Podcasting

Ashley on the ups and downs of his cross-country biking podcast, The A Line

Lyzi Unwin
Content Producer
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If you’re an avid reader of the Studio Cotton blog or an Instagram follower of ours, the name Ashley de Lotz might sound kinda familiar… he’s the husband of our pal and photographer for pretty much every photo you see on our website and Instagram, Georgia de Lotz.

Aside from that, he also runs a coaching, training and massage therapy business, Motion MTB Coach, helping increase bike riders’ enjoyment and performance when mountain biking, as well as helping them recover with sports massage.

Ashley describes The A Line Podcast as: the ultimate podcast for cross-country mountain biking, speaking to elite athletes, their coaches, mechanics and support networks. To help you go faster and have more fun on your bike.

He started in November 2022, recording from lovely city and place Studio Cotton also calls home, Bristol. Let’s find out a little more.

 

1. Why did you start The A Line?

I started The A Line because there weren’t any podcasts similar to it – there was a gap in the market. I was sick of not having what I wanted to listen to, so I thought I’d make it myself.

I thought, surely if I want to listen to this, other people will as well.

There are other mountain biking podcasts, but none of them are covering the cross-country area. I was complaining about it, then thought, why don’t I start my own, instead of whinging about it? So, I gave it a punt.

I had previously worked on a triathlon podcast as a guest host – seeing how that didn’t work gave me the inspiration to start one of my own in the area that I wanted to pursue.

 

2. What was your original goal for the podcast?

I wanted to spread and publicise the sport of cross country mountain biking, and for the athletes to get more exposure, as well as to help listeners learn and be entertained.

 

3. “90% of podcasts don’t get past their 3rd episode” – what helped you to keep going?

It was pretty easy actually, because people were on board from the very start, so I knew I was onto a winner. I had some great listener feedback and some great guests get involved from the off.

Another thing that helped was speaking with Chris Hall from Downtime (which is another big mountain biking podcast, but focusing on a different area) who has been really helpful with guidance and advice.

 

 

4. What benefits were you expecting to get from podcasting?

I wanted to put out something rad and have a positive impact on my sport, by creating something which brought the cycling world together a bit. I wanted to make people happy, and generate more interest in mountain biking.

I also hoped it would be good indirect marketing for my coaching, training and massage therapy business, Motion MTB Coach. By promoting myself, networking, getting my name out there, I’m more attractive to sponsors as an athlete, because it makes my brand more rounded.

 

5. What has been an unexpected business/commercial benefit of podcasting?

I got the opportunity to commentate at the Mountain Bike National Championships on the live stream, which was really cool and something I wasn’t expecting at all. I really enjoyed it and learnt a lot, so maybe there’ll be more commentating in the future. It was an awesome experience.

It also helped me make connections and got me some discount on things too, like equipment and clothing.

 

 

6. What’s your least favourite thing about having a podcast?

Editing takes twice as long as I thought it would. Doing the interview itself and editing that seems to be ok, it’s more the recording of the introduction, recording promotions (like the live stream in the previous question, to get more people to listen to that) – having to re-record simple messages is time consuming and tricky. Plus all the other admin.

 

7. What do you wish you knew about producing a podcast before you started?

It will become a massive time thief, but it’s very good fun. The lows will be low, but the highs will be very high.

I wish I knew about Zencastr from the start – it’s a fantastic platform. At the beginning, I was buggering about with Zoom calls, but Zencastr makes it a million times easier, and really improves the quality of your recordings.

 

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Podcast microphone on a pink magazine inside Studio Cotton

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8. How have you gained your listeners?

I gained listeners through Instagram engagement, as well as my presence at mountain bike races – doing well at races and wearing a jazzy jersey so I stand out means people come and chat to me.

Also, getting guests on the show to then promote it on their Instagram profiles really helped too.

 

9. How much should a new podcaster budget for getting started?

£300 – spend it on recording equipment, such as a couple of mics and a Podtrak P4. You can get decent kit on eBay.

 

 

10. What is a really small thing you’ve done that has helped The A Line grow?

Engage. There’s no point just throwing content out there, you need to engage with your listeners through your show and socials.

 

11. What’s on the immediate horizon for The A Line?

Trying to level it up by looking for more international guests from overseas, to help gain exposure in different regions.

 


 

As recommended by Ashley

We asked Ashley to recommend 3 people, organisations or resources that have helped him as a podcaster… 

  1. Zencastr – such a great platform for interviewing guests
  2. Downtime Podcast by Chris Hall
  3. Georgia de Lotz – photography tips and occasional photos

 


 

You can listen to The A Line on Spotify, on Apple, Google, and anywhere else you get your podcasts. Follow The A Line on Instagram for regular updates, and head to his Buy Me A Coffee profile to support Ashley if you love what he does 🙂

For more insights into the podcasting world, head to (Small) business of podcasts to read more Q&A blogs.

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