Podcasting to less than 250 people

Written on December 31, 2018

In 2018 I was determined to resurrect my podcast and give it a proper series/season so I could then decide whether it was something to continue with or drop.

A brief history if I may. The Podcast, then called Desert Island Geek, began in 2007 and was hosted by Neil Dixon who did the first 7 Episodes. It then vanished from ‘iPodderX’ which was the app I was using to sync podcasts to my ipod nano. I got in touch with Neil in 2008 and asked him when the next episode would be and he said he did not have the time to do anymore. I asked him if I could take it over as I loved the format – he said yes.

He kindly gave me all the website files and the domain name and other assets and then I promptly did nothing until 2014! I started my next run with an interview with Neil himself as felt this was a nice way to end that association and for me to become the next ‘Customs Officer’. I did three episodes for Season 2 going in 2015.

Another 3 years passed and it was still playing on my mind that I hadn’t done anything properly with it and felt I was still letting down Neil on taking it over. I was feeling nervous about the name of the show and the link with Desert Island Discs and the use of the word Geek so rebranded as Deserted at www.desertedpodcast.com .

Towards the middle of 2017 I started recording episodes for release as part of Season 3 which was going to be 6 episodes. I wanted to release on a fortnightly schedule and wanted to get the majority of the recordings done before launching as you need to release on a schedule to pick up any type of audience. I did that for the first 5 episodes starting Jan 28th 2018. The sixth was delayed by two months and I released a Christmas Special on the 20th December to make it 7 episodes in total.

I ran the stats through podtrac so I could see download numbers. The highest amount of downloads for an episode in this latest season has been 278. It’s an interview show and so can expect fluctuations in numbers depending on how well know the guest is. I have decided with these numbers it has not grabbed enough people to make it worth investing in another series. I will keep the site and feed up until it comes up for renewal and then drop it.

Has it been a complete waste of time?

No – it has given me a variety of skills and experiences.

Interviewing – during 2016 I started broadcasting/presenting cover at BBC Essex. My presenting experience up until then was on commercial radio (1998 – 2000) and Hospital Radio which I did for 25 years (1991 – 2016) and during these stints hadn’t done many interviews and longer form voice links. By having a strict format on the podcast to fall back to when conversation dried up it has helped me to listen to my guest and worry less about the next question which I believe has improved my interviews/phone calls on air.

Editing – I have done audio editing since starting at Hospital Radio in 1991 and for 15 years was a Studio Manager for BBC World Service editing audio in foreign languages so am not new to it. After seeing a great article linked from Podnews I went all in on Reaper as my editing software and have really enjoyed it and would recommend it. As the years have gone by and more and more podcasts have come on the scene I think you need to edit and edit and be respectful of the time your audience has and ensure they are getting the best bits only. I could have been more disciplined but in the end I don’t think it would have changed the outcome much in terms of numbers.

Talking with some of my heroes – it has also enabled me to speak to people I have listenned to on podcasts and always wanted to meet virtually or for real and the podcast has enabled me to do that so I am grateful for that and for their time.

So that’s it. If you want to make a podcast do it and if you don’t get an audience it doesn’t mean it has been a failure.


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