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Celebrating 3 Years In Podcasting

By Cheval John

Courtesy of www.hfmatretrony.org

Courtesy of www.hfmatretrony.org

As SuperBowl 50 is about to begin in about two hours, national media outlets from CBS, the NFL Network, ESPN, USA Today, the New York Times, the Houston Chronicle etc. are providing a whole lot of attention and buzz around the different strategies that lead either the Carolina Panthers or the Denver Broncos to winning the championship.

A new wave of media is making the national media to take notice and even adapt to how they broadcast events like the SuperBowl.

Live streaming applications like Periscope and Blab have allowed people who are not with the official media to broadcast their expertise in entrepreneuership, social media and even sports.

In the case of blab, their application makes it easier for someone who is a podcaster to record their shows in front of a “live audience” and overtime build their fanbase for their shows.

I can say that I am one of the podcasters who have started to record my show, What’s The Word? on blab from September of 2015 and have been putting the show’s recordings on BlogTalkRadio to come out at a later time.

BlogTalkRadio was where I started my show three years ago on this very day.

I never thought I would still be podcasting even now because most podcasters don’t make it past the seventh episode because they don’t see the immediate results of getting rich from their podcasts in the same way that John Lee Dumas has become rich from his “Entrepreneur On Fire” podcast.

Dumas is the exception because he was the first to have a 7-day a week podcast and that is the reason why he is extremely successful with his podcast.

Many don’t understand that podcasting takes hard work and dedication and that you will not achieve a million downloads overnight according to this article on Libsyn’s blog.

I know that I was blessed to have begun my podcast which is an extension of Vallano Media from Huntsville, Texas, a small city which is an hour north of Houston and that the guests from the early episodes of my show were faculty and sports coaches from my alma mater, Sam Houston State University.

The very first guest for my show was Peter Roussel, former White House spokesperson and current adjunct professor in the Mass Communication Department.

Even though my first episode did not start out well, I have learned how to become a better podcaster over time.


I am still learning to this day of how to be a great podcaster for the better.

Plus, I am not going after the A-listers as much to be on my show as I did before (even though my intention was to lift them up to another level of success) because I want to treat everyone the same and not give special treatment just because they are a well-known name for the better.

Also, you will get a whole lot of value from a guest who is not a well-known celebrity and will uplift your audience and even yourself to be better people.

A couple of my favorite episodes showcases that example of not too well known guests who have uplifted me and my audience for the better.

Christin Kardos, who is now a community manager for Convince and Convert

Kelly Hungerford, Digital Strategist

Greg Walker, Author And Entrepreneur

Jackie Bernardi: Entrepreneur And Beauty Industry Business Catalyst

Tamara McCleary, Creator of RelationShift

So the most important message that you can take away from this post is to always be consistent with putting out uplifting messages on your podcasts, blogs, YouTube videos, etc. and don’t ever look for the “overnight success” because overtime, you will achieve important milestones that will make you appreciate the hard work that you put into creating quality shows for the better.

Five Years And Counting As A Blogger

By Cheval John

Photo courtesy of Forbes via BigStock.com

Photo courtesy of Forbes via BigStock.com


I still remembered the day I first started blogging five years ago.

I was about to start graduate school and was at an on-campus job fair at my alma mater, Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.

There were many university departments ranging from the career services to the athletic department looking for people who would fill their positions as an intern or part-time work.

I first approached the athletic department about the possibility of working with their marketing team.

I felt that I was qualified because in the previous semester, I interned at an on-campus public relations agency called Priority One.

The public relations agency is part of the class where students form a company and do real work for clients with the SHSU university departments and in the process gain class credit towards their Mass Communications degree.

In my case, I was auditing the class (which mean I got no class credit, but payed less money for the class)

I took that route because I knew that I would have the opportunity to gain actual public relations experience that would give me an opportunity to compete with other graduates for work at a marketing/public relations company.

So I applied for the marketing position at the athletic department’s booth and got rejected because I was overqualified.

A couple of minutes later, I saw the booth of the college’s newspaper of record, “The Houstonian”

I went up to the booth and the editor-of-chief of the newspaper had asked me if I had wanted to be their blogger.

Prior to her asking me about becoming their blogger, I had a vague idea of what a blog was.

That idea of a blog probably came about from an NCIS episode when the main character, Gibbs, asked the forensic scientist, Abby, what a blog was since the sister of special agent McGee, who was portrayed by Trioan Bellasario, had a blog.

And since I did not had any prior blogging experience, I could have told her, “No, I don’t want to work as a blogger.”

However, I said yes to the opportunity of becoming a blogger because I knew that it would allow me to become part of the college newspaper and gain experience as a journalist.

I was then connected with the person who was in charge of their social media to set up an account for the blog.

She had “recommended” using WordPress to set up the blog.

It was at that time, I came up with the name, “What’s The Word?” and created the blog with the free WordPress.com account.

After that, the social media editor linked the blog to the school’s newspaper account.

Then, I written my very first blog post on January 27th, 2011 entitled, “Hello Everyone,” which for some reason, the blog date is 6 hours ahead of central time.

It was awesome to realize that I was simultaneously blogging for the school newspaper and myself because I was the only one who had access to this blog.

I also knew that I had the platform to share my opinions of what is happening on my college’s campus, the sports world, etc.

It was also cool that blogging led me to become a sportswriter because of my curiousity to see what it would be like to cover a sporting event.

And the opportunity came about when the SHSU baseball and softball team was hosting a weekend series during spring break.

I decided to attend the softball double-header matchup on Saturday and then the baseball matchup on Sunday.

This blog post, “A Weekend Not To Remember” came about from covering both athletic teams that weekend.

Also, that spring break weekend of covering those sporting events got me hooked on being a sports writer.

As a sportwriter for the college newspaper, I was able to cover the SHSU Volleyball team and simultaneously covered the SHSU Football Team run toward the national championship for the blog.

Eventually, I “left” the school newspaper after I took a semester off from graduate school and converted this blog into my media company, “Vallano Media.”

At the same time, I became a freelance sportswriter for the Huntsville Item in addition to running this company and covered teams that won conference championships in their respective sports.

I have also written two books and hosted a podcast called, “What’s The Word?” on BlogTalkRadio (now recording the show on the live streaming platform called blab first).

The reason why I will continue to blog is because I still have the desire to make a positive impact in the world for the better.

Plus, I know that I am apart of a crowd who are setting themselves up for success for the better because of their blogs, podcasts, YouTube channel, etc.

The people above will thrive for the better despite the continued layoffs due to companies shutting down or merging to become a giant corporation.

College Football Playoff’s Impact on Phoenix

By Cheval John January 11th, 2016

Tonight, the nation will see who will win the College Football Playoff National Championship matchup between No.1 Clemson Tigers and the No.2 Alabama Crimson Tide in Glendale, Arizona on ESPN.

Everyone will expect Alabama to win their 11th national championship in the sport of football and fourth in seven years because they have a tradition of winning.

Many can almost compare Alabama to an NFL powerhouse because of the way their head coach, Nick Saban run the program.

No one would expect Clemson, who is seeking their second ever national title, to beat Alabama despite being the lone undefeated team in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

History have a way of repeating itself.

Clemson’s last national title in 1981 has some similarities.

In that year, they opened the season against Wofford, an Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) opponent en route to their first championship.

In the 2015 season, the Tigers opened their matchup against Wofford.

Just maybe, Clemson will pull off the shocking upset.

What is really interesting is the way the coverage of the national championship game has been displayed leading up to the matchup.

ESPN, the world wide leader in sports, have been broadcasting the events and interviews with the football players and the coaches today.

You can at times have a sense of the atmosphere that the fans of both Clemson and Alabama are experiencing at the pre-championship football matchup events.

You might come to a conclusion that the events is almost like the Super Bowl.

And you can expect to see major corporations and non-profits capitalizing on the opportunities to promote their uplifting services and products during the national championship game.

Looking at these tweets below:

And even some are using this matchup to promote their causes.

Like this tweet from the U.S. Fish and Wild Life

And let’s not leave out the SEC Network:

And this tweet from the College Football Playoff

Now with all of the media attention that the national championship is getting, you can expect the Phoenix metropolitan area to benefit financially from this.

In a lot of ways, Phoenix is benefiting tremendously from the media exposure that they are receiving.

But from an insider’s perspective, the media attention that they receive is only when a major event like the Super Bowl or in this case, the national championship, happens in their surrounding area.

Monique Hoffmann, a.k.a. Q The Brand, shared with me on the live streaming platform called Blab, that many people don’t know about the positive offerings that the Phoenix area gives to businesses.

She also brought a bigger perspective on the fact that many large businesses are not taking advantage of social media to promote their businesses for the better.

She also mentioned that if they do use social media, they are looking for the quick return on investment (ROI) and not looking at the long term positive results due to their efforts from being on social media.

It is like they miss the boat on the fact that they have to build trust with their customers and fans if they want to be successful.

And the most interesting thing that was mentioned in the blab show about the College Football Playoff by Clair Wyant, a fellow Phoenix resident as Q The Brand, is that Clemson Athletics have been utilizing social media the correct way to build further trust and engagement with their students, faculty and alumni base.

So in essence, Clemson understands the true value of social media.

So if you can continue to use social media correctly to build a loyal audience, you can succeed in your business as an small business owner or solopreneur for the better.

As for my predictions regarding the national championship matchup, my intuition says that Clemson will pull off the shocking upset and win their second national championship.

North Dakota State Is The Team Of This Decade

By Cheval John

The Bison won their fifth consecutive NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) National Championship after defeating Jacksonville State 37-10 in Frisco, Texas.

The five consecutive national championships won by the Bison is an NCAA record in football at any level.

It seemed as if they were not supposed to win anymore after their third national championship when Craig Bohl had left for Wyoming in 2014 and Brock Jensen had graduated.

But somehow, some way, North Dakota State have kept the winning streak going under coach Chris Kleiman.

The journey for North Dakota State was tougher this year than their previous championship runs.

The Bison lost to Montana in the opening matchup of the 2015 season.

Then their senior quarterback, Carson Weinctz went down with a wrist injury on October 17th during their 24-21 loss to South Dakota at the FargoDome.

Video courtesy of North Dakota State Athletics

That injury to Weinctz brought further doubt to the Bison faithful that they were not going to return to Frisco.

They even thought that they would have gotten their refund because they buy their championship tickets to the National Championship matchup in August.

However, the Bison football team believed that they were going to turn their season around because they have won before when nobody thought that they would win.

Freshman quarterback Easton Stick stepped up and led the Bison to an 8-game winning streak that includes securing their fifth consecutive conference championship and also keeping their playoff winning streak of 16 matchups in the Fargo Dome alive and well.

However for the championship matchup against Jacksonville State, the coaching staff decided to let Weinctz start after he was cleared to play football by the doctors.

And Mr. Weinctz went 16 of 29 for 197 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 79 yards and two scores on 9 carries.

The Bison’s mindset of believing that they can win despite the obstacles that they face is a testament to what the residents of North Dakota love about their team.

Did you know that the Bison is 8-3 against teams from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) since they joined the Division I level?

Do you also know in those 8 wins against FBS teams, five of those wins are consecutive against the Big Ten and Big 12 combined?

The Bison football team also have a strong fan base in Fargo, North Dakota and probably in all of college football.

The Bison faithful travel well whenever the football team is on the road

That is evident whenever the Bison are playing in the championship matchup in Frisco.

North Dakota does not have any professional sports teams.

So the only sports teams that come close to professional is the collegiate sports teams from the different universities that are in the state.

And the fact that North Dakota State has a rich history of winning national championships when they were in Division II before transitioning to Division I tells a story of how they have captured the hearts of the residents of North Dakota.

Video courtesy of North Dakota State Athletics

The residents of North Dakota understands that hard work and dedication is what gets them to be successful in life for the better.

North Dakota State exemplifies the work ethic that the residents of North Dakota share that makes them proud for the better.

The Bison also showcases the importance of having a positive mindset and working hard to achieve your dreams for the better.

When a person have the positive mindset and the work ethic to succeed in their respective careers for the better, they will eventually have the same success like North Dakota State.

Houston Is Not “Kind” To Stephen F. Austin State

By Cheval John

Photo courtesy of www.gobearkats.com

Photo courtesy of www.gobearkats.com


The city of Houston has not been good to Stephen F. Austin State University in recent years.

The Lumberjacks were looking to snap their winless streak against their arch-rivals Sam Houston State University at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Unfortunately for them, they came out winless after a 34-28 matchup loss to the Bearkats that was played in front of record crowd of 26,990.

The Lumberjacks won the inaugaral “Battle of The Piney Woods” held at NRG Stadium (formerly Reliant Stadium) in 2010.

Since then, they have lost to the Bearkats.

SFA had everything going for them in the first half as they held the Bearkats to only 3 points and only 171 yards of total offense.

At the same time, the Lumberjacks has connected for two touchdowns to make it 14-3.

One might believe that SFA would have continued their momentum going into the second half.

That was not the case.

Sam Houston exploded for three huge punt returns, (two returned for touchdowns and another that set up a field goal by Luc Swimberghe) that gave them a 24-21 lead.

The two punt returned for touchdowns was courtesy of Gerald Thomas (78 yards) and Yedidiah Louis (53 yards).

The Lumberjacks could not recover from the punt returns and ended up losing to the Bearkats for the fifth consecutive year.

We played well enough to win, for the most part, with the exception of maybe three plays, but that seems to be the same song, fifth verse,” Coach Conque said to the Houston Chronicle.

The lesson that can be taken away is that no matter how hopeless it seems to achieve your goals as a writer, podcaster, etc., you must continue to work hard to get that breakthrough.

Sam Houston kept on working hard despite being out of rhythm in offense and in the end, found a way to defeat their arch-rivals Stephen F. Austin.

And speaking of continuing to work hard to gain your breakthrough, I can finally share with you the What’s The Word? episode with guest Alissa Trumbull, co-founder of the #BizGalz Twitter chat.

The first two times in trying to air the episode, they were some wi-fi connections problems that caused me to put out the episode on a different time from the normal Monday night time slot at 8 p.m. eastern, 7 p.m. central.

Like they say, “Third Time Is A Charm.”

Here is the link to the video version of the interview with guest Alissa Trumbull.

And below is the podcast version of the interview with Mrs. Trumbull.

Check Out Business Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Cheval John on BlogTalkRadio