Michael Wagenknecht (left) has hosted his podcast, Toasted Tavern, for nearly three years now.
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Riverfront Times’ Five Days of Resolutions. Start living right.
For all its many (many, many, many, so many) downsides, one nice thing (the only one?) the COVID-19 pandemic did is give a way for people to explore hobbies and talents they didn’t know they had, as well as listen to or watch things they didn’t have time for before — and this is where podcasts enter the picture. Podcasting has continued to grow in popularity throughout the pandemic, with Forbes reporting that an estimated 125 million people are expected to listen to a podcast each month in 2022, up from the estimated 100 million in 2020.
Podcast host Michael Wagenknecht has advice for those who are looking to get into hosting their own show: Pick something you love.
Wagenknecht has done his podcast, a St. Louis sports show titled Toasted Tavern
, for close to three years now. He’s worked alongside his co-host Scott Tobben to expand the podcast from humble local beginnings to a statewide affair, traveling to Kansas City to air podcasts and streams, and speaking with a Cardinals announcer and a Kansas City Royals historian. Wagenknecht also credits Tom Ackerman, KMOX radio sports director, as part of the podcast’s growing success; the KMOX host lends advice and joins the show from time to time.
For Wagenknecht, the achievement is not something he initially expected to have success with. He balances a 50-hour workweek and is a full-time student at Lindenwood University, but also carves out time to create his podcast. He’s stayed consistent, working around his job and school schedule, filling his free time with podcasting. Wagenknecht says that setting aside a time to record the podcast doesn’t have to be set in stone — that’s the beauty of the medium.
While sleep is hard to come by as he embraces the busy schedule, he wants others who want to leap into the podcasting world to know that it’s possible.
“When you pick something you love, you’ll sound the most knowledgeable,” Wagenknecht says. “And make sure you have a partner in crime. You can do it by yourself, but having someone to bounce ideas off of and challenge you is valuable.”
He suggests getting started with a $40 USB microphone, and notes that there are free streaming services where you can upload your podcast. Other than that, he advises future podcasters to just take the leap, and to not be afraid to put yourself out there.
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