My emphasis for my major is Public Relations, but I decided to go with a Journalism emphasis for my Senior Project.
For this project, I decided to create a longform sports blog and podcast. My sports blog and podcast can be found at https://nicolasrobertson.substack.com/. I have been a fan of longform content for years and I really wanted to get started on creating my own longform content. I know a lot about sports and am frankly obsessed with them. As a result, I have a vast knowledge of sports. I have had family members and friends over the years tell me that I should create some form of sports blog or podcast. I felt that this Senior Project was a great opportunity for me to get started on doing so. Sports have had a massive impact on my life and I want to be able to share the impact that they have had on me with others. I believe that sports have the power to bring us together and to help people get through tough times in their lives. On a personal note, sports have helped me get through some very difficult times in my life, and I chronicled a few different examples of this in my various blog posts. I would like for my sports blog and podcast to be something that I can work on for years to come.
With this project, my main goal was to be able to create quality longform content that people will enjoy reading or listening to.
I decided to use Substack for my blog. I decided to use Substack because I had seen that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar writes on there and I like the way the platform looks and runs. I think it is very user-friendly. I used Substack to post my podcast episode on as well. In addition to Substack, I also posted my podcast episode on RSS.com and Anchor.fm, which then posts my podcast on Spotify.
There are a few different outcomes that I wanted to shoot for with this project. These are:
- Create a blog and podcast on Substack
- Create five different longform blog posts and one podcast episode
- Get at least 30 subscribers for my Substack
- Get at least 50 views on one of my posts
I was able to reach all of these goals. I created five longform blog posts that have at least 20 cited footnotes in each of them. One of my blog posts has 61 footnote citations in it. This was truly a labor of love because I love sports and wanted to share my vast knowledge and enthusiasm for sports with others. I currently have 31 subscribers to my Substack and I have 55 views for my post that I pushed the most on social media. Here are relevant metrics for my blog and my various blog posts.
Subscriber and Post Viewership Numbers
All of the data that I posted here is from March 14, when I created this blog post. As you can see above, I had my best viewership day on March 14. After getting a couple of blog posts done, I began consistently posting about my blog on social media so that I could get more viewers and subscribers. This worked very well, as prior to posting on social media I had barely any subscribers. I posted about my blog on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
The data collected taught me that the more that I make quality blog posts and podcast episodes, the more people will subscribe to my blog and read my content. I found that by far the best way to get subscribers (at least this early on in my blog) was by sending my Substack link to different people that I know and telling them about it. A lot of my family and friends have been enjoying my blog because they have wanted me to do this for years. As you can see in the chart above, I was able to get more subscribers at the beginning of March because I was sending out my blog to more and more people during this time. I learned that when running a blog or podcast, you need to be consistently sending out your blog to whoever you can. This can be done through social media or through simply texting or emailing the link to my blog to people that I know. I was able to get a lot of help with getting subscribers from various family members that posted about my blog on social media. Here is a photo of an Instagram story that my cousin posted to share my blog with her followers.
What I Learned About Journalism and Podcasting
When I was a kid, my dream job was to be a sports journalist. I have had prior experience with writing about sports, specifically when I was in high school and wrote for my school newspaper. I learned a lot about journalism while working on this project. The most important thing that I learned, in my opinion, is that it is extremely important to substantiate the claims that you make in blog posts or whichever medium you use to post journalism-related content. I decided to substantiate my claims by adding footnotes in my posts in which I cited my various sources in APA formatting. When I started working on my Substack, I had no idea that I would be spending so much time citing various sources in my posts.
I also learned that it is important to share your work with others, as I posted above. There is something about sharing my writing with others that makes me anxious. I had to learn to push past that and share my content as much as possible. I found that the more that I wrote on my Substack and shared it with others, the less anxious I felt about sharing my writing.
I learned that recording a podcast is difficult! I spent a lot of time compiling an outline of what I wanted to discuss with my brother, who was a guest on my podcast. When I first started working on this project, I did not expect that I would spend so much time simply figuring out what I wanted my brother and I to talk about in our podcast episode. On that note, I also learned about different software that can be used for recording a podcast. For my podcast, I used a tool called Craig.chat to record my brother and I’s podcast. My brother is on the other side of the country, so we recorded our podcast over Discord. Craig.chat was an invaluable resource for this endeavor because it can be used to record a Discord call. I also used a software called Audacity, which I used to put the recordings of both my brother and I talking together.
In addition to different podcast recording software, I also learned about different websites to post my podcast on. The first website I used for my podcast is anchor.fm. Anchor is a great software to use because they will post your podcast on Spotify. I felt that it was really important to make my podcast as accessible as possible. I also used a website called RSS.com, which was great for posting my podcast on Substack. When I first began working on this project, it was important for me to find a website that I can post both my blog and podcast on. Substack has been a great resource in many ways, one being that I can post my blog posts and podcast episodes on there.
What I Learned About Completing Projects and Being Professional
Over the course of this semester, I learned quite a bit about completing projects and being professional. While working on this project, I met with my faculty mentor, Sister Walton, four different times in addition to conversing over email. She has been an amazing resource throughout my time of working on this project and I am extremely grateful to her for helping me get this project off the ground.
I learned that completing projects can be very difficult. One of the things that Sister Walton has taught me in classes I have had with her is to “under promise and over deliver.” With this project, I was worried that I was going to “over promise and under deliver.” I honestly spent so much time working on my five blog posts that I went over the required 50 hours of work for this project in order to record my podcast. I ended up doing 63 hours and 40 minutes of work on this project. While working on my Senior Project, I learned that it is important to get things done on time. With this project, I aimed to get things done early as often as possible. I think that completing projects on time is very professional and essential in the field of Communications
Senior Project Video
There are many people who helped me over the course of working on this project. First, I would like to thank my Mom and Dad, who both helped me figure out what to do for this project. I am not sure where I would be in life without the love and support of my parents. I would like to thank Sister Walton for being my mentor and for teaching me so much about Public Relations and Communications over the past couple years. My project would not be as strong as it is without her help and guidance over the course of this semester. I would like to thank all of my teachers that I have had at BYU-Idaho over the many years that I have been a student here. Teachers are so incredibly instrumental and helpful in showing their students how to be productive members of society. I would also like to thank my friends Justin Yi and Ryan Doyle for reading my blog posts and helping me to identify any necessary changes that were made to them. I would like to thank my brother, Nate Robertson, for recording my podcast episode with me.