For many podcasters, quitting their ‘day job’ to focus on podcasting full time is the ultimate goal - but when you’re still building an audience, that can feel a very long way off. For Mike Muncer, however, this dream is now a reality. In 2021, Muncer made the decision to put his career as a television producer on hold, concentrating all his effort on producing The Evolution of Horror.
The revenue from his podcast’s Patreon programme has allowed him to make podcasting his full-time career, and the community that has grown up around the podcast continues to thrive. In this week’s episode, PodPod host (and Muncer’s wife) Rhianna Dhillon interviews her husband, along with PodPod editor Adam Shepherd, about how he took the decision to go full-time, his future plans for expanding the brand, and why not all horror fans look like Rob Zombie.
Don’t be afraid to take the leap
I got to a point where I was like, the Patreon is actually making me more money per month than my day job… it got to that point kind of slowly, it kind of snuck up on me. It never spiked, but it kind of gradually grew month by month. That was a real shock. But it's still a little bit scary; it was still like, I can't rely on that for a career.
But then I didn't really have a choice, because the following year in early 2022, the BBC’s Inside Cinema, the production that I'd been working on for three years, got decommissioned. It got cancelled. So that just stopped… But I thought, well, do you know what, let's see. This is a good excuse for me to just see how things go, and see if I can just do Patreon for a bit.
Plan your time effectively
At the moment, it's enough that I can do it myself five days a week; five days a week is enough time for me to record, book guests, plan, prep and edit myself. Essentially, I'm able to divide up my week, where I will go, right, on Monday, I'll do some planning, some prep, some research, watch the films. On Tuesday, I will record an episode on Patreon and an episode on the main podcast. On Wednesday, I'll spend all day editing the Patreon. On Thursday, I'll spend all day editing the main podcast. Friday, everything gets published and social posts and whatever else. It doesn't ever actually work out that way, but I have enough time across a week technically to do everything myself - it works on paper.
When I started the podcast initially, and I didn't expect anyone to actually sign up, I said that for every person that would sign up at a fiver a month, I would send them an Evolution of Horror sticker. And I would write on the back a little handwritten note that said, thank you for being a patron, and post it to them.
And I ended up with over a thousand people signing up, right? So I was like, oh my God, the cost of the time spent in writing a message on the back of a sticker and then paying for postage to actually send just a sticker in an envelope - that almost negated the point of earning money on Patreon.