The Student Ministry Podcast is officially five years old!

About seven years ago, after going to yet another student ministry-focused event, I realized how much I enjoy talking to other youth workers. Specifically, I loved hearing everyone’s stories and what their ministries looked like. And through that, we talked about what was working, what wasn’t working, and what God was teaching us.

After a while, I began thinking about what it would be like to start a podcast focused on student ministry. And if I did, what if the focus was those kind of questions?

Following several months of praying, collecting gear, looking at hosting platforms, talking to others, and thinking through potential plans, I finally launched The Student Ministry Podcast in February 2016. Over the last five years, the format hasn’t changed much, but I hope it has gotten better.

While I don’t have thousands upon thousands of listeners, I have learned a bit over the last five years of doing this, being a part of other podcasts, and listening to a lot of podcasts. So as a way to celebrate the five-year anniversary of the podcast, I thought I’d share a few tips that I’ve learned along the way.

Here are five things to keep in mind if you are also thinking about podcasting:

  • Realistic Schedule
    While you might want to release a podcast every day or every week, keep in mind your regular schedule. For most of us amateur podcasters, this is a hobby. So pick a schedule that you know you can keep. I’ve chosen to keep this one monthly. Occasionally, I’m able to do more than one per month, but I’ve at least been able to keep to the monthly schedule, which is very beneficial to keeping it going and to the keeping/growing an audience. With that being said, if you can’t keep at least a monthly schedule, you might want to re-think your ability to do a podcast.
  • Simple Structure
    Think through what you want your podcast to be and build a simple structure around that. Not only do you want this structure for yourself, but your guests (if you have them) and your listeners will appreciate this too. A haphazard approach will make it very difficult to keep your guests and your audience engaged. This is one of those rules that’s okay to break from time to time, though, so be okay with taking some detours along the way. Just don’t do it all the time.
  • Basic Equipment
    The amount of money you can spend on podcasting equipment is getting ridiculous. After buying an incredibly nice microphone, sound board, computer, noise treatment, and more, you could easily be looking at thousands of dollars. While you do want it to sound good, you don’t have to spend that kind of money in the beginning. Make sure you do your research, and do not buy the top-of-the-line equipment just because your favorite podcaster or influencer also uses it. If you’re just starting out, you can get a good microphone and use your phone to record for less than $200. Then if you have the money, build from there.
  • Reliable Hosting
    Even if you have the best equipment, you still need a reliable place to host your podcast online. This is something that might take some time to research. Your podcast will never grow if you are moving hosts all the time and changing how people find and subscribe to your show. So pick something that you believe will last you a while. I use a paid account on Podbean, but I am also a big fan of Anchor, which is absolutely free. Whatever you choose, make sure you can easily connect it to all of the major podcast apps/services, though, so people can subscribe on their favorite one.
  • Evaluate Regularly
    If you are just starting out, you’re most likely very excited about this. When you get several months/years in, though, you’re going to have days when you just want to quit. When that happens, think back to the original reason why you started your podcast. If you are actually done, it’s okay to quit. But if not, it might be time to refocus, restructure, and/or rethink your plan. Over time, you might add new components, take away something that isn’t working, or change your structure. Keep it fresh for yourself and your audience, and this will also help you keep it going five or more years later.

If you have any questions about any of these or would like to dig into any of them, please feel free to reach out or ask a question in the comments.

Are you a podcaster? Do you have additional tips? I’d love to hear them!

Thank you all so much for five years of this podcast! Yes, I do this because I absolutely love talking to other people in ministry and growing from them, but I also do it to help others. If you have enjoyed this podcast for a few episodes or the entire five years, please consider helping me in one of the following ways:

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