My name is Dallas Heliker, I am a computer programmer by trade and a craft beer enthusiast. I always loved radio and later the podcasting format. 4 years ago I decided to try my hand at podcasting by talking about and celebrating craft beer. The Beer of the Day Podcast was born and we have since recorded over 85 episodes.
The podcast is hosted by myself and includes Beer of the Day's other co-founder, Jeff Miller, and a rotating cast of our close friends who also appreciate craft beer. Our listeners are fellow craft beer lovers who are interested in different beer styles from around the country (and world) and the latest happenings in the craft beer world.
I listen to quite a few podcasts myself and thought that craft beer was a good niche to start a podcast about. Initially, and currently, the goal has always been to have fun while exploring a common interest with ourselves and our listeners. We started in February 2014 and recorded 30 test podcasts over the first year. By April 2015 we figured we had somewhat enough practice to release our first podcast to the public coinciding with the re-launch of our website.
For the first year we released a new episode every week. Since then we have cut back to every 2 weeks. Everybody has full-time jobs, so carving out time for a podcast every 2 weeks is more manageable. We usually get together on a Friday or Saturday evening, have dinner, and then sit down and record our episode. It generally takes around 2.5 hours to setup and record a 1 hour episode. Editing the podcast takes a couple hours as well, but I do it myself.
We spend a little bit on advertisements on social media, but generally we let the podcast spread organically. We do generally spend about $100 per episode on the beer, and $60 per month on hosting for our website which grows as we grow. The podcast is self-funded. Over the first year we spent quite a bit on the recording equipment, as it was important for me to have a professional sound, but we've had to add very little hardware after we built up our equipment over the first year.
The primary thing we gain from podcasting is entertainment and the ability to try good beer with our friends. We do not have any sponsorships, though we are not opposed to them. It's just a matter of having enough listeners for it to be worth someone's while. What little revenue we have is generated through Amazon referrals which we promote during the podcast. We have had breweries send us beer for us to try on the podcast, which is fantastic of them and much appreciated.
The podcast hosting, archives and RSS feeds are all built on our own software. Hardware wise, we use a Focusrite Saffire firewire/thunderbolt audio interface and record on a MacBook Air using Logic X. This gives us plenty of flexibility as far as number of guests and we also interface on Skype remotely for nearly every episode. Episode preparation involves getting the audio levels correct for each input including compression and EQs. There are minor edits to remove any dead air or major flubs. But for the most part, what you hear is what we record in real time.
We find listeners primarily from other listeners, primarily through social media. We share new episode details on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Existing listeners share our posts to their friends and family. We also gain some listeners through iTunes listings and content aggregators.
The best advice I can offer is to podcast for the love of podcasting itself. If you are doing it for the primary goal of making money, then not only are you not going to make any money, you aren't going to get any enjoyment out of it. I recommend doing video content as well, though this more than doubles the time it takes to produce the episodes.