Issue No. 4 Winter 2022
magazine for and about women podcasters
THE CREATIVE SOBER
www.womenwhopodcastmag.com copyright 2022
WINTER ISSUE 2022
WINTER ISSUE 2022
The Team KATHY BARRON Founder, Editor-in-Chief
TINA JARAMILLO Writer, Editor
Contributing Writers Elaine Best, Natalie Boero, Nancy Burger, Jen Gillham, Anna Gunn, Lauren Popish, Punam Saxena, Crystal Warren
Logo design Leah Walukones
Photo Credit (Kathy Barron) Paul Mueller Photography
Advertising For advertising and special project opportunities, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.womenwhopodcastmag.com @womenwhopodcastmagazine ©2022 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without written permission from the publisher. The views expressed in Women Who Podcast are those of the respective condtributors and are not necessarily shared by Women Who Podcast and its staff.
Welcome The beginning of a new year can symbolize a clean slate, permission to forgive and forget what has happened in the previous year, and set our sights on new ideas and goals. It can also be a time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished, the obstacles we have overcome, and the lessons we have learned. One thing I’ve learned about women podcasters over the year is that we are strong-willed, persistent, and powerful. We know what we want and we won’t sleep until we’ve accomplished it. We have shown up, spoken up, and taught others to wise up. If there’s a wall - we walk around it. If there’s a closed door - we climb through the window. If there’s a dead end we pave our own path. We get shit done. Period. End of story. Collaboration over competition is also key. We must continue to reach out to podcasters who need a bit of encouragement, inspiration, or nudging. We all know what it’s like to stare at the microphone hoping it will talk for us because we just don’t have the energy to open our mouths. We’ve all had that one guest that sucked the energy right out of us and caused us to doubt ourselves. We’ve all been there. We also know how energizing it feels to be in the same room (or same Zoom) with other women podcasters. Let’s keep that energy flowing to our colleagues in 2022! Our mission of empowering women podcasters will continue this year. Thanks to you, we will be celebrating our one year anniversary in April. We will also be hosting the first Women Who Podcast Symposium in May. These are exciting times for women who podcast worldwide! We are grateful to have YOU on this journey with us. Let’s blow up that wall, kick down that door, and build that road together!
Kathy Barron Editor-in-Chief
Elaine Best Elaine Best is the host and producer of the mental health/ comedy podcast Angus Eye Tea. She is a mental health advocate, writer, and comedian who spends her days by the beach with her sidekick, Fern. www.anguseyetea.com @anguseyetea
Natalie Boero is a sociologist, professor, author, and mom of twins. In her spare time she enjoys reading, exercise, baseball, doom-scrolling, and traveling. @natalieboero
Nancy Burger is an author, speaker, and coach who teaches actionable strategies and skills to shift fear-based thought patterns. www.nancyrburger.com
Jen Gillham is the cohost of the podcast Author Content Marketing. She loves making videos showcasing books using things like smoke bombs and spinning fireballs. www.authorcontentmarketing.com @jengillham
Anna Gunn has a background in theatre, film, and sound. She strongly believes in the power of the female story, the right to be heard, and in making sure everybody is listened to in the best way possible. Constantly inspired and awed by the incredible people she works with, Anna also has a very inspirational cat - the Bob, who would also like to have his own podcast. www.podcasts.mcgunnmedia.com
While Tina Jaramillo hasn’t pulled any political strings, she has cut through enough literary red tape to know a juicy political story when she sees one. When she’s not blowing the whistle on historical hi-jinx as co-host of The Muck Podcast, she is corralling her family (including her adorable pup), advocating for others through her volunteer work, or crafting tales and blankets (in no particular order). themuckpodcast.fireside.fm @themuckpodcast
Lauren Popish is the founder of The Wave Podcasting and SWELL. She started podcasting in 2017 after a public speaking blunder that sparked a speaking fear and almost ended her career. She launched the first women-only podcast recording studio in Los Angeles in February 2020. The Wave launched SWELL, a podcast editing services for women by women, in the spring of 2021. www.swellpodcasting.com
Punam Saxena is the founder of the edu-Me, author of Parent Power: Navigate School and Beyond, host of the edu-Me podcast, and TedX speaker. She has been featured in the magazines Shoutout Atlanta and Global Fluency.Her extra-curricular activities include running, cooking, reading, and spending time with her family. www.edu-me.net @theedume
Crystal Warren Crystal Warren is a writer, astrologer, and self-development coach, who strives to be the architect of her life. www.insightfullycrystal.com
LISTEN UP! As podcasters, we are always calling our listeners to action in hopes of getting feedback, reviews, or support in one way or another. Sometimes we hear from listeners, while other times we wonder if anyone is actually listening. We asked a few readers why they listen to podcasts, how podcasters can do better, and what they would like to hear from them.
I listen to podcasts to be entertained (historical female stories coming to life, mystery) and to learn about life, business, midlife, and how others live. Podcasts are also inspirational, motiviational, uplifting, and take my mind off of the tasks/ chores I’m doing (like weeding!). I’m a traveller so this year podcasts have been my connection to people all over the world and by listening, I feel like I’m meeting new people. I would like to hear female experiences, female voices, and love conversations between female hosts. I start to join in! One thing that podcasters can do to make my listening experience better is making sure the episodes have good sound quality. Poor audio is awful. Podcast hosts owe it to their listeners to be heard well. My personal preference for episode length is 30 minutes. It’s got to be really good for me to listen for 60 minutes plus. Keep the interview on track or edit it out. As a listener, I’m not bothered by the occasional um, er, long pause, or wrong word. It makes it real. In fact, long pauses can be heartstopping when the speaker is taking a deep breathe. Katherine L. - New Zealand I’ve listened to podcasts for a few years now and enjoy podcasts that are drama-based. The hosts tell stories in such a way that draws me in and makes me feel as if I’m in another country, era, or world. I enjoy hearing people’s stories so when the host is interviewing a guest, they need to give the guest time to answer the question without the host interjecting or talking over them. Anna S. - United States Are you a podcast listener who wants to share your thoughts and insights? Visit www.womenwhopodcastmag.com
Ask the Podcaster Is it okay to let a guest know that they need an adequate microphone and headphones for recording an interview?
It is definitely a good idea to let the guest know what is expected of them when recording an episode. You want the episode to be high quality and go smoothly. There’s nothing worse than being distracted by an echo when the guest isn’t wearing headphones, using a decent microphone, or in a room where there is background noise. Outline in an email prior to the interview exactly what the guest needs to have in order to produce a successful recording. They don’t need a high-end microphone. A headset with a microphone that they can plug into their computer will suffice. If they only have their computer microphone, reiterate that a quiet room where they can close the door will help with blocking any background noise and make sure they are sitting close to their computer for the microphone to pick up their voice.
How do you get your guests to promote their episode of your show? Make sure that before and after the guest appears on your show they are aware of your expectations. Mention to them in email confirming the interview and when you are talking with them right after the interview that you would like them to promote the show on their social media and website. After the interview, email them any graphics of the episode and tag them in all social media posts you publish for their show. If they aren’t promoting the show, gently remind them and confirm they have the graphics.
Should you send the guest questions prior to the interview? It is good practice to ask them if they would like the see the interview questions beforehand. In my experience, the guest is okay not seeing the questions prior to the interview. In most instances, not having the guest view the questions before the interview keeps an element of surprise and prevents any “canned” answers. However, if the questions are personal in nature, it’s best to have the guest review them. It’s essential that you always make the guest feel comfortable and at ease during an interview.
Send us your questions for “Ask the Podcaster” at email@example.com
Keep Your Podcast Fresh in the New Year by Tina Jaramillo
Believe it or not, podcasting is not easy. Sure it may seem like co-hosts are simply engaging in witty banter or a solo podcaster is just sharing a tantalizing tale, but no matter how much fun a podcast is to create, the weekly routine can feel a bit mundane, so what’s a podcaster to do? Now, you don’t want to change the format of the show too much. The audience expects a certain product from creators and listeners come back week after week for that anticipated content. While consistency is key, there’s still room to shake things up and add some vigor to an already amazing show. Check out our top 5 ways to keep your podcast fresh in the new year.
Be on the Lookout!
Content isn’t going to just create itself, so you need to be vigilant and smart about how you gather material for your show. It’s safe to assume that the podcast you’ve created is about a subject that you’re passionate about, so you probably engage in reading, watching, or listening to media that connects to that interest. The next time you’re surfing the web be sure to bookmark articles or websites that relate to your show in some way. And, if you’re reading a book or consuming other media, just jot those thoughts down on your phone’s notepad or a special notebook just for your podcast ideas.
Listen to Your Listeners
Another way to keep your content fresh is to engage with your listeners. Host a Q&A about the show and let the listeners ask away. Listeners can also be a great resource for new content. Have a call to action (CTA) at the end of your show asking listeners what they’d like to hear on upcoming episodes. Engaging your listeners can not only provide you with new ideas and material, but it’s also a great way to build community with your show.
‘Tis the Season
Another great way to keep your content fresh is to do special seasonal episodes that tie into your podcast. Have a music podcast? Talk about the lamest Christmas songs. Have a movie podcast? Analyze the best Halloween movie of all time. Have a wellness podcast? Do a special decluttering episode during spring cleaning season. Take advantage of the change of seasons to change up your content. Don’t be afraid to take risks—remember this can be a one off episode to add something new and different to your weekly show.
Guests can change up the dynamic of any show. If you’re not typically an interview podcast, adding a guest to talk about your show’s content allows the listeners to hear a different perspective. And if you have a niche show, finding an expert in that area is gold to listeners. Having a new voice keeps the content current. The best interviews are those that get their guests to tell a story—so be sure to learn all you can about your guest and have solid questions at the ready, so that you can ask questions and engage them in a rich conversation that your listeners will love. 12
Diversify Your Content
So your show is on fire, you’ve got a solid audience, and you know what content you’re churning out weekly. Perfect. But if you want to keep things fresh, think about diversifying your content a bit. If you have a weekly show on soccer highlights, then maybe do a bi-weekly show where you talk to coaches about their favorite soccer experiences either as a player or a coach. The content is still about soccer, but you’re offering your audience something a little bit different to tune in to. Think of it like a niche off of your niche. And, you don’t have to commit to a bi-weekly segment—you can do a once a month special or as content for paying listeners. The main thing is to add a tiny twist to what’s working to spice things up a bit. Now that you’ve got this list of five amazing ways to freshen up your content, pick one or two to try out in the new year to see how it works out for you! Keeping content fresh doesn’t just benefit the listener, it can benefit you, too, by adding something to your weekly routine. If you try out one of these ideas this year, write to us and let us know how it went.
Trademarking Your Podcast by Kathy Barron
When someone thinks about starting a podcast, their thoughts go directly to choosing a name, a logo, and a tagline. Their mind is immediately bombarded with what microphone should I buy? How do I edit the audio? How often should episodes be published? Very rarely do we think about the legal part of starting and producing a podcast. And why should we? It’s just a side project that we’re doing for fun and have no idea where it will go. And why would anyone want to steal our podcast name and concept? As podcasters, we spend countless hours building our show; researching topics, interviewing guests, editing and promoting the show, and creating a voice and brand that is uniquely ours. This is called our brand collateral.
What is a trademark?
According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a trademark can be any word, phrase, symbol, design, or a combination of these things that identifies your goods or services. It’s how customers recognize you in the marketplace and distinguish you from your competitors. The word “trademark” can refer to both trademarks and service marks. A trademark is used for goods, while a service mark is used for services. A trademark: • Identifies the source of your goods or services. • Provides legal protection for your brand. • Helps you guard against counterfeiting and fraud. A common misconception is that having a trademark means you legally own a particular word or phrase and can prevent others from using it. However, you don’t have rights to the word or phrase in general, only to how that word or phrase is used with your specific goods or services. Creative and unique trademarks are more effective and easier to protect.
Why trademark your podcast?
If you are serious about your podcast, it’s a smart idea to protect your brand collateral as early as possible. This protection will deter others from using your podcast name and concept and you can maintain control over your podcast content.
What should be trademarked?
The podcast name is the most important element to trademark. The podcast logo, artwork, and any tagline(s) you use to promote it should also be considered for trademarking. When you choose your podcast name and logo, be sure to pick something that is unique to your show’s mission/vision. The first step is to search online to see if the name and logo are available to use. Do this step before you spend a ton of money to launch the podcast.
If someone has already been using the name you have chosen, they could still have legal rights even if they haven’t filed a trademark for it, especially if potential listeners get confused between both of the shows. If all signs point to the name being available, the next step is to conduct a trademark search.
Do you HAVE to file for a trademark to get protection for the podcast name? Despite what you may have heard, you don’t have to register your podcast name with the USPTO to have a trademark. Technically, you have created a trademark as soon as you publish the podcast using your show name and logo. However, those rights are limited, and they only apply to the geographic area in which you’re providing your goods or services.
If you want to indicate that it is trademarked (but not a registered trademark), simply use the unregistered trademark symbol - the letters ‘TM’. This indicates you haven’t registered the podcast name but are giving public notice of your trademark rights. However, if you want stronger, nationwide rights, you’ll need to apply to register your trademark. This let’s everyone know that you own the trademark and that it can’t be copied. Once you have the podcast trademark, it’s easier to defend in a court of law should any infringement occur, or to get other people to not copy your name in the future. Once your trademark is registered, you can use the registered trademark symbol - ® - to indicate that it is registered. Registering your trademark with the USPTO ensures that you receive full protection under U.S. trademark laws. You should be aware that the majority of countries around the world do not recognize trademark rights unless a registration has been completed in their country. The trademark class for podcasts generally falls into either class 9 goods (downloadable MP3 files) or class 41 services (entertainment services, specifically podcast content). You may want to file in other and/ or different classes depending on how you use your podcast (i.e. selling specific services and/ or products).
How much does it cost to file a trademark?
The initial trademark application fee ranges from $250 to $350 per class of goods and services. The cost of attaining a trademark varies depending upon the filing basis selected, and which initial application form is used. Each of these filing options have specific requirements that impact the fee amount.
Do I need a lawyer?
Trademark applications are filed incorrectly more times than one can count. So if you want to make sure the trademark is done correctly, it’s recommended that you hire a lawyer to file the application for you. 16
Benefits of hiring an attorney include: 5 Providing you crucial legal advice about your trademark. 5 Conducting your trademark clearance search before you file an application. 5 Preparing your application accurately. 5 Responding to legal correspondence from the USPTO. 5 Enforcing and maintaining your trademark rights. 5 Representing you at the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. 5 Shielding you from fraudulent solicitations. In the long run, hiring an attorney may save you money because an attorney will know how to best advise you on your trademark’s register-ability, prepare your application, and respond to the USPTO on various issues that might arise throughout the process. If cost is an issue and you’re willing to take the time that’s needed to file the trademark correctly, you can register by following the guide at www.uspto.gov/trademarks/basics.
How long does it take to register?
There are many factors that affect how long it takes to register a trademark. In fact, there’s no guarantee your trademark will ever register, as it may be refused for various legal reasons. Usually, the process takes 12 to 18 months. For example, once you submit your initial application, it could take about four to six months for the USPTO to review your application. That is only one stage of the trademark process. For many of us, podcasting is a huge part of our lives. We work hard at creating episodes week after week and building relationships with our listeners. Although we want to give people the benefit of the doubt and think they couldn’t possibly take that away from us, there is still that slight possibility (intentional or not) that it could happen. To learn more about trademarking your podcast, visit the USPTO website at www.uspto.gov/ trademarks/basics.
INclusivity In Podcasting by Punam Saxena
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. -The Golden Rule This quote is the first thing I learned in elementary school decades ago. It has profoundly affected the way I interact with people and the way I wish to be treated. Even though I haven’t been successful each day, this quote still is a beacon of light for me. Unfortunately, in this divisive time in our history, it is necessary to remind ourselves how we interact with others, how to be INclusive*, and how to find our compassion and empathy, again. We have lost our way and some people have found it acceptable to be inflammatory and inciteful. This is both saddening and maddening. Though, as an eternal optimist I believe there is an opportunity for learning and growth once we identify, learn, and understand the plights of our fellow human beings. But in order to move forward, we must first acknowledge our current beliefs, biases, and our own ability and willingness to change our mindset. Pachamama.org identifies eight categories of people who are routinely discriminated against based on a single characteristic. Race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation seem to be the common groups that we discuss in mainstream media. We also, though, discriminate based on education, age, nationality, and mental/physical ability. For context, let’s break the last four down. How many times have you looked at someone’s credentials with all the acronyms (JD, M.Ed., Ph.D., etc.) behind their name and thought, “Wow, they are so smart! I would have no idea what to say to them because I don’t have that level of education.” We often assume that those acronyms signify intelligence. While that is true in a sense, the reality is that these individuals are well-versed in their field of expertise. They may not have a clue about other topics that are necessary to have a global conversation. Conversely, not having college degrees is not indicative of intelligence or success. The most revolutionary change in our lifetime has been the invention of the cell phone, which was invented by Steve Jobs, a college dropout. While education has some bearing on one’s ability, it is not the only factor in determining someone’s success. Aahhhh, age. What a paradox of a word, especially for women. When we are young, we can’t wait to grow up, be independent, make our own choices and when we are older, we wish we could be younger, more energetic, or go back and change an event or behavior. Not only are we fighting this battle internally, it is also being imposed upon us through our own professions and the continuous barrage of social media telling us to look, dress, or act a certain way. And, by the way, women are sometimes the worst to each other…judging by their looks (“She looks too old with that makeup.”), clothes (“She looks like a teenager in that outfit. She should dress her age.”), or any other random qualifier of someone’s comment that has no impact on that woman’s capabilities. Women, regardless of age, should recognize that there is wisdom in age and experience, and paradigm-shifting ideas that can catapult us into the future with our younger colleagues. 19
Nationality is an interesting one. With the melting pot of America, one can no longer assume that a person who looks Indian is actually from India. I look as Indian as the next…well, ahem, Indian. But, born in the South and raised in rural Georgia, I’m pretty American with a slight Southern accent who is also fluent in Hindi. So, when you see someone on the street, at a party, or at the coffee house, assume that their nationality is their nationality and it has no bearing on their profession, productivity, or social impact. When you see someone in a wheelchair or speaking incoherently to themselves, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Some may likely think that they are intellectually or physically incapable. That they cannot be a productive member of society. Again, I’m here to squash that theory. One of the most brilliant minds in recent times was Stephen Hawking, a British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author who had an early onset of Lou Gehrig’s disease and left him wheelchair-bound for decades. His physical inability did not dampen his intellect nor desire to continue his research which is widely hailed as transformational. The explanation of these additional four categories further cements the fact that there is more to the person than one particular identifying characteristic. Are we, as humans, free from judgement? Absolutely not. We all have biases. We determine our likes/dislikes based on several factors that have occurred in our lives. It’s OK to have them but it is important to understand where they come from. • Reflect on your own upbringing and environment. What experiences did you have that define how you view the world? Have they stayed with you as an adult or have you, through other experiences, decided on another path? • Your belief system is your identity to the world. Is there something that you’d like to change? What are you willing to do about it? • Body language is a major component of our communication. We may be speaking the words someone wants to hear, but our facial expressions or our stance says otherwise.
If you are happy where you are, don’t change a thing! And kudos to you for finding your happy place. This is a no judgement zone, so you do you. But if you are looking to expand your views, share them with your audience, and challenge the status quo, then let’s look at how to make the change you wish and ensure it’s sustainable. So, how do we ensure, as podcasters, that we are true to our mission while also being INclusive? When looking for guests, it’s important to recognize where we currently are and what we are wanting our guests to take away. Look for guests who are diverse and fit your podcast mission. A variety of guest backgrounds and experiences provides more credibility and understanding while validating your mission. Giving your audience the opportunity to learn from these diverse individuals while promoting an environment of compassion and empathy. There should also be at least one Call to Action (CTA) that your audience can take away from your interview that can be incorporated into their lives, make them reflect, or push the boundaries of their current mindset. The MOST important piece of advice I can offer here is to be authentic to yourself. This is your podcast, and you create, change, and break the rules as you wish. Ultimately, the only person you are pleasing is yourself. But if you are looking to make some changes because you’re feeling stagnant or even ready to expand your base audience, think of this as a guide to stepping outside of your comfort zone. In your quest to be more INclusive, you’ll need to meet new people. When it’s appropriate, introduce yourself to someone and begin a conversation that’s easy. How are you? What do you do for a living? What are your interests? What brought you to _______ (this event, restaurant, conference)? These open-ended questions are a great way to begin getting to know the person and can lead to more in-depth, meaningful dialogue. Again, be authentic in your conversation. No one has time for you to fake it! Take small, purposeful steps. This will ensure you’ll reach a sustainable, long-term goal. When we decide to make a change and jump ahead to the ultimate goal, we may fizzle out because a.) it may not be exactly where we thought we would be, or b.) we don’t like the outcome as much as we thought we would. Small steps can ensure you are on the path you desire along with the flexibility to adjust along the way. Being INclusive can be scary, but it doesn’t need to be. Once you understand where you currently are and where you want to go, it’s a methodical process. You have complete control of how you get to the destination. Podcasting benefits aside, the power is within you to make the change you wish which, in turn, will lead to more opportunities, and personal growth. You may be wondering, “Who is she to be talking to us about INclusivity? What the heck does she know?” Well, I’ve had the privilege of being in an environment where assimilating, compassion, and empathy were my only choices. My parents immigrated to America in the 1960s and settled in rural Georgia in the 70s during the time of integration and uncertainty. Then, in plops this Indian family who continues their traditions, food, and culture while trying to build a life in an unknown land with no family or support system.
We were the outcasts (not OutKast), looked hesitantly upon, and frequently questioned about our tribe. Yes, many at that time did not know there was a country called India. Unimaginable today. Our family spent many years overcoming racism. We were unable to purchase a house due to our ethnicity for years. I was chosen last in school playground games due to my skin color. I was teased mercilessly for my accent and for clothing that was not fashionable. My parents even received a phone call from my 4th grade teacher when I chose not to take a copy of the Bible due to my religious beliefs when the Gideons visited my class. In what I thought was being respectful to our values turned into a teaching. My parents told me that every religion shares the same vision…compassion, empathy, being a good neighbor, and helping others. Taking their sage words to heart, I soon began to value that every person offers a unique, powerful impactful purpose and story which has carried me through my personal and professional career. My special education students, teachers I worked with, friends, and my family bring a variety of experiences, backgrounds, and stories that only magnify my desire to foster empathy and compassion to create a homogeneous society. Am I bias-free? Absolutely not. Nor will I ever be, but I am cognizant of my biases and work to diminish them by pushing myself to interact with all people, even if I’m a bit hesitant. When we look at the eight characteristics of exclusion (see image below), we can see that no one has control over most of these defining characteristics. Education and religion are somewhat of an exception, but there may be a path that is already carved out there as well. It is incumbent on each of us to be INclusive, to look beyond ourselves and beliefs to see the person inside. One of my go-to taglines when my children were younger was, “Judge someone on their character not one of their characteristics.” They were exhausted hearing me say it, but I truly believe it. How someone treats you, their ability to connect with you, and their impact on the world in which they live is so much more important than the methodology they need to deliver it. Let’s be open-minded, compassionate, and INclusive. When we begin to make small changes within ourselves, we begin to make small changes in the world. Our audience deserves it. We deserve it. *The “IN” is capitalized in INclusive to emphasize the importance of making sure we are embracing everyone. Period.
Why Your Podcast Needs A Website
Talking Home Renovations by Natalie Boero
For Katharine MacPhail, creator and host of the podcast, Talking Home Renovations with the Maven, entering the male-dominated world of podcasting was familiar territory after having spent decades working in the even more male-dominated world of architecture. Katharine, a Massachusetts architect specializing in renovations and additions to existing homes, got the idea to to podcast as she found herself looking for podcasts that might help guide and answer the questions of some of her clients, particularly those clients doing first-time renovations to their homes. Katharine observed that many of her first-time clients “...are really nervous about starting, they are overwhelmed and they don’t feel like they know what they are doing.” An avid true crime and “story” podcast listener herself, Katharine also looked to podcasts as a way to answer her own questions and come up with different approaches to various problems and thus tried to find podcasts that would do the same for her clients. Unfortunately, (or perhaps fortunately) Katharine came up empty handed as she sought out podcasts that might be helpful to her clients and that was when she started to think about filling the void herself. On her website, Katharine describes Talking Home Renovations as, “...an educational and entertaining podcast that will ease your fears.” Welcoming listeners to join her, “as she interviews contractors, vendors, other architects and homeowners and gathers tips and cautionary tales about home renovations. Learn about materials, what to expect, what to avoid and how to make the most of the money that you will spend on your renovation.” When the podcast debuted in September of 2019, neither Katharine, nor anyone else knew what would be coming in terms of the amount of time people were - and still arespending at home and how that would impact both the demand for home renovation as well as the types of questions, concerns, and needs people had concerning their home renovations projects. While Katharine feels that the Covid-19 pandemic may have increased interest in home renovations, she also feels that the types of issues and questions people have surrounding renovations have remained relatively consistent. And as such, she has decided not to record Covid-specific episodes even though within any given episode she may address topics like supply chain problems and materials shortages that have been exacerbated in the midst of a global pandemic. Before starting her podcast, Katharine did research on how to do a podcast, reading books (she cites the book, So You Want To Start a Podcast, in particular) and actually listening to a podcast about how to podcast. Katharine also found herself turning for advice to friends who were 25 also podcasters.
She would call them up and say, “I want to take you out for lunch in exchange for you giving me an outline of what I need to do for my podcast.” Katharine recounts that one of these friends gave her the best piece of advice she got early on and that was to decide how often she wanted to put out episodes and then to go and make a list of a year’s worth of episodes so that she knew she had enough material to sustain the podcast for at least a year. One thing Katharine says she focused too much on leading up to starting her podcast is that she was too focused on having the right microphone and equipment. Katharine describes “going down a rabbit hole of YouTube videos on sound equipment.” Before a friend of hers pulled her out and told her to just buy a solid microphone and get on with it! In the beginning, Katharine recorded episodes every two weeks, because she wanted to be careful to, “...not overcommit my time” but soon found herself increasing her episode frequency to weekly as she found that, “I actually really like it (podcasting) a lot, and so I thought, ‘if I if I put a little more effort into this’, I can do it more often’.” Part of increasing her episodes to weekly was also her desire to develop a larger listenership that would allow her to monetize her podcast and to make it a part of her traditional architecture practice.” Katharine is still working towards the goal of signing up podcast sponsors and eventually envisions her business being, “...more of a 50/50 thing where I do less architecture and more podcasting.” Katharine’s episode topics run the gamut of renovation-related subjects from choosing paint colors, hiring contractors, home security, historic homes, and mold to the psychology of renovation and “promoting health and mental health through design.” Katharine is inspired in coming up with topics by, “thinking about the questions people have and what I think my listeners want and need to know.” Katharine finds her guests through a variety of avenues including people she knows from her architecture practice, people she knows through the “old house” community she is part of on social media, and through contact with other podcasters who focus on construction, design, and other renovation-related topics. While Katharine’s podcast is more or less interview-based, she does minimal advance preparation and research because, I want my podcast to be kind of like a conversation I might have with somebody at a dinner party if they were sitting next to me so, I don’t like to hear about what they’re going to talk about ahead of time.” In addition to interview/conversation episodes, Katharine loves a good story, and it was actually about hearing people tell their renovation stories on the social media site, TikTok, that inspired Katharine to record episodes she calls “Renovation Stories” where people both within the renovation industry and “regular” homeowners tell their renovation stories and reflect on what went right, what went wrong, and what sorts of advice they would give others just starting the process. In thinking of future podcasts and future projects, Katharine dreams of traveling around the country collecting renovation stories and histories. Speaking of social media, Katharine says that her website and social media have been a valuable way to get feedback from listeners and to connect with potential guests, but she also says that she struggles keeping up with all her social media and all of her other podcast and architectural work so, “If something slips, it’s usually my social media.” 26
Katharine’s experience as a woman podcaster has found her encountering relatively little blatant sexism, certainly less than she might experience on a job site as an architect, but nonetheless Katharine has found the support and community of women podcasters important since early in her podcasting career. Indeed, Katharine committed herself to attending the 2019 She Podcasts conference right before she launched her podcast because she felt drawn to an event that would be supportive of women. Recently Katharine returned to the She Podcasts 2021 conference with two years of podcasting under her belt and, while she felt that she didn’t learn quite as much as she did when she was new to podcasting, she did feel like it was important for her to attend because, “I felt like I was giving back to people, having learned so much my first time and now sharing with newer podcasters.” For Katharine, taking the time to listen to people’s podcasts before the conference and connecting with people online before the conference made the actual event more rewarding and made her feel much more like she had “connected with people.” Unfortunately, given the ongoing pandemic, Katharine still felt like she couldn’t connect with people in person as much as she would have liked to, but she also feels like she became aware of even more and different communities for women in podcasting. As she looks ahead to growing her podcast and her business in 2022 and as she looks back on her first two years of podcasting, Katharine is excited to think more about integrating her architecture business with her podcast and is even working on another podcast with a group of fellow architects. In thinking of what she would recommend to newer women podcasters, Katharine keeps it simple and says that whatever you do with your podcast, be sure it is something you are passionate about because it shows. In describing the podcasts she likes best, Katharine says, “the best podcasts to me are the kind where people are deep into whatever it is they’re talking about. It could be totally a niche topic, but no matter what someone is talking about, hearing someone talk about their passion is really engaging.”
Website: talkinghomerenovations.com Instagram: @talkinghomerenovations Twitter: @talkinghomereno 27
Wellness While Walking by Tina Jaramillo
Podcasts fill our lives with stories and conversation. And, for many avid podcast listeners, the perk of a podcast is the ability to get things done while listening—so it’s perfect for the multitasker. And for those starting out the new year with a new walking or exercise routine, a podcast can make those minutes fly by. Carolyn Cohen created Wellness While Walking to offer a fun and inspiring social component to a listener’s daily walk. As a certified health coach, Carolyn chats about how living a healthy life can help produce the best life possible. She says, “We really have so much power in our own behavior to make a change, but that behavior change can be challenging in our world and how to make space for it, and then be encouraged to take the next steps and also celebrate the steps that we’ve taken before.” When asked what inspired the podcast, Carolyn spoke about her mother’s influence. She explained that her mom was “a health nut ahead of her time” who wanted to keep the family healthy and keep her father’s history of heart disease at bay and she felt that she and her sister were “casualties of that effort.” She explained, “ I just sort of told myself, when I had kids, I wasn’t going to go back crazy.” But then she had children and her own health issue with irritable bowel syndrome made her realize that her mother may have been on to something and as a result she became “super, super interested in it, just the power that we hold to affect our own health.” Though her interest in wellness started with her relationship with food, that is not the central topic when she works with folks nor the central focus of the podcast. She explains, “I think my listeners are surprised that I don’t talk about it more. And they, whenever I invite questions, they almost always have to do with food or walking shoes.” However she says, “I actually have come to love when I start with somebody new when we work on anything but that [food] because for so many of us, and you can see that in the diet culture backlash that’s going on now, it’s so fraught. We’ve had such a history of trying to change how we eat, and if we can start somewhere else sometimes that what we eat falls into place on its own.” While food topics do come up occasionally, for 30 minutes a week Carolyn chats with her listeners about all things wellness and takes listeners on a fun-filled healthy adventure. Bridging her work as a health coach into a podcast came very naturally to Carolyn. As an avid lover of talk radio she recalled trying to listen in to podcasts on Sirius XM. And as a mother of four, she explains “there are so few opportunities to actually multitask in this world, but being active, whether that be doing the laundry, or gardening or, you know, anything, walking or otherwise. And listening are two things that we can do at the same time, assuming it’s safe. 29
So when it came time for me to have more time, or I felt like I was going to have more time on the horizon, because my kids were growing up and leaving the home one by one. I realized that in addition to working with clients that I really wanted to get this message out there a little more broadly,” Carolyn explans. And the podcast became “the perfect marriage of what I’ve been doing all these years, which was walking and listening to audio and and then my message so it just made a ton of sense,” she adds. And because she listened to talk radio for years, she knew how she wanted the podcast to sound. She says, “I know what I like, and what I don’t like. One of the things I really like is when you build a relationship with the person, you know, I feel like I know the people I listen to. And so I wanted to have that same interaction with my listener.” And this is something that Carolyn does incredibly well. She speaks authentically with her listeners and to her guests. As for other aspects she wanted to include in the podcast, she explains, “But I also knew some other things. And one of those was I tried to not try to break it down into smaller segments, which has not always worked out; it doesn’t always work out perfectly. But I try to keep in mind that it’s a lot to listen and do something, even that is walking, you know, you’re looking out for cars. And if you’re doing the laundry, you’re kind of thinking a little bit about like, whose shirt is this? So, you know, it’s helpful if it’s easily digestible. So I tried to make that happen. I’ve met that goal with varying levels of success. And the other thing that I thought would be fun would be to play a beep about halfway through. So people who are walking out and back, you know, from their office on their lunch break, or what have you, could be reminded to turn around if they weren’t walking in a loop.” Since Carolyn’s show covers topics like happiness, living intentionally, food choices, decluttering, healthy habits, and more, when asked about finding inspiration for the show, she says, “I kind of have an endless stream of ideas. So something that happened in that entire time that I was interested in health, and got my first coaching certificate, it’s probably been 20 years of learning. And I’ve learned in many ways, I’ve been to many conferences; I’ve taken courses in person and courses online; I’ve been learning all along. So I have a lot of ideas, and things that I found interesting. And when I find things interesting, oftentimes somebody else does.” But she explains that she does a lot of research for her show. She adds, “what I am really careful about is research and backing everything up with research. So there are times when I know I could talk for half an hour, and the shows are about 30 to 40 minutes, like the length of a walk.” But, she makes sure to “make it airtight, first of all, to make it understandable so that it’s interesting and informative, and accurate.” And, the one thing she’s really enjoyed is having a variety of guests on the podcast. She interviews experts in a wide range of healthy living areas. She says, “I think it’s been really helpful to the listener to have other voices. And for me, it’s been amazing to have people on, sometimes people I’ve admired for years and years, sometimes people have just gotten to know through the podcasting world or just anywhere.I have a cookbook author I love and she said she’d be on the show; I have a local person who’s a well known gluten free chef, and she was on the show.” 30
Carolyn even made a collage of her past guests to remind her of the amazing conversations and connections she’s made. But she also loves hearing back from listeners about the guests that have been on the show, “I would hear back from listeners, and they’d say, this conversation was just what I needed, or I’m following this person.” One recent guest in particular stands out to Carolyn, Dr. Austin Perlmutter who along with his dad, wrote Brain Wash. Dr. Austin Permutter encouraged listeners to “think about our brain first and what we’re doing to our brain and how our daily habits have an impact on our brain.” Still one of the most inspiring guests Carolyn has had on the show are her listeners. She says, “Listeners let me know their stories. And they’re amazing. And what’s more inspirational than someone who’s just like me, you know, across the world, but doing something that is something I’m doing, too. So it’s been really wonderful having the listeners as guests as well.” But, the connection to her listeners doesn’t stop there. For Carolyn a surprising and fulfilling aspect of doing the show is watching the connections the listeners have made with one another unfold, she explains, “the listeners have started to connect with each other in little ways and mostly on Instagram.” And, they don’t just follow each other, they actually interact and encourage each other. She says, “they all have these different approaches to walking.” She spoke about an artist who photographs different areas and posts collages and then other listeners will comment and like those posts. And, she explained how others recommend books to one another. It’s that sense of community that really demonstrates the connection Carolyn has established with her podcast listeners, an aspect she really wants to work on building into a wider community. “We are all walking this one earth and we’re all under this same sun, and I know I feel super connected, and I know some of the other walkers who have connected do, too, and I would love to encourage more of the community,” she adds. She explains that a short walk can do so much for a person, “a short walk can have such an amazing impact, not just on our mental health and our clarity and our ability to be creative and all those things, but even our blood sugar.” And, listening to Carolyn’s short insightful chats along the way can add even more joy to the walking experience. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your walking shoes and headphones and explore some Wellness While Walking.
Website: wellnesswhilewalking.com Instagram: @wellnesswhilewalking Clubhouse: @stepstowellness 31
The Unraveled Life by Kathy Barron
A favorite way that Kelsey Mech, creator of The Unraveled Life podcast, likes to learn new things is listening to podcasts. “There’s something really special about podcasts. It gets us off screens and I love just not looking or reading things sometimes,” says Kelsey. “There’s also this beautiful feeling of relationship you end up having because you’re hearing someone talk or have conversations.” For many years, she enjoyed listening to podcasts and thought maybe someday she would start one of her own. Kelsey is a Registered Clinical Counselor and EMDR therapist specializing in trauma and anxiety. She has a private practice and teaches at the university in Victoria, Canada. Her practice morphed into doing additional online work and programs as a way to engage more with the world. Kelsey knew she wanted even more engagement and decided to start her own podcast. Throwing her perfectionism to the curb, she used the headphones (and mic) for her phone and has never looked back. Even though she didn’t have the perfect recording setup, she realized she had to just do; otherwise, it was never going to happen. When Kelsey was figuring out what to call the podcast, she always loved the word “unraveled” or “unraveling.” She picked the name, The Unraveled Life, on a whim when she was throwing the podcast together. It’s taken her a year and a half of having the podcast to actually figure out what it really means to her and that this is exactly what she is trying to do; live this unraveled life. “The idea behind that phrase is really recognizing that (coming from a mental health professional point of view) even in therapy when I’m working with someone one-on-one, there’s a lot of onus on that individual to take responsibility for creating change in their life,” explains Kelsey. Although that is an important part of therapy, Kelsey shifted her interest to look at the bigger systems that play a part and impact our lives. “The way that things like capitalism and patriarchy impact us and affect us and how ISMs affect how we operate. That is actually so much of what’s making many of us feel so anxious and depressed,” says Kelsey. This change in perspective has her looking at how we can shift our individual relationship with those systems to see that we are not broken. “We’re living in these constructs that make it really hard to feel like we’re enough, and so for me, unraveling is really this process of looking at all of the layers that have been painted on us and one by one peeling away those beliefs, and peeling away those stories, and unraveling all of the expectations, and really get to know ourselves and what we want and need.” What inspired Kelsey to talk about the unraveling of life is her own struggle with mental health. She had very significant panic attacks in her late teens and early twenties and still 33
grapples with the feeling that she isn’t enough. For a long time, my whole identify was wrapped up in what I was achieving and accomplishing and all of these constructs around what success looks like. It was literally destroying me and my relationships and so in coming to terms with all of that is actually how I ended up shifting careers and exploring counseling and mental health work,” says Kelsey. This is the impetus behind the podcast. Kelsey also takes inspiration from nature, the seasons, and the cycles around the world and uses it to support other people navigating similar struggles. She goes on to say, “We put so much pressure on ourselves to be productive and to be doing all of the time and when we look to nature, there’s much more than cyclical rhythms. I’m trying to shape my life and my work toward that more. I’m also inspired by ancestral practices and ways of living that were traditionally practiced by my own lineage; my ancestors went through so much in order for me to be standing where I am today.” Kelsey doesn’t remember the details of recording her very first episode. What she does recall is that she was very excited and ready to do it. She had done quite a bit of media work in her previous career organizing climate justice work, so she was comfortable hearing the sound of her own voice. Although she wasn’t nervous, imposter syndrome reared its ugly head which made her ask herself “Who am I to just talk for 20-30 minutes?” Kelsey knew she wanted to start off doing solo episodes because in listening to podcasts, she loved getting to know the host really well, and she wanted to create that for her own listeners. She also remembers apologizing to everyone on the episode because she just had a little headphone mic and wasn’t sure how good the audio would sound. Kelsey was reassured by many emails from her listeners that the sound was okay and they were glad she was just doing the podcast. Since starting her podcast, Kelsey has embraced imperfection a lot more. She explains, “in the beginning, I really wanted to be more explicitly about mental health and the way we traditionally think of it. Like, today we’re talking about burnout and here are some tips for overcoming burnout. I’ve realized in the last year and a half that that’s not really my style. I’m more of a bigger picture thinker, with the systemic piece, and for me, a part of my own practice has been drawing on things like ancestral lineage, spirituality, and tapping into nature. So I’m trying to figure out as this grows, and shifts, and changes, how all of that fits together.” Kelsey has really let her podcast be a place where she can just go with the flow. For her, it feels more authentic and even brought on some guests last year. “I really loved that and am excited to move more in that direction, and I feel like I’m a little sick of just hearing my own voice.” Many women who want to start their own podcast think they need to have all the latest technology to hit the record button. Kelsey recommends getting started before you’re ready. “I think for so many people, there’s this sense of like it has to be perfect before they can start and that gets in the way of just doing it,” says Kelsey. “I’m always wanting to just do the thing and then kind of figure it out as I’m going, and I think that’s the only reason that happened to me because I’m still (after a year and a half), I still don’t have it figured out. I still don’t love my graphic and ‘oh is this the right title’ and who are my guests going to be. It’s all still evolving, and so if I waited until I 34
was 100% ready, I still think I’d be waiting. Getting it done with a little bit of imperfection is better than waiting til it’s perfect and not doing it at all.” So, if you’re about 80% ready and confident to push that red record button, then it’s definitely doable. The people that Kelsey wants to connect with are people who want to have honest vulnerable conversations. She’s made some beautiful connections through her podcast. Kelsey feels that even though there are plenty of people talking about mental health, no one is doing it in her voice sharing her particular stories. “We all have that unique voice that might resonate completely different than anyone else so I think really staying in your own lane and acknowledging that what you have to offer is unique, even if some of the topics are similar. There are definitely gaps and there are still things that aren’t being filled right now,” says Kelsey. She feels that the more people have access to to mental health, the more people can find what really feels good and fits with them. “There are a lot of people who aren’t clinically trained providing information and sometimes that’s okay if they are just sharing their life experiences. Sometimes we see places where that can cause harm and especially with trauma someone might encourage someone to do something that actually is really triggering their trauma. So just be careful about what you’re consuming especially if you’re getting specific advice.” Kelsey’s policy for sharing her experiences in a public space is if it’s something she has processed to the point that she no longer needs support, she will share it with the intention of it helping her listeners. She won’t share when she needs something from her audience or share just for the sake of sharing. What’s in store for The Unraveled Life in 2022? Kelsey’s idea for the podcast is to be more intentional in digging into this language of unraveling. “What I’d really love to do is make a list of everything from body image to friendship to sexuality to mental health and go through this process of taking on societal expectations and how we want to engage in this process of unraveling some of that and figuring out our own relationship to those things. And bring on a guest who can really hone in on that area of topic.” It’s essential for Kelsey to create something that’s of value to people regardless of the numbers or metrics that go with podcasting. Her vision is to build a sense of community and engagement with her listeners. She wants women podcasters to know that success doesn’t have to look massive. “Success can be smaller and it can still be just as beautiful and just as impactful and leave more room for other people at the table. We can show up in ways that are authentic and beautiful and just as meaningful, but maybe don’t require us to sacrifice so much and maybe that can be okay and more of us can be doing that.”
Website: kelseymech.com Instagram: @kelseymech 35
Never Run Out of Content Ideas:
How To Make A Creative Map by Elaine Best
How often do you find yourself staring at your microphone wondering what you’re possibly going to talk about today? Do you worry that you’ll run out of episode ideas for your podcast? Then it’s time you tried making your own Creative Map! Creative Maps are designed to take a broad idea and break it down into smaller and smaller ideas. Each idea branches off into subtopics, creating a flow chart of episode ideas in only a matter of minutes. To make a Creative Map, you will need: V A pen V Paper V Your podcast’s main theme Now you’re ready to create your map!
What is your main topic?
Before you begin to brainstorm episode ideas, go back to the purpose of your podcast. What is it about? What three words come to mind when you think of your podcast? Feel free to think about the big picture here. Once you have your topic, go ahead and write it in the middle of your page. You’ll use this topic as the base for the rest of your map. For this example, we’re going to work with a podcast that is focused on baking. So, in the middle of the sheet, we wrote “Baking.”
Draw four lines leaving from your main topic you wrote in the middle of your page. Working with our baking podcast, we are now going to think of four subtopics about baking. Try not to overthink what you’re writing down. It’s okay if you’ve discussed these subtopics before on your podcast, or if you think these subtopics would never work on your show. Right now, the main goal is to open your mind up to all the possibilities related to your podcast’s theme. Four subtopics for baking might be: 5 Favorite Recipes 5 How-Tos 5 Pop Culture 5 Eating 37
Break Down Your Subtopics
You’re now going to repeat the process of looking at one topic and seeing how you can break it down even further. For our map, we’re trying to find two ideas that stem from our subtopic. The goal is to get as specific as possible. When you do that, you’ll see that sometimes one subtopic actually contains enough material for five episodes. Looking back at our baking example, we now have: Favorite Recipes D Recipes passed down through families D Best recipes by region How-Tos D Beginner baking tips D Kitchen tool reviews Pop Culture D Food shows D Baking trends on TikTok Eating D Reviewing your own bakes D Comparing store bought vs. baked from scratch
Once you’ve filled up your page, look at your subtopics and see which ones interest you the most. If you find that some subtopics could still be broken down further, go ahead and grab a new piece of paper and keep going. The visual of the Creative Map is a helpful reminder that you have not, in fact, run out of episode ideas!
Putting Your Podcast On YouTube by Jen Gillham
I’ve begun the process of turning The Author Content Marketing Podcast into YouTube videos. Fortunately, I have a little experience with the platform. My boys have a YouTube channel I assist them with. Each video is about eight minutes long, involves stuffed animals (or what they call plushies) going on little adventures, and has a thumbnail image we make together on Canva. I also have a channel for my fiction name, JL Gillham. If you are considering doing the same thing for your podcast you might be wondering if it’s still a podcast if you turn it into a video? Some podcasters I follow record not only their audio, but also a video of the podcast. I would still call it a podcast no matter what visual form it takes. When someone asks me what I do, I respond, “I am a podcaster.” I don’t respond, “I’m a YouTuber.” I consider the channel as something extra I can do to reach a different audience. When I want to listen to music or a podcast, I’ll often play the audio from my phone. However, if I’m already using YouTube when in the mood for my favorite band or new podcaster’s episode, I’ll use that platform. You want to meet people where they are at. For many listeners it’s through an audio service; however, what about a platform that is more focused on visuals? Don’t let the visual aspect deter you from converting your audio files into a YouTube video. Most podcasts I watch on YouTube have a static graphic with the name of the podcast and title of the episode. That’s it. You don’t need to spend time making an elaborate video. Keep it simple. It can take time to get familiar with all the ins and outs. Just making your podcast available on a new platform is a big step. You can also add your logo to the beginning of the video. At the end of my videos I add a call to action, encouraging people to head to my website and join my email list. The thumbnail is the most important part. Make sure your font is easy to read, that you share the episode title and number. Create a template and use the same thumbnail for all of your episodes or at least the same template for each season. People connect with seeing faces, so you can include a picture of yourself. This may feel overwhelming for a lot of people who are used to just sharing only their voice and not an image. So instead, you can keep it simple with a little graphic. 40
Canva is where I create mine. They have tons of templates you can pick from if you don’t want to make your own. Some of the pros of using YouTube for your podcast include reaching a new audience on a new platform and using the videos in other places. For example, you can trim your full length episodes into bite size memorable chunks to share wherever you are online. When uploading your video, make sure you don’t ignore the description on YouTube. You can include hashtags that are great for SEO. In the description, there is also the ability to share links to your website, patreon or fundraising information and Amazon affiliate links if you mention products. There is also the option to share a few main tips from your podcast show notes and using tags are also important. Tags are keywords that help people find your videos. These can include a topic and other podcasts similar to yours. Getting involved with the comment section of your videos can be a pro or a con. It’s a great place for engagement, however, it can also take up a lot of your time. You also have to keep an eye out for spam in the comments and have the option to turn off all comments in each video. One major con is adding to your workload. If you are already burned out and can barely keep up with your podcast, hold off on YouTube videos. And, if you aren’t yet YouTube savvy, figuring it out can be a daunting task. When you get comfortable with YouTube you might also create other video content like an introduction video where you share a little bit about yourself. One tip I learned from Vanessa K. Eccles’ email list for her podcast Fabled Collective is to add at the bottom of your emails a YouTube video link. Maybe it’s a video of your most popular podcast episode. Or maybe it’s sharing about yourself or a tutorial. This can help turn fans into superfans. The more time someone spends engaging with your content the better. If you are struggling to keep up with your podcast, hold off on turning episodes into videos. However, if you have the time, try it for at least one episode. See if you like the process. I’ve discovered when I have time to keep working, but my brain needs to switch gears, making a video is a fun outlet. I get to be creative in different ways and love picking a cute graphic for the YouTube thumbnail. If you want to try giving viewers something to watch and not just listen to, try recording a video of a short, bonus podcast episode. I say short, because if you aren’t used to being on camera it can be intimidating. And, you might have to start over a few times to improve the lighting or some other detail. I’ve recorded a short episode, watched the recording then realized something was wrong. Recording these visual podcast episodes can also help you if you want to speak in public. When on stage you won’t be able to hide behind the curtain like the Wizard of Oz. Take that next step and record the video, even if you decide not to share it with the public or with an exclusive group. YouTube also has the option of making the video private if you just want to share the link with your financial supporters. Whether you show your face or simply share your voice, turning your podcast into a video can be useful for not only your fans, but your creative self as well. 41
Navigating Your by Crystal Warren
Make space for bliss - This is the year you prioritize your own happiness first. Maybe you’ve been hanging on to some things that just don’t light you up like they used to. So if you’ve been looking for a sign to let it go, this is it. Time to move forward. Consider taking a leap of faith and following your joy. With Jupiter dipping into your sign this year, you’ve got luck on your side - go for it! Change is on your side - You’ve been through the storms of chaos the last few years, and soon you will begin a new chapter. But first, we need to assess what has radically changed since 2018, when Uranus the planet of disruption entered your sign. This is a time of letting go of what’s no longer serving you, and embracing what does, so that you can embody the parts that align with this newer, stronger you. All that glitters is gold - The last two years have been somewhat of an experiment for you. Dabbling with whatever flashy ideas caught your attention, and tossing the ones that didn’t light you up. Now though, it’s time to turn those ideas into reality. Your imagination and way with words has the ability to turn whatever idea you’re passionate about into gold. Mars will enter your sign in August, giving you extra confidence to carry them through, so strike while the iron’s hot! Go your own way - Usually, you are the mother hen who takes care of everyone first, and thinks of yourself last. However, this year is different, baby! It’s time to do you! Take a walk on the wild side this year, and bask in freedom from obligations. Have you ever taken the time to follow what inspires you? It may take you out of your comfort zone, but I promise it’ll restore your sense of self. Time to take care of your own needs first. A heart without borders - When’s the last time you’ve had a heart to heart conversation with someone you loved? This year will be a year of deepening your relationships. Whether this be a platonic friend, or a lover, intimacy will be required, in order to truly connect. You have such a big heart Leo, it’s time to show just how deep that river goes. Let your partnerships be a mirror for your own personal growth - intimacy starts with yourself! Work smarter, not harder - How often do you ask for help? It may be time to reassess and streamline your process. Draw on all your assets to capitalize on your hard work. As an earth sign, you’re so used to doing everything yourself, but this is the year you hire an assistant, or gather friends, to help complete that project. Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to take a calculated risk. 42
r Podcast In 2022 Health is wealth - After a year of indulgence, balance is key. Now it’s time to let the pendulum swing from pleasure and leisure to self-care and wellness. Prioritizing your self-care will give back some of your autonomy and energy, you may have given away to friends or loved ones. This in turn will allow you to focus on your own commitments and interests without giving too much of yourself away for the sake of others. Time to fill up your own cup first, Libra! Mindful Metamorphosis - As the sign of the phoenix and rebirth, you are no stranger to the transformation process. This year will be all about reinventing yourself in a mindful and authentic way. No more mindless self-destruction. Time to dive deep into the tunnel of transformation and shed all the layers of pain and suffering you’ve identified with in the past - they longer define you. Let your true self lead the way! New year, new you - After nearly two years of personal discovery, evolution, and shedding old versions of yourself, it’s time to get reacquainted with this new and improved you. A lot has changed within you, so now it’s time to make changes on the outside to match. Perhaps that looks like a move, creating new routines, or creating space for new hobbies/projects. Whatever it is, make sure you have some fun with your creativity while you explore what aligns with this new you! Don’t hate, collaborate - This is the year your networking sector lights up and attracts all kinds of people and opportunities to you. Usually, you climb the mountain of success on your own, but this year it’s about expanding your circle of trust and creativity with others. With your social life at the forefront, you may even experience new hobbies, ideas, and passion projects - the key to this year is staying open-minded, curious, and playful! A balancing act - The last few years have been tense for you Aquarius, and rightly so - you’ve been undergoing quite the transformation process. Having to grow up and take responsibility for things you’d rather brush off. You’ve matured like a fine wine as you’ve had to reinvent yourself, while juggling work/life matters. This year is about finding balance to all that work. Now is the time to give love to all those areas you’ve had to set aside in the name of personal growth! Pisces - Luck is on your side - This past year or so has been a slippery slope for you, Pisces. When it came to making change, for every step forward you took, it felt like four steps back again. And that’s ok! All those missteps led you to creative pursuits and spiritual epiphanies, you wouldn’t have had otherwise. As Jupiter, the planet of luck, graces your sign this year, it’s a great time to take action towards those dreams and trust you 43 will be supported this time!
The Creative Sober by Punam Saxena
It’s finally 4:59 pm and your workday is ending soon. You’ve been in meetings all day discussing pending deadlines, upcoming projects, and listening to people who need to feed their egos. There’s been no break for lunch as you’ve been running from meeting to meeting. You’re exhausted. Sound familiar? The only thing you can think of is grabbing a drink to unwind on the sofa after you log off from your computer. You may be reaching for your current beverage of choice: wine, beer, or a cocktail. Or, because of an addiction or even wanting to cut back, you’ve chosen to grab a glass of water, juice, or seltzer. I think it’s safe to say most of us have gone in one of two directions, especially in the last two years: increased our consumption of alcohol or become completely sober. I’m sure we’ve all had an internal conversation or two with ourselves about the amount of alcohol we drink. If you’ve been wanting to get sober, live your authentic life, and value yourself, it’s time for you to meet Mei McIntosh (aka Missing Mei) from The Creative Sober podcast. Her journey to sobriety was long and arduous. Using alcohol and drugs to hide from her demons for years, she finally decided to get sober and live a more serene, purposeful life. Her rock bottom was nothing dramatic like in the movies but a simple realization that she was breaking promises to herself. That first stint of sobriety lasted five years until she ended up back in the same old, harmful habits. Then, on July 1, 2019, she woke up after a night of partying and she found herself feeling a strong internal pull forcing her to decide her fate—her current state of substance abuse or find sobriety again. Her inner voice said, “You need to stop. You know where this is going. Your choice is now.” Thankfully this spiritual awakening willed her into the latter. Her drinking obsession was now turning into an obsession to become sober. The great news is that she’s been sober since. At the time of this publication, it’s been more than 900 days and she’s happier than ever. And according to her NoMo app, she’s saved over $19,000 from leading a clean, substance-free lifestyle. Mei’s road has not been easy but it is now one of reflection and purpose. Now she can confidently say, “Hey Mei, it’s ok. It’s ok to forgive.” This is what she would tell her 20-year-old self while fully acknowledging that her bumpy journey was the exact road she was meant to be on to come to this place in her life of forgiveness. You may be asking yourself the same question - I did when I spoke with Mei. What exactly is a “sober creative?” Aaaah, I’ve got an answer for you! It’s a person who is in a creative field (bartending, service industry, or music to name a few) and finds comfort in a substance (drugs or alcohol) to escape from their past or current life due to an internal or social pressure. 45
These industries are synonymous with drugs and alcohol, and almost a right of passage. So, a creative sober is saying “no” to the substances but continuing to enjoy the joys of their craft. And that’s what Mei did. In searching for her people, podcasting was not on the Hawai’i born Mei’s radar initially. She was looking for a group to connect with: those who had traveled a similar journey and faced similar challenges. She was looking for a passion project on her road to recovery to share with others. The Creative Sober was born out of a desire to pay it forward and provide a safe place for sober creatives to share their journeys and find support with like-minded people. So, she took her movement to Instagram. A few months after launching her Instagram account, her love of audio and the associated gear led her to begin a podcast with the same name. She is methodical when it comes to her podcast. Her guests must speak to her in some capacity. She wants to learn and be inspired by them so her audience can feel the connection and emotion that resonates throughout the interview. This means she doesn’t necessarily have a guest every week or every other week. Only when the stars align, and she is able to identify with them or “a transference of power”, as she calls it. Her dialogues are thoughtful, authentic, and genuine. That’s Mei’s true intention in life: to be authentic and genuine to herself and those around her. The no-pressure-to-release-an-episode-on-a-schedule attitude ensures that her episodes take that deep dive into real stories that discuss heartache, struggle, and transformation. Imagine, that! Releasing episodes on your own timeline, not someone else’s! Missing Mei has just given you permission to break from the tradition of what you’re expected to do and is allowing you to work on your own timeline and what connects with you. Since the release of her first episode in October 2020, some of the sober creatives she has spoken with are bartenders, comedians, nutritionists, and in marketing. Her guests cover the gambit, and their journeys are motivating, inspirational, and humbling. For Mei, organization and manageability are key to her podcast so she records 12 episodes per season and is currently on her third season.
While she podcasts to help herself and others on a similar journey of sobriety, Mei’s most impactful feedback has been from someone who does not identify as sober but was pouring praise because they derived the connection and strength from The Creative Sober that they needed to tackle their own life challenges. That means that this podcast isn’t just for those who identify as sober or creative but is for anyone who may be struggling and wants to lean in and carve out a different path for themselves, which is, honestly, probably all of us in some capacity. As women, we often feel our voices are not worthy or needed in the universe. That our voices are squashed when we attempt to share our ideas and innovation. Mei does not believe in this status quo. She is paving the way for female podcasters to be true to themselves while ensuring their voices are being heard. Mei’s sage advice is using your intuition, reflect inward to determine your unique gift, and then use it for the betterment of society. We all are entitled and even obligated to use our voices because we each add value. When it comes to our podcasts, finding guests is important. But just as important as finding them is preparing for our interviews. Mei has two crucial pieces of advice that apply to each of us whether it’s on our podcast, speaking with our colleagues at work, or gathering socially. One, know who you are speaking to. By understanding their journey, passion, and purpose, you begin to feel a connection to your guest which leads directly into the second piece of advice which is compassion and empathy. Each of our guests, regardless of our podcast topic, needs to feel our empathy and compassion so that they feel comfortable sharing their expertise and story. We, the host, are providing a platform for their voice to be heard so it is incumbent upon us to make our guests feel at home—just as we would if they were visiting us at our physical house. In the case of The Creative Sober, the topic is often sensitive and emotional. Mei ensures there is a short conversation before recording along with an icebreaker to help her guests become comfortable and feel safe. And before hitting that record button, she always asks if there is something that is off limits: a topic, a story, a trigger. This formula allows her to prep for the interview and helps both Mei and her guest(s) to shake out those nerves we all have faced when we are being interviewed, often for the first time. The only discussion she will not allow on her podcast is politics. With its current polarizing climate, Mei feels it is contradictory to the podcast’s message which is to bridge, understand, and create compassion through conversation and understanding.
When you listen to her podcast, you immediately realize that she comes from a place of power and ownership. She has full command of the interview and is genuinely curious about her guests as if she’s becoming BFFs with them. And, yet, when you speak with her outside of her interviews, you also hear the soft, calm, introspective person who ignites everyone around her to live better, do better, and be better. Mei wants every woman to channel their voice and speak their truth. She wants our voices to have equal weight and power as our male counterpart podcasters in influence and pay. If Joe Rogan can make millions off his podcast for his voice and platform, women can as well. We all have the capacity and knowledge to do so, and with the right opportunities, we, too, can live in that pod-verse. But we have a few things to figure out. How do we provide that support so that women have the same chances at success? We need to have open, authentic dialogue without judgement. Mei shares that when we do this, we have an opportunity to lift each other up and create confident women who can achieve any goal they desire. Having a conversation that comes from a heart-centered desire to support means we all, ultimately, succeed. That’s what we desperately need. A sea of strong, confident women who understand their power, lead with compassion, and become an equal voice in the world. We can do it with the right support team. So, in 2022 Mei’s only goals are to collaborate with more sober brands, not have any other agenda items, and listen to her intuition. I know, how can you not have an agenda, especially as a woman?! I, too, was taken aback. But when she told me to trust myself, my vision, and my capabilities, I believe her. You should, too. Because her 5-year plan is one we all dream of…to sit on the beach in Hawai’i while her brand and voice, The Creative Sober, becomes a hub for a spiritual journey into sobriety, health, and wellness.
Website: thecreativesoberpodcast.com Instagram: @thecreativesober 48
Writing The Perfect Pitch:
How To Guest On Other Podcasts by Lauren Popish
Being a guest on someone else’s podcast is a great way to market yourself, get the word out about your own podcast, and tap into other podcasts’ audiences. But like anything in life, it’s important to think of this process in unselfish terms. It’s obvious why being a guest on a podcast benefits you. The critical point a lot of people forget to consider is how does your being a guest help the other podcast. With that in mind, let’s look at how you can write a kick-ass pitch to start securing yourself guest spots.
Do your research before pitching. Not only do you want to have an understanding of the show, its format, and what types of content they cover, but you also want to research its audience. How many listeners do they have, and are those listeners engaged? Are these listeners that would be interested in your show? Then, and this should really go without saying, listen to the show you’re pitching. Yes, it takes time. And yes, it’s easier to just send out a template. But there are two reasons to listen to at least an episode or two of every show you’re pitching. First, the people you’re pitching to will recognize the effort you’ve gone to and appreciate the respect you’ve shown them, which in turn will likely lead to a higher response rate to your pitches. Second, you might find after listening to an episode that the podcast doesn’t align with your brand and that it’d be better to not pitch them at all.
Writing the pitch
Now that you’ve done your research, it’s time to write the pitch. This process intimidates a lot of people, but it doesn’t have to be painful. Let’s go through it step-by-step. 50
The email subject line
Think of the email subject line as an article headline. You want it to be attention-grabbing and to tell the reader exactly what they’re getting into. General headline writing guidelines apply here. The best headlines are straightforward but intriguing. They raise a question or concern (that you can actually answer/deliver on) and state clearly the topic being explored.
Start the email with a greeting, preferably addressed to a specific person. (This will most likely be the host of the podcast, whose email you’ve identified.) Then, provide a brief bio of yourself. And I mean brief. Keep it to three sentences or under. You want to tell them who you are, what podcast you host, and why you would be a great fit for their podcast. You can include things like how many listeners you have, any other podcasts you’ve recently appeared on, or where your expertise comes from.
Mention their show
Show you listened to their podcast by referencing a recent episode. Without getting into the weeds, try to make this more than just a superficial comment that could have been gleaned by reading the episode title. You want to demonstrate you’ve actually listened. This, too, should be very brief. It’s really just to show that you respect their time and work.
Pitch your idea
Now, we get to the meat of the email. This is where you can--and should--go more in-depth. Remember, you want to make it as easy as possible for the person who’s reading your pitch to say yes. Don’t make them chase up further details--give them everything they need to know right off the bat. Start with the general topic you stated in the email subject line. Detail what it is you’ll bring to this topic. Then, outline the points you would cover throughout the episode. You want to prove there’s enough material on this topic to sustain an hour-long episode (or however long the podcast you’re pitching to runs). Don’t be vague here. Don’t be worried someone’s going to “steal” your idea. You have to get used to putting your cards out there if you want a positive response. Besides, the idea is only the starting point. What you’re really selling is you and your unique point-of-view on the subject. So, with that in mind, be sure to answer these questions throughout the pitch: 5 5 5 5
Why does this topic specifically need you to discuss it? What expertise do you bring? Do you have a unique perspective or opinion? Is there a problem, and do you have a unique solution?
If you keep those questions in mind while writing, you’ll be able to write a pitch that feels specific to you and what you can offer the podcast.
If you haven’t heard back in about a week, politely follow-up on your pitch. When you do, it’s great if you’re able to continue adding value to the conversation. Feel free to mention any new materials you’ve produced in the interim. Have you appeared on other podcasts or written articles about the topic since you first emailed them? Mention those! If you still don’t hear back, don’t let it bring you down. Just keep pitching yourself. Like anything, you’ll get better with each pitch. The first yes is always the hardest, but sooner or later, someone will take you up on your offer. After that, you’ll find it easier and easier to secure guest spots. Lastly, If you want to spend more time spreading the word about you and your show and less time on editing it, we have a service for that. Swell helps women edit their shows so they can focus on the parts of podcasting that they love. Readers of Women Who Podcast can receive 15% off their first month of any package when they use the code WWP15 at checkout. Visit swellpodcasting.com to learn more.
Finding Your Style by Anna Gunn
Let’s start this one with a controversial opinion: there is no right or wrong way to podcast. The cork sniffers at the back are going to disagree, but this is the simple truth: a “f*ck it, ship it” approach is at least 999.98% better than a “I got so overwhelmed and bogged down in the details that I didn’t do anything and now I’m back on the sofa feeling miserable and eating crisps” (“chips” if you’re on the west side of the pond). If you don’t have time to read the rest of this article, I’ll sum it up in 4 words: Follow. Your. Own. Style. Got a bit more time? Good. Let’s do this.
Evaluate what you have
For reasons I will go into below, it’s always better to make some decisions at the start and stick with them. But if you’re not getting the number of downloads you were hoping for, or you find that you aren’t holding your audience’s attention, you might need to take a look at your podcast format - and find a way to adjust it in line with your goals. While the format of your show is often the first decision you make when planning a podcast, don’t think that just because you have an established podcast out there it can’t be adjusted or spruced up. And there’s no better time than the start of the year to evaluate your audience, gather some insights and feedback, and make those adjustments for the season ahead. With that in mind, let’s talk about some of the different podcast formats out there, and why you might want to consider adjusting your existing podcast or starting from a pre-established format.
Format vs. Style
“But isn’t format the same as style?,” I hear some of you ask. “Nope,” I reply. Putting it simply, your style is how you create your own podcast within the structure of a given format. But - and there’s always one - your style can also dictate the format for your podcast. Confused yet? Let’s take a look at a few examples of podcast formats: 1. Interview 2. Conversational 3. Educational 4. Solo Podcast 5. Non-Fiction Storytelling / News 6. Podcast Theater 7. Bite sized content, or limited run series
How do you pick a format? There’s a process for that. And it involves your style.
Choosing a Format Step 1 - It’s all about the info
Consider what information you wish to convey. What’s the best way of passing that on to the listener? Is it by giving other people a voice and helping them tell their story (Interview / Conversational). Narrating a text (Solo / Educational / Storytelling)? Recreating a drama with voice actors (Podcast Theater)? The answer to these questions should instantly take a few formats off the list, leaving you with an easier choice as we move on to the next step.
Step 2 - Who are you?
Consider your personal style. Are you a funny person? Sarcastic? Serious? How you come across to your listeners will - perhaps obviously - depend on who you are. If you aren’t a funny person in your day-to-day life, it might be really difficult to pull off a funny podcast (unless you get a script writer. Why do you think politicians do it?). Join the answers to Steps 1 and 2 and the format picture should now be a bit clearer, so on to Step 3.
Step 3 - Who aren’t you?
This one is all about playing to your own strengths: unless you enjoy the podcasting process itself (recording, editing, etc), you will end up dreading your podcast, and eventually struggle to create content, or find guests, etc. Think about your strengths and weaknesses, and try to imagine yourself going through the podcast process. Here are a few questions to get you started: • Are you able to hold a conversation? Do you like improv and banter, or do you struggle with small talk? The answer to these questions can be the difference between creating a conversational style podcast with a co-host you can bounce off of, or following a scripted interview format; • Do you love research? If you picked an Educational / News podcast and you hate the thought of spending hours reading up on the subjects you want to talk about, it might be time to go take another look at Step 1; • Are you a natural, engaging storyteller? Or do people tend to fall asleep listening to you? If you’re in the latter group, a solo podcast might not be the best idea just yet.
Step 4: With a little help from your friends
The importance of a good focus group cannot be overstated. Ask your potential audience, friends, family, or work acquaintances what they would listen to. It’s your podcast, but if all you have to sell is stuff people don’t want, guess what? They won’t buy it. Even older or more established podcasts could do with revisiting step 4 on a regular basis. It’s very tempting to stick to a format that’s worked in the past, but if your audience is 56
moving on, it might be time to move with them. Put out a poll, or better yet - talk to your listeners and ask what they think; find out what parts of your podcast are of most value to them, and what’s driving them away. You may find that all you need is a slightly different structure, or a couple of new jingles and transition sound effects to break things up a bit - elements which are easy to adjust without massive upheaval. And speaking of structure…
A Structure within a Format
Generally speaking, choosing a format tends to be the easy part. Even you, the podcaster-to-be, probably already know which format and genre you’re drawn to, or what you’d like to say. But how to say it - or in other words: the structure - is another matter altogether. Let’s take an example format and dissect it: the traditional TV News show. Most of them have the same goal: keep the target audience informed; they do it in a similar style: talking heads, pundit / expert interviews, vox pop, etc; but how they structure it might be different: some will begin with national news, then international, followed by weather, sports, a feel good story, etc. (at least that’s how I remember them from back when the news was something other than COVID). Each show might have their own order for these topics - a structure - and then follow it as much as possible. A good structure not only helps you organise and prepare your show, but also provides the listeners with a degree of familiarity that they come to rely on. This is also one of the reasons why it’s good to make a decision early on and stick to it - breeding familiarity with the listeners. When thinking about your structure, ask yourself a few more questions: how long do you want your podcast to be? Does it have a single theme, or do you cover multiple subjects per episode? What do you want to spend more time on? Once you have these answers, put your producer cap on and block out the show, i.e., split your podcast into blocks of time. “But I just want to talk into a microphone, not create pie charts!,” I hear you say. I know - but there’s a reason radio and TV shows have been using this technique for decades: it works. And because I’m lazy by nature, I don’t like reinventing the wheel when I don’t have to. (Get it? Pie chart? Wheel?... sigh…) 57
Do it this way and you get a clear visual representation of what segments your show will have, how long each segment will be, and what it will contain. And because these are now part of the structure of your podcast, you only have to do this once - then reuse for each episode until you need to change your structure, e.g. for a reboot. (further reading: “Podcasting 101 for training & development”, by Kalyim A. Islam).
What goes in the pie?
If you’re wondering what segments to put in - they can be nearly anything you want, but here are the basic blocks to get you started. ಂ Intro: this could be your theme tune, a welcome message to the podcast, or a trailer for bonus points. Generally this will contain the hook that will give your listeners a reason to stick with you all the way through the episode. ಂ Body: this is the meat of the show - interviews, conversations, panel discussions, storytelling, etc., and can be further divided into smaller blocks. ಂ Outro (or ending): normally a summary of the episode, with or without music. Do you have a call to action for what the listener should do next? This is where it goes. The keen-eyed reader will have noticed that almost-throwaway line about possibly dividing the body into smaller blocks. This is where transitions come in - they carry the listener from one 58
element to the next, and can be a short piece of music, a voiceover, a sound effect, or even gasp! - an advert. They can also be used as conduits to tell the listener what’s happening next, or a change of subject, which leads me to...
Final Thoughts (see what I did there?)
As you consider the format, structure, and style of your podcast, keep these top tips in mind: V Keep it simple and don’t over complicate any of the above. You want to create something that’s repeatable and won’t exhaust your time and energy resources - especially if you’re doing this as a hobby. V Have fun! This is only a podcast, and it should be fun to create. That fun will then translate through the microphone and shine through to your audience. V On that note: pay attention to the parts that stop being fun for you to create - those need to be cut out *now.* Your audience will notice it if you’re not having fun anymore, and generally, there’s a reason why some things stop being fun - maybe they weren’t that good in the first place? V Respect your audience: don’t waste their time with content that isn’t worth their listening time. Give them great content that they will enjoy, and they’ll reward you by coming back and bringing their friends with them. And the final and most important tip: experiment. As I wrote right at the beginning of this article, there is no right or wrong way to podcast, so play around with the formats and structures and come up with something that feels right for you. Even if you already have an established podcast: there’s no shame in changing things around if they no longer suit your style. Maybe your own style has changed and evolved in the process of making the podcast - we are living in a constantly changing world, so if you’ve changed, it makes sense that your podcast will also reflect this. There is nothing stopping you from ignoring all the above, and breaking all the rules to create your own custom show - which is not only a sure way of standing out in a crowded marketplace, but also a very valid way to go. Just keep this one thing in mind: breaking with the clichés and traditions is all well and good, but some of them exist for a reason - they work. If you still want to break with them, knowing why they work, which ones you’re going to break with - and why might save you a lot of time and heartache down the road. So whether you want to break or follow the rules, get out there and make a great podcast.
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Words of Heart by Elaine Best
For the first two years of Dionne Sanchez’s life, she couldn’t hear or talk. Today, she hosts and produces her own show, Words of Heart, a podcast about in-depth conversations of inspiration with an emphasis on mental health. Her show combines her personal journey in mental health while also sharing her guest’s stories. The inspiration for Words of Heart came to Dionne during the pandemic after she was diagnosed with diabetes in January 2020. “It was through my diagnosis that I felt God called me to be a warrior for change. To be more vocal and to use the power of my voice for good,” Dionne says. “I asked God, ‘use me how you want to use me,’ and that August is when I launched my podcast.” Another motivator for Dionne to create her show was based on her own experience growing up and wishing she’d had someone there to guide her through mental health issues. “I struggled a lot emotionally and mentally growing up,” Dionne says. “For the first two years of my life, I couldn’t hear or talk. As a result, I had many issues evolving and developing in general. I was under the impression that because of how different I was that something was wrong with me. I thought, ‘Nobody wants to be my friend. What’s the point of me being here? What if I were to disappear right now? Would anybody miss me?’” Dionne realized that not everyone has their own support system to fall back on. For her, Words of Heart can provide that missing support in someone’s life. “I like to think of my podcast as some form of therapy for those who feel lost,” Dionne says. “A reminder that you are important, you are loved, and you’re not alone in this.” While Dionne didn’t have a background in podcasting before starting Words of Heart, she did have other relevant experience. “I did spoken word videos because I’m a poet. I got comfortable doing videos, speaking my voice, being emotional, and bearing it all to the world through my poetry. I find poetry to be therapeutic and really the best outlet for me to express my emotions in a more broader way than I could do in a normal conversation.” The transition to podcasting felt natural with her skillset. Dionne’s goal is to not only amplify her own voice, but the voices of others who have also undergone struggles. 61
While the first season of the podcast consisted mostly of solo episodes, she branched out during her second season and started having guests. “My podcast format is usually a conversation. I introduce the show and then I have the guest speak their story. It’s really them running the show and I’m just the person behind the wheel,” she says. Her goal is to ensure the episode is as organic and relatable as possible. A key part to having these conversations is allowing herself to be vulnerable. While some people may find it hard to share their past or current struggles, Dionne feels that it’s worth sharing with her audience. “I try to think back to when I was growing up and how I would’ve loved if someone reached out to me,” Dionne says. “I think about what I would have liked to have happened to me. How amazing it would have felt if someone just accepted me for who I am.” With Words of Heart, Dionne hopes to fill that space for her listeners. She also doesn’t want to shy away from taboo topics that others may not want to speak about. “I recently did an interview that covered porn addiction. It isn’t a topic that’s discussed enough. It tends to be missing, or too awkward to talk about, and I wanted to break that barrier and discuss it,” Dionne says. Words of Heart also isn’t afraid to tackle heavy issues either, such as sexual assault, trauma, and other mental health obstacles. One of Dionne’s favorite episodes was a solo recording about suicide prevention day. “That was really emotional for me. I was really vulnerable and very real, sharing a side of me that many people probably wouldn’t think by my face or my smile that I did have thoughts of suicide because I had trouble getting acceptance. I struggled with my thoughts, like ‘is there something wrong with me?’ Along with a whole gamut of other issues, which I had no control over.” 62
To help remove another barrier between her and her listeners, Dionne includes video for her podcast episodes. “Video offers a different dynamic. If you’re not into video, there’s nothing wrong with that. But I feel video and audio is just a nice little ball of awesome, if you will, into helping impact others further. People can see your facial expressions, your reactions in real time. I think it helps share another side to a story,” Dionne says. With one year of podcasting under her belt, Dionne is looking forward to continuing Words of Heart in 2022. “This year, I’d love to mind meld with other podcasters to amplify their message and their voice,” she says. “I also want to revamp my podcast work area so I can have more structure to provide more content for my listeners.” The journey from not being able to hear or speak to now producing a podcast, a medium that is reliant on those abilities, is not lost on Dionne. “The fact that I have a podcast is symbiotic to my journey,” she says, “If I’ve learned anything from podcasting, it’s the power within my own story. Before, I didn’t make it a point to share my story. It wasn’t until podcasting that I found the strength to share it.”
Website: podpage.com/words-of-heart Instagram: @heartwarrior25 Clubhouse: @heartwarrior25 63
Ella-Go by: Nancy Burger
If you asked Lisa Delugo what she wished she knew before starting a podcast, she would tell you, “How easy it is.” It’s not that there was no learning curve, she said in a recent interview. “But when the pandemic happened, everyone started listening to more podcasts. I was interested in doing this way before that,” she said, “and I can only imagine how far I would have come. I wish I would have started sooner.” Lisa Delugo is a single mom, full-time health and safety industry employee, certified running and nutrition coach, and the host of the Ella-Go podcast, which airs weekly and covers topics related to women’s “fitness, health, and everything in between.” It’s the “everything in between” that sparks Lisa the most. In fact, when asked if there’s a topic she won’t cover, she responded with an emphatic, “No.” After taking up running in her late 30s while navigating a divorce, Lisa started the podcast to support other women runners---but it evolved into something much deeper. “It’s all about empowering women,” she declared, adding, “It’s how we rise.” Along with episodes focused on topics including injury prevention and fueling the body for running, Lisa delves into much more intense subject matter including addiction, sexual abuse, trauma, and disability. She interviews a wide range of guests from all walks of life, all of whom share what she describes as the most important characteristic for a strong podcast guest: authenticity and vulnerability. “I do pre-interviews with guests,” Lisa explained, “because I have to feel their energy to see if they’re a good fit, if they’re a talker. The best interviews happen when I feel tingles in my body as they’re telling their stories. And I know that anyone else listening is going to feel the exact same way. It’s so empowering.” But it doesn’t always go that way, she said. “If a guest comes on more to get than to give, mostly to promote themselves, it doesn’t work, “ she noted, adding that she won’t hesitate to pull the plug by telling them, “it’s not a good fit.” 65
When asked to identify a would-be “fantasy guest,” Lisa had trouble picking one but settled on the late Maya Angelou because of her enormous strength and resolve. That said, Lisa emphasized, “The women that guest on my podcast are my heroes. These women are amazing. Often, I break down in tears when I hear their stories, when they tell what they’ve been through and how they’ve handled it. These aren’t celebrities, but rather regular women who have gone to hell and back. At the end of the day, they’re empowering me as much as they’re empowering my audience.” For those considering starting their own podcast, Lisa’s advice is to “Start simple. There’s a lot of advice and guidance available on the internet,” she noted, encouraging newbies to dig in—including everything from which mic to choose to how to edit and which platforms are the most user-friendly. Here are a few important tips Lisa shared: Waiver: Podcast guests should be required to sign a waiver giving you as host permission to publish the podcast episode and promote it on social media. “I’m amazed at how few podcasters do this.” Without a waiver, she explained, a guest can prevent you from publishing the episode. Waiver language should also require guests to promote the episode on their own social media channels and inquire about any question/topics that may be off-limits. “I had one guest who asked me not to swear,” Lisa recalls, “and I respected that.” Trademarking: Lisa also suggests trademarking your podcast title. “You don’t know how big it could turn out to be,” she says, adding, “You could talk about something that’s super niche-y and popular and suddenly it becomes a business. Get that damned name trademarked so that nobody else can take it.” Trademarking takes a lot of time and involves paperwork, she says, but suggests hiring a lawyer to do all the legwork. “It’s a one-time investment that’s worth it to protect your name.” Promotion: Social media is a must, Lisa said, “All the different platforms. There are tons of people on those platforms, from newbies to seasoned podcasters. Get on Tik-Tok, do live streams, videos, any promotion you can do.” She uses livestream and recorded video either to promote podcast episodes or as a follow-up with additional “behind-the-scenes” info for her listeners. When asked what the biggest challenge is in podcasting, Lisa says, “It really sucks when there’s a level of competition.” She emphasizes how important it is that podcasters support each other. “Every podcast is different, even if we’re talking about the same topic. Everyone interviews differently and covers things from a unique angle.” She recalls, “I’ve faced situations where people don’t want to share advice on, for example, marketing or how to land speaking opportunities. 66
When people ask me for advice, I give it freely. I love women, I really do, but it hurts me when we don’t play as a team. We can lift each other up. We can rule the world.” Although Lisa doesn’t have a formal approach to booking guests, she recalls, “Early on, I heard from other podcasters that they were having trouble finding guests, so I decided to book as many as I could.” As a result, throughout 2020 she would typically have 3-4 guests scheduled for interviews every other weekend. “Nobody said no,” she said, adding that she now has guests lined up through March 2022. When asked what she envisions for the coming year, Lisa sighs and declares, “So much.” Weary of the constraints caused by the pandemic, she hopes to start conducting her interviews in front of a live audience and then streaming them as podcast episodes for those who can’t attend. Lisa’s final words of advice for women podcasters: “It’s not just about having a voice,” Lisa explains. “I love that women podcasters are standing up for who they are and telling their stories, but they are also giving other people a platform for their voices. That’s powerful.”
Website: ella-go.com Instagram: @ella_go Tiktok: ellago.llc 67
Care More Be Better by: Natalie Boero
For Corinna Bellizzi creator and host of the podcast, Care More Be Better, podcasts and podcasters can and are changing the world. Corinna herself is a long-time social activist and marketing executive who has run numerous natural products companies and recently finished her MBA at Santa Clara University. Sustainability and social impact have long been Corinna’s passions and inspire her in all of her projects, including podcasting. Further motivated by the frustration with the toxic nature of American politics since 2016 and the sexism she and others encounter in the business community, in January 2021, Corinna brought these together in a podcast. On her website, Corinna explains that created the “...Care More, Be Better: A Social Impact + Sustainability podcast to amplify the efforts of inspired individuals and conscious companies. Through Care More Be Better, she (Corinna) shares their stories in an effort to show us all that one person with one idea can have a big impact.” Corinna’s podcast is central to her vision of her own impact. According to Corinna, “It all kind of came to a head for me. I’ve always been somebody who put social impact and sustainability at the center of the things I tried to champion in my work. A podcast was one more way to do that.” Podcasting as a medium and way to reach people also appealed to Corinna because it offered people access to media they could enjoy and not consume on a screen. As she put it, “podcasting is a way to use my voice and reach people who don’t want to sit there and read, because a lot of people these days, they’re spending the time in front of a screen and when they’re not using their eyes to absorb content, they can listen to a podcast while they are doing housework or in the car.” Once she decided to start a podcast, there was no time like the present to get started so, in spite of a raging global pandemic and working towards and MBA, Corinna, armed with what she had learned listening to her favorite radio shows like “Car Talk” and “Fresh Air” and her favorite podcast, “My Favorite Murder,” Corinna took the plunge and got to work! Corinna knew early on that she wanted to do an interview-based podcast because, “having that creative outlet, the ability to craft a story, to talk about something that matters to me.” Central to Corinna’s style and philosophy of interviewing is making her guests comfortable. While Corinna prefers to do more conversational interviews, she still usually talks to her guests over the phone for a bit before recording just to see where the “fit” is and to think about what the story arc of the interview might end up being. As for where she finds her guests, Corinna says that many of her guests are people she has worked with or whose work she admires and, that as her podcast gained steam, she began to find interviewees through other podcasters, listeners, and by through interviewing people who had also invited her on their podcasts. Though most of Corinna’s weekly episodes are interview-based, she also allowed herself the flexibility to do a solo eleven-episode series 69
on the book, Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation by environmentalist Paul Hawkin (who Corinna hopes to have on the podcast as a guest one day). At first, Corinna was concerned that her podcast might not have a “niche” and that her podcast was too broad. Now, as her podcast has grown and evolved, Corinna sees the through-line of her podcast in the living of her own purpose and vision for sustainability and regeneration and sharing the stories of the visions and passions of others who share that vision and more whether it be through focusing on green living, eco-travel, architecture, global health disparities, disability rights, or economic justice among other topics surrounding social action and sustainability. Corinna’s passion for podcasting has grown beyond her own work on her own podcast, and she has now dedicated herself to helping build a supportive and non-competitive podcast community, especially for women and their allies. Looking back on her own mentors and those who challenged, encouraged, and in other ways helped her in her podcast (and business and education) journeys, Corinna feels like she wants to pay it forward and work to mentor other aspiring podcasters. In terms of concrete advice to new and aspiring podcasters, Corinna emphasizes that first and foremost, “You have to be passionate about the subject that you’re going to cover that’s going to carry you.” Beyond that, Corinna feels that some of the worst advice newer podcasters get is that they have to have a lot of expensive, high-end recording equipment and that often serves as a barrier to new podcasters, “I think sometimes people get advice that is unnecessary, they think the barrier to entry is going to be higher than it is because they are told they have to lay out all of this money just to get started.” Corinna wants to debunk the idea that starting up requires a lot of money, “the reality is that’s unnecessary, like, I am very frugally practically minded when it comes to getting this thing started.” For Corinna she tells people, “you need to cover the minimums to ensure you have good quality audio, to think about licensing some music, if you want to have something in the background, and most there is plenty of free editing software that is free or comes included on your computer.” For Corinna, the important part is having something to say and getting your voice out there however you can, and she implores people that they can do this, “...without spending an arm and a leg. Just get your voice to the point where you feel like you can run with it, and you can be heard.” Once people get started podcasting, Corinna recommends that people go back and listen to their early episodes so that they can reflect on where they have come from and identify areas where they want to grow or improve. Corinna says that she often goes back and listens to some of her first episodes, “I do think you learn by listening to yourself. Seeing where you might have stumbled and how you might have sounded too canned in a particular way and leading the conversation being sure that you are listening actively and adapting.” Corinna also says that it is important for podcasters to connect with and learn from other podcasters, a conviction that has grown and shaped where she feels inspired to live her mission in 2022. Corinna started her podcast when opportunities for in-person connection between podcasters were limited and, though she has attended and 70
connected with other women podcasters at the two She Podcasts conferences, she is looking for ways to really build a community of podcasters, particularly women. In particular, Corinna wants to see a community that is better about offering concrete support, “supporting each other, and calling out bad advice when we see it.” For Corinna, “If we, as a community, can be better about cheerleading for somebody who’s even interested in podcasting, then I think we’ll create a better space.” A lot of that support will come from revisioning other podcasters and aspiring podcasters as a community, rather than as competition. As Corinna put it, the competitive aspect of podcasting, “...is really sad...we’re all in this world of podcasting, why can’t we look at one another as a community and say, ‘Wow, that’s an interesting take, here, come guest on my show’, just offer people a hand, a leg up.” Indeed, Corinna recalls starting her own podcast and feeling really alone in doing so, “I just think that community is powerful and when I started podcasting in January of last year, creating my own shows getting them out in the world, it was very much alone doing it.” Corinna hopes that through her podcast, her business endeavors and, especially through “FemmeCasters,” a new podcasting community she is building, she can take what she has learned and really mentor others. As she puts it, “For me, it always comes back to one thing. I really feel like I’m here to help people see that they can achieve more than they thought possible.” Corinna sees this community as an extension of other mentoring she has done throughout her career, “I’ve really enjoyed mentoring people, hiring young people and helping them see where they shine.” For Corinna, 2022, her podcast, and all of her projects will continue to focus on her mission of social action and sustainability, wherever that takes her!
Website: caremorebebetter.com Instagram: @caremore.bebetter Facebook: CareMoreBeBetter 71
Time-Efficient Ways To Produce Your Podcast by Kathy Barron
Time. We either have too much of it or too little. There are plenty of sayings out there: “Time is money.” “Time waits for no one.” “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.” “Podcasters never have enough time.” If you resonate with the last quote, you are not alone. Time is a commodity that we can never have enough of, yet we continue to chase after it. It’s time to put on the brakes and apply some of these smart, time-efficient tips so you can spend less time behind the microphone or in front of a computer.
Create a Recording Schedule
Having a set day and time that you will always record your podcast episodes (whether solo or with a guest), will help you stay organized for the pre and post tasks. Work backwards from the episode publish date, factoring in how long it will take to record, edit, and schedule the interview with the guest. Scheduling a guest may take up to a week if you are going back and forth with emails. Make daily and weekly goals to ensure you give yourself enough time to do whatever tasks you need to create a successful episode (research, schedule guest, record, edit, and publish).
Recording episodes week-to-week can be exhausting and get you to the burn out stage real quick. If your podcast is seasonal and you take a break in between them, record a few episodes during the break. It’s always a good idea to have a few episodes in your back pocket in case some unforeseen circumstance prohibits you from recording on your normal schedule; if a guest cancels on you last minute or if you go on vacation to a warm, tropical island and decide not to return. We certainly wouldn’t blame you!
When you think of long-range planning, you might envision a week or two weeks. In this
instance, we’re talking about LONG range planning that is a month or two ahead. One way to start this process is making a list of topics and/ or guests you want on the show. You can also list themes for each month or pick a particular topic to talk about during a specific time of the year. Plan out the next two to three months, start researching, and reaching out to guests right away. This will take such a load off of your mind and give you the boost and confidence you need.
While you’re planning the next few months by writing down topics, do a brain dumb and keep the momentum going. Create an idea bank for those times you’re fresh out of ideas and your brain just can’t come up with…one…more…topic. Another way to keep it fresh, is look at other podcasts to see what they are talking about. Do you have a twist or a unique perspective to the same topic?
Reuse and Recycle
There isn’t a podcasting rule book anywhere (that I know of) that says you can’t recycle previous episodes. We’ve all hit walls and just aren’t feeling it on recording day. Give yourself a break and publish an episode that was either a great hit or one that didn’t quite get the attention you thought it deserved. I usually like to label the episode ENCORE and use the original title. Sometimes listeners need a reminder of previous episodes and this is a great opportunity to revisit them. Applying even a couple of these time-efficient tips to your podcasting process will alleviate pressure and stress in your life so podfade can be avoided and creating your podcast continues to be enjoyable. And instead of saying “I don’t have enough time,” you’ll be singing “Too Much Time On My Hands” along with Styx.