In 2007, Jennifer Navarrete launched the first National Podcast Post Month (also known as NaPodPoMo), an audio version of 30-day challenges such as National Novel Writing Month.
The goal is for participants to podcast daily for 30 days.
That's it. You can use any podcasting platform to host your podcast and any method to record it.
My NaPodPoMo Experience
In 2017, I used NaPodPoMo as a "podcasting bootcamp" to help me get better at solo podcasting. I was already an experienced radio host and podcaster, but wanted to improve my ability of delivering a clear message using only bullet points, without the luxury of editing.
My podcast, RED Podcast, was already established. Its existing audience was used to a specific format and style that I knew I wouldn't be able to deliver on a daily basis. I also wasn't sure how this "experiment" would turn out and if I wanted anybody to hear it.
I decided to start an entirely new podcast. And on November 14, two weeks after NaPodPoMo had officially started, I used my iPhone to record the first episode of a marketing podcast specifically for podcasters called Big Podcast Daily.
A Very Rough Podcast
My main goal was to do what I needed to record daily. I needed to find a topic, outline a quick episode in a way that would make sense to somebody listening, record the episode directly from that outline, and publish it.
Being "helpful" to listeners was secondary. My priority was using Big Podcast Daily to develop skills I could use to make my already-established podcast helpful.
I wasn't worried about production or polish. Still, recording directly into an iPhone results in podcast episodes that are a bit rough and I found that frustrating. Within a couple of weeks, I was back in my studio to record and editing everything before it went out. I was also thinking about what it would take for me to keep up a daily podcast.
That's how podcasting works. We start where we are, without all the details of what we're getting into. We learn about "how things really work" as we go. And as we learn these things, we make changes to our initial plans.
We change formats. We change topics. We change frequency of release.
The podcast you start is never the one you end up with. To me, this is one of the best parts of NaPodPoMo. By releasing so many episodes in such a short period of time, you figure out what works (and what doesn't work) a lot quicker than you would with a more traditional release schedule.
10 Reasons Why I Recommend NaPodPoMo To All Podcasters
- It has a beginning. - "Starting" is often the hardest part of podcasting and is easy to put off. Each year, NaPodPoMo starts, with or without you, on November 1.
While you can certainly start a "30-day challenge" any day of the year, or be like me, and join NaPodPoMo late, but knowing others are starting their daily podcasts on November 1 is a powerful motivator for you to take action.
- It has an ending. - Daily podcasting can feel like a big commitment. Knowing that you're only committing for 30 days can make jumping in easier.
- There's little pressure to make something perfect. - The point of NaPodPoMo and similar 30-day challenges is to try new things and you'll participate alongside people also trying new things. These challenges are experiments, not rehearsals for a perfect performance.
- You can experiment with little consequence. - People don't expect experiments to be perfect and won't hold you to the same standards they would for a traditionally-launched podcast.
- It forces you to plan and outline episodes. - Great podcasting isn't just hosting, it's everything that comes before and after your time recording. You have to come up with a topic, research and outline content, and effectively distribute your message. NaPodPoMo will force you to do all of these things on a daily basis.
- It forces you to get in the studio. - To be a great podcast host, you've got to know how to effectively deliver your message regardless of the non-podcasting things going on in your life. If you've got a daily podcast, you can't put off releasing a new episode "until tomorrow," because tomorrow has its own episode to release.
NaPodPoMo will force you to record episodes during times when you'd normally put things off, such as when you're tired or just not feeling like stepping into the studio. When you push your limits like this, you'll see what's possible for you to actually do.
- You're not alone. - One of the biggest reasons most podcasters give up podcasting is because they're lonely. While podcasting can seem glamorous from the outside, the reality is that coming up with episode topics, research, outlining, recording, and editing episodes is often times a solo pursuit.
NaPodPoMo has a built-in community that will make you feel like you've got the support of a team, even when your podcast is just you.
- You'll figure out what works (or what doesn't work). - If you do like I did and start a new podcast from scratch, especially if you don't have an existing audience or keep things to yourself, it's doubtful anybody will actually find your podcast or listen to it. Because of this, you have a lot of freedom when it comes to what you talk about or how you talk about it. You can figure out what works (and what doesn't) without worrying people will see your messy "first draft."
- You can make it your own. - The podcast episodes you create can be as short or as long as you want, they can be about any topic you wish, and they can be as polished or raw as you feel like making them. The only rule of NaPodPoMo is that you do 30 podcast episodes in 30 days and that's not even a rule, it's more of a suggestion.
Want content and format suggestions for your daily podcast? Read How To Start A Daily Podcast.
- Even if mess things up, you'll still benefit. - Podcasting is art. You can make a mess and find out what doesn't work, but you won't mess things up. And what's far more likely with NaPodPoMo, almost guaranteed, is that you'll become a better podcast host and it will get you where you want to go.
My NaPodPoMo Results
This site, my podcast marketing company, and my podcast on podcasting, Build A Big Podcast, which is what Big Podcast Daily became, are all a direct result of my NaPodPoMo participation.
Want To Start Your Podcast?
If you want to kickstart your podcasting skills by releasing daily episodes, take a look at my article on How To Start A Daily Podcast, which has more thoughts on the tools you need to make it happen as well as ideas for coming up with an episode format you'll be able to do every day.
You'll also find the following podcasts helpful: