How to Start a Successful Podcast (For Under $100)

How to start a podcast

Podcast listenership continues to grow tremendously. According to Edison Research, the number of Americans listening to podcasts every week increased 175% over the last five years, with roughly 90 million listening to a podcast each month.

As a business owner, learning to start a podcast is something you should consider to help you reach this growing audience and expand your business through content marketing.

You don’t need to be a very technical person, nor does it require a lot of money to learn how to make a podcast. This guide will be your A-Z step-by-step walkthrough on how to get started with audio podcasting and why you should create a podcast. We’ll cover everything from the very technical to the abstract of podcasting concepts.

How to start a podcast

To start a podcast, at a bare minimum, you need to:

  1. Come up with a concept (a topic, name, format, and target length for each episode).
  2. Design artwork and write a description to “brand” your podcast.
  3. Record and edit your audio files (such as MP3s). A microphone is recommended (more on podcast equipment later).
  4. Find a place to host your files (such as a file host that specializes in podcasts, like Libsyn or Podbean).
  5. Syndicate these audio files into an RSS feed so they can be distributed through Apple Podcasts and downloaded or streamed on any device on-demand.

The following guide will cover this in a lot more detail later.

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How podcasting works

 Podcasts can be played one of two ways.

The first is by simply streaming or downloading the podcast from the RSS feed, either in a feed reader like Feedly or on the blog/podcast website where the podcast is hosted or embedded. Here’s an example of an embedded Shopify Masters podcast that’s hosted on Simplecast.

The other is by using a player, such as Apple Podcasts or Pocket Casts. Subscriber to the RSS feed into the player and play any of the episodes in the feed on a device, such as a smartphone or tablet. These are sometimes called “podcatchers.” Podcast players sync the data from the RSS feed to give a listing of episodes, show data (such as episode name and show notes), artwork, and a link to the show file (usually an MP3).

Why start a podcast

If you understand the value of creating content (e.g., blogging) for your business and brand, then you understand the value of podcasting. Creating a podcast allows you to reach a brand new audience: people who might otherwise never find or consume your long-form content because they prefer the audio format.

You don’t need to be an established content creator or have a blog to become a successful podcaster. A podcast is an excellent way to build an audience from scratch and position yourself as an authority in your industry.

In addition, podcasts also provide the potential to drive traffic back to your website or store. Every podcast directory gives you a link back to your website, and since it’s your podcast, you can direct listeners to your website at the end of each show.

The audience for podcasting significantly grew after 2018. According to the 2019 Edison Research Podcast Consumer Report, 51% of Americans aged 12+ have listened to a podcast, with 32% having listened in the past month, and 22% in the past week. In 2019, US weekly podcast listeners averaged seven podcasts each week.

Number of podcasts listened to weekly

On Apple Podcasts, there are dozens of categories and subcategories where listeners actively seek new content. This means your podcast content will be highly targeted. People who are interested in your topic can seek you out.

In 2015, podcasts had a balanced demographic, with listeners being equally male and female adults between the ages of 18 and 44. However, Edison’s 2019 data shows that podcast listeners skewed slightly more male and a bit older (35–54 years old) in recent years.

Lastly, starting a podcast allows you to position yourself as an authority on your topic. It helps build your audience and also makes it easier to sell your product or service since you're the credible source. Being seen as an authority can help influence potential customers to purchase your products.

Why podcasting works as a content platform

Podcasts are a popular content platform because they’re easy to consume. People can listen to podcasts on the go, in the car, at the gym, and even at work.

Another reason podcasts are easy to consume is that they can be listened to on any device. Your listeners don’t need a radio or to be sitting in their car to listen. They can listen on their smartphones, desktop computers, or tablets. Unlike radio, podcasts are on-demand, which means your audience can listen to what they want, when they want.

Compared to other content platforms, podcasts allow you to create an intimate connection with your audience. Imagine being in your target listener’s ears for 30 minutes or more. They’re hearing you talking to them, one on one.

This is your opportunity to form a more personal relationship with your audience. Because of this level of engagement, people even listen more closely to the ads. Whether you’re looking to start a podcast to promote your business or to monetize with ads, Midroll found that 61% of listeners purchased a product or service after hearing it advertised on a podcast.

Lastly, podcasts are free. They’re free to create and free to listen to.

Learn more: How to Start a Blog You Can Grow Into a Business

Getting started with your own podcast

Learning how to start a podcast begins with identifying the premise or theme. Each episode should be relevant to that premise. For some, this theme will be obvious. For others, especially in unique industries and niches, you’ll need to get creative about your topic.

For example, if you sell sunglasses, you might not be able to start a podcast exclusively about sunglasses. However, if your customers are world travelers, then maybe a podcast about travel is a better theme.

Your theme will also come down to what you’re either an expert on or passionate about. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll be both.

Before committing to a theme, check to see if there’s enough for you to talk about. Try coming up with a list of at least 10–15 episodes. Then look for similar podcast recommendations on Apple Podcasts and examine their popularity, such as number of reviews and number of followers on social media. Competition is a good thing! It can tell you whether or not the theme is viable.

The next important component is the podcast format. What will your podcast be like and how will it be structured? Here are some ideas:

  • Interview style
  • Solo
  • More than one host
  • Narrative/storytelling
  • Hybrid (some combination of the above types)

Lastly, how long will each of your episodes be? It’s a good idea to have a consistent episode length so your listeners know what to expect. If your podcast is 20 minutes every episode and your listeners are used to that, it’ll be easy for them to time their listening with a daily commute, for example.

What you’ll need to create a podcast

Podcast listing information

Shopify Masters podcast artwork

 Cover art

Your podcast cover art needs to be beautiful. Don’t neglect this aspect of your podcast, as Apple Podcasts in particular seems to only feature podcasts (more on this later) with professional-looking artwork. You may need to invest some money in hiring a professional to design your cover art. Whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring a pro, use words and images that are large enough to be clearly legible at almost any size. 

Take a look at artwork that catches your eye on Apple Podcasts and model your cover art after it. I’d recommend trying Fiverr or, better yet, hiring a graphic designer from Upwork to create something beautiful for your podcast. Your cover art should be a minimum of 1400 x 1400 and maximum of 2048 x 2048.

Podcast name 

Your podcast name should speak to you and your audience. Ideally, listeners should know what the podcast is all about from just the name alone. Having a very descriptive name can help. However, this isn’t entirely necessary, since most podcast platforms include a “hook” or short description along with the podcast name. This helps optimize your podcast’s searchability on platforms such as Apple Podcasts or Google Play. For example, “Grub Podcast: All about healthy eating and helping you cook better” or “Xtreme: Interviews with famous skateboarders, such as Tony Hawk, Chad Muska and Rick Howard.”

Category/subcategory 

There are dozens of categories and subcategories on Apple Podcasts—everything from arts and politics to comedy and religion. Choose the category that best suits your theme. It doesn’t need to be the exact topic. If you’re struggling to decide on a category, look at other podcasters on Apple Podcasts that are similar to yours and note which category and subcategory they use.

Podcast description

You don’t want to skimp on the description of your podcast. You’ll want to include as many relevant keywords as possible. This is going to help with the search engine optimization (SEO) of your podcast listings. Apple Podcasts is a search engine, so many people who find your podcast will find it through a simple search.

Prominent co-hosts and collaborators

As your podcast grows, it’s also a good idea to include the names of big co-hosts you’ve had and the topics of your most popular episodes. This way, new listeners know immediately which podcast episodes to check out, making new listeners more likely to become long-term fans.

What podcast equipment and software you need

In this section, we’ll go over the equipment and software you need to start a podcast. This guide will also go through the most basic setup for creating your podcast starter kit.

Can you start a podcast with just an iPhone?

The short answer: yes. Since iPhones have microphones, they have everything you need to record the audio. However, the audio may not be as clear or as professional sounding as you’d like.

That being said, there are several apps you can download that will turn your iPhone into a podcast audio recorder. Podcast hosting services, such as Podbean and SoundCloud, also offer in-app podcast recording capabilities. Many of these apps are available for Android devices, too:

Microphones for iPhones

To improve the sound quality of your phone while having the ease of recording on a device that’s always with you, a microphone attachment is ideal. For the iPhone, I’d recommend:

Zoom iQ6/iQ7 ($139.99 USD). Gain control for sound levels and a headphones jack for all your sound monitoring needs.

Microphones for computers

Virtually every desktop and laptop computer has at least one USB port, allowing you to connect a device, like an external microphone. These devices are plug-and-play, which means no drivers (or installation) are required. The good news is you can get a USB microphone of decent quality for under $50 USD.

You may choose to invest in a more expensive XLR podcast microphone that plugs into a mixer, which might provide better sound quality for your podcast. However, the audio quality you can achieve with a really good USB microphone is more than enough for most people. Many free popular podcasts today have some of the most simple setups and still use USB microphones.

Your computer or laptop probably comes with a built-in microphone, but I forbid you from using that for your podcast. The audio quality will be abysmal, I promise. Those built-in microphones were not designed for podcasts. You'll need a decent external microphone if you're serious about starting a podcast.

Here are three that I recommend:

Samson Go Mic (less than $40 USD). The Samson Go Mic (available in two different models) is a basic, plug-and-play microphone that comes with a mic stand or clip (to attach to your computer) and a USB cable. The audio quality is very good for the price, and it’s a great bang-for-your-buck microphone if you don’t want to spend a lot of money.

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+  ($149.00 USD). The audio quality on the AT2020 podcast microphone makes it worth the price. It features a built-in headphone jack with volume control so you can monitor your microphone signal without delay. I've used the original Audio-Technica AT2020 microphone for a long time for my own podcasts and it’s produced very high-quality voice recordings.

Blue Yeti ($129.99 USD). This podcast microphone is often recommended for podcasting beginners. The Blue Yeti is a great condenser microphone that produces studio-quality recordings for podcasts with ease.

Audio recording software

The software recommended in this section will allow you to record the audio from your microphone and save it as an MP3 file. The following software will also allow you to edit your recordings, which I'll go over in more detail later in this guide.

Audio Recording Software

Adobe Audition (PC/Mac; $20.99 USD per month): If you want really powerful audio editing software with all the bells and whistles, Adobe has it with Audition. It might be more than what you'll need to edit your podcast, but if you're using a mixer and high-end equipment, it could be a good idea to look at Adobe Audition as well.

Audacity (PC/Mac; Free): Audacity is a great alternative to paid, premium audio editing software. It’s easy to use and there are a lot of tutorials available online to help you learn how to use it.

GarageBand (Mac; Free): GarageBand comes with all MacBooks and is good enough for most of your audio editing needs. GarageBand allows you to record the audio from your podcast microphone and save it as an MP3.

Call recording software

If you plan on conducting interviews for your podcast, you might want to use software that records your calls. If you're using a mixer that records all sound from your computer, this software won’t be required. However, if you’re using a basic setup and a tool like Skype or Google Hangouts to conduct interviews, here are some recommended call recording tools:

  • Zencastr (PC/Mac; free to start). Record remote interviews in studio quality by sending a link and receiving a track for each guest.
  • Ecamm Call Recorder (Mac; $39.95 USD). Record Skype calls on your Mac.
  • UberConference (PC/Mac/iOS/Android; free). The free conference call software allows participants to join the call via desktop or phone, and the moderator can record the calls.
  • Callnote (PC/Mac; free to $9.95 USD per year). Callnote records Skype, Google Hangouts, Viber, FaceTime, Facebook, GoToMeeting and WebEx conversations.

Podcast recording equipment to improve quality

    Equipment to Improve Quality (But Not Required)

    Pop filter (typically $5-20 USD): Pop filters help keep the clicking noises your mouth makes when speaking close to the microphone from being recorded.

    Equipment to Improve Quality (But Not Required)

    Neewer Broadcast Studio Mic Boom Arm ($15 USD): Boom arms help keep your podcast microphone in front of you, hands-free. They also allow you to easily adjust the height and distance from your mouth on the fly, so you can move around while you podcast or keep your mic out of sight when you’re not recording. This is handy if you’re recording at your home office desk.

    Equipment to Improve Quality (But Not Required)

    Sony ZX Series stereo headphones ($15 USD). A good pair of headphones is important if you’re interviewing guests. You don’t want to have their speech come through your speakers and get picked up by your microphone, which would cause echo.

    Sony MDR-7506 professional headphones ($130 USD). If you have a bit more in your budget, these headphones are an industry standard and ideal for monitoring recording and listening back to audio when editing.

    Equipment to Improve Quality (But Not Required)

    Zoom H1 Handy Recorder ($100 USD). You might want to record your audio to an external device before importing the recording to your computer for editing. This prevents losing all your data if your computer crashes or loses power mid-session. Recorders are usually portable, meaning you don’t need to have a computer if you're recording while traveling.

    Zoom H4n Handy Recorder ($340 USD). The Zoom H4n has two external mics along with more formatting options and controls, for recording that requires two different inputs (think two speakers with separate mics).

    How to record a podcast

    When it comes to how to record a podcast, all you need to do is plug in a USB microphone and open the audio recording software on your computer.

    Ensure your microphone is plugged in and turned on and that your microphone is the default input device for your recording software. Simply click the record button in your software of choice and talk away!

    There’s no need to stop or pause the recording, even if there are mistakes along the way. You can always edit the recording later using the same software.

    To record your first episode in GarageBand, here’s a nice four-minute video that will easily walk you through the process:

    Once you finish recording, you'll want to save your podcast. MP3s are the best format for your podcast files, since they compress well (low file size) and can be played on most devices.

    You'll want to save your MP3 as a fixed bitrate and not a variable (VBR) one. Most recording software will ask you for this information upon saving. A good bitrate to use is 128kbps, which keeps the file size low while maintaining good audio quality. For the sample rate, I recommend 44.1Mhz, which is CD quality.

    How to create a podcast: recording your first episode

    Now that you know how to set up a podcast, it’s time to record your first episode.

    What do you talk about in this first episode? Talk about yourself! Introduce yourself and the podcast to the world. This can be your “Episode Zero.” This is your opportunity to let everyone know what your podcast is about and where it’s going.

    It’s OK to be a little nervous, especially if you’ve never sat down and talked into a mic for 20–30 minutes straight before.

    The first thing to help combat this nervousness is to not be self-conscious about your voice. You don’t need a professional radio voice to get people listening. Speak naturally. When you listen back, don’t cringe. Everyone hates the sound of their voice at first and, eventually, you'll get used to hearing it.

    If your voice sounds shaky or nervous, remember that improving your confidence on the mic takes a lot of practice. When I listen back to my first few podcasts and compare them to today’s, I can see how much I’ve improved.

    Also, remember that you can always clean up and edit the audio after you’re done recording. If you lose your spot or forget your next point, don’t be afraid to sit in silence until you can regain your composure and continue. You can edit those gaps and mistakes out later.

    That brings me to my last point: don’t read off of a script. Your podcast should sound natural. People who listen to podcasts don’t want to hear an audiobook. They’re used to listening to the dynamic conversations and discussions that happen on podcasts. It’s OK to have a few bullet points to work off of, but practice speaking about topics off the top of your head.

    Getting an intro and outro

    Having an intro and outro for each episode of your podcast adds flair and personality. Usually, they are short voiceovers with intro music that covers the podcast, episode number, the host(s), and the “hook” or tagline of the podcast. These intros/outros are also sometimes called bumpers.

    If you’ve got the chops, you can record these yourself. Alternatively, you can hire someone with a great voice to create your podcast music and record your intro and outro for you. I’ve used Fiverr in the past to create the intro and outro for my podcast. I would recommend listening to other podcasts in your niche to get some inspiration for the intro and outro.

    How to edit your podcasts

    Editing your podcasts allows you to add your intro and outro, stabilize the volume, and remove gaps of dead air and any mistakes you might have made. Any of the software recommended above (e.g. Adobe Audition, Audacity, GarageBand) should do the trick.

    In your audio editor of choice, look for settings that stabilize the volume automatically so there aren’t spikes of high volume (headphone listeners will thank you for that), and eliminate background noises and pops.

    If you struggle to learn the software or simply find the process too time consuming, you can hire someone to edit your episodes for you. There are freelancers on Fiverr and Upwork. It’s a good idea to stick with someone after you find the right person since they will know your style and editing preferences.

    There are also post-production services, such as Auphonic, which will do the leveling, volume normalization and a few other things for you. Whatever you use, it’s important to normalize the volume of each episode. You don’t want one episode to be significantly louder or quieter than the others.

    Once you finish editing your recording, save it as an MP3, as recommended earlier, with a 128kbps bitrate and 44.1MHz sample rate.

    Once your MP3 is saved, I suggest editing the ID3 tags of the file. The ID3 tags are your way to tell MP3 players and devices more information about the file, such as the name of the episode and name of the “artist” (podcast). This way, MP3 players have track information to display.

    Editing Your Podcasts

    On Mac and Windows devices, using Audacity and DataONE’s metadata editor allows you to add ID3 tags, such as artwork, episode name, and podcast name. This can also be done in Apple Podcasts. There’s also the ID3 Editor ($15 USD), which makes the process of editing tags on Mac a lot easier.

    Editing ID3 tags isn't a required step and doesn’t affect or help your podcast’s listing on Apple Podcasts. However, it’s a nice touch, especially for listeners who download your podcast episodes to play them later on different devices.

    Podcast hosting

    You'll need a separate host just for your audio files. Even if you already have a web host and a website, you don’t want to host your MP3s on the same server. Those shared web hosts don’t have the bandwidth or speed for the demand that downloading and streaming MP3s creates. Fortunately, media hosts are affordable. Here are the ones I use and recommend:

    • Libsyn. Podcast hosting starting at $5 a month for 50 MB of space with unlimited bandwidth.
    • Blubrry. Podcast hosting starting at $12 a month for 100 MB of space with unlimited bandwidth.

    Think about how many episodes you’ll be publishing per month. For example, let’s say you’re releasing a new episode every week. That’s roughly four episodes a month. If your episodes are an hour each, every episode might be around 50 MB. This means you’ll likely need over 200 MB per month.

    This is just an example. You'll need to figure out what plan is best for your needs and proceed from there. Generally, you’re better off paying for the option that allows for a little more space than you need, just in case.

    Syndicating your podcast RSS feed

    Once you have your media host configured and at least one episode uploaded, you'll be provided with an RSS feed by your media host. This feed contains all of your episodes and the associated data, such as each episode’s title, artwork, description, and MP3 file location. Fortunately, your media host handles all of this for you, so if this sounds complicated, it’s not.

    This RSS feed is what you'll be submitting to podcast directories, such as Apple Podcasts. You only need to submit this feed once. Every time you upload a new episode to your media host, the feed is automatically updated on Apple Podcasts and any other directories you’ve submitted the podcast to. I will go over this in more detail in the next section.

    Submitting your podcast to the right channels

    There are many directories where you can list your podcast. I’m going to recommend the most popular, but you can distribute your podcast across as many channels as you’d like. You’re going to be asked for your podcast’s name, description, category, artwork, etc.

    How to start a podcast on Apple Podcasts

    Apple Podcasts is the largest podcast directory and it should certainly be your focus. If you’re only going to submit your podcast to one directory, this is it. To learn how to upload to Apple Podcasts, head over to iTunes Connect’s Podcaster Support page to create an account and submit your podcast.

    How to upload a podcast on Stitcher

    Stitcher is the second largest podcast directory and another great way for people to discover your podcast. Basic Brewing Radio, for example, is a podcast on Stitcher that discusses homebrewing beer. Wine enthusiasts, on the other hand, can tune in to the Wine for Normal People podcast.

    How to start a podcast on SoundCloud

    SoundCloud is another channel where you can list your podcast to amplify your reach. PlayStation, for example, has built up an audience of nearly 5,000 subscribers for its SoundCloud podcast. Submit your podcast and RSS feed to SoundCloud

    How to start a podcast on YouTube

    You might want to put your podcast up on YouTube to reach even more people. You’ll need a video file to upload as you would for any other YouTube video. For the visuals, you can use a static branded image that complements your other artwork. Or, you can include a video. Many podcasts have video recordings of the speaker(s), such as this one from Bulletproof:

    How to upload podcasts to Spotify

    Spotify is an up-and-coming directory for podcasts because of its popularity with music streaming and ability to make relevant music and podcast recommendations. The directory is growing quickly, so you want to get your podcast in its feed to improve visibility. Get started by heading over to Spotify for Podcasters and follow the steps to submit your show. It can take two to five days to appear on the podcast listings, but most typically show up in a few hours. 

    How to start a podcast on Google Play Store

    Starting a podcast on Google Play Store is a great way to reach more potential listeners. Start by visiting the Google Play Podcasts portal. Click Add a Podcast and paste your podcast’s RSS feed URL, then click Submit RSS Feed. Once you verify ownership of your podcast and review the info, publish the podcast and wait for approval.

    Launching your podcast

    iTunes New & NoteworthyWhen you launch, there's an opportunity for you to be featured in the New & Noteworthy section on Apple Podcasts

    Just imagine how much this could grow your podcast in a short period of time. This would give your new podcast a lot of traction.

    To get noticed by Apple Podcasts and increase your chances of being featured, you’ll want to launch your podcast in a way that you receive some listens and reviews immediately. This is going to put you in the position to be featured. While it still isn’t guaranteed, launching your podcast this way will help you grow organically, too.

    To do this, make the launch of your podcast an event and generate buzz around it. Create a landing page for your podcast, letting people know what you have planned. This landing page should also give people the chance to opt into a mailing list, which you can use to reach out on launch day.

    Building a small audience pre-launch is critical, since it can help create a snowball effect.

    The day you debut your podcast, you should launch it with a few episodes, ideally three. This is a good number of episodes to have your audience listen to immediately without overwhelming them. If you launch with just one episode, you likely won’t get the listen numbers you need to get noticed by Apple Podcasts.

    You also need to show your listeners that you'll be putting out content regularly, and that there’s something to subscribe to. Having multiple episodes at launch (i.e., showing episode #1, episode #2, etc.) implies that there’s much more to come.

    Announce the launch to your email list, and ask them to subscribe to the podcast and leave a review after listening. It’s really important that you encourage your subscribers to leave a review, as having reviews (and subscribers) the first day can help you get noticed by Apple Podcasts, increasing your odds of getting featured.

    Growing your podcast

    Yay, you’ve figured out how to podcast and published your first few episodes! What’s next?

    One word: growth.

    Get into the habit of asking your listeners to leave a review on Apple Podcasts and to subscribe. Having more subscribers and more reviews can help you get more listeners.

    Encourage this on your website, on social media, and in emails, because people listening to your podcast might not be near a computer or able to leave a review when you ask them live.

    A strategy that I like to use to encourage reviews and engagement is to reward the listeners who do so. For my podcast, I ask listeners to leave a review on Apple Podcasts, and every week, I read a random review on the show and give a free Kindle book to that listener. It gives my listeners more incentive to actually leave a review since they have a chance to get something for free.

    Another important key to your success is to be consistent. If you plan on releasing a new episode every week, do it at the same time and on the same day. You need to have patience and you need to put out regular content to show your audience that you’re serious. Nobody wants to listen to or follow a podcast that promises to put out content regularly but doesn’t follow through.

    Another great tactic is building a mailing list and encouraging listeners to subscribe so you can communicate with them. One Campaign Monitor report found that email marketing resulted in an average $44 ROI for every dollar spent in 2016.

    Simply having your listeners subscribe only to your podcast isn’t good enough. When you need to promote or tell your audience something, email will be more effective than exclusively using your podcast or social media.

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    How to make money with a podcast

    There are different ways to monetize your podcast. Your focus first should be to build your audience and their trust. Then you can think about monetization.

    One of the more popular ways to monetize a podcast is to take on sponsors, and do “reads” promoting relevant products and services. If you’ve listened to other popular podcasts, you’ve likely heard these advertisements where the host reads ad copy and directs listeners to a specific link.

    The other way is to simply use your podcast to promote your own products and services. Just like you would in a sponsored read, you can direct your listeners to one of your products or services at the beginning and end of your podcast. If you want to track this, give your listeners a unique link or discount code.

    How to start a podcast FAQ

    How do you listen to podcasts?

    There are three ways to listen to a podcast:

    • On the podcast website. The simplest way to tune in is through a website browser, such as Safari or Chrome. You can listen on your computer or a browser on your phone. 
    • On your iPhone or iPad. People with an iOS device can discover and listen to podcasts in the Apple Podcasts app. 
    • On Android. People with an Android phone can listen through the Google podcasts app.

    How do podcasts make money?

    There are a lot of ways to make money with a podcast. Some of the most popular ways are:

    • Sponsorships. This is when the podcast promotes a sponsor during the show. How much you make from sponsorships depends on how many downloads your show gets. Sponsors typically pay on a cost-per-1,000 basis with rates ranging from $18 to $50 CPM.
    • Direct support. Direct support is when a host asks listeners for money to support the show. If people love your content, they’ll likely throw some money your way to help keep the podcast running.
    • Affiliate sales. Podcasters can also earn money from affiliate marketing. Rather than make money per download, you will typically make a percentage of what you sell for the company you’re promoting.
    • Selling products. One common way podcasts make money is by selling products that complement the show. This can include merchandise, consulting services, books, live events, courses, and more.

    How much do podcasters make?

    Popular podcasters can make $25 to $40 for every 1,000 listeners from advertisers. Advertise Cast reports the average podcast advertising rates in 2019 were $18 CPM (cost per 1,000 listeners) for a 30-second ad and $25 CPM for a 60-second ad.

    What are the most popular podcast platforms?

    The most popular podcast platforms as of April 2020 are:

    1. Buzzsprout
    2. Captivate
    3. Transistor
    4. Simplecast
    5. Podbean
    6. Castos

    What equipment do you need to start a podcast?

    To create your own podcast starter kit, you’ll need to get:

    • A good podcast microphone
    • Audio recording software
    • Call recording software
    • Podcast equipment to improve sound quality

    Can you start a podcast for free?

    Yes, you can create and set up a podcast for free by using a free podcast hosting service and free audio software and uploading your shows to sites such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts for free. However, one of the biggest podcast recommendations is to invest in a good microphone to improve sound quality. 

    Start a podcast today

    You can create a successful podcast today. Begin with the podcast listing information and start looking on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts for podcasts that are already doing what you want to do. If you already have an external microphone, record a short episode today, introducing yourself and your podcast idea. When diving in, get comfortable talking into a microphone for a long period of time and then listen to yourself afterward. You don’t have to upload the episode you record today, but it’s good to get some practice and familiarity with the process.

    If you have any questions about starting a podcast or any comments about this guide, please be sure to leave a comment below. I engage with and respond to them all.


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