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There are times in life when you have an idea. A brilliant idea. A novel idea, at least to you.
You put it into action and people LOVE IT. They love it so much that you start to wonder, what if this is just the beginning? What if even more people could experience this?
That’s sort of the trajectory LaziMILLENNIAL took. It started in February 2018 as a blog for millennials to learn how to be more creative, be more productive, and make more money. Since then, it’s turned into a podcast, and even more importantly, a community of like-minded multi passionate millennials.
In this process of adding a podcast to my blog, I encountered a few challenges. I’m gonna tell you all about those so hopefully you can avoid the mistakes I made.
Do I really need a podcast?
That was the million dollar question.
But what I was really asking was: Does my audience want or need a podcast? Because ultimately, what I want matters less than what the LZM family wants.
Here are all the questions I asked myself to figure out the answer to this primary question. You can use these questions to determine whether you should start a podcast too:
Statistically, does my audience listen to podcasts?
The people who read or listen to LaziMILLENNIAL are millennial-aged (mostly 27-31), college-educated, and primarily women. Almost half of people between 18 and 34 years old listen to at least one podcast a week.
Safe to say that statistically, my audience is into podcasts.
Did the LaziMILLENNIAL Fam SAY they wanted a podcast?
So yeah, I know what Forbes and LinkedIn and other marketing agencies say about podcast-listening, but I wanted to hear it from the source. So I asked my LZM family straight up: DO YOU LIKE LISTENING TO PODCASTS?
Here’s what they said:
How successful are my existing platforms?
You might’ve noticed in the previous poll that I asked about written, video, and audio content. Well I already had written content in the form of a blog, but I also have a YouTube channel. It’s home to some miscellaneous LaziMILLENNIAL videos there, but also the original LaziMILLENNIAL Lounge.
I was getting great traction on the blog—mostly from Pinterest—and there were people watching the YouTube videos.
But I just knew there was a larger audience of people out here who could benefit from what these amazing millennials had to share. And I was confident that a podcast was a way to reach that larger audience.
What would I-slash-LazimILLENNIAL gain from having a successful podcast?
Let’s be real: Even though it’s about what the audience wants, it’s also about what I stand to gain as the brand-builder and community guide. Of my personal goals for LZM, what could a podcast help me accomplish more of?
For starters, I’d be able to access people who wouldn’t normally come across the blog or YouTube channel. You can listen to podcasts while doing other things—driving, working, exercising, washing dishes, walking the dog…It was a whole new world where I was able to connect with people in other aspects of their lives.
A voice connection was also important to me. I’m an avid podcast-listener and there’s just something about hearing someone’s voice multiple times a week that just makes you feel more connected to them. I wanted my LZM fam to be able to have that same experience.
Lastly, I love speaking engagements! Podcasts are a great way to demonstrate your speaking skills and expertise so that people get familiar with your style and can approach you for gigs!
Do I have time and money to commit to a podcast?
This was a huge questions considering I was already SUPER-strapped for time (and money). I mean, I was already spending 8-10 hours on LZM a week, and that was after I had to cut back to focus on saving up enough money to quit my job. I didn’t want the podcast to completely replace the blog, so it wasn’t like I was substituting one for the other. I was ADDING to the time and money I was already investing.
It turned out that I didn’t have to spend too much money to get started. I paid for a year of hosting with Podbean (which has been incredible thus far!) and that was about it! I already had a website and a mic. (This Audio-Technica ATR2100 USB/XLR mic is the one lots of podcast aficionados recommend, by the way.)
Am I willing to stick out a podcast?
I have an obsession with sticking things out, even if I don’t want to…even when they don’t serve me anymore. But I didn’t want the podcast to be one of those things that I just kept doing because I felt like I had to.
I wanted to be able to enthusiastically commit, and I’ve been able to do that so far!
Am I stretching myself too thin?
If you’re a multipassionate person, you ALREADY. KNOW.
Stretching ourselves too thin is our kryptonite, and I’m no different. This was the biggest concern I had in deciding whether to add a podcast to my blog. I knew I would enjoy it (I was already doing it on YouTube!), but I didn’t want to push myself to the point of exhaustion or burnout.
You’ve gotta answer this one for yourself. To be honest, for me, the answer to this question was, “Probably yes” but I did it anyway because it was that important.
How I Went about Planning to Add the Podcast to the Blog
With affirmative answers to most, though not all, of my questions, I moved forward.
I decided on a launch date—my birthday!—and told people via social media. This is an accountability strategy I frequently employ to trap myself into doing something. 🙂
I signed up for Pete from Do You Even Blog’s free crash course Podcasting for Bloggers and completed it! It was incredible helpful, covering topic selection, hosting, editing, software, equipment, and marketing.
Last but not least, I blasted off! And heeeeeere’s where I F’d up. But I’ll get into that in the next section.
What I Wish I Had Known Before Launching a Podcast
It’s been a great time since 10/7 when the first episode of The LaziMILLENNIAL Lounge dropped! But it wasn’t without it’s hiccups.
1. For starters, I had no idea that podcast approval wasn’t instant. Who knew…
Because I waited too close to launch day to submit my podcast for approval, it wasn’t available on Apple/iTunes (or any other popular platform for that matter) on 10/7! I can’t tell you how upset I was, but that wasn’t the worst of it.
While (im)patiently waiting for my Apple approval, I opened my inbox only to find an Apple REJECTION! WTF!
I had no idea how finicky Apple podcasts was, and I wished I’d known that before. You’ll definitely want to follow the guidelines when trying to get your podcast approved on iTunes.
2. Another part of my launch that I did do but that wished I’d taken more time with was a podcast trailer. Just like a movie trailer, it’s a teaser to let your prospective audience know what’s coming! Trailers do a great job of building interest and anticipation.
3. Once the show was approved on the major platforms, I realized…Wow, I really am not feeling these show notes! I wished I’d had a specific plan and process for writing and publishing show notes so that it didn’t seem so daunting. As it stands, I’d rather edit 3 episodes than write show notes.
Anyway, these are the things I wish I knew before, but despite any hiccups, it’s been going well so far!