Do you want to start a podcast, but you’re not sure if you can do it because of the costs? Maybe you don’t know what to expect in terms of financial or time investment, but you truly want to make a podcast happen.
In this episode, I’m going to share with you about the 2 biggest costs of podcasting (time and money) and 8 creative solutions for dealing with these costs. It is possible to podcast with minimal time and minimal budget, and I’m going to share with you some specific ways to do so!
The 2 Biggest Costs of Podcasting:
Cost #1: Money
The reality is that a podcast does cost money. Below are some of the expenses you might encounter for podcasting (this does not include the initial expense of equipment).
- Hosting – $5-20/month (Libsyn, Podbean, Blubrry are options)
- Website (if you have one) – approximately $15/month
- Outsourcing expenses
- Editing – $30-150 per episode depending on level of editing
- Any other outsourcing that you do: graphics, show notes, uploading, etc.
- Advertising – not necessary
Cost #2: Time
For my podcasts and with my clients, there are 5 main phases that go on behind the scenes. This all takes an investment of time.
- Phase 1: CONTENT
- Phase 2: WRITING
- Show notes
- Social copy
- Phase 3: GRAPHICS
- Creating graphics for social media or blog posts
- Phase 4: UPLOADING
- Podcast host
- Website (WordPress, etc)
- Phase 5: PROMOTION
- Scheduling and posting about your episodes on social media
- Sending an email to your list
All of this can take anywhere from 3-10 hours per episode. There are many factors, including whether you’re doing all the steps yourself or if you’re outsourcing. But remember if you’re outsourcing some stuff, you’re saving time but investing money.
So maybe you’re saying, But Esther, I want to have a podcast, but I have limited time! My work or business already takes up most of my week and I don’t want to sacrifice time with my family.
OR you could be saying, Alright, I want to do this and I can invest some time, but I have a limited budget.
I want to share some good news. You can do a podcast even if you have limited time or money. The key is that you need to be flexible and adjust your expectations. You can’t compare your podcast with a 2 hour time investment to someone who’s got a full team working with them to create their podcast.
So I’ve got a few examples of ways to solve the problem of time or financial limitations.
8 Creative Solutions for Podcasting with Minimal Time and Minimal Budget
- Do a podcast that is less frequent than once a week.
I talked about this on last week’s episode, but you do not have to follow the standard schedule of weekly podcasting. To reduce your time and financial investment, you can do a podcast that is 2x a month, monthly, or you can do seasonal.
- Do a podcast with minimal editing.
Editing CAN be the biggest time suck of the entire podcasting process. But if you decide up front that your podcast is going to be less polished and produced, then you can potentially save a lot of time on the editing side.
If you choose to pay for editing that is simply adding your intro and outro and optimizing the sound, then this will cost you less than paying for editing where someone listens through the whole episode, takes out mistakes and crutch words, etc.
- Do a solo show rather than interviews.
Generally speaking, a solo show is likely to take less time overall. Part of the reason for this is that there is time involved in choosing guests, communicating with guests, etc.
There’s also an extra layer of tech involved when you have guests in terms of recording. So if you want to keep it super simple, you can do a solo show.
That said, there is a bit more time involved in the planning side for solo episodes especially if you need to script your episodes first. But overall, I think a solo show might be a time saver in the long run.
- Do a simplified version of the full podcast workflow I shared above.
You can simply record, edit, upload. You don’t have to do the full show notes; just write a short description instead. You can skip creating graphics, uploading to your website, and the social promo. Or, you could do a minimized version of each of these.
- Learn to edit your podcast.
One solution to the cost of hiring an editor is to learn to edit your podcast yourself. This can be done and it doesn’t have to be super overwhelming. But it does have a learning curve and does take time. So this would be a cost savings but not necessarily a time savings.
- Batch record
If you want to avoid feeling the pressure of recording every week, I highly recommend batch recording. This means that you set aside a few specific times and sit down to record several episodes at once. This allows you to focus on the podcast for that set time and then take a few weeks off.
- Consider what you can let go of in order to make room for a podcast.
For example, if you are investing 2-3 hours per week on social media and you could shift that time to a podcast, I believe that would be a wise decision.
Are you blogging currently but not gaining traction? You could shift your time to podcasting instead. Are you spending time watching Netflix or doing other non-productive activities? Is there something you could give up that would make room for this important endeavor?
- Consider how to generate income via your podcast.
Most people think they can start a podcast and start earning money right away. This typically is not true. But your podcast can be a marketing tool for your business if you position it correctly.
You need to look at your podcast as a part of your overall business rather than a business in and of itself. You can’t expect your podcast, especially when it’s pretty new or small, to bring in money directly. But it can point people to your services or products that DO bring in money.
If you are a life coach, your podcast could be “sponsored by” your coaching services. You can mention your coaching as you discuss various issues… “this is something I work with my clients on” or “I was talking with a client recently and she said xyz”. You can also offer a freebie that they can get on your website and then that gets them into your email list, and you can talk to them there about your services as well.
If you are a speaker, you can make sure to have a speaking page on your website, and you can refer to your speaking services in your podcast on a regular basis.
Your podcast may not directly earn income via sponsors or Patreon or something like that, but it can be a tool that generates income for your business as a whole.
Starting a Podcast with Budget and Time Limitations
I hope this episode has helped you to first be aware of the reality of podcasting – it does cost both time and money. I don’t sugarcoat things and I hate for people to jump into something without fully understanding what is involved.
However, I believe there are creative ways to start a podcast even if you have limited time or money, and I hope this episode gave you some viable options to consider.
If you are considering launching a podcast, I am working on a resource for you that will help you get your podcast launched easily even if you have minimal time!
Go to podcastinaweekend.com and get on the waitlist now, or if you’re listening or reading after this resource is ready, go ahead and grab it.
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