I'll tell you why... I suppose that's what a blog's for right?
As much as I have learnt that I really enjoy to write stuff and share my thoughts, that is exactly what I can do with a podcast too!
As you may or may not know, I am a big lover of American Wrestling and have been since I was about 8 years old. Most of the kids at school used to shout "Boss Man Slaaaaam!" whenever they saw me down the school field or walking down the corridor.
It never really bothered me as I always thought "each to their own" and you like what you like but that's a story for another day!
I started to like listening to podcasts from America about wrestling. For years I would listen to them before most people had even heard about podcasts over here!
When someone asked me what I was listening to I would tell them it was a podcast and they didn't have a clue what I was talking about!
"A podcast? Whats That?"
Put simply from Wikipedia...
A podcast is an episodic series of spoken word digital audio files that a user can download to a personal device for easy listening.
I decided that there was a massive hole in the UK market for a Wrestling podcast and so I would create one! I say one, over the years I've had many podcasts on wrestling and before the world caught on, they did really well. I got into the podcast charts, I had big wrestling celebrity types on the shows for a chat, I had co-hosts with me to talk about what had happened that week and I'll be honest, I wish I'd have stuck with it as many years later, who knows what those podcast shows would have been doing and how big they would have got, but for whatever reason they ended! (Will it happen again? In the world of Wrestling, you never say never!)
For about 12 years of my life I was in the wonderful world of Radio. From Wyvern Fm To Classic Gold and Total Star and I truly loved it. It consumed every inch of me. It may have been an overnight show, a breakfast show, production, live events, it really didn't matter, I had it running through my veins. There was a point in my life in my home town that I could have had the radio station name printed across the top of my forehead because that's what I was. I was like a walking advert for the station... "there's that bloke from the radio station...."
Again, my radio story is for another day but it leads nicely into me presenting my own podcast show and the love I have for it!
Once I had moved away from radio (I had to make a choice between being a presenter on the radio and performing live on stage) there was another hole but this time it was in me. I think I was missing radio and if I'm honest, to this day I still do. Between you and me, I have been in talks recently about launching my own station, buying licences, names and even down to branding but again that'll be for the radio blog!
It was a no brainer really, I had the technical stuff at home so why not do a podcast? That is why I got into the wrestling shows in the first place! They say find a niche which wrestling defiantly is.
Years later and after taking a break from the wrestling podcasts I felt it was time to make another. Suddenly most people new what a podcast was thanks to almost every celebrity bringing one out, especially during the covid era.
As soon as the majority of the Towie cast and every comedian on the circuit had no tv work or live gigs, they made a podcast. Great for spreading the word of podcasts but unfortunately not so great for the smaller shows like mine that have been trying to gain a bigger audience as there are only so many hours in the day and with everyone doing a show, people will listen for a certain amount of time, to certain podcast or a certain person. This has made it a really tough market to be in!
I don't like to do things by half and have always loved a challenge, so if there's more competition out there you just need to make your product better. If there was one thing I learned in radio it was...
Anything you create can be copied around the world instantly...
You don't need to be a step ahead of the competition, you need to be two or three steps ahead so they don't catch you and believe me, there are people I have seen over the years copying my content and the way I do things but thankfully they just don't do it very well (that sounded big headed didn't it but I like to call those folks, chancers or fly by nights!). There is a huge difference between being inspired by something someone has done and doing something similar to down and out copying!
My biggest mistake was stopping the wrestling podcast. As I said earlier, who knows what that show may have turned out to be? Now there are 100's of wrestling podcasts in the UK alone and even more around the rest of the world so the competition is incredible.
So whats happening now? If there is a load of competition why have you decided to do it all again?
I think it must be a bug I have but also over the years I have learnt so much about it from being on the radio to hosting my own shows and without the big finger of doom pointing over me, telling me that I can only talk for 15 to 30 seconds 4 or 5 times an hour with all personality drained away from me. I can do and say almost anything I like now. I don't make the show to swear or be crude but if I fancy saying something and it fits the content then I will, I can be 100% me. It is also a nice way for family and friends and anyone else who just feels the need to catch up with what I'm doing. Especially now with the whole lockdown balls and distancing stuff.
I mentioned earlier that making a niche is a great way forward for any podcast to grow so that your audience will know what you are talking about and what to expect. Making my latest show 'JUMBO' I have probably done it the hard way by not focusing on a certain topic. Although the show has a style and format it doesn't really have it's own niche!
I still enjoy listening to other podcasts and truly believe that the future is in audio. I like to listen to 'The Smart 7' which is a daily news podcast that tells you everything you need to know in less than 7 minutes. It's a snapshot of the world, covering everything from politics to entertainment and current affairs. Hosted by the wonderful Jamie East and written by Liam Thompson and is part of the Daft Doris Network. They are doing great and it really does spell out what the show is all about. After doing so well they have even branched out with 'The Sports 7' and who knows where they will be in a couple of years!
With 'Jumbo' I take a light hearted look at one or two news stories during the show. I sometimes have a guest on from either a performer, actor, artist, magician, corner shop owner or just a mate who fancies a chat. This week I even talked to a guy from America who believes the world is flat... I don't think he convinced me if I'm honest!
It may sound cheesy but I have a great bunch of people that get in touch with me about the show and a community who always listen each week. Some are showing me support on my Patreon and some show me support by just sharing the show across social media.
I have merchandise like badges, t-shirts, personalised signed pictures and with the content I believe it is very much like a short radio show just without Kylie or Sam Smith popping up every few moments. I may even go old stool and get some car stickers like I used to give out in the early days of radio to help with the promotion.
There is no rule for the length of a podcast either. Some can be a couple of hours long and others are just a few minutes. Mine is anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes but I like to try and keep it shorter. As I said earlier, there's a lot of competition and only so many hours in the day with other podcasters battling for that top spot!
Over the years, during my time on the radio and performing on stage, I have met an awful lot of celebrities but you'd be surprised how many can't just nip on for a chat without clearing things with their management and I understand, even if that's probably just a polite way of them saying no. If it's not going to fit their brand I am more than understanding. I still get a nice variety of people on and as the show grows hopefully I'll get more. Without a big company machine behind me it can be tricky but that makes me even more determined to make it a success!
It is a hard slog I won't lie but if I got just a couple of people sharing the show to a bigger audience, things might be a little easier. I don't have loads of patrons but I've seen some Patreon accounts with thousands of people supporting. Imagine that? I truly love everyone who supports me on Patreon but I'd be over the moon if I had 100 supporters... Ok, 500... Ok who am I kidding... 500,000 would be nice too!
At the moment, I can't be on stage doing what I love so i'm putting all I can into my podcast Jumbo and I do an episode every week Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Last Saturday saw this show turn 1 and I've already taken off the nappies. For the last year I'm really proud that I have done an episode three times a week every week and last year even made some noise on Christmas Day.
My plan is to keep at it and I don't plan on stopping any time soon, like I did with the wrestling show all those years ago. I will grow this show and hope that people continue to find it, listen and enjoy it.
Unlike my other shows, I have found it very hard to get into the apple or Spotify charts but I have faith. What is it they say? "If you build it they will come!" Well I've built it so let's see if they come.
So why podcasting? I think the simple answer is because I see it as entertainment and entertainment is a huge part of who I am. I used to be a walking advert for the radio station I worked for and now I want to be the same for my own podcast Jumbo!
If you fancy having a listen or sharing it with your friends or enemies, maybe you want to become a Patreon? Whatever it is, I've set up a Link-Tree with all the links you will ever need so you can become a part of the Jumbo community.
Link Tree Link: https://linktr.ee/Jumbopodcast
All the love