Have you ever had an idea that may help the general public or a group of people but didn't know how to communicate it? Well, starting a podcast is one of the best ways to sell your ideas and opinions to people.
The idea can be inspirational, educative, or informative depending on the kind of niche you want to address.
Statistics show that podcasts have gained popularity across the world in recent years. Forbes report that 36 per cent of people around the globe listen to a podcast every month.
The medium growth is attributed to the increase in the number of smartphone users across the world –meaning users often tune in at any time, from anywhere.
According to Forbes, 65 per cent of podcast listeners across the world prefer to use their mobile phones to tune in to their favorite podcast.
These statistics show that you have the right medium to impart your ideas to the target market.
Perhaps you have heard of the term podcast and much of the information going around about the medium.
In this article, we will look at what a podcast means and how to start one. We will also look at how you can make money by selling ideas through podcasts; how you can monetize podcasts.
From the internet definitions, a podcast is an audio recording of a discussion about a specific topic or idea. It can feature one, two, or more people sharing their opinions about the topic.
A podcast can be channeled via a different medium like iTunes, Spotify, Websites, or Radio stations.
Podcasts in Kenya are gaining popularity following Spotify –world leading audio stream – recent launch into the country.
In August 2021, during the release of top 10 podcasts Kenyans listen to, the audio streaming and media service provider said podcast listeners in Kenya are keen to support local content – especially comedy and empowering content.
The top leading Kenyan podcasts include ‘The Mics are open’, ‘Legally Clueless’, ‘The Sandwich Podcast’ among others.
Well, you do not need to worry about starting your podcast today. Starting one is just as simple as ABC… no technicalities or large amounts of money required. Continue reading to get a step-by-step understanding of how to start a podcast.
From the start of this article, you probably have asked yourself this question; how you can start a podcast? What are the requirement –capital, equipment? The best ideas to pass across or the topic, which channel will you use, and the marketing strategies you will take to push your podcast to the target audience.
If you have such questions, then you are reading the right article.
To start and run a successful podcast, you will need;
The topic you choose will give you direction on what you want to discuss on the podcast. For example, you may want to share a business idea or a travel idea.
Choose a topic that you feel passionate about or you are an expert in for easy flow of ideas from episode to episode. Make sure your topic has enough to discuss and split into 8-10 episodes.
You should also set the right format for your podcast. For example, your intro – if you wish to start with a special guest or a recurring section/phrase like “top trends”.
You should set the frequency at which you want your podcast to be published – can be weekly, the length of each episode e.g. 20 minutes, and the best day to publish.
After you have set your topic, the format, and the frequency of releasing your podcast, you need an audience.
Think about your target audience in relation to the topic you want to discuss and work towards their attention.
There are three types of podcasts;
Knowing which kind of podcast will best suit your idea or topic, will make your journey to podcasting easier and simple.
Before you start recording your podcast, you’ll need to prepare a podcast artwork; an attractive cover that will compel your listeners.
Set a podcast name to show the potential listeners what you are talking about. For example, “Surviving Nairobi”. You should include your topic in the podcast name to increase search engine optimization using that keyword.
Come up with a host name. It can be your name or business name. Also, utilize the keyword search metric here.
Include a podcast description with phrases and keywords that best describe your podcast. This will also help in search engine optimization (your content becomes visible to the target audience).
Select the best category for your podcast. This depends on your topic – can be political, business, or beauty and fashion.
Recording podcasts will require you to have a computer, a microphone, an audio recording software like Audacity which is free or Adobe audition. Make sure you have this equipment as podcast listeners value audio quality.
After you have recorded your audio, go through it and cut out disturbances, like noise, long pause, and adjust volume among others. Save your file in Mp3 format with a 44.1 Mhz sample rate and 128 kbps bitrate.
Remember to save it with the name of the artist/host and the podcast name and episode number.
For the start-up, you will need free servers like SoundCloud. After you have gained more audience and start earning you can move to competitive paid options. You can as well use Podbean, Podomatic, Amazon S3, and Fireside to host your podcasts.
If you have a website you can host your podcast on the same server as the website, but this may not serve you to the best of your expectations.
Once you have a server, you can now distribute your podcast to podcasting directories like iTunes and Spotify.
Cool, you now have your first podcast up and running. You go in for the second one, the third, fourth and more.
The next step is to make your podcast known. Share it with your friends on social media, on your website, and other mediums to increase your audience coverage.
You have shared your podcasts and increased your niche. Now it is time to start marking money out of the idea – monetizing your podcast.
To make money from your podcast, you need to set up these strategies;
Your podcast can earn money if you incorporate sponsor content. For instance, you start your podcast by mentioning the name of a company like “This episode is brought to you by [Money254].
This is the most paying strategy podcasters use, but it depends on the number of listeners to your show. The more listeners you have, the more revenue you earn.
You can increase your pay by charging for “pre-roll” and “mid-roll” mentions across the episode.
To get the right sponsor, make sure your topic aligns with the company or brand objectives as well as your audience expectations.
You have your audience clinging to your content – every day, every week they want to listen to something different – that coming episode. This is a good chance for you to create premium content. You come up with special episodes that are available on purchase.
This will your listeners the urge to listen to more of your content and they will be willing to pay for premium episodes and become premium listeners.
Use Q&As with special guests, ad-free episodes and live-streamed or video recorded episodes to create premium content.
Here, you can promote a product or service in your episodes using a special code or link, and when listeners buy you get a commission.
This is one of the best paying strategies for podcasters. All you need is to carry out market research about products or services that may entice your listeners and apply for affiliate marketing with the providers.
You can apply for affiliate programs from companies like Amazon and Skillshare.
These are third-party platforms that connect podcasters with sponsors. The network runs ads on your episodes and pays per 1000 impressions (CPM) of the ad. They include AdvertiseCast, Midroll, PodGrid, and Podcorn.
If your podcast is receiving more than 1000 listeners per day, you can be sure to make more money with these networks. All you need to do is make sure you produce content that will attract more listeners to increase your revenue.
This can be a great catch for your audience who would like to hear firsthand information. It can be a Q&A event, a special guest interview, or a video podcast. You can earn money by selling tickets to your live event audience.
You can make money from your podcast by selling products or services. For example, if you have a boutique, you can use a podcast to sell clothes or if you are a freelance writer, you tell your listeners more about your skills.
You can brand the product with a podcast name to catch the attention of your listeners. Direct your listeners to the product website for more information on ordering and delivery.
You can as well make money from your podcast by asking for a donation from your listeners. Here, make sure that the call for action clearly defines the need for the money, like to be able to produce more episodes, to buy more podcasting tools, etc.
Being transparent while using this strategy will make your audience more willing to support your show and this can increase your revenue, especially for start-ups.
Starting a podcast is one of the ways you can grow your personal finance. As you draft your new year resolutions, make sure to include podcasting and follow up the process of creating one and start monetizing it.
As you monetize your podcast, make sure you are using strategies that are not intrusive or may scare away your audience. Try out several methods to monetize your podcast rather than sticking to one and end up suppressing your goals.
All monetization methods are good to earn money from your podcast. But all you need is to grow your audience. This can be achieved through frequent engagement, creating high-quality episodes, and sharing all valuable content to your community to stand out.