The One Where I Tell You How I Started My Own Podcast
Let me set the stage for you. The rain is pitter-pattering down my window as I’m snuggled up in my bed, with my laptop sitting on my lap, thankful that I’m not out in the dreich weather outside.
My attention is focused on my laptop, specifically on the LGBT Youth Scotland’s server on Discord.
It’s their annual Pride and Pixels event, and due to the madness of the pandemic leaving all of us in a sort of “will they, won’t they?” with lockdown restrictions, the week-long festival is online.
I study HND Practical Journalism at college, and one of my assignments was to create a short podcast, which I was enthusiastically working through in a group.
Podcasts is a medium to tell stories and create content for the public and always seemed like something I would like to make at some point but wouldn’t have the slightest clue on where to start my own.
So, it was safe to say I was loving this assignment; little did I know that this would become a domino effect, turning into something great.
However, let’s go back to Pride and Pixels.
It’s a bit odd to have a workshop not over zoom, but over a text chat. We’re discussing podcasts, the new frontier for creators online.
Did you know that in 2020, according to Statista, there were an estimated 485 million podcast consumers worldwide? What seemed like an untouched blanket of powder-white snow, is actually a hubbub of activity.
“It was eye opening.”
There were discussions of having a longer session or even LGBT Youth Scotland starting their own podcast but as of right now, there hasn’t been any updates.
For me though? It was like a lightbulb moment.
Most podcasts are made with little to no budget, at least when it starts out. People talk about literally everything and anything; it’s like the open ocean out there. So why not start my own? I can talk for Scotland about some of the things I’m interested in.
I started putting together a little toolkit; my laptop with a working mic, basic audio editing skills (internally thanking my early teenage self for dipping her toes into Audacity), an audio editing programme and I quickly made an account on Canva. It’s a design website which I used to create some graphics for the podcast.
It was starting to come together.
I just needed three more things;
An RSS feed.
A couple of social media accounts.
The most pressing of all though? A co-host.
Keeping up some quality banter is important, to engage listeners on a relatable and fun level. It’s hard doing that completely by yourself, you could be the best comedian in the world, but bouncing topics off of someone else is just so much better.
I asked if anyone would be interested in co-hosting a potential podcast through the aforementioned LGBT Youth Scotland Discord server and got a few answers but I didn’t really know them.
So, I went and also put in my personal Instagram story that I was looking for a co-host. To find “the one”, I made a survey just asking for some general details like name, age, hobbies and a social media account where I could contact them on.
After reading through some of the replies, I decided it would be best if I went with one of my internet friends, Indiana Coyle, who had applied too. They liked movies and we had known each other for a good while – about a year and a half. Banter? Check. Interest in movies? Check. The kicker was that they were interested in completely different genres of cinema and TV than me, which is great! I wanted someone to get tore into about a movie or tv show, not a yes man. Or in this case, yes person.
It was easy enough setting up the social media accounts.
Finding an RSS host though? Oh boy, that was a challenge.
I bet you’re asking, Chloe, what is an RSS feed? Why is it important?
To answer you, kind reader, basically an RSS feed allows people to subscribe to a podcast and get updates when new episodes are made available. It’s pretty much essential. That is, if you want your podcast on streaming sites like Spotify or Apple podcasts.
I’d never done this before, so I genuinely hadn’t a scooby on where to begin. The first host I tried was Podbean, but there was a paywall after a while, so I jumped onto another. Then another. Then another. Then another. As the clock ticked on, my brain was starting to turn into soup. I was never going to get this right.
Sitting at the top of every Google search was a site called Anchor.
I’d avoided it. Thinking it was going to have the same problem so it wasn’t worth trying. I pretty much ate my words; Anchor worked like a dream. I had a couple of queries, but nothing I couldn’t eventually get my head around. All that was left was to record our first episode.
My co-host lives in Wales, and I live in Scotland so after a few minutes playing around with Microsoft Teams, we were able to record the episode. I won’t spoil anything about what we talked about; you’ll just have to tune in yourself.
And so, “Film Queery” was born.
A fun-filled podcast that discusses a new film or TV programme each week, from a queer perspective. Currently, two episodes are available but new episodes come out every Friday from as early as 8am.
While film podcasts are popular, as well as podcasts about LGBTQ issues, I hadn’t seen many that combined both.
I think it’s important that both myself and my co-host are both LGBTQ+ and can discuss these topics while not coming off as telling queer people how to feel about a certain film/TV show.
Also, the informal atmosphere is supposed to feel as if the listener is having a cuppa with us as we ramble on about the movie/TV show of the week.
The episodes are short (for a podcast anyway), running just under 30mins so people can listen on the go, and keep their attention.
If someone’s droning on about the same thing for ages, it’s hard not to zone out sometimes.
Podcasts seem like a vast open ocean sometimes.
Being a “baby” podcast is sometimes a struggle. It’s like keeping your head above the water with choppy waves constantly on the verge dragging you down to the black depths of irrelevancy. Not so fun. But so far, it feels worth it.
It’s not always like that, dramatics aside, but I’m not going to lie, it’s not easy. It’s one of those things where grafting is really worth it. For me, it’s a fun thing I’m doing on the side right now, I’m not looking to make money, I just enjoy chatting for half an hour about movies and TV shows.
If you want to start your own podcast, take this article as a sign to do just that!
It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it once you see your little podcast finally being available on Spotify as well as other streaming sites, you feel all warm and fuzzy.
It’s like an instant boost of serotonin to see your hard work come to fruition.
If you want a quick step by step guide, here you go:
1: Think about something you’re interested in, could you talk about that for an extended period of time? Let’s call this the brainstorming stage. Names, the tone you want to give off, if you want to host on your own or with someone else? Would you release episodes weekly? Bi-weekly? Every fortnight?
2: Once you’ve got some ideas nailed down, start looking for an RSS feed. As I mentioned before, I highly recommend Anchor, but you can go with whatever you’d like.
3: Get some social media accounts set up. Include the general premise of what your podcast is going to be about in your bio. “Film Queery” has a Twitter account, a Tiktok account and an Instagram. You want to engage with potential followers.
4: Record your first episode. As I’m the producer and editor of my podcast, as well as co-host, I kept it to under half an hour for my own sanity when it comes to the editing stage.
5: Editing time. There are lots of tutorials online for Audacity, as it’s free to download, but I found just playing around helped me really understand the programme.
And now, all that’s left to do is publish your first episode! I wish you all the luck in the world for your podcasting endeavors.
If you’re interested in listening to our podcast, click on this link… https://linktr.ee/filmqueery