If you don’t follow me closely on social media (which, first of all, how dare you) you might have missed me plastering links to my new podcast ‘Aged Like Milk‘.
Starting a podcast is something that I had been thinking about for about a year, but I was scared and I knew I faced a few challenges:
- I couldn’t think of a topic that I’d want to subject people to my voice for
- I had no idea what equipment one needs to start a podcast
- I didn’t know how to edit a podcast
- I didn’t know where to put my podcast
- I didn’t know how to get people excited about a podcast
It’s the pandemic. People are home. People like me are not content to sit around and drink themselves into a stupor (at least after the first few weeks). So I thought fuck it. I love podcasts, I am a subscriber of podcasts, I am intelligent (enough), I know some people who have started podcasts that I can pester with questions, AND I have the internet.
So I set about tackling the challenges I listed above.
5 things I learned starting a podcast
- Think of a topic you like, and can speak on with authority, and go from there.
I work in entertainment. It has been my obsession since I was small. I have watched movies and television programming from around the world thanks to my international upbringing, and I have always loved talking about them extensively. I also studied film at University. Not the making of film (which I have always regretted as a wannabe filmmaker) but the critical analysis of it (which means I can articulate WHY something is great or terrible. So fun for me). As I sat in lockdown in Los Angeles, watching an old favorite flick that had some very questionable themes in it, I suddenly had a lightbulb moment. I wanted to talk about film that had aged over time! The name of the podcast kind of came to me in a creative lighting bolt, and even though it didn’t make sense to my Dad (love you), it made sense to me. Milk left in the fridge goes bad over time, just like culturally relevant films like ‘She’s All That’ and ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ (our first two episodes – always be plugging) might have aged as we become (hopefully) a more woke and tolerant society. I asked my friend David to be a co-host with me because he has had a very different upbringing to me, is in the business and honestly because he lives like 2 streets away and is the kind of dude that is always down for my nonsense (he stars in my first ever short film which we shot in quarantine at 6am on a mountain and is currently in post production).
- You can learn almost everything about anything from YouTube.
I watched so many YouTube tutorials before starting our podcast. I learned about microphones, inputs, headphone amps. Thanks to those videos, I read so many reviews online that my head spun. Because David and I are in an isolation pod (shoutout to my pod for keeping me sane during these weird times) we decided to record our podcast with each other in person. This meant we had to steer clear of USB microphones as those tend to pick up on surrounding sound (though these are cheaper and sometimes easier to mess with). We went for the Shure Sm57 dynamic microphone, which is a XLR mic (that refers to the plug you’ve probably seen with the three prongs). We bought a bunch of things like a stand that grips the table (to avoid moving noises) and a pop filter so we didn’t annoy you with our P’s and T’s. Having a dynamic mic means you need to have something to plug it into before it goes into the computer, but thankfully (as shit was adding up) I was able to borrow a Scarlett 2i2 which is an audio interface. God it sure sounds like I know wtf I’m talking about eh? YOUTUBE FOR THE WIN! I’d say budget for about $200 – $300 if your podcast has more than one person. You can honestly do it for way cheaper if you have a quiet room and try recording from your headphone microphones. But after doing a short film recently where the sound was JUST OKAY, we decided to invest.
- There are so many ways to edit a podcast, and all of them are PRETTY EASY
I edit the Aged Like Milk podcast on GarageBand. I have a mac I barely use any apps on (because I am a bad bad millennial social media only hoe) so I partly felt guilty for not using this basic and incredible built in software. Also I suck and I like the aesthetic. Another great alternative for PC users is Audacity. It just looks more severe and serious and I am a silly frivolous person so NO THANK YOU. Editing a podcast was again made simple by videos I found online. The hardest part is making cuts when you or your cohost don’t take a breath. Which David and I are both extremely guilty of. Many of the shortcuts to editing a podcast become second nature like command T (cut). GarageBand is built to be simple and user friendly, just make sure you and your guests/cohosts SHUT THE FUCK UP for a minute so you can do clear cuts. Transitioning from one thought to the next is great and all…but it makes editing a nightmare!
- You DON’T have to pay to host your podcast
Learning where to put my podcast so people could actually find it was tricky. There are many, many, podcast hosting sites like Buzzsprout and Anchor, where you have to pay. And, like no shade to those companies, but after shelling out a few hundred dollars as an unemployed person who just had a fun idea, I was like…what else you got? I was fortunate to connect to someone who produces and edits podcasts as a side hustle, who informed me that SoundCloud lets you host podcasts for free! Free sounds good! Also, I’ve heard of SoundCloud! Brand name recognition is dope. You need to host your podcast somewhere so you can get an RSS feed. What does this mean? Couldn’t tell ya, but it looks like a link to a website, and you need it if you want to put your podcast on Spotify or Apple podcasts (which is where you can find us!). This was super confusing to me to. I used to think you just uploaded your podcast straight to Spotify! But I was a dumb dumb then, and now I’m a more well educated dumb dumb so…yay me.
- Build a following for your podcast!
Look, I’m not gonna lie to you, we launched our first episode yesterday, so I’m still figuring this one out. At the time of writing this post, we’ve been live for 24 hours and we’ve had almost a hundred streams (? is that the right word, god I am such a noob) or listens of our first episode. I started an instagram account a few weeks ago and started trying to build a little hype, connecting with other podcasts. We’ve been truly supported by our friends and family who have posted about the episode and our launch, as well as told us they love it (which we appreciate even if they are fibbing). I’ll have to get back to you on how we build a following for this project, but it is something we are passionate about and that entertains us. I’ve always been of the opinion that with projects, you work on them until they don’t feel good any more. This still feels really good, and as we have been adding industry guests to some of our podcasts (stay tuned for that) I’m even meeting new people and connecting with some industry legends.
-Find music you like and license it/buy it for your theme song or intro. Our theme song was about $30, and we like the tone it sets for the podcast.
-Get some cool cover art. Ours is designed by Amanda Grove @goldengrovepaper on instagram. She is a friend and did us a deal (under $100 with many changes). I pictured this image right around the time I thought of the name of the podcast and she educated it beautifully.
-Find someone you actually like hosting with. David is one of the funniest, off the wall guys I know, but he’s also smart and detail oriented. He brings questions and comments to the table that I have never thought of. Every recording session turns into a late night drink fest with my partner Scott (who also loves his company) and we HAVE FUN. Which is truly the most important thing of all right?
So there it is. I always love to say, usually in relation to things like moving countries or changing careers, “if I can do it, so can you”. In this instance, truly I believe that anyone can start a podcast. For sure it’s a steep learning curve, but I’ve found a massive amount of joy in it, AND I’ve learned a bunch of new skills.
Aged Like Milk comes out bi-weekly on Tuesdays (the first and third tuesday of the month). Please check us out on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, and connect with us on instagram at @agedlikemilkpodcast. Our website is my next project so stay tuned for that as well!
If you have a movie you’d like to suggest, you can email agedlikemilkpodcast @ gmail.com
Hear you soon!