How I Podcast: In conversation with Alex and Christine Schiefer of Beach Too Sandy, Water Too Wet
We’re talking with podcasters from all walks of life about their creative process, best practices, and why audio is one of the coolest ways to tell a story.
Brother and sister Alex and Christine Schiefer are the co-hosts of Beach Too Sandy, Water Too Wet, a podcast that offers sidesplitting commentary on the most ridiculous reviews of businesses across the USA. Across 45 hilarious episodes, Alex and Christine have dissected hundreds of one-star reviews of gas stations, crab houses, souvenir shops, and ghost tours — reviews so absurd, they can barely get through reading them without cracking up.
Alex and Christine’s show teaches us two great pieces of podcasting advice. First, they are the five-star example for what it means to bring joy into each episode. With inside jokes and contagious laughter, listening to the siblings is instantly relatable, like hanging out with a pair of close friends. Secondly, they’re masters of the simple, effective format. If you’re starting a podcast, you’re probably interested in creating a show that is sustainable — one that you can continue for many episodes and seasons. The duo found format and stuck with it: find a theme and location, and dramatically read the one-star reviews. And repeat. Their show is a good lesson in choosing a format that gives your podcast infinite potential so you can continue making your podcast for life (and your listeners will thank you for it).
We talked with Alex and Christine to learn more about their podcast and best practices that they’ve learned along the way.
What motivated you to start podcasting?
We’ve worked on projects together ever since we were little. We’ve made home movies, written business plans, and designed websites together. We also loved reading disastrous one-star reviews, so when we decided to make a podcast together, the show’s setup came naturally.
What’s your show’s format?
Each episode features a theme and a challenge. The theme is typically a type of business + a city, for example Strip Clubs in Las Vegas, NV, or DMVs in Phoenix, AZ. The challenge is a little more unique and is meant to stump the other host. Past examples include finding a review of a cruise ship that mentions divorce, a review in which someone is upset that people were being too nice, and a review of a McDonald’s that mentions sex (these were upsettingly easy to find).
What’s your recording setup?
We record out of our house using two Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser mics and a Tascam Ministudio US-42 mixer. Our “studio” is a bedroom in our house, so we find ourselves editing out dogs barking more often than we’d like.
How do you promote your podcast?
We primarily promote the show on social media. We’re very active on Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook, and like to engage with our listeners as often as possible. We even created a YouTube channel where we post additional content related to the show.
Anchor is an incredible podcasting app all around, but we especially love using the Anchor Sponsorships feature. It’s so easy to insert ad slots and we love that they’re dynamic. It’s such a seamless process and has made monetizing the podcast so much easier than we expected.
What’s your best podcasting advice?
Christine: Pick a subject that you know you won’t grow tired of. If your show is centered around a topic you’re passionate about, it will show, and your audience will find you. This also means you won’t get burnt out as easily as time goes on, and the show won’t lose its stamina.
Alex: Be consistent with your episode schedule and your social media posts. It’s also important to plan ahead. Before we even announced our first episode, we had a logo, a theme song, and all social media accounts made with pictures ready to post.
What’s your favorite thing about your podcast?
Our favorite thing about our podcast has definitely been the great response from our listeners. We’ve seen incredible growth and engagement since we started last December, and though we were excited for the concept, we didn’t expect to get such an incredible outpouring of support so quickly. Through our listeners’ suggestions and encouragement, we’ve expanded to include more segments, additional monthly episodes, and have become a better podcast overall. Of course, we also love the content of the show itself. Looking up wacky reviews and reading outrageous internet sagas never gets old, and revealing them to each other each week never fails to make us laugh.
Beach Too Sandy, Water Too Wet
How do you podcast? Let us know on Twitter and Instagram. If you’re looking for more tips, check out the previous edition of How I Podcast, and if you want to start your own, try making something awesome with Anchor.