Starting a Podcast – What Are The Benefits?
When “podcast” was declared “word of the year” by the New Oxford American Dictionary in 2005, you knew that it had entered the mainstream culture. So if you are considering starting a podcast, know that pioneers have gone before you and laid the track.
George W Bush was an early adopter, he was the first U.S. President to deliver his weekly address by podcast. In 2005, Apple iTunes released an upgrade with native support for podcasts which made a convenient platform for anybody to get on board.
Whatever its origin and history, podcasting is growing from strength to strength. This simple MP3 audio file is so flexible. You can listen to a podcast online, or download it to your laptop or phone and listen to it on your daily commute by train or car, at your local gym or while you are jogging through the park.
Some popular podcasts
The podcasts of well-known entrepreneurs like Tim Ferriss (The Time Ferriss Show) and James Altucher (The James Altucher Show) have been downloaded countless times. The Tim Ferriss Show was the first business/interview podcast to be downloaded over 100 million times! When you listen to any skillfully constructed podcast, you will understand why they are so popular.
Are you thinking of creating your own podcast? Why would you need one? How would you go about producing one? You could start by listening to other podcasts in your niche, this would give you a yardstick, a target to hit.
Starting a podcast – is it for you?
Starting your own podcast may seem like a good idea, but you need to have a plan. What sort of benefits do you want to see? Set out your stall! Here are some reasons why you should start a podcast:
- To increase traffic to your business/website
- To build relationships with your audience
- To develop and grow your own expertise
- To be perceived as an authority in your niche
- To build Brand recognition
Does this mean that if you build it they will come? Well, while the Field of Dreams was a fantasy, there is a correlation between intent and outcome. If you put enough thought and energy into your podcast, you will improve your chances of success.
So, two qualities that will help you build a successful podcasting business are:-
- Find your niche/audience
- Persevere (invest in the long term)
You probably already have the tools to make your own podcast. If you have a smartphone, you can record your message and get started. Or you can download the free Audacity software and take it from there.
But if you have listened to some of the popular podcasts, you will have heard the quality of their recordings. If your podcast sounds like you are sitting in a wind tunnel or an echo chamber, they will come – but they won’t come back. So, invest in a good quality microphone.
And, on the subject of quality, you need excellent content, some good editing, and a reliable distribution network. This means setting aside a decent budget.
Set yourself apart
Here are some of the characteristics of successful podcasts:-
- Content and topics covered
- Personality of the podcaster
- Audience connection
- Regular frequency – daily, weekly
Linking your podcast to everything
Whilst it may be possible to be a stand-alone-podcaster, the successful ones have linked their podcasts to the rest of their web properties. The aforementioned Ferriss and Altucher have published books and blogs, have thousands of Twitter followers, a Facebook presence and are syndicated worldwide. They have linked everything!
You may think that podcasting is time-consuming and that there’s a lot to learn. You would be partly right. You need to do your own recording (because that’s where your personality and enthusiasm will shine through), but you can outsource everything else. The content, editing, distribution and social media presence can all be done by someone with expertise in these areas.
When starting a podcast, above all, be consistent, deliver excellent content on a regular basis and the traffic will come. Your hard work and persistence will reap benefits. You will see exciting results that bring regular subscribers and help you build your reputation as an authority in your area of expertise, for years to come.
East Coast Radio Creative offers a full suite of podcasting services, with many of our clients doing their recording and letting us handle the rest. Find out more about our podcasting services by clicking here.