How to Smartly Invest in Your Podcast
I like to think about podcast growth as traveling cross country. You could technically do it for free — pretty much. You can walk, find free public transportation, or hitch the occasional ride.
But it will take a long time, and you’re not in control of your time. If you want to get there faster, invest in a bike or a car. Or better yet, a plane ticket.
If You Want Your Podcast to Grow, Invest in it
The same thing goes for podcasting. Yes…you can do it for pretty much free. But that means you’re doing everything yourself or you’re skipping crucial things.
The other day I tweet:
I sincerely believe that. Investing a little money to add a feature or take something off your plate can go a long way. Like renting a car, or flying, instead of walking.
But what should you invest in? Here are 4 areas where you can invest in your podcast that will help you grow your show.
Hire an Editor
When you invest in your podcast, one of the things you should get back is time. So pick the activities that take up all of your time. For me, it bar-none was editing.
If you’re anything like me, you hate editing. It takes a long time, and you’re probably overly critical of yourself, which means you’re heavy-handed.
And while it’s true that some editors cost hundreds of dollars per episode, some cost around $50 per episode.
My recommendation: head over to Fiverr or Upwork and see if you can find someone who will do good cleanup work for you.
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Get Transcript Done
I’ve made the argument for podcast transcripts before. They are accessible, convenient, and they help SEO. Many podcasters skip them because they are expensive, but do so at their own peril.
In that same article, I outline how to do transcripts. Some folks will use a tools like Descript and then fix them — but they are spending their time in the wrong place.
My recommendation: Use Fiverr or Upwork again. I’ve found some fantastic transcribers there. They are more affordable than Rev, and produce a better transcript. You’re looking at about $50-70, and it’s totally worth it, especially now that podcast platforms are starting to support them natively.
Repurpose Content for Other Platforms
One of the drawbacks of podcasting is there’s not really a single place for people to go and listen like there is for YouTube. As a result, you have Apple Podcasts and Spotify accounting for 60-70% of downloads, and a mishmash of lesser-known apps for the other 30%. So how can you combat this? You repurpose content.
You can create audio clips to share on social media, have episodes repurposed into blog posts, and convert the audio into a video format to upload on YouTube.
There are lots of companies that offer services like this, ranging from $250 to a $1000 per month.
My recommendation: pick a couple of platforms you want to repurpose to and focus on those. If you decide to do audio clips, for example, you can likely hire someone who specializes in that for much less than $1000/mo.
Promote your podcast with affordable ads
Organic traffic isn’t the only way to grow your podcast. I’ve experimented with paid ads and have has some success. You can do it for as little as $100 and it can lead to a nice boost in downloads.
I would make sure the latest episodes are especially good, with a super clear CTA to capture the audience.
My recommendation: Check out places like Buzzsprout Ads, Overcast, and Castro to do paid ads. Set a budget, and experiment a little. I had especially good success with Overcast!
What Should You Do Next?
As you make these money investments to free up your time and grow your show, it’s time to re-invest your time into the things that matter:
- Finding and researching good guests (if you do interviews)
- Building a better format
- Finding sponsors
- Building a product you can sell.
- Growing your mailing list!
I’ve been able to grow my podcast to one in the top 2% of podcasts because of the investments I made above. What can you do if you invest just a little bit of money?