As I began my second year of veterinary school, and meanwhile podcasts were becoming quite popular, I realized there were no podcasts available that focused on life in veterinary school. I had an unorthodox journey to vet school, one that actually involved a bit of work in radio (internet radio, albeit radio), so I felt this odd desire to take on the challenge of starting a podcast of my own all about veterinary school. The podcast is now in its second year and has exceeded all my expectations, garnering over 5,000 downloads per month. It’s called Vet School Unleashed: Dissecting the DVM. I encourage you to check it out when you can.
But this blog post is not specifically about my journey into podcasting. I want to share with you the relatively easy process it is to set up a podcast of your own. I think podcasting is a great way to share information, stories, and build something of your own. I think of it as a form of blogging, just using your voice rather than written word. Here’s a step-by-step process of how I went about setting up my podcast and I hope it gives you some good information if you ever want to take on such an endeavor.
Step 1: Write Out A Plan
This was probably the hardest part of the process for me. It requires you to put ideas to paper and format a plan on how you want your podcast to be presented, how it feels to the listener, and how you plan to spread the word about it, aka marketing. I started by simply jotting down topic ideas, how often I wanted to post, etc. This also involves creating a name for the podcast. Don’t be afraid to survey everyone you know to get you started with this planning. My friends and family were probably sick of hearing about this project by the time it got off the ground.
Step 2: Find a Podcast Hosting Service
Simply put, this is a service that houses your audio files and distributes the audio to the different podcast platforms like Apple Podcasts/iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, etc. These services do require a fee, but it’s pretty cheap (around $10-15 per month). You can also find free hosting services, but be wary that they may not distribute to as many platforms or may not come with analytics (which is how you track your listenership).
Step 3: Record!
It can be as easy as using a computer and your ear buds. And it can be as complicated as buying a whole recording rig. Here’s my in-your-face opinion. If you’re going to put something out there, make it quality. One of my inspirations for starting my podcast was to create a veterinary podcast that sounded great. At the time, the veterinary-related podcasts sounded like dog poop. And this is probably because it was recorded with Apple Earbuds. For as little as $80, you can purchase a USB microphone that plugs right into your computer and sounds pretty darn decent. Do your research and set a budget. There are many ways to get good audio quality, but it will come with a price. In terms of software, I use GarageBand on my Mac (free!) which allows me to edit, improve sound quality, and add effects. Another option out there, also free, is a program called Audacity. But if you’re doing this on the cheap, you can always record using the voice recorder app on your phone, tablet, computer, wherever. Just remember…quality!
Step 4: Create a Website and Facebook Page (optional)
If you want to go the whole nine yards you can create a cool website using sites like WordPress. This, too, comes with a cost because you will need a web address/domain (super cheap, by the way) and a website host, too (a service that houses your website, not as cheap as the domain). I used WordPress to create my site and host and used GoDaddy to purchase my domain. If creating a website in not in the cards, at the very least create a Facebook page.
Step 4: Have Fun
If all else, make sure you’re having fun with it. Podcasting, for me, is an outlet from the grind of vet school. Yes, it is vet school-related, but it’s fun for me and allows me to connect with tons of vet students and veterinarians. Did someone say ‘networking?’
If you’re at all interested, I encourage you to check out the possibilities entailed with podcasting. I’ve really enjoyed creating content and have been pleasantly surprised with the impact it’s had on people. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out to me on social media (info in my bio). And please check out my podcast wherever you listen to podcasts or at www.vetschoolunleashed.com!