Yesterday was the 12 year anniversary of the very first Design Mom post. It was about bubble wands and was published on July 8th, 2006. We lived in New York at the time. Since then, I’ve published 6900+ blog posts, received 493,400+ comments, and written 11,200+ comments of my own. I don’t have stats before 2010, but since March 22, 2010, 20,590,142 different readers have come to Design Mom. I’ve done many columns over the years, but my longest running columns are A Few Things with 395 posts and Living With Kids House Tours with 350 posts.
As promised, to mark this 12th anniversary, I’m launching a podcast. I’ve hired a team to help me get it off the ground, I’ve ordered recording equipment, I’ve made show outlines, and I’ve listened to way too many possibilities for songs (choosing music is always harder than I think it’s going to be).
But I’m getting stuck on the podcast name.
At first, I figured I’d just go with Design Mom for the podcast name. Easy peasy. I didn’t really even give it any thought. But after talking with the very experienced podcasting team I hired, I’m convinced I should choose something else, and use Design Mom in the subtitle. So it would be “[Podcast Name] with Design Mom’s Gabrielle Blair.”
I’ve been brainstorming a podcast name with the kids and Ben Blair, and we’ve narrowed it down to four.
Podcast Name Top Four:
Gabby Gab — with Design Mom’s Gabrielle Blair
This one is fun to say and feels memorable.
A Few Things — with Design Mom’s Gabrielle Blair
This one ties in well to the blog, but still makes sense if you’ve never read Design Mom and happen to find the podcast some other way.
Home/Work — with Design Mom’s Gabrielle Blair
Design Mom readers love to discuss how to thrive at home and at work. So this one could make sense.
Intersection — with Design Mom’s Gabrielle Blair
My tagline here since forever is: The intersection of design and parenting. Over the years using that intersection, I’ve been able to cover pretty much any topic under the sun, so that could be a good fit too. Though these days, intersection might sound too close to intersectionality.
I’d love your opinion on these four names. And if you have another name you want to suggest, feel free.
Regarding timeline, I was advised July is the absolutely worst month to launch something, because so many people are traveling, and people’s schedules get messed up. So instead, I’ll be sharing a teaser on or around August 1st, and then I’ll launch with 3 episodes around August 15th, with another ~12 weekly episodes to follow. After that, I’ll assess the feedback and go from there.
As for the format, I’ve been thinking hard about it, and what I’d like to try is:
– In the podcast I’d like to discuss everything women are talking about right now — parenting, design, relationships, news stories, feminism, religion, spirituality, health, and what we’re binge watching. Every 4th episode, I want to interview people I think are super interesting — artists, creators, writers, musicians, filmmakers, entrepreneurs, and activists. I also want to amplify the voices of Design Mom readers/listeners.
– If it’s just me talking, I’d like to keep the episode to approximately 20 mins. If it’s an interview, then around 45 mins would make sense.
– For the episodes where it’s just me, I’m planning to focus on one topic — either based on an emailed question from a reader/listener, or based on whatever happens to be on my mind. And I’d like to have a couple of short, recurring segments as well.
– For one recurring segment, I want to feature a discovery — a TV show, a book, a product, an essay, a place — something new-to-me that I’m excited to share with you.
– For another recurring segment, I want to feature readers/listeners. I’m trying to set up a way for people to call and record a 1-minute message, where they share a story, or give advice in response to a topic we’re discussing. The comment section on my blog posts is one of my favorite things, and I want the chance to feature the wisdom of all you amazing women who take part here.
– For interviews, I’m not sure yet. I keep going back and forth. Should I be seeking out well-known people to interview? Or finding interesting people you’ve maybe never heard of before?
You can probably tell I’m super nervous about this podcast. I haven’t been this nervous about a new project in a long time. I really want to do a good job with this. My main concerns:
1) Is there really enough of an interest in a podcast from me? Is the whole podcast scene oversaturated? My readership core is still here on the blog, but the readership overall is much more spread out these days — on Instagram, and Facebook, and Pinterest, and Twitter, and my newsletter. Are there enough people interested? Will I need to spend a significant amount of time spreading the word about each individual episode? And if yes, will that end up driving away people who aren’t interested in the podcast?
2) Do I need to focus on one niche? If you’re a Design Mom Reader, you know I like to cover all sorts of topics here. Basically, if it’s on my mind, I’ll bring it up for discussion. But as I research and listen to podcasts, they’re generally very focused. The podcast topic might be parenting, or it might be even more narrow — just parenting toddlers, or products for babies. Right now, I’m thinking I’ll plan to cover the same breadth of topics that I cover here on the blog. But is that a big mistake?
3) Will the whole thing flop? I come up with new projects all the time. Some are successful, some are flops. I get that. But it’s still hard. Especially when I decide to really invest some time and money in something. It’s always a risk. I compare it too throwing a party — inviting everyone you love, spending money on food and decorations and entertainment, and then waiting, terrified to see if anyone shows up. Do you know that feeling? Honestly, I feel it to some extent every single time I push publish on something. : )
You may remember that the podcast requests came when I did a survey in January. There was a whole lot of feedback that I should skip the Facebook Live broadcasts I did throughout 2016 and 2017, and instead, focus on a podcast.
The Facebook Live videos were fun to do. They were pretty low stress and generally felt spontaneous. I’ve been told the podcast will be much easier because I won’t have the added pressure of being on camera. Which sounds great. But so far, it doesn’t feel that way. Hah! A podcast feels like a much more serious endeavor. I’m committing to a schedule, learning new software, and figuring out new equipment. Plus, there’s a focus on sound quality with podcasts that I didn’t have to think of during Facebook Lives. I suppose in my head the transition from Facebook Live to podcast was going to be easy. And I’m still wrapping my head around the fact that it’s not.
Anyway, I’m all ears for your podcast feedback. Have a favorite podcast name? Thoughts on the format? Other ideas or segments I should be considering? Want to talk about a project that’s made you feel nervous lately? Feel free to chime in — especially from those of you who are podcast junkies!