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Lessons From my Failures in Podcasting and Video Content Creation

Hey!

Some would say I ‘came of age’ during the rise of social media and I’ve always been open to every medium, from ICQ to TikTok to everything in between. If there was a social media community, I had an account. Asian Avenue? Yup. Geocities? of course! Hell, I even held on to Google+ for a while. I’m no stranger to trying different things out and which allows me to learn quite a bit. I also hosted a real estate podcast and I regularly do short videos on my Instagram.

So, here are my experiences (a bit of what I’ve learned) with video and podcasting and a few things that might be helpful to you if you’re interested in trying them out!

Podcasting

I truly enjoyed podcasting, my podcast (Real Estate and Coffee with Ken) was fun to create but was definitely a lot of work. I had to learn how to essentially learn how to produce the whole thing on my own, that meant learning how to cut the recordings and ensuring they turned out well. I wasn’t really good at it, but I was proud of what I created. Apart from producing the content, I also had to create the content– which meant scheduling guests, writing the interview questions and ultimately recording the episodes, which may not seem like much but is pretty time consuming. 

The cost to create a podcast was actually not as bad as I’d expected. In terms of hardware, I purchased a couple of lavalier mics and I used an old phone (and it’s stock voice recorder app) to record the actual interviews. For software, I used free editing programs Audacity and Ocenaudio and to actually publish and distribute the podcast I used Anchor.fm which is incredibly easy to use and completely free. I also leaned heavily on websites like Blubrry to learn on how to submit your podcast to players so people can find it on places like Apple and Google. 

Ultimately, though, content is key. I decided to stop the Real Estate podcast after a career pivot and one of the things I realized when doing my podcast was that, for it to be listenable, it needed to be dynamic and interesting to people and I didn’t feel like something like HeyKenners! would work well on a podcast. Real Estate and Coffee worked, to me at least, because I was able to lean on my guest. I feel like people can get through reading my ramblings but I don’t think it would be as interesting to listen to me for 15 minutes. 

Video

I haven’t done any long-form video, in fact all my videos are less than a minute long thanks to the limits on Instagram posts, which, frankly I don’t mind at all. Short form videos have been great for me to get little bits of content out, but similar to what I wrote above about podcasts, content is key. I don’t feel like my content would translate well on video. 

That said, if you are interested in doing video here are some tips:

  • Create subtitles. As a father, I don’t often watch videos with sound on because I never know what’s going to happen in it, so if there are no subtitles, I often swipe through. I’ll discuss how I create subtitles for free later on in this post. 
  • Plan ahead. Videos are great but they take time to create and edit, set time to actually create them because if you don’t it’ll never get done in time. 
  • Engage with your audience. I learned to focus on the Social part of Social Media and so I often try to engage with my audience by asking them to comment. I don’t get much comments to be honest, but I still do it– I don’t claim to be an expert, by any means, these are just my experiences. 
  • Be consistent. I may not have a massive amount of followers or engagement on my videos but I am quite consistent which I feel keeps me top of mind with my audience. I have had great feedback and am often surprised to find out that people do click through and take the time to listen/watch my videos, no matter how few they are. 

Creating Subtitles

I feel like all videos require quality subtitles to reach the audience who can’t always listen to what you have to say. The way I do this tends to be a roundabout way of doing so but is completely free so if you’re interested here’s how I do it. 

  1. Record the video, Instagram posts limit videos to be 1 minute long max. It takes time to be concise but once you’re used to it, you’ll be able to record in the time needed. 
  2. Upload to YouTube. 
  3. Go to “YouTube Studio” 
  4. Click on “Subtitles” and click on your video
  5. From there you’ll see that your video MAY already have automatically generated subtitles from youtube. If not and all you see is the word “ADD”, wait a bit, and check back it sometimes takes a while to get them done. 
  6. If you see “Duplicate and Edit” click there and you’ll be able to see the subtitles that were created. From here I HIGHLY suggest that you go through the video and subtitles and make the appropriate edits, make sure the words make sense. 
  7. Once that’s done, click publish and go back to the subtitle page. From there click on the 3 dots next to your recently published subtitles next to the edit button.  The three dots will give you a drop down where you can click on “download”. Here you will see the option to download a “.srt” file. Click it and make note of where the file is saved.
  8. Next go back to your YouTube Studio page and click on “content’, next to your video, click on the three dots and download the video. 
  9. Next go to Kapwing and create a free account
  10. Once you’ve logged in, click on “subtitles” 
  11. Click on “add video” 
  12. Once the video has been uploaded you’ll be brought to another screen. 
  13. On this screen:
  1. Click on “Upload SRT” and find the .srt file you downloaded from YouTube. 
  2. Kapwing will upload and attach the subtitles and timing to the video and from there you can change font size, font, position etc. 
  3. Once you’re ready you click done and you can download your video now WITH subtitles!

A couple of notes:

  • I don’t know if you can do longer than 1 minute videos for this method, if you try, comment to let me know if you can!
  • Kapwing keeps your videos, it seems, I don’t necessarily care much but you might so do your research
  • Your subtitles will be HUGE when you first upload them as an .srt, make sure you adjust the size accordingly. 

One thing I can tell you is that you should DEFINITELY try anything you’re interested in, whether it’s podcasting, blogging, video — short or long form. Try it all, test it out. Don’t worry about how you sound or look. Just create the content. If you enjoy creating videos, but are scared about how you look, do it anyway. The worst thing that can happen is that you learn a new skill. I may not have created the most listened to podcast and none of my videos create a huge following for me, but I now have the knowledge to create them and that’s pretty worth it, in my opinion. 

Kenners!

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