Startup Chat #64 – How to beat Harvard on iTunes with Billy Murphy

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This week we chat with Billy Murphy from We talk about his background in poker and building ecommerce sites and his new podcast. The trick he revealed for launching his podcast into the iTunes top 3 is so simple you’ll wish you thought of it yourself.

You can’t crush it with a 500 word article @billymurph via @wpcurve – CLICK TO TWEET

First entrepreneurial endeavor

  • Sold baseball cards for a profit
  • When he was 17, had a job for a month or two – then quit
  • After college, worked a commission only gig for 4 – 5 months
  • Spoke to 100s of people and got crappy leads (Dan also loves selling face-to-face NOT!)

Going pro in poker

  • Billy started with play money
  • Decided to push in with $50 – $5 buy in to start
  • By the end of senior year Billy was making $15 to $30 an hour as a side gig
  • Started sending troublesome hands to coaches for a percentage deal, played 88,000 hands in one year
  • Played 24/7, when he wasn’t playing he was reading notes
  • Made $17,000 per month once it clicked
  • Poker became a job – wanted something more passive


  • Had a friend who was doing well with ecommerce, so took a closer look
  • Contacted people who had multiple stores and asked them if there were stores that were neglected
  • Hustled into a partnership with a brick and mortar store – they didn’t want local competition
  • Made $8,000 in revenue from hustling up a partnership with a saddle store
  • Sold off most of the ecommerce stores / drop shipping and profitability was low
  • If he did it again, he would create his own brand
  • Successful online business – Frank Body coffee body scrub has 220,000 followers on Instagram and 15,000 user generated posts

Standing out online

  • Writes verrry long content
  • Takes him 30 hours to write a post
  • Promotes content in forums
  • Emails posts to friends for review and to answer people’s questions
  • 6,000 word blog post for the EV Millionaire’s math
  • Didn’t see a lot of original content, regurgitated across 500 blogs with only 5 – 10 thought leaders
  • Nobody will share 500 – 700 word posts
  • Creates articles that answers questions and details rebuttals to potential questions

Masters of long form content

Content that has worked for WP Curve

Breaking into podcasting

  • Fills a gap in the market that didn’t exist
  • Has open conversations about entrepreneurship topics
  • Currently at #3 in Business Podcast ahead of Harvard Business Review

Promoting a new podcast

  • Approached influencers for free sponsorship spots on his shows in exchange for promotion to their list
  • First few free ad spaces were tough – easier to get more promoters once people jumped on board
  • Built credibility from having ‘sponsors’ on day one
  • Missed launch date on the 1st, had a feed error, lost a number of sponsors
  • Launched on the 7th, but then had 2 podcasts next to each other
  • Everything that could have went wrong, did

The exact approach Billy used

“I have this valuable sponsorship space that I’m not going to be able to monetize – I have this space that is going to go to waste. I’m interested in giving you a free sponsorship spot and I’m looking to give you free exposure.”

Finding an angle in iTunes

  • iTunes algorithm speculation: guessing downloads, reviews, subscriptions and bounce rates matter
  • Chose a picture of himself in Brasil to boost click-throughs to the podcast
  • John Lee Dumas on starting out in podcasting

The results

  • 5,000 podcast downloads in 2 days
  • #2 in overall business next to Dave Ramsey

Where to find Billy


Please post them in the comments below.


Dan Norris is a co-founder at WP Curve and a passionate entrepreneur with an obsession for content marketing.

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