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A few months ago I asked some of my subscribers to take a survey on what they would like to see more of on the website and any new features they would be interested in seeing. Among some other great ideas, something that came up was starting a running podcast. As someone who does not quite like the sound of their own recorded voice (I am sure many of you have the same issue), I was not quite sure the podcasting would be the thing for me.
What this idea did, however, was to get me thinking about what would be involved in a podcast and what benefits their might be to me and my potential listeners. While I have, in the past, created and edited podcasts for work, I had never considered what might be involved with creating one focused on my passion. How much time would be involved? What would I talk about? Whom would I interview or ask to join me for guest discussions? Most of all, who would actually want to listen?
I decided the best way to approach the issue was to be part of a podcast myself to see how it felt from the guest side. As luck would have it, I was recently approached by Kari Gormely who runs a website and podcast called The Running Lifestyle. Kari was kind enough to feature me as her runner of the week, where we discussed running, parenting, and blogging. It was a great experience, and I encourage you to give it a listen and consider subscribing to the podcast. I also had the opportunity to talk with Chris Evans on his This Is Your Captain Speaking podcast, where, among other topics, we talked in-depth about the importance of being positive role models for your kids through fitness (and exposing them to great shows like Power Rangers, Duck Tales, and Danger Mouse).
Now that I had that experience under my belt, I wanted to talk with some veteran podcasters to discuss their experiences and whether they would recommend podcasting to others (the overall consensus was yes). After considering their thoughtful insights, here is a condensed list of takeaways:
- You have to love talking. If you do not have the love for the art of talking, you probably do not want to start a podcast. The whole idea behind the podcast, is of course, talking. Kari shared with me that she loves “talking to people and understanding why they run and what they get out of it.” Whether it be via phone, Google Hangout, Skype, or old-fashioned in person meeting, if you are not a good conversationalist than creating a podcast is not for you.
- You have to have time. Podcasting takes time. Scheduling guests. Recording. Editing. Promoting. There is a lot involved in running a successful podcast. Denny Krane of The Diz Runs With Podcast shared that “for each episode of approximately an hour in length, it takes 2-3 hours of additional time to put everything together.” Just like most things in life, to make it count you have to put in the time.
- You have to have a plan. No one likes to listen to someone ramble on incoherently for an hour. If your podcast is not well thought out, it will show. Having a successful podcast means having a game plan, from general topics to specific questions. You have to be able to guide the conversation from point A to point B and bring it back on track if it gets lost along the way.
- You have to let your passion shine. In a recent article on Men’s Health, I stressed the importance of letting your passion shine. If you are going to start a podcast, make it something you are passionate about…like running! If you let your passion shine through, it will grab your audience’s attention and have them coming back for more. People like to be inspired, and nothing inspires more than passion.
- It can be a very rewarding experience. Trevor Spencer of the Marathon Training Academy shared that his “greatest reward comes from receiving testimonials from members and listeners all over the world.” Denny Krane also shared that “all of the guests I’ve had on have amazing stories, and I love being able to share them with the world!” Done right, a podcast can help you connect with others in ways that you never thought imaginable. The time involved may seem overwhelming, but as Kari Gormely shared she has been able “to learn so much and meet people I probably never would have met other wise.”
All in all I think podcasting is an incredible medium to reach runners (and people in general) on, and I encourage you all to consider subscribing to the podcasts linked to from this post (and maybe think about starting one of your own!).
As for starting a podcast myself, the jury is still out. Time is not always on my side, but the idea will linger in my mind, right along side the dreams of becoming an ultra marathoner.