In 2016, I decided to start a podcast called Marriage, Kids and Money. I was looking for a creative outlet and thought I'd try something completely new to shake up my daily routine. The “diapers, work, sleep, repeat” repetitiveness of young fatherhood wasn't quite doing it for me at the time.
In the beginning, my main podcast goal was to increase my personal finance savvy by connecting with other like-minded individuals who were winning for their families. Since my wife and I had some personal finance success in our 20's and 30's, I thought that I could share some of that knowledge through the podcast as well.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected the results that came from producing this little weekly podcast. I've grown personally, professionally and really tested myself as an entrepreneur.
Here are 5 reasons I'm so glad I started my podcast and why you should Consider starting one too:
Why You Should Start a Podcast Today
1. Connect with Like Minded People
Once you create a podcast about your favorite topic, you can speak to others who share a similar passion. Do you love talking about healthy eating? Or personal finance? How about video games? Or archery?
I guarantee you that you are not alone!
Once you put your podcast out there and you start sharing yourself with the “pod-universe”, others just like you start popping up out of thin air!
As I started my show, I learned that there were communities of people just like me. Not only did they like talking about money, but they specifically focused on family finance.
I knew I had to connect with these gurus and get them to be guests on my show. It's been incredible and quite addicting.
2. It's Not As Expensive As You May Think to Start a Podcast
If you're looking for a low-cost hobby or side hustle to start, look no further than podcasting. When I started off, I used my daughter's karaoke microphone, my 7-year-old computer, and a USB Audio Interface (I bought and still use the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2) and voila … I was a podcaster!
For the first 3 months of podcasting, I spent around $250 total between equipment, website hosting for my blog and podcast hosting. Not bad for a little side hustle that's a ton of fun!
Unfortunately, my daughter did eventually need her karaoke mic back so I had to throw down some coin for a new one. The sound quality is a lot better with my new mic!
Here is my current equipment list as I have invested a bit more over the years (because I freaking love podcasting):
After upgrading from my daughter's karaoke mic, I decided to go with the Rode Procaster. I've received a lot of compliments on the sound quality of my podcast and the interviews I conduct with this new microphone. It's a little bit on the pricey side, but well worth it in my opinion!
After using it for a couple years, I decided to buy another one for the guests I have in person and my guest co-hosts (my kids and my wife). Now, we all sound great and we're not passing the microphone back and forth to each other.
As I mentioned above, I have kept the same USB audio interface from day 1. It's worked well for 4 years and I've never had an issue.
After a while, I got sick of holding the microphone while I was recording so I went for a Rode Mic Boom Arm that attached to my desk.
This is extremely convenient for recording and helps you focus solely on recording. It also reduces any audio flubs that may occur when you're fumbling with the microphone.
To attach the microphone to the mic boom arm, you need a handy Rode Shock Mount. It holds the mic in place and allows you to adjust it easily.
To keep the sound quality crisp and not distracting to the listener, I invested in a Rode Pop Filter as well. This was an inexpensive way to make the show sound a little more professional.
After interviewing Peter Polson from Tiller, I knew it was time for a pop filter. Get it? Lots of P's. (Dad joke 🙂
To connect your microphone to your audio interface, you're going to need some cables. These XLR Cables have worked well for me for years. The 6-foot one was a bit too short for my boom arm so I went with the 10-footer and that worked best.
You can use a folding card table, a desk from Ikea or even a spare piece of wood from the garage as your podcasting surface (I've used all of these). After a couple of years, I was ready for an upgrade.
Last year, I bought the Umbuzo Handcrafted Modern Wooden Desk. The convenient thing about this desk option is that the company can customize the size to fit your room. Additionally, you can change the leg style to your liking as well.
It is very versatile and fit perfectly for my podcasting needs.
Again, I bought all these things years after my $250 initial investment. You don't NEED to buy any of the things listed above. Get a microphone, a mixer, a computer and get started!
3. Make Some Extra Money
Businesses of all shapes and sizes are connecting with podcasters to share details about their product or service. If your podcast has a large enough following and hits on a specific target market, you can make some decent money through advertising and sponsorship deals.
Data indicates that advertisers will spend nearly $1 billion on digital audio advertising by 2021. Although that pales in comparison to the traditional broadcast radio spend of $17.9 billion, podcasting has a loyal and growing subscriber-base. 78% of consumers surveyed said they “do not mind ads or sponsorship messages because they know they fund the podcast.”
I don't have an “I've made a ton of money from podcasting story” for you today, but I have made enough to feel comfortable transitioning out of my full-time career into life as a full-time digital entrepreneur. Looking back to when I started, I would have never thought this was possible. After all, I'm just having fun!
4. Support People and Organizations You Respect
With a podcast platform, you have the ability to reach and influence a lot of people. That's really incredible when you think about it.
Are there causes, people or organizations that you feel passionate about?
With your microphone and your audience, you can now support them.
For the past year, I've been interviewing charitable organizations that I respect and if my platform can help them at all, I'm proud to use it.
Here are some of the organizations I've had a chance to feature:
- Together We Rise: Supports kids in foster care to have a better shot at life.
- Childhelp: Focused on preventing child abuse.
- Feeding America: Has a mission of feeding the nearly 40 million people in the US that go hungry each day.
On one of my past shows, I shared an experience I had with my daughter donating money from her “give jar” to Charity: Water.
I provided information about the organization, their leader and the company mission to provide global access to clean drinking water.
The message resonated with one of my podcast listeners and he decided to check out Charity: Water with his daughter as well. Together they chose to donate their money to support the organization and provide more access to clean drinking water to those who need it most.
It was probably one of the coolest and most impactful moments of my short podcasting life. I put out a message of respect for your global neighbor and it was received and reverberated.
5. Podcasting is a Stress Reliever
Everyone needs a good hobby to relax or something to simply take your mind off of the daily grind. That's what I love about podcasting!
Whether I'm editing my latest show or interviewing a dynamic guest, this hobby of mine takes the weight of the world off my shoulders for a while.
Podcasting also lets me flex my creative muscle. By planning out each of my weekly shows, I'm the producer, the writer, and the talent all in one.
Did I mention how fun it is yet? Ha!
How Do I Get Started?
1. Consider Your Topic
What could you talk about for hours and hours and hours? For me, it's personal finance. For you, that may be a completely different topic. Find your passion topic and run with it.
2. Start Listening to A Lot of Podcasts
By diving into podcasts in your niche, you'll learn a few things:
- If you actually like the topic enough to start a podcast about it
- Who are the major players to speak to, interview and learn from (perhaps future guests?)
- Different show styles (what you like and what you don't like)
This research is well worth it. Trust me!
3. Learn From Other Podcasters
Find trusted resources that can help you learn how to get your podcast off the ground.
Here are a couple suggestions:
- Pat Flynn: Entrepreneurial blogger and podcaster who has excellent content to get you started
- Podcast Movement Facebook Group: A group of over 10,000 new podcasters, experienced podcasters, and full-time podcast gurus all available to help you succeed.
Life should be full of little experiments like this. Don't spend a bunch of money on equipment or worry too much about the name … just start a podcast and have fun with it.
Are you ready to start a podcast? What topics are you passionate about?
Please let me know in the comments below.