Daniel Sandoval has always needed a creative outlet. Over the years he has spent time drawing, DJing and using photoshop. About five years ago after spending a great deal of time listening to podcasts, he and his wife, Kelli, decided to start their own podcast together called The Reasons I’m Broke.
“We cover things, you know stuff that takes our money, that brings down our bank account,” said Daniel.
They cover news about the things that they spend a great deal of money on. For Daniel, those things are often comics, movies and video games.
“It’s kind of like a joke-y title,” said Daniel. “Listeners love it, they send us pics of video games they buy and they’re like ‘yep this is why I’m broke.’”
The couple has built a loyal audience that tunes in each week when they release on Sunday evenings. Last month, their show was downloaded 2,323 times– not including servers independent of iTunes. The total number of downloads from the podcast hosting site service is 45,628 over the last five year– that comes out to about 9,126 downloads each year, so around 176 downloads per show.
Their audience is pretty involved too. They interact over Twitter, which Daniel said has been the most useful platform for growing their audience.
“We participate in the hashtag game,” said Daniel.
As a part of that “hashtag game” they ask for listener participation. Daniel said that if listeners tweet back to them then he and Kelli will read audience tweets out on the show. That kind of engagement with listeners can be helpful when building a loyal audience base.
They also use Facebook, Instagram and other platforms for listeners not on Twitter. However, Twitter has been the most useful for audience growth and interaction, he said.
“We take it week by week,” said Daniel. “As long as listeners keep interacting with us Kelli and I will keep it going.”
“Most shows pod-fade after three to five episodes,” he said. If the first year wasn’t a success, he said they wouldn’t plan on it being a long term thing.
On the topic of avoiding pod-fading, Daniel has some advice for new podcasters. Beginning with their first episode recording.
“When you’re first starting out have an episode zero,” he said.
Daniel said it would be wise to record an episode zero and also the first and maybe second episodes before releasing any. Doing so allows one to scrap the first attempt at recording if it is not up to snuff, he explained. You can keep episode zero to use as the first episode if it’s worth it, but then you won’t be stuck if your first recording does not go well and you can use the second recorded episode as your first instead– which will have been recorded with a little more practice.
“The hardest part is just beginning,” he said.
The key is to just keep going at it and to be on schedule with your podcast, particularly for the purpose of building an audience. Sandoval said that it’s important to make sure you release each new segment at the same time on the same day of every week, month or at whatever interval you plan on releasing an episode. “Make your show a part of their routine,” he said.
Patience is a virtue in podcasting as well.
“Podcasting is different from YouTube where people can blow up from one video – podcasting is a long term grind,” Sandoval said. “You just have to keep doing it because you love doing it, [because] sometimes it can take a year, two years, five years.”
He said that growing a big following isn’t the right reason to be a podcaster.
“Don’t do it for the numbers, don’t do it for the downloads,” he said. “Do it because it’s fun for you.”
So what started as a fun, creative outlet and hobby for Daniel and Kelli has blossomed into a bright spot in the weekly routines of their listeners– and has continued as a positive hobby for the Sandovals.
With the arrival of the couple’s first baby, Kelli has missed a few episodes. To fill her absence, Daniel has been hosting guests. She’ll make her return soon though and maybe, one day, little Leo will find a passion for podcasting and join The Reasons I’m Broke team.
You can learn more about The Reasons I’m Broke on their website.