It’s my pleasure to introduce DL (Dwight) of Redeemable Media, a Podcast producer, host, and expert on this topic.
1. Can you describe how you started your business in podcasting? What did you experience before properly establishing your business to what it is now?
I was listening to a Podcast about podcasting in late 2017. The host was discussing the usefulness of doing Local Podcasts, as in your geographic area. He claimed that this was a wide-open area in terms of starting a podcast that would get some traction. As the podcast was rolling, I logged onto GoDaddy and registered the ‘mahoningvalleypodcast.com’ domain. Ironically, I got tired of producing the Local Podcast and burned out on it after quite a few episodes. I let the Domain go. If you search it today, you will find someone acquired it and is looking to sell it for over $3000 USD.
Prior to developing, producing and distributing podcasts, I was primarily employed as a customer service and sales rep at various companies. I despised the selling aspect of this kind of work. But, short of a few hiatuses where I worked as a digital communications consultant and writer, it always was a fallback position. Like many, I wanted to do something I was good at that supported others and that I enjoyed.
2. Recently there has been a high demand in podcasting and interest in starting a personal podcast, can you share why it is becoming so popular?
A few reasons. It looks easy. It looks inexpensive. And it looks like it can help people drive traffic to a website or Facebook page. As well, it looks like it can drive leads for businesses; after all, the host is free to make some offers that interest listeners during a podcast.
Now that major players are facilitating production—such as Spotify, Apple, and Google—all the coaches and speakers want to jump on the bandwagon.
Some Basic Requirements for Podcasting
3. Podcasting is good for personal brand building, but not everyone has an idea on how to start it. Can you specify the basic requirements in starting a podcast?
Planning is critical before even turning on the microphone. Research is also a critical aspect of considering podcasting. Unless you are actually being paid for producing, writing, and distributing a podcast, it’s important to understand your audience or target audience and to know what you intend to do.
Commitment is also required. One of the biggest mistakes is to underestimate the financial and time commitment. Podcasting is not an amateur tactic. It is a professional activity that requires professional skillsets in terms of planning, developing, scripting, hosting, audio editing, and also an understanding of distribution and analytics if you wish to compete. You also need to commit to engage your audience and reach them, usually by marketing or advertising.
Typical Costs of Podcasting
4. For beginners that are interested in starting a podcast, how much would it cost them to set up an average podcast? Are there any specific tools or equipment needed?
If you expect to get any traction, you will need a budget. First, you will need to budget time to research, plan, and develop. It may take 3-4 hours per podcast episode to plan & create. You will need to budget seed money to acquire the resources needed to record, edit and distribute. You will need to budget production time and also marketing. Most of all, you’ll budget time and resources to engage your audience.
Audio production, recording equipment (quality microphones – see Google and multi-track system) and editing software can usually be acquired within a reasonable amount. A basic two-person podcast pack can be found online for $379.
Here, it’s important to consider format when buying the necessary hardware and software. If you intend to interview guests, consider your capacity to do it either within an actual Studio setting or Remotely, with quality call recording.
Distribution of a Podcast?
Distribution Platforms vary in cost, depending on level and audience. To reach new audiences, your Podcast will need to be available in as many places as possible. This is where having a basic understanding of Search Engine Optimisation and Analytics comes into play. You may not yet know where all of your potential listeners may find you or what keywords they will use. Therefore, you will need to take this into consideration when planning and developing your Podcast.
If, for example, you wanted a podcast to be found on Spotify, there is a list of nine recommended partner platforms:
- Buzzsprout – popular distributor to all major listening platforms (free/paid)
Spotify also now allow the podcaster to apply directly, with their RSS feed.
Long-Term Benefits of Running a Podcast
5. Generally, what are the long-term benefits of starting a podcast, particularly for business owners?
Some benefits can include: expanding your reach. Expanding your network. Driving interested, hopeful people to your website. Establishing yourself as an authority or expert in your field. Building your personal or professional brand.
The only way to expect long term benefits is to commit to a long-term plan. Again, this is not something you just decide to try one day because everyone else is doing it. It can take a year or more to see any real appreciative ROI on a Podcast.
“The aim is to attract people who are interested in [the topic area]. You are not making money out of the podcast, you are making it out of another flower, the money flower…”— Glen Carlson (on How to Start a Podcast with Ronsley Vaz, ep. 271)
6. Aside from the benefits of podcasting, what are any downsides or risks associated in podcasting? Can you share your personal experience on this, how did you overcome these?
Wasting time and money is the most prevalent risk. It is also risky in that if you do a poor job at Podcasting, you can actually harm your personal or professional brand. Most likely, if you work with professionals, the worst thing that can happen is you run out of things to talk about or you simply never see any engagement or tangible ROI on your investment.
7. How can readers benefit from your knowledge/experience?
I enjoy partnering in the Research and Development phases of a podcast or helping podcasters with Production Planning and Post-Production Editing. Via Zoom or other means, I am able to function as a Host or Narrator. I often engage existing communities as a Community Manager across social platforms. I’m experienced in nearly every phase of Production, Planning, Development and Engagement, as well as Analytics Reporting.
More about Connecting with DL Stickler
If you would like to listen in on his favourite project, please visit Mahoning Valley Podcast | Free Listening on SoundCloud, where you can hear him ham it up with impersonations and strangely scripted and curated unsigned Musical Artists and Comedians.