So I started a podcast.
I’ve wanted to do a podcast for a while but had just dreamed about doing it. So how did I go from dreaming to doing?
I’ve blogged on and off since 2001 on various platforms from LiveJournal to my own website to WordPress. I’ve written stories for fun since I was in kindergarten. My fiction has ranged from good to horrible to porn to romance to science fiction. I tried a little writing for a friend that was making a comic book and discovered that I don’t appreciate the art of the graphic novel enough to make the effort to adapt my style so that was a no go. But regardless I’ve been writing fiction most of my life.
What I’m saying is I’ve had experience with writing. I have zero experience interviewing people. What did I want to do with my podcast? Interview people!
Do I have any experience acting? Nope!
Do I have any experience with public speaking? Minimal!
Do I have any experience with standup? Noooooo!
Do I have any technical or radio experience or knowledge about the equipment? Hell no!
So what makes me think I can do a podcast? Well for one I was inspired by others.
The first podcast I ever listened to was the Metamor City Podcast by Chris Lester. He managed to produce a full voice cast serialized audio book with a gripping story line. It’s great and kept me sane during a pretty dark time in my life. It’s changed a little since the full voice cast days but the story quality is fantastic. I highly recommend it. That podcast was my gateway drug. Then I discovered that NPR had podcasts also. I dove in.
It was radio without the annoying commercials. Podcasts where I could learn about stuff or hear more than just the headline of a story. And there was a ton of people talking about things I was interested in. From movies to religion to science to cosplay and making. It’s all there!
Quality varies wildly from podcast to podcast. Podcasts also come and go with alarming frequency. The podcastverse is filled with amateurs and pros alike. It’s still a newish medium that the big corporations are just now figuring out reaches an audience they can make money off. That wild variety of quality is exactly one of the reasons I thought I might be able to do this thing called Podcasting. The entry bar seemed low. I didn’t have to be good to begin with. I could learn as I went.
So, I started researching. YouTube was my friend. I even went the dead tree route by buying a book, Podcasting for Dummies. The authors had advertised their own podcasts on Chris Lester’s so I recognized the names. Then I actually read the book.
This wouldn’t be quiet as immediate and easy as starting a blog or setting up a channel on YouTube. Hosting large high-quality audio files is not something you can get for free. Making it so you can be found? Also not as easy as putting up a blog. And a big question rang in my head of “who is your audience?”
It’s possible at this point I hit information overload. Because I didn’t think I had any experience with the technology or a clear idea of what I wanted the outcome to be I shelved the idea for a bit. It became a desire but not something I was acting upon.
Then I turned 50
I didn’t think it would be a big deal to me but I was also coming out of a season of depression and poverty and it turned out to be more of a big deal than I expected. I had been doing “this” all my life and it hadn’t gotten me where I wanted. “this” being wanting something but not going the extra mile to get it. I’ve got a seriously odd set of skills that I’m sort of good at but nothing that I’d really developed past the hobbyist stage. Then I hit 50.
I guess I had to grow up sometime
I implemented some changes. I lost 35 pounds. I assessed my budget. I set my jaw. I buckled down and I told my fear to take a back seat while I gave this shit a try. And that’s how I started a podcast.
Oh you wanted to hear about me magically discovering I was amazingly great at podcasting and interviewing people. About me instantly going viral and now I have tons of listeners?
Sorry people. That isn’t how this works. Starting a podcast is work. I had to figure out my format. Get the equipment. Figure out how to record and then actually put up cash to pay for hosting all while learning 30 new things that are truly outside my comfort zone. I had to prepare for interviews. Fail at recording properly. Try for interviews beyond my friends and get turned down. Along the way I’ve discovered I enjoy this, and I am not Horrible at it.
Now I have even more work. SEO, listener engagement, to advertise or stick with word of mouth, did I properly set up the feed so pandora will pick me up? And who the hell are those guys on YouTube with a similar show name??! it’s not easy. It’s work. Its deadlines and expectations and striving for quality. Its not magic but it might, just might, be a little magical.
Go on, go check it out!