The first podcast I ever listened to was a writing class from Stanford University. They were lectures, mostly. Boring. But they made me feel smart because Ivy League School. I also had a college class that had supplemental audio lectures and at the time *cough*Early nineties*cough* it seemed like groundbreaking stuff.
Though podcasts didn’t really seem to catch on until 2004/05, I was pretty much hooked, even if I could use those early recordings as fodder for falling asleep.
Today my love for podcasts has evolved from boring college courses to reveling in my somewhat unhealthy fixation of knitting, General Hospital, marketing, and of course, writing podcasts. I decided to rank my favorites from my newest fave to next-level-if-I-could-stalk-them-I-would fave. Here are my five must listen/watch podcasts.
Knitting the Stash
I’ve tried listening to knitting podcasts in the past but in every case, something was missing; Oh yeah… knitting is visual. When you’re talking about sweaters, yarn, gauge, and stitches, being able to see what the podcaster is talking about is much more useful than just listening and trying to guess at what they mean. This is especially true and important if you are a new knitter.
I really enjoy watching Knitting the Stash podcast. Melissa is extremely knowledgeable but she’s also very low key, meaning she’s not up in your face about some things like other podcasters are. She shares her favorites but not in an over the top, “you must buy” kind of way. Melissa covers knitting, spinning, tips, tricks, and hacks. One of my favorite things about Melissa’s podcast is she really spotlights indie dyers and designers. Melissa also has a blog by the same name where she links up with a number of the patterns, designers, and yarns that she features in her podcast. It was actually my friend Heather who introduced me to Knitting the Stash and I am really glad she did. I can definitely see myself adding more visual knitting podcasts to my favorites.
Can I even call myself a blogger if I don’t mention Darren Rowse? Probably not. Darren literally wrote the book on blogging. He’s so OG in the blogosphere that I think his blogging career graduates high school and becomes an adult this year. He’s not just a blogger though, he’s an author, speaker, and frequently hosts events in his country of Australia.
If you don’t know who Darren Rowse is (psst, he IS ProBlogger), you have a lot to learn. He’s the guy whom whenever someone asks how to get into blogging, I tell them to look no further than Darren. Though the problogger community is huge, it feels pretty intimate. His podcasts are crammed full of useful information for bloggers of every skill level and Darren easily relates to new bloggers as well as seasoned ones. I especially enjoy the podcasts where he discusses some of his fails and how he’s overcome them; he keeps it real. He has over 250 episodes and despite where you are in your blogging journey (or if you just want to see if blogging is right for you), each episode has great takeaways. So if you have a month or three to binge-listen, I’d suggest you start now.
Fangirl moment here, but Dude. I met Scott Stratten before he was an author, speaker, podcaster, and total rockstar. I don’t even remember if Scott had yet built the brand Unmarketing when I first followed him on Twitter. Besides being one of the most knowledgeable guys in social media and marketing, he is also one of the nicest (and funny. Funny is extremely important in my book).
I first heard Scott speak at Blissdom back in… ’08 or ’09? I don’t remember but it was hella long ago. I have his first two books and of course got the first one signed. He’s the maker of the Instant NO button and fellow Gen-Xer. He may or may not have a love-hate relationship with Millennials. (Same.)
He hosts The Unpodcast with his wife, Alison Kramer and the two crack me up. They’re very relatable and wonderfully opinionated. Each week they pull some of the best and worst articles in marketing and customer service and dissect them. Alison constantly reigns Scott in and I shudder to think what the podcast would be like if it was always just Scott. It’s the one podcast my kids don’t hate when they get in the vehicle and I’m listening. If I had to describe The Unpodcast, I’d say it’s basically Rolling Stone Magazine of the podcast world. If you want to know what’s current and trending in marketing and customer service, then you need to listen to The Unpodcast.
Hey Scott, I’m one of the Seven.
Create if Writing
I began listening to Create if Writing with Kiki Oliphant after we moved to Alaska. I think at the time, I was looking for something to listen to that was writing related. I didn’t want droll, dry commentary. I wanted to listen to someone who had personality and didn’t sound like they were reading from a script. Kiki was a welcome respite from my day-to-day. I liked the idea of a writing podcast that didn’t always focus on the nuts and bolts of writing. Kiki delves inside email marketing, why it’s important, and how to do it without smelling like spam. Kiki shares her experiences with email marketing, covering what’s worked for her and what hasn’t.
However, the show is more than that because though she’s talking to creatives, she discusses the topics that creatives often forget about the importance of, or feel lost in the world of social media, engaging with your community, and marketing without breaking the bank. Most recently Kiki has gone deep into the hard work of getting your ebook/novel from Word Doc to self-published. (I’ve really been enjoying this series since self-publishing is one of my BHAGs.)
Kiki is also listed as one of the Top 101 websites for writers in this month’s Writer’s Digest. Congratulations!!
That’s Awesome with Steve and Bradford
This is my favorite podcast right now and with good reason. You might know Steve and Bradford as “Stone Cold” and “The Jackal” from General Hospital. I am a HUGE GH fan and I am not afraid to show it. I LOVE these two.
The first thing you need to know is Steve Burton, who plays Jason Morgan/Quartermaine or “Stone Cold” (as Bradford’s character Spinelli refers to him) on General Hospital, is extremely funny. You wouldn’t know this from the character he plays on GH. I love listening to Steve and Bradford joke and tell stories with their guests on the show. There have been more times than I can count where my face actually hurt from laughing so much. Steve hails from O-H-I-O, so obviously I have some home turf love for him too. I’m also pretty sure that his character Jason, and I graduated high school the same year so that basically makes us Soap Opera Besties.
Bradford is a sort of sisterly fangirl thing for me. I adore his character Spinelli on GH. On the podcast, he is a much different person, definitely not the tech genius, hacker extraordinaire he plays on GH. Bradford has a background in theater and is a serious wine connoisseur (either that or he is really just a lush – and that’s okay with me too!) I would give up one of my kids to sit and talk wine or theater with him.
I never really know what I’m in for whenever I listen to That’s Awesome. They have amazing guests, GH actors, past and present. It has been an extreme pleasure to feel like I’m a part of the room when they’re interviewing such greats as Maurice Benard, Max Gail, Finola Hughes, and Carolyn Hennessey (I LOVE YOU DIANE!)
Steve and Bradford are also part of Gen X with Steve just a little older than me and Bradford just a tad younger. I am forever laugh-crying when they go off on a nostalgia run and nodding my head in parental frustration and agreement while listening to them talk about their kids. They frequently answer listener questions and share mean tweets from fans about their characters from GH. I am currently compiling an expansive list of questions should I ever run into them up here in Alaska.
Have I mentioned the comedy road tour they do year round? It is my absolute dream to attend one of their private dinners or comedy shows. I’m not even joking – MAH. DREAM.
So there you have it, I admit this is a very eclectic group of podcasts but this is how my brain works. One minute I’m listening to Steve and Bradford interview Genie Francis (SHUT UP! it’s Laura Spencer!!) and the next, Kiki Oliphant is telling me how to break into indie authorship and build my email list.
What are some of your favorite podcasts? Don’t be shy, no list is too weird for me. (Well, maybe.)
Thank you for including me and I’m so glad you enjoy the show!!
It was truly my pleasure to include you. I love the podcast and so glad I discovered you.