Indie Wrestler Colt Cabana: Podcast Advertisers Are “Smarter”

Colt Cabana may be professional wrestling’s best kept secret–as his website proclaims–but not on his account. The two-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion connects with fans from around the world on his weekly podcast, The Art of Wrestling with Colt Cabana. I recently talked with Cabana to learn more about his show and why he’s a fan of podcast advertising.

He explained that The Art of Wrestling is based on his life as a professional wrestler, and also his experience “as a human being, trying to reach and achieve my goals, and the struggles I encounter in order to do that.” Since July, 2010 he has been recording the show from his home in Chicago, and on the road from hotel rooms and locker rooms from Japan and Australia to Canada and Mexico.

On each episode Cabana sits down with his peers to talk about life in pro wrestling. “It’s very lighthearted and comedic for the most part,” he said, “but sometimes it gets a little deep.”

He started working with the Midroll to sell ads on his show last May. Before that “I was selling some ads throughout the wrestling world,” but he said that he didn’t know how to reach out to “the bigger podcast friendly corporations, the people with ad budgets.”

On working with the Midroll he said, “It’s wonderful. I couldn’t be more happy about it.” That’s because “they know how to place a podcast with a podcast-friendly advertiser. That’s the most important part.”

He continued, “The income is nice, especially as a struggling artist for fifteen years now as a professional wrestler, and doing a podcast for free for so many years, not thinking that there was ever going to be any income.”

He maintains that podcast companies “are the smarter and better companies. Those are the kind of companies that podcast listeners want to support. It’s so intimate and so fun to be part of a community of listeners with podcasting. The listeners know that whoever is advertising gets it.”

As a podcaster, Cabana said that it’s critical that he retains full creative freedom. Having already created a successful podcast, he explained that “I found a flow that I liked.” So when he started working with the staff at the Midroll “we both agreed that we don’t want to compromise anything or change anything around.” He observed, “If this is the flow that has gotten me this successful so far, why rock the boat in any way?”

That’s why he described the Midroll as “very artist friendly.”

Cabana is a true fan of the medium, himself. “I believe in and love podcasting so much,” he told me. “I listen to about 30 podcasts a week. And I’ve been doing that since 2009, when I started traveling a lot again for wrestling.”

With such a voracious podcast diet, I asked him to share the podcasts that he absolutely can’t miss every week.

Cabana listed WTF, Comedy Bang! Bang!, Doug Loves Movies, Stop Podcasting Yourself, This American Life, Who Charted? and the Fogelnest Files. “Those are my go-tos,” he said.

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