As a long time and fairly successful podcaster who did it for years without making a dime, I did often ask myself if podcasting was worth it. That all changed when I found out how easy it was to actually make money podcasting with very little expense.
What Is A Podcast?
You probably know what a podcast is but there may still be a few folks out there that have never heard of a podcast or just not sure what it is. A podcast is a digital audio that can be accessed via an RSS feed. Podcasts are usually episodic audio about a topic or niche.
Podcasts are able to be produced and made available by anyone with something to say. The most common ways to listen to podcasts is by direct download from a host or by listening through some of the most popular podcast players like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts as well as many others.
What Does It Take To Have A Successful Podcast?
Although making a podcast isn’t very difficult to make available, having a successful podcast is another thing altogether. According to PodNews.net there are more than 4 million podcasts available to listen to. Many of these podcasters only do a few episodes and stop while others “podfade” after only a few months.
The most important thing required to have a successful podcast is persistence. You must continue producing episodes even when you don’t have many listeners or you’ll never have many people listening.
This is nearly as important. If you want subscribers that will come back every time to listen to your next episode then you need to consistently produce podcasts in episodic order. This can be daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly, just make sure your consistent with what you say you will do.
A Topic or Niche With A Following
There is an audience for just about every topic or niche so this might not be as important as you would think. However, a niche trending in popularity that is underserved in the podcast space is sure to get searched for and listened to.
Good Quality Audio
I say good not necessarily great because it might surprise you to know that good is good enough. Podcast listeners don’t expect perfection or the highest quality production. Most listeners prefer to here you as a person passionate about the topic and not some celebrity. However, volume consistency and clarity are important as you will lose listeners pretty quickly if it’s hard to listen to.
How Do You Make Money Podcasting?
A podcast audience is usually a loyal audience and therefore an audience advertisers want to get in front of. So Ad revenue is a great way to monetize your podcast. There are a few ways to sell ads for a podcast, it can be ads from a company you are working with directly, programmatic ads that many podcast host can set up for you, or even host read ads through your host provider.
Audience Supported Income
This can be done through a company like Patreon or by building a full blown membership for your podcast audience. More often than not listeners of your podcast are more than happy to support your efforts to get their regular podcast fix.
By promoting other companies that you feel good about that have affiliate programs on your podcast you can make healthy affiliate income when people in your audience make purchases.
How Much Money Can You Make Podcasting?
How long is a piece of string? It’s the same kind of question. You can make a little or a lot, pennies or a full time living. There are so many factors that will determine how much many you can make with a podcast.
The success of the podcast and how hard your willing to work to make an income with your podcast will largely determine how much you are able to make.
How Do You Get Started Podcasting?
Tools You Need
You don’t need much, a computer or a even phone, some basic software or an app and a good microphone and you’re in business. Obviously you can go all out and create an entire studio with top equipment but the simplest of tools can get the job done.
Here is what I use to podcast and have for many successful years:
Microphone: Audio-Technica ATR2100
- Handheld dynamic microphone with USB-C digital output and XLR analog output. Durable metal…
- USB output connects to your computer (Windows and Mac) for digital recording, while the XLR output…
- Built-in headphone jack lets you monitor directly from the microphone with dial on the bottom that…
- Cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of unwanted sounds from the sides and rear, improving…
- Sturdy tripod desk stand with folding legs is easy to set up and transport. Threaded stand clamp…
Microphone Stand Boom Arm with Pop Filter
- Professional Adjustable Microphone Stand:Professional Recording Studio Equipment with adjustable…
- Strong Compatibility and Applicability microphone arm: Luling Arts mic arm could compatible with the…
- Upgraded table mounting clamp:Designed for heavy duty carry and compared with old versions,all zinc…
- Excellent Shock Mount Effect: The diameter of the mic clip can be changed by adjusting O-rings on…
- Two-Screen POP Filters: The first screen blocks air blasts as any pop filter normally would; The gap…
HP Laptop with Windows
Software: Audacity (free)
You will need a place to host your podcast that will deliver it to all the podcast players. There are several great ones to choose from and I have used several over the years. This can be your biggest expense or absolutely free. Although paid services can offer you a few options that a free one can’t I honestly think the free host will give you all you need.
The host I use now is Anchor.fm by Spotify, not only is it free you can record your podcast on your phone using their app. I still prefer to use my podcasting equipment and Audacity but it’s an easy option for beginners.
That’s really all you need, just bring your topic and your talent and start podcasting. Sure, in the beginning only your mom will be listening but if you follow podcasting best practices you will have a successful podcast bringing in revenue in no time.
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