July 16, 2016

The Podcast: Three Months On

Cmwc3t5WgAA3vke

Picture taken at Audible offices. An actual studio.

I keep getting emails from Podcast Professionals asking if I need help with my podcast.

“Do you need a producer?”

“Would you like help from our editing suite?”

“Have you thought about upgrading your software?”

I get it, the quality isn’t super super great, and I only have one microphone. I don’t have a studio. There’s normally a police car siren in the background, or rustling of something and Skype isn’t always the best tool in the world for my over-seas guests. I try and do them IRL if the person lives in the UK. But the conversations are what matter to me. The conversation, the people, the questions, the vibe, the heart and the soul. To me, these things matter over and above having the best technology. I figure it’s clear enough, and I’m still figuring out how to improve it myself.

I’m so happy that the podcast is doing well. Since launching it into the world three months ago, it’s about to hit 150,000 downloads. That’s way more than I predicted. I didn’t really know what I was expecting, all I knew is, after writing about myself for so long, I need to bring other voices into the mix. I wanted a dialogue. I decided to call it the same name as my book, and bring up similar topics/questions in the book (careers, social media, feminism, creativity, relationships, work-life balance) and maybe people would disagree with me, or challenge me, or teach me. And that is exactly what has happened.

I’ve learned so much from my guests, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of publishing these honest conversations into the world. I’ve had the best feedback from listeners – and to think some of these episodes have affected anyone’s mood or inspired anyone in any way makes it all 100% worth it.

I’ve now Skyped and chatted to IRL some of my absolute idols in the media world. From Liz Gilbert, to Ashley Ford, to Rowan Blanchard to Cheryl Strayed to Ryan Holiday to Dawn O’Porter – I mean, I could go on. I love every single guest so much. They are the people I’ve binged-watched on YouTube on a bad day, they are the people who kept me fighting along my own path. They throw positivity into the Internet and it has a knock-on effect, so I wanted to do the same. I’ve gained so much personally from doing the podcast, regardless of its success.

We’ve discussed activism, feminism, diversity in the media, what it’s like keeping a disability a secret, what not to say to transgender people, how to get a book deal off Twitter, how to make it in comedy, what it’s like making millions from YouTube, how to launch a charity on social media and WAY MORE. Every episode has educated me further. I always want to be learning, questioning, soaking in new information.

But I have a confession: I like that it’s a bit shitty quality.

I like that it’s just me making it, in my bedroom. I like that I don’t have a fancy studio or someone making me tea.

It’s what I like about watching YouTube videos too: the fact that it’s kinda “homemade”.

I like that it’s Editor’s Choice on iTunes even though I don’t have “a team” of people behind it.

I want it to be the Bridget Jones of the podcasting world. Just the way it is.

However: I’d also love your feedback. Does it need “help”? Do you have any bugbears? I want to take it to the next level, but I equally want it to remain really real and raw and authentic, because it makes me feel like the podcast is a fly on the wall experience of simply “listening in”. Is it OK that I wanna keep it really simple? Let me know on Twitter or in the comments.

  • Your podcast is one of my favourite things to listen to when I’m baking, or just on my computer every other day. I always feel happy when I know I have a new episode to listen to, it brings back that idea of radio being the best company; your conversations are great company.

    I think you have an interviewer quality few people have, your guests feel comfortable. It not being the most amazing incredible quality makes it better (imo), it feels like listening to the most interesting conversation happening next to me.

  • I am not one to normally get involved with comments and feedback, but I just wanted to say how much I love the rawness of your podcasts. I found them really inspirational and I felt a real sense of relatability to successful people like yourself and the people you interview that I struggle to find elsewhere. From one scale of a Briget Jones of the Internet to another, thank you!

  • Sierra (@thiswildsie)

    Hello Emma!

    I’ve been listening to your podcast since the beginning, and I love it. I have been going through a lot lately dealing with anxiety and depression and I often turn to your podcast to help get me through. I like that it’s a little rough around the edges – it often feels like a couple of friends getting together to chat. It feels like it’s happening in real time, and your listeners are on the other end of the phone listening in. As cheesy as it sounds, I think you should do what feels right for you.

    p.s. I often hear you talk about self-promotion, retweeting compliments, and how much is too much. I think you should go for it – your followers want to know what you’re up to and the things you create. Plus you created something – a freaking book – be proud, be happy, shout it out. I hear this question so much, and it’s almost always from women, which I think is probably from a larger issue in society. I think that creators are also often shamed for trying to sell their art, which is crap. We all have to live. So love your creations, and tell the world about it.

    Sorry if I ranted on too long, to sum up I love your podcast. And I can’t wait to buy your book.

  • Sophie

    I absolutely love your podcast! My absolute favourite episode was with Dawn O-Porter – she was so fascinating and inspirational to listen to and I really enjoyed hearing about her life and experiences. Equally, I also enjoyed your episode with your agent because it was refreshing to hear a different perspective and a different career. My only suggestion would be to keep that variety of people with different roles and backgrounds, because some of the episodes with writers have felt a little same-y and similar!

  • Emma

    Thanks so much — this is such good feedback!! Trying to ramp up the diversity for sure. Thanks again and glad you like it 🙂 xxx

  • Emma

    THANK YOU! And I hope you like the book. Glad the rawness is effective. Totally agree on the self-promo, it’s been interesting hearing different opinions about it, on the podcast. If you have any suggestions for guests too, please let me know! Xxx

  • Emma

    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, really appreciate it. I listen to podcasts when doing the washing up haha, so that the time is not wasted! xxx

  • Emma

    Thanks so much Rachael. Bridget Jones for the win xxx

  • Amira

    Hi Emma,

    Would great if the podcast had more diversity and if you could talk to people who don’t just work in the digital world. Just to shake it up a bit. You know what its like when you read a certain magazine and they all wake up at 5am and you’re like are you kidding me?!

    Also audio issies have put me off listening to some podcasts as its hard to hear what the other guests are saying ? Thid might judt be me though!

    My fave podcast to date is the one you did with your Twitter friend and the one w Zoella ??

  • Emma

    Great feedback, thank you! X

  • This gives me the courage to create things. I always thought that work needs to be super high quality but now I realise there is value in just making things that *matter*.

  • I very rarely question the quality of your podcasts because, like you say, it’s all about the people and the conversation. You’re a fantastic interviewer and I take so much inspiration from you. I love how you really connect with your guests and you seem to know every single thing about them (but not in a creepy way, of course!). In pretty much every episode you praise your guest or bring up something relevant that they’ve done or something that you’ve heard them say. It’s so obvious that you do your research and GENUINELY love these people and I think that’s great.

    Basically – never apologise for the quality of your podcasts. As long as we can hear you, understand you, and the sound isn’t deafening one minute and inaudible the next, I really don’t think it matters.

    I listen to a few other podcasters as well as you and there’s one in particular who apologises at the start of each episode for the poor sound quality. It’s kinda off putting and I bet most people never even notice there’s anything wrong with the sound.

My Book

“In love with Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete. So funny & smart, and reminding me of some of my own cringe teen Internet exploits!”

– Anna James, former literary editor of ELLE

"Funny, honest, and nostalgic!"

– The Debrief

“Emma Gannon is a bright spark of light in the world. I seriously dig everything she makes”

– Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Big Magic