So…you launched your podcast six months ago, a year ago, and you love it right? The very first motivator for creating a podcast and keeping it running should definitely be love or passion. There should be a purpose behind what you’re doing. When I launched the Writer’s Life Mini Podcast back in February of this year, my primary goal was to make connections with other writers/authors, entrepreneurs, screenwriters/filmmakers, editors, agents, marketing experts, songwriters/producers and creative people who shared something valuable. It’s been an exciting journey, and I’m proud to say, some of my guests have become friends as well.
Another focus of a podcast is the audience, of course, teaching and imparting knowledge to them. Each of my podcast segments is structured in a way that my listeners should be able to take away at least one major point they can use in their lives, whether it’s for help with novel writing or how to find a literary agent. Now that you’ve gotten your podcast off to a great start, what next? Are you interested in monetizing? Here are some practical ways of doing this:
1. Sponsorships: Do you have a product or service that you feel strongly about ( or that you currently use)? Why not ask the vendor/company if they’d be willing to sponsor your podcast? Basically, the sponsorship benefits the vendor because you’re advertising their product or service during your podcast segment, which can draw customers to their site. In turn, the sponsor pays you. This is a means of passive income for you, no fluff or hard stuff to do, just be genuine in giving your sponsor’s product/service a ‘shout out’ for about 30-60 seconds. Whenever I’ve listened to podcasts, I’ve heard anything from hosts talking about hair products, vegan foods to shoes or phone apps. Choose what products or services you’re comfortable promoting and go from there.
2. Ad Share Programs: As a host, you’d give permission to advertisers to insert 20- to 30- second audio or visual ads into your podcast segments, typically at the beginning and/or end. You’ll be paid a % based on impressions (listeners).
3. Affiliate Marketing: I’m touching on my previous point regarding products and services. What types of items do you promote or use? If you’re not really into doing a sponsorship, another way to promote is through an affiliate program, establishing relationships with vendors by showcasing their products/services, such as on your website (via link clicks or banners). The vendor pays you whenever a customer clicks a link or banner from your site and makes a purchase on their site. Pretty cool, right?
4. Online courses/Workshops: Do you enjoy teaching or instructing others? Develop an in-house workshop or online course based on content from your podcast. Think about what interests your audience, how you can help them. It would be practical to even ask them what they’d like to know more about. I’ve perused author sites before where people pay for webinars and live Q&A sessions, so it really does work. Your audience is willing to pay for your expertise.
5. Merchandise: Many podcasters sell items on their websites and/or online stores (you can set up through Wix.com, Shopify, Printful, etc. for a monthly fee). Your podcast literally becomes a brand! If people love your show, then guess what? They won’t mind feeling a sense of connection with you by purchasing your merch. How many times have you gone to a concert and bought a memorabilia item? You may not be a Rockstar, but you’re a ‘star’ podcaster. Somebody wants your t-shirt.
These are a few ways to monetize that podcast you’ve worked so hard to produce and maintain. Explore ideas and have fun along the way.
So you've been toying around with the idea of starting your own podcast...but you just don't know how to...get started?
After much contemplation, I launched the Writer's Life Mini Podcast in early 2019, and I am enjoying the experience. Not only do I have an opportunity to share what I know, but my guests have provided a wealth of knowledge in their areas of specialty. It's been great thus far!
You're ready to do this? Well, here are some tips:
1. First, think about what you want to say. What do you want to talk about? Who do you want to interview?
2. Select a title for your podcast, a name that reflects who you are and your purpose.
3. Set up at least two episodes back to back. It's important to do this because the longer you wait between episodes is just enough time for people to forget you're there. If you plan to schedule guests, draw up a list of potential interviewees and connect with them ahead of time.
4. Aim for quality content and focus on what would be valuable to your audience. This is how you build a platform. Manage your time: How long will each episode run, i.e., an hour, half hour, fifteen minutes)? How many episodes will you produce each week/month? Be consistent.
5. Consider the cost of equipment: If you plan to do a single podcast session (no guests or call-ins), then you can effectively record audio with a plug-in microphone. Most computers already have such a feature built in; however, a plug-in may enhance your voice quality. If you will invite guests to speak and they are remote, Google Hangouts and Skype are great options for video/audio conferencing, which also provides a recording feature. You can also use Anchor.fm (totally free) or a phone recording app.
You will also need to download an editing software to your computer. I use Audacity for editing and finalizing my audio file. Once the audio is exactly how you want it and error free (no lip smacks, long pauses, weird sounds, etc.), then it is ready to be converted, such as a WAV file or MP3. These seem to be the two file formats most compatible with hosting sites.
Yes, by now, you should've chosen the hosting site for your podcast. There are several to choose from and can either be free or low cost: Anchor.fm, SoundCloud, Spotify, Podbean, Stitcher, iTunes, just to name a few.
6. The last thing I want to mention is your goal for the podcast. If you're looking to monetize at some point, then there are several ways to do so: seek out sponsors. Perhaps there's a product or service on the market right now that you use or advocate. Find out if the company is willing to pay you for advertising them during your episode.
In addition, many podcasters sell items related to their podcast, anything from T-shirts to books. Another means of income is to create an online how-to course. People are willing to pay for your expertise.
Hope this helps guys and gals. Happy podcasting!