A few people have asked me this. And the honest answer is: I don’t know.
I have no idea how many people have downloaded an episode of So She Travels, or even subscribed.
Sure, I could look it up and add them up from iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Stitcher but I don’t actually want to.
It’s not obvious to see and I kinda like it that way.
So She Travels
I started my podcast, So She Travels, to learn a new skill and try something different. I’d been thinking about it for a while but I guess fear, laziness and other work held me back.
FEAR: would people laugh at me? Could I even do it? WOULD IT BE A SUCCESS? What if people listen to it? What if they DON’T?
LAZINESS: I was kinda set in my ways doing my thing on the blog.
OTHER WORK: Another platform to work on? Nahhhh, you’re alright.
But then, I thought back to a stat I’ve read time and time again, that women, and girls, stop doing things because they feel fear. Whereas, statistically, men feel the fear and do it anyway. Or, they just don’t even feel the fear in the first place.
It’s why girls give up on sport around the age of 13, or instruments, or any passions. It’s why women will carefully plan ideas but often not see them through. The self doubt and overthinking blocks their potential.
I didn’t want to be another female blogger with an idea that just stayed as that.
So, I made the decision to ignore my fears and just crack on and get it out there.
How ‘successful’ is it though?
As a blogger there’ll always be someone asking for stats. Same as most jobs really. Yet, ours are more visible, ready to be judged by anyone on social media. Clients, other bloggers, friends, family… and randoms you might’ve only just met.
When strangers ask about your job, as they so often do, they’ll almost always follow up by asking how many readers, or followers, you have. As if your answer in someway validates what you do.
Most of the time they have no knowledge to compare it to anyway – what does 10,000 readers even mean to the average person? Or 25,000? They have no spectrum to place you on so why ask?
It’s like someone telling you their job and you replying:
‘oh yeah, and how successful are you at that? Let me rate you on my totally irrelevant quantitive yardstick of success.’
You might be thinking chill out FlipFlop. But c’mon, it’s rude. In England anyways.
If someone was to say they worked in sales, do people ask how many sales they made that day?
Or a plumber, how many toilets did they plunge? How many customers do you have?
It’s such a weird question when you relate it back.
But one I get all the time.
And so, with all the collaborations I’ve done on the blog, and all the clients (understandably) wanting the stats, and the reach, and whatever other metric, I decided I didn’t want downloads or listens to be the measure of success for So She Travels.
My measure of success
Have I learned something new? YES.
Did I get to talk to interesting ladies? YES.
Can I do it from home? YES.
Have I enjoyed making them? YES.
Do I want to do more? YES.
Woohoo, and just like that, I have a successful podcast!
I’ve written about society’s strange idea of what ‘success’ is before in, How to Be a Successful Blogger. Traditionally it equates to money, fame and notoriety but I really think our idea of ‘success’ needs to be flipped to happiness, satisfaction and fulfilment.
I’m sure one day I’ll look at the stats. Maybe on the two-month anniversary of launch. Yes, let’s pencil that in. But to be honest, I just want people to listen because I think it’s a good way to learn more about the world, and some of the women getting to explore it.
Not so I can attain some arbitrary vanity metric.
What if the download count was 10? 100? 1000? How many do I need for you to deem my podcast to be a success in quantitative terms? Yeah I don’t know either. The number doesn’t matter or even actually mean anything, really.
I don’t even know how I’ll feel when I see the stat. I have absolutely no knowledge of how many downloads an average podcast gets anyway. With no reference to hang the number on, what’s the point of looking?
Being creative just to be creative
I’m so happy and relieved that I did get round to making the So She Travels Podcast, and getting it out there. It’s been a great way to practise so many new skills and it makes me proud to see it listed in Spotify and iTunes. I’ve loved all the positive feedback I’ve had from it, and one lady even booked a flight to Oz after listening to the first episode!
I hope that if you have any creative projects you want to work on, and get out there, you won’t let any fears or embarrassment of trying get in the way. Emily and I actually discuss this in episode 4. Both of us kept our blogs secret for the first few months / years, because we didn’t want anyone to know we were trying. Imagine if we’d never made them public – how different our lives would be now.
So screw the stats. Just make your own measures of success and get those creative plans out there!