The Highs and Lows of Creating a Podcast Series
I’m 100% glad I created my eight episode series of the Going Rogue Podcast. Absolutely, definitely chuffed to bits that I did it.
However it wasn’t plain sailing, and it was pretty exhausting and a bit lonely at times.
So I thought I’d share the good and the bad bits, so perhaps if you decide to do your own, you can benefit from my experience.
First of all back in January when I decided I was going to do a podcast I had BIG ideas. This was going to be the thing that got me a national and global audience. Oh man, that was ambitious! However I wasn’t wrong – I have had listens in the US and UK listens outside of the North West. I just had a larger scale in mind! But I’m not going to knock those figures because it is exciting that new people are finding me.
Another problem that I had was being a massive perfectionist! I dedicated WAY too much time to the project and sent myself a bit nuts. I was recording podcasts mainly from Feb – April and editing them from end of March to now. I got over-focussed about it all and just didn’t achieve much work life balance. I recommend you don’t do this or you will become extremely grumpy like I did.
Realistically learning a new skill like this was never going to be easy. Here are all the things I had to get my head around:
- Choosing a podcast theme – in my case I eventually hit upon interviewing my creative heroes about their businesses. This is because I’ve realised how tenacious and passionate you have to be to pursue your own creative vision as a self employed person. I partly wanted some inspiration for my own business!!
- Choosing a podcast title – I asked for a lot of help from my community with this one as I wanted something that would pack a punch. Thanks to Katy Carlisle for nailing it for me!
- Creating the artwork. I was lucky that I had the perfect photo of me from Jill Jennings that hit the spot. But I still needed to figure out the rest of the font and look. Many hours on Canva later I came up with something I was happy with (check out the artwork at the top of the page)
- Learning ALL the technicals – this should have about 20 sub sections. First of all there’s the recording and being aware of all the things that can mess up the sound quality. Then there’s the navigating your way around the editing and recording software (in my case I used a free tool called Audacity). Oh and then there’s working out how the hell to edit it! It’s just, a lot.
- Interview techniques – how do you sound like an enthusiastic engaging human being when you interview yours guests? A) so you can make them feel comfortable and draw out the best in them B) so you don’t sound like a boring robot and an idiot (which was definitely the case in my first two aborted attempts).
- Uploading the podcast onto a hosting platform (I used Lybsyn) – putting the show notes up, the artwork, and all the correct details up. And then working out how to get it from the hosting platform onto all the different podcast channels so that people can access it (iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud etc etc). I literally HATED this bit and it nearly gave me a breakdown because I found it so confusing.
- Finally promoting the hell out of it on all my social channels. This also includes building up some interest and intrigue in the podcast in the lead up to the launch so that people wouldn’t receive the first episode cold.
I’m not saying that I’ve done all the of the above with finesse and high standards, but I wanted you to get an idea of what was involved!
And I definitely couldn’t have done it without the very brilliant help of my podcast coach Victoria Elizabeth Turnbull who held my hand through so much of the process! She made everything feel really accessible and was so committed to helping me create a podcast I could be proud of.
So at the end of it all, how to do I feel about it?
Well I’m beyond proud. There’s nothing like setting out to do something extremely difficult and then achieving it, so I’m glowing from that. Secondly I’ve LOVED LOVED LOVED interviewing every single guest. I got to have really fascinating conversations with my heroes. I got to hear their stories, learn about their motivations, their difficulties, their successes and their thought processes. It was such a privilege.
And whilst I haven’t had thousands of listens (yet!!), I’m happy with how many are listening, and the average is increasing every week. I realise it takes an effort to listen to a podcast, so I take every one of those listens as a big endorsement.
And the feedback has been fabulous. I’ve had people telling me how inspired they’ve been by hearing these people’s unique stories. And that makes me very happy!
And my final note is that it’s early days for me. These listens could grow and grow over time. And I’m planning to release another series in September – so who knows where that will take me? What I do know is that it’s been enriching, creative and rewarding and I’ve got to hang out with some fabulous people. It’s less clear how it will impact my business, but I think it’s more of a long term investment type project, where time will tell!
So if you fancy making a podcast series, absolutely do it. Just know what you’re letting yourself in for. But perhaps you’ll just find it easier than me! The other alternative is hiring someone like Vic to do the editing for you!
If you have any thoughts of insights on making podcasts I’d love to hear them!
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