My name is Jason Alme, and I usually co-host "Sh*t Happens When You Party Naked" with my wife Christina. Our background is far from podcasting; we both work in dietetics (clinical nutrition) and podcast for fun. Our podcast is rooted in raw, adult comedy but we touch on all manner of diverse topics that interest us, including movies, reality television, Buddhism, craft beer, yoga, bourbon, and drinking to excess. Our listeners are diverse as well, but they have in common that they are not uptight. Also they're probably going to hell like us.
I started us podcasting because I was forced by a medical condition to stop competing in bodybuilding. I needed a creative outlet to replace it - something I could obsess over in place of bodybuilding. Also, I am an extrovert who used to stand onstage in front of thousands of people wearing a tiny banana-hammock, so I wanted something to replace the attention bodybuilding brought. So my initial goal with podcasting was to have fun and get attention, honestly.
I listen to a lot of podcasts, and the barrier to entry is relatively low, so I decided to pick it up as a hobby that rapidly became an obsession. I started the podcast shortly after the new year in 2018, so I'm still brand new and learning every day. It took about a month to get things squared away with equipment, recording, and hosting before we released our first episode.
I release episodes once per week. I'd like to do more, but I have to work a day job to finance this operation - I am my own sponsor currently. All things considered, I've spent about $1,000 on my podcast so far. That's like $333 per month, but much of that was one-time equipment purchases, so the monthly average will decrease as the podcast ages. Episodes run about an hour, and I usually spend 1-3 hours editing so production is usually around 4-5 hours after all is said and done.
I need to control the amount of production I do, as I work full time in dietetics AND I'm studying for my PhD in Nutrition Science. To say that I am busy is an understatement, but I believe that you will do the things you want to do; you'll simply make time. I study late, I get up early, I record and edit and study on the weekends. Being busy keeps you productive though!
I have not gained any $$ from podcasting yet... I have no sponsors as of yet, nor do I feel as though I'm ready to offer a platform for sponsors. I'd like to build my audience and create the best podcast I can. Therefore, I will not be using earnings as a measure of my success. I podcast for myself, because I want to. I want to entertain people, spend time talking to funny and interesting people, and meet new folks. By that measurement, even in a few months podcasting has been an incredibly successful venture thus far.
As I am quite new to the game still, I use what I have. I have a MacBook Pro given to me by my work that came equipped with GarageBand. I bought some lightly used Yeti Pro mics and AKG headphones from Craigslist. I hung curtains on the wall and put a tablecloth on the desk. As I continue to grow in this project, I'm sure I'll upgrade equipment and my production will become more sophisticated, but right now I'm trying to get my reps in and put out the most entertaining show I can. While basic, my current setup produces audio quality that is fairly good while I focus on podcast content.
I interview guests I know, family and friends, though I'm always looking for new people to have on. Right now I have not yet had a remote guest on the show, but when I finally do, I'll probably use source elements. My prep is pretty basic too: cook dinner for my guests, ply them with alcohol, then press record.
Right now most of my listeners have come from positive word of mouth from other listeners. I think folks find me on iTunes and SoundCloud too, and I have Google Play and Stitcher accounts that I think get some love as well. Facebook and Instagram have also been helpful in connecting with folks that might enjoy the show, with Instagram probably being the most useful so far, if for no other reason than that is a platform I jive with as a user.
I'm not sure I've been with this long enough to dispense advice, so I'll stick to some general advice which may be applicable to podcasting: just get started. Don't wait. Don't put off the sh*t you want to do, and don't try to make it perfect before you get started. I used to need everything to be perfect before I could launch something, until I realized I wasn't doing the things I wanted to. You don't need the perfect mic, an expensive mixer, or the right computer. Do what you can with what you've got and worry more about good content than perfection. Not being perfect and making mistakes is forgivable, and you'll learn as you go.