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No paid marketing strategy can replace the value you receive by producing consistently high-quality content. And if you’re truly ready to take your brand to new heights, a podcast might just be an excellent choice. The medium is a great option for any niche, and is easier to consume than written or visual content, while still retaining a high engagement rate.
But producing your own podcast does come with a few costs. The good thing about this fact is that if you prepare well, your show can become a steady source of income. The bad news is that you will really have to know what to do in order to achieve the results you’re after.
On the whole, you can break up the amount of funding you will need into a few different categories.
Your biggest initial investment is going to be your recording equipment. While you don’t need much, it’s good to keep in mind that listeners will generally prefer crisp audio. It’s not absolutely necessary but does tend to perform better.
Unless you’re ready to record from a professional studio, which can cost quite a bit per session, you’ll need a few basics:
- A microphone – expect to pay somewhere above $100 for a high-quality one.
- A recording device – you can use your computer, but audio recording devices tend to be more reliable. Plus, they allow you to record multiple channels at once, which will come in handy if you’re planning on doing interviews. These devices tend to cost between $400 and $2000.
- Headphones – so you can hear what you are recording. Again, to make your work easier, try to go for quality instead of savings. Expect to pay anywhere between $80 and $200.
- SD card – required to store your audio files. Go for faster models with more storage. These will cost around $20.
- Pop filter – a small investment that’s going to make a huge difference when it comes to audio quality. You can purchase one for around $10.
For more convenience, you can also invest in a microphone stand, and if you really have money to spare, some sound absorption so that your show is not full of ambient noises.
Recording & editing process
How much money you’ll require for recording and editing will depend on how much work you’re ready to do on your own. The easiest option would definitely be to hire a professional team that is going to be in charge of production. This way, all you will need to do is record the actual episodes, while all pre- and post-production tasks are taken care of by experts.
If, however, you prefer to do things on your own, you’ll have to take into account that podcasting can take up quite a bit of time per episode. For most businesses, time equals money, and you may even have to hire someone new to do all the work.
DIY-ing the production process is completely free (with the exception of professional-grade audio editing software). However, following this route, you risk not achieving the results you’re after (or taking a long time to get where you want to be).
Hiring professionals, on the other hand, can cost a couple of thousand dollars per month or more. The good news is that if you choose the latter option, you can be assured that you’ll have the opportunity to see faster results. And though it may require you to provide a bigger budget, you can expect to be making higher returns from the get-go.
Aspiring podcasters are often unaware of the fact that they’ll have to make a small monthly investment for hosting. As episodes aren’t uploaded directly to platforms such as iTunes and Spotify, you’ll need to set aside around $15 to $30 per month for hosting.
Make sure you’re not hosting your podcast on your website, as this can cause loading speed issues. And, if you don’t already have one, a website is definitely something you should consider investing in. The most basic types can be made for free, but if you’re after advanced functionality, the cost can quickly rise to several thousand dollars.
Other possible costs
Finally, your production process might require a couple more investments. These include an artist who will prepare the visuals for your show, as well as an SEO specialist who can help you create a stand-out description and show notes. Considering the fact that a great number of businesses are turning towards podcasting as a form of content marketing, someone experienced is definitely going to be of much help.
What you can expect in return
The income that you’re going to have from your podcast will greatly depend on whether you decide to monetize it. If you find the right partners, you could include pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll advertisements that can not only cover the cost of professional production but can even be a source of income. Some hosts, however, decide against this method and opt instead to focus on their own business.
There’s no universally correct path here, and you will have to decide what works best for you and your brand. But, you can rest assured that if what you’re after is a content marketing strategy that will set you apart from your competitors, producing a podcast is an excellent way to go.