My show is called Epic Every Day and I co-host it with my wife Liz. The show is designed to help listeners (and my wife and I) remember the basics of spiritual life - the day-in day-out, not so glamorous, but oh so important disciplines that lead to peace, abundance and success in all the areas that matter. Our tag line is 'Creating margin in the moment from the inside out.'
We have built the show around 5 principles based on Peter Ralston's Tai Chi teachings. They are Calm, Surrender, Centered, Connected, & Complete. Each week we take a topic (like suffering, or joy, or love, or Holy Week) and talk about how to engage with it through one of the CSCs every day.
Our listeners are Christians who are struggling to find time in their busy life to grow spiritually. People who love God, but are too easily distracted by all the noise to grow. People who are Christians but then say, 'What next? What do I do with my faith?'
I have been listening to a lot of podcasts for a long time now, but my wife has never really gotten into it. So it's a fun process of discovery for her (and she still only listens to one other podcast other than ours). Ironically, it was Liz's idea to start the show.
Liz is chronically ill--getting better, but still chronically fatigued and in pain much of the time. But she has a gift and a passion for teaching and discipleship. I also have a desire to help people grow in their faith. and we're besties, so doing a show together seems like a great fit. And it has been. Since Aug 2017 we've faithfully published 5 episodes a week (except for the week after Easter) and it has been a fun project to do together!
Even though we released our first episode in Aug 2017, I think we talked about the idea for about a year! Then finally in the couple months leading up to Aug 2017, we recorded test shows and got our web page set up. That process took a lot more time and money than we thought it would as we are not very web code savvy. But it has been good learning and developing the show. And we're changing things still and trying to make everything about Epic Every Day better. It's a slow process (considering Liz's illness and raising our kids), but I'm very happy to be doing it.
We make a show each Monday - Friday. Each show is about 12-18 min long. Our process had changed some over time. We used to just snatch time whenever we could to record an episode or two, maybe when our kids were in bed or playing quietly enough, but now (and we're finding we like this better) we will take a couple hours on a Friday or Saturday and record all the week's episodes at once. This helps us not repeat ourselves as often and gives the week a nice arc.
We don't have an elaborate recording set up. Liz and I just huddle around my Tascam Dr-40 recorder in our office at home. I edit the shows whenever I can--breaks at work, evenings or whenever--on the Audacity software. While I'm editing, I write show notes, the episode description, and title in a word processor. Then, I make a graphic for each episode in Canva.com. I'd say it takes about one hour and 15 min to create each episode. It depends mostly on how meticulous I edit and if I can find pictures I like to make the graphic.
We've done all this work and funded Epic Every Day ourselves so far. We use Libsyn for hosting and we use about $20-$30 worth of hosting data a month (depends on how long the episodes are). We also regiestered our domain name and use wordpress to manage our web page. I think that costs another $20 or so a month. We have tried some marketing on social media--both twitter and facebook. Still learning how to most effectively do that (read "our initial campaigns did not seem to increase listener ship or web traffic"). And we have a group and a page on Facebook we manage so people have a place to talk about the show. Still trying to make that an active area for our listeners to meet and talk, but so far there has not been much engagement.
We have not made any money doing the show yet. We would consider sponsorship, but the product or service would have to be in line with our spiritual values.
There have been some personal impacts from the show. We've heard from some friends on facebook that an episode was meaningful and we've seen a very gradual increase in downloads month to month. The most benefit has probably been Liz and I's ability to work together. We have different work styles so there are problems we've had to overcome, but we have also really enjoyed having these conversations about issues we both care very much about. The little feed back we've gotten so far has been very encouraging.
We generally talk about something that one or both of us is learning about. We might get inspired by a book we read, or an online class we took, or a sermon we heard. We spend some time talking about what aspect of the topic is associated with each of the CSCs (our 5 principles; Calm, Surrender, Centered, Connected, & Complete) and then we map out a week of shows. We always talk about Calm on Mondays, Surrender on Tuesday... etc. and the CSCs kind of build on one another.
We draw a lot from our own life too. We think we've learned a lot on our spiritual journies and so we share as much as we can about that. We try to be vulnerable with our audience and we try to share our failures, struggles and lessons learned.
We haven't had any guests on the show yet, but I want to start incorporating that into our content. So when I get to that bridge, I'll sort out what gear and tech I'll need to use.
I've tried to make Epic Every Day as available as possible. It's on Apple Podcasts, Google, Sticher, Spotify, Twitter, YouTube, & Facebook just to name a few. If I learn of a new Podcatcher or web page, I try to see if I can send them my RSS feed. The vast majority of our traffic comes from Twitter and Apple. I'm not sure if listens on Facebook really count as our show is converted to a video when we share it there.
I've learned that it's much easier to have everything set up (no distractions, good content prepared etc) before recording. It's easy enough to edit out mistakes and distractions but it's very time consuming. When we have the rare episode where the conversation flows without a hitch and I can just write show notes and not worry about editing, it is a very good feeling!
And as far as podcasting resources, I recently joied a handful of Podcast groups on facebook. Some are support groups, some are just community sharing groups, but, I have been trying to participate in the conversations and learn by proximity as much as I can.
Also, I think it's important for people considering doing this, that it costs a little money, but not much! I think as long as your content is engaging, the listener will forgive sub par audio quality. On the other side of that coin, put some effort into editing and making the quality as good as you can. I don't have a fancy mic or editing software or a sound proof studio, but I think it's good enough. We've even recorded episodes in our car when our kids were someplace and we didn't have time to drive all the way back home to work. Improvise, it adds to the energy of the show I think!