I Need To See If My Dad Has Any Amazing Content For A Podcast!

I had completely intended on writing a piece on getting involved in community and hospital radio today. However, with season two of arguably they UK’s funniest podcast launching earlier this week, I felt compelled to bring it to your attention so you can all check it out for yourselves! (Side note – Fear not! That community radio post will likely hit the blog next week…)

Dad Wrote A Porno LogoNow if you have recently checked out any podcasts on iTunes you’ll likely know what I am referring to, as I am sure it currently tops the charts. If not, you need to open your preferred podcasting app right now and search for ‘My Dad Wrote A Porno’ – and if you haven’t listened before, lucky you, because you’ll have the whole first season at your finger tips ready for your ears to feast on!

The pod is a simple one, each week, hosts Jamie Morton, Alice Levine and James Cooper meet to read a chapter from an erotic novel written and self published by Jamie’s Dad. The author, known as ‘Rocky Flintstone’, is either a comic genius or has a very odd outlook into erotica – either way, the content penned is pure gold and shouldn’t be missed!

Enough said on that, go to your smartphone, search for the pod and give it a listen. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

P.S. I promise next week I’ll write about community and hospital radio…unless another amazing podcast or radio show is launched before then!


My New Favourite Podcast Is Both Beautiful And Anonymous…

Sometimes the simplest podcast ideas can be the most effective…

Regular listeners of This American Life may recall an episode that aired in early April called ‘For Your Consideration’, in which they introduced a podcast called ‘Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People’. Hosted by Chris Gethard (even if you don’t instantly recognise his name, if you check his IMDB page you’ll recognise his work I am sure!), the show probably has the simplest podcast premise ever:

1 phone call. 1 hour. No names. No holds barred.EAR_BeautifulAnonymous_Cover_1600x1600_Final-2-300x300

The structure is straight forward too – Chris shares the studio number on his Twitter, when in the studio, and takes a random call from one of his followers. Within the rules, the caller must remain anonymous (hence the name!), and only they can decide to hang -up. Finally, after an hour the call is cut off, regardless of where the conversation is.

On initial inspection, one might have been dubious as to if such a structure would create compelling radio. However, the result is some of the most compelling, interested and emotive podcast content I have come across since the release of ‘Serial’ late in 2014.

I do not wish to ruin anything with specifics, but when you listen you’ll hear from struggling artists, people disillusioned with their religion and those dealing with tragedy (just to name a few). All of which is covered candidly and intimately, in a way that could only be done when protected with complete anonymity.

Be sure to follow Chris Gerhard on Twitter, and you might just have the opportunity to call in. Above all else, be sure to give it a listen – I am sure you won’t be disappointed.

(iTunes link: ‘Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People’)

The Photos Don’t Always Have To Be Fit For Purpose

With the birth of my son happening early in January, the storage on the phones in my household have taken a heavy hit through the constant stream of baby photos that have been constantly taken. I thought this was a great opportunity to create an audio-visual slideshow that answers the question I am often asked: “do I need professional photos prepared for my slideshow?”…and to this I say, not at all!

Zach - good sideObviously there are situations where you would want to ensure your slideshow uses visual content that is bespoke and fit for purpose, such as when creating a brand video. However, if you want a video for an event, such as a wedding or a memorial, the content and story will often trump the actual quality of the imagery.

The below slideshow was created using many photos that were of a lower quality or taken in portrait, which doesn’t always translate into a landscape video. But, through the simple use of video transitions and effect, the viewer will rarely pick up on the small, unavoidable perfections within the original content. In fact, family and friends will often be so awed by the subject matter of a well constructed piece, that image quality and perspective will by of little difference to them (just ask my partner, who just loves seeing videos of her son sleeping!).

So, if you are thinking about getting an audio-visual slideshow created for your event, gathering or even just as a keep sake, don’t forget that the real quality comes from the story.

Check out my audio-visual creations menu (Events Audio & Visual Services Menu), and get in touch for a quote!

How Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!

I realised today that I’ve not written a blog post for the best part of two months, and with 2016 now in full flight, what better time then now to get back on the blogging bandwagon. Looking forward to the year ahead, I think 2016 could be the biggest one yet for me both personally and professionally.

Personally, my first child is due in less than two weeks (11 days to be precise) and I am currently in the process of planning a wedding in May (I say ‘involved in planning’, it’s more a case of me popping in on conversations to ensure budgets don’t get out of hand!).

Professionally, my Ghost Stories podcast is continually growing in listeners and engagement. The dream would be to have the support to produce it full time and maybe even hire additional team members – however, I would settle for it becoming a financially self-sufficient project by the end of 2016. In addition to the podcast I have a few other exciting projects in the pipeline. I won’t reveal anymore now, but keep tuned to find out more in the coming months.

Now, as I am positive people don’t read this blog just to get a glimpse into my life, I thought I would begin the year by highlighting some of my favourite podcasts and podcast episodes of 2015.

Favourite Newcomer: 
“My Dad Wrote A Porno” (iTunes / Facebook)

Dad Wrote A Porno LogoI felt lucky to stumble across this gem of a podcast on the week of its launch. I would go so far as to say it is the funniest podcast I have ever listened to. In fact, I would like to give it an honourable mention as the only podcast I have ever listened to in a group. Normally, listening is something I would do on my own, making this podcast even more entertaining as ashared experience. From episode one, ‘The Job Interview’, all the way to the last, ‘Monday Morning 7.45am’, I was hooked and can’t wait for season two.

Another Favourite Newcomer: “PS I Love You XOXO” (iTunes / YouTube)

PS I Love You LogoMy other top new podcast of 2015 (minus my own of course!) was ‘PS I Love You XOXO’, the Sony Playstation focused podcast created by  Kinda Funny’s Greg Miller and Colin Moriarty.

I am a Playstation gamer, but find it difficult to keep up to date with the latest gaming industry news. This podcast has filled the void, focusing on content relevant to me as a gamer, whilst all the while being fun and entertaining to listen to.

I highly recommend checking it out if you a gamer, regardless of your console allegiances.

Most Anticipated: “Serial – Season Two” (iTunes / Website)

serial-social-logo‘Serial’ was without a doubt one of the biggest podcasts of 2014, and the first three episodes of season two launched in the weeks leading up to Christmas 2015. Having listened, after waiting the best part of a year for it to return, I notice a similar style and production values seen throughout season one of the podcast. After the success of season one, I would love to see the second be a resounding success. However, my worry is that the subject matter for season two may not be as interesting and emotive for listeners outside of the United States. That’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed it so far, but I listen to as many podcasts as I can as part of my chosen hobby and career, I am not positive the average listener will feel the same way.

Will lightening strike twice? For the positive impact on the podcasting industry I hope so, but only time will tell.

Favourite Episode: “Risk! – ‘Shock’ 19 Oct 2015” (iTunes / Website)

risk logoAnyone who loves story telling (is there anyone who doesn’t love a good story?!) should make an effort to listen to this podcast. Their stories can make you laugh, cry and cringe and although I could pretty much pick any episode from 2015, one that particularly stood out for me was ‘Shock’, released back in October. Now, I won’t reveal anything more about the stories other than there is definitely adult content involved, so don’t throw it on around little children…you’ve been warned!

So there you are, a little update about me, some of the things I’ve been listening to and what I’ll be getting up to in the coming months. If you discovered any particularly amazing podcast in the past year, please recommend them in the comments below – I am always on the lookout for a new an interesting listen, regardless of genre! (Point in case, I often listen to Stone Cold Steve Austin’s podcast, and I don’t even watch wrestling!).

That’s all from me – hopefully I’ll have time to write again before another two months pass…depending on how much time this whole ‘having a baby’ thing takes up!



Launching A Podcast On Halloween

It’s been a busy few weeks, hence the the silence on the blog, which saw the launch of season two of my podcast ‘Ghost Stories’. I am very pleased to announce that the podcast launch was a resounding success, and it helped me learn a lot about marketing a podcast within iTunes!

Ghost Story Merch LogosIn terms of listens, as I write this the podcast has had over 200 plays. This may not seem a lot compared to well established podcasts – but when you consider previous episodes took around a month to achieve these numbers and the podcast is still in its infancy, I am very proud of its performance to date.

Given the theme of the podcast, launching season two on Halloween was a no-brainer. What better time to get a horror-fiction podcast on the radar of new potential listeners! This brings me to the first point – when launching a podcast have a think about themes in context of seasonality. For example, if you launching a gaming podcast, try and time its launch within weeks of a gaming conference that will see your potential audiences interest peak in the subject!

Another factor that I fully believe drove much of Ghost Stories season two launch success was its recent performance in iTunes. Highlights over Halloween weekend include:

  • Taking #1 ranking for the query ‘Ghost Stories’ in iTunes, overtaking Jim Harold’s Campfire and Real Ghost Stories Online – both well established podcasts!
  • Getting placed in iTunes ‘New & Noteworthy’ podcasts list within the ‘Featured’ section of the podcasting app
  • Moved into the top charts for ‘Society & Culture’ podcasts in iTunes (peaked at #124, currently #130)

I was particularly proud of that third achievement as the vast majority of podcasts in the top lists are supported huge brands such as BBC, Radiotopia and WNYC.

Now I’d be silly to give away exactly how I managed to get Ghost Stories pushed into these prominent positions within iTunes. However, I will give one piece of advice – if you launch a podcast remember to consider timing and how you will reach users to advertise your content. Once you get that initial following, the organic growth will follow!

It goes without saying, if you are interested in starting a podcast and don’t know where to start, get in touch. I offer a range of podcasting packages that can help you get started! You can download my service pdf here for more information – Business Audio & Visual Services Menu

The Simplest Touch Can make The Biggest Difference

Creating audio visual slideshows has always been one of my active services. However, until a few months back when I produced a piece for a wedding, I didn’t quite realise how powerful a short personalised video could be.

The reactions of the people was amazing, they gasped, they laughed and they cried. In fact, the reaction to the video meant that my requests for audio visual services upped compared to other services I offer. All it takes is sending me fifty or so images, a message and the type of music you want and I can do the rest.

Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 18.19.53The great thing is, that they shouldn’t be limited to just weddings. The versatility of an audio visual slide show means it can be used for a vast variety of events, including birthdays, christmas parties and celebration of life ceremonies. Like I said, it is a simple way to add a memorable personal touch to any event!

If interested, see my events page for a menu of what I can create and use the contact form to get in touch for a quote!

A Day Of Achievements And Serious Results

When I woke up today, I never thought by that by 9pm I would have achieved as much as I had. In fact, I had planned on writing a blog on ‘audio video slideshows’, but abandoned it all together in favour of documenting this day!

Ghost Story Merch LogosFirst off, I’ve taken a huge step on my continued drive to build my ever growing podcast by finishing the first episode of season two of ‘Ghost Stories‘. Not only did I turn around the episode from concept to completed audio in just a week, but initial feedback has been amazing. Some quotes include:

  • “If that’s a real story I am never taking my kids to the park again”
  • “I wish you didn’t record that bit because it was horrible”

I just wanted to clarify, the second comment refers to how frighting the piece was and isn’t a reflection on the audio quality!

Secondly, I am firmly back on the wagon when it comes to fitness (I know this is a radio blog, but it’s also my personal blog so it’s worth mentioning!). I’ve been to my third training session of the week and played two football (or soccer to internationals…) games. I am also due to do my final circuit session of the week tomorrow morning – which hopefully means I am over my recent injuries for the foreseeable future!

But finally, the biggest result of the day was coming home after training to texts saying the final result for my MA in radio & audio production course was now available. I was nothing more than a bag of nerves mixed with optimism as I opened the word document with my results…

Handing in my final project!

Handing in my final project!

I needed 68% on this project to achieve a distinction overall. Given the majority of my marks have been above this so far, I was hoping it could be achieved, and I am pleased to announce that my final project received a staggering 78% – my highest grade all year!

Now this all ties in, because this final project was actually season one of ‘Ghost Stories’. The popularity of which has led to me creating a second season, and trying my hand at building a self sufficient audio brand.

Who would have thought on the day I completed the first episode of season two would be the day I find out season one saw me achieve a distinction in my MA? So, as one phase ends, another one begins – hopefully I’ll be able to announce many more achievements in this blog in the years to come.

Bob Dylan QuoteI feel like I need to end this on a quote of some sort, maybe Bob Dylan put it best saying: “A man is successful if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between; does what he wants to do” – maybe I am not too far off being there.

Ever Considered Setting Up A Podcast For Your Brand?

Podcasting is on the up, and I don’t think this is a flash in the pan trend. The apparently simplistic nature  of the medium from production to accessibility makes it one that seems to appeal to the masses. In this age of on-demand entertainment combined with smartphones, podcasts are accessible and entertaining. But don’t let perceived simplicities fool you, I believe we are passing the days of just anyone throwing  a second rate piece of audio together and gaining an audience. Audio needs to have professional production values of the highest qualities, or listeners will quickly move on to the next available podcast, especially given the vast amount of content available to listen to. Audiences are growing to expect the same quality of content to that if they tuned into the BBC in the UK or NPR in the States.

serial-social-logoWhen I ask people what podcast got them interested in the medium, I am finding an increasingly common answer – “Serial”. If you are reading this and you’ve never heard of or listened to Serial, I strongly suggest you grab your smartphone and get listening (as soon as you finish reading this, that is!). I guarantee you won’t only become hooked, you will need another fix as soon as you are finished – keep calm and see my last post for some recommended listening.

Now, you could spend all day targeting true crime junkies. However, the real beauty in podcasting is that you can find a podcast about almost anything – from sports to Dungeons & Dragons.

How-To-Start-A-Successful-PodcastWith the above in mind, I feel that it is about time more brands and professionals begin to step up and start creating their own podcasts. They are a fantastic educational tool, and can be even better for establishing your voice as one of an authority within a specific industry. For example, the host of Sword & Scale, Mike Boudet, combined his audio engineering background with his love for unsolved mysteries and has now firmly established himself as a voice in true crime circles, through his podcast.

So if you work in an industry or have a hobby you are passionate about, give a podcast some consideration. Search for your subject in iTunes and you may even find a lack of content, meaning you have a ready carved niche to establish yourself within!

Good luck, and I hope to hear some of your content in the future!

Down To Business

If you are thinking of setting up a podcast, from production to hosting it can be a daunting task! But worry not, use the contact form on the side of the page to get in touch and I can give you a quote for anything from recording and editing to marketing and hosting!

A Handful Of Podcasts I Recommend

Since the podcast ‘Serial’ hit our ears last Autumn, the medium has surged in popularity with audiences searching for their next podcast fix. I’ve been listening to podcasts for many years before the arrival of Serial and I don’t tell you this to brag (believe me, I’m really not bragging!) but to let you know there are many other amazing, ready made podcasts available for new listeners to discover and get their fix!

So with this in mind, to celebrate the launch of my shiny new website, I wanted to give you a handful of podcasts I strongly recommend you check out:

Sword & Scale (http://swordandscale.com)

Sword & Scale logoHosted by Mike Boudet, Sword & Scale is the true crime podcast that doesn’t shutter away from any subject. Often giving an eye opening look at criminal cases, supported by audio clips and interviews. If you enjoyed Serial and like true crime, this podcast should be number one on your playlist.

Jim Harold’s Campfire (http://jimharold.com/category/jim-harolds-campfire/)

campfire logoJim Harold has been bringing audiences the best in paranormal podcasts since 2005, and I’ve had the honour of interviewing him for my own podcast (see last on the list!). Of his many podcasts, I particularly enjoy Jim Harold’s Campfire, in which he gives listeners the opportunity to call in and tell their paranormal stories. It has everything from ghosts to aliens, and is well worth a listen!

Risk (http://risk-show.com)

risk logoNo matter your culture, age or background, a trait that all people have shared from the dawn of time is the art of story telling. Hosted by Kevin Allison, the Risk! podcast is taken from live shows where people tell stories they thought they’d never sure in public. It is one of a kind, and without a doubt one of the most engrossing podcasts available today.

Thinking Sideways Podcast (http://thinkingsidewayspodcast.com)

thinking sideways logoHosted by the trio Steve, Devin and Joe, Thinking Sideways Podcasts takes an in-depth look at unsolved mysteries. The trio gives a new perspective to the mysteries the investigate in each episode, and are thoroughly entertaining in the process.

The Generation Why Podcast (http://thegenerationwhypodcast.com)

generation why logoDuring each episode, hosts Justin and Aaron break down unsolved murders, controversies, mysteries, conspiracies, as well as anything that impacts our culture and attempt to look at the ‘why’ around each of them.

Ghost Stories The Podcast (http://ghost-stories.co.uk)

Of course, I couldn’t recommend a handful of podcasts without mentioning my own! Ghost Stories is the docu-tainment series which I personally produce, with season one having launched in August 2015.

Ghost Story Merch LogosThe Ghost Stories podcast brings listeners a new frightening short story, every fortnight. The catch, however, is some of the stories are fact and some are fiction, this is not to be revealed, but for listeners to decided based on their own evidence.

I’m currently in the process of creating season two of the podcast, so be sure to subscribe, check out season one and hopefully you’ll be hearing some new content come the back end of October!

So there it is, some of my top recommended podcasts. Be sure to let me know if you have any recommendations for me to check out, and I’ll be sure to have a look. Furthermore, if you are thinking of starting a podcast but don’t know where to start, get in touch (contact form on the right) and see if I can help you out!



*Podcast logos borrowed from their recommended sites – I hope this is ok, as it’s part of a recommendation – but if at all an issue please let me know and I would be happy to remove them.