My name is Marc Morrell. My co-host's name is Greg Tyler. I am a Software Engineer, Podcast Host, Blog Writer, Author, Interviewer, and happy family guy.
Let's Voltron is the Official Voltron Podcast, and all we cover is everything Voltron, from the early 80's to today. We bring a variety of content that includes interviews with TV show cast and crews, Voltron news, merchandise reviews, episode reviews, convention coverage, fan artist/fan cosplay/Voltron fan spotlights, and much more that is very fan-centric.
Our listeners are Voltron fans, of all ages, from all over the world. We have listeners in over 120 countries who want to get their Voltron fix every time we release a new podcast.
We started the podcast back in December of 2013, and we now have over 130 episodes. There were no Voltron podcasts when we started. We wanted to provide a voice for Voltron fans. I knew Jeremy Corray, who was Creative Director at World Events Productions at the time, wanted to get a podcast together for Voltron. It just so happened, I knew a friend that had started a podcast network and wanted a new podcast to join it. So Jeremy and I talked about it, and worked out the details, and Voila!
Podcasts are a medium that can reach a lot of people in a lot of different ways. They are long-form, which is perfect for Voltron content, because there is 34 years worth of content to pull from and it keeps growing. Voltron fans are hungry for new content all the time. I am comfortable with talking about Voltron for hours on end, so it seems we make a great team.
For our first episode, we had to get together opening and closing theme music, and since WEP is the Voltron IP owner, it was fine to use the original Voltron theme from 1984. After we decided on our hosting service, our name, set up social media accounts, and what to cover in our first few podcasts, we were ready to go within 3-4 weeks.
We release weekly, except when we go to conventions or over the holidays. We average at least 35 episodes a year. If we record the podcast on a Wednesday evening, between my full-time job and my family activities, it takes a week for me to edit the podcast to be ready to release the following Wednesday.
I edit on the weekends and at night, sometimes very late. I only sleep about 4-5 hours each night. I make literally a thousand or more edits per podcast to make sure it's the best quality it can be for the listeners.
Podcast hosting is $12 per month through SimpleCast, and I don't put any money towards marketing or advertising. I spent my own money for the podcasting equipment and all the expenses come out of my own pocket, including the travel, meals and lodging when we go to conventions to cover Voltron events.
We don't have any sponsors for the podcast and we've never been approached by anyone to do so. There's no real revenue from the podcast, but we recently added a TeePublic store where we sell products with designs from fan artists that are guests on the podcast. The artists donate the designs because they want to share their work with the Voltron fans around the world, and any commissions we get from those go into hosting, providing prizes for listeners, and shipping costs for those prizes all over the world.
We had no sponsorship when we first started the podcast and we were getting around 1200-1500 listens per month. We still have no sponsors and now we are getting close to 20,000 listens per month.
Since I started the podcast, I have made many friends in the Voltron community, and have had the opportunity to interview so many interesting people that have been connected to Voltron, in one way or another, over the last 34 years. Plus, the Voltron fans are the reason why we do this. When we get together with other Voltron fans, those are the BEST times! I would do anything to keep connecting Voltron fans with each other and the people that make the fantastic Voltron shows we love so much.
My MacBook Pro is the heartbeat of the podcast. Everything I do is through the MacBook Pro. I use a combination of GarageBand, LineIn and Soundflower to create a two-channel recording from Skype and my own microphone. My co-host Greg (from Ohio) and me (from Philly) connect on Skype. If we have 1 or more guests, then we add them to the Skype call. Everyone who is on Skype is on one channel, and I am on the other channel. Our recordings are only as good as Skype's network, so we really appreciate it when Skype is working well, which is 99% of the time. Thank God for Skype! I edit through GarageBand, and create an .mp3 file to upload to SimpleCast when it is ready to post.
We have connections through DreamWorks Animation PR staff, who help us get interviews with the actual voice actors and crew that work on Voltron Legendary Defender on Netflix. We have also made connections over the years through World Events Productions for people who worked on the previous versions of Voltron. The other guests we contact through email and social media to see if they would be able to come on the podcast with us. We just work out a time that is agreeable to everyone to record.
Each episode is different, depending on what's going on in the Voltron world. If a new season of the show comes out on Netflix, we will want to review the episodes and get some interviews. Sometimes we bring fans on with us to help review and sometimes it's just me and Greg. If it's an episode review, I will get together a transcript of the episode online and put in the characters that were speaking and my own narrative about what's happening, and interjections when I want to point something out. If it is an interview, we may ask the fans to send in questions for someone who worked on the show, and give them a chance to win a prize. We'll put together our own questions as well. Other things we may talk about are any new merchandise that came out for Voltron or if we went to a convention and covered the Voltron events happening there.
All interviews are done on Skype, unless we were able to go to a convention or press event and get the interviews in person.
Listeners find our show through iTunes, LetsVoltron.com, Twitter, Google Search, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Stitcher, Podbean, and a thousand other podcast apps, and our YouTube Channel and Newsletter. They also find out about it through word of mouth from other Voltron fans on Reddit, Tumblr, Vero, and more.
Instagram, Twitter and YouTube are where the most followers find us, and where the most activity about Voltron seems to congregate. Most people listen on LetsVoltron.com or iTunes.
After 4.5 years of doing this podcast, I still am not doing everything I want to do with this podcast. If I could dream and had unlimited budget, I would take me and my co-host and our families into the Belly of the Beast, so to speak, and setup shop in a recording studio near where Voltron is made, so we could bring the guests there and have a more intimate setting for more engaging conversations, without having to rely on Skype, which we would still need for when we have guests from all over the world. We would also be able to provide additional creative content for our YouTube channel that accentuate the things we do on the podcast. But, imagine what we've been able to accomplish without a budget and with limited equipment and resources! 20,000 listeners every month from 120 countries around the world and they can't wait for our next podcast - incredible!
So, my advice to anyone wishing to host a podcast? Be true to yourself and your real reasons for doing the podcast. Always dream big, and realize the sky is the limit, but don't let it get to your head. Stay grounded to the reasons you were so passionate about it to begin with, and never try to be something you're not. Imagine the possibilities, and take small steps to get to higher ground, but take everyone who started with you along for the ride.
There's lots of podcast resources out there, but the main ones that got me going were learning the technical aspects of recording, which I was able to do through YouTube and Google Searches, and after watching and learning about many different avenues, finding the one you are comfortable doing week after week. Always try to keep up with the latest techniques, because any time you can save yourself time, it's going to payoff in the long run.