Two years ago a friendly acquaintance on Facebook said to me, “Lisa, why don’t you create your own podcast network?” I had been tossing around some ideas with him about setting up my own podcast and, possibly, joining a network.
There was something about his suggestion that stuck in my brain, and although I knew nothing of podcasting, much less running a network, that idea had been planted, and it wasn’t going anywhere!
In January of 2013, I began putting plans together and casually asked a group of women bloggers if they might be interested in joining me with weekly shows. An all-women network was what I had in mind. A far more experienced podcaster said to me bluntly, “All women hosts isn’t going to work,” but I knew that it could. There were already 2 or 3 “prepper” networks out there, and since I’ve never been one to fit a mold, I wanted the Survival Mom network to be different, not narrowly focused on prepper/survival topics only.
As more than a dozen hosts signed on, I became more and more nervous. I knew nothing of sound editing, nor did my husband, who was going to be my partner in running the network. We didn’t have any advertisers and, frankly, had no idea if our shows would have even a few dozen listeners.
Our official launch date was April 8, 2013. Among that early group of hosts was Vickilynn Haycraft, Donna Miller, Charley Cooke, Julie Behling-Hovdal, Sharon Peterson, Angela Paskett, and Kendra from New Life on a Homestead.
As a team, we faced one hurdle after another, but our group persevered and stood by me as I made more than my fair share of mistakes. (Thanks, ladies!)
Eventually, we learned that our efforts were paying off in huge numbers of downloads. Just between June 1, of this year through the end of October, our shows were downloaded more than 2 million times. Clearly, we’ve reached our audience, and then some, and they aren’t all women! We have plenty of men who listen to our shows and enjoy them.
The Family Factor
At this point, let me say that when I first started the blog, my kids were just 7 and 9. They have grown up as The Survival Mom’s kids, and have, I hope, enjoyed the experience. However, now they are both young teens. My daughter is 15, my son will turn 13 on Thanksgiving Day.
If you’re a parent, you know that feeling when you look at your children and suddenly realize that your time with them is running short.
That’s where I stand now.
Running the podcast network was one of the most time consuming projects I had ever tackled. Each show is time sensitive. A Monday show can’t just casually show up on Wednesday afternoon or Saturday mid-morning! The process of maintaining that weekly schedule kept my husband and I on our toes for a year and a half.
About a month ago, I realized that I needed to set aside the network in order to focus more on my kids, their last few years of homeschooling, and then just wait on God to see where my path takes me next.
Closing Up Shop
The week of Monday, November 24, is the last week that brand new shows will be produced for the network. My own podcast will continue and, for now, it will continue on The Survival Mom Radio Network feed every Tuesday. If you’ve been listening to our shows via Stitcher, iTunes, or any other podcast app, you’ll see new episodes of my show and it will continue indefinitely.
I wanted to end the shows this coming week so my hosts could relax, enjoy the holidays, and have plenty of time to decide whether or not their own shows will continue. You can keep up to date with them by visiting their websites, Facebook pages, and by signing up for their newsletters. As well, for those hosts who continue their shows, they will likely be on the Prepper Broadcasting Network.
All of our past network episodes will be available to you 24/7 on The Survival Mom Radio Network website. They can be listened to directly from the website or downloaded to your computer for later listening. In the coming weeks, we’ll be taking steps to make it easier for you to search the podcasts by topic. With more than 700 episodes available, there is a vast amount of information and entertainment, and it will take you months to get through all of it!
For now, I’ll be spending time writing blog articles and may add a few ebooks in the near future. For sure, I’ll be careful about where I commit my time, and I encourage each of you to do the same. Your kids may be grown and long since out of the house, but so often in our culture, we end up spending time on things that are of lesser importance and end up neglecting things of real value.
Thank you for being part of my Survival Mom journey and for those of you who were loyal listeners to our podcasts, we appreciated you more than you’ll ever know.