I want to become a sports analyst when I graduate and I have spent a lot of time writing about sports throughout my years here at BYU-Idaho. However, my ultimate goal is to be on a talk show debating about sports so I needed to get some experience recording myself talking about them.
With that in mind, I decided that the perfect project for me was a sports podcast. My outcomes for this project mainly revolved around speaking about sports. I wanted to get better at talking about sports and debating sports. Another major outcome I wanted was to become more confident at getting my voice out there and actually telling people what I am working on. My biggest issue is confidence and at first I did not want to tell anybody that I was making a podcast because I did not want them to hear me. I did get over that and I would say that was the biggest success of this project for me.
It was a bit of a struggle figuring out how I was going to do the podcast. I was able to find a website that is owned by Spotify called Anchor.fm. Using that service made the technical side a lot easier so I was able to get my project going.
Early on, I was trying to focus on editing my podcast but I found that it was taking a lot of time for not that great of results so I decided that I would hold off on focusing too much on editing my podcast so I could focus more on the content of the podcast itself. However, I have reached the point that I am going to focus more on editing my podcast in the future and I already have ideas on how to do so.
My analytics were not what I was hoping for honestly during this project. I have three followers on Spotify and about 23 total listens to my podcast at the time of writing this.
I have been working on getting more engagement and I should clarify that those numbers are just on Spotify and to my knowledge do not count the people that listen in the browser version of Anchor.
I did create an Instagram page to grow my following and get some audience feedback. I only have 11 followers at the moment but I am planning on starting a Twitter page and will start working on getting my page promoted.
Paying attention to these analytics taught me that I need to keep on grinding to grow a following. I feel like nothing is working right now but if I keep on trying I can grow my following because ultimately, it takes work.
I spent a lot of time recording episodes for this project but that was actually the least time intensive part of the project. I currently have 11 episodes uploaded but I do need to say that a few episodes I had recorded were corrupted and I had to delete them unfortunately.
I did most of my episodes by myself and those are all just under 30 minutes long. I also did two episodes with my friend Garrett Morris and those episodes were 45 and 55 minutes long but those could have been longer if I did not stop the conversation. I want my future episodes to have guests a lot more often because those are significantly more fun to record and they do a better job of achieving my goal of talking or debating about sports.
As I said before though, most of the time I spent on this project was not during recording. I had to watch sports a lot more often then I usually did and I was reading articles about sports almost constantly trying to keep my knowledge well rounded and make sure I kept up with the current news. Watching games all day is nice but that does not change the fact that it is a lot of work and takes a lot of time.
What I Learned About Journalism:
The biggest thing I learned is that journalism takes a lot of time to get right. That is true for all journalism but I think I underestimated how much time and work it takes to be well versed in current sport news. I have always been able to keep up with my favorite teams but to keep up with all sports news can feel impossible.
That is why a lot of sports analysts have a sport that they mainly focus on and I would say in my podcast the majority of content has been about football. I have been keeping track of most football news because it is easiest to focus on one sport at a time and that is probably one of the most valuable insights I gained from this experience.
Of course, I will continue to talk about a variety of sports because the goal is to stay well-versed so I can write and talk about any sport my future employer asks me to. Journalism is about accuracy but the nice thing about sports journalism is that opinions are a lot more welcome when compared to traditional journalism.
In other types of journalism, it should always be about facts and sources but when it comes to sports, when not reporting on specific events or games, most of the professionals have opinions and that is all they talk about. Of course, that does not mean you say blatantly false things but with sports, things like predictions are always opinion and that is okay.
What I Learned About Completing Projects:
I learned that projects can be very hard and very stressful. I realized that putting my work out there can be very stressful and I did not want to do it at first. I think that the biggest thing I realized from this project was that projects allow you to become more confident in areas that could be considered weaknesses.
I struggle to put myself out there but this podcast has not only helped me do that, it has also helped me want to get more people listening to me. When I started, I did not want people to listen to me and now I want more so I am very happy about that development.
On the other hand, I also realized that projects can be very stressful if you get behind. I got sick multiple times this semester and I got behind on recording for a little bit. Luckily, I was able to get caught up but I was very stressed out because of it. In order to complete projects, you NEED to be very consistent and I realized that very quickly so I am glad I was able to complete this project and I will continue to make this podcast hopefully for years to come.