For Headliner Highlight 17, we hear from Steven Daws of Walking With Anxiety. Check it out!
Tell us about your podcast.
The name of the podcast is Walking With Anxiety, and the idea behind it was that I have always been passionate about mental health because I’ve been a sufferer of poor mental health for a long time, over 30 years now since I was seven years old. So I wanted to do something that was gonna be talking about mental health and how it affects people and how it affects me.
And I started with a written blog, and I’ve now progressed to a podcast, which I’m really enjoying.
Why did you start podcasting?
Well, part of it is because I’ve had anxiety and mental health problems for such a long time. When I was younger, when I was growing up, it was before the internet, which really shows you how old I am. There wasn’t really anything there to help people, to show people or to describe mental illness or how to deal with mental illness.
There wasn’t really any information out there to help people or support people. And now there is the internet. Now there is podcasting. It’s such a fantastic medium for sharing information and sharing stories that I wanted to make sure that other people growing up weren’t in the same situation. There is information and help and support out there for people with mental illness.
What do you do to share & promote your episodes?
I do it in several ways, social media being the main one. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
I also try to use Podcoin, which is an app that I recently found which you can promote your podcast on. I’ve got some real traction from that, so I’m really enjoying using that.
And it also means people can listen to a podcast and they can give to charity as well, which I think is a really good benefit for that.
What has been most effective? Least effective?
Podcoin is probably the most effective. It’s certainly gotten me the most traction of all of my ways of sharing the podcast.
The least effective I would say is Quora. Obviously you can answer questions and things like that on there. So I did start adding links to that, but I didn’t find it was getting a lot of traction, so I stopped using that.
Why do you make Headliners?
Well, I find they are a great way to give people a little snippet of the podcast on Instagram. It’s a great medium for that. And hopefully, the user gets a little bit of a taste of what the episode is about and wants to listen to a bit more, which is what we all want.
Current podcasting setup?
I’m really quite simple in what I use. I don’t really have a big budget, if any, for my podcast. I started off using a gaming headset for my podcast, which I quickly found wasn’t very good in terms of sound quality, so I started to move on to a microphone that I bought. It’s not any of the big brands. I’ve bought that with a boom mic that I can attach to my desk, and [the] USB mic that I plug into my laptop.
I did originally start using Audacity to record my podcast, but I found a little bit of feedback, a little bit of noise on my microphone, so I now actually use Windows Voice Recorder to record the podcast, and I find that’s really good. I actually got some excellent results from that, and then I edit it with Audacity, which of course, is free, and I find it’s really easy to use and great for that kind of thing.
What is something you think is overrated or underrated in podcasting?
I would sometimes say your setup and what you’re using can be overrated. Many people out there use amazing technology for their podcast, and they get a great sound, and it’s a professional setup. But I think some people are put off because they believe they need to have the best equipment, the best computers, and the best software to do their podcast, and you don’t really.
You can get some great results by using very basic stuff and free software. So I think [what’s] slightly overrated is what you need to do a podcast. You can do it very easily with some great basic equipment.
Underrated, I would say, is the way people podcast. I think there’s a very natural way of podcasting, which I tend to use a lot, where you’re not really clipping the podcast too much. You’re keeping the “um’s” and “ah’s” obviously and the long pauses, but keeping it a natural and more conversational style. I think that’s quite underrated. There are lots of podcasts that try to be a bit too hard on the editing. I like to think of it as a bit more of a natural process, chatting with people [and] getting to know them and talking about stuff. And I think that’s quite underrated in podcasting.
If someone was to only listen to one episode of yours, which one would you send?
I would probably say “Emetophobia and Me” because that’s probably one of the most personal episodes of my podcast. I talk about my emetophobia and it’s one of the most in-depth episodes about me personally, and about my journey with mental health.
It’s also something that I haven’t seen much of before, not many people talk about emetophobia and certainly, I hadn’t even realized that other people suffered from it until a couple of years ago, I’d say.
Do you have a favorite podcast?
Yes, I do. I listen to Ear Biscuits, which is two guys called Rhett and Link, and they’re really good. I really like them. They’re hilarious. They talk about all kinds of stuff, and it’s really good to listen to. It’s a very natural, organic conversation style, and I really enjoy what they talk about.