Dating Upside Down, with Alison Tinderland


After years of talk and procrastination about making a podcast, it was joining the Melbourne Podcasters Meetup Group in September 2016 that made the difference. Meeting like-minded, passionate people and listening to keynote speakers, energised and inspired Alison to launch the podcast on Valentine’s Day 2017.

Dating Upside Down's Alison Tinderland accepting the 2018 Newcomer of the Year Award.

Dating Upside Down's Alison Tinderland accepting the 2018 Newcomer of the Year Award.

Aus Pod Awards: What is your podcast origin story?

ALISON TINDERLAND: Dating had reached peak ‘crazy’ and I’d also just turned 40. “That’s it!” I thought. “Enough talk about doing the podcast, time to DO it!” I knew that being raw, real, funny and vulnerable about my experiences would connect with daters. 

Great, immersive storytelling is key to a great podcast, so of course the stable of producers of This American Life, Serial and S-Town - Ira Glass, Sarah Koenig, Brian Reed are cornerstones of my inspiration.

What preparation goes into an episode before you begin recording?

I essentially project manage for a living, so prep for each episode is thorough from sourcing and liaising with guests, topic research and writing episode structures including; episode aim, what I want my audience to take away, guest questions and writing a monologue/narrative if it’s just me talking.

That said, I’m more than happy for the conversation to go down a path I hadn’t planned. I’d rather be prepared with knowledge and a plan that I can throw out, than go in cold.

What mics, editing software, studio gear and facilities are used to produce your podcast?

I record at home or on location with a Zoom H6 and 2 x Shure SV100 mics. Editing is something I want very much to add to my skillset, but until then, I outsource this component and Belinda Coombs has done a great job editing Series 1.

What aspect of podcasting takes up the most time?

Post production. On a full narrative episode, including a guest interview, I’ll listen back to both interview and narrative recordings, and write detailed edit notes that enable them to blend in a way that makes sense. Including two rounds of edits, it could take anywhere from 8–25hrs.

What advice would you give to a podcaster who's just starting out?

  1. Ask people to tell you or show you the equipment they’re using. If you like the quality of their podcast, get the same/similar
  2. It doesn’t have to be perfect (this was key for me)  
  3. Then, as so many people said to me, “Just do it already!”

Please complete this sentence: "I feel most connected with my audience when..."  When I thank them at the end of each episode for investing time in listening to the podcast. I’m sincerely grateful and think of them as my D.U.D Community, because we’re all in this crazy dating game together. I get them and I’m here for them.

Where should listeners start? 

For a quick overview of Dating Upside Down and who Alison Tinderland is, listen to the two-minute Intro Episode. Then dive into Ep 7. Perfect Strangers. The series is not consecutive and can be listened to in any order. So go nuts! Series 2 is in the works - subscribe to be notified as soon as it drops.