Two college friends starting a podcast riffing on the weird stories they come across

Michael Howard
Mike Cushing
March 9, 2018 - "We have always enjoyed joking with our friends about random news stories that we find and trends on social media. We felt like we had a good thing going with that, and decided that we’d try a show that took that to a new level. "
Weird stories on the Internet
Since 2016

►Tell us about you and your podcast

Michael Howard and Mike Cushing, college friends who decided to start a podcast riffing on the really dumb stories we come across, since we already spent a bunch of time doing it in private. 

Trends In Low Places is a comedic exploration of the hottest and dumbest trends of the day. Your intrepid hosts Mike and Michael – joined by friendly experts – explore social trending topics, current events and the modern era’s insatiable hunger for celebrity deaths. If you’re in desperate need for unqualified analysis of our world’s most pressing issues, these are the guys for you.

Our listeners are anyone who enjoys current events, funny stories, and the weird world we live in. There is a ton of negative news out there, but we enjoy finding the stories that can make us and our listeners laugh. 


►Why & how did you start this podcast? 

We have always enjoyed joking with our friends about random news stories that we find and trends on social media. We felt like we had a good thing going with that, and decided that we’d try a show that took that to a new level. 

Our initial goal was just to see if anyone else cared at all what we had to say. We actually enjoyed it so much that even if nobody listened, we'd probably still do it. Luckily, there are enough people out there listening and giving us positive feedback. 

We started the podcast in December of 2016, probably the worst time to start a comedy podcast about current events. But we pushed through and I think we have really found a good niche that listeners enjoy. 

We did a little bit of a test run, just to see if we thought we could do it. When listening back afterward, it was actually pretty decent and we sent it to a few friends who agreed, so we decided to go ahead and release it and see what happened. It wasn't the smoothest or free of problematic opinions, but it got enough of a response that we just kept going. 


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

We release episodes weekly. Now that we have gotten the hang of it, it doesn't take very long to produce an episode, maybe a few hours. 

We don't have a set schedule for when we record, and we just work around our schedules to make time to do it. We split the producing responsibilities, which helps. We aren't always on top of promotion and social media because of time constraints, but we are working on getting better at that as well. 

We fund the podcast ourselves. Aside from the initial startup costs of the hosting site and website, it is not very expensive to maintain. Hosting and website costs are about $20/month. 


►What do you gain from podcasting?        

We are definitely interested in taking on some sponsors, but right now we are mostly focused on growing our listener base. We don't have any revenue, and it's really just a labor of love for now.

The benefit we get from podcasting is setting aside time each week to not think about work or life and just joke and have fun with friends. The ideal for any podcast, I think, is to be able to do that for more time each week and turn it into a real part-time or even full-time career and not just a hobby. But as long as we are making people laugh, especially ourselves, we are happy.    


►How does your podcasting process look like? 

We use Podbean for hosting, and Squarespace for the website. We use Audacity for recording and editing, and a basic setup with Blue Yeti mics. 

We haven't had many guests, aside from friends, but the ones we have had have come about pretty organically from people reaching out to us. We would love to be able to get some more "expert" guests on to talk about stories as we grow and increase our exposure. 

We prepare by looking into the darkest corners of the internet for the weirdest stories that we think we have something funny or insightful to say about them. Sometimes they come from social media or Reddit or Fark, but sometimes they are stories on serious news sites that we just can't believe are real. 


►How do you market your show?

We have tried to get our show on as many sources as we can, including iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, iHeartMedia, OverCast, etc. A large majority have come from iTunes, but recently we've seen a bunch of traffic from Overcast as well. 

We use Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, as well as encouraging our listeners to tell their friends about us. We have done limited paid ads, mostly in the form of boosting a Facebook post, or an occasional ad on Overcast.  


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

We probably should have expected more technical difficulties than we did, but I think we got a little complacent at the start by just how easy it was to actually start and maintain a podcast. We’ve wound up losing a handful of episodes into the maw of editing software, hardware failures or just random Internet outages.

As we actually start to get some traction and we realized that people beyond our friend group seem to like what we’re doing, it’s been a struggle to push beyond that first wave of people we don’t know.


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

You can learn more about Trends in Low Places at, or by following us on Twitter and Instagram at @TILPcast, or by searching for Trends in Low Places on Facebook.

Updated: a year ago