Podcasting has become one of the most popular forms of content creation in recent years. Moreover, Statista affirms that revenue in the podcast advertising market is projected to reach $3.46 billion (US dollars) in 2023. But, how to start a podcast with no audience? Is it even possible?
Starting a podcast can be a daunting task, especially if you have no audience. However, in today’s blog post, we’ll provide you with all you need to know about starting a podcast in 2023 to help you get started. Let’s dive in!
Is Starting a Podcast Worth it in 2023?
Millions are tuning in daily to listen to their favorite shows in podcast format, which indicates a thriving ecosystem for new creators. But, is starting a podcast worth it in 2023? The short answer is yes.
In fact, according to a report by Edison Research, 90 million Americans are weekly podcast listeners. Additionally, the report found that weekly podcast listeners listened to an average of 9 podcasts in the last week.
This indicates that there is indeed a market for content creators to create their own podcasts. Starting from scratch can seem overwhelming, but it’s completely possible (with the proper amount of planning and consistency) to start a successful podcast and make money from it.
How to Make a Podcast for Free (And Some Budget-Friendly Tips)
Making a podcast doesn’t have to be expensive! You can later buy more equipment and invest more money as your podcast grows. Here are some tips for starting a podcast on a budget:
Choosing a Cost-Effective Niche with Potential
One of the most important steps in starting a podcast is choosing a niche. It’s essential to choose a niche that not only resonates with you but also has the potential to attract an audience.
At this stage, conducting SEO research can help you pinpoint both your niche and potential episode topics. You can use tools like Google Trends, Ahrefs, and SEMrush to find out what people are searching for and what topics are popular in your niche.
For more insights on how to do SEO research, check out our guide on how to validate a business idea using SEO.
Essential Equipment: Achieving Quality Sound on a Budget
When it comes to equipment, you don’t need to break the bank to achieve quality sound. While it’s true that high-end microphones and recording equipment improve the audio quality of your podcast, there are plenty of budget-friendly options available.
Overall, it’s entirely possible to start with basic, affordable tools. If you can, invest in a decent microphone and headphones, and you’re good to go. And if not, you can even start your podcast with your smartphone!
On the other hand, it’s important to find a quiet place to record. Did you know that many podcasters can’t access a professional studio and record inside their closets?
Use Free and Affordable Editing Tools
Editing your podcast is an essential step in creating a high-quality show. While professional editing software like Adobe Audition and Pro Tools can be expensive, there are plenty of free and affordable options available.
For example, Audacity is a popular free audio editing software that’s easy to use and has a wide range of features to edit your audio and remove any background noise.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more advanced editing tool, Reaper is a great option that costs $60 for a personal license. As you grow, you can later consider budget-friendly subscriptions that offer advanced features (if you need them).
How to Start a Podcast With No Audience
Now you know that’s entirely possible to start a podcast with little to no investment. The next problem is finding your audience.
While it’s easier to start a podcast if you already have a consolidated audience, you can totally build an audience from scratch. Let’s see how to start a podcast with no audience:
Strategies to Attract Your First Set of Listeners
One of the best ways to go is to leverage your existing network. This means sharing your podcast on social media and asking your friends and family to listen and share it with their networks. This first layer of support can be invaluable to get your podcast off the ground.
You can also leverage different free content distribution platforms to create and distribute high-quality content regarding your niche and grow your audience that way.
Additionally, you can engage in communities and forums in your niche. Unita’s directory has over 30 categories for you to search for like-minded people in your niche. We even have several podcasters communities listed for you to find fellow podcasters!
Joining communities and interacting with their members will help you build a network and exchange insights with others doing podcasts. Additionally, communities are great places to find collaboration opportunities with established podcasters in your niche.
Remember, every podcast began with zero listeners: consistency and quality will drive growth. To find more audience-building strategies, check out our guide on how to build an email list without a website. Those recommendations will help you build a podcast without an audience as well.
Building a Community to Engage and Grow Your Audience
Building an online community around your podcast is essential for long-term success.
Once you’ve got your first set of listeners, one of the best ways to engage and grow your audience is to create a Discord server or use another platform where listeners connect with each other and discuss your episodes.
In fact, an online community allows you not only to interact with listeners but also to ask for feedback and suggestions to improve your show and make it more relevant to your niche.
Best Podcast Platforms and Monetization Opportunities
When it comes to hosting your podcast, there are plenty of options available. Some of the most popular podcast platforms include Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts, but there are many others.
On the other hand, people also use YouTube to upload their podcasts and reach a wider audience. Let’s see how to leverage Spotify and YouTube for your podcast.
How to Start a Podcast on Spotify
Spotify for Podcasters is a free platform that offers recording, editing, analytics, and monetization tools. You can use this platform to create, distribute, analyze, and grow your show as well as gain access to exclusive earning tools and formats like video podcasts on Spotify.
On the other hand, it’s important to note that while podcasters can earn money on Spotify, Spotify itself doesn’t pay podcasters directly.
Instead, you can use Spotify’s monetization tools to earn money through ads, sponsorships, and paid subscriptions. The amount of money you can make on Spotify varies depending on your audience size, monetization strategy, and other factors.
How to Start a Podcast on YouTube
While YouTube can be a great platform for hosting your podcast, it’s not a podcasting platform in and of itself.
So, if your main goal is to break into the podcasting space, first get your episodes listed on all the leading podcast platforms out there (like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts). Then, you may choose to take the additional step of uploading the episodes to YouTube as part of your audience-building strategy.
YouTube is a great place for podcasts, especially if you can offer visual content or interviews. To get started, explore the YouTube Podcasts page to learn how to create a YouTube channel and upload your podcast episodes.
On the other hand, to monetize your YouTube channel, you need to meet certain requirements to join the YouTube Partner Program. The requirements vary according to your country, but if you’re in the United States, you need:
- 500 subscribers,
- 3 public uploads in the last 90 days,
- and either 3K public watch hours in the last 12 months or 3M public Shorts views in the last 90 days.
There are several ways to earn money through the YouTube Partner Program, including ad revenue share, affiliate marketing, merchandise sales, memberships, sponsorships, and brand deals. However, the amount of money you can earn will vary depending on the method used, your number of views, and the engagement generated with your videos.
How to Make Money With a Podcast: Podcast Monetization Tips
While starting a podcast can be a fun and rewarding hobby, it’s also possible to make money from your show. Here are some of the ways to monetize a podcast:
Sponsorships are one of the most popular ways to monetize a podcast since brands are always on the lookout for niche audiences.
To attract the right brands, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your audience and their interests, so make sure you leverage the analytics tools on platforms like Spotify and YouTube. Additionally, you’ll need to craft a compelling media kit and approach brands that align with your content.
A media kit is a document that contains all the important information about your podcast in one place, such as a host description, number of listeners, social following, sponsorship opportunities, previous guests, and more. It’s an essential tool for pitching your show to guests and potential sponsors.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Monetizing a podcast through affiliate marketing involves partnering with brands that offer products or services relevant to your niche and promoting them to your audience.
You can promote affiliates on your show, through social media, or on your website, and earn a commission for each sale made through your unique affiliate link.
To find affiliate marketing opportunities, you can reach out to companies directly or use affiliate networks to find relevant products, such as, , or .
3. Listener Donations and Premium Content
In fact, platforms like Patreon and Buy Me a Coffee allow listeners to support your show by making one-time or recurring donations. These platforms allow creators to offer exclusive content to paying subscribers, providing a steady income stream.
Additionally, you can create premium content like bonus episodes or exclusive merchandise to offer to your most loyal fans.
How to Start a Podcast and Make Money (Starting a Podcast Checklist)
Now that we’ve covered the basics of how to start a podcast with no audience, here’s a checklist that condenses all the information in this blog post:
With the right strategies, aspiring podcasters in 2023 can carve a niche for themselves. By following the steps outlined in this blog post and leveraging the right tools and strategies, you can create a high-quality show that attracts a loyal audience and generates revenue.