To pay or not to pay… this is the age-old question experts looking for opportunities to appear on podcast shows ponder.
Add to this a very niched market and the types of shows you are looking to get on, like the Vegan and Plant Based markets, and the temptation may be to pay to play more than needed.
As a rule, I recommend AGAINST paying to be on podcast shows. Keep in mind, this is very different than paying an assistant or podcast appearance manager to find you show opportunities.
What I’m referring to are the show hosts who ask guests to pay in order to offset production and advertising costs.
The host may justify an investment of anywhere from $50 up to several thousand dollars by saying they are doing special promotions. You read right, several thousand dollars for one appearance. You better make darned sure you know what you’re getting the would make this a wise investment.

Justifying the Cost

The host, or their representative, make it sound like what they are doing is unique and out of the ordinary for promotions, when what they promise is pretty much what most show hosts will do.

  • Give you the permalink to the show
  • Post on various platforms such as Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, etc.
  • Promote the episode via social media
  • Send show link to their subscribers
  • Write a blog post and promote the post via social media

Most hosts do this for every episode. After all, hosts want every episode to gain traction so we do what we can to promote each and every episode.

On Occasion It’s Worth It, But…

Again, there are occasions when paying may be a great idea, but for the most part, you do not need to.
I cannot count the number of times I’ve recommended against paying but inevitably, I have someone try to justify why they should.
Recently, I had one client inquire about a show that wanted a $1,200 investment for one episode. That’s a lot of money. And before investing even $50 there are specific considerations you would be wise to look at.

  • Foundation
  • ROI
  • Targeted show


Do you have your foundation in place to justify the investment? Simply put, is your website up to date? Do you have something people can opt in for whether it be an ezine, eBook, audio file, video, etc.? Do you have your conversion funnel in place when people opt in?

ROI – Return on Investment

What is the host promising that makes this a good investment? If they say, “We give you the show link, post on social media, post on several audio platforms such as Apple Podcast, etc.,” this is what most show hosts do as a rule of thumb.
What would it take for you to justify any amount you would pay to be on a show?

Targeted Show

Is the show a fit for your message? Is the audience one you want to get in front of?
It’s amazing how many people have not considered the genre or audience when they are thinking of paying to play.
Again, I’m not saying that you should never pay, but for the most part, you don’t need to.
If the show is a great fit, you have your foundation rock solid and in place, you are in the middle of a book, event, or product launch AND they have an incredible reach to your target market, it could be worth it. Yet, keep in mind, rarely will one show give you the return on investment you are looking for.
Getting the most from podcast appearances is a process. One that takes time, commitment and effort.

Virtual Podcast Tour

Ready to go even deeper? Why not do a podcast tour? Imagine if you were to get on dozens of shows during a book launch, product launch or event launch? You could be unstoppable. My book, Virtual Book Tours for Authors gives you the step-by-step formula for what to do.