Money In Podcasting: How To Start A Podcast

Adaeze UC
Adaeze UC
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Money In Podcasting

 

Money In Podcasting
Money In Podcasting. Image: Phone World

Money In Podcasting – How To Start A Podcast. In simple term, A podcast is streamable recorded audio content. A podcast is an audio episodic series that features one or more hosts talking about a particular thing or topic. There are podcasts that discuss just about anything you can think of: current situations, relationship, wealth, health and fitness, etc.

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Money In Podcasting – How To Start A Podcast.

Reasons To Start a Podcast

There are many reasons to start a podcast, the most common of which include:

 

To build an audience. 

The most successful podcasts reach millions of listeners. A podcast is a relatively inexpensive way to build a following.

 

To build credibility as an expert in your niche or industry.

Credibility is all about being taken seriously, being deemed a trustworthy source on a given subject. When we go back to what drives us humans to make decisions, neuroscience research tells us that we make decisions based on emotions, not logic. And it’s trust, a most powerful emotion, that dominates that decision-making process.

You can really establish your credibility and continue to strengthen your reputation as an expert in your niche or industry.

 

You want another stream of revenue or income. 

Because podcasts are a more intimate medium, they can be a powerful way to sell your product or service. If you don’t have a specific product or service you’d like to sell, you may eventually be able to monetize your podcast by playing sponsored advertisements and earn money that way.

SEE:How to Earn Extra Income As A Data Scientist 

To build your network. 

Through podcasting, you can meet other people who are interested in what you talk about and can help you further your career or business.

 

You want to have fun. 

You don’t have to have a particular business or monetization goal in mind to start a podcast. You can record a podcast purely for your own enjoyment.

Anyone can start a podcast, regardless of their prior work or life experience. Don’t let some common misconceptions hold you back from starting your own show:

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Money In Podcasting – How To Start A Podcast.

To start a podcast, you need the following:

 

You should have the ability to speak. 

The ability to talk about or discuss something. You don’t technically need to be an expert in anything, either, so long as you are passionate about what you’re discussing. Expertise is a nice-to-have, whereas passion is a must.

 

You need a little equipment. 

You can start a podcast with the equipment you likely already own. You don’t need to spend a dime on extra gear or software. There are many free tools and resources available to get you off the ground.

Podcasts aren’t going anywhere, nor are they becoming any less popular. The podcasting space is so profitable and active that media companies such as Spotify and Apple are investing large amounts of money in the space in order to draw listeners (and revenue) in.

SEE: How to Make Money as an Artist

 

You don’t need to be a celebrity before starting a podcast. 

Podcasts will help you get more listens in the beginning. You don’t need to be an existing celebrity or social media personality in order to start a successful podcast. You can earn a following by putting out excellent content that resonates with people.

 

Podcast Episodes Need To Be Short And Interesting.

Be informed that there is no set length that a podcast has to be. You can make your episodes as short or as long as you see fit and depending on your audience.

 

Money In Podcasting – How To Start A Podcast.

How To Start a Podcast 

If you’re interested in starting a podcast but don’t know where to begin, here are steps that will set you up for success.

 

1. Define Your Niche or Topic

Narrowing down a topic or niche may seem limiting, but doing so will help you better focus your content and build an audience in the long term. It will also help you build trust and more definitively establish yourself as a subject matter expert.

Pick a topic that’s broad enough that you could reasonably talk about for multiple episodes, seasons, etc., but specific enough to draw in a certain type of person or demographic.

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Research Existing Podcasts

Before you dive into recording your first episode, it’s a smart move to do a little digging to see if there are any other podcasts that are similar.

You may find that there are few to no podcasts on your selected topic, or that your niche is already pretty crowded. Even if it’s the latter, doing your research can help you figure out how to position your podcast in a way that sets you apart.

Choose Your Format and Cadence

Your podcast can be a solo act or a group one—the choice is up to you. If you want to host your podcast alongside someone else, you’ll need to coordinate how to do so effectively. In a similar vein, if you want to interview guests on your show, you may need to do some initial outreach.

Your cadence is your publishing schedule, i.e., how often will you release a new episode. Some podcasts release new episodes every day, while others release episodes biweekly. You’ll need to determine the best cadence for your schedule. Adhering to whatever cadence you’ve set will help build trust and familiarity with your future audience.

Define Your Audience

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Arguably the most important question you’ll need to answer before creating your podcast is: who is this podcast for? Having an ideal listener in mind will help you create content that is both valuable and relevant. Try to nail down basic information about your ideal listener, such as:

  • How old are they?
  • Where do they reside?
  • What do they do for work?
  • What forms of media do they already consume?
  • Do they already listen to any podcasts?
  • What do they do in their spare time?
  • What problems do they commonly face?
  • What do they wish they knew more about?

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2. Build Your Brand and Online Presence

Naming your podcast is a hugely important step. You want your podcast’s name to relate to your subject matter or likeness, as well as be clever or memorable. Avoid using the word “Podcast” in your show’s name—it’s redundant and takes up valuable character space.

Speaking of character space, strongly consider the total length of your title. Longer doesn’t necessarily mean better. In fact, a study by Pacific Content found that most podcast titles are 29 characters or fewer.

In addition to a title, you’ll need to spend time creating your branding elements. Branding elements encompass your show’s cover art, color palette and any custom design or audio work.

You can design your cover art yourself using a free design tool such as Canva, or hire a professional graphic designer to help you capture exactly what you’re looking for.

For custom audio sounds, such as intro or outro music, you can work with a professional musician or studio. Otherwise, you can find sounds that fit your style and vibe from a royalty-free music library.

Create a Website or RSS Feed for Your Podcast

Now that you have an episode or two of your show recorded, you’ll need to make it accessible. One way to do this is to create a website for your podcast. You can build a website using free or paid tools, but we recommend opting for paid ones if you know you want to have more customization options and a professional feel. On your website, you can host download links or embed your episodes so that others can listen and enjoy.

Another option is to create an RSS feed using a podcast-specific hosting site (such as Anchor or Buzzsprout) instead of a traditional web host (such aslike WordPress or Wix). The term “RSS feed” might ring a bell if you blogged in the earlier days of the iInternet. Modern podcast distribution software still relies solely on RSS feeds, but you don’t need to have a full- blown website in order to submit your podcast to Apple, Spotify, or other directories.

There are many companies that will host your podcast and create an RSS feed for you for free or at a low cost. All you’ll need to do is upload your episodes and basic information, and you’ll have an RSS feed that you can then use to submit to podcast directories.

Money In Podcasting – How To Start A Podcast.

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Create Social Media Profiles

Typically, if you’re starting a podcast you will want to create social media profiles using the name of your podcast. While it might be appealing to create a profile on a number of different platforms, it’s worth considering which your audience uses most and focusing on those. This is because social media can provide a great marketing opportunity, but only if you actually use it.

Set Up an Account With a Podcast Platform (i.e., Spotify)

This step is optional, but highly recommended if you want to reach as many listeners as possible. To make your podcast more discoverable, you can submit it to a directory. Most major directories rely on your podcast’s RSS feed to verify its legitimacy and ownership, which is why you’ll need to make sure you have one in place beforehand.

Some of the most popular podcast directories worth submitting to are:

  • Apple (formerly iTunes)
  • Spotify
  • Stitcher
  • Audible
  • Google Podcasts
  • iHeartRadio

After your podcast has successfully been uploaded to a directory, anyone who uses the directory will be able to find your podcast if they search for it by title or keywords.

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Money In Podcasting – How To Start A Podcast.

 

3. Source Recording Equipment and Editing Software

It’s very likely that you can record audio using the computer, tablet or phone you already have. However, for a better, clearer sound, most podcasters recommend investing in a separate podcast microphone. Podcast microphones can cost as low as $20 to as much as $10,000.

You don’t need to pay for podcast editing software if you don’t want to or are unable to. GarageBand is a great free option if you have an Apple device, and so is Audacity, which is free on any device. Otherwise, you can invest in more advanced, premium software such as Adobe Audition, Logic Pro X or Hindenburg Journalist.

If you don’t feel comfortable or have no interest in editing your podcast, outsource it to a freelancer. You can find a freelance podcast editor to work with through sites such as Fiverr, Upwork, Craigslist or Facebook.

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4. Record and Edit Your First Podcast

Once you’ve nailed down your equipment, you’re ready to record. Some podcasters write scripts beforehand so that they know what to say ahead of time, while others wing it. The choice is up to you.

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Even if you write a script, you’ll likely have to take breaks, pause, re-record and/or edit your audio to produce a final, polished version. As with anything else, the more you do it, the better you’ll get. Podcasting is a skill in itself that takes time and practice to do swiftly.

Name Your Episode Titles

Each episode you record should have a unique name. Your episode titles should accurately describe what the episode talks about and, if applicable, who the guest speaker on the episode is.

While it may be tempting to create clever or witty names for your episodes, it’s more strategic to name your episodes aptly and accurately. Doing so will aid your podcast’s SEO, meaning it will be easier for listeners to discover your podcast in search engines or on podcast directories.

Craft a Compelling Show Description and Episode Descriptions

To tell potential listeners what your show is all about, you’ll need to write a general synopsis as well as descriptions for each of your episodes. For your general synopsis, be as clear and concise as possible while answering these basic questions:

  • What is your podcast about?
  • Who is your podcast for?
  • What can listeners expect to hear?
  • Why should people listen to your podcast? What will they gain from listening?
  • How often/when do you release new episodes?
  • How/where can people connect with you other than by listening to your podcast?

Your episode descriptions should be similarly concise, but you’ll have the opportunity to insert relevant links to resources, products or anything else you talk about.

Submit Your Episode to Directories

Once you have your podcast ready to go, the next step is to submit (or upload) it to your podcast platforms of choice.

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Money In Podcasting – How To Start A Podcast

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5. Promote Your Podcast

Once your podcast can be discovered and downloaded, it’s time to spread the word about it. You can take a grassroots approach, such as sending direct links to your close friends and family, creating a paid social media ad campaign or anything in between—the choice is yours.

One popular method of publicizing your podcast is via social media channels such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok. If you already have an established following on social media, you can use your existing accounts to promote your podcast. If not, you can create new accounts for the sole purpose of promoting the podcast and connecting with your community.

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Money In Podcasting – How To Start A Podcast.

How To Make Money With a Podcast

There are many ways to make money with a podcast. There are some methods you can leverage successfully without a large following, while others require demand and viewership in order to work. Regardless of which avenues you choose, it’s important to have more than one stream of revenue as a podcaster. Having only one source of income will put you at greater financial risk.

SEE: How To Make Money On TikTok

Sponsored Ads (or Episodes)

If you’ve ever listened to a popular podcast, chances are, you’ve heard a podcaster read through a sponsored advertisement. Some companies will pay you to read a brief script on your podcast that promotes their product.

Ads can be a relatively easy way to make money, but often require a larger listenership and detailed demographic data. Companies will want to ensure that your podcast is a great fit for their ad by looking at how many listens or downloads you have, as well as information on who your audience is.

 

Courses

Many popular podcasters create their own online courses to teach similar content to what they talk about on their podcast.

Online courses are a great way to teach something in an easy-to-follow way where someone can get a specific result once they’ve completed it.

It helps to have an email list so you can let your audience know about your course both on your podcast and through email.

SEE: Best Free Websites For Online Courses With Certificate

 

Affiliate Codes or Links

As an offshoot of sponsored ads, brands that you run advertisements for may also give you an exclusive discount code for your listeners to utilize. You may then earn a small commission each time someone enters your discount code at checkout when they make a purchase.You can also publicize affiliate codes in your show notes and across social media to encourage more uses.

In a similar vein, you can earn commission via affiliate links. As with codes, you’ll earn a small sales commission each time someone clicks on your link and makes a purchase. Some popular affiliate networks you can join are Amazon Associates, LTK and Skillshare.

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Promoting Your Services or Products

You can drive more sales to any existing services or products by talking about them on your podcast. Hearing you explain what you offer and how it can benefit your audience is a fantastic way to educate listeners and push them closer to making a purchase.

 

Consulting or Coaching

Coaching or Consulting is somewhat similar to offering a service, but you usually don’t do the work for them. Instead, you help or guide them on how to improve.

As a subject matter expert, your industry knowledge may be in demand beyond the free information you give on your podcast. You can use your podcast to book consulting or coaching clients, i.e., people who want to learn from you in a more customized way.

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Accepting Donations or Tips

Running a podcast takes time and effort. To help offset the costs of producing each episode, you can simply ask your listeners to tip you or donate money to you. You can collect donations via platforms such as Venmo, Patreon or GoFundMe.

If you solicit tips or donations, try to be as specific as possible as to where the money is going, e.g., buying a new microphone for better sound, hiring an intern to ramp up production, etc.

 

Gated Content or Memberships

Podcasts are typically free to listen to or download, but one way to make an income is to create additional episodes that sit behind a paywall. That way, a listener needs to either pay a one-time amount or subscribe to a premium membership in order to access the additional content.

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Patreon and Buy Me a Coffee

These are popular platforms for hosting subscriber-exclusive content.

 

Events

Hosting events is not only a great way to make money, but bring together your best fans and bring them even more value.

Top brands do events all over the world and even get the actors involved.  

An example: Sam Harris combines Patreon and live events where when you become a Patron you can early access tickets to his live events.

Money In Podcasting – How To Start A Podcast.

 

Premium Content

Premium content can really be anything you want, but some of the common ways podcasters offer premium content are with:

  • Additional interviews
  • Behind-the-scenes content
  • Ad-free RSS feed
  • Early-access RSS feed
  • Q&A with the hosts

Have fun coming up unique ways to deliver additional value to your community for a few dollars per month.

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Advertising Networks

A podcast advertising network acts essentially as an agent for your podcast. Advertising networks have connections with brands and can help you land opportunities you may not have otherwise come across on your own. Some networks let you reach out to advertisers directly once you’ve joined, while other more premium networks can pitch to advertisers on your behalf.

 

Books

Leveraging a popular podcast into book sales is another excellent way to make money and increase your authority.

You can use your podcast audience to get those initial sales and reviews that will help your book stand out too.

Some examples of podcast advertising networks include AdvertiseCast, PodcastOne and Megaphone. Keep in mind that you may need to fulfill certain requirements in order to join an advertising network, such as a minimum subscriber count.

SEE: Cheapest Way To Write And Publish A Book

Selling Merchandise

Depending on your branding and audience, you could explore selling branded merchandise with your podcast’s logo, iconography or signature phrases. For example, if you have a podcast about getting organized, selling a planner with your logo or phrasing on it could be a sizable way to generate income.

 

Public Speaking

Many podcasters get approached for speaking gigs in their industry. It makes sense that if someone likes what they hear on your podcast, you would most likely be a good fit to speak at conferences and live events (and get paid to do it).

Speaking fees can range from a few hundred dollars (or just free hotel & attendance) to 6 figures or more.

Speaking is another great way to increase your authority as well as getting exposed to a new audience that will hopefully become future podcast listeners.

SEE: How to Make Money as a Motivational Speaker

Syndicate your show to YouTube

Syndicating your podcast audio to YouTube video means repurposing your show by publishing your audio as a video on YouTube.   Podcasting can be easy, if you’re not able to record a video, don’t worry. You can simply publish your podcast audio with your podcast cover art as the image for the video. 

 

 

Final Thoughts

Starting a podcast can be easy and highly rewarding, but it comes with some initial hard work and set up. With the right intentions and expectations, your podcast can be as fulfilling as you make it out to be, both financially and emotionally.

If you’re determined to make money from podcasting, it’s essential to open your mind to other potential revenue streams that may involve diversifying your brand and your content offerings. This could be anything from advertising, donations, online courses,  coaching sponsorships or simply recording additional episodes exclusive to your subscribers. Think outside the box. 

 

 

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Adaeze UC is a Blogger. She is the owner of www.adaezeucblog.com, Adaeze UC Empire, Adaeze UC Foundation, and Online Talk with Adaeze (OTA). She is also a Commercial Model, One of the best faces that can sell a brand and its product.
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