The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Podcast and Blog Changes

Last Tuesday evening's live video podcast of Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres was the last podcast I'm doing on a Tuesday.

In a couple of days it will have a new home on Sunday afternoons at 3pm UK time.

After 86 weeks, why the change?

In essence, it's my attempt at reducing the time spent around it.

When I started the podcast back in April 2020, the world was in Lockdown, my photography business suddenly had an indefinitely empty calendar, and I could pretty much devote as much time to is as I wanted.

Tuesday evenings at 7.30pm felt like an ideal time for those who did evening classes, or attended camera clubs (of course I was thinking primarily of a UK audience at this point). It also meant I could spend most of the day preparing for it, while Wednesdays could be used for reviewing how it went, editing it if necessary, writing a blog post that was probably related to something from the podcast, and then doing all the social media stuff of putting photos and links across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn to encourage anyone who'd missed it to go and take a look.

And if that meant by the time I got to Thursday I was an exhausted wreck and all I could do was sit about, dribbling into my chest, then that was fine – it wasn't like I had any meetings or photo shoots to attend to.

As time went on, I realised that if I overdid things on a Tuesday during the day, it seriously impacted my ability to do the podcast in the evening. I couldn't push through with a coffee because that would mean I wouldn't really sleep that night and my ability to do any of the rest of the stuff on a Wednesday would be screwed. So I found I was starting to use quite a bit of Monday for podcast preparation too in order to do less on a Tuesday so I could conserve my energy.

Basically, the best part of half of my week was taken up with the podcast in one form or another.

But it was also exciting that I was building something where it would only be a matter of time before I achieved global domination, and I would have tens of thousands of followers contributing via Finally I might actually be able to make the income I always dreamed of without the Chronic Fatigue limiting me. Simply put, the same amount of work goes into the podcasts whether I have 10 viewers or 40,000 so the potential seemed limitless.

However, after more than a year and half, the podcasts have failed to attract more than a handful of regular viewers. These people are wonderful, amazing and I love the interaction with them every week. I cannot believe there are not more people out there who would enjoy the podcasts just as much, but I the reality is I don't have the marketing skills to find them.

Despite what the social media platforms would have you believe, just creating something awesome and putting it out there every week, isn't enough.

So as the vaccines have rolled out, and I'm continually looking for real-world photography jobs again, at this point spending half my available week dedicated to something that's bringing me in only a small handful of donated "coffees", is utterly unsustainable.

I don't want to drop it though – I get a huge amount of enjoyment and pleasure out of helping people get a deeper understanding of photography.

The only option then, is to find a way I can contain the whole thing within one day.

After lots of soul searching, head scratching and conversations with my wife, I decided that if I did the podcasts in the middle of the afternoon on a Sunday with a strong cup of coffee, instead of having my usual exhausted doze, then I might just be able to get away with it.

3pm also has the advantage of making it available to a much wider part of the world. 7.30pm UK time meant that the whole of Asia was in bed, while being on a Tuesday meant most of those located in the American continents would be at work in their afternoon. This new time means that far more of Asia will be awake in their evening, and most of the Americas will be able to tune in on a Sunday morning with their breakfast or mid-morning coffee.

So the plan is to spend the morning doing the preparation, pushing through the podcast with a good strong coffee, then do all the social media stuff in the evening.

If it works, then I will have contained everything to within one day, be more accessible to more people around the world, and it will free me up to continue my career as a real-world photographer.

However, one casualty is likely to be this blog. It's highly improbable I will be able to fit writing a blog post into the day along with everything else that needs to be done.

Which I have some regrets about.

For me, it's felt like a bit of an achievement to produce a blog post every single week since the podcasts began.

From the pre-Facebook days when I used to post up to 3 times a week, the blog had tapered off over the years to the point where I was often writing less than once a month.

But when I began the podcasts, I decided to use the blog to explore either things that were happening with it, or the emotional impact it was having on me, or just allow myself to shoot off on some wild tangent.

I always enjoyed creating blog posts, but with limited time, energy, and income, it had steadily got pushed down the priority list. However, by creating a regular slot every Wednesday morning where, before I'd even looked at my email, I would sit at the computer and write a post, I was amazed to find that I never failed to actually write something. Not all of them have been Pulitzer-Prize winning stuff, admittedly, but there are a few I'm particularly pleased with.

While some are purely informative – ideas and thoughts for the next Podcast Photography Challenge, for example – many are explorations of thought and feelings where I have always strived for an emotional authenticity, and occasionally peppered with a bit of wry humour.

In an earlier incarnation of this blog, I used to have on the header, "Everything in this blog is true! And some of it actually happened..."

I never received a single comment about it, so clearly "wry humour" is in the eye of the beholder...

Anyway, the point is while I do still have every intention of creating blog posts whenever I can, realistically they are not likely to be happening every week any more.

Unless it turns out that having more time by streamlining the podcasts gives me more space to write... 


Pat said...

I do think you are extremely generous with your tima. I know it would go against your instincts but would it be an idea to charge for advice that is specifically asked for? Don't shoot me down in flames please.

Kim Ayres said...

Pat - the buymeacoffee option was intended as a way of earning a few bob.
The problem has turned out to be one of scale. If I had 100 times more viewers, and the same percentage that currently buy me a coffee were to do the same, then I would have quite a decent income.
The alternative of basically putting a payment gateway in front of any advice, is how would anyone know what I had to offer was any good?
I'm always seeing adverts to pay a chunk of money on the promise that my skills or life would be improved, but I don't trust them.
So to me, the ideal outcome would be more followers, but my marketing skills are very limited, unfortunately.

jthincmh said...

Hello Kim- This is Jon from Columbus, Ohio. I really like your podcasts and have tried to promote them with in my camera club group here. I think you give really good information at about the right level for most people. I should participate more myself. These days I am somewhat hindered by my wife's illness.
I think your change of time slots is a brilliant idea and I truly hope it brings you many more viewers. I am not sure how it will work for me just yet, but I do intend to keep following you. Best of luck going forward.

Kim Ayres said...

Jon - thank you for your kind words - they are much appreciated :)
Sorry to hear about your wife - I hope you have a strong support network around you.

neena maiya (guyana gyal) said...

As you know, I'm not deep into photography. I come to the blog to think, and learn about new ways of seeing.


I do hope you find more students, Kim. I was looking at the work on influencers, 3 women, and they were talking about what they had to do to bring in the viewers and sponsors. It is indeed a lot of work to find viewers. Are you on Linkedin?

I'm going to continue sending your youtube channel to others. Don't give up.

neena maiya (guyana gyal) said...

*the work OF 3 influencers* I mean.

Kim Ayres said...

Neena - I am on LinkedIn - do come and find me! I tried looking for you, but no luck - not sure what name you're using on it.

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