I wrote a post last week, “Podcasting Solo: 20 Months in & 10 Suggestions for New Podcasters,” in which I shared some tough lessons learned podcasting AudioTim since October, 2010. I also said I’d make an announcement today regarding the future of AudioTim.
I had a conversation with a good friend I’ve met through podcasting, Dave Robison (cohost of Roundtable Podcast). He asked me what my goal was in podcasting. My immediate answer was to create a network to support my writing so that once my book comes out, I’ll have a better sales response.
There is something very telling in that statement.
While I try to be the best at everything I do, and thus to be the best podcaster, podcasting numbers were never the end goal. Becoming a full-time writer was and still is my main goal. (Of course, I will never forget the friendships built through podcasting, but I can still make friends without it.)
Thus, when month after month of dismal download numbers baffled and frustrated me, I began asking myself if the hours spent podcasting were worth it. My website hits grew at least 10% each month (read that was a good sign), but the podcast hits actually went down.
I write book/tv/movie reviews, blogs about writing, blogs/podcasts about the publishing industry, but I don’t understand why my audience isn’t checking out the podcast when they stop by. It could be that I’m not marketing enough, but between writing, reading and podcasting, I was hoping my social interaction as well as blogging content would be enough to bring people in by word of mouth. Apparently not.
I’ve noticed three big differences between my podcast and the big hitter podcasts: 1) a team to combine networks, as well as create a main hub where articles and reviews are posted daily; 2) team members that are also established authors and whom therefore have an audience of fans from their books; and 3) they either have been in the game for much longer or have something unique about their show.
Dave kindly pointed out that I don’t really have a unique twist to my format. I agreed, but from my being a fan of podcasts, I just wanted to hear the author’s story (both their success story and the story they wrote). I came into podcasting not having enough shows to get me through my week, so I didn’t think I needed anything else but to get interesting authors on the show and have them talk about writing and their books.
Somewhere along the above points, I missed an important drawing factor.
Another important point to bring back to the table is that my goal is to be a full-time writer. Podcasting takes a lot of time away from that; even though I write during the day and podcast at night, I could still read at night instead and that certainly is important.
So, AudioTim is going to produce episodes 39 and 40 and then take a break, kind of like concluding book one of my podcasting experience.
I need some time away and the timing is perfect as after episode 40 drops, I should be getting my edits back for my novel, and then will be eye deep in edits for the next few months.
Potential options for my future in podcasting:
1. If I find the right team and website to work with, I could add my experience editing and or voice to a podcasting group.
2. Similarly, I could freelance, recording interviews that other shows air on their website/feed.
3. I could try video interviews, shortening the length to fit in you tube standards and cutting out time to edit. (I already have a You Tube channel with tutorials on podcasting.)
4. I’ve picked up narrating for Star Ship Sofa/Tales to Terrify lately. I could either freelance narrating jobs and/or narrate on my AudioTim feed.
All of those options though will have to wait. I’ve done this for 20 months now and I need a break.
In the meantime, I will probably write more blog posts, and plan to try short written interviews and see if my audience prefers those. (Planning one right now with Moses Siregar III re:The Black God’s War). I also plan to add a You Tube video each month talking about how my writing is going.
Thank you so much to those who have enjoyed my podcasts. Hopefully this isn’t the end, but a stepping stone to me joining a team of podcasters so I can spend more time writing and less worrying about the tide rising on this little island.
P.S. I have a list of podcasts on my sidebar to the right that should provide ample podcasting enjoyment in the meantime.