Pay to be a Guest on Podcast

Should You Pay to Be a Guest on Someone’s Podcast?

Being a guest on a podcast has the potential to get your name or brand out to a larger audience. The idea is that it could lead to greater income for you or at least bring awareness. But should you pay for the privilege of accessing someone else’s audience?

The short answer is a resounding, NO.

It’s much like paying someone to review your book. There are no guarantees that such an interaction would benefit you and it could have the opposite effect.

It’s a Mutual Benefit

The podcaster should know his or her audience. Having a guest on the show should resonate with those viewers or listeners. That means the podcaster is already benefiting from the interaction.

Essentially, you’re helping the host solidify engagement while increasing the likelihood of the individual making more money. It’s all about those ad dollars at work.

Plus, there is a good chance you’re bringing some of your audience along for the ride. There are a lot of people who would follow you on various platforms just to watch you. At that point, you’re helping the podcaster potentially gain a few new subscribers.

That means you’re essentially promoting each other. So, should you charge the podcaster for access to your audience?

The bottom line is that having a guest on your podcast is a mutual net positive. It’s a collaboration between you to share audiences and expand both reaches.

But I would have to argue that the guest is getting the short end of the stick.

See, as a podcaster, the guest is helping you make content. You’re not losing anything out of your time as the interview is part of the show. However, it’s taking time away from the guest’s day he or she could have used for their own craft.

For instance, if you wanted me on a show for an hour, that is about 1500 words I could have written in my next book or a blog post. And then you want to charge me on top of burning time in my day while having access to my audience?

But, Being a Guest on a Podcast is Advertising

Those who support charging guests to be on a podcast will argue that it’s an “advertising expense.” There’s no doubt that good publicity can work wonders for any individual, brand, or business.

I could then say that having me on your show is a “content expense” and that you should pay me for the time. After all, you’re the one guaranteeing content to your audience in the form of my presence, right?

You cannot force people to buy a product, follow an individual, or subscribe to a channel. As I said, there is no guarantee that showing up on someone’s podcast is going to result in a slew of book sales.

But to play Devil’s Advocate, neither does paying for pay-per-click ads on Amazon, Facebook, or Google. On the other side of that coin, though, PPC ads are usually far less expensive than what some of these podcasters are charging.

Not to mention taking less of your time overall.

Perhaps the biggest difference between PPC ads and being on a podcast is your ability to fine-tune the recipient of those advertisements. You have a far better chance of getting ads for your product in front of interested parties on something like Facebook than you would on a podcast.

This is thanks to things like keywords, phrases, focused demographics, and more options that are available in a PPC campaign.

You’d be hard-pressed to find the same flexibility in a podcast, especially since many podcasters are not open with their precise statistics and data.

Although you can take the loss on your taxes for advertising fees, podcasts aren’t as easily explained to the IRS.

What About Sponsored Posts On Blogs?

Isn’t charging someone to publish a post on your blog the same as charging a guest to be on a podcast? Not exactly.

For one thing, a sponsored post is meant to be more salesy than informative. It’s less of the fact that they want to collaborate but more of trying to sell a product to my readers.

Although the ultimate goal of being a guest on a podcast is to promote, it’s more of a personal engagement. Not to mention the fact that there is a lot more vetting involved with blog posts.

For instance, a link on this website to a malicious page could be ultimately damaging to the site’s reputation and could decimate the Google search ranking.

That means a lot more technical research is involved to avoid redirects and possible scams.

However, it’s also true that having the wrong person on your podcast could result in cancel culture kicking into overdrive.

Of course, I vet all of my guests on After Hours with just as much vigilance as I do for the blog. That’s only because I want to make sure my guests are aligned with my audience. Plus, researching my guests gives me an opportunity to ask unique questions.

I suppose the biggest element for me is the fact that having a guest on the podcast is that the individual is helping me with an hour’s worth of content for the YouTube channel. Guests are sharing the same screen time overall.

When it comes to the blog, I don’t have the same need.

Why I Never Charge to Be a Guest on My Podcast

As I’ve pointed out several times, I believe guests are just as responsible for the podcast episode as I am. After all, without them, it wouldn’t be the same show.

I respect the time authors sacrifice to be on the show, especially some of the more popular and busy writers.

As such, it is they who are helping me with content for my audience. The trade-off is the hope that someone watching After Hours will follow them on social media or buy some of their books.

For me, the value of the content is worth the investment of time and effort. This is especially true when you’re a sliver away from being accepted into the YouTube Partner Program.

Lastly, I have a helpful nature. I’m not the capitalist that so many are when it comes to content. For me, I love the idea of helping authors get noticed or providing information that benefits someone.

I’ll charge a brand for advertorials, but never writers who are simply trying to get into their groove.

Besides, I’ve met some amazing people and love interacting with them in such a manner. So, the guest authors on my podcast are just as much for me as for my audience.

How Often Are You a Guest on a Podcast?

I’ve never been on a podcast other than my own. Then again, I haven’t really put myself out there to get noticed. Nonetheless, I have a lot of fun with the author interviews and look forward to doing more in the future.

If you’re an author and want to be on the After Hours show on YouTube for free, use the guest author contact form. I’m always interested in having authors of all kinds on the podcast.

Michael Brockbank
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