Podcasting finds its place in Paradise

Today’s talk shows...

Everyone’s doing it. 

From Dr. Phil and Bill Burr to Shaquille O’Neal and Alec Baldwin.

So what’s all the fuss, and what the hell is a podcast, anyway?

The term comes from a combination of the words iPod (remember those digital music players that preceded everyone’s smartphones and Spotify accounts?) and the word “broadcasting.”

Once largely confined to the realm of the ultra-hip tech crowd, podcasting has been growing exponentially in the past five years. 

As of this month, there are more than 820,000 of these internet talk radio shows that cover all topics from politics to parenting, music to murder mysteries. Much of the popularity stems from the ability to save or download a podcast episode and listen later, with no need to be there for the live broadcast.

And at least three of those podcasts are coming from both ends of the Florida Keys.

Lisa Malcom is a Key West-based marketing and business consultant. In recent months she has expanded her resume to include “podcast producer,” having completed a comprehensive course on  producing, recording and editing her new podcast, “Kick in the Yes.”

But Malcom’s biggest thrill is interviewing guests for her 20-minute (give or take) episodes that are relatable to her listeners and have dealt with real-life, real-world decisions and decided to embrace the “yes” rather than remaining in their comfort zones, which aren’t always that comfortable.

“This show features real stories of success in life, love and business. Are you ready to break through the barriers keeping you from moving forward with passion and purpose? This is no time to listen to naysayers or wonder if it’s even possible to let what you love be what you do. It’s time for a kick in the yes. Join me, Lisa Malcom, a believer in you, as I connect you to the unstoppables — the go-getters, the change-makers and the ones who took a chance on living their best life by doing what they love. If you’re ready to hear real stories and aha moments from everyday success stories, Kick in the Yes is the show for you.”

Malcom has interviewed everyone from a Colorado hemp farmer to a Key West newspaper editor, and the responses she has received from complete strangers have been beyond encouraging, she said.

Upper Keys podcasters Melinda and Ryan Van Fleet echo Malcom’s sentiments about any time she hears from a listener she’s never met.

Melinda Van Fleet has been hosting the weekly podcast Good Karma Success Coach since April 2019, while Ryan launched Good Karma Sportfishing podcast to coincide with his charter fishing business a bit earlier, in August 2018.

“It’s been an amazing learning experience,” the Van Fleets both said, emphasizing that the most important key to successful podcasting is consistency.

“The average podcast doesn’t last more than seven episodes,” Melinda said. “And it takes a commitment, but we really enjoy it and in Ryan’s case it’s been an incredible tool to help his primary business.”

Neither the VanFleets nor Malcom are selling ads or sponsorships on their podcasts, a personal decision that’s based on goals and motivations.

Ryan offers five-minute tackle tips and longer fishing stories about what’s in season, and what was biting on his previous charter.

“It’s amazing to see where our listeners come from: Australia, Afghanistan, South America, you name it,” he said. “And it feels great to make a personal connection with someone who really likes what we’re doing.”

The VanFleets attribute their success to the Podcasters’ Paradise online class for beginners.

A quick Google search will turn up Malcom’s Kick in the Yes (kickintheyes.com) and the Van Fleets’ Good Karma Success Coach and Good Karma Sportfishing


Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.