Our Podcasting Luminaries Series features podcasters that have been producing content for at least 6 years and sometimes more! In the world of podcasting consistency and longevity are two of the most elusive and coveted qualities. Learn tips and insight about podcasting plus get inspired by how podcasting has served as a launching point for greatness
Jim Harold created The Paranormal Podcast in 2005! In addition to his podcasting prowess, he also holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Communication Theory and Methodology and is accredited as a Certified Digital Media Consultant by the Radio Advertising Bureau.
He is very proud to have bootstrapped Jim Harold Media, LLC and associated projects to make them his full time profession.
If you want to learn more about Jim, read more right here
How has or has podcasting helped create opportunities for you?
I began podcasting in 2005 out of frustration. I had gone to school for broadcasting but ended up working in media but on the business side, never in front of the mic…this always bothered me. At 35 years old, I felt that I had lost the opportunity to pursue my dream career but thought I’d try this podcast thing.
Seven years later, I am a published author and am producing content full time.
I have had the privilege to co-host podcast series with two nationally known TV personalities (Kate Botello and Clayton Morris).
No podcast, no book deal…no podcast, no second career.
Granted, I am no Leo Laporte and money is tight but this is an incredible opportunity to do what I love for a living and to explore a topic which utterly fascinates me.
The paranormal has been a lifelong interest for me going back to watching “In Search Of…” as a kid. It is ALL because of podcasting.
When I went to school in the late 80s & early 90s for broadcasting, you were at the mercy of station owners, program directors, etc., to get an opportunity.
If I had gone to a station pitching my show back in ‘05, they would have laughed at me or, at best, tried to have sold me block time for thousands of dollars to have the privilege to air my show at horrible hours reaching an audience limited to a small geographic area!
Now I produce some of the top rated paranormal-oriented podcasts in the world…podcasting has meant everything to me professionally. It saved me.
What advice would you give a new podcaster so that they keep going!
Look at people like Cliff Ravenscraft, Marc Maron, me (to a much lesser extent), and others who have transformed their careers and lives via podcasting. If you produce good stuff then you will be found and grow.
Some people consider me an overnight success, in terms of going full time, but it took seven years!
Don’t podcast if it is just to make money, you could probably do a lot better selling cars or real estate BUT if you love doing it, love the topic, and think you could make a business of it…go for it.
Also, podcasting as a hobby (which it was essentially for me for the first few years) is a very honorable and rewarding pursuit as well!
Most shows won’t immediately “hit”, but if you super serve a niche you can make an impact.
Produce weekly, don’t worry about having the best equipment from day one BUT make sure that you make what you have to work with sound as good as it can.
I started with a USB headset, Audacity, and a Libsyn account (of course!)…with that I was able to build a following and upgrade my equipment as I went along.
Note, things did not start to fully “catch” for me until I started to get super consistent with weekly production which wasn’t until 2008.
My tips include: CARE ABOUT YOUR AUDIENCE, produce every week, super serve a niche, produce great content, be yourself, maximize the sound quality through technique not by necessarily having thousands of dollars worth of equipment and educate yourself constantly.
Don’t be intimidated by the tech…basically other than my broadcast training everything I have learned technically to produce and distribute the shows, I taught myself. The information is all out there, most of it for free on the Net.
What is your workflow: include hardware, software, text editing, and services as necessary.
Windows 7 Desktop (self built), Heil PR 40 with pop filter, shockmount and mic arm, Onyx Blackjack USB Interface
Adobe Audition 5.5, Powergramo, WordPress, Levelator 2 (GREAT), Vodburner (to record video podcasts)
Libsyn – I cannot overstate how great Libsyn has been. I continue to use them for all of my media serving needs for my free podcasts. You can’t go wrong with their plans and uptime is excellent.
I remember talking to the founders when the company first started and I really admire what they’ve done for podcasters.
Skype – I record directly to my computer using Powergramo. Some folks don’t care for recording directly into the computer but it has worked great for me for the last seven years.
Note, I am religious about backing up my interview in case a hard drive crashes. Each recording is set to auto backup as soon as I hang up. I’ve never lost an interview (fingers crossed).
My setup is not the most sophisticated, by far. In time I may upgrade to a full blown mixer and recording “live to tape” to reduce post production time.
When I started I had a really underpowered computer, a fairly slow DSL connection, a USB headset, Audacity (FREE), and a Libsyn account.
I started by taking what little equipment I had, making it sound the best it could and then using the proceeds from my efforts to fund my upgrades. So, slowly over time I upgraded my technique and my equipment.
If you have an internet connection, $15 a month for a Libsyn account, a computer and a passion for doing an audio podcast there is no reason not to get started today.
You know you want to start podcasting.