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If you’d told me a year ago that I would launch a podcast, there’s a pretty high chance I would’ve laughed at you. But then, after several months of research and behind-the-scenes work, I launched the Nooga Belle Podcast back in February, so who’s laughing now?
I knew it wouldn’t be a totally smooth ride—it isn’t easy to launch a podcast, after all! At many times in my research and pre-production process, I questioned why I was doing this. But as nervous as I was to get it off the ground, I was twice as excited for the new venture and the opportunity to try something new.
Part of the reason I wanted to launch a podcast was to give myself a new challenge. And with every new challenge comes a whole host of lessons to learn along the way. Some of those lessons are more technical in nature; the others teach me more about my work habits, creative processes and myself.
Here are some of the best lessons I’ve learned from launching a podcast!
Reminder that I am certainly not an expert on podcasting, or anything production-related, really. But I am an expert in sharing what I’ve learned in hopes that it’ll help someone else. So here y’all go!
It’s okay to be scrappy. I’m on a budget. Most people are. The Nooga Belle Podcast is my second side hustle. You don’t have to have any super-fancy equipment or software to make something happen. I have a nice microphone that I can take with me, and I use pretty simple software for recording and editing. I’ll upgrade one day once I’m more comfortable with audio work, but for now, there’s nothing wrong with the scrappy hustle. I kind of like it, actually.
Stay organized. It will help tremendously. I’m a huge fan of lists and I probably made a new “podcast to-do” list each week until I launched. Whatever it takes for you to stay organized, make it a priority in your process. It’ll keep everything running smoothly!Launching a podcast has been quite an endeavor. These are some of the best lessons I've learned along the way. Click To Tweet
Do your research. This is one of the most important steps in the process. I devoted so much time to researching equipment, hosting services, podcast “etiquette” and so much more. I wanted to make the best decisions for my show and my budget, so I took my time researching everything I needed.
You can learn anything on your own if you put your mind to it. There are all kinds of resources available to help you learn pretty much any skill, to some degree. I even found a few really good YouTube videos about the software I use for recording and editing. Lynda.com is another great website with tons of lessons and tutorials. The point is, if you really want to learn something, you can and will make it happen.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I’m really lucky that I have several friends in Chattanooga (and beyond) who have experience in audio production and podcasting and are willing to help and offer advice along the way. Sometimes you just need to ask a friend for help instead of going to Google or YouTube, and that’s perfectly okay.
Audio editing is only marginally less frustrating than video editing. Y’all, I hate working with video. I don’t have enough patience for it. I hoped audio would be much more manageable since I’m only dealing with sound. Even after watching a few online tutorials and asking some friends for guidance, I still hate it. But it’s necessary for a podcast, obviously, so I’m learning to not hate it.
It doesn’t have to be perfect right off the bat. And it won’t be perfect right off the bat. In fact, one of my episodes is God awful, sound-quality wise; the guest and conversation were great and I feel bad for not making her sound better. But that will happen, especially early on, as you’re still learning the ropes and getting a hang of the process. It’s okay.The most important lessons you can learn from launching a #podcast Click To Tweet
Be patient with yourself and your process. This is my biggest struggle. I’m constantly thinking about why it takes so long for some things to take off and show results. The truth is, if you stop stressing about that and just keep making great content, the rest will fall into place. Have some grace with yourself as you learn the process and you’ll get there.
The people who truly want to see you succeed will help and support you along the way. Just like our girl T-Swizzle (aka Taylor Swift) says, haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate. Tune ’em out and just do your thing. Those who care about you and want you to be happy and successful will be there for you.
And perhaps my favorite of all…
Just do it. As my friend Andrew told me once, “Nike that sh%t and just make it happen.” There’s nothing worse than someone who talks and talks about a project and then never delivers, or delivers poorly. Almost equally irritating is being afraid to start. My other friend William did a whole campaign on his social media channels a couple months ago about just starting that one thing you’ve always wanted to do. Of course, it’s not always as easy as “just do it,” but getting past the anxiety and nerves is the hardest part. Once you cross that bridge, you’re well on your way.
Launching a podcast has been a really awesome endeavor. Even though it’s been stressful at times, I’ve been loving it and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.
What lessons have you learned from your work and side hustles? What advice would you offer to someone interested in launching a podcast?