Have you ever wanted to be the star of your own radio show?
Would you like to show off your talents as a radio disc jockey or a TV show host?
You would have needed connections and money to make this a reality a few decades ago. Now, you can become a podcaster and get heard by millions!
Podcasting is a growing industry. With an estimated 86 million podcast listeners in the US alone. This number is set to rise to 132 million by 2022.
Anyone with a computer, headphones, and a microphone can start podcasting right now! Many people are already familiarizing with this exciting new technology and more than 525,000 active podcasts are already available to listeners.
This growth is in response to the rising demand for original content. It’s no wonder that more than 112 million Americans are already listening to these on-demand audio shows.
Table of Contents
What Does Podcast Mean?
“A podcast is a series of digital audio files containing spoken episodes. These revolve around a particular topic. The word itself is a portmanteau of broadcast and iPod. People can subscribe, download, and listen to the RSS feeds to these shows. Making them popular with people who want to learn and be entertained when on the move.”
Podcasts began as a way for people to get their ideas, and POVs out there using digital audio. It all started in 2004 when a former MTV host Adam Curry and his friend Dave Winer got together. They created the first-ever podcast called ‘the Daily Source Code.’
Check out this video to learn more about the history of podcasting from Adam Curry himself:
Big businesses and media moguls have also jumped on the podcasting bandwagon. Radio stations like NPR and TV networks such as CNN, ESPN, and Fox, are also creating many podcasts.
You can find comedians, storytellers, churches, political pundits, and many more people talking about the things that interest them, and finding the right audience for their ideas. They don’t need to work with radio stations to record or air their audio files. Additionally, they can talk about anything under the sun.
Podcast syndication ensures that each new episode gets to listeners and subscribers using RSS feed to deliver this content.
The length, format, production levels, and style of these podcasts differ. Some have consecutive seasons and others are stand-alone new episodes broadcasted daily, weekly or even bi-weekly.
What Is Podcasting Used For?
Podcasts are great for informational and educational purposes. These can be used for training, interviews, talk shows, and even self-guided walking tours. The greatest thing about podcasts is that they make information personal, making the listeners feel like the podcaster is communicating directly to them, making them more intimate than reading or watching TV.
Creating high-quality podcasts can help you build your reputation as an expert in your niche. This allows you to prove expertise over certain subject matter. It also brings you listeners and subscribers who respect this authority.
Take for example, Jamie Tardy and her podcast called the Eventual Millionaire. When she began she was over $70,000 in debt with an eagerness to turn around her financial situation. She quit her job and set up a podcast where she interviews successful entrepreneurs. She tries to understand the secret of their success and how she could get those results for herself.
Her struggle hit a nerve with many others as there were 30,000 downloads of the podcast episodes in the first month alone. She learned and helped her listeners gain these skills as well. In time, turning the Eventual Millionaire into a six-figure business.
Podcasts are easy to create and can be easily consumed by listeners, giving thought leaders a unique platform to build their audience.
Podcasts are published with related Meta information, which contains data on what the specific audio file is about. This way, listeners know whether that particular audio will be of interest to them and if they should download it. Most listeners also use news aggregators that offer automatic updates on new episodes of podcasts they have subscribed to.
Other forms of mass communication such as printing, TV, and radio broadcasting, etc. can be expensive to create and even consume. But podcasts are free, delivered via RSS feeds, which cut storage and archival costs; updating and sending them to listeners is time-efficient, easy and affordable.
But what differentiates podcasts from those traditional options is the fact that their fate is in the hands of the subscribers.
The subscriber can delete RSS feeds they don’t find useful or entertaining. They can forward the show to get to their favorite segments faster. They can also re-listen to an older episode if they want. Listeners have complete control over the success of a podcast with only their iPhone or Android smartphone to help them pass the verdict.
That is why the best podcasters conform to very high levels of content and audio quality. They deliver innovative, entertaining, interesting and instructional podcasts to meet the needs of their audience.
The technology is relatively new and can be used to deliver all kinds of creative audio content. The low entry barriers and even lower production costs make it the most exciting communication channel for years to come.
What Makes A Good Podcast?
A good podcast has a consistent theme that lends itself well to a structured discussion, organized to let ideas flow freely in a way that’s meaningful to the listeners. The authentic, relevant, and quality content is further complemented by good sound quality and clear audio. This creates a unique experience for the audience.
While there is no magic formula to create a successful podcasting series, it’s a combination of strategy, innovation, and luck.
All successful podcasts have one thing in common. They are a direct and friendly conversation with the audience.
Radio and TV broadcasters often try to sound authoritative and end up talking like a robot. However, podcasters speak like they are sitting in front of their listeners having a casual conversation. They deliver information in a light-hearted & entertaining way, often using humor to further brighten the mood.
Take, for example the Mystery Show, a podcast hosted by the former American public radio producer and writer Starlee Kine. The show is about her solving small everyday mysteries and she spoke just like any young person you would meet at a bar or the book club. Even though the show is over now, it is still one of the most entertaining podcasts ever to make it big.
A good podcast is available to listeners on iTunes and Google Play. It should also be accessible on Android, Apple and other mobile devices so listeners can download and listen on a range of other apps (such as Stitcher and Pocket Casts) and other media players.
Examples Of Great Podcasters
Podcasting can change your life!
Many leading podcasters out there have managed to create or are in the process of creating their empires. They are branching out into training, coaching, media, and other areas of business. Subscribing to these podcasters might be a good idea.
Here are some of them:
1. Entrepreneurs on Fire
With his own podcast Entrepreneur on Fire, John Lee Dumas went on a journey, where he interviewed 2000 businesspersons from all over the world. Previously he had worked in corporate finance, real estate, and the US Army. But his award-winning podcast gave him unique insights into the world of solopreneurship. He still does the podcasts, and also offers free and paid digital courses on a range of business-related topics.
2. Chalene Johnson
Chalene Johnson and her podcast The Chalene Show offer listeners a behind-the-scenes look into her life as an author, speaker, and fitness coach. The podcast makes her relatable to the average person. She talks about everything from business to her struggle with relationships and life balance. There is no denying the fact that this podcast has helped Charlene build influence in the industry, helping her sell books, consultations and event passes!
3. Tim Ferriss
Who hasn’t heard of Tim Ferriss and The Tim Ferriss Show? It is the highest-rated business podcast among all Apple podcasts and ranked #1 out of more than 500,000 podcasts year after year. It has also driven him to becoming a best-selling author several times over.
Can I Make Money As A Podcaster?
Yes, you can. And its easier than you think!
Here’s how: have a clear understanding of what you want to create and why. Then, set up your own podcast using the absolute best podcast hosting and equipment (headphones, microphones, etc.) that you can afford. Deliver engaging content, ensure high production quality, and there is no reason why relevant sponsorships won’t come knocking at your door.
Popular podcasts like the $100 MBA Show and The Art of Charm are generating thousands of dollars in sponsorship revenue every month. These and many other successful shows are paid according to the CPM or Cost per Impression model.
This means that you will get paid somewhere around:
- $18 for a 15-second pre-roll spot per 1000 downloads; and
- $25 for a 60-second mid-roll spot for every 1000 downloads.
So let’s say that an episode is downloaded 5000 times; that will get you:
- $18 x 5 = $90 for the pre-roll spot, and
- $25 x 5 = $125 for the mid-roll spot.
That’s a start.
Podcasting can also help you increase the sale of your products and services such as coaching and consultation, etc. Affiliate marketing is another option to consider, especially if you often talk about technical products and other resources.
We have already discussed John Lee Dumas and his podcast in the earlier section. But did you know that he generates more than $50,000 per month from sponsorships alone? Here’s how he does it:
What Do I Need To Be A Great Podcaster?
Anyone with a computer and an internet connection can start making and distributing podcasts, but it takes sheer resolve to make it big in this business.
Look at how others in the industry are doing it. Take notes on how the leading shows are branded and structured, how they promote their sponsors and sell to their audiences without sounding too salesy. The best podcasts make it all look effortless. Find out which podcast apps they prefer to work with.
Make sure you have an authentic voice and that your content is very high quality.
It is a learning curve, and sure there’ll be mistakes as you learn. But play around with your audio recording equipment and come to terms with all the podcasting apps and software out there.
The good news is that there is a world of options available to podcasters now. From SoundCloud to Buzzsprout for podcast hosting, and Audacity to Adobe Audition for audio editing and recording software, there’s a lot to explore.
Once you have started, learn to keep track of trends and opinions that can influence your audience. Tie in your social media marketing efforts with your podcasts to ensure that your voice can reach your listeners no matter where they are. You can even branch into video podcasts in the future.
And finally, remember that if you don’t have fun podcasting, your sponsors and listeners aren’t enjoying it either. So create something you enjoy and love, stay true to your intentions, and the money will follow eventually.
When will I be a Millionaire Podcaster?
Now that you’ve learned what a podcaster does and you have an insight into how podcasting makes money, it’s time to put this newfound information to use and start your podcast journey right now!.
Do you have further questions about podcasts? I’d love to hear from you. Leave your comments and queries in the comments section below.