The Business of The Sports Brat

Hey everyone! It’s Thursday and normally I have a new show on Thursdays.  I didn’t last week and I don’t today.  And here’s the reason: I needed a little break.  I’ve been putting together a show every week since September and it has been a dream come true.  I’ve gotten to chat with so many cool people, had my friends on and I’ve been challenged to go outside my comfort zone time and time again.  But, truth be told, I hit a wall and some of my guests had to reschedule and it gave me the opportunity to settle into my new part-time job at the radio station (more to come on that in a different post).

The Business of Podcasting

So I am currently curating killer shows to launch back up very soon! I would LOVE to hear what you all want to hear as well so please send me DMs or an email to [email protected] with any requests.  But I wanted to make this post about how I started my podcast, so here’s the story.

I have been doing the blog for over 3 years, sometimes more intensively than others, but last summer I really got a push to give this my all.  I reached out to a fellow podcaster who’s show I had been on a couple of times before and I asked if I could come back on.  We always have such fun conversations and this time was no different.  When the show ended he told me he thought I should give podcasting a try and that he would help me.  I jumped at the opportunity (OBVIOUSLY).  But then it hit me that I had no idea how to even start such a thing.

He’s been such a huge part of producing, editing and growing my show and he helped to get me on all of the platforms (iTunes, iheart radio, etc.).  So here’s a step by step of how to actually start a podcast.

  1. Grab your recording material.  Ok so I totally thought I was going to have some crazy recording studio like you see on TV.  That is so not necessary.  I bought some fancy equipment that I honestly have not even used because I have no idea how it even works.  I learned that (expensive) lesson so you don’t have to!  For podcasting, all you really need is a recorder and a microphone.  John, my producer, recommended the Zoom H5 Handy recorder.  It’s great.  In addition to that, I purchased 2 microphones.  Yes I have my amazing gold one but honestly its all preference.  There are tons to choose from but as long as it has the ability to plug into the recorder, that’s all you need.  I bought a second regular microphone for when I interview guests in person.  The last part is a mic stand, I have 2 desk mic stands that I use for in person interviews or when recording my monologues.  I am happy to do a step by step to recording in another post if you all are interested but the most complicated part is getting the files to my computer but all you need is a USB cable and its simple from there!
  2. Pick a recording software.  This part has been the hardest for me.  A lot of my interviews are done over the phone and I had this huge fiasco happen with my second recording ever.  I was interviewing Lindsay Tarpley and Leslie Osborne, both are former US National Team members and they currently run Sweat Cosmetics. We had a killer interview and I went to listen to the playback and there was NOTHING.  I wanted to die.  This is as bad as it gets in podcasting.  I emailed them and told them what happened and they were so nice but my point is you need good software.  People love Skype, I don’t.  I can’t really figure it out for recording to be honest so I use an app on my phone called Ringr.  My guest has to download the app but its free and also it helps with privacy because then I don’t have a personal number for them and vice versa.  Plus the quality is incredible. The only problem is you cannot do a conference call so as with Lindsay and Leslie, they were in two different spots so I had to conference them in and we couldn’t use Ringr, so I’m still on the hunt for a good one.  The one I use for that circumstance is TapeACall but I don’t love the audio quality.
  3. Booking Guests.  This part is the fun part!  I love reaching out to people and asking them to come on the show.  I’m not a huge outlet and plenty of people have declined, but when people ask me how I book my guests my response is always, I just ask.  I direct message people, I tweet, I contact their publicists, some of my guests are friends so I already had a warm introduction but with Charissa Thompson, for example, I just reached out to her publicist whom I’d kept in contact with and she set it up.  I cannot enforce how important it is to nurture relationships.  Don’t do it because you need something, build it organically over time and then when the time comes, its much easier to ask.  Also, research your guests so you can find common ground when you’re chatting so it sounds more natural.  When I interviewed Kaitlyn Bristowe, I brought up that we were at the same Ole Miss game and that gave us a commonality from the beginning.  Either way, don’t be afraid to ask.
  4. Production.  So this is the big part I hand over to John.  He is responsible to applying and getting my show approved on all of the platforms and he also edits all of my shows and loads them into the que.  When it comes to applying, every platform will have different guidelines but for iTunes, here is their step by step process.  While iTunes is great, not everyone uses it so its important for growth purposes to be on other platforms as well (like iheart radio, sound cloud, etc.).  There are a couple other pieces to editing the show.  Some of you may have heard the music I’ve selected.  You can’t just use any music because of copyright law.  But you can purchase music legally on several different websites.  You can use BeatSuite, Shutterstock, but I used AudioJungle. It’s so important to do it legally so you don’t run into any issues down the road.  One other tip is sometimes my files have a long intros that I don’t want poor John to have to edit, so I actually just use iMovie to cut the files down for him and then he can work his magic.
  5. Promotion (and patience).  In order to grow and get the word out, you have to promote the podcast.  I try to do at least 1 social media post per new episode.  I also try to link back to them on other days of the week for new followers.  Make sure you have easy accessible links for people to follow to download the show, I use Bitly to shorten my links, especially because you can’t click on them in instagram yet.  And the reason I said patience, it takes a while to grow and audience.  I have to constantly remind myself to be patient and enjoy the journey.

I think that sums up the podcast piece and how to get started.  It’s so fun and trust me, not everyone will have a huge audience but we are in a time where people are loving to consume media, especially podcasts and video content.  Take advantage of this time if you’re feeling creative.  It doesn’t matter if you have one listener or a hundred, the point is to have fun and create unique content.

Now onto shopping!  I was so excited to be accepted on the Like to Know it platform!  Now you all can shop my looks, my home, my cooking utensils and everything else I post by following these simple options.

  1. You can sign up for Like to Know it.  Then all of the items in the photos you “like” on instagram will go directly to your inbox.
  2. You can also download the Like to Know it app from the app store.  With the app you can like and screenshot pictures on instagram and when you open the Like to know it app all of the items will be right there for you to shop.  Super easy!
  3. If you’re not into shopping from your phone, you can go to the “shop” tab on my blog and shop everything I’ve ever posted there!  Wahoo!

I am often asked how The Sports Brat makes money and these two sources are the most profitable.  With the podcast I have the ability to sell sponsorships or ad space similar to any other radio program.  And with the blog and instagram I can monetize my photos by recommending items you all can buy.  It’s important for me to only recommend things I actually wear, use and like. But that sums up the business behind blogging, social media, like to know it and podcasts!  I’m still learning every day but its been a fun journey and I’m excited to see what the rest of the year has in store!

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