2017 has been a pretty crazy time for the Dark Histories Podcast. For one thing, it wasn’t a podcast at the start of the year. I figured I’d take a step back and review what’s happened. YouTube to Podcast format transition
At the start of the year, I was sporadically making videos for YouTube. I’d been considering turning it into a podcast for a while but I really didn’t want to deal with hosting fees, setting up websites, all that jazz. I’ll let you all into a secret too, I actually had a stab at a fiction podcast before and it was really the hosting fees and associated nonsense that ended that prematurely. It was called “MOYA 107” and to be honest, it was pretty cool. It was a fictional old-timey radio show, complete with stretched tape effects and grainy sound. The radio station was based in Moya, a fictional, failing communist state. Except it wasn’t only tilling fields for the comrades and malnutrition that did the people in. See, Moya had a lot of strange goings-on. I actually loved making that show and might bring it back sometime. As of right now, Dark Histories takes up all my free creative time, so it will have to wait. Anyway.. finally, despite reservations, I made the leap to podcast status after I found a decent and free podcast host. Except it didn’t stay free for long and turned expensive. So I ended up right back where I started with Moya. Back on Podbean and paying a not really small fee for it. Still, Dark Histories felt more on point than Moya, I could take some of my experiences from writing Moya and apply it to this podcast and that really helped. For whatever reason Dark Histories has gained a lot more traction than Moya did too. Maybe fictional series are a harder sell. Honestly, I think Moya was much better, though I probably shouldn’t say that. There you go. Probably my biggest failing with Moya and something I’ve applied to Dark Histories is to keep a fixed schedule. It’s been knackering at times, but it’s paid off I think. First time for 1000 unique downloads per month.. and growing! The growth of Dark Histories has been pretty mad to be completely honest. I have been humbled and shocked by how well it’s been received and whilst it might be pretty small time for some, it’s actually motoring along and growing every week. About Episode, 16-ish saw my first episode that did over 200 downloads in its first week of release and as of right now, episodes are hitting about 500 downloads in the first 48 hours of release. That’s mental and much more than I ever expected of it, so thanks guys for that! I’m really pleased to have you all on board and it’s really enjoyable writing the episodes. It’s also much less soul destroying that throwing out episodes into the abyss like I did with Moya. I sort of “re-branded” (gosh that sounds so ugly…) the Podcast after it left YouTube and remade the website to where you are now. I actually liked the simplicity of the old site, but it just had no room for growth and the platform was far too limited. Where I am now is giving me much more room to breathe and adapt in the future so I’m really cool with that. I also quite like the new look to everything and feel like it’s coming along as a podcast that looks pretty decent, from a brand perspective. God, I really hate all this nonsense though. There’s a reason I quit working in graphic design! The shows Patreon got launched. That was pretty crazy. I actually didn’t mean to launch it at all just yet, but had made an account and had it prepped for the future, just in case. I got a few patrons though and as the show was growing, I thought bugger it, why the hell not. It’s been slow going after the initial supporter signups, but it’s been so amazing having even the six supporters jump on board that I have currently. It’s allowed me to breathe easy in terms of the hosting fees at least and that’s something I really appreciate. Aside from the actual finances of it all though, it’s just been amazing to see that there are some people out there that really appreciate the show and that’s been a really exciting and awesome thing. As a content creator, it’s always the most rewarding aspect when you hear from someone letting you know, hey man, I dig your hard work. There have been days when slogging out tangled research notes in front of a laptop just hasn’t seemed that appealing, but when I upload it and see my numbers climb, it all seems worth it. To clarify, it’s not a purely ego-driven thrill, it’s just the sense of fulfilment to know that I’m creating something that has some worth to someone. Even if it was just one or a handful of people, it’s great to contribute something to a community from whom I have taken so much. I felt the same with my band, I’d spent years watching local bands around Brighton and when I started playing in my own band and gigging, it felt like.. yeah, I’m actually giving back now. That felt good and it’s the same feeling I get now I’m making the podcast. I can finally give back to the podcast community. I suppose this is the big one for me. I actually managed to stick with it and nail out an entire 26 episodes. I put the script book together and found that in the past 7 months or so, I’ve written an entire 270 odd page book, which is ridiculous. Each episode sits around 6,000-10,000 words, so I believe a conservative estimate for the season would probably be around 150,000 words, which is just nuts. If only I could have the same motivation for my novel that’s been stalled at 60,000-ish words for the past ten years… Anyway, that happened and I have absolutely no sign of quitting either. I have a long long list of subjects for season two and actually have a tentative schedule written up for season two and about two-thirds of season three right now, that’s almost the entire schedule for 2018 nailed down already. I’m sure things will change and get swapped about, but it’s great to have the plan and I feel confident that after finishing season one, I can just go on from here, getting stronger each week. So.. whats coming in 2018 then? I think 2017 has been super awesome for the podcast. I have a lot planned for 2018, season two and beyond. There are some exciting changes upcoming which will add some real quality to the show, fortunately, made possible due to my Patreon patrons, so that’s amazing. Everything is in loose planning right now, but during the Christmas break I will be testing some things, recording some things and hoping to hit the ground running with the first episode of season two. The same show will be there for anyone getting concerned that I might be changing things up and shitting on something they like. It will just be bigger and better and maybe, just maybe, more than a one-man band next year. I shall have to see how well these plans work in practice over the next couple of weeks before setting anything of that nature in stone though. So Happy New Year to you all! That’s been 2017 for Dark Histories! Here’s to the next year as a podcaster!