Being pregnant and then being a new mom isn’t easy – let alone keeping up a podcast, and an online presence. Find out how you can avoid 4 big mistakes I made. Hint: It has to do with building your online presence.
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE LOVE LOVE podcasting. I love the flow of words right into the mic that comes from my brain to share my thoughts with you. It’s a sharing of content like no other, and I want to always keep podcasting for you to share my tips and thoughts with you in online marketing, social media, SEO, and especially visual marketing. Anything that will help you get in front of a potential audience, and therefore potential customers.
I was working a full time gig as a marketing manager at one of the largest trade show exhibit houses in the Greater New York City area. I was working with clients on the side, to help build websites and also to manage social media, under Say WOW Marketing.
My podcasting history:
I started podcasting back in April 2014. I’ll set the scene for you:
Later in the year, September 2014, I finally became pregnant, with the help of IVF, which seems to be so popular in the news lately. My world turned upside down and I had to prepare for a new addition to my family, which became my number one priority. During a difficult pregnancy, I went out on temporary disability when walking and sitting became almost impossible due to the pain (and I don’t like to ever complain – people on the outside hardly knew I was pretty much on couch rest towards the end of my pregnancy.
When I was “ready” to go back to work, the owner sold the company. So I had no job to go back to, and about to have my first child – a difficult time, but I’d get through with the help of my family.
During that time, I still found a way to repurpose some of my content from previous blogs, and still podcasting.
Difficulties Podcasting and Pregnant
Podcasting during pregnancy is not easy. You’re short of breath as the baby continues to press up on your lungs, so I had to edit out a lot of gasping for air, as I would speak into the microphone, my words did not flow as easily and anyone listening would not be able to help being distracted by the fact that I sounded like I ran a marathon. My voice also changed and I was super hot all the time. But still, I pushed on, cranking out my weekly podcasts, just changing my workflow and adapting as best as I could.
Challenges of Podcasting and Being a New Mom
Fast forward to May 28, 2015, when I became a mom. My schedule changed from scheduling things I needed to do, to keeping my son a number one priority in my schedule. My own personal schedule would not exist during the first three months, and I would not be able to have time to develop the content that I used to.
Even as I write this post, I’m in Physical Therapy still recovering from a difficult pregnancy and delivery. I’m talking this piece of content myself using talk to text on my iPhone. I never could do one thing at a time, I had to jam in as much as I could into my day. I was in the PT room hopped up on a table with the door closed attached to electric stim while I wrote this. How’s that for multitasking? Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Mistake #1: Don’t start content creation with your podcast first.
I used to start my content creation wherever I was, with my iPhone. I love the talk to text feature, and being able to hop on any device I had, including web. This is where Google Drive came in the picture for me. I kept a journal. Now that I think about it, I realize how helpful this was to me. It was where I would start all of my journaling, my brain, and in my thoughts and create content. It was the baby factory of my content, if you will.
While I was pregnant,everything changed. I had pregnancy brain, and I would forget the littlest things. So thinking of content to create kind of took the backseat as things became more difficult for me.
Then when I had my son, my schedule was turned upside down. I was on alert 24/7 and my son had mild colic, to boot. I didn’t know how I was going to create content, so I thought I would start repurposing my YouTube videos and other things I had created before. I had a ton of content and just want to make it easier for me to keep podcasting throughout.
So I started creating content from my podcast first. For me to just speak into the microphone as I’m speaking right now into my iPhone. I can create content wherever I am even if I don’t have a notebook or I’m not at a PC.
For me, the birthplace of all my content was my journal I kept on Google Drive, and still have to this day. Evernote would be great, too, it just never worked right for me. It’s been so long since I’ve journaled that was the birthplace of all of my content. I forgot about me.
So find the best way to optimize your workflow. How do you create content best? Is it from articles you find?
Mistake #2: Not Being on YouTube
I am big believer in YouTube video marketing. I studied with James Wedmore, and it has been tremendous for not only building my brand name but also a community. And because Google owns YouTube, the visibility is multiplied as you appear in search results not only on YouTube but Google.
When I was pregnant, I did not want to appear on video. Not only was it difficult for me to sit in front of a camera, and set up all my equipment, but I didn’t want to put on any makeup, it wasn’t even a possibility. Then I’d have to sit at the PC and do editing and upload.
I would do multiple takes. And I would do it all myself without a team. I like to do it right or not at all. Perfectionist at heart. It’s difficult for me to let go.
I barely had time to get on camera, let alone do the editing and the YouTube upload. Transcription? Are you kidding?
So I turned to Periscope, at least to try to get on the screen again. It was my warm-up entrance back into the world of YouTube videos, which I miss so much. In fact I might even hop on a scope later today to produce a video for this entrance back into the world of YouTube, but I can’t make any promises on that. But the great thing about it would be that I could “katch it” (see my previous podcast on Periscope) and embed the video on my blog, even downloading it for YouTube if I want. But the truth is I’d rather speak to the audience rather than just repurpose it. You always have to tailor the message to the audience, anyway.
I figured if I could podcast I could just come back to my content and repurpose that later on. That is exactly what I plan to do now.
As a new mom, up until my son turned three months of age (two days ago), YouTube videos were the furthest thing from my mind.
I wish that I could say I had a better plan to do YouTube videos, but I just couldn’t do them while I was out of commission. I’m including it as mistake number 2 just because if you aren’t incapable of producing them yourself, you totally should. I have to play a 6 month catch up game, as I watched my web traffic numbers dwindle.
Mistake #3: Waiting until the last minute.
As a new mom, it is always a struggle to find the right time to do something. My schedule is not my own. I’m on 24/7. that is the choice I make, staying at home without a full-time job to return to and choosing not to look for a new one. It was a blessing in disguise and I was always wondering how it would happen. I wanted to grow my online business as so many that I admired before me.
I would have so many things that came up after I published my podcast, and I had originally planned to record videos, do the accompanying blog posts. I was determined not to give up, but the days would go by through the week, and the days go by so fast without me getting anything done that I wanted to do for my own brand online marketing. But I was committed to scheduling my podcasts for Tuesday 6am est.
Over time during my pregnancy and before I sat down today and thought about it with a clear mind, sort of a birds eye view, that I wasn’t producing my content like I used to. I didn’t have a podcast folder, or a YouTube folder on Google Drive, which I used to use to keep my ideas fresh for the following week.
I didn’t have a journal used to start from and then tease out my content ideas from that. I used to do this the first thing in the morning before anyone was up, at the crack of dawn. This is when my brain works best.
Gone was the idea factory and I would just wait until the last minute and do the post on Monday. Until it became just a podcast without a post, and I said no more, this has to stop. I’m driving traffic to iTunes or Stitcher, wherever you’re picking up this podcast. But there was little traffic to my website. But my podcast downloads increased, so all was not lost.
Mistake #4: Not driving traffic to my website.
I watched the Google analytics slowly sink down. I would do my podcast and then I wouldn’t have the time to build my blog post and any other supporting materials like graphics and transcriptions. I would be so focused on keeping my commitment to my podcast, and my website and my blog fell to the wayside.
Moral of the story.
So the big picture is that I was podcasting and growing that audience, but I wasn’t seeing a return for it and my web traffic suffered. I was creating my blog posts as show notes and I hardly had time to transcribe the material, which is the juiciness of podcasts. The pros Pat Flynn, Amy Porterfield Michael Hyatt, everyone does it. but leaving until the last minute, does not help.
There are services you can hire for relatively cheap (Rev.com which I use is $1/min), but without an income during my pregnancy and as a new mom, I simply couldn’t afford it.
So now it is three months, and my baby is pretty much phasing out the colic. My schedule is going to free up a lot more, he’s getting on a normal sleeping schedule. And I’m working on the physical issues I’m dealing with, and I’m pretty excited to be getting back to myself, and freeing up more time is one of those things. I’m very lucky to have grandma, my mom, live downstairs from me in the same house, so as I clean this content up before I record, she is watching him for me. Before three months I couldn’t even consider that as an option.
The valuable lesson I learned as a new mom, please take the mistakes you’ve made, learn from them, figure out your workflow and optimize your processes.
I’m looking forward to getting back on track and getting back into the online marketing swing of things.
I hope this helps you. Do you ever get off track and not know how to begin again? Let me know in the comments section below, or join me on Facebook.
Oh, and power to all the new moms out there who are trying to make great things happen. We all need a little help sometimes!