How a podcast for entrepreneurial parents generates $200,000 a year
Sarah Peck explains why she didn't chase scale when building her Startup Parent podcast.
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It’s often assumed that if you want to run a successful media business, you first need to achieve massive scale. Most of the articles that profile successful creators focus on YouTubers, podcasters, and other content producers who reach enormous audiences each month and then convert that reach into seven figures in revenue.
But there are some creators who have managed to build strong businesses with relatively small audiences. They’ve accomplished this by drilling down into lucrative niches and then selling high-priced products to just a few customers.
Case in point: the Startup Parent podcast. When I interviewed host Sarah Peck last May, it was generating only around 2,000 downloads per episode, and its newsletter following was even smaller. Despite those low numbers, she was on track to generate $200,000 in 2021.
Where does all that revenue come from? Well, the podcast sells sponsorships, of course, but the real monetization driver is the Wise Women’s Council, an intense six-month “leadership incubator” geared toward female-identifying and non-binary parents who are also entrepreneurs. Peck charges participants anywhere from $4,800 to $7,800 to enroll, and she often receives far more applications than she can accept into the program.
In an interview last year, Peck walked me through why she launched the podcast, how she designed the incubator, and why dozens of women have signed up multiple years in a row despite its high price tag.
Let’s jump into my findings…
Designing high-priced products
Like many successful creators, Peck began building an online audience while working in a completely unrelated field. In her case, she got a master’s degree in landscape architecture and landed a role at a major architecture firm in 2008.
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