Look. Hopefully by the time you read this we’ve recorded and launched the podcast. Maybe this comes out before we launch. I think it’s pretty clear what our capabilities for forward planning are by the fact that this site launched about a month before we had any content.
Our Podcast is for fun (despite the fact that so many of the jokes in it look so much like hard work), so I can’t help with any of those business-y podcasts that are explaining how you can work from home and make seven times the average salary just by liking ten YouTube videos a day. But what I can help you with are things I learnt from getting my friends to squat round a microphone around their second beer and vent into it’s face.
Get a Good Mic. Hell. Get two.
So like I said, our Podcast is for fun. I mean, we’re heavily emotionally dependent on it being a colossal success but yeah, it’s for fun. But there’s fun, and then there’s fun where everyone can hear you having fun. Ours is the first kind.
We don’t have the budget for equipment, we got one pretty OK microphone, and then a whole bunch of reasons why we have to work twice as hard after the Pod as anyone else. We can only record in my flat. My flat is built entirely from the echoing war cries of the vengeful dead. My sofa bends time and space to both be too close and too far away from the microphone at the same time.
So if you’re starting out, the one piece of actual advice I can give you up top is try not to do any of that. Spend some time thinking how you’re going to make the Pod sound better than terrible. You don’t need to be cutting edge and making grown sound engineers weep, but yeah, make sure everyone can sit within spitting distance of a microphone.
Watch your guests.
Comedy is subjective. So it makes sense that among any two human beings there’s going to be some disagreements about what’s funny, and what’s offensive. Does the sound of me panic sweating my way through a couple of the segments in episode one and two get picked up, as I try to reel back guests that in my opinion go reeeeeaaally close to the edge?
Ultimately, that’s not always in my power to control. But before running a podcast based on comedy, particularly if its topical, take it from me, brief your guests. Specify if there’s anything that makes you uncomfortable, and encourage them to do the same. Make sure you know who your target audience is, because I guarantee it, even if your guests are your friends, there’s going to be times during a live recording that make you go “Holy shit Stan, really?”
We’re micro-budget, micro audience podcasters. 100 listeners will do me fine, at least for now. In fact, that sounds like a crazy dream. But holding on to that realism can be tough. Every search for podcasting on any of the major platforms will give you deluges of ordinary looking experts who claim that they grew their podcast to an army of fans so rabid and large that they now threaten political stability.
My advice, my last piece of advice, until we launch and I have a whole new swathe of “Man, we really could have done this better,”, is to hold on to small dreams and doubts. Because when your starting out, your doubt is your energy. If you’re unsure about reaching ten people then you’ll work for those ten.
I don’t want to encourage anyone to be crippled by anxiety, or predict their own failure and then live up to that prediction, but honestly, it is going to be long. If you’re like us, starting out with nothing, then you’re playing the game on hard mode, and its going to take longer. We start with no traffic, no platforms, and barely enough budget to get even the minimum of equipment. The shiny face business men selling e-books are there to profit of the promise of success.
I can only offer the promise of hard work. But that’s why you started. Because the work is the fun.
The work is the goal, and as long as that’s true, then a follower count, or a blue tick, or whatever doesn’t matter. Those business guys are chasing the wrong dream man, you and me, squatting over a microphone and getting the levels are wrong smile way more than they do.