It can be very mystifying to figure out how to start a podcast. When I first started into podcasting I was very much thrown into the fire. The publisher I worked for wanted to have a podcast presence and so they tasked me with launching a podcast division in our company. There was a lot that went into the production and we had an internal media department who could build us an entire studio for the production. But when it came down to building a weekly show that people came back to week after week, it took a lot more than sound quality and editing production to make it all happen.
In fact one of the shows we started quickly gained over 10,000 listeners per month and retained them week after week for years to come. These are some of the most frequently asked questions that I get from people who are looking to start a podcast.
How long should a podcast be?
The answer to this question is simple.
A Podcast Should Be As Long As It Is Interesting.
The most popular podcast is two hours in length. It’s a podcast by a master storyteller who reads stories from history and people can listen in for hours at a time because he’s so good. But that does not mean that podcasts should be 2-hours in length. In fact there are very successful podcasts that are only 5-minutes long.
What you should first ask yourself is, how much do I have to say?
That said, there are a few considerations in podcasting that are the reason why most of them are typically the same length. In fact there’s a pretty consistent pattern and it’s for a very strategic reason.
- The Average American Commute is 22 Minutes
That’s why most podcasts are either 20ish minutes or 40ish minutes in length. Because you can listen to it while you drive to work, or you can listen to half on the way there and half on the way home.
The key to a great podcast is to have a consistent length, a consistent flow, and be consistent in your content. What makes for listeners who come back week after week is because they follow a content plan. Half of my podcast launch one-on-one is teaching you how to build that recipe for a great show that people come back for week after week.
Who Listens To Podcasts?
This is rapidly changing, but it’s also the reason why there’s still room to get in right now. While there are one million blogs in the market and every topic, sub-topic and niche is taken. There are still so many holes in the podcasting world.
And, women age 35-45 are just starting to get on the podcast wagon. This is the most premium demographic for brands and it’s still largely an untapped market.
Men are the most dominating in the podcast world. While we won’t find them on social media, reading blogs or any other place where us marketers would like to reach them, they consume a lot of podcast content. In fact men who listen to podcasts average 6-8 hours of consumption a week.
How Do Podcasts Make Money?
There are three main ways that podcasts make money. And every podcast that goes through my program starts day one with a paid sponsor. I provide them with the resources to go after them and even if it’s only $100 they start their podcast as a business so that they will treat it as a business. That said, sponsorship isn’t the only way to make money and for some it’s not the right fit.
- Podcast Sponsorship– this is where a brand pays you money to be promoted on your podcast. The higher your numbers are, the higher your sponsorship opportunity.
- Affiliate Revenue– you are an affiliate of a brand with unique trackable links you share and you make a percent of sale when people finish purchase on those products.
- Member Sponsorship or Patreon– your listeners love your podcast and pay a small amount monthly to keep your show going.
- Your Own Product or Service– your podcast is an extension of your brands digital marketing strategy and leads them to freebie opt ins and work them into your marketing funnel.