I still remember how excited I felt about starting my own podcast. After producing and editing podcasts for other hosts, I couldn’t wait to dive in with my idea and bring my own show to life. But before I could fully dive in, I had to figure out how much I could invest.
Unfortunately, the cost of starting a podcast holds some hopeful hosts from launching their dream. On the flip side, not being realistic about the startup costs of a podcast can land some eager hosts in trouble.
Wherever you are on that spectrum, I want you to be prepared when it comes to podcast startup costs. While podcasting isn’t free, but there are ways to make it work with budgets of all sizes.
Podcast Expenses to Keep in Mind
First of all, what are the basic podcast expenses? I have a podcast episode all about this, so I’ll give you the short version in this blog. Here are the basic expenses you’ll need to plan for:
- Recording gear: starts at $150 for entry-level equipment
- Hosting service: around $25 a month (I do not recommend free hosting services)
- Royalty-free music: one-time payment of around $50
- Recording platform: free to around $150
These four expenses are the most important startup costs and technically all you need to launch your show. However, most podcast hosts also pay for website hosting, graphic design, a podcast producer, transcriptions, guest gifting, and other marketing expenses.
If you stick to only these four expenses, you should plan to spend at least $200 plus your monthly hosting fee (unless you pay for a yearly plan, which is around $200). For your recording platform, Mac users can use GarageBand for free for solo episodes. However, if you plan to interview guests, you’ll need to spend around $150 for a virtual podcasting studio program.
Should You Invest Big or DIY Your Podcast?
Before you start swiping your credit card, it’s important to determine your podcast budget so you don’t get in over your head. It’s tempting to want to invest in all of the best gear right off the bat, but there are also great entry-level options you can get started with instead.
There are also several parts of your podcast production that you can do yourself, but what you’ll save in money, you’ll spend in your time. Doing your own editing can keep your budget low, but it can also take a ton of time.
On the flip side, you can outsource everything, from the production to the marketing, and simply show up to record your podcast. Of course, this option requires a bigger budget, but you get your time back.
At the end of the day, your startup costs are determined by your budget and how much you want to do yourself. For new podcast hosts, I typically recommend that you start with a mid-range budget and invest more as you go.
Download to Podcast Budget Worksheet
Ready to nail down your podcast start-up costs? Download my Podcast Budget Worksheet here, and don’t hesitate to reach out with any other podcast budgeting questions!