Podcasting has transformed into a popular medium of entertainment and information in audio form. In recent years, it has even evolved into a long-form video format. People can now watch podcasts either live through streaming or downloaded into any device of choice for later consumption.
With its growing popularity among an ever increasing audience base, podcasting itself has become attractive for enterprising online entrepreneurs as another possible business opportunity to consider. But is it a viable option with attractive income potential? Or maybe, is it just a passing trend that can come and go over time?
Here at Vidpros, let us take you exploring into the world of podcasting. We’ll try to discover what it will take to start your own podcasting business from scratch.
Introduction into Podcasting
To put it simply, podcasts are becoming more and more popular as a form of entertainment and information media because of the convenience they offer. Thanks to technological advancements in the form of the internet and mobile devices, listening to podcasts have become more and more accessible to an ever growing audience.
Aside from live streams for those who wish to keep updated with information in real time, podcasts have become another means for many people to stay informed and updated. People can now enjoy the convenience of easily downloading their favorite podcasts to listen to or watch at any time.
Podcasts also appeal to many people because they are available mostly for free. With a wide variety of free podcast content now out there available in various podcast hosting platforms, it is easy for people to find one that caters to different tastes and interests.
The Podcasting Business Potential
With a popular and successful podcast able to engage with an increasing number of people, its has a growing potential of attracting more and more advertisers. This opens an opportunity for a podcast to generate revenue.
Aside from ad revenues, other lucrative opportunities come up the more successful an audio or video podcast becomes. It opens the possibility of offering a paid subscription option for those who wish to avail of premium podcast content.
Other opportunities for successful podcasts include the potential syndication on different podcast platforms, brand merchandising, and sponsorship deals with established brands. The profit potential for running a popular podcast increases the more it attracts new listeners and grows its audience over time.
Learn How to Start a Podcast
If you wish to explore more on the potential money podcasting as a business may offer you, then there are many things you will need to learn to take you into the right path of success. We’ll guide you step-by-step through the podcasting process.
Find Your Podcasting Business Niche
Even before you start doing your very first podcast episode, you should bear in mind that a successful podcasting journey starts way earlier. The very first step starts on deciding what your niche will be.
Finding the right niche for your future podcast will be a big factor of its success. It will become the basis on how you will be developing your program over time.
Deciding on a particular niche will also help you determine whether the podcasting path you take will be filled with challenges or with many lucky breaks along the way. So choose wisely and carefully since it can greatly affect your podcasting journey later on.
Identify Your Passion
When looking for niche ideas for your podcast, try to find out what you are really passionate about. Start with looking deeper into your interests and even into your different tastes and hobbies.
Try to come up with a list of the different subjects and topics that you think you can talk about for hours and hours. If you like to talk about current events, then your niche may be found in a news commentary podcast.
With your passion as your main talking point for your future podcast episodes, it would not be that hard to find ideas for discussion. Surely, it will help keep your interest and enthusiasm up while doing the other podcast episodes over time.
Do Your Niche Market Research
Market research can help provide valuable information about a potential listener. Some of them are:
What type of topics appeal to a certain market segment;
What podcast platform you can find your ideal listener;
What type of content are they usually interested in;
What type of format they tend to enjoy;
What type of music they listen to;
Armed with this data, you can then identify potential niches where your new podcast can grow.
Once you’ve found your ideal niche, you still need to check if doing such a podcast is viable from a standpoint of generating a sizable audience. Assess the market landscape to identify what a majority of the podcast audience in your niche find interesting.
Next, you can develop a podcast theme that can cater to the interests of your intended audience. From there, you can also target specific niche areas that can further drive new listeners to your own podcast.
Check Out How Your Competitors Do It
As part of your research, try also to conduct a competitive analysis in your chosen niche. Having a look at your competitors within the same niche will provide you with insights on what they are doing right and possible improvements you can consider when you start a podcast.
Look for top podcasts belonging in the same niche as you. Find out what makes them stand out in terms of their chosen podcast format, concept, down to their production process and how they engage with their audience.
Try to determine your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses in terms of how they run their podcast. You can then use this knowledge to develop new ideas for your new podcast.
Developing Your Unique Podcast Idea
Podcast Concept Development
Now that you have a better idea of your niche through market research and competitive analysis, you can now move on to develop your own concept for how start a podcast show. Try to look for unique angles and approaches within the same niche that you think can make your podcast stand out.
Brainstorm for ideas that can differentiate your podcast from the others. Seek the input from various sources- friends, colleagues, subject experts, social media, and other avid podcast listeners.
Identify Your Target Audience
Knowing your target audience is also important as you develop your podcast concept. Learn more about the personalities of listeners that would likely listen to your podcast. Gather the general demographics data of your expected audience, including their general interests and pain points.
A better understanding of your target audience will allow you to develop a better approach for your first podcast. It will be easier for you to develop podcast content that resonates to this specific audience.
Come Up With a Value Proposition for Your Podcast
A value proposition is a statement that clearly indicates the value or benefit that a product or service can offer. Be able to clearly state the value of your podcast and what your new listeners can benefit from it to keep them tuning in and make it worth their while.
Developing Your Podcast Structure
The structure of your podcast plays a major factor into its success. It helps provide the cohesion, flow, and order that your audience can follow. It all depends on careful planning and preparation way before you proceed to podcast recording.
Podcast Episode Format
There are a variety of formats you can choose to follow for your podcast. Here are some of the popular ones that you can consider:
This type of podcast involve an invited guest who helps provide talking points and unique insights. Inviting different guests can provide you with a diverse range of topics and content for your podcast.
Audience interest and engagement in interview podcasts can depend on the guest lineup. There is the added challenge of trying to plan, arrange and, invite different guests to take part in this type of podcast.
Conversational podcasts usually involve two podcast hosts who are just having conversations about a wide range of themes and topics. They usually talk about popular news stories and provide some insightful commentary.
Conversational podcasts are closely similar to traditional radio shows where the co-hosts having a conversation about the latest news or what has been happening lately. Sometimes, they also invite a guest to join in on the fun.
Such podcast format is quite relaxed and requires just a little bit of pre-planning. But for it to work, both co-hosts should have great chemistry while working together.
Also known as storytelling podcasts, this format involves a host talking about a story, or part of it, per episode. It can be investigative in nature as it delves deep into details of each story arc.
This type of podcast can be quite immersive and can provide a lot of information to the listener. Since it is highly-detailed, it can be a challenge during the planning stages since it requires tons of research as well as in scripting.
This podcast format involves a single host doing all the commentary for the entire episode. Most of the time, it is also composed of a one-man-team doing everything from start to finish.
This type of podcast is fairly easy to start since it only takes one person to achieve. But a challenge also lies on how the host can carry the conversation alone for the entire episode.
It may also take a very experienced host with a high level of expertise on chosen podcast topics, good enough to fill several episode’s worth of content.
This type of podcast format provides listeners with practical knowledge and sound advice on chosen topics. As such, the host needs to be an expert on the topic.
Educational podcasts can provide content that can remain relevant for a long time. This can then help establish the podcast as a subject matter expert on a particular niche.
One challenge for this type of podcast is on how to continuously generate episodes of highly-detailed and well-researched content regularly. It can take time on the content planning stage to think up of different educational content to fill up succeeding episodes.
It can also be a challenge for the host to capture and engage with the audience at length with educational stuff. Growing an audience in a highly saturated market can be fierce with hundreds of other educational podcasts.
This type of podcast involves having a panel of hosts who provide a number of different perspectives on a certain topic. The interactions between the different hosts can often lead to highly engaging discussions.
It can also be less stressful in a roundtable podcast since multiple hosts share the workload in contributing different perspectives. On the other hand, having multiple hosts can also be a challenge.
It can take some considerable trying to coordinate the schedules of multiple podcast hosts for recording episodes. There is also the challenge of trying to balance the conversations between multiple hosts.
This type of podcast usually takes the best features of the other podcast formats and combines them to create a hybrid podcast. This can lead to a diverse range of content that appeals to an audience with different listening preferences.
Under a hybrid podcast, host can enjoy some creative freedom. They are allowed to experiment with combining different formats together into a single episode recording.
When it comes to challenges, a hybrid podcast can also be a complicated matter in terms of balancing multiple formats into one. Frequent changes in the format can also make it harder to keep a stable listener base.
Other Podcast Features to Consider
With many format options available, choose one that works up to your strengths and preferences as a podcast host. You can consider doing an interview podcast, follow the casual conversation format, an educational podcast, a news podcast, or combine them into one.
You should also consider the schedule of your podcast episodes as well as the episode length and frequency. Following a regular schedule will make it easier on your listeners to know when to expect your new podcast episodes.
You also have the option to follow the audio podcast episode format or go with the more recent crop of video podcasts. Choose the most ideal format that you think will make the most impact on your potential audience.
Choosing a podcast format depends on your approach and how you plan to record audio content in order to reach your goals and objectives. You should also consider the type of content you wish to share and the level of audience reception you are expecting to have.
Scripting and Storyboarding
Scripting your podcast ensures that it follows a certain flow. The use of storyboards can also help enhance the efficiency in producing the podcast in terms of the program flow.
Some sense of spontaneity can add color to a podcast. That can be a skill that develops with experience as a good podcast host.
But as a fledgling podcast host who’s still new to the game, you need a good amount of planning and preparation for each episode to ensure that all goes well. Plan each episode ahead of time by preparing an outline of talking points and create scripts if necessary to maintain the clarity and flow of your podcast.
Building an editorial calendar provides a roadmap of content topics that your podcast will follow. You can better organize your podcast episodes with it and maintain a consistent flow of content.
An editorial calendar also helps ensure a more efficient content creation process. Plan your content ahead of time, preparing a release schedule while also making room for limited-run or seasonal topics. This way you maintain a sense of order all the way.
Setting Up Your Podcast Studio
After finalizing your podcast concept and format, you can now proceed on how you plan to record your content. It depends on the level of podcast quality you wish to come up with.
It is also a matter of whether you wish to do audio or video podcasts. It will help determine the extent of setting up the ideal studio for external audio recording device for your podcast recording.
If you are planning a high quality podcast, then you need to invest in quality podcast equipment. This includes getting a quality podcast microphone, headphones, pop filters, as well as podcast recording software and equipment and many more.
Having quality podcast equipment on board can play a significant role on your how your podcast will turn out. With it, you can maintain good podcast audio quality, which can directly have an impact on on your potential listeners.
Soundproofing and Acoustics
In order to produce consistent podcast audio file quality, you need a recording environment with great acoustics that reduces the effects of background noises and echo. Having a proper studio will ensure that you can produce your audio files for a professional-sounding podcast.
Recording and Editing Software
Along with a proper studio, you also need the essential podcast recording software and audio editing software tools. This will ensure that you have the tools you need to maintain a good quality podcast in terms of professional production.
Familiarize yourself with the industry standard podcast editing software and other recording tools. Bear in mind that it may take considerable training for using such podcast editing tools. Or, you can also consider getting a podcast software or audio interface expert to do the work for you instead.
Recording and Production
Aside from content, one of the more important factors of a great podcast is the quality of audio recording, and production. It enhances the experience for your podcast listeners. It can help convince them to check you out after the first episode.
Try to learn and master the different recording techniques such as proper mic placement, voice modulation, and ideal remote recording software and equipment setup. Technical knowledge is essential to ensure the quality of your podcast when you start recording.
Once recording your podcast is done, you still need to deal with post-production work. Learn how to use a podcast editing software. You can use it to polish recorded content by editing out the recording pauses and mistakes, improve podcast audio quality, and create the final podcast sequence.
Adding Music and Sound Effects
You can also consider using music and sound effects in order to enhance the production value of your podcast further. But make sure that you obtain the proper permission and licensing especially when using copyrighted material to incorporate into your first episode.
Branding Your Podcast
Aside from your content and level of production, you need to build your branding for your podcast. It serves as the identity of the show your potential listeners will remember you by.
Your podcast brand will represent you and what you’ve built. In a way, your listeners should be able to identify your podcast through it.
Your brand should convey your values and what you stand for. You should take time to come up with a few podcast for free brand that can express these characteristics.
Logo and Visual Identity
Create a logo that not only appeals to your podcast listeners but also reflects your podcast theme. It will take a prominent spot up front such as in your own podcast artwork, podcast cover art, merchandise, as well as your promotional and marketing materials associated with your podcast.
The visual elements of your logo aid in brand recognition, an important key to business success. Take the time to develop your visual identity in a way that will make your podcast stand out.
Podcast Name and Tagline
Similar to the logo, your podcast name and tagline can help make it more memorable. Choose a catchy podcast title and a tagline that sums up what your podcast is all about. Keep it simple and unique yet easy to remember.
Website and Social Media Presence
Establishing your online presence is vital to expanding your podcast reach. Create a dedicated podcast website where listeners can visit and check out your content. You also need to create an active social media profile for your podcast where you can interact with your audience and promote it consistently to maintain interest.
One of the important aspects of a podcast as a business model is its ability to generate revenue. There are a number of ways you can consider to monetize your podcast in order to make it succeed as a business.
Sponsorships and Advertisements
Getting ads and sponsorships can help generate revenue for your podcast. You can explore these opportunities by partnering with brands that align with your podcast values and principles.
Consider brands that will also resonate with your main audience. It can help establish synergy between your advertisers, sponsors, and listeners to sustain your podcast run.
Crowdfunding and Donations
You can also consider requesting for donations from listeners to support your podcast. You can engage with them through websites like Patreon to ask for donations in exchange for special access or privileges to your podcast.
Crowdfunding campaigns can also help provide the initial support you need to jumpstart your podcast journey. You need to create a compelling pitch to convince people to provide monetary support to your podcast.
Merchandise and Affiliate Marketing
Another means to generate revenue is by taking advantage of affiliate marketing. You can also consider selling podcast merchandise. Try to choose those products and services that fall within your niche and promote them through your podcast.
Wondering how the pros make money from podcasting? Our next blog post will unveil the secrets to diverse and sustainable revenue streams. Don’t miss it!
Launching Your Podcast
After you have done your due diligence in planning, preparing, and producing your podcast, you can now move on to preparing for its launch. You need to consider making your podcast description first episode special and build up that excitement.
Start things off during pre-launch by making a trailer episode for your podcast intro. The trailer’s aim is to let potential listeners about your upcoming podcast.
Your trailer should be able to convey the basic idea of what your podcast is all about. It should also be able to provide viewers with a preview of your show and what to expect from it.
Submitting to Podcast Directories
As part of the pre-launch tasks, you should also start submitting to podcast directories in order to extend your podcast’s reach among a larger audience. A podcast directory is an online aggregation of different podcasts where people can search, choose, and listen to their favorite selection.
A top podcast hosting provider or directory can also be known as a podcast hosting platform or a podcast hosting service. Among the major podcast directories to submit to include Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts.
Having your show included in a podcast directory increases its chances into reaching a potential audience in your chosen niche. You can also submit your podcast RSS feed to these podcast directories so that updates are automatic every time you upload a new episode title.
Promotion and Pre-launch Hype
There are also other avenues of promotion to further drum up the hype for your upcoming podcast hosting venture. You can send out social media teasers, conduct an email marketing campaign, and collaborate with a podcast hosted by other people within your circle.
Analyzing Podcast Metrics
Once your podcast is out, you also need to monitor how it performed on a regular basis. Try to keep track of the show on podcast app’s performance even after you upload new episodes with different podcast guests.
A proper analysis of your podcast metrics will enable you to identify your strong and weak areas. The metrics will help provide you with valuable insights as to where your podcast is doing well and where you need to make some improvements.
Tracking Downloads and Listenership
One way to keep track of your podcast’s performance is by monitoring numbers of downloads as well as listener data. You can then compare this with data with every podcast topic and episode title to determine which works or not.
Analyzing Audience Demographics
Another important data to keep track is the audience demographics of your podcast. Try to know the data about the number of your podcast listeners based on their age, gender, location, interests, and more.
Knowing your audience more will enable you to tailor your content to them. You will be able to then determine what podcast topic to tackle and even determine the podcast guests for the upcoming new episode descriptions and episodes that will work.
With important data-driven insights about your new podcast in your hands, you will now be able to tweak your podcast. Knowing what appeals to your audience based on the data will enable you correct certain errors and mistakes.
Based on the insights provided by your podcast data, you can even determine whether the intro music you used is well-received or not. You can also consider adjusting certain strategies that not only will improve but also ensure that you enjoy success as a podcast creator.
Unlock the full financial potential of your podcast. Our next blog post is a comprehensive guide to making real money through podcasting. Stay tuned!
When you start a podcast, you also have to deal with the many legal challenges involved with such a business venture. Addressing them early on will help ensure that you operate your podcast within the bounds of the law.
There are many legal aspects related to your podcast that you need to consider. Here are some of them:
Intellectual Property Rights
Make sure that you establish your legal claim to your own podcast, including the trademarks, logos and other assets associated with your branding. It is also important that you ensure the originality and uniqueness of your name and branding in order to prevent conflicts later on.
Licensing and Copyright
It can be quite a sensitive matter with regards to using copyrighted materials such clips and songs in your podcast. Make sure that you have permission and acquire legal privilege to use them to avoid legal disputes.
Respect copyright laws by making sure to obtain the proper licenses and permissions you need to make use of copyrighted content on your show. Or, you can consider using royalty-free music and other similar materials on your podcast instead to avoid going trough the legal headaches.
Business and Tax Structure
Because you plan to make money podcasting, you have to create a business structure for it. Will you be running it on your own as a sole proprietorship? Would you consider becoming an LLC or a corporation instead?
The main purpose of creating a business structure around your podcast is mainly due to the tax implications. You need to choose the right structure based on which provides the most ideal arrangement for you in terms of tax compliance.
You have to determine if you wish to run your podcast on your own or in a partnership with someone. If you are with a group developing the podcast together, you can consider running it as a company or corporation.
You should consult with a tax professional in order to determine the most suitable fit for your podcasting business. The advice will help guide you on your ideal choice of business structure for your podcast.
Make sure to include a liability disclaimer on every podcast episode you create. Its main purpose is to help clarify you podcast’s objective as well as limit your liability in case of potential misinformation or legal issues.
Terms of Service and Privacy Policies
Consent Policies and Forms
When your podcast regularly features guests or makes use of user-generated content, make sure that you obtain written consent and release forms first. This is especially important when your show will be featuring personal stories or sensitive information that may have legal implications.
Overcoming The Challenges
Once your podcast is up and running, you should be aware of the various challenges that come with maintaining such a show. Here are some of the ways you can overcome these common hurdles:
Finding Your Voice
One of the major challenges you’ll initially face when you start a podcast is finding your unique style and voice as a podcast host. It will come to you over time as you continue to hone your craft.
With every episode you make, try to improve with practice especially with the authenticity of your delivery as the host. Try to gather the necessary feedback from your colleagues as well as listeners to determine areas for improvement.
Working with a variety of podcasting equipment, technical glitches are bound to happen now and then. Make sure that you have prepared contingency plans for potential technical issues that can happen.
Invest in reliable equipment, from podcast microphones to recording software and equipment. Maintain backups of the essential equipment in case they do breakdown while recording new episodes.
Consistency is important for the success of an audio or video podcast. You should always be able to come up with regular episodes that your audience will be expecting.
To avoid issues with upcoming podcast releases, create a content calendar where you’ve laid out all the topics or content your podcast will be tackling in succeeding episodes.
In order to save time, effort, and resources, you can also consider batch recording new episodes to ensure that you always have something up and ready in advance. You can also consider involving a co-host or a team to share the workload to ensure the consistent flow of scheduled content.
It will always be a consistent challenge for your podcast to generate substantial revenue, especially during the early stages. Try to take advantage of the opportunities available to you such as sponsorships, subscriptions, and commercial ads.
Try to explore additional sources of revenue such as selling brand merchandise or syndication deals. Try to diversify you sources of income as much as possible.
Got your podcast up and running but puzzled about monetization? Stay tuned for our next blog post that will guide you through various revenue streams.
Over the course of your podcast run, there is always that risk of experiencing physical and mental burnout. This is usually the result of overworking your way to podcast success.
In order to avoid it, make sure that you prioritize your health and well-being while running your podcast. Try to set realistic expectations and goals that you can achieve without overworking. Remember to take some much-needed breaks to reset and recover.
Growing Your Audience
It takes time to grow your audience. You need to use effective marketing and promotion strategies in order for the listeners to keep coming back.
You can also continue to engage with your listeners on social media to drive up attention to your podcast. You can also make guest appearances on other podcasts in order to expand your audience reach even further.
Content consistency, regular promotional campaigns and audience engagement will help your podcast gain listeners over time. Make sure that you prioritize this tasks as you continue running your podcast.
List of Successful Podcasts
The Joe Rogan Experience
The Joe Rogan Experience is one of the most popular and successful podcasts out there. It is hosted by equally popular comedian and UFC commentator Joe Rogan.
Last 2020, Spotify signed an exclusive licensing deal with Joe Rogan at an estimated to be worth around $100 million. The deal showed that it is possible for individual podcasters to turn their content into a substantial business.
The Daily is a news podcast produced by the New York Times. It provides an in-depth analysis of the top news stories.
This podcast is known for its high-quality journalism and comprehensive view of current events in the US as well as in the international scene. Started around 2017, The Daily has become so popular that by 2020, it has reached around two million downloads per episode on the Apple Podcasts.
Serial is a groundbreaking investigative journalism podcast that tackle true crime stories. It focuses on following one story spread across multiple episodes.
Since its debut in 2014, Serial has explored a wide range of true crime cases, from murder to corruption, espionage, and many more. It has also tackled cases that remain unsolved as well as some controversial closed cases that still come with many unanswered questions.
Thanks to its unique storytelling and detailed investigative research of the subjects the podcast has tackled, it has captivated a wide audience interested in true crime stories. It has become one of the most listened podcasts with its content downloaded over 175 million times.
One reason for its success may be due to the fact that it is available in several popular podcast hosting platforms. People can listen to the Serial podcast on several platforms such as Pandora, Apple Podcasts, and the Google Podcasts.
The Ben Shapiro Show
The Best Shapiro Show is a very popular talk show podcast that debuted in 2015. It is hosted by Ben Shapiro and has provided its listeners with insights on a wide range of issues.
The podcast covers topics including politics, current events, American life, culture, and more. The podcast also provides insights on the latest news stories and conducts interviews featuring different guests including celebrities, journalists, and political pundits.
The Ben Shapiro Show is available on many podcast app platforms. You can listen to it on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, SoundCloud, and more.
Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend
The Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend is a type of conversational podcast hosted by former late night talk show host and comedian Conan O’Brien. This weekly podcast involves casual interviews with fellow comedians as well as celebrities that Conan once had as guests in his late night talk show.
The podcast debuted in November 2018 with the premise that Conan wanted to discover and develop genuine and lasting friendships with his previous celebrity guests. This came as a realization that he didn’t have that many friends aside from those who worked with him through the years.
The podcast combines humor and insightful conversations in a casual manner with the co-hosts and guests. It quickly became one of the most popular podcasts today, averaging more than nine million downloads per month.
When you decide to start a podcast as a business venture, make sure that you are ready for the challenges that come with it. Just like any other business, it takes time, discipline, and dedication to start a podcast and see it succeed.
The road to having a successful podcast take more than just passion. Prepare yourself by learning more about the industry before you take the plunge.
Got your podcast up and running but puzzled about monetization? Stay tuned for our next blog post that will guide you through various revenue streams.