Should you start a podcast side hustle?

Fempreneur / Wednesday, November 13th, 2019
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dreaming of starting a podcast side hustle? I’ve been a podcast fan for years and after falling in love with true crime podcasts, I decided that I wanted to create my own. And it’s been a wild ride ever since.

Podcasting keeps getting listed as a great side hustle, and as a podcaster and lover of side hustle culture, I thought I’d share some of the pros and cons of starting your very own podcast side hustle.

The case for the podcast side hustle

I see podcasting listed as a viable side hustle by almost every personal finance blog out there, but most of those writers aren’t podcasters. Luckily I happen to both write about personal finance and am a part time podcaster, so I’m in a unique position to talk about why the podcast side hustle might be a great idea for you:

It’s relatively easy

While podcasting is by no means a walk in the park, it is relatively easy to learn. With next to no experience, I taught myself how to podcast—everything from writing to editing and publishing podcasts, so I can tell you with absolute confidence that there isn’t anything that can’t be learned.

You don’t need a huge budget

When it comes down to it, the more money you have when it comes to starting your podcast the better. But truthfully, you can start a podcast with next to nothing.

When I started The Lady Dicks Podcast, I spent about $300. My biggest purchases were equipment, namely mics and a mixer. Plus monthly hosting, editing equipment and a website. 

That said, you don’t need to spend that much money. So long as you have something to record on (your phone or laptop works for this), a microphone (if you’re strapped for cash use the microphone on your headphones) and an editing program (you can use Audacity for free), then you’re good on the technical side.

The industry is booming

Podcasting is really growing. There are millions of podcast episodes out there and it seems that more and more new podcasts are being released. And while it seems like there are a lot of podcasts in the space, there is still room for more.

Listeners are always looking for great content. So, if you have a great idea and are willing to put the work into it, then there is an audience out there for you.

You can potentially make money

Finally, there is definitely the potential to make money with a podcast side hustle. Before we get too far into making money, I do have to say that monetizing your podcast is no easy and fast feat. But if you’re willing to put the work into it, the potential is definitely there.

Podcasters make money in a ton of different ways. From direct advertising, sponsorships and affiliate links, you can work with external companies to bring in money. Or, you can sell your own products or services to your audience to bring in the cash.

The case against the podcast side hustle

But things aren’t all hunky doory in the world of podcasting. While there are a number of pros when it comes to podcasting, there are a few downsides to it as well. It’s taken me a while to figure out what they are:

It’s not a walk in the park

While podcasting isn’t brain surgery, it’s not a walk in the park either. There is a lot of hard work that goes into creating just one episode, let alone an entire podcast. 

I probably spend 10 to 15 hours per week on The Lady Dicks Podcast, which includes everything from writing and editing, to publishing, recording and marketing. There’s a lot of time and effort that goes into creating an amazing podcast, so if you want to do it correctly you need to be passionate about it.

It takes time

I find that a lot of new podcasters get discouraged when their podcast doesn’t shoot up in downloads in day one. But the thing about podcasting, like everything else, is that success doesn’t happen overnight. You need to be willing to put the work into it and you need to be patient.

This is the same for when it comes to monetizing your podcast side hustle. Most times, podcasters aren’t in a position to start monetizing their podcast right out of the gate. They don’t have a big enough audience to leverage or relationships built with advertisers.

So, should you go for the podcast side hustle?

When prospective podcasters ask me whether they should podcast or not, I always say go for it. You’ll find out fast whether or not the podcast side hustle is for you. But be prepared to work hard, get a little deflated at times but ultimately have a whole lot of fun.

I started podcasting a few years ago, and while it’s been a challenge when it comes down to it, I’ve never looked back. It’s one of the most fun things that I do.

Do you have a podcast side hustle? Share it in the comments below so I can take a listen!

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