Starting a Podcast for Free?

by Suzanne Riley

Hey y’all!! I thought I would elaborate on the misconception that producing a podcast is free. I suppose it can be free if you don’t think that time is money. There are potential expenses associated with producing a podcast beyond the many, many podcast hosting sites that offer up their platforms for free.

The hosting sites that I have looked into do have a minimum level access point with limited capability that are free. However, they offer tiers that expand on the quality of features you may or may not need. I have seen them range from $5-$150+ per month after the basic free entry level tier. That is only the beginning in choosing a host that best suits your vision for your podcast.

Once you have chosen a host for your dream podcast, you will then make some decisions on the equipment you need and want. You can keep it as simple as recording directly on your phone using the built in mic and earbuds or you can build a sound studio in your garage or basement. Either way, it is not technically free factoring in the cost of a decent smart phone.

You need a branding label to be accepted into iTunes so you will need some artistic ability to create one to avoid copyright infringements or pay someone to do it for you. You can expect to pay at least $50 on the low end for a logo.

Music, in my mind, is an absolute must. There are sites on the web that you can pay a yearly fee to access royalty free music. You can also pay a musician to write a melody for you however if you are a musician you can certainly write one for yourself.

Now for the extremely dull aspect of orchestrating your podcast… business… do you want to monetize your podcast? If so, you will be busy, busy campaigning for listeners. Rumor has it, advertisers expect your podcast to have a minimum of 10,000 downloads per episode prior to them investing their advertising dollars on your podcast. It appears that celebrities are able to achieve listeners automatically using their fan base. Celebrities that podcast seemingly are maximizing their opportunities for exposure. They likely are not depending on the podcast hour to feed their children.

I decided to establish an LLC for my podcast which is officially a business and my trademark is following. I recommend you talk to a tax professional or attorney to see if your best interests are being protected either with or without incorporating or establishing a trademark.

A podcasting duo that began their podcast without any expectations 3 years ago actually soared into the ranks and before they knew it, people not associated with their podcast were making merchandise (t-shirts etc) with their name and slogans etc and selling them across the internet. Their trademark filing took a long time (6 months minimum on average) and people are still capitalizing on their name. It probably isn’t much in the grand scheme of things so just beware, you are probably more fabulous than you think and this would annoy you too.

It is important to do your research and check your purse to make sure you have the resources to put your dream in motion. You seldom see bloggers/podcast experts bringing some of these things up because they are likely more interested in signing you up for their online course on the ins and outs of podcasting. That has been my experience meeting people and getting DM’s in my IG account pretty steadily.

Do everything you possibly can on purpose! ❤