Welcome to episode 19 of Entrepreneurs Can Party! This week’s episode is all about productivity and how to keep working towards your goals with help from Jeff Bezos, CEO of […]
So here it is; a breakdown of all my podcasting costs to date.
It’s split into two very distinct sections:
One-off podcasting costs and recurring monthly costs.
If your podcast is just a hobby, there are ways to spend very little money.
And towards the end of this post, I’ll give you a breakdown of what a very low-budget podcast setup might look like.
For me, though, I see podcasting as an investment of both time and money.
Like most things in life, if you want results, it’s best to work with a coach.
That’s why I decided to invest in Alex Chisnall’s fantastic 12-week Podcast Launch Programme.
Alex is the host of a #1 rated Apple Podcast called Screw It Just Do It, and every week, he goes through a podcasting topic to help you launch your own successful podcast.
It starts with the basics, such as what equipment you might need, all the way through to advanced tactics on how to break into the Apple Podcast charts.
Without doubt, I wouldn’t have been able to reach the top 10 of Apple Podcasts for Entrepreneurship in 6 days if it wasn’t for Alex’s help. I’m extremely grateful and always recommend his course to aspiring podcasters!
When it comes to podcasts in the entrepreneurship space that make money, there’s one that sails WAY above the others:
It’s a fabulous podcast which offers practical business tips, inspiring startup stories and a ton of motivation. Having started in 2010, JLD’s podcast and related services now net him an average of $200,000 every month!
He’s clearly doing something right!
That’s why when I stumbled on the mentor page on his website, I was quick to jump on.
But Scott, £400 for a 30-minute strategy session? You must be off your rocker!
I know, I know; it’s a crazy amount!
And only a few years ago, I would NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS have paid for such a thing!
However – and I know its easy to try and justify this afterwards – I’m so glad I did.
I did a podcast episode on this very topic which talks about how it has transformed my attitude towards money and my mindset shift, but for now, here are a couple of powerful podcasting lessons I learnt:
Podcast listeners listen to podcasts.
It sounds stupidly simple and yet when it comes to growing a podcast audience, most people forget this!
The best way to grow your podcast audience is to appear on other podcasts in your niche and deliver value on their shows.
To illustrate this point, JLD showed me his Outlook calendar and the items he had lined up after our call.
From around 11am to 4pm, he had around 8 podcast guest appearances lined up back to back.
And this is a guy who’s at the top of his game!
Say no more.
Ask your listeners 4 questions
Every time a listener reaches out to you about their show, see if you can jump on a 5 minute call with them to ask the following questions:
I think the first 3 speak for themselves.
When it comes to the fourth, answers to this question can help you start thinking about the products and services you might be able to serve to your listeners to help solve their problems.
And if you’re not able to directly solve these problems yourself, you can start to think about potential sponsors for your show who can provide these solutions.
I can’t draw for sh*t!
That’s why I knew I would need help designing my podcast artwork cover.
(I say help. What I actually mean is I needed someone to design it for me!)
There are plenty of websites and services to turn to for getting this sort of thing done.
For me, though, I’ve always had fantastic experiences with freelancer.com. More specifically, I love freelancer’s contest feature.
Here’s how it works.
After creating a profile, you post a contest brief. This details what you’re looking for, any techincal specifications that are required and how much you’ll pay the winner.
It’s a great way to collate a wide range of designs from a number of different freelancers, and means you’ve got a greater chance of seeing a design you like!
A few quick tips on this:
This is exactly what I did for my podcast artwork cover contest and I received 105 design entries!
Admittedly, about three quarters weren’t very good, but this left well over a dozen excellent designs and it made choosing a final one very difficult.
I’m very happy with the final result though!
At the start of my podcasts, there’s a one-minute jingle.
This highlights what my show’s about, who it’s for and how it can help listeners.
To put it together, I used 4 different sounds from audiojungle.net.
This includes footsteps, band music, a door opening and ambient background chatter.
A real variety, as you can see!
When creating intros and outros for your podcast, it’s really important that you use copyright free music. If you don’t, your podcast may get taken down from the various podcasting platforms.
I love audiojungle.net because of the enormous variety of sounds on offer and because it lets you download sample sounds before you buy so that you can experiment with how they might come together.
And once you’ve bought the sounds, that’s it. You can use them forever, however you please.
I’m a big fan of WordPress when it comes to creating professional-looking websites, and WPcast by Theme Forest has lots of special features geared towards podcasters.
There are countless themes to choose from.
One thing I would say is don’t get too hooked up on which to go for. You can change your WordPress theme at any time and many of them are extremely customisable, particularly when partnered with powerful plugins.
It’s also worth noting that there are hundreds of great FREE themes so you definitely don’t need to fork out any extra should you choose not to.
I’d throw this cost as a nice to have but by no means a requirement.
There were a few website and social media elements I wanted a freelance designer to create for me.
These include the header you see on the homepage of this site, the image of my Annual Blueprint & Strategic Life Plan and my banner for LinkedIn.
It’s always the little details which make a difference and I wanted to make use of as much online real estate as I possibly could!
This podcasting cost is very much in the same bracket as the above.
It’s definitely not necessary to send postcards and bookmarks to people in your network prior to your podcast’s launch. However, who doesn’t love to receive cool things through the post?!
Spending some money on beautifully designed bookmarks, postcards and business cards was a no-brainer for me as I know many people in my network like to read and learn.
By sending them books through the post with Entrepreneurs Can Party bookmarks inside, as well postcards to people in my extended network, I was providing something valuable to them, whilst also indirectly highlighting the launch of my podcast.
I contacted the same designer who made my podcast artwork cover and after a couple of small amends, the designs were complete.
Alas, those bookmarks and business cards don’t print themselves!
After much hunting around, I decided to go with helloprint.co.uk because they seemed to be one of the only companies I could find that printed bookmarks at a reasonable price.
And they turned out really well!
As well as posting books to people in my network, I also ran a book competition prior to my podcast’s launch.
This gave 1 lucky person the chance to win 20 of my favourite books.
To enter, all people had to do was follow my Instagram @entrepreneurscanparty and tag a ‘fellow-booklover’ in the comments.
The more booklovers they tagged, the more entries they’d get (and so the greater their chances of winning!)
One the day of the podcast launch, I posted a video of me packing the books into my car and announced who the randomly-chosen winner was (tagging them in the video too).
The winner then kindly tagged me in their Instagram stories as they revealed the books!
For me, the important thing about giveaways is to:
This is very extra indeed but why the f*ck not?! 😂
It also makes sound business sense.
If you post an item which is plastered with your podcast artwork, think about how many people may see it in the postrooms,
It’s free advertising and you never know who may see it.
At the very least, you may pick up a couple of extra downloads from curious postmen.
Nothing fancy to see ‘ere. A necessary cost for all of the above.
On first glance, you might think what on Earth has this got to do with podcasting?
Let me explain.
Prior to launching my podcast, I quit my 9-5 job.
My last day was on the 29th February 2020 and the podcast launched on the 4th March 2020.
Launching a podcast is relatively easy. The tricky part begins once it’s live and you have to start promoting it.
SPOILER ALERT: No one will know about your podcast if you don’t promote it.
That’s why I wanted to give myself at least 3 weeks to really push my podcast post-launch before I jumped into another 9-5.
I also wanted to make sure I had systems in place so that when I landed another job, I would still be able to produce the same amount of output (i.e. episodes, social posts) with less time.
(In case you’re interested, here’s a podcast I did which talks about how I hired a VA from the Philippines and got these systems in place.)
Okay Scott, I here you, bu what has this got to do with Air BNB?
During the 3 weeks I gave myself post-launch, I knew there would be too many distractions at home with my mum and dad, and I figured I’d be pretty lousy company as I tried to promote the hell out of my podcast.
I also knew I’d be eating at weird times as my creative flows came and went.
Hence the Air BNB.
But it wasn’t just any Air BNB. It was an Air BNB that was located only a few miles away from my house in my hometown of Harrogate.
This way, if I needed to nip home because I’d forgotten something, I could.
(And I did. Twice.)
It also meant I didn’t have to waste time orientating myself in a new town. I’m blessed to live in such a beautitful place as it is, so as an Air BNB location, I couldn’t think of anywhere better to visit.
If you’re looking to hire a virtual assistant (VA) to help with your podcast, whether it’s podcast editing or producing social media posts, I’d highly recommend working with VAs in the Philippines.
A few reasons for this (and please note these are all generalisations):
I know, this last point can seem a little cruel.
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that this is the equivalent of a U.K. minimum wage in countries like the Philippines, and as a working gig, it’s a pretty good one.
For example, my VA can work whenever and wherever she wants; she gets to choose how many hours she works each week; she’s learning new skills; she’s earning a wage that is on a par with her peers; and I’ll be raising her wage in the coming months as she continues to deliver excellent work.
If you decide working with a VA from the Philippines might be for you, onlinejobs.ph is a great place to find the best freelancing talent.
It’s a platform which works exclusively with freelancers from this region, and you only have to pay a monthly fee to use the platform (which can be cancelled at any point).
Once you’re on there, you don’t have to pay any additional admin fees when you hire a freelancer or anything like that.
If you’ve got no idea how to begin this hiring process or what systems you’ll need to put in place, I highly recommend checking out this episode which talks through my process of creating systems to outsource time-sucking tasks:
When it comes to easy-to-use, USB mics for recording Zoom conversations, I’m not there’s one better than the Blue Yeti.
I used to use the Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd gen and didn’t like it much at all. The software it came with was unnecessarily complex, the sound quality wasn’t that good and it sometimes left an awful crackle in the recording (which I didn’t ever notice during the recording).
In comparison, the Blue Yeti is an absolute breeze!
You simply adjust the settings dial to the most appropriate setting (this is helpfully detailed in the instructions), plug it in and start recording.
It really is as easy as that, and the sound quality is very good.
One thing to note about sound quality on podcast recordings:
The conditions of the room you’re recording in play just as big a role as mics in how your sound turns out, if not more so.
For example, if you’re recording in a room with lots of high ceilings and/or smooth surfaces, sound will bounce around and make your podcast recordings sound very echoey.
Same with glass windows.
This is true even if you’re using a high-end microphone.
If possible, it’s best to record in a room or space with lots of carpeted surfaces to dampen the sound.
Clothing cupboards work surprisingly well in most cases!
I love using my little Zoom H1n!
It’s super portable and easy to use, and for such a tiny device, the sound quality is amazing – probably even better than my Blue Yeti!
I use it for recording podcast intros at home and for recording in-person guest episodes out and about.
It’s worth noting I’ll soon be upgrading to Zoom’s H6 for in person interviews which has an even greater sound quality and the ability to connect multiple microphones at once.
And yes, in case you are wondering, there are two separate Zoom companies. Zoom.us is a video conferencing tool whilst zoom-na.com produces professional audio equipment.
Confusing, I know!
And I’ve probably forgotten a few items too!
I’ve touched on this already in the onlinejobs.ph section, but here’s a bit more detail.
The virtual assistant (VA) I work with charges $3/hour – a typical wage in the Philippines for the type of editing work she helps me with.
$3/hour x 8 hours per week = $24 per week = £18 per week (more or less).
If you’re not sure whether to hire a VA, just do it!
Even if you know you can do a better job, the economics make sense.
A VA can do repetitive, low-skill tasks for you, freeing your time for the more value-added tasks.
In order to distribute your podcast across multiple platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Alexa, you’ll need a podcast host.
I really like Buzzsprout for a number of reasons as you can find in the online tools for entrepreneurs page on my site, such as comprehensive podcasts stats, access to their affliate marketplace and much more.
It’s worth nothing that there are PLENTY of podcast hosting companies to choose from, including Burberry, Libsyn, Anchor.fm and Acast, to name just a few.
Each have there own pros and cons regarding price, support and other important variables so I’d recommend checking out the main players to see which could be the best fit for you.
If you’re managing a VA or multiple VAs, Hubstaff is super handy to measure time spends on activities and for generating time reports.
It also can get slightly big brother-esk and take screenshots of your VAs screens as they work.
Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is for you to decide!
One of the biggest mistakes I see podcasters make is not making their content available on all podcasting platforms.
While this doesn’t necessarily include SoundCloud, it is a popular platform, particularly for those who are musically inclined.
It’s for this reason I decided to cough up the £9 a month to host my podcasts on SoundCloud, along with all the usual suspects.
Again, though, this might not seem like the best use of money for some of you.
It’s a matter of weighing up the cost and reward.
I find it reassuring to have my work backed up on the cloud (whatever the f*ck that means) so Dropbox is a no-brainer.
For £10 a month, you get a MONSTROUS 2 TB of storage space which is more than enough for the podcasting needs of me and my VA, and it’s dead easy to integrate Dropbox onto your machine so that you don’t need to go their website to upload content.
You don’t even need to be connected to Wifi.
Drag something into your Dropbox documents and these files will be uploaded automatically the next time you’re hooked up to the internet.
There are a few places I could pinch and save if I wanted to reduce my monthly costs, and this is one of them.
Having said that, even though the free version of Calendly is great and gives people the ability to book time slots on your calendar, the paid version takes it to another level!
One of the coolest paid features is it lets you send automatic email and text reminders to upcoming podcast guests about upcoming episodes, and you can personalise these reminders.
Very handy indeed.
You wouldn’t believe how many podcast audiogram apps I’ve tried in the past.
Some have been free, many have been paid, but NONE have been anywhere close to as good as wavve!
As well as making it super easy to creative wonderful audio-visual posts for social media, wavve offers a FREE transcription service when you sign up for a paid plan.
This is an absolute god-send, and unlike other transcription, they’re nearly always spot on! What’s more, in the rare case that you need to make adjustments, it’s incredibly simple to swap out words and add additional breaks.
So if you’re not that good at designing like me and you want to create beautiful-looking social media posts, wavve is most definitely your answer!
Realistically, this could cost me less than it does.
That’s because I’m paying for 3 domains (entrepreneurscanparty.com, entrepreneurscanparty.co.uk & scottstockdale.co.uk) when really I only need the latter.
I could also have used a standard gmail account.
However, as I’ve touched on before, my podcast is more than a hobby for me and I believe the little details do make a difference.
firstname.lastname@example.org looks more professional than, say, email@example.com.
(Yes, I am the proud owner of that too.)
I use GoDaddy for all of my email and website hosting needs and they have always been fantastic.
I’d highly recommend them!
Again, this a lot.
However, if you’re just looking to do podcasting as a hobby, you definitely don’t need to hire a VA and all the costs associated with this.
Context and why you’re doing a podcast in the first place are so important!
Zoom is my go-to online recording tool.
It’s free, easy to use and produces solid recordings.
There are paid options out there, such as Squadcast, and indeed I may upgrade to this in the future to produce an even better sound quality.
For now, though, Zoom is more than good enough, particularly if you’re just starting out!
Just a quick note on the pricing:
At the time of writing, Zoom is completely free to use if there’s only 2 of you on the call.
There’s no time-limit either so don’t feel like you have to upgrade to the paid version to have longer calls.
You only need to pay for Zoom if there’s more than 2 people on the call.
This is a brilliant piece of editing software
It’s completely free to install, available on Windows and Mac, and relatively easy to use.
(It does take some getting use to!)
As I alluded to earlier in this post, you can upgrade to a paid calendly account and this offers a bunch of cool features.
However, if you’re just getting started and don’t want any unnecessary podcasting costs, calendly’s free account is still great.
This tool will make scheduling recordings 1000 times easier and there will be no more back and forth in emails trying to nail down a recording date with guests!
This podcast host causes quite the stir in podcasting Facebook groups.
Some say podcast content isn’t actually yours once you post it on Anchor.fm due to the licensing agreements in their terms and conditions.
Others say that’s simply not true.
There are also a lot of stories about it taking AGES for Anchor podcasts to get approval from Apple to go onto Apple Podcasts – as long as 5 weeks in some cases.
(Mine took 3 days.)
I don’t know the full story.
What I do know is it’s a great way to dip your toe into podcasting without any financial commitment as it’s completely free to host your podcast on Anchor.fm.
It also offers some really cool features to host on its platform, such as listeners being able to send voice messages directly to podcast hosts.
Definitely worth considering.
Assuming you’ve got a laptop or desktop, you don’t even need to invest in a podcasting mic.
The one on your machine will do to get started!
However, I want to show you with the low cost setup that the monetary barriers to entry of getting into podcasting are VERY low.
In fact, if you’ve already got a laptop and internet connection, I’d go as far as saying they’re non-existent!
If you haven’t heard of Canva, where have you been?!
In all seriousness, this website is amazing!
If you’ve got limited design skills like me, it lets you create beautiful looking designs very quickly and easily.
I use it all the time to create social media posts, and if you wanted, you could even use it to create your podcast artwork cover.
(I’d still recommend hiring a freelance designer so you get something a little more professional. However, if money is tight, it’s a great option to have.)
Easier to use than Photoshop?
Free to use?
(You can pay for individual images and these typically cost $1 or $2. Still extremely good value, if you ask me!)
Sign me up!
The short answer is as much as you want it to!
If you follow the Low-Budget Setup, you can see that you get going for the cost of a laptop and internet connection, and that’s it.
On the other hand, if you want to splash the cash and potentially make podcasting more than just a hobby, you can easily do that too.
(Plenty of companies will willingly take your money!)
I’m personally spending – and have spent – a LOT on podcasting.
And a lot of this probably won’t be necessary for most aspiring podcasters, such as the costs associated with hiring a VA and the competition prizes I’ve given away.
Nonetheless, I wanted to be fully transparent and show you my costs so that you can see just how much you CAN end up spending if you want to try and take things beyond a hobby level.
Are there are any podcasting costs you think I’ve missed?
POST LAST UPDATED: 05/10/20
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Welcome to episode 19 of Entrepreneurs Can Party! This week’s episode is all about productivity and how to keep working towards your goals with help from Jeff Bezos, CEO of […]