Does it cost money to start a podcast?

A lot of people say they can’t afford to start a podcast.

They don’t have the money for all of the equipment, and the hosting, and all the accessories they’ll need.

They believe the podcast startup cost is way too much.

But is that really the case? Or are those excuses?

Does it cost money to start a podcast?

While someone could easily spend several thousand dollars launching a podcast, it is possible to start a podcast completely free of charge.

Let’s look at some free and very inexpensive options for starting a podcast.

The podcast startup cost myth

Let’s start by debunking the podcast startup myth.

You see

Most people see podcast (or radio) setups and immediately imagine how much money all of that equipment must cost. But the truth is, the beginner podcaster doesn’t need professional level equipment. They can easily start a podcast without breaking the bank.

In fact, the best solution would be to start simple and improve your equipment as you progress.

By that time, you may even be making money from your podcast and will be able to upgrade with your profit.

It is possible to start a podcast completely for free!

Podcast hosting

As you know you need somewhere to host your podcast audio files. Don’t try to put them in your website’s hosting. It will suck your bandwidth allocation, be slow for your listeners, and give an overall terrible experience.

Ready for good news about podcast hosting cost?

There are several hosting service providers that offer completely free podcast hosting.

Yes. Free!

Each of these providers has free account options.

My personal favorite among these is Buzzsprout, but you may find one that works better for your needs.

Podcasting microphone

One item that could affect your podcast startup cost is a microphone.

There is nothing worse than trying to listen to a podcast with terrible audio. Usually, within a few minutes, you’ll just exit and find another one to listen to.

Audio Technica 2100

That being said, you really don’t want to have poor audio quality. That’s why even if you are on a super tight budget, I’d suggest that you at least spend a little money on a microphone. The Audio-Technica ATR2100 is an amazing option and it’s around $65 on Amazon.

One thing that makes this microphone so nice is that it has both USB and XLR ports. So, while you start off on a tighter budget, you’ll likely just use the USB connection to your computer to record.

But, as your podcast progresses and you get some funding, you’ll have the XLR port to use with more professional recorders.

The microphone is dynamic with a cardioid polar pattern. That means it does a great job of recording your voice only. No background noise, and if you have multiple people on your podcast, it won’t record them.

Phone microphone

If you don’t have the budget at all to purchase a microphone (then go sell something on eBay and get the money) you could use your smartphone.

You’re going to sacrifice quality if you do this, but if you absolutely have to in order to get by initially, you can make it work.

Anchor is a podcast hosting service that has an app that you can record your podcast audio into. You can do it straight from your phone. The one problem is that you can’t go back and edit the audio files.

So, it’s possible to get away with recording your podcast on your phone if you need a free microphone, but it’s not ideal. Spend $65 and get a lower end (but excellent) microphone.

Podcast editing software

When you do record your podcast episodes, you are going to need to edit them at some point.

For that you need software.

The good news for your podcast startup cost?

There are completely free audio editing software solutions that work marvelously.

Garage Band (Mac)

If you are a Mac user, Garage Band is a free software that comes with your computer. It’s an audio file editing software that works great.

You can edit multiple recording tracks (if you have more than 1 host) on separate layers. You can clip out bad parts and export as the appropriate file format.

You can also record directly into Garage Band.

Audacity (Windows & Linux)

Audacity is an open source audio editing software.

Honestly, it’s quite unbelievable how much you can do with it.

Lots of podcasters use it also. So, it’s legit!

If you use a Windows or Linux computer, it is your choice for a free audio editing software.

Podcast Artwork

This is another item that I’d like to say to spend a little money on. It won’t affect your podcast startup cost that much.

But, if you can’t afford $10 to get a pro to create, there are some free options.

The reason I say to spend a little money on this is because of how critical it can be to your podcast gaining new listeners. We talk about all of that in the podcast artwork tips article.

Again, if you can’t afford to pay for it, there are some free options.

Canva.com allows you to create all kinds of graphics and artwork for free.  It would probably be your best option.

Don’t get me wrong, you can make some incredible artwork with Canva. You just need to understand graphic design.

Conclusion

Your podcast startup cost doesn’t have to be exorbitant. In fact, we looked at ways that you can complete every part of a podcast completely free of charge.

There are drawbacks, and the free option may not be the most professional sounding, but it’s still an option.

So, there’s no excuse not to start a podcast.

Go start your podcast inexpensively today.

Happy podcasting!