This is not as strange as it sounds!
I hear a lot of podcasts about podcasting saying how easy it is to podcast. I also hear from the very same shows that podcasting is hard, damned hard.
Let’s unpack this for there is, strangely, truth in both statements.
At it’s simplest, podcasting is a straight forward process, easy even.
Record an audio file, edit (maybe), post production polish (maybe), upload to your host and listen. A 5 step, sometimes 3 step, process. All this assumes your RSS feed is registered with Apple Podcasts but even that’s a relatively easy process.
So “Yes!”, podcasting is easy.
It becomes hard for a few of reasons. We overcomplicate what we’re doing, we discover that the same things have to be done on a weekly basis and/or we run out of ideas.
Over complicating things is easy to do. More gear, more complex setups, a growing collection of “boys toys” and suddenly then number of things that can go wrong and therefore will go wrong, increases exponentially with each new piece of gear in the setup.
For my first thirty episodes, I recorded into an app on my iPhone. This app also allowed me to do simple cut edits to remove coughs, umms, mixed up words and excessive silences. It’s is possible to podcast like this forever. I recently knocked up an episode while travelling using this system and it worked well.
The next reason podcasting can become hard is the over accumulation of gear. A huge amount of material on the net covering recording gear is written with musicians in mind. As a voice based medium do we really need a mixer or a $1000 super sensitive mic and a nearly completely sound proofed studio? I would suggest not. As we publish in .mp3 format we just need to avoid glaring errors in production. As I said, the more gear, the more trouble, the more time we need to set up for each episode and the more checking we need to do.
I have a blog post scheduled on my setup to give you an idea of is possible with a minimal setup.
The last reason podcasting become hard is when we realise we have to set aside the same amount of time each week (assuming a weekly podcast) forever. You can get around this by publishing in seasons. Otherwise it’s a permanent commitment.
Combine this with a need for ideas for each episode and, well, yes, things can become hard. You don’t actually need to podcast forever and can close down the show whenever you want but if you’re going to this for at least 100 episodes, you’re going to need to find ideas.
I find when the process is getting “hard” I go back to first principles and remember: (r)ecord, (e)dit, (p)olish and (p)ublish. Or to put it another way: Just Do the REPPs!