We get questions regarding podcasting all the time. In this article, we’ve organized many of the questions we frequently received into a concise Q&A. Let me know if these helped in the comments section below, or if you have other questions!
Podcasting, as far as media goes, is one of the most inexpensive things you can do that market your business/brand/project on the Internet and social media. There are plenty of posts out there about starting a podcast “for free,” but we know that time is money and podcasting certainly takes time. We get a lot of inquiries from busy professionals about how to start a profitable podcast from scratch. Making a podcast profitable can take time, but it is also important to track how podcasting effects the rest of your business. Many people use podcasting to network, generate leads, or generate traffic to their site which turns into profit. Here’s our answers to some of your most frequent questions:
Starting a Profitable Podcast from Scratch
Should I Record or Produce the podcasts before seeking out sponsors?
Seeking podcast sponsors can be difficult, but it’s all about your connections and your ability to sell. If you’ve got experience in an industry and have a vetted connection who believes that you’ll create a podcast that will represent the sponsor’s brand in a good way, then seek a sponsor first.
It’s common to sell products before building them in this hyper fast Internet business world. This really is the quickest way to grow a business because your first product build can be profitable. If you’ve got the chops, sell sponsors first and then build something amazing for them.
Lean Startup methodology implies that you build something first and then iterate based on customer feedback. To take a lean startup approach to a profitable podcast, you would want to put out a few shows and then ask the audience or your sponsor what they liked about it and how you could make it better for them.
Should I Create a Proposal and Seek out Sponsor Support?
Again, this seems like a great business model. If you can get the sponsor to invest in you building your podcast, then you’ll be profitable from day one. Plus, you’ll be able to seek direct feedback from your customer (i.e. your sponsor) immediately upon launch.
Many pages I read suggest that you should have 10,000 downloads before you seek sponsors.
Every situation is different. If you build a tiny audience of highly targeted traffic and can prove conversion rates, you could have 1,000 true fans that create a profitable business. Check out Kevin Kelly’s article on 1,000 true fans.
When should I launch?
If you already have a base of customers or fans, make sure to choose a launch date and then work out a launch plan so that everything is ready by that date. You’ll want to coordinate social media posts, email newsletters, and anything else you have that reaches your audience so that as many people know about it ahead of time. Depending on how big your audience is, we suggest launching with multiple episodes on the first day, so people can binge-listen to you just as they binge-watch shows on Netflix.
Should I Launch my Podcast before I build an Audience OR After?
Podcasts are great tools to build audiences. Launch to build an audience or to grow one. Both are great. Also, see above.
What sort of microphone is best for the guest to be speaking into?
I keep an updated list of high quality podcast source recording equipment list of high quality podcast source recording equipment.
How does a podcast get on itunes?
Anyone can get on iTunes. Follow their specs and submit a podcasting RSS feed.
Are the other podcasting sites worth posting to?
Yes. Go to our article on where to submit your podcast RSS feed. This is a big value add for podcasting; you can publish on your website and your information is displayed on a wide network of sites. This is great exposure, SEO and leveraged publishing practice.
What is an RSS feed?
An RSS feed is essentially a webpage that you publish. It stands for Really Simple Syndication.
Put simply: It’s a page you build for robots to read.
iTunes (Stitcher, and TuneIn) have robots that read your page, and put their readings up on their origin sites.
Do you think that it would be a good idea to do a Kickstarter?
Hell yes. Crowdfunding is an amazing way to raise funds to start your show. Not to mention, sometimes you could end up with way more money than you expected so you could build something extra special for your audience.
Go big when crowdfunding. Plan for success and leave room for massive success.