US indie author Michael La Ronn shares his enthusiasm for a new craze that's helped him reach more readers for his self-published books: walking podcasts. With as little as 20 minutes required to create and upload your own, it has to be worth a shot!
One of the biggest trends right now among indie authors is the walking podcast (“walkcast”). The author takes a walk, talks into their phone about whatever is on their mind, and then uploads the talk to YouTube or iTunes.
A few authors started this trend (Nathan Lowell, Lindsay Buroker, and David Wright), and then almost overnight, at least a dozen authors started walkcasts of their own. Just go to Google+ or YouTube and search for the hashtag #walkcast and you’ll see what I mean.
Why Make Walking Podcasts (Walkcasts)?
Walking is one of the best things a writer can do. It keeps you healthy, and it gives you time to clear your mind. Why not walk AND get some work done at the same time?
I decided to try my own walkcast, just to see what would happen. I recorded myself talking as I drove to the gym. I loved it so much that I do it every week now.
I discuss a variety of things in my walkcast, both writing and non-writing. I’ve done episodes on “Writing Interactive Fiction,” “Creating a Production Schedule,” “The Pros and Cons of Living in Des Moines, Iowa”, and “Jobs I’ve Had,” to name a few. The non-writing episodes were fun because I explored old memories. Surprisingly, the non-writing episodes have been the most popular.
If you’re still not sold on the idea of a walking podcast, here are seven more reasons to consider trying one:
Your existing audience will appreciate it. Readers love to hear what makes their favorite artists tick.
How to Make a Walking Podcast (Walkcast)
It’s easy. Just take your phone with you and talk. You can use your camera app on your phone (if you want to do a vlog), the Voice Memo app on your phone (like I do), or you can use a digital camera or voice recorder.Most of my episodes are around 10 minutes, and it takes me approximately 5-10 minutes to upload each one. That’s much easier than producing a full-length podcast.
- It’s extemporaneous. Are you looking to start a speaking career? Doing a walkcast off-the-cuff is a great way to build your speaking skills, and also something you can link to on your speaking page.
- It’s intimate. A walkcast is a direct link between the walkcaster and the listener. When I record my episodes, it feels as if I’m talking to a friend, and I find myself opening up more than I ever would in a blog post or on social media.
- It’s quite amazing. David Wright talked about his addiction to diet soda in recent episode. The Walking Rob talked about his addiction to marijuana. Others have spoken openly about battles with depression. Few mediums allow a writer to get this intimate.
- It’s painless. You can edit your podcasts as much or as little as you want. As long as the audio is clear and/or the video is good quality, no one is going to complain.
- It’s fun. As a listener and watcher of walkcasts, I’ve gotten to know other indie writers. We often mention each other in our walkcasts, and we piggyback on each other’s topics.
- It’s healthy. Enough said.
What I've Gained from Making Walkcasts
My walking podcast has helped me reach new people, which resulted in a big bump in pageviews on my site.It also helped me make some new friends. It has been an invaluable tool in helping me express myself and find my voice online. Perhaps it can do the same for you, and even more.
Check out Michael's walking podcasts here:
Great ideas, Michael – let's help spread the word! Here's our suggested tweet to share this post:
“Authors – reach more readers with walking podcasts! Here's how: https://selfpublishingadvice.org/walking-podcast/ via @MichaelLaRonn for @IndieAuthorALLi “
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Michael, I’d never heard of #walkcasts, but now I’m addicted. Thanks!
If anyone wants to hear my total newbie attempt (can’t figure out how to edit on Soundcloud, sorry): https://soundcloud.com/dr_sassy/secret-1-habit
Awesome post, Michael!
I love walking, and always listen to podcasts when I do so. I’ve written about it here:
There’s nothing quite like it, and I myself have been thinking about creating podcasts. You might just have inspired me to do so (that might not be a good thing!).
[…] Walking Podcasts […]
Hi Flora, I’m glad the article resonated with you. As I mentioned to Halona above, if you do your own walkcast, use the hashtag #walkcast so the rest of the community can get to know you! Happy walking!
Hi Michael, What a great idea! It’s brilliant in its simplicity, ease, and inspiration. You’re so right that our readers/subscribers enjoy getting an intimate glimpse into our thoughts and lives. Time to great busy. Thanks.
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Hi Halona, you should definitely give a shot. I’m a lot like you in that most of my best ideas come to me while walking (and in the shower, and in the car). It’s nice to capture a little bit of that dialogue for your fans. If you do try it, be sure to use the hashtag #walkcast when you share so that others in the walkcast community can watch and comment (myself included!). Good luck!
This is such a great idea! I always get my best ideas while walking and I always think, hey I should record this inner conversation with myself! Then I get home and forget all that genius I chatted up with myself. I’m also big on blogging, but am looking for other ways to make my blog posts more colorful. I will give this a try!
Great posting, Michael! Your #walkcasts are awesome.
I have a walkcast too. They are awesome, I learned about them from my Self Publishing Roundtable podcast.
Mine is called Geekwalker and I mostly talk about geek things, but like MIchael said I’ve got to meet heaps of cool people (including him)
What a great idea! Thanks for sharing, Michael! Do you host the podcasts on your own site?
Hi Sandra, thanks for reading! Yes, I do host the podcasts on my website (for now). As my audience grows, I plan to move it to another dedicated hosting site to avoid bandwidth issues. But right now, WordPress is perfect for me. Itunes and/or Youtube is also another great way to host. You can embed them directly on your site.
And thanks, Buddy! Your walkcasts aren’t too shabby, either!