PODCASTING LESSONS. My goal, from the beginning, has been to produce a high quality podcast with a narrator (me) and recorded stories. The stories are mainly based on interviews but can also consist of my own thoughts on a specific topic – a little bit like a column in magazine, or a personal blog post, but in a pre-recorded sound format.

A kind of traditional public radio show, in short, similar to the ones that you may hear on national public radio here in Sweden (minus the personal thoughts, perhaps). It’s a kind of show where attention is paid to sound and storytelling.

I thought all this would be simple for me. I spent years at Swedish national radio as a reporter and producer. But making this happen, so far in three episodes, has been so much more time consuming than I had anticipated. Why? Here are the main reasons:

ONE: Swedish radio has its own editing software. I have had to adapt to new software. I chose Protools in the end because my music store recommends it. I worked with Protools many years ago. Back then I found it difficult and time consuming in many ways for my purposes. And I still find it difficult and time consuming, I must conclude. It may be that I need to get to know more of its functions. I am a Protools beginner, still. Nevertheless I do believe it may not be the best option for a podcaster with storytelling ambitions. I’m not sure, I am willing to change my mind. But there are so many instances where I need to click 3 or 4 times in Protools where only one click was necessary in my old program, which I spent years with. Learning new software takes time!

TWO: Recording good stuff (I will tell you more about recording later) is not a problem. It’s the rest that takes time: Listening through your recorded material, making choices, building a story, editing it, checking facts afterwards. And letting people I’ve interviewed listen to their stories before I put anything on the internet. A lot of my stories are and will be deeply personal for the people I have interviewed. And as a journalist I am very thorough. I want people to read and listen to my texts or stories before publishing so that unnecessary mistakes on my part are avoided. And, from a more crass point of view, I want people to be happy with what they say on my podcast so that they’ll hopefully help me share my episodes. All this takes a lot of time!

THREE: I don’t have helpers anymore. When I was a reporter and recorded and edited stories for weekly in-depth shows on national Swedish radio, there was always a producer involved. And other reporters. And a sound technician. And a show host. I don’t have any of that anymore. It’s just me and I have be all those things myself. I couldn’t possibly afford to hire a sound engineer (although my good friend Michael, who’s a sound engineer, has generously helped me from time to time, for free).

FOUR: I can’t use music as I like either. So far in my podcast I have used music improvised by my husband and our neighbor on our living room floor. My husband plays the guitar and our neighbor plays base. Nice sounds, by the way! For a while there I was going to use a German band’s music for free, after discussions with them, but decided not to. More on that topic later.

Cover photo with me and a microphone: Elisabeth Ubbe.

FORWARD! My own podcast, Babybabypodden, is now on Itunes! This makes my very pleased as I spent many hours trying to figure out why Apple was giving me a hard time.

I have already produced the first three episodes of my new podcast. It’s in Swedish (so far) and has its own brand new website here. The podcast is about life with little kids and is kind of a sibling to my website Babybaby.se where I publish videos and texts on breastfeeding and baby wearing.

Every time I’ve tried getting Itunes to register my podcast, though, it has told me there’s something’s wrong with my Apple ID. In order to register a podcast with Itunes, you are told to go to Itunes Connect. Which, in turn, leads to Podcasts Connect.

A couple of nights ago I spent hours trying to get things right. Podcasts Connect said I needed an Itunes Store account – which I already had – and I was sent into a seemingly endless loop, tossed between my Apple ID account, Itunes Connect and Podcasts Connect.

For a few minutes I just wanted to give up everything. Producing a high quality podcast while trying to survive as a freelance journalist whilst trying to keep three little kids (6, 4 and 2 years) reasonably happy and not too traumatized due to Mom constantly working on the computer – it’s not easy. Add hours of internet loops without a solution in sight and energy levels drop to nil.

But today I see the light again. Erik, a neighbor and web developer, helped me figure it out yesterday. Don’t ask him exactly what worked, because I don’t think he’ll be able to tell you. But the key was to try to buy something on Itunes. I haven’t bought anything from Itunes for years. We pretended I was going to buy a Jay-Z record and then Itunes asked me to fill out some additional payment information. I never bought the record but once the additional payment details were in place my Apple ID suddenly worked like a charm. And I could add my podcast to I-tunes. Thank you Erik. Didn’t now Jay-Z was the key to it all.

In future blogposts I will tell you about my podcasting journey. I will give you my best advice on producing high quality radio and interesting stories. I’ll tell you about how I wish to shape my own narrative style (that may change, with time). And I will share with you my technical/computer/marketing challenges. I am an experienced radio journalist, having spent more than a decade at Swedish national public radio as a producer and reporter. The rest, however, is still pretty much a mystery to me. How do I get others to listen to my podcast? Is it possible to make money podcasting independently? I will learn things as I go along and will share my difficulties, goofs and joys with you here.