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How to make money from Podcasting

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

January 21, 2007

Comments (4)

We've all heard how to monetize a podcast, but just what does it take to make money as a producer of one?

Podcast ProductionYou may have read the inspiration for this blog post already, but if not, check in to see how much to charge for podcast voiceovers.

Now that we have a foundation, I'd like to shift back into podcast mode and how you can make money as a talent producing them.

The following are 5 ways that you can make money from podcasting.

1. Research
2. Copy writing
3. Voice Over
4. Music Production / Jingles
5. Distribution

Although #2, #3, and #4 look familiar to you as a professional voice talent and producer, the first and fifth may seem a bit irregular.

Trust me, these are services people will pay for as well.

Let's start from the beginning.

1. Research

Researching information about markets, products, services, or special interest topics is a task for most people and doesn't fall under the heading of "Enjoyable". It's also time consuming. Many people will not have the time, desire or skill to research their podcast format or topics to be discussed.

I suggest charging an hourly rate for this sort of work - you suggest the wage :)

2. Copy Writing

A large number of you are gifted in this area of skill. If you are good with words, phrasing, and highlighting key points to summarize for a segment or show, this service is also something that could be charged for on a per word or per episode basis.

If episodes are timed out to last X amount of time, you'll be able to calculate how many words should be written for each podcast. Don't be afraid of scripting! Scripts keep voiceovers on track and also maintain professionalism, minimizing tangents and useless information.

3. Voice Over

Ah, this is home, you say! The voice over component of a podcast is without a doubt the quickest and most exciting part of the production cycle.

This is where you can explore different reads and really customize the podcast for an audience and your client. If you are the host, opportunities for you to communicate are greatly increased. If you're the imaging and promo talent, make sure that you fully embody the essence of that podcast program. It will show in the recording and school of public opinion.

4. Music Production / Jingles

What podcast nowadays is complete without music production? Music plays a role unlike any other element. Music can take on the identity of a segment or transition to the next gracefully and distinctly.

Some podcasts have jingles in them to start off the show. This isn't as common as musical interludes (or, if you're into Classical music 'ritornello'), but they are effective if used the right way. Again, these are services that you should be charging for, especially if you have composed and performed the music yourself.

5. Distribution

If you've ever submitted your website to directories, you'll understand how significant this area of promotion is.

Distribution is another area that customers have little to no time to execute. A podcast relies upon gaining new listeners in order to become successful. If you were to take the time to properly setup the RSS feed and manage a blog for your client, going the extra mile to submit to podcast directories will yield amazing results and get that podcast out there and into the hands and ears of the public.

Because of the tedium this may create for you, charging a premium for this service is strongly suggested. No one wants to volunteer themselves for this activity unless they are a glutton for punishment :)

So, what do you think? Are you already putting these steps into practice?

Share your stories!

Best,

Stephanie

Related Topics: how to


Comments


    You've done a good job hitting the main points of podcast production. I have been producing podcasts for clients since the spring of 2006, and doing my own Trafcom News Podcast since Sept. 2005.

    Of course for my own show, I do everything. :-)) For clients' podcasts, most often I do the intro and outro voiceover, which I write, and provide guidance as to the other content. I also edit their content and improve the sound quality. Of course distributing the podcast and getting it registered in various directories is also part of the job.

    As for what to charge, the main guideline is not how much time it takes, but what's the value to the client's company?

    Posted by:

      My comment has as much to do with podcasts as with other types of long-format narration: Is it kosher to bid a per-minute rate or flat fee higher than what the client is offering? I have come across some plum jobs, but they are bid so low that I would never consider submitting a demo. So in some very select cases, I have sent a demo with my own (higher) rate. Would like to hear how other voice talents handle this issue.

      Posted by:
      • Robin Rowan
      • January 24, 2007 11:40 AM

        Stephanie's article and the points she highlighted are 'oh so true'.

        There seem to be, at the moment, two main sources of asking voice talent to help produce Podcasts - the client company internal team, a particular division that controls its own budget line and the Contractor to a Client Company like an Ad Agency guru team who know all about print collateral and photo layout and what a one minute commercial for radio or TV should sound and look like.

        But a Podcast? Little idea yet the latter understand pricing and value structures already.

        For the time being Podcasts are a new territory for both these client channels, who reach out to us for advice and suggestions.

        How to charge?

        Take Stephanie's 5 key points and you have to consult with either of the channel clients. Research and editing the clients ideas/copy and thoughts into a script is worth at least $75.00 per hour. You can back off the rate a wee bit once the client understands what you need each month, week or quarter for a new version of the show..... and rather than going through each of the five points at this juncture I suggest that a podcast is somewhere between an NPR News Feature an AP Audio News 90 second featurette.

        I have statiscal survey results performed for another employer some years ago who offered an over the air, on demand audio service that were to be identical to Podcasting... we found the optimal time for a 'podcast' was between 7 and 13 minutes. That was the optimal attention span of the user/listener. Thinking in 15 or 30 minute block timings as known in radio and tv content doesn't apply to podcasts. But that is the pricing model that AD Agencies at least understand for direct reponse marketing on radio and TV. I mean as in Ginsu Knives and Posturpedic Mattresses.

        I think that's enough for now. But I am happy to brain storm ideas with your plans and hopes.

        Here's to a very busy 2007 for of all of us.

        Good Health and Good Cheer to all,

        Brian Butler

        Posted by:

          Robin,

          I usually submit and put my rate on it. It's not like it costs them anything by me submitting. And they may see that if their job it important, it's worth more than $50!

          If their budget is really low, I'll probably never hear from them. But you never know... plus, if they like you... you may fall in the budget range of their next client!

          Good Luck, Robin!

          Julie

          Posted by:

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