Digital ContentPodcasting in a pandemic: podcasters share their challenges and advice

Karen JavierFebruary 1, 2021

There’s no doubt podcasting is one of the many forms of content creation widely embraced by creators and audiences alike. When podcasting first gained popularity years back, it has long since caught on with the general public for its convenience as it is readily available on many streaming platforms and playback devices. Especially when the pandemic started, podcasting as a form of content distribution has become even more effective in developing an intimate connection with people from all over the world.

The pandemic took a toll on the podcasting industry when podcasters could not get to studios or have guests in the same room as them. Despite the difficulties, three podcasters spoke with Marcom Weekly about their resilience and how they rose above the challenges. They inspire their listeners, as well as aspiring podcasters, by answering an important question: how did you overcome the challenges brought about by Covid-19 and what lessons have you learned while podcasting during the pandemic?

Julian Nieh, radio host, voice-tracked personality and host of “Less Than Zero

Nieh: My whole career has been in a studio, now it’s all within my home. Podcasting and broadcasting pre-Covid is way different than doing it during the pandemic. You lose the interactivity part, the interaction of actually being in a live studio. The whole visual thing is so important because anyone that sees us can see that we’re a very diverse bunch. And with that comes different opinions, different walks of life.

The pandemic has been a big hit mentally. It’s been demoralizing. It has killed our industry. It’s been a test of someone’s fortitude, and that’s why we have to uplift each other. I think that if we can survive this, we can probably survive anything.

One important lesson I learned is working from home makes you more accountable for your own actions. I realized that I had to think broader. It made me mentally stronger. It made me think of things outside the box because we have to pivot. And it also made me realize what’s more important in life. I appreciate the smaller things more so than ever.

My advice to anyone who feels lost in these trying times is to just start doing it. Whatever it is that you want to start doing, even if you don’t have a niche, even if you’re not quite sure, just start doing it. And don’t be so judgmental of yourself. Eventually, you’re going to find your way. You’re going to take things in steps. As long as you’re not hurting a race, or religion, or sexuality or anything like that, just start doing it and put it out.

Danielle Desir, author, blogger and host of “The Thought Card

Desir: Deciding if I would talk about the pandemic and its effects openly on the podcast is one thing I struggled with early on. Since I batch record episodes and schedule content months ahead of time, I was reluctant to create new content and adjust my editorial calendar.

Overall, the pandemic has taught me the importance of being agile and nimble as a content creator. 

Your audience relies on you to be consistent and show up even more than before. That’s one important thing I learned at such a difficult time. Your podcast is an escape from their day-to-day reality. Now more than ever, people are looking to make meaningful connections with like-minded people.

As you create content on your podcast, think of creative ways to build a community. You have to find a way to invite your community to connect with you and each other.

Margo Lovett, author, entrepreneur and host of “Her Business, Her Voice, Her Conversation

Lovett: One challenge that I had to face was to keep moving financially because my part-time job laid me off. I adapted by scaling back and unsubscribing to unnecessary monthly memberships. I could no longer afford a VA. I had to amplify my relationship with WomLead Magazine.

There is a big difference between podcasting before the pandemic and now that we’re in it. Recording in a Zoom video takes the place of doing it in a studio. Doing it in person makes you feel your guest’s energy because you’re looking at them and they’re looking at you. There lies the gap.

What inspired me to create the podcast? I quit my job after 26 years at age 62. I couldn’t find a podcast that answered my questions on how to reinvent myself, become a podcaster and an entrepreneur while addressing the internal fears that I felt- so I created my podcast knowing if I had these questions and fears, others would or do!

The key is to never give up. If you are cranking out, 1 show a week, put out more, and get into more ears at home. Don’t be afraid to ask thought leaders for interviews. Most important lesson during the pandemic is that now is a grand time to build your credibility, your expertise, so stay in student mode.

Karen Javier

Karen is responsible for editorial support and covers agency, digital content, and D&I news.

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