These days, podcasts are all the rage. According to Edison Research, 32% of Americans listen to podcasts every month. That’s up from 26% from the previous year and equates to over 90 million people. To put this in perspective, that’s the same ratio of Americans who go to church!
The best part: It doesn’t take much to make your own podcast. Literally anyone can make one from home. Another big plus, you can make money with podcasts! However, if it’s going to be something that gets people’s attention, then it’s going to need to be special. Here’s how to start a podcast business and make it into something you and your fans will love.
Pick A Niche For Your Podcast Business
The most important thing you will do before starting your podcast is to decide what it will be about. Pick a topic that you absolutely love talking to people about and researching. You’re going to be creating a lot of content for it, so it should be something you’re not going to get tired of thinking about.
In addition, your topic should also serve a niche market in order to attract an audience. Strategically, it would help if this market is not already saturated with competition and has good prospects for finding sponsors who will pay to work with you later on.
Pick A Cool Name
Last but not least, your podcast has got to have a good name! Think of at least five and bounce them off your friends and family. It won’t take long before you find the one that sticks.
Even though it may seem like your podcast will just be yourself casually talking, the reality is that there’s going to be a lot of time invested before each episode deciding exactly what points you’re going to talk about and how you want to say them.
Here are a few ideas about the types of content you could create:
- Top Tips – Example: 10 best ways to get in shape this year.
- Storytelling / Lesson – Example: The time you thought your life was over (and why it really wasn’t).
- Reviews – Could be a new product or service you’ve tried (such as a new book you thought was really great)
- Interviews – Bring on a guest, ask them questions, and let them do all the talking!
It will help to decide upfront how long each podcast episode will be so that you know how much content is needed. Most episodes range anywhere from 15 minutes to over 1 hour. It’s up to you to decide, but remember the longer the episode, the more content you’re going to need.
Make Your Recordings For Your Podcast Business
Technology-wise, there’s not a lot that’s needed to record a podcast. In fact, if you’ve got an iPhone, there’s an app called Anchor you can download that basically turns your smartphone into a podcast making machine.
However, if you’d like to step up your quality, here’s a few more tools you’ll want to check out:
- Audio Software – Edit and arrange your recordings any way you like using free audio software like Audacity or GarageBand.
- Microphone – Buy a high-quality mic that plugs directly into your computer such as the AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone
- Headphones – When you’re talking to guests, you’ll want headphones so you don’t echo through the speakers. Look into headphones from Sennheiser such as the HD280PRO.
Add Your Personal Touch
Don’t forget to add a little flavor to your podcast with:
- Cool intro and outro music
- A modern and professional looking logo
Output Your Files
Once everything has been put together just the way you want it, export the file in mp3 format with a bit rate of 192 kbps or more.
Release Your Podcast
Now that you’ve got some content, its time to share it with the world. Doing that will be a two-step process.
Step 1 – Upload To A Media Host
Because audio files are so large, you probably won’t be able to post them to your own website or blog. Otherwise, they could bog it down and eat up all of your bandwidth as you get a bigger audience. That’s why you should consider uploading it to a media site like Blubrry or Buzzsprout.
Step 2 – Submit Your Podcast To Popular Directories
Next, you’ll want to distribute your podcast to the places where your audience is most likely to find them. To do this, submit them to popular directories such as:
- Apple Podcasts
- Google Play Store
Depending on the media host you choose, they might make this easy on you by having an option to do this right from their dashboard.
Now, for example, anyone who normally subscribes to your podcast through the standard podcasts app on their iPhone will automatically receive your latest episode.
Market Your Podcast Business Brand
To start building up your audience, you’ll want to start promoting it as much as possible. In fact, you may want to work on your marketing just as much as you work on creating your content (especially when you’re just getting started).
Here are a few effective strategies for promoting your brand:
If you’ve already got a blog, then use it to tell your readers about your podcast. You could even have your podcast transcribed and use it to also serve as a written blog post. That way you’d reach audiences who both love audio as well as written content. Plus, it will help increase your site’s SEO with Google.
Increase and diversify your audience by offering to write free guest posts for other blogs within your niche. Reach out to sites you enjoy and send them a friendly pitch. Usually if you offer to also link back to them from your site or podcast, they will be happy to help.
Similar to guest posting, you can promote yourself to the audiences of other podcasts. Reach out to other podcasters and tell them you’d love to be interviewed and how it can benefit their show.
Advertise On Social Media
While you can always promote yourself for free on social media, you can also boost your visibility by paying for ads on sites like Facebook or Pinterest. As your podcast starts to make an income, this can be a great strategy to increase your following, get more downloads, and earn even more income.
How To Make Money from Your Podcast
Once your podcast starts to gain a following, you’ll have the opportunity to start making some money from it. This is usually done in two main ways:
The more followers you have, the more sponsors will want to work with you and have their products or services promoted.
Promoting a sponsor is a relatively easy thing to do and won’t hurt the credibility of your brand as long as you believe you’re making a good recommendation.
Promote Your Own Products
If you’ve got your own products, then you can use your podcast to promote these items as well. For example, fitness guru Mike Matthews uses his “Muscle for Life” podcast to regularly promote his sports supplements company Legion Athletics and fitness books on Amazon. This cycle of self-promotion is what has helped him to generate over 8-figures of revenue!
There are lots of other ways to grow your podcast business financially. Here are a few more tips from Podcast Insights.
Most Important – Listen To Your Fans
As you create more podcasts and release new episodes, listen to the feedback you receive from your fans. Find out what they liked, didn’t like, and which topics they’d like you to cover next. In addition, you might find out something about your speech patterns and interview. Good or bad, this is exactly the kind of information you’ll need to make each episode better.