Hey! My name is Maxwell and I write/narrate/produce Relic: The Lost Treasure Podcast, which explores the stories surrounding the most infamous lost treasures and artifacts of history. Each episode is a narrated tale examining the origins of the treasure in question, the events surrounding both its creation and loss, the personalities involved, and a few theories on where said treasure might be hiding today.
I come from a background in story telling, writing, and journalism, and I've always been drawn towards podcasts that investigate the unexplained or the eerie. However, my personality tends to veer towards the lighter side, so when it came time to produce my own solo podcast, I wanted to touch upon something in the vein of the "unsolved mysteries", without being explicitly dark. I'm a huge fan of the "adventure genre" and all of the mediums it encompasses (Duck Tales, Uncharted, Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider, Warehouse 13). I was also surprised that there wasn't a podcast out there specifically geared towards the subject of lost treasure, so I decide to throw caution to the wind and put Relic out there!
I began to brainstorm Relic towards the end of May 2017, shortly after I had wrapped up a group podcast on video games that began in 2015. Relic is my first solo work. After doing research for the first topic and drafting the script, I recorded a demo episode that ended up being more "serious" than the final product. A co-worker convinced me to embrace my lighter side, and infuse the work with my personality. This resulted in a final take that ended up being the premier episode of Relic, which I released around the first week of July, 2017.
Funding? What's that! Hahaha (please sponsor me, Hello Fresh). Truthfully, living and working in NYC, writing, researching, recording, and editing is almost all I do outside of my day job these days. Thank goodness Relic is seasonal! That said, I don't regret it a bit. Turnaround time is tight, since I am producing an episode every other week.
Week 1 is usually the research and note taking phase at the start of the week, and the writing and drafting of the script during the second half. On the weekend I record the raw audio.
Week 2 is editing, inserting background music, and releasing the final product. I communicate with listeners almost exclusively via Twitter, though I am hoping the Facebook group will start to become more active with an increase in audience size. I love seeing listeners generating discussions!
I am actively looking for sponsorship, but as this is my first solo outing, and is exclusively D.I.Y. I am still researching the logistics of receiving outside funding. To that extent, Relic is purely a labor of love that I would like to see monetized, if only because it would allow me to do "more" with the show such as make merchandise, attend podcast conventions, as well as cover monthly platform hosting fees.
I use a Blue Snowball USB mic. My audio program is audacity. Twitter has allowed to me to connect with a lot of amazing podcasts, and many of their hosts come aboard the show to discuss a treasure that aligns with their field. For example, Hillbilly Horror podcast came on for our Halloween special to discuss "cursed" treasures. In keeping with the shows "international" adventure theme, I've interviewed people from various regions of the United States as well as other countries. We usually record over Skype.
For now, marketing is exclusive to Twitter and certain groups on Facebook geared towards podcasts. I am looking into reaching wider audiences as the season ends, so I will have a larger listenership going into season 2 (or at least, such is the hope!). The #PodernFamily hashtag has been very helpful with this effort.
If you find a topic you love, you can produce a podcast! Much like writers benefiting from reading, the best thing a new podcaster can do is listen to a wide variety of different podcasts, to get a sense for the medium. It also helps to try and go niche! The more specific or laser focused your podcast is, the better you can get it out there and make it unique.