European Podcasters Adapt To Life Under Lockdown

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Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

It’s one thing to be a podcaster locked down in Paris. It’s another to be an American podcaster who left China just before the outbreak now sequestered in Germany. We’ll hear their stories today. It’s also the 300th episode of Podcast Pontifications. Woot!

My body has clearly had enough of this locked-down reality. It’s behaving very strangely and I’ll share that with you in just a moment. But first I want to share a couple of stories from European podcasters (well, podcasters in Europe, at least) caught up in the pandemic like the rest of us.

Laetitia Perraut — One Thing In A French Day

When the lockdown started in France on March 16th, I had the weekend to think about many things. Getting organized at home with my 3 girls, going shopping alone because my husband had to go to work in Paris, and running the podcast.

I had to share what we were going through, so I decided to release a new episode each day. It was a little bit challenging, but I think it was a good thing to do. Within 10 days, my audience had grown up by 30%!

As I cannot travel to talk with guests in person as I used to, I had to find other ways to interview people. Tomorrow, I’m doing my first interview on the phone.

The lockdown has also been a sort of laboratory. For example, I’m trying to improve my audio editing skills. I’ve changed the music I use to produce an episode. I’m taking a lot more photos that I’m sharing with my listeners. And I’m testing new ideas with my paying subscribers.

This period is changing me and the relations that I have with my listeners. From their feedback, I’m confident I’m doing the right thing.

Stephanie Fuccio — Geopats Podcast

My answer to how the lockdown is affecting me and my podcasting requires just a hair of backstory. Until January 1, 2020, I had been living as an expat in Shanghai, China. On literally the first day of 2020, I moved to Berlin, Germany to start my next international adventure. I was exploring my new adopted country, enrolled in some German language classes, and was plying my craft from various coffee shops and coworking spaces. As an expat who travels a lot, I’m very comfortable working as a “digital nomad”, as everything I do just requires my computer.

But then the quarantine started. The virus came to Europe. And I’m on a six-month job-seeker visa. Ouch.

In all of the newness and temporariness that comes with plopping oneself in a new country, my husband and I booked a temporary apartment. We didn’t plan on spending tons of time in the apartment, so we didn’t focus on creature comforts. So while the furniture we have is functional, it isn’t something you really want to spend days and days nestled into, you know?

Now we were supposed to stay inside most of the time. We get out for walks in the parks, exercise, grocery stores… the usual stuff that you guys are dealing with in the States too. I had to get creative on how I was going to sit and work on my computer. I’ll spare you a lot of the details, but I used everything from a hard IKEA dining room chair, to a yoga ball, to a folding chair that you would use at a sporting event, to a standing desk on a dresser, to the bed, to various Amazon boxes piled on top of each other and/or piled on top of my lap, to just standing at every single counter and space available in the apartment.

Nothing worked.

So I did decide to put my podcasts on hiatus. I’m still working on #PodRevDay and some different podcasting efforts like the podcast accountability group I belong to and our weekly newsletter. I can’t be completely detached because I love all this stuff too much!

This has brought up something that I haven’t heard much in the podcasting groups that I’m in. Physically, what do we do to stay comfortable and healthy while we’re podcasting? I know people say, “get up and move around”, “drink a lot of water”, that kind of thing.

But when I started asking podcasters something as basic as what kind of chair they use, I got more giggles than anything else. That’s inspired me to do a special episode on The Geopats Podcast, where I ask that very question: What is your physical setup?

I don’t want to talk about your tech. I want to talk about your physical set up. Not everybody who podcasts has access to comfortable office chairs. How do we not put our physical bodies in pain while we record the episodes that we desperately want to send out into the world?

Happy 300th Episode To Me

Big thanks to Laetecia and to Stephanie for sharing their stories. Hopefully you found them inspirational. But let’s talk about me. It is the 300th episode, after all. Clearly I should find a little bit of time to talk about myself as a podcast or under the lockdown just like you.

So far so good. Those of you who’ve been listening for a while know that we had a bit of a fever scare at ShEvo Studios recently. But that seems to have gone away, so I think we’re fine.

But here’s a weird new thing.I’m only eating one meal a day. What’s up with that?

This week, I have only eaten lunch. I normally skip breakfast during the week, so I always have lunch. Not a huge lunch, because I don’t like working when I’m stuffed. But this week when dinner time comes around… I haven’t been hungry. So I don’t eat. Perhaps my body is sick and tired of all of the crap that I have been feeding it for the five weeks prior to this? And maybe that’s good, because my body is also saying, “Dude, I am the heaviest I’ve been in a long time. Let’s not do this anymore.” OK, body. You win. I could skip a meal or twelve.

I hope things are fine for you, but I realize that things are not fine — not fine at all — for many people out there. I am very sorry if that is the case for you. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: If you’re struggling with your podcast during the lockdown, I want to help. Seriously. You will not be impinging upon our friendship or whatever this relationship is, I promise. Yes, you can just email me out of the blue like a few people already have. I like it when podcasters send me emails asking for me to help them think through a problem or challenge. I really do love doing it.

This is a genuine, free offer. No strings attached. If you’re stuck on something, or if you’re not sure what you should do, let me know.I’m here to help.

Tell A Friend About Podcast Pontifications

Please tell one person — just one person — about Podcast Pontifications. Like actually send them a personalized email and suggest that they listen to this program. It makes a huge difference when you reach out to someone personally. I love the retweets. I love you sharing episodes on social properties. But sending one person a single message works really, really well.

Have a fantastic rest of your Thursday. Enjoy your Friday (because I don’t do episodes on Fridays). And then have a great weekend. At home.

Be well and I’ll see you back on Monday for yet another Podcast Pontifications.

Since you got this far (and going against what I just said), how about mashing that 👏 button a few dozen times to let me know you dig the written-word version of my thoughts on these podcasting topics? I’d sure appreciate it!

This article started life as a podcast episode. The 300th episode of my four-times-a-week short-form podcast called, oddly enough, Podcast Pontifications. It’s a podcast for working podcasters that’s focused on trends in our growing industry and ideas on ways to make podcasting not just easier, but better. Yes, you should listen. Here’s an easy way: 👇

Evo Terra (hey, that’s me!) has been podcasting since 2004, is the author of Podcasting For Dummies and Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies, and is the CEO and founder of Simpler Media Productions, a strategic podcast consultancy working with businesses, brands, and professional service providers all around the world.

Podcast philosopher. Professional contrarian. On a mission to make podcasting better. Hip he/him. คุณ | http://PodcastPontifications.com | http://Simpler.Media

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