How to Launch a Podcast that Inspires Different Points of View with Matt Nappo

Show Notes

Create a podcast that opens doors to provocative subjects. In this episode of Podcast Tactics, you will get tips and advice from your mind’s best friend! Today’s guest is a podcaster that created a live stream that delves into topics that inspire different points of view and encourages independent free thinking.

Remember to share what you got out of my conversation with Matt by leaving a review at

Learn More about Matt and his show “MinddogTV”

Episode recorded on February 25, 2021.

Music by Valence – Infinite [NCS Release]


James: In this episode of Podcast Tactics, you’ll get tips and advice from your mind’s best friend. Today’s guest is a podcaster that created a live stream show that delves into topics that inspire different points of view and encourages independent rethinking.

I’m James, the host of Podcast Tactics. If you want to keep about podcasting, get inspired and stay motivated, join the mailing list at

Thanks for listening. Let’s get into it.

Joining me right now is veteran podcaster, Matt Nappo from Shoreham, New York. Matt, thank you so much

Matt: for joining. Oh, my pleasure. Thanks for having me.

James: So let’s jump right in. Let’s talk about, uh, your podcast. What’s the name and what’s it all

Matt: about? Well, my podcast is called the MinddogTV podcast, and it’s a, it’s the main mission of it to promote free thinking, critical thinking and get people to actually think for themselves and not parrot other people’s ideas via the whole idea being, uh, everybody has a right to an opinion, but most people.

Uh, their right to opinion to share other people’s opinions with passion and I, my, my mission and goal is to get people to rethink that and put things in their own words and come up with their own ideas and be passionate about those rather than other people’s ideas.

James: Yeah. It’s really powerful. I, I, I love that as a, uh, as a mission for what you’re up to it’s, um, you know, it does come across, we’ll get into, you know, your episodes in a little bit, but it definitely does come across as.

Uh, as a theme inside of your episodes.

Matt: Well,

James: thank you. I want to back up a little bit and just kind of talk about your

Matt: background in 1988 to 1992, I hosted a radio show. Uh, here am radio, local talk radio belong before the internet, uh, was a called The Mind Dog the Magnificent Show. And basically, uh, what I did was I talked to a lot of psychics, paranormal people.

It Bigfoot people like that. And, uh, it was but mixed with comedy and skepticism. Uh, at one point, uh, I ended up getting fired from, from the radio station over that because they did not have a seven second delay. And I w I was sloppy and immature was my log story. And it’s kind of your music. So I’m going to tell it anyway.

So my friend was getting mad. Uh, that day we had a conflict. I could not start to show on time. I had another friend start to show for me while I went to the wedding. A girl I was with ended up being very flirtatious with my friend’s father and I was getting jealous. And I got drunk at the wedding. So I showed up at the radio station.

My friend, who was subbing for me for the first hour was panicking because he couldn’t take a phone call because the engineer did not know how to put a phone call through the, uh, of what he had Tony Dan’s on the line. At that time, pretty big celebrity in the us. And so, um, uh, so I was drunk and I was angry and I w I just started shouting at the engineer.

And it was, it was a joke at first, I suppose, saying, putting a, put a frigging phone call to put a frigging phone call to, and then eventually, yeah. Brigit and turned into a full blown F-bomb and without the seven second delay, uh, it was just like, I know I knew what my career was over at that moment anyway, but it was a temper tantrum type of thing of young enough, but I always wanted to get back into radio long story short.

So, uh, I was. Did not have the opportunity. I was in a lot of other things, still playing music, still doing a lot of entertainment things. And then at some point I said, you know what? I’d really like to get back into radio web 2009, I started a podcast. Uh, did what a lot of podcasts are, do pod faded. I, after I did not pick up, you know, like there’s no hope for this, this isn’t real radio.

This is a, you know, nobody’s interested in this and gave up on it. And then all of a sudden people. Being noticed with podcasts. I said, you know, I was a little bit hasty to make that decision 10 years ago, 11 years ago, whatever. So I decided to try it again. And then I found like I rediscovered my purpose.

I feel like I’m doing radio now. The way radio should have been done. Sorry. I know that was a long answer, but it’s, I love the

James: backstories. You know, the origin stories is really where it comes from for me, you know, like that’s, I love digging into that kind of stuff. Let’s talk about, you know, the challenges that you’re experiencing with podcasting.

You know, it could be something from, you know, something that you were trying to break through in the beginning or what you’re.

Matt: Running up against today. There are a lot of challenges. You know, a lot of people who I talk to in podcasting, they’re their biggest challenges. My monetization, uh, that is, you know, for me, that’s not my concern.

My concern is doing the best show I possibly can. And for me, Batman, At least starting off that I needed to get good, fast and would, so I, I, I focused on quantity, uh, meaning I I’ve, so I’ve done 410 shows in 16 months, 402 hours shows 1 10, 2 hour shows in 16 months, which is a lot to produce and get out there and all that.

But in doing, in focusing on quantity, The quality has not always been great, but, and I mean, by that, the quality is the guest, right. And so I’ve had some re uh, not a lot, but not by percentage wise, but, uh, five or six, shockingly. Shockingly bad guests that have been like really hard to navigate manage. Um, and because I like the spontaneous spontaneity and don’t do a pre-interview I’m often surprised and I’ve been re so the biggest challenges for me have been those surprising moments where, uh, so I was expecting to see.

Up comedian and I do stream you out. I do live streams. And so in my, my setup, I’m in the left window and the guest is in the right window. And so we start the show, the intro comes on and I come in and I welcome the people in. And I look over in the windows. It’s like the guys in the jet. Uh, I welcome a man.

I think he’s in a private jet. And I said, are you in a jet? He said, no, it’s a GMC, Jimmy. Uh, he said, it’s home. Right? I was he’s homeless, living in a GMC, Jimmy, and that’s his wife in the back there. So he’s living in the GMC with, uh, Jimmy, with his wife. He’s in a target, uh, parking garage because that’s what they’re living off their wifi in the target parking garage.

And so I said, well, how are you? I’m doing stand-up comedy. Living out of your car like this, and it’s gotta be tough. He said, oh, I’m not doing standup comedy anymore. I’m a say, I’m a sex worker. That’s so bright. Right? He is 60 years old, uh, around 60 years old, he’s got diabetes really bad, so bad that he’s only got one.

I left that one functioning. I, the other eyes kind of closed it. And he’s well, raggedy looking and scraggly looking 60, some ideas of freaky looking. Who’s paying this Yule for sex. And he said, you’d be surprised as a lot of young girls who have a daddy fantasy, I was like, oh my God. Uh, and I said, well, you’re not, you know, this isn’t what pedophiles.

He said, well, you know, you know, I mean, not children, you know, Pedophile stuff. He said, well, no, not in the best of all worlds, but you know, on porn hub, they verify people. And I find that that hub where he was going through wasn’t verifying people. So there was a chance at it, but it was just a really uncomfortable and, uh, this, this one thing type of thing to find out.

In the middle of an interview that this guy is not a, a standup comedian, he’s a sex worker doing live sex videos with his wife in the car for possibly teenage girls or whatever, young, young children. Wow. Possibly. Yeah. Uh, so I never aired that one. I had to explain. Okay. Yeah, that was going to be my follow on question.

Yeah, no, but I did start a fundraiser to get them out of the car and get them out of being homeless. Uh, and we ended up raising a total of $57, I think every little bit helps. Yeah. But so that was last December and I, uh, Oh, yeah. I was wondering how they’re going to make it through the winter. Um, but so I’m guessing they’re still in their corner at target parking lot, but things like that, having guests on in the last minute, I had a, uh, you know, number of guests like that in succession that really makes.

Question, you know, is this worth it, there are great interviews you do where you come out and say, wow, that was really a great piece. It was fun to do it added a lot of value for the listeners, for the audience. And then there are nights where you come away and you say, why am I even bothering this? Isn’t Nancy unfair to just too many crazy people looking for attention out there.

So it’s been, that’s been my greatest challenges is walking that line between. Finding quality guests and just letting everybody who requests an interview on my show beyond. And I’ve kind of changed that actually today was the first time I actually said to a guest, listen, I don’t think you’re right for the show.

I know you’re really passionate about what you do. Um, I just don’t see an angle that as any quality for the listeners, for the, for the audience, there’s no value in it for them, or for me having you on the only person getting any value issue. Uh, I mean, I can’t be a charity about giving way attention, poor people, you know?


James: absolutely. And it takes time and energy. Too, you know, I mean, it’s not something that, you know, you’re just like, it’s not like picking up the phone and, you know, having a conversation, even though it is a conversation, there’s an effort on the back end of it, to, to, you know, produce these things and

Matt: you have to fire, you have to at least know who you’re talking to.

And so when doing the back. Story on her and trying to get some research on it. It’s like, I couldn’t find anything that added value for the audience, which is my prime concern. Like, am I doing this to, or add value? Or are we just doing this as an exercise? Because it’s just an exercise. We can, we can just have that conversation, but I don’t have to, I don’t necessarily have to publish it for the world.

Cause there’s no value. Do you think you’re going

James: to start pre-interviewing people?

Matt: Uh, I, uh, I’m going to do more research when the, when the requests come in. Cause usually the way I have a request for them on my website and they fill it out, it comes in, I almost automatically say confirm it to give them the date they want and then do the research afterwards.

Now I’m going now, I’m going to start doing the research before we confirm, because. That’s where I’ve made my mistake. Let’s let’s find out about the person before we say, okay. And then, but there are times when the research wouldn’t have helped anyway, because the sex worker guy, he still had his bio listed as standup comic and he wasn’t homeless.

Built this bio, the funniest thing about him. He, he, he was booked by a publicist. And how does a homeless guy afford a publicist? I’m working off two shows that I’m working on musician thing and, and, and the podcasting. I don’t have a publicist. How does a homeless guy have a powers? Uh, and so I never got an answer to that.

Like, I guess the guys working on spec or whatever, but, so there are times when research. Um, one of my guests who was said, uh, Hollywood, um, the go to dwarf factor for, he was the Howard the duck. He was, um, uh, Chuck it, the voice of Chucky that did all this stuff work for Chucky. So, you know, doing research on him came up.

Yeah. He had this reputation has been in many, many films, but when he got on, he was. Not a good guest going up or, uh, uh, I think I had to pull that down because he was, he was overtly racist and he was, uh, on end bombs around and yeah. Yeah, insane conversation. It was like, you know, um, and he was very angry, very angry.

A little man

James: in terms of your form, that’s on your website. I’m going into the weeds here a little bit. Cause I’m curious about like, you know, how people book through you so that you have that form, they fill it out and then do you give them access to your booking

Matt: calendar first for me, I generally go send people to, is it.

Interview request form that says, um, you know, basically a little bit about them, just name what they, what they do, what they want to promote, that kind of stuff. It’s very short form. We get that. And then I look it over and say, you know, what is it? Is it something we’d like to have on the show at first glance?

It does. We send them to the booking calendar. Pick the dates, uh, because I do two shows, one currently doing two shows, one at 1:00 PM and one of 8:00 PM. And then they can pick one day through Friday, any date that’s open either one of those slots and when they do, we confirm it and then we send a log in eventually.

And that’s how it works.

James: You know, we talked about the challenges. Those are always fun to talk about, but let’s talk about some successes. What do you, you know, what have you encountered as a

Matt: win? Yup. The greatest winning, I think most podcasts. You know, have a dream cast, right? When you, when you do this, you think, well, who would I really love to get on any that could be a high in the sky, uh, pioneer sky thinking Oprah.

I would like to get Oprah on. I’d like to get a Dave Chappelle on whatever my dream guest was. Doug Stanhope. And, uh, one day on Twitter last April, uh, I was just on Twitter, like four o’clock in the afternoon. And I saw Doug Stan hope said, uh, pulse. It I’d like to try one of those zoom meetings. Somebody send me a link.

So I sent them a link and I was like, he’s not going to come pop. And I went to walk away and all of a sudden I heard that little. Let’s say somebody looked down and was like, holy crap. It’s him. So I, I did an impromptu interview with him and I was not really professional. I added at the first cry. I was like, so excited, like, like a 13 year old girl and Elvis knocked on the door and want to come in for tea or something.

Yeah. I was just fan like, you know, a typical fan gushing over him and all this stuff. And I was excited to have him. But I felt like I did a terrible job as a podcast and I wasn’t ready. I mean, I didn’t have my studio in order. I w I was in a sweat jacket and all that stuff. So then when he was ready to promote his book, I sent him a, an invite and he was gracious enough to do a real interview.

And I felt like that was redemption. And I felt like that was my. My best moment of podcast. And cause I actually got to fix something I did wrong or in my, in my mind, I did wrong the first time. Although he said he enjoyed the first one and I’ve got a lot of great feedback from the first one, I felt like I was, you know, just a silly fan is that what’s

James: still up.

Is that still available?

Matt: It’s called a accident. So a day drinking guests or something because he wanted a great one. Yeah, he was drunk. He was drinking and getting drunk, which was why he did it. But it’s so that made for a great interview too, because he’s best one. He’s had a few. That’s awesome.

James: Primarily your show is an interview show. Is there any preparation that you do? How does that look? What kind of advice could you give somebody who might be starting.

Matt: I would say, forget the, forget too much preparation. Don’t over-prepare uh, that’s what I would say now. I know a lot of people would disagree with me on that.

What I do is I get a good sense of the person, uh, what they do, why they do it just, and I don’t go too deep. I don’t think too deep into the weeds. Uh, who are you? What do you do and why do you do it and get that sense? And then I say the next part of it is try to establish rapport with them and then be a good listener.

So know, you know what your first question is going to be usually. And then, you know, you can, but I would say that first question should be the first question of the interview, not of the rapport break. Uh, uh, report establishing moments. So you have that few moments where you just ask them where they’re from, what they’re doing, what’s the weather like, right.

You know, make a little bit of small talk and then your fresh question from there, it’s just listening and reacting. You’ll let them do the talking. And, uh, they’re going to say something in that answer. That’s going to say, you know what this written question I have down for my next question. And it’s not as important as what I just heard them say, and I’m going to react to what I just heard them say.

And for me, that formula works, uh, and I’ve gotten rave reviews from the people who’ve been on. My show said, you know, I really enjoyed this more than any other podcasts that I’ve been on. In fact, Keith Lowell Jensen, just, uh, he said that to me, he’s been on. A thousand of them. And he was on three weeks ago and he put a post up on Twitter and Facebook that said, uh, this guy’s the best at, of all the interviews I’ve done in the last 20 years.

This was the most fun and most insightful. This guy I really had really prepared well, and I didn’t prepare, I don’t prepare, I don’t over prepare. I prepare minimally. So that’s a, that’s a extreme compliment to me when I hear things like that. That sounds like a window. Yeah, it seems it’s an illusion of being a supremely, uh, paired when all you’re doing really is being a really good listener and really having that genuine curiosity and, and, and interest in you.


James: listening part is definitely. I mean, as you’re talking, I’m like looking at my notes. You don’t have to ask you that question. It’s, I’m just cracking up inside just because it’s like, here I am, I did come prepared, you know, I have a set of questions, but by the same token, you know, I mean, I do let kind of the conversational nature of the, uh, interview, like kind of dictate where we’re going to go.

And so. There are those moments though. And maybe I’ll get beyond this point where I’ll be like, okay, I can totally release from the notes, you know, but I’ve always worried about that kind of dead air where I’m just kinda like, uh,

Matt: that was a fear of mine initially. That was a fear of mine initially, until I realized that, um, Yeah, people aren’t as hypercritical.

And if you ask a question that seems off the wall, like out of left field or something, most guests will say, well that, thank God. It’s not the same old question. Not the ones I got on the last interview, rather than say, whoa. What kind of podcasts or is he asking me a question like that? Like, people are not guessing non-judgemental at that point or at least not negatively judgmental.

They will look at that as something as a positive. Well, thank God it’s this, one’s a little different and a little fun and interesting. And that’s a question I have never been asked before. That kind of thing. They respond to that I

James: did listen to, um, your most recent episode. It was the one with singer songwriter, John

Matt: McCain.

Right. That was the most, yeah, that was a couple of days ago. I think we’ve been fortunate since then. Oh really? Oh my goodness.

James: I just listened to it this morning. How could I have missed the four?

Matt: I just published Amy Klein about an hour ago. I think. Uh, probably actually one from last night, which wasn’t really an interview.

It was at the end of the month, every month, every Wednesday, last Wednesday of every month, we do a, uh, a movie review of a classic movie that people that have been around for 20 or 30 or 40 years. And last night we did the rapture with Adam lippy. Who’s a, uh, film critic and a. Film maker. So we kind of analyze all films and take them apart and wound them.

That’s really ruin them. Yeah. That’ll spoil them and just make it so no fun to watch ever again for anybody. I don’t think that’s Adam Adam’s purpose in doing it, but it ends up being. Have you guys done citizen

James: Kane yet? Have you ruined that movie for other


Matt: yet? We just started last month. So we did the apartment in the rapture.

Now, w w we’re looking at what we’re going to do next month. I might be, uh, a really obscure film called soldier in the rain, which was Jackie Gleason, Steve McQueen movie, where they’re army buddies. But it’s a, it’s one of my favorites. Adam never heard of it before. And a lot of people, I think never heard of it before, but it’s, we want to pick movies like that, that people may not know.

Be aware of, tell

James: me, how do you get dialed into your guests? Where do you, how did you ask for them to come on? What does that look like

Matt: originally? Uh, I was going through, there were a lot of websites that, that had, you know, um, matchmaker, FM, and Audrey, that common pod guests that come all those kinds of things, pod, chaser, whatever.

There’s a lot of them where you can hook up with this and just put in. So I started, uh, And was really aggressive at finding people I thought were interesting asking them to be. And then at some point, uh, after I had done maybe a hundred. Yep. So to something, a couple of publicists started contacting me.

Uh, they have, uh, either office with books or people promoting their podcast or television shows and now. So many publicists, uh, contacting me. And there’s a, uh, um, a website that I use radio guest list that come for radio shows, cast, television shows like that, where you just put it out with the kind of guests you’re looking for, and then they come to you.

So I get so many requests now that, uh, I could not possibly fill them all. I I’d probably have, uh, 300 requests that we have not got back to this week. Oh, this week. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, and basically what’s going to happen. We’re not going to get all of them and because we I’ll show them the calendar, what we have opened, a lot of them won’t do it.

A lot of them will just go sit on me. We’ll never hear again, hear from again, but yeah, we got 300 requests. Not wound booking. That is a good problem

James: to have. Are you managing all of that or do you have people that are helping you?

Matt: I’ve had several, uh, production assistants of war a week at a time, sometimes two days at a time, sometimes two hours at a time they quit.

They quit pretty quickly. The business is. I guess it’s a little overwhelming for people and it’s not high paying job production assistant, and I’m going to pay minimum wage $15 an hour or something like that. And so it’s a lot of hard work. It’s a lot of detailed work and, uh, a lot of people just bail.

It’s like, wow, this is more than. To answer your question six specifically, I’ve done most of it over the last year. Almost all of the work here, except for three instances where I’ve had production assistants, uh, one last for a week, one less for four hours and one last for probably a day or two. Okay.

James: It’s a lot that can imagine managing a hundred requests a week. That’s

Matt: incredible. That’s just for my show. I also manage other podcasts for people who, uh, uh, for marketing purposes. So people want to write books to establish their authority in their field. Uh, we have them do a limited series podcasts of interviews of experts in their field.

Use those, transcribe them and put them into book form so that. Uh, giving away, I guess, a secret, uh, monetizations to us for podcasts is that book, uh, you know, using a short term, short form, uh, interview, uh, series for whatever, for one person to establish enough interviews, to put into a book, to establish them some authority for their business.

So they can go on and speak about it or to their, you know, colleagues and stuff and use the book as an authority piece for them. Uh, that’s where a big piece of monetization comes in. And if people want to chase that, a lot of podcasts that don’t want anything to do with that, cause that’s real work like cooperate, corporate work.

Uh, but it is the way to stay afloat. One of the ways to stay well. Thanks

James: for sharing that. I appreciate that. I was, I was going to ask you and I’m going to ask you anyway, what is that one piece of advice you want to give new podcasters or people that think that they want to

Matt: get in? Don’t get into it for the money, but since money is an essential part of it, uh, be smart about it and have as many multiple streams of revenue as possible.

And don’t close your mind to any possibilities for, uh, monetizing your podcast. In other words, one of my ways of monetizing. Is through referrals. I have a guy on who is an expert in franchising. He builds franchises for big companies, small companies, all that kind of stuff. I have an insurance guy who on, who actually sells insurance to franchise people like restaurants that own I’ll put those two together.

They married, they have. They do a $4 million deal. Both of them pay me a referral fee for that. So you gotta be open to those kinds of possibilities. When it comes to sponsorship, do not go with the anchor. We’re gonna plug in sponsors that pay you one penny, uh, for every 6,000 minutes, you shrimp, that kind of stuff.

Have a little bit of ambition and go out and sell your own sponsorship, learn what it takes to pick up a phone, call a small business or mid-sized business and say, I have a podcast that’s reaching however many people. This is what we can afford to sell you to get more exposure for your business and be able to kind of promote that and do your own.

Sales, you’re going to get far more than that one penny a month. You’re going to get from, from anchor or one of those other services, podcast hosting services that will plug in sponsors that you have no control over who’s on your show. So that those are my two pieces of advice. As far as financial let’s, uh,

James: circle back to your podcast.

Let’s project out into the future six months, a year, two years, maybe. Where do you see your, your podcasts

Matt: going more? Uh, I’ve had lots of celebrities on it, but not enough to, to feed my, and when I say celebrities, I don’t necessarily mean movie stars. Uh, although in the music and comedy world, I prefer. Uh, the bigger names if I can get them.

But when I say celebrities, yeah. I mean, people with real cash people with real cachet cash, uh, people with real respect. Yeah. So they’re a superstar in their field, no matter what that field is. And like, if I’m going to get a self-help person, I want Tony Robbins. I don’t necessarily want the guy who just wrote his first self-help book and is looking to promote himself.

Although I love helping those people. I want to add as much value for the audience. So I want those big names. And cause I think most of the interviews I’ve heard with them, people are, are missing a lot of the important questions that the audience really wants to know. People go by standardized and I think I can.

Better information out of them than most, maybe that’s ego speaking, but I think I can get better and more valuable information at them than most podcast hosts would at this moment, or even television host or radio host. So before

James: we wrap things up, Matt, I do have one more question for you. If your podcast gets developed into a movie who would

Matt: play the leader.

Oh, that’s a great question. Who were playing me? I know what, uh, that’s probably George Clooney. Oh, I love that. Yes. I can see that shave his head, but, uh, I think, I think he’d be okay. I think he, you know, I liked George, but I like the movies he’s been in and I relate to him as a person and he was a pig owner.

I was the pig on it. At pigs and stuffs. Uh, we have that in common, I guess. So Matt

James: tell us where people can find out more about you and your

Matt: shows. Mindell Um, it was the website where you can get links to everything, uh, to show can be heard any way you, uh, you experienced podcasts or any, any single platform it’s out there on the RSV now RSS feed.

So it’s any way you find podcasts, go to Tube, you can look for Matt Napa, uh, origin, And, uh, that’s it. I mean, we’re, we’re on all the social media stuff, but we don’t, we don’t make the best use out of, um, some of the younger platforms. Uh, not, we’re not on tic-tac much.

You know, and stuff like that. It’s just my theory on the social media stuff. Yeah. Uh, Facebook, uh, it was started with my space, but it’s been an endless, uh, uh, series of young people trying to get away from the old geezer. So the young people develop my space. They. The old geezers come on. The wrong people jumped to Facebook called old geezers, find Facebook, the old people, the young people leave to go to the Twitter or Instagram or whatever.

And the old people go there. It’s a constant running away from old people. And I’m one of the old people.

James: Matt, I would love to keep in touch with you. Maybe catch up down the road six months

Matt: from now. You could be on my show sometime and we’ll chat like long form, like an hour and a half or so.

James: Thinking to myself, I’m bummed, you know, like we’re, we’re rubbing up on the end of our time here.

So, um, let me just say this, the name of your, one of your podcasts actually is my doc TV. Your mind’s best friend, Matt. Thank you so much for coming on. This was an absolute pleasure. I look forward to speaking with you again sometime soon.

Matt: Thank you for having me. James has been, it’s been a real pleasure for me too.


James: Thanks again to Matt. Check the show notes for links to learn more about Matt and his show MinddogTV. Please share what you got out of my conversation by leaving a review on You can find out how to do this in the show notes and do, let me know what you need from me to make this show even better for you and make sure you follow @PodcastTactics to keep learning more about podcasting in future episodes.

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