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Podcasting 101 – Part 3

The world wants to know – should I podcast?

Okay, maybe not the world – but enough of you have been asking me questions about podcasting that it felt pretty natural to write about it here on Grasping for the Wind.

Last time, I talked about the variables you need to consider before taking the podcast plunge: Why do you want to podcast?  What will your podcast be about?  Will it just be you or will you have a co host?  Will you do interviews?

Today I want to talk about two more – How often will you podcast & What about the time commitment?

I will leave the last – “Can you afford to podcast?” – for the next piece.

So – how often will you podcast?  It’s a good question and it ties directly into the next question – what about time commitment?

We all live busy lives.  Let’s take a look at my life for just a second.  I work 9 am to 6 pm, M – F.  I don’t live very far from work – it’s like a 20 minute drive on a good day, so I am up at 8, showered, shaved and in the car by 8:30ish so I can hit the office by 9.  I take a lunch at 12:30 during which I take my laptop off site and try to:

  • do a little fiction writing
  • blog if I need to
  • do email correspondence for the podcasts
  • wrangle interviews
  • check out news if there is time

Now, I don’t do all of the above every day – it’s usually one, maybe two of those on any given day.  At 6 pm, I close up shop and head home.  Mondays and Fridays I cook dinner, Tuesdays I have to be in the podcasting chair by 7 pm to record so I usually get some sort of fast food.  Wednesdays I am again in the podcasting chair but I have pushed that session back to 8 so I don’t have to eat fast food and can make a little something simple for dinner.  Thursdays are when I do author interviews for the SF Signal podcast and those can start anywhere from 7 pm to 9 pm depending on timezones.

Weeknights, after podcast stuff, I still want to write fiction and/or my posts for sites like Grasping for the Wind, SFSignal.com, Technorati or ATFMB.com so I try to get a little of that done.  I also spend some time with my family, my cats or both.  I take my laptop to bed with me, usually writing as I wind down.  My head hits the pillow around 12:15 am and then I wake up the next morning and start the whole thing over again.

Weekends are different – I am up easily till 1 or 2 am on Friday & Saturday, working on fiction projects and getting caught up on whatever I have due blog wise.  Saturday’s are “get whatever else needs done” days and I’m up fairly early – between 7 and 9 depending on energy levels.  Sunday I am in the home office by 8 am to do podcast editing till about 2 pm.  The rest of the day is about whatever blog posts I need to do, answering emails, scheduling interviews, research, fiction writing and, of course, laundry.

So.  That’s me and what I go through to keep two podcasts (four, really, if you add my producer duties for “I Should Be Writing“) up and running weekly.  I don’t expect everyone to be that busy, or maybe you don’t think that’s busy at all – but you can see where podcasting eats a lot of time during my week.

When I first started out, I would simply scan news headlines during the week, making note of interesting topics. Come Saturday, I would record myself talking about those topics, edit everything together and push it to my website.  Now, it’s a bit different.  John Anealio does all the booking for Functional Nerds, which helps TONS, but I do the booking for SFSignal.com’s podcast, which takes time.  I still have to do research, usually about the authors or the topics we want to cover.  The point is that it’s a time commitment to do all of this and one that you need to be ready to make before jumping in.

How often you decide to podcast will affect how much time you will have to commit each day/week/month, so think about it really carefully before moving forward.

Okay – that’s it for this post.  Next up – Can you afford to podcast?


Patrick Hester is a writer, blogger, podcasting dude, Denver transplant and all around Functional Nerd who hangs out and posts his stuff at www.atfmb.com. …don’t hate him cuz he has a cool hat.