Q&A: Clarkston juniors discuss inner workings of student podcast
On Jan. 15, Clarkston juniors Josh Bonzheim, Dayton Wallis and Jonah Newblatt marked a major milestone: one full year of recording episodes of their podcast “Bros Gone Wild.”
Every Monday, the three roommates talk about their lives, current events and anything else they can think of.
During the Jan. 22 episode, Newblatt attempted the Dog Central Challenge — eating three foot-long hot dogs, a stack of onion rings, an order of fries and a 20-ounce soft drink.
Central Michigan Life spoke with “Bros Gone Wild” about what it’s like to run a podcast.
How did you all meet?
Wallis: We all went to school together.
Newblatt: I think we’ve known each other longer than that though. We’ve been friends since around the fourth grade.
Where did you get the idea to do a podcast?
Bonzheim: I’m a huge podcast fan in general. I was on another podcast before this one and I thought it would be fun to do it with these guys. It took some convincing, but once they were on board we actually tried to get it started through CM Life. We went in and recorded it and they basically said, “You guys don’t really have a clear topic and there’s probably too much swearing.” That made us think, "Why not do it ourselves?"
What do you guys usually talk about on the podcast?
Bonzheim: That’s the thing, we really don’t have a defined topic. We make note of funny stuff that happens during the week or just think of some funny scenarios and save them for when we record the podcasts every Monday. We talk about current events and stuff happening around campus, too.
How many people listen regularly?
Bonzheim: Every episode we get about 100 to 150 listeners.
How do you get more people to listen?
Bonzheim: The posters (in Moore Hall) are one way, and we are trying to make more content. I am actually trying to post videos more often. We are also trying to do social media marketing where we’ll reach out to different places and retweet things and hopefully catch people’s attention.
Newblatt: The last couple of weeks we have been trying to make some funny videos.
Bonzheim: Yeah, different skits and things. Hopefully people laugh at these and say, “Oh yeah, maybe I do want to listen to these guys.” Then they try it out and enjoy it, and maybe they keep listening.
What’s it like to run a podcast?
Wallis: We are always on the lookout for something funny that we want to tell each other, but we also want to save it for an audience. If we find a funny news story or something like that, we’ll hold on to that. We also do weekly things like Josh was saying on our social media and we make that a goal. Especially nowadays, we do a poll every week which is how we kick off every podcast. So, we have a checklist of things that we normally do before we get going every Monday.
Bonzheim: It’s not terribly difficult in terms of the technical side, but there is a little bit of a learning curve because I ended up getting a website to put the episodes on. But in general, it’s quite easy.
Do you have any tips for people who want to start their own podcast?
Wallis: Don’t be afraid to hear your own voice. I feel like that is something that people cringe about. When we first started doing these things, it was kind of tough at the beginning to really listen to yourself because it wasn’t good, especially compared to what it is now. Sit down and listen no matter how bad you think it is and really focus on filler words, stumbling or whatever it may be.
Newblatt: I would say just do it. If you’re afraid to do it, just jump in and do it. It’s not that bad. It can be fun. I never knew what would happen, I never thought we would do this for 52 weeks.
Bonzheim: I would say that you don’t even necessarily have to release them (the recordings). It’s about putting away your phone, looking each other in the face and chatting for 45 minutes. I think that’s a very valuable thing that people might overlook.
What are your plans for the podcast in the future?
Bonzheim: We did kind of make a goal to get 1,000 active subscribers in 2018, which would be a huge step.
Newblatt: We’re trying to advertise more and get ourselves out there more.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Bonzheim: We’re basically on all platforms. We’re not on Spotify. But we are on Google Play, iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher. We’re trying to get creative because this is our second year of recording. We’re trying to think of something to add onto our podcast to maybe give it some new attention. Be on the lookout for the second year of the bros.