Why You Should Start and Monetize a Mini Podcast
Have you ever wanted to start a podcast about your area of expertise, but you were scared off by all the time and effort required to make it? I’d like to introduce you to my friend, mini podcasting.
Mini podcasts are short — typically 20 minutes or under. The short duration appeals to both you as the host and to your listeners who are short on time. In that span, you can drop all of your knowledge on a given topic, educating your audience and showing off your smarts at the same time.
I cover the factors that make a mini podcast successful and attainable on an episode of Make Money Podcasting. Here are some of the key takeaways from the episode:
So how do you get started? And more importantly, why should a mini podcast be part of your marketing strategy? I break it down for you into bite-sized pieces.
Reasons why you need a mini podcast
Your podcast doesn’t have to be long to be valuable. Let’s talk through some of the big wins of starting a short podcast.
Short podcast = less editing
A long-form interview show seems to be the most common kind of podcast out there. But is it always the best?
You have to prep your questions for a longer conversation and allow extra time for editing all the content. Inevitably, a guest might not be as concise as you need them to be, so you’ll spend a lot of time editing out irrelevant sidebars or “ums” and “ahs.”
With mini podcasting, you alone are the host and the guest. I want you to get on the mic, talk about your given topic for 20 minutes or less, and save the rest of the content for the next episode.
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Now, let’s address pod fade.
You start a podcast. You’ve got an idea of what you want to talk about, how often, and when you’ll record. But then, things don’t exactly go according to plan. As with many new habits, the podcast falls to the wayside with other projects moving to the forefront.
With mini podcasting, you can seriously diminish the risk of pod fade. If you follow my guide here, you’ll be well on your way to creating and monetizing meaningful content for your followers.
🎙 Top tip: I like to use Descript to edit my mini podcast episodes. The editing tools are easy to use and lend themselves well to solo shows.
Showcase your expertise
On a mini podcast, it’s just you on the mic talking about the things that you know best. What does that make you? A thought leader in your subject area.
I’ve talked in the past about how providing helpful content builds an audience and deepens their trust in you as an authority. That’s exactly what a mini podcast is: a way for you to show what you know.
If 20 minutes sounds like an overwhelming amount of time, keep it simple. Pick your topic, outline what you know about it, turn on your mic, and let ‘er rip. You’d be surprised how much time you can fill when you get going on something you know well.
Episode batching is simple
With interview-style podcasts, batching is a tall order. Maintaining the emotional stamina to truly engage with your guests if you’re recording multiple episodes back-to-back in a single day is challenging. Even for an extrovert, that’s a lot of time to spend socializing.
I once tried to batch five podcast episodes with guests, and I can say with confidence that the quality tanked somewhere between the second and fifth interviews.
Not so with mini podcasts. You’re the host and the guest, and the time is so short that within a couple of hours, you could record several episodes of your podcast. That’s much easier to build into your schedule than hours of prep, recording, and editing for a standard-length podcast.
Short content is hot right now
Some of my favorite podcasts are multiple hours in length. But that doesn’t mean I always have the listening time to spare.
Let’s face it: Attention spans are short. TikTok and other social media apps have conditioned people to enjoy snippets of information rather than long lectures. Even for longer videos on the apps, the maximum length clocks in around three to 10 minutes.
A short time commitment gives your listeners the chance to fit your content into their lives. A short podcast could be the length of folding a load of laundry, a commute to the office, or a daily walk. Giving your audience a chance to hear you out quickly makes your message more likely to be heard.
How to make a mini podcast
Now that I’ve convinced you why you need to make a mini podcast, let’s dive into how to make it happen.
1. Start with a mission statement
You can’t start down a new road without a map. (Well, you can, but you’re more likely to get lost — and lose your following along the way.)
A clear mission statement for your podcast will give clarity to what you want to accomplish with your show. I covered more about this on an episode of Make Money Podcasting. It comes down to three main questions:
2. Pick your topics
Dig deep into your knowledge bank. What do you know best? Come up with 20-25 topics that you could cover in under 20 minutes. Break them into smaller chunks as necessary.
Still stumped on how to file down the focus of your mini podcast? Check out my thoughts on this subject on an episode of Make Money Podcasting.
3. Record 3-4 episodes at a time
Mini podcasting is all about batching! Organizing your time this way makes it easier to tear through content quickly while still keeping the quality high.
If you’re ready to talk for 20 minutes on your given topic, go for it! Otherwise, I recommend shooting for 12-15 minutes of content to start. You can edit from there.
4. Release episodes on a schedule
A good cadence for releasing episodes is bi-weekly or weekly. Anything less might leave listeners wondering where you went, assuming they lost you to pod fade.
Even more importantly, sponsors won’t be interested in an inconsistent show.
If you’re recording three to four episodes in a batch session per month, that’s plenty of content to get you through that timeframe. And it will keep your audience coming back for more, excited for what you have to offer next.
How to monetize a mini podcast
Once you’ve landed on the topics and process for your mini podcast, it’s time to start monetizing. Here’s how to make money with your shorter show.
Have a clear call to action
You’ve got listeners. They’re here for the free, helpful, and short content you’re giving out. But they also think you’re smart and feel a connection to you. Why not close that loop with a clear call to action?
At a minimum, that can look like getting them to sign up for your mailing list. But don’t stop there if you have more content ready for the market. That could be a course, a book, a product, or a workshop.
It can also be helpful for the services or products you offer to have an “impulse buy” price point. If your call to action is for them to buy your book, $9.99 is a good price in that accessible range.
Your audience trusts you. You have products and services to offer them. Don’t be afraid to ask them what you really want to ask them!
Find a sponsor that aligns with your content
You might think that you need hours of content or a huge audience to attract a sponsor. But that’s just not true.
Go back to your podcast mission statement, and think about what kinds of sponsors might be trying to reach your audience.
Just because the content is short doesn’t mean the sponsor doesn’t want access to your listeners. In fact, your mini podcast might be an even better fit for your sponsor. Listeners won’t have to wade through lengthy content to get to the ad breaks — meaning they hear about the sponsor quicker.
🎙 Top tip: I recently had Alexis Grant as a guest on How I Built It to discuss how niche content brings laser focus to what kinds of sponsors to seek. If you want more guidance on how to make that niche content, you can find more on this topic here.
Funnel your audience to paid gigs
Just as the call the action should be clear and simple, your audience also might be interested in hiring you to share your expertise elsewhere through speaking engagements or podcast appearances.
Invite your listeners to reach out on your contact form to continue the conversation and engage with your topics. Again, joining your mailing list can be a great way to stay in touch if they don’t have specific feedback now.
Keeping the lines of communication open will open the door to more chances for you to get paid for your expertise — and a whole new world of opportunities.