can even get paid just to try it out.
Of course while all this is happening, guests get to keep polishing their profiles to best showcase all of the things that make them unique.
It's fast and easy (and dare we say beautiful) searching and matching when everyone does their part and taps into the vast resources available to help both guests and hosts here and this is what makes AwesomeGuests™ the ultimate tool for finding and being found by the top podcasters, bloggers and content creators to supercharge the influence and reach for everyone involved.
Is this site mainly for podcasters or bloggers?
Years ago at the very beginning of our site, because our profiles contain so much specific and helpful information, we were predominantly being used by bloggers for their constant search for guest writers and pitch filtering needs.
In the past year or so, the tide seems to be shifting more towards podcasters, journalists and content creators in general (yes, even YouTubers).
We think it's safe to assume that this will continue to be even more so in the years ahead as a lot more podcasts materialize and along with that, an ever-growing need for a better way to find more and more unique and compelling guests.
So we're excited to continue to be a powerful tool for both the blogging and podcasting communities since they both benefit greatly from the way guests and hosts can easily find and be found by each other here at AwesomeGuests™.
What is my Awesomeness Score™?
This is one of the main reasons podcasters, bloggers and content creators (even journalists) have quickly come to trust AwesomeGuests™ to find their next guest expert.
Simply put, as a guest, your Awesomeness Score™ is a powerful snapshot for anyone looking for your expertise. It's the easiest way for a podcaster or blogger to evaluate you as a potential guest as you come up in their search results.
How it works is that every single part of your profile is part of what hosts have told us over the years makes for an awesome guest from their point of view. So then our proprietary algorithm factors in each aspect of your profile and gives you a corresponding Awesomeness Score™ that helps ranks you against similar experts when you come up in any given search.
Your Awesomeness Score™ not only determines the likelihood of you being an awesome guest based on the total number of points from each section of your profile (ie. overall profile completeness, previous appearances, media samples, social media presence, etc) but also based on how you use the site (ie. response times to host messages, how often you access resources, etc) and even things like host feedback. The algorithm pays attention to over 60 things that hosts have told us are important to them and so this site essentially coaches you to become a more successful guest expert.
Now when it comes to being an awesome guest - it's not as simple as having a large Facebook following or a couple really good media samples to achieve a really high Awesomeness Score™ and a member can never simply buy their way to a higher score.
But since it does take some time to get used to this innovative scoring methood - every new member receives a Profile Boost that artificially raises your score for a short period of time as you learn the ropes.
Also, have no fear if your score is currently in the lower range as this is only one of the ways that hosts will be finding you. Often times, hosts will sort by some other element that's more relevant or critical to their audiences instead of the Awesomeness Score™.
A quick key to understand your Awesomeness Score™ at a glance:
Gray = needs a ton of work/very hit or miss as a guest
Red = knows their stuff; needs reps to be more concise, fun
Yellow = makes for a really solid guest; can still punch up their answers/banter
Green = really polished and fun; on the verge of greatness
Blue = the Best! compelling, memorable, super engaging through and through
How is this different than other guest or interview sourcing services?
We appreciate every single tool and service that preceded us and we ended up putting in the massive work to build AwesomeGuests™ because we found there wasn’t a quick and easy way to dynamically search for the things hosts really want in their guests and vice versa.
In just a few minutes of using the AwesomeGuests™ system, you'll appreciate the powerful matching technology similar to what is found in leading job recruiting or even the best dating sites.
We believe that all of the other options out there have their unique value and strengths depending on what you’re trying to accomplish as a guest or host. From great straightforward list services to various PR companies and even top-of-the-line full service agencies - we feel everyone plays a helpful role in the active ecosystem of guests and hosts trying to find each other more efficiently.
What type of security is in place on this website to guard my personal and financial information?
Even if you're a paying member - none of your financial information is ever saved on our site in any way, shape or form. All of the payment processing is done via the smart folks at Stripe specifically to keep your information as secure as possible.
Also in keeping with the best practices of online security, we highly recommend you never use the same password on any two websites to better safeguard yourself against any hacks of any sites in the future. Thanks!
What's the best way to find great matches in AwesomeGuests™?
In your search for an awesome guest or a host - always, always, always start with a clear picture of your ideal customer/audience as that needs to be your northstar in everything that you do here.
Then from there be as detailed and imaginative in the various keywords, characteristics and background terms that would be interesting and relevant to you and your intended audience.
Whether you're searching on a weekly basis or have your Unicorn Alerts set up to notify you automatically, it's always a good idea to pop in and try adding new wrinkles to your search criteria depending on your emphasis for your current projects or seasons.
And of course, sorting your search results by things like authors, previous appearances, last-minute availability, social media following or appearance fees helps you uncover even more great options for you.
Also make sure to you get as detailed and descriptive as possible in your own profile as that goes a long way to make sure you get found in the relevant searches of other smarties just like you.
What is the biggest difference between an Essential (free) or Pro (paid) membership?
We've worked very hard over the past several years to make the majority of the great tools here at AwesomeGuests™ available for free. This is inline with with our passion for helping everyone create much better, unique and compelling content.
So that's why the Essential (free) membership always includes the most often used tools requested by both guests and hosts.
And when it comes to the additional tools included in the Pro (paid) membership - these are only important to a select number of guests and hosts who are more than happy to pay for the small monthly fee for the innovative additional resources that are unlocked because of the incredible time and hassles they save.
For example, most guests don't need to save their searches or access more than five messages a month as they check out this service to see if it's a great investment for them so an Essential membership is a good place to start.
Whereas if a guest is wanting to put together a speaking/book tour or is serious about aggressively growing their notoriety - the additional unlimited messaging, appearance fee and last-minute availability options are a huge boon to their goals.
Similarly, if a podcaster, blogger or other content creator wanted to dramatically and strategically grow their audiences in specific ways - the ability to use the system as both a host and guest, set up Unicorn Alerts and search for appearance fees are valuable tools to be able to access as a Pro member.
What if there aren't a lot of blogs or podcasts for my expertise?
First of all - always, always, always start with a clear picture of your ideal customer/audience as that needs to be your northstar in everything that you do here on the AwesomeGuests™ system.
Then either broaden or narrow down your search based on your ideal customer/audience.
Sometimes, it's a great idea to take a few minutes to assess whether you might have too broad of a focus and see if there are any ways you can focus your search into a more specific/obscure niche.
Another way to look at it isn't necessarily just to limit yourself to your broad industry keywords. Many guests make the common mistake of limiting their search terms simply to their field of expertise instead of the topic areas where their ideal customers are likely to be.
For instance, instead of using "Sales" as a keyword - maybe target appearances in front of women entrepreneurs, finance professionals or side-hustle entrepreneurs... and of course have a specific and relevant offering for those particular audiences.
Another example would be if you’re a marketer - maybe avoid marketing blogs and instead focus on the blogs that your ideal clients are reading. Or target restaurants, artists or photographers, etc.
Or maybe if you’re a leadership coach - perhaps steer clear of leadership shows and instead target shows full of a specific type of person that typically responds best to your type of leadership voice like lifestyle entrepreneurs, CPAs, mid-career folks, lawyers, etc.
Also remember that hundreds podcasters and bloggers join the mix of hosts every month (even thousands some months) so it’s a good thing you’re already on this site so that you can be prepared for when more content creators in your niche arrive.
In the end you never know - the rare space you exist in might even lead to lots of repeat bookings since you’re definitely one of the “go to” experts in an incredible niche.
As you know, no matter if you sell products or services or however else you want to dramatically increase your reach and influence - the notoriety that comes from being featured in media (third-party credibility) helps raise your profile and profits. There’s no easier way to leverage the power of new media for your business goals.
The other important thing to remember is that in AwesomeGuests™ - people are looking for you too! So make sure to list as many highly relevant keywords on your profile as possible. Not just the typical jargon for your industry but rather the term that would reveal you to be a ultra-compelling guests to experts in your field.
For example, a sample of the keywords listed on a profile might be typical things like:
Entrepreneur. Strategy. Strategist. Lifestyle. Serial entrepreneur. Startup. Tech startup. Founder. Conscious capitalism. Social. Innovation. Social entrepreneur. Social enterprise. Changemaker. TED. Speaker. Author. Trainer. Leadership. Generosity. Dad. Nonprofit.
But also other keywords that are very distinct could be: Inner-city. Urban youth. Refugee. Storyteller. Podcast. Korean-american. Korean. Cross-cultural. Diversity. Deportation. Immigration. Illegal immigration. Alcoholism. Racism. Justice. Mental Health
You all have such fascinating backstories and unique journeys that'll make you a phenomenal guest for so many hosts. So make sure to showcase not just your professional but also your personal/cultural expertise in the keywords section of your profile. This helps make AwesomeGuests™ the best place for you to be found by leading podcasters, bloggers and journalists.
I'm a podcaster, blogger or other content creator - is it true that I can get paid just to use the site?
Yep! Please find more information about how to qualify for your cashback rewards bonus on the host information page.
Also, read more about how the special Appearance Fee feature works for you as a host as that's a great way to add solid revenue into your mix.
I'm a host that wants to also be a guest - how do I start?
One of the HUGE advantages of AwesomeGuests™ for you as a podcaster or blogger is that it lets you organically grow your audience by leaps and bounds. There’s nothing better than collaborating with a lot of other hosts that already have audiences that have proven their love for consuming podcasts or blogs. So this system lets you find great opportunities for you to show up as a guest on other shows.
In fact, so many hosts have told us over the years that other hosts often make for spectacular guests and usually also yield other great partnerships.
So you're joining many of our members that are podcasters or bloggers themselves and have come to realize that one of the best ways (also the quickest and most fun) to expand their reach and influence is to appear in as many other podcasts/blogs as possible.
These savvy content creators understand well the power of appearing in front of established audiences of like-minded hosts. These folks have found immense value in being featured in both blogs/podcasts aligned directly with their specific niche and also in complementary niches to pick up even more new fans that they most likely would not naturally attract.
So to get started, sign up first as a host member and select the Pro membership. Once you complete your basic registration process, you'll see that you have both a host and guest profile option under your profile tab.
From there, you can also take your cue from some of the biggest names as they're using this site in Stealth or Semi-stealth mode.
And when you start searching for appearances, don't only reach out to hosts in your industry or expertise but perhaps more importantly, to those that represent audiences full of your ideal customers. This is such a great way to grow your podcast or blog audience!
I'm a freelance journalist - how should I use this site?
Thanks for checking out AwesomeGuests™ - we're excited to hear how much time and headaches this tool saves you in your constant search for experts.
We know that a good piece of writing needs anywhere from 3-10* sources to generate ideal quotes; not to mention the requisite background research in general.
So to best use this site - set up a host account and simply use your personal blog or freelance website to fill out your profile. Depending on whether you want to be pitched a ton or not - consider using your host account in Stealth or Semi-Stealth mode.
And remember, as a subject matter expert yourself - don't forget to set up a guest profile for yourself so that you're constantly growing your new media presence and footprint as well!
We currently already have a cadre of traditional and audio journalists using this site (mostly in “Stealth Mode”) and foresee this becoming even more so because of the dynamic nature of our search tools - these professionals especially appreciate the “Interesting Facts about Me” and last-minute availability sections found in guest profiles.
We all know the state of media is changing so fast and nowadays, even traditional “earned media” takes its cues from the unique curators and creators in the podcast and blog arenas. This is only going to become more prevalent so we’re anticipating seeing more traditional media folks use our site for their unique guest expert needs.
With that being said however, please note that we often caution guests from spending too much time responding to requests from freelance journalists since the pieces they're working on aren't necessarily guaranteed to get picked up in any prominent publication. For every success story we hear from places like HARO - we hear about another twenty or so sad experiences where someone spent so much time helping a writer put together their story - only to have that piece never get picked up.
We don't think this is as great of an investment of time and resources compared to responding to a request that results in an actual published interview on a blog or podcast. So even if you don't have a huge personal platform - the pieces you're working on really need to see the light of day someway, somehow to be worthwhile for guests.
* at the very least: 1) Main expert 2) Counter expert 3) "Man on the street" and ideally another supporting expert
Special Features: Profile Boost
The Awesomeness Score™ algorithm is innovative and unique and because of this - all of the great bells and whistles of our system take some getting used to. So to help you during the training wheels-phase of your membership, every new guest gets a temporary profile boost during their first month to increase their ability to be found while they’re still getting a feel for how their profile and the AwesomeGuests™ system works.
You effectively get a one-level boost to your Awesomeness Score™ during this phase of your membership (ie. from gray to red, green to blue, etc)
Special Features: Appearance Fees
The world of podcasts, blogs and other creative platforms is obviously growing bigger by the day. That's great in many respects but we all need to be aware that it's also giving birth to kind of a wild, wild west environment where anything goes.
AwesomeGuests™ is uniquely positioned to make Appearance Fee transactions super smooth between guests and hosts. Our powerful platform provides legitimacy and accountability for both sides and our ability to permanently ban any bad actors goes a long way to try and weed out any fly-by-night type of scams.
If you're on a tight deadline or simply want to turbo boost your slate of interviews to dramatically grow your new media presence and profits - using the Appearance Fee feature in AwesomeGuests™ system is a smart move.
First off, make sure you accurately fill out your budget in your profile so that hosts can find you when they sort for guests in your fee-paying range.
Then make sure to search for hosts based on those that are charging fees in your range. You'll find that this is a great way to get to the head of the line for many prominent podcasts and blogs and it's an excellent way to map out a successful campaign.
Also make sure to use the Last-minute Availability and Unicorn Alerts features in conjunction with Appearance Fees and you'll see with focused time and a modest budget you can put together a significant and focused campaign for yourself in the next few months! (ie. speaking tours, product launches, book debuts, crowdfunding, etc)
The ability to generate solid and consistent revenue from guests paying Appearance Fees to be featured on your podcasts or blogs is a powerful way to build a sustainable audience platform. Please just make sure to maintain a high standard of excellence and relevance for your guests as well as fully disclosing any paid appearances to your audience.
Special Features: Unicorn Alerts
With your Unicorn Alerts - you can put in your desired keywords search and then "set it and forget it" and let the system tell you whenever someone pops up under your criteria. This is a small part of what makes AwesomeGuests™ the smartest way to find and get found by all the right hosts or guests out there.
You first decide which keywords are absolutely necessary to include in your Unicorn. And then you add a bunch of other terms that are bonuses if they match but not essential. You can even tell us how many of the bonus terms you want (ie. all of them, 2 out of 7, 4 out of 7, etc). Pretty cool, right?!
Remember that when searching for hosts with your Unicorn Alerts - make sure you’re being strategic about which types of appearances will help you the most. Are your ideal clients mostly a reading bunch? Then target blogs and journalists. Are your favorite customers people that love listening to spotify when doing lots of tasks throughout the day? (ie. mindless work, commuting, working out, etc) Then obviously podcast hosts are where you should put your efforts. Also, who should you talk to and where should you appear that best distinguishes you in front of your ideal customers?
Also make sure to use the Last-minute Availability and Appearance Fee features in conjunction with Unicorn Alerts and you'll see with focused time and a modest budget you can put together a significant and focused campaign for yourself in the next few months! (ie. speaking tours, product launches, book debuts, crowdfunding, etc)
Special Features: Last-Minute Availability
There are certain types of podcasts and blogs that absolutely need to take advantage of very timely responses to things taking place in real-time. These can be things like a political situation, the latest entertainment story, breaking financial news or the latest presidential or Kanye West tweetstorm.
The point being is that there are plenty of scenarios where a host will be eternally grateful to you if they can access your expertise on a last-minute basis.
Outside of industry trends, hosts also turn to this feature when they'll be in town for a conference or other visit and want to line up a bevy of high-quality live interviews during that compact amount of time. And of course, there are also often times last-minute needs for guests simply when a previously schedule guest had to cancel last-minute or even when an interview turned out really bad because of technical issues or poor guest performance.
Regardless of the reason, the super-helpful Last-Minute Availability feature is just another way that AwesomeGuests™ system helps top-notch guests and hosts connect in high-quality contexts.
Also make sure to use the Unicorn Alerts and Appearance Fee features in conjunction with Last-Minute Availability and you'll see with focused time and a modest budget you can put together a significant and focused campaign for yourself in the next few months! (ie. speaking tours, product launches, book debuts, crowdfunding, etc)
Special Features: Stealth and Semi-Stealth Mode
Pro-level members can put their profile into Stealth Mode which allows them to do all of their normal search activity on the site but without showing up in searches themselves. This is a typical preference for some of the biggest names in the industry as they want to avoid getting pitched ad nauseum by people that probably aren't a great fit in the first place. Also, prominent platforms like NPR or household names like Tony Robbins or Sarah Koenings prefer to keep their profiles in Stealth Mode as well to avoid receiving a mountain of pitches every day.
Semi-Stealth mode is similar but instead of a member's profile being completely invisible; the profile is shown as unclaimed or inactive just so that it still shows up in searches but doesn't get pitched as aggressively.
What are Legendary host accounts?
When we first started out, we prepopulated the host side of things with folks we considered the absolute "best of the best" when it comes to bloggers and podcasters that regularly feature guests. We scoured the entire interwebs and found a collection of just under five hundred blogs and podcasts that we thought set the standard for quality and their platform's ability to really supercharge someone's influence.
Not all of these accounts are claimed by these hosts and many of them are operating in "Stealth Mode" which allows them to search for guests without being found in guest searches to keep them from being bombarded with a mountain of irrelevant pitches. Regardless if a Legendary profile is claimed or not; you can still find a lot of very specific and helpful tips on how to interact with that host from the information on their profile.
These blogging and podcasting luminaries are forever given every top-level membership benefit with our compliments for their professional achievements. Most members enjoy seeing these on our site as well so that they can keep in mind the gold standard to strive for in blogging/podcasting. If your blog/podcast passes our criteria - the AwesomenessGuests™ team will be setting you up for your own very Legendary-level membership as well - hope to see you at that level soon!
This is such a helpful service and I want to tell all my pals about it right now - is there an affiliate program I can join?
Currently there are only a small number of affiliate partners helping us grow our ranks with their respective networks of guests and hosts. So please stay tuned as we'll announce the opening of the application for our affiliate program sometime towards the end of 2019.
At that point, we’ll be more than happy to share with you the details of one of the most accurate, fair and generous affiliate programs on the entire interwebs.
You'll get either 20% (Essential members) or 40% (Pro members) for anyone that signs up under your custom link.