IN THIS CHAPTER
This was part of Rob's response to an email he received from Anisha, a 13-year-old girl interested in whether or not it was possible to make money off of podcasting. Rob gets this question almost every day, often multiple times per day.
The bottom line is that you need to think of podcasting as a hobbyvery few people will ever make money from their hobbies, and very few people will ever break even with podcasting. Probably greater than 90% of those who podcast will not break even, and less than 1% will ever make enough to compare with a day job.
The current rush into podcasting is very similar to the gold rushes of the past. In this case, the podcasters are the ones panning for gold. A very small number will hit it big, a modest amount will just cover their costs, but most will lose money doing it. Hopefully, those people who lose money will have taken the time to enjoy the fresh air, the outdoors, and the companionship of fellow 49'ers. History shows us that the people supplying equipment and services to the 49'ers were the only ones who really made any money during those gold rushes. And the same will likely be true in podcasting. However, addressing how to make money from those services is well beyond the scope of this book. This book is meant to be a guide to the 49'ers to point out the best ways and locations to pan for gold, so to speak.
In this chapter, we go over the different equipment options and the reasons for picking those pieces of equipment. We break down how much it costs to equip yourself, what it takes to break even, and we even look at the mythical goal of quitting your day job. In this chapter, "gold" is going to be advertising revenue. In Chapter 18, "Generating Revenue," we will expand into looking for silver, copper, and other forms of revenue.
If your podcast is a part of a business, we will look at the issues of using a podcast to promote a product, service, or brand name. Remember, for the most part what we are looking at is uncharted wilderness, and the risk/reward at this time is just not known.
Enough with the cheesy metaphors, and on to the business of making podcasting a business.