I’m no exception to the creativity lockdown has unleashed. I started a podcast. More specifically, Aleah Perez and I started a podcast.
COVID shutting down the school allowed us the time to turn our voice message minirants on Instagram into deluxe, podcastable megarants.
Aleah and I video chatted for hours, throwing out possible podcast names and various ideas for episodes. We narrowed our focus to pop culture, entertainment, and comedy. Then we looked for a host.
Neither of us wanted to pay for an app to produce our podcast. First, like a lot of folks, we’re unemployed. Second, what’s the point of paying for an app if we don’t expect to pull big numbers? If my audience is my mom and, like, 5 friends, there’s no reason to spend the earth.
Aleah found the free podcast production app Anchor. In addition to its low price, we found its invite friends feature attractive: Anchor is pretty much a phone call, which was perfect since Aleah and I couldn’t meet in person. Anchor has downsides, though. We don’t know why, but it glitches occasionally and sometimes even ends calls completely. We still don’t know why—maybe it just doesn’t like us?—, but we both make sure to record close to our routers.
Available on Anchor and Spotify, our podcast In Which You Hear About has a description that says it all: “Do you want to hear the honest opinions of two girls who have been alive for 16 years? Well, we’re telling you them anyway.”
So enticing. So much promise. And so bad.
Trust me: It’s horrible. It’s unprofessional. It’s low quality. Seriously, for the first 15 episodes I used earbuds as a microphone. O, and we don’t really plan the episodes very carefully. So we also get sidetracked easily, but experience taught us that we’re actually better when we’re a bit spontaneous.
Nonetheless, we had a minor hit with our episode “Ditch Brandy Melville.” (Brandy Melville is a fashion line—and it kinda sucks.) In summary, we talked about how their “one size fits all” is a total hoax and their lack of inclusivity regarding race and size. That episode proved popular enough for us to contact another podcaster, 2AM Takeout for advice. Aleah and I took it and upgraded our ear buds to actual mini-microphones (which were barely in our budget).
Our lack of confidence meant that we advertised only to our friends. Everybody else who’s heard our podcasts are strangers who stumbled upon it. It’s not that we’re avoiding promotion. We do want some success, but we aren’t ready for it yet, and we probably don’t deserve it.
We’re 19 episodes and eight months into In Which You Hear About, and we still think that it’s too early to tell our Instagram followers about it. Aleah and I set a goal where once we get 100 full streams—not just people clicking, listening to our shrill and mumbly voices for 2 seconds and then clicking out—then we would post about the podcast on our main pages. We’re at 93 streams… and we’ve gone international. (We have 5 streams from Canada, 2 from Sweden, and 1 each from Portugal and the UK.) Our next step is putting In Which You Hear About on YouTube. Wish us luck.
The goal is not to make money but to make the most out of a negative situation… and to put something on our college applications, but that’s not the point. The point is to avoid insanity by getting this stuff in my brain out there. Even if “out there” doesn’t reach very far. Would I recommend others starting a podcast? Um no, that would make it harder for In Which You Hear About to succeed. I’m kidding. Go for it, be spontaneous like Aleah and I and most importantly have a good time.