Before answering the question can you make money podcasting, I would like to briefly explain what podcasting is for the benefit of readers who are looking for more information about podcasting.
Let us look at the dictionary meaning of Podcasting
It says that it is digital audio or video file recording, usually part of a themed series, that can be downloaded from a website to a media player or a computer.
Here essentially Podcast is a prerecorded audio series distributed over the internet.
We will go into the details of how a podcast is produced and distributed a little later. Let me now answer whether you can make money podcasting.
YES you can make money podcasting. I will discuss how podcasts are made and monetized and how you can take advantage of the podcasting trend.I would like you to watch this short video which gives you an overview of what the podcast industry is and how money can be made by podcasting.
I hope you enjoyed watching the video and have understood the potential of the podcasting industry. Let us now look into how to actually make a podcast and monetize it.
What is Delivered In a Podcast
It is basically sharing passions with people. You can share basically anything. You can teach certain skills which can help people to improve their productivity or you can tell a story or teach how to make money. It can be anything of your interest or something you are good at which you can teach through an audio session.
When you make a series of audio files pertaining to a particular topic you can upload to a podcast hosting service. People interested in your topic will find your podcast, download and listen to it. Some will enjoy your podcasts and subscribe to your podcast so that they get notified when you release a new episode.
Based on your skills you can start preparing your lessons to create your podcast series.
How a Podcast is Made and Distributed
There are three elements to this namely the production, hosting and then listing. Let us look at each of these one by one.
If, you are a content producer then you need to hire the services of a good production unit with good microphones and sound recording equipment.? These are essential for producing a good quality podcast. You can record a series of episodes before preparing to host them.
There are number of good production houses available which will do your job. You can search them on the net. Towards the end of this post I will share with you a video series which will take you through the complete cycle to get your podcast ready.
It could cost you anywhere from $500 to $1000 for each episode including the editing costs. If you want to avoid investing in a professional podcast service then you could use a podcast app and record with a USB microphone. But hiring a professional service is recommended if you want to create engaging podcasts which can grow your podcast audience.
Hosting Your Podcast
Once you have your podcast series ready you need to host them. The hosting company hosts your podcast and generates a RSS feed. When someone subscribes to your podcast the hosting company sends the audio files to their media for downloading.
There are many hosting companies which provide you free and paid plans. Some of the popular hosting companies are as follows.
Buzzsprout: They provide you a free plan where 2 hours of your content is hosted for 90 days without any charge.? For $12 ~ $24 per month you get unlimited hosting.
Podbean: Their free plan allows 5 hours of upload each month with limited bandwidth. Upgraded plan of $29/month gives you unlimited usage.
Transistor:? They have three packages starting from $19/month allowing 10,000 downloads per month.
There are many other hosting options available which give you good service.
Once you have produced and hosted your podcast series you need to tell your potential audience that your podcast is available for downloading. This is done through listing your podcast in major podcasting directories including Apple podcast, Google podcast and spotify.
Podcast listeners use an app to listen to their favorite podcasts. There are plenty of podcast apps available which does this job. The app allows them to search the listings on a large number of podcast directories to find the podcast of their interest. The podcast listener has the option of subscribing to a particular podcast which he would like to follow.
Audience for Podcast
The number of Podcast listeners are increasing every year.? If you look at the number of listeners in US alone there are 90 million people (32% of population) listening to podcast every month. You can look at the growth of podcast listeners in the US below.
It is interesting to note the activities people do while listening to podcasts. Next to serious listening, the major activity people are engaged in while listening to podcast are doing household chores & driving.
This data shows how passionate are people in listening to podcasts.
Making Money With Podcast -? ?Primary Method
The primary method of making money with Podcasts is through placing ads in the podcasts. Popular podcasts get paid in the CPM model. That is cost per 1000 downloads. The standard rate is $20~$30 /thousand downloads depending on the length of the ad. The average costs for different platforms for 2019 is shown below.
The podcasting advertising revenue compared to other forms of advertising like Radio, TV is much less but nevertheless growing every year. This means that more and more people are listening to podcasts.
To be really able to make a full time income with podcasting you need to have around 40,000+ downloads / episode
To command such kind of downloads you need to become a popular podcaster and produce really engaging content. This is not difficult but takes time and dedication.
Making Money With Podcast ? Secondary Method
The Secondary method of earning from Podcasts is by choosing your own monetization strategy irrespective of the volume of downloads. There are five ways in which you can monetize.
Affiliate Marketing: You need to find products that align with your brand and promote them in your podcasts. Here the challenge is in the availability of such products. If they are not available then you need to choose topics which have related products that can be promoted.
In this model you just promote the product through your affiliate link and get paid an affiliate commission.
Sell Your Own Products: For selling your own products you need to manufacture them and store them. So a bigger infrastructure and investment is required to do so. You can pull your listeners to your website, conduct an exclusive webinar and offer exclusive deals.
You need to provide a bigger value for promoting your own products.
Consulting Service: Consulting is actually providing as a 1-on-1 service to individual clients. The service your are podcasting about could be a training which could improve the life or the business of your listener. It could some skills which can help them overcome some obstacle in their life.
People after listening to your podcast will approach you for personal consulting as it will solve their problems.
Small Merchandise: You can sell some small merchandises to your audience. These could be t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, hoodies with your podcast logo or your quotes which your listeners are going to love.
You can use a print on demand service for printing and shipping to your clients.
Listener Supported: When you have? a popular following you can ask for a monthly donation from your listeners similar to a membership site. You could then prepare exclusive content for them and give them some bonuses. You can expect around 1~2% of the listeners to become your patrons.
Though the number of such people may be small it will be an additional monthly income for you.
So far I have given you an overview about podcasting and the ways in which you can earn money podcasting. Also, I have touched upon the costs involved in producing a podcast. With the growing number of people listening to podcasting earning potential exists if you are willing to take up the challenge.
You have better flexibility in using your own monetization methods rather than depending on advertising as a revenue source. Your own monetization methods may be more lucrative if you become an authority in your niche. If you are an authority already you can increase your revenue by adding podcast to your portfolio.
If you are a beginner I recommend you first become an authority before venturing into podcasting. I help people to start their own online passive income by creating online assets. For details of how I can help you with starting out check out my review post here.