Who would’ve thought six months ago that I’d be changing up my Netflix obsession for something a little bit retro and a whole lot more informative? I resisted podcasts for the longest time, assuming they were some complex geeky thing that only people on the Big Bang Theory and my fiance listened to on his journey to work; I thought podcasts were all about Ted Talks and intellectual debates about the state of the economy, but boy I was wrong. It was actually Kirsty from Labels For Lunch who encouraged me to make the leap into this new world (she’s always updating me on her fave shows,) and I’m so glad she did – because I’m officially obsessed. Unsurprisingly the obsession started with Serial and the story of a man possibly wrongly convicted of the murder of his high school girlfriend; as someone who spends her life watching murder documentaries and reading bloody novels of suspense, it was the perfect introduction and the way to get me thoroughly immersed from the offset. I found myself listening the episode after episode while I worked out in the gym, actually looking forward to my next session so I could find out what happened next, and when the last episode came to a close I was onto the next: Someone Knows Something. After I binge-listened to the story of Sheryl Sheppard’s disappearance, I needed a new hit; it was like a drug that I couldn’t get enough of. I finally understood why everyone was going loopy for podcasts and was at the front of the queue for the next installment of something that was the audio equivalent of a page-turner.
Since I got my Hepburn MK II VQ radio podcasts have become such a huge part of my daily life, as it allows me to play them via Bluetooth as I work, take a bath, wash up or lie with my eyes closed on the bed. My fiance laughed at me for the first couple of weeks as I carried it around with me from room to room like it was my beatbox and I was living in the Bronx! But I was so fascinated with this infinite library of audio stories that provided a release from the online or television based world I was living, that I just couldn’t put it down. I’ve become so immersed in the world of podcasting that I even launched my own, Made Online, and have been thoroughly enjoying this new challenge and being part of a new digital world. If you’re intrigued but don’t know how to get started, let me break it down for you and share the secrets of podcasting… You won’t look back.
Essentially they’re audio shows, all pinned together by a specific topic or through telling a story over a number of weeks. Most podcasts upload a new episode weekly, not unlike Netflix, so you can subscribe via the iTunes or Google Play store to get them direct to your phone as soon as they’re released. It sounds complicated, but it’s just an audio telly programme without the restrictions of a schedule!
The easiest way is via your phone; both Apple and Android have their own podcast apps and stores, all of which are linked to the iTunes store (where most shows upload their content to.) You can search within the app for inspiration, what’s new or simply by key word – when you find something you like you can stream, download or subscribe to get the whole lot on your device to listen at your own convenience. Can’t figure it out? Most podcasts have a website where you can listen to the episodes too.
They provide an easy and on-the-go approach to new information; you can binge on them while you’re on your commute, connect them to your car’s speaker system to listen as you drive, play them direct from your mobile, stream them via your computer or hook them up to a radio like the Hepburn. It’s a refreshing alternative to the repetitive radio! They’re also a great way to digest stories, inspiration or information – they cover everything from comedy and business, to parenting, mental health, celebrity culture, criminal justice and so much more.
I launched my own podcast about six weeks ago, simply called ‘Made Online’. It shares inspirational stories from those that have made their career, brand, business or life changing moment online – whether that’s being discovered, making connections, finding a skillset or launching a business. Right now there are five episodes (plus a teaser of my own story) from five amazing women who have used the internet to their own advantage; the feedback has been incredible and I can’t wait to share the next five in the series.
So many! But a great starting place is Serial: it’ll really get you immersed and wanting to listen to the next episode straight away, which is why it’s probably the biggest and most well known out there. (It was the original ‘Making A Murderer’ if you enjoyed that concept.) The second season of Someone Knows Something still gets me thinking, while Reply All is a hilariously random show about all the facets of the internet that helps long journeys fly by. Hashtag Authentic is great for bloggers and creatives, while How I Built This provides inspiration and insight into business an brands. For something to make you giggle try This Paranormal Life: they cover everything from aliens and Big Foot to the Lost City Of Atlantis and whether the Loch Ness Monster was actually killed in the 1940s.
So there you have it – all you need to know about podcasting, so there’s no excuse not to start downloading and subscribing this weekend!
If you’re already a podcast addict, do you have any other shows you think I need to listen to?
Discover my podcast ‘Made Online’ in the iTunes store here, or listen on the website here. New episodes every Wednesday, straight to your phone if you subscribe!
You can get the Hepburn MK II VQ radio online in a multitude of colours for £129.99; it’s also available in department stores and I’ve even seen some in TK Maxx!