By Maxwell Ivey
I’m Maxwell Ivey, known around the world as The Blind Blogger. I am a long-time podcast host and, more recently, I’ve helped others who are blind or low vision create their own podcasts. Have you thought about starting a podcast but decided against it because you think it might be too complicated or expensive? You may feel overwhelmed when thinking about creating a podcast, just like you would with any other unfamiliar project. I am writing this post to give you some insights into podcasting and as an introduction to my article on how to create a blog post. My goal is to help you feel confident about starting your own podcast.
What is a podcast?
A podcast is an audio or video presentation distributed or broadcast through the Internet. Podcasts are comprised of a series of digital files (episodes or shows) delivered to individual subscribers. A podcast is, or should be, authentic and personal. Episodes should reflect your personality, ability, and available resources. A podcast can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. While some people feel the need to invest large amounts of money for equipment, you can start with a very small investment.
Choosing a Podcast Directory Platform
I recommend adding your podcast to Apple Podcasts because Apple handles approximately 85% of all podcasts. Most of the top podcast players pull their information from Apple. The following are requirements for adding a podcast to Apple’s directory:
- At least one audio file
- The RSS feed from your hosting company
Selecting Your Podcast Title
The title of my podcast is “What’s Your Excuse?” (WYE). How did I choose this? The truth is that was not the first name of the podcast. The podcast started out titled “Leading You Out of the Darkness,” after my first book of the same title. I then changed the name to “No Excuses.” Finally, with the help of listeners, I arrived at WYE. Podcast platforms will not penalize you if you don’t get the name perfect the first time. Taking time to pick a compelling name is valuable but choosing the name should not be a reason not to create a podcast. I don’t claim to be an expert in branding. Friends, family, and social media followers gifted me with their creative ideas.
Considerations When Choosing a Podcast Title
- Use your name or a nickname by which you are known. I am known as The Blind Blogger, but I didn’t want that for my podcast title. I did include that moniker in my podcast description for potential listeners to make a connection.
- Use terms from your favorite hobby or pastime. For example, “Shredding for Gold” was the first podcast to launch on my channel. The host, Emily Trepanier, wanted something that symbolizes the sport of snowboarding in which she competes in. “Shredding” means competing in snowboarding at a high level on challenging terrain. Don’t underestimate the value of a dictionary (including an urban dictionary) or thesaurus!
- Consider replacing some characters with numbers or leaving letters out. For example, the podcast Blubrry couldn’t afford to buy the domain name for Blueberry. They say they couldn’t afford the “e.” My friend Emily considered using the number 4 instead of the word for; but decided against it.
- Choose a name based about the podcast. Whether speaking with cancer survivors, luxury car owners, organic gardeners, or fly fishers; there are words and phrases common to their community.
- Listen to other podcasts or read articles and blogs for other ideas.
The most important thing to remember is that you can always improve on the name or completely change it as your voice and your audience evolve.
To Sum It Up
I love how podcasting allows us to start where we are and improve as we go. Creating podcasts allows people to connect with us and share in our successes. When I started, I didn’t have a lot of fancy equipment. Even now, I still depend on gear that doesn’t cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. I’m not the most talented guy, but I’m resilient; something many of us who are blind or low vision know a lot about.
I keep showing up, and people respect me for it. There have been some rough spots. I haven’t posted new content every week. But people know me, or feel like they do, through my podcast episodes and interviews promoting my work.
Read more about creating your own podcast, in my article on how to create a podcast covering the following getting started basics:
- Describing your podcast
- Selecting a photo
- Recording content
- Deciding to broadcast live
- Necessary gear
- Creating a video podcast
- Uploading to a hosting platform
- Obtaining an RSS feed
I am happy to connect over Zoom and share more information with interested readers about promoting your new podcast. We can discuss your podcast title, description, or personal story. In the meantime, please visit my podcast channel on YouTube.