Ways to Budget for a Podcast Keep Quality up and Costs Down

You budget your home's expenses as well as office, but what about your podcast?

It is well-known that a regular podcast program can help you get your ideas and thoughts out to an audience within your niche or to whatever you are trying to say.

Whether you already have a growing and successful podcast or are just thinking about launching one, you should consider creating a budget.

The Popularity of Podcasts

Podcasts online are not new and have been growing since they first became popular in the early 2000s. Why? Mostly because they offer a wide range of topics and features as well be customized to what you want to share, say, or sell.

But one of the most difficult things to do when creating a podcast is working within a  budget required to produce it and maintain it.

Here some tips for both creating and maintaining a podcast budget so you can get your ideas out there and be heard:

1) Know your goals for the podcast

Ask yourself why do you want to have a podcast? If you are making or requesting a budget to produce a podcast, you need to have your goals well in mind. Knowing the goals and extent of what you are creating and the overall outcome is a key starting point to the planning of your podcast.

Other things to ask:

  • Do you want to speak directly with fans, listeners, customers, and potential customers without others filtering your message or content?
  • Do you want to develop content with high engagement from a certain audience without spending a lot of time and/or the cost of making a video?
  • Do you want your audience to have a strong connection with you or your brand?

2) Create a realistic budget

Creating a podcast typically requires fewer expenses and resources than video. However, it is not without costs. If you are self-producing a podcast you do need hardware including microphones, cables, and mixers, as well as software like audio/visual editing software and plugins.

Bear in mind it will be more cost-effective than producing video content. However, you will want quality equipment and simple sound recordings, as listeners will be more apt to listen to your podcast if it sounds professional.

You may even want to hire a contracting or outsourcing of the production and editing of your podcast. By doing so you could save time and connect with people and teams who produce podcasts and edit audio for various clients that are already a success.

If you have decided to produce the podcast in-house, purchasing professional high-end equipment is a worthwhile investment at the onset of the project for consistent sound and to achieve a professional sound. Don't forget to budget for recurring expenses like SaaS (Software-as-a-Service).

Also, use time management skills thoughtfully. Time management is important when undertaking any project and podcasts are no exception. When you have stakeholders that approve a budget or other stakeholders like advertisers, sponsors, and a loyal audience, they will be expecting weekly or monthly content. If you are involved in other projects besides this podcast, using time management skills will help you meet deadlines.

3) Decide how you will keep track of success and failures

Keeping track of your successes in various ways like having a set of goals and metrics in place offers the ability to measure them to see if you are making or exceeding your goals.

Tracking can also keep you abreast of where you are lacking or failing in some cases within your podcasts.

Others things to ask when budgeting according to Backtracks:

  • Do you want audience members to spend more time on your site?
  • Do you want to reach an audience in certain geographic locations?
  • Are there particular growth metrics you hope to achieve with every episode or by period (e.g. N% growth over X period)?
  • Are there certain numbers you want to reach in audience size (e.g. 500 downloads a month)?
  • Do you want to offer a certain message and direct the audience to respond in a certain way (i.e. visit website X, complete survey Y, etc.)?
  • Do you want to track conversions of actions?

4) Measure your progress and audience with data analytics

Use Backtracks and other data analytic tools that offer data analytics for podcasters to see the audience you are reaching. This data can be insurmountably helpful in measuring your podcast's success as well as maintaining and growing the support of current and future stakeholders. Backtracks are just one option as others may also be helpful in this role when budgeting for your podcast.  

Podcasting can be a fun and successful endeavor that may one day turn into a full-time profession for you — if it isn't already. With the right tools and by budgeting smartly you and your podcast should be able to excel beyond your wildest dreams.