Bad Crypto Podcast with Joel Comm and Travis Wright
This show has always been about exploring the world of blockchain across different angles. Combining it with Tracy’s love of podcasting, we have Joel Comm and Travis Wright of the Bad Crypto Podcast. With seven million downloads in under just two years, Joel and Travis have definitely touched many listeners who are both crypto-curios and crypto-serious. They share with us their journey towards attracting a number of listeners who engage and talk about them, raising their authority in blockchain and crypto. Understanding the difficulty of getting started in the industry, Joel and Travis were able to make bitcoin and blockchain easy to understand through their “bad coin.” They tell us more about it along with their insights about podcasting in this great episode.
Watch the Episode here:
Listen to the podcast here:
Bad Crypto Podcast with Joel Comm and Travis Wright
I’m going to do one of these double episodes where we’re going to talk a little bit about blockchain. We’re going to talk about Bitcoin and crypto here, but we’re also going to talk about podcasting because that is of interest to my Center of Influence articles that I write for Authority Magazine. We’ve got guys who are tripping over into both. We’ve got the host of the Bad Crypto Podcast and it started out of you guys being bad boys. I’ve got Joel Comm and Travis Wright. You have seven million downloads. Is that right?
That’s not a bad way to frame it because I feel like we fell into the space that we’re into. It started with discussions that Travis and I would have on a regular basis on our mutual interest in cryptocurrency and blockchain. One day he says, “When are we going to do a show?” I said, “Now.” That’s how we got started. Yes, about seven million downloads in just under two years.
That’s great because you guys are for the crypto curious and the crypto serious. You are blockchain blockheads as you self-termed and you like googling stuff so we don’t have to.
We don’t Google anymore, down with tyranny.
We’re the post-Googlers.
We’re going to talk about this because you guys have some great rankings. You’re in a lot of directory listings, the top podcast in crypto and other things like that. You’ve been doing this podcast. You’ve done well over 300 episodes. The main podcast is 270 at this time. You’ve got lots of special things that you do. I want to talk about that as well as we go forward. We’re starting at the New Trust Economy, what can people expect from listening to your show? What’s so special about you guys?
We’ve had a long and storied history on the internet and in marketing and technology. A lot of people that are doing shows about blockchain come into it from that purely blockchain space. They talk about it or at least they used to talk about it in terms that were over a lot of people’s heads. We came around, we’re just a couple of guys that are technologists and nerds and are fascinated with the stuff. Being professional communicators, we’re able to speak in a language that people understand. Maybe that’s what makes us special. Travis?
Not only have we been in social media but we’re also social comedians. At least we think we are. We’re cryptomedians. We’d like to crack jokes. That’s one of the things that is different in our show. A lot of the shows, especially when we started, were so technical. That was our part. It was like, “Let’s come in. Let’s digest it and make it easy to understand for people and have some fun in the process.” We’re having lots of fun in the process and hopefully, people are understanding it too.
We’re laughing, whether or not other people laugh at our jokes, it doesn’t matter because we’re having a good time. People like to be around others who are having fun. That’s one of the reasons this show has resonated is because, “I like listening to these guys because of the comradery they have, the chemistry, and they’re having so much fun.” We need more levity. We need more humor. The world, the news and the politics, it’s all so serious and we’re like, “Why so serious?”
It shows in the way that your show comes across. You hear it. You guys are having fun and when you’re having fun with something that is being taken a little too techie and serious in other places, why not? Why wouldn’t people want to listen more? That’s why you guys have made the Top Ten Cryptocurrency Podcasts You Wouldn’t Want to Miss in 2019. You’re both listed as Top 100 Digital Marketers in 2019. Congratulations to both of you and Joel, you’re killing it at number fourteen.
It’s always nice to be recognized, but those lists are such BS. I guarantee that there are a bunch of people that are listed below me that are far more influential, but if somebody wants to say I’m number fourteen, I will take it.People like to be around others who are having fun. Click To Tweet
Pat Flynn fell below you. John Lee Dumas fell below you, so you’ve got to be feeling pretty good. I love that you guys made that list and that you’re cranking on that because that’s Brand24’s list and it’s comprised of mentions about you, not mentions you make. I put out over 1,000 podcasts across the different podcasts that we do here, but mentions about you are hard to come by. That means people are talking about you. What do you think has been the recipe to getting them energized, engaging and talking about you?
It’s a matter of us being ourselves. We don’t pretend to be somebody we’re not. We even started the show out saying, “We’re bad. We’re not good. We don’t know about blockchain yet, but we know about marketing, we know about technology, and we know about emerging technologies and here’s what we’ve done.” Collectively, between Joel and I, we’ve written sixteen books. Joel has written fifteen, but it sounds way better when I say sixteen.
It’s interesting for something a little bit newsworthy. Things change in the blockchain world. Things change in crypto and regulations are shifting yet you still recommend on your website that people start from episode one and go through it. Why is that?
When we started the show, we didn’t know where it was going. This is where we were in our journey and the moment, we were going down that rabbit hole, it was like, “We’re not financial advisors. We’re definitely not experts and we’ve never claimed to be.” Although we have learned a few things in a couple of years and we said, “Come on this journey with us.” It’s a great entry point for people that are saying, “Where do I start?” This is where we started. This is what we’ve discovered, and so come down the rabbit hole. The next episode, “What is Bitcoin? What is blockchain?” What are these basic concepts that you want to understand? As we’re figuring it out, you’re going to feel like, “I can hang with these guys because they’re not pretending like they know it all. We’re figuring this out together.”
It’s interesting because I started listening to some of your more recent episodes because I hadn’t gone to the website first. I went to iTunes. I went backwards through it essentially and you guys were spouting some terms. I was like, “These guys are in the know.” Three hundred plus episodes later, you definitely know some stuff.
One of the things that are a great idea about starting from the beginning and you listen to all 350 is that it just adds a whole lot more listens to our podcast. Go back and listen. Out of the first fifteen, there are ten that are solid basic episodes. We put together a playlist that’s Badco.in/basics and that will give you the first ten episodes. If you listened to those, that will give you a general understanding of blockchain, crypto, mining, wallets, how it all works, why it’s important and what you should know. You can go and start listening to the new episodes and you’d get an understanding. You don’t need to go back and listen to a lot of those old news episodes and stuff. However, there are a lot of great interviews that we had in there over the past couple of years. You might want to hit some of those interview sites as well but listen to those first ten and that will get you going.
You started out without a lot of knowledge in the arena, but how has it raised your authority in blockchain and in crypto?
We’re being asked now to be interviewed on shows and podcasts to discuss blockchain. We’re being asked to go to events to do Bad Crypto live onstage, to emcee events, to speak about crypto, to do workshops on crypto basics. We do know a few things. We’re still not claiming to be experts, but we do have a unique ability to make a seemingly complex subject matter easy to understand. That’s what positions us uniquely because although there are a lot of people out there that understand crypto better than us, many of them don’t have the skills to communicate on a fifth-grade level. That is where you need to be to make Bitcoin and blockchain easy to understand because it took me forever. I heard about Bitcoin years ago, but I didn’t get the whole mining thing. I’m thinking, “Are there little men inside my computer going and mining?” I didn’t get it because that didn’t connect with me. I didn’t pursue it. It wasn’t until I understood what mining was that I was able to put all the pieces together. “Now I get this, now I’ve got the foundation, now we can start from here and begin piling on more knowledge.”
I want to piggyback onto that because that was the exact same thing. Once you understand mining, you understand blockchain. You understand why Bitcoin is important because Bitcoin is the incentive for those independent miners to verify the transactions. It’s on the Bitcoin blockchain. Once people understand that you go, “Okay.” Everybody who has Bitcoin on their computers is verifying these transactions. That means we don’t need a centralized bank clearing house anymore because we’re all independently verifying that everything’s cool. One of the things that we took that to another level is that we’ve created our own coin and it’s called Badcoin. I want to talk about that because that’s what it is, once you understand mining. I mined some Bitcoin back in 2010 on a laptop and it was fun. You can’t mine Bitcoin on a laptop anymore. You can, but you’re not going to get any Bitcoin.
I always like to tell the story that I lost that Bitcoin. I mined a Bitcoin block and then a couple of months later my computer died. I forgot to get the Bitcoin off. I got all my important files off and my photos and whatever, but not the Bitcoin. Smart man. I lost that but the important thing is it was cool to mine. I liked it. I was like, “I’ve got some magical internet money here. This is great.” We had some conversations a few years ago and we said, “There’s a problem with Bitcoin because it can only be mined by very powerful and wealthy people who’ve got huge amounts of technology to be able to mine it.” You’ve got to have so much hash power and computational power to mine. It’s impossible for regular people to mine.
What if we flipped that arms race on its head and say, “Let’s see if we can get the baddest and the worst computer who can mine on bad computers and mine Badcoin?” We created our own coin. That’s a five algorithm multi-chain that any device can connect to our blockchain and you’re going to be able to mine fairly. If you have a big room of ASIC computers, you’re going to be connected to the SHA-256 algorithm, the difficulty will be very high for you to solve the problem. The reward will be lower. If you are using a MacBook or PC and you’re connecting to the Yescript algorithm, the reward would be much higher and the difficulty will be very low. The Yescript blocks get mined more than the ASIC blocks. We got it all sort out. It’s still balancing it all out. We created the fairest and mineable coin in blockchain.
I don’t know that that deserves to be called bad, but I love it. That’s amazing. Something interesting is that too many people who become authorities and experts in the industry don’t use it. We get to this point where they don’t own Bitcoin. They’ve never mined anything. They don’t know how it works. That is super interesting that you guys have not only been exploring it all the way, but you’re diving in so you’re now users.
As technologists, as futurists, as practitioners, we’re always saying, “What if we tried this? What if we did that? Could we come up with this?” We play. Travis and I have both looked at technology as this wide-open beach with all this sand and like, “What can we build here? What kind of castle? We’ve got our pail and shovel and what do we make? What would be fun? What’s going to get washed away with the ocean and what can stand the test that people will come by and take pictures of it?” The monetary gain comes with success automatically. A lot of people are trying to build something for the money. We do the things we do because we know if we do what we love, it’s going to be fun and the money will come.
You told me a couple of little stories here, but I’d love to hear the most interesting or the funniest story related to starting the podcast in particular like the things that went wrong.
The most interesting thing about our setting up the podcast was that we had the idea. I made a comment to Joel about, “How long until we do the Joel and TW Crypto Show?” That was at about maybe 3:00 on July 16th, 2017. The morning of July 18th, 36 hours later, we launched the first episode.
Not just the episode, we had registered the domain. We took all the skills that we had from our previous experience. We knew about websites. We registered a domain, setting up WordPress. Travis did some graphic design to create our logos, setting up the social profiles, finding the place to record the show. I produced the show, found the music, edited it all together, found the podcast platform. We got it out. We took massive action. Two days, July 16th, July 18th, the first episode came out.
You guys had some skills though. That is truly a difference. I have 200 podcasters on my Podetize platform and 30 days for most of them is rushing it.
That goes to our backgrounds. Joel and I each have a background in broadcasting. He worked at a college radio station. I was a country music DJ at age thirteen to fifteen. My mom’s best friend’s dad’s radio station was the KMAM/KMOE in Butler. Joel, I don’t know how many podcasts that he’s done over the years and I know that I’ve done a bunch. We said, “Let’s just go,” and in one take, “Here we go, let’s rock it.” Maybe a little bit of editing and there’s my costs or something. If the mic is in front of either Joel or me, we’re not going to be too shy. We’re going to say what’s on our minds.
We’re both professional keynote speakers and Travis is a stand-up comedian. He’s sitting right now but he could also stand and talk and tell jokes.
You guys have probably gotten a lot more speaking events and a lot more keynotes and other things. Has it increased your business opportunities? As in hit the bottom lines.
Any time you resonate with the public, people start reaching out to you. They want to sponsor the show. We’re always getting inquiries every day via email, LinkedIn or Twitter and people want to be on the show. They wanted to talk about potential joint ventures with us or asking us to go speak somewhere. We never know where we’re going to be. The bottom line is certainly the timing that we had on starting the show was impeccable. Who knew that we were coming in right before the biggest bull run in Bitcoin history?
We could feel something was happening down. We were having conversations and it consumed me literally because I had launched Digital Sense, my book, in January and here we are in July. My book is the farthest thing from my mind. I’m like, “This crypto world has consumed me.” I finally get it. Once you understand blockchain, you get on fire and you’re like, “I’ve got to know as much as I can.” A lot of people were like that, and they jumped on and started listening to our show.If we do what we love, it's going to be fun and the money will come. Click To Tweet
There wasn’t a lot of places where you could get information. You guys are authors, and that’s a common place where people go, “Let’s go read a book about this.” The reality is things were changing too fast for you guys. You’ve even gotten a book published in time.
We’ve done sixteen books between us and it takes a lot of time. We’ve talked about doing a crypto book, but honestly, by the time it would come to press, even if I use one of my methods that I can get it out in a few months, it’s going to get outdated so quickly. I don’t know that it’s worth it.
That’s how I feel. That’s why I still haven’t published my books yet. They’re still sitting on my credenza backyard.
One of the best reasons for doing a book is for branding and authority. The podcast has given us that already. That reason doesn’t hold up.
Even though this is the New Trust Economy, I want to hit on the things that go into our Center of Influence article that will be on Authority Magazine and hopefully, on BuzzFeed when they pick you up because I’m sure that they will pick up your advice. We like to hit on five areas that we could use some lessons on or tips for how you can book great guests.
You have to ask. That’s the first thing. If you want guests, you have to ask and you can’t be afraid to ask. Learn a little bit about the people that you’re wanting to have on before you ask them so that when you reach out, you’re not just saying, “I’ve got a show, do you want to be on?” Talk a little bit about them, what you admire about them, and why you would be interested in having them on.
How about increasing listeners?
It’s naming your shows in a way that people are searching for things because they want to find certain pieces of contents. Who is your audience? That’s one of the things you’ve got to know. What kind of contents are they looking for? You’re going to do the content that you’re going to put out, that’s going to be uniquely yours, that’s relevant to you and interesting to you. If it’s interesting to you and unique to you, there’s going to be a tribe of people out there who probably feel the same about that particular stuff. Make sure that you do everything in your favor to name it correctly so people can find it. Also, keep in mind that you can take your podcast and convert that into a YouTube episode. You can put that YouTube episode on BitChute, Dtube or RealVideo. You can go on Streamit and promote your podcast there. Think of different places where there are other people that are going to be listening, located at, and connect with your tribe.
How about producing it in a professional way? You guys are doing this yourself still.
We brought on an engineer that takes our audio. We’re both very capable of doing it but it’s time-consuming and it’s not fun if I have to keep doing that part of it. We’ve got a gentleman, Aaron The Tech, who produces our programs and puts them out for us.
That’s nice to have. Are there any tips to how you produce it professionally so that it sounds like a professional show?
Have a good microphone and have a good connection. If you’re doing a video, make sure you have some decent lighting so it lights you up nicely. We’re using Zoom. It has that built-in that you can have a nice little fancy background there. I would say have a good microphone, have a nice system set up, and don’t be afraid to start learning it. Audacity is such an easy thing to learn and to start out with if you’re just starting out. This is my fourth or fifth different podcast series that I’ve been a part of. I remember the very first one. I used Audacity way back in 2006 to create my Cultivate Greatness Podcast, interviewing people, and put it together. That’s the fun part.
The thing is I realized well over several years ago that I wanted to spend a portion of the rest of my life interviewing people who are smarter than me in areas where I’m not smart in or I’m not an expert in. I can learn from them and grow my network and also share that content with other people so that they can learn those lessons. If you think about it from that perspective that it’s not just about you, it’s like, “Think of the value I get from interviewing this person, one of my heroes or one of the ten people that I admire, an author that I love or some YouTube for that has got my attention.” You start interviewing them and then you become them in a way. Over time, you grow all these unique skills, you stack these skills, and the next time you know, you can do all kinds of stuff online.
How about encouraging engagement? You guys have been on the list of the most engaging people in digital marketing.
You have to invite people to engage with you. In every show, it’s like, “Email us back with the podcasts at Gmail.com or engage with us on Twitter.” We have a Facebook mastermind group that we allow people to come in and talk about crypto. We tell them to fill out the contact form. We have a phone number. We say, “Call us and leave us a message.” We have stickers. “Here’s the Badcoin sticker.” We have Bad Crypto stickers and we put them in bad places because people will recognize it. In fact, while Travis and I were in Toronto, while I was walking back to the hotel one day, somebody had put some stickers up on poles that were about not eating meat. I was like, “That’s Crypto Podcast.”
How about the best ways to monetize?
There are a lot of different ways you can monetize a podcast. If you have content that’s relevant to some particular company, if you are creating content in the interview, and your audience is relevant to some certain brand, then there are opportunities to do sponsorship. If you’re in the crypto world, there’s always somebody out there trying to get some exposure for something. Reach out and talk to the people who are trying to do great stuff in your space so your audience is relevant to them and maybe there’s a fit.
Thank you for those. I appreciate that. I want to talk a little bit about how people can reach you and find you. Besides your show, where else can they find you? What social media are you guys active in and it’s you actually there?
I am Travis Wright. You can normally Google me for that. I’m normally the official Travis Wright. Online, I’m the number one Travis Wright. I’m @Teedubya, normally there’s a “W” at the end because that was what my grandpa called me when I was growing up.
Is there anyone that you haven’t been able to get on your show yet that you’d like to get?
The Winklevoss, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. We would love to have either or both of them on. I feel like as a pair, they would go better but we’d be happy with one.One of the best reasons for doing a book is for branding and authority. Click To Tweet
That’s interesting. That’s the first time that one’s come up. I get a lot of the same people all the time.
Who are the most people say? I’m curious.
We get a lot of Barack and Michelle Obama and Oprah. In women, we get a lot of Brené Brown and other people like that. We’ve had a few people ask to have Tony Robbins on. Who wouldn’t want to have him on because that would be a scoop? Out of an ordinary day, that’s a pretty typical answer. What would you ask the Winklevoss?
That’s a good question right there. What would we ask them? Travis, what would your first question be for the Winklevoss?
How much do you hate Mark Zuckerberg?
That would set the tone for that podcast. It is a good thing though if you had them on. I would be very curious because what are they doing? They’re constantly staying ahead of technology, so far ahead that sometimes they get stolen from.
I’d like to chat with them about the genesis of them in understanding crypto because they grabbed it at an early time. They got that fat stack from Zuckerberg and the lawsuit and then right after that, they put $9 million to $10 million in crypto when it was $100 a pop or even lower. They were smart. They got in and just talked about where they’ve been and where they see the road going. They’ve created their own exchange and they’ve done it in New York City where it’s the hardest place in the world to own any crypto trading business. They’ve done a lot of interesting things. It would be fun to chat with them.
What advice do you have for somebody who wants to start a podcast?
Have something that you want to talk about. Don’t start one just to start one and then take action. Don’t hesitate. If you’re passionate enough about a subject, don’t worry about getting it perfect. Start talking and if you don’t have a team to support you in it, you don’t know what else to do, there’s a great app available on iPhone, maybe on Android as well, called the Anchor app, which lets you create podcasts directly on your phone.
Thank you, guys. I appreciate you coming on and because this is the New Trust Economy, is there anything on that side where we see a lot of distrust in crypto or blockchain that you think is dissipating? It’s disappearing and we’re feeling a lot more confident in how it’s going.
Do you know how everybody back in the day was like, “Only criminals have crypto.” It seems like that myth is being faded. Back in the day, a lot of the criminals did have crypto. They still do probably have crypto. I bet they’re probably going, “How much did I buy that weed for? I spent like $80,000.” If you figure out the price of Bitcoin, I bet a lot of the criminals are sad that they spent so much money on the dark web, on that Bitcoin. They would’ve just held it instead. One of the things we always say is that crypto goes up, crypto goes down, the space is changing, but blockchain is here to stay. It’s not going away. It’s all a magical roller coaster ride so buckle in, have fun and hold on.
That’s our philosophy here at the New Trust Economy too. I come out of the innovation and technology side that I’m much more interested in the use cases that are showing that viability of what blockchain means and what it can do underneath and underlying as a technology. When you can see a use case that’s coming up that’s like, “That shows it to its best ability.” That’s what I want to highlight. That’s my personal angle here. I don’t know much about crypto and the flip side of that. I’m a newbie in the market. I have appreciated your podcast in helping to enlighten me on that side of it.
One of the things that I see coming along, and Joel and I have a chat about this, is one of the biggest case studies for crypto and blockchain has been financing. The next one is advertising. It has totally changed the advertising game. We’ve set up a new website. We’re curating some of that news around blockchain advertising and blockchain marketing. That’s TheBlockchainCMO.com and we’re having fun curating that. As I put in some brain power over there thinking advertising in blockchain, who are going to be the winners over there? I want to start connecting with them.
I definitely want to talk to you guys more about that. We will do that at another time though. Everyone, thank you so much for joining me. Joel and Travis, I appreciate you guys here. Bad Crypto Podcast, you guys have to check it out. Add it to your subscription list. If you’re listening to blockchain and cryptocurrency, you’ve got to be listening there.
Badcoin.net also, if you want to learn how to mine Badcoin and stay bad.
Thank you, guys, so much for joining me and thank you all. This has been Tracy Hazzard on the New Trust Economy.
- Bad Crypto Podcast
- Digital Sense
- Facebook – Joel Comm
- Instagram – Joel Comm
- @JoelComm – Twitter
- @Teedubya – Travis Wright
- iPhone – Anchor app
- Android – Anchor app
About Joel Comm
Joel Comm is New York Times bestselling author, blockchain enthusiast, professional keynote speaker, social media marketing strategist, live video expert, technologist, brand influencer, futurist and eternal 12-year old. With over two decades of experience harnessing the power of the web, publishing, social media and mobile applications to expand reach and engage in active relationship marketing, Joel is a sought-after public speaker who leaves his audiences inspired, entertained, and armed with strategic tools to create highly effective new media campaigns. His latest project is as co-host of The Bad Crypto Podcast, a top cryptocurrency show making the future of digital payments easy to understand.
About Travis Wright
Travis Wright is a top marketing technologist, author, keynote speaker, blockchain advisor, tech journalist, and podcast host.
He is the former global digital and social strategist at Symantec for the Norton brand. Wright is the cofounder & CMO of CCP.Digital, a Kansas City & SF-based digital ad & content agency.
Wright is the author of Wiley & Sons, “Digital Sense, The Common Sense Approach to Social Business Strategy, Marketing Technologies, Customer Experience and Emerging Technologies”, which published in January 2017.
Wright also co-hosts one of the top ranked blockchain podcasts, The Bad Crypto Podcast, with Joel Comm. And he co-hosts Venture Beat’s podcast, VB Engage, with Stewart Rogers.