Podcasting advice

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Digital Unicorn 5 years ago.

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  • #15372

    TwShiloh
    Participant

    Jaime,You're doing great work and I'm really enjoying the podcast as well as your idea of 'subscriber's content'.  I've been toying around with the idea of a podcast as well and was wondering if you had any lessons learned you might like to share for someone looking to take the podcast plunge.Thanks!

  • #16747

    Jamie
    Keymaster

    For some reason this didn't show up on my “New” list.  I'm sorry the reply is so long in coming.I'm glad you're enjoying the show!  And the subscriber content is already live.  We've got some on this forum, and as of right now we've got 11 bonus episodes for members.  And soon I'll be putting together an Anglo Saxon cooking thing, which should be fun.  :)So advice, huh... HmmmmWell, first of all.  Good for you!  Podcasting is a ton of fun.  :)  But it's also a lot of work.  Well, I suppose that it doesn't have to be a lot of work, but in Podcasting you get out of it what you put into it.  For example, I put around 20+ hours into every 20-30 minute episode I produce.  That's how much time I spend writing, researching, recording, editing, etc.  Now what I do is basically lecturing.  So I need to be much more prepared that, say, a talk show format because I have to fill in every second of empty space on my own.  There's no opportunity for banter, etc.  So if you're putting together a talk show format, you might not have to spend as much time as I do writing, but it'll still involve a lot of work because you'll want the conversation to flow naturally and you'll want to be well educated in your subject.  So the moral of the story is that this is a labor of love and be prepared to work your butt off.  Heh.Another bit of advice is that you should use feedburner or another sort of analytic site to run your podcast through.  The advantage of that is that if you switch hosting providers, which you probably will at some point, your feed address wont change.  I switched providers in late June, and that was before I started using feedburner, and I lost some listeners who weren't automatically redirected to the new feed.  So that's something to keep in mind.Know your audience, and speak to them.  And if you don't, be prepared to pay the price for it.  Take, for example, my podcast.  If you've been listening for a while you probably know I'm liberal and that comes out from time to time.  It's part of my personality and is tied up into my sense of humor as well.  But anytime I've strayed too close to politics, I've taken a hit.  I've gotten negative reviews, I've gotten ridiculous amount of hatemail, etc.  It's just a fact of life in American politics, some people get emotional about it (for example, one guy sent me a 5 page long screed about how evil I am and how evil the Democratic party is).  The irony here, of course, is that in my podcast I'm mocking people who've been dead for over 1000 years.  But nonetheless, I'm straying into politics (politics of the dead?) and that riles up some people.  It's a risk I take, and one I continue to take because I don't like the idea of being silenced by a few people who are taking my thoughts on history far too personally.  But I know it's cost me listeners and gained me negative reviews.  And thankfully, I think most people appreciate my irreverent tone, so that's the group I speak to.  So the point is, know your audience and speak to them... and actually that plays into another lesson...Expect hatred.  The only people who don't get hatemail are the ones who either don't have many listeners or who are rather bland.  Everyone else on the net gets hatemail at one point or another.  Expect it and let it roll off your shoulder.  Ultimately, you just need to remember that this is the internet.  People are assholes on the internet and will say things that they would never dream of saying to your face.  So don't let the occasional email or negative review get you down.I guess the last bit of advice is only podcast on a topic your passionate about.  People like to listen to podcasts where the speaker is exciting about his or her subject.  Be that person and you'll probably get a boost in listeners.  But on the same token, don't expect to be an overnight success and be able to quit your job.  Most people don't make money at podcasting, and actually most people don't get many listeners either.  It's a pretty flooded field out there and it's hard to get noticed.  So don't do it for fame or fortune, because their both pretty elusive in the podcast arena.  Do it for fun.  It's a hobby, after all!  And it really is fun and worth all the hard work!  :)

  • #16748

    anonymous
    Participant

    For some reason this didn't show up on my "New" list.  I'm sorry the reply is so long in coming.I'm glad you're enjoying the show!  And the subscriber content is already live.  We've got some on this forum, and as of right now we've got 11 bonus episodes for members.  And soon I'll be putting together an Anglo Saxon cooking thing, which should be fun.  :)So advice, huh... HmmmmWell, first of all.  Good for you!  Podcasting is a ton of fun.  :)  But it's also a lot of work.  Well, I suppose that it doesn't have to be a lot of work, but in Podcasting you get out of it what you put into it.  For example, I put around 20+ hours into every 20-30 minute episode I produce.  That's how much time I spend writing, researching, recording, editing, etc.  Now what I do is basically lecturing.  So I need to be much more prepared that, say, a talk show format because I have to fill in every second of empty space on my own.  There's no opportunity for banter, etc.  So if you're putting together a talk show format, you might not have to spend as much time as I do writing, but it'll still involve a lot of work because you'll want the conversation to flow naturally and you'll want to be well educated in your subject.  So the moral of the story is that this is a labor of love and be prepared to work your butt off.  Heh.Another bit of advice is that you should use feedburner or another sort of analytic site to run your podcast through.  The advantage of that is that if you switch hosting providers, which you probably will at some point, your feed address wont change.  I switched providers in late June, and that was before I started using feedburner, and I lost some listeners who weren't automatically redirected to the new feed.  So that's something to keep in mind.Know your audience, and speak to them.  And if you don't, be prepared to pay the price for it.  Take, for example, my podcast.  If you've been listening for a while you probably know I'm liberal and that comes out from time to time.  It's part of my personality and is tied up into my sense of humor as well.  But anytime I've strayed too close to politics, I've taken a hit.  I've gotten negative reviews, I've gotten ridiculous amount of hatemail, etc.  It's just a fact of life in American politics, some people get emotional about it (for example, one guy sent me a 5 page long screed about how evil I am and how evil the Democratic party is).  The irony here, of course, is that in my podcast I'm mocking people who've been dead for over 1000 years.  But nonetheless, I'm straying into politics (politics of the dead?) and that riles up some people.  It's a risk I take, and one I continue to take because I don't like the idea of being silenced by a few people who are taking my thoughts on history far too personally.  But I know it's cost me listeners and gained me negative reviews.  And thankfully, I think most people appreciate my irreverent tone, so that's the group I speak to.  So the point is, know your audience and speak to them... and actually that plays into another lesson...Expect hatred.  The only people who don't get hatemail are the ones who either don't have many listeners or who are rather bland.  Everyone else on the net gets hatemail at one point or another.  Expect it and let it roll off your shoulder.  Ultimately, you just need to remember that this is the internet.  People are assholes on the internet and will say things that they would never dream of saying to your face.  So don't let the occasional email or negative review get you down.I guess the last bit of advice is only podcast on a topic your passionate about.  People like to listen to podcasts where the speaker is exciting about his or her subject.  Be that person and you'll probably get a boost in listeners.  But on the same token, don't expect to be an overnight success and be able to quit your job.  Most people don't make money at podcasting, and actually most people don't get many listeners either.  It's a pretty flooded field out there and it's hard to get noticed.  So don't do it for fame or fortune, because their both pretty elusive in the podcast arena.  Do it for fun.  It's a hobby, after all!  And it really is fun and worth all the hard work!  :)

    Jamie, if you are getting hatemail now, I can't imagine what will happen when you get to Richard III.  :)  None from me, I love your podcast and respect the effort you put into it.

  • #16749

    crashlander
    Participant

    I love your humorous sarcasm when you mock the right.  I've found myself laughing unexpectedly when walking on the street, and the odd looks that generates.  Don't stop.

  • #16750

    Chris
    Participant

    I love your humorous sarcasm when you mock the right.  I've found myself laughing unexpectedly when walking on the street, and the odd looks that generates.  Don't stop.

    You and me both  ;) That's one of the reasons I like this podcast so much; informative and witty, a great combination for learning something new.Regarding the advice and the bit about hatemail, I really do pitty people who take everything so seriously. That is one of several things I dislike about modern day society (including politics) is that people get so wound up about things that they miss the point entirely. I am sure I have had negative reviews about my website (about a British regiment during WW1) on other forums etc. but I just take it with a pinch of salt. They are entitled to their opinions even if I don't necessarily agree with them. But to go as far as hating someone because of something they have said in a history podcast is just ridiculous. I think the posrson who wrote the 5 page screed needs to have a reality check.Keep up the excellent work Jamie  :D

  • #16751

    Liam
    Participant

    What kind of equipment and software would be good for someone starting out making podcasts?

  • #16752

    Jamie
    Keymaster

    Well, it really all comes down to sound quality.  But here's the thing about it, while you will get some people who will get turned off by poor sound quality, most people will care about what you're saying and how you're saying it more than the quality of your mic.One trap people tend to fall into is to buy expensive hardware and assume that will make a good product.  For example, buying an expensive camera to do photography.  Now if you're really good at photography, you can make use of that camera and you might need it.  But if you're new to photography, chances are your photos won't look that much better than they would with a cheaper camera.I started with a built in microphone and then, once I started getting a following, I rapidly changed mics and tried to find something that worked for me.I ended up settling on a microphone that was recommended by James Cartwright (the voice actor who is doing the Arthur episodes).  And once I got it, I ended up re-recording my earlier episodes.  But the thing is that it was more to fix my delivery than the sound quality (though the sound quality was certainly poor).The point I'm rambling towards is that you don't need the set up I'm going to describe in order to podcast.  If I were you, I'd just start with what you have available and just start recording.  Also, practice.  It'll take some time before you get comfortable talking into a microphone, so you'll want to take some time doing practice sessions before you release them into the wild.  But seriously, passion and knowledge is more important than equipment.Anyway, here is what I use.Blue Snowball MicrophoneNady MPF-6 Pop FilterBlue Ringer Shock MountRode PSA-1 Swivel MountAlso, I use Audacity 1.3 Beta recording software.And please let us know when you launch your podcast!

  • #16753

    Liam
    Participant

    Yes and thanks!

  • #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

  • #16755

    Digital Unicorn
    Participant

    Thanks for the quick and comprehensive reply Jamie,I hadn't seen this thread or I would have posted here initially.Yes, hatemail is one of the things I'm worried about, not because I can't take it or don't like a bit of criticism, more that my subject matter is going to generate so much of it! The period I'm covering is so controversial and disputed that I can just see myself getting flooded with mail from religious fanatics and zealots.Now don't get me wrong, I am a religious person, I am a very active and dedicated christian, which means I ascribe to certain ideas about life on earth, but that doesn't mean that I'm completely ignorant of what science has shown us. And its those people I'm afraid of.My plan is to just start where writing and cities start, there's really very little to make a podcast out of before that, I'm just worried as it will take up to the first 10 or so episodes before I'm anywhere near out of it, and those are the ones people will listen too first. But, are also a very important part of the narrative. What a pickle, aye?Did you have much backlash from your pre-history episodes?

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