My name is Steven Pacheco. I am thirty-five years old, originally from New York, though now living in the mountains of western North Carolina. I have been a writer for more than twenty years and have been doing my podcast for nearly a year now.
My podcast is Trace Evidence. It is a true crime podcast focused on unsolved murders and missing persons.
My listeners, for the most part, are people who are driven by the unanswered questions. They want to know the truth of a situation and aren't afraid to explore the darker side of life to find those answers. They appreciate thoroughness and attention to detail.
I listened to a lot of true crime podcasts, and while there are many out there that are fantastic, I always found myself wanting more. I wanted more details, more cases, as much information as possible. Rather than complaining and being negative, I decided to start my own and contribute something positive.
My initial goal was to tell the stories of true crime cases, but rather than over accentuate the crimes themselves, I wanted to give a voice to the victims who are often forgotten other than the final moments of their lives. I wanted to change that. I was motivated to give a voice to those who no longer had one, and to show support for their families and friends.
I began podcasting in May of 2017. I planned on releasing my first episode for three months before I finally took the plunge.
I release a new episode every Monday, and it can definitely be overwhelming to balance the podcast with a full time job, but it's worth pursuing. The average episode, from research, to writing, to recording and releasing takes approximately 20 to 30 hours.
There is no way to find time for it, so you just have to make time. Those moments where I would normally have been relaxing or wasting time, I have prioritized to researching and writing. I record on a very specific schedule and I schedule my life and work around it.
On average, I spent anywhere between 50 and 60 hours doing everything that comes along with running the podcast and all social media aspects of it. The show is completely funded by me, with the assistance of generous listeners who wish to contribute.
I do have sponsorships and ads. My revenue varies, with some weeks being extremely busy, and others being light. It's hard to lock down a specific dollar amount. I gained my first sponsorship through AdvertiseCast who have been a really great resource. Sponsors can be found through sites like AdvertiseCast or Midroll, as well as through networks such as wondery or audioboom.
Podcasting benefits me in that I am able to take an interest of mine and contribute to the community. Through the show I've met amazing people, lend a caring ear to grieving families and done my best to speak for victims who cannot speak for themselves.
For my podcast I use an audio technica AT2020 microphone and a Mackie PROFX8v2 8 channel mixer hooked into a macbook. I record and edit on Garageband.
Each episode is prepared with a great deal of research. Once I have an idea of where I am going, I follow a set template. I begin with the victims early life, origins and quotes from friends and family and slowly build to the actual crime. After discussing all of the evidence, I address all of the most popular theories and give my thoughts on them.
My show is marketed through Twitter, Google, iTunes, Facebook, Instagram. 64% of all downloads are through iTunes.
Twitter and Facebook are the most useful for marketing, with Instagram coming in slightly behind them. The interactivity of both platforms is very helpful for building a brand.
The most important thing is to do it. So many people want to start a podcast, but they just stay in that planning stage. You can plan forever, you can try to be perfect but you won't be. Everyone starts off rough, and many of us struggle to listen to our older episodes. You've just got to jump into it and be prepared to be gracious and to learn along the way.