For some people, to start a podcast could be a little challenging. But there’s the thing, by having the right process, you can easily kick-off your very own podcasting.
One of the famous podcast hosting companies, Libsyn hosted 69,000 podcasts in 2019, which eventually generated 6.2 billion downloads from across the globe according to a report published by RainNews.
Furthermore, in the same report, it says that during the same year, an estimated 60% of the shows that the company distributed reached audiences through the Apple Podcasts platform.
You see, podcasting has gained popularity over the years. Well, it’s not that surprising at all given the fact that people nowadays are so into anything digital. Needless to say, they prefer listening to audio-based materials rather than reading (especially the younger generation whose attention span is really lower as compared to adults).
Anyway, podcasting is so easy to do. But more than that, cost-wise, it requires very minimal costs to start up. Also, podcasting provides a lot of monetization options, which makes it a great option if you want to earn a few bucks while doing something that you love or are passionate about.
Does podcasting sounds fun for your?
If your answer is yes, then, you are at the right place because we are going to provide you some very important information about podcasting, and of course, we are giving a simple but quick guide on how you can start off a podcast.
To guide us through, here are what we are going to talk about today:
- What is podcasting?
- How does podcasting work?
- How much does one earn from podcasting?
- How to start a podcast?
- What are the pros and cons of podcasting?
WHAT IS PODCASTING?
First of all, before you even jump into doing podcasts, it is important that you fully understand what it is all about.
According to the 2006 State of the News Media, which is an annual report on American journalism published by Pew Research Center – Journalism and Media, “Podcasting is a way to distribute audio and video programming over the Web that differs from earlier online audio and video publishing because the material is automatically transferred to the user’s computer and can be consumed at any time, usually on an Apple iPod or another kind of portable digital music player commonly known as an MP3 player.”
Instead of listening or watching a live stream content, people can just download the file and listen to it anything they want using a portable media player or PC.
Meanwhile, in a much simpler definition, The University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom defines podcasting as “a way of distributing audio files via the Internet.“
Podcasting vs Vlogging
A lot of people usually confuses podcasting to vlogging or video blogging, which is also becoming really popular these days.
Contrary to video blogs, podcasting is a voice only. It basically is like a radio show on the internet. Also, some people who do podcasts, they sometimes do series, which is not very common in vlogging.
Also, compared to vlogs, podcast usually lasts longer. While some podcasts can only last for about 15 minutes, others may last for 30 minutes or even an hour. Meanwhile, vlogs are usually short — the shorter your video is, the better. That’s how vlogging works.
Another thing is that podcasts can be downloaded, while vlogs can be viewed via a link to the video blog, which normally is a YouTube link to the blogger’s channel.
Podcast vs Audiobooks
Apart from video blogs, some people also confuses podcast to audiobooks.
While both are digital audio files meant for listening, the two are totally different things.
A podcast is more of an episodic series of audio content, which is normally run by just one host, or sometimes there could be two or more.
Podcasts also come in a variety of formats depending on how you want it to be — like it could be a quick news roundup, or it could be a round0tabel discussion.
Meanwhile, an audiobook is a professional audio recording of a text, which usually are books. Normally, the contents of audiobooks are available in other non-audio formats.
Unlike podcasts that are episodic in nature, audiobooks are usually released as a single product.
Meanwhile, do you want to know more about podcasting? If yes, take a look at the video below by Colin Gray as he explains what podcasting is all about in a manner that is simple yet very easy to understand:
HOW DOES PODCASTING WORK?
Surely, you want to start a podcast, but you find it overwhelming.
While it is normal to feel that way at the beginning, once you are immersed in it, you will basically find it so much easier to do. By the way, we thought podcasting is ideal for people who are camera shy. Those who would rather share their voice than their faces online.
Anyway, so, to gain the confidence to start a podcast, one important thing that you have to learn is how podcasting actually works.
As we have mentioned earlier, podcasting is an audio file. Your main tool to have a successful podcasting career is your voice.
Some people find it uncomfortable because they thought their voice is too soft or too loud. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. As long as you have a voice and you know how to use it, podcasting should work for you.
Apart from your voice, of course, it is very important to have really good content. Good content is the key to draw people to listen to your podcasts. It will draw subscribers, which eventually will help you earn.
Podcasts, by nature, are free for anyone. However, podcasters earn from advertising. Thus the need to have people drawn to your podcasts. You need people to listen to you so advertising opportunities will also flourish. Later on, we’ll tell you more about how to create a podcast content.
So, you got the voice, you have amazing content ideas, what now? Well, the next thing is to invest in your equipment. You have to have good quality equipment to ensure you get to produce high-quality audio for your listeners.
As a podcaster, the last thing you want is for people to stop listening to you because they could hear kids crying on the background, or cars on the road. Clear, noise-free audio will also help a lot in drawing people to listen to you.
So, you got amazing content with very clear audio, and all that. The next thing you need to do is to upload it to your preferred podcasting site.
Once uploaded, you need to market it. You need to tell people you have this podcast and that they should listen to it. Again, your success in podcasting relies on people listening to your podcasts. The more, the better. The more chances to succeed in this platform.
HOW MUCH DOES ONE EARN FROM PODCASTING?
Here’s the thing – you can earn from podcasting in different ways.
Earlier, we mentioned about advertising. While advertising is a major player to be able to earn from podcasting, there are actually a few more ways on how you get to earn from podcasting.
Allow us to provide you below a list of ways on how you get to earn from podcasting and how much you possibly can make out of it:
Having sponsors is one of the most popular ways to make money as a podcaster. Sponsors refer to companies who are willing to pay to get their brands out there, in front of your listeners. The thing here though is, if you are a newbie in podcasting, you have to work hard first to make a really good audience base so it becomes easier to draw sponsors to you.
That may sound a little challenging, but again, with good content, and a marketing strategy, all should be well in the end.
How much a podcaster earns from sponsorship varies from a podcast to a podcast. However, according to a report by The Atlantic, popular podcasters earn as much as $25 to $40 for every 1,000 listeners. That’s the aim, of course, but for beginners, you can always start small, and slowing demand for a higher fee as your audience increase.
Donations and Crowdfunding
A lot of podcasters start their podcast using their own savings, while others turn to their listeners to ask for help.
There’s totally nothing wrong with asking donations from your listeners. After all, they get to listen to your podcasts for free, right? Donations are voluntary, anyway, so, there’s no harm in trying.
There are a lot of podcasters out there who succeeded in this. One example is the Radical Personal Finance Patreon, which at the moment has listed 216 patrons providing $1,220 every month to the podcaster.
Affiliate marketing is very common among blogs. But, guess what? It also is one of the ways you can earn from being a podcaster.
With affiliates, you basically get a cut of the income that listeners are willing to pay for certain brands or services them discovered through your podcast.
How much you make from affiliates is also a case-to-case basis. But, you can earn between five to four to five digits by doing so especially if your podcasts are really doing well among listeners.
Again, similar to blogging, a podcaster can also make money through paid content.
In a Wall Street Journal article, it says that their podcasters who prefer to get rid of running ads, instead, make money through paid content and subscriptions.
Again, cost depends on several factors.
Selling Branded Merchandise
Selling branded merchandise is also one way of earning as a podcaster especially if you have solid listeners.
You can use online marketplaces to sell merchandise, and also make it accessible to your listeners or anyone who would want to buy them for that matter.
HOW TO START A PODCAST?
So, you really want to start a podcast, what to do now?
Well, as we have said earlier, we are going to share with you simple and easy steps on how to come up with your very own podcast.
Let’s begin —
STEP 1: Decide a Podcast Name
Before anything else, first thing first, comes up with a podcast name. This will be the name that people will know you for.
When creating a name, make sure that it’s easy to remember, it basically captures what your podcast is all about, and that it’s you.
Take note that once you have already decided a name, as much as possible, you got to stick to it. Avoid changing your podcast name along the way as it might create confusion. So, make sure that once you already have a podcast name in mind, you think about it a hundred times before you launching a podcast.
STEP 2: Create a Podcast Plan
A podcast plan will you stay on track. It serves as your guide as you create podcast episodes.
A plan will also help keep your thoughts intact.
Basically, when creating a podcast plan, you think about what topics you are going to talk about. Ideally, you choose a general category or niche that you will be discussing in your episodes.
The category should demonstrate your expertise and would allow your personal knowledge to be the highlight.
When thinking of a topic to talk about, avoid discussing something that you know nothing of. People can easily distinguish if you are basing what you say on experience or your personal knowledge, or based on nothing.
Here’s the thing, when people know that you are talking based on expertise, most often than not, your listeners will stay. So, keep it real.
So, you already know what topic you’re going to talk about. The next thing to do is to outline your podcast. This will serve as your guide to ensure you do not go overboard. Needless to say, it’s one way of making the most of each of those minutes you spend podcasting.
For your reference, a basic outline for a 15-minute podcast may look something like this:
- Spoken Introduction: 30 seconds
- Music/Sound Clip: 15 seconds
- First Topic: 3 minutes
- Second Topic: 3 minutes
- Brief Music Break/Interlude: 30 seconds
- Third Topic: 3 minutes
- Fourth Topic: 3 minutes
- Spoken Conclusion: 1 minute
- Send-Out Music: 15 seconds
STEP 3: Build Up a Script
Your script will have to follow the outline we provided above.
The introduction is the perfect place to introduce yourself, and provide a brief overview of the podcast and the topic. You may also provide information like what benefits your listeners will get from it.
When you move into topics, always remember your timeline. As a general rule though, one paragraph of writing is tantamount to a minute of talk time. So, if it’s three minutes that means you need to write 3 paragraphs.
When wrapping up a podcast, make sure to always end it with a conclusion. You may reiterate important points cited in the episode, and remind your listeners about them.
Also, to add life to your podcast, make sure to include musical intro, and interlude. With music, you can either stick to a song or sound clip or opt to change it every time. For branding purposes though, we recommend sticking to one unless changes are necessary.
STEP 4: Gather Equipment
A podcast will not be possible without the right equipment. But before you even think about costs and all. Please know that one of the best things about podcasting is that it’s generally budget-friendly.
If you are just starting, you do not have to worry about having a professional recording studio or buying expensive equipment.
As long as you have a computer, a pair of headphones with a good-quality built-in mic, and an internet connection, you’re off to a good start.
Once you already have funds, that’s the time you can start buying better quality audio recording equipment like a really good microphone, and software to be used for capturing and editing your voice.
STEP 5: Record!
So, you have set up your equipment, you already have a script, then, it’s time to get the ball rolling as they say.
Before recording, make sure you review your script, and as much as possible, stick to it to avoid overtime.
Though you have a script, make sure to keep it natural. Do not sound like you are just reading the script. Be engaging. Be as natural as you can be.
STEP 6: Edit Your Recording
When you are just starting it’s normal to have long pauses, awkward silences, as well as mispronounced words, and interruptions when you are recording.
Let that not affect your recording, instead, get rid of it all during the editing process.
By getting this unnecessary stuff, you get to produce a good quality audio recording ready for the public to listen to.
STEP 7: Upload and Make Your Podcast Public
So, it’s time to share it to your audience.
You actually have two options. One is by hosting it directly on your blog if you have a blog, and the other is by submitting your podcast to popular channels. The latter is actually where you will find the most potential for growth.
The largest platform there is today is iTunes with over 1 billion podcast subscribers. However, the process of submission and making it live on iTunes could take as long as ten days.
If you want, you can also try out other podcast platforms, which include the following:
- Google Podcasts
Once it’s out there, make it known by sharing the good news to your family and friends and followers over your social media accounts. Get as many people as you can to listen and share your podcasts to reach your goal the soonest as possible.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON STARTING A PODCAST
Podcasting is one way to make money at home. Similar to blogging, it may take a while before you start earning, but once you’re out there, and people start listening to your podcasts, making money will become so much easier.
Are you ready to start off your podcasting career?