Sarah and Kristen are the proud co-hosts of the recently launched Into the Wee Hours podcast; a podcast named after Sarah’s adventure business, Into the Wee Hours. The mission of their podcast is to elevate the voice of the everyday adventurer and athlete. “All kinds of adventures. All kinds of humans”. This article is Sarah’s take on the experience of launching her first ever podcast.
“Oh cute, another podcast” – a meme pops up in my Insta feed and I question whether this faint podcast seed that has vaguely planted itself in my head and my heart, is one worth pursuing. Perhaps it’s the case and there truly is a “DIY Podcast” fad going on; but as far as I’m aware there’s no limit to the number of possible podcasts on this little spinning planet and I was keen to throw another voice into the mix.
I had been thinking about starting a podcast for a little while. Initially it was a joking conversation over Wednesday morning coffee after a regular gravel ride with friends. Then the idea gradually started growing arms and legs when I found out that there was a new Podcast Studio in the Kawana Waters library, here on the Sunshine Coast and I began to investigate more.
By “investigate more”, here’s how it looked:
- Checked out studio set up and rates (free to begin with as a new library resource)
- Listened more intentionally to the podcasts I enjoy
- Sent a few messages to people who already podcast who I respect and asked them for three tips, if I were to think about launching a podcast
- Contacted Kristen and asked if she’d ever considered podcasting. Shared a vision I had written (goodness knows where that is now). She said YES!
- Went for coffee with Kristen the next day
- Launched our first episode of Into the Wee Hours Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and goodness knows where else within a month of that coffee catch up
Let’s be clear, at the time of writing, we’ve recorded seven podcasts and released five of them. I’m no expert. Every week, my co-host Kristen and I seem to stumble upon another learning. Talk about flying by the seat of your pants… we are often clinging on tightly to the proverbial pants; mostly exchanging voice memos after work and having a laugh as we go.
With that in mind, here’s a handful of my learnings so far (I haven’t consulted Kristen on these but we’ve had some great conversations about the experience – Episode Six, hint hint 😉 )
Ask existing podcasters for tips: I approached a few podcasters (some I know; some I didn’t and I approached them via Instagram) and asked them for their top 3 tips if I were considering podcasting. The resounding feedback was – it’s the most fun thing ever; it’s more time consuming than you’ll realise and find an angle. All of these are TRUE!
The title of this article comes from me asking exactly that question to Matt Rayment, the host of one of my favourite podcasts, Dirt Church Radio. The response: “The short story? Don’t overthink. Adapt. Press go. Long story to follow“. This short story was absolutely perfect and the long story even more insightful. Come to think of it, I could just copy and paste that email right here, but I’ve resisted 😉
Establish your mission: We are an interview based podcast and reminding ourselves of our mission: “to elevate the voice of the everyday adventurer”, with a female duo host team, which isn’t that common in this genre, always helps us when considering guests and the structure of each episode.
Embrace imperfection: Look, I’m sure you could aim for perfection but let’s get real – is this your main gig or a passion project? Podcasting is time consuming and I feel we often remind each other that, as much as we want to produce an awesome podcast, FUN is at the heart of all that we do and whether we had two or two hundred listeners, we’d still be doing this. That being said, we do take time to prepare; we do have a loose structure and we do seem to hit a strong balance of planning it x winging it.
Know your “why”: Our “why” is to live up to our mission statement and to have FUN. It’s highly possible you won’t monetise this and in fact, between web hosting and podcast hosting fees and maybe studio fees or equipment costs, podcasting will most likely cost you money. Co-hosting with Kristen has made this seriously fun. We share the laughs when we screw up; we share the pleasure of conversations with awesome guests and we get to see way more of each other than we previously were. Receiving feedback from guests that they really do feel their voice has been elevated only adds to our joy.
Embrace presence: How often do you sit in a room with someone; show total interest in them and their story and have your phone turned off, with no disturbance whatsoever. Just you, your co-host, your guest and the gift of conversation. In 2021, this feels like a pretty rare opportunity, and yet such a simple one to create. We have learned A LOT about the beauty of podcasting and the simplicity of shared conversation, with 100% presence.
Our set up: We currently use the studio at the Kawana Waters Library. Awesome elements of this are the sound quality, thanks to the soundproof room and awesome Rodecaster equipment. Down sides of using a studio are the lack of flexibility around time. Trying to coordinate Kristen, me, and a guest plus the available slots is extremely limiting. We record onto Audacity and Kristen is responsible for the editing. We don’t edit too much beyond trying to sort out sound issues and adding in Kristen’s awesome ukulele intro; our intro and outro. Regardless, all of this takes time! We then upload to our chosen podcast platform Libsyn. I write the copy for the episodes and create the cover art for social and schedule our social posts. Again, all of this takes time.
Prior to each show, we research our guests; share our findings; draft our quick fire questions and a series of questions we may ask, depending on how the conversation goes. We don’t stick to a script; preferring to let the conversation flow, but we do definitely try to adopt “an angle” for each guest. Contacting guests; setting up times; prepping our show plan – it all takes time.
The beauty of co-hosting however is that we divide and conquer – and, I couldn’t ask for a better co-host in Kristen. We’ve received great feedback about our dynamic while recording which we really appreciate. Behind the scenes, we are both flexible, adapt and are totally fine that our Day One idea of how things would look; who would do what; and how often we’d release episodes, instantly evolved and changed. We take is at it comes; aim for a show every fortnight and do our best to stick to this around busy lives.
Zero regrets when it comes to this project. So grateful to share it with you KV and incredibly grateful for the time of everyone who has come on the show so far. We’d love to treat our guests a little more like Royalty… and are working on that amidst a bunch of other factors too!
So, my message to you if you’re curious? It’s exactly how Matt put it – Don’t overthink. Adapt. Press go.
If you would like to listen to the Into the Wee Hours Podcast, you can check it out at intotheweehours.com/podcast or listen on Apple, Spotify or potentially a bunch of other platforms we are yet to discover…