How to build a profitable podcast.
It’s time to start your podcast!
Podcasts are becoming more and more popular for sharing information and talking about any topic imaginable. It's like being on your radio show, where you control the subject matter and are in charge of the entertainment.
But have you ever wondered how to start a podcast with no money?
Starting a podcast can seem like an expensive and complicated process on the outside, but it doesn’t have to be. If you want to create your podcast but think it's too costly, you're in the right place.
First, you may be wondering what perfect name you need to come up with or what exciting things you need to talk about, and you can’t wait.
And even if you come up with all of these, there’s still going to be one problem – you don’t have any money to buy the equipment you need to host and record your first episode.
This article will tell you exactly how to start a podcast with no money! And don't worry... you don't need any fancy equipment either.
I’ll explain how you can start a podcast for free by recording episodes on your smartphone and hosting them on bCast for free instead of costly and complicated media outlets.
All you need is some time and dedication and a few simple tools that you probably already have at home to get your voice still out there and build your audience.
Follow these easy steps to expensive and complicated money.
One of the biggest mistakes new podcasters make is picking a niche that’s too narrow.
When you narrow your topic too much, you’re limiting your potential audience, making it harder to grow your podcast and won’t last as long.
It’s easy to get fixated on a niche, but don’t get stuck in an ivory tower if there aren’t enough listeners to sustain your show.
Instead, think about what type of listener would want to listen to your podcast.
For example, a foodie might love listening to a cooking podcast, or someone who loves animals might enjoy listening to a pet-centric program.
If you know exactly whom you want to reach with your show, try narrowing it down by thinking about which sub-niche (or micro-niche) most appeals to them.
The more specific you can get here, the better.
Once you have these answers, start looking for podcasts in your chosen niche to see how popular they are.
If many big names dominate your space, go back to step one and find another area of interest.
You need to choose a niche where you can become one of the top players.
But even if you do find a small corner of podcasting that no one else has claimed yet, remember, don’t bite off more than you can chew.
If you’re not sure whether you can handle hosting a podcast with hundreds of episodes, maybe it’s best to start smaller to learn from your mistakes before getting into something bigger.
You should also consider whether other factors could limit your success in your chosen niche.
If so, those might be deal-breakers for some potential listeners and sponsors.
Before you start creating content, you'll need to decide on a piece of equipment.
The most popular option is an audio recorder that you can use with your smartphone even if you still use a BlackBerry phone in 2022, but some still like a handheld voice recorder.
Most smartphones, BlackBerry, Android, or iPhones come with an installed audio recorder that can be used to record audio and moved to your computer for editing.
You can also use your laptop recorder through the inbuilt microphone, but we can't guarantee that external noise might not affect the sound.
When picking your equipment, don't worry about top-of-the-line professional equipment—these things are unnecessary and often too expensive for new podcasters.
If you're going digital, consider something simple and easy to use and wouldn't cost you a lot or any money at that.
These things might not have all of the bells and whistles that come with more expensive podcast equipment, but they will get you started without breaking your budget.
And if you're just starting, it's not likely that you'll be producing podcasts with multiple guests anytime soon anyway.
You can always upgrade down the road when you see how much fun podcasting is.
So, find a device that fits your budget, then dive in!
The first thing you should do after getting your equipment is download Audacity.
This free software will allow you to edit your recording and make sure everything sounds crisp and clear before uploading it online.
Don't forget to plug in a pair of headphones so you can listen back to your recordings; if there's one thing I've learned over my years as a podcaster, it's that nobody wants to hear what you sound like when you speak into a microphone.
Nobody. Just trust me on that one.
Choosing a niche topic is crucial to establishing your podcast’s identity.
While you don’t have to devote all of your episodes to a single subject, having a central theme for each show will help listeners find its value.
Remember, you can always change your podcast’s theme later on if you discover new interests or feel that your audience has responded well to a specific topic.
But make sure you know where you want to start when beginning your first few shows.
You can choose from several themes based on content type, such as business, tech/gadgets, entertainment/celebrities, etc.
Or, you can choose an overarching theme that ties together multiple topics into one show.
For example, my podcast is about entrepreneurship and b2b marketing—two broad topics—but I still manage to create a consistent brand around them by focusing on just one specific aspect of each (for example, I talk about b2b marketing with entrepreneurs).
It’s essential to think about what kind of message you want your show to send before choosing its theme.
Make sure your theme reflects those values. Once you’ve chosen a theme, it’s time to decide how you want to present that information.
You should make these decisions early on because they can influence everything else about your show.
If you’re planning on interviewing guests, for example, then you may need to plan out questions ahead of time instead of freestyling.
If you want to play music during your show, you might need to learn how to use audio-editing software like GarageBand or Audacity.
And if you’re thinking about adding recurring segments, you may need to write scripts or come up with original ideas for each episode.
These factors can significantly affect how much work produces your show; consider them carefully before moving forward.
Record your first episode: Now that you have a theme and format figured out, it’s time to record some episodes!
Name your podcast after your business, product, service, or company name.
For example, if you have a tutoring business, you might call it The Math Tutor Podcast.
Don’t worry about making sure your name is available right away—you can always change it later if necessary.
You should be able to come up with at least three different names that all make sense for what you’re doing so that in case one is taken, you have backup options ready to go.
Once you settle on a name, register your podcast on a hosting platform and social media accounts. (If you don’t know how to do any of these things, reach out to one of our team members on bCast, and we will help you with that.)
We will touch more on the hosting platform later. For now, let us focus on keeping your podcast name.
It will be easier to market yourself as an expert once people can find your site easily online and follow you on social media channels.
You also want these tools available from day one so people can start finding and following you early on when they may not even know yet whether they like what they hear.
Registering your name and sites ahead of time helps them feel more confident trying something new. Hosting allows anyone looking out for your show's new episode to access content instantly without waiting for files to download over their Internet connection.
Before you start recording, it helps to create a podcast episode template to help guide your thought process.
Write down every aspect of your podcast before you record, so you don’t have to stop and think about what to say next (and if you do, at least that pause will be included in post-production).
The template can also be used as an outline for your show notes.
It is beneficial when you are starting and haven’t yet developed a specific format or style for your podcast.
You can always change things up later on.
Here’s a sample template
#Title: Welcome to My Show [Show Name]
#Intro: Welcome to [Show Name], where we talk about [Topic]. In today’s episode, we will talk about [Topic].
#Sponsor/Promo: Thanks for listening. If you want more information on our sponsor /promo topic, visit their website here...
#Main Topic: Our main topic today is [Topic]. We’ll be talking about [Discussion Point 1], then moving on to [Discussion Point 2]...
#Outro: That wraps up our discussion on [Topic]. For more information, visit us at http://[Website URL]/show/episode name…
#Thank You: Thank you for listening to [Show Name]. We hope you enjoyed our conversation on [Topic]. If you want more information on any of our topics, please visit us online at http://[Website URL]/show#episo...
#Closing: Be sure to subscribe to [Show Name] on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review. And remember, we love hearing from you, so please send us feedback by visiting http://[Website URL]/feedback
This section should be brief.
You likely have something interesting to say if you're starting a podcast.
The next step is to get it out of your head and into people’s ears. If you already have a good mic, then your job is done (sort of), and you already know what to say and how to say it.
You have all the critical points jotted down, so there is not much hassle anymore.
But if not, then here are some ways you can begin recording and editing audio for free
Once you’ve recorded and edited your audio, post it on your hosting platform and submit it to podcast directories. Once you have everything set up, continue reading for more tips on how to grow an audience from scratch.
Once you've got a show outline and questions, go ahead and post your podcast.
You'll have to create an account on a content management system (CMS) like bCast. bCast tools also allow you to edit your RSS feed, which is crucial in getting other sites (like Apple Podcast) to automatically pick up your podcast episodes.
Head over to bCast.fm and sign up for an account. Then upload your audio file(s) by clicking Upload Your Audio File in the top right corner of your dashboard (you can also upload via drag-and-drop).
We will try to walk you through the process in the next step quickly.
As opposed to some podcast hosting platforms on the internet, bCast offers a freemium package which you can get as you sign up on the bCast platform.
If you are looking to test-run your first few episodes, you’ll want to pick this plan. It provides everything you need as a rookie podcaster, but you will want to upgrade to a higher plan as time goes on.
bCast takes care of all of the technical details for you, including setting up an RSS feed and submitting your podcast to significant podcast directories. It also provides analytics about your listeners to see what they’re listening to and when they stop listening.
If you want to start a professional-looking podcast but don’t have much time or technical expertise, bCast is worth checking out.
Step 1: Sign up for an account on bCast and select the freemium option.
After successful account creation, it takes you to a personal dashboard where you can upload your already recorded audio files.
Step 2: create a podcast and fill out podcast info on bcast
Starting a podcast on bCast is pretty straightforward; you can either create one from your bCast account setting or import it from another directory.
Step 3: After clicking the “create a podcast” button, you will land on a screen where you can upload the following assets: a unique podcast name, the name of the author(s), and a podcast description.
Side Note: Make sure you don't stuff your bCast information with so many keywords, or there is a chance that your podcast gets rejected on some podcast directories. Before you click “save podcast”, you might want to continue reading…
Step 4: Once you have your cover art done, proceed to your bCast and add cover art to your podcast profile. After filling in the text boxes, you can now save your podcast, and you can now go back to the main page to view it, just like the image below:
Step 5: For the podcast to be "live", you must click the "Live" option on the podcast setting screen. And now we’re done creating a podcast; congratulations.
Step 6: Next, click the podcast you just added and proceed to upload your first episode.
And since we already have our first episode recorded and edited. Let's move forward to uploading it on bCast.
Here is how to add an episode to your podcast:
Step 7: You can get your podcast RSS feed by going to your podcast under "overview". Your podcast RSS feed includes all information about your show, cover arts, and audio files.
bCast will provide the RSS feed URL after inputting all of the required information above and at least an audio file.
Proceed to copy the RSS feed URL and save it somewhere to be used later.
Submit your podcast to all of the popular podcast directories.
Depending on your niche, you may want to submit to 50 different directories.
It can be a tedious process, but it is well worth it.
The more places your podcast is listed, the more exposure you will get and more listeners and subscribers.
Make sure that you use high-quality artwork when submitting your podcast to directories, as they will use that artwork in their listings.
Also, make sure that each listing has a title, description, and keywords associated with it so that people searching for podcasts in those categories can find yours.
You should also include links to your social media accounts, such as Facebook or Twitter.
You should check those out as it saves you some stress of learning what the directories look for and how they work.
Building an email list means people can subscribe to your podcast and get notified of new episodes.
The sign-up process is simple and free, especially if you choose to use MailChimp, and it’s a great way to build up listeners for future shows.
You don’t need any special equipment or software to do it, either.
It starts with asking your podcast listeners for their emails at crucial points during your show.
If you have more than one host, consider rotating who asks for emails in each episode.
Don’t forget to ask again when you release a new episode!
There are plenty of tools that make building an email list easier, like MailChimp. You can check online for others, but I have specifically used MailChimp, and I know you can send emails with a free account.
If you use our hosting podcasting service, we automatically set up a free account for you so that you can start building your subscriber base right away.
For a more detailed guide on how to start a podcast and grow your audience, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Starting Your Podcast.
This post will give you step-by-step instructions on how to start and grow your podcast’s listener base using various platforms.
Remember that we mentioned a couple of times that you should get a social media account?
We also said setting up social media accounts is an easy way to make sure your podcast is discoverable. Try free platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to start spreading the word about your new show.
Offer an incentive for listeners to subscribe through a giveaway, exclusive episodes, or even with access to behind-the-scenes content.
If you're looking for more options for monetising your podcast, Patreon could be an excellent option. It allows podcasters to get paid by their fans regularly for different rewards (e.g., early access to episodes).
But if you're just starting, stick with free methods until you've built up an audience with your social media pages.
The point is: Don't put all of your eggs in one basket; distribute it as much as possible across all mediums so that potential listeners can find it easily.
It will help you grow an audience that will keep coming back for more after they listen to one episode.
Once you've got your podcast off the ground, it's time to figure out how to make money from it.
There are a few ways you can monetise your podcast, but most successful podcasters have found that building their mailing list is one of the most profitable ways to get new customers and grow their business.
You should consider setting up an opt-in email form for people who visit your website or download your podcast to get in touch with them again.
In addition to offering products and services through your website with the email list, many podcasters choose to sell advertising space on their podcasts themselves.
It allows them more control over what they advertise (and when) than they would get if they used an ad network like Google AdSense.
If you decide to go down that route, it's good to read up on how much you can expect to make from podcast ads before you start selling any of your slots.
As with all forms of advertising, there are a lot of factors that determine how much money you'll make from podcast sponsorships:
Your audience size, how engaged they are with your content, and whether or not they're likely to click on any advertisements you play during your show.
Podcasting doesn't have to be expensive.
You need thousands of dollars in equipment and an engineering degree to get started is a myth.
It costs very little or no money, and it only takes 30 minutes to set up your first podcast.
I made my first podcast without spending a dollar on equipment or editing software. You don't need a website, particular hosting account, adverts, or anything else you can think of before getting started with your show.
We hope you find this piece helping and a push to start your podcast.
If you have any questions about this process, feel free to reach out to our resident podcast experts: firstname.lastname@example.org... we would be more than happy to advise ;)
Take care, and we’ll catch up with you again soon!