In February I did something a little unexpected, I started a new podcast, the Explore The World Travel Podcast. After running LandLopers for 9 years, I felt it was time to add something new to my skill set and podcasting had long interested me. Today I want to share some of the ups and downs of the process, what I’ve learned and where I’d like to see it go into the future.
No matter what we do for a living, we all need multiple arrows in our quivers; different skill sets that we bring to the table. For a very long time I was conducting my business with little change. That’s part of who I am; I like order and processes and once I find ones that work, I tend to never deviate. That has its inherent problems, and realizing this personality quirk has taken me a long time to fully comprehend. Not only did I need a new skill set, I needed something different to do. When I was working in a traditional career, I tended to skip around from one employer to the next. The main reason for this was that I got very bored very fast. I’d start a new job, face a challenge, spend a couple of years addressing it and then I was done. I’ve never been the kind of person who could stay in one job for 40 years, and I should’ve realized that this would also carry over to life as a self-employed creative. The podcast has been a fantastic way to shake things up a bit and, most importantly, I’ve been having a lot of fun doing it so far.
Moderate barriers to entry
Just like a blog, the steps in creating a podcast really aren’t that cumbersome. Like a web site, there are a number of technical steps but, once learned, become rote very fast. I did buy some equipment including a microphone, portable recorder and some software, but overall it wasn’t that expensive. No, the biggest barrier to entry in podcasting isn’t technical or financial, it’s creative. I very quickly learned that, also like blogs, many podcasts are indeed terrible. Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean that you SHOULD, and that’s certainly very true in this new-to-me world of podcasting. Like my blog though, I feel that I have a unique voice and point of view, both of which I try to imbue in my podcast episodes.
It had been so long since I’ve started something entirely new online that I forgot how much selling is involved. My biggest challenge right now is simply getting people to listen to the Explore the World Travel Podcast. Just as in the blogosphere, there are many podcasts and at first making your voice heard can seem daunting. I’m taking a similar tack though with the podcast as I do with the blog. Yes, I heavily promote it whenever I can, but I also know that great content will rise to the top naturally. Rather than spend my days worrying about download numbers and ratings, I am instead concentrating on producing great episodes and finding new topics to discuss. I’m in this for the long haul and, as such, I know that in time the podcast will be found, but if the content isn’t great then listeners won’t stick around for very long. I’ve also had some unexpected challenges, like people copying the name and even look of the podcast in an effort to capitalize on my audience. It’s frustrating but, since there’s very little that I can do, I instead have to focus on those things that I can affect.
A lot of fun
While I’ve wanted to start a podcast for a long time, I never anticipated just how much fun the process would be. I love every aspect of it, from deciding on new topics and guests to recording and producing the show. I even relish editing which, I realize, will probably lose its luster over time. But this is all fantastic news because this is what I needed to reenergize myself professionally and find new ways to deliver great content. I have no idea how the podcast will evolve over time, I just know that it will. I also know that as with LandLopers, it too will enable me to experience the world in new and exciting ways.
I will release a new Explore the World travel podcast every week, hopefully on Mondays, and each week there will be a different theme. Weekly guests who are experts in the topic will join the podcast to share insider tips and updates, from travel hacking to cruises and Disney or destination specific information, like Ireland or Thailand. The guests are true professionals who know their subject area very well and will add a lot to each podcast.
I haven’t been this excited about something in a long time and, to be honest, it’s a wonderful feeling. There’s nothing better than being energized about a new project and the podcast has me running on all cylinders. I need your help though. Please take a listen to the first podcast and, if you like it, please be sure to subscribe. It would also mean a lot if you could rate and review it on iTunes, as it helps other people find it as well.
I’d love to hear what you think and what topics or destinations I should feature in the future!