Starting The Content Train! (Starting the Podcast)

Photo by Roland Lösslein on Unsplash

What a crazy few weeks this has been for me! It has been an adventure for sure! For those who are not aware I started a podcast, and have been pushing moderately hard on that to try and build the initial audience base, and make sure that I am getting viable content out. So far the podcast JavaScript LifeStyles has 5 episodes, and is so far doing pretty well! Kind of stoked about that! Stay tuned for subscription information, and where to support it!

But while I will be talking about personal experience, some of the good, the bad, and the annoying, this article is to talk about how to get things rolling, and what to kind of look for to ensure that you are getting your initial start on a positive footing.

So I think the first thing to talk about is honestly, content. Make sure that when you are starting a podcast you have at least 5–10 episodes worth of content already planned out, or at the least, a general idea of what you want to talk about! This to me is critical.

If you have enough content for 5–10 episodes you will by then start to see the natural growth that it will produce, and be able to spin-off of some of those episodes. It may not be a large listener or watcher pool, but it certainly will be a start.

Let’s look at the current stats for the JavaScript LifeStyle Podcast!

First overall listener base:

JavaScript LifeStyles Listener Stats

This was huge! I had wanted to ensure that I had 10–25 unique listeners within the first 5 episodes, and actually almost doubled that. The estimated audience I had anticipated on 5–10 for the first 5 episodes. It was surpassed. Now you will notice the cash side of it, and I think now is as good of a time as any to talk about the fact that you will likely not make money till far down the line, but that will only come with consistency, and ensuring that you are hitting your weekly or monthly goals.

Now JavaScript LifeStyle is a weekly production (that I drop additional episodes in addition to the weekly when I see fit to do so). So that ties into the content. Make sure that you are hitting roughly or exactly the same day per week to build up people's muscle memory as they are listening.

For example, when I was driving 45 min each way (without traffic) for work I listened to a podcast each way, and then another for lunch. This was just my habit. If you can build your audience into building you into their routine then all of a sudden you gain a more natural following.

Let’s Talk about demographics:

Demographic data for JavaScript LifeStyle Podcast

I was beyond stoked to see the data from this. First I am a huge supporter of women & girls in STEM and want to see a huge adoption of ladies hitting the Software Engineering world. So to see that I was already hitting 12% was amazing to me. I was already exceeding a goal that I had wanted of 10%. Now I want 20%! Additionally, seeing an immediate uptick with the LGBT community with a Non-Binary listener or two was gratifying. It was on the right path. You see I want everyone to feel like they can listen and get something from this podcast, and I want anyone and everyone who feels like listening to listen, regardless of really any label.

And then I saw the Age bar graph, and got another jolt of awesome! I have 0–17. That was a great start, I want kids to be listening and learning (I would prefer 14–17 since I can be a bit harsh at times) but regardless it was an exciting statistic.

But let's talk about how this translates to other platforms… Not amazing. I have 4 subscribers on the YouTube channel for the podcast, which is not completely unexpected since I did not keep it up to date from the start, and I am not doing a video for the podcast, and I do not really have fun graphics to look at for that either. So I did not expect a massive translation but hoped for it as the main means of funding. I want to leverage YouTube and the ads that they use as a medium to allow for a means to pay for the subscriptions & equipment to better the show, and eventually supplement my income to pay for my time producing, editing, and building the show. That is a very long way off. I would love to go viral in a day, but it is unrealistic!

So what did I do to start?

I found the things that I needed at a minimum to make a podcast run. I already had the equipment for recording (a couple of USB mics, stand, etc) and I was already paying for the Adobe Creative Suite so I both Audition & Premiere.

I needed a place to host the podcast that gave me the ability to send it to many different carriers & ensure that I would be able to get support if someone chose to give it. I found Which is ironically owned by Spotify, so I immediately got a feed set up to Spotify, and then I went on to add Apple & Google podcasts. (there are many other places that it can be found, but those were the biggest, and I wanted to ensure that I hit the biggest first and expanded out of those). It took a bit of work to get on Apple Podcasts, but does a good job helping you along the way get set up with everyone.

I used the creative suite to build out a kind rad looking cover art, and then I built out the YouTube & Facebook pages to ensure that I was covering my basis.

JavaScript LifeStyles Podcast Cover Art

Once the pretty and moderately fun side was all done it was time to put in some work and get some episodes up. So I dropped a YouTube exclusive explanation on why I started the podcast and started recording full episodes.

I set a hard time limit of 1 hour on base episodes, with a goal of about 45 minutes. I then dove into to start doing show notes. Now I used notion because to be completely honest it was the easiest, and fastest route to ensure that I could hammer out notes, and publish them.

JavaScript LifeStyle Show Notes Archive

Now the real challenge, and one that I am currently dealing with now is where to share it to continue to build a community. This is a rough one. My initial start has been predominantly sharing it on Twitter & Linkedin. These are where devs tend to hang out, and figured it would be a good start, I am starting to get friends and family to share stuff to ensure that there is some traction there, but generally, I would prefer not to push people to share stuff on personal social media. Not a huge fan of that.

Now I am going to close with this: I am not an expert at building podcasts, I do not have a massively successful podcast, I simply am starting out. That said I am going to keep working hard, and will share results of what works, and what doesn’t. I hope that this has been helpful for you, and I will be posting the podcast links below so that you can take a look at the various spots, and how they all link in together.

Thanks for the read, and hope to see you again soon!


Full Stack JavaScript Engineer