Questions for Starting a Profitable Podcast from Scratch

I get questions regarding podcasting all the time. Often, I’ll just fire back some expert knowledge via e-mail but on the rare occasion I get a bunch of questions and I think responding to them would make great articles to open up to the internet. Here goes:

Questions Regarding Podcasts:

Should I Record or Produce the podcasts before seeking out sponsors?

Seeking podcast sponsors can be difficult, but it’s all about your connections and your ability to sell. If you’ve got experience in an industry and have a vetted connection who believes that you’ll create a podcast that will represent the sponsor’s brand in a good way, then seek sponsor first.

It’s common to sell products before building them in this hyper fast internet business world. This really is the quickest way to grow a business because your first product build can be profitable. If you’ve got the chops, sell sponsors first and them build something amazing for them.

Lean Startup methodology implies that you build something first and then iterate based on customer feedback. To take a lean startup approach to a profitable podcast, you would want to put out a few shows and then ask the audience or your sponsor what they liked about it and how you could make it better for them.

Should I Create a Proposal and Seek out Sponsor Support?

Again, this seems like a great business model. If you can get the sponsor to invest in you building your podcast, then you’ll be profitable from day one. Plus, you’ll be able to seek direct feedback from your customer (i.e. your sponsor) immediately upon launch.

Many pages I read suggest that you should have 10,000 downloads before you seek sponsors.

Every situation is different. If you build a tiny audience of highly targeted traffic and can prove conversion rates, you could have 1,000 true fans that create a profitable business. Check out Kevin Kelly’s article on 1,000 true fans.

When should I launch?

Yesterday.

Launch my Podcast before I build an Audience OR After?

Podcasts are great tools to build audiences. Launch to build an audience or to grow one. both are great. Also, see above.

What sort of microphone is best for the guest to be speaking into?

I keep an updated list of high quality podcast source recording equipment here.

How does a podcast get on itunes?

Anyone can get on iTunes. Follow their specs and submit a podcasting RSS feed.

Are the other podcasting sites worth posting to?

Yes. Go to our article on where to submit your podcast RSS feed. This is a big value add for podcasting; you can publish on your website and your information is displayed on a wide network of sites. This is great exposure, SEO and leveraged publishing practice.

Explain RSS feeds.

An RSS feed is essentially a webpage that you publish. It stands for Really Simple Syndication.

Put simply: It’s a page you build for robots to read.

iTunes (Stitcher, and TuneIn) has robots that read your page, and put their readings up on their origin sites.

I hope this makes sense. To be honest, it’s a bit hard to describe and it makes sense to hire a podcast production company to build it out if you have the budget.

Do you think that it would be a good idea to do a KickStarter?

Small amount, nothing crazy. Just enough to support the small costs of beginning and the business. Promotion material for Outdoor Retailer.

Hell yes. Crowd Funding is an amazing way to raise micro funds to start your show.  Not to mention, sometimes you could end up with way more money than you expected so you could build something extra special for your audience.

Go big when crowd funding. Plan for success and leave room for massive success.

KickStarter has specific rules that might not be ideal for your project. There are other platforms that allow for more wiggle room like IndieGoGoFundMe and lots more.

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