Re: Re: Any advice?

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#16754

Jamie
Keymaster

Listener Ben asked for some advice on podcasting, as well as how deep to go into research prior to launching. Here's what I told him about podcasting. Hi Ben,Podcasting is a fantastic hobby!  I recommend it to everyone I know that has an interest in an esoteric area of knowledge.  As for tips and suggestions...Look at running a history podcast like being a Grad Student working on your dissertation.  Only, instead of only doing one, you're doing it every week.  You will never NEVER feel like you've researched enough.  Everytime you record, you will feel like you are being forced to do this by the calendar but you really could have used more time.  And there's a good chance, that you'll be unhappy with your episodes as they are released.At least, that's how I am.  It's the nature of the beast.  There's always more information out there, and sometimes I chase new tangential topics for days before feeling satisfied, and that results in episodes being a little late.  That, by the way, is my biggest sin in Podcasting.  My episodes can be a little late.  It gets me in trouble with listeners and gets me negative reviews.  So if I could give you one bit of advice, it would be to pick a schedule and stick with it. If you're a perfectionist, though, it'll be tough for you.  I know it is for me.Also, be comfortable in the knowledge that you'll make mistakes and that people who know more about an area will point it out to you.  It will happen.  And when it does, have the integrity to own up to it and correct it in your show.  If your listeners stop trusting you, you're done.  And the worst thing you can do is cover up your mistakes.  I'm not saying that you should make a lot, and you should always work to have every episode be flawless, but when errors happen own up to it.  Such as my mispronounciation of Chi Roh.  If you want to put out a good podcast, you'll work harder at this than you've ever worked at a job before.  And this is a job.  And here's the kicker.  You probably wont get paid for it.  And even if you are, it'll be way below minimum wage.  I put in about an hour of work for ever minute of airtime per week.  If you do the math, the money I make for the work I do is criminal.  But I do it because I love it, not for the money.  And that's something you'll need to think about before you start.  It's very very hard.  And there are a lot of assholes out there who will write you hate mail.  You need to love it enough to do the work and ignore the internet trolls.  And only you know if that's the case for you.As for depth prior to starting.  I don't know how important depth is versus constant research.  You certainly need to know the full story you're going to be telling before you start it.  But as for detailed archaeological studies.  Provided you're a good researcher, you can do the research every week.  You'll probably be doing it anyway because it's impossible to keep everything in your head at once.  The last bit of advice is to know what you're after.  I started this with the intent to tell these stories the same way I was telling them to my friends and my wife.  I also wanted to build a community.  It bugged me that there wasn't one, so I decided I would try to make one.  Now that was an ambitious decision, and the work I left out of my hourly assessment above is the work I do on the community (FB, the forums, emails, the site, etc).  Sometimes I feel like I bit off more than I can chew, but it was one of the key goals of mine when I started this so it's worth the effort. And I absolutely love the community we're building here.  I wouldn't trade it for anything.  But if that wasn't one one my goals I might have seen it as a burden rather than a key part of my job. There's a lesson there: Know what you want.  If you just want to tell stories, or if you want to just give a recount of recent digs, or if you want to push interest in a particular area, etc.  Fashion your podcast in that direction.  If it has direction, it'll attract the sort of people who want to be a part of what you're offering.  And more importantly you'll be glad you're doing it. Also this is a marathon. Unless you're Lars brownworth you'll probably be doing a fairly long show and release pretty regularly. Lars gets away with very short series, short episodes, and spaced out releases. I don't know how he manages it, but I suspect it's something that only he can get away with so I wouldnt recommend trying to duplicate it. So prepare yourself for a very long run. You'll get tired and you'll get burned out. But you need to power through that because your listeners are waiting and they want a good product. It's not easy. It's one of the hardest things I've ever done. It's also easily one of the best things I've ever done and I'm hoping I can find a way to turn this into my career. So that's my advice in a nutshell. I hope it helps!Jamie

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