Hey team, it’s Sean here with another installment of Podcasting 101 from Google Podcasts and PRX - and this episode is gonna be all about the cheddar. The cheese. The paper. The trees. THE MONEY! You ain’t got it - but it’s time to go get it. Or at least to have a sense of where you’re eventually gonna get it.
Number one - you’re gonna want to make a budget for yourself.
Podcast budgets really vary - those three big early decisions you had to make about format, length and frequency? Those all impact how much it’ll cost to actually make your show.
So - here’s a list of some of the costs that can go in your budget:
Your recording equipment
Audio editing software
Storage - hard drives flash drives
Studio time - if you record in a studio
Marketing - this can be graphic design, merchandise, paid media - costs for food, drinks at live events - all that stuff
Music rights/clearance - both for your theme music and then during your podcast
We’ll link to a budget template in the show description. You can see it’s a lot -- and doesn’t even capture your time making the show!
Now - let’s talk a bit about how you might start making some money. That’ll help fund this budget, right?
A lot of podcasts you hear in the United States. feature ads. In fact, advertising drives a lot of money in podcasting. But shows have to get pretty big before they are attractive to sponsors - some say 100,000 downloads per episode.
That’s a lot, and almost certainly out of reach for early stage podcasters - even ones who seem quite successful.
Here’s how it’s valued: It’s through a process called CPM or Cost Per Mille - that means cost per THOUSAND listeners.
Ads appear as audio files inserted in your episode. If it’s at the beginning, it’s called a pre-roll. In the middle? A mid-roll - And at the end? A post-roll. The pre and mid rolls are almost always the most valuable.
So - we’re gonna do just a little bit of math. Say you offer a 15 second pre-roll plus a 60 second midroll - at a rate of $25 per thousand listens - and you get an average of 10,000 listens per episode. You’d charge an advertiser $250 per episode. More listeners equals more money.
Another way to get cash is to reach out to local businesses or brands who really care about the audience your podcast will reach.
Because podcasts are so intimate, people who listen to them tend to really buy the things they hear advertised. So while you may be small in terms of audience starting out, you still have something to offer an advertiser.
One way to approach this is to join or form a podcast network and team up with other like-minded podcasters to collectively approach sponsors.
OK - if you’re not there yet, there are other ways you can earn some money.
Crowd funding through sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo can help you get off the ground - and sites like Patreon and PayPal allow listeners to donate to you as you go along.
There can also be grants and other financial support from foundations or non-profits, if your podcast has a public service theme.
Live events and meet-ups can work too. Beyond money - it’s a nice way to connect with your listeners, and for your listeners to connect with each other. A lot of people hear about new podcasts from their friends, so word of mouth matters! And you can sell merchandise and maybe even charge for tickets at those live events.
Alright! You’ve got your work out there and a plan to make some money - now Luvvie and I are gonna wrap up with some wisdom, some crystal balling, and some talk about how you can keep it going.
See you there in episode ten - the end of an era - the final of “Podcasting 101!”