Issue No. 8 Winter 2023
magazine for and about women podcasters
Women Who Podcast Magazine www.womenwhopodcastmag.com copyright 2023
WINTER ISSUE 2023
The Team KATHY BARRON Founder, Editor-in-Chief
TINA JARAMILLO Writer, Editor
Contributing Writers Natalie Boero, Anna Gunn, Carolyn Kiel Rachel Lee Perez, Crystal Warren Graphic Design (Mic Drop/Dropped Mic) Uile Media LLC Logo design Leah Walukones
Advertising For advertising and special project opportunities, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.womenwhopodcastmag.com @womenwhopodcastmagazine ©2023 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 magazine are those of the respective condtributors and are not necessarily shared by Women Who Podcast Media Group and its staff.
Welcome With a new year comes new goals, a new look on life, and a clean slate! We have another 365 days of creating what we want in our lives. We may look ahead to see what our future selves will look and be like or we may take it one day at a time, focusing on the moment right in front of us. Whatever way you come into the new year, know that Women Who Podcast magazine is right there with you. As I have mentioned in the past, I started Women Who Podcast magazine because independent women podcasters were not getting the attention and accolades they deserved in the media. Little did I know that the magazine would turn into a symposium and then evolve into a Community. In this evolution, Women Who Podcast Media Group was born and the possibilities are endless! My vision for Women Who Podcast Media Group is, first and foremost, the magazine. The magazine has always been my focus and will continue to be. It is crucial that independent women podcasters continue to be showcased, heard, and lifted up by this quarterly publication. In one of our roundtable discussions at last year’s Women Who Podcast Symposium, I realized that women were looking for a way to learn from and support each other. That’s when the Learning Community was created. The Learning Community is a monthly gathering where women podcasters can share their wisdom and knowledge. It’s also a place of encouragement, inspiration, and collaboration. In order to make sure that all women podcasters have access to the Community, there is no monthly or yearly fee - it’s a pay what you can donation. It’s imperative that there are no barriers for women to access the resources, knowledge, and encouragement they so deserve. The magazine and Learning Community are just the tip of the iceberg. We need more women podcasters in the podcasting world! One of my goals for the future of Women Who Podcast Media Group is to provide scholarships and mentorships for women who want to share their inspirational stories but don’t have the financial means to do so. So what are you waiting for? Let’s make 2023 a year for the history books!
Kathy Barron Editor-in-Chief
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
Tina Jaramillo is the co-host of The Muck Podcast. When she’s not blowing the whistle on historical hi-jinx, 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
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. podcasts.mcgunnmedia.com
Carolyn Kiel is the host of the award-winning podcast, Beyond 6 Seconds. The podcast features neurodivergent and disabled entrepreneurs, creatives and advocates who shatter misconceptions, break stigma and showcase the vibrance and diversity of these communities. @beyondsixseconds
Rachel Lee Perez is the cohost of Hashtag History podcast and is a long-time History nerd. She is the author of two novels. www.hashtaghistory-pod.com @hashtaghistory_pod
Crystal Warren is a writer, astrologer, and self-development coach, who strives to be the architect of her life. www.insightfullycrystal.com
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Ask the Podcaster How has being a journalist helped you in creating your podcast? I think being inquisitive in nature as a journalist, as well as having research and interviewing skills, have all come in handy when it comes to podcasting. I had some basic audio and video editing skills before starting, hence I feel it really helped in giving me the confidence to try something new.
Which guest interview had the most impact on you? Why? Incredibly difficult to say as everyone has been amazing guests! Speaking to In The Flames author, Allan Lokos, on surviving a plane crash, Poorna Bell on becoming a female weightlifter, as well as What We Want writer Charlotte Fox Weber on desire and veteran journalist Gary Younge on identity politics has been life-changing. Not only because I’ve met such incredible people, and made new friends, but the subjects explored are so hugely impactful.
What challenges have you faced as a podcaster? How did you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges is timing as an independent podcaster. It can be difficult to manage full-time work with podcasting without any assistance! Hence it took some time, but I finally outsourced some of my audio editing which gave me back several hours in the week. I also reduced weekly episodes to fortnightly episodes instead, which helped considerably.
What’s one thing you can’t live without (for your podcast)?
Books and their wonderful authors! There would be no podcast without the contributions of so many people around, willing to talk about their perspective on a given subject every episode. We (by that I mean the royal ‘we’) are much stronger as a podcast together!
Suswati Basu is an award-winning multilingual journalist, editor, and the literary podcast host of the How To Be... show, with 15 years’ experience in working with various prestigious online and print media organisations, as well as a number of publications. She is currently the Deputy Editor and Head of Audience at UK digital publication NationalWorld. howtobe247.com
Research Strategies for Podcasters by Rache Lee Perez
Many podcasts are operated from a position of providing education and knowledge to its listeners. Therefore, it is imperative that that education be founded and rooted in factual research. However, research can be an incredibly daunting task, especially when you are cranking out new episodes on a regular basis. So how does one manage all of the research that goes into producing a well-constructed educational podcast? Let’s find out! Background on Research Not every podcast is research-based. There are interview-based podcasts, conversational podcasts, storytelling podcasts, and more! And while every podcast has its benefits, I can confidently say that my personal favorite podcasts are ones that teach me something new from an educational standpoint. This means that these podcasts are heavily-researched. And there’s a lot that goes into creating a heavily-researched podcast. While many of my favorite podcasts come from large networks that have whole teams dedicated to conducting research, us indie podcasters are generally one-woman shows. This means that we have to go about our research with some tips and tricks under our sleeves. Be Transparent With Your Audience In case you need the reminder, you are human; not a superhero. If you are putting out new episodes with a regular cadence (whether that be weekly, biweekly, or even monthly), you cannot expect yourself to successfully consume absorbent amounts of research in preparation for each episode. If you are producing new episodes at a more rapid pace, you need to release any pressure you place on yourself to read multiple books in preparation for said episodes. However, just because you are allowing yourself some grace in regard to the type and amount of research you consume for each episode, that does not mean you are let off the hook for producing a well-rounded, well-researched episode. Quite the contrary. If the intent of your podcast is to educate your audience, you are doing them an incredible disservice by providing them with shaky - or worse, inaccurate - information. To achieve a well-researched podcast without driving yourself mad with the research, be transparent with your audience. Here are a few examples: 5 Open up each episode by reminding your audience that you are not a professional in this subject field. 5 Suggest to your audience that they seek additional information and educational materials should they wish to learn more about the topic. 5 Be honest with your audience when one episode is less-researched. Tell them: “Hey, everyone. Life has been crazy and I unfortunately did not have as much time to 9
dedicate to the research for this week’s episode. Therefore, this may be a bit of a shorter episode and one I hope to have the time to revisit in the future with more information when time allows.” 5 If you are ever unsure about a particular detail, tell your audience this: “One source said X, another source said Y. Unfortunately, I was unable to corroborate either source and I wanted to be clear with you all about that discrepancy.” 5 Ask your audience for help. Chances are, if you are producing a podcast about science, for example, you may have a few scientists for listeners. Reach out to them for their expertise. Tell them: “I am unsure about this particular method/theory. But I would love to hear from you all! Do you know more about this than I do? Send me an email and let me know. I would love to better educate myself and therefore better educate my audience.” It is okay to not have all of the answers. However, it is not okay to pretend as though you do. Always be open and transparent with your audience when it comes to our research and the sources you use to put together each episode. Cite Your Sources There is almost nothing more important than citing your sources when you are producing an education-based podcast. Major podcasts have come under fire for producing episodes in which they heavily plagiarized online articles as well as other podcasters’ work. Do not let this happen to you. Citing your sources can be very simple and done in a myriad of ways. Here are some examples: Create a page on your podcast website specifically dedicated to source citations. You can then list all of your sources here for easy look-up for your audience. Verbally read off each one of your sources at the start of each episode. List all of your sources in the “notes” within your podcast streaming software. There are many simple ways to cite your sources and therefore, no excuse to not do so. Plagiarism, even if accidental, can lead to major legal ramifications. Err on the side of caution and over cite every one of your sources. Have Fun! Of course, research can be daunting. But I am willing to bet that if you are producing an education-based podcast, you love education! You love nerding out over a new book. You love reading niche articles and discovering new rabbit holes. Lean into that. And remind yourself of that when the going gets tough. We all podcast because we love to podcast. Remind yourself of that when it comes to research as well. You research because you love to research. Because you love to learn. And because you love to educate your audience in a fair, well-rounded, and factual way.
What To Do If You Hit A Creative Wall by Kathy Barron
We’ve all had days, weeks, and months when the creativity wall hits us. The creative flame has either been snuffed out or is not getting enough fuel. The negative voices in our head just won’t shut up. Imposter syndrome is a chronic state and won’t let go of its grip. We’ve all been there. It’s our natural state to be creative and to share it with the world. Why else have we so much effort to produce a podcast on a regular basis? We are natural born creatives. But even our creativity goes through seasons; it ebbs and flows. Although sometimes it isn’t flowing at all. In his book, War of Art, Steven Pressfield describes the toxic power of resistance on creators, “Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. It will perjure, fabricate, falsify; seduce, bully, cajole. Resistance is protean. It will assume any form, if that’s what it takes to deceive you.” And then there’s fear, and it’s a bitch. It can paralyze you. It can mess you up. The acronym of FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. Fear is based on our perceptions about what might happen. Our brain is bored it goes to the dark side and ventures into the land of “what ifs,” and those intruding thoughts mess with us. We often fear things and situations that will never happen. Gloria Mark, professor at the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at UC Irvine, conducted a study that “discovered that on average information workers have a very short attention span when working on the computer, with a median duration of focus of just 40 seconds before switching tasks.” Mark explains that typically the worker will be write a report , then check email, and then turn back to the report, then check social media, and several other sites before going back to the original task of working on the report. The study also found that “shifting attention rapidly throughout the workday is linked with stress and lower productivity.” People check email 74 times a day. It takes time and energy to switch our attention to the original task after being distracted. This is known as an interruption cost. So how can we overcome the distractions, fear, and anxiety? How can we step out of the ebb and build momentum to hitch a ride with the flow? One way is to manage our distractions and not be controlled by them. Get rid of the distractions that are sucking the creative energy from you. We have become the age of social media, 12
smart phones, apps, text messages, and more apps. Turn off those notifications. Set your phone to “do not disturb” and keep it across the room from you. Some of us record our podcast in the closet. So go sit in the closet, even when you aren’t recording, to reconnect with your creative self. A certain amount of anxiety comes with being a creative. We all have off days and just aren’t feeling like ourselves. Give yourself the space and grace when fear and anxiety consumes you. Take breaks, go for a walk, reach out to a friend, whatever it is that helps ease anxiety. These moments can also recharge your creative energy and spark a solution to what your anxiety was about in the first place. Another way to overcome fear is to face the fear and do it anyway. Challenge yourself to do one thing that takes you out of your comfort zone. Go to a movie or have dinner by yourself, post that video you’ve been saving for the right moment to social media, or call that guest you’ve always wanted on your podcast. Sometimes taking one small step is all we need to get momentum going. As podcasters, we are always asked to find our “why.” And when we do, it motivates us to take action and focus with courage and determination. It lights a fire within us and taps into a source of creativity that we didn’t know we even had. All of these small action steps build on each other, gathering momentum, and eventually unleashes the creative powerhouse that you are in this world. So if you’re finding it difficult to get over that wall, take a step back and remember why you’re doing your podcast. Don’t fall prey to the words of Seneca, “You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire.” Stoke your creative fire. Share your creative genius.
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Did Not Need To Know by Tina Jaramillo
Life with siblings is often rife with pranks and silly scares. So it’s not a surprise that Jenna, in true older sister fashion, likes to torture younger sister Danielle with tales of true crime. As a lover of the genre, Jenna knows the ins and outs of some of the most chilling stories out there. For Jenna and Danielle the scares have been translated into a podcast called Did Not Need to Know, which explores real life crime in an unprecedented way. The catch with their podcast is that Danielle knows little to nothing about those famous (and not so famous) stories that have haunted so many. So, throughout the episodes, listeners react along with Danielle as she hears these tales for the first time. Her real time reactions add to the suspense and terror of the events covered and make for a fun approach to the genre. The idea for the podcast stemmed from the recent Covid-19 pandemic. Like many others, the sisters spent a lot of time at home with their families and worked from home. The podcast offered them the opportunity to spend time together outside of their typical routine. “And yeah, so it was just like hey, let’s have some time to ourselves in the closet, in your bedroom, and tell crazy stories,” Danielle says. Jenna added that “we really wanted to find something that we could make ourselves laugh and entertain each other.” When starting a podcast, many worry that the space is too filled. But the key is to make sure that the podcast has a unique spin to it. And Danielle feels that their show adds a twist to true crime that no one else is doing. Commenting on their approach, Danielle says that most true crime hosts “all love it and like geek out on it where I’m just like screaming and saying ‘please stop’.” She adds, “people maybe find my reactions to be pretty funny.” Jenna says, “she [Danielle] brings the comedic relief of, the shock value, to hearing something brand new for the very first time.” Still Jenna makes sure to soften the stories with a comfort object. “We do it at my house usually, and I’ll have a little Squishmallow pillow for her to hug” before telling her to “buckle up” for a doozy of a story. While Jenna does take on the older sister role with the management of the podcast storytelling, Danielle comes in with some good questioning that allows them to dig deeper into the story. One of the scariest stories they’ve covered to date is Episode 6 “I Broke My Sister,” which covered the survival story of Mary Vincent and Episode 35 “Hamburglar,” which covered 17
the serial killer, Joe Metheny. When coming up with who to cover for the show, in true big sister fashion, Jenna wants to be sure to scare her little sister. “What should I terrify Danielle with,” she says with a laugh. But Jenna also says that they “like our listeners or even our friends” for episode ideas.” And Danielle often suggests stories “from a different country or ‘hey can you try [to cover] indigenous people” to bring awareness to stores often overlooked. Though they cover the gamut of true crime, they do make it a point to avoid stories that involve violence to children. When asked about misconceptions about their podcast, Jenna and Danielle feel that it’s about glorifying a crime. Danielle says that people may think, “We love the serial killers and the murderers, which is absolutely incorrect.” For many a podcaster, recording the first episode can be daunting. What equipment should be used? What space is the best? Most fledgling podcasters have heard about recording in the closet surrounded by comforters to avoid echoes. And the sisters’ first episode is no different, “we were convinced of that,” Jenna says. Danielle adds they were “in her [Jenna’s] closet with her dining room chairs.” Laughing, Jenna continues, “Sheets and padding all around my like tiny tiny walk-in closet and we’re squished in there and everything.” But now they record outside the closet with their podcasting equipment set up by Jenna’s husband, who happens to be a musician. Once they released the episode, they also made sure to work on the social media side of things to garner followers and subscribers. They advise to be as authentic as possible in both the podcast and social media. Danielle notes, “we’re really real about everything, the bumps and everything; I think people would appreciate the realness because hey, we’re moms and we have full time jobs.” In addition to the equipment and space, the sisters say that having proper intro music and solid podcast cover art to attract potential listeners. Like many shows, things change and evolve, and so has Did Not Need to Know. After about the first ten episodes or so, the sisters decided to add something they call “Wicked Wind Downs” to the show. Jenna explains, “we like to you know, talk about something a little more fluffy and light and not end on such a like a dark note, and then our sign off slogan is ‘sage your house, lock your doors, safety in numbers.’” They have also made sure to promote their show on
Danielle DiMaggio 18
other podcasts through ad swaps. Danielle says, “We did a lot of ad swaps with a lot of different podcasters, and that’s a great way to get your show out there and get more listeners in and then from there just grew to you know, trading off guest spots with each other.” As a result, they have made friends with podcasters from around the world. Jenna says, “I feel like the unexpected surprise that came out of all of this, the unexpected joy, is that we actually made friends with people we never would have met otherwise.” Thus, the sisters have not only guested on other podcasts, even outside of the true crime genre, but they’ve also had guests on their show. They recently guested on the Horror House Podcast and the Formidable Opponents podcast. And they recommend doing the same. They also suggest following hashtags like #podcastersofinstagram and #podcasters to follow and engage within the podcasting community to network and find opportunities for episode crossovers. The sisters also say that having “supportive family and friends is really important to have to keep you going,” especially as female podcasters. In the beginning some of the challenges they faced came from unwanted messaging on social media. Danielle says, “In the very beginning we had some really gross DM’s online.” And they also found getting in front of an audience challenging. “I feel like as women podcasters, it’s hard to kick the door open to the population beyond just women,” Danielle adds. And being full-time working moms adds to the challenge as well. But they advise compartmentalizing and being sure to make room for self-care along the way. Publishing a podcast on a regular schedule and being active on social media are crucial to success, but many podcasters also want to monetize their show. So, the sisters decided to set up an online store and have created merchandise for the podcast. They advise getting a graphic designer to help create the logo or image, and they use their tagline on several products. Danielle advises “having a good catch phrase is the best way to get started because sometimes a funny catchphrase is more fun than having your podcast name.” They also recommended the website Teespring for selling items. They recently held a sticker giveaway on social media. Merch can be used to engage with listeners through giveaways, they say. As for the future of their podcast, the sisters are considering starting a Patreon. In the meantime, you can find them wherever you listen to podcasts and on social media.
Website: didnotneedtoknow.com Instagram: @didnotneedtoknow Facebook: DNNTKpodcast Country: United States 19
Military Murder by Kathy Barron
When I came across the podcast, Military Murder, I was shocked to learn how many murders are committed by military personnel on and off military bases. And what was even more shocking (but not surprising) was the lack of media coverage these cases received. The recent documentary about the murder of Vanessa Guillen at Fort Hood, brought many things to light regarding the military base and its leadership. One heart wrenching fact was how much the family struggled to get any information about Vanessa’s whereabouts from the military base leadership. They also wondered if anyone was investigating her disappearance. Margot, aka Mama Margot, host of Military Murder podcast, talks about Vanessa’s disappearance (EP31 FORT HOOD: Vanessa Guillen & Gregory Morales) in 2020. During that time period, there were numerous suicides and murders happening at Fort Hood. Margot wasn’t looking to join the military when she was in high school. She was set on going to Penn State; however, given that she lived in New Jersey, the out-of-state tuition was out of her reach financially. Although Penn State was more expensive, she and her mom still visited the campus. Her mom mentioned that they offered the ROTC program, and that Margot should consider looking into it. At first Margot was appalled that her mom would even think she was military material. Fast forward to the end of the school year, andMargot received a scholarship into the Air Force ROTC program at Penn State (after her first full year) and is thankful she had that experience. “It was a perfect fit for what I wanted. It gave me the opportunity to be the first in my family to go to college and then kind of lead the way for my cousins (the next generation),” she says. While at Penn State, Margot realized that she wanted to study criminal justice and the Air Force had careers in that field. While attending law school, she interned in the JAG (Judge Advocate General’s Corps) program and was given the opportunity to be in the courtroom and work with senior leaders. “I oddly didn’t realize the different types of crimes that happened in the military. Everyone is straight laced and you see the uniform and that’s just the way it is. It’s a reality that once you come in, you start to see the cracks and especially when you work in the legal system, you basically know everybody’s dirty laundry,” she explains. Being that involved with the legal system in the military not only allowed Margot to know other people’s business, but she also became less trusting of people. Many people’s perception of the military is that everything is perfect once you go past the base gate. So how did Margot move from serving in the military to commenting on military crime? For Margot, listening to true crime podcasts has always been something that she enjoyed doing. In those various podcasts, there would be a few episodes that had a military connection. “I was like, wait a minute, this happened in the military? Mind you, I was active duty at the time 21
and I did not hear about this…I was like how come this news is not like all over the place,” she says. Starting Military Murder was not an easy task for Margot. She and her husband were working active duty and taking care of two kids. For two years, she would work on her podcast from 8 o’clock at night until 2 o’clock in the morning and then have to wake up at five or six to take care of the kids. She started the podcast in order to raise awareness for military people and wants them to stay vigilant. She adds, “just because you see someone all the time on base doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a hundred percent safe. We always have to remain vigilant.” After starting her podcast, she remembers thinking that the heinous crimes couldn’t possibly continue to happen, but after six months into producing Military Murder, there seemed to be an increase in suicides and murders in the military. “I follow a lot of military news, domestic violence, murder, suicides are high…suicide rates are higher than ever. And so my big thing now is telling people like hey, there are services out there if you need them,” she says. Margot wants to build a community via her podcast where people look out for each other, and if they see something, say something. In her years of researching cases for her show, Margot has seen a pattern among people who have either committed crimes or who are going to commit a crime and that is they talk too much. “Hey, if you hear it once, if you hear it twice, maybe say something or maybe call someone out. Because the problem is a lot of times we don’t call people out because we think they are just kidding,” she explains. This is the kind awareness she wants Military Murder to be for listeners. Margot wants more people to talk about these situations and not keep it hush hush. When asked if she thinks the military justice system is different from civilian police departments she responds, “I think the military is basically a microcosm of what the civilian sector is. So you’re going to have good investigators and good cops, and you’re also going to have bad and lazy cops.” Suspicious suicides in the military that have happened overseas are especially difficult for families to have investigated. Denisha Montgomery-Smith was a soldier who was stationed in Germany and after being at that base for only nine months, her family was notified that she died by suicide (EP124 FORT STEWART: Denisha Montgomery-Smith). Margot works closely with a few families because they want her to cover their cases. Denisha’s family is one of those that she is currently working with to reopen the case. Another reason why Margot feels we don’t hear much about military crimes is because military leadership is less likely to open its investigations to interested parties. Most states and the military redact much of the information. In the case of Vanessa Guillen, had her family not fought to find her, she never would have been found. But because her family lives in such close proximity to the base, they were able to visit in person to keep Vanessa’s disappearance in the forefront. Margot adds, “The sad part is that there are so many missing soldiers that their families have also tried to fight but they maybe didn’t have the means. So Vanessa’s family was a true example that you have to be basically in the Army’s face, which is what a lot of families can’t do.” In her experience, when something tragic happens, the military will often just act as if nothing happened. Being the ultimate rule follower, Margot asked her high ranking 22
boss (in the Air Force) if she had permission to start Military Murder. She told him that she would use her own Freedom of Information Act requests, open sources, and a family member that is willing to share their story when researching and discussing cases. Margot doesn’t fear that the military will come knocking at her door. “I don’t have that type of fear because everything I do is open source. Everything that comes out at trial isn’t always a hundred percent accurate. I always feel like at least the legal record is what the law says happened,” she explains. Margot does her best to stay neutral when telling the victim’s story. “I like to tell both stories because I feel like a service member myself, I have known both a victim and a perpetrator. So I wanna know what are the things that I’m looking for? What are the red flags that I should be looking for when I myself am working with somebody,” she adds. Margot’s goal in telling these stories is to keep the victim’s name in the media, especially if their case is not getting the attention it needs to be investigated and solved. Margot doesn’t have a favorite episode of Military Murder however, the most popular episode is the very first one she recorded (EP1 SICKLES ARMY AIRFIELD: Gregory Glover). The case is from the ‘90s and is so wild that when she first heard about it she didn’t think it was true. It’s a pretty gory story, so listen to the episode if you’re interested in learning more. After gaining permission for the podcast, Margot’s biggest fear before starting was if she was the right person to tell these stories. She wondered if people would listen to a woman who is active duty in the Air Force and a former JAG. “Because everyone thinks of the military, they think it’s like such a macho thing,” she explains. Her biggest challenge was getting over that fear and coming to the realization that she is the voice that needs to be telling these stories. “These stories need to be told. People may have heard one or two things about it, but they haven’t heard the story to completion. Sometimes the whole story isn’t perfect but I think that’s the beautiful thing, you know, life in general,” she adds. Margot wants other women who have always thought about getting into podcasting to just do it. If you have an idea that you can’t stop thinking about, now is the time. “Sometimes you just have to do it scared. I had thought about Military Murder for a very long time; it was just an idea in my head. Like stop talking about it then just do it,” she encourages. One thing that helped her get Military Murder off the ground once she made the decision to start it was she had a plan. Having a plan gives you and the listener an idea of what to expect and this will build a long lasting and loyal community for your podcast. Because if there’s one thing that Margot has learned from listening to other podcasts is that everyone is doing it scared and they keep moving forward.
YouTube: @mamamargot Instagram: @militarymurderpodcast TikTok: @militarymargot Country: United States 23
Getting Your Guest To Promote Their Episode
Have you ever been frustrated when a guest doesn’t promote their episode? Do you think promoting the episode is something the guest should do automatically? Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the guest’s responsibility to share their episode. They might not be totally happy with something they said in the interview, or they may not feel that the interview was a true reflection of who they are. Whatever the reason, it’s their call. Having them on your show is the real win so if they promote the episode, it should be considered a bonus. It’s out of your control, so don’t take it personally. But what can you do to encourage the guest to promote the episode? Take a look at the tips below to increase the chances of the episode being shared. Send a Thank You Email & Provide Digital Content After the amazing interview has been recorded, send the guest a thank you email and remind them when the episode will be published. Mention to them that you would appreciate it if they would promote the episode on their social media platforms and website. Include any digital content (graphics, show notes, videos, etc.) you would like them to use and again thank them for taking the time to be on the podcast. Interview Agreement If you require your guests to sign an interview agreement, you can include a paragraph that describes your expectations when promoting the episode. The prospective guest would agree to promote the episode at least once on their social media platforms and website. Tactfully Tagging the Guest on Social Media Tactfully is the key word when it comes to tagging people on social media posts. When corresponding with the guest after the interview, politely ask them if it’s okay for you to tag them on your social media posts. Be mindful and don’t over do it. You don’t want to annoy or upset them and ruin any chance of having them back on the podcast. Remember, guests aren’t obligated to promote your podcast but it never hurts to ask. 24
Your Producer Secretly Hates You. Here’s Why. by Anna Gunn
As a podcast producer, I have the privilege of listening to many wonderful shows. But I also often hear some problems repeated again, and again… and again. So today I want to share with you some thoughts, from the other side of the editing room, on how to avoid making these same mistakes - and spare your editors gray hairs. Some of these tips might - hopefully! - sound familiar, but trust me when I say this: they are worth repeating, as they are often the critical steps that keep getting missed. And, of course, if you choose to ignore these tips and your editor screams at you for the 1001st time, or you simply don’t build an audience, then don’t say I didn’t warn you. However, if after reading all of the following you realize you already do all of these things, congratulations: you are my ideal client! Do your homework “Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance” This old British Army quote, otherwise known as “The 7 P’s”, is a phrase that I use with clients on a DAILY basis. First things first, do your research: selecting guests who are not only knowledgeable on the topic at hand, but also have a unique and engaging personality, is crucial for a great podcast. Start by typing your potential guest’s name into Google - I know! GOOGLE! It’s a thing. LinkedIn can also be a great place to start. These searches will bring up articles, interviews or TED talks given by your potential guests: READ them; listen to the talks (do it at double speed if you must). These will give you a sense of their expertise, but also of their ability to connect with an audience. After all, who wants to listen to a monotone robot droning on and on about their expertise? Don’t stop there, though! Make sure you also check if they’re a Nice Person™. By this, I mean: will you be able to build a rapport and establish a connection with them in a way that will make your interview sound like a conversation rather than an interrogation? Bonus time saving tip: batching the guest selection process and researching way in advance will take the pressure off - and give you options for when someone happens to not be available at the last minute. Got questions? Make sure to tailor your questions to your audience’s interests. Sure, you might find a certain topic fascinating, but does that mean your listeners will? And remember, if you’re a cooking podcast, it’s probably best to avoid veering off into the world of politics. Unless, of course, 27
you want to cook up a political storm! Once you have your question list, send it to your guest in advance so they can think about their answers. This will help ensure a smooth and engaging interview. Plan to fail You can bet that one day that online piece of recording software you are familiar with, and have been using for years, is suddenly being updated or is experiencing demand issues. Praying to the gods of technology when it breaks is useless - they have no heart at all. Have a backup way to record the interview: get to know another recording software, or look into hardware solutions. If nothing else, it is good to know what other options you have out there. And on the recording note: make a very simple checklist of technical requirements for your guests to follow. These have been provided in previous issues of this magazine, so feel free to use them, or create your own. You really don’t want to overwhelm them with jargon, but a few simple guidelines will help ensure the best possible recording: ಂ Be mindful of the noise in the surroundings - both yours and your guests’ - before recording, and, if possible, make simple adjustments. It can save hours later in the edit. Sometimes it might be as simple as asking your guest to close a window. ಂ Record a few moments of “silence.” This (jargon alert!) “room tone” will enable your editor to fill in mistakes or background noises if / when necessary. Sidenote: advance suggestions should not include that your guest brings a bag of potato chips to the interview, because the sound of them crunching will be the only thing masking their terrible audio quality; however, it would be advisable to suggest they bring a glass of water to sip from during the interview, to help ensure a clear speaking voice. This also applies to you, by the way. The Red Shiny Button OK, so you think you’re ready to hit record on your podcast interview? Not so fast! It’s totally okay to warm up your guests before you start recording. After all, who wants to hear 15 minutes of chit-chat before the real conversation starts? As an editor, trust me: I don’t need to hear it either. So take a deep breath, chat with your guest, and only hit record when you’re ready to roll. The Interview: Do’s Create a safe space for your guests. The key to conducting a successful podcast interview is making them feel comfortable. Getting a guest to relax and open up leads to a flowing, more engaging conversation. 28
Here are a few tips to achieve this: Depending on the format of your podcast, you can begin the interview by introducing the guest and providing some background information on their expertise or experience. This can help the guest feel more at ease and let them know that you are familiar with their work (more on this in a bit). Avoid intimidating or overly personal questions at the start of your podcast. Unless you’re doing a hard-hitting news show, there’s no need for an aggressive questioning technique, which will only shut the conversation down. Ask open-ended questions encourages guests to elaborate on their answers and provide more in-depth insights. Avoid asking yes or no questions, as these can lead to short, boring answers (unless that’s the objective, as in a rapid-fire segment). Listen carefully and be prepared to follow up on interesting points or tangents that may arise during the conversation. This can show the guest that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say. Remember: as my granny always said, you have two ears and one mouth. Listen twice as much as you talk. The Interview: Don’ts As a great interviewer, you likely already knew the importance of being prepared and professional during interviews. However, it’s easy to slip up and make mistakes, even for the best of us - which is why I’ve put together this list of 5 things to avoid during interviews. Not only will these mistakes make editing harder, but they can also be rude and disrespectful to your guests. So let’s take a look at what to avoid, so you can continue to be the fantastic interviewer that you are. Don’t #1: Start the interview by talking about yourself for 10 minutes without asking the guest a single question. Any pre-interview intro you might want to add to the podcast is best recorded AFTER the interview is done and dusted. This will give you a chance to reflect on the main themes and introduce them before the podcast is given. And then keep it as short as possible. But Anna, didn’t you say up there that we should start the interview itself by introducing the guest, to make them feel more at ease? Yes, yes I did. But I didn’t tell you you’d be keeping that part in the final edit, did I? Sidenote: if you are a team of podcast hosts, please, please, please stay away from “in-jokes.” It might be fun for you and the team, but if a listener is tuning into your podcast for the first time, I can guarantee it might also be their last time.
Don’t #2: Ask your guest a series of completely unrelated and nonsensical questions, like ‘What’s your stance on pineapple on pizza?’ There is however an argument for using the journalist trick of asking an unrelated priming question to help relax a guest. If this is the case, choose your priming question carefully. Ask the above pineapple question as a warm-up if you are a food podcast, for example. However, it isn’t good practice to ask unrelated questions in the middle of a podcast interview: in the edit, you will undoubtedly have to remove said unrelated question and answer - which will create another problem for the editor, as guests tend to refer to answers that they have previously given. This makes it arduous, if not impossible, to go through an entire interview to remove all references to any such offending question and answer. It may also ensure that your interview’s final edit sounds less than fluid because of the way you have had to chop out such references. Don’t #3: Making a mistake and not correcting it. If you realize that you have said something incorrectly, stuttered, or grunted your way through a question, feel free to stop and say it again slowly. Remember: you set the pace. If you are rushed, your guest will rush also. If you are slow and deliberate, your guests will feel that they are also given permission to take their time. Don’t #4: Interrupt your guest and talk over them when they try to answer your questions. This might seem like an obvious one, but it is still worth saying. In everyday conversations we are used to interruptions and speaking over each other to quickly get another point in. It’s also one of the biggest signs of a rookie interviewer. Sometimes you might have gone off topic to investigate something interesting your guest said,which is fine. But please keep in mind that if you have asked an unscripted question your guest might need a bit of time to formulate an answer. It is tempting, as a host, to try and fill that time. DON’T. Let your guest think about the questions without you interrupting them. Allow them time to arrange their thoughts. Let your editor take care of “dead air.” If this happens and it somehow ends up feeling awkward, feel free to check with your guest if they want to come back to that question, or if they need you to re-word it - or just skip it entirely. There are all perfectly acceptable ways of handling such awkwardness. Speaking over the guest is not.
Don’t # 5: End the interview by abruptly hanging up on your guest without saying goodbye or thanking them for their time. Of course none of you would do this - because that would just be plain RUDE. And please don’t go over time in the name of “getting more options.” They never are, as the energy always fades after 40 minutes of being interviewed. Final notes from the cutting room floor Not everything you said in the interview will make it into your podcast’s final edit. With that in mind, it’s important that you create “breakers” in your interview. If you follow a conversation from start to finish, always referring back to previous topics or things that have been mentioned, makes it harder to make these necessary cuts. Try to always start your questions and thoughts as separate chapters, allowing the edit to be cut up and reassembled into a non-linear progression. Not only will this give more flexibility in the edit, but also allow for snippets to be pulled out easily for your social media marketing strategies later on. Overall, producing a successful podcast interview involves careful planning, preparation, and execution. Choosing the right guest, conducting thorough research, and creating a comfortable atmosphere, all goes to make my job a lot easier, and enable us together to create engaging and informative podcast interviews that will captivate your audience.
Broadly Underestimated by Tina Jaramillo
Did you ever wonder about the origin of ordinary items or events in history? If so, then the Broadly Underestimated podcast is for you. Hosted by Kristyn Orgill, Broadly Underestimated explores “the underestimated in every aspect of our lives. Every object, institution, historical event – even the most mundane has its own revolutionary story.” And boy, does she dig into the past to highlight remarkable tidbits of our history that most people have never heard of. When asked what prompted her to start this podcast, Kristyn says, “I look at Broadly Underestimated as really coming out of a passion that I have for the magic that can happen when you scratch the surface of your surroundings, so you know we’re all surrounded with objects and people and events, and we hear about these things all the time.” She adds, “I have a real passion for that and the moment you have a few of those experiences, you start to realize how often they happen and how you can never take anything around you for granted and so then you start looking for things.” The show often delves into the people, often women, behind an object’s origin. She explains, “For me, inevitably, as I would like, start digging into this. You have these amazing historical figures that will emerge, that are connected to these objects or events, but then you find those things you really see this just amazing interplay between people and our surroundings... If you’re talking about surroundings, that’s fascinating, but when you put the two together, it’s actually powerful.” And that’s just what she did to create her show. Though things weren’t always easy. When conceptualizing the show she says “it’s really difficult to explain everything about a podcast in the title, and I know that when I was starting I agonized over what to call this thing right. I was trying to explain everything about it in the title and of course that’s impossible, and so you have to learn how to provide really effective additional messaging, and that’s where a lot of the magic happens.” When asked to provide advice for women wanting to start a podcast, she encourages them to “first of all, do it” and to “try not to be inhibited about it and know it’s not going to be perfect when you first start, but it will evolve. And secondly, try to find people that are also like other podcasters that you can bounce ideas off of.” When asked to explain further, Kristyn says, “It’s so valuable to find other people who are experiencing the same thing, going through similar challenges, maybe at different rates or different times, and then helping each other through the various stages of learning how to podcast.” She also notes that some podcasters may worry that they’re not great at the medium of podcasting, especially if their skills are not developed 33
yet. She says, “there’s a lot of insecurity that comes with that.” But, despite that, she would tell a potential podcaster: “Let it be not perfect, and you’ll get there like you’ll develop as you go. But don’t let the fact that it’s not perfect or that it’s messy stop you at all.” And true to her own advice, Kristyn and her podcast have grown along the way. She notes that in the beginning “I was a little bit more focused on people as opposed to that interplay between people and objects.” Both elements were still there, but I think that my focus was a little bit more on the people and over time as I started more and more to get clarity on the power and the value in that interplay.” The interplay is a primary focus of her stories. And her research, as she tells it, becomes almost a form of time travel. She talks about how she gets lost in the research and goes all in. “I love to really try to absorb that time period and in every way I can. So what the pop culture references are and what people would have done every day, what they would have worn and eaten, and kind of what was happening politically.” she says. But the research isn’t everything; Kristyn also interviews a variety of guests to get an even deeper insight into the topic. “I also love talking to people, so I’ve definitely done interviews with people, especially authors,” she explains. When interviewing guests, she advises podcasters to do their homework. “The thing that I think has been the most valuable has been being really prepared whenever I reach out to someone I like, it feels important to me to show them truly that I have done the work that I have read their work,” she notes. She also suggests being very clear when reaching out to potential guests. “When I approached them, I of course let them know how I felt about their work. But within that messaging showing very specifically, why I want to speak with them. What I really loved about what they’ve done, and I think that that is one of the more effective ways to go about it. they can see that you’re not trying to waste their time,” she continues. When asked how she manages the ebb and flow of the interview process, she offers some keen advice. “I would say that in my experience there are a couple of tactics depending on the interview itself. I try to give them an idea of what I think are the pertinent points to cover and so they know more or less the direction, or at least the general direction of the conversation,” she advises. And when the interview wades into heavy topics she makes sure to 34
steer the conversation back to lighter fare. She offers, “I think it’s really just all about transitions and I think that’s something that for anyone who’s going to interview someone. And if you’ve really done your homework and you understand this person’s work and their ideas about it to a certain extent, you can anticipate what they might possibly think or say about a question you’re asking, and so you can kind of think through what potential transitions you could use in the process.” As a female podcaster, Kristyn makes a point to highlight women, who are historically often underestimated. “I feel like their stories are often not told as often as others, but they’re amazing, and they’re just part of history... you often have to scratch the surface to get to the women’s stories as well,” she says. When commenting on how she took this concept from idea to podcast, she explains, “whenever I would learn those things, I would be sharing them with my friends and people I know and, so I just realized that there was a way to share this in a wider way and to connect with people who also appreciate that experience.” But she has learned a lot through her experience and creative process along the way. When asked about one of the most surprising, underestimated objects, Kristyn said it would have to be the “Bicycles - Kittie Knox, Fashion, and the Cycling Revolution” episode. Kristyn says, “[the] bicycle was at one point a massive driving force in the suffrage movement, the feminist movement and also in revolutionizing women’s fashion. So, you have this one bicycle that we see all the time and it did all those things and more.” And all her stories are like this. Taking something we use regularly and exploring the untold stories behind them. Another episode that stands out is “Swimsuits 2 – The Extraordinary Life of Annette Kellerman’’ who pushed boundaries to change women’s swimwear. Our modern-day swimsuit is a product of her refusal to not be able to swim as freely as the men around her,” she explains. She adds, “she [Kellerman] was a world class Competitive swimmer and she refused to be held back by these swimsuits that were basically dresses that you’re wearing in water, so you just can’t move around and so you know the way that she decided to swim and refused to be completely covered that way... and she shocked a lot of people along the way, but she on the other end of that we have an object that we see everyday, but that actually helps us in ways that we don’t realize, right?” Those two stories are just a sampling of the variety of historical, everyday objects that Kristyn covers on her show. But the 35
podcast doesn’t stand alone. Her social media accounts and website are a central part of her messaging as well. She says, “It’s really choosing what is the message, what is the main thing you want to convey and then like repeating that message right? So, repeat that message in your social media on your website.” She also suggests asking listeners to subscribe and follow her online in the opening message of her show. And she also recommends developing a pattern when releasing episodes. “There’s some kind of repetitiveness that when people see something they know exactly what it is… and then I usually follow that up by a specific explanation of the episode,” she explains. While her social media is on point, it still takes time. When asked about how she balances a podcast with other aspects of her life, she acknowledges the time and dedication it takes to keep it going. She cautions new podcasters that “it’s not always easy and this is where that kind of simplifying piece comes in, and it’s something that I am constantly learning, or at least constantly reminding myself.” She adds that it’s important for podcasters to “just look[ing] at things pretty consistently, being very observant of what you’re doing and trying to be clear with yourself about how you can keep things as simple as possible in a way that makes sense for for whatever goals you have with your podcast.” In the end, it’s the passion for history and her way with storytelling that really makes Broadly Underestimated such a compelling show. She says, “Every podcast is about a story in one way or the other, and so I really love being able to share that. And I really, really love the intimate medium of Audio storytelling, I just think it’s a really beautiful thing.” It certainly is.
Website: womanintime.com Instagram: @womanintime Facebook: Woman In Time Twitter: @WomaninTime1 Country: United States 36
Zodiac Signs A While the holiday party season may be behind us, it gave us a good peek at certain hosting styles. Some are more lavish, while others are more hands off. But what if your party approach was based on your zodiac sign? Find your sign below to learn about your hosting skills! ARIES - THE ENTHUSIASTIC HOST This energized and passionate host knows how to bring life to any situation, so when they’re in charge of the party, you know it’s going to be a good time. Not one to focus on the details, Aries’ gift is the ability to throw something together quickly and still have a successful turnout. And because they love to make a bold statement, expect it to be located somewhere stunning that is sure to leave an impression on their guests. TAURUS - THE GRACEFUL HOST Taurus is known for their charm and refined taste, which is great for planning events. They think everything through down to the very last detail, so that they’re guests feel well-taken care of. You can expect an elegant evening planned for a set number of guests with a lavish dinner and paired drink menu.Though they are graceful when handling any faux paus, they’d prefer not to have any surprises or unexpected guests. GEMINI - THE QUIRKY HOST This sign is known for being super fun, generous, and flexible, which is why you can expect this party to have plenty of laughs, buffet tables, and games to satisfy everyone. Gemini is a social butterfly so the crowd will likely be diverse and full of life, leaving people with plenty to talk about. You’ll find this host buzzing around talking to as many guests as they can, making sure everyone is having a good time. CANCER - THE COZY HOST Cancers prefer things to be comforting, so you can expect their party to be extra cozy and inviting, where you feel right at home. Their guests will likely be those they feel closely connected to and feel like family. The menu is the star of the show, and they will plan weeks in advance to ensure every bite is something to remember. As a guest, you can expect to leave with a full belly and warm heart from the shared memories. LEO - THE GLAMOROUS HOST Friendly and confident, Leos are right home being the host of the party. They love company, but even more they love to celebrate. This host will go above and beyond to throw the most entertaining party in town that everyone will want to be at. They’ll host it at the most exquisite party venue and show up dressed in their best, while also encouraging guests to take pictures and tag them on social media. fails, your humor is your saving grace, Leo! VIRGO - THE THOUGHTFUL HOST When a Virgo hosts a party, no detail is left unturned. They will spend months planning their event in advance from curating the perfect guest list, selecting a beautiful location, sending RSVP invites, arranging the caterer, and securing the floral arrangements - leaving you showered with attention the day of. While they may spend more time planning the details than socializing with guests, you’ll 38 leave feeling well thought of.
As Party Hosts by Crystal Warren
Don’t know your sun sign? Enter your birth information at Astro.com and check back to read yours! Contact Crystal Warren for Astrology Consultations, questions, or feedback.
LIBRA - THE COCKTAIL HOST Libra is quite the social butterfly and will invite everyone they know. While they may be social, they’re also level-headed and calm when situations call for it, as they’re main goal is to keep the peace among people. Guests can expect a gorgeous and harmonious party, where the host is checking in and making sure every guest is introduced to others, while also topping off any glasses that need refilling. SCORPIO - THE INTIMATE HOST Scorpios are the last sign you’d expect hosting a party - small talk with acquaintances? Yuck. Instead, they prefer personal and intimate gatherings with a close group of friends. You can expect a night-time gathering full of deep, complex, and stimulating conversations. Not one to trip up over the details, they’ll default to hosting at home and making sure the ambiance is just right - candles, music, and yummy finger foods is their go-to strategy. SAGITTARIUS - THE SPONTANEOUS HOST Sagittarius is the sign of spontaneity, so you can count on this party host to spin something up at the last minute. Guests can expect an invite a day or two before the event. But don’t think for a second that Sagittarius can’t magically pull off the most eclectic and high-energy shindig with the most free-spirited guest list. By the end of it, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Burning Man with your soul family. CAPRICORN - THE PRACTICAL HOST Capricorns are known for tradition and consistency, so you can expect this host to throw a big annual party. This gives them the chance to catch up with their closest friends all at the same time, since they were too busy for Happy Hours during the year. They’ll likely keep things simple and hands-off, yet equally impressive, so they can spend more quality time with their guests. And don’t forget your party favors on the way out! AQUARIUS - THE HANGOUT HOST Aquarius is known for being casual and nonchalant about things. Rather than hashing out all the details for a big bash, they’d rather have a relaxed hangout at the house with a handful of friends - where intellectual stimulation is the name of the game. Don’t be surprised if topics like aliens and flat earth come up for debate. Whatever the topic, guests can expect cerebral conversations, indulgent delivery food, and whatever beverages they have on hand. PISCES - THE CREATIVE HOST Pisces is known for being creative and soulful, which is why you can expect their party to take place at some unconventional location with a matching theme to get guests in the mood. This compassionate host will check-in to make sure you have everything you need and are having a good time. With Pisces’ sensitive nature, they can easily attune to the energy of the room, and create just the right39 atmosphere needed to bring their guests out of their shell.
Improving Your Podcast’s Accessibility by Carolyn Kiel
Most podcasters realize the importance of growing their audience. What they may not realize, however, is that they’re excluding millions of potential fans from their audience! That’s because most podcasts are not accessible. Accessibility is the practice of making information, activities, and spaces that can be understood and used by as many people as possible – specifically, people with disabilities. As an audiofocused medium, podcasts frequently exclude people with hearing disabilities (more than eleven million people in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau), neurodivergent people, and people with information processing disabilities – many of whom would enjoy these podcasts if they were accessible. As an inclusive practice, making podcasts available for all is the right thing to do. Accessibility also has other benefits. Podcast-accessibility.com points out that accessible podcasts can benefit people who are non-native speakers of the podcasts’ language, located in noisy environments, using low bandwidth internet connections, and in other situations that make audio content difficult to consume. As a podcaster, accessibility helps you, too. For example, not only do episode transcripts make your podcast more open, but they also help search engines discover your episodes and make it easier for you to repurpose your content. Ready to make your podcast more accessible? Here are some actions you can take. Audio Prioritize clear audio quality. Record your episodes with a good quality microphone in a quiet room. Use a wired network connection and/or a recording platform that records audio locally on your computer, to minimize internet lags and maximize audio quality. Mix your audio at a consistent volume level throughout the episode. • Avoid recording sounds that are very loud or very quiet, or use compression to even out the volume of the recording. • • If you use background music, ensure the dialog can be understood clearly over the music. Chances are, you’re doing a lot of this already. If so, that’s great. Your audio doesn’t have to be perfect, but these practices will make it more accessible. Transcripts Episode transcripts also help with accessibility. Despite this, podcast transcripts are rare. PodcastIndex.org reports that only about one percent of the English-speaking podcasts 41
active in 2021 had any transcripts available at all. This makes transcripts a great opportunity to share your episodes with audiences who are ignored by most podcasts. Transcripts typically include: Spoken words Speaker labels (i.e., who is saying what) Important contextual information such as laughter, applause, vocal tone indicators, and sound effects. A transcript should be descriptive enough so that if someone reads it without listening to your audio recording, they will fully understand what’s going on in the episode. There are a few different ways you can make a transcript. If you have a scripted show, then use your scripts to create transcripts. If you have an unscripted show, you can use automated transcription software like Descript or Otter.ai – but be prepared to review the transcript, correct transcription errors, and add contextual information to the final transcript. You can also choose to hire someone to transcribe your episodes by hand. Creating an accurate transcript takes time, so build time for it into your production process. In the article “Let’s Make Podcasts More Accessible,” podcaster Caroline Mincks estimates it can take two to three times the length of the episode to correct an autogenerated transcript. As an example, for a twenty minute episode, plan between forty to sixty minutes to finalize the transcript. The DiscoverPods.com article “How to Make Your Podcast More Accessible Using Transcripts” by Cassie Josephs recommends posting your transcripts on your podcast’s website. If you don’t have a website, then you can create a blog using Wordpress or another website and post your transcripts there. For each episode, the transcript should be posted in, or linked to, the same location as the audio. This makes it easier for people and search engines to find your transcripts. Don’t put your transcripts behind a paywall. If your audio episodes are free, then your transcripts should be free too, so that everyone has equal access to your podcast. Social media As a podcaster, you’re probably marketing your podcast on social media. Here’s how you can make your social media posts more accessible. Add alt text to images. • Alt text is a short description of an image’s basic details. People who are blind or have low vision may use screen readers that rely on alt text to describe images.
Alt text should be one hundred twenty-five characters or less to ensure compatibility with screen readers. It should include any text that’s in the image and information required to understand the image.
Most social media platforms have a designated place to add alt text on a post. A few platforms add alt text to images automatically, but this autogenerated alt text tends to be inaccurate. It’s better to add your own alt text.
Alt text is different from an image description, which is longer and includes more details about the image. Image descriptions are helpful if you want to add more descriptive information and context for your image beyond what’s in the alt text. You can add image descriptions to the text of your posts.
Use images with color combinations that are easier for people to view if they are colorblind or have low vision. Tools like the Color Contrast Checker at WebAIM.org and Color Blindness Simulator at Color-Blindness.com can help you check your color combinations and contrast. Include captions on any videos you create for your podcast. •
Some platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube offer automatic captioning. This can be helpful, but like with automated transcripts, you should check the captions for accuracy before publishing them.
Make your caption styles as simple as possible. According to accessibility marketing consultant Meryl Evans at meryl.net, try to avoid captions that are written in fancy Unicode fonts, change sizes or colors, or show/highlight words one at a time. These effects can make captions distracting or difficult to read.
If your video doesn’t have spoken or written words, the website accessible-social.com suggests adding a video description to your post that briefly summarizes important visuals and actions in the video. Avoid flashing lights or strobe effects in your videos, as these can trigger migraines or seizures.
Become a featured podcaster! Visit womenwhopodcastmag.com to sign up!
Use “camel case” formatting for hashtags and web addresses in your posts. Camel case capitalizes the first letter of each word; for example, #ILovePodcasts is camel case, but #ilovepodcasts and #ILOVEPODCASTS are not. Camel case is easier for many people to understand, especially if they are using screen readers. Use emojis sparingly. • Screen readers recite the official Unicode names of emojis that appear in a post. As a result, a post with a lot of emojis can be distracting and difficult to understand for some readers. For example, the popular “red flag” meme that lists multiple red flag emojis in a row will cause many screen readers to say “triangular flag on post” (the Unicode name of the red flag emoji) each time that emoji appears. •
Don’t use emojis to replace words.
Avoid using emojis in the middle of a sentence.
These are some of the ways to make your content more accessible to people with disabilities, boost your audience reach, and increase the number of people who discover your podcast. Accessibility may seem overwhelming at first, but these practices become routine when you build them into your podcasting workflow. Making your podcast more accessible will open it up to new audiences of customers, patrons, followers, fans, and others who will enjoy and benefit from your content.
Caravan of the Heart by Kathy Barron
The term “old soul” is definitely something I believe, and I’ve met a few people that have confirmed that “old souls” do exist. However, when I sat down to talk with Renee Ananda and Aim Me Smiley, hosts of Caravan of the Heart podcast, the term “old souls” took on a whole new meaning. Before I had the conversation with the hosts, I listened to a few of their episodes to get a feel for who they were and what their show was all about. I was transfixed because their voices were very soothing, calming, angelic-like, and they were in sync with each other. While listening to their episodes was enchanting, meeting Renee and Aim Me in person (via Zoom) was an experience on a whole other level. One thing that became apparent to me right away was that Renee and Aim Me weave their conversations together in an eloquent and graceful way without missing a step. It was like watching two figure skaters dancing and gliding flawlessly across the ice. Renee and Aim Me met each other at a church in a small town outside of Louisville, KY when they were 15 and 13 years old, respectively. Renee’s dad was the minister, Aim Me’s dad was the deacon, and Aim Me’s dad kicked Renee’s dad out of the church. “We became best friends immediately. It was like our souls completely fell in love, but we didn’t fall in love romantically for 13 years,” says Aim Me.. The two went their separate ways when they got older; Aim Me headed to Hollywood to pursue acting and Renee attended a Christian college. Although they were in different states their souls were still deeply connected. “We had this wonderful, you know, kinship. Then we really started to reconnect in our early twenties,” says Aim Me. Their jobs, relationships, and what was happening in their lives wasn’t working, and they both sought something more to feed their spirits. Renee adds, “And so our friendship and our spiritual connection just really caught fire, and then we fell in love, and that was all she wrote. Then we had to become Troubadours of Divine Bliss together.” When they first met as teenagers, Renee and Aim Me wrote in each other’s yearbooks, and it wasn’t the typical “have a good summer” message. Aim Me wrote in Renee’s yearbook, “I have a secret. I’m in love with you. Nah. Just kidding,” says Renee chuckling. They saved each other’s yearbook pages and Renee remembers writing a long story. “I had this dream that we had been apart for a long time, and I saw her down a road, and I went running and embraced her and said ‘it feels so good to be back home.’ I mean this was in the yearbook at 15 and 13, so the writing was on the yearbook wall,” explains Renee. Aim Me proposed to Renee in Chicago and the two drove to New Orleans to start a life together. The two women have been creating music together starting as buskers on the streets of New Orleans 26 years ago. “It was very much a quest. It was really feeling the call of our purpose and our passion. Music brought us together and spirit; a revolution of spirit, courage of the heart to live according to love and to be in service to that creativity for others, for yourself. 47
And so we became (the band) Troubadours of Divine Bliss,” says Aim Me. Through their music, they sent out the message to people to follow their heart, follow their passion and their path will unfold in front of them. Which is why it has been so exciting for them to start Caravan of the Heart podcast. If you listen to episodes of their show, you’ll hear Renee and Aim Me say “mm-hmm” and “yeah” in their soft, melodic voices quite often. Normally, podcasters would edit those moments out, but for Caravan of the Heart, those moments only enhance the auditory experience for the listener. “As a podcaster, you want to affirm and you want them (the guest) to know I am so with you right now,” says Aim Me. The hosts have a large community of artists, musicians, and healers that have beautiful messages of love and hope that they want to amplify using their podcast. “I think one of the things we get most excited about is just having an opportunity to share what we are experiencing and the people that we are discovering and the messages that we are uncovering,” adds Renee. The pandemic was the catalyst for the creation of Caravan of the Heart podcast. The duo was looking for a way to connect with people because they had been organizing their community festival, Mighty Kindness, hosting retreats, and touring across the country, Canada, and Europe for 24 years. “We started a Sunday night concert series, Sundays with Bliss, so during that time the Caravan of the Heart and Sundays with Bliss just emerged as ways for us to connect virtually with people,” says Renee. Having to slow down involuntarily gave Renee and Aim Me the opportunity to look at different ways they could express themselves and still be in service to that creativity for others and for themselves. Their vision is to amplify the inspiring voices of people who have freed their dreams, who are on their path and living their purpose. “It’s mostly about their stories, their wisdom, their insights, and illuminations to share,” explains Aim Me. As far as having guests on their show, they let the universe guide them to the people they are supposed to connect with. Although many of their guests are powerful and unique in their own way, one person altered Aim Me’s view and understanding of the world (EP11 Twila Cassadore: Traditional Knowledge Keeper, Apache Forager and Harvester). “She just sees the world in a way that is so foreign to this white colonized, suburban Kentucky girl. And to really just go inside a whole other cosmos of being on the planet,” says Aim Me. Twila brought the hosts back into remembering their original connection to the Earth and to all living things that need to be seen. 48
Aim Me Smiley
“People wanna be seen and they grow when they’re seen, when they’re honored, and respected,” adds Renee. Caravan of the Heart podcast has given Renee and Aim Me new possibilities that they never dreamed of happening. The people they have met through the podcast (teachers, musicians, poets) will expand the community they have built with their workshops and retreats they facilitate on their 60 acre retreat space in the Hoosier National Forest. “This is a true testament to the beauty of podcasting and how it can play into other aspects of your life and reinforce other things that you’re doing in the world,” says Aim Me. The hosts would like the podcast community to become more expansive for women. They want to inspire and encourage women to express themselves and grow this community by really feeling what lights them up and then start having conversations “Wherever we think the edge is, let’s expand beyond that. Let’s keep going to the edge and taking it a little further,” says Renee. Whether someone has either stepped aside or has fear expressing themselves, Aim Me feels it’s imperative that we hear women’s stories. She adds, “They’ve been silenced for way too long and we need them now more than ever because they carry the wisdom of where we are going. If we are to have a future here on this planet, we need to elevate and amplify women’s voices in all aspects of life.” Renee and Aim Me encourage women to really open themselves up and see where it leads to and how it grows. And ask themselves “What do you want to magnify in this world?”
Website: caravanoftheheart.com Instagram: @caravanoftheheart Facebook: Caravan of the Heart Country: United States 49
Sisters Who Scene It by Kathy Barron
Move over Siskel & Ebert! A new era of movie reviews has arrived! This isn’t your typical review of old and new movies. Oh no…it’s better than you could ever imagine. So grab a tubful of popcorn smothered with buttah, sprinkle some M&Ms on top, and get cozy because Katie and Bridget McMullan, hosts of Sisters Who Scene It, are ready to roll the tape. What makes Sisters Who Scene It unique is that there aren’t many, if any, movie review podcasts that have two women hosting. Usually, the only perspective listeners hear is from the male point of view. “Certain movies, as you start to get these patterns of like, oh my God, this is what we were fed on how to live and what was normal, and what was acceptable to be like spoken to and dealing with bullshit relationships,” says Bridget. So when Katie and Bridget were invited to guest on another movie review podcast (with a few guys), they took the opportunity to shake things up. The movie they talked about was Billy Madison starring Adam Sandler and his love interest, supermodel Veronica Vaughn. Bridget continues, “And we were like, we are so sick of these fricking ugly dudes with these like super hot woman. And this is all that happened in the nineties, and you could tell that never crossed their minds (the male hosts).” After a brief tussle about how Adam Sandler’s character has a good personality, Katie and Bridget realized that the hosts of the show weren’t watching the movie in the same way they were. Ironically, they have many men who listen to Sisters Who Scene It even though they poke fun at the movies they review, especially the men that write and direct the films. “We even made up a recurring theme, I guess an inside joke, if you will, that anytime there’s a really, really stupid decision in a movie where it’s basically, you know, a male wrote that part or chose to do that decision, we call it a Bob scene. Because it was probably a really old guy named Bob who doesn’t know anything about anything, and he’s always a male director,” adds Katie. The hosts are definitely doing a service to the community, country, and world with their unique perspective of movies. Bridget, who lives in Chicago, and Katie, who resides in New Jersey (no relation to the Jersey Shore franchise), started their podcast in June 2020. It was their pandemic baby and since they didn’t live near each other anymore and liked to talk, it seemed logical to create a podcast so they could share their love of movies. Although they still do the podcast just for fun, they didn’t think it would last as long as it has. “She (Katie) didn’t take it seriously, but a hundred plus episodes, two plus years later, I’m like, ‘oh my God, I have another job’,” says Bridget. The podcast has become somewhat of a family affair. Their mom sings the show’s theme song, their dad contributes movie quotes, and they’ve roped in other family members to be guest stars. One family member however, is not too keen on having any part of Sisters Who Scene It. Their brother (who shall remain nameless) scoffs at the idea of being on the podcast. Bridget and Katie end up talking about him a lot anyway because ironically, some of his best friends listen to the show. So their brother is more famous than he thinks. Movies have always 51
been a part of their family dynamic and Bridget and Katie believe it was a great neutralizer. “So my theory as a family - we’re a little too much and everyone is like very different, and we would never agree on anything. But the universal thing was movies. You could get us to all shut up and be in the same room with a movie,” says Bridget. Many of the movies they review are recommended by listeners. Katie adds, “This has been interesting with the podcast because I feel like we’ll sometimes watch movies that we’ve never seen before.” Which is why they encourage listeners to recommend movies because they enjoy the opportunity to see a movie that they wouldn’t otherwise watch. The first episode of Sisters Who Scene It was almost a drama series in itself. Starting a podcast was Bridget’s idea and the movie she wanted to review was Almost Famous because as a kid it was one of her favorites. “That was a great movie, um, until you rewatch it, and it’s like having sex with underage children. We had no way of editing and we didn’t. Katie and I didn’t even look at each other and were talking over each other on the phone,” says Bridget. As the editor of the show, Katie did the best she could with the poor audio quality but with only one audio track, she couldn’t separate the background noises. “There’s absolutely no other technology that exists because clearly we did a lot of research,” snarks Katie. “So it was a hot mess express. I’m pretty sure at the end of that episode when we kind of got things a little more figured out, I recorded my voice separately and put it in.” Their younger sister (the genius in the family) was the one who really got them set up properly and suggested they use Zoom to record their episodes. At one point, Bridget outsourced the editing (as a gift to Katie) to someone who is also a podcaster because it was taking up too much of Katie’s time. Unfortunately, that was short lived. Not only did he make the hosts talk in a slow, natural way he also edited out too much of their personalities. “He cut, laid out like our laughing. And I was like, ‘why’d you do that sir? What?’ And he was like, ‘oh, cuz normally podcasts you don’t hear the people laugh.’ I’m like, well, we laugh a lot so I don’t get it. I kicked him to the curb quickly,” explains Katie. She ended up re-editing the episode (which was about the movie Grease) and added in some laughter. She adds, “I was upset about the laughing…is this a male perspective? We kind of embrace that we laugh and we’re making fun a lot of the time.” When asked if they are the type of movie fanatics who knows every line of a movie, Katie admitted having the talent, but Bridget wasn’t so confident. “I watch a movie and then we’ll go to the next week and I’m like, what movie did we do? She’s (Katie) like, what’s wrong with you? We talked about it for three hours,” she confesses. Bridget’s talent is when she’s watching a more recent movie, she’s reminded of old ones where there are similar scenes. Recently, the hosts talked about the movie Polar Express and the underlying premise of believe or not believe reminded her of the movie Signs with Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix. She adds, “why is my brain making this correlation. So it’s like I could pull them out in these weird moments, but like not the movie quotes when appropriate.” As far as new movies losing their originality and the fact that there are so many movies that are being rebooted, Katie feels you could argue either way because there is a lot of new content that’s out there now. “But then at the same time, maybe not really in a movie sense but in terms of storytelling, I feel like there’s been a lot of really good series or mini-series that go straight to streaming. I don’t know, as we go on, it’s like the world keeps expanding, which we like because it’s Bridget McMullan
interesting. I don’t know if those are always the super popular movies,” says Katie. On the other hand, Bridget feels that movies aren’t as good as they used to be because people don’t want to invest in movies that aren’t bankable so writers and directors repeat the same storyline. Streaming services have changed the movie industry, so there’s a lot more options for people to watch instantly and with our attention spans dwindling, more people watch content on those easy-to-get-to, instant gratification services. Recently, the hosts started a new segment on Sisters Who Scene It called NOstalgic Happy Hour. These episodes are about movies or miniseries that have been newly released. Elizabeth Katie McMullan Holmes, CEO of Theranos and the main focus of the documentary The Dropout, was a recent episode of NOstaglic Happy Hour. They’ve also discussed shows like Abbott Elementary, The Bear, and Stranger Things Season Four. In the two plus years that Bridget and Katie have produced Sisters Who Scene It, not only has Katie’s editing gotten more streamlined (she proudly bragged about it), the flow of the show has improved, and they don’t worry if people are going to take them seriously or not. They’ve also become more authentic and have decided that bleeping out the swearing was too much work in the end. “I remember one of our cousins was like, you know, it’s kind of cheesy when you add this like bling sound instead of your curse. And I was like, yeah, Katie, can we just curse?,” says Bridget. It was a big decision for the hosts to just let the swearing flow freely because Katie works with children and was concerned that one of them would find the podcast. The hosts accepted the fact that the children’s parents might find Sisters Who Scene It but as of right now, no one has made a fuss about it. The positive feedback from listeners only validates that fact. Sisters Who Scene It is going to be around for quite some time because Katie needs to get through her Google Doc of 200+ movie titles. Being one of the very few women hosted movie review podcasts, Bridget and Katie would like to see more women in different genres of podcasting. They would like an equal distribution of women in areas that people wouldn’t expect them to be in like finance and movies and would like the podcasting world to be filled with many diverse opinions. One thing the hosts wish everyone would do is go back and watch old movies. They encourage everyone to change it up a bit and not just automatically click on the newest show, but to get a new perspective on an oldie but goodie. And just a (friendly) warning to their brother: a sneak attack may be in your future.
Website: sisterswhosceneit.com Instagram: @sisters_who_scene_it Facebook: Sisters Who Scene It Twitter: @sisterswhoscene Country: United States 53
Planning To Become A Full-time Podcaster by Kathy Barron
So you’ve been podcasting for a few years and you think you’re ready to take the leap into going full-time. Taking this step is a serious commitment and is not for everyone. There’s no shame in keeping your podcast as a hobby. If you’re just looking to make money podcasting, there are ways to accomplish that goal while still keeping it as a side hustle. However, if you are bound and determined in making a business at podcasting, there are a few things you might want to consider before signing on the dotted line. With all businesses, having a business plan is the first step in deciding if you are making the best decision for you and your podcast. Write down why you want to take your podcast full-time, goals you want to achieve, how much it will cost to produce your podcast, and how you will create revenue streams. If you have a day job, you’ll need to make a plan as to when you’ll leave it and how much you’ll need to make to pay the bills. Not having a regular paycheck that you’ve relied on is a big deal to say goodbye to if you’re not completely ready. Becoming a freelancer has some risks, and you’ll be doing all the leg work to find consistent income. Putting money away in case it takes longer to reach your income goals should be part of your business plan. If possible, have at least two or three months of expenses in a savings account to provide a cushion and to take some pressure off of making the business a huge success from the get-go. Make an agreement with yourself that if after a certain amount of time (say six months) the business is not bringing in consistent income that you can live on, you’ll find a new job (even if it’s part-time). Write down all the benefits that you receive from your day job (health, dental, vision insurance, 401k, etc.) and research how much it will cost on a monthly basis. Taxes are another expense that you will need to consider as part of the equation. Research what you should expect to pay on a quarterly basis. Being your own boss may sound luxurious and carefree, but there’s a lot of responsibility that you don’t have to worry about as an employee. And, finally, you want to make sure that you’re mentally prepared to take the leap. If you’re used to working in an office with coworkers or working with the public, running your own business full-time can be isolating. Be sure to schedule outings with friends, former coworkers, and family. More importantly, be 100% certain that you’re prepared to make the shift from doing something you’re passionate about into something you love, or it will feel like work. 55
Starting a business takes courage, self-confidence, and perseverance. There’s a lot of risk involved, but it can also feel very freeing and exhilarating. Your podcast needs to become a priority so remove all distractions and change your mindset from “hobby” to “business.” Here are a few steps you can take to make that shift happen seamlessly. 5 As a podcaster, you’ve probably already created a brand for your podcast. This is a great opportunity to revisit the brand and make any changes that could elevate your online presence. Double check that you know who your audience is and adjust accordingly. 5 Invest in yourself and your business by upgrading the equipment you use to produce your podcast. Your show is your brand and your product. Be sure that the content and the audio quality sounds professional. 5 Level up your podcasting game by engaging with your listeners via your episodes and social media. Inform them about your exciting news and that you’ll be focusing on your podcast full-time. Ask them what they would like to hear from you in future episodes. 5 Create a website for your podcast (if you haven’t already). This will be the hub for your business, and it needs to represent the brand of your podcast. The website is where listeners can go to purchase products, listen to episodes, read a blog, and offer feedback. Your website will be the most powerful marketing tool for your business. 5 The website is also a great tool to create an email list. Sending out consistent newsletters to your listeners and clients is a perfect way to communicate what is happening with your business, how they can purchase special offers, and to create relationships. 5 Develop short-term and long-term goals for your business, create a marketing plan, and recording schedule. 5 Create products you want to offer and plan when they will launch. 5 Reevaluate your social media presence. Do you want a YouTube channel? Are you on LinkedIn? Think about ways to increase your visibility and be creatively strategic in those ways. 5 Keep an eye on what other podcasting businesses are doing and create relationships with other business owners. Like anything else, being your own boss has pros and cons. There isn’t anyone to hold you accountable to deadlines or to get tasks completed. You’ll need to make your own schedule, manage your time efficiently, and maximize productivity. Be realistic with your goals and make sure you take breaks during the day. Working nonstop for eight hours is a sure fire way to reach burn out quickly. Create a balanced schedule, allow time for yourself, friends, and family. You made this decision so you could do what you love full-time. It’s a marathon, not a sprint! 56
Lit Think by Natalie Boero
How do you get 21st century teenagers interested in and engaged with classical literature? Perhaps, if high school students found literature relevant to their experiences and everyday lives, they might. Sarah Styf and Alicia Drier, co-creators and co-hosts of the Lit Think podcast use their skills and talents as English teachers, podcasters, and fans of popular culture to, “...attempt to make classic literature relevant to 21st-century teenagers.” According to the Lit Think website, Alicia and Sarah’s mission “is to show that the skills learned in the English classroom can and should be used to help us think critically about what we read and watch on a regular basis...We believe that every piece of writing has a purpose, every story is connected, and ultimately language is at the core of every human experience.” Through their podcast, Sarah and Alicia bring together seemingly disparate topics like Obi-Wan Kenobi and the “Hero’s Journey” or an exploration of what Ms. Marvel can tell us about British Imperialism. Alicia and Sarah first met in 2011 while both were new teachers at the same school. At the time, Sarah had already been teaching for nine years, while Alicia was new to teaching having just finished her undergraduate studies. The two became fast friends and even as their teaching careers took different paths, they moved to different states, and had children, Alicia and Sarah stayed in each other’s lives. Ten years later, in 2021 when Sarah was on a break from teaching, she came up with the idea of starting a podcast, and Alicia signed on as a co-host. For both, as they moved in and out of classroom teaching, the podcast became, as Alicia put it, a way to “continue to stretch that teacher muscle in my body.” Sarah agrees that, “...whether we’re in the classroom or not, we’ve never stopped being teachers.” Sarah and Alicia were active podcast listeners before becoming podcasters, though they rarely listened to the same podcasts, Sarah being a self-described “politics junkie” and Alicia gravitating more towards pop culture and literacy podcasts. However, both knew that they wanted to do a bi-weekly podcast that featured them in conversation with each other about literature and pop culture; something they already did as friends. Sarah recalls, “We approached it [the podcast] as teachers. We thought about [how] you write a lesson plan about a podcast.” Alicia and Sarah always envisioned the primary audience for Lit Think being teachers and thus part of the plan was to be sure that Lit Think not be only entertainment, but also a resource for teachers. Alicia explains that this entered into their podcast planning by being sure that they always, “have definitions and resources that are available on hand.” As Lit Think develops, Alicia says that she and Sarah also try to connect their episodes by referencing terms and concepts that came up in earlier episodes in their newer episodes. Providing show notes for their episodes is another way that they try to make the podcast relevant. Alicia says, “listening to one of our episodes, someone could have some terminology from our show notes and work that into a lesson 59
plan.” She goes on to envision a first-year teacher in search of a new way to teach British Literature being able to use the notes and concepts from one of the Ms. Marvel episodes to create a lesson plan. Sarah and Alicia value being able to help their listeners, in Alicia’s words, “take what we are doing and apply it to their teaching.” When Alicia and Sarah started Lit Think, they lived in different states, but now they once again live near each other, though they continue to record their episodes over Zoom. Alicia explains that while they meet up for coffee in person once a month to brainstorm and catch up, recording the podcast over Zoom eliminates the need to drive across town to record and keeps them more focused on the task at hand, “...We can just jump on a video call, talk for a little bit. And press record.” After that recording is done, it is primarily Sarah who edits the episodes. Alicia describes her role in editing, “My version of editing is just, ‘oh, Sarah, can you cut that out please’?” And Sarah, for her part, is happy with that arrangement and is delighted to have learned a lot about editing through podcasting. So far Sarah and Alicia feel like their audience is mostly teachers, though they are looking to expand that audience. The main ways they interact with listeners is through social media using things like giveaways and surveys to connect with listeners, their blog, and their newsletter. For the hosts, the biggest way in which they have expanded their reach is by adding the blog and integrating it with the podcast. Alicia says that, in part, the blog began as a way to be “smarter about social media.” The blog also allows for Sarah and Alicia to have “guests” generate content for them as both feel that the conversational format they use for the podcast works well for them, and they don’t envision the podcast moving to a primarily interview or guest-based format. As podcast fans, Sarah and Alicia have collaborated with other podcasters, but feel that most of their interactions are with other teachers or writers. Sarah explains that the podcasters she does talk to are usually “women educators who are finding their voice and finding how to share what they know with the world through podcasting.” Indeed, for Sarah podcasting is an ideal for this sort of knowledge sharing. As she put it, “It’s one of those mediums that offers an easy way to share your knowledge with other people.” Sarah shares that one of the education podcasts she listens to regularly is, Podcasting for Educators, which is, “A woman telling other educators how they can have a podcast...she (the host) has a lot of really great ideas. I really like listening to what she has to say because she has some pretty good ideas for ways to increase your productivity while podcasting.” 60
While Alicia and Sarah don’t see Lit Think becoming a primary source of income, both expressed a desire to in some way monetize both the blog and the podcast as a secondary source of income especially as teachers are often forced to seek out supplemental income. As they put it, “We both came up in a field where for some people, survival is having that side gig.” Sarah and Alicia also think it is important that teachers and podcasters see the value in what Alicia Drier Sarah Styf they create and share and that they don’t always “give everything away for free.” So, while, both of them have said that they don’t want to feel too much pressure to do that even as they take small steps toward that goal, like offering Substack subscriptions to their content. Sarah cites the popular site teacherspayteachers.com in which teachers sell lesson plans, handouts etc. to other teachers as a potential model. In terms of offering advice to aspiring women podcasters, Sarah suggests that people “get to know the medium first”, to listen to a variety of podcasts in a variety of formats and see what appeals and what doesn’t. Alicia, who describes herself as, “more relational than Sarah” recommends that aspiring podcasters line up support, whether that come in the form of a likeminded co-host, or, if going solo, have a “cheerleader in your corner who you can bounce ideas off of and who can help you hear yourself.” For Alicia, “cheerleaders” are critical for women in media (and other endeavors) because, “...it comes back to that idea of getting rid of the imposter syndrome, and, some of how you do that is to turn outside of yourself and have yourself reflected back to you by someone other than your own inner critic.” While silencing one’s inner critic is important, Sarah also suggests that podcasters be prepared to take legitimate criticism of their podcasts, especially if the podcast topic is something the podcaster is especially passionate about. For Sarah, being passionate about your podcast topic is really important, but, “...you have to be careful with the passion piece because you have to be willing to be criticized about it, too. You have to be willing to say, ‘okay, I’m really passionate about this, but I’m willing to be told I’m wrong.’” For Sarah, “If you’re not willing to be told you’re wrong, then maybe you should find a different topic because it’s also important to be humble, to realize you’re going to make mistakes and try to laugh at them.” Lit Think is now well into its third season (or “chapter” as Sarah and Alicia call it) and shows no sign of slowing down. Indeed, as the co-hosts point out, there is no end to the opportunities for bringing literature and popular culture together!
Website: litthinkpodcast.substack.com Instagram: @litthinkpodcast Facebook: Lit Think Podcast Twitter: @LitThink Country: United States 61
Sexy Ageing by Kathy Barron
As women get older, their mind and body start changing in ways they aren’t familiar with or have knowledge about. The word “menopause” was rarely spoken in the past because it was a sensitive topic, and also because many women didn’t know anything about it. Being a woman in her 50’s, Tracy Minnoch Nuku, host of Sexy Ageing podcast, wants to put an end to the whispering women do when they talk about perimenopause and menopause. Her motivation for starting the podcast stemmed from her own experience with perimenopause; nobody was talking about it, and she wanted to educate others and help them with their experience. Tracy sees the podcast as an opportunity to talk with experts in the field and get the science-based information so many women crave. “I want to help myself, I want to educate myself…and maybe someone out there might get something out of it,” Tracy explains. Getting accurate information and knowing where to look for supportive resources is at times hard to obtain. She adds, “I have lots and lots of questions about longevity, women’s health, and the menopause transition and what does that mean for midlife and beyond.” Tracey hopes to provide insight into the world of menopause by interviewing inspirational women who can lend a hand in how to navigate the changes the mind and body experience. When Tracy started doing research for her podcast, there were moments when she would get excited about the information she was learning and in turn was able to share with listeners. “And then I would get really freaking angry because I’m like, why do we not know this? Why is it that I’m at 50 plus and I’ve been in the fitness industry for over 30 years, and I did not know this about my body, that this would happen and I didn’t know how to help myself,” she exclaims. Tracy began her fitness career as a Group Fitness teacher and Personal Trainer. She also developed teams and fitness training programs in Asia for 20 years. In March 2022, Tracy published her first book, My Menopause Memoir, which talks about her traumatic and heartbreaking journey through menopause. Not only does she share her personal journey, but she also includes interviews she’s had with experts on the podcast. During her years as a Personal Trainer, many of Tracy’s clients were in their 40s and 50s, yet she never heard them talk about menopause even though, thinking back, they were in the throes of it. “It kind of breaks my heart a little because now that I know what I know, I feel like rushing out and telling all the young personal trainers hey, there’s a real opportunity to help and support these women,” she states. Her hope is that she reaches some of those trainers via her podcast, so they can bring the information back to their clients. Throughout her podcasting, there were two key questions that kept coming up for Tracy: what can she do naturally to support her in her fifties and beyond and what support does she need to guide her through the physical and mental challenges. She would then break it down 63
into a specific topic. “For example, how estrogen affects cognitive function or how sleep is the most important foundation to managing menopause symptoms. And then I would tap into those experts that know about that particular topic,” Tracy explains. With each topic she explores, more questions keep popping up which keeps her thinking about the next topic to research. She definitely doesn’t have to worry about running out of content for Sexy Ageing because it’s always evolving and there’s always new research. The podcast is a “journey around learning.” When asked about her favorite episode, Tracy explained that her favorite episodes are the ones where the women are sharing their journey and “it feels like we’re having a girlfriend’s chat over a cup of coffee.” These interactions leave her feeling uplifted and inspired. She’s grateful to have the opportunity to meet such incredible women from around the world. One woman that Tracy enjoyed talking with is Leah Simmons from Australia (EP52 “Keeping It Real with Leah Simmons). Leah is a well known pilates instructor, personal trainer, and kundalini yoga teacher. “We just had a laugh talking about music and reminiscing on things like that,” says Tracy. Another guest who had a similar experience with menopause was Becks McCulloch (EP71 “My Menopause BFF - Everyone Needs One), a physiotherapist and accredited Menopause Support Coach. Tracy and Becks compared their perimenopause experiences, discussed the struggle to get motivated, and unpacked the role of a menopause support coach. Tracy is always learning from her guests, and it helps her realize that many women have very similar experiences. Not all interviews go as smoothly as the episodes with Leah and Becks. Tracy has become more discerning since starting her podcast, and she isn’t afraid to pull an episode if she thinks it doesn’t fit with her message. This point is proven with the feedback she receives from listeners. “The most common feedback, which is ‘thank you for helping me figure out how to talk to my GP’ (General Practitioner) around how to manage menopause,” says Tracy. When she’s looking for guests, Tracy is always striving to make sure listeners are getting the right information and menopause resources. It’s imperative for her to not only have subject matter experts but also talk with women with shared experience. When women hear other’s stories, they know they aren’t alone in their journey.
One guest that made a lasting impact on Tracy was Dr. Rebecca Lewis (EP8 “The one about HRT - Hormonal Replacement Therapy”). Tracy thought HRT was only for women who were really struggling with symptoms. Dr. Lewis, a well known doctor at a menopause clinic in the UK, helped Tracy understand HRT and the benefits it can give menopausal women. “So it’s the first time I’d actually ever spoken to someone about HRT and I had been working really, really hard on managing my menopause symptoms as naturally as possible,” explains Tracy. She feels a responsibility to communicate with her listeners about everything she learns so after speaking with Dr. Lewis, Tracy did her own investigation on HRT. “I was then able to share with the audience my experience because I don’t feel it’s fair to talk about or to take one stance when it comes to this topic,” says Tracy. The conversation with Dr. Lewis was a pivotal moment for Tracy and made her realize that podcasting can be life changing for many people. Before Sexy Ageing became it’s own brand, Tracy had other resources that she created to help women and menopause. “I have a book, an online course, a fitness training app so I have all of these resources that came eventually through my experience of speaking and studying. I really kind of evolved myself in the space so I could help across other digital resources, says Tracy. To Tracy podcasting is an amazing ecosystem and that it’s a great marketing tool. She adds, “because people are, they’re going to relate to you or they’re gonna go ‘oh, I don’t like the way she talks.” Podcasting has given Tracy the opportunity to bring more awareness around menopause and to shed light on the stories of women experiencing it. She hopes that other women who are thinking of starting a podcast will take the chance because regardless if they are an introvert or extrovert, if they have something they want to talk about, someone is out there who needs to hear it. Tracy encourages women to speak about something they are passionate about or enjoy researching so they can build on it because there’s always room for another podcast. So if you’re looking to learn about menopause and the resources that are available, check out Sexy Ageing podcast.
Instagram: @sexyageing TikTok: https: @sexyageing YouTube: SexyAgeing Country: New Zealand 65
Using Affiliate Marketing To Make Money Podcasting Are you looking for ways to monetize your podcast but you’re not sure how to start? Affiliate marketing may just be the option for you. Affiliate marketing involves referring a product or service by sharing it on social media platforms, podcast, or website. The affiliate earns a commission each time someone makes a purchase through the unique affiliate link. Podcasting is considered an affiliate-friendly platform, but be sure that whatever product or service you choose to promote is in line with the vision and values of you and your podcast brand. Once you’ve made the choice to work with an affiliate, you’ll need to decide what products or services your listeners would be interested in purchasing and then seek out affiliate programs that match those products or services. If you’re not sure what your listeners would be interested in, research other podcasts that have similar content. What ads are they mentioning during their shows? This is a great first step in finding an affiliate program that aligns with your podcast and your listeners. What are the benefits to using affiliate marketing? • You don’t have to actually sell the product or service • Takes very little time or effort • Commission rate is higher than what most podcasters make per episode • Self-sustaining The best way to use affiliate marketing is mentioning the product or service in your podcast episodes and providing the affiliate link in the episode show notes and in social media posts. Be sure to provide a clickable link so listeners can easily access the product without copying and pasting the information. The fewer clicks people need to make to get to the product or service the better. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to purchase what they want to buy. Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money with your podcast. There are many affiliate programs available for you to explore. Be sure to check out their commission rates and structures so that it’s clear what they offer in terms of earning power before joining them as an affiliate marketer. 67