Creating a Podcast on the Cheap

You hear these ideas of people wanting to start a podcast. The biggest trick is how do you start one? Now, a big hurdle is the idea. The biggest hurdle is how to make a podcast that doesn’t break your budget. Or, lack thereof. We should know, we have three right now and will be up to six by July. So this series is to help you start a podcast on the cheap.

Now, there are many reasons you would want to start a podcast on the cheap. Maybe you don’t know how long you can make it happen. There are many subsets within that. You may not be able to do as many shows as you thought. Maybe a dozen, or so, and you have nowhere to go. Maybe it isn’t as fun as you thought. Decide to give it up, but you don’t want to be out of a chunk of change.

This piece will focus on the idea.

You have probably watched countless YouTube videos about how to start one. Some will say get the best equipment or use this service. That already puts you out a few hundred bucks. No one has that kind of cash, unless someone is sponsoring you. Comedians do it all the time. They have sponsors and a built-in fan base.

Podcast on the Cheap

But who are you?

No one. Outside your small group of friends, no one could give a fuck about you. Sounds harsh, but so is life. Not saying this will change that, but it might. Have more interesting people than the ones on your Facebook feed.

My idea will blow your mind.

Calm down there chief. In the first half of 2020, over 383,000 podcasts debuted. That’s more than the 273,000 that debuted in 2019. According to Insiderradio, there are 1,350,130 podcasts in the world. That’s over 74,379,420 episodes out there in the world. Your idea has been done before. But, how is yours different?

You’ll hear bullshit in YouTube videos that say know your audience. But, under no circumstances should you do a podcast for yourself. That’s oxymoronic. That is saying, there isn’t an audience like you out there. Do content for other people. Maybe people that are more sophisticated than you. If you aren’t doing a podcast you want to hear, then why do it at all?

The whole idea of doing a podcast should be filling a void that you think is there. Starting a podcast on the cheap is about having you start small and be you.

Also, if you’re starting a podcast, it would be a good idea to actually listen to podcasts. This will help you not only in formatting and make you familiar with the concept. But, to know that your idea isn’t already out there.

Make it as niche as possible.

If you come up with a concept that interests you, it’s possible that others will too. Just think about it. When people are saying it needs to have broad appeal, they are saying you’re idea isn’t good. If the idea is nothing like your original concept, would you even want to do it? Much less listen to it? You always watch videos that tell you about making money, there is a problem: you need listeners.

You can have a bulletproof plan to make money, but if you don’t have listeners – no one will give you a dime. Particularly advertisers. Not to mention, it takes several weeks to find your groove. What you plan may not be what it becomes. Too many people focus on being paid, but they don’t pay out as well as you think. It’s like starting a business, you can’t be a success without doing the hard work first. Everyone wants to jump from concept to viral without doing the work.

Podcast on the Cheap

Determining if your concept has longevity, plan out the first few episodes. Then plan the next ten. Get to twenty. If you can’t do that, then you may want to open up your concept a bit. If it’s about a particular television show, make sure it has a few seasons behind it. The Away Team has over 800 Star Trek episodes to cover. We won’t do all of them, but we have a good run to start with. If you don’t, then maybe consider the genre. That could open it up.

Doing a particular sports podcast, you may want to deal with certain topics during the off season. Again, listen to other shows that deal with a similar topic. How do they manage during the off season?

The major takeaway.

It’s easy to say you want to be as successful as Last Podcast on the Left, but they do the work. The idea is key. If you want to make it to 400 episodes, you better have a big enough net to do that many. A good lesson is to use a podcast app that shows dates of various shows. Look at how many start and how many episodes they produce.

You will find so many that have a handful of episodes, but ended before they got started. Now, there are many reasons why it failed. The shows didn’t work out. Their idea fell apart. Maybe the host(s) couldn’t commit to the schedule. Or maybe their show didn’t take off with their first episode. We may never know.

In the next chapter, we will tell you where you need to start after the idea. Things you need to think about before you actually record. When we started The Lazy Geeks, it took us five months before we recorded a damn word. We will tell you how to do a podcast on the cheap.