Episode 20: 8 Lessons Learned From Starting a Podcast

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Today is Monday, January 23, 2017 and this is episode 20 of Living Free in Tennessee. When I think back to that first episode, all the ums and edits, the starts and restarts, it is with lots of gratefulness. I am grateful for that special friend who helped me get the one piece of equipment I needed to grow from built-in computer mic to a nice recording setup. Grateful for my friends over on the TSP Zello channel who have kept me going through that low point we all get to on a podcast. And to Jack Spirko and Nick Ferguson who probably have no idea that they inspired me to get off my bum and do something for myself last summer as I was watching all the other parts of my world start to crumble. And then there is Ford. You know who you are. That day I was going to trash the whole project you asked me a simple question: “When is the next podcast coming out?” That simple question was what it took to make me ask myself. “Am I really gonna do this thing? Why? Where could I take it if I did it right? How can I arrange my schedule to make room for this?” And a week later, Living Free in Tennessee became something that happens on a schedule rather than a weekend afterthought.

Today, I will depart from the normal homesteading stories and share with you some of the lessons I have learned about launching a podcast. A few of you have asked me questions about podcasting because you are interested in starting one and I though, why not share my top lessons learned with everyone? Maybe this episode can help one or two of you start telling your stories.

Now, you may be wondering how this relates to self reliance and homesteading — or freedom for that matter. There is a quiet revolution that has been happening in rural communities all over our country. One where people are realizing that simplicity is good for the heart and soul, good for the body. One where people are opting out of the expensive rat race that leads so many into debt – and opting in to lives of hard work and healthy living. One where people who have very different political and spiritual perspectives manage to come together in their communities and redefine how our political leaders and the media seem to want to define us. One where people are quietly deciding to get along with one another despite sometimes disagreeing, despite differences.

THESE are the stories we need to share with the world. The stories of a family whose crop got taken out by a tornado and the next day a bunch of neighbors came over to help them replant. Or the Nashville flood of 2010 where folks jumped in their boats to snatch people and pets off roofs. Or the kid with leukemia near here who was going to be locked in a sterile room with just the hospital tv for months, whose family could not afford a computer, and the community gave him a iPad.

These are the stories that give me hope, and these are the real pieces of a peaceful revolution of people who have opted out of hysteria and negativity and are doing something to make a real difference.

What mother nature is providing

  • Oyster Mushrooms
  • Stinging Nettle
  • Watercress
  • First EGGGGGG!!!

Tales from the Prepper Pantry

  • The weekly squash – week 5: No squash this week – I just can’t this week. So Ford shared a baked spaghetti squash idea.
  • Search for the rotten potato…remembering to look at the things in the root cellar
  • Root vegetables! The Blue Cheese Beet Bake
  • Venison tacos (Green chili)


8 Lessons Learned From Starting a Podcast

  1. Just Do it
  2. Use what you have on hand
  3. Define your core and stick to it
  4. Not all podcast hosts are the same – find a good one and learn what they do well
  5. Four areas to consider: Equipment, Content, Production, Marketing
  6. Content (and delivery) is the most important – as long as you don’t foul up the rest
  7. Network, network, network
  8. Block time and be consistent

Area 1: Getting started with technology

  1. What do you already have? Computer with built it mic? Cellphone that records? High end recording setup? Hand held recorder? Whatever it is – just use that and get started!!
  2. Recommendations from another podcaster: Nick Ferguson
    “I asked some professionals and got a studio condenser mic, desk stand, Scarlet Solo, and I record directly into Adobe Audition. That’s basically it. Pretty simple but not cheap. If I had to go cheap, then I’d get one of those blue yeti mics and record into adobe audition. The biggest thing is acoustic control of the room. Sound absorbing panels 360 degrees around you with panel above. Simple cheap cubicle panels work.”
  3. What I use

Area 2: Content development

  1. Define the core of what your podcast will cover, and stick to that.
  2. Choose something you LOVE.
  3. Try an interview – it yields lots of content
  4. Approach the podcast like a great presentation: Hot beginning, Hot Landing and don’t mess up the middle (Steven Spielberg?).
  5. Integrate stories and metaphors. Integrate them all the time. ALL THE TIME.
  6. Check and triple check your facts – then realize that the random phantom will take over while you are recording and you might still say the wrong thing – don’t stress, just admit it and fix any errors in future podcasts. We are all human.
  7. X number of tips is a great way to focus your content.
  8. Consistent segments are great

Area 3: Production

  1. Less editing is better – especially at the beginning
  2. You do not need a huge file. In fact this will bite you in the bottom – 128kbp/s mp3 is just fine.
  3. What I use:

Area 4: Marketing and promotion

  1. Keep it simple to start, stick to your core
    (Or nothing, just do it and build one thing at a time)
  2. Resource for promoting your podcast: http://podcastersroundtable.com/2014-nmx-presentation-how-to-grow-your-podcast-audience-from-100s-to-1000s/
  3. What I Have: Facebook, Twitter, Website
    • Coming soon: Youtube

Got something to say? Email me at nicolesauce@gmail.com, or drop a comment over at livingfreeintennessee.com. Next week we will be back to our usual homesteading and independence topics. But until then – go out – and make it a great week!

Song: Sauce “Special”