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Business Idea: Podcasts

Podcasts have been popping up all over the Internet in the past year or so. I have come across podcasts on anything from the latest tech gadgets to gardening tips. With millions of listeners out there and plenty of new people listening to podcasts every single day, now is a great time to start your own podcast and make some money along the way.

So far podcasts sound pretty similar to an Internet Talk Radio Show, doesn’t it? Even though the two have many similarities, there are also quite a few differences. Podcasts are unusually not as structured as an Internet Talk Radio show. The tone of a podcast is very informal. Podcasts are usually on blogs and are also available for automatic download to your mp3 player through RSS. Podcasts also don’t have guests on every show. The host of the podcasts does a lot of the talking him or herself. Podcasts be shorter or just as long as a talk radio show, plus they can vary in length from one show to the next.

There is a little bit of both hardware and software you will need for a good sounding podcast. Podcasts are usually broadcast as mp3’s, so you need some sort of software to record your show as well as a decent microphone. Plantronics has some great mike’s available. You can either use software like Allrecorder or a complete service like Audio Acrobat that will also host your audio files for you. Having your files hosted through a service like audio acrobat has the added benefit that people listening to and downloading your podcast will not eat up your bandwidth. This may save you quite a bit of money in hosting fees. You also don’ t have to worry about troubleshooting when there is an issue with the audio files.

Let’s talk about how you can start making money with your podcast. Your two main sources of income will be paid advertising and affiliate programs. You can sell 30 – 60 second ad spots on your podcast, as well as advertising spots on the site that links to the audio file of your podcast. As far as affiliate marketing goes, you can promote related products on your website and mention them in your show. If a listener follows your recommendation and buys the product through your link you will make a commission.

Another, newer source of income for podcasts that’s starting to pop up is sponsorship. Companies will pay good money to be mentioned as the main sponsor of the podcast both on your podcast website and in the show itself. Once your podcast attracts some listeners and you start getting some publicity, it should be easy to attract a corporate sponsor. In the meantime you could contact a few small businesses in your target market that may be interested in sponsoring your podcast for a few months.

Now sit down, grab a pen and paper and come up with a great topic you can talk about for hours. Jot down a few ideas and start recording. Before you know it, your first own podcast will be up online.

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