Bryan Doody is the host of The I Am Podcast. Last year, Bryan was watching Homecoming King by Hasan Minhaj on Netflix. In it, he tells the story of his life and his first love in high school. The way he tells of that relationship ending made Bryan realize that “not only had I never had an experience like that, but I really wanted to know what other peoples’ stories were as well.” So now Bryan interviews people about their lives, how their experiences shape their perspectives, and what makes them who they are.
PBJ: How long have you been podcasting and when did you start?
Bryan Doody: My first episode went live on 8/25/18, which I recorded on 8/9/18. I had been thinking about the podcast since the summer of 2017, though. It took me a while to run through ideas for what I wanted the podcast format to be. I also took time to make sure I was covered from a legal standpoint. There was also the issue of what equipment I would use and how I would host the podcast on the Internet, which I will discuss below. It ended up being a good thing I waited because the technology and options really advanced over the past 18-24 months.
PBJ: Why are you podcasting?
Bryan Doody: I have a degree with a double major from Central Michigan University in Radio Broadcasting and in Philosophy. Right out of college I needed to work, which ended up being in retail. I never pursued much in the way of my degree, but both broadcasting and philosophy were things I enjoyed. By working in retail and becoming a manager, I have done hundreds of interviews over the years. I had also been listening to podcasts for a long time. It finally came together that the merging of my degree and interviewing experience seemed like it could make for a good podcast. My goal for the podcast is to give people a listening experience that will help them to broaden their worldview and develop greater empathy. When you hear another person tell you their life story in their own words, and in particular how they’ve managed to overcome adversity in their own unique way, you quickly move past any kind of “judging a book by its cover” to a place of genuine curiosity, understanding, and human connection. I believe this will ultimately lead to more kindness and inclusion, and make the world a little bit nicer place to be.
PBJ: Do you have a website and/or an app to host your podcast? Why or why not?
Bryan Doody: I use Anchor.fm to host my podcast (anchor.fm/theiampodcast) which is free in the model of YouTube or Twitch where you can just create an account and post content. When I was first looking into podcasting, it seemed to be cost prohibitive to have to create and host a website and have an audio hosting service to have the podcast available to load onto iTunes etc. When I started getting more serious about doing the podcast this year, I was ready to pay for a service. Thankfully I found Anchor right before I was ready to pay. It takes a lot of pressure off not having to pay anything to have my podcast up and running.
PBJ: How are you marketing your podcast?
Bryan Doody: Word of mouth and Twitter @TheIAmPodcast
PBJ: How many downloads/listens are you getting?
Bryan Doody: Through the first 12 episodes I have over 660 total downloads or about 51 per episode average. It’s very exciting to see it grow with each new episode!
PBJ: What are your biggest challenges?
Bryan Doody: Finding new people to interview in a timely manner so I have a new episode each week and having a place to interview them. I have interviewed a few people I know and some I do not know. I don’t feel comfortable having a stream of strangers come into my house, just like someone that doesn’t know me would not want me coming into their home. I have been using a room at the local library, but they recently told me they would now have to start charging me for the room if I want to use it more than once per month.
PBJ: Are you making any money? If so, how?
Bryan Doody: I have had a few people support the podcast with monthly recurring donations. This is available on anchor.fm/theiampodcast. There’s a “Support This Podcast” link there which allows listeners to donate $0.99, $4.99, or $9.99 per month to help support the podcast. To those of you who have, THANK YOU!!!!
PBJ: Do you care/want to make money and what is your plan?
Bryan Doody: If I am able to make money from the podcast, that will allow me more freedom and flexibility to make it as good as it can be. The most common ways to make money on podcasts are through donations, ads, or sponsors. I think once I hit 1,000 overall downloads I will look into ads and sponsors more. I feel like that is a good number you can point to that helps get folks on board.
PBJ: Do you use ad insertion or allow network commercials on your podcast?
Bryan Doody: I currently do not do either and need to learn how to make that all work. I am more a fan of host-read ads on other podcasts, so I am hoping to do that.
PBJ: What advice do you have for podcasters considering a launch?
Bryan Doody: If you are serious about your podcast and want it to go somewhere, take the time you need before you post anything to really consider how you want it to sound, how you will create new content, and how you can protect yourself. If you have guests, make sure you have a Podcast Release Form. There is a good book called Podcast, Blog & New Media Producer’s Legal Survival Guide by Gordon P. Firemark. One of my key takeaways is that other people and the law are going to treat your podcast like a business and you should, too. Even if it is only a hobby there are things you can do to protect yourself, just in case.
PBJ: What equipment are you using — microphone, hosting company, editing software — and any other basic equipment you can share with our readers?
Bryan Doody: I use Hindenburg Journalist to record and edit my podcast on my laptop. It’s fantastic for editing conversations/interviews as that’s what it was designed for. It has many smart features that make editing simple to do and sound great. I use a Turtle Beach Stream Mic for my microphone. It plugs in USB and has a variety of sound profiles. Since I am doing one-on-one interviews, I mostly use the bi-directional setting. It picks up both voices well.
I use anchor.fm to host my podcast. Anchor.fm/theiampodcast. It’s free and easy to get started. They have the donation option for your listeners and post automatically to all the major podcast platforms, including iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Breaker, and more.
My setup is easy to have all in one backpack so I can record wherever I need to.
How to contact and listen to Bryan’s podcast.
Anchor.fm/theiampodcast also available on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, Castbox, Overcast, PocketCasts, RadioPublic, and Stitcher.