Storied Professional Writer Turns To The Podcasting Medium To Talk Beer

Jordan Newmark
March 14, 2018 - "Keep up your confidence that you should be doing this because no one is going to find your podcast or your book or your movie or your whatever passion project if you aren't actively doing it."
Since 2016

►Tell us about you and your podcast

My name is Jordan Newmark and I'm a writer by trade. I've interviewed hundreds of athletes and artists, to turn into written articles, over the past decade for a variety of websites on a variety of topics. I thought I would cut out the middle-man and give the interviews to the people; I love telling and listening to stories about topics I'm passionate about.

And I love beer. I love booze in general. I'm a fan of the artists out there who are truly crafting these beverages and they all have a story to tell as they put themselves on the line for something they love.

My podcast is for true fans of beer and the people who make it and for people who enjoy drinking it, talking it, and listening to stories about it.


►Why & how did you start this podcast? 

A decade ago, my then roommate worked as an editor for AOL men's site ASYLUM and they were interested in covering MMA/UFC. I had been a lifelong fan of cagefighting and had gotten my roommate into watching the sport and he knew I was highly-knowledgeable about it. He asked if I would feel comfortable interviewing fighters and writing about the sport. Of course! Why not? What did I have to lose? My first interview was former UFC lightweight and welterweight champ BJ Penn. It was great.

I wrote for AOL, I wrote for MTV2, and I wrote for 7 years for the UFC. During all of this, another former AOL editor asked if I would write for a different men's site that was more lifestyle driven. I said that I would tackle a different hobby- booze! Sites come and go, and so did that one, but it got me into writing about booze and interviewing distillers and brewers.

I love podcasts and I listen to a million of them, so I decided to start a podcast about beer and talk to beer makers. I'm also interested in talking to distillers and people connected with the overall booze industry. They are artists whose medium is beverage, and I love it. And, I enjoy telling stories and having conversations, which is what podcasts are all about.

I bought a Blue Yeti microphone and downloaded Audacity in August 2016 and put out my first episode a month later. My goals for the podcast are to have fun with it and to create a fun connection between the people who make the beer and the people who drink it.


►How'd you find the time and funding to do this podcast?

I do fund the podcast myself. My monthly Libsyn subscription and my Blue Yeti microphone have been my major expenses. I use Audacity to record and edit, which is a free program. I am a freelance writer and have worked from home for years, but my wife and her career has afforded me the opportunity to continue both.

Producing an episode on average takes about 2.5x as long as the episode's length. Obviously, if the audio got messed up or something strange happened in the recording then it's going to take longer. If there are no glitches in the recording process then the editing process is smooth sailing.

As for my episode frequency, I would like to be weekly, or at least twice a month, but keeping oneself motivated can be quite difficult.


►What do you gain from podcasting?        

PLEASE SPONSOR ME. Does that sound too eager? I don't have a sponsorship nor have I tried getting one, so that's not helping that. I don't have any financial gain from podcasting. What I gain is enjoyment. I enjoy talking to people. I have gotten a couple beers for free out of the podcast, but, for the most part, I enjoy learning about beers, people's lives, and having a conversation about it.


►How does your podcasting process look like? 

I use a Blue Yeti microphone and Audacity for recording/editing. Almost all of my guests are people I have reached out to through the brewery's website or by calling the brewery. I have had one PR company reach out to me about interviewing the brewery they represent. I have done almost all of the interviews over the phone, but a few I have done in person.

As for preparing physically, I try to choose a quiet room and I use an egg-crate foam cushion to more or less surround the microphone. As for preparing mentally, I will do a fair amount of research on the subject beforehand, but not an overwhelming amount as I want the conversations to move organically and not be too fixated on talking points. I want to listen and react - not look at notes.


►How do you market your show?

The podcast is on iTunes, has a Libsyn page, and a twitter account. Outside of that, I haven't invested much into marketing. My focus has been to make the podcast and feel comfortable doing it and to enjoy doing it. My job for years has been to write and it was someone else's job to market it. Marketing is a huge blindspot for me.


►What advice would you share with aspiring (new) podcasters?

Confidence. Do whatever to keep your confidence high about what you're doing, so that you keep doing it. It takes no effort to stop doing something, it takes a ton of effort to keep doing something. Keep up your confidence that you should be doing this because no one is going to find your podcast or your book or your movie or your whatever passion project if you aren't actively doing it.

Also, be honest about your mistakes and learn from them. We all make mistakes, so recognize them. Don't hide them. Set your sights on not making that mistake again and to get better at whatever it is.

As far as seeking advice, that's usually pretty easy. People love giving advice. Ask people for help. That's almost always the trickiest part is getting yourself to ask for help and not the other half of it, which is getting help from others. People like to help when asked. Don't put your eggs in one basket, so ask a bunch of people for advice and help. It takes a minute to ask someone for advice and help, and they may give you an hour's worth of advice and help in return. Plus, there's already thousands of articles out there one can find with a Google search about starting a podcast.


►Where can we learn more about you & your podcasts?

Updated: a year ago