The Power of Podcasts and How You Can Start Your Own
Ideas, format, content and editorial processes behind Girlskill Podcast
I loved radio. It was awesome. I used to tune in to my favorite Top 20 and listen to cool music on the radio… Portable radio and headphones were the best. I couldn’t buy or download songs back then… No Spotify, no Youtube, no noise…
Besides my favorite radio station.
I miss them.
I miss the times when things were easy and simple. The joys of simple, untechnologized life.
Things are different now.
My daughter will never be able to experience those times. What a shame.
Radio still exists but it’s barely surviving. Millions of people listen to the radio every day in their cars but the conscious and technology-savvy ones like me and you, are aware of the new player on the block.
We live in the “on-demand” era.
Welcome to Podcasts
If you’re not a podcast addict yet, you should be. Podcasting is the best, easiest and most efficient way to consume information.
The best part about listening to podcasts is that you consume information WHILE doing something else. Watching youtube videos and reading blog posts has become overrated and almost irrelevant. Although there is still so much value in video as well as written content, audio is becoming the top content consumption channel of the future.
People don’t have time to watch or read anymore. All that has been replaced by scrolling. You can’t be reading or watching anything and scrolling at the same time.
But you can be listening and scrolling.
That is the power of audio.
Have a question about… anything? Open up your Podcasts app (or your other favorite podcasting app) and type in your keyword in the search bar. I guarantee, there will be an episode about your subject in question.
Here are just a few examples:
Most popular podcasts are an interview-style format. Not a fan of interviews? No problem. There are narrative-style podcasts providing tips and discourses on every possible subject. Podcasts come in all shapes and forms: seasonal or continuous, short and long, heavily produced or amateur, Q&A and story-told, hosted by one person or many. Whatever is your preference, you will find your podcast match.
On average I listen to a podcast episode every two days while commuting ANYWHERE. I listen to them lying on the beach, doing dishes, cleaning the house, or doing mindless tasks. There is a special magic in eavesdropping on conversations between two people, especially when they’re talking sensitive subjects. I have gained insightful information, questioned my own beliefs about life and business, cried and laughed, and even played some episodes twice. It’s such an amazing FREEEEEEEE resource for anyone in the world and it’s growing daily. Even the little boy in Bangladesh who has access to wifi can now listen to Tim Ferris blab about the 4-hour workweek.
Podcasting is where you have a voice and you give a voice.
If you’re a woman and have lots to say about the current realities of the modern feminism era, there will never be a better time. There is so much to discuss and figure out. This is the time for the female on-demand radio streaming format to flourish. There will never be a better time to jump on board and voice your experiences and your opinions because we are all in this together.
That’s what I’ve been doing for the last 1.5 years with Girlskill Podcast and it’s been an awesome journey.
Here are the steps to starting your own podcast (based on the lessons I’ve learned from my own podcasting journey with Girlskill Podcast):
The idea for your podcast has to be unique and it has to be yours. If you copy/paste someone else’s podcast it’s going to drown in all the podcasts out there. The best thing you can do is find a niche to play in and be the main voice in that niche. Love cosplay and weird office supplies? Start a podcast about that. Love the outdoors and the new tech toys in the video game industry? This is your niche. You have to be pretty obsessed with your niche subject and be able to talk about it for hours and hours with strangers.
I happened to be obsessed with the idea of femininity, womanhood, and feminine/masculine polarity. I am constantly asking myself questions about it (even 5 years in), I am still taking courses and reading books on the subject, I am still discussing it with girlfriends constantly and I have also transformed my life through these ideas.
I also saw this trend and obsession with success and how many women want to get there… But what is success, especially for a woman? In the past, success was marrying well and giving birth to children. Today, it’s a completely different thing. Does family still play a role in a woman’s life and what is its importance? How do we balance our careers and families? Do we have to be “men” in order to play a bigger game? Does a successful career or a business equal success for a woman? How do menstrual cycles and moon phases fall into this?
I always had more questions than answers. And this is when I knew that I will be interested in exploring this subject for a long time. Maybe forever.
So that’s how I decided to start and host a podcast talking about femininity and success.
I’m an interviewer. I’m interested in people. Having an interview-style podcast is easier because you don’t have to come up with your own subjects all the time. That seemed exhausting to me, although with time I started releasing solo shows as well.
But don’t be fooled by an interview-style podcast. It’s not as easy as it seems. I prepare for about 2–3 hours for every interview. First, I do all the necessary research about my guest: I listen to any interviews they’ve done before, read their bios and other blogs posts they’ve written. I check their social media profiles, I see what others have written about them. I try to dig out an interesting story, experience or a controversial viewpoint that we could discuss. Most of the time, I interview women about their journeys, their version of success and their views on femininity and womanhood. Why did they do what they did? How did that go? What were the challenges and the wins? What do they think femininity is? How have they stepped on the journey of womanhood?
My goal is to become the female version of either Tim Ferriss or Jordan Peterson — whichever comes first ;-)
Decide on the format that works for you and that makes you excited to create. At the moment I’m in love with audio documentaries and seasons. I’ve experimented with my own pregnancy audio documentary. If you can open a loop in your episodes that needs to be closed in the next episodes, you’ve hit a jackpot. Serial did it really well.
Ok so now I know that I will interview women about their journeys, femininity, and success. But what am I going to ask them? How? When?
I knew I need to ask these two questions:
- What is femininity for you?
- Do you consider yourself successful?
Next, I wanted to have a really cool intro section where it’s not just “Hello, Jane, tell us about yourself…” I didn’t want a boring podcast. I wanted the audience to be “pulled” right in. I am an avid podcast listener myself and I have gathered ideas from other podcasts. And you should definitely do it too! Steal stuff you like from others but do it in a classy way. Read this book if you have resistance towards copy/pasting stuff.
I decided to have a “blitz questions” segment in the beginning (before the guest introduces themselves) where they answer silly questions like:
Name one thing you can’t live without?Best gift you’ve ever received?Best gift you’ve ever given?What’s the hardest part about being a woman?What’s the best thing about being a woman?If you had a tattoo, where would it be?And so on.
I also stole some of the questions from the “73 Questions” Vogue series. You can do the same. Go ahead — steal from me ;-)
This segment is great because it does two things:
- It’s funny and draws the listener in. It’s never the same and it’s entertaining.
- It puts the guest into a cool perspective where we get to know them through these questions first and not through their official bio.
I also liked the “beginner’s cut” of many podcasts episodes. I think I came up with this term.
A “beginner’s cut” is the first 30–60 seconds of the interview that plays a powerful quote from the episode that draws the listener in. I love this part.
After the beginner’s cut, I include my official intro with a personal announcement then I proceed to tell the audience about the guest.
We go into the interview where we begin with blitz questions, then I ask them the two questions about femininity and success.
Then we go into their journey. Here we go into freestyle mode. I asked them questions about their life and experience based on my research as well as their answers to my questions.
I wanted this podcast to be inspirational, entertaining and practical at the same time. So far it’s been inspirational and entertaining (hopefully) but how do we make it practical?
Again, I’ve heard hosts ask for specific book recommendations from their guests. I really liked this idea. Why stop at books, though? Wouldn’t it be amazing to get top recommendations of books, apps, podcast, and people to follow from every woman I interview? OMG YES!!!
So that’s what I did.
After the interview is done, I record the outros and voila! Another Girlskill episode is done!
Here is the 9-step format for all Girlskill Episodes:1. Beginner’s cut (powerful quote)
2. Branded Intro
3. Anna Rova’s intro
4. Interview: Blitz questions
5. Interview: Femininity & success question
6. Interview: Journey
7. Interview end: Tools & resources
8. Anna Rova Outro
9. Branded Outro
Oh yes, at this point I’ve got two sponsors on board — one in pre-roll and one in mid-roll which basically means that you’ll hear a 2-minute ad in the beginning and int he middle of every interview for the next 2 months.
In the beginning, I have outsourced the audio branding and editing process as well as guest research and show notes. These two parts have cost $1,000 monthly for Girlskill production and have been by far the biggest cost to the business.
Before I gave birth to my daughter in December 2018, I was preparing to take maternity leave and I started doing the show notes and guest research by myself. It’s so much easier. I neither have to manage anyone nor pay them :)
I believe that if you’re just starting out, you have to do it all by yourself unless you have the money to invest in editing and production. My partner and I did have the money and I did have the experience in podcast production. In my first podcast, ManInside Show, I have researched, produced and released more than 43 podcast episodes by myself.
So starting Girlskill was a no-brainer. I knew exactly what I wanted and how things should be done. I wasn’t a newbie in the podcasting world and that has made all the difference in the world. It was easy to communicate with editors and the content writers because I have done it myself before. So my advice would be to outsource activities that don’t require you as soon as possible so you can focus on bigger things and building your business. But also make sure you’ve done that yourself a few times before so that you understand the ins and outs and can guide and manage that process well.
Here is how my editorial process looks like right now: 1. Guest interview booked in
2. Guest researched
3. Interview recorded.
4. Intro and outro recorded
5. Writing the shownotes (website & show notes copy, beginner cuts, episode titles, social media descriptions, Tools & Resources notes and links)
6. Show notes & audio recordings passed to editors with instructions
7. Editors submit final audios & adjust if there are any changes
8. Podcast covers created
9. Episode gets uploaded and published on website
10. Promotion of episode on social media and email list
The whole production process takes 4–8 weeks depending on the date of the recording. I have pulled off an episode in three weeks and sometimes guests have to wait eight weeks before the episode is released.
The ideation process is the most important process. The editorial process is easy once you have set it up. It’s almost automated now. I am having a lot of fun with it and it has become quite easy after episode 30.
So there you have it.
What are you waiting for? Go create your own podcast and let me know if you have any questions.
Ready to Upgrade?
I’ve created a free video training on “The Lie of Female Success” and what you can do today to get out of the modern female epidemic. If you follow these steps, your life and your relationships will change very quickly.