Makes you tingle just thinking about it doesn’t it?
Money talks. Some have looked at podcasting as the next Gold Rush. Podcasting is hot right now. There are people making thousands of dollars doing it and just as many trying to copy their success. Like any Gold Rush there are hustlers and pimps selling methods and equipment to over optimistic entrepreneurs. Here are my thoughts on making money in the podcast space. It’s based on making 9,987 mistakes over the past ten years online that I can remember.
Podcasting can also be a great hobby if you are not in it for the money. (It’s not always about the money) If you want to share a passion, start a conversation or entertain, there is a niche waiting for you to fill.
There is power in niches. There is someone else in the world that likes the same things you do. In fact, there may be a lot of people like you. That is where the “power” is. Your niche might be special but not all niches are profitable. Some niches are saturated. Some audiences you will find don’t have the discretionary income to support your dreams.
Not every community you build has the income to support what you do. There are some that do but don’t understand the value of podcasting. Musicians and artist for example are often scraping by. A show for them will probably not make you a lot of money.
Podcasting for five days in a row will not guarantee that you make more money than one that is uploaded once a week. It all depends on your subject, and your community. (If you don’t have a community yet, don’t expect much) You have to build it first.
Just because you are a writer, editor, or wear fancy pants doesn’t mean what you are talking about will catch.
The number of people you have on Twitter or Facebook alone doesn’t equate to success or failure in podcasting. There are large Fortune 100 corporations that have more or less Twitter followers than you do. Don’t get consumed with your statistics. If you don’t know it, you can buy thousands of fake Twitter followers, and Facebook “likes” online. There are many celebrities “forced” to do it, because the entertainment industry believes in numbers. You can fool and impress future sponsors but you can’t fool your audience. You shouldn’t try to fool yourself either. You’ll know how many real people you are influencing. Statistics don’t equate to a payday.
So what does a podcast that is making money look like?
I have learned that to make money with your podcast it first has to be good. People will download and subscribe for the content but they will stay because of the host. It has to be consistent. It has to become a part of someone’s’ routine. The successful ones are entertaining, educational, and or emotional provoking.
So, can you make money podcasting? Yes, it is done through sponsorships, advertising, affiliates and crowd funding.
In the new media world sponsorship and advertising can be synonymous. The aesthetics of one over the other is in the ear of the beholder. Advertising sounds crass in some circles. Advertising is defined as the thing used to persuade an audience to take or continue some action. A company that “sponsors” a podcast is one that finances that show in return for advertising. Sponsorship just sounds better and the difference to me is the relationship. Advertising is a symbiotic opportunity.
My sponsors are friends that invest in me in return for favorable mention on my blogs and podcasts. I create elaborate and professional sounding commercials for them that I play on my shows. I post their logos on my websites. I subtly mention them in live interviews or drop their names whenever possible. I don’t do that for advertisers. I usually have met the CEO’s and marketing people of my sponsors. Advertisers usually find me on the web after they have seen me on TV or Google’d my name and see that I am all over the place.
And then there are “affiliates.” Another way we make money in podcasting is affiliate marketing. It could come from a relationship like I have with the LuckyGunner family and Dre from Sucurri.net but most often not (I am making no money from none of these, just saying). Affiliates come from places like Commission Junction, AvantLink and mega-companies Amazon of which hasn’t netted me diddlysquat. Affiliate marketing is tough.
Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income says,
Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.
Crowd funding is another avenue to pursue if your audience will support it. The black man with a gun show podcast is sponsored by friends at http://patreon.com/blackmanwithagun.
You have to find a system
For some podcasts this may be better than seeking formal sponsorships, advertisers and affiliates. Some podcasters are making money off of products and consulting services that they advertise on their own podcast. If you are not making money with your podcast, it’s ok. I still like you.
To get a company to be interested in supporting you, you have to grow an audience or have a good relationship with that company from the onset.
Podcast success is based on relationships not gimmicks.
You are speaking directly into their ear buds in most cases. You are taking up someone elses’ time. They are trusting you to deliver. The capital crime is to be boring.
In starting a podcast network, I realized that this is still a new medium. I’ve been doing it since 2007. I understand some of the basic principles that work. I am building this network to help my clients. I want to save you from being disappointed when your efforts don’t make you rich. Entrepreneurs suffer from hyper optimism and it can sometimes get the best of us. SEO and all of that is important if you want to be found on the Internet. Through critiques and consultation, I am going to help you sound professional.
You can do it on your own. I’m just here to save you time, stress, and money. Like that box of holsters you have in your closet. Didn’t you wish someone had told you which one was junk before you bought it?
This space is no different than the late night infomercials. Beware of the virtual wrinkle creams, the diet pills, the stuff that grows hair, and the juice that will bring back your youth. Keep your podcasting goals in mind when you start. To be good should be your goal before it is to make money.
If you want to make money with your podcast, I can help. The Gun Podcast Network is positioned to help sponsored podcast new and established. It’s a service. My plan is to work with entrepreneurs ready to move up. Those that have tried the rest and not received the love. When you are ready, I’ll be here. There is no magic silver bullet except in my logo. Grow organically. Grow your community. It takes time to find your stride. It takes time to discover what your community wants. When you do you will shine. When you do, I’ll be right there cheering you on. – KB