Should you start a podcast?

Answering the question on everyone’s lips at the moment: should I start a podcast? (Image source: Intheblack)

By Chelsea Shepherd | @Chelsea15183902

It is understandable that with so much time on your hands, you might have thought of starting a podcast.

C’mon, I know surely the thought has entered your mind when you were hanging out with the gals at brunch or watching the footy with your mates.  

Although I’m sure you think your vast knowledge of AFL or your go-to fitness routine and your witty personality is everything you need to make an epic podcast, it’s time to take a step back and discuss why this may not be the best idea you’ve had in isolation. 

Podcasts are a fresh and time-saving way to be informed or entertained. 

Whether you prefer crime, news, lifestyle or comedy, podcasts are easily accessible and can be listened to absolutely anywhere. 

Streaming apps such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Audible can give you instant access to your favourite podcasts without the need for an internet connection. 

There is a podcast for just about every topic in every genre, so there’s something for everyone.

Many of your favourite authors, celebrities, influencers and business owners will have a podcast of their own as they are a great platform to express an opinion or reach out to followers. 

Podcasting has become an extremely popular platform for self expression which raises the question: are there too many podcasts?

According to Podcast Insights, there are currently over one million podcasts in existence and over 30 million podcast episodes.  

If you keep up with the ABC’s social media, you may have come across a satirical video of theirs featuring Aussie celebs ranting about why you shouldn’t start a podcast. 

To summarise, the three-minute video features the likes of Deborah Mailman, G Flip, Osher Günsberg and more explaining that you do not have anything interesting to say so basically don’t start a podcast and say it.

Harsh, I know, but they may have a point. 

The ABC’s video explains that topics for podcasts have been exhausted and there are enough voices out in the universe sharing their knowledge and opinions. 

Being bored isn’t enough of a reason to whip out the microphone and start recording. 

Personally, I find the trend of podcasting similar to that of starting a YouTube channel. 

Trust me, I contemplated buying a camera and striving to be the next Zoella about a million times, but in the end I realised that no one would want to witness a day in my life at uni or me showing off my latest online shopping purchases. 

It’s a very pessimistic attitude to have, I know, but I feel as if there should be a lot of thought and research into starting a podcast before you make the commitment. 

If this isn’t reason enough for you to steer clear of any potential podcasting, I’ll share my experience of creating a podcast episode for a recent university assessment. 

As a second year journalism student, I was fortunate enough to have radio journalism and podcasting as a subject. 

I found it to be incredibly insightful as it was an aspect of journalism I didn’t have much knowledge about. 

For our final assessment we had the chance to create our own podcast episode and I was very enthusiastic about the challenge and opportunities it would bring. 

I decided to make a positivity podcast to increase the optimism in my own life as the assessment began during the peak of COVID-19. 

Podcasting is not as easy as it seems.

As I stated earlier, a lot of the podcasting topics have already been exhausted, so having an original idea is critical. 

Then doing thorough research, finding people to speak to, and creating entertaining segments are all things that need to be considered. 

It is important that you have the right equipment. An iPhone recording app is great for an assignment, but may not create adequate quality for a professional podcast. 

Editing is a tedious and often annoying task in the podcasting world. 

It can take hours to refine a podcast, keep it at a perfect length, and remove all of those pesky ‘umms’ and ‘ahhs’ from your speech. 

Then finding a way to get it published is another step in the process. 

In the end, I enjoyed the podcast routine and I found it to be a great way to get information out there for others to enjoy, but it definitely wasn’t as simple as I anticipated. 

Unlike the ABC, I do not want to discourage anyone from using a podcast as a platform to express an idea or your opinion. 

However, I do think that much consideration, research, and planning is critical in making an original and interesting podcast.

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