By Ben McLeod
Amidst an out-of-control second wave of the COVID-19 virus, the Victorian State Government enforced one of the world’s strictest lockdowns on July 7.
Melbourne residents could only leave their homes for tasks such as shopping for groceries and essential items, one hour of daily exercise and for work or study reasons. Travel was only allowed within a 25km radius, and people were required to wear a mask or face covering when leaving their house.
Many spent this prolonged time at home in different ways, either starting new hobbies, conducting home workouts or indulging in binge watching marathons.
Daniel Baker lives near Geelong in regional Victoria, and decided to spend those extra hours during lockdown to start his own podcast.
Baker’s Dozen Podcast contains casual one-on-one conversations between Daniel and people with interesting stories and backgrounds.
“The podcast is an interview show, so its just about the guests that are on that week, and going into details about their life,” Daniel tells me.
“I try to touch on their good habits and a bit of personal development stuff so hopefully listeners can get something positive out of it.”
Daniel was inspired to create a podcast based on Zoom and phone conversations he had with other friends stuck at home during the Victorian lockdown, and his “natural curiosity for people”.
He was further inspired by a conversation he had with someone with an interesting and motivational life story.
“When I was in real estate for a brief time, I had a meeting with a guy who was pretty successful [in that industry] and I really enjoyed the chat and got a lot out of spending time with such a positive person,” Daniel says.
“The first season is mostly just close contacts who I thought had an interesting story and who have been willing to do it.
“Obviously starting off you’re not going to get too many big names saying yes to you, but I did try and get people who had a bit of a following on social media.”
Daniel says the actual process of creating a podcast is not as daunting or as difficult as people may think.
“The first thing is you need a half decent mic; my mic was just under $200 Australian,” Daniel says.
“Then [download] a free program like Audacity or GarageBand to record and edit off, and that’s the only equipment you need.”
According to Daniel, getting your content onto major streaming platforms such as Spotify or Apple Music is also quite simple.
“It was definitely simpler than what I thought,” Daniel tells me.
“I’ve just gone through the uploading platform Anchor, which is one of the only free ones and so it’s really not that hard.
“To sign up to Anchor all we needed was a logo design, and then I just copied my episodes over to Spotify and Apple.”
Describing the response to the podcast, Daniel says the biggest criticism came from a familiar source.
“Mum said there’s a bit too much boy talk, and sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll,” a claim which Daniel denies.
“I mean there’s a bit of innuendo but generally it’s a family-rated show,” Daniel adds.
Daniel’s passion for the show comes from giving everyday people a platform to tell their stories.
“I think what’s cool is that these guests are pretty average people,” he says.
“So for them to be on our platform, and do a show based on them has probably never happened to them before, and I think its quite intriguing for them to listen.”
Daniel also loves the interviewing process where he discovers surprising details about the guest, much like how the listener does.
“You do find out different things about people that you might not expect, which I find really interesting,” Daniel says.
Despite Victoria paving its way out of lockdown as COVID-19 is being eliminated from the community, Daniel wants to keep the podcast going as more than just a quarantine hobby.
“I’ve got a bit of schedule lined up;it will be 12 episodes out before Christmas, and then I will do 40 episodes over next year.
“Then I’ll reassess how it’s going, how much time I’m investing in it, am I generating an income or am I still enjoying it?”
In terms of the podcast’s future, Daniel has a picture of where he wants to end up and his outlined his goals.
“The plan is to get bigger names; I really want to start interviewing more well-known people and get a bit more of a listenership,” he says.
“The idea would be to generate some sort of income.
“In a perfect world if I could do it for a living that would be fantastic, but I’m also a realist too.
“But if I’m still enjoying it, I’ll keep doing it.”