Colin Gray: Podcaster, Founder, Speaker, Teacher
Thanks for being curious. I feel like the ubiquitous 'About Page' is the online equivalent of a polite, "So, tell me what you do?" Well, I appreciate you asking! I'll try not to bore you...
This is my personal profile page, all about my background. If you just want the info on working with me, or the products I run, take a look here:
- Podcast Consultant or Advisory Work - 1 to 1 support for businesses or education
- Our Podcast Host Academy - coaching and courses
- Alitu: The Podcast Maker - our software solution
- Speaking and workshops - from bespoke 'how to' to keynote talks
Or for the short answer, written in slightly cheesy 3rd Person... Use it as a bio, if you have to 😏
Colin is a podcaster, international speaker, PhD and founder of The Podcast Host and Alitu: The Podcast Maker. Colin started out in Astrophysics, before realising how much maths you had to do. Turns out Podcasting has less maths, but just as many puzzles! At least they're fun ones, though.
He started ThePodcastHost.com in 2011, and it's now one of the biggest and oldest Podcasting blogs on the web, dedicated to helping you create a successful show.
Alitu.com, founded in 2018, is a web app that helps anyone to make a podcast really easily, by polishing, branding & publishing for you, while offering tools for building and editing epic podcasts.
Current Biography - 2019
Would You Like the Audio Version?
We're podcasters after all..
I had a great chat with Harry Duran on his show, Podcast Junkies, which I republished to Podcraft. Hear the full story:
Phase 1: From Space to Dr of Online Learning
I started out life as an Astrophysicist. I got an Astrophysics degree at the University of Edinburgh back in the 00s.
I rapidly moving on to web design, though, when I realised how much maths was involved in space. After a few years of working on the web, I took a job at a local college where I started to teach the craft. That's where I learned the dark arts of learning technology.
The college move resulted in the best part of a decade working in higher education, while working on the side as an web strategist (read: how to make a website actually achieve something for your business).
Within higher education I specialised in how to create online courses that actually lead to action and success.
In 2015 I completed my PhD at Abertay University - it's title was: Designing Online Education for Work Based Learners: Refining Bite Sized Learning.
A mouthful, eh? In short, it focussed on how business people and academics learn, and how we can create courses for working folks that actually help them make their business or their work a success.
Phase 2: A Bit of This... a Bit of That...
So, where did Podcasting come in?
Of course, one of the fashionable learning technologies of the mid-00s was Podcasting, so I looked into it for my university at the time. In 2008 I created a course designed to help lecturers use podcasting in their teaching, and I ended up running that course for around 5 years.
Along the way, I started The Podcast Host (2011) as an outlet for everything I was learning. I wrote about equipment, recording techniques, promotion and everything else I could think of.
The site gained a lot of traction through 2012 and I started to earn some income from it during 2013. It was really just adding to my freelance work at the time, leading to consultancy, podcast production work and a lot more writing.
Phase 3: Full Time Podcasting
During 2015 I decided to turn The Podcast Host into a business in earnest. In Sept 2015 I joined an accelerator of sorts - the Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowship - and the support that I got through that made it possible to take on my first employee. If you follow Podcraft, or the site in general, you'll know that was Matthew McLean, and he's still a big part of the team.
During 2015 and 2016, the Podcast Host became a limited company in the UK. In the early days, we concentrated on offering online courses on podcasting, and production services for businesses. We took on quite a few clients during that time, and they were great fun to work with. At the same time, we built out our range of courses, many of which have been updated over the years and are still part of the Academy.
Phase 4: Software and Products
At the end of 2017, we started developing something new. This all came about thanks to one of the most common questions we were asked by podcasters:
How can I make editing and production easier?
So, thinking back to my tech and web dev days, I started looking into whether it was possible to build a tool that automated and assisted with these pretty techie processes.
The result, was Alitu: The Podcast Maker! Alitu is out web app which makes it easy to create a podcast. It automates audio cleanup, adding your music and publishing your show. And it assists with editing, such as piecing together clips, adding transitions and offering a custom audio editor.
Nowadays, we offer two main products: Alitu and the Academy. Alitu is a tool to make podcasting easy, and the Academy is a resource for helping you do it well. They work in tandem to give you the best chance to create a successful show!
What's My Day Like?
I'm the Managing Director of the company (same thing as a CEO in the US) and my main work is in the overall strategy we follow. I also have a big hand in the courses we create, making sure that my background in online education feeds into them, creating really effective learning experiences.
I do a lot of management, too. We have a team of five developers, all of whom need a bit of direction and feedback. And we have our content team, led by Matthew, but which I help out with too.
I still write a lot - I love writing about Podcasting - and I do a tonne of marketing. It seems that most of strategy is marketing these days! But it's all content marketing, really, which means I aim to give out a tonne of value to anyone that visits the website. I want to show what we know, what we can do, and hope that you will like and trust us as a result.
And Outside of Work?
I have two little kids, so a lot of my time is spent larking about with them. I'm often seen attempting to wrangle them on some ill-fated camping trip, along with my wife.
When I've got time on my own, I'll take the bike out - mountain biking usually - and Scotland has some of the best trails in the world. I used to run a show called Mountain Bikes Apart, but it's been on hiatus for a while.
These days, my big hobby is Crossfit. I'm loving the mix of gymnastics, strength training and fitness. It's a great release from the business of work sometimes, and there's a good community at the gym. Of course, being who I am, I started a podcast on Crossfit too, which gets intermittent love...
Outside of that, I'm a freak for Sci-Fi and Fantasy, and do a LOT of reading. Generally, if I get an hour of peace, I can't think of a much better way to spend it than grabbing a good coffee and cracking a new book open.
Want to Work with Me?
If you're interested in having a chat about podcast consulting, coaching, or having me speak at your event, please do get in touch. Fill out the form to email me, or drop me a line on social media.
Don't be shy, it would be great to hear from you 😊