Pro Audio Files

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We’re Stepping Our Game Up

I started The Pro Audio Files on a whim one night in 2010. I was buzzed and bored in Minneapolis and thought it would be a good way to learn more about audio and show a Quiztones banner ad. It took about an hour: WordPress theme + a forum post to find initial contributors.

Since then it’s turned into my life’s work with a lot of modulation and inflection points along the way: months where I sprinted at the expense of my health, months where I took on uncomfortable amounts of debt (-$60,000 at one point) to increase output, growth and future revenue. Months where I felt depressed, anxious, hopeless and ready to give up on growing a media business. But also plenty of months and years where we thrived and I felt energized about making a living — and helping others make a living — in the music industry while fulfilling a mission: to bring you the highest quality content on mixing, recording, producing and more.

We’re now at another inflection point and it feels like a big one. Maybe it’s because I’m 30 and thinking about death. It makes me sad to think I could die and not have put every penny and ounce of effort towards growing the site into something bigger while pursuing my ideal lifestyle.

I used to start all kinds of projects and my favorite part was turning a seed of an idea into tangibility. I was a lone wolf which complimented my cyclical cocktail of anxiety, OCD and depression. Existing in some form of isolation has always suited me, for better or worse.

Until about a year ago, I was involved in every aspect of the site — too many processes revolved around me. This is fine when you’re hustling your face off to get something off the ground, but not eight years in. My health would consistently deteriorate and I’d become the bottleneck of growth (still guilty sometimes). To mitigate this I’ve had to develop a new skill set around working on the business instead of working in the business. I’ve had to learn how to get the right people involved and establish processes that make things run smoother, faster and support exponential growth while maintaining quality. This is my most active effort right now. I’ve never been more motivated to pursue escape velocity.

I thought I’d share some of my nearest-term goals, as to publicly hold myself accountable:

1. More Articles

We hired an editor and we’re going all in on articles. I know many of you also like YouTube videos. I personally love consuming on YouTube, and we’re not totally abandoning it, but it feels like it’s become overly saturated with audio content the past few years, so we’re going back to our article roots, our bread and butter (or double butter if you’re keto). Articles have been our biggest growth engine since day one.

Below is our monthly organic google search traffic since that first night.

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Persistence is underrated in business. Many people quit too soon.

2. Membership Site Expansion

We’re going to add a massive amount of new content to The Pro Audio Files Membership Site. My original vision for it was “Netflix for premium audio courses.” Short-term this means adding courses from all of our instructors who aren’t on there yet. Medium-term it means aggressively licensing courses from outside instructors who are the best of the best and should be featured. Let me know who you want to see.

3. More Freebies

We’re going to be putting out more free sample packs. I’m shutting down Sample Supply and giving some of the packs away as free downloads. I have no problem shutting something down if it’s not working. Quiztones and The Pro Audio Files are my projects that hit — I have about ten others that “failed.” Somewhat contradictory to my glorification of persistence, I’ve also learned that the sooner you recognize something isn’t working and cut it off, the quicker you can free up the energy, focus and mental RAM to go all in on what is working.

4. More Contributors

We’re hiring. If you know someone who lives at the intersection of audio, education and writing and would be a great contributor to the site, shoot us an email.

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Dan Comerchero

Dan Comerchero

I'm Dan, Founder of The Pro Audio Files and Quiztones ear training apps. I'm probably checking Instagram if you want to say hi.

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