Podcast for Profit!

Launching and maintaining a successful podcast takes guts and gusto. You have to build your own audience, then increase listener share– all while driving profitability. But fear not. While most podcasters fade away in the first year, the successful ones are making it work–exponentially!

We consulted with David Martin, Digital Media Director, San Diego Magazine on how to launch a podcast and then take it from good to great.

Can you share some good guidelines for launching a podcast?

David: “If you are just launching a podcast, start with at least 3 recorded and distributed at the same time. That way you can lock in the listener’s attention.

It’s also important that for each podcast that is recorded, you have an equally rad blog post to go with it, think of iTunes or any other podcast distribution outlet as a search engine. The more relevant content and keywords you have in the description, the larger following you will get. It takes a while to build an audience, it’s not easy, so don’t give up.

Also, make sure the product is good quality from the first episode. This is a lesson I had to learn as I went. Nothing quite as painful as seeing a review on iTunes saying “ouch my ears!”.

On the podcast user experience and building listener share:

David: “Keep to a format and keep it structured, and don’t let it go too long. The sweet spot tends to be about 45 minutes. Also, it takes a lot of work, but make sure people aren’t talking over each other through the whole time. Come up with cool segments that are a bit out of the box that people can look forward to.

For building listener share, we have a marketing plan for the podcast, such as creating a marketing toolkit for podcast guests. They want to promote as they are going to be excited to be on your podcast. Utilize what has already made you successful, house ads, social media, and newsletters.

Also keep your podcast distribution regular, at minimum weekly. If it’s less than that, listeners forget about you.”

What’s the top way you generate revenue from the podcasts? 

David: “Our top way to generate revenue is onsite sponsorships. We will record at their location and have a sponsored interview with them. We also utilize all our other channels when we are on site, so we will do either Facebook live or IGTV as well to increase the reach of the sponsorship.”



Editor’s Note: David will be speaking on podcast strategy at the Niche Consumer CEO Summit in Charleston, Nov. 12-13. If you are a Publisher of a City & Regional, Consumer, or Enthusiast magazine(s), you won’t want to miss it! Register here.



More about David: David Martin has been the Digital Media Director at San Diego Magazine for the past 8 years. In his time there, he has seen profitability in his department grow by over 800% by creating numerous multimedia products. His most recent success has been in the form of podcasting. The Happy Half Hour podcast has created quite the buzz through San Diego and has won them a Folio Award for Consumer Podcast of the Year in 2017. While popular with listeners, it has also become profitable with sponsors such as Major League Baseball, Hilton, Ronald McDonald House, Scripps Hospital, and countless others.

Outside of San Diego Magazine, you can find David singing for one of his bands, watching way too much baseball, enjoying the local San Diego craft beer scene, hiking, and skiing.


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