BECOME A FREELANCER
Even if your podcast doesn't take off, don't despair, there are many ways to make it in the creative audio industry. You can even stick to podcasting by freelancing, and then after you get better working for other, existing podcasts, you can branch back into your own ... Here's a really good article on how the podcast freelance economy is taking shape .... You can also pitch segments to many podcasts. Here's an example on how to contribute in different ways to the BackStory podcast. Here's a twitter conference back and forth on freelancing in the podcasting industry.
POST YOUR BEST AUDIO DOCUMENTARY MATERIAL
If you choose to go the radio feature route, it's a great idea to upload your best work on PRX and Soundcloud. Sometimes radio stations look around and actually purchase radio features through those websites. You also want to apply for audio awards and radio bootcamps. Here's an article on a student who won an award based on a radio feature she did in one of my radio classes. Here's a selective NPR bootcamp where I've been mentoring.
MY OWN AUDIO ROUTE
The route I went on in radio was the radio news and features route, through both freelancing and jobs. Specifically, I went mostly the international route working for Radio France Internationale out of Paris, and then Voice of America out of Washington, D.C., and then Africa. I also freelanced for DW radio and World Vision Radio, which played on NPR stations. I supplemented my income with television and newspaper freelance work and occasionally had some print jobs, but weirdly or not, I actually made the bulk of my money as a staff radio reporter. If you are really interested, I once wrote five chapters on the early stages of my international reporting career. Here is Chapter V with links to the previous chapters as well.
Other Certifiable Methods to Make it
There are tons of jobs to be found through sites such as journalismjobs.com. Internships are a great way to get a foot in the door, and to see if you like the work. Just ask and ask again. Make cold pitches, hot pitches, internship queries and keep bugging if you really are interested. Also becoming a replacement option (for when reporters are out sick, on extended vacation, on pregnancy leave ...) and also doing extra internships where you aren't paid. Also going to radio and podcasting conferences, and just keep networking, volunteering, finding mentors and cultivating them, applying for bootcamps, taking more and more radio classes and workshops, and you will make it.
If you found this tutorial useful, check out other installments. Here's the full list of chapters from my audio tutorials:
Teaching Audio -- Instilling Passion
Teaching Audio part 1 -- Recording Audio
Teaching Audio part 2 -- Writing for the Ear
Teaching Audio part 3 -- Audio Editing
Teaching Audio part 4 -- Sound Effects, Using Music and Audio Libraries
Teaching Audio part 5 -- Anchor Leads, News Writing, Judgment and Features
Teaching Audio part 6 -- Voicing
Teaching Audio part 7 -- On the Scene Reporting
Teaching Audio part 8 -- Interviews
Teaching Audio part 9 -- Newscasts and Stacking the News
Teaching Audio part 10 -- Commercials
Teaching Audio part 11 -- Raising Your Game
Teaching Audio part 12 -- Podcasting Intro
Teaching Audio part 13 -- Window Dressing
Teaching Audio part 14 -- Podcast Lists
Teaching Audio part 15 -- Big Podcasts, Little City
Teaching Audio part 16 -- Listening to Podcasts and Publishing your Own
Teaching Audio, part 17 -- Joining Podcast Communities
Teaching Audio, part 18 -- Podcasting for PR
Teaching Audio, part 19 -- Promoting Your Podcast
Teaching Audio, part 20 -- Making Money in Podcasting
Teaching Audio, part 21 -- Building a Career in Audio