Women Who Podcast Magazine - Fall 2022 Issue Seven

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Issue No. 7 Fall 2022

magazine for and about women podcasters

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www.womenwhopodcastmag.com copyright 2022


FALL ISSUE 2022

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OCTOBER ISSUE 2022

The Team KATHY BARRON Founder, Editor-in-Chief

TINA JARAMILLO Writer, Editor

Contributing Writers Hillary Baggett, Elaine Best, Natalie Boero, Elikqitie, Rachel Freeman, Serena Gay, Carolyn Kiel, Rachel Lee Perez, Lauren Deborah, Crystal Warren, Kat Ventoruzzo Graphic Design (Mic Drop/Dropped Mic) Uile Media LLC Logo design Leah Walukones

Advertising For advertising and special project opportunities, please email: info@womenwhopodcastmag.com www.womenwhopodcastmag.com @womenwhopodcastmagazine ©2022 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without written permission from the publisher. The views expressed in Women Who Podcast are those of the respective condtributors and are not necessarily shared by Women Who Podcast and its staff.

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Welcome As Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “The only constant is change.” The change of seasons from summer to fall is usually a time for reflection, preparing for winter, and celebrating our harvest. It’s also a time for retreating indoors and focusing on our homestead. Upon reflecting about the mission of the magazine and what we’ve accomplished since publishing our first issue in April 2021, it occurred to me that Women Who Podcast magazine isn’t just a magazine - it’s a Community. Women deserve to be recognized and highlighted for their accomplishments and I’m so honored that they grace the magazine’s pages. But, what happens after the spotlight fades? This is where community comes into play. When we held our first Women Who Podcast Symposium in May, many amazing ideas came out of the round table discussions. One of those ideas really resonated with all of the attendees, so we created a space where we could gather together and learn from each other. Building a community for and about women podcasters so they can come together to support, encourage, inspire, and educate is essential if we want a larger representation of women in the podcasting industry. Barriers that are holding women back from taking that first step toward having their voices heard need to be removed. The podcasting world needs more women to share their stories and their wisdom! There is power in numbers and with a community of women podcasters, we will knock over any barrier, we will create the change that is needed to accomplish what we want, and we will lift up each other so our voices are heard far and wide!

Kathy Barron Editor-in-Chief

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Contributing Writers

Elaine Best Elaine Best is the host and producer of the mental health/ comedy podcast Angus Eye Tea. She is a mental health advocate, writer, and comedian who spends her days by the beach with her sidekick, Fern. www.anguseyetea.com @anguseyetea

Serena Gay Serena Gay is a BBC-trained radio journalist who founded and now runs Made4U Podcasts based in Cheltenham in the west of the UK. Made4U Podcasts launches podcasts for entrepreneurs, companies, and organizations to help them reach new streams of profitable clients. Serena also personally hosts three podcasts including the weekly with tips and tricks on how to launch a business podcast. www.made4u-podcasts.co.uk

Natalie Boero 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

Carolyn Kiel Carolyn Kiel is an experienced instructional designer of employee training programs. On her award-winning podcast, Beyond 6 Seconds, she features neurodivergent and disabled entrepreneurs, creatives and advocates who shatter misconceptions, break stigma and showcase the vibrance and diversity of these communities. Carolyn has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Vassar College and a Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. @beyondsixseconds

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Contributing Writers

Tina Jaramillo While Tina Jaramillo hasn’t pulled any political strings, she has cut through enough literary red tape to know a juicy political story when she sees one. When she’s not blowing the whistle on historical hi-jinx as co-host of The Muck Podcast, she is corralling her family (including her adorable pup), advocating for others through her volunteer work, or crafting tales and blankets (in no particular order). themuckpodcast.fireside.fm @themuckpodcast

Crystal Warren

Crystal Warren is a writer, astrologer, and self-development coach, who strives to be the architect of her life. www.insightfullycrystal.com

Lauren Deborah

Lauren Deborah is the staff writer for The Wave, a podcasting company helping women create podcasts and leave their mark on the world. In 2021, Lauren launched her podcast, My Dad Stole My Limelight, a podcast about coming out, and has interviewed guests such as Gaby Dunn, Jerrilynn Spears, Al Val, and Andrea Jin. Lauren is also a stand-up comedian and writes her weekly substack hi, lauren deborah!, the digital journal of a chronic oversharer. @mdsmlpod laurendeborah.substack.com

Elikqitie

Elikqitie is a passionate content creator, podcast producer, author, speaker, and serial entrepreneur who understands the importance of content marketing, creating original copy in your voice and style and having consistent branding across your digital marketing platforms. www.travelglutenfreepodcast.com @travelglutenfreepodcast

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Contributing Writers

Kat Ventoruzzo & Rachel Freeman

Rachel Lee Perez 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

Kat Ventoruzzo and Rachel Freeman are co-founders of podprinted - a brand for podcast-loving curious folk. www.podprinted.com @podprinted

Hillary Baggett Hillary Baggett began podcasting as a way to connect with others so that no one would feel alone. As an Entrepreneur, Midlife Mentor, Occupational Therapist, Founder, and CEO of Community Bloom, a Women’s Midlife Network and membership, Hillary is on a mission to help save lives and relationships by supporting female entrepreneurs who have a heart to support midlife women. communitybloom.org hillarybaggett.com @communitybloom

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Ask the Podcaster Why did you start Civics & Coffee podcast? I have always had a passion for history - United States 20th Century History to be precise. And I love talking about historic events and how they inform the present. The podcast really emanated from a conversation with a friend during the summer of 2020. We were discussing the various historic happenings and he mentioned how he enjoyed chatting about history with me, but hated it overall. I knew there were so many people out there who felt the same way and I wanted to do something to help shift that mindset. And knowing most adults are short on time, I decided short weekly episodes could potentially convince adults to give history another chance.

What challenges have you faced as a podcaster? How did you overcome them?

Two words: imposter syndrome. Do people really care what I have to say? Am I really adding any value to the material already out in public? I think as women we struggle so much with a feeling that our words have little value. While it is still an ever present challenge, I’ve found connecting with my listeners and fellow podcasters has helped dull some of that negativity and allowed me to really lean into the podcasting experience.

What do you know now that you wished you knew prior to starting the podcast? How wonderful and welcoming the podcasting and history community is. From day one I have had nothing but positive experiences from strangers across the world. Starting this podcast has been a bit of a personal evolution for me and helped me rediscover a piece of myself. The joy and thrill I have had in researching and putting these episodes together inspired me to move forward in my academic career and I am proud to say I will be starting graduate school in the fall, thanks in part to my experience with the podcast.

What’s one thing you can’t live without (for your podcast)?

My GarageBand editing software! One of the things that terrified me the most when I started out was how I was going to manage the editing piece of the podcasting puzzle. As someone who isn’t a super technophile, learning software is a bit daunting for me. Luckily, Apple makes it super easy to splice, edit and mix up your audio and I love them all the more for it.

Alycia Asai is the host of the weekly United States History podcast Civics & Coffee. An amateur historian, Alycia earned her Bachelor’s Degree in History and will be returning in the fall to pursue a Master’s Degree. She believes history is fun and engaging - if told the right way. When not creating new episodes for the podcast she enjoys traveling with her husband, running to 90’s hip hop and baking all the treats. www.civicsandcoffee.com 9


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Finding Your Purpose & Creating Your Why by Lauren Deborah

Before you go ahead and launch your podcast, you should have a clear sense of why you are doing it (beyond any potential fame and glory, of course). But if your podcast is already live and out in the world, never fear! It is not too late to discover the core purpose of your pod and the best way to do this is by creating your “why” statement. A why statement could also be called a mission statement (and if like me you learned about mission statements from the 2003 film Daddy Daycare, that means you never got past the first sentence on account of Flash tearing it into two. Is this reference too specific? Don’t tell me). Today I am taking you beyond the first sentence, aka the knowledge I gained almost twenty years ago, and into why-statement-expert realm. This article promises to help you narrow down the purpose of your podcast and find the why behind it. What Is A “Why” Statement? A why statement is a promise to yourself detailing the whole reason you’re doing the work in the first place. It is the destination you want the podcast to take you, it is the value you want to add to the world, and it is what you want your audience to get from the show. Having a solid why statement means you never have to worry about whether you are doing right by yourself or your listeners, you only need to refer to this statement to be sure. 1. Why Did You Start Your Podcast In The First Place? This doesn’t have to be one thing. In fact, I encourage you to write a list of all the reasons why — both the big and small — this topic or idea called to you. What about this concept told you it was something you simply had to do? » Do you want to spread awareness of a certain issue? » Do you want to learn more from other people by interviewing them on your subject of choice? » Do you want to create a community that shares an interest in a certain area? » Do you see this as a stepping stone to something else? » Do you think it would help others? » Do you just really love learning about and talking about your topic and will do anything to have more of that in your life? Think back to when the idea first came to you, what made your heart flutter? Think back to the initial planning stages, what excited you the most? Think back to the first person you shared this idea with, what made you smile as you told them? All of these thoughts should prompt you to get back to the gut feeling that urged you to pursue this passion in the first place. 2. What Do You Hope To Get Out Of Your Podcast In The Future? The instant rewards you get from podcasting are endless. You feel the thrill of creating, the joy of putting your ideas out in the world, the pat on the back for you using your voice, and the gratification of seeing those listener stats climb up. But some rewards are longer in the process to arrive and oh-so-worth the work and time. When you begin your podcast, and as it grows, you should regularly check in with yourself to ask what are your personal goals? 11


What do you hope to do next? And where do you want this to take you? » Do you want to build on your already existing personal brand? » Do you want to tour and record live shows in different cities spreading your message? » Do you want this to land you a book deal? » Is there someone you just really wanted to connect with and thought this would be a good “in” to getting in touch with them? (that’s not uncommon, often our unofficial mentors and idols inspire us in ways we didn’t even realize were happening. In fact, you might just now be realizing you started a podcast on poetry because you one day hope to chat with Amanda Gorman, and that is totally awesome). Having goals for the future of your podcast is exciting! Listing them with a rough timeline will help you stay on track. Perhaps you will list where you hope to be in six months, then twelve months, and so on. Come back to this list after every season or after every ten episodes or so and ask yourself where you sit now. How have your future goals changed or grown? What can you cross off this list? Try to think beyond numbers. While numerical, statistical and growth key performance indicators (KPIs) are all relevant, they’re obvious. What KPIs align with your why from the first section? 3. What Do You Want Your Listeners To Get Out Of Your Podcast? You might find that some of your answers to these questions begin to blur, and that is okay. If they are honest answers, they’re allowed to cross off a few reasons of your why. Podcasting can sometimes feel lonely, especially if you are a solo host or don’t interview guests often (or at all). But the fact is you are talking to an audience every time you turn on that microphone, so what do you want them to walk away with when they are done listening? It might be a good idea to write yourself a list of words — feelings, frames of mind, moods — that you align with your vision. » Do you want listeners to feel better informed and therefore better able to help themselves? » Do you want listeners to feel inspired or seen and heard? » Do you want listeners to connect with other like-minded folks?

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Do you want to make them laugh and feel entertained? Do you want to tell a story and for them to feel taken on a journey?

Writing your list of how you’d want them to feel when they are done will not only help write your why statement, but my bonus tip is that reading that list aloud before every recording session, will help you feel aligned ahead of each episode. 4. What Traits Do You Care Most About Representing In Your Podcast? This might also be known as your values list. What are the must-dos and must-don’ts when it comes to the heart of your podcast? » Will this strive to be a welcoming space for everyone, no matter what accessibility they may require? » Does this podcast want to feel healing? Hopeful? Unbiased? Biased? Educational? » Who do you show respect to with every episode (hint: your name absolutely needs to be on this list) » What is important for you to make sure shines in every episode? Creativity? Soul searching? Being true to yourself? Making space for a certain story? » What are the tones you want to convey in every episode? Take these and write yourself a list of promises — sort of like affirmations — that remind you to stay on the path you want to create this podcast on. 5. How Are You Adding Value To The World? Don’t be shy here! Don’t doubt yourself at all. Pretend that no one else will see this (and honestly, they might not). What about this is so fabulous in a way only you and this podcast are? Why you? Why now? » Do you have an amazing sense of humor and the ability to convey that easily, even in tough conversations? » Do you have lived experiences that make your take unique? » Are you an expert interviewer? » Do you have a large following already, making this a message that will spread far and wide? » Is the topic you are covering virtually untouched territory? » Is the concept relevant and timely? Finally, what you want to do is take all of the information you have gathered from your answers, and compile them into one document. And voilà! A why statement (or mission statement) is created! Defining your why means that you can refer to it every time you need to make a decision for your podcast — booking guests, creating bonus content, building social media, seeking out ad partners or deciding on what questions to ask guests — can all be brought back to your why. You can put it at the top of your recording document to refer to every time you sit down to create a new episode, or you can stick it on the wall wherever you record. The important thing is that you can come back to it whenever you need it. Remember that while you may use portions of your why statement throughout some of your podcast or social media copy, its direct purpose is for you. Hello! This is great news because this gives you the permission to not hold back when you create it! Dream big, aim high, be bold, and know your worth. 13


Podcast Your Way to a Community That Blooms by Hillary Baggett

The screech of wheels attempting to stop a speeding, out-of-control train is the sound I would use to describe my experience of how I got into podcasting. In the fall of 2019, I was adjusting to life in Colorado Springs after six years in Stuttgart, Germany. My marriage was on the rocks, my daughter had an urgent surgery for an unknown mass in her neck, and my freshman son was indeed a high school boy. Enough said. Stress and loneliness plagued me like an echo that was aiming for a canyon, but instead went towards the silent abyss. In the middle of a writer’s conference, I stopped dead in my tracks when the publisher asked, “So, what’s your platform?” over one hundred pages into the book I had dreamt of writing for the last 10 years, and I did not even know what he was talking about. What is a platform? Through reflection, I had to consider: what am I good at? Social media? Not so much. Talking? Yes! I love having interesting conversations with people because stories are POWERFUL and help people find unity - build COMMUNITY - and get to know one another. Then, I learned podcasting could be a medium for me to build my platform! Cue the freight train of overwhelm, fear, and paralyzing perfectionism. As I am NOT one to shy away from a challenge, I began the adventure by asking - do I know anyone who is in podcasting? Have I listened to podcasts? The greatest challenge for me was that learning new tech and systems felt like drinking from a firehose. Mix that with the brain fog that comes with the fluctuating hormones of peri-menopause (the 10 years that precedes the last menstrual cycle) and a sprinkle of fear and insecurity, and you have something more closely resembling a molotov cocktail than a way to relax and unwind on a Friday night. Deep breath. Anytime I feel overwhelmed, I now know it is okay to ask for help. But am I ready to sign up for a “how to podcast” course costing hundreds of dollars – sounds like a lot. What I later learned is that investing time and energy into what lights me up (including expert training) is worth it. I am worth spending the time and money it takes to learn from people with experience. I would spend a whole lot more money and time trying to figure it all out on my own. I called a friend who had recently started a podcast. Sometimes, those who are new to something, know the latest tips, tricks, and resources. Other times, seasoned professionals are the ideal mentors. Wisdom from both is equally valuable. In order to find the balance between investing in myself and my frugal nature, I decided to DIY it - go as cheap as possible, but the truth is: sound quality matters! So I invested in a Blue Yeti with a boom to free up space on my desk, built a website on Squarespace, and learned how to use GarageBand on my Mac computer. Later, I invested in a standing desk and a portable adjustable desk. I handmade an egg crate soundproofing box, and even tried recording in my daughter’s carpeted closet. Those clothes and blankets REALLY make a difference in 14 dampening ambient sound.


So… I declared I would do it. By the new year, I would release a podcast. I also set the lofty goal of releasing one per week – ha! Time to record the trailer - yikes! After twenty-three attempts and asking my husband and daughter for WAY too much feedback, I finally said - ENOUGH! It’s just 2.5 minutes that few people would EVER hear - let’s just do it! Twenty plus episodes in, I was feeling burned out from juggling my family, marriage, dog, and paid job as an occupational therapist. Finally, I gave myself permission to release my podcasts less often, shifting to a biweekly or monthly schedule. Think monthly or bi-weekly just to take the pressure off of yourselves. If you later build up to weekly, terrific. This lesson was learned the hard way. This evolution gave the second season a totally different vibe. I licensed my music and began to move forward. License music from sources like Tribe of Noise - pick a song that you can break up into drama, lighter feelings, hope, and more. In the summer of 2021, I went through a true midlife crisis, had a major surgery, and discovered my mission in life: to save lives, relationships, and support women in midlife. Everyone thought I would give up podcasting, but I LOVED the people, the process, and the products. And, I still do. This journey has been a roller coaster filled with challenges and adventures, but I have learned to do what ignites the spark in me: to serve and support others in their business and podcasting ventures. When I feel stuck, I remember, I am NOT alone and neither are you. Keep moving forward, even one step at a time! If I can, so can you! In closing, here’s my advice - whether in podcasting or in life: Release perfection and keep moving forward. One step at a time is better than staying stuck. Greet fear, and know it might be a consistent companion or regular visitor. Create space for that fear to co-exist with the excitement and energy that there are people who need you and to hear your message. 5 Get comfortable being uncomfortable - physically, emotionally, mentally, professionally. 5 Starting is one step closer to finishing. 5 5 5 5

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How to Find and Grow Your Audience by Serena Gay

How to increase your downloads is the great podcasting conundrum of our times. But I think I’ve got some great ideas for finding and nailing your audience. Some you may know, but I hope you’ll find inspiration from some of the other suggestions. To begin, I must impart a painful truth. You can craft a superb production (and I’m sure readers, that you do), but without first understanding who it is for and where your potential listeners hang out, then you are on the way to failure. Nil desperandum…because there is so much you can do to get it right from the outset that you need never risk publishing your podcast into a hollow audio void. And most if not all the ideas that follow do not mean you have to throw money at growing your audience. Forgive me (if you have some marketing knowledge) for saying the obvious but knowing who your ideal listener is and what they need to know from you is massively important. Do you have an ideal podcast listener persona in mind? If not, I urge you to create one. You need to imagine what their likes and dislikes are, their habits and their pain points to help you understand what they need to know from you. This in-depth knowledge helps you plan content that will resonate and help spread word of your fascinating podcast. Knowing where your ideal podcast listener hangs out is also vital. That’s part of the reason why I am happy to write for the Women Who Podcast magazine – because I help people make podcasts, so this is somewhere I need to be. I suggest drawing up a list of all the social media pages and groups you need to be part of and make your voice heard by contributing usefully – but not in a salesy way - to discussions. If network meetings are where your peeps go – so should you. For meetings in the flesh, hand out cards printed with the name of your show and use every opportunity to point people to it explaining how to find it. Volunteer to speak to online groups or at meetings. It makes a huge difference to be able to present yourself as an expert in your sphere, and then you can encourage people to learn more by listening to your podcast. The more people feel they know you, the more your loyal following will grow. Once you have these basics in place and your podcast has been launched, there are a whole slew of possibilities for freely promoting it and winning new listeners. Devise social media posts that pique interest and make people want to listen. Just saying “Here it is folks!” doesn’t cut the mustard so spice up your podcast posts. 17


Ideas on how to do this might include: ಂ Using pictures of yourself behind the scenes making your podcast ಂ Issuing an invitation to your listeners to apply to be a guest on your show ಂ Publishing a video of you talking about your latest edition ಂ Making audio clips, like headliners, to give people a quick listen to your content Involve everyone you can: ಂ Existing listeners: ask for their opinions and input. Mention them by name if you use their ideas and contact them in person to ask if would share the episode with their contacts ಂ Guests: hopefully, you can leverage their fan base. Make it easy. Provide a post with their picture on and the text you’d like them to use. (Warning – not all business podcast guests help you out here. Some won’t have the time. So, make it as easy for them as possible Help people subscribe to your podcast. You’d be amazed how few people even know how to do that. I place buttons on my podcast landing page that simplify the whole process for potential new listeners:

In the same way that you’re helping people to subscribe, actively help them to review your podcast. Go out there and ASK people to rate and review and publish posts with clear instructions on where and how to do that. Explain that this is important to your podcast’s success. Don’t feel afraid to ask for a helping hand. 18


Write good show notes that use key words and feature useful links. Promote your podcast by being a guest on other podcasts. Present yourself imaginatively but politely and, if they haven’t replied after a decent length of time, write a follow up email. For this strategy to be a success, you have to be organized and consistent about it. Seek out podcasts which have been around for a while and which obviously relate to your podcast theme and expertise. Try not to choose brand new ones with a small listener base. You need to make this worth your while! If you have a VA this is the ideal job for them. Get them to draw up a list of potential podcasts and contact details (which can be surprisingly tricky to track down). Write short pithy messages on why they would be interested in you and vice versa. (Beware – some of them might never use interview guests at all – so do your due diligence!). Put together a spreadsheet of interesting podcasts and log information in columns about when you contacted them, when you sent out a second reminder request, their response and booking details. If you manage to book a sizable number, be super clear on dates and contact details. There’s nothing more embarrassing than forgetting about your podcast interview gigs! Final piece of advice on this: do plan to make the most of your podcast guest appearances. Make sure you repeat the name of your podcast during the interview, flaunt your expertise, impress on people how they can find you and flatter your host. Their podcast promotion efforts will benefit you too, so make them feel they want to do an extra good job for you. And of course, promote the hell out of it, too! Hold competitions. A simple approach to this would be to invite people to enter a free draw for a nice give-away as long as they show they have shared information about your podcast on their social media, and that they have rated, reviewed, and subscribed to your podcast Share a podcast recording with another podcast in a similar (but not the same) field. Cross-promote podcasts that compliment your theme. Find newsletters and agree to cross-promotions there, too. Find blogs in your niche and ask them to mention your podcast. You can return the favor on your podcast, in your show notes, and in your own blogs. Subscribe to the free helpareporter.com, or the paid for service Response Source, and make yourself available to journalists looking for sources of information. Promote your podcast to your email list, and if you don’t have one… start building one! All these promotions are fun exercises in engaging with other people. What works best for you will only become clear once you’ve tried a few out! You simply won’t have time to do them all, but use these ideas to work out your promotions strategy, and you will definitely find and grow

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The Wondering Mind by Kathy Barron

Facing your fear and doing something out of your comfort zone is not easy to do especially when anxiety and depression challenges you on a daily basis. Putting ourselves first to take care of our mental health can be difficult which is why Emily Davis created The Wondering Mind podcast. “It’s nothing I had ever considered doing because it was just so out of my comfort zone. But I was going through a lot at the time and was listening to these podcasts,” says Emily. The podcasts were inspirational, motivational, and much of the information aligned with what was going on in her life at the time. Emily was battling mental health issues and was not in a good place, so she started taking care of herself and her mental health for the first time in her life right before she started the podcast in February 2020. The inspiration to start her podcast came from her listening to these other podcasts. “If I started my own podcast and talked about mental health and shared the stuff that I’ve gone through and brought people on to share their experiences because I’d never been in a place mentally like that before,” adds Emily. The moment she started feeling good was a big awakening for her, and she really wanted to share with people that it is possible to move through difficult times and be in a good place. Creating a new podcast has its challenges but starting it a month before the pandemic made it even more difficult for her. “It was really hard because first of all, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing…but it was also my saving grace and honestly, it got me out of a really dark place leading into the pandemic. If I didn’t have that outlet, if I hadn’t had that way of communicating with other people during that time, who knows what would have happened,” she says. Even though Emily was doing well mentally, it didn’t necessarily mean that the struggle was completely gone. She describes it as an “ebb and flow to the ups and downs.” Having the podcast made a huge impact on her and her listeners in a positive way. Knowing that she wanted to start a podcast but didn’t have any equipment, Emily decided to take the leap on her birthday. She hadn’t planned on it but was “feeling her feels” and had some stuff she wanted to say, so she bit the bullet and recorded her first episode on her cell phone. “I was basically just venting and trying to make it interesting and helpful. I have no notes; it was just completely raw and in the moment,” says Emily. She admitted that she isn’t necessarily a spontaneous person but when she’s in the creative flow, she trusts herself enough to say whatever comes to mind. Nowadays, she does need to plan and schedule her recordings. In the two and a half years that The Wondering Mind has been on the airwebs, it has evolved in a way that Emily didn’t expect. When listening to the early episodes of the podcast, she realized how far she has come and the progress she has made. Staying consistent, conducting interviews, and editing was difficult for her, but she proved to herself that she was able to stick 23


with it and see the growth that she has gained. “Trying to build this brand that comes along with the podcast I utilized that as a healthy outlet. And learning to not run away from my feelings helped me get through certain things which is probably the number one thing that most people don’t want to do,” explains Emily. Not only did she start therapy but she also stopped drinking alcohol and started practicing yoga. Dealing with her mental health in 2020 allowed her to face her fears and make monumental changes in her life. She has become more self aware, confident, and secure in being a podcaster. “I was nervous when I was interviewing people, and now it’s almost like second nature to me, and I just thrive when I’m interviewing people and having these conversations,” says Emily. Marketing and creating content has become easier for her, and she’ll be launching a website soon. She adds, “so it’s weird to think two years ago how all the pieces were just scattered all over the place, and now the puzzle is like almost coming together completely.” Although she has enjoyed all of her guest interviews, one stands out for her the most. Interviewing Louisville District 4 Councilman Jecovey Arthur (EP68) was a surprise for her because she didn’t expect their conversation to go the way it did. “It was just so uplifting, and he gave such insightful tips,” says Emily. She’s grateful for all of the conversations she’s had with her guests and would love to expand her guest list by interviewing Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez to discuss how they handle challenges with their mental health. She adds, “I’ve very interested in getting to the psychology of the way they are because they’re in the spotlight and in unique situations. So having any type of celebrity on that could just really share their truth would be so fascinating and fun for me.” Emily believes that if more celebrities talked about their mental health, younger people who look up to them would be greatly impacted and realize they aren’t alone. As an adolescent, none of her idols talked about mental health, and she struggled and felt very out of place. Having celebrities on her podcast would send a message that it’s okay to talk about mental health and people don’t have to hide it anymore. In 2020, when Brianna Taylor was murdered and the Black Lives Matter movement began in Louisville, Kentucky, Emily got involved with mental health organizations, advocates, and mental health professionals. “With everything that was going on I knew we needed to do something that would help our city. We have an organization called The Pete Foundation that hosts a music festival and I wanted to create something more of a block party,” explains Emily. The Mindfest Mental Health Festival was founded in May 2021. The goal of the festival is to bring mental health resources specifically to Black and minority communities. The event provides panel discussions, art, music, mental health and wellness vendors, and activities for people of all ages. 24


Emily wants to share her passion of podcasting with everyone who is looking to start their own. For her, diving right in without any equipment was the best route for her and gave her the boost to prove to herself she can do it and keep going. “If you have something in your heart and you really want to start something, there’s no need to start something perfect or with everything in order because you don’t know what you need yet,” she says. Doing too much research to figure out what equipment to buy may be too overwhelming for some people so Emily’s advice is to not think twice about it and the pieces of the puzzle will fall into place naturally. The podcast community is a great networking opportunity and learning how other podcasters produce their show. Sometimes it’s easier to have a podcaster on as a first guest because they are comfortable being behind the microphone and know how the conversation flows. Although Emily has felt more confident about being consistent with her podcast episodes in the last couple of years, there are still times when she’s feeling too exhausted and not feeling up to recording. “Not only has my mental health been a challenge and kind of taken over in many situations but PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) and my cycle has also impacted the consistency of me putting out episodes and creating content and feeling creative,” she explains. These moments make Emily question herself and second guess whether or not she should be doing the podcast at all. Feeling burnt out, super depressed, or that the podcast isn’t going anywhere are the biggest challenges she’s had to overcome. Emily does her best to hold herself accountable and also give herself some grace when it comes to the podcast and her mental health. She wants to see a bigger and better space for women podcasters and for people to take them more seriously. “There are some pretty big women podcasters but for the micro podcasters I want us to be given a chance because there’s so much good content out there and so many dedicated and creative people that need to be heard and want to be heard. I just hope that we all get our shot, we all get our chance,” says Emily. With her bravery and steadfastness, Emily is leading the way for women podcasters.

Website: thewonderingmindco.com Mindfest: mindfestlou.com Instagram: @thewonderingmindpodcast Facebook: The Wondering Mind Podcast Country: United States 25


26


The Professional Homegirl by Kathy Barron

We all know the saying “leap and the net will appear” but when it comes to Eboné Almon, she runs and jumps without a net. She may not know where she’ll end up when she jumps but given what she has accomplished in the last four years, she may never land. Taking risks is something Eboné is not afraid of, and the riskier the better. When her grandmother passed away seven years ago, Eboné was devastated and experienced major depression. At that time, mental health was not something that was talked about, and she knew she needed some guidance in sorting through the grief and loss she was feeling. Eboné explains, “I need to go to therapy because I don’t think I’m gonna make it. So I was going to therapy, and my therapist was giving me all the tools and resources to move on, how to navigate through grief and dealing with loss and learning how to deal with anxiety.” As she was going through therapy, Eboné thought about creating a safe and open platform for women of color to talk about the things they go through in life. Initially, she was going to start a blog, but living in fast-paced New York City didn’t quite fit that mold. She realized that she loved talking to people, and having her own podcast would be the perfect springboard. “One of the main reasons why I wanted to get into podcasting is because people will always just tell me things. I think one of my superpowers is I know how to make people feel safe, and I make people feel seen,” explains Eboné. She decided to give the podcast a try and started with sharing her story of the trauma she experienced as a child. It was important for her to create a space for women where they didn’t have to “look far to see themselves.” Humanizing stories that she has heard from friends and peers is an essential part of her podcast. “It’s really hard navigating in this world when you don’t have access to resources, or you don’t have the support. I wanted a platform where women could share their stories without judgment,” explains Eboné. She definitely feels like she has found her purpose in life. One of the unique aspects of The Professional Homegirl podcast is that the guests are anonymous. She believes this anonymity makes people feel more comfortable and safe in sharing their stories. “Cause if people know who you are then you’re not gonna be able to share all of the details because with certain topics shame comes, guilt comes; it comes with so many mixed emotions,” says Eboné. She also signs a NDA with each guest so their identity is kept confidential. But women aren’t the only ones grateful to hear these stories. Men have reached out 27


to let her know that hearing the stories from a woman’s perspective is eye opening for them. She adds, “It’s hard to get through to them (men) and I wanted The Professional Homegirl (PHG) podcast to be a conversation starter.” As far as having a favorite episode, Eboné feels like every episode is relatable. Recently, she’s interviewed women working as a 911 dispatcher (EP166) and an autopsy technician (EP172). She isn’t afraid to talk about taboo topics or have conversations that would make someone uncomfortable. As long as she’s interested in the topic and feels people will gravitate toward the episode, she’s all for it. Looking back to her first episode four years ago, Eboné remembers being so nervous her Tennessee accent came through. “I’ve been in New York for ten years but every now and then, if I’m tired or hungry, my accent comes out, so I was sounding very country for my first episode,” she explains. She knew she had something special with PHG and waited for everyone else to catch on. She adds, ”and then I remember when I first released it, and I was so happy because I had like five listeners and I was like, wow, five people are listening to me right now. It’s just so funny to see something grow.” In the beginning of her podcast journey, Eboné felt like she had to make others believe in her even though she believed in her brand. “To the women out there or just anybody in general, I don’t care if people don’t believe in me ‘cause I believe in me, and that’s all the validation that I need. I think that a lot of times people get so caught up in like, well I need this person to listen,” she says. Another piece of advice she wants to convey to women is to get out of their own way. Sometimes we overthink things because we want them to be perfect. It’s okay to want certain people to listen, but ask yourself if they are truly the right people. The future of PHG includes interviewing celebrity guests. Eboné believes celebrities will open up more freely and share intimate details of their lives if they are anonymous. She would like to have conversations about the real stuff and how they have overcome difficult times. Along with exploring provocative topics, Eboné has explored unique ways to move her podcast forward. A risk that surprised herthe most was the creation of The Professional Homegirl coloring book. The coloring book complements the podcast in that each page is a drawing of an episode with a QR code for people to listen. “I have never created a book before, so I didn’t even know where to start, so I went to Google University and started researching, and I’m like, ‘oh create a coloring book,’” explains Eboné. During the pandemic people were looking for ways to fill their down time and reduce stress, so she felt the coloring book would be a cool way for people to do that. 28


An avid reader herself, Eboné visited different bookstores in the city to further her research but found that books were uninspiring and identical. “There was just no variety so I wanted to create a coloring book that reflected my lifestyle along with my friends, the women I knew, and obviously the women from the show,” she adds. Even though she was obsessed with the idea, she was also scared of not knowing how it would be received. But when the coloring book started to sell she knew taking the risk was definitely worth it and she’s proud of herself for doing it. The second volume of the coloring book is currently available to preorder. But providing unique content and merch isn’t the only important thing she thinks podcasters should focus on. In fact, diversity is just one thing Eboné would like to see more of in the podcasting community. Diversity in race and in topics. She believes that women podcasters have so much more to offer and would like to see them think more outside of the box. “…to really think big ‘cause I think anything is possible, and I think as long as you believe anything can come to fruition…I’m tired of hearing the same things,” says Eboné. Being creative in different ways, and still being yourself, is critical for podcasters to grow. And she makes sure to include diversity in her own show. Hearing from listeners is very rewarding for Eboné because women are contacting her to say they feel seen. A women who contracted a STD and was contemplating suicide emailed Eboné to say the episode “I Have Herpes” (EP158) saved her life. “I think definitely within my community, the black community, we were taught to like whatever happens in this house stays in this house. So to be able to share these stories that I know like this is not something you talk about openly it’s like oh my God,” says Eboné. Listeners from Africa have also reached out to her after listening to “I Am HIV Positive” (EP10) because of how open and free American women are in talking about the topic. Getting different perspectives from such a diverse group of people is amazing to Eboné and her wish is that it gives them hope. For Eboné, The Professional Homegirl isn’t just a podcast or a business, it’s who she is and what she represents. Her ultimate goal is to quit her day job and focus all of her time and energy on evolving and growing the brand. I’m positive her Grandmother would be very proud of Eboné and the empire she has created.

Website: www.thephgpodcast.com Instagram: @thephgpodcast TikTok: @thephgpodcast Country: United States 29


Collaboration: Moving Your Podcast Forward You’ve conquered your fear of starting a podcast, are more comfortable behind the microphone, interviewed amazing guests, and found some loyal listeners. You’ve made it! Now what? Expanding your listening audience is crucial to growing your podcast. I know, just add it to the list to ALL of the other tasks you do like researching, editing, interviewing…the list is never ending. But one fairly easy way to grow your audience is collaborating with other podcasters. Why take the time to work with other podcast hosts? It’s an opportunity to reach listeners that may not know you exist. Like you, there are other podcasters that are looking to grow their listenership so why not help each other become successful. Regardless of your genre, there are always podcasters that want to collaborate with you. The key is finding them and letting them know you’re interested. Being a guest on another podcast is just one way to reach listeners. Here’s a list of other creative ways to collaborate and get your podcast noticed. Trailer Swap The trailer gives the listener a quick synapse of the show. All you need to do is insert a trailer into your show and vice versa. You don’t have to think about what to say or how to promote the other podcaster; all the work is done for you. Shout-out One of the easiest and most straightforward ways to collaborate with another podcast is to ‘shout out’ one another. All this takes is reaching out to other shows, offering to do a promo swap, and either writing your own copy, or asking your collaborators to write the copy in their own style. Before starting the actual promo swap, agree on how many times each collaborator will be promoted and how soon the promotion will start. Being vetted by a fellow podcaster is priceless, and you’ll start seeing new listeners streaming in. 30


Guest Content Many podcasts, especially those that have already built up an audience and community, have a website to showcase their latest episodes. They are always looking for new ways to boost their show and would welcome help with content. One way to do this is write an article for their website and have a link to your own podcast. This will encourage their listeners to check out your show. Now that you have these great ideas, how do you find podcasters who are interested in collaborating? There are millions of podcasts out there to create opportunities for you to find new collaborators. Be intentional in your research - you don’t want just any podcaster. Keep an eye on how much of your valuable time you’re spending on content for other podcasts. Your number one priority is your podcast. It’s crucial to find mutually beneficial collaborators that will broaden your listenership. To find podcasters to who want to collaborate, start with social media. This may take you down the rabbit hole but check out what other podcasts your listeners are following. Posting a CTA (call-to-action) on social media for your listeners to tag the podcasts they listen to can also generate some leads. Another resource are podcast directories - these can be a fruitful option to finding other podcasters in your niche. Once you have found podcasts that you want to work with, you’ll need to show them that collaborating with you has value. When you reach out to them, show them that you have traction, talk about the guests you’ve featured, and even link to other podcasts you’ve worked with. This will show that you don’t operate in a vacuum and that you’re actively building a community around your podcast. Let them know you already have dedicated, lifelong fans, but you’re looking to grow your audience. Make the outreach personal, show them that you’ve listened to the podcast, and how you’d like to collaborate with them. Be sure you are specific in how you will promote them and layout what you expect from them in return. When the time comes to deliver what you promised, make sure the final product is professionally produced. This will leave a lasting impression for more opportunities for collaboration.

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We’re Obsessed With Podcasts! Here’s Why! by Kat Ventoruzzo and Rachel Freeman

“So I was listening to this podcast…” it’s the phrase that sparked a friendship and led to the development of a business that was built to inspire curiosity through a shared love of podcasts. Hi! We’re Kat and Rachel - self-proclaimed podcast junkies, co-founders of podprinted, and we’re on a mission to create products that inspire and celebrate the pursuit of knowledge. Our relationship started while working together at a local health department. We’d always be annoying our poor co-workers with our frequent chatter about the latest podcast we were binging. Oftentimes, the conversation dug into a new lesson that was shared during the podcast or an interesting antidote we had gleaned while listening. We loved the world of discovery that podcasts opened up to us. The rich and compelling stories we’d find within each audio file hooked us immediately, and we can’t seem to get enough. Humans have been storytelling since the dawn of time. It’s a way for us to make sense of the world, and it’s a fundamental part of being human. Stories create an emotional connection and through them, we can gain a deeper understanding of other people’s experiences. This not only helps us understand their lives but allows us to take the lessons they’ve learned and apply them to our own lives. We believe people’s capacity for growth is limitless. We all have the ability to adapt, listen to each other, change our minds, learn new skills, and deepen our empathy. This is why we’re so drawn to podcasts as a communication medium. We wanted to share with Women Who Podcast Magazine readers why we love podcasts so damn much and what we look for in what we would consider a “good” podcast. We understand that making a great podcast is no easy feat. Of course quality audio and a carefully planned show structure are critical elements to capture an engaged audience, but the true magic is in the ability to tell a compelling story. This starts with focusing on a central idea or message that you want to convey to the audience. Whether this is over a podcast season or in each episode, the podcast’s message is most compelling when it is shared alongside the host or their guests personal experience. Personalizing the humans behind the mic, by giving them the space to share their story, highlights the why and how people take the actions they do. We believe this creates empathy and challenges the way we think, allowing us to grow. To further persuade and draw in an audience the message must be delivered authentically. As podcast listeners, we want to feel like we are in the room and part of the conversation. This often calls for the host(s) to be vulnerable by sharing how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking, or to be brave and ask hard and challenging questions not only of their guests but of themselves. It’s most exciting when this relationship that the listeners have with podcasts are taken out of the headphones and into the conversations that they have each day with others in the real world. This is what creates a community of podcast lovers. As you can probably tell, we love podcasts, people who listen to podcasts, and of course people who create podcasts. We wanted to find other people like us, who could also talk for hours about their latest podcast binge session, why they were hooked, and what they took away from listening. We created podprinted so we could identify people like us in the world and inspire a conversation by asking, “What’s your favorite podcast?” 33


34


Three Kitchens Podcast by Kathy Barron

When Erin Walker, Sarah Somasundaram, and Heather Dyer stood around their kid’s preschool playground seven years ago, little did they know they would be hosting a podcast together. What led them down the path from playground to podcast? It all started with conversations about what to cook for dinner. As their kids got older, planning meals became a challenge because their meals increased, food allergies came into play, and food preferences changed. Getting creative with food isn’t easy for everyone, but they were able to learn from each other and share family recipes. The pandemic was also a catalyst for the creation of Three Kitchens Podcast. Heather explains, “we couldn’t get together as often, we were home for periods of time, and we started ‘Zooming’ as everyone else did. We would typically turn it on at dinner prep time, pour a drink, get a started on dinner, turn the Zoom on, and we’d be asking each other what do you cook, and what are you making for dinner.” Heather feels she has the steepest learning curve among the three of them and continues to fly by the seat of her pants when it comes to meal planning. They help each other fill the gaps when it comes to cooking and baking, especially when it comes to pronouncing unfamiliar words. Being stuck at home with their families and not being able to socialize with friends made them crave a creative outlet. It took them a while to figure out what they wanted to do and how they were going to structure a podcast about cooking because it’s typically done visually and by well known Delish homemade poptarts (EP “Pop Goes The Tart”) professional chefs. “In Canada, we call February the longest month of the year because you don’t want to be outside anymore, no winter time activity sounds like fun anymore, and we’re all cooped up; it’s cold as hell, like February is our hate month,” says Erin. So what better time to come together and create a podcast! Erin, Sarah, and Heather took the month of February to decide whether they were going to go for it or decide not to move forward with the podcast. Erin continues, “we really put a lot of effort into developing our template and how we’re going to do it. We started practicing and like figuring out how the Zoom thing works, and figuring out how to record, and learn how to edit the audio—can can we make music. That’s when we really started putting a lot of our effort and free time into doing that just so we didn’t have to look outside and see February.” And as any chef says, Viola! Their first podcast episode came out of the oven in April 2021. The hosts share podcast responsibilities; Erin is the editor magician, Sarah is the video expert, and Heather writes the show notes and is the social media influencer. In their own words: they share one brain. Not only do they share the production tasks for each episode, they also cook every recipe that they talk about on the episode. “It’s not just something I cooked two months ago. 35


I’m cooking this week because we’re recording about it this week, so we actually have cooked and eaten when we say we’ve cooked and eaten,” says Heather. Once the main host for the episode cooks the food, they deliver it to the others beforehand so they can taste it while recording the episode. Last Thanksgiving’s episode where the hosts decided to make a feast for the holiday from a local indigenous cookbook was one instance where a couple of the hosts were a bit nervous to try what was prepared. Sarah explains, “I picked a tea that was actually delicious. I had to get the tea leaves from eastern Canada and get it delivered over here, and then I was reading up about it, it’s like ‘Don’t drink too much of it.’ In the past if you’ve had maybe parasites or other situations, maybe you needed it. I was like maybe this should come with a warning.” Erin and Heather agreed that it was a delicious tea but were definitely nervous to drink it. For those who are interested in trying the tea, it was Labrador tea leaf from the Labrador region of Canada. But remember Sarah’s warning label. While discussing the Labrador region, the conversation moved to topics of folklore and Big Foot. But veering off topics is part of the charm of Three Kitchens Podcast. “That happens often with this podcast. This is why Erin’s a fantastic audio editor,” says Sarah. Erin adds, “Yeah, the dangers of three hosts. The tangents are three times as bad.” Food photography is also something the women haven’t quite mastered yet but are definitely doing their best to make sure the food looks as good as possible so people are interested in trying the recipe. Sometimes, they prop their phones on the hood fan of the stove so that it looks down at what they are preparing. The hosts want to be as authentic as possible when talking about the recipe and the process of cooking the dish. “I think we tried once to pretend and do the precooking thing, and I remember Sarah being like, ‘we can’t do that, I feel like I’m lying’,” says Erin. Sarah adds, “I had like big sweat patches.” Their dry, witty, and sarcastic humor also keeps the episodes fun and entertaining. Not only do they want to highlight their weekly meals, one of their visions for the podcast is to

Sarah

Heather

Erin 36


lift up small, local business makers (farmers, bakers, producers) and be a bit more active in the community. For them, meeting people is the fun part of the podcast and since restrictions came down everybody was ready to meet up. A year ago they attended a farm to table community event where they met local producers of lamb, honey, wine, and ice cream. They recently interviewed local Alberta shepherds, Ryan and Janna Greir of Whispering Cedars Ranch to learn more about their farm and tips for cooking lamb (September 26, 2022). In July 2022, Alexis Cobham, co-founder of Cheese Maker, talked to the hosts about how the company began and the many kits they provide to make cheese at home. When asked about their favorite episode, the three hosts had three different answers. Erin’s favorite is when she made her grandmother’s strudel recipe, Sarah’s most memorable episode is when she got to have a date with her husband (and her “boyfriend” Chef Roy - from his cookbook), and Heather reminisced about Erin’s mayonnaise episode. “That one was painful,” adds Erin. “You know how the best stories when you’re traveling aren’t like everything went great. Nobody likes that story, but when you’re like this was awful and I almost killed someone, great story everyone laughs at it.” Their goal for Three Kitchens Podcast is to provide some inspiration for people that cook every day. So when they choose recipes, each host has a different approach to the process. Sarah basically lets her stomach do the talking, and what she happens to be craving at the moment. Heather and Erin base their decisions on curiosity, and if they’ve eaten it before. “We don’t discuss ahead of time what we’re making. Some times we just check in because we just kind of circulate around, and we don’t want to have two very similar recipes in a row,” says Heather. She adds, “I see it as a kind of excuse to do that scary thing that I would never have otherwise.” One recipe that surprised all of them was when Erin made persimmon jam. Persimmons aren’t grown in their area, but Erin saw the fruit in a local grocery store and decided to take a risk. “That’s when we discovered what an astringent mouth feel is. I guess my persimmons weren’t ripe enough and I didn’t say anything about the fact that it didn’t turn out, I just delivered the jam and said enjoy,” adds Erin. Heather’s reaction after eating the persimmon jam was not her typical response of “wow, that’s amazing! I want more of it!” It was more like “WTF did I just eat?!” “It was like sprouting in your mouth. It was so fuzzy and then Erin said it was like eating velvet. It was so weird,” states Heather. Erin had previously made persimmon pudding that was strangely delicious so making the jam seemed fool proof. For many of the recipes they make, there is definitely trepidation at times when they receive the finished product at their doorstep because they don’t tell each other how the recipe turned out and they can’t eat it until they record the episode. Like the time Heather made macarons. She delivered a sealed box to Sarah and Erin after texting them earlier in the day that nothing wasn’t working out for her, and it sounded like a cooking horror story. “It was sealed in a box and the anticipation…I was like a two year 37


old at Christmas. I would touch it and lift it up and be like nope, she gave it to us (we met up in person in the morning) and then we were planning on recording later in the afternoon, and it was like killer not to open,” says Erin. Spoiler alert: the macarons turned out deliciously fantastic. Sarah likes to surprise, and sometimes lie, to Erin and Heather when it’s her turn to cook. In the episode Dumplings To Die For (April 25, 2022), Sarah made filling for Nepalese Momos, dropped off dumpling wrappers, and then taught them how to wrap their own dumplings during the recording of the episode. According to Erin, Sarah likes to keep them on their toes by delivering food without any real clue as to what they are eating and only telling them half of the story (Where’s the beef? Not in this burger! March 28, 2022). “She made a no meat burger and dropped it off and said all these weird things to us about the food like just left, and we were like what are we eating. So she’s that slick and lied about what she was making,” says Erin. The camaraderie among the three hosts is palpable, and you can tell they have a great time cooking, eating, and making each other laugh. The hosts love to cook and are grateful they can share this love with others around the globe. Sarah shares her advice for anyone thinking of starting a podcast. She says jokingly, “Find two other friends.” But continues on a more serious note, “and do what you like. I think that has been the biggest motivator when we get exhausted with all of this is that we love cooking, we love food so it’s something we will do anyway. And it’s something that brings us back to the podcast. I think there are so many frustrations that can happen when you start something new, and if it’s something you love it’s going to be all that more motivating.” Erin and Heather recommend reaching out to the podcast community for support, it’s okay to make mistakes, and imposter syndrome is a real thing. Sarah adds, “and another encouraging thing about starting a podcast is you get to make friends.” Being able to talk with anyone in the world via Zoom has been a positive thing for the hosts. “If we had never learned to Zoom and talk with each other over video, I think that would have been a big barrier for us continuing on the podcast because we were trained, and we learned how to make this normal. If we had gone back three, five years and said we’re all going to talk to each other through our headphones on a screen and make this happen, we would have been like, ‘yeah no I’m never going to do that’,”says Erin. What makes Three Kitchens Podcast unique is their ability to not only talk about food and recipes but to share funny stories and experiences they’ve all had in their lives. “Sometimes we talk about the most bizarre things that are kind of related to food and so you will be plugging into those kind of stories as well,” shares Sarah. Before diving into the recipe of the episode, the hosts like to have a little chat about something they’ve researched, something they’ve learned, or some crazy scientific experiments with food. Through those playground connections seven years ago, Erin, Sarah, and Heather have created a little village within their neighborhood and have also formed a community around cooking and baking with their podcast, Three Kitchens Podcast.

Website: threekitchenspodcast.com Instagram: @three_kitchens_podcast Facebook: Three Kitchens Podcast YouTube: Three Kitchens Podcast Country: Canada 38


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A Podcasters Worse Nightm

Mercury is a quick moving planet that influences communication, technical devices, and our thoughts and ideas. So basically everything at the core of podcasting! When Mercury goes retrograde, you can expect all of these things to be affected, which can make it a frustrating time for creating your podcast. Read below to see how your sign handles the challenges of Mercury Retrograde.

ARIES - Aries has no patience whatsoever, so when mercury retrograde affects their flow you can bet they have an expletive or two waiting to come out. It’s ‘open mouth, insert food’ kinda energy when they’re frazzled and frustrated, but that won’t stop them from trying again, like the true ram they are. However, sheer force isn’t the answer this time Aries, patience is.

TAURUS - Typically, Taurus are pretty rational, steadfast, and aren’t ones to get worked up quickly. However, when Mercury retrograde affects their pace and brings frustrations about, it can leave them feeling a little irrational and impulsive with their decision making and have them taking it out on someone else. Avoid misplaced anger, and find a healthy outlet for it Taurus!

GEMINI - Mercury is the ruler of this sign, so Gemini is often acutely aware of how wonky this energy can be. However, since they are an air sign, it can be easier to adapt for them when it comes to delays or roadblocks. Just be sure to slow down enough so you can reroute and find an alternative solution without spiraling into a pit of anxiety along the way, Gemini!

CANCER - Cancer is a water sign, and can be emotional and sensitive when things aren’t working out smoothly. When misunderstandings or glitches arise, they become overly stimulated and need to retreat back into their shell. Careful not to get so emotionally worked up that you spin out entirely. Be gentle with yourself and make time for self-care, Cancer! LEO - When it comes to presentations and being front and center, Leo’s thrive! When glitches arise, they become shy and insecure. Before they know it they’re living a nightmare, as they’re forced to troubleshoot in the spotlight. During Mercury retrograde, plan for mistakes and learn to roll with the punches. When all else fails, your humor is your saving grace, Leo!

VIRGO - Even though Mercury also rules Virgo, it does not handle the retrograde faupaus easily - preferring order over chaos. They’re an earth sign after all and need things to go their way. Without organization and reliability, they become nit picky and critical, which does not help matters. Lean into your adaptable and grounding nature to ride these waves, Virgo! 40


mare: Mercury Retrograde 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. She loves hearing how these resonate with you, so be sure to tag her @insightfullycrystal on IG!

LIBRA - Libra is great at partnerships and is usually tactful with their communication. However, with Mercury Retrograde, misunderstandings tend to show up within their relationships and negotiations. This can lead them to ruminate and second guess. Instead Libra, find alternative ways of getting your message across, and be sure to re-read things a few times!

SCORPIO - Scorpios is not a fan of turbulent waters, but it is no stranger to them either. Resourceful and determined, they will go down the rabbit hole of research to solve whatever issue Mercury Retrograde throws at them. They’re wise enough to know this experience is teaching them something, so they won’t run away. They just need to know they can get off the ride at some point!

SAGITTARIUS - This free-spirited sign loves to travel far and wide, whether in life or in their mind. During Mercury retrograde, you can expect a ton of mechanical issues, preventing you from getting where you want to go. Expect delays, lost time and missed opportunities. Rather than getting upset, take it as a sign to slow down and focus on the ground beneath your feet.

CAPRICORN - Time is money. When things begin to malfunction, Capricorn becomes frustrated that promises aren’t being delivered. They don’t have time to twiddle their thumbs. They are immediately on the phone with tech support. Since you’re on hold, use it as a reset, and find some zen time. Meditate while you wait, Capricorn! AQUARIUS - This high-tech wizard is used to their tech running pristinely. So when Mercury retrograde happens, they can become highly annoyed that their flow is blocked and they have to stop work to find an alternative solution. However, you can expect them to troubleshoot it themselves, and walk away with having learned a new skill they didn’t know before!

PISCES - This water sign is incredibly intuitive, but when Mercury is retrograde, they become a space cadet. Their inner compass is broken and confusion sets in leading to misunderstandings galore. While daydreaming might feel tempting, it won’t fix these issues. However, your creative nature gives you the potential to come up with unique solutions Pisces! Note: These are written as general themes.

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The Importance of Creating Boundaries by Elikqitie

You get THAT call - you know the one - the person who wants to possibly hire you for work. Of course, you’re excited to meet this prospective client, but the only time they have to meet is right in the middle of the one hour a month you are scheduled for a massage. So do you book the lead for a discovery call and miss your massage? Not if you have good boundaries in place! What Are Boundaries? So first, let’s start by defining what boundaries are and why they are one of the most important aspects of life you can use to grow and flourish. Boundaries - personal and work-related - are lines we draw in the sand, so to speak, to protect certain activities and times in our personal and work life. The purpose of boundaries is to save time that’s for you, your priorities, and getting to know yourself. And we need to protect the time we set aside for what’s most important in our life because if we don’t, we won’t have time for ourselves, which can lead to many negative spiraling situations such as burnout, anxiety, and depression. However, the one aspect of our life that many people, especially women, always put aside is our valuable time. Why You Want to Protect Your Time While having many hats is part of being a woman - mom, creative, partner, business owner, executive, or manager - whatever hats you wear in life, one aspect of gaining respect from others around you, and keeping that respect, is to create safe and sturdy boundaries around your time. You devalue your worth when you constantly offer your time up for everyone else and put yourself last. Yes, now say that with me: “When I give up my time for everyone else and don’t give myself priority in my life, I’m devaluing myself!” Say this out loud, in a mirror, or record it on audio and play it back for yourself. It’s getting to be real now, isn’t it? And what happens when we devalue ourselves? We let others know they don’t need to respect, consider, or empathize with our needs. When we give up all of our time to others, we show our children that: 1. They don’t need to consider our feelings, wants, or needs, and 2. That we don’t have boundaries - and they don’t need to have boundaries either. Do you want your son or daughter to learn these life lessons and for them not to have boundaries? Would you like others to walk all over them and treat them disrespectfully, the same as the example you created for them? No, as moms or as humans in general, we all need respect and dignity to feel like we are an integral and needed part of humanity. However, giving all our time away to others doesn’t give us purpose; it only solidifies that we have no boundaries and shows the people around us that our only purpose on this Earth is to serve others. 43


No Boundaries? Get Ready to Live Someone Else’s Life When you don’t have boundaries, others notice. They take advantage of you because it’s easy to persuade someone who constantly puts themselves second to do whatever they want, whenever they want. You can easily make yourself a target for people who don’t have your best interest in mind and who want to drain your energy at your cost and their benefit. It’s not a good place to be in. In my own personal experience, I’ve found that people who live without boundaries don’t put aside or spend time for themselves. When they don’t spend time finding out what they like to do, who they are, or what they want for themself, they will most likely end up living their life for someone else. Once that happens, and the kids move out of the house, you will most likely end up unhappy and depressed because you’ve dedicated so much time to others that you haven’t spent any time on the most important person in your life - you! How to Create and Maintain Boundaries So, how do you create boundaries in your life? First, you’ll want to list the top five or ten people or activities that are most important in your life. Next, review the list - how many hours per week are you engaging in those activities that create a feeling of fulfillment in your life? What are you doing to actively make activities on this list happen? If you love to read, are you setting aside time weekly or daily to enjoy a good book? How about going to the beach? Are you taking time once or twice a month for a spa day? If you can’t afford to go to a spa, are you purchasing body care from a store and having your own spa day at home? Create time in your week to indulge yourself. And yes, if you think this sounds selfish, it’s because it is selfish. However, you are the only person who can be selfish for yourself. Being selfish isn’t negative; it’s a means of giving yourself the time you need to recoup, refresh, and enjoy your life. We only have one life to live, and no one I know gets more time, so you’ll need to create boundaries around your “you” time to make the best of the 1440 minutes you have each day on this Earth. When to Make Exceptions for Your Boundaries As in every aspect of life, there are exceptions when you want to remove boundaries for other people. And please note, I’m not talking about permanently removing your boundaries, but putting your boundaries aside temporarily because of a situation or issue that needs to be dealt with. Here are some examples. First, remove boundaries when a person you love dearly is terminally ill. Both of my parents were sick with cancer for six straight years, and since I’m an only child, I gave much of my time to taking care of my parents. Did I have to move around my boundaries to do so? Absolutely! However, in this type of extenuating circumstance, it’s appropriate. I promised my parents I would not let them die in a hospital, and because of my diligence, they were able to pass away in the comfort of their homes. Another time to make an exception for your boundaries is if there is an emergency situation. Whether it’s a car accident, your child is having an emotional meltdown, or another time that equates to dropping everything and taking care of someone else, it’s appropriate to move around your boundaries so you can take care of the situation at hand. Lastly, moving around your boundaries is OK when you have a loved one who needs emotional support. If you know of someone who needs your attention - as long as they are getting help from professionals and others - and you’re not the only person helping them - it’s OK to move your boundaries to work with them to get past a gloomy time in their life. So if you have an extenuating circumstance, you can lower or remove certain boundaries. However, put them back in place when the situation has resolved. You don’t want to create a new normal for the boundary that isn’t healthy or helping you to be your best. 44


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You’ve heard the saying “work smarter not harder.” But how often do you actually practice it? If you’re in need of a refresher course, below are some tips to get you back on track so that your days are more productive without the blood, sweat, and tears. Delegate As creatives, many of us are perfectionists and need to be in control of our art at all times. And one word that is not in our vocabulary: delegation. Delegation is all about trusting, letting go, and understanding that it will help you be more productive. Studies have shown that CEOs who delegate have lower levels of decision fatigue, fewer episodes of burnout, and increased revenue of 33 percent. So, look at your to-do list and hand-off those tasks that someone else can do. Batch activities Work on similar tasks in blocks of time. If you’re checking and posting on social media every five minutes, not only are you procrastinating, but you’re also not making good use of your time. Schedule a block of time in the day to be on social media, so you’re focused and intentional in your posts. What time of the day are you most productive? Make a point to take care of high priority tasks during that time. Getting into a rhythm will help with focus and keep the creative juices flowing. Minimize distractions There are plenty of apps out there that will gladly help you minimize distractions from your phone and computer. Try these apps (StayFocused, Freedom, Rescuetime) out to see if you’re able to stop looking at your phone, even if you aren’t using it. Your environment should also be free of distractions. Be sure to have a work area that is quiet, calming, and comfortable. Know your limits Unfortunately, we don’t have the work whistle from The Flintstones to tell us when to quit. It’s good to know the signs your body and mind give you when they are tapped out. Science has proven that our brain can last for about 90 minutes at optimal levels before losing steam. By working in 90 minute blocks followed by a 20-30 minute break, you’ll be able to concentrate longer, avoid distractions, and maintain higher energy levels. Don’t wait for “the right time” When we wait until we feel a certain way, or the planets are all aligned…nothing will get checked off our to-do list. When doing research, I came upon a phenomenon called the Zeigarnik Effect. Named after Lithuanian-Soviet psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik, it states that people remember unfinished or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks. Having unfinished tasks on our mind creates stress and the only way to alleviate that stress is to complete it. For many of us, taking that first step in starting a project is the hardest part. If you’re putting off a task for any reason, set aside some dedicated time to solely focus on it. Once you get started, the brain will fire up all the synapses to get the job done. Prioritize Having a long to-do list can be overwhelming and paralyzing. A good practice that I learned while working in the grocery industry was prioritizing daily tasks. This was done by listing tasks under columns ‘A’, ‘B’, or ‘C’ based on importance. Column A was for tasks that needed to be done first and foremost. Column B was for tasks that weren’t urgent but still needed to get done that day. Tasks listed under Column C were not critical and could wait until the next day if needed. Breaking down your list of tasks makes it easier to check them off and have a more productive day. Do you have a tip for working smarter not harder? Share it on Instagram and tag us @womenwhopodcastmagazine! 47


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Alex the Seal by Natalie Boero

Like so many podcasts, the Alex the Seal podcast was born out of the Covid-19 pandemic, but, unlike many podcasts born of Covid lockdowns, 2022 finds Alex the Seal midway through its third season with no signs of stopping. According to hosts Jo Pybus and Sandy Lowres, “Alex the Seal is a podcast in which Jo and Sandy reminisce about the pop music of the 1970s and 1980s ...that got them that got them hooked-up, knocked-up, and broken-up.” Each episode features Jo and Sandy each picking two songs on a particular theme and sharing memories, singing snippets, and exploring the history and presenting some of the great – and not so great – artists and songs they listened to growing up as Gen Xers in Australia. Both Sandy and Jo have experience with podcasts— Sandy as the creator and host of her long running podcast, The Good Girl Confessional (featured on the cover of the inaugural issue of Women Who Podcast magazine) and Jo as an avid podcast listener and podcast guest. While Sandy had the most experience, it was Jo who came up with the idea for doing a podcast together after having appeared as a guest on The Good Girl Confessional in the Fall of 2021 to talk about her work as a writer, feminist, and menopause activist. Jo had been listening to podcasts for years and found herself “overwhelmed and delighted with the amount of content out there to keep you occupied and amuse you, educate you or enlighten you.” Two things pushed Jo into considering becoming a podcaster herself; first was her evolution as a writer and the publication of her first book, and second was finding comfort in listening to the music of her youth during the uncertainty of Covid lockdowns. Jo says that a “go-to” method of managing Covid anxiety was, “... to listen to all those songs. I started to laugh at some of them because I’d get the words wrong, or a song would bring up a distinct memory. That’s where the idea of this podcast came from; the music bringing me so much joy at such a difficult time.” In her appearance on Sandy’s podcast, Jo talked about using the music of her youth as a coping mechanism and even (part) jokingly suggested to Sandy that, “Surely someone else would love to listen to me reminiscing about these songs that we grew up with!” As Sandy recalls, it wasn’t long after that episode that “Jo officially asked me if I would be interested in co-hosting a podcast with her, and she elaborated on her idea. And, being a music buff with eclectic tastes, thought it was so brilliant and would be so much fun!” Indeed, it was really the idea of fun and making themselves and others laugh that sold Sandy on Alex the Seal. It was also helpful that Jo approached Sandy with a full podcast proposal and suggested that while they would co-host the show, that she, Jo would basically run the technical aspects of the podcast. This division of labor definitely appealed to Sandy as it would allow her to participate as a co-host in a podcast 49


that she was truly excited about but would also allow her to continue to focus on The Good Girl Confessional, her magazine, Women Beyond Forty, and the many projects she had related to both. In exchange for taking on the day to day running of the podcast, Jo outlined the episode format and most importantly insisted that the podcast be called Alex the Seal. Jo recalls telling Sandy that she wanted the episodes to be organized around each of them choosing two songs on a similar theme and then discussing them. As for the name, for Jo, Alex the Seal was “non-negotiable.” Jo explained that the podcast name comes from an urban legend about someone in a record store in the 1980s asking for the new album by the Go-Go’s, Alex the Seal. In fact, the title of the album was actually, Our Lips Are Sealed, but “Alex the Seal” is what is called a “mondegreen” or mistaken song lyric. The mondegreen “Alex the Seal” became the title of the podcast because it captures the common experience of misunderstanding lyrics back when one couldn’t easily google song lyrics or lyrics weren’t included in the album, CD, or cassette tape liner. Indeed, the topic of mondegreens served as the theme for one of Jo and Sandy’s very first episodes, and mondegreens often come up in other episodes as well. In doing a podcast about popular music, one of the early speed bumps that Sandy and Jo came up against was the issue of music licensing. In researching the cost of purchasing licenses to play original recordings on the show, Jo quickly discovered that even a license to play a few lines of the original songs would be prohibitively expensive, possibly thousands of dollars for each song. Jo and Sandy decided they would have to get creative. The solution to the licensing problem was that rather than playing the original songs, Sandy and Jo would sing them, a solution Jo described as “perfectly cringey, but not too cringey!” While Jo and Sandy might have slipped under the radar in singing their songs rather than playing them, they both decided to pay a much smaller licensing fee to be able to perform the music themselves. As Jo put it, “We just love the music, and we love the musicians and everything that they brought to us, and still bring to us. We needed to do the right thing here, so we pay for a license to be able to be performers ourselves...like a cover band.” (As an aside, in a past life, Jo herself was in a cover band). This licensing arrangement in part shapes Sandy and Jo’s recording schedule because, while they enjoy singing parts of the songs they feature for their audience, they came up with a unique way to ensure that listeners can also listen to the original songs before, during, and after they listen to episodes. In order to have the songs for each episode available to listeners before the episodes aired, Sandy and Jo came up with a system whereby they create Apple and Spotify playlists of the songs for an entire podcast season in advance of dropping their episodes. Thus, Sandy and Jo record an entire season of episodes ahead of time so that they can make the playlists and then, once the season starts, they drop their episodes weekly. While Sandy and Jo definitely have a 50


symbiotic relationship as co-hosts and as friends (indeed, they both finally and joyfully were able to meet in person this past spring), they have very different approaches to preparing for and recording their episodes. Jo describes Sandy’s style as very “go with the flow” in contrast to her own style in which she feels she has to “have all her ducks in a row” before recording an episode and still feels a bit nervous before recordings. While Jo handles most non-recording aspects of the podcast, Sandy and Jo both do their own preparation for each episode, choosing and researching their two songs on that episode’s theme. Remarkably, the two have never overlapped on song choices, indeed, through the song-selection process, Jo and Sandy have discovered where their musical tastes overlap, and where they diverge. As Sandy put it, “(The difference in song selection) was surprising, I think what was really great is Jo tends to -not always- but tends to really love the music of the seventies, and I tend to be more into the eighties. I think that’s largely due to which years we attended high school, but it makes the show more dynamic, I think.” Both Sandy and Jo are grateful to see a growing community of women podcasters and both are invested in mentoring, engaging with, and helping to build that community. One of the things that Sandy appreciates most about the world of women podcasters is that there is no ethos of competition, but rather a sense of “helping each other up” and sharing ideas and advice rather than information hoarding. Both Sandy and Jo agree that women wanting to get into podcasting should reach out to other women podcasters and give it a go! As Sandy put it, “...what’s the worst that can happen? If things don’t work out, maybe you had a ball along the way. What’s wrong with that? What is wrong with empowering yourself to try it?” Now into their third season, Jo, Sandy, and Alex the Seal show no signs of stopping. Though they have already covered dozens of themes including, movie songs, one hit wonders, protest songs, revenge songs, boyfriend songs, “Aussie anthems” and, of course, a tribute episode to Olivia Newton John, both Sandy and Jo feel like they have barely scratched the surface of possible episode themes. In the future, Sandy and Jo hope to see Alex the Seal grow a larger audience and maybe even start to have guests on the show, but for now, both hosts are having a blast engaging with their audience and singing their hearts out together!

Instagram: @alex_the_seal_podcast Facebook: Alex The Seal Podcast Country: Australia 51


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Communication TwentyFourSeven by Kathy Barron

Writing was always something that Jennifer Furlong, host of Communication TwentyFourSeven podcast, did as a child. So it only seemed fitting that when she joined the Marine Corps right out of high school, she quickly climbed up the ranks to become the Community Relations NCO. When Jennifer was deciding what to do after graduating high school, the military was actually her Plan B. She had applied and was accepted to journalism school; however, because of her family background and not having the money to attend college, the Marine Corps became her backup plan. “One day the recruiters were in the lunchroom, and I took one look around and saw that Marine standing in the corner in his dress blues, and he just had this aura about him; just so confident. The self-confidence and control, I gravitated towards that. I just, I wanted to be part of that,” explains Jennifer. Although it wasn’t in her mind’s eye to join the military, she wouldn’t trade the experience for anything else in the world. Thirty-one years later, she remains very appreciative of what the Marine Corps revealed about herself that she wouldn’t have discovered otherwise and the enormous feeling of accomplishment from being pushed to unimaginable limits. While serving in the Marine Corps, Jennifer became the first woman Marine to be awarded the Sergeant Major Dan Daley award for an article she wrote celebrating women in the Marine Corps. She also was the first woman Marine to be appointed editor of the Quantico Sentry, the Marine Corps’ oldest newspaper. When asked how it felt to be the first woman, she replied, “You know the funny thing about that is at the time I didn’t think of its importance. I was just enjoying what I was doing so much and loved what I was doing that, you know, just being the first of anything was not even on my mind at all. I was just concerned about just doing a good job, you know, being worthy of wearing the uniform.” Jennifer fell in love with writing, being a journalist, and listening to other people’s stories. As a Community Relations NCO, she was the liaison between the base, community leaders, and the community. She quickly realized that particular field of communication was exactly what she was looking for and took her down the path of getting her Master’s degree in communication. While a graduate student, Jennifer started teaching communication and public speaking classes at the college level. She started her own business, Communication TwentyFourSeven, which helps companies improve employee morale and create a more positive work environment. The creation of Communication TwentyFourSeven podcast was a natural progression of

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Jennifer’s personal and business evolution. Because of her background and expertise in communication, she wanted the podcast to provide listeners the communications skills needed to function in the world. In the first season of the podcast, the episodes are short in length and carry a punch. Some topics have covered the basic fundamentals of communication, how to be an active listener, and ways to earn respect. “I felt this is one topic that I feel so comfortable talking about but it’s also a topic that you never stop learning about because when you’re dealing with people, like people are complex. We are not easy creatures, you know, you can’t peg us down,” says Jennifer. She wanted to share tools that people could use to become better communicators. For the second season, she moved to a guest format where she had the opportunity to interview other experts in the field of communication. Her goal for bringing on guests was to learn more about them and how their story has helped them become a better communicator. Many of the skills she learned early on as a journalist, such as the basic understanding of who, what, where, when, why, have helped her produce authentic and genuine interviews with her guests. “There’s a way to interview but also use those listening skills to hear different aspects of their story. If they go on a tangent, that is okay because you just go with them, go where that story leads you because there’s all kinds of little golden nuggets hidden everywhere that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to uncover,” explains Jennifer. She’s learned to sit back, observe, and be open to how the story unfolds organically. Putting your ego aside is also a good trait of a successful interviewer. When interviewing a guest, make it about their story and what they have to share. There are times when the guest will say something that she may not agree with or makes her feel uncomfortable. With that in mind, Jennifer goes into each interview with a mindset of exploration. One of her passions is to help people learn or relearn how to have a conversation. She adds, “we are so divided, there’s chaos all around us, and social media is not helping. So I just want to be one spot out there that, if anybody can come to, and it’s a place where we can learn something that could be beneficial to everybody.” Jennifer has learned that “disagreement doesn’t destroy relationships; it’s the disrespect” so learning how to communicate during those tough conversations can benefit everyone involved. Since recording her very first episode, Jennifer and the podcast have evolved. Her premiere season taught her both time management and confidence when booking guests “Season one was kind of like all over the place but I got through it, you know, I told myself this is a learning curve so forgive yourself for that,” says Jennifer. She joined a few online groups to meet other podcasters and researched how to book a variety of guests. She adds, “that was a huge thing for me. Even though I’m in communication, I am a big introvert. One on one conversations are great but the whole networking thing, like showing up in a room, whether it’s virtual or not, that can be a very scary thing.” 54


Jennifer realized that when she chooses a topic that she is passionate about or has personally experienced, the episode ends up being more impactful. “One of the lessons that I’ve learned is to not pick topics that I think other people are going to want to hear,” says Jennifer. She prefers topics that other people aren’t talking about and doesn’t just want to make an intellectual impact but an emotional one as well. A challenge that Jennifer has faced, no matter the industry and has experienced since being in the Marine Corps, is being the only woman in the room. “When you’re one of the few women in the room, you have to learn to take your space. You have to learn how to project your voice and to, even if you’re not feeling confident in the moment, you have to be able to project that confidence in that moment because it’s easy to get swallowed up by the other, um, by the males voices, that are in the room,” she explains. It can be easy to be overshadowed by those more dominating voices, so she advises podcasters to claim their voice and their space. When asked how she would like the future to look like for women podcasters, Jennifer mulled over her thoughts before answering “I think the podcasting field in general, I would like for it to be more welcoming of women podcasters. I would like for there not to be an assumption that just because there’s a woman podcaster that it must be a show about baking or it must, you know, it’s gonna be a show about how to take care of kids, you know, all those things. I want there to be recognition that women have an impact in a positive way.” Jennifer would like the podcasting community to encourage women to explore paths that they may not normally seek out when wanting to start a podcast. Throughout her podcasting journey Jennifer learned to reach out to podcasting groups, which she wishes she had done sooner. Whether it’s on Facebook, MeetUp, or other networking groups, she suggests finding a supportive podcast community a priority. She also recommends that podcasters give themselves permission to be human. “Do not worry about being perfect. None of us are. If you listen to season one of pretty much any podcast, you know, we are all struggling. So don’t let that hold you back,” says Jennifer. And finally, don’t use the lack of equipment or knowledge as an excuse not to get started. Just focus on the content and everything else will fall into place. She adds, “Don’t undervalue your own experiences and the stories you share with the world because everyone has a story that needs to be heard by others. Don’t underestimate what you have to offer the world.” Jennifer encourages women to follow the things they want to do and not seek external validation. As long as they are doing what they are passionate about and sharing their stories, it will resonate with someone who is listening. That is the formula for success.

Website: communicationtwentyfourseven.com Instagram: @jenniferarvinfurlong Linktree: https://linktr.ee/jenniferfurlong Twitter: @speechteach912 Country: United States 55


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The Maven’s Private Diaries by Tina Jaramillo

The Maven’s Private Diaries are just that—a collection of reflections and feelings covering topics centered on sex, death, and disability. Podcast host Susan Jarvis, aka the Maven, takes listeners on powerful yet poignant journeys by sharing not only her personal stories but the firsthand experiences of others. But looking at Susan, most people wouldn’t venture to guess that she has the sexual insight that she does. And that goes for most women. Susan explains, “I have this secret cloak of invisibility and to the ordinary person I look like an ordinary woman. You know, I’m not a pinup model, I’m not a Playboy model. But underneath that surface is this really deep sexual being who’s very creative, and I actually take a little bit of joy knowing that.” And it’s this intimacy that delves the listener deep into The Maven’s Private Diaries. Listeners are presented with a range of guests who may offer answers to their questions or present them with commentaries on intimacy for the development of a healthy sex life or just to learn about topics centering on relationships and loss of life. Chatting with Susan over Zoom, she shared that her podcast was “driven by a desire to share my wisdom because I want to help other women and men, if they’re listening, just break through their discomfort, and because that’s been my journey of exploration.” But she wasn’t always the expert—she says she transformed from a “very sort of conservative, staying inside my box type of person, too scared to speak up” to the Maven—a woman empowered by her sexuality and with a desire to share her experiences with others. She also shared that she is “committed to creating deathbed memories for myself.” “So that if I’m lucky enough to live to a very old age, when I’m dying, I’ve got this,” she adds. The thing that makes The Maven’s Private Diaries so compelling is that Susan explores not only the topic of sexuality for women often over forty, but she also dives into the topic of death, which many folks shy away from. Susans says, “I also like to talk about death because I accept my mortality, and I had this epiphany, you know, once I’d accepted the idea. It just shifted my mindset and life has become quite precious, particularly those memories with family and friends.” The Maven’s Private Diaries is an interview-based podcast. Susan often weaves in her own experience with the experiences of others through her interviews. She explains, “I want to 57


share different stories from different people. With my interviewing I like a very organic conversation.” As part of her planning, Susan speaks to her guests beforehand in a pre-interview conversation, which she explains is a necessary step in the interview process. She notes that the pre-interview offers her and the interviewee the opportunity to discuss what they want to achieve in the interview and what topics they would like to explore. The pre-interview also allows guests to share what promotional material they may want to plug on the show. Throughout all her interviews, Susan develops a comfortable rapport with her guests, which isn’t an easy feat for new podcasters. In fact, Susan advises podcasters to stay away from structured questions. She adds that too much structure “doesn’t flow as well as an organic conversation.” And while she does have certain questions she wants to ask, she says “I can insert that into the dialogue without being a formal lot.” She also reveals that her background in telecommunications has helped her interview process. She says, “I’ve been trained in customer service and how to control a call and use bridging questions and responses.” She uses that technique to establish a back and forth with each guest. “Whether or not you plan it, you know, across the content calendar series, or just go with what’s important to you, but just have a plan of what you want to talk about and come to your interview with a really solid knowledge and understanding of your guest,” she comments. By way of her interviews and solo episodes, she hopes to “give people inspiration, knowledge, direction” through her podcast. After her own divorce, Susan found that she did not have access to information nor a support network, and she experienced health difficulties with anxiety and depression. So she hopes that listeners can connect with her guests by “bringing in those resources and shining a light on them to help people find their tribe, I guess, and find their groups.” She also likes to bring in information that may help influence somebody’s life in decision making. But finding guests isn’t always easy for podcasters. Susan, though, recommends creating a pitch that explains the show and the benefits to the guest of coming on. But she advises that the pitch needs to be personal. She says, “‘I’ll normally reach out, follow them for a while on socials and comment and so forth, and whenever I pitch, I’ll do it in an intimate way with my voice because I want them to hear me, so I’ll use voice message.” She also recommends the app Bonjorno which allows for short video messaging. “They get a sense of who you are through your voice,” she adds. She states that it is important in “developing that relationship with someone before you ask them for their time.” Susan has had a range of guests on her show so far. “I’ve had Joan Price [as] a guest a couple of times. She’s America’s senior advocate for senior age, sexuality, and I’m a big fan of hers.” But Susan has also had sexologists and often ordinary women share their stories. Currently, Susan has a few soon to be released episodes that she’s immensely proud of, and one where 58


she interviews a 75-year-old gentleman who talks about the shame he faced growing up around the topic of sex and how that has impacted his marriage. Another episode that stands out for Susan is her December 9th, 2020, episode “There’s more to our beauty than Botox and dermal fillers!” with Anita East who talks about how Botox impacted her career as an actor. One dream guest for Susan is Kathy Lette, co-author of Puberty Blues who has gone on to have a successful career. The interviewees have turned out to be the thing Susan loves most about podcasting. She says, “Well, firstly, I’m very privileged to meet many wonderful people, and I always feel honored that they’ve given me their time.” “I’ve never done a podcast that I haven’t enjoyed. And some of the women have become good friends of mine,” she continues. “I’ve always loved a deep and meaningful conversation. So, it sparks something inside,” she adds. But developing into a seasoned interviewer took time. When Susan first started The Maven’s Private Diaries, she reports that she began “as a complete and utter newbie” but she adds that now “my voice, it’s changed.” “I know I’ve got the same voice, but the way I go about the logistics of recording now my technical skills have certainly improved and that’s helped,” she continues. As a solo podcaster, Susan takes on all the production details. From scheduling guests, to developing content and questions, to editing and publishing—there is a lot on her plate. She explains “Well, I had dived into quickly.” And she advises new podcasters: “I would say educate yourself, make sure that you have got an understanding of how podcasting works on a technical basis. Understand the technical aspects of it or outsource that to somebody to do all of that.” Susan also recommends investing in the proper equipment. “Get yourself a great microphone,” she advises. “The first microphone I started with wasn’t really good, and now I’ve got a beautiful Yeti.” Susan certainly has created something powerful and intimate with The Maven’s Private Diaries. Like her tagline says “Susan knows good sex and isn’t afraid to ask.”

Website: thespicyboudoir.com Instagram: @susan_themaven Facebook: The Mavens Private Diaries Country: Australia 59


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Stop Telling Women How to Talk by Carolyn Kiel

If you’re a woman who podcasts, or a woman who speaks anywhere in public, you’ve probably experienced at least one moment where your voice has been criticized – not for the substance of your message, but for the way your voice sounds. Perhaps you’ve also heard people label other women’s voices as “shrill,” “whiny,” “annoying” or a similar demeaning descriptor. Typically, comments like these are rationalized as either “constructive feedback” for an individual woman or universal truths about how women’s voices sound. This type of reasoning implies that if the individual woman (or women in general) would change the way they speak, then their voices would sound “acceptable” and people would stop complaining. However, the truth is much more complex. It doesn’t matter what a woman’s voice sounds like, or how much public speaking training she’s received – it’s almost impossible for her to escape this type of criticism. This stems from a long history of complaints that target and silence women’s voices, in an attempt to prevent women from sharing their voices publicly at all. Criticism of women’s voices in podcasting has roots in the early days of radio, which Tina Tallon describes in her New Yorker article “A Century of ‘Shrill’: How Bias in Technology Has Hurt Women’s Voices.” As amplitude-modulated (AM) radio broadcasting became popular in the 1920s, frequent signal interference caused the U.S. Congress to regulate the bandwidth allotted to each radio station. Based on these limitations and the audio technology at the time, most broadcasters and audio equipment manufacturers limited their signals to a range between three hundred hertz and three thousand four hundred hertz. This “voiceband” range became regarded as the minimum amount of frequency information needed to transmit speech. Unfortunately, voiceband did not treat all voices equally. Not only did voiceband favor lower voices, it also made women’s speech less intelligible by cutting out many of their consonants, which women typically speak at frequencies above the voiceband range. This was worsened by a common stereotype that women speak more softly than men. As a result, whenever a woman got behind a microphone, the sound engineers would automatically crank the volume up. These technology and engineering failures made women’s voices sound piercing and harsh to the listener, which reinforced already biased beliefs about women’s voices being unfit for broadcast. Unfortunately, these limitations continue today: from the introduction of frequency-modulation (FM) radio that didn’t significantly improve spoken voice broadcast quality, to data compression algorithms and Bluetooth speakers that make women’s voices sound tinny by favoring low frequencies over high frequencies. Instead of being understood as a technology problem created and compounded by bias, it has been largely viewed as an explanation for why women don’t sound good behind a microphone. This bias exists in the podcasting world as well. In Amanda Marcotte’s Daily Dot article “The War on Female Voices is Just Another Way of Telling Women to Shut Up,” she describes how women podcast hosts receive a disproportionate number of complaints about their voices, while male podcast hosts’ voices rarely get criticized at all. When Katie Mingle was producing the 61


podcast 99% Invisible, she got so many complaints about the women’s voices on her show that she set up an automated message that replied to those emails and filtered them into a zero priority folder. She never got any complaints about the men’s voices. The women on the show This American Life, with their pleasantly NPR-style voices, also got a high level of complaints, while the men got none. When this inequity is pointed out, a common retort is that it’s not due to sexism – instead, it’s something specifically “wrong” with the way women speak. For example, women have been criticized for speaking with “vocal fry,” where they lower their voice to a rattle. People of all genders use vocal fry to emphasize certain parts of their speech, but women are the ones who get criticized for it most often. When men speak with vocal fry, not only aren’t they criticized, but they are complimented for it. Marcotte points out how Ira Glass from This American Life has been widely praised for the way he speaks, despite using vocal fry frequently. The women on the show who spoke with the same amount of vocal fry as Glass, however, received listener complaints. It’s hard to argue that this isn’t sexism. Women are also criticized for the pitch of their voice, which gets called “squeaky” or “shrill.” However, when women attempt to lower the pitch of their voices, this can cause more vocal fry – and more criticism. Additionally, women who try to deepen their speaking voices may be judged as sounding forced or unnatural, possibly because it’s uncomfortable for them to speak that way. Even when women are coached to “sound more confident” by mimicking the direct communication styles used successfully by businessmen, their efforts backfire when the women are called aggressive and the dreaded “b-word” as a result. The trend is clear – for women, attempts at adjusting their voices in response to criticism typically brings about more criticism. It’s important to note that this criticism is not only coming from men. People of all genders police women’s voices. It’s no better (and perhaps even more disappointing) when women criticize other women for the way they speak. In a July 2022 tweet, actress Jane Lynch advised all women podcasters to lower the pitch of their voice because “women’s voices can get into the annoying area if it gets too high.” Although her comment received some backlash, her opinion is far from rare. Too many women have bought into this type of policing and criticism of female voices. Sadly, we may even believe this sexist nonsense about our own voices! If you are a woman podcaster who is getting criticism of your voice, I hope that this article helps you frame that feedback within the historical context of how women’s voices are viewed. While this sexism and bias can be discouraging, it’s important to remember that podcasting is a medium that includes all types of voices. To host a podcast, you don’t have to sound or speak in a certain way. Of course, if you decide you want to try out some adjustments to your vocal presentation or audio setup, feel free to do that! However, please do not feel pressured to change your voice, and do not believe that you are less worthy of being a successful podcaster because of how you talk. Your voice is your power, so keep sharing it in a way that feels authentic to you. No matter what we sound like, women should not let criticism deter us from sharing our voices through podcasting.

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How to Deal With Podcasting Overwhelm by Rachel Lee Perez

If you are like me, you are an independent podcaster who started your podcast as a passion project. If that is the case, that likely means you have a million other life responsibilities outside of your podcast passion project. This could be a full-time job (sometimes even a part-time job on the side as well), full-time schooling, full-time caregiving, or simultaneously, all the above! Not to mention all of life’s other responsibilities like doing the dishes, hosting your children’s birthday parties, and reading the Book Club novel in time for your next meeting. Podcasting is great. There’s a reason we all do it. We love it! But it is also a huge time commitment and can feel stressful now and again. Between researching and recording and editing and marketing the podcast, it can feel as though there is little time to keep up with it all, especially on top of everything else going on in your day-to-day life. So how do you manage the overwhelm that often comes alongside podcasting? While I am no expert nor could I ever claim to not feel stressed or overwhelmed on this podcasting journey, I have learned a lot over the past three years and believe I have several tools that could be helpful. Create a To-Do List Every Day We all know how great a checked-off To-Do List feels. So get to creating one! I create a To-Do List for myself in a designated journal every single day. This To-Do List includes both personal and professional tasks I must complete. Here’s an example:

As you can see on this checklist, I break tasks down into their most minute form. When it comes to podcast tasks, it can be helpful to break down all the things that need to get done into small steps. Be realistic with which tasks you can complete in a 24-hour timeframe. I personally cannot complete all steps of producing a podcast episode in the same day. For example, if I record on a Monday, I will not begin editing the episode until Tuesday, and I will not begin uploading 63


and distributing it until Wednesday. This breakdown of To-Do items helps the overall task feel more manageable. Be sure to also throw in some softball tasks on your To-Do list too! Even creating a task that reminds you to take a shower can feel rewarding because it is something you can look forward to doing after completing the other more daunting tasks. Also, it feels great to have a few items on your To-Do list that can be quickly and easily checked off! Utilize Pockets of Time We all have busy lives. Especially as we are slowly coming out of the pandemic, I know that I have been feeling overwhelmed with all the social events I am expected to attend. How did I do all this pre-COVID? Even with the influx of my social calendar, if I am being honest with myself, there are certainly pockets of time that I could be utilizing better. Those hours of scrolling on Instagram or rewatching a true crime documentary could be spent doing something more productive that would also help me feel less stressed later when those hard deadlines approach. Rest is important. Rest is necessary. It’s important to decompress and allow yourself the opportunity to mindlessly scroll through TikTok videos or catch up on Game of Thrones. However, if you find yourself spending several hours a day for several consecutive days scrolling or consuming mindless content, perhaps consider utilizing those pockets of time differently. A pocket of time is defined as “an unspecified period of uninterrupted free time”. And that’s exactly what it is; uninterrupted free time. I do not consider the one hour between getting home from work and preparing to leave for your child’s Girl Scouts meeting as a pocket of time in which you could successfully dedicate qualitative time to podcast work. A realistic pocket of time could be, for example, those two hours spent on the couch every night after work or that one full Saturday where you do not have any plans. Use this time to slowly chip away at podcast projects. Spending small pockets of time over several days on a project will make you feel more productive and less stressed when it comes to meeting deadlines. Plan Ahead A successful habit to create is planning ahead. For example, for our podcast, we map out the topics for each one of our episodes several months in advance. But selecting the topics is the easiest of the tasks and only the first, initial step. It’s important to remember all the “behind-thescenes” work that goes into creating episodes based on those topics and the time needed to complete each of those tasks. Don’t just map out when you are releasing your episodes. You also need to map out when you are dedicating time to recording, researching, editing, and promoting. Each of these tasks requires a dedication of time so make official appointments in your calendar for each one of them. When you make official appointments in your calendar, you are less likely to break them. See below an example of a weekly schedule:

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Give Yourself Grace Something I have had to do many times over my podcasting journey is extend grace to myself. Consistency and reliability are important. If your listeners are expecting a new episode on a weekly basis, it is important to do your best to meet that target each week. However, if you are an independent podcaster that is navigating this journey on your own while also attempting to stay on top of all of life’s other responsibilities, it’s important to regularly remind yourself that you deserve grace, too. You can only do so much. You started this podcast as a passion project; allow it to still be a passion and not a stressful job. Your audience will understand and will still be there when you return.

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How to Overcome Perfectionism by Eliqitie

OK, you’ve got your first episode ready to go for your new podcast! The album cover, which took you six months to finally get right is “perfect,” and you’ve purchased your website domain name. Now, you’re looking to find the right social media handles on multiple platforms so you can direct people to find you online. But, and I mean BUT, you’re not sure if the sound for your trailer is correct. So maybe you need to spend another three to four hours on sound editing your ten-minute trailer so that the sound is also “perfect.” If you just read the above sentences and picture yourself, you can admit that you’re a perfectionist. Yes, it’s OK to say it and own it because you’ll never get over being a perfectionist until you admit to what you are doing and accept that you want to shift to a new and different approach! What is Perfectionism? Perfectionism is the mindset that every activity, project, or experience we create must have everything exactly right, down to the minute details. Of course, you’re never happy with the finished product, but you have never been, so isn’t that normal? What Does it Mean to Be Perfect? Perfect: A catchy phrase that has seeped its way into the hospitality and service industry. How many times have you answered a server with, “Yes, I’d like ketchup with my fries,” for them to respond with an enthusiastic, “Great, perfect!”) Perfection, my dear friend, is a lie for our reality. Yup, that’s how it is; I’m going to be straight with you. Perfection exists only in our minds. Perfection is a state that we make up and construct for ourselves. When was the last time someone told you that your work wasn’t perfect? Once we’ve made up this false state, we proceed to believe that we can achieve perfection. However, we view this as perfection. So next, we will strive endlessly and use up countable hours to hit the mark we have constructed and made for ourselves. However, we must remember that because perfection is a state we create and make, we can always move the marker a bit farther because what we create as human beings will never be perfect. This is where our own catch-22 comes in - and why projects often aren’t completed, and why we are unhappy with our work. What Happens When You Try to Be “Perfect” So what does that mean for those who strive to be perfect? It means we will toil and work on a project that we have now made neverending because we want perfection for an ideological goal that can never be achieved. Thus, perfectionism is a fast way to be unhappy with what we do, how we view our work, and, ultimately, who we are. 67


Why Perfectionism Will Leave You Feeling Wholly Unsatisfied As a matter of fact, no, being unhappy with your work constantly isn’t OK. It’s not OK for your self-esteem, your sense of purpose, or those living with and around you. You’re never happy as a perfectionist because you can’t complete or close the door on anything to move on to the next project. Or, you dump projects that you don’t feel are perfect (even though you’ve spent thousands of dollars and hours of your time creating what you love) and pick up another project that you feel is even better than the one before. Because you know in your heart that the next project or work you do will be THE ONE, right? How You Can Change Your “Perfect” Mindset First, you’ll need to admit to being a perfectionist. Yes, it’s hard for us to admit we aren’t doing something right (especially when you’re a perfectionist!), but this is Step One if we are going to work through the process of learning how to put our work out there and to stop filling our desktop with dozens of folders containing unfinished projects. Secondly, get out a piece of paper or a journal. You’ll want to do this with an actual pen or pencil and paper - not your technology. When you want your brain to process your feelings, it’s best to utilize the movement of your hands on paper. Now, write down why you think you need to be perfect. Brainstorm them! Don’t worry about grammar, spelling, or anything else. Brain dump your feelings onto paper. What you are feeling is never right or wrong; it just is! Keep brain-dumping until you can’t think of any more reasons you need to be perfect. Now, you’ll want to take each reason and write it down separately on another piece of paper, giving yourself room to write underneath. An easy way to do this is to take a piece of paper, (I prefer blank paper) and fold it into fours. Write one reason in each box. Then, you will write down where that feeling came from under your reason. Maybe it was a parent always telling you that you weren’t good enough. On the other hand, you could have been raised in a private school setting with high standards that you felt you couldn’t meet. Or, you may have had an older sibling you were compared to and may have felt that you aren’t as good as your sibling. When you’re doing the writing exercise, be honest with yourself. Remember, there aren’t any right or wrong answers. Once you write these down, look and see who and why you believe you must be perfect. I bet you’ll find that the reason you aren’t completing your projects or putting your creative content out into the world isn’t that you’re not good enough - it’s because somewhere in your past, someone made you feel that you aren’t good enough. And there’s a big disconnect between being able to and feeling that you can’t. And while I’m not a practicing therapist, I’ve found out in my own life (coming from an abusive home environment which has caused me to carry that trauma into my adult life) that I can choose to feel any way I can want about a situation. And the biggest challenge with making a big shift in your mindset comes with accepting that you can!

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Being A Great Podcast Guest As podcasters, we all know how to interview guests but are we comfortable being the one interviewed? If your answer to that question is either “No” or “I don’t know,” check out the tips below to being a great podcast guest. Slow down when speaking Chances are, you’re speaking too fast. When you rush, stumble over your words, and use up your breath before you’re done with your message, you’re sacrificing quality for quantity. The key here is to deliver a message with proper emphasis so that you’re listeners really internalize it. You should be speaking to the listeners, like they are your friend. Pay attention to how you’re breathing You need to be in control of your breath if you want to speak effectively. If you’re feeling nervous before the interview, take a few deep breaths to calm your system. Use pregnant pauses for emphasis Some of us talk fast because we are afraid of silence. Any charismatic speaker you’ll uses silence to their advantage. They use pauses to emphasize key messages, take a breath to get ready for a next segment, or make the listener really take in what they just said. Pauses create variety, which keeps the listener guessing and tuned in to your frequency. If you’re constantly going at one speed with little variety, it becomes much easier to tune you out. Pay attention to your speaking volume Even if you’re confident, a weak speaking volume can communicate fear, anxiety, or discomfort. Don’t shout, but make sure that you’re speaking assertively and not trailing off. Don’t speak as though you’re looking for validation. Don’t make the listener strain to hear you. The key here is to develop a natural speaking volume, which communicates confidence and is pleasant to listen to. Show your personality People want to see the real, authentic you come across the airwaves. They’ll know when you are being fake or trying to be someone you aren’t. Don’t be afraid to show your true personality so listeners get to know the real you. Being a guest on a podcast can be a breath of fresh air and help you become a better interviewer. Take the time to relay your message in a relaxed, confident, and authentic way so people will stop what they are doing to listen to every word you say!

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