Podcasters:  Don’t quit your day job—just yet.

Those of us in the podcasting game, both subscribers and producers alike, have listened for the past 4 years on how podcasting could allow a content producer to quit their day job and reap the rewards of financial freedom.

Recently, Michael W. Geoghegan posted some very insightful thoughts on the topic, going as far to say that podcasting is a community rather than an industry.

While I may not agree with that generalizing statement, Michael is dead-on with his explanations and reasonings why independent podcasters seeking to make a profit, are seeing little if any financial reward.  Geoghegan writes, “Over the last 3 years, many companies have launched whose goal was to help monetize your podcast.  None have performed as promised.”  It basically boils down to this:  If you, a content producer, want to successfully monetize your podcast, take the marketing and promotion of your show into your own hands.  I’m not saying do not seek out these podcast promotion companies, instead make sure you continually play an active role in the promotion and selling of your own show.  Podcasts were born out of people who have a passion for what they are talking about.  If they use that same passion and energy, they will greatly increase their chances of achieving some financial success.  The money is there, you just have to decide how badly you want it.  Oh, and I have personal request for all the producers out there - never undervalue your content.  If you feel your show is worth $100, then charge $100, not $10.  The big media companies getting into podcasting know what their content is worth, so should you.


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This seems like a “no duh” sort of thing to me.  It’s really all about community.  I recommend Clay Shirky’s new book, “Here Comes Everybody.”

We’re using tools that allow us for very little cost to communicate with people who are interested in the same things we are.

Can you make money doing it?  Absolutely.  Is it easy? No. 

The Association for Downloadable Media was formed to help create some measurement standards.  We do need some standards to help those in the media buying world who only depend on metrics to justify their expenses.

On the other hand, there are companies who are willing to invest in podcasting to reach customers (internal and external) and they will pay a company to help with the production (one way to make money).  There are some of them who understand that it’s not just how many are listening but who is listening.

So if I start a podcast about the music I like and I’ve got some small group of people listening can I sell it?  Probably.  If you’ve got an audience I think you can monetize it if you’re willing to hustle and know how to market yourself.

I sure wouldn’t depend on someone else selling it for me though.  Reps like to take on something that’s already “making money.”  If you’re making money, do you need a rep?

So, I guess I wouldn’t quit my day job just to become a professional blogger and podcaster.  Wait, I did that 4 years ago.  I guess something must be working!

Chuck Zimmerman Posted on: Apr 03, 2008 at 11:17 PM

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