Last Updated on August 17, 2020 by Chris
This week, we're thrilled to to welcome the words of Danielle Desir, a blogger who has created and effectively leveraged her podcast in a way that has downright inspired us. We usually write the intro, but this time she's going to take it from here. We're chatting, fittingly, about podcasting tips for bloggers. So, if you've been playing with the idea of starting a podcast, then this one is for you.
Hey there, I’m Danielle Desir. I’m an author, affordable travel and personal finance blogger and podcaster. Over on The Thought Card, I empower financially savvy travelers to make more informed financial decisions – travel more, pay off debt, and build wealth.
I am also the founder of WOC (Women of Color) Podcasters – a blog, community and membership dedicated to amplifying the voices of women of color podcasters and audio creators around the world. With over 3,500 members on Facebook, we offer an inclusive space for women of color to connect, learn, and share podcasting resources.
1. Firstly, I’d love to hear a bit about your journey into podcasting, and perhaps why you’re happy you took the leap?
I have been an avid podcast listener since 2016. I have been listening to Travis Sherry over at Extra Pack of Peanuts and Whitney Hansen, the host of Money Nerds Podcast, for years.
By 2018, inspired by their work, I wanted to start my own podcast. However, feeling uncomfortable with the idea of hosting a show alone, I reached out to my best friend. We started brainstorming show topics but we lost steam along the way. I gave up on the idea until I stumbled on Spotify’s Sound Up Bootcamp, an opportunity looking for aspiring women of color podcasters. According to the stats, women host 22% of podcasts and women of color host less than that. The exact figure is yet to be confirmed.
Ten winners would be flown out to New York City for a week-long training program with the experts and one podcaster would win $10,000 in start-up costs. I crafted my pitch and waited patiently to hear back.
Fortunately, Spotify did not get back to us on time. But I had already noticed hundreds if not thousands of women of color tweeting about the opportunity on Twitter. Wanting to keep in touch with them, I quickly created the WOC Podcasters Facebook group and the rest is history.
Interestingly enough, it was the members of the Facebook group which encouraged me to take the leap and start my own podcast. For simplicity, I figured I would create a podcast based on my already existing brand. The Thought Card Podcast would supplement the blog and highlight stories from money nerds and world travelers who were finding creative ways to live life on their terms.
2. For bloggers who are looking to get into podcasting, where should they start? Where should they host their content, and what sort of equipment would you recommend?
The good news is that as bloggers, you have all of the skills needed to start a successful podcast. You also have an existing audience.
Use your blogging skills to write show notes and script out what you plan to say in each episode. This can be as complex as a full-blown blog post or as simple as an outline with the key points you want to discuss.
When I first started podcasting, I would write blog posts and read them out loud (with enthusiasm and inflections in my voice). This was what I needed to do to build the confidence and get started. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
As for hosting your content, I recommend going with a reputable podcast hosting company like Libsyn. They will safely house your audio files, distribute your podcast to all of the podcasting players (like Apple Podcast and even YouTube), and provide you with detailed analytics so you can track your progress. Feel free to use my promo code ‘WOC’ to get the first month of hosting for free. There are plenty of other podcasting hosting companies out there to choose from. I recommend doing your research.
The ATR2100x and Samson Q2U are highly recommended for beginners. Both are dynamic USB microphones that you can plug into your computer. Stay away from the Blue Yeti microphones. They pick up way too much background noise. The ambulance sirens two blocks away have no business being a featured guest on your podcast. You can thank me later.
Editors Note: Microphone availability changes rapidly, find a podcast microphone here.
3. Most bloggers, as you well know, feel like they’re already balancing a million things, and maybe adding podcasting to the mix would be too much. For those considering, I’d love to hear how you feel podcasting has been worth the effort for you, and what specifically you feel you’ve gained from it?
Overall, podcasting has expanded my brand, broadened my expertise and has helped me significantly grow my audience.
I’ve spoken at a number of podcasting conferences and I have even co-hosted my own summit, Podthon, a virtual conference highlighting the expertise of speakers of color in the podcasting industry.
4. In your opinion, is podcasting something you do to explicitly monetize or is it more an exercise in public networking and brand building?
While I do not have sponsors for my podcast, my biggest freelance client found me by listening to my show.
My podcast is also how I passively sell my books, courses, and membership for financially savvy travelers. Podcasting has absolutely helped me with building my brand and landing paid speaking gigs.
In addition to producing my own show, I have been a featured guest on over 60 podcasts as well.
5. What makes podcasting different from other forms of media in our space?
There’s something intimate about hearing someone in your earbuds week after week.
You get to know them and they become a regular part of your life. You begin to seek out their thoughts and dive deeper into their ecosystem.
I’ve had listeners tweet me inside jokes from my podcast. This is something I have never experienced in my almost six years of blogging.
6. Does podcasting content need to differ dramatically from the content on your site, or can it complement your existing content if you do it right? In short, how do you feel it can fit into your brand at large?
Repurposing the content you already have on your blog for your podcast is a great idea. It’s something I do regularly to not only save time but to introduce new ideas to my podcast audience which they may have missed on my blog.
Don’t assume that everyone has seen your work. More than likely, they have not. My podcast supplements my blog and vice versa. Whenever possible, I embed my podcast into blog posts and I turn blog posts into podcast episodes.
7. What do you see as the future of podcasting? Should bloggers act now if they want to form a brand before it’s a crowded space?
Podcasting is a long game and building an engaged audience takes time. If I gave up on podcasting when my first episode only had 37 downloads, I would have never realized my potential. Podcasting is here to stay. And similar to blogging and creating videos, it’s a viable way to create content online and grow your business.
However, you do not have to start a podcast to take advantage of this opportunity. I repeat, you do not have to start a podcast to benefit from this medium.
Being a guest on podcasts is a great way to reap the benefits, get the word out about what you’re doing without the time commitment of producing and marketing a show. If I did not have a podcast, I would still shoot for being a guest. It’s a lot less work.
8. Finally, what are your top 3 tips for bloggers who are considering getting into podcasting?
- Plan to launch your show with 3-4 episodes on launch date. This allows your audience to binge listen to your content and encourages them to subscribe for more.
- Decide if you want to take season breaks. It’s something I highly recommend for busy bloggers who are already strapped for time.
- Unless you have a built in home studio, record in your closet for the best sound.
Do you have a podcasting tip? Comment below to share it!