Happy Birthday BloggyFriends SHOW
This is also the 10th episode of the show. I had these lofty goals when I first started a year ago that I was going to release an episode every Friday. I was going to go big or go home...and then, like the rest of the world I was told to stay at home… a lot. And things got weird.
My business got busy, my life got hectic, and then like any sane person would do, I decided to uproot my life of 35 years living in Florida and move to Kentucky in the dead of winter. Because that’s normal right?
Needless to say - a LOT of my goals for this show and my website and for my life in general took a backseat to everything else going on around me. And while I still have huge dreams for my podcasting future, I’m just going to take things one step at a time and not put so much pressure on myself.
So, in this birthday episode, I wanted to share 10 lessons from working on 10 podcast episodes. The truth is, I can't believe it! I can't even fathom the fact that at this point I've released 10 episodes of my Bloggy Friends Show! It feels like just yesterday it was April 1, and the first episode was coming out, but it also feels like April 1 2020 was ten years ago.
The crazy thing is this show is something I've been wanting to launch for YEARS! Seriously - I bought the Bloggy Friends domain in October 2016, and was talking about it even longer than that. The domain https://www.bloggyfriends.com/ sat dormant for a long time, and then I didn't even keep up with it regularly after I finally started posting to it.
I announced my master plans for the website in March 2017, and then posted 30 Conference MUST Haves for Your Next Blogging Conference in 2018, and then only posted 3 times in 2019. You can check out those posts here if you are interested:
- Bloggy Friends - Halloween Recipe Ideas Roundup
- 5 Ways to Monetize Your Blog
- Bloggy Friends Chime In With Easy Halloween Costume Ideas
All the while, I've maintained a vision for this website. I wanted it to be a place to talk about life as a blogger, spotlight people that are in the content creation industry, showcase blogging vendors, and basically share the news of the blogosphere.
So, what held me back for so long? FEAR! Yep, I said it. Fear plagued me and kept me from doing anything fun with this website and launching my podcast. So, now that I finally launched and have posted show notes as blog posts for the last 10 episodes including this one, let's dive into the lessons this last year has taught me...
10 Lessons Learned From Releasing 10 Podcast Episodes
1. The fear still existsYep! Every time I hit record, I get scared. I sweat bullets the whole time I'm recording, and then I get even more scared when I hit publish with my podcast host. YIPE!
2. Everyone was right about the importance of making a planBefore I recorded a single episode, I brainstormed a very rough layout of my vision for the first 40 or so episodes of my show. I did this even though in my mind I had only committed to 10 episodes.
Doing so helped me to know exactly what I would talk about every time I sat down to record.
3. The equipment actually DOES matterI released my first 4 episodes with a gamer headset.
Then, a client who believes in me was nice enough to sponsor the cost of a legit podcasting microphone for me. It was a win-win for both myself and the client. I got a nifty podcasting microphone for projects like the Bloggy Friends Show, and he got a better sound quality for podcast episodes and videos I recorded for him. Yep - I’ve been doing YouTube and podcasts for a client outside of the work I’m doing on this website and this podcast. I have to say - it’s been a lot of fun learning different aspects of the podcasting industry.
For example - did you know that there are lots of different jobs in podcasting that don’t even require you to have your own show? I got hired this year to write show notes for a podcast in the running niche. I’ve been recording YouTube videos, and then stripping the audio to release as podcast episodes for a podcast hosting company. And, you can also get work producing podcasts, managing social media for podcasts, and even being the voice of a podcast for businesses. One of my bloggy friends recently hired some freelancers to be the voice of his podcasts - he does all the research and lines up the guests - the freelancers just show up and do the interviews for the show. Then another freelancer edits all the audio, adds in the intro and outro and voila! Instant podcast!
But anyway - this was a long winded way of saying your microphone really does matter. You can get free editing software, and use the computer you already have, but you have to get a good microphone. I use the Blue Yeti microphone and honestly can’t imagine going back to my gamer headset now that I’ve heard the difference in the audio quality.
4. Batching is critical for consistencyI regret not recording all 10 episodes at once and scheduling them for release. It's why when it came time to release my 5th episode, I didn't have one for the week. A family situation took me away from my office when I had planned to record, and as a result, I couldn't make up the time and thus had nothing for my self-designated release date.
Then, when life got weird again, it became far too easy to just keep pushing it off to the next week and then the next month, and suddenly any momentum I could have gained disappeared.
5. I love this medium and repurposing it has been a lot of fun alreadyIt's great that I can just speak and BAM - I've got content. Then, I can transcribe my episodes into blog posts, social media updates, and use the text to create short video clips too. I've only done the blog posts so far - using my show notes as blog posts, but I really like how sitting down to research and record one thing has the potential to yield content for multiple platforms.
6. I want to build a designated podcasting and video space in my homeAlthough I've released a handful of one image videos of my podcast, I want to actually film myself on video for YouTube, and create several different types of videos related to blogging for the platform. I've learned a lot over this past year, and I know I have a better chance of getting more viewers on my episodes if they are visual and audio instead of just audio.
While it's clear that YouTube is a visual platform, many people had me convinced that one image videos were all I needed to repurpose my content from my podcast on YouTube. I see now just how much I would prefer to have my face on camera so the audience can see and hear me. I confess this has me even more nervous, but I feel like it will be better for the ultimate goals of my show and websites
7. This is a lot of work
Yet another thing people were right about.... podcasting is not something you just do on a whim. It’s another big reason I kept putting off recording new episodes. Scheduling out several hours to write up what I want to say, record, and then edit, and then post, and then promote...it’s a lot of time and energy that goes into this. I am working a lot more with my husband now in my business, so we’re discussing plans to outsource, batch, and come up with better systems and processes, but for now...we’re just taking everything one step at a time.
8. I want to monetize my effortsBecause this is so much work, I do not plan on this being a hobby. I want to make it part of my business. I'm not quite sure what I mean by this yet, but in order for it to make sense to keep producing episodes, there will need to be some kind of monetization plan in place. I’m journaling and dreaming, and planning what the best steps for me to take will be. Who knows? I might just pull all the current content down at some point and start over again. I’m not really sure what I’m going to do, but I know that I need to make a certain amount of money in my business for podcasting to make sense in my overall plans.
This could just mean turning the podcast into an experimental research lab used for coming up with better blog content. Or it could be a lead generator for my day job as a ghost blogger. Anything is possible, and I’m not ruling anything out as I keep going on this podcasting journey figuring things out as I go.
9. I'm glad I committed to 10 so I would just launch alreadyThe fear held me back for years, as I mentioned earlier. Committing to just 10 episodes felt a lot less scary than saying I'd be a lifelong podcaster. In my mind, I thought of it as an experiment, calming the fears just enough to start. I accepted that I might hate the first 10 episodes, and that if they sucked, I could just move on knowing it was simply an experiment.
10. I've got a lot more work to do!To make my visions for my business and my life a reality, I've got a lot more work cut out for myself! Like I said, I’m journaling and dreaming about the future. Trying to figure out where to go from here. I’m publicly committing to 10 more episodes now because though I’ve not moved as fast as I want to, I can see the potential here for something great. You know those moments where you kind of feel like your whole life is leading to something? I’m in that space right now and I’m not sure where this is all taking me, but I’m hopeful and excited for my future - where it’s going..
There you have it my bloggy friends. My first 10 lessons from working on 10 episodes of The Bloggy Friends Show. I can honestly tell you that this has been a whirlwind of a year. I have learned so much, and I know I’ve got a lot more to learn. I’m grateful to everyone who has said kind things about the show. The feedback I’ve been given. The comments and messages - it’s all been so special to me. I love how amazing the podcasting community is.
I am also grateful to places like RSS.com Podcasting for the content they share about how to start a podcast. I highly recommend their blog if you’re looking for some solid podcasting advice. And, if you need a podcasting host, I’ve been a subscriber for a year now and can’t say enough great things about them.
They aren’t paying me to say this, but in full disclosure I am a brand ambassador for them, and love that their mission is to give every podcaster a voice. I seriously love working with them, and think they are the best option for anyone thinking about starting a podcast.
I look forward to releasing even more episodes and coming up with more ideas and sharing more of what I’m learning with all of you. In the meantime, you can find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, as Famous Ashley Grant. I’m also a LinkedIn Open Networker if you want to add me there. Let’s be friends! I’d love to connect with you. Until the next episode, may your page views be high, and your bounce rate be low!