Forget the image of podcasting as an old boy’s club: the visibility of women in the community seems to be on the rise – and many of us have been here from the beginning. Here are two female podcasters – who just happen to be Blubrry customers! – you’ll want to keep an eye on:
Podcaster: Kitzie Stern, Host, New World Kirtan
About The Podcast: A show that explores Kirtan, a spiritual practice focused on singing meditation. The show is both personal and practical, featuring music to accompany Kirtan practices as well as relatable glimpses into Stern’s life.
Why You Should Listen: “Kirtan is just a really easy, accessible way to get your mind to quiet down during a time when we desperately need ways to quiet our minds.
A New Way To Reach An Audience
Like many podcasters, Kitzie Stern initially turned to podcasting as a way to serve an existing audience. An experienced voiceover artist, Stern also had a deep personal interest in Kirtan chanting, a form of singing meditation that originated in India thousands of years ago. “I got this idea that I could do a podcast of songs and it would be like a setlist for my local Kirtan group to use for their chanting practice,” Stern explains. Because of its auditory nature, a podcast was a natural extension of a guided in-person Kirtan experience, but Stern also saw an opportunity to use podcasting to demonstrate her voiceover abilities.
Though it was originally targeted at a specific audience, as often happens Stern’s podcast took on on a life of its own – though Stern didn’t realize until about a year after the show launched. “On New Year’s Eve, just for kicks my husband and I thought we’d check download numbers, and found that it had been downloaded thousands of times. all over the world. I didn’t think I was talking to anyone besides people in Corvalis!”
Stern considers her podcast a service to the Kirtan community, and while monetizing New World Kirtan directly isn’t a goal of hers, she can’t deny the benefits she’s received via the podcast, on both the personal and business sides of the table. In addition to the connection she’s been able to make with listeners across the globe, Stern has been invited to attend Kirtan and other spiritual festivals and events as a direct result of her podcast, and it’s also helped her create a thriving specialty in her voiceover career. “Voiceover is really a specialized kind of field, so I branded my voiceover site to take this side of myself into consideration…and now, I’m getting more of the kind of work that I really want to do,” she explains.
Advice To Newbies
After publishing hundreds of episodes, Stern enthusiastically encourages would-be podcasters to jump in with both feet. “I’m 63, and worked in radio for a long time. To be able to do your own show without having the constraints of being on a radio station – I can’t tell you how wonderful it is,” she says. “It’s an unprecedented time for podcasters, and people are really catching on to what a great medium this is.”
About the Podcast: The show started as a five-minute quick writing tip, but has evolved into a longer show – about 12 minutes long – for both language lovers and language learners.
Why You Should Listen: “If you find language as fascinating as I do, you’ll love it.”
Podcasting As A Platform
Mignon Fogarty, the author and online personality also known as “Grammar Girl,” has become a household name – but not everyone realizes she’s also been podcasting for a decade and is also the founder of the high-profile podcasting network Quick and Dirty Tips. “I started podcasting in 2006 because I love technology and it was the neat new thing, and I was hooked by the immediate listener feedback,” she explains. “I started a science podcast first, because I was a science and technology writer, and started Grammar Girl about eight months later.”
Though she was already a successful writer and had extensive startup experience before starting Grammar Girl, “the success of the podcast gave me a platform to take both those interests to a much higher level, and now I’m a New York Times bestselling author and a professor of journalism and entrepreneurship. Also because of the podcast, I’ve been able to build an online social media platform that gives me the ability to try all kinds of new and interesting things like making digital games (Grammar Pop) and card games (Peeve Wars),” she explains. “I owe so much to podcasting.”
Women in the Podcasting Community
When asked whether she thinks there are more women entering the podcasting space, Fogarty says she hasn’t really noticed – however, “my perception may be skewed because I founded Quick and Dirty Tips, where all our full-time employees are women, the executive in charge of the enterprise is a woman, and 11 of our 17 podcasts are hosted by women. When I look at podcasting, I see women everywhere! To me, there have always been women in podcasting, but there does seem to be a weird perception in the media that we don’t exist.”
What Are You Waiting For?