This week let me introduce Jordan Blair!
Today I got the chance to talk to Jordan Blair, creator and host of the ‘Dreamful Podcast’.
Jordan started with a desire to write stories for kids and then turned it into something else – a bedtime podcast (and it’s not just kids who listen!).
We talk about her process, her successes and her achievements!
I hope you enjoy it!
Joining me for the first time? Start at the beginning HERE
Find this episode on YouTube HERE
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Laurie: Hello writers, welcome to the Writer’s Way podcast. I’m here with fellow podcaster, Jordan Blair. Welcome Jordan.
Jordan: Hi. Thank you for having me.
Laurie: You’re so welcome. So, if you have to cough, that’s totally okay. And we’ll just edit it out. But it’s that season everybody. We’re recording in December and we’re lucky if it’s just a cough, right? But like, it’s last for weeks and weeks and weeks, doesn’t it?
Jordan: Um, yeah. I just just got it. So we’ll see how long it lasts.
Laurie: Yeah. Hopefully for you it doesn’t. It just seems like lately as the years go by, the bugs get stronger and last longer.
Jordan: Especially with kids, yup
Laurie: So Jordan, you’re a little bit different than most people that I talk to, which is super cool. So we actually met in a podcasting group, and you’re not a published author, but you tell stories in a different way.
And so I’m so excited to have you on and to share with people and to, you know, open how people think about the possibilities out there.
So you just take over and tell us who you are and what you do and why you do it. Okay?
Jordan: Yeah, absolutely. So I’m Jordan and I am the host and creator of Dreamful Podcast. It is a bedtime story podcast geared towards children. Though, probably 90% of my audience is people between the ages of 22 and 50. So it turns out that adults really like being read to for bedtime as well.
But I actually created the podcast because I got my daughter into podcasting, and there’s so many fictional story podcasts. Um, also for children and she really enjoys those and she wanted to listen to them for bedtime, but usually they’re very like exciting and upbeat stories and a lot of the children’s bedtime story podcasts were seven to 13 minutes long, and my kids do not go to sleep that fast, so I’m one of those like press play and walk away kind of moms, like I’m just going to let them do their thing.
Um, but she kept getting up to change the stories whenever it would end. And so I finally was just like, well, I guess I’ll just do it myself and make my own extra super long children’s bedtime story podcast.
Laurie: Wow. That’s so cool. I love that you did that.
Laurie: Um, did you have a background in audio, podcasting, writing?
Jordan: No. Well, so writing, I’ve always been, uh, just really like naturally good at writing. And I, I test out of like all of my English classes in college and stuff like that. Like it was just very easy for me. And I always, um, I wrote mostly, uh, music, but I would also write some like, uh, fictional stories and stuff, just like, for fun.
I started a couple of like young adult novels and then I’d get like 30,000 words in and then just kinda like lose some steam or decide that I didn’t like where it was going. And just scrap the whole thing. And you know, the whole, creative process that’s just so much fun. It didn’t matter if I spent time, like outlining it beforehand, I, I did all these steps, like, this is what you’re supposed to do and then you’ll succeed.
And I would just like outline it and then part way through writing, I’d realize that it’s just not working. I’d kind of be like. Nope, this is not it. Um, but with, uh, with all that being said, you know, I’ve, I have a background in, um. Theater. I was a theater major and I was also a children’s librarian, so I did lots of story times.
So I did lots of story times and, uh, puppet shows and stuff like that. So, um, I knew that I was able to tell stories, and so I just thought I could do a podcast. It can’t be that hard. So,
Laurie: So how long have you been doing it?
Jordan: Um, I, I listened to a bunch of podcasts about how to make a podcast for like two months. And I watched YouTube videos and I just consumed blogs and articles and just everything I could to make sure that. I, when I started, I started off right. And then, um. On August 24th that was my, when my first episode dropped. So
Laurie: Cool. And how has it been going?
Jordan: Um, really well! I was really shocked because like I said, you know, I made it for my daughter and for my girls essentially, um, for bedtime stories and just kinda like shared it with some friends and family.
And. Uh, I started an Instagram and a Facebook page. Um, and I was honestly expecting to get like maybe 50 listens in like the first month. And that is not what happened at all. It went so far and beyond. Um. I reached a thousand downloads in like my first couple months, and I was a little floored.
I didn’t expect that. So obviously it was something that was needed.
Laurie: Wow, that’s fascinating that it’s not even children. The bulk of your audience. How do you know?
Jordan: Uh, well, there’s like statistics and stuff like that, but also just through, um, people who have reached out to me or talk to me, or even, you know, uh, friends on Facebook, that I went to high school with, you know, but haven’t talked to in a decade.
Um, but, um, I, I’ve even had people message me like, uh, this one gal messaged me and said, she loves the podcast, and she listens to it every night. And I was like, Oh, I’m so glad you enjoy it. You know, and was talking about my daughter listening to it too. And she really seems to enjoy it.
And she’s kinda one that tells me if something’s good or not. And. As kids will do. But she, she responded to me and she was just like, Oh, that’s a good idea. I should have my son listen to it.
Laurie: Interesting. So do you write the stories or is it a mix of?
Jordan: I really wanted to, well, what I wanted to do is I wanted to feature writers’ stories for the bedtime story portion of the podcast. And, um, I do have a knack for writing and I really like writing. And so, um, I wanted to do a lot of mixtures of either classic tales or folktales and stuff that I’ve written as well as stuff that features other writers. Um.
But so far, I’ve written one story because I got really busy and I haven’t quite been able to obtain other writers. They tend to be very busy and stuff, um, or they need to be paid for it, and I’m, you know, I’m not able to do that.
So, yeah. It’s, it’s very difficult to get that. So honestly, it’s turned into more of like a retelling of folktales and classic stories and stuff like that. But I do have, uh, at least one episode that I’ve written and I’m in the process for other.
Laurie: Cool. And so do you look for, um, lower action stories or do you just read it in a very ….Way?
Jordan: Um, you know, I think that I can tell. I mean, my first episode was “Peter Pan”, and that is just adventure, adventure, excitement. And it’s one of my favorites. Um, but yeah, I just basically slow down my speech and try to make it sound just sweet, peaceful, and just kind of slowly say like, even the exciting parts, you know, they’re locked in battle and.
And, um, that works really, really well and people still fall asleep to it, even though it is a very exciting story. And my husband was actually a little concerned that I would be getting away from the point of the podcast if I pulled such exciting stories. But it. Did not seem to make a difference as long as I just kept in mind. This needs to be told in the most relaxing manner possible, and it works. So
Laurie: That’s what I find. Well, Mike, my five-year-old fell asleep while I was reading last night, but as soon as I saw that he was going down. I calmed my voice and everything was like twice. It took twice as long to say even the exciting parts of the Ninjago book.
I love this so much. Are you open to authors? Like, so my audience is authors, so are you open to people getting in touch with you? [unintelligible]
Jordan: I would be so delighted. I would be so delighted. I’ve had, um, some writers, but, uh, they don’t quite, it’s usually people who are working on it, and so they don’t quite have their stories yet, and so it takes them a long time to get back to me on that stuff, or they’re working on something on the process. But yeah…
Laurie: That’s what I think. So yeah, you’re. I’ll put your email maybe on, is that good? Or just,
Jordan: That would be fantastic. Yeah, because I would just be delighted to feature people and you know, I have a lot of
Laurie: So how many words?
Jordan: I would say if it’s like a, anywhere from a 10 to 40 minute read is ideal. Cause I can stretch it if it’s like 10 minutes.
I’ve, I’ve read a couple stories that are really only like 10 or 15 minutes and I stretch them to about 20 minutes.
Laurie: Okay, cool. Cool.
Laurie: I think people might like that little bit of promotion, and helping both of you out. So yeah.
Jordan: And I’ve had many, many musicians that have either written content for my podcast or um have loaned me some of their music for it, and that’s been really great too. Um, but yeah,
Laurie: Music like background.
Jordan: Yeah. It’s essentially like a bedding music, um, that goes underneath it because I don’t want my voice to jolt readers awake or something like that. So I have kind of a bed of music just as a buffer to really soften and things up a little bit more.
Laurie: So you had a ton of learning to do as far as. You know, what is the bedding of music in the buffer and all that kind of stuff. So did you take any courses I ask in case people want to follow in your footsteps or?
Jordan: No, I did not. I just, uh, yeah, I don’t know. I’m kind of just one of those all around creative people.
I have some background in music too, and my husband does as well. And so, uh, I really. Basically what I do is I just listen. What I’ll do is I’ll play the recording of myself speaking the story and then I will go through different songs, whether it be stuff that’s public domain or creative commons licenses and, um, or stuff that is sent to me by other musicians.
And I will listen to my story and then play either on my phone or on the computer. Um, the song. And see if it just kinda like meshes well, and you can hear it, you can hear if something is not quite sinking, like not quite jiving with the feeling that you’re trying to achieve within the story. So it’s kind of like a more of a gut feeling.
And I think that you can. Test that out. But there’s, there’s lots of websites and resources. I mean, even if you just Google creative commons music, you can find a lot of that. And typically it’s just attribution. So you can just say, you know, music by this person in the show notes, and that’s perfectly fine. So there’s lots of options. Yeah.
Laurie: Cool. Well, I love this. I feel like this is a, an avenue that a lot of people might be interested in either reading their own books or sharing their books with you, or, um, who knows. Cause like you said, there’s a lot of kids’ story podcasts out there. And audio we know is growing.
Jordan: It is. It is. And, uh, it’s very interesting because I’ve noticed a lot of the podcasts that I listened to, whether I’m, I’m really into the. Cause of course I am. I’m really into the True Crime and like Paranormal Story podcast, I just, I don’t know. I enjoy them so much. It’s so fun. And I like getting a little creeped out.
But a lot of these, a lot of these podcasters have actually moved from podcasting into, I shouldn’t say moved. They’ve added to the content by writing books.
You know, so, so there’s podcasts like Paranormal Unexplained Stories, and the, the podcasters kind of get a feel for writing with their script writing in making the podcast, making the show. There’s, um, there’s fictional drama writers for podcasts that. Kind of went, Oh, we have something here. And so they’ll write side stories. They’ll have books available on Amazon on the side, and that’s a source of extra income.
And I, I think that there’s a place for writers and in that avenue to. Where they take their book and they take even, you know, snippets of it, or they build upon an idea within the book and use that in the podcast and use as a platform to promote.
Laurie: Yeah, I love that idea. And a lot of people for years have written a chapter, let’s say, and put it on their blog. So for feedback and to keep them coming back. But you could do the exact same thing, but with audio and, and get the feedback and get and, and, you know, tease people and keep them coming back for more.
Jordan: Oh, yeah. You can. Absolutely. And you can do an advertisement. I mean, it’s your podcast. You can do an advertisement within your podcast where you read a snippet of your book. You know, you just. You just take some time and, you say like, you know, here’s an excerpt from my book available on Amazon or whatever, and then read like a 30 second snippet and you’re advertising for yourself essentially, and it’s free to you.
Laurie: Yeah. And people are totally getting more and more and more into podcasts, so,
Jordan: Oh yes. It’s grown exponentially.
Laurie: Yeah. How long, so do you do one a week?
Jordan: I do one every two weeks.
Laurie: Okay. And about how much time would you say it takes you to put out an episode?
Jordan: Well, because of how much effort I have to put into the rewriting of tales or writing my own stuff.
Um. Reaching out to musicians or finding the music that that would be available to me. Plus the editing. Goodness. So editing one episode, if it’s, um, if it’s going to be like a 30 or 40 minute episode, I can count on spending about four hours on editing alone.
Laurie: Oh my gosh.
Jordan: I live downtown, so I get lots and I’m near kind of a, um. An airport, a small airport. So I get lots of traffic noise, lots of airplanes. So just recording as well. Even if I have soundproofing around me, recording usually takes about two hours because I have to stop for noises.
Yeah, planes. And they circle. My house is exactly in the place where they circle around, so I’ll just sit there for awhile.
But yeah, so recording, you know, on a really good day, like right now, it’s really quiet. This would’ve been a pretty decent day. I could, I could probably record an episode in like an hour, but two hours if things are a little rough. So then, you know, anywhere from two to four hours for editing.
And then I also invest. Probably four or five hours. No, I probably invest about like two hours on doing the Photoshopping for my graphics and stuff like that, which you really don’t have to do. I’m just kind of extra, so I have to have everything, so. So yeah, I would say that I spend typically around like 10 or hours or so on each episode. So that’s why it’s only every other week because I’m not crazy.
Laurie: I don’t want to be crazy. So
Jordan: No, I want to do a month, like one a month, and my husband would just, no, that’s not enough.
Laurie: Maybe it is actually, but I think that’s good for people to know before they. You know, if they love the idea of audio. Putting stories up for kids, I think that’s good to know before you jump in that it’s not as easy as. Record and publish it, so to speak.
I had to go around my house and turn off the heat, the dishwasher, turn off the washer, turn off just cause I work at home. Like you except I have to make sure that there’s no noise and just, I mean, you can’t always.
Jordan: Yeah, and I, you know, something to go along with that. I also wish that I had recorded three or four episodes before I launched. I was kind of dragging my feet, just kind of make the first one so perfect. It is, it’s wonderful.
But what happened is I used up all that time that I could have used to kind of do a back catalog for weeks like this where I’m, I’m sick, so it’s going to take a lot of extra time for me to record and stuff and edit because it’s not going to sound quite as well, but. I have a deadline to meet, and I wish that I had some backups.
So I think it’s also really important for people to keep in mind to try to keep a buffer in there.
Jordan: Just have a couple of extra,
Laurie: That’s a great tip because you never know when you’re going to fall sick or your kids will get sick or life will happen. And if you’ve committed to a certain time, then you’re going to really feel stuck.
Jordan: Oh yeah, absolutely.
Laurie: Yes. Well. Thank you. I really appreciate you coming on and sharing this. This a possibility with us.
If any listeners want to get in touch with Jordan, just check the description or the show notes and I’ll have her email. And then all her social stuff and podcast is called the Dreamful Podcast.
And so it sounds like it’s for all ages, everybody. If you have trouble sleeping. It’s so true. So thank you. I really appreciate it. Best of luck to you with this podcast.
Jordan: Thanks so much, Laurie, and you have a good one.
Laurie: Thanks, thanks. Bye