How To Earn Money From a Podcast

Who is Sandy MacKay?

I help Canadians achieve financial freedom through real estate.

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Dear friends,

The best thing I have ever done in my real estate career was to start a podcast. Here’s how we started it:

It’s been 9.5 years since we launched the Breakthrough Real Estate Investing podcast. With 100s of hours of content, it’s an amazing resource for any real estate investors to listen through and learn from.

I’m proud of all the value Rob and I have put together with that show. It’s been a great source of knowledge for the real estate industry, and an even better source of knowledge for us as the hosts.

I’m not sure if anything has taught me more in my 12+ year career in this industry than our podcast has.

I’ve learned plenty about real estate investing from our guests, but more generally I’ve learned about how to earn money.

I believe the words we use are extremely important. It’s something I am very careful of in my everyday conversations.

Our internal self also hears the words we say aloud. So the better we are with our external communication, the better we will be at our internal communication with ourselves. And vice versa.

“Earn money” is not the same as “make money” or “get money.”

“Earn” implies that you have done something that deserves to be paid for.

Whereas “make” just means you’ve created money somehow, and “get” just means you’ve got it. Neither of those imply that you necessarily deserve it.

I don’t know about you, but I always want to feel like I’ve earned something. Like I deserve the rewards. This comes from combining knowledge and action over extended periods of time.

Earning Money with Our Podcast

We started setting up for our show in January of 2014. We spent $161 to set it all up. That’s $80.50 each. This included our costs to set up the website, logo design and an audio editor tool.

I was living at home with my parents after returning back to Canada from Australia where I’d been for a few years. Rob was driving trucks for a living and had a wife and 2 kids to feed. The $161 we spent was already over our budget.

We used a free Skype account to record the shows and I did all the website and podcast setup myself. There were no easy to use podcast hosting platforms like there are today. It took me a week of 16+ hour days to figure out all the technical stuff.

We aired our first episode on iTunes within a week of recording it, and we were on our way.

I still remember how incredibly scared I was to hit the “post” button on the website of those first few episodes. By hitting that button it meant that it would show up on our site and be up in iTunes within a few hours for the world to hear.

I was mostly scared of what my friends and family would think. It was that imposter syndrome feeling. It made me feel sick thinking about it.

Our goal in hosting the show was to bring knowledge to the real estate community, which included ourselves. We weren’t overly experienced yet in real estate having only been involved in a few deals ourselves up to that point.

Now some of you may think that because we had “been involved in a few deals” it would mean that we must have had some money. Not true at all.

While we had both figured out ways to earn some equity, we hardly had any cash.

Any cash I had at the time was going towards my real estate license, which a mentor of mine had convinced me to go for.

We were both smart and lucky in launching this podcast when we did. We were the only Canadian real estate investment podcast that made it past 6 episodes in 2014. We recorded 18 episodes that year.

In 2015 we started receiving our first legitimate leads from the show. We had no goals around generating leads from it. It just started happening one day.

In 2016 those leads starting coming in weekly, sometimes daily. It was amazing, and completely unexpected. It motivated us to do more shows and to actually ask for business. The inbound leads only increased from there.

It would be impossible to show exactly how much equity and cash this podcast has helped generate for me over the years, but I can say for sure that it is multiple millions of dollars.

Multiple millions on a $161 initial investment (plus a lot of time of course). And the millions are still growing.

We may have had a bit of luck in our timing with the show, but that wasn’t our secret to success.

The secret to earning money from the podcast has been in our mindset.

We never had a goal of earning money from the show. We simply wanted to provide value to the real estate community in Canada.

We were patient, and we never gave up.

We could have easily quit after year 1 because we hadn’t “got a return” on the show yet.

This is what all of the other Canadian podcasts who started before us had done.

We weren’t the first to launch a Canadian real estate podcast. We just lasted longer than any of the shows before us. And now we’re the longest running Canadian real estate investment podcast.

Last I checked we were over 2.5 million downloads of the show. It’s been an incredible blessing to host it for so long.

It’s been our ability to stick with it, grow ourselves, and focus on adding value that has translated into earning money through the show.

Podcasts aren’t going away anytime soon. You could start one today and in 2-3 years be the #1 authority in your niche.

Are you willing to add value without a monetary return for that long though?

In my experience, very few people are willing to stick it out in anything for that long. Some other shiny object will inevitably come their way over those 2-3 years and they’ll give up what they started.

This is what our audience growth looked like over the years by the way. The left side is number of downloads. 

Exponential growth after 2 years:

If you’re investing in anything significant, and expecting big results in less than 2 years, then you probably should reconsider investing in it altogether.

Earning money from something is about investing time and/or money time in the market consistently. Not about timing the market, and not about making fast cash.

Getting started at something can be fast. Getting good at something takes some time. Thriving at something takes lots of time. I like to expect 2-3 years in most cases before I start to see big results.

Are you willing to invest 2-3 years in order to earn results?

Until next week! ✌🏻

– Sandy Mackay