Exclusion = Inclusion
The people I know who are making the most money from podcasting (or otherwise changing their lives the most) are, more or less, unknown to the general public. Working in the entertainment business as long as I have, I do know some "famous" people who also have podcasts, and arguable make pretty good money from them, but that's really an add-on to a career that was already established elsewhere.
Think about it ... Marc Maron was known before podcasting. Same for Joe Rogan, Will Ferrell, and The New York Times.
If you're looking to establish yourself with your podcast or get a specific result for yourself, the way to go is with extreme focus. This is how to cut through the noise of big media (and established celebrities) who can push basically anything and get a substantial audience.
But keep in mind that a "big audience" isn't necessarily what you really want – you want the right audience. And the right audience for you may be just a few people. For example, people who are willing to spend money with you or help you find a kidney ... whatever your goal is.
The Power of Excluding People
In the last few years, there's been a huge push for our society to be more inclusive. This is something I agree with.
But when it comes to your podcast, you will have better results being exclusive. No form of media or entertainment can offer something for everyone. When you try to do this, nobody will feel truly understood.
The solution is to speak to your audience, the one you really know, and focus on them, trusting that others are handling everybody else. If we all do this, everybody gets what they need, including us.
KALW Audio Academy – Now Accepting Applications
KALW is now accepting applications for the 2021-22 Audio Academy, a nine-month radio journalism training program for adults at KALW Public Radio, an NPR and BBC affiliate in San Francisco.
This program is designed to give you a professional audio production and journalism education, tuition-free.
They are looking for:
- Creative thinkers, great writers, audiophiles who dream in sound & story
- Anyone who is hungry to break into the world of audio journalism
- People with a passion for covering a diversity of communities
- Ideally, people who are knowledgeable about the Bay Area
- Team players ready to work hard in a supportive newsroom
Small Audience = Big Audience
The people (and podcasts) who get noticed have one of three things going for them:
- Are extremely talented or skilled
- Have a “thing”
- Have a “thing” and are extremely good at it
In other words, it’s the exceptions that get attention.
I had a conversation with a podcaster just last week who had narrowed her audience (and it's very narrow) and was amazed at how much more success she was having. And this success was not only with listeners, but also with advertising and endorsement deals.
It's scary to narrow down and play to a "smaller" audience, but this almost always will result in more listeners for your podcast and more money for you.
Consider it. And if you're not ready to make the move for your podcast in general, try it for a few episodes. Niche down and see how much easier it is for you to promote those episodes and bring traffic in.
These 25 Best Blog Ideas = New Podcast Episode Ideas
Finding fresh episode ideas can be a challenge. This guide breaks down 25 unique blog ideas you can easily modify to create great podcast episodes.
RELATED: I've got a new book with 101 podcast episode templates that will help you with this very issue.
Netflix’s Advertising Plans – An option for podcasters?
If you have an audience, people will pay to have access to that audience. And this article shows how the money works.
Netflix’s bet on ads is all about international growth. It allows them to get into places where people have more time than money.
Discovery+ uses a similar setup and had 22,000,000 users. Related ... Did you know The Property Brothers are a band?
Amazon's digital reader, Kindle, also has a similar setup – you pay a little more if you don't want to see ads.
To be clear, you need to be skillful when doing ads on your podcast. Successful podcasters with 5-7 minutes of ads front-loaded onto episodes are the exception and often rely on perceived status and corporate ad buyers who don't know what they're doing to sell that inventory. But if you do it right, there is an opportunity for you to do well with advertising in a way that makes you money, is good for the advertiser, and listeners will be OK with.
The Business of Podcasting
Your Podcasting Aspirations Are No Longer Interesting to Facebook
Facebook is scaling back on its plans for podcasting. Womp womp.
But ... Instagram has some cool stuff in the works, including Instagram new livestream options.
Lots of people watch these movements like they're silver bullets for podcasting ...
Facebook dropping out for a bit isn't going to make you or break you. Keep making good episodes and you'll be able to work with whatever comes along.
The Wrap Up
The Wrap Up
My goal is to better empower podcasters to be more successful spreading their messages and make more money with their podcasts.
I'd love it if you'll help me spread the word about this newsletter by sending your podcasting friends to bigpodcast.com/newsletter.