Starting a podcast is something a lot of us have probably thought about doing before. For anyone who has started a business, like myself, it’s definitely something that is top-of-mind, as it serves as another platform to share stories and information — which is why Shut Up & Hustle will be launching one soon, so stay tuned.
While the idea of starting a podcast is a great one for people who want to create a personal brand and/or grow their company, many of us get held up on actually doing it. Why? Because we’re over-thinking the damn thing, wondering how in the hell we’re going to get subject manner to talk about. Or how we’re going to build an audience. Or why anyone would want to listen to us talk. And, of course, how much is all of this going to cost?
Those are all great things to worry about, but not before you actually start a podcast. Those are things you should worry about when you’ve got sponsors to please and money coming in after you’ve grown an audience. But to get started, all you need to do is take the leap and go, not worrying so much about all those other things.
To help you do that, I’m giving you the first thing you should know; the cost. There are some important things to remember when starting a podcast — with production quality being the most important thing. To ensure you’re not breaking the bank, keep reading to see how you can create a podcast for cheap and still have the quality hold up for your listeners.
Figure Out Why You’re Starting A Podcast In The First Place
OK, so you’re starting a podcast, that’s great; now what in the hell do you want it to be about? Are you doing it as a hobby to speak your mind and get a couple friends listening, or are you doing it to further your personal or professional brand? Once you figure that out, you’ll be able to put together a plan of action — like coming up with a name, theme, logo and how you want to share it with people to get listeners.
Listen To Other Podcasts To Figure Out What You Like
Authenticity is a buzz word when it comes to content for a reason, because everyone needs to be themselves in order for audiences to empathize and relate to them. Nobody wants to be fed bullshit, especially when they’re giving up their free time to listen to a podcast.
Like anything, educate yourself before just starting a podcast by listening to other ones out there to see what you find funny, entertaining, engaging and inspiring. Once you get a sense of those things, you can try to model your own podcast off those ideas and stick to your authentic self.
Get A Cheap Microphone For About $100
For those rookie podcasters out there, no need to find a professional studio or hardcore microphone. That’s because there are a variety of podcast microphones available on Amazon that offer great quality without killing your bank account.
Whether you go with a mic around $100 or a cheaper option that runs about $65, you’ll want to make sure it’s something professional enough to produce high quality sound so that, as the podcast host, you don’t sound fuzzy and like you’re on a conference call.
Download Audio And Recording Software And Learn How To Use It
When starting a podcast, you might have high expectations, but don’t get caught up in trying to get a bunch of help that could cost money. Instead, be as self-sufficient as possible by teaching yourself a new set of skills to help with the production.
This means downloading different audio and recording software that makes your podcast sound legit. Things like Soundtrap, which costs less than $15 a month to use, and a great free audio editor called Audacity are good options, and learning how to use them is simple when you play around with both a little bit.
Get To Talking
You’ve got all the tools you need, now it’s time to get to talking. That means sticking to a schedule, outlining each episode and recording it to share with people.
Whatever topic you decide to talk about, make sure it’s something you’re both knowledgeable and passionate about, otherwise your true self won’t come through and it might lose some of that authenticity I mentioned above. Have fun and keep things focused so not to go off on a tangent during an episode.
Starting A Podcast Is Great, But Be Consistent With It
About 10 years ago, my best friend and I started a sports parody podcast called “FumbleBrewski,” which was literally an hour of 20-something sports nuts talking about who the hell even knows. It actually ended up being pretty funny, and we somehow scored two professional athletes as guests during an 8-show run; which isn’t too shabby.
Problem is, as we gained followers over the course of about two months, we stopped the podcast because of a European vacation we were going on, which ended any momentum we had. Ultimately, the show failed.
Take that as a learning lesson for when starting a podcast: stick with it. It’s easy to be discouraged if you aren’t getting the listeners you want. Or feel like it’s just a waste of time with all the other things you have going on in your life. But, like journaling, podcasting is a time where you can be yourself and let loose a little bit, so have fun with it and stick with it; because you never know who might be listening.
Always Be Promoting Your Podcast
You know who should care the most about your podcast? You. That’s why it’s important to always be promoting it once you’ve got it up and running — now’s not the time to sit back and be shy, because you want an audience to make it worthwhile.
This means posting links and graphics on your personal social media channels to spread the word to friends, family and colleagues. It means getting stickers to hand out anytime you can. It means rolling up your sleeves and guerilla marketing the shit out of your podcast in order to get people interested and bring in listeners. Nobody else is going to do this for you, so it’s on you to bombard people about it as much as possible until they tune in.
Build Revenue By Getting Advertisers
This won’t happen right away, but, as you build a following, you may be able to monetize your little podcast hobby. There’s a standard term called a CPM rate, or Cost Per Thousand, which typically has an industry standard of paying anywhere between $15 and $25 per thousand listeners. Is that going to make you a millionaire? Obviously not, but it could lead to some extra income for doing something that you like to during free time.
Another option for getting revenue is going to small, local businesses to see if you could host your podcast from their spot, which will help build an audience and could bring in additional money. For instance, if you hit up the local dive bar, you can say the name of the place a few times throughout your show to give them advertising. Depending on the size of your audience, you could charge anywhere between $150-300 each episode to help bring in business for them.
This will obviously take time, but it’s something to work towards after starting a podcast; so time to get to it.