I think most podcasters have been sold a bill of goods whenever it comes to their podcast. They think that just by creating a podcast once a week, and being consistent over the next however many months, they are going to be able to monetize it and make big money, just from their podcast. And in my experience, that is a lie.
Today, I'm going to give you a little bit of a dose of reality and sort of pull the curtains back, so to speak, on some of the I don't want to say the myths, but some of the lies that people have been fed in order to start a podcast.
I’m just going to call out some of that today, and then talk about what it really takes to monetize your podcast and have significant income coming in through that channel.
Over the last 3 years, my mission has become to get as many podcasts monetized as possible.
Now, that is not an easy task, partly because many podcasters are not “there yet”.
With monetization, it's not about their expertise level, it's not about their skill set. It's not about the quality of their show, it is about the mental piece that they have not been able to come to terms with.
To put it bluntly, they're afraid to monetize their podcast, they're scared that if they try to do something, to move their listeners to take action in such a way that they will give them money, open up their wallet, give them their credit card, that somehow they will end up offending someone.
They will end up losing a listener - and my goodness, why do we not want to lose listeners that will never be customers anyway?
So I'm here today to talk to you about what I think is just a bill of goods that many people have been sold with podcasting.
Many people come into podcasting, feeling like the only way to monetize a podcast is through sponsors.
And they start asking questions like, “at what point do I have enough downloads that I can start pitching sponsors?”
If I can pitch sponsors, and I can bring in all this money from my podcast, then all I have to do is create content. And the reality is, for those of you that haven't monetized their sponsorships, it is a hard row to hoe - that's an old southern saying, and if you've ever had to work in a garden, and hoe a garden row, you know what a tough road to hoe is.
So it is very difficult number one, to garner enough downloads to even have companies be interested in your platform. And then the flip side of that coin is, if you have people interested in your platform, they are not generally willing to pay what you feel like access to your platform is worth.
How about that?
Once you get there, you find out the grass is not all that green on the other side of sponsorships.
You know, the best thing I can think of to compare it to and back in the days I spent, you know, 20 something years working in other people's businesses before I started my own. And I can remember, every time I would start a new job, there's this euphoria.
There's this honeymoon phase, that you just think this is the job I have been waiting for all my life.
I am so thankful for this job. I am going to love getting up and coming to work and doing this. I can see myself doing this, like this is going to be my last job until I retire. And then very quickly, within generally three weeks to a month the facade starts to fade and some cracks begin to appear. And you find out there's this one coworker that's just living to make your life miserable. And there's this one manager that is just difficult to work with. And then things happen within the company and you begin to realize that you don't really mean as much to the company as the company means to you.
And before you know it the job that you thought was awesome and perfect, and that you finally felt a sense of relief about has turned into the same thing that you have been running from from every other job that you've had.
And that is kind of what happens with sponsorships.
People push, try to get downloads, try to grow their audience, try to do all these things. They spend hours building a media kit and they try to make themselves look attractive to sponsors that have the same target audience that they do.
They spend hours reaching out and the minute they get that little glimmer of hope enough of a response that makes them think maybe this is it, maybe I'm finally landing the sponsorship.
Then they come back around to find that the sponsor is only going to pay them less than $100 per ad.
And you think well, how many ads can I have each month? How many ads can I have per episode.
If I could get one of those to do $100 an episode, then maybe I could get more than one sponsor to do $100 an episode. And you begin to do the math. And you begin to realize that you need $5000, $6000, whatever your number is, every single month in order for your podcast, to be worthwhile to be sustainable, to actually bring value back to your life.
And once you do the math, you realize, that means I need 50 ad spots that I can get buyers for every single month. And maybe you've gotten one.
And they're willing to do one ad on each show each week.
Okay, so now you've got four ads out of that 50 that are sold, where are you going to find the other 46?
Your time. And your effort and your energy that you're putting into your podcast are worth way more than that.
I'm not saying this podcasting route is not an easy route to riches.
Because here's the thing about making money with your podcast - very few people get to the point where they are completely monetizing through sponsorships. And if they are, and they're able to make decent money, let me tell you the few things that they have in common, and most of them are approaching companies and getting ads themselves.
To be honest, most podcasters are not experts at selling. And I really resonate with this because I will say I am not an expert at selling, what I can be an expert in is really coming from a place of value.
if all you want to do is interview people, and all you want to do is put out one episode a month, and then you want to be able to walk away and you don't want anyone to bother you in between those episodes. And you don't want to make yourself available at all for anything else. Then please walk away from podcasting because ultimately you're going to pod fade anyway.
I can just save you 1000s of dollars by having you go ahead and stop now 1000s of dollars and or hundreds of hours of your time by having you stop now before you go down the road any further.
It's going to take a lot more effort on your part to get it monetized. Unless you are willing to build a community around what you're doing with your podcast, and the people that are your ideal customers and ideal listeners from your podcast, then you will end up failing.
Want to learn more? Join our private Facebook group here!
You can also find Christy and her team at www.teampodcast.com!
Need help getting your podcast optimized and ready for monetization? Learn more about the Podcast Tune Up here.