Episode 75 - What It Takes to Produce a Polished Podcast

Season #3

Learn the costs of creating a podcast and how you can create something polished that people will want to listen to.

If you’ve ever scrolled through podcasts on your favorite listening platform, you know there are countless shows out there. It must be easy to produce one if so many people are creating them, right? Just hit record on your computer and talk. 


Not quite. 

The truth is that a podcast is much more than a recorded conversation. One of the most important aspects of a podcast is the audience. If no one listens to your podcast, it doesn’t matter how much great information you’re sharing. You need to reach people, and that comes with costs. 

Over our two seasons of producing Paper Talk, we’ve learned all about those costs. In our latest episode, we discussed what it takes to create a podcast and why we continue to do so. 


This post covers some of the most important points we chatted about. After reading this you’ll feel prepared to create a podcast of your own because you’ll understand the costs upfront, and you’ll be able to produce a polished podcast right from the start.

Hard Costs of Running a Podcast

So how much money will it take you to run a podcast? It obviously depends on your situation, but there are some set costs that you will have to tackle. 

At the very least, you will need to host your podcast somewhere online. There are some free options out there, but keep in mind that those come with non-financial costs and won’t provide you with the many tools available elsewhere. We host Paper Talk on Simplecast for $25 a month. There are other options out there, but when we priced things out, we found Simplecast to be the best value for our money. We also love that it is very easy to use. 

We also recommend editing your audio. Some podcasts don’t, but it makes a huge difference in the end (we’ll explain more about why this matters in a bit). We use Adobe Suite, which costs around $50 a month.


If you want to produce a more polished podcast and reach a wider audience, you’ll also want to look into a website (we use Squarespace for $20), recording equipment (including video conferencing like Zoom for $12 a month), an email provider (Kajabi for $150), and a graphics creator (we highly recommend Canva at $30 a month). We also employ a copywriter who saves us lots of time and brainspace and costs around $45 an episode or around $200 a month.

You can decide what your podcast needs, but we’ve found that all of these costs really help us create a more polished and accessible end product.


On a whole, Paper Talk costs us around $500 a month to produce, which is why we decided to ask for your help to keep it going! You can support us on Patreon and sponsor an episode.

Soft Costs of Running a Podcast

Now that you’ve seen the numbers, let’s talk about time. It’s easy to discount how much time you are spending on something like a small business or podcast. But your time is valuable! You only have so much of it. 

Some of the things we pay for help save us time, like our copywriter. But simply buying something like Canva won’t make graphics magically appear, ready to use. Canva has great templates and makes creating beautiful graphics really easy and quick, but it’s still time out of your day. Same with editing your audio, researching guests, sending newsletters, updating your website, and on and on.

For us as paper florists and small business owners, time spent on the podcast really means using time that we could have been utilizing to produce paid work. We love sharing information with our community and connecting with guests on our podcast, but it is largely a labor of love. As Quynh said, “We do these things [like teaching online courses] to pay for the things we’re passionate about. The podcast, we are so passionate about it.”

Realize that you will need to pour time into your podcast and that it won’t pay you back immediately. Many podcasts like ours ask for listeners to donate on Patreon for this very reason. To produce a quality podcast, you need to be willing to spend your time on it.


Creating a Polished Podcast

Now, you know what it takes to make a podcast. Here’s our pitch for why you should go the extra mile to create something polished.

Listeners want to listen to more polished podcasts, even if they don’t realize it. Taking the time to edit out fifty “ums” from every episode is tedious, but it will make a big difference in the end. As Quynh said in our episode,

I know with Jessie and myself, we like the polished look, the polished sound...I make an extra effort to make sure that the podcast does sound polished for you guys, so it makes it easier for you to listen to.

 You also need to create a solid platform and presence on the web to help you reach more of those listeners. Again, people will notice if you nail that polished aesthetic. Take the time to make beautiful graphics, to update your website, to post on social media. More people will be drawn to your podcast.

Yes, you can keep your monetary and time costs down by skimping on some of these things, but keep in mind the drawbacks if you decide not to focus on something we’ve discussed. 

To hear even more about how we produce our podcast, listen to our latest episode. Here’s what you’ll hear when you listen to our conversation:

  • How we research guests and choose topics.

  • The costs of running a podcast.

  • How we edit our podcast to create a polished product.

  • What we’ve learned to do better now that we’ve produced two seasons of Paper Talk.

  • Why we’re so passionate about sharing valuable content through our podcast.


If you want to share, connect, and grow more with us, join our Facebook group or support us on Patreon where you’ll get even more behind the scenes looks at Paper Talk.

**Paper Talk is supported by our community of readers and listeners. When you click on our affiliate links, we may earn a commission for qualifying purchases made through Amazon.com. This commission goes directly into the maintenance of this website and podcast. Amazon Affiliate Disclaimer.


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