The one question you need to answer when starting a podcast is WHAT are you going to give up. EVERYONE who starts a podcast says one thing. This is taking more time than I originally thought. This is because it is new. You can tie your shows quickly now, but when you were five you really had to concentrate
I say at my best, I use a 4 to 1 rule. Meaning for every one minute of the podcast it will take four minutes to produce. That 15-minute podcast will take you an hour.
You might be thinking but how can that be? I just talk into the microphone for 15 minutes and I'm done. Well, you have to decide what to talk about. That might require some investigation. Then you record it. This takes time, and you might need to edit it unless every single word out of your mouth was perfect (and trust me, it won't be), Then you have to upload the file to your media host, and create a post on your website. This takes some time. You might want to make an image to go with the episode. Consequently, when you start a podcast you have to ask yourself what am I willing to give up? Most of us don't have a ton of free time, so what are you going to give up to create a podcast.
For me, I stopped watching a lot of bad TV. I might've stopped watching reruns of Friends and Seinfeld. I quit being sucked into rabbit holes on YouTube, and I turn off Facebook and Email so I can focus better.
We all have 24 hours in a day, and often the time to podcast is there. Sometimes it's not. When I get a message saying “I'm in a long-distance relationship, I'm in med school, and I'm working part-time in a restaurant. My initial reaction is you don't have time to podcast. You have a relationship that has built-in hurdles, you have homework, and a job. You have priorities that need your attention. While a podcast might be a fun hobby, wouldn't you hate to find out you got a bad grade on a test because you were up until 2 am editing when you should've been studying?
I had a similar situation. When I got my first degree in electronic engineering I was the editor of the student newsletter. I worked as a waiter to put myself through college. I had a girlfriend, and I was running the house as my father was a long distance truck driver and my mother was deceased. Being the editor was fun and exciting as I was doing investigative journalism and spotlighting policies that were horrible at my college. There was only one problem. I wasn't going to school to get a degree in journalism. My grades started to suggest, so the next semester I had to look at the big picture, look at my goals (in this case my degree) and go back to being just a writer for the Newspaper and not the editor.
I know as a podcast consultant I should tell everyone they need to start a podcast NOW, but as someone with a little bit of life under his belt, I'm here to say your podcast is not more important than your family, friends, and jobs. So there may be times when you don't start your podcast NOW, but you can start planning for it and launch it later.
Dave Jackson has been podcasting since 2005. In 2018 he was inducted into the Academy of Podcasters Hall of Fame. He has over 2 Million Downloads. Has helped thousands of podcasters plan, launch and grow their audience. He is part of the Libsyn.com Tech Support Team. He is a Featured and Keynote speaker at events. He is the author of the Book More Podcast Money
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