My Podcasting Journey: The Next Steps

In my blog post of August 12 titled, ” Learn About Podcasting” I wrote about my first steps in the world of podcasting. Now that I have published 26 episodes in my podcast show: “Prem Rao- Stories From A Story Teller”, it’s as good a time as any to do some stock taking!

To re-cap, I began with two podcasts in March 2021 then there was a break till mid-June 2021. I then started again in right earnest. I am happy that the number of “plays” till date has crossed 550. Anchor FM where my podcast show is hosted informs me that “Plays” are the number of times your podcast episodes have been streamed or downloaded across all listening platforms. I am extremely happy with Anchor and would recommend it as a good platform for any newbie/budding podcaster.

As is obvious, the approach of a podcaster depends on the type of podcast show he/she has. Alexander Santo has this informative post on “8 Types of Podcasts”. Going by this, as of now, my podcast show falls in the category of ” Repurposed Content” as it has its origins in the blog posts I wrote.

Based on what I have observed, here are some action steps that I plan to do next:-

  1. Firstly, I need to increase the duration of my podcasts. Now that I have got the hang of things and have learnt the basic steps so to speak, the time has come to strengthen the content. I find that the longest podcast I have made so far is only about 9 minutes. In my podcast show, there is (as of now) a single speaker, that is me, and I haven’t graduated to doing interviews yet. My podcasts have largely been reviews of books that I have enjoyed reading, with a few other non-book related podcasts thrown in for good measure. I should aim to increase each episode to a minimum of 15 minutes -over time. I am told 15 to 30 minutes is a good time for podcasts on news and trending items by a single host without any guest or other voice in the show. My show falls in this space.
  2. I may even consider going back to my first few podcasts to check whether their content can be strengthened . I know, of course, that in the end it is the strength of the content more than the duration of the podcast that will make it succeed. While I have spoken about the books in my reviews, I have not spoken much, if at all, about the authors. A few interesting things about each author may make that episode more interesting to the listener.
  3. It is certain that I should , again over time, graduate to having guests on my show and interact with them. Shows with such ” interviews” often last from 30 to 60 minutes, for each episode. This type of podcasting calls for a higher level of skills which I hope to acquire over time.
  4. Having made a start with a frequency of two podcasts per week- on Sundays and Wednesdays- I should not give up this momentum. It is tempting to fall back to just one episode a week! I should build on the initial enthusiasm and continue to meet the demands placed on me to deliver two episodes every week.
  5. Now that more than 25 episodes have been published, perhaps it is time to re-evaluate the Introduction and the end- which is currently played at the start and end of each episode. That may need some tweaking too!

So that was a quick update on where things stand in my podcasting journey, and my plans to take it forward.

Stock Take : A Writer’s Report

Students and practitioners of management will tell you that it makes a lot of sense to periodically take stock of what you want to achieve ( your goals) and where you are , with reference to the goals, at any point in time. I am sure this principle is equally applicable to writers too. I guess my background in management makes me present my report to you , for whatever it is worth.

If nothing else, it helps me figure out where I am and helps me to assign priorities. So here we go:

“Let The Dead Stay Dead” was written as my NaNo novel in 2011, which means the first 50,000 words were written way back in November 2011 for the National Novel Writing Month. This is again a thriller but writing this has been a very different, and may I add, demanding experience for me, as it deals with subjects which are new to me like mental health and law. As a result, the editing is still on and I took more time than I ordinarily would to make sure I was sure of my facts. This involved getting opinions and views of experts in fields I knew little about. I have written over 88,000 words so far, and the novel is nearing completion. I would guess it’s about 90 % complete. I need to buckle down and close this project in the next  3-5 months.

” A Bouquet From India” is a collection of short stories which I wrote for NaNoWriMo in November 2012. This was my first attempt in writing a bunch of short stories for the NaNoWriMo. There are 10 in all in about 51,000 words and I need to edit and improve upon them.

” Get Ahead! Your Personal Effectiveness Workbook” is a non-fiction project which, as the title suggests, is a collection of ideas that can help professionals, working in business organizations, large and small , as well as independent professionals/ entrepreneurs get ahead in their lives. These are largely based on my own experiences as a practicing Human Resources  executive, entrepreneur and executive coach for nearly four decades. The manuscript for this is complete at about 46,000 words and I guess the next step will be to see if anyone will buy it! I will of course share more about this as we go along.

So, as you can see, I have so much to do and really have my  hands full which is why I often describe myself as a full time writer.