Thats how long it took me to read through one of last weeks blog posts.
For quite some time now I’ve been thinking of creating audio versions of my blog posts. There are various reasons I have resisted, from not having any equipment to wondering whether I’m taking on too much (I’ve written over 800 blog posts). However, one of the biggest reasons is that I think they would be too short.
We’re in the season of audio content and even though there are people that listen to short podcasts, I can’t help but wonder if under 5 minutes would put people off. Of course, one may argue that my work isn’t for the people that would be put off. However, when you’re just starting out you want to know that there is a market for what you have to offer.
A solution I’d considered was to have a weeks worth of posts per episode almost like a sort of story but I wasn’t sold on the idea enough to proceed with it.
I’m still in limbo with whether or not this podcast idea will come to life and even what the format will be. But I do think that now is the perfect time to be experimenting with audio content, even if it ends up being temporary.
Over the past couple of months I have become more and more aware of all the thoughts and opinions of others that I consume each day.
If you also use social media and regularly consume content such as podcasts or YouTube videos then chances are, you’ve felt it too.
I had began to find that even though podcasts, Twitter and Instagram were a regularly part of my routine, I wasn’t really enjoying them the way I used to.
And this had nothing to do with the people I was following or listening to as their content hadn’t really changed. It was more that I had changed. I decided that, even if it was just a temporary thing, I wanted to honour the fact that at that point in time, I wanted something different.
So, I logged out of my social media accounts and I stopped listening to the podcasts that were once my favourites. That gave me room to explore new things and spend time listening to podcasts that I enjoy rather than simply listening out of habit or familiarity.
I recently listened to an episode of Akimbo where a listener asked Seth about who he thought his audience was. Seth’s answer was pretty wonderful.
It got me thinking about my own audience, my readers, people like you.
For me it’s never been about appealing to a particular demographic, age, race, social class, etc. I’ve always wanted to create a space where you can come as you are. I like to think if it as us sitting in a circle and me telling a story.
My readers are people with a curiosity for life, people who notice things, people like you and people like me.
Around 6 or 7 years ago I thought that I needed to be ‘inspirational’ and needed to be someone that others would put on a pedestal. I thought that was the way that it should be.
In aspiring to that, I then found myself getting distracted by the idea of not being good enough especially when the numbers weren’t high enough.
These days I just focus on the writing.
When it comes to being someone who is creative, puts stuff out there and has ideas to share there is one piece of advice I’ve heard from two people that will never grow old.
It is something worth remembering as things change and develop over time.
The advice is to not become attached to the platforms where you share your work but to use them to your advantage in a way that works for you. Instead your focus should be on the work, the idea or the message.
When you do this, it doesn’t matter where you share your work. It could be on IGTV, pictures and captions on your Instagram feed, Insta stories, IG reels, a podcast, YouTube videos, blog posts, a newsletter, Facebook, or even snapchat.
And when a platform changes or becomes obsolete you can seamlessly shift to something else.
Often the key indicators of someone being ahead of their time is that years later other people are doing what they did with less pushback and other people are gaining more success.
Another indicator is if the person were to do what they did 5 years ago today, how would it be received.
A few years ago I started listening to a podcast that began a few years prior so I had hundreds of episodes to catch up on.
From the very first episode I listened to, I was hooked. I went back to the very beginning and worked my way through.
The podcast ended around a year after I started listening and I enjoyed it so much that I’ve gone back to the beginning and re-listened.
When I think about that podcast I honestly believe it was ahead of it’s time.
I’ve come across other people that are doing similar podcasts and I’ve come across people who started later and have had more ‘success’. Lastly, if the podcast I enjoyed started 5 years later than it did or even if it started today I’m certain I’d have liked it just as much if not more.
And so, I think it’s fair to say that the podcast was ahead of it’s time.
I think it was on an episode of Seth Godins Podcast, Akimbo, that he spoke about deciding what you want to get paid for and what you’ll do for free.
It isn’t something I’ve heard spoken about often but I think it’s quite important.
These days most of us put stuff out for free whether it’s through blogging, a podcast, YouTube, Instagram etc.
But if you’re constantly creating on multiple platforms it might feel difficult to identify what you want to be paid for. It could be that you’re blog posts are free and you decide to put your podcast out on a site like Patreon.
If we look at it in terms of doing work for a company or organisation (not your listeners/readers directly), I’ve heard speakers say they’ll speak for free in schools or for charities but everything else is paid work.
I think Seth mentioned his blog and podcast are his free work but that he never speaks for free.
I think it’s important to establish early on what you want to be paid for, that way you’re less likely to be persuaded to work for free.
I recently discovered a new podcast and listening to it brings me joy.
I find myself often relating to the conversations they have or smiling/laughing.
It’s so useful to fill your life with little things that bring you joy that you have easy access to.
Something extravagant like a week in the Maldives isn’t accessible to you on a regular basis.
You have to think small-scale.
A useful exercise is either throughout or at the end of the day write down all the things you did that brought you joy, then make a vow to do those things more.
It could be meditation, morning gratitude, getting a coffee in the kitchen with your work pal, listening to a particular song or podcast, reading a book, putting on a face mask, saying good morning to strangers on your way to the bus stop or train station or even going for a walk.
As humans we have a tendency to over complicate things but often it’s as simple as, whatever makes you feel good, do more of it.
Like books, podcasts, talks etc
If someone asks for a recommendation when your interests aren’t mainstream, it’s easy to hold back. It’s easy to be reluctant to share that local band who are heavily influenced by 80s synth pop.
You might skip over that book you read a while back by a neurologist purely out of curiosity.
That podcast with a spiritual/holistic focus won’t even get a mention.
But I think those things are worth passing on. If you were lucky enough to find something you enjoy that people you’re around might not be aware of, why not tell them about it?
It’s easy to be put off by the thought of blank or uninterested faces.
But at least you were willing to share something about yourself.
Plus, you might even find someone else who is interested in the same things as you.
I’ve been thinking about trying something new.
The idea of a podcast appeals to me for various reasons, one of which is that it’ll help me to use my voice more and give me a space to speak about things I don’t usually talk about.
And it reminds me about why I started blogging in the first place. Writing about things that matter to me and being able to express myself through written words is important to me but being able to do that using my voice is even better.
I don’t know what kind of podcast I’d create or if it’s something I’d want to do alone or with guests.
Right now it’s just an idea but maybe one day I’ll bring it to life.