128: How to Start an Academic Podcast

128: How to Start an Academic Podcast

In this solo episode, Dra. Yvette shares essential information you need if you’re thinking about starting an academic podcast. She covers the topics of coming up with an idea, thinking about the structure, identifying tech, considering recording and hosting options, creating cover art, coming up with a title, and more!

 

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Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Hola Hola. Welcome back to the Grad School Femtoring podcast. This is Doctora Yvette. And today I have a short solo episode all about how to start an academic podcasts. As you may know, if you are a loyal listener, I like to record on topics that come up. So if there is a need if there is an interest, and if I have any knowledge or, or experience on that topic, I will talk about it. Why? Because I believe in accessibility of information, knowledge skills, and ultimately, I want to empower my listeners.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

And something that has come up recently with a few folks who have reached out is they've asked me about how to start a podcast like they have their own interest in starting a podcast and they want to learn how to get started. And this is actually a topic that I'm going to be covering in a separate workshop. And so I'll talk about some information here. But in the workshop, I will be going more into detail. I'll have slides, handouts, and I'll even share my screen to show you how I do what I do. But for the purpose of this short episode, I'll tell you exactly what you need to know if you wanted to get started with starting a or if you want to create a podcast now. If you've had this idea that there's something that you want to say, there's a message that you want to share with the world, you want to pinpoint what that idea is.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

So before you even get started, you want to have an idea. And you know, the sky's the limit in terms of what you can talk about. But I always recommend that you go with a topic that, you know you can talk about endlessly. I kind of just stumbled into this concept of Grad School Femtoring. It was actually not super intentional. When I got started, it was more of as just trying to play around and look for for new types of apps or software that we could use for another podcast that I am part of called Chicana. Motherwork. And in doing so I kept thinking, well, if I did my own solo episode, what would it be on? What is everybody asked me about? And of course, at the time, my full time job was all about preparing low income first gen underrepresented students for doctoral programs. I'm like, okay, obviously be among grad school. What do I do? I'm a mentor a mentor to them. So I called it Grad School Femtoring. Because that was the thing that I could talk about endlessly. And then a lot of people were constantly approaching me for just asking me a bunch of questions related to grad school.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Now, so you have an idea. After that, you want to think about the structure of your podcast. So is it going to be more conversational? Or are you going to have to prepare scripts? Is it going to be solo episodes? Or are you going to want to include guests? Are you going to be speaking off the cuff and focusing more on your experiences? Or are you actually going to be doing research and bringing in some information from external sources? You want to think about that if it's an academic podcast, and you want to bring up information, you could always one thing that I recommend is, sometimes you can, there's so much that you learn from your own research, if you are an undergraduate or graduate student pursuing your own research project that in and of itself could be a podcast. And so if that's the case, and you know, it's going to be more of an academic topic, then yeah, you might want to understand that you're going to need to be doing some research beforehand. If you're going to be having guests, you need to understand that you're going to need to have a system for reaching out to them in advance so that you have enough guests so that you can release episodes on a regular or consistent basis.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Another thing that comes up for podcasters is learning about tech and software. So with tech, a lot of us at some point will invest in a mic it actually took me two years for me to invest in a mic. The first year and a half or two of my podcasts, everything I recorded either on my laptop or on my phone, so you technically don't need a lot of high tech to have a podcast and the one thing I do recommend because I learned this the hard way is to always have headphones and I didn't always you'd use headphones and then sometimes I use headphones that were more ear buds style where it would take what is it like the audio, pick up the audio from the chord. And so all of a sudden, when the chord would move, you would hear that and it would sound staticky. I learned the lesson the hard way. And you may have noticed it in a couple of episodes. But now I know better. Now I don't use those headphones. And I use the mic. And hopefully that helps to offset any of the background noises. So if you're not going to be investing in a mic or other tech, or if you just don't have the financial capacity to do so don't let that get in the way of you doing it, you can definitely do it with just your cell phone or just your laptop, and any headphones that you have on hand.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

The next question that I get a lot is okay, so how do I actually do it? Like how do I record? How do I put it up on Apple podcasts and Spotify, etc? Well, you'll want to figure out what podcasting software or app you're going to be using. I use anchor, why did I start using anchor? Well, let me tell you a little bit about the backstory of my experience with podcasting. The first time I started podcasting was through the channel motherwort podcasts. This was, Oh, my goodness, how long ago was this? Maybe 2016-ish. And we would physically have to show up to a studio in East LA. And then we had the folks there who volunteered their time to help us out. Let us borrow their equipment. They had a full... I don't even know what those things are called, because I'm not, as you can tell, I'm not like an expert on the tech. But they had a soundboard and they had mics and we all were you know, we got to borrow their their fancy headphones. And at the end of it, they did the work for us in terms of producing and releasing. So we just showed up, press a couple buttons that they told us to press record it and that was it. Then after a while because we were all in different locations, we started to use Zoom and recording on Zoom and then from Zoom taking the audio, editing it on GarageBand. From GarageBand then we would upload it through SoundCloud, yes, I think it was SoundCloud. And then SoundCloud would then disperse it to the different podcasting networks. And that's what we did. But I actually never did the tech. I didn't produce I didn't do the editing, that was another member of our collective shout out to Judy, thank you so much. I don't know how you do it, or how you did it. But you are. Oh my gosh, you're amazing for doing that for us. But again, I didn't have those technical skills. And I also just didn't have the, I guess patience to learn how to use GarageBand and SoundCloud.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

So when I learned about Anchor, which is why I have the ad on my podcast, because I actually use it. Well I thought, okay? Is this too good to be true? It has everything all in one place. So it's a place for you to record, but that is also a host, so it saves all of your audio anchor also includes any sounds like transitional sounds, Intro music, outro music and even gives you templates. And what's it called, like different images that you could use for your cover art. And then they give you the step by step instructions for how to add your podcast on like I said, the different podcasting network. So if you want it on Apple podcasts, you wouldn't want it on Spotify. If you want it on poodles, what the other ones are, those are the two that I can think of off the top of my head. They give you instructions for how to do that, how to load your feed onto the other networks. And so you you get to decide do you want to use something like Zencaster some folks use Zencaster to record some people will use Zoom, some people will just record straight on to anchor if you want to know about what I do I actually record on Zoom and then from Zoom, I load the audio onto Anchor and then I load the video, my Friday episodes also come with a video, I load that onto YouTube.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

But you could keep it easy you could try Anchor you could find I'm sure there might be other sites and apps out there similar to Anchor nowadays. This was just what I found two years ago that I continue to use because if it simplifies my life, I'm gonna keep using it if it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? So recording just think about that, what platform, what app, what software are you going to be using for that? And that's the same thing goes with hosting? Where are you going to be saving your audio? Because remember, if you're recording a bunch of audio, or if you're including video, too, then that's going to take up a lot of space on your computer, if you're saving it on your computer. And so you want to decide are you going to put it up on, you know, software like Zencaster or Anchor, so that you don't have to take up all that precious space on your computer? Are you going to have an external hard drive? Are you going to put it up on an iCloud? Are you gonna do you have extra space on Google Drive to save your audio there?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

What do I do? I save it on Anchor. And so after it's been officially published on Anchor, I don't keep my audio or my videos, once they go up on YouTube. I don't keep them because I to be frank don't have a need for them. And I don't like taking up again, precious space on my computer. So I may keep them for a couple of weeks. But after, you know, I don't have I don't save any more than five to 10 sets of audio at a time because I just don't want to be taking up too much space on my computer. But that's a completely personal decision. Some folks want to have a backup of backup. And if you're like that, and it makes you feel better to have a backup. Go ahead and do that.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Alright, another thing to consider if you're starting a podcast is in order to get all your stuff loaded onto Apple Podcasts, which is you know, the dominant platform where people listen to, to podcasting, you're going to need a logo, and you're going to need a square shaped kind of cover art logo. And for that, you know, when I first started out, I just it was just a generic logo that I pulled from Anchor. But then as I got more experience, I learned how to use Canva. If you haven't used Canva, and you're interested in podcasting, and blogging, and content creation and entrepreneurship, or in general are a very creative person, I highly recommend it. It's just so easy to use. It's very, very user friendly. And so with Canva, the sky's the limit in terms of creating your logo, if anything, you might have too much fun and spend too much time and have too many options and not know what to choose. And so my cover art is made easily, very simply with Canva. And you're probably wondering what dimensions that's stuff that that you can look up. And Anchor will also tell you what dimensions the cover art needs to be. You can google Apple Podcasts cover art dimensions, the size will show up. And then on Canva. You can resize any image any art that you create to the exact dimensions that you need, again, making it super easy.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Another important thing once you have an idea, once you have a system and method for how you're going to be recording, and uploading and publishing the podcast, you need to title your podcast like what is the title, what is the thing that you're doing? And you want it to be catchy? So some folks have really long titles. Some folks have short titles, I went with three words, I don't know three, three is my favorite number three is easy for me to remember, whenever I try to make certain points, I try to stick to the rule of three here three reasons why, XYZ. And so if you're creating your your title, maybe ask around get some of your friends and family members or anybody who may be interested in the topic that you're going to be recording on it, get their input on your title and see what they think. See if it's catchy, see if it's relevant, see if it actually directly tells you what the podcast is about. Because that's one of my pet peeves when I listen to podcasts. And I go and I realize wow, like I would never know that they're talking about this based on this podcast, then I know maybe they need to, they need to do some rebranding and change the title of their podcast, but don't overthink it either. Again, if you can't choose a title, and that's the reason that's holding you back go with go with the first thing that comes to mind like me, grad school Femtoring was the first thing that came to mine. I didn't think twice about it. And then if all else fails in the future, you can always rebrand. You can always change your podcast title, you can always change your cover. I've changed my cover. I don't know, probably at least three times now. So you might if you look it up Google Grad School Femtoring You'll find some of the older images and that's okay, it's okay to do that.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

Other things to consider that maybe you weren't considering when thinking about podcasting is, you'll want to decide how often you're going to be recording because consistency is really important. You know, with some of my other podcasts, I haven't always been able to be consistent and it can be hard, are you going to have a co host, that's another thing that can kind of affect how often you release an episode. Because if you've got another co host or multiple co hosts, then you've got to account for different people's schedules. And so are you going to be releasing a podcast episode once a month, once every two weeks, once a week, twice a week, I recommend going with something a little bit more manageable at first, like maybe once every other week, or even once a week, once a month is hard, because it can be hard to grow an audience if they're having to wait an entire month to listen to another episode. I'll be honest about that. And then the more often you put out episodes, the more listens you get. And so I try to release two episodes. But I know if things get really really hectic for me in my life, I can always drop it down to every week or even every other week.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

When I was on my maternity leave, I remember, I pre recorded episodes and had them releasing every other week. And those of you that have been my loyal listeners since back then. Thank you, thank you, thank you, because I did not lose my audience. During that time, I was really worried what if I take a step back and don't record and just have pre recorded episodes, it's okay to do that. So now I know if I need to take time off, I can pre record I can slow down the number of episodes that I release or the frequency of episodes that I release. And it'll be okay. Just so long as you are consistent. That's all that matters.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

And then I think one last thing I want to say about this topic has to do with seasons or no seasons. Are you going to be recording in Season 1, 2, 3, 4 and have sub themes within each season? Or is it going to be an ongoing podcast where there is no season 1, 2, 3, 4 and breaks in between? What works better for you some folks like that seasonality, they like to have some time to take a break or some time to batch record and have themes. And some folks would rather just keep that consistency. And if they need to take time off, they pre record in advance or they release an older episode. And that's okay, too. So it's just what works best for you. For me, seasons didn't quite work for Grad School Femtoring Because I wanted to maintain that consistency. And again, I know if all else fails, I don't have to publish as many episodes as often and or I can release older episodes because I have over 100 And what is it nearly 130 episodes now. So 130 episodes, I don't think you've listened to all 130 of them. So it's okay if I release an older one. But really, it's just a personal preference. So decide what works best for me right now.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

I have another podcast too. By the way, I've got Mixed Fam Abroad all about my experiences living here in Portugal with my mixed and neurodiverse family. And for that while we are doing seasons, because you know what? It's exhausting. And we decided we wanted to take a break as a family, and that we wanted to live a little bit more, you know, here before we share even more about our time abroad. So yeah, in that situation, in that circumstance, it was better to have seasons. Whereas for this, because I know I have loyal listeners, because this is part of what I do for a living. It makes complete sense for me to consistently put out episodes every single week without necessarily having, you know, a visual break, maybe it's a break for me and that it's a re record. It's a record releasing an older recording, or in that I am releasing them once every other week or only once a week instead of twice a week. But you get what I mean, figure out what works best for you.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

So that's what I wanted to share just off the top of my head some of the things that you might need to get started with your own podcast. I actually have some of my own former students who have started their own podcasts. They have approached me for input for advice. And I still say I'm really proud of you for doing that or putting yourself out there. And for those of you that who have been thinking about it, consider this your sign. I am granting you permission to do it. If it's something that you really want to do. Come up with the idea. Think about what kind of tech you might want to use. How are you going to record it? Where are you going to host all of your have audio? What kind of logo Do you want to create? What's going to be the title of your podcast? How often are you going to record? And will you be recording in seasons? Okay, that's my short episode for this week. I hope you found that helpful.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu

And also, if you're listening, please, please, please check out my workshops, they're going to be in my show notes. This Saturday is my first workshop on making money movidas that's all about financial literacy and budgeting to teach you how to meet your goals and spend in value aligned way. So check it out. I'm going to have other workshops, another one on organizing. So all about basically getting your stuff together, setting up systems, setting up standard operating procedures. And then I'm also going to have a workshop all about podcasting one on one. So how to start and how to grow podcast so I'll go into even more detail. So I'm not just going to share what I share today, but I'll share it even more because this is just I pulled up what I could think of, but for that I'll have slides I have handouts I'll have how to videos to help you even further. Okay, so check that out if you're interested and if not, I will talk to you all later.

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