Rockin’ Libsyn Podcasts: The Zen Commuter

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This series is all about showcasing Libsyn 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 Thom from The Zen Commuter

When did you start podcasting?

I started podcasting when i got my first mac.

There was a feature called iWeb (now since defunct) that would host your shows for you.

The show was called Living Joyfully and man oh man do podcasters grow. I listened to an episode the other day and it was boring.

The content was good but it was unorganized and I sounded like I was on thorazine, so lifeless and flat. That was my first podcast, 8 years ago but I don’t fully count that as it was listened to by 50 people in the Northeast.

My real foray into podcasting was 2 years ago with ZEN commuter, roughly April 19th, 2014, with Libsyn of course.

What a great ride that still continues today. 108,000 downloads to date with listeners allover the world. It totally blows my mind!

One thing I would definitely say about starting out is just that, start. You have a voice and it needs to be heard. And of course, just like you, it will keep growing

Why did you start podcasting?

That’s an easy question. I wanted to help the world become calmer, happier and more purposeful.

That was the case with Living Joyfully and it is definitely the case with ZEN commuter.

Quick story for you. I never had a commute, all my careers were within minutes of my house. After quitting a job of 11 years I decided I wanted to be self employed. In that time money was tight so I got a part time job that was half an hour away.

I now had a commute and it stunk. I was stressed big time, which is saying something for me, because I am a chill guy. So I figured I needed a way to relax so I started listening to podcasts.

I thought I shouldn’t just help me, so i decided to help other people get chill as well. So ZEN commuter was born!

What is your show about?

I always tell people the tagline says it best. Moving you forward…peacefully. Helping you live a calmer, more satisfying life.

The Zen Commuter focuses on ways to make your life better. That ranges from becoming more productive to more internal processes.

I help people understand how their thinking may be getting in their way and accordingly I offer suggestions to change their internal dialogue to help them become calmer.

I interview guests that help me bring certain thoughts and ideas to life. Authors, scientists and thought leaders have all shared their wisdom on the show along with mine.

Podcasting setup

  • iMac with Garageband (although i had to teach myself Audacity for a week when my hard drive died)
  • Xenix 802 Mixer
  • Audio Technica 2020 Microphone
  • Pop Filter
  • Neewer® NB–39 Adjustable 43.3″/110cm Studio Recording Microphone Suspension Boom Scissor Arm Stand with Microphone Clip & Table Mounting Clamp
  • Samson SP01 Spider Shockmount

How have you promoted the show

Promoting the show has been the thing I needed to learn most about and I am not even close. But I am learning all the time and that is the cool thing.

I signed up for roughly 25 podcast directories outside of the biggies like Stitcher, iTunes and Libsyn, that way I got exposure and some SEO.

I have also used twitter to promote the show along with LinkedIn.

The show has grown tremendously because of listener help. Each show I obviously ask them to share the show with friends and family.

Content and consistency are the biggest ways to promote for me. My listeners keep coming back because they know when the show airs and that it always lifts their days

What do you wish you had known when you started?

How much time it takes to create a podcast! Yikes. It is of course a labor of love but it’s hard work. Trying to keep content fresh, get new guests and edit every show to make sure it sounds great is a lot of work.

The other thing I wish I had known was how much learning goes into making a show. I didn’t know about mixers, mics, pop filters or any editing software. Thankfully I am a bright guy and I had some great help (Thanks Libsyn!)

Oh, and definitely how tough it is to get momentum going for your show. Also that New and Noteworthy in iTunes was a thing and has a 12 week window! LOL.

Are you a stressed out commuter? Then goodness gracious you need to listen to and subscribe to The Zen Commuter! Best thing you can do to get your chill back on! You can also give Thom a nice Twitter hello over here.

Did you start a podcast back in the day and are ready to give it a go again? Do it! We’d be super happy to host your podcast!




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