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

By Jordan Michaelides
June 11, 2019


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

Enjoy the episode!

🎧 Listen here or watch on YouTube: 


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