In the post I published a few weeks ago to mark my birthday, I dedicated a whole section to the revival of my podcast.
A lot has changed since I did season one. There were little to no standards and everyone was just winging it. Back then, I didn’t bother much things like graphic/audio openers and closers or logos and such things. This time round, the bar has been set. There are so many podcasts out there by Kenyans whose quality & content I greatly admire and I was determined to begin at that level.
After many days of frustration and utter confusion trying to figure out the nuts and bolts, things eventually started falling into place. Looking back, I’d like to share a few lessons I picked up on how to get your podcast off the ground.
This post is a way for me to celebrate the small wins as I share some of those lessons I’ve learnt so far.
Finding a Recoding studio
As I began the project, I had settled for Semabox as the team to work with for the production of all 12 episodes after having shopped around quite exhaustively. They offered the best package out there; recording & post-production services that included an audio/visual element.
Semabox is a startup and is one of the very few studios out there that has a fully dedicated podcasting studio. When I spoke to Dan Aceda who founded the startup recently, he described what he was doing as ‘building an industry’. Thus, just like every startup that is an outlier, things don’t always work as expected. This calls for lots of patience. Our working together has been like building a plane as we test fly it- lots of iterations and learning curves. It’s been an exhilarating ride so far. The space is beautiful, it has a great ambience and the production quality is very high.
Creating the Opener Graphic/Audio & Logo
I had already recorded the first episode and was starting to get impatient with the post-production process when I was asked “When are you sending us your audio/graphic opener” I had no idea what that was but I feigned and said, ” In the next few days”. A quick google then and I realized what I was being asked for.
If you need royalty-free music, https://www.epidemicsound.com/ is the best place to get unique sounds. I was very specific about the sound I wanted and they have a great selection of African sounds and music. For the opener graphics, check out unsplash and pixabay for good quality hi-res images.
Once I had the music and the images, I called up a designer friend and a few days later viola!! It’s always great when you work with a designer who knows exactly what you want without you spelling it out.
Anchor.fm is the best Podcasting app out there!
In 2011, the biggest podcasting platform was Podomatic.com, that was before Soundcloud came along. As I was waiting for audio file to the first episode of season 2, I had read up on how to publish a podcast. The process sounded so technical and I had no idea how to start creating an RSS feed and then begin the process of submitting it to all podcasting platform. I knew I wanted my podcast to be available on every major platform out there; Spotify, itunes, Google podcasts etc.
In a moment of utter despair, I called up Dan Aceda. In exasperation, I told him,
” Dan, I need your help in creating an RSS feed” he laughed and said ” no need to complicate your life, just create an account on anchor.fm, upload your podcasts there and they will do the rest”.
I have so far recorded four episodes and it been a great moment of reconnecting with old friends and fellow creatives, learning the ropes on how to scout for guests, prepare briefs, scripting, hosting, post-production and the marketing that makes sure that everyone knows when a new episode is out.
If you are an African Creative doing some amazing things and would love to speak about it, write to me njeriwangari(at)Kenyanpoet(dot)com