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Monetizing a Local Podcast | Podcraft Episode 815

Hosted by: jaitchison

Jack is a Multimedia Journalism student at Glasgow Caledonian University. As a journalist Jack sees great value in publishing on every medium as much as possible, and enjoys working on audio, video and written content.

On this week’s episode of Podcraft we’re joined in the studio by Ryan McLeod.

Ryan runs a local design studio business, Slurpp, as well as his own Podcast based around the creative industries in our very own city, called Creative Chit Chat Dundee.

And that’s what we’re going to be talking about on today’s Podcraft – the show about everything podcasting, from equipment to monetization and everything between.

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To directly quote his podcast’s tagline, it’s a show “picking the brains of brilliant creatives connected to Dundee”.

But isn’t limiting yourself to one city (as so clearly put in the title of the show) restricting both your pool of guests and your audience size? Well that’s exactly what we discussed on this week's podcast.

While Ryan admits that the majority of the guests do live and work in the city, he also finds people who perhaps have studied or lived there at some point, but have for whatever reason left the city. To him, it’s important to hear the stories of anyone with a connection.

We often argue that a way to create a great podcast is to find a really small niche, and that’s precisely what Ryan has done with Creative Chit Chat Dundee. By sticking to that one location, he’s opened the show up to a city full of people who can relate to the podcast – slowly building up a loyal audience.

One downside to having a niche, however, is that you often find yourself stuck in a corner when it comes to discussion ideas – but this isn’t the case with Ryan. With all his guests connected by the city of Dundee (therefore creating a niche audience) while working in different sectors of the creative industries, there are a wide variety of topics to discuss.

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Ryan also discussed his tactics for actually interviewing his guests – revealing that despite not preplanning questions, the same few seemed to illicit some interesting responses time after time.

The one thing I've learned is you get different types of guests and it's trying to read those people – who will be receptive to doing the show completely off the cuff and who needs a set of questions beforehand…and then you have people who want to turn up with notes.

I’ve found if you go off topic then the guests seem to relax a lot more.”

Also brought up on the show was the need to stay committed to your podcast to get past the dreaded 7-podcast episodes average, with Ryan’s show already hit 31 episodes at the time of this interview.

Ryan said: “I’ve been consistently putting out pretty much every week…and I think that’s what’s really important. I’m pushing myself forward in terms of the quality and motivation. The amount of people I’ve been able to go and speak to in such a short space of time has been amazing.”

So how do you get about getting a show like this out there?

That really is the hardest part. You put in all this work and you have no idea if people are actually listen to your show, so how did Ryan go about it?

Well, one way was to engage with people through events – one of which was Pecha Kucha in Dundee – where different creatives can discuss projects they’re currently working on.

Similarly he received a mention in a local newspaper column, as well as local blogs and websites which all helped to get the word out.

And then there’s of course the constant talking about it – getting you friends to share it on social media to try and pick up an audience through word of mouth.

“I found that if the content is good then people naturally gravitate to it and they will actually want to talk about it. Because there isn’t really anything else there at the moment in that realm then they’re usually up for giving it a go.”

Next up for discussion was monetization. It has to be said that while Creative Chit Chat Dundee isn’t set out to be a business, it’s breaking even at least. How?

You may not think you’ll ever be fully supported by your podcast and that’s a fact people have to accept. But working on a podcast can get quite expensive if you’re putting a lot of time into it, as well as equipment, software and travel expenses.

One way to help cover these could be asking for donations down the Patreon route. Ryan, however, decided to go a different path. Being in the creative industries himself, he created prints, badges and mini books based upon quotes that have come up in the podcast that he then sells on his website.

Despite having little reference to the show, these quirky quotes catch the eye of many, making them popular for people who know the show – as well as intriguing people who maybe haven’t listened before to go and find out what your podcast is all about.

And what about any tips for people wanting to start up a podcast?

“Just go and do it. Ideas are worthless and unless you act upon them.

There’s no ownership over it, there’s nothing there and it doesn’t exist… then someone else will do it and you’ll moan about it because someone did it first.

I’d been thinking about starting it up and eventually it just got the point where I thought I just had to get off my arse and make it happen.

And then it’s about getting that niche. Podcasting works well because you can dive into that tiny section of a topic, and if you can find something you can keep interest in then do it. ”

And that’s it for this week’s episode.

Thanks a lot to Ryan for coming on the show. If you enjoyed this episode we’d love it if you could send us and Ryan a tweet! You can tweet Creative Chit Chat Dundee, or get in touch with us at The Podcast Host’s Twitter.

Also, if you’re struggling with launching your podcast like Ryan was discussing there, we do have our very own premium service, The Podcast Host Academy, where you can find all our courses and teaching resources – as well as live coaching every two weeks where you can get that motivation to get your show out there!


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Jack is a Multimedia Journalism student at Glasgow Caledonian University. As a journalist Jack sees great value in publishing on every medium as much as possible, and enjoys working on audio, video and written content.

September 15th 2017