- In February 2021, Julie Merica launched the motivational podcast “Make Your Damn Bed.”
- Since then, her audience has grown to 60,000 weekly downloads, and she’s signed on advertisers.
- Here’s how much she built her podcast and how much she’s made in the past seven months.
When Julie Merica started working on her motivational podcast “Make Your Damn Bed,” she, herself, was her target audience.
It was October 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, and she was looking for some encouragement to get out of bed.
Prior to the pandemic, Merica worked as a stand-up comedian, photographer, babysitter, and bartender. But when Covid-19 hit, all of her gig work suddenly disappeared.
“I found myself not having any trigger to get out of bed, and I thought, ‘Man, I wish there was a short podcast or something that I could have as a trigger,'” Merica told Insider. “I wouldn’t even care what the podcast was about, to be honest. I just needed something.”
So she decided to launch it herself.
She’d tried podcasting two years earlier with a show called “Bud Buddies” — on which she smoked marijuana and told funny stories with guests on a weekly basis — that never really took off.
Still, she had all the skills she needed to produce quality audio content — many of which she’d learned watching YouTube videos — and about four months after she started working on the show, “Make Your Damn Bed” debuted in February 2021.
Each episode of the daily show, which is about eight minutes long, offers motivational advice designed to be paired with daily habits, such as the titular making your bed.
Initially, Merica produced the show on Anchor, a free Spotify-owned tool that allows users to create and distribute their podcasts to multiple listening platforms.
During the first few months, she hardly earned anything, and instead focused on building an audience. She started a TikTok to promote the podcast that now has over 27,000 followers.
On TikTok, Merica posts teasers of the episodes, as well as broader motivational content. In March 2o021, one of her videos went “micro-viral,” amassing 1,000,000 views, which was a turning point for the early growth of the podcast.
Having a successful social media account is crucial in helping people find their podcast, Merica said.
With so many podcasts — last year, 1.2 million new podcasts were added to Spotify — discovery is a challenge that hosting platforms have still not overcome, despite various attempts.
Consistency is also key, Merica said.
“People just want something they can rely on,” she said. “You just have to flood the market with your stuff or people will forget you exist, because everyone’s so busy.”
She posted every single day until, in September 2021, she was scouted by Acast, a podcast company that helps with growth and monetization.
Acast helped her find paying advertisers, and, since then, her earnings and the popularity of “Make Your Damn Bed” have both grown.
In April, “Make Your Damn Bed” had an average of 60,000 weekly downloads and estimated revenue of over $6,000. (Merica is still waiting to receive exact numbers.)
Here’s how much Merica earned from ads from September 2021 to March 2022. Insider verified this information with documentation she provided.
- Sep 2021: $169
- October 2021: $1,597
- Nov 2021: $2,380
- December 2021: $2,400
- Jan 2022: $6,416
- February 2022: $2,917
- March 2022: $4,255
While Acast takes a cut of her ad earnings as a fee, the rest of Merica’s podcast-related expenses are small.
She has made small investments, like buying an iPad, and pays about $200 monthly for a listener to make Instagram Reels for the “Make Your Damn Bed” Instagram page. But otherwise, podcasting has cost very little.
“Podcasting in general is pretty low maintenance,” she said. “At some point, I might get a nice recording mic, maybe, but for now, I’m just investing my time and learning as I go.”