When you decide to start a podcast, you need a well-laid-out plan. One of the aspects of this plan is setting the right budget.
Starting a podcast is an investment - an investment with long-term, achievable goals and rewards. You need to have a well-organized outline of how much you’re going to spend on equipment, software, etc.
Here are five things you should consider to set the right budget when starting a podcast.
Start Investing in the Basics
Podcasting doesn’t have to cost a fortune. If you’re just starting out, the basic equipment for you to put in your budget is a microphone, pop filter, headphones and software. The most preferred mic for many podcasters is the Audio-Technica ATR2100. It costs $79 on Amazon. (For our podcast - which is currently planned for launch in 2019 - we chose the Behringer Condenser Microphone, which runs about $50 on Amazon).
A professional pop filter, which is a screen that is placed in front of your mic, may only set you back about $8.
Headphones are also important when recording and the Sony MDR7506, which is frequently used by most podcasters, costs $61.99 on Amazon. (Because we love the Behringer brand - we chose the Behringer HPS3000 Studio Headphones, which offer amazing sound quality for under $25).
When it comes to software, there are free alternatives which you could use for editing and adding effects and music to your podcast. Some of them include Garage Band and Audacity. For more robust editing features, you can also consider programs such as Adobe Audition and Hindenburg Journalist.
When recording your interviews, many podcasters prefer Pamela for Skype for Windows users or Zoom (affiliate link) which works for Windows and Mac users alike, though there are a plethora of other options also available.
To Hire or Not to Hire a Show Note Writer
If your budget is limited and you have the time for this, writing your own show notes doesn’t sound like a bad idea. But, on the other hand, if you don’t have the time or the energy to fit this into your podcasting schedule, you may want to consider hiring a professional podcast copywriting company.
Hiring a Designer for Your Cover Art
Another aspect of your podcast budget is hiring a designer for your cover art. Every podcast needs an impressive cover art. Good artwork will help you attract more listeners and downloads.
Many podcasters are finding reasonably priced artwork on Fiverr. This website offers a wide variety of services in which creatives charge between $5 and $50, on average.
Other alternatives include creating the artwork yourself in tools such as Canva or hiring a professional graphic designer. If you choose to create your own podcast cover art - and feel your design skills are up to snuff - Daniel J. Lewis over at Audacity to Podcast has a great episode on how to make great podcast cover art.
Hiring an Audio Editor or Production Company
Editing your audio is another vital piece to consider when starting a podcast. But are you going to edit your shows yourself, hire a freelancer, or work with a full-blown production company?
Fiverr also has listings of freelancers who will charge you as little as $5 for audio editing services. You could also utilize other freelancing sources such as Upwork or Airgigs, which has a listing for podcast editing post-production per 10 minutes for $6.
Whether you hire a freelancer, a professional production company, or do it yourself, make sure you’re able to fit this within your budget.
Fitting Miscellaneous Things into Your Budget
Now that you have the equipment, professional podcast copywriting services, cover art and the professional editing services, it’s now time to decide if you want to fit in other things in your podcast budget.
Have you ever thought of getting a virtual assistant who could help in sourcing guests for your show or managing social media posts?
Or a professional voice-over to do your intro/outro for your show?
Yes, you could do these things on your own, but outsourcing these tasks could save you lots of money and time.
The virtual assistant who is well versed in social media marketing and management will likely already have an understanding of software such as Hootsuite, MeetEdgar, Later, or Buffer, so you likely won’t have to train her with it. She will certainly save you time by not having to worry about this and other behind the scenes stuff.
As for hiring a professional voice-over artist, you could find some on Fiverr. As brought out earlier, they typically charge a reasonable price. Another option for top-quality, professional VO talent is Speedy Spots (which comes highly recommended by many podcast producers).
Setting the right podcast budget requires a lot of smart planning. You need to have a well-organized outline for how much you want to invest in the pre- and post-production tasks of starting and producing a professional podcast. By following this outline, you will be on your way to investing in a promising show.
Have some additional tips about setting a budget when starting a new podcast? Drop us a line in the comments below and share your insight with other amazing podcasters!