Podcasting basics: The best podcasts

It’s a Saturday morning and I’ve finished all my work for the week. Here are some of the things I should be doing:

  • Having a lie in
  • Cleaning the house
  • Baking in preparation for friends coming over tonight
  • Pampering (in desperate need of a mini facial)
  • Organising That Cupboard that I no longer open for fear of being crushed.
  • Eating cake
  • Exercising
  • Getting on top of my accounting
  • Slobbing out on the sofa with a pile of magazines
  • Wedding planning

Instead, I’ve woken up at 6am with a dozen blog post ideas buzzing around my head.

I’ve been mulling over one topic for a while, and I’ve touched on it before – podcasts.

I’m a big fan of listening to podcasts. It’s a great way to catch up on your favourite radio shows, listen to interesting debates or passing the time when you’re on a long journey. But up until recently, the podcasting world has been dominated by some cheesy American business gurus (“Empower your inner guru by working four hours a week, hard selling to everyone you know and consuming a macrobiotic diet while meditating at 4am” – *Sigh*) or the BBC radio channels. I think I’m too cynical for a lot of the podcasts across the pond, so I’m gagging for something fresh.

The UK is starting to catch on to podcasting though. So pour yourself a cup of tea, cut a (big) slice of cake and enjoy one of these aural delights.

My Favourite Podcasts

The High Tea Cast

OK, I’ve spoken about this podcast from Leanne Rice and Samantha Sparrow, but it’s one of the best podcasts in the UK at the moment. Leanne and Sam work with a different theme each month, ranging from feminism and sex to volunteering and fashion. They’ve got a team of guest voices that keep the content fresh, and all the content is fun AND intelligent. They recently revamped their blog too, to tie you over between podcasts, as well as some mini-podcasts

Here’s a snippet of one of their podcasts a while ago.

Girls Talk Web

Only in its second episode, Girls Talk Web is a podcast from tech blogger Amanda Foley and blogger/vlogger Hannah Keys. The Canadian and New Zealand duo chat about all things tech, social and web goodies.

Curious? Have a listen to their second episode below.

Amy Schmittauer

Amy is behind the site Sexy Savvy Social, and I’ve watched Amy’s videos for a while. She’s part of a new generation of women who are really embracing multi-media for their business as a motivating, interesting and ass-kicking forum. Amy tends to focus on social media, online tools and how to be an entrepreneur, so if you enjoy this blog you should enjoy hers! She’s recently launched a podcast all about working from home and the bad habits you can develop (oh, how I can relate to that.)

(If you’re a fan of Amy’s videos, you might like Marie Forleo’s too.)

Wannabe Hacks

If you want to get into journalism, this may just be the podcast for you. Wannabe Hacks describes itself as “a living, breathing journalism resource. All our content is produced by aspiring journalists.” The Hack Report podcast reflects this, with news, interviews and info about what’s coming up on the site.

Get the scoop below.

*Addition* The Lean Times

Another new podcaster is The Lean Times, who gives us no nonsense advice about how to live a frugal life. Her latest one is about menu planning. If you don’t already do it, you’ll be surprised at how much impact planning ahead can have on your time, money and even healthy eating choices.

You can listen to the podcast here.

BBC radio

Bit of a general one now, as I tend to listen to a lot of BBC Radio podcasts. Sometimes I fancy something cheesy like the  Scott Mills podcast, which rounds up the daily shows, and sometimes I like to use it to catch up on Woman’s Hour or the Food Programme. If you’re new to podcasting, the BBC podcasting page is probably the best place to start (pretty much all their shows are now available as podcasts).

Click on the little play button below next to the link to activate the player.


Tools for listening to podcasts

Have I tempted you now? There are dozens of tools out there for downloading, subscribing and listening to your podcasts. My favourites are:

iTunes – The big daddy. Great for if you like to keep all your podcasts and music in one place
Podcaster – My app of choice. Allows me to subscribe to most of my favourite podcasts, and downloads all the updates when I open the app.
Spreaker – I only discovered this app yesterday when listening to Girls Talk Web, but it seems like a really simple way to record and listen to podcasts.

Over to you! Which podcasts are you loving at the moment? Let me know in the comments!