Rise of the pod peo­ple

Pod­cast­ers give voice to Hous­to­ni­ans’ pas­sions as hosts seek to con­nect with au­di­ences, ad­ver­tis­ers

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - BUSINESS - By An­drea Rum­baugh

THE three men leaned into their mi­cro­phones and be­gan their fa­vorite pas­time: talk­ing nerdy to fel­low comic book, board game and movie lovers. This week’s topic was the block­buster “Lo­gan” and the death of its claw-wield­ing main char­ac­ter.

“For me and you as avid comic book read­ers, we un­der­stood why

Wolver­ine was dying,” Joey Kay said to his co-hosts dur­ing an April episode of their year-old “Nerd Thug Ra­dio” pod­cast. “They could have ex­plained it, I guess, a lit­tle bet­ter for the av­er­age viewer.”

Then they launched into a de­tailed ex­pla­na­tion for their “Nerd Thug” lis­ten­ers. The ban­ter later veered to their fa­vorite non-comic book movie char­ac­ters and the game Card­fight Van­guard, wrap­ping up their 51st episode in as many weeks.

As pod­casts be­come in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar, lo­cal en­trepreneurs like Kay, 33, and his cousins Cory De la Guardia, 33, and Nico De la Guardia, 18, are pol­ish­ing their ra­dio voices with hopes of turn­ing pas­sions into salaries.

But mak­ing full-time money isn’t easy, es­pe­cially com­pared with the early days, a decade or so ago, when peo­ple could build suc­cess­ful pod­casts around vir­tu­ally any topic, said Beau York, founder and CEO of Satchel, a lo­ca­tion-based

A Pro­vide con­tent that’s very spe­cific to your au­di­ence. What are their in­ter­ests? Why did they seek out your pod­cast? A Know what com­pa­nies are try­ing to reach that au­di­ence. They could be­come ad­ver­tis­ers. A Know the com­pe­ti­tion. Find other pod­casts reach­ing out to your au­di­ence, and then find ways to make your show dif­fer­ent. A Be pa­tient. It takes time to grow an au­di­ence and build your brand. A Pick a topic you’re cu­ri­ous about. That cu­rios­ity will come through in the con­tent you pro­vide, re­search you do and the qual­ity of the pod­cast.

Be­low: Pod­cast hosts Hoja Lopez, left, and Stacey Daniels, right, host a live com­edy show with guest Kam Franklin, lead singer of The Suf­fers.

Yi-Chin Lee photos / Hous­ton Chron­i­cle

Above: Joey Kay, from left, Nico De la Guardia and Cory De la Guardia record their 51st episode of the “Nerd Thug Ra­dio” pod­cast at Lone Star Com­mu­nity Ra­dio.

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