CAREERS: Podcaster

Posted by on Mar 13, 2019 in Careers

Do you enjoy listening to podcasts? A podcast is a series of digital audio files that a listener can access on the internet and download, typically available as a series. The word “podcast” is actually a hybrid of two words: “iPod” (a brand of media player) and “broadcast.” They are usually free, and unlike radio or television broadcasts, the audience can decide where and when they want to listen. There are also no set rules about style, format, length, or anything else.

If you’re a podcast fan, maybe you’ve thought about creating one of your own. But is it possible to make a living this way? Here, we take a closer look.

Education and Experience

Podcasts began as a grassroots way for individuals to spread their message and to find and build a network of people with similar interests. Over time, however, podcasts have evolved. Now, individuals, companies, radio networks, comedians, and even churches often have their own podcasts.

Studio condenser microphone and midi screen

Studio condenser microphone and midi screen
Credit: Shutterstock/PrinceOfLove

The good news is that, because they are cheap and easy to produce, no special training or skills are necessary to create a podcast. But there are some things you need to familiarize yourself with before you get started. First and foremost, you need to have a good understanding of your topic, which should be as specific as possible.

You also want to make sure that you’ve created good cover art and a professional-quality introduction. Then you need to figure out what equipment you’ll need (such as a microphone and recording equipment). Next you’ll need to learn how to record and edit your podcast. And finally, it’s important to plan in advance how you want to promote it.

Job Outlook

The popularity of podcasts continues to grow by the day. But how can you translate that popularity into dollars? Podcasters can earn money from their podcasts by selling ad time. Advertising rates range from about $25 to $50 per 1000 listeners, so the more listeners you have, the more money you can make from ads. Some of the most popular podcasts can pull in more than $50,000 per episode. But for that to happen, each episode of your podcast would have to be downloaded 800,000 to 1,000,000 times.

There are several other ways to generate income with your podcast. For example, you might sell access to extra content for a fee. If your podcast is popular enough, you also might be able to solicit donations from listeners. This is particularly successful if you’re trying to start something new, like a new show. You can also make money by selling other products on your podcast.

Pros and Cons

Podcasts can be created for little to no cost. This makes it a very accessible medium, meaning that anyone who wants to is able to participate. You also don’t have to rely on radio stations to broadcast your show. Podcasting is also not nearly as crowded a market as blogging, so it’s not as competitive. And last but not least, there’s the satisfaction that comes from the fact that you can talk about anything that interests you.

On the other hand, when creating a podcast, you’re somewhat limited by the fact that you can only reach an audience that has access to the internet. It can also be difficult to control who has access to your podcast and who doesn’t, which can sometimes get messy in terms of people taking each other’s copyrighted material.

Dig Deeper Imagine that you want to start your own podcast. What will it be about? Using this article as your guide, come up with a list of at least five things you need to do before you begin.