For Headliner Highlight 15, we hear from Kur Lewis of the Black History Buff podcast.
Tell us about your podcast.
This is King Kurs, the black history buff, from the Black History Buff podcast. I have been podcasting for coming up on a year now. My first few podcast episodes were recorded on Anchor, but they were actually designed for IGTV, and I simply stripped out the video and threw them up on Anchor to see what would happen. Nothing happened, because I wasn’t doing any promotion. Then around November of 2018, I decided to try podcasting seriously and recorded some more episodes.
Since then, I have accumulated sixteen, now approaching seventeen thousand listens.
Why did you start podcasting?
I started podcasting, if I’m honest, because I’m dyslexic. As someone who has dyslexia, it means I have to work that much harder to express myself in written form. I had been writing blog posts for about a year when, you know, some friends told me, “You should do a podcast instead because you speak okay.”
So I thought, “Well, I’ll give it a try.” And so I decided to start podcasting because it was easier than writing, and it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve gotten to speak to some amazing people, and I’ve gotten to share outstanding stories about black history with thousands of people now, which is just awesome.
What do you do to share & promote your episodes?
When it comes to promoting my podcast, I actually use Headliner to create either short audiograms, or use the caption function and then create audiograms and throw those out onto my Instagram, Facebook, and occasionally I’ve shared them on Twitter and LinkedIn.
What has been most effective? Least effective?
The most effective way of sharing my podcast has actually been through text messaging and WhatsApp-ing friends directly, being a complete pain in the bum.
And through DMing people to be honest with you. They’re super effective, I can see my listens jump. I get near a 99% response from text messages and DMs I send to people. I seem to have the knack for writing effective copy and that works really well for me.
Why do you make Headliners?
I make Headliners because the program is effective, it’s quick, it works really well, and it stops me from overcomplicating things. I do some video editing, and the second I load up Final Cut Pro, I start over complicating things.
Whereas Headliner just keeps it nice and simple, straightforward, and helps me to focus on production rather than complicate things.
Current podcasting setup?
For podcasting gear, it’s super simple. I have my MacBook Pro. I use a program called Audio Hijack to create duplicate copies of my audio or rip audio when I need to. I have a really old Roland recorder that I use to record my episodes and then transfer them to my laptop. And then, I might edit using Final Cut Pro.
So it’s quite a simple workflow, really.
What is something you think is overrated or underrated in podcasting?
Well, I personally think that a lot of this kind of discussion style, one man talking into a mic by themselves podcasts, I think that whole scenario is dead. There are many bad podcasters out there, I may be one of them, but I think this talking into the mic, just cracking jokes, frittering time away talking about nothing style, I think that’s way overrated. I think it’s totally saturated, and I think it’s not a good aspect of podcasting anymore. Those who do it do it really well, but when it’s done bad, it’s really bad.
Something that I think is really underrated in podcasting is actually the use of sound. I’m here, pretty much in a forest which is near a main road at the moment, and the plethora of sounds you’re hearing, bird calls, the traffic is going past, leaves rustling, I think that’s really underrated in podcasting. People have sacrificed sound effects and audio to create an atmosphere for just telling lots and lots and lots of jokes. And we may be missing out as a community to help transport people to different places through audio. No sound should be wasted in a podcast, and I think we’re wasting sound. So I think audio, amazingly enough, is underrated in podcasting.
You hear lots of people talking about getting good microphones, but nobody actually talks about using good atmospheric sounds, or foley sound effects, or anything along those lines.
If someone was to only listen to one episode of yours, which one would you send?
My latest episode is actually my favorite episode so far. It’s called “Proverbs, Myths and Legends – The Man Who Never Lied,” and it’s an African proverb that I kinda rewrote and expanded into a [roughly] 12-minute episode. And I really like it because when I played it to my son, my 5-year-old gave it a thumbs up and said, “That was great, Dad!”
And that makes me super proud because he’s part of the reason I started my podcast in the first place, and he listens to audio stories. So the fact that I got a thumbs up from a five-year-old is probably the best endorsement that I can get because while he loves me, he’s the first one to tell me when Daddy is being stupid.
Do you have a favorite podcast?
Freakanomics purely because those guys managed to find a way to make economics fun.