Is Podcasting Normally a Full-Time Job? (Explained)

With the internet and social media allowing more people to showcase their craft, one can now have his brand and presence.

Podcasting made a reality out of people’s dreams of being on radio or TV.

Considering the lucrative income a podcast can generate, it has been added to the possible careers you can pursue in mass media. Podcasting can be hard for complete beginners, but is podcasting a full-time job?

What to Know About Full-Time Podcasting:

Podcasting can be a full-time job for people who use it as their primary income revenue, or it can be a part of your business to help increase engagement. With enough affiliate partnerships and sponsorships, as well as a large audience, you can create a full-time podcast job for yourself.

How Many Hours Do Podcasters Typically Work Per Week?

Recording Time:

The actual recording also varies here. It’s best to have a series of guide questions to keep the conversation going and add questions between these guide points.

It’s essential to keep the conversation as free-flowing and natural as possible to keep listeners more enticed to finish the episode. You can expect to devote anywhere from 2 – 3 hours of recording time.

Editing Time:

Once you’re done recording, it’s time to clean up and edit your podcast episode.

Taking notes during the actual interview helps so that you can look for the right parts to keep in the recording. While it only takes a few clicks to clean up noise, you also need to devote time to cleaning up gaps between dialogues so that there’s no dead air.

The actual editing time depends on how long your recording is. Unless you know exactly which parts to get, the clean-up and editing time can be anywhere from 6 – 8 hours, as you also need to balance volume levels and cue in your music and product placement clips.

This editing time may be shorter if you don’t have a particular length for your podcast, but if you do, you may have to push yourself to trim as much material to have a more cohesive conversation that fits your time limit.

Additional Time:

After that, you’ll need to create show notes, which summarize the episode so that people know what to expect when they tune in. Writing the show notes can take an hour at most.

Assuming a podcaster works alone, they may have to spend an hour inviting guests to the show and around two hours meeting and setting up the recording equipment at the venue to record the podcast.

If the podcast is recorded remotely through video conferencing apps like Zoom, you can slash an hour off from the travel and setup time.

Total Time Spent:

All in all, you’ll need to devote 12 hours per episode.

You’re likely to break this into different days, and you’re likely to have two episodes done per week. To produce two podcasts a week, you’ll need to devote a total of 24 hours.

On top of that, you need to spend some time marketing and developing revenue sources for your show, which can take around eight hours of your time.

You can spend less if you’re only gunning for one new episode a week, but it helps advance content, especially when you have conflicts in schedules, which happens when you have a guest who couldn’t make it.

How Long Time Does it Take to Edit a Podcast Episode?

The duration to edit a podcast depends on the time of the recording.

That’s why it helps to take notes during the recording to help you find critical portions. Finding these crucial parts of the recording will speed up the job.

All in all, you should look at spending anywhere from 6 – 8 hours editing the recording. This period should cover cleaning up the recording, such as reducing background noise, getting rid of dead air, and unnecessary words or expressions, such as “um…”.

Suppose you also do a simultaneous video recording of your podcast. In that case, it might take a little longer, especially if you are trying to clean up the video quality and render the final output for upload on your social media channels. 

Once you get the final output, you can easily create snippets for teasers to promote the episode.

Do Most Podcasters Do it as a Full-Time Job?

Not everyone does podcasting as a full-time job. It’s often seen as just one of the income or activities one podcaster does related to one’s industry.

While people do podcasting for a living, these come with other side hustles or related jobs. A podcaster may also be doing product reviews on the side, especially for items related to podcasting or their industry.

A good example would be Bandrew Scott, who handles two podcasts, helps manage a podcasting network, and does a product review on YouTube.

Others do podcasting as one of their jobs or business components. An excellent example of this would be the Dipped in Tone Podcast, which serves as one of the avenues of the hosts for their music-related endeavors.

How Much Do Full-Time Podcasters Make?

Full-time podcasters have the potential of earning anywhere from $10,000 to $500,000 per episode. Though podcasters don’t get paid by Spotify, they make money from many other sources.

While this amount is not fixed, a full-time and well-established podcaster will be able to charge this much for ad placements. In some cases, companies hire podcasters to do podcasts to feature their latest services or products.

Not all beginning podcasters can start at this rate. With the proper strategy, achieving this amount per episode is possible.

How Do you Become a Full-Time Podcaster?

Becoming full-time takes a lot of effort, but you can succeed with the right strategies in mind. You might not take home half a million dollars an episode, but you can make it a decent source of income.

Here are some strategies to consider to help you in your journey towards full-time podcasting.

Build on your Assets:

When you decide to take that leap of going from hobbyist to full-time, you need to enhance the assets that will help you make your work more fulfilling. Remember that your goal is to make podcasting a living, so you need to invest more.

It would be best if you prioritized the following assets:

  • Your podcast should be considered as both a product and a marketing platform.
  • A podcast website provides an index to your podcast episodes and links to products or services you might offer.
  • You can use a mailing list to push new content or services to your market.
  • Actual products or services that don’t cost much yet can provide high value, such as e-books or consultations.

Developing a Trustworthy Brand:

The ultimate goal of your podcast should be aimed at becoming the go-to content source for your niche.

Whether you provide entertainment or valuable information that people want, you should develop that identity.

That means having the proper branding, including visual and audio identity. You want to have a logo and colors that people will remember when they see it, and your logo must ensure easy recall. It’s also what makes your podcast mean business and go beyond being a passion project.

Your branding also reflects the vibe of your podcast. If you’re taking things to another level from your bedroom project, you need not rebrand but instead work on your podcast and base the branding from there.

Have Goals and Plans for the Short to Long-Term:

If you’re dead serious about making podcasting your profession, you have to put some semblance of planning. One episode may go viral, but it might not always be enough to get the ball rolling for you.

Short, medium and long-term goals help you make your podcasting more sustainable. With the short-term goals, you can establish targets such as having a regular broadcasting schedule and consistent content you can churn out.

A normal broadcast will keep listeners tuned in at a specific time for your content.

Long-term goals should include having major income generation but not limited to sponsorships or paid partnerships. You can have your related income sources independent of the podcast or have a strong community based on your program.

Long-term goals tend to expand or get bigger, so be prepared to keep aiming higher.

Understand Your Market:

Like any other business, you should understand your market, including their preferences.

Do they prefer something straightforward and serious, or are they good with quirky podcasts to discuss a topic? Choosing a great topic makes a big difference in creating engagement.

For this part, it helps to hang out where your market is. You can check Facebook or LinkedIn groups to help you see their behavior and preferences. You can even try to converse with your market for you to understand what they need.

To also help you understand your market, it also pays to check out the content of other podcasters in your niche. Pay attention to how they discuss topics, what kind of audience they cater to, and how they keep engagement high so that businesses return to them—another advantage of knowing what you can improve from other podcasts.

Become Consistent in Content:

Consistency is vital if you are looking at making podcasting a full-time job. It starts with having regular content, even when interviews fall through or when you’re on vacation.

To be consistent, you need to plan to have at least a month’s worth of podcasts ready for publishing. That will give you buffer time to prepare the next batch if there are conflicts of schedules with your guests or any technical problems that may need some downtime.

Being consistent also makes you more visible on the web. If you are more visible, more search engines will notice your content and push it to the front page of search results.

When it comes to content, while it does help to be an expert at your niche, it’s okay if you aren’t. You can be the guy who asks questions about things that have always interested you.

Try to go for familiar topics, but it doesn’t hurt to discuss issues that aren’t often asked. That will help you, too, by making you more unique in the search results.

Can You Start a Podcast if You’re Not a Famous Person?

Anyone can start a podcast, even if you’re not famous. While having an established identity will help, not everyone started big.

Many podcasts that became famous started with personal projects and bloomed with the help of organic promotions.

You don’t need to be an expert in your niche, too; you can always position yourself as that curious person who asks questions that others may also want to ask. What’s essential is that you have a good understanding of your niche and the market.

How Do Podcasters Earn Per Episode?

What makes podcasting very lucrative is the different revenue sources and the possibility of getting with them. The nice thing about them is that they consist of both active and passive means to generate income.

Here are some of the revenue sources to explore in podcasting:

Affiliate Links:

Affiliate links are passive ways of earning on each podcast.

You can generate a unique link that the merchant or e-commerce platform can track as a basis for your commissions. Affiliate links are suitable for those wanting an effortless way of earning. All you need to do is put your affiliate links in the description so that your listeners can click on them.

You earn a small commission when people go to these stores through your link. The percentage you get depends on the product, with commissions going from 1 – 10 percent. The most popular site to get affiliate links would be Amazon.

The nice thing about affiliate links is that the commission you get comes at no cost to the customer who buys from your link. They are also more on the long-term since future customers can use them as long as the e-commerce platform you’re promoting is active.

The downside, however, is that they can be small income, which is why they’re treated as a passive source that you set, and the algorithm of your podcast will do the rest.

Product Placements:

Product placements are straightforward ways of advertising.

These often involve mentions of products during the podcast and are usually done naturally. Notices of product placements are said before starting the podcast as a disclaimer.

Companies pay podcasters to mention their brand to create more awareness. In some cases, podcasters are paid to discuss a product for a whole episode. If that’s not enough, podcasters would have someone from the sponsor company to guest and discuss the product.

Episode Guests:

Episode guest stars are good sources of revenue since companies pay for the whole show and provide you with the guest. While some frown at the idea, considering the ethics behind it, podcasters set boundaries for these kinds of questions.

They avoid having planted questions or questions that would have any biases that favor the sponsor. Podcasters who take this route for revenue may take guide questions but insist on having majority control over the content.

Like any other product placement, disclaimers need to be placed at the beginning of the show for transparency.

In-Stream Advertisements:

In-stream advertisements are used by podcasters who use YouTube to host their show. Like any other YouTuber, in-stream promotions drive revenue at no cost to the viewer. On top of that, you also get a share from YouTube Premium subscriptions.

These ads should be considered passive income, as they are set and forgotten and will generate ads based on those who view them. There are different kinds of ads to use and include non-skippable ads.

The disadvantage with in-stream advertising is that you don’t earn from those who skip ads and use ad blockers. Another thing to note is the minimum amount needed to withdraw your earnings.

In-Episode Ads:

These ads are short commercials you may find in podcasts. Companies pay for a few seconds to have their plug played on your podcast. While not at all unethical, these ads can be annoying to some viewers, which can affect the ratings of your podcast.

It does carry the advantage of being ready to play, and you don’t need to create a spiel to introduce these products.

Exclusive Content:

Podcasters use services like Patreon to generate revenue from a paid subscription. In exchange, you will have to provide exclusive content that they can’t get from listening to your podcast. I

Ideally, the exclusive offers should not have many overhead costs to produce. It can range from monthly free eBooks to live and personal consultations and even content that you probably won’t put in your podcast.

Your Website:

Your website serves as a hub for all the products and services you offer, aside from the podcast index.

You can use this to generate email lists offer sign-ups for your services, among other things. If you are planning to scale your podcasts, a website is non-negotiable.

What Tools Do I Need to Start Podcasting?

You can start podcasting with your laptop and a pair of earphones or headphones. 

Your computer has a built-in microphone that allows you to record audio. If you plan to have guests, you can use tools like Zoom to register with your guest, and you don’t even need to leave your house.

Editing the raw file for your podcast can be done with free software such as Audacity and Garage Band.

If you plan to scale up your podcasting, you may want to invest in the following:

  • A USB Mixer or audio interface that allows for multiple inputs
  • A pair of closed-back headphones (ideally studio-grade)
  • Condenser microphones, one for each person in the podcast recording


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