1/ Thread on creating a podcast...

...lots of DMs and email this week so I thought I would crystalise it in a thread. Just a note, I am sharing my experience, lessons etc but I could have been super lucky.

Any questions just add them at the bottom of the thread.
2/ So you want to start a podcast...

I'll assume you want to make money from it, so let's start with that. Ad rates are calculated on something called the CPM, cost per mille (per thousand downloads).

My suggestion is to forget sponsors until you reach 2,500 downloads per show.
3/ CPM ad rates vary, but:
- Niche industry $30-$100 (eg Bitcoin)
- Broad industry $15-$50
- Ad networks will tend to offer you $17-$30

Based on 2,500 downloads you have 2.5 * $30 (conservative) = $90 per advert. Though you could probably sell an exclusive at $100 per show.
4/ 8 shows per month would bring in around $800 per month which will cover your costs and leave a little over.

If you sell 3 ads at $90, $270 * 8 = $2,160. Slightly better but you have to hit the 2.5k downloads + sell the ads.
5/ I didn't start selling ads until I hit 5k downloads, 12 months after launching the show.

So the truth is, and most podcasters will tell you the same, it is a lot of hard work, but if you can make it work it is a good life.
7/ Do you know what you want it to be about? Don't worry if there is competition, just do better than them.

If you are not sure then start with an audience need, why?
a. You will be creating content people want to listen to
b. You will have people sponsors want to reach
8/ What is your format?
a. Interviews
b. You talking to the microphone
c. Produced series

All work and all are valid, just pick what you are comfortable with.
9/ I would then go and record a show, yep just go and make a recording. This is where you will learn most about yourself and the show you are making.

Don't worry if it is shit, just do it. Don't worry about how you sound listening back, everyone hates their own voice.
10/ After recording the show, if you think you want to make a podcast then great, time to prep.

The most important things early on are:
a. Patience (can take a year for results)
b. Consistency

Ignore money for now.
11/ Long-term, for the interview style you need to consider online v in-person.

The latter is more demanding but I prefer it because:
- Interviews are a higher quality
- You build better relationships
- You network more
- You get interviews you wouldn't normally get
12/ Step 1 - Equipment... so for me, I invested in the best equipment from the start but you can literally start with an iPhone or a cheap microphone and record remotely on Zencastr.

Just work to your budget, my equipment:
- Shure SM7B mics
- Zoom H6 Desk
- Wires + mic stands
13/ Step 2 - Master show... while I have an engineer now, I used to engineer my own shows. I would:
a. Edit audio in Audacity
b. Arrange show in Garage Band

Both are easy to understand but require time in the help files and YouTube guides.

Focus on cleaning the sound quality.
14/ Step 3 - If you want an intro and outro, you can use Fiverr. I bought the one for WBD for $150.

Also, consider structure:
a. WBD is Intro Music > Spoken Intro > Interview > Ad Break > Spoken Outro
b. Defiance is Intro Music > Spoken Intro > Interview > Spoken Outro
15/ Step 4 - Branding... Though you can do this earlier if you want. The choice is a topic-specific name v generic:
a. Topic-specific like What Bitcoin Did is good for SEO and findability but restricts you to that category
b. Generic is more flexible
16/ I think branding and design are really important but not essential. There are so many good tools out there to help you with this. I wrote a thread on it before: https://twitter.com/PeterMcCormack/status/1187496075923546113
17/ Step 5 - Distribution... My view is to publish everywhere. If you use Libsyn for hosting then you can publish to most platforms direct (Apple, most Android apps).

Outside of Libsyn I:
- Manually publish to SoundCloud
- Auto publish to YouTube using http://Repurpose.io 
18/ Step 6 - Marketing... So this is the long game, but I'll keep it as simple as possible
a. Build a website with good content for SEO
b. Build a profile on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn
c. Ask your listeners to help
d. Ask guests to share shows
19/ Really with marketing you are looking to build a profile around yourself as the host and your show. This requires a real grind, trying things, joining conversations etc...

You will make a bunch of mistakes here but don't worry.
19/ Step 7 - Additional things...
a. Create a MailChimp account and connect to your website, collect emails and notify about new shows
b. Register with Google Analytics and regularly look at your data
c. Keep good spreadsheets tracking shows, guests, stats and ideas
20/ Okay, if you now have a show out there, you are in the grove, downloads are growing then this is where patience and consistency come in.

So many people give up because growth is slow or because they lack discipline.
21/ So sponsors... My first step was when I started hitting 5k downloads per show, I offered some free ads out to condition the audience and potential sponsors.

Most of my sponsorships have come from me asking people, literally saying "hey will you sponsor my show".
22/ When selling sponsorships you are selling a story, why should they sponsor your show, for me:
a. The reach of the audience
b. The guests I get
c. I record each ad fresh
d. The ads work

It is that simple.

I get a lot of enquiries now and I have a rate card which I send out.
23/ You will have to become comfortable with selling, therefore:
a. Asking people to sponsor
b. Following up on enquiries
c. Asking again

With rates, my suggestion is to start low, sell out the ads and then raise your rates. Even offer an exclusive for a period of time.
24/ Sales is also about account management and retention. Most of my sponsors stay long-term, to help this:
a. We speak regularly
b. I use their product
c. I stay up to speed on their innovations
d. I meet with them when I can
e. I give them feedback from listeners
25/ Another thing I try to do is innovate, some things I have done:
a. The show release Tweet thread + show image
b. Special series such as Mt. Gox

I also try and get guests that others don't have.
26/ A little secret. A few months back I decided to stop listening to crypto podcasts (I will listen to specific shows occasionally), but I wanted to not be influenced by the work of others.

I do though listen to other non-crypto podcasts to pick up ideas.
27/ Bonus 1: I use Twitter as a research tool. I tend to Tweet about the shows I am looking to make in advance. The response to a Tweet will dictate whether it is dumped as an idea or developed. Nodegate is a great example of that.

You need a thick skin for this.
28/ Bonus 2: trade secret for the other shows but my sponsors get a monthly email update from me, breaking down their ads, downloads etc...

I've attached a couple of images to highlight this but I'll let you figure out if you are going to do this and what you want to share.
29/ Bonus 3: I am super organised. The back office is an intricate set of spreadsheets tracking ideas, guests, ads, sponsors etc...

This really is a well-oiled business.
30/ Bonus 4: I really work hard, probably +80 hours a week. This includes a dedication to working on my interview style. I study other interviewers of all types, from TV to podcasts.

Increasingly I am doing interviews without prep to develop my conversation style.
31/ There is probably a shit load I have forgotten. I'm really just firing this out as I have my morning coffee.

What I will say is that podcast ads really work, hence the market growth.

Hit me up if you have any questions.

Big love, Peter x
You can follow @PeterMcCormack.
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