I have worked on creating and branding a podcast during the last three months. My podcast is called Valid: A Pop Culture Podcast. I currently have 4 episodes up and want to keep coming out with new episodes either every Wednesday or every other Wednesday. In my first episode, I read worst date stories that I had friends and family members send in. I recorded this episode before I had come up with a topic for my podcast. After this episode, I finally decided I wanted my podcast to be about pop culture! My next episode is titled “HIGHLIGHTS OF KIM AND KANYES DIVORCE (lowlights?)”. I was pretty proud of myself for coming up with this title because Kanye has a song called Lowlights. In my third episode, I give an update about the Kardashians and then talk about what happened at the Oscar’s with Will Smith and Chris Rock. In my fourth and final episode, I talk about the conspiracy theory that Queen Elizabeth is dead and the new Harry Styles new song!
My primary purpose was to develop skills in content creation through learning how to use platforms to have a published podcast on Spotify. However, I developed more skills through doing so than I even thought I would, such as researching, networking, and branding.
My secondary purpose is to entertain and inform listeners about the mainstream media and pop culture through my podcast!
A PODCAST EPISODE
Below is a link to my podcast episode on Spotify about Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s divorce.
The biggest challenge I faced while developing this podcast was coming up with a clear direction I wanted to go with the podcast. When I first began working on the podcast, I wanted all of the episodes to have random, different topics. I thought in one episode I would read worst date stories, in another episode I would interview someone interesting, and in another episode, I would talk about the Kardashian’s. I had two wonderful mentors though who were really encouraging me to come up with a clear direction and topic for my podcast. After the first two and a half months of wrestling with different ideas, over-planning and under-delivering, I decided on a topic I liked: pop culture. Once I had this topic, I finally started making progress. I came up with a name for my podcast, I created cover art for my podcast, and I had so much to talk about! I thought that having one topic for my podcast would make me feel limited, but I felt the exact opposite.
The second biggest challenge I faced was feeling self-conscious about people actually listening to my podcast. I had all these thoughts like Was my voice annoying? Did I sound nervous when I talked? Was it awkward? What if people think I’m dumb for having a podcast? Is this even entertaining? Because of these feelings, I was reluctant to even share my podcast with anyone! Once I have a few more things under control and I am a little more comfortable with talking on the podcast, I will start sharing the podcast and putting more time into marketing it.
The process of creating my podcast consisted of three main parts: the technology, the branding and the episodes.
1. The technology
The first thing I did was figure out how to record a podcast and publish it on Spotify. I talked to one of my friends who also was developing a podcast and she told me she had no clue how to publish it on Spotify. She had just been publishing all of her episodes on YouTube. So, I did some research. I read some articles, watched some YouTube videos, and finally found out about Anchor.fm. Anchor.fm is a platform where you can record podcast episodes and it will create an RSS Feed of your podcast. The RSS Feed is a special link you need to put into Spotify and other platforms such as Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts, to publish the podcast. It sounds simple but it was actually a lot of work to figure out!
2. The branding
The next thing I did was brainstorm different topics I could have my podcast be about. After I chose pop culture, I created cover art for my podcast. Below are some samples of my cover art in different color schemes.
I chose to use the second option! I plan on eventually re-designing it, but love this cover art for the very beginnings of my podcast!
For a part of branding myself and my podcast, I began starting conversations on social media about pop culture.
I asked my audience if they were on Kim or Kanye’s side in the divorce and why. Here are some of the responses:
I also asked my audience how they felt about Harry Styles’ new song:
And who was the better musical artist between Harry Styles and Taylor Swift:
Interacting with my audience and having conversations about pop culture has been one of my favorite parts of doing this podcast so far!
3. The episodes
Creating the episodes required a lot of research. I want to be very knowledgeable about my topic, so I spent hours reading every relevant article and social media post I could and watching so many interviews and videos.
I also want my podcasts to sound conversational and not like I am reading a script, so I tried to have more bullet points written down rather than a script to read. I think I will get better at my podcast conversational as I keep going! For now, I depend a lot on what I have written down.
Each episode is about 40 minutes long. I have been working on different intro options to have some sort of a song or a jingle play before I begin my podcast. That is one detail that I am still trying to smooth over! After I record them on Anchor.fm, I publish it on Spotify.
My biggest takeaway is that having a clear purpose provides more opportunities rather than limits them. I started this project thinking that my purpose was to “entertain people”. What a vast and allusive purpose! I made little to no progress with this as my purpose. Once I came up with the purpose to entertain and inform people about mainstream media and pop culture, I made more progress in two weeks than I had in two months!