Challenges of Podcasting

 

creating a podcast

Neither Patrick or myself had any idea what we were doing when we made the decision to create a podcast. I could argue that we still are very much in a learning phase as we continue to develop the podcast as it is now.

So if we didn’t know what we were doing, why do it?

That requires a little bit of background. Patrick lives in Massachusetts and for a few years, so did I. In fact, Patrick and I used to live about 2 miles away from each other, for awhile, without even realizing it. We had mutual friends and used to play League of Legends together. He played bot lane and I played support so we certainly “knew” each other but I wouldn’t say we were close. One day we found out that we lived in the same city and moved to that city roughly around the same time and now lived just a few miles apart. We met up one time and then after that spent time together nearly every week for board game night with our significant others.

I ended up eventually moving back to my hometown in Virginia, sadly leaving Patrick and his fiance behind. I soon had other focuses and before I knew it we talked once in awhile but never really played any games together anymore. We talked about wanting to re-connect more frequently and thus, our podcast was born. An idea for two friends to spend quality time together in a more productive manner.

I don’t think either of us expected to have gained the following we have or do as well as we’ve done, we just wanted to try it and enjoy the process along the way.

First steps

Our first step was simply figuring out… how do we get our podcast out into the world and on the various platforms? A quick Google search about how to make a podcast and I was led to various sites that offer “free” but very limited services. Ultimately I ended up signing up for Podbean as it would allow us a few episodes for free before we’d have to bite the bullet and spend money on this project. Podbean would allow us to upload the episodes onto their servers and provide us with an RSS feed which is needed for several of the platforms we wanted to be on.

What about recording?

Thankfully, I use to dedicate a lot of time to my Let’s Play youtube channel for over a year. I knew how to use OBS, Audacity and various other pieces of software to record audio or video. We ended up quickly creating a Discord server to help us build a community and noticed quickly that “Craig” (discord application) would record our audio for us and separate it into channels so it was easier to edit. The separate audio channels is the reason our audio quality improved between episode 1 and episode 2. I was now able to edit each of our audio independently of one another, so we no longer had to listen to sniffles between conversations.

Equipment

Don’t I need expensive equipment to start a Podcast?

Thankfully for us, no. I once had a Blue Yeti mic with a boom arm when I did the youtube channel but I no longer own those items. We record (at this time of writing) our podcast with simple headsets through Discord with “Craig” and using Audacity to edit and put together the episodes each week. I use the Massdrop x Sennheiser PC37X Gaming Headset and Patrick uses the Corsair HS70 Wireless headset because he needs to pace around the house during our recording. Beyond this, no other equipment is used at this time so starting a podcast is relatively inexpensive!

Platforms

How do I get my Podcast on iTunes and Spotify?

This was the first major hurdle, I now had the podcast being uploaded to Podbean but I knew that iTunes dominated the podcasting market with Spotify coming up in the scene. How the heck did I get us on these platforms to improve our overall exposure?

Thankfully, I found this reddit post which really broke down the details so I could get us on those platforms. Once more Podbean automatically pushes our Podcast out to Spotify (once you pay for the service), and with the RSS feed it updates to iTunes as various other platforms automatically each week! I only need to update on Podbean, Castbox, and our website directly each week to get everything up to date at this time.

One thing to note is that to get onto iTunes you needed to have your cover art completed or else you aren’t allowed on that platform!

You can get your podcast on Spotify without paying for the service on Podbean though, and I did that at the start but the free version of Podbean only allows us to upload a certain number of hours per month which we hit before the first month was over. We could have worked on bringing down the time of our recordings but I didn’t want to impact our organic conversation so I purchased into this instead.

One platform that we’re currently not really on is Soundcloud. It had a monthly limit which we quickly hit and it would only display a handful of our episodes at a time so currently… we don’t really update on this platform too much; maybe more in the future.

Funding

How much do we make per episode?

At this time, less than $0 per episode; which is to say that it actually costs us money each month to continue developing content for you. We have costs from the Podbean platform, website hosting, and our domain name. It is by no means breaking the bank for us but we’re hoping in the future to at least cover the cost of operations through the use of advertising or affiliate links via the website and descriptions.

How much money making potential is there?

Honestly, I haven’t any idea. There are a lot of people that making a living off their podcast but that’s not us. We’ve got full time jobs and make time to record once a week. After the recording I spend 2-3 days editing and putting together the episode.

What I can say is that this whole process (while stressful at times) has been a lot of fun for both Patrick and myself. I would encourage anyone that wants to try out podcasting to give it a shot, you don’t know how things will go until you try.