Is Podcasting Still Worth It?
Trying to start a podcast is easier than ever, but that also means that more people have podcasts with each passing year. Whether you want your podcast to find financial success or just aim to build an audience, a podcast can be a very useful tool.
Unfortunately, when you create a podcast, you have a lot to consider. Is podcasting hard when you do not have the money for ads? Should you come up with an audio content idea before you start? How much should you invest in podcasting?
If you are starting a podcast, you want to prepare. Here are some key things to consider before you start a podcast that needs expensive gear to record.
What Are The Reasons to Start A Podcast?
For most people, there are ten main reasons why they would start podcasts instead of using blog posts or other platforms.
- Audio content is a great choice. Audiences can listen to podcasts without interrupting their normal schedule. This means that you can have listeners who play an episode while they drive, tidy up, or even help them sleep.
- Podcasting can make quite a bit of money if you monetize it correctly. Combine podcasting with other types of media, and you can funnel traffic to other products too.
- Informative podcasts can become an authority or a knowledge base for a certain subject. This gives you an identity that people might recognize.
- You can build a loyal audience as long as you keep your podcasts consistent and high-quality. Even cheaply-made podcasts have dedicated listeners.
- You can use a podcast for advertising your other projects, products, and services. It does not cost you anything to slip in a plug for your latest book, website, video, or anything else.
- A podcast can be fairly cheap in the short term – you can do it with just one microphone.
- Using your voice can build a personal connection with the people listening.
- Podcast production can increase the value of other work related to it.
- Maintaining a podcast can be easy, especially for short episodes on spaced-out schedules.
- Podcasting can be fun and fairly stress-free! Informal topics can even be a way for the hosts to relax after work.
Of course, every podcast host has their own reasons for starting their podcast. Whatever way you set up your podcast, most of these will always be true, no matter how many listeners you have.
Is it worth investing in starting a podcast?
When you start a podcast, you sometimes have to put money towards it. The cash flow of a new podcast will always start out small, especially in a niche topic. Spreading it across social media platforms and getting listeners can bring in ways to make that money back. But what equipment do you really need?
Most people can start recording a podcast with just a microphone and a laptop. A good audio editor is also vital, but audio editing tools are available for free online. Podcast hosts who want more quality might prefer to get a more expensive microphone or two, just in case.
Making Your Podcast Work
Your podcast needs to be comfortable to listen to. Try recording short test episodes and see how they sound. If you are noticing issues like popping ‘S’ sounds or background static on all your episodes, your audience will too.
Podcasts with a video component need a camera or webcam to record the footage. This can raise your starting costs. This is not usually necessary, and most new podcast hosts should avoid doing this. Video elements are for the more experienced podcasters.
If your podcast could make money in the future, then you could justify spending more on starting it up. Anything you earn can cover the starting costs of new equipment and recording gear.
Is It Worth Starting A Podcast For Your Non-Profit?
A podcast can be one of the most effective ways to talk about somebody’s life and experiences with an audience present. Non-profit organizations can use podcasts to engage with their audience.
They can also be a great way to spread new information or advice. Since you save money anyway, this makes it much easier to keep free resources running.
Instead of running ads, a non-profit can use their podcasts to remind the listener to donate money. Podcast editing tricks can add this later on as pre-recorded audio clips.
Since a podcast is already so cheap to run, it does not cost much in day-to-day running expenses. Once you buy good gear to get high audio quality, you do not have to spend much more on keeping the podcast going.
You can also re-use your existing content – reading blog posts as podcast episodes, for example. Turning an article into an audible podcast episode makes it more accessible to people who do not have time to read the full thing.
Of course, the same challenges still apply. You need to create a program that gets people thinking and engaged. A podcaster will still need to tell stories that make the podcast interesting to a potential fan.
Do not expect to make money quickly, either. Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income podcasts (like Entrepreneurs On Fire) make $150,000 per month. But getting there took a lot of hard work.
Is Creating Your Own Podcast Actually Worth It?
Podcasters can have a lot of unique opportunities once they get their show started. It is easy for a podcast to feel like a mistake at first, especially if you do not have a proper plan laid out. Is an audio-only show really worth creating?
Podcasts live and die by brand awareness. If you can’t make a single member of the public aware that you exist, then your show will not get any attention. Unlike a blog post, you can’t really ‘trick’ people into reading it to get helpful information, either.
When companies create a podcast, they use affiliate marketing to monetize their work. They will often end up in podcast directories about shows that cover a certain topic.
A solo host starting out from nowhere will have to work quite hard to get noticed by any official podcast list. This takes time, but it can happen quite quickly sometimes.
Unlike videos, the number of people that view an episode does not always matter.
If podcasters want to earn money, they need ads, and ads can be quite tricky to secure. Sponsors of the show will want ads in a specific part of the podcast, and that can mean adjusting your content to keep everything clear.
Since podcasts are so cheap, wannabe podcasters can easily set one up with barely any prep needed. Some podcasters even post episodes on YouTube or Spotify for easy access and hosting. This can cut down the costs of each episode.
What are the Benefits of Making Podcasts?
Podcasting is like audio newsletters. Good content can get a lot of fans and draw in plenty of attention, especially a show based on something popular. Serious or informative podcasts are also one of the most popular methods to get noticed in a professional community.
Audio shows are a cheap kind of show to create. Since you can use them for anything, they do not have a specific format that you need to stick to.
You can record a podcast in any location. An RSS feed means that you can import it onto all kinds of sites. Podcasts are audio-focused, so you can post them anywhere that supports sound.
This means that you can create any kind of content you want. Some people make game shows, others do solo history podcasting, and there is not a limit to what your show is about.
One of the biggest benefits of making a podcast is trust. You can become the authority on something, answering every audience question and feeding them tips or advice. All of this gives you a recognizable brand name in that community.
All kinds of podcasts can succeed. It just depends on how they are made. A software podcast, all-rights-reserved company-focused podcast, and so on. Even ones that do not have a specific focus can be successful.
They can be a great marketing tool, build up a listener base, and are generally fun to create in your spare time.
If you are interested in podcasting, then you should plan out your show idea first. A good audio-only show can be a great way to attract an audience and get yourself noticed. A bad one can just get ignored, especially since there are so many other podcast options to compete with.
The more niche and specific your podcast, the better things will go. If you are the only podcast for a certain subject or topic, then you just need to start building your audience and getting your brand name out there. Remember that podcasts can be fun and profitable. Money might not come in the first few months, but with dedication, you can get big sponsorships. Larger podcasters brands might have a Patreon or some other subscription to keep the money coming in.