This series is all about Libsyn’s podcasters. Its sole purpose is to introduce these awesome podcasts to the world as well as share their podcasting insight to empower the community!
Q & A with Andrew from Doha Heat
I began in 2013 through Punknews.org’s podcast as a guest panelist here and there, but formally began producing podcasts in July 2014 after moving to Doha, Qatar.
Why did you start podcasting?
I initially got into this passion via my love for all thinks punk rock related, specifically the music news website Punknews.org, which had its own podcast and often shared about ones affiliated with independent music.
Thereafter I listened to other podcasts that these hosts liked, including the Nerdist, the Economist, Going Off Track.
Professionally, however, I am a relatively new entrant; I fell into my Head Producer role after moving to Qatar in July 2014 to be with my fiancé. My current Managing Director and I had met on a previous trip to the country in 2013, but only with the departure of Doha Heat’s founder and then-host back to the UK for family reasons did I begin running the operation.
What’s your show about?
Doha Heat is a weekly, communal podcast created for every type of individual who currently calls Qatar home, has in the past, or may one day.
We are fortunate to provide listeners with an audio archive of their personal journeys and valuable pieces of accumulated knowledge, be it where to find the best shwarma or how to cope with an ever-changing environment.
We believe that everyone has a story to share, especially in a country where so many individuals are away from their homelands and living through a period of rapid socio-economic development.
What’s your podcasting set-up? Hardware, software, CMS, etc.
For actual recordings, we have been using my MacBook Air and its Quicktime software to capture audio via a Blue Yeti omnidirectional mic.
We just recently welcomed aboard an audio engineer, who has taken over post-production with ProTools and is helping to get some better recording equipment for us.
We also have a killer soundproofed studio.
How have you promoted your podcast?
Presently, Doha Heat is publicized through a mixed approach of social media posts that accompany our episodes, encouraging word-of-mouth recommendations, and partnering with local print media for interviews to educate people about podcasts.
Qatar, which is still very much a work in progress when it comes to technological saturation and deep usage, presents some unique challenges and opportunities.
Because Doha Heat is something new for the region and country, we’ve benefitted from this fact and I think people take pride in something domestically-born versus imported from abroad.
Additionally, I have developed a quick FAQ document that I send out to guests after we’ve recorded with the link to their episode and how to most benefit from promoting their show.
Likewise, for guests that do not already subscribe to podcasts on their phones, I take 5 minutes to step them through the process; figure they’ll do it for their friends and family too.
All that being said, promoting can be challenging as people here seem to seek the “new” thing constantly, and it can be hard to sustain interest longterm – I welcome this challenge!
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
Oh, man – so much! I think the biggest take-away from my initial months was the importance of proper audio set-ups that ensure your conversation is audible and does not give listeners a reason to switch off in the first few minutes.
Also, I wish I had been quicker to adapt an easily editable website host like Squarespace rather than try to manage a WordPress one that proved to be too difficult for me.
If you are living somewhere that you feel needs a voice, or a conversation or a community, start a podcast! We’d love to host your media.