By C.L. Fornari
A podcast is just like any other form of communication…it takes work, thought, time, energy, and imagination. It is also a powerful way to build your reputation as a garden expert, sell your gardening books, or make connections to new groups of people.
People can listen to podcasts anywhere, anytime. They can cook, walk, workout, or drive while they listen. Statistics show that the most people are listening to podcasts at work. This is all good news for garden communicators because it means that garden programs are no longer confined to the stereotypical weekend mornings. Podcasts can be any length and released according to the schedule you set.
Unlike radio, there are no gatekeepers. There is no one to tell you that your program about, say, succulents, regional gardening, lawn care or the genus Ilex isn’t appropriate for the air. A podcast can be as broad as a Montana wheat field or as specialized as a windowsill African violet collection. Your audience might be local or you could draw listeners from around the world.
I became interested in podcasting because I started listening to podcasts. This is a good way to learn about this form of broadcasting. Begin by listening to many types of podcasts, not just those that are about gardening. Hear what works and what sounds sloppy, long-winded, or boring. Hear what is engaging. Duplicating what already exists is a waste of time, so once you get to know what’s out there, think about how can you produce something unique. How will you be different?
Your content will be the most important aspect of this enterprise, so focus on that and don’t get sidetracked by all the fancy equipment options. Basically, you’ll need a computer, editing software (GarageBand and Audacity are popular), a microphone and cover-the-ears headphones.
Learning the ins and outs of podcasting is just like learning how to launch and maintain a blog, self-publish a book, or pitch your writing or photography to magazines. You start down that road and learn as you go. If you’re intimidated, just remember how it was when you first started gardening or working with plants. Yes, it was an extensive undertaking, but you learned the ins and outs one plant at a time. Podcasting is no different…decide what you want to grow, and start planting.
Meet the Author
C.L. Fornari co-hosts the Plantrama podcast with fellow GWA member Ellen Zachos. You can listen or subscribe at www.Plantrama.com