This past winter, The Podcast Host initiated a podcasting challenge, to help more people make podcasts about kindness and positivity. Registrants for #LetsTalk2021 got access to our 7-Day Bootcamp, and Alitu, the all-in-one podcast maker, for the duration of the challenge. Participants who made a podcast trailer and pilot episode were eligible to get people to vote for their shows. We'd like to introduce you to the runner-up for #LetsTalk2021: Craig Williamson of Thank The Week.
Thank The Week is a podcast about finding positivity when the future is uncertain. Each episode, Craig provides a draught of “news, sport, tech, entertainment, and daily life.” All this, he delivers with a positive angle. I asked him a few questions about his process and goals.
Is Thank The Week your first podcast? Where are you from, and what do you do?
Thank The Week is indeed my first ever podcast. I live in Wiltshire in the UK, not too far from Stonehenge, which has occasionally featured in my podcast!
What was your first, or most memorable, experience with podcasts? What attracted you to the medium?
I started by listening to technology podcasts. My favourite was MobileTechRoundup with Kevin Tofel and Matthew Miller (sadly ended in 2020 after almost 500 episodes!). I enjoyed the informality and the fact that it was just two ‘ordinary’ people sharing their passion for tech. I also enjoyed the snippets of everyday life shared across the years, which give you a connection to the presenters.
How did you find out about #Let'sTalk2021?
I was a regular visitor to The Podcast Host website while I was planning and preparing for my own podcast. One day I saw the competition and thought that it must be fate. I was planning my own podcast around the theme of positivity. Here was a competition for new podcasts about positivity!
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What in particular stood out about the 7-Day Bootcamp for you? Was there an experience or a part of the course that changed things?
At the time I registered for the competition, I had already recorded my first episode. I'd consumed almost every piece of advice I could find on your web site! I did go through the bootcamp, but there wasn’t much new information above what I had already seen. What I would say, however, is that the bootcamp was a much more structured introduction to podcasting than the haphazard approach I took beforehand. If only I had signed up earlier, I could have saved myself some time!
What made you decide to choose the media host you're using? What about your website, what made you decide to choose this website hosting system?
Thank The Week is hosted with Buzzsprout. I chose them because of the recommendation from The Podcast Host, and other sites I used for research. I have been delighted with Buzzsprout’s super-responsive customer service and their excellent value for money compared with the competition.
In terms of my web site, I began with the included Buzzsprout web site. But, then I moved across to Podpage when I needed more features and customisation. Buzzsprout has a very active user group on Facebook. Podpage was constantly recommended there, which led me to try them out. The Podpage customisation is super easy and the support has been outstanding when I’ve needed help.
Did you outsource any of the work (i.e., logo, website design, editing, transcripts)?
Before I spoke a single word into a microphone, I used Fiverr to source my podcast artwork, music, and voiceover. I had spent quite a lot of time planning the podcast in terms of the theme and topics. So, I had a reasonable idea of what I wanted for artwork and audio. Fiverr was terrific value, with talented artists who worked with me until I was completely happy with the finished product. Hopefully, it helps to give a more polished feel to the final podcast production.
I use Otter AI for transcription of my episodes. It’s hugely impressive how accurate the transcription is, although it does make the occasional fun mistake. I have mentioned the COVID vaccine by Moderna a few times on my podcast. It always cracks me up when Otter translates it as the ‘Madonna vaccine’! But, other than a few minor issues like that, Otter is fantastic. I only need to spend around 15 minutes to correct any significant errors.
The #LetsTalk campaign only required a trailer and a pilot. But, you've gone above and beyond that, with over a dozen episodes so far. How are you sustaining the process?
Establishing a routine has really helped me to podcast on a regular basis. I plan my show on Friday night, record on Saturday morning (after asking my son to stop shouting at his friends on Fortnite so it doesn’t end up on my recording!). Then, I edit and produce marketing materials at my leisure over the remainder of the weekend. I’m ready to publish for release on Monday morning.
What podcasting tips, tricks, or tools do you feel you can’t work without?
Templates – I have found templates to be very helpful for saving time and bringing consistency to my podcast. I have a standard outline for my show in OneNote. Before I record, I populate it with some key bullet points. I have a template for my show notes, which I also fill out before recording. I then have a show template in my audio editor (Hindenburg Pro). That has my intro and outro ready to go, and my segment titles ready to drag and drop into place. I also use templates in Canva to produce promotional images for social media.
Organisation – I find Microsoft’s OneNote note-taking software very useful for organising my thoughts and ideas for each show. I also use Google Keep on my phone to note ideas on the go. Plus, I have a Chrome bookmark folder for each show. There I can quickly file interesting articles that I find during the week.
Experience – Experience is another great timesaver. I make slightly fewer mistakes while recording every week, which means that editing is quicker. Every week of editing makes me quicker with my editing software. Every week of social media posting makes me quicker with those tools too!
What do you hope to see happen with Thank The Week?
I would love to grow my number of listeners throughout 2021. I started the podcast mainly to boost my own positivity. It has really helped me to focus on all the great things that happen every week. Now I'd like to bring that positivity to as many people as possible. Hopefully, I can provide some entertainment along the way!
Thank The Week is a contagious podcast.
There's no doubt that good news makes people feel better. Podcasts motivate how people feel, think and act, which means that a podcast like this can definitely make the world a better place. if you want to try your hand and making a podcast, or polish your existing skills, have a look at The Podcast Host Academy. For example, our Launch Essentials course can get you started, and our Navigating Your First Three Months course can help you grow once your show is out in the world. Plus, our Weekly Live Q&A sessions can help you with any podcasting questions you might have.