The idea of cranking out content just to spew and repurpose it to every platform imaginable feels gross, uninspired, and unsustainable to me.
We are not here to crank out content. We’re here to create an experience, connection, and transformation.
Songs and albums light me up. They have been the soundtrack to my life, and they’ve unlocked my ability to time travel. I can hear a song and instantly transport myself to a specific feeling, event, or time in my life.
Good songs have fueled me to dedicate countless hours learning to sing, practicing cover songs, and eventually writing my own songs. A good song performed well creates an experience and connection for both the performer and the listener. Sometimes they float you right out of your body.
Movies have moved me to laugh hysterically, sob uncontrollably, and ponder life in galaxies far far away.
Books have introduced me to new friends, adventures, and worlds beyond my own.
Podcasts have opened my ears, head, and heart to how other people experience the world – people who don’t look or sound like me, with different lived experiences and perspectives.
The world doesn’t need us making more “content.” Content created just because you think you need content is a commodity. It might be informative, maybe even a little entertaining, but there is nothing magical, experiential, or transformational about it.
Technically, aren’t songs, movies, books, and podcasts all content? I suppose so. I’ve seen them all repurposed into other mediums. We don’t have to look any further than Dolly Parton to find songs shared at live concerts, turned into music videos, movies, and books. Dolly is a multi-media empire. Finding success in other mediums is all based on the fact that she started with a good song. Writing and producing the best song possible is where it all started. It was never about creating content.
For me, the difference between cranking out content and creating something that matters is in the purpose, intent, and why something is created.
I have no desire to work with podcasting clients who come to me because they were told to create content. I’ve decided recently that those projects are a hard pass for a multitude of reasons. I need anything we create together to serve a higher purpose for both you and me.
Growing beyond the podcast
I produced a podcast earlier this year called The UkuDaily Dispatch. The show’s premise was that I would publish a new “daily ditty” written on my ukulele to put a little goodness and joy into the world. This podcast was started as a practice to develop my songwriting muscles and get me into the habit of showing up every morning to write these little ditties. It was accountability, and it significantly improved my ukulele playing.
My goal at the start was to publish a new episode daily for a year. I would post the audio to the podcast, and there would also be a video version for the YouTube channel I started for the podcast.
I made it 60 days in a row publishing the podcast. At that point, it was starting to become a grind. It wasn’t fun anymore. I was beginning to create content because it was what I “should” do because I said that I would do it for an entire year.
I made it 20 days in a row publishing a video to my YouTube channel. I learned some big lessons about my capacity and video production skills, or lack thereof. Starting with Day 21, I posted audio-only with a still image to the YouTube channel. Did it kill my retention rate? Probably. I don’t care. The podcast is still discoverable on YouTube and available for anyone that wants to listen there.
Was this project a failure because I didn’t publish 365 episodes? NOT. EVEN. CLOSE. (Hey, fellow Gen Xers, did you finish this line with “BUD”?)
This project was a smashing success for me. I have 60 new songs. I committed to a practice. I now have a much better understanding of my songwriting process and how my creativity flows. It was never about downloads, views, or growing an audience. It was always about the purpose. The purpose for me was to develop the songwriting practice. The purpose in creating this for my listener was to share a little ditty to lift their spirits.
As a result of starting this podcast, I’ve recorded my first album UkuDaily Favorites Vol. 1. It has 13 songs that were shared on the podcast. The album will be available this fall. In addition, I’m performing songs from the podcast/album at the She Podcasts Live conference in October 2021.
commit to creating the best podcast possible
Whoa! For a woman not motivated to crank out content to share in every place imaginable, I’ve sure found lots of ways to share these little ukulele ditties. All of these opportunities sprouted from the original project. The end goal was never repurposing. I focused and cared enough to write the best songs that I could. The songs were the seeds of these other opportunities.
I’m not saying don’t repurpose what you create. Share it in the places where it makes sense. I encourage my podcasting clients to think strategically about what they are creating, why they want to create it, how, and where it can be distributed on other platforms. Let’s start by committing to make the best podcasts we can make. We don’t need to crank out any more generic uninspired “content.”
Thanks for reading. Now go make something that matters. Make a difference. Get out in the world and do some good.