As producer and host of The Healing Place Podcast, I have been asked quite a bit, “So, how do I start a podcast?” I thought I’d share my podcast journey with the world via my blog as I’m sure there are many others who are intrigued by the idea of sharing their magnificent content dreams with the universe.
A Catchy Name
In the summer of 2017, a therapist friend of mine asked me if I’d be interested in creating a podcast with her. Well, yeah! How much fun would THAT be? We sat down next to a fire pit in my backyard one summer evening and giggled with anticipation over the possibilities, including a name for our new venture. We decided it had to do with healing, as that is what both of us do, one professionally and one as soul-work. Hence, The Healing Place Podcast name. Simple. Yet, profound. A place for folks to gather to discuss healing journeys, options, stories, paths, modalities, and so much more.
This same therapist friend reached out to an artistic friend of hers for a logo design and we both loved the first draft that came back. The colors were perfect and, again, the design was simple. It had a welcoming and peaceful feel to it. There are many options available for logo creation: Google “logo creation” and you will find both free and paid services available; like us, you can ask a creative colleague or friend; there are podcast logo creations available online; and some podcast hosting sites will help with the creation of your logo.
The first nine episodes of The Healing Place Podcast were a fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants adventure. We literally had no idea what we were doing! But, we kept it fun and light-hearted as we learned. My co-host and I sat down over dinner at a local dive one evening and came up with potential guests to invite onto the show, possible topics, and a time frame for length of interviews. Based upon our financial constraints, we decided to go with a weekly show to last between thirty to forty-five minutes per episode.
Secure a Hosting Site
I searched options for hosting sites and came across Blubrry. We were drawn to the ease of creation and their fee program. We wanted to work with a hosting site that allowed us to publish our episodes on Apple’s iTunes. There are many hosting platforms available and an online search will bring up a plethora of options.
The perks of Blubrry, as listed on their website, are:
Blubrry Hosting (at Blubrry.com or with WordPress)
- Unlimited downloads
- No contracts, cancel anytime
- Optimized for Apple and podcasting platforms
- Audio, audiobook, video, ePub and PDF supported
- Media hosted on our top-tier content delivery network (CDN) with more than 35 data centers throughout the world to provide the lowest latency (response time in seconds) possible
- Upload using HTML5 technology, no special uploading tools or software required
- Automated ID3 tagging (both artwork and textual metadata written to your mp3s)
- Episodes hosted until you cancel service
- Media validation (make sure your media will play on all podcast platforms)
- Premium Podcast Statistics included ($5-a-month value)
- Free technical support by email, phone and video
- FTP access is available upon request
- American owned-and-operated in the United States, our primary business is for podcasting!
Create Question Format
After our first nine episodes, my co-host decided to step away from the podcast due to personal time constraints (working a full-time gig as a therapist in a mental health agency along with a weekend and evening job in a private-practice therapy program). I elected to continue with the podcast and decided to take it in a new direction. The format had been casual and filled with laughter and interviews with friends or just conversations between myself and my co-host on healing concepts.
I sat down and created a list of questions I wanted to review with my guests and came up with the following:
Hello! Thank you so very much for agreeing to join me on an upcoming podcast. I would like our interview to be a conversation between friends, filled with informative discussions, laughter, and guidance for our listeners.
I know some folks like the idea of having questions to lead the way. So, I have decided to compile a list of topics and questions. While we might not have time to cover them all, I will mostly pull from this list. Please review them and, if there is anything you would like me to address specifically or avoid altogether, just let me know.
I want this to be an enjoyable process for all. Therefore, I am open to any and all suggestions for your visit with our audience.
1) Today, we welcome (insert your name), who is joining us to discuss (insert your topic of interest)
2) Please tell us a little bit about . . . (your story, why you are passionate about this subject, your therapy modality, your theories, etc.)
3) If you could reach as many people in the world as possible with your message, who would you want your audience to be? (i.e. children, teens, addicts, those with suicidal ideation, struggling parents, single moms, single dads, LGBTQ community, and so forth)
4) Why is (insert your topic) so important to YOU?
5) Are there any myths or facts you would like to clarify for our listeners?
6) What support and resources have YOU utilized or recommend for our audience?
7) How did you overcome/handle (insert topic)? What do you suggest our listeners do to help them overcome/handle (insert topic)?
8) If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who could help you with (insert topic), who would it be?
9) What is your dream job? Does it revolve around this topic? Do want to be more involved in (insert topic)?copyright Teri Wellbrock
Decide on Guest List
At first, I reached out to friends and family, asking those who had triumphed over trauma to join me on air to discuss their journey. Topics included “Parenting a Child with Anxiety” and “Battling Breast Cancer” along with interviews with friends in therapist and healing capacity roles joining me to discuss “Trauma-informed Care” and Louise Hay’s book “You Can Heal Your Life” along with several other hope and healing related topics.
Those early interviews were filled with poor recordings as I was using a $20.00 microphone I had purchased on Amazon and a free editing software that left me scrambling for how-to videos for correcting background noises and fuzzy-buzzies. However, I really did learn quite a bit about sound quality as I stumbled through those episodes. I used Audacity for those early recordings when I was only creating audio formats for Blubrry and iTunes.
Purchase Quality Recording Equipment and Editing Software
I eventually realized that this podcast really did have a growing audience and I needed to treat it as a business in lieu of a fun little healing hobby. I was watching the stats grow and grow. Suddenly The Healing Place Podcast was being downloaded in countries outside of the United States (it has now been downloaded in thirty-one countries!)
With that came the exciting emails from agents reaching out to me on behalf of their clients with inquiries of joining me on the podcast! To say I was blown away with enthusiasm would be an understatement. I was now interviewing amazing souls from all over the world. Italy. Bali. Vancouver. And the far reaches of the United States from Washington state to Massachusetts and many places in between.
I ended up purchasing a Logitech HD 1080p camera to mount on my desk with a tripod along with an Audio-Technica podcast-quality microphone. I added a stand-up desk option to keep me from sitting so much while editing the video and audio recordings.
YouTube came across my radar as an option for promoting the podcast and I decided to start recording videos of interviews as well as maintaining the audio format. Therefore a quality recording app became a priority.
I elected to use Zoom. This allowed me the opportunity to schedule podcast interviews, send links to guests, and record our conversations all from one application.
Editing software then needed to be upgraded to something that allowed video editing so I researched (looking for a simple, affordable, and time-generous option) and came across Filmora by Wondershare. And it has been perfect for my needs. Allowing me to save edited recordings in MP3 audio format and MP4 video formats.
Create a Simple Five to Ten Second Musical Intro
My original co-host had a friend who created our intro music as a favor. It was quite long and I just never thought to research how much time should be dedicated to an intro piece. Once I discovered an intro should be contained to five to ten seconds, I made another change to The Healing Place Podcast music.
And Filmora by Wondershare had options for me to choose from as part of the program. Yay!
Social Media Campaigns
Part of promoting the podcast included a Facebook page from the get-go. We wanted to put it out to friends and family that we had created this healing space. That was the start of growing an audience.
I belong to an absolutely amazing online community called ACEs Connection. ACEs, for those of you who are not aware, is the acronym for Adverse Childhood Experiences. You can listen in as Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Bruce Perry discuss the impact of ACEs and research being conducted on their 60 Minutes episode here. I began promoting podcast interviews in this online community and a beautiful side-effect occurred, beyond the positive feedback, of having other community members reach out asking to join me on the podcast. So cool!
However, I also elected to created a podcast Instagram page, share episodes on my LinkedIn account, create a podcast Pinterest page, share them on my personal Unicorn Shadows blog, post interviews to my YouTube channel and put them in The Healing Place Podcast playlist, share in my monthly Hope for Healing Newsletter, my podcast page on my website and most recently I send out a weekly podcast interview to my email distribution list. Whew! Quite a bit, but I love this podcast so much it just does not feel like work most days.
Grow and Share!
I was logged into my Blubrry account a few months ago and noticed a blurb on my WordPress page stating I could add my podcast to Spotify. Well, cool beans! I followed the link, filled out the application and within a matter of moments my request was submitted.
Last, but Certainly Not Least, Ask for Testimonials
I decided to do a little email blast to past podcast guests thanking them for joining me on air. A most sincere gesture of gratitude as I would not have this healing platform without them. As part of the email, I requested a testimonial if they felt inclined to write one up. The response was overwhelming. And continues to be. My eyes well up with tears and my heart overflows with joy at each new testimonial.
I then created visuals with collections of testimonials using PixTeller (another free online app). I am the queen of finding quality programs with no or small fees. I eventually upgraded to the Pro PixTeller as I wanted more options, but the fee is minimal and worth it.
What a beautiful way to promote your podcast and let others know your show is worth listening in on!
A podcast guest introduced me to the Calendly app for scheduling. This allows the guest to choose from available time slots without having to email back and forth regarding availability on both our parts. All I do is send them my calendar link. Again, I use the free service. Thanks, Suzy Gruber, for the heads up!
I invite you to join my subscription following – just complete the Hope for Healing pop up. Thank you so much, in advance!