Podcasters December 27, 2020

3 Things I Learned From My First Year of Podcasting

Dominic Norton @dominiconorton

This year I committed myself to podcasting and blogging about something I'm fascinated about, Hackathons.

Here are 3 things I learned:

  1. Listening is a continuous hard-earned skill

Many talk about listening being a skill, very few really put it into practice. While editing I'd catch when I was clearly not listening to my guest or simply waiting to talk. Over time that improved. I think it requires a significant amount of effort more to listen to both what the guest is saying and what they are not saying but attempting to articulate.

  1. People love to share their story

I have connected with some people that I thought would be impossible to reach. Many are, but not everybody. Outreach is a numbers game a bit like outreach for our side projects. Many people have available space in their calendar to give back and share their story.

  1. Storytelling has to be purposeful

Initially, I didn't think a lot about how I told stories or what stories I wanted to tell. I learned quickly that was a mistake. A podcast is a great opportunity to tell a story but you have to craft the conversation in a way that does justice to the message or theme both during the conversation and the edits. My podcast forced me to think a lot about the types of stories I want to tell and how to find my unique voice.

What are your thoughts? What are some things you've learned from podcasting?

  1. 1

    Congrats on the first year in the bag. Serious goals of being the main spot for the other to go to. You got this!

  2. 1

    what's your podcast called Dominic? Do you have an RSS feed I can add?

  3. 1

    Thanks for sharing and congratulations on completing your first year of podcasting.
    How was your experience in growing your audience?

    1. 2

      I'm in a very unique space where I have a monopoly but it's also a relatively new space.

      I interview Hackathon organizers, participants, mentors, sponsors, and judges. I've managed to get to at least 20 committed listeners per episode (which was surprising).
      I do manage a community of 1000 Hackathon enthusiasts.

      I don't market enough. I want to be the exclusive media partner to all the Hackathons worldwide and showcase their story. I need to convert my relationships and network into a listener base by telling people more.

      I've recently experimented with mini docuseries. Giving the stories of shark tank contestants, Y-Combinator companies etc

      I think I'm slowly crafting a niche in the innovation/ creativity space. Would love to travel and do this.

      The main thing for me has been finding my voice as a journalist of sorts.

      1. 1

        Thanks for the detailed information. Building podcast viewership is hard. Wish you all the best.

      2. 1

        Speaking of hackatons (and space), NASA runs lots of them under the International Space Apps Challenge.

        1. 1

          Thanks for the connection

  4. 1

    Congrats, and best wishes for your next years.

    I've been podcasting for 14 years. The key to such longevity is having a great team of co-hosts (we are 6 friends), as well as a domain with limitless topics and stuff to talk about (astronautics and space in our case).

    1. 1

      That's awesome!

      What are some of your main takeaways

      1. 1


        The main takeaway is with so many hosts, you have enough accountability to keep you running for years. But we have plenty of redundancy for difficult times.

        As I said, we are 6 co-hosts. We record a weekly episode if at least 2 of us are available (pretty much always), but we usually are 3-4 and sometimes 6. This helped us go through all sorts of life bumps such as relocations, busy times at work, family or personal issues, or just plain burnout that kept one or more co-hosts away even for months.

        1. 1

          That's awesome

          I'm not sure if this is too personal. How does ownership work?

          Your experiences make me think I should get cohosts

          1. 2

            In our case ownesrhip is simple: we're all on the board of a space enthusiasts organization we founded and run. The podcast is one of our projects along with a discussion board, a space news site, events, and more.

            We're a nonprofit organization, which makes things even simpler.

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