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Tips From An Amateur Podcaster

by Samantha Parrish 7 months ago in how to · updated 7 months ago
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Advice from a podcaster that found it from overwhelming to overjoyed

Hello, my name is Samantha Parrish and I am the host of two shows called Parrish Passages Podcast and The Screen Queen. This is your list of tips for beginning baby steps as a podcaster!

I started my first show at the beginning of 2021 and that show struggle to have an identity for the longest time as I wanted it to be a show with everything but then realized I could not put everything in the kitchen sink into this. I have a deep love of movies and as much as I made references it wasn’t enough to just talk about the references and wanted to spread my wings and give a complete commentary and that led to the creation of the screen queen.

When I first made the research into podcasting I won’t lie, it was very overwhelming. I’m not very tech-savvy, my only tech credit is how I self-taught myself to edit my videos for YouTube projects. But when it came to audio, it was a different ball game. This was something different more than just investments. This required more than just me working at my computer and finagling it to work, this required microphone equipment, a program, and a place to work. This was the most ambitious thing I’ve ever done as a creator.

But this has been the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had as a creator next to writing and publishing my first book. To think I get to call myself a host, and say things like “On the next episode" or “I’m the host of a show” It something I've wanted to say but didn't know this would be the format where it could shine to say it.

If you are debating about venturing into podcasting I want to share my experiences and some of my tips as well for setting up your podcast studio.

1. Remember that it’s your show when you can do whatever you want

The original way that my podcast show went was planning and writing the next episode but by doing that I had to spend weeks or even months writing an episode when I wanted to go onto other episodes when I took the leash off and let my creative control go it was a much better experience for myself as a podcaster that I didn’t stress myself out to have to concentrate on this one episode and I could do whatever episodes I wanted to as long as I made sure my audience knew what was going on with the scheduling. There does have to be an order to your show so that way your audience can follow along very easily and feel included.

2. Be yourself

When it comes to being a host there are certain alter egos that we develop, sometimes that alter ego has a confidence boost and it gets unleashed when you are in your element to talk about something that you know. That it’s still you, but a different version of yourself. But it’s so important that you are yourself. You have to talk exactly how you want to talk.

Again as a reference to the leash, when I first started doing my first batches of episodes for my first show, Parrish Passages Podcast, I was always doing retakes, and you can hear it in my voice that I don’t sound comfortable, I talk way too fast, and I was sweating more than a senator on trial because the material I wrote was great and it was polished, but it wasn’t me. It wasn’t until after I took a four-month break, and did a completely stripped-down version of my show that I took the scheduling out of the equation. And it made me feel so much better. Upon my return to my show, it was completely script-less, I just went with the flow of it all and I felt so comfortable and I got the best material at that moment that was better than me sitting down and typing up something and scratching my head to the point that I could feel my brain. Ironically the episode was regarding confidence. What a coincidence!

3. Get comfortable in your studio

I record all of my episodes from a closet because it’s the smallest room in my house. The research varied between having a great microphone and you can record any room as long as you keep the door shut or having a great pair of headphones. It depends on what your equipment is going to be like and then goes from there. After I bought my microphone, I went ahead and got my podcast studio set up in my closet, and I originally tried to have it in the usual form of me sitting down in front of a computer and talking into a microphone, but it was so uncomfortable. When you talk in your element, you need to be in your physical element. I talk better when I’m not sitting like I’m in a job interview, I sit like a hippie and I have my legs sprawled out or crisscross applesauce after I changed my position. It made a difference. I go back and forth between standing up with a microphone in my hand or sitting down in the filing cabinet where I can spread my legs out more and be 10 times more comfortable it was better than hitting my knees constantly against the filing cabinet.

4. You can use what I use!

I bought a microphone (My brand is from a company called Tonor) And it easily sets up on my laptop, I produce and publish my podcast through a company called Buzzsprout. And they have a free program called Audacity. If you aren't a techy person like me, the tutorials they supply to help you create your show will benefit you greatly as a podcaster.

5. Don’t do whatever one else does

That does sound very clichéd to say. After reading books about podcasts and various research, I did not do what the others did. I tried to and it did not work for me. Ultimately, you have to find how you want to be a podcaster. You can take certain elements and mannerisms and molded into your own. Don’t be hard on yourself if you have to do something different than the usual norm. My podcast shows still have various audio problems that I’m trying to fix. But tell yourself this, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. If it takes a while, don’t be hard on yourself, it’s OK, all the episodes that you do and all of the endeavors that you put in for your investments it does pay off in the long run, don’t be afraid to take some time off from your podcast. I used to talk very badly about myself in regards to being a podcast knowing that other people are not thinking critically of me as I am being critical of myself.

I’m not a professional podcaster, but I’m someone who loves to share stories, of anything that we watch for movies or TV or books, you could have something looks so pristine and polished but if the heart and soul aren’t in it, then it’s just a hollow shell. See-through. Shallow. It’s like having a big extravagant and fancy house that looks beautiful on the outside but the inside, there’s nothing there and how’re your generic items. Think of your podcast as your house you’re getting it decorated when people look inside this house they see what represents you when you premier your podcast they get to know you, they get this imagery of the stories that you shared.

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About the author

Samantha Parrish

What's something interesting you always wanted to know?

Instagram: parrishpassages

tiktok: themysticalspacewitch

My book Inglorious Ink is now available on Amazon!

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