Podcasts are a great way to make money, and you get to offer helpful information to listeners. However, starting a podcast is by no means an easy job and involves a lot of hard work.
It would help if you pondered various aspects, primarily, the costs, for producing the shows and the equipment. Besides this, you may also incur other expenses for starting and running a podcast show, including promotion.
So, you may need to shell out quite a little to start a podcast. However, if you can run a couple of successful episodes, you might successfully recover your initial production cost.
So, with that, let’s see what it takes to create a podcast.
What are the Costs of Starting a Podcast Show?
Coming up with a podcast can cost a lot, although you can also do a couple of shows without spending too much.
For instance, you can get value-for-money equipment to produce your shows. Typically, however, creating a podcast involves the following expenses.
Every episode you create can cost between $1,000 and $15,000. However, it depends on the type of show you want to produce.
You can come up with different show types, including interviews, narratives, or stories. Also, the cost of producing a personal podcast can significantly differ from that created by an agency.
When creating a podcast on your own, you may need to take the help of various applications, some of which are free. However, most other such applications will have some costs attached to them.
For example, applications like Audacity or Don’t Produce Your Show are free. In contrast, you may need to pay a monthly fee to create podcasts using Audition, Descript, or Pro Tools.
If you don’t want to produce the shows yourself and instead want to hire or work with someone else, you are bound to incur some expenses.
For instance, hiring a full production service may cost you more than $15,000. However, if you only want technical solutions, you may be shelling out up to $1,000 a month, although you can get it done between $550 and $750.
If you are willing to pay as much, you can get the editing, show notes, transcription covered, and occasionally, promotional materials for your episodes.
You can edit the podcasts you have created by yourself. However, it’s better to outsource the editing and post-production, especially since it takes lots of your valuable time, not to mention the effort in learning it.
The post-production part involves editing and graphic design, mainly for the label. Once you have created the show, you must do a compelling job for the artwork to get more listeners.
However, if you are not up for this, you can hire someone else, preferably a professional. Hiring a service for your podcast post-production can cost you between $50 and $150, depending on the services involved.
Besides the artwork, you must also write the show notes as part of the post-production process, and this can cost you between $20 and $140.
However, suppose you are on a shoestring budget and are unwilling to hire a professional. In that case, you may need to brainstorm and write the notes yourself.
Producing and editing your podcast shows isn’t going to be enough. You must also promote them on various platforms, including social media, to get users to download and listen to them.
Again, here too, you can do this by yourself, or better yet, hire a social media manager.
A professional social media manager will handle all the responsibilities of getting your shows out to your listeners by setting posting schedules and frequently enhancing your social media posts.
So, you can hire a manager to handle your podcast promotional activities. However, they may come at prices that can go as high as $1,000, or more, depending on the work involved.
Besides a social media manager, you may also need to hire someone to design and manage your website.
Website management can be hard work, where you may need to update your show notes, transcriptions, and other content constantly.
So, you must hire someone, preferably a manager or other professional, who can do it at a nominal cost.
The cost of hiring someone to oversee your website and other such promotional activities starts from $30 and can go up to $70. However, you can find and collaborate with freelancers who will do it cheaper to cut costs.
Besides production, post-production, and marketing costs, you may incur other expenses for creating your shows, mainly for research and monetization.
Suppose you have more information to share with your listeners. In that case, you may be better off outsourcing the research work to a good company with the required experience to study the topics in detail.
The research team can also offer valuable insights for marketing or promoting your shows with the help of well-planned custom reports.
Besides this, they can also help boost your social media strategy by knowing which platforms to promote your content and keep you updated on the latest trends in podcasting.
So, professional researchers can do all this and more and come at prices ranging between $20 an hour and $1900 a month.
Also, to make money from your podcasts, you may need to spend on advertising and marketing.
However, instead of doing it yourself, you can outsource the work to professional monetization agencies that can help you earn more in a short span. Such monetization agencies’ rates start from $300 to $450 a month.
You have now successfully estimated how much it would cost you to create a podcast. However, besides the various costs of making the show successful, you will also need a set of equipment that can help you create better podcasts.
The equipment you will need to produce your shows needn’t be expensive, and you can get them for cheap as well. So, here’s what you will need to start a podcast and how much it costs.
You don’t need to buy a computer if you already have one. If you don’t, you can always get one for nominal rates. However, don’t spend more than $300 as high-end computers are unnecessary for creating podcasts.
Besides a computer, you will also need a pair of headphones, primarily to check how your episodes are coming out. You can get good headphones (see also ‘Why Do Podcasters Wear Headphones?‘) to help you create podcasts for not more than $25.
Microphones are essential devices required to create podcasts since the shows mainly involve lots of talking.
Microphones come at prices between $30 and $130. So, you can buy one that best suits your needs, depending on the type of podcasts you want to create.
Editing and Recording Software
You will also need editing and recording software to record your shows and edit them during post-production.
Most editing and recording software is free to download, and you can download them from the Internet. However, there are a few such tools for which you may need to shell out some money.
If you want to buy the premium versions of such editing and recording software, don’t spend more than $60.
So, these are the essential equipment you will need to create a podcast. Besides this, you may also need other equipment, depending on the type of shows that you want to create.
For instance, you may need a windscreen that could cost you up to $50 or a mic stand or shock mount that costs between $30 and $70 and $40, respectively.
Similarly, you may also need to get the place where you create your shows soundproofed and treated acoustically, for which you may pay up to $150. However, you can also get it done for free.
What is the Minimum Acceptable Quality?
When you create a podcast, you must ensure that you spend at least $55 to come up with a reasonably good show.
However, if you can spend a few more bucks, you can always create a great show by spending up to $400, most of which would be for the equipment.
Similarly, to produce a high-quality podcast show, you may need to spend more than $1,000, where you could even end up throwing in $5,000 or higher.
However, most ongoing podcasts cost about $20 a month, especially transcription and artwork.
Before you create a show, you must estimate the budget. That is, how much you want to spend.
For this, you must calculate how much each stage of the show, including production or creation, post-production and editing, and promotions and monetization, will cost.
You must move forward only if you think you can shell out as much.
Also, you must estimate the costs in terms of how much you would be paying for the equipment and the production and post-production costs, not to mention marketing and promotion.
Moreover, you must ensure minimum quality for your podcast shows by spending at least $55. Only then can you get more listeners.