Updated: Aug 23, 2022
Podcasts are becoming more and more popular, and for good reason. They're a great way to connect with an audience and share your message in a unique way. I frequently listen to a podcast called 3 shots of tequila where its 3 guys that talk about relationships, childhood memories, their business journeys, music and much more. Their organic chemistry is undeniable and it has created many opportunities like signing an exclusive Spotify deal or having a live show at one of the biggest stages of them all The Royal Albert Hall. So it's evident that podcasting can take you to new heights. In many social circles I have always heard "imagine if we filmed our conversations, it would be the funniest". Now 3 shots of Tequila have actually put this in motion and are monetising from it. It's three friends having a conversation and it being recorded for an audience.
It seems we are also in an era where more people want their opinions to be heard albeit sometimes being controversial. Whether this is for publicity, introverts feeling more comfortable voicing their opinion or enhancing their social media "clout", platforms such as Twitter, YouTube & TikTok have certainly enabled this.
Podcasting is easy to get started but can also be seen as a saturated market. I am sure many of us have seen the many dating/relationship podcasts on YouTube but it's the uniqueness in how the podcasts are presented & branded which makes certain one stand out. If you’re looking for ways to make your podcast stand out, there are a few simple things you can do: First, you can choose a catchy name for your podcast. You can also create artwork for your podcast that will help it stand out in iTunes or other directories. Finally, you can promote your podcast on social media; I have seen a growing trend of podcasts uploading short snippets to social media platforms using TikTok videos, Instagram reels and YouTube shorts (these are usually the most jaw dropping or shocking clips to draw the audience in). You can try getting popular guests on your platform, some podcasters luckily already have a social medial following and it may be easier to attract special guests, but it certainly helps tap into a wider audience.
Here's a list of the essential equipment you'll need to start a podcast:
1. A microphone - The most important piece of equipment for a podcast is a good microphone. You need a microphone that will pick up your voice clearly and without any background noise. There are many different types of microphones available, so do some research to find the best one for your needs.
2. Headphones - You'll need a good pair of headphones to hear your own voice clearly as you record. Headphones will also help you to avoid picking up any background noise.
3. A recording device - You'll need some sort of recording device to capture your podcast. This could be a digital recorder, a laptop, or even just your phone.
4. Editing software - Once you've recorded your podcast, you'll need to edit it to make it sound polished and professional. There are many different editing software programs available, so choose one that's right for you.
I have added a few links below for some basic podcasting equipment but if this is unavailable to you try having a look at local studios that allow you to record podcast sessions for a set fee. Please click the images below to have a browse.
Now we can have a look at a few examples of some podcasts that have been able to tap into various niches.
Steven Bartlett is the CEO and co-founder of Social Chain, a social media marketing agency. He is also the host of The Diary Of A CEO, a podcast where he interviews other successful entrepreneurs about their businesses. This podcast regularly ranks No. 1 on Apple podcast for Business and Entrepreneurship in Great Britain.
UFC colour commentator Joe Rogan is the joint host of The Joe Rogan Experience, a popular podcast with over 10 million downloads per month and has regular YouTube videos that have monthly views within the millions. It is rumoured that Spotify paid up to $100 million dollars for exclusive rights to Joe Rogan's podcast. Under the terms of the agreement, uploads of full episodes to YouTube continued until December 2020, then the podcast became exclusive to Spotify.
Now I get that not all podcasts are going to scale as largely as the examples above, but I have definitely seen podcasts with less views still able to land brand deals and being able to monetise. So, how can you monetise your podcast and start making money from your show? Here are a few ideas:
1. Brand Deals and Sponsorships
One of the most common ways to monetise a podcast is through brand deals and sponsorships. This involves finding companies that are willing to pay to have their products or services promoted on your show. The amount you can charge for sponsorships will depend on a number of factors, including the size of your audience, the engagement levels of your listeners, and the perceived value of your show.
2. Paid Membership
Another way to monetise your podcast is by offering a paid membership option. This could involve providing exclusive content or access to a private community for paying members.
The key to making this work is to ensure that the content you offer as part of the paid membership is valuable enough to justify the price. This could be anything from bonus episodes and behind-the-scenes content to exclusive interviews and access to a private forum.
Crowdfunding is another option for monetising your podcast. This involves asking your listeners to support your show by making a small financial contribution.
There are a number of platforms that you can use to set up a crowdfunding campaign, such as Patreon, Kickstarter, and GoFundMe. The amount of money you can raise will depend on the size and engagement of your audience.
Another way to make money from your podcast is by selling merchandise. This could be anything from t-shirts and mugs to tote bags and notebooks. You can do this by surveying your listeners or using social media polls to find out what they’d be interested in. Twitter polls are more commonly used to gather data for the demand of certain merchandise designs.
For example if we look at the "HC Podcast" (formerly the "Half caste Podcast") below , they have secured a sponsorship deal with clothing brand Benjart and advertisement detail with mens grooming brand Manscape. There are still many opportunities to monetise your podcast by connecting with other brands and other podcasters. There are many up and coming brands that are always willing to collaborate, they may even send you free items just for a shout out on your podcast.
As a podcaster, you want to make sure your episodes are easy for your audience to find and listen to. That's why it's important to choose the right platform to showcase your podcast.
Spotify is a popular streaming platform that offers both free and premium membership options. With Spotify, you can reach a wide audience of potential listeners. Plus, Spotify offers great features for podcasters, such as the ability to see how many people are listening to your episodes and where they're from.
Apple Podcasts is another popular option for podcasters. Apple Podcasts is pre-installed on all Apple devices, making it easy for your audience to find and listen to your episodes. Like Spotify it also offers analytics to identify trends within your audience. Google Podcasts is an application developed by Google for Android devices. This application allows you to transfer your podcast subscriptions, and history to Google Podcasts from Google Play Music.
YouTube is popular obviously popular for video-sharing which can be a great way to showcase your podcast. With YouTube, you can reach a wide audience of potential listeners as well as having the advantage of adding visuals to your podcast.
No matter which platform you choose to showcase your podcast, remember to promote your episodes across all your social media channels to reach the widest audience possible.
I personally prefer the visuals when listening to a podcast, I like putting a face to the voice and seeing natural reactions/facial expressions which to me adds authenticity to a podcast. I have definitely seen some quality podcasts (sports, business, mental health and self development) not getting the views or recognition it deserves in my opinion; so I would lastly like to offer some pointers to expand your podcast's reach.
Advertising your podcast is a great way to get more listeners and followers. There are many ways to do this, and the best way is to use a variety of methods to reach as many people as possible. Here are some tips on how to advertise your podcast:
1. Use different social media platforms
This is one of the best ways to get the word out about your podcast. Use Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to share your episodes and let people know when new ones are coming out. The formatting of your content may vary between platforms but being consistent with your content can put you steps ahead.
2. Make sure your website is up to date
Include your podcast on your website and make it easy for people to find and subscribe. Be informative and let people know your journey to help your personal brand & connection to your audience. This helps increase your authenticity.
3. Submit your podcast to directories
4. Reach out to influencers.
If you can get influencers in your niche to promote your podcast, you’ll reach a whole new audience. It is important not to go an influencers simply because of their large following, you want your brand to come across as genuine so its best to contact influencers who provide content similar to yours.
5. Use paid advertising
This can be a great way to reach a larger audience, but it can also be expensive. Make sure you’re targeting your ads to people who are likely to be interested in your podcast. If you are unsure about this you can always use a freelancer to help you out on platforms such as Fiverr.
No matter what method you choose, the key to monetising your podcast is to ensure that you’re providing value to your audience. The Podcast scene is very saturated & competitive but that's where your personal brand comes into it, this it what makes you and your co-host unique. You cannot replicate a personal brand. Be consistent, be authentic and make use of the social media platforms that are accessible & available to you. Podcasting is becoming a business but the power of podcasting is in its authenticity.
Please feel free to put me on to any podcasts you are listening to, I am open to all recommendations.