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The third and final day of the How to Make Real Money Podcasting conference proved once and for all that “It’s all about content!” Let’s recap what we learned from the seven different speakers and uncover those nuggets to help you succeed.
The host of the Beyond the Dollar podcast talked with us about how she got into podcasting. She was a former elementary school teacher who dabbled in writing about money until gradually it became a full-time job and she has been a content writer for five years now. Because she was young and interested in money she convinced editors that she was their target audience and started writing for them.
Eventually, in 2018, podcasting just became a natural extension of what she was doing in the financial space. It began as a show with a general audience but it has become a mostly female audience. She does a combination of interviews and episodes where she recaps what she learned from those interviews and does 12-episode seasons to survey what worked and what didn’t and to survey her audience email list. One way she grew the show is by appearing on other shows, in fact, she says she appeared on a whopping 42 shows in a year! She did it by searching for similar shows and then pitching them on the value she could bring to their show. She recommends growing your brand by putting it in places where it can be seen by submitting it to be featured on all the podcast apps like Overcast and Stitcher. She also does a newsletter to keep people engaged, because audience engagement is key.
He spoke to us about how he transitioned from being a radio disk jockey to running Studio Podcast Suites that does all of the backend work for you of making a podcast and all you have to bring is the content. Gary was a semi-retired podcast fan from Jacksonville and he noticed how horrible a lot of podcasts sound and at the same realized how daunting it was to put together podcast and realized there was a need for people who wanted to just go to a studio and start talking without the need to worry about production.
He runs a successful business now and he estimates 80% of his clients are corporate clients including an internal Johnson & Johnson podcast. His recommendation for podcast success is to plan and focus on your content.
He talked to us about running City Cast in Chicago and Denver and how they have 32 new jobs available in cities across the country. City Cast runs daily hyperlocal podcasts and newsletters and is funded by Graham Holdings so they don’t have to worry about turning a profit right now and are instead focused on quality. He knows they can’t compete with the big news companies in their markets so instead, they focus on “how does this podcast make me feel as a resident of this city?”
He believes there is a great market for local podcasts because it has not been tapped to a great extent nationally and people can discuss and debate local politics in a non-partisan way that they just can’t do with national politics. Apply now to be a Host, producer, lead producer, or newsletter writer in Boise, Houston, Nashville, Las Vegas, Oakland, Omaha, Pittsburgh, and Salt Lake City.
Jeff and Callie Dauler
They spoke to us from their home where they record The Upside podcast together.
Jeff worked in radio for 25 years and Callie was in artist management and they’ve combined their talents to make a successful daily podcast with each focusing on the thing that they’re best at. The show started when Jeff lost his job and he began reaching out to his contacts from his radio and comedy background and asked them if they would be interested in receiving updates from him and they said yes. He believes that was the key to their immediate success which caused them to reach 10,000 downloads on the first day of their launch. So many people he reached out to directly shared the podcast with their friends that it hit the New and Newsworthy section of Apple Podcasts and they haven’t looked back since.
His advice for launching a podcast is to start with data collection and reach out to your network and get their email addresses and phone numbers and ask if you can contact them because your friends don’t always see your updates with the algorithms on Facebook and Instagram.
Don’t overestimate your value to your audience. Sell them a story. Content is king.
They leveraged their understanding of radio for how to monetize their show. They try to do one live read per ten minutes of audio and have 3-minute breaks for every 30 minutes of the show with the same three advertisers per week. Additionally, they divide up their show into segments and have a different sponsor for each one and just say “sponsored by” without any other promotion.
They use Second Street for reaching their audience directly with email.
Longtime radio veteran Steve Dahl spoke to us about making the Steve Dahl Show.
He does a daily 90-minute to 2-hour show every day similar to the way he used to do radio and most of his episodes are part of his subscription package of $10.95 a month. He has some advertisers on his subscription model because he knows his longtime listeners are loyal to him. He uses Memberful.com a division of Patreon to monetize his audience and reach out to them directly. He’s honest with his audience and tells them he needs to make “X” amount of dollars and that’s why he charges, otherwise, he just won’t do the show anymore.
He says that anyone with a radio background has an advantage because they know how to communicate and he tries to make it sound like a radio show and even goes light on the edits because the audience can tell when he takes out the pause breaks.
Gillian Pennsavalle and Patrick Hinds
The hosts of True Crime Obsessed talked with us about making one of the most downloaded shows period.
They met as fellow Broadway fans and podcasters and discovered they liked hanging out and talking about true crime and so it began. They recommend promo swapping to build an audience, which means that at least two different shows are running an ad for each other on their respective programs.
They currently have 44,850 Patreon subscribers and they pitch it their listeners as supporting the show and reminding them that they can’t continue to make it like they have been without it. They constantly remind their fans how grateful they are to them and they have been able to make it their jobs and record in a studio they built.
They recommend giving yourself six months to a year to build an audience to make sure that it’s right for you and if you have at least 5,000 listeners and you get half of them to donate to your Patreon that’s quit your job money.
Support, Support, Support. There’s no such thing as competition in podcasting, but you do need to be relentless in promoting your show until you find your audience.
You have to be passionate about your show or the listeners will know you’re faking it.
She began as an unpaid intern for Hot 97 radio on the Angie Martinez Show. She wanted to be a singer at first and realized she liked talking being on the mic and interviewing celebrities. While working in radio she was almost signed to be on an MTV show.
She recommends sticking with one social media platform and concentrate on building a following there. She started on Linkedin with 2,000 followers and now has over 100,000 on the platform. Eventually, she leveraged her following and convinced the podcast apps to feature her show. Her show really took off when she made the cover of Podcast Magazine. She attributes a big part of her success to asking to be featured and asking to be listened to and focusing on your show.
Consistency is key! Release your show at the same every time or the audience will tune you out and find someone else.
Eventually, she founded YAP Media to handle her own promotion, and pretty soon she was taking on other clients to do the same for them.