Episode 352: Show Notes
We’ve previously done an episode about what you need to consider before starting a podcast, and we admit that it was a bit of a Debbie Downer, so today we want to do a follow up of that where we go over some of the things we’ve learned in the meantime. We talk about the reasons for starting a podcast and about everything you should have set up before you can start, including deciding on the extent to which you will be involved and the equipment you will need to record and where to find it.
On a more serious note, we talk about the profitability of podcasting and what you can expect to get out of it as well as different ways you might think of monetizing it. We then switch to chatting about bringing guests on the show and finding fun topics and conclude with our number one tip for getting your show noticed and sponsored, so be sure to join in on the conversation!
Why We Initially Started a Podcast
Part of why we started a podcast to begin with was because it was a really trendy thing to do at the time. A lot of our friends were getting into podcasting, and having blogged for so long, we wanted to shift gears a little and get into the booming world of podcasting. We had done blogging for ages and were getting really good at it, but we started noticing that our readers were dwindling and we wanted to remain current and communicate our content in the most audience-centered way. But, if we’re totally honest, it was also a really attractive avenue because it gave us an opportunity to talk and to live out our teenage dreams of being radio personalities!
Equipment and Deciding Beforehand How Involved You’ll Be
We decided on day one that we would do none of the editing, production, getting it uploaded or anything else that is required to make it happen. We felt strongly about this because we realized that, in order for this to remain sustainable and enjoyable, we could not possibly spend that amount of time on these technicalities. It already takes forty or so minutes to record the show, we didn’t see where else we would find the time to do it properly and consistently. You will have the startup cost of a mic and we have our favorite one (only $70!) and other podcasting equipment listed for you inside of our shop on Amazon, so check it out. In terms of starting out, you can get going for under $100. The software you need is either free or very inexpensive, so look at Zencastr, Zoom or QuickTime.
What If You’re Paying Someone Else to Edit?
If you want to outsource the editing, budget for at least a couple hundred dollars a month up to a thousand or more. It naturally depends on how many episodes you’re doing, but we pay just under $600 to have eight episodes produced, but this does not include designer or assistant costs, so it can get pricey. If you’re doing a podcast just for fun, then you can really simplify all the processes, but if you’re putting in all the effort with your content, you want it to be profitable at the end of the day, especially if you are serious about growing your business. But outsourcing also requires you to be less picky about certain things.
Getting Sponsors and the Profitability of Podcasting
We are firm believers in getting sponsors for your show, and this is not simply another way to make money. Of all the things we do, podcasting is definitely the aspect of our business that makes the least money upfront. Our relationships with sponsors has gone on to do other things for us which have made us more profitable in the long run, but that happens indirectly. Podcasting is not a moneymaker, but having said that, it does draw audiences in to other parts of our business that are making money. A podcast is not an effective means of growing your business organically if you only have a small audience. If you don’t already have a strong following, a podcast is probably not going to help you get to the next level – people already have to be interested in what you’re doing. This is a good way of enhancing what you already have.
Ideas for Monetizing Your Show
If you have a small audience but you’re still wanting to monetize your show, our favorite way to do that is to use every single person that you could be an affiliate for, that makes sense for your audience, and make commercials for them. For example, think of the companies you’re using, may it be software or otherwise, and approach them to see if they have an affiliate or partnership program. You can sign up and use that link and then make an ad, commercial or blurb for them, hoping that they pay commission for it or give you credit on your account. In the beginning, we used an agency to get our podcast out there and we’d get paid per episode that was downloaded. That only managed to get us to break even, so we parted ways with the agency and instead used our personal relationships with companies and marketed sponsorship opportunities to them.
Coming up with Topics and Getting Guests
In the beginning we had loads that we wanted to talk about, but it gets harder as time goes on. If you’re doing a podcast in an area that you are truly passionate about, you are unlikely to run out of content early on. We’ve been inspired by our guests that we interview, but also by all our listeners. That’s why we love to hear what you want to hear about! The guests you have on in those early days really set the tone of your podcast and therefore have a massive impact on whether you podcast is going to do well long term. Being intentional about choosing the right guests, those who are celebrities in their niches, and getting a lot of content out there is important, because the more episodes, the more downloads.
Standing Out in a Smaller Pool of Shows
If we had to do another podcast, we’d make sure that it was super niche! That means we’d stay away from any business category but rather choose something so specific that we would have to stand out among the handful of others. Some categories are overly crowded, making it nearly impossible to get noticed and then to remain a key player is really hard. The most random or unlikely podcasts tend to do super well and they also get sponsorships that are very specific to that niche.
Why we initially started a podcast. [0:03:10.1]
Equipment and deciding beforehand how involved you’ll be. [0:07:31.1]
What if you’re paying someone else to edit? [0:10:33.1]
Getting sponsors and the profitability of podcasting. [0:12:43.1]
Ideas for monetizing your show. [0:17:20.1]
Coming up with topics and getting guests. [0:28:38.1]
Standing out in a smaller pool of shows [0:38:11.1]