It seems like every year or so I write up a new blog post about the “State of the Podcast” and how I’m revamping it or changing directions. It’s as if my life’s circumstances is in perpetual flux and I simply cannot hold a rigid structure to my content creation, be it in concept or schedule. It’s like I am constantly re-aligning and re-evaluating what works and what doesn’t and I’m constantly adjusting course.
Well, here we go again.
This isn’t working
Oddly enough, with this global pandemic THAT JUST WON’T GO AWAY BECAUSE PEOPLE DON’T UNDERSTAND BASIC FLIPPIN’ HYGIENE, it seems as if I have even LESS free time. Most likely this is because as I am trying to spend fewer days in the office at my day job, but I am unable to perform any meaningful work from home, when I do go in I am working longer days. This means that I am perpetually exhausted at home, since my night-time fatherly/husbandly duties can only be done when the boys are asleep but in order to clock more hours at the office I have to wake up even earlier. Yup, burning the candle at both ends.
This means that I am having one hell of a time trying to find time to schedule podcast guests. The common trend currently is for me to keep asking the same few guests, “When will you be available this week?” and then never actually find the time. It frustrates me to no end, and I am sure it is not the best display of my professionalism. The thought of finding multiple consecutive hours to record a show and then even more to edit the episode properly is nearly laughable.
Diversify to Survive
What I HAVE been able to do, is start creating content in different forms. The common thread between all the different types of content is that they no longer require multiple consecutive hours of uninterrupted attention. Not only that, but it also appears that these smaller, more digestible, types of content resonate much more with my followers and my reach has grown significantly more than with the monthly podcast.
So, what am I doing different? Mainly, I have been putting my voice, and specifically my voice, to work
In various forms, I have been a public speaker for over a decade. In a previous life, I had MC’s and hosted various music and charity events. By doing so, I had increased my competency to generate better presentations in a professional capacity and became the de facto presenter at my day job. The past few years, I have taken this even further and joined a corporate Toastmaster’s Club, where I get feedback on my presentation skills in real-time. I may not be a full blown, “Professional Speaker”, but I’m getting there! This is all on top of the fact that I have been doing this podcast for several years now, so yeah I’ve got some experience behind me now.
VGXT on YouTube
Before, I have only used my YouTube as an additional outlet for my podcast episodes. I really haven’t done anything else with it. During the pandemic, I was able to establish a proper template for video creation and I can now produce a ~15min vid without much trouble. Since my abilities as a public speaker have trained me to speak more fluidly and competently, I have little editing to do to clip out “uhs”, and “ahs”, and other vocal missteps. The most time consuming part of this process is writing out scripts for me to follow, and even in that regard I am experimenting with unscripted videos to bring that time commitment down. Sure, I use an outline as a guide, but I am no longer writing out multiple pages and speaking every single word.
Game Insider Magazine
One of the BIGGEST changes is that I am now collaborating with Game Insider Magazine! In this way, it is mostly cross-promoting the other creators in our little group. I have also included their official splash at the beginning of my own videos as a little bit of additional branding. On top of that, I have most recently started voicing some of Game Insider’s videos so I stay active and continue to contribute. The scripts are fairly short, especially when compared to my own. It takes me under 10min to record, and then under 15min to edit. However, the only thing I contribute is my voice; I’m not writing the script now am I compiling everything to create and publish the video. They send me a script, I record and edit, and send it back. The entire process takes under 30min of active effort, so I am able to squeeze it in my bizarrely busy personal schedule.
In business terms, it is essentially Game Insider contracting out the narration for their videos: Rather than doing everything, they are emailing me the script for recording part of publication. This frees up their time for other content generation, so literally everybody wins. Here’s an example of one of the vids:
Voice Overs for Other Initiatives
Beyond Game Insider, I have also lent my voice to a few other initiatives where I am able to put in an hour or less of effort at any one given time. These include the Destiny Lore Audiophile, and through that I helped out with another YouTube vid for Kaz PhD:
Also….I may have some other VO opportunities brewing behind the scenes….No Spoilers, but there’s a possibility I could be making a huge announcement in the near future.
However, even with all this additional voice over work and success with my YouTube, I do not want to give up the podcast. Therefore, what I plan on is this: Occasional episodes with a heavier focus on Live Events. I will still record a guest interview on occasion, but I will steer away from “Current Events” and other news articles. It will be more guest interview heavy, with conversations around some current news topics but discussed on a more macro scale. When we, as a society, finally pull our heads out of our collective asses and actually overcome this pandemic, live events will start up again. Cons will come back, and so will vendors ready to pitch their goods to podcasters as well as other media guests. Additionally, I will be trying to leverage some of my new found success to start pitching topics for panel discussions and presentations at these events. In doing so, the podcast aspect of Videogame Crosstalk will be branded as “VGXT Radio” or “VGXT Live”, depending on the context. This will allow for the podcast to persist within this new direction.
The Party Ain’t Over
In closing, I want to thank everyone who has stuck with me during this journey. This is definitely turning into a tale where they the importance the journey itself, and not the destination! I truly feel like I’m beginning to find my way in content creation, and it’s beginning to seem like I could actually swing this full-time if I had the opportunity to truly devote my time to it. That, of course, would be the dream!
So until next time, I’ve got a backlog to whittle down in between Destiny 2 Seasons. Speaking of which, I’ve created my first “reaction” style video!