Can I start a podcast and retire after episode 3? Maybe. The probability would suggest not. Podcasting is a long game.
It’s a tool for building authority. Now if you have authority in another medium, say a blog, a book or a YouTube channel then you can cross promote your content and you’re away.
For the newbie coming in cold, it’s more likely to take time. Hope for the best, plan for steady growth. You really do need to know why you are starting. I’ve covered this back in the blog post Podcasting Essentials ~ Why Podcast. Once you have a reason established, defining your audience is equally important. Again I covered this in the post Podcasting Essentials ~ Defining Your Audience. Remember: “The riches are in the niches.”
So depending upon your niche, you can make your podcast a business. If you have a tightly defined audience of wild supporters (read listeners) with whom you interact through email or a Facebook page or some such thing, you can approach sponsors. Do NOT fall for the old media world of raw numbers. Now raw numbers, if you’re receiving 10,000 downloads per episode, will get you sponsorship. But if you’re receiving 500 downloads per episode you can still approach sponsors but the pitch is different.
10,000 listeners fits great with a pay per 1000 downloads model. $35 per 1000 will give your show $350 a week. That might be enough, it depends upon your business plan.
If you have 500 listeners the same model will give you $17.50 an episode. Not so good. But say your niche is a particular form of fishing. Fly fishing in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales would be a great niche. You have 500 listeners, 400 of whom go fishing each season in the rivers, streams and creeks of the premiers state’s Snowy Mountains. These people will need accommodation, restaurants, possibly fish smoking services before you even get to the fish tackle. This is a tightly defined niche, this is a population with cash to spend who are spending it.
If you can coax your people into sharing their stories on your blog or Podcast Facebook page, you have the evidence to approach suppliers of goods and services in that geographical area. You can point to you people, you can offer them discounts from sponsors and so on. The model is more of a person to person one than the cpm (cost per thousand) blog and radio station model.
I’d think you could make quite a nice living of a podcast like that.
If you’re using your podcast as a support for your business, another marketing arm so to speak., you need to view it differently. Again this is valid. You establish leadership, knowledge and authenticity in your endeavours. Podcasting is an intimate medium. You speak directly into people’s ears and you can do so in the only medium that doesn’t demand your sole attention. You can’t, or at least you shouldn’t, watch a video or read a blog while you’re driving. You can listen to a podcast while driving, washing up, cleaning the car, walking the dog, lying on the couch and so on.
Your podcast will be an evergreen proof of your authenticity, your passion and your personality.
If you have a business, you need a podcast to support it!
- Stay niche.
- Build a following.
- Sell the passion of your followers.
- Use a podcast to support your business.
- Add your personality, authenticity and passion.