How to build a profitable podcast.
Let us welcome our guest writer Drew Allen!
Running a podcast was extremely popular back during the 1980s and basked in the spotlight until 2004. But after YouTube went viral, podcasts kind of fell by the wayside. However, podcasts have now made a comeback and are more popular than ever. You may be inclined to jump on the bandwagon to start and monetize your podcast!
Although we live in the streaming era, pure audio entertainment is far from dead. Think of them as listening to a specific radio channel you tune into. You look for a certain niche, press the play button, and immerse yourself into what’s being broadcasted. As for making one yourself, you might find yourself thinking of reasons why you would want to start a podcast.
Starting a podcast channel doesn’t necessarily require people to be a digital guru. They’re actually really easy to make. All you’ll need to make one is the right hosting platform, a high-quality microphone, a niche, and a small audience. Here is a small list of podcast hosting platforms for you to choose from:
· bCast (our personal choice)
If you don’t want to spend the money on a platform, you can always go on YouTube and create your podcast channel there. As for your niche, don’t be afraid to take as much time as you need to think about one. Whether it’s about extolling your own personal philosophy, offering life advice, or just simply talking about your day, there’s a niche for everyone.
Everyone’s situation is different. Perhaps you have a small business and are looking for new ways to promote your products and services. If this is the case, then a podcast is right up your alley. Entertainment aside, podcasts are a fantastic and inexpensive way to give yourself more recognition. You could talk about a series of products and explain what they do in vivid detail. You can also tease your plans for the future and what you hope to ultimately achieve.
To start making money from your podcast, you have to make sure it has all the core features that listeners have come to expect. Failing to incorporate these elements can hamper your success, so it's best to focus on these features first before you start thinking about how to monetize your podcast.
High Production Value
You absolutely must have a professional-quality microphone and good audio editing. Incorporating music, quotes and experts from other relevant audio files help diversify a podcast and add new depth to the listener's experience. Think about old radio shows from a bygone era, as they were engaging, and always left you on the edge of your seat because they were filled with so many different notes. The same can be true for a modern-day podcast. Even if you've got the ultimate radio voice, it will fall flat if you're recording and transmitting your episodes on a $10 mic.
You don't need to have a Ph.D. to talk about something, but you should definitely be well-versed in a subject before you start sharing it with an audience. People are coming to learn something, so if you're not even able to delve beyond the surface level, it will cost you, listeners. You can work with a written script or loose outline, but it should be fully supported by research and backed by your own knowledge. This requires putting in hours of work when you aren't recording to ensure you're giving your audience something truly valuable. You'll also need to work on synthesizing information, rather than parroting facts that anyone can find on Google, you'll need to use your research and own voice to create meaningful insights for your listeners.
We've already gone over a few of the platforms you can use to upload your podcasts in the list above. However, what we haven't mentioned is that you need to choose one that already has traffic. This is especially true if you plan on monetizing your podcast. Buzzsprout, for instance, is a great choice for beginners. This specific platform offers everything a future successful podcaster needs. From having an integrated transcript system to affiliate marketing, Buzzsprout makes podcasting a breeze. What's more, is that they don't require you to buy a subscription in order to use their service. You can post as many podcasts as you please, but bear in mind that they will be removed after three months. You'll have to purchase one of their plans to keep your archive.
Another critical factor of being a successful podcaster is having a large audience. Aside from all the effort you put into this, it's ultimately your consumers who make you a success. And gaining such a wide audience is not always an easy thing to do. However, a great way to attract people to your content is to advertise through social media.
Facebook and Google do allow you to make as many advertisements as you see fit. But the thing is that unlike paying for a podcast platform, social media advertising is not exactly cheap. Although you can spend as little as five dollars, the costs to keep the ads running accumulate at an insane rate. In fact, the average amount of money small companies spend on ads is around $10,000 per month.
If you're unable to pay for ads yourself, you can always take out a personal loan from a private lender. Personal loans are used to pay for pretty much anything you want or need. And a private lender is your best bet because of their reduced interest rates. With lower interest rates, you'll be able to pay it back in no time.
No matter what niche you inevitably choose, you need to make the content you create thoughtful and engaging. The first thing your listeners are going to see is the title. This is perhaps the most crucial aspect when it comes to podcasting. If the titles aren't creative or engaging, people may not want to tune into the content itself.
Now is time to get into how you can take your podcast to the next level and start making money from them. There are plenty of methods you can use to achieve this goal, but some are better than others. Below are three of the best ways to monetize your podcast.
The first method involves joining affiliate programs and trying to acquire a sponsorship. An affiliate program is when you use your assets to promote and showcase another brand's products and services. You earn a commission whenever one of your listeners uses an exclusive promotional code to make a purchase.
Sponsorship is somewhat of the opposite. It's where you and another person or brand represent each other to gain more traction. You can also receive compensation for mentioning a brand or product. If you have a big enough following, there are companies willing to pay you to mention them. They know that word-of-mouth marketing is still powerful, and you can leverage your community's trust as a business asset.
This is perhaps your best opportunity to monetize your podcast. Building your own product leaves you less vulnerable to monetary ebbs and flows, and you control more of your own destiny. When you have a passionate community, they'll enjoy supporting your podcast. Rather than asking for monetary donations, you can offer them something as both an incentive and reward for their contribution. Merch can range from notebooks and mugs to t-shirts and hoodies. There are plenty of options, and you can explore different products to figure out what really represents your brand and audience.
You can also turn successful episodes into books. Podcasts can be easily translated into text, edited and then marketed on Amazon. You could also offer them as reward perks for donators. This is also a great way to get your name recognized as some people prefer print over audio but would still be interested in hearing what you have to say.
Want to get your audience in on the process? Hold a poll online and ask people what type of merch they'd like to see from your podcast. This builds trust and shows them that you're not just interested in money and you want to give them something they'll love as well.
Monetizing a podcast doesn't always have to be some long-winded progress. Sometimes, all it takes is simply asking for contributions. Even a small audience will be more than happy to help fund something they enjoy and support their favorite creator. Set up a free Patreon account, and offer your fans the chance to access exclusive perks for people who donate. Avoid getting too salesy, though. Nothing is worse than a creator who focuses more on money than what they're making.
Patreon exclusives vary, and you get to design your own packages. This makes it easy for people to opt in without feeling pressured to provide a certain amount. Even $1 makes a difference, and you can quickly amass a decent income per month if you even had 1,000 donating $1 a month. The goal is to get a decent amount of people donating larger amounts, though, and this is accomplished by incentivizing them with various tiers of rewards and exclusive benefits.
Whatever you do, make sure that the heart of your content remains available to everyone. The last thing you want is for people to feel like they're no longer valued as a listener unless they're willing and/or able to pay you.
A podcast can be both a creative outlet, as well as a lucrative side gig. For all the reasons noted above, we are seeing a surge of new podcasts. In fact, large podcast networks like Wondery, and Gimlet, are buying up a lot of the shows and bringing them under their umbrellas. Focus on being unique and telling a good story, and your audience will certainly follow. Be cognizant of your online reviews and encourage listeners to contribute from time to time. Then you should focus on how best to monetize your podcast. Who knows? Perhaps Wondery or Gimlet (or a similar network) may come knocking on your door as well!