Rosana Modugno is a podcaster of the Rosana Mod Pod, now heard worldwide with thousands of downloads on multiple channels. Listen today.
My first introduction to podcasting was listening to Rush Limbaugh as a teen. He had a daily radio show my father listened to. I was mesmerized by his vocabulary because being an immigrant from South America who didn't speak English until much later, I was sponging words everywhere He had so many I'd never heard before. I'd write them down, look them up in the dictionary and try to use them in everyday life. I'd say things like, "The plinth of my existence is primarily the cornerstone of...", to which my friends would stop me right there and ask me what I was on.
Once I managed to master the English language, nobody could stop me from talking, asking questions, and being what they called me; a trouble maker. I was “too inquisitive” (per Sister Georgette and Sister Mary Francis), and my outside-the-box thinking as a creative put me in an irregular category nobody understood at the time. It took me years to figure out there was nothing wrong with me. They just didn't know how to handle my genius. At least that's what I like to believe and my mother agrees.
As I got older, I started working the 9-5 grind, and finding myself in jobs I hated. It was an unrelenting cycle of woe. I'm an Americanized immigrant raised by immigrants who taught me to work harder not smarter. The more jobs you had, the more successful you were. I'd apply to whatever was available and take whatever they offered because I was desperate. They used me for my language skills and placed me in positions where I clearly would be doing more work for the same pay. I knew it wasn't fair but when you're desperate, you take it. But you're not loyal because the integrity was stripped away.
When I found freelancing, it kept me up at night, forcing me to nod off at my day job, while naively believing it was my golden ticket to freedom as a bestseller. Of course, we all know that's not as easy as it looks. But I kept hustling, coming home with headaches, eyes burning, and watched days slip away. Then the mirror showed me I was running out of time. This was serious. What the hell was I doing? I've got chin hair for God's sake! Not only am I putting my health at risk, but my social life was also non-existing, and still is, for those who are wondering. I had to make a drastic change, so I focused on making myself happy first, and not worrying anymore about pay. I'd do what I was meant to do at any cost. I was that guy in the movie Office Space. I didn't care anymore without the bloated hypnotist snapping his fingers.
I got braver, fearlessly quitting positions without a backup, struggled harder, and found myself more depressed most of the time but still fighting and holding on to this dream. It isn't as elusive as I thought it was. I simply wasn't putting in the work. I realized when I got really tired and really sad, that's when I had to push harder. That was the key to success because I saw shifting in the outcome. Passing the point of pain into excruciating agony was the ticket out.
The moment of all moments came when I was at my day job punching in numbers and literally crying at my desk, asking God to show me where I was supposed to be. I put on my headset, looked up things to learn to improve my life, and in the search, the word “podcast” came up, with an online class taught by John Colley. I hadn't listened to podcasts until then. I listened to him, which led to a plethora of other educational radio shows I could learn things from all day instead of music. I couldn't believe people were jamming to music when they could be learning something new. I was introduced to John Lee Dumas' podcast, the RED podcast which is probably my favorite, with David Hooper and so many more.
I knew in my heart this is where I needed to be. All this information and ideas floating in my head now had a place to go. I could write my podcast and talk about it. Two loves at once without the pornographic visual.
I started writing ideas for shows I had and looked online for how to begin. One person who helped me was David Jackson, who has an online course for podcasting but I was broke at the time and couldn't take it but he volunteered enough information for me to continue and added a lot of constructional feedback and advice along the way.
I could have started using my phone but I wanted that mic in front of me and a desk, so I sold a lot of personal items to get everything I needed to begin. I bought a good mic, (Yeti Blackout), a stand, desk, new computer, monitor, lighting and set up a corner with blankets on the wall for sound and watched a ton of YouTube videos, Frankensteining my own podcast from scratch.
Learning how to record and edit on Audacity was actually fun and not as hard as I thought it would be, which only solidified my path to learning more.
After recording a couple of podcasts, I noticed how easy it was for me, not at all how some described it as "challenging". I love talking to myself like a crazy person, which isn't as crazy as talking to my dog. We have very deep conversations about life.
The next step after recording is finding a way to post and that was easy on Buzzsprout, and the monthly fee is so low, I couldn't refuse. Customer service is excellent and patient, and they do everything from giving you a free website for your channel, to assisting you in submitting your RF feed to all the podcast channels like Amazon Music, Apple, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Pandora, Stitcher, etc. In less than two weeks, my podcasts were listed on their sites for free.
As the days went on, the map Buzzsprout offers showing cities and states where listeners are, had expanded into countries all over the world. Thousands of downloads crept in from Los Angeles to Iraq, Russia, France, German, Uruguay, Italy, Australia, Africa, Brazil, Mexico, and all over the U.S. There are people in countries I can't pronounce listening right this minute to my shows and that blows my mind and makes me feel pretty damned special.
But where's the money? Well, it's pretty simple.
I have to get sponsored to earn and that happens when someone rents time on my show and pays me for it. In other words, I'm a television channel and they're the commercial. I can either let them take it and say something, which would pay me a lot more, or I can say it for them, which pays me a lot less but it depends on the contract you both adhere to. I'd get paid monthly and it can easily be $2,000 or more for one sponsor depending on the sponsor or I can have multiple smaller sponsors and get paid even more. Juicy, right?
Who wouldn't want to be on my show being listened to all over the planet? You'd be surprised. I was approached by a few but they were not necessarily people I'd want to be associated with. It has to be something I believe in or has some connection to my podcast's integrity.
I am currently sending out requests for sponsorship. Heads up!
As of this writing, I have been podcasting since September 2020, with 211 podcasts, and still considered a newbie but I'm growing every day. There's a lot of competition out there but I never worry about how they're doing. My brand is unique in that it's bilingual; English and Spanish. I bring in my own humor, my own words, essence, and flavor, which nobody can replicate. Don't try to be someone else. It will always come off as fake and people notice.
My channel was daily but since I worked full time, it become too hard to keep up, so I changed it recently to four times a week. This is how I broke it up:
Mondays are all about Money/Business, Wednesdays are Wild or for anything, Fridays are Food days where I share recipes, and Saturdays are always in Spanish.
Well, there it is, my journey into podcasting. Currently, the hottest most listened-to topics are Monday money (business) and Friday food, where I share recipes.
Focusing on my passion has forever changed the course of my life. I no longer wait for things or consider compromising my happiness on any level. Life is too short.
If you want to be a podcaster, listen to my podcasts on the link below for a more in-depth talk. And if you're interested in being interviewed or are already a podcaster, consider collaborating with me. There's no such thing as too much advertising.
Good luck and never give up!
© 2022 Rosana Modugno