►Tell us about you and your podcast
My name is Melissa Cummins and I am the host of The Haunted Ride: A Paranormal Podcast dedicated to people's paranormal experiences. I know how it feels to be called crazy, to even think you may be crazy. The haunted house I was raised in for the majority of my life took a huge toll on me, and it's especially harder when you have no one to talk to about it. This podcast aims to be that for people.
My listeners are people who enjoy paranormal stories. Thoses who watch The Haunted on television or enjoy the Destination America channel late at night. Those who have watched the Exorcist and although terrified by it, they were intrigued. My listeners are also those who enjoy spirituality or who have had a paranormal experience and feel better knowing someone out there has gone through what they have.
►Why & how did you start this podcast?
I started listening to podcasts a little over a year ago and when I found out there were paranormal podcasts I became engrossed in them. I listened to people thank the hosts over and over again for being a place for them to feel welcomed and validated, and I knew I wanted to give that to people too.
My initial goals for this podcast were to get people's stories on the air and offer them advice. As an icebreaker, I decided to share some of my own stories to let people know that I had experienced some of the things they did, that I was a credible source. It's stuck. Now I tell my stories, get a few stories from others, I offer spirituality advice, cover different topics, even mythology and I offer true crime episodes on my Patreon.
I started my podcast in October 2018. It took a solid month to convince myself I could do it and that I might be able to offer something to an audience. Then I made artwork and created the site.
►How'd you find the time and funding to do this podcast?
I work a full-time job, but other than that I'm a hermit, so my weekends are typically open. I always record then and perform any necessary edits the day before an episode posts. Typically recording time is between thirty to fifty minutes, which means production time is between an hour to three hours.
Not including time and labor, marketing, and SEO, I spend around twenty dollars for hosting and I fund this podcast myself.
►What do you gain from podcasting?
I would greatly appreciate sponsorship for my podcast as I currently do not have any.
Currently, my podcast gets 600 downloads per month which I am extremely lucky and grateful for.
This podcast, while created to help others feel welcomed, validated, and as if they have a place where they will not be judged, has allowed me to feel the same way. It's given me a sense of liberation regarding my experiences. I have been able to create a community with this podcast.
►How does your podcasting process look like?
Currently I use Adobe Audition for all audio editing. I managed to find a Yeti microphone years ago on Ebay and I've added a windscreen in order to record the podcast.
Any guests that have been on the show have come from correspondence on Twitter.
I prepare for each episode by writing down a brief outline with points to make sure I cover on the episode. I also write out short notes for each experience I plan to detail on the episode. If it is an episode that requires research I make an outline with different details and can spend hours researching until I feel satisfied with the amount of content I have on the topic.
I interview guests using UberConference.
►How do you market your show?
My listeners have found the show either directly through SEO, or social media. Twitter has been a large resource and it is also where I am most active. I receive 34% of my downloads from Spotify, 16% from Itunes, 2% from Stitcher, and 48% from other sources/players, direct listens from my website, etc.
►What advice would you share with aspiring (new) podcasters?
My best advice for podcasting is if you have a subject(s) that you're passionate about, do it. Don't hold back because you're concerned it's already been done. Everyone adds something different to their podcast and there are always people out there that will enjoy you and your personality.
But realize this is something that you have to be dedicated to. It takes more work then you realize and a lot of hours that no one ever sees. But your audience is worth it.
A couple of tips would be, get yourself a windscreen if you can't afford a pop filter, it will save you a lot of time. Don't worry about ums and uhs, they can be edited out. Always leave 5-10 seconds of silent space at the beginning of each episode so your audio editor will have something to process noise from. Do not have dairy before you begin your podcast. Stick to a schedule that works for you, daily, weekly, or monthly, but understand if you need to change your schedule most people will understand.
►Where can we learn more about you & your podcasts?
My website is: thehauntedride.com. You can find me on Twitter @HauntedRide, Instagram @TheHauntedRide. My facebook page is facebook.com/thehauntedride. I'm on Stitcher, Spotify, Itunes, Google Music Play, Podtrac, essentially everywhere, and my Patreon is patreon.com/thehauntedride.
Updated: 8 months ago