Working on Wednesday: I'm a Podcaster Now!
As you may already know, I'm in the process of launching a digital entertainment network called The Trident Network. It is a three-pronged (get it?) network that features live shows streamed on Twitch, filmed video content on our YouTube, and then Podcasts. What fewer of you may know is that I am making one of the podcasts on Trident. It's called DCOMmentaries.
I've long wanted to make a podcast. I borrowed a bunch of a equipment from a friend years ago and it sat setup, but unused as I distracted myself with other pursuits. But finally, with Trident up and running, there was no better opportunity to finally pull the trigger on making a podcast.
DCOMmentaries is simple and specific. My pal Allie and I watch Disney Channel Original Movies--TV movies that Disney started putting out in the late 90s and still makes today--and we break them down, play games, and generally enjoy each other's company while discussing the films. The idea was born during the pandemic lockdown, when I started re-watching some of the DCOMs on Disney+ and realized they are great fodder for discussion. I knew exactly who to ask to join me, as Allie is a big Disney-phile. And off we went.
The first step in podcasting is figuring out what the podcast is going to sound like. How long is it going to be? What structure will it have? There are some standard podcast structures that you can use as a jumping off point, but the fun is in making it your own. Just always keep in mind that you are making a podcast for the listener.
I was and am very fortunate to have my wonderful, creative, co-host Allie. The process of structuring DCOMmentaries was a true collaboration, with each of us contributing different elements and ideas to the show. Even now we share in the ongoing responsibilities with me editing and Allie coming up with our weekly games.
Creating a podcast, from a technical perspective, is actually quite easy as long as you have some basic equipment and software. Editing is probably the hardest operational step, but I was able to teach myself how to edit pretty quickly since I already knew how to edit video. I would say I'm currently moderately adept at audio editing in Adobe Audition. I soon realized the technical piece is the intimidating part--It's the piece of podcasting that keeps a lot of people from ever trying--but that's not the real challenge. The true hurdle of any podcast, as I'm learning, is finding your audience.
If you don't have an audience in mind, then the podcast is not going to work. You'll be screaming into an empty void. So start to imagine who might be interested in whatever it is you're saying. Even if you come to realize your original idea of your audience was wrong or incomplete, you need to have some idea of who might want to listen.
For DCOMmentaries, an obvious and large chunk is people who watched DCOMs as kids and want a fun excuse to re-watch them and/or listen to us talk about them. There's another group who just love anything Disney and listen to any podcast about any topic to do with the house of mouse. Some people would stop there. But I believe another group is folks who just enjoy engaging conversation about pop culture. For example, I listen to NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour even when I'm never going to watch or read or listen to whatever it is they're discussing that episode. I enjoy them and the way they talk about content. I believe Allie and I are engaging and we've developed a fun format for the show. Even if you've never seen the movie we're discussing, you will still enjoy the conversation.
One of the other surprising and extremely rewarding parts of podcasting is getting lovely, unsolicited feedback. Finding out someone surprising listens or hearing a perfect stranger is enjoying what we are making is one of the greatest feelings.
It doesn't feel as good to have to solicit reviews, but it is an important step in making sure your podcast is the most visible it can be.
Having some kind of social media presence is also key to reaching audience. DCOMmentaries has an instagram and we use that to connect with other podcasts, current fans, and potential listeners.
Long story short, working on DCOMmentaries is an absolute blast. It's hard work that doesn't feel like work because it is just so darn fun to create silly content with a terrific pal. And working on my own podcast has made me more useful for Trident's other podcasters. Of Trident's three prongs, podcasting was the one I knew the least amount about going in. I'm glad I just jumped into the deep end so I could learn and be of service to Trident's other pods.
If you're thinking of starting your own podcast, let's chat about it. I'd love to hear what you're working on and where you need help or advice. And if you're just looking for something new to listen to, consider DCOMmentaries!