Today’s post is a bit of a departure from the previous blogs I’ve written (which, admittedly, is not a lot). I wanted to dive into something that has been on my mind recently and is more journalistic than my other posts. Think of it as an exercise in other types of writing.
Millenials have been getting a whole lot of misconceptions and trends going in the whole world. One of the biggest trends that they’ve spread is the idea of a side hustle (so much so, there’s a book). It’s become almost ubiquitous with the Millenial generation, partly due to economic struggles, partly due to the hunger they have when it comes to work. Of these side hustles, one in particular has become so large, it’s creating its own industry. That side hustle, is podcasting.
Podcasts have seen a huge leap in popularity over the last decade. I can only assume the reason for this being that podcasting is accessible to anyone who wants to create one. As someone who has one podcast currently being published at the time of this blog post and another in the works, I can attest to how easy it is to start a podcast. While it has yet to reach the same numbers, in terms of people actively doing this as a side hustle, as being a YouTuber, it doesn’t discredit that it has become so powerful. It also can go hand in hand with YouTubing.
Platforms for podcasting are varied. In this age of interconnectedness the obstacles to platforms are almost non-existent. SoundCloud and YouTube are free platforms that people can use to spread their podcasts and get a following. Paid services to get on Spotify and other podcast specific apps. It’s a slow and arduous process to get it to become a money generating project, however.
A following needs to be gained first and foremost. Once there is a sizable enough following for the podcast then the money-generation can begin. Sponsorships and ad revenue, especially from YouTube, are the biggest ways to gain income. It can get a little unsteady from algorithm or market changes, and can often be something people fear. Other ways to get a steady stream is creating merch to sell or start a Patreon and get supported by your followers directly. They’ve become one of the biggest ways creators support themselves and their projects. But it also creates a bit more work for the creator.
Patreon specifically allows fans and followers to gain extra income as mentioned before. A part of this, is creating content or merch specifically for Patrons, making the investments worthwhile. While it can range from merch, to art, to extra content, some of the latest trends have included exclusive Discord servers for creators and Patrons to communicate. Opening a direct line like that can solidify a fanbase and make sure that you always have a solid audience that will guarantee some level of income from your project.
The biggest draw of doing a podcast as a side hustle is the ease in which it can be done. Podcasts can be created by someone in their home, with affordable equipment purchased off Amazon, and be put into the world with minimal editing. It all depends on what the person who is writing it is capable of, and their desire to create content. It’s one of the ways in which people can express their entrepreneurial ideas or skills, without having to make a leap of faith. It can be done outside the hours of a normal day job that the creator most likely has, making it one of the most quintessentially Millenial pursuits. A greatly democratic pursuit, if you want my personal opinion on it.