written by
David Hooper

30 Podcasts in 30 Days – What's It Like?

Podcaster Spotlight Podcast Production 6 min read

If you want to improve your podcasting skills, whether hosting or production, one of the quickest ways to do is via a 30-day podcasting challenge, such as NaPodPoMo.

I asked three podcasters, Dave Jackson of School Of Podcasting, Kyle Bondo of Gagglepod Studios, and Hal in Philly of Tales Of The Road Warriors about their experiences with NaPodPoMo.

NaPodPoMo Experiences

Dave Jackson – School Of Podcasting

What was the biggest benefit you've seen so far?

For me, I can look back and say, "I thought I'd wouldn't be able to do NaPodPoMo, but I did..." I also think I have a stronger connection with my audience. I got more feedback than I have in previous months (although I also more than many, many, many more episodes). 

What was your biggest struggle?

I'm used to producing content, and let it "simmer of the stove" to make sure I'm hitting all the angles. With this experiment, I was just immediately getting new episodes out.  I had a few episodes that were published at 11:55 pm getting in right under the gun.

I struggled with people enjoying a podcast that took 15 minutes to create. Because it didn't go through my usual process, I deemed it in my as "not as good." I didn't realize that by saying "Oh this isn't as good" I was accidentally insulting the people who were enjoying the show. 

What you'd do differently if you were to do it again?

I would record a LOT more in the beginning. I started with four finished episodes. I don't believe I will record as I go again. It was a lot of work. 

Advice for somebody thinking about NaPodPoMo or a similar 30-in-30 podcast challenge.

If you start to get super burnt out and are thinking of not only stopping NaPodPoMo, but dropping podcasting all together - stop. This is a bootcamp. Daily shows are very, very, hard. If you plan on doing a weekly show, quit, and take a deep breath. You got a taste of podcasting, and you understand your equipment and how to publish. Now take that experience and put it into a show that is sustainable. 

Kyle Bondo – PAUSE For Dramatic Effect

What was the biggest benefit you've seen so far?

My biggest benefit is that I finally did something I've been thinking about doing for 2 years: Create an audio drama! By forcing myself to do it AND limiting it to a 10-minutes or fewer episode length, it stayed "mostly" manageable.

What was your biggest struggle?

My biggest struggle was planning. I had outlines and ideas but once I had audio – LOTS of audio – the editing process with sound effects was brutal. Every minute of audio was 7 to 10 minutes of editing. Just brutal especially with two holidays in the month of November.

What you'd do differently if you were to do it again?

The editing and discovery of new and interesting things (e.g. Oh! I didn't know I could do that by making my garage door sound like a cargo plane door opening) created a backlog that caused me to just say "nope, maybe tomorrow."

I would plan differently if I did it again. I recruited voice actors (my friends and family) at the last minute, changed my direction in the middle, and had voice actors send their parts too late to use them the way I wanted to. I would recruit early, write ALL the scripts before November 1st, and know what music and sound effects I wanted to use. So more planning... WAY more planning!

Advice for somebody thinking about NaPodPoMo or a similar 30-in-30 podcast challenge.

My advice to future NaPodPoMo participants is this: doing this event forces you to learn fast! It is a rough go for about ALL OF IT. And it's VERY possible you will not finish. However, the ROI or value is 10x of what you would get from fence-sitting or only tipping your toe in with an episode or two in only a month.

LIVE is an awesome teacher. DEADLINE is the next best thing! Immerse yourself into this medium and you will be so much better at the end of it. Maybe even better than people who only do it once a week. PLUS, you'll have 30 experiments to learn from in your NaPodPoMo Lab that you can build on, throw away or relaunch with a new battle-tested purpose. I know the next audio drama that I'm ALREADY working on because of this experience will be EPIC!

Hal in Philly – Easy When You Know Hal

Though I didn’t finish NaPodPoMo, I DID complete over half the number of episodes required for a total of 17. Under the circumstances, I'm still very proud of having given it a very concerted effort.

If I were to do it again, I’d put in some advance preparations and have a few scheduled and ready to go. Since I already have a podcast, I probably should have given more consideration to how much time I would need to devote to this, before taking on another podcast - let alone an episode per day for the entire month of November.

I thought that if I only created short episodes, I could get them done quickly and move on to working on my main podcast. I didn’t consider the possibility that I might fall in love with the new podcast and how much time I would have to devote to coming up with all-new content every day. So, if I were to do it again, I would probably have just used NaPodPoMo to create additional bonus episodes for my existing podcast.

If you’re considering doing NaPodPoMo next year, one thing that I'd advise you NOT to do is to spend too much time on anything other than the podcast itself. One of my major setbacks was taking time to create a new website complete with transcripts of all the new episodes. On one hand, I’m glad I did, because I ended up with a second podcast that I think will develop into a darned good show. On the other hand, I could have slapped those shows together a lot faster if I'd just hit record and uploaded whatever I ended up with. After thirty days, I still would have improved and could have built the website later. So, if you set your sites on completing a podcast episode a day for thirty days, you need to set your priorities.

If it’s important to you to complete all thirty episodes with the least amount of risk, use NaPodPoMo to add episodes to your already existing podcast. This way, not only will you cross the finish line with thirty completed episodes, you’re likely to have some extra content you can use as bonus episodes if you decide to start a Patreon account.

If you are just now considering becoming a podcaster by way of NaPodPoMo it’s this: Jump right in. Don’t overthink it. You don’t haven’t let anyone know you’re doing it, so give it a shot.

You're Next

Thinking about doing 30 podcast episodes in 30 days? You'll find these links helpful:

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