Podcasting special part 3: what I’ve learned in three months of podcasting

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I’m continuing my week of posts about podcasts today with a bit of personal reflection, before I round off the week with a couple of case studies looking at two of my favourite shows. Anyway, today is all about me and my podcast Dave’s World.

When I blogged my New Year’s resolutions back in January I vowed to ‘start a podcast about music’ , something I promptly went ahead and did, when I launched Dave’s World.

Dave’s World is a weekly show looking at the unsigned rock and metal scene in Birmingham. I posted my first show on 14 January and have produced one every Wednesday since (which is a far longer life than most resolutions I’ve ever made previously have had). I’ve interviewed loads of local bands, played lots of their music and had a lot of fun so far.

I’ve also learned plenty over the course of the past few weeks, and wanted to share some of with you right here, right now…

Recording your first ever episode is really weird – you feel incredibly self-conscious and cringe an awful lot. But it soon gets better, by episode 3, I was totally over it.

When it comes to words with a ‘th’, such as this, that and the other, I have a real disability – the trappings of growing up near Nuneaton I guess. Anyway, I don’t care, vat’s just me!

There are loads of really great bands in Birmingham full of great people making great music – in a few months I’ve already acquired loads more favourite artists and got to tell people about them.

Every band I’ve featured on the show has been a terrific interview and has been wonderfully passionate about their music and the local scene. I was slightly apprehensive about what sort of interviews I’d get with local bands and whether they would be a good listen or not, but those fears were completely unfounded. You don’t need ‘celebrity’ guests to get a great interview.

Having a structure to each show is a massive help when it comes to preparing and recording each episode. It gives me more purpose and saves time, which is a huge bonus.

Hearing a recording yourself swallowing is really weird – I don’t do it anywhere near as much as I did in the first couple of episodes, but it’s still creepy.

I really wish iTunes gave you stats about how many people are listening – I get some idea from my website, but would love to be able to see how many subscribers I have.

A couple of shares on Facebook help me reach lots of people – the bands I feature are naturally happy to post links to my show on their own pages and it makes a big difference…my page has less than 100 fans but I regularly reach more than 500 each week.

Reddit was an unexpected source of traffic one week – when I reviewed the new album from Japanese band BabyMetal the site threw loads of new listeners my way. I’m now looking at promoting the show more proactively on Reddit when I can.

Having one of your reviews translated to Japanese, as happened with my BabyMetal review, is really odd.

Translating said review back into English using Google Translate is even more odd!

Since becoming a podcaster, I’ve also become a podcast nerd…I’m incredibly eager to sample different shows, both to hear what content they’re producing but also to pick up tips and ideas on style, production, promotion and delivery.

Posting weekly is enough to keep me motivated to do the show but without taking up too much time so that it becomes a burden or a pressure.

Seeing how happy I can make bands by featuring them on my little show in turn makes me really happy.

I hadn’t realised how much I’d missed having a radio show, which I did have while at University, until I started Dave’s World.

Focussing my show on unsigned bands means I can play people’s music without worrying about copyright/permissions from labels, which is crucial, as the music gives people a break from listening to me waffling on!

At the moment, my show still feels very like a one-way street. I’ve not yet had anything in the way of incoming comments or questions and I still have to hunt down bands to be my interview guests. At some point, I’d love to have it where bands are approaching me, but I have to be patient – after all, iIve only been here a few weeks.

Making a podcast on something I’m passionate about has made me even more passionate about it.

Podcasting is far more fun than I could have ever imagined.

That’s about it I think – if you’re interested, why not check out my show Dave’s World for yourself? You can visit the website or subscribe in iTunes, whichever you prefer!

*Check out the rest of my series of posts about podcasting*

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