We have been asked the question “Why start a podcast?” more frequently in the last year, so we hope to answer all your questions with this blog post for you to make an informed decision and figure out if podcasting is the right thing for you! We’ll be talking about all the benefits of course, but also tap into the financial, personal and time investment needed to start a successful podcast. Let’s jump right in!
Affiliate Disclaimer. Before we dive into this content it’s just fair to make you aware that this article may contain affiliate links. We have standards around here, so we will never recommend a product or service that we haven’t either used ourselves (or with our clients) successfully. Sometimes these affiliate links will even get you special deals that are not available otherwise, or unlock special bonuses from us. In any case we want you to know that we really appreciate your support if you sign up for a tool with our affiliate link. Let’s dive in.
Is starting a podcast in 2021 a good idea?
The pandemic affected businesses around the world, some positively, most negatively. Podcasting is one of the industries that thrived. Not that surprising considering so many people found themselves at home with a lot more time than usual and deprived of being able to carry out their usual routine, they formed new habits. An estimated 68 million Americans listened to podcasts weekly in 2020 and there is no sign this upward trend is slowing down in 2021.
With so many more listeners tuning into podcasts, there’s never been a better time to start one than now.
Why start a podcast rather than a blog, youtube channel, etc.?
Podcasting is a relatively new and exciting medium for both listeners and creators and gains increasing interest in the world of marketing. Verbal storytelling has historically intrigued and entertained us. The popularity of podcasting proves that this is still true today. You may say podcasting is to radio, what Netflix is to Television.
The benefit of podcasting compared to other media is the in-depth connection between podcaster and audience. People can listen to any podcast at any time for free (or paid). Also it is easy to download and consume while doing something else, since you don’t have to watch, just listen.
Then there is the personability factor. Just from hearing someone speak, we automatically create an image in our minds of who that person is, which makes the content creator a lot more personable, a lot more real to the listener, than a blogger for example. Bingeing multiple episodes of a show is very common even with podcasts, whose episodes are longer than an hour.
This easy to access and longform content creates a deeper and more personal connection to a podcaster than achieved by most other forms of media, which in turn makes a great marketing tool and business in and of itself.
If you are a business owner considering to start a podcast this may interest you:
Podcast For Marketing – Why Your Small Business Needs A Podcast
Can anyone start a podcast?
Starting a podcast is surprisingly easy. Of course having experience in recording and editing audio is handy, but by no means necessary. All skills required for podcasting can be learned on the way, which makes it an even more exciting project if you enjoy learning new skills.
However to create a successful podcast there is a lot of time consuming research, planning, pre- and post production involved, that is often underestimated by new podcasters. The editing alone takes a professional 4 times the length of the recording, so a 20 min long episode takes a minimum of 80 min to edit.
I don’t want to discourage you by any means, but as easy as it is to start a podcast, it takes a lot of determination, commitment and time to make it a successful show.
How much does it cost to start a podcast?
Can I start a podcast for free?
Part of the reason why almost anybody can start a podcast is because it can be achieved with very little investment. The first thing you’re going to need is a microphone. There are quality microphones for only $70 and cheaper if you can find one second hand. Also you will need to pay around $12 for a podcast host.
Of course there is room for more money spending, but this is the minimum amount that is needed in our experience to create a podcast with good sound quality. There are free options for podcast hosting. Buzzsprout for example offers 2h a month free hosting, but the hosted episodes will be deleted after 90 days. So yes you can start a podcast entirely for free, but we strongly recommend investing a little for quality sake.
Can you make money from a podcast?
Absolutely! Depending on the popularity of your show it is easier or harder to find ways of generating revenue, but there are a multitude of options even for podcasts under 1000 downloads. Selling advertisements, participating in affiliate programs, offering subscriptions, or crowdfunding are the primary ways of monetising a podcast.
You can be creative in your ways and strategy, but the key component of generating revenue is to understand your audience. If you were to find a sponsor for example, your chance of success is massively increased by contacting brands with the same target audience as your show.
Increasing accessibility by uploading your show to big platforms like Spotify or Apple Podcasts can help build your audience, which in turn can attract advertisers.
Do I need a website to start a podcast?
While having a website is not required to launch a podcast it is an immensely useful asset to have. A website will help new listeners to find your podcast through search engines, help you to promote your show and act as a center for everything related to your podcast.
Additionally it is a great tool to collect data, that can tell you a lot about your listeners and what content they like best. We would strongly recommend for you to have a website that you host yourself.
How long does it take to start a podcast?
That depends entirely on you and how much time you have to invest in creating a podcast. We recommend to register and start promoting your podcast 2 weeks before the launch date. To do so you need to have your podcast planned out, including name, artwork, description, trailer episode and social media posts.
Find more info on how to start a podcast here:
How to start a podcast in 2021 – Launch a successful podcast step by step.