How to Make Money Podcasting

One of the biggest sensations to sweep the collective Internet in the past 5 years has been the not-so-astonishing rise of podcasting. As a medium for transmitting a message to audiences without the cost and encumbrances of traditional broadcasting, the web is unparalleled in human history. It’s changed the face of media by creating new avenues of discourse and has also made legitimate stars out of otherwise unknown personalities.  Additionally, podcasting can be quite profitable under the right circumstances. Making money with podcasting isn’t as tough as you might think.

Getting Started & Tools of the Trade
To begin, you’ll need some basic equipment and a platform to distribute your podcasts. The best thing about podcasting is that you can get started on a shoestring budget. A rudimentary setup would be a PC, a microphone and some capable software like Garageband or Audacity. Really, a laptop and a web connection is all you’ll require, though you’ll want a more professional setup at some point.  An ideal setup would include a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone , the Roland R-05 Studio WAVE/MP3 Recorder and a Mixer.
For distribution, a platform like iTunesGoogle Play or Podomatic is the best way to publish your podcast episodes regularly.

Developing Your Brand
Finding your audience and targeting your podcasts to them is the toughest part of any podcasting enterprise. Structure your shows to revolve around what you love and you’ll find a devoted audience to devour your content sooner or later. However you format your daily or weekly podcasts, you’ll need to find a way to boost audience interaction and promote your unique voice. Using live call-ins and relying on web-based feedback is the best way to do so. You’ll need to use a bit of marketing via YouTubeFacebook and old-fashioned blogging to spread the message about your production. When in need of how-to tutorials and general advice on podcasting, check out the website of Cliff Ravenscraft a.k.a “The Podcast Answer Man” for guidance.

Monetization Techniques and Strategies
Directly charging for podcasts is a risky proposition, because you’ll need established clout and name recognition to get people to pay. Wiser tactics include Google Adsense, on-air advertising and  Amazon affiliate links on your main website. There’s a bit of an art to incorporating monetization methods into your podcast, so tread carefully. The best advice is to monetize gradually and see what works, testing your results as you go. Above all else, avoid alienating listeners by being too gung-ho about making money right off the bat.

The Bottom Line
One successful  podcaster is Adam Carolla. His story is instructive, as it highlights the potential benefits and pitfalls of podcasting. In the beginning, he was spending $9,000 per month on hosting without seeing a dime of income. Now, he’s raking in the dough hand over fist because he built a program worth monetizing, before actually worrying about money. The moral is this: podcasting can be an arduous journey if you’re not willing to go all the way. If you are, the sky is the limit.

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