So You Want To Start A Podcast (in Nashville)
Hello, I’m a podcast expert. Turns out, all you need is one year of experience, a failed podcast, and a new one in the works. In an attempt to answer less DMs, here is your official So You Want To Start A Podcast (in Nashville) Guide!
What I wish someone had told me in the beginning:
You are not going to turn into My Favorite Murder. Find your own voice.
Put it in writing - what you agree to do, what you don’t agree to do, how long you’ll try the thing you don’t agree to do.
Whether you mean to or not, you are starting a little, baby business.
This will be twice the amount of work you think it will be.
The first episode will be terrible.
Let’s talk basics. Here are some things you need before you start recording:
A place to record. If you’re in Nashville, congratulations, there’s a podcast studio called We Own This Town in the Wedgewood Houston neighborhood and it’s where I record.
A name for your podcast that’s not already taken. Good luck!
A podcast bio that will be displayed on iTunes, Spotify, etc.
An elevator pitch for when every single person you know asks what your podcast is about.
A way to put your podcast on iTunes, Spotify, etc.
An editor/sound engineer.
A podcast email address.
A podcast Instagram account.
Let’s talk about the time involved.
SCHEDULING - There are hours of administrative work that go on behind the scenes. If you’re doing a podcast with guests, guess what, you’ve got to schedule those - and you’ve got to coordinate the calendars of your guest, your studio, your producer, and yourself. If you’ve ever been an Administrative Assistant, you’re going to be great at this. Also, no one responds to emails, so it’ll take six weeks to schedule one guest.
WRITING - The writing is the silent killer. I mentioned this above, but you have to write a bio for your podcast. It’s the block of text that will serve as the description of your podcast on iTunes, Spotify, etc. In addition to things iTunes needs, you have to write show notes for every episode.
You’ll need to write an intro and outro for each episode. Are you going to have guests? You might want to write out the questions you’re going to ask them. Do you want a podcast website? You’ve got to write all of the words that go on your website. How about an Instagram account for your new podcast? Well, for starters, that needs a bio and web address. And then you need to write captions for your posts - and don’t forget hashtags! Oh, and you’ll need pictures to use as content, so make sure and take pictures of your guests in between all that scheduling and writing.
PLANNING - I hired a producer on my new podcast, Ladyland, and we had about two months of planning meetings to come up with a name, decide on the main points the podcast would be about, write the bio, make lists of potential guests, decide on a block of time to record, and start emailing guests. This was before any recording happened. Then we met before every recording to go over the background on the guest and what I was going to talk to them about. I also recorded two practice episodes, which took as much planning and prep as the “real” episodes.
Record practice episodes and listen back to them before you record any real episodes. You’ll be shocked at what your laugh sounds like and how often you say, “like”.
Hire someone to edit your episodes.
Keep it under 40 minutes.
Double and triple check that there’s not already a podcast and website out there using the name you want.
Do you want to start a podcast? You should, it’s fun as hell, but it’s a lot of work. Podcast hopefuls, what have I left off? Any burning questions you'd like to have answered before starting a podcast? Fellow podcasters, what do you wish you had known in the beginning?