Podcasting: My Idea, My Plan, My Start, My Story

January 13, 2021
Jonah Beckenstein

Vaughan, Ontario, Canada

Class of 2023

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“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” — Babe Ruth (Superstar MLB Player)

But what does that really mean? Why does it affect our daily lives, and how did I put it to use?

My name is Jonah Beckenstein, and I am the co-owner and a host of “Off The Bat.”

It started off with a small Instagram fan page. A friend and I both had a passion for baseball and wanted to educate others on it. We posted news, highlights, and more. We posted daily and grew a small following base. Nothing big, but it was something I enjoyed doing. No money invested; it was a nice way to start out. The more and more I posted, the more I became interested in baseball. It didn’t feel like enough, and there were times when I wasn’t happy with the progress that we made. It was a challenge, as I was putting hours each day into planning and making posts and stories with very little progress.

Realizing that the progress wasn’t where we wanted it to be, new options were explored. We looked at YouTube, a Facebook page/group, Twitter, a Podcast, a Blog, a Website, and even an app. We automatically filtered out an App, we were too small of a page and not well known. We disregarded a Blog/Website, as we didn’t have any capital to work with, we were too small to consider investing in the ‘project’, as we weren’t a business at the time. Eventually, we landed on a YouTube channel, and a Twitter account.

I never really liked Twitter, but I did use it. I used Twitter specifically to make Instagram posts. Essentially, I would go on my phone and Tweet an image, along with either a fact, quote, or some news. After that, I would take a screenshot and send it to InShot, an App on the App store. It turns all of my screenshots into perfect squares with proper dimensions, and it also allowed me to watermark my posts, so if other accounts use the post I would get some recognition.

We knew that people liked to watch gaming videos. Our YouTube videos were mostly statistical and involved realistic simulations. We received positive feedback, along with lots of video requests. We tried to release videos every other day and managed to do that easily for 2-3 months. We got as much content out as we could, but I felt that I could be doing more. Certainly playing video games and editing videos was fun, but I matured and started looking deeper into current events. I grew interested in advanced statistics and realized that gaming videos were not what I wanted to continue doing.

Then it happened. In December 2019, I told my friend that I’m going to try a new type of video—one that was just sound—me talking about baseball. It was going to be my thoughts along with facts and current events. I started off by contrasting different views and opinions. This lasted for a good month. I probably released 2-3 videos in this format. We started the podcast with the idea in mind of educating others, growing and feeding into Baseball passions like mine. I made sure to keep things basic so that it could be enjoyed by beginners and experts. I made sure to do research before each episode and write down notes. It was a rocky start. I didn’t know enough about podcasting, the structure, and the platforms. I went ahead and spent $30 on a bad microphone, and recorded myself talking. I used iMovie to add my logo over the podcast. I uploaded the video to Youtube, and it went like this for 2-3 months.

We eventually left YouTube for a new platform I found that was completely free. It took me a few months to find the right platform.: Anchor.fm. Anchor is based in the USA, so I don’t get full access to all the features, specifically monetization, but that is not my focus here. Anchor was fun, they even have a built-in system for multi-location recording. I would be on my phone recording, and I could have people from around the world on the recording. This is all built into the Anchor app. However,  I didn’t love it. There definitely should be a way to do the recording from a computer, as they allow for single location recording online, and they even have a new built-in sound editor. I still use Anchor. They host my RSS Feed, which is the link that gives all the information to the podcast to other websites and platforms. It’s how I got onto Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and more.

I posted a bunch of mini-episodes weekly, which are all deleted now, that had no opinions. They were just news/updates and usually lasted anywhere between 5-10 minutes. They were small, easy, and fun, and I did them alone. The growth wasn’t anywhere near what I expected, and we needed to promote the podcast. I started Direct Messaging players, coaches, and others within the industry on Instagram, and together, my friend and I sent over 100 messages. Most of them said ‘seen’, but only 5-10 people responded, and we arranged appearances with them. These were just interviews, and they were interesting. The best part was getting publicity from the guest sharing the episode with all their friends and family! After 4-5 episodes, it started drying up, fewer people wanted to come on the podcast. The industry that you’re a part of has an effect on your podcast performance. If I were looking to get a guest on the podcast in September most people would say ‘try another time,’ as it is really busy for everyone at this time of year. Realizing that the Anchor phone app wasn’t what I liked, we decided to use Zoom, even with the 40-minute limitation, to record video and audio, which I cut out the parts that weren’t needed, and I added them to YouTube and Anchor. These platforms then added them to the RSS feed, which distributed the episode across the internet.

I signed up for LinkedIn, as a personal account with my name, Jonah Beckenstein. I added a guest or two that was on the podcast. LinkedIn is the perfect place to find new guests. Once you have 1 person added, you can see everyone they have added, as well as their job/position. You can also send a message when you request to add them to ‘your network.’ I have about 200 people in my network, and I am even a part of the Baseball Industry group. I found a solid amount of guests there and ended season 2 of the podcast early. People in this field got too busy too early, and it was hectic. Everyone was busy and I decided to take a break from the podcast, just until the industry came back to normal. 

This was a busy summer. I did research and learned about an awesome website called PodPage, which turns your RSS feed into a website for $5/month. I built the website and maintained it. Episodes automatically sync, and it is much cleaner to say ‘check out our website offthebat.ca’ versus asking people to follow a bunch of different Social Media platforms. It has all the podcast information as well.

When we reached the end of November, I realized that the Offseason was far underway, and we needed to start releasing content again. I updated the podcast trailer, which was originally from January 2020, when my voice sounded different than it does now. Days later, I got a request for a specific episode that didn’t require a guest, so I wrote an outline with some speaking points and posted an episode 2 days later. 

Season 3 Episode 1 - Welcome back? Off-season style!

Stay tuned for more articles written by me—as I am going to write about Business and Podcasting!

If you are interested in starting a podcast I can help you out, just send me an email! (j.beckenstein05@gmail.com)

Throughout this past year and a half, there hasn’t been a doubt of me giving it my all. It’s important to realize that giving up is not an option. I kept my motivation, my dedication, and my morale.

My name is Jonah Beckenstein, and welcome to “Off The Bat!”

Jonah Beckenstein is an Aleph from Lake Ontario Region who's too busy to write a bio... *Proceeds to open TikTok.*

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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