Things I Wished I knew Before Launching My Podcast
“Sam? Have you heard about podcast?” he asked in a group chat. “What is a podcast?” I asked in return. Hehehe… as a Nigerian, it is only natural that you reply a question with another question.
A week later, I launched “My School Podcast with Samuel Adeoye and Friends”—what I called a podcast then. This was in December 2015.
You know where it was hosted? WhatsApp!
You have to admire how fast I started. But I still laugh at how I went about certain things—a bit naïve. What I knew was so little but my passion for talking and making positive impact with it overshadowed my ignorance. I just wanted to start.
As you would expect, I began to learn the other things about podcasting as time went on. Three months after, I moved my podcasting to a website. By the time I launched a second podcast in 2016, I had already learnt some many things “on the job”.
Looking back now, here are some things I wished I knew before launching my first podcast in 2015.
1. What RSS Feeds was
As a new podcaster, this was one thing I learnt about later on in my journey. I didn’t even know what it was when I launched. You are shocked right?
Yeahh, me too.
RSS are just small computer programs/codes that allows a listener to get notified when a podcast is released. It is that “subscribe” button, if clicked, alerts him or her each time a new episode is released.
Even after launching a website in April 2015, I still didn’t understand the importance of feeds. All those times, I believed I had to write some codes or pay some badass developer to. What I didn’t know was that it could be done with Powerpress. But i’m glad I launched early, even though I should have won the award for “the most ignorant dude” to have launched a podcast lol.
2. WordPress is the best Content Management System(CMS) for Podcasting
While there are tonnes of CMS out there, none can stand the sheer size, enormity, flexibility and popularity of WordPress. You can see that from the number people who use and develop the system.
Now I wish I knew this before going for a Drupal website. First of all, it made it necessary for me to know how to code before creating my own custom RSS feeds. And as if that was not enough, I could not use key podcasting plugins such as powerpress (written for WordPress). I don’t know if there are now, but then, there wasn’t any alternative. And that made my podcasting journey extremely laborious.
3. Putting my podcast on directories does not mean automatic downloads
Yes! It doesn’t!
And did I know that before launching? No! I felt “ohhh iTunes, Stitcher etcetera are large podcast directories, all I need to do is put my podcast on them and gbamm, 10,000 downloads” Hahahaha abo ti 10,000 ni (A way of mocking your ignorance in Yoruba).
First of all, iTunes is just “Google for podcast”, how on earth do you expect a lot of people to download your podcast just because it is there? You will need to push, promote and ask for reviews. Off course, you content needs to be great in the first place. But did I know these then? Not exactly.
4. You need to blog your content alongside too.
In a world, where months of great content are flooding the internet space, people can forget about you and your great content in no time. Trust me, one week a long time in the online space now.
We all know how hard it can be to produce great content in one week, talk less of doing a daily podcast alongside job or school. Blogging on your podcast subject/theme is a great way to keep your listeners engaged while to you prepare the next great content. This I wish I knew during my early days of podcasting.
5. Intros should be less than a minute
Now this is a controversial one, and we could argue about it for the rest of the year. But you see, when most people download your podcast, they do so because of the perceived value it has.
Why delay the delivery of that value? Why spend the first 10 minutes talking about yourself or selling a product?
While doing these may be okay with your loyal listeners, it is not with first time listeners. As a matter of fact, it is a major put-off for them as they have no previous connection whatsoever with you.
Only God knows the number of first time listeners I have chased away in the past with my unnecessarily long intros. I definitely wish I knew this before launching my podcast.
So there you go: 5 things I wished I knew before launching my first podcast.
My Last Words
Even though I wish I knew all these things before launching my podcast, I do not regret jumping into podcasting. If I had waited to learn all I needed to learn before launching, I still won’t launch today.
You don’t have to make the same mistakes I made when you have me. Learn from mine and make new ones – this is by far the smartest thing to do.
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