How Much Does It Cost To Start A Podcast?

Affordable dream-chasing for beginners.

Photo by Tomasz Gawłowski on Unsplash

I published the first episode of my first podcast last week. I’m pretty pleased. In the time it took for me to go from “hey, I want to do that,” to “Welcome to A Single Serving Podcast,” I had to do a little research, watch a fair amount of YouTube, and spend a little money.

Below, I will provide you with my mindset as well as all startup podcast costs I incurred, in the hopes that I can help other people with no background in this stuff whatsoever create something that’s important to them, too. This is by no means the “best” way to start a podcast, if there is such a thing. This is information on getting started for people who just want to start.

I believe if you want to create something, create it. From my perspective, there should be as few things holding us back from creativity as possible, and in that spirit, I decided not to care about the opinions of professional podcasters and audio people who will likely laugh at my sound quality and certainly my editing skills. I simply wanted to create the basic scaffolding I needed to give myself a space to fill with content. I was a little intimidated at first, but after digging in, it’s really not that hard. Or that expensive.

This is precisely the amount of money I spent in order to take my podcast from an idea to a thing you can listen to on iTunes right now:

Total Startup Cost: $302.24

Total Monthly Operating Cost: $12

From my perspective, I started a podcast on the cheap—I do my own editing, I don’t own a pop filter, etc. But you could do it even cheaper, if you wanted to. Don’t want intro music? Skip it. Care to design your own logo? You certainly can. Don’t want a mic that costs $99? You actually can record straight into Zencastr using nothing more than the mic built into your laptop. I am certain professional podcasters will think I am a) cheap and b) a moron for suggesting this, but I’m letting you know it’s possible.

If I could, I’d have started a podcast investing more, not less. I’d love to have more/better equipment, I’d love to pay for professional post production each time, and I’d love to have a soundproof space to record that isn’t beholden to the sound of my radiators pumping ridiculous amounts of heat into my apartment, which you can clearly hear in Episode 2. (For those suggesting I record in my closet, I don’t have one.)

But for me, starting a podcast was simply about starting a podcast. It was about getting creative, getting it out there, and gaining experience in this medium, sans perfection.

I think perfection and stress over perfection, or stress over what other people think, can keep us from doing things we want to do. In fact, as I wrote this I wanted to make sure it wasn’t just an apology for any quality insecurities I have. My podcast sounds pretty damn good all things considered, and my confidence in producing it will grow with time. I want to talk to single women and make single women listening feel better, and less alone. I have everything I need to do that.

If you’re thinking about starting a podcast, if it’s something you really need to do—you’ll know. Since I started following more of my instincts and listening to fewer of my insecurities, I’ve been having a great time, and creating things I love. I hope you’ll do the same, if you’re so inclined. The pull toward creating something new is kind of obvious. Listen to it.

NPR once called me a humor essayist, let’s go with that. Host of A Single Serving Podcast. shanisilver[at]gmail

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