How Podcasting Transformed My Life
Publishing Podcasts for FREE Through Anchor.fm
They say life truly begins at the edge of your comfort zone. It’s important to try new things or else you’ll never grow, learn, or be happy. So, over the past couple weeks, I’ve done exactly that—gone outside my comfort zone—and done what I’ve always wanted to do.
I created my own podcast.
I haven’t created an article in weeks! And yet at the same time, I’ve been writing and publishing content every single day. What gives? Instead of writing short articles, I’m writing scripts for longer radio shows of my own. These podcasts come out in 15(ish) minute episodes every day throughout the week (sort of, I’m still tweaking the schedule). And there’s one handy tool that’s made all of this possible!
Anchor.fm. This is the game-changing radio hosting app which makes creating podcasts as simple as pressing a single button. No RSS feeds to worry about, no configuring any weird settings, just a simple, streamlined process that anyone, even your grandma, can use!
The best part? It can all be done from your phone.
About a week and a half ago, I was scrolling through Twitter when a friend of mine had shared the new podcast of a YouTuber they followed. The YouTuber strongly advocated for this app, and created a podcast on the Anchor platform. So, I took a chance and downloaded the app myself to see what all the fuss was about.
Let me tell you, this app is something else.
With a couple pieces of information, your mobile experience is all set up and ready to go. The app addresses you by your name, gives you the news run-down, the weather in your area, and some trivia all over audio. Some original content that automatically plays includes Politics, Entertainment, and Trending News, all curated by the creative staff of Anchor. If you enjoyed something, you simply tap the “clap” button in the middle of the screen. You can clap as many or as few times as you want, and every time you do, little clapping emojis fall down the app.
It’s fun, it’s entertaining, and it just gets better and better. After scanning the app, I knew this was going to take off, so I created the first station devoted to User Experience design and its impacts in the world, appropriately named “UX in the World”, and carrying my personal brand “Let’s Educate the World” along for the ride.
Since I’ve begun, I’ve amassed hundreds of followers, made plenty of new friends, sparked creative and insightful conversations, and just today peaked at my best spot as the #17 most popular station on the entire app.
Oh, and you can find my podcast on all major providers now.
Yes. This all happened in 10 days.
Based in New York, a small team of talented visionaries set out to revive the radio business by propelling it into the smartphone era. The idea was to place all radio stations in one platform, encouraging recording, listening, and interacting between stations. They wanted to make radio as accessible as possible.
The app allows users to call-in to other stations, share other stations’ content on their own stream, and post their favourite songs through Spotify or Apple Music. This gives listeners a healthy balance of trending topics, original thoughts, and popular music.
However, a few days ago, Anchor’s latest release shifted their purpose tremendously.
Thanks to the update, you can create your own official podcast straight from Anchor, with all the perks of podcast management done for you. Anchor manages and hosts your podcasts for you, and since the service is free, they attach a 15-second promotional clip to the front of the podcast as compensation. Of course, anyone who uses the app will agree that they would be glad to promote Anchor on their podcast.
It’s just that good. Trust me.
The Future of Radio
What’s nice about Anchor is you can use it for either of its intended purposes, radio or podcasting, without the need to change how you do things in the app. All content gets posted onto your Anchor station, where it sits available for 24 hours, after which it gets archived.
For classic radio stations on the platform, this is acceptable since they’re shifting to new music and entertainment every day. Content is frequently conjured on the spot, is casual and spontaneous. New content will easily replace old content.
However, I wanted to create a podcast. I wanted to broadcast my thoughts and have in-depth conversations and sessions where we really explored a topic, and have a complete session that future users can look back at and watch at their leisure. I wanted these to be accessible after the 24-hour period expired.
Thank the heavens for Anchor’s new “Episodes” feature, which was rolled out alongside Podcasts. Not only can you upload your pre-recorded content to Anchor, then to any podcast after it’s finished — Anchor itself stores your content in its database, so in-app users can quickly have access to every episode you’ve ever made.
I truly believe this app is a prime example of the future of radio. It brings an old concept, livens it up with an attractive and unique interface, and encourages interaction. Whether you want to call-in to share your thoughts on a topic, or simply show appreciation by clapping endlessly on each segment—Anchor’s got your back.
Still not convinced? Check out my station right here, right now!
I’ve done a few segments already, and since I love talking about UX on Medium as well, I will be posting crossover articles more frequently. For example, I recently talked about how cars should be removed from cities and replaced with a more efficient, compact alternative. The topic was so engaging, I obsessively want to discuss it more.
So yes, podcasting changed my life for the better. I’ve made so many new friends, created a bunch of meaningful content, and became truly comfortable and confident with the sound of my own voice. And now, as you can see, I’ve created a publication with the same brand.
This is the start of something big. I’m excited.
Stay tuned for more articles!