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How the Shameless brand exploded, with Zara McDonald & Michelle Andrews

By Jordan Michaelides

Zara McDonald and Michelle Andrews are journalists, Co-Hosts of the Shameless Podcast, and Co-Founders of Shameless Media.

What I like about these two media entrepreneurs is their ability to identify what works editorially in an overlooked market. The pushback they received from one of the largest digital-first, female media brands, would have taken some fortitude to withstand. But the principled approach to what they believed would work, and that there was a need for a pop-culture podcast for “smart women who love dumb stuff”,  birthed a rational community of women and a business that neither Zara or Michelle probably thought was possible.

One year and three months later, they lead a growing community, and have just announced their first branded podcast with Bumble Australia, titled Love etc. I’m fascinated to see what the next few years hold for these two.

In this episode we covered:

  • How much they owe to The Daily Mail
  • The death of the celebrity profile
  • The rise of Shameless
  • Shameless Media & monetisation
  • Creator burnout and mental health
  • Confidence and imposter syndrome
  • Election results and diversity of opinions

Listen to the episode

Watch the episode: 


00:50 – Introduction
03:03 – Podcast setups
05:00 – Co Founder dynamics
06:15 – How much they owe to The Daily Mail
10:20 – Goals growing up
13:50 – The death of the celebrity profile
16:40 – Uncovering Sarah’s Day
20:21 – Blogging is dead
23:00 – Going out alone with Shameless
28:38 – Gaining clout on a saturated market
33:40 – The ah-ha moment
36:50 – The Shameless FB Group Community
43:03 – Adequate monetisation
50:54 – Shameless Media & short term goals
57:31 – Potential investors
01:03:39 – Creator burnout and mental health
01:11:29 – Trolling and online criticism
01:15:20 – Regular publishing days
01:18:50 – Getting into video
01:20:40 – Weird fan moments
01:24:09 – Confidence and imposter syndrome
01:27:38 – Election results & diversity of opinions
01:40:30 – Daily routines
01:41:27 – A book they’d gift
01:42:14 – Best purchase under $200