Starting and running a podcast — how it’s been going so far

If you’re a podcast junkie like I am, and have listened to people like Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, Derek Sivers, James Altucher and so on, one recommendation you’re probably familiar with is “Share what you make”. Or “Share what you learn”. Or something along these lines….

I’m in “do-er” mode today. And so, while I’m not a writer or a blogger, I’m going to try and update this space on my journey of starting, hosting and running my own podcast.

I started a podcast titled “Learn Educate Discover” in October, 2015. Or rather that’s when I published my first episode. I began work on it a little earlier.

Website: www.learneducatediscover.com

iTunes

SoundCloud

Stitcher

The goal of the podcast is to educate people about various careers and professions. Think of it as a coffee chat that you might have with someone, when you’re looking for a job or recruiting on campus. Each episode has a discussion with someone from a different profession, with the goal that someone listening gets an initial idea of whether they would enjoy that job or not, and if yes, how can they explore it further.

Since it’s just me and this is not my full time job, I haven’t been able to spend any time on marketing. All growth has been mostly organic. I have 13,722 “plays” as of this moment, across all of my episodes. This is not a big number if I want to monetize my podcast through ads.

My thoughts, observations and take-aways so far (in no particular order)

  1. To monetize a podcast purely through ads, you need many thousands of downloads per episode (within a month I think, the timeline isn’t clear to me from my research so far), to attract advertisers.
  2. When a complete stranger emails you telling you how much they like your show and enjoy listening to it or benefit from it — it’s the best feeling ever. Now you know that you’re adding value to at least one more person!
  3. Editing audio takes a lot of time. You can be very strict (remove all the “ums” and “ahs”) or not strict at all. And this is when I have a very simple format podcast. Podcasts like Startup by Gimlet Media have entire teams producing each and every episode.
  4. I love podcasting. In the weeks when I do not have a recording scheduled, I miss it.
  5. Sticking to a regular publishing schedule gets increasingly hard as you try and maintain your “pipeline” of speakers to come on your show.
  6. Audio search doesn’t exist today making transcribing your episodes very important to benefit from SEO. I haven’t invested in this yet but I know I should.
  7. Starting a podcast is pretty straightforward. I used this article.
  8. You develop an annoying habit of looking at your stats all the time.
  9. Podcast analytics are pretty bad as of today. I have no idea whether someone listened to my full episode or just the first 5 seconds. Business idea anyone?
  10. How long should each episode be? There are enough people spouting the benefits of “bite sized” content. And then there are people like Tim Ferriss (whose podcast I love by the way), who regularly produce 1 hour, 2 hours and sometimes even 3 hours long episodes. I still don’t know the answer. Depends on what your goal is I guess?

More to come in subsequent posts.